A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

Why did Paul address this?  At that time, the world had rejected the one true God.  Heathens had turned to idols instead, and as a result, the most horrific sins were part of everyday life.  The Jews had not done any better – they largely ignored Paul’s messages and practiced the ideology that if it feels good, do it.  Sin is no respecter of persons and is more of a human thing than a Gentile versus Jew thing.  None of us can stand before a just God, boasting about how righteous we are.

Sometimes a passage comes along that I need help to explain fully – this is one of those.  Please take time to watch this video.  Let’s understand the term THE LAW – which I think means the law of Moses.  Well – take a look at this.

Mere law by itself has no cure for the sinful condition of man.  Heaven had the only remedy for the sin of man – the gift of the sinless Christ Jesus, who freely offered Himself as a sacrifice for sin on behalf of all who, through faith, are willing to receive the redemption provided.

In our day and age, not all law is based on God’s Word – most are, but not all.  A Christian will follow God’s law before man’s law – but keep in mind the greatest command God gave us was to love.  I can’t imagine that love will ever be outlawed. It would be so sad if it was – and scary.  We embrace the good and shun the evil because it’s what makes God happy.  We’re law-abiding in society because it’s right, but we mind God because we love Him.

Most of man’s laws are good and in accordance with God’s Word, so we uplift and enforce them.  We definitely believe in God’s laws and will obey them.  🙂

 

 

 

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MATTHEW 10:26 ON 10/26

TL MATTHEW 10 26 ON 10 26

But don’t be afraid of those who threaten you. For the time is coming when everything that is covered will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all.  – Matthew 10:26

This is the time of year when some folks gather with family and friends at the Field of Screams, a corn field turned spooky field.  I’ve not been there myself and will never go – I’ll just take their word for it.  When I was younger I had my share of spook houses and even helped put a few of them together for younger kids.  That sort of fear is all in good fun and we know that it won’t last – it will most assuredly pass and our lives will go back to normal.

When we are afraid of those who threaten us, it has the potential to be paralyzing – it can literally hold us back from accomplishing anything.  I have to confess that I am afraid that Hillary Clinton will be elected president.  I fear that she will make my quality of life drop to an all-time low that I’ve never known before.  I have to confess that fear to God every day and ask Him to take it from me.  God’s Word tells us not to be afraid of those who threaten us.  If I let that feeling creep in, I have to stop and confess it again – and hand it over to God.

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Does it bother you that she thinks she is above the law – and that folks think too much is being made of the email scandal?  It really bugs me!  And Benghazi is a real DISGRACE.  The families of those 4 men killed deserve answers – real answers.  It won’t bring their loved ones back – but that’s not the point.  Her response of WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE just made my blood boil.  So…  when she messes up we’re just supposed to say OH WELL and go on?

Then there are those who say BEFORE YOU JUDGE, MAKE SURE YOU’RE PERFECT.  Well – that’s not the point either.  She broke the law – and she will get away with it because she is above the law.  She thinks so and everyone else thinks so too!

Then we read on… everything that is covered will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all.  We have to believe that even if American law fails to deliver justice, God will not. 

Hillary just does not pass the sniff test…  she just keeps getting away with things that are clearly illegal.  The Clinton’s just get away with anything – ANYTHING.  Then there’s that arrogance that goes along with it…  grr…  but – I have to hand it over to God.  His court is not fooled.  🙂

 

HEBREWS 10:16 ON 10/16

HEBREWS 10 16 & 17 ON 10 16

This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.  – Hebrews 10:16-17

Before Christ, our high priest, shed His precious blood for us, there were many animal sacrifices made under the old law.  And, it couldn’t be just any ol’ scraggly critter either.  The animal offered for sacrifice had to be spotless.  Under the old law, sacrifices often had to be repeated.  It was a necessity – done out of a sense of duty.

Once Christ shed His blood for the sins of the world, it was enough to procure for all nations and ages, spiritual pardon, or being freed from punishment in the afterlife.  Christians are encouraged to persevere in their faith through Christ Jesus.  Now we live not under the law, but under grace.  We serve Christ from a sense of love.

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That is the new covenant and no human inventions can be put in the place of the ultimate sacrifice of God’s Son, Jesus Christ.  No other sacrifice will ever be needed.  By faith we embrace this precious gift from God.  It’s the best gift He ever gave us – if we will seek Christ and accept His sacrifice, God promises (the covenant) He will not remember our sins (iniquities).  We can go through life clean, forgiven and free.

Have you heard the age-old definition of JUSTIFICATION?  I heard this from Billy Graham many years ago.  Justification is just as if you had never sinned.  Once you know your sins are forgiven – they are forgiven forever.

 

But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.   – Jeremiah 31:33

What a difference it is to be free from the law and live a life of freedom under the gospel!  We no longer have to take a goat to the temple and sacrifice it in order for our sins to be forgiven.  Then later, have to take another goat to the temple and sacrifice it to have our sins forgiven.  The law represents duty – but then Christ willingly gave His life at Calvary.

Grace isn’t a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It’s a way to live. – Jacqueline Winspear

Now we live under grace…  and I don’t know about you, but I am so thankful.  The grace of regeneration, which changes hearts and lives and gives us all we need for Christian service to others.  It’s not a cold law, rather a warm invitation wrapped in God’s love. 

 

 

 

GALATIANS 6:2 ON 6/2

GALATIANS 6 2 ON 6 2

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.  – Galatians 6:2

There seem to be two extremes…  folks who don’t want to share burdens because they don’t want to be a “downer” – and folks who tend to “over share”.  Regardless of how much or how little folks decide to reveal about themselves, we are obliged to bear one another’s burdens – but what does that mean?  Two words come to mind:  sympathy and empathy.

Sympathy is when you can imagine what someone is feeling or going through.  Empathy is when you have been through the same circumstance and have a personal understanding of what a person is facing.

Whether you sympathize or empathize, in all weaknesses, grievances and trials we are to be a friend – listen and pray with and for them.  It’s not a matter of one prayer and send them on their way.  Trust that God’s Holy Spirit will bring them to your mind so you can pray for them on a regular basis.

This portion of Scripture refers to the custom of travelers, who, when too heavily laden with their baggage, relieve one another by bearing the burdens of the weak or fatigued.  In that manner they show their good disposition toward each other; and so fulfil the law of Christ.

The law of love is His new commandment and the distinguishing mark of His disciples.

THE BAGGAGE CARRIER

Christians know that the real baggage carrier is Christ.  He’s the One who picks up the pain we feel and the suffering that follows.  It’s the truth we share with each other and hope we share with the folks who do not have a relationship with Him yet.  When lost folks ask me to pray for them, I’m more than happy to do that, but fast to let them know that they can know Christ too – and pray for their situation along with me.

Yes, we bear one another’s burdens – but we also understand that Christ is the One who holds us all up!  I gain such comfort from that fact and hope you do too.  🙂

 

WORLD HELLO DAY

TL 11-21 WORLD HELLO DAY

11-21 TELL THE WORLD HELLO

Today is WORLD HELLO DAY, a day to take time to say hello to everyone you meet!  Can you say hello without saying a word?

Now you know how I passed French in High School.  LOL!  That song is a good way to learn the numbers one to ten as well as a greeting.  I keep thinking one of these days I’ll find myself in France – at the Eiffel Tower – and need to know the language, at least minimally.  Hey – don’t deny me the dream!  I so want to see Europe one day!

How many languages can you say HELLO in? Well, of course!  Just as we can read our pets by their body language, we can read people.  Sometimes all a person needs is a smile to say hello.  How important is a HELLO from you?  It could make all the difference to someone you encounter, even if you don’t think it will.

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My husband and I discussed the other day a movie called “The Jazz Singer”.  I did a little research and learned that it’s been remade twice.  The original came out in 1927 and starred Al Jolson.  It was one of the first American musicals put on film.  The first remake came out in 1953 and starred Danny Thomas.  Because the film did not do well, Thomas vowed to never act in another movie and stayed focused on television shows.  The second and last remake came out in 1980 and starred Neil Diamond.

Yes, there’s a point here – (thank you for your patience).  In the 1980 movie, Neil Diamond wowed us with his musical talent.  I enjoyed the music so much that I went out and bought the album almost immediately after I left the movie theatre!  Three of the songs from the album became Top 10 pop singles, with “Love on the Rocks,” “Hello Again” and “America” reaching #2, #6, and #8 respectively.

Of the three, my favorite song is “Hello Again”.  I think listening to that today may give us the nudge we need to go out and say hello to everyone we meet!  🙂

  The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.  – Psalm 9:9

Each time “selah” appears in a psalm, the musicians paused, either to take a breath, or to sing a cappella or let the instruments play alone?  Perhaps they were pausing to praise Him about whom the song was speaking, perhaps even lifting their hands in worship.

Last night as I watched the President’s address about immigration, I had a “selah” moment.  It’s as if the Holy Spirit spoke to me and reminded me that I am to welcome all.  Now, I have not changed my mind about how things went down- and I likely never will.  It’s wrong for a President to try to make a law – and I’m so tired of the lying and proverbial pulling of the wool over “stupid” American’s eyes.  About those evil things – I pray.  About how angry those things get me – I pray.

But, God reminded me that I am to be Christ-like to people – all people.  That’s my job.  That is what I can control.

I was also reminded of a basic verse from Galatians:

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith…  against such things there is no law.  – Galatians 5:22

God does not see borders and He wants me to be His ambassador, His representative.  God does not like ugly – no matter what the circumstance.  God sees all people, and they are precious souls created by Him.  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONSTITUTION DAY

TL 9-17 CONSTITUTION DAY

9-17 THE CONSTITUTION QUILT
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I am quick to admit that I take the liberties given me by this document for granted! I was born and raised in the United States of America, so I have known freedom and liberty my whole life. Nowadays, all I hear about is how much our liberties under the Constitution are shrinking away and dwindling. It’s a scary thought to me. I like freedom of religion, freedom to bear arms and freedom of speech! I like that I can voice an opinion on my blog without fear of punishment by the government (well, so far, so good).

I’m thankful to God that I have freedom today and want to be assured of my freedom tomorrow.

As I often do, I turned to my group on facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/asecondhelpingofwellness) for advice. My friend, Valerie McKinney offered “The Constitution Quilt” analogy. I thought it was brilliant and asked if I could borrow the concept and use her quote because it really touched my heart. She was so gracious to give me permission, so please read this great quote:

It seems all the guidelines of the Constitution are becoming a tattered quilt, worn through and full of holes in which the bureaucrats pay no tailor to mend, but line their own pockets. The holes remain as the citizens of America fall far from the warmth of the comforts and care the Constitution provided its original inhabitants. Barely threads to cover a veteran who has fought to keep these principle freedoms pressed and blocked. They say times are different now. Things have changed now… and our Homeland is an unhappy lot. Then, does this not tell us something about mending the construction of the Constitution? Repair and replace the pattern of words that held our nation close knit and decorating our days with tried and trusted values and liberties. Protection against a cold cruel future that needs to wrap us in its security. Mend THE CONSTITUTIONAL QUILT. No holes should it have, but let it with pride sew its bright patterns for the future and set its seams straight. – Valerie McKinney

The Constitution of the United States has a purpose. It’s not just a piece of paper with meaningless words on it. We the people, in order to form a more PERFECT UNION… the first words explain why the document is necessary. A perfect union with all men seen as equal and the pursuit of happiness a right for all citizens of the United States.

When leaders choose to overlook the Constitution of the United States and there are no consequences for those actions, they will continue to walk all over it, causing more worn spots in the quilt. If we the people do not demand that our leaders follow the mandates in this document, we are the ones who will ultimately pay. Why do we not get that?

If we ignore the slow, but sure disintegration of this key document, we lose freedoms. My freedoms are precious to me. Aren’t your freedoms precious to you, too? Exercise your right to vote in the upcoming election and vote for FREEDOM. I know I will. 🙂