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A discussion of the character and qualities of God as He relates to us,
Read aloud from Psalm 89:15-18 (KJV)
Psalms 89:15-18 (NKJV2000) Blessed are the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of your countenance. In your name shall they rejoice all the day: and in your righteousness shall they be exalted. For you are the glory of their strength: and in your favor our horn shall be exalted. For the LORD is our defense; and the Holy One of Israel is our king.
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"I Choose to Praise You"
Used by permission from Mark Snyder
Written by Mark Snyder of Tree Hill Collective
Vocals by Helene Immel
Tree Hill Collective’s music may be purchased at:
I've added two more poems to the bottom of "The Child Within Me" Page of my Poetry Collection on this website. I haven't written any new poetry in a few years, though I wrote a huge notebook full over a period of 20 years. The two I just added are Peace and Security. I wrote them the summer after I turned 15, just two summers after I met Jesus. Both of them have Scripture allusions.
Psalms 4:8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep:
for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.
Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to
kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body
I've also filled up about 20 journals, not counting the very first one I wrote. I finished my first diary (one of those tiny 5 year locking kinds) when I was about 16, and then built a fire in the backyard just to burn it, out of concern that anyone might ever read my words. :) I was really shy. But, I've got past that, and now I just keep them all locked away.
When Jesus came into my life, it drove a lot of fear out of my heart. I don't know how. I had been afraid of the dark even, and was tormented with nightmares almost every night for much of my preteen and early teen years. I would sleep walk often, and many times I woke the whole house up screaming from bad dreams. It was so bad that I became apprehensive about going to sleep at night, because I knew the dreams would return. But, with salvation came safety that could not be provided by people. And, the night terrors left. But, I was never afraid of storms. Storms, after I met Jesus, became a peaceful time when I was reminded that God was more powerful than man; my Father looking over all His children.
I've felt such a sense of peace and safety since, that I even worked security at night for a couple of years, when my boys were young, and I "moonlighted" literally. :) I can remember the glow of my flashlight beam casting across the parking lots, between the parked transfer truck trailers, when I would come out of the vacant plant to make my night rounds. The moonlight was beautiful, and there was this seperate peace in the darkness, because I could see. I had already backslid and divorced by that time, but the fear was gone, because God had removed all the sources of fear from around me, setting me in a safety that reached farther than I had run.
God did that for me. And, I knew that He was my safety. There have been many times I've been aware of angels surrounding me, God's bodyguards. In Genesis 22, we read a strange story of Abraham laying his son on an altar of wood, and raising a knife, when an angel, or perhaps the Spirit of God Himself, cryed out for Abraham to not harm the boy. Imagine the effect this had to have had on his son, Isaac... hearing the angels speak on his behalf from heaven! We don't read much about Isaac, beyond his birth, this scene, his marriage, and the wells he re-dug, and then the focus shifts to his children. But, you know he had to be a changed man; had to always remember that God was watching over him and keeping him safe from harm.
Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh, which means God provided, or the Lord is my Provider. There was an old country song I remember hearing as a child that always reminds me of Jesus.
"You're my bread when I'm hungry.
You're my shelter from troubled winds.
You're my friend when I'm lonely.
And, in the cold, You keep me warm."
I have no idea who sang that song. But, it fits Jehovah-jireh. And, when the nights are dark, He is the beam of light piercing the night... my Security Guard.
Job 11:16-17 Because you shall forget
your misery, and remember it as
waters that pass away: And your life shall
be brighter than the noonday; you
shall shine forth, you shall be as the
I remember hiking through the deep woods (no trails) on the first of August 2009. I remember this particular hike because I discovered a creek deep in the woods, when I crawled through deep overgrowth and trees that were as close as I was wide. The creek was peaceful and hidden, rocks out in the middle of it and it reminded me of the rivers in Tennessee where I use to visit my grandparents as a child. On this particular hike, I made the video attached below. I didn't realize I wouldn't have the chance to go back there for so long, since it was 2 months before the first surgery.
Needless to say, listening to myself on the video now, saying "Remember This" it seems like a call... a time capsule message beckoning me to fight, to refuse to give up until I can hike through deep woods for 10 miles again. It calls me to remember that I can and will ride my bike that 100 mile trip I was aiming for that summer. It stirs my dreams to run my first 10K, and maybe even my first half marathon instead of living on the memories of my 5K runs.
It all boils down to what I believe that God is. I believe that God is
able to restore my health. I believe that God
wants me to be healthy. I believe that God
is going to restore my health. After all...God is...
"God is good, God is love, God is a consuming fire, God is a merciful God, God is one Lord, God is a jealous God, God is God of Gods, God is among you, God is He that hath fought for you, God is upon thee, God is my strength and power, God is gracious and merciful, God is great, God is greater than man, God is mighty, God is with terrible majesty, God is our refuge and strength, God is the King of all the Earth, God is our God, God is judge himself, God is mine helper, God is for me, God is my defense, God is my salvation and my glory, God is a sun and shield, God is holy, God is in the heavens, God is pure, God is with us, God is righteous, God is able, God is at hand, God is true, God is a Spirit, God is no respecter of persons, God is my witness, God is revealed, God is faithful, God is not bound, God is well pleased, God is light, God is greater than our heart, and God is forever and ever."
I would give you these traits of God in the New KJV, but I collected them several years ago in the old English. The words could be different in the new English, and I don't want to look. I want to hold on to this in my heart. If you want to see it in either version, you can download free Bible software online, such as the SwordSearcher software I use. They allow you to read in different versions, and they offer search tools that allow you to put in any search term, such as the words "God is" and pull up all the verses that use those words. I sliced the phrases from there. It doesn't matter which version you use, but it is easier to memorize if you pick a version to use and stick with it. Just note, with most freeware you can use the free version for awhile, but then they ask that you send in a $20.oo donation eventually if you plan to keep using the software. I have used my paid version for about six or seven years...well worth it! "A workman is worthy of his hire."
Somethings just aren't worth it. When you weigh the cost against the advantages, sometimes you realize it is time to reconsider your options. Quitting has never been an easy option for me. I have had to learn how to change gears many times in recent years, when I never thought I had more than one gear. I always liked to hit the ground running. My biggest fault on the bike is when I'm climbing hills, I can't keep myself out of the higher gears. I just
feel like I'm not doing anything if it's not an all out effort. If I'm not pushing, then I'm sitting still. And, we know that can't be true. I feel the same way about giving up or quitting. I remember rides where any sane newby was dropping out and catching a ride on the sag wagon. And, they were. But, I couldn't. I feel like if I rode in on two wheels, I'm riding out on two wheels, or an ambulance. That's crazy, I know, but it's out of my control most days. I
just hate to feel like I didn't give it my best shot, you know. But, sometimes our best shot is in seeking help. God's help.
Psalms 68:1-4 Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that
hate him flee before him. As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as
wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.
But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them
exceedingly rejoice. Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him
that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.
Destroyer, Protector, Giant, Warrior, Savior, Worshiped One; Psalm 68 is a medley fit for a King. The magnitude of God is extolled in this Psalm. These same words were the words of Moses as the ark of the covenant was lifted each time the camp began to move in Numbers 10:35-36
I like that! Can you picture the men lifting the ark with those words? "Rise up" and destroy your enemies God. It sounds like a wake up call for a Savior. Imagine saying that as the pallbearers lift the coffin at a funeral. "Let this Saint arise!" They don't say that do they? But, you get the point that it sounds like God has been silent, almost asleep. Kind of like when Jesus called, "Lazarus, come forth," calling his 4-day stinky-dead friend out of the grave. Of course, Lazarus was dead, but God is always awake, my friend. Even when a stone is blocking your view.
I can picture the swirling smoke, like leaves being tossed in a heavy wind. God is this huge giant and when He stands up, all those who opposed Him just fall on every side... a big, big God! Then, suddenly, He is riding "on" the heavens. Incredible pictures there. First He is surrounded. Then He rides like the wind. But, that's nothing because this Destroyer will now protect the helpless.
Psalms 68:5-6 A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is
God in his holy habitation. God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth
out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.
This kind of gives God that Robin Hood appeal to see Him destroying foes one minute, and then sheltering the fatherless, the widows, the solitary, and the prisoners in chains. But, God is multi-faceted, right? And, the defenseless need a Protector to destroy their enemies. It often seems like there is a disparity between the people who get help and the people who need help in our society. That is one thing I noticed about the doctor who accidentally messed up my first surgery. She spent a lot of time afterward doing "damage protection," for herself.
The morning of my son's graduation, I was in a lot of pain, still trying to shop for a dress, and had cried a few times in different stores just out of sheer exhaustion from the effort of changing clothes, due to nerve damage limiting the mobility of my legs. I have been avoiding even grocery shopping because of this, but almost nothing in my closet fits anymore. I ran into her accidentally as I was coming out of another store empty handed. She was shorts and sunglasses clad, smiling with her young son on her arm, and asked how I was doing in a sweet sunny voice. I was surprised speechless. I could barely find the words to answer her. I just looked at her and quietly mumbled something about "5 surgeries later...not so well ...since you messed up."
After I got in my car I sat there until I could stop crying again to drive away. So, I called a friend to comfort me. While I cried and talked, she came out of the store without her son, and stood there in front of the store watching me cry on the phone. It appeared that she was suddenly concerned for "her" safety and the safety of "her child." I couldn't believe it. She was acting like I might be about to hurt her, and hid her son. How crazy can you get? That is the point, she is more concerned about her own safety and success than about her patient's life, health, and happiness. Instead of being concerned that I had broken into tears, she was concerned about her perceived safety level.
In the hospital, instead of being concerned about the damage to my body, she was concerned about whether or not she would be held legally liable. God on the other hand, is there to rush to our rescue when things go wrong. God can be a giant in moments like those. He stands up in our defense and shelters us from the storm of ungodly men. Yes, a loving god can be fierce. He turns around the table to protect the helpless, instead of protecting those who have all they need.
The song suddenly changes tracks and we see the trembling, quaking Mt. Sinai in the wilderness with Moses again in verses 7-10. Then the track changes again for a battle scene, or rather a behind the scenes division of the spoils of war.
Psalms 68:11-14 The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those
that published it. Kings of armies did flee apace: and she that tarried at
home divided the spoil. Though ye have lien among the pots, yet shall ye
be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow
gold. When the Almighty scattered kings in it, it was white as snow in Salmon.
This is the passage that first caught my eye in this Psalm. The picture reminds me of a King's heralds sounding out the call. When the message had to go far, many heralds were used to relay battle messages. This sounds like we have an army of preachers carrying the gospel message to the whole world today. Then comes the passage about Zion. In 15 & 16 the psalmist compares Zion to a mountain, but God lives in Zion. And, here comes our Warrior King now, charging on His chariots at the head of His troops with the spoils of war behind Him...
Psalms 68:17-18 The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of
angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place. Thou hast
ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for
men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.
What are these gifts He gives to men? This was prophetic of Jesus' death. He fought Satan during the three days He was dead. He took the keys of death and hell, and He took captivity captive. He received gifts for us here on earth. Acts chapter two tells us about how the disciples first received the "gift" of the Holy Ghost which Jesus promised to send in Acts chapter one. But, now look back to the Psalm, verse 6. See the part about the rebellious living in a dry land? Here is salvation, as a result of Jesus dying. Here in verse 18, we see that God even wants to live among the rebellious. Jesus died for all of us, even those who don't want the gift.
Then, we see the order of the processional march in verses 24-27, and that is followed with worship fit for a king in verses 28-31, where they call upon God to scatter the enemy before them. The Psalm ends with an open call to praise God, and we hear the mighty voice of Him who rides in the clouds. We are reminded that He gives strength and power to His people. The first line in verse 34 holds the key to the whole Psalm, for me. It beckons us to write about the strength of God. The whole Psalm is about His strength, is it not? And, God is indeed powerful and strong!
Do you need a strong God to come to your rescue? Are you surrounded by the enemy? Then call out to the Mighty God who can save you. He is listening for your call. He helps all those who call on His name.
I mentioned the sermon that drew me to the altar titled, Ragman in my blog titled, “The Gospel According to Me.” The sermon moved my heart, but it didn’t move my clenched hands from the back of the chair I grasped in front of me, at least not immediately. I made the decision in that altar call. It just took me 24 hours to let go of the chair. I decided that I would wait till the next night’s altar service, since this one was almost over. Or, at least that was my thinking. I knew I had a hard time moving mentally. It took so long, I knew people were ready to leave. Waiting did give me time to build my courage to walk down the aisle, and I did just as soon as the call was given the next night. I was afraid I wouldn’t have the guts to do it. But, when I began to pray, I saw Jesus and I heard Him speaking to me. He said, “I love you, Vicky… I love you, Vicky… I love you, Vicky…”
The fortune of the prominent early American Vanderbuilt family was made by an immigrant named Cornelius, in the railroad industry. Vanderbuilt’s fortune was inherited by sons and grandsons, some who invested his fortune in horse breeding and yacht racing. But, sadly, some wasted on drugs and alcohol addictions. Only forty-eight years after his death, one of his direct descendants died penniless. All ten of the mansions his descendants built were torn down within 70 years of his death.
America has seen both old money and new money fortunes. Whether the fortune is old or new, blood will buy the fortune. My natural father left me a legacy… he left me. When I was two. My mother was pregnant with my middle sister. He abandoned us. My blood is worthless and I have no ancestry to trace. I was born penniless and will die with empty pockets. My only heritage is my Father, the God of the Universe. Aye, but He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. I am investing my fortune wisely, in the hearts of children who are my reversed heritage. I have accumulated close to 1,000 students over the years. In that, I have a rich heritage. I didn’t say they all valued me. I valued them. Or rather, I placed a value on my time with them. It has been said that time is money. Accordingly, I have spent all of mine. I don’t plan to have any time left over “in the bank” so to speak, when I die. You can’t “save” time. You can only waste it or spend it.
Alexander of Greek fame conquered much of the known world, in his time. He inherited the smaller empire of his Father Phillip…by blood rights as was assumed, by his Father. He purchased the submission of parts of three continents with the blood of the citizens of Thebes and Tyre. Much more blood was shed along the path of conquest, as far south as Egypt, where he was crowned pharaoh and called “the son of God.” (Referring to the Sun-god Ra.) He signed his name, “Lord of Asia.” He also called himself the King of Kings. He purchased these titles, and a claim to divinity and worship, with the blood of the conquered a few centuries before Christ.
In Alexander’s time, lived three great civilizations; the Greeks who gave us much of our culture, the Romans who gave us the base of our politics and government, and the Jews who gave us God. And, the Jewish race gave us the uniquely Hebrew phenomenon of prophets. Why was the Jewish race so strongly a religious race? The Jews were planning to bring salvation to the world. And, they produced a Messiah. Strange…the fact that they were looking for a Messiah like “Alexander the Great.”
What they got was Jesus, the Son of God, the King of Kings, the Lord of the whole earth. He bought his empire with blood, His own. Blood, after all, will buy. What did His blood buy? His blood bought back our eternal life, after the curse of death in the garden. The blood of Jesus bought healing from sicknesses and diseases. His blood bought our salvation. The blood Jesus shed on Calvary bought His rights as our Father.
Isaiah 53:8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. Jesus, a Jew, had no children when He died. This was a tragedy in the mind of the Jew. Jesus considers us His children by blood inheritance. We are generated into his Kingdom from his blood, much like children are generated from their parent’s blood. We are the generation, or descendants of Jesus. That makes us His children. His blood bought our right to be near Jesus.
Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off are made near by the blood of Christ.
One day Jesus will rule the earth as a conqueror of all. He will rule by conquering. He is already conquering through the work of His Kingdom that is being ushered in. He will be Lord of all. Blood after all, will buy. As His children, we are the sons and daughters of a King. I went, in the course of one altar service, from rags to riches. I gave my rags of sin to the Ragman. I took on eternal riches in Christ. My riches are the Glory and Grace of Jesus. Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
Ephesians 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of his calling, and what is the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
Ephesians 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
And, there are more.
"Change...that's what we all want. Things have gotten so bad, the economy, foreign policy, terrorism, people are just waiting for someone to stand out in the crowd and show them something new. Some great policy. A sweeping, revolutionary change. A Miracle-worker like you...! Just cast your name in the hat as the one to end our misery...if you really can that is...Jesus."
They were speaking in inviting words, but it was a tone of unbelief...goading Him to raise them to ranks of power...and they were His own brothers. Think in terms of an election year...the nation is looking for potentials to take office...someone to change a bad situation. The Jews were victims of bad foreign policy. They had been taken over by another country, allowed to keep their homeland, but the Romans had set up a Roman ruler over them and they were basically paying tribute while living under subjection to a foreign power. But, word on the busy streets, in the temple, and in the marketplace was that a new Jewish"King" would come to take back the nation, to lead a revolution to bring them their independance, a Messiah.
Jesus had been on the scene for two and a half years, and was doing many great works. Halfway through his third year of ministry is a scene that reveals much of the humanity of Christ. There were people who thought He might be the one. But, there were those against Him, too. Some wanted to kill him. He kept a low profile and avoided Jerusalem, since He had healed a lame man and made some people high up really mad. There was one point in time, where even His mother and brothers had apologized for Him, claiming He was not right in the head. They had gone to get Him and bring Him home, to put an end to the ruckus, and threats against his life. It almost seems like they couldn't believe in His mission. Yet, you find this strange passage at the beginning of John 7...
John 7:3-4 His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world.
They wanted Him to show up at the Feast of Tabernacles...a holiday much like a convention... and perform for the crowds, a demonstration of power to elicit a big following so everybody would believe in His mission, and they would not have to defend His mission to unbelieving neighbors. They wanted Him to put up or shut up. He was becoming an embarrassment.
Jesus seemed more hurt by His own brothers than He did the mass of unbelievers. At other times He chided with unbelievers, but here He seems meekly to shrink back at their mocking scorn. He tries to explain that the timing is not right for Him. He sees they don't understand and it hurts Him to the core; so much so that he waits to go secretly after they leave. At the midpoint of the Feast days, He goes openly into the Temple and begins to teach the people.
What strikes me most is that He resisted a public display of the proportion that many big promoters look for in every age. If you want good PR, you have to attract crowds...numbers. But, that was not Jesus' way. He spoke to the people, not the leaders. He didn't pander to the lobbies or organizations who would have promoted His "cause" in the interest of wielding their own power. That's what all politics is about: a power exchange. Jesus was not seeking to gain or exchange power. He was all power. He was the omnipotent Lord of the Universe. His mission was to change men's hearts. Funny how humility and power go hand in hand. But, most importantly, I love the human glimpse of Jesus among His earthly brothers; the picture of His sensitivity to their goading and disbelief. The Son of Man, was He not, just such as you and I?
John 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
I sat awhile in the light today, this light, reading a beautiful passage from a beautiful book, John 1: 1-5. Going deeper into the light, I turned from there to Psalms 36:9 For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light. That is prophetic of Jesus. I marveled at the use of the phrase to see light in light. Of course, it is obviously a figure of speech, much like the words " see the light of day" in our language, because the Hebrew word "ore" means light, illumination, luminary (in every sense, including lightning, happiness, etc.) as well as day, morning or sun. So, you could just as easily say that he is the light in our day (or the light in our light.)
I like the many ways John uses the "I am" phrase for Jesus. I am the bread of life- I am the bread which came down from heaven- I am that bread of life- I am the living bread which came down from heaven- I am the light of the world- as long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world- I am the door of the sheep- I am the door- I am the good shepherd- I am the good shepherd- I am the resurrection, and the life- I am the way, the truth, and the life I am the true vine.
All of these labels provide either life or access to life. Light gives life. Bread gives life, which is why Jesus called Himself the bread of life and living bread. Similarly, the door, the way, and the truth all provide access to Jesus who is the life. Jesus is everything. There is nothing that He is not.
Morn of morns, and day of days!
Beauteous were thy newborn rays:
Brighter yet from death’s dark prison
Christ, the Light of lights, is risen.
He commanded, and His Word
Death and the dread chaos heard;
Oh, shall we, more deaf than they,
In the chains of darkness stay?
Nature yet in shadow lies;
Let the sons of light arise,
And present the morning rays
With sweet canticles of praise.
- "Morn Of Morns, And Day Of Days" part of a Hymn written by Charles Coffin 1736
I am intrigued by the interplay of light and darkness in these three stanzas. It points right back to John's words...for he says it best... "And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not." (1:5)
That word comprehended is from the Greek word katalambano, which means to take eagerly, to seize, possess, apprehend, attain, come upon, comprehend, find, obtain, perceive, or to overtake. It is a picture of opposition...a struggle between light and darkness. We often see darkness as the absence of light. But, it is striking how a lit match will dispel total darkness for a large area. The fact is, any light at all will prevent you from being in darkness. When we go stargazing or astroid watching, we have to wait for awhile for our eyes to adjust to the darkness. You feel blind at first when the light vanishes. I'm sure that must have been how John and the disciples felt when Jesus gave up the Spirit on the cross. Sudden dread chaos as the hymn says. The earth shook, the veil was torn, the dead walked earth...what a dark night! Darkness had seized the Light of the world. A full battle raged. Jesus had said that He was the Light of the world, as long as He was in the world. Now He was gone, and they felt the chains of darkness. But, when Jesus conquered death, suddenly the morning rays of the Light of lights dispelled the darkness all around us sons of light. He is morning and He is day. He is light. Do you see it?
Each country has its own money, or rather has had until the advent of the Euro in this century. I have in my collection some money from Amsterdam, from before the Euro, as well as some Kenyan bills and coins. My son collects all sorts, mostly of the American sort. All of it is actually quite worthless now, let alone if the economys the money is drawn on collapses. In your wallet, you have different denominations of bills, and some are labeled with higher values than others, but they are all just "fiat" money...worth something only because somebody says so. The paper that money is written on is actually worthless. It is the gold behind that money that backs the value.
Jesus' goal on Earth was to establish a people...a church of people called out for the Kingdom. That kingdom is already here, in the sense that we are the kingdom, and it is yet to come in the sense that it will be brought to completion on a day yet to come. We are of this heavenly kingdom, since we were born again into the kingdom. Jesus told peter, Matthew 16:18-19 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. So you can see the here and now, and the later to come of the thing. And, you can see that Jesus is establishing a church in heaven, to which Peter is to enlist from Earth's peoples. Very early on, even in the time of the 12 disciples, people began to split up and form different ideas about Christianity. There is even recorded instances of arguments between churches and ministries and ministers throughout the New Testament. Some issues were only resolved by spliting ways, as with Paul and Barnabas. But, we never read of one saying the other could not go to heaven. I can not picture Peter sticking his tongue out at Paul and shaking the keys in his face, insisting that the gospel is only for the Jews, though Paul did stand in Peter's face and call him a bigot or a hypocrit. Galatians 2:11-12 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.
How sad the disciples were to see Jesus go when He ascended up into heaven. But, they soon learned that they were to be filled with the Holy Ghost...God's Spirit inside of them here on Earth. And, either way, we have "God with us." Not only does Emmanuel mean God with Us, but the compound name "Jehovah Shammah" used in the Old Testament in Exodus 48:35 means "the Lord is here." It may seem easy for us to see only one church when Jesus walked Earth. But, if you think about it, that's why the Jews had the Romans kill Jesus...the different denominational sects did not want Him to be the one church head. So, denominationalism goes all the way back into the Old Testament. But, that Heavenly kingdom is the "gold standard" all the denominations are built on here on earth. Just as denominations of money only refer to the gold behind them, church organizations are only representative of the Kingdom of Heaven.
The name Cephas, or Peter meant little rock, or pebble. As Jesus is building his church, he allows us to be a part of the bigger Rock. But, we are still just a piece of the rock...just a tiny pebble you see. It is rare for man to be able to look beyond the keys in his hands to see the majesty of the kingdom of heaven that he is entering with those keys. He sees power in the keys, but fails to recognize what lies beyond, and whose power He holds in his hands. We do not see the glory of God with us in our hands because of the denominational "dollar bills" in our churches. The buck stops here...on Earth...and so do the denominations. Jesus has the gold standard and the one true church of the Kingdom of Heaven. Let me invest myself into that Kingdom and see people won into that Kingdom.
1 Corinthians 14:10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.
Careful with this verse. Paul was in the middle of a sermon here about the Spirit, and the manifestations of the Spirit. By voices, he was referring very specifically to languages...global languages. But, you can go so many directions with these simple words. There are many voices in our own language...many people talking and it is often difficult to distinguish which voice has significance. Best practice is to keep your focus on The Word. When you are unsure where the right answer lies, or which direction to take, open the Bible. It will have the answers. Paul wasn't talking about conflicting messages though or truth, was he?
But, she was a woman who heard so many different messages that she was uncertain who to listen to anymore, the Samaritan Woman at the Well. Then she met a man who told her everything. Naturally she was thirsty for more answers from The Word made flesh (incarnate.) It always seems like the more thirsty I am for truth, the more readily God's Word flows from my heart and memory. My memory is not what it used to be. I often can't recall verses at will anymore, let alone whole chapters. Yet, when I need the truth...when I feel dry and thirsty, there the verses are, flowing down like Isaiah's rivers in the desert. The Word of God is a wonderful gift to mankind. I build my faith on it to the extent I really don't hear anything that doesn't come out of or match the Bible. Call it selective hearing. It's not such a bad thing. :)
Are you hungry for truth? God is the Word, and the Word is truth, so God is truth. If you have God, you have truth.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
There are two faces of atheism. Some atheists are considered "Stong Atheists," in that they believe that there is no God. But, some are considered "Weak Atheists" because they simply have no belief , they have no faith at all. They can't believe that there is a God, while the first believes strongly that there isn't a God. But, oddly there are no atheists in grave yards...neither will you find the grave of an agnostic. No, the dead know that there is a God, as do the devils. Even Darwin is a believer now. He was converted at death, when he discovered his spirit did not die with his body. That's a chunk of truth to sleep on tonight.