“Help!!”

“I Need HELP!!!”

~~ a short story

by tkbrown

As Julie moves toward the light, she has to step carefully. Another misstep could land her back in the mud. So, she tries to keep one eye on the light and feel the ground ahead with her foot before putting it in place. Then, the light flickers and disappears. Surprised and more than a little bit fearful, she emits a big sigh of indignation, throws her arms in the air, then does exactly what she has been trying so hard to not do–she slips and falls. This time, she falls into a mud puddle. In exasperation, she just sits there–then she looks up in the direction she thinks she was going. Out of the corner of her eye, she sees a flicker to her right. “Now, how did it get over there?”

But . . . now there are two.”

She slowly rises, gives up on the idea of trying to look presentable, and decides to try again. Standing still for a moment, she offers up a prayer asking for help and guidance. Then–taking a slow, deep breath–focusing on the light, she steps slowly and gingerly forward toward the small beam. Suddenly, she sees another flicker back to the left where the first light was shining. “Now what do I do?” Deciding to continue toward the light on her right, she calls out, “Who’s there?”

“Can you hear me?”

“I’m lost, and I have no light. Can you help me?”

No one answers.

Suddenly, a third light appears, a bit brighter than the others. This one is a little to the right of the second light–then a fourth light pops up between the first and second light. Trying hard not to get distracted, she continues toward the second light and calls out again, “Help!!! Somebody, can you hear me????”

“Please help!!”

From behind, she hears a voice saying, “Stay where you are, and I will come to you.”

“Don’t move, just talk to me.”

“How did you get out here in the middle of this field?”

Then the man’s voice says, “No, don’t answer that. It is of no matter how you ended up here. The fact is you are here. So, we need to try and get you out of here.”

“What is your name?”

“My name is Julie.”

“What is yours?”

“My name is Jesse–now, just keep talking. I will shine the light toward your voice, and I will follow your voice to you. Just stay calm. Tell me where you are from or something about you.”

“I am so thankful you are here. It got pitch dark out here. I was taking a short cut across the field. Then, all of a sudden it was sooooo dark, I couldn’t see anything. Then, I fell and lost my sense of direction.”

Jesse is flashing the light back and forth in the general direction of her voice. Suddenly, he thinks he sees her. Then it disappears. “It must not have been her.” He is getting closer, but “Why am I having such a hard time zeroing in on her with the light?

He says, “Julie, what color clothes do you have on?”

She responds, “Black pants and a blue jacket.”

“But, I am covered with mud too,” she whimpers. “I have fallen twice–the second time in a big mud puddle. So, be careful. You could fall too.”

“Well, I have the light; so, I have a little bit of an advantage.”

“I should have brought one, but it wasn’t real dark when I headed out. It got soooo dark all of a sudden. I couldn’t see anything.”

About that time, the light flashes across her. She begins to slowly move toward Jesse. When he gets to her, he takes her hand and begins leading her back the way he came. Finally, they arrive at the road.

“Which road is this?” she asks.

“This is State Road #4. Is it the road you came in on?”

“No; I came in on Magnolia Lane. I am thinking it should be back to the right. Am I correct?”

“Yes; back to your right. Do you want me to walk over there with you?”

“No, I can make it ok since I am back on a road. I should never have ventured off State Road #6 with it getting dark, and I should have brought a light. I will not make these mistakes again.”

“Thank You, so much, Jesse, for your help!”

“Can I buy you dinner sometime to repay you for your kindness?”

“No; that won’t be necessary. I am just glad I was passing by this way. I usually take another road.”

“I am too! You were an answer to prayer!”

“I’m just glad I could be of some help. You take care now. I am off in the opposite direction.”

She starts walking to the right, and he to the left. He is continuing the way he was going. She is backtracking to the road she should have stayed on when she cut across the field–State Road #6.

7 — “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”

8 — “For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”

Matthew 7:7, 8 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

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Source:

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Matthew 7:7-8. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (27 June 2021). MATTHEW 7:7-8 KJV “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:” (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

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Photo Above: depositphotos.com.

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Lost:

Unsure which way to turn . . . .

~~ a short story

by tkbrown

The darkness surrounding her is so thick and black, she is certain it can be cut with a knife. The intensity of the weight it carries threatens to take her breath, leaves her dizzy with anxiety. There is no hint of light anywhere.

Julie cannot remember ever trying to maneuver in such vexatious surroundings. The dead silence only adds to the unwelcoming ambience which renders familiar surroundings unhinged. The unrealistic fear of stepping off into the unknown–a great abyss–besieges her. Moving forward stealthily, carefully placing one foot in front of the other, trying to recall the territorial map in her mind, Julie slips in the mud, stumbles, screams as she lands with a “Splat!!”

The scream is totally unexpected and only adds to the breach of peace skittering through her.

“Who’s there???” (a little less than forcefully).

“Who screamed?? she quivers.

Dead silence responds.

If only there were the least hint of light, the effort of traversing the familiar field would not be so affronting. She can almost hear the howling scene in any one of the mystery thriller movies she has ever seen. The scream, apparently emitted by some imagined other, has set her nerves on edge. There is nothing to hold too, . . . nothing to help her calm the jerkiness of movement. She slowly rises from the muck and steadies her stance by separating her feet just a bit. Standing there, covered with mud, she forces a slow steadiness to her inhale, then to her exhale–followed by another, and another.

Now, as she calms herself enough to think more clearly, it dawns on her that the fall has shifted her sense of direction and darkness is confounding her ability to decide which direction to take now. Bit by bit she turns, tries to orient in the inkiness, and bit by bit she searches the darkness for even the tiniest hint of light. At this point, any direction will do if it helps her find familiar territory again.

There, she sees it. Then it’s gone. She sees it again–a hint, ever so slight, a hint of light. It seems to be moving. As she watches, it grows ever so slowly–then a flicker–and she is sure of it. A light to move toward. Step by step she inches forward toward the light, not allowing any thought into her mind except the task at hand–move toward the light!

“Then spake Jesus unto them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.‘”

John 8:12 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)>

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Source:

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). John 8:12. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (24 June 2021). JOHN 8:12 KJV “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not…” (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

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Photo Above: by Jeni Holland at Unsplash.com.

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II — Faith: God Made All Things

~~ a devotional

by tkbrown

“By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.”

Hebrews 11:3 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

The hand that made this earth was a very intelligent hand. The land masses consist of soil, rocks, ores, and minerals–most of which are essential to man’s life on earth. In the beginning when God performed His handiwork, this land was “without form and void.” The water, according to Genesis 1:2, was dark and deep.

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“The earth was without form and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”

Genesis 1:2 — Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV)

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As the sun shines upon the water–whether the ocean or the rain–evaporation rises into the atmosphere. Then it comes back to the earth in the form of dew, rain, sleet, hail, or snow. This allows for a constant recycling of moisture. God planned all of this so you and I might live in relative comfort upon this earth. According to Morris and Woolfenden (2018), vegetation inhales carbon dioxide and exhales oxygen. This is done during the daytime as a part of photosynthesis. The plant uses water in combination with the carbon dioxide to complete photosynthesis. Oxygen is a by-product of this process. Thus, we humans are supplied with the oxygen needed to live here on earth (Stancil, 2019). No one person could have thought of all the necessary components to create our functional universe. In my opinion, whether or not science believes it, science itself is daily proving the Holy Bible to be true.

At this point I feel I must ask: Why is Creationism not given equal time in our science texts alongside the Big Bang Theory — Darwinism — Evolution? Maybe because it makes far more sense; it just requires a little bit of faith. There are some major components missing from those theories. For example, what caused the Big Bang? Where did the components that created the Big Bang come from? How did the Big Bang create conditions conducive to life and to evolution? From my point of view, current scientific explanations leave much to be explained and the answers to the queries I just put forth can never satisfy a truly curious mind.

What caused Evolution to begin, and then to continue? All conditions had to be just right for everything to happen at just the right time. My faith tells me Creationism is the most valid theory out there. God has planned the beginning of this universe, and He tells us the earth and all the elements will burn up with a fervent heat (2 Peter 3:10); so, he also knows how and why the earth will be destroyed.

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“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”

2 Peter 3:10 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

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My faith assures me, God made all things. It is an event I did not see, but I read about it in Genesis chapter 1 of the Old Testament and in other scriptures throughout the Bible. So, I believe what I am told therein. Hebrews 11:1 says:

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“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Hebrews 1:1 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

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My evidence is before my eyes every waking moment. As I said earlier, I did not see God create this universe, but I am told of His handiwork in His Word. Since it exists and I am a part of it, His Word is sufficient to convince me. Thus, my substance is also found in God’s Word. Even today, science debates the life-giving element in our bodies.

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“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.”

Genesis 2:7 — Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV)

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According to the Holy Bible, God breathed life into Adam. Subsequently, He has breathed life into every living thing since then. So, according to God’s Word, our breath is the life-giving substance in our bodies. Science cannot explain it, but my faith says “God’s Word does explain it!”

The first five books of the Holy Bible: Old Testament–Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy–contain the “Law of Moses” which was inspired by God as Moses wrote it. The detail in this law would be impossible for one man to conjure. This says God is a very intelligent being.

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1 — “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

2 — “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”

Genesis 1:1, 2 — Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version

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David’s faith assured him God created the earth. He writes about it in the book of Psalms. In chapter 33, David tells us, God formed the heavens, He gathered the waters together as a heap and lays up the excess in storehouses. Could these storehouses be the underground rivers known as table-waters. These underground rivers are the sorce form whence water has traditionally been tapped for drinking, cooking, and other home uses. Today, much of the underground storehouses has been depleted. Now, cities need such large quantities of water that most resort to lakes and above-ground rivers to supply the needs demanded by those living within their limits. This water is then passed through water treatment plants to remove impurities and make it safe for human consumption. God has also provided other “storehouses” filled with crude oil, coal, iron, and a host of other ores, minerals, etc to be tapped in order to provide for our needs.

David went on to say the entire earth and everyone who is a part of this world should fear and stand in awe of God. The reason he gives is, “He spoke and it was done, He commanded, and it stood fast.” I know–personally, I stand in awe of what God has done, is doing, can do, and will do. I stand in awe of his knowledge and his power.

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6 — “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.”

7 — “He gathers the waters of the sea together as an heap: He layeth up the depth in storehouses.”

8 — “Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.”

9 — “For He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.”

Psalms 33:6-9 — Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV)

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We have seen evidence, in previous discussions, showing Jesus is the Word (mentioned in John 1:1-3). The Word was with God in the beginning, and the Word was/is God. Therefore, Jesus was a participant in the world’s creation. Then, He came to earth in fleshly form to die for my sins–and for your sins. Do you know anyone else who would die for your sins? I can assure you, I do not know anyone else who would die for my sins. But, Jesus did just that. He died for our sins that we might have an eternal home with Him in heaven.

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1 — “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

2 — “The same was in the beginning with God.”

3 — “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.”

John 1:1-3 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

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When things get rough in my life, I turn to God and Jesus. I tell them, in prayer, what is happening and describe the troubles I am having with the events taking place. I ask for their assistance, guidance, and protection. Then, my faith assures me they will respond in like manner–and they do! Just as David said in Psalms chapter 9, verses 9 and 10, the Lord is my refuge. I can always trust God and Jesus to be there when I need Them, and I know They will never forsake me.

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9 — “The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.”

10 — “And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.”

Psalms 9:9, 10 — Holy Bible, Old Testament, King James Version (KJV)

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In Psalms chapter 119, verse 105, David said:

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“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

Psalms 119:105 — Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV)

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So, as we saw above, the first three verses of John, chapter 1, tell us Jesus is the Word of God, the Word was in the beginning, and the Word was God. Then the next verse, John 1:4, tells us He is also the “Light of men.”

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“In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.”

John 1:4 — Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV)

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Are we beginning to see that Jesus coming to earth in fleshly form to die for our sins was already planned when “God” created this universe?

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“And God said, ‘Let there be light:’ and there was light.”

Genesis 1:3 — Holy Bible: Old Testament, King James Version (KJV)

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Sources:

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Genesis 1:1, 2. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (8 Jun 2021). Genesis 1:1 – 1:2 (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Genesis 1:3. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (8 June 2021). GENESIS 1:3 KJV “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Genesis 2:7. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (8 June 2021). GENESIS 2:7 KJV “And the LORD God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of…” (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). John 1:1-3. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (8 June 2021). John 1:1 – 1:3 (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). John 1:4. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (8 June 2021). JOHN 1:4 KJV “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Hebrews 11:1. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (8 June 2021). HEBREWS 11:1 KJV “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Hebrews 11:3. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (8 June 2021). HEBREWS 11:3 KJV “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are…” (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). 2 Peter 3:10. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (8 June 2021). 2 PETER 3:10 KJV “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with…” (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Psalms 9:9, 10. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (8 June 2021). Psalms 9:9 – 9:10 (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Psalms 33:6-9. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (8 June 2021). PSALMS CHAPTER 33 KJV (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

Eds. King James Bible Online. (November 2007). Psalms 119:105. “Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV).” U.S. Congress. (8 June 2021). PSALMS 119:105 KJV “NUN. Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (kingjamesbibleonline.org).

Morris, Richard J, and Woolfenden, Hugh. (17 January 2018). How do plants breathe? John Innes Centre; Norwich, UK. (8 Jun 2021). How do plants breathe? | John Innes Centre (jic.ac.uk).

Stancil, Joanna Mounce. (3 June 2019). “The Power of One Tree – The Very Air We Breathe.” U.S. Department of Agriculture. (8 June 2021). The Power of One Tree – The Very Air We Breathe | USDA.

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Photo Above: The Universe by beate bachmann @pixabay.com.

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Walking in the Spirit

~~ a devotional ~~

by tkbrown

22 — “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,”

23 — “meekness, temperance: against such there is no law,”

24 — “and they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”

25 — “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

Galatians 5:22-25 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

In Galatians 5:22-25, Paul tells the church at Galatia, the Spirit works to increase love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance in those who live and walk in the Spirit. Based on this text, Paul tells us it is possible to “live in the Spirit” but not “walk in the Spirit.” Some might differ with this interpretation of these words. However, I would direct your attention to the last part of verse 25. There Paul says, “let us also walk in the Spirit.” Since the first part of the verse notes, “If we live in the Spirit,” Paul is telling us we can “live in the Spirit” and not “walk in the Spirit.” Thus, if we “walk in the Spirit,” others can see a difference in the pre-Christian person we were and the Christian person we are continually becoming.

Let’s look back up to verses 22 and 23. Here, we see, “the fruit of the spirit is: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.” Then in verse 24, Paul says, “”and they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. ” Thus, if we ‘walk in the Spirit,’ we belong to Christ and have ‘crucified’ our “fleshly affections and lusts.” This does not mean we will automatically exhibit the traits associated with walking in the Spirit. It means we must do something to achieve those traits as a part of whom we are becoming. We must crucify the cravings and fruit of the flesh in order that we might “walk in the Spirit.” Looking at verse 16 of Galatians chapter 5, Paul states, “if we walk in the Spirit, we will not fulfil the lust of the flesh” — in other words, we will “crucify the flesh.”

16 — “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”

17 — “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”

Galatians 5:16, 17 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

In verse 17, we read: the flesh and the Spirit engage in behaviors contrary one to the other. Thus, if we belong to Christ, we cannot do the things that we would in the flesh–we will “walk in the Spirit.” As we continue to “walk in the Spirit,” we will see an increase in the “fruit of the Spirit” in our own behavior and a decrease in the affections and lusts of the flesh displayed in our lives.

These verses tell us: belonging to Christ means we will strive to emulate Him in our daily living. The term, “American,” means I am a citizen–a member, if you will–of the United States of America. When we look at the word, “Christian,” in this same light, being a Christian means we are a citizen of–a member, if you will–of the kingdom of Christ, (Acts 11:26). As such, we strive to abide by the laws, guidelines, and statutes set forth by Christ for the New Testament churches of Christ. Paul established churches of Christ among the Gentiles; there were seven churches of Christ in Asia. The other apostles established churches in the area where Christ lived, taught, healed, and preached. Each church was taught, by the apostles, to emulate the life of Christ as they grew in the faith.

“And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”

Acts 11:26 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

Thus, as we grow in the faith, we will see our lives increase in: “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.” We will begin by “crawling,” as newborn babes in Christ. Then–just as a babe must grow from toddler to young child, older child, pre-teen, teen, young adult, and finally to adulthood–we must grow as Christians. It will be a life-long endeavor if we continue in the faith and hope of an eternal life in heaven with God and Jesus Christ–God’s Son.

1 — “Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,”

2 — “as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:”

3 — “if so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”

1 Peter 2:1-3 — Holy Bible: New Testament, King James Version (KJV)

First, we nurture a babe with milk, then with puree of solid foods, and finally he/she is able to digest solid food. In like manner, we must also nurture our Spiritual Self by “laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speaking.” Then, “as newborn babes [in Christ], desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby [in Christ].” In 1 Peter 2, verses one through three, we see: “if we are able to lay aside these fleshly affections and lusts,” then we “have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”

My daily prayer is that I might continue to lay aside my worldly lusts and affections of the flesh and grow in the nurture, the admiration, and the wisdom of the Lord. I ask that God strengthen me in the faith, hope, knowledge, goodness, and graciousness of Christ Jesus that I might live a life pleasing unto Him and ultimately be granted an eternal home in heaven.

May God be with all who endeavor to live for Him through the name of Christ Jesus.

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Source:

Eds. Bible Gateway. (1993). Acts 11:26. “Holy Bible: King James Version (KJV).” biblegateway.com. (25 April 2021). Acts 11:26 KJV – And when he had found him, he brought – Bible Gateway.

Eds. Bible Gateway. (1993). Galatians 5:16-25. “Holy Bible: King James Version (KJV).” biblegateway.com. (25 April 2021). Galatians 5:16-25 KJV – This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, – Bible Gateway.

Eds. Bible Gateway. (1993). 1 Peter 2:1-3. “Holy Bible: King James Version (KJV).” bible gateway.com. (25 April 2021). 1 Peter 2:1-3 KJV – Wherefore laying aside all malice, and – Bible Gateway.

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Photo Above: By Ferhat Deniz Fors @Unsplash.com.

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Blessed are the poor. . .

“. . . the poor in spirit. . . .”

~~ a devotional

by tkbrown

Oftentimes, when we read the Bible, we do so with our mind somewhere else. For example, how often have we read The Beatitudes with our thoughts truly centered on the meaning of those words. Today, I decided to center my devotional upon one scripture, separated from The Beatitudes and viewed in detail according to the scriptures. For this purpose, I chose:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 5:3 — Holy Bible: New Testament (KJV)

Matthew and Luke present scriptures that say something a bit different from the other–even though both are relating a scripture from the beginning of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. While Matthew (above) refers to “. . . poor in spirit . . .,” Luke, in chapter 6 and verse 20, says:

And He lifted up His eyes on His disciples and said, ‘Blessed be ye poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.'”

Luke 6:20 — Holy Bible: New Testament (KJV)

Granted, most who are poor are also poor in spirit because the poor are usually the downtrodden, those who are accustomed to doing without. When a poor person does without, there is usually no repercussions to anyone for allowing this to be–no one suffers other than the person who is poor. Thus, both presentations are correct. One does not detract from the other.

I decided to see what the Old Testament (Old Covenant) says about the “poor” or the “poor in spirit.”

For all those things hath mine hand made,and all those things have been, saith the Lord; but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.”

Isaiah 66:2 — Holy Bible: Old Testament (KJV)

Here, God–Himself–acknowledges that the poor person is much more likely to “fear the Lord” and strive to live according to the Lord’s word. The wealthy are typically much more inclined to focus upon the fortune amassed and the means necessary to keep it. However, being poor by itself does not grant an eternal home with God. Rather, God said, “. . . even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at My word.”

If we are contrite in spirt, God is able to mold and shape us according to His will. Thus, the “poor” must also be “poor in spirit.” He or she must have “a contrite spirit and tremble at [His] word.” Here, I must ask myself: Do I have a contrite spirit? Do I tremble at God’s word? Even if I think the answer is “Yes,” I must study on it to know the truth. The Beatitudes are a small portion of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, which tells us “the spirit” of those who will go to heaven. How often–when we recite these in worship services–do we look at ourselves to determine if our spirit is right with God?

In Luke 18: 9-14, Jesus tells a parable regarding differences between the haughty, self-righteous man and one with a contrite heart.

  • 9 — “And He spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:”
  • 10 — “Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.”
  • 11 — “The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself: God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.”
  • 12 — “I fast twice in the week. I give tithes of all that I possess.”
  • 13 — “And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.”
  • 14 — “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”

Thus, Jesus said, those who are haughty in spirit will be least in heaven–if they even make it there–and those who are of a contrite, repentant spirit will be in heaven.

Have we ever TRULY REPENTED of something specific we have done? Have we talked to God about it as if He were a long-lost friend whom we had wronged and were begging their forgiveness?

Each of us has, or have had, something for which we should repent with such a spirit! Others may not be aware of this sin, but WE ARE! WE know what we have done, and we know it is wrong–even if it is not wrong in the eyes of man. Are we willing to humble ourselves as this publican did–as the apostle Matthew must have done? Matthew was a publican when Jesus called him to be His disciple. Have we ever declared ourselves to be a sinner” because of our sin whether it be past or present? The cleansing such a prayer provides is beyond the imagination of most.

Reading on in the same chapter, Luke 18: 15-17,

  • 15 — “And they brought unto Him also infants, that He would touch them; but when His disciples saw it, they rebuked them.”
  • 16 — “But Jesus called them unto Him, and said, ‘Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God.
  • 17 — “Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.”

Infants have no sin. They are pure of heart. If they do wrong, they do not realize it is wrong, thus it is forgiven. Jesus goes on in Luke chapter 18 to show that even those who have done good all their lives may be lacking what it takes to make it into God’s kingdom and into heaven. The parable of the ruler shows how a “good person” may not have a “contrite spirit.”

Luke 18: 18-25

  • 18 — “And a certain ruler asked him saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
  • 19 — “And Jesus said unto him, ‘Why callest thou Me good? None is good, save one, that is, God.”
  • 20 — “Thou knowest the commandments. Do not commit adultery. Do not kill. Do not steal. Do not bear false witness. Honour thy father and thy mother.”
  • 21 — “And he said, ‘All these have I kept from my youth up.'”
  • 22 — “Now when Jesus heard these things, He said unto him, ‘Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come, follow me.”
  • 23 — “And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful, for he was very rich.”
  • 24 — “And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, He said, ‘How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!”
  • 25 — “For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”

From an early age, this parable was powerful to me. I began sewing by hand at about the age of seven or eight. So, I knew how tiny is the eye of a needle! I knew, if this man had been good all his life, yet lacked the contrite spirit required to be a child of God, I must change my ways. For, while I rarely disobeyed, I was far from sinless; and it was time I look that sin in the eye.

There have been times throughout my life when I had to look deep into my soul and come face to face with God about something I had done which was keeping me apart from Him. My prayer, now, is: if anyone reading this devotional has been pricked in the heart and has need for a session of supplication unto you, God–give him or her the strength to humble self before you.

Here in the United States, we are beginning to see the first days of spring–signs of “life renewed,” which has been our subject today. Not all days here are pleasant–some reap harvests filled with pain. On those days, I try to remember–“This, too, shall pass. — Anonymous.

I hope, wherever you are, you can–at least–enjoy some of the weather bestowed upon you. Blessings!

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Sources:

Eds. Bible Gateway. (1993). Matthew 5. “Holy Bible:” King James Version (KJV). biblegateway.com. (29 March 2021). Matthew 5:3 KJV – Blessed are the poor in spirit: for – Bible Gateway.

Eds. Bible Gateway. (1993). Isaiah 66:2. “Holy Bible:” King James Version (KJV). biblegateway.com. (29 March 2021). Isaiah 66:2 KJV – For all those things hath mine hand – Bible Gateway

Eds. Bible Gateway. (1993). Luke 18. “Holy Bible:” King James Version (KJV). biblegateway.com. (29 March 2021). Luke 18 KJV – And he spake a parable unto them to – Bible Gateway.

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Photo Above: by geralt @pixabay.com.

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All Things Work Together . . .

~~ a devotional

by tkbrown

Romans 8:24-39

  • 24 — “For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope, for why does one still hope for what he sees?”
  • 25 — “But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.”
  • 26 — “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
  • 27 — “Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
  • 28 — “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
  • 29 — “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”
  • 30 — “Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified, and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”
  • 31 — “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
  • 32 — “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”
  • 33 — “Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.”
  • 34 — “Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.”
  • 35 — “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?”
  • 36 — “As it is written: ‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.'”
  • 37 — “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
  • 38 — “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers nor things present nor things to come,”
  • 39 — “nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Source: Holy Bible, New King James Version (NKJV).

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Notes:

In the eighth chapter, twenty-eighth verse of his letter to the Romans, the Apostle Paul tells us to keep uppermost in our mind the promise: “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

Oftentimes, we tend to become discouraged by all the negatives in our lives, and we might complain there are not enough positives happening. The past year is one of the times this might be more apt to occur. Is this something you struggle with? Are you discouraged by all that has happened to you, your loved ones, your family, and your country during the past year? If so, you are not alone. Many others struggle with the same spiritual ailment. Furthermore, it is not a new trial faced by modern-day Christians. It has been here since the inception of Christ’s life on earth and before.

When we are tempted by Satan or one of his many demonic slaves, we can rest assured that nothing they do can harm our soul–unless we allow it. There is an old saying my Mama often quoted: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me,” (Anonymous). As many have pointed out, words can and do hurt, often for a lifetime. However, Paul is telling the Romans, “If you are one of those who have been called according to His purpose, Jesus life, death, resurrection, and ascension offers hope for life after death through Him becoming “sin”–all of the world’s sin–and the sacrifice of His life in place of ours. All who hear His calling, obey His commands, and continue in His Light have this “hope,” and those who abide in His Way can be assured of eternal life with Him and God the Father.

When we mess up, if we have heard and obeyed the requirements He sets forth in the New Testament, Christ and the Spirit make intercession for us with God the Father. Christ determines who is abiding Him and who is not. If I abide in His Way unto death, I not only have the hope of that gift, He assures me I will receive that gift, and I will be in heaven after I die. If I know I am abiding in Him, I no longer have to hope for eternal life, I can know I will receive it–I can “see” it.

I am not perfect. I make mistakes. I am a sinner. Because of my sin, I deserve eternal damnation, not eternal life with God and Christ. When I sin, I have the assurance, as God’s child, Christ will make intercession and insure that sin is wiped from my slate IF I repent of that sin and go back to living the way He has instructed. He also has assured me–as Paul states in Romans 8:28–I can know that whatever happens to me in “this life,” it all works together for my good.

Each trial and tribulation we endure–and remain in Him as we endure–works with all other events in my life for my good. If I learn from my mistakes, I can also learn from the mistakes of others. I can ask (pray) for guidance when I do not know what I should do in a specific situation. He will guide me to the answer in some way. I may read the answer in something I come across. I may hear someone talking and “say” the answer even though that person is talking to someone else. I can even “know” His will by the fact that I have no choice as to what I do. Someone or some statute tells me what I “must” do. Even when what I am doing appears to be sin to others, if I learn from it and address it through prayer, He makes intercession for me. If the prophets of old were hindered from attending tabernacle by being cast into a dungeon–or by some other means–it was not held against them when they addressed it through prayer to God.

Again, whatever life throws at us, we can know it will work to our ultimate good if we abide in the way Christ set forth. No one else can do it for me, and no one else can offer me forgiveness for my sin unless that sin involved that person in some way. We can rest in peace with the assurance that everything we experience and endure will work together for our good. This is faith in His promise. He said it–albeit through His apostle–but He said it; so, it is true.

God knew before we were ever birthed on this earth, what our response would be to His calling. He is omnipotent. He was, and is, and always will be. His Son is basically His apology to mankind for not having a plan for “all” to be forgiven and live eternally with Him in heaven.

I, personally, appreciate His sacrifice. What more can one do to let another know he/she loves that person? God’s Son died on the cross for MY SIN– not His sin–MINE! How can I ever justify not abiding in His Way? How can I ever “not” want to spend eternity with God and Jesus Christ?

If you heed Christ’s calling and obey the instructions He set forth, you too can be assured of your home in heaven. So, whatever happens here on earth–know there is a purpose for it in God’s great plan for things. Know, that everything will work together for your good, too–if you heed and abide in His Way!

In the book, Acts of the Apostles, chapter 10, verses one through five tell of Cornelius, an Italian centurion. He and his whole house were good people; they gave alms and prayed for guidance. Their faith and Christ-like actions came to God’s attention. As a result, God maneuvered events in Cornelius’ life so he and his house could know what they must do to be a part of Christ’s church and abide in heaven forever. Thus, Cornelius and his whole house immediately became Christians–in the middle of the night–and they became the first “Gentiles” to be added to Christ’s church.

Prior to this time, God’s plan of salvation had only been available to those of the Jewish nation. If a Gentile wanted to be the recipient of that salvation, he/she had to first become a part of the Jewish nation. Then they could be offered God’s plan. Christ’s birth, death, resurrection, and ascension changed this. He freely “gave” so that we might “freely live.”

So, if a person iis truly searching for answers, as we see in the example of Cornelius and his household, God will guide that person to the answers, or He will guide others to that person to provide those answers. Then, the choice lies with that person. He/She has the choice to obey or to reject Christ’s teachings. So, the choice that person makes determines their eternal destiny.

I pray that all will want to live with God and Christ in heaven throughout eternity. However, His Word tells me this will not be the case. Many will not believe or obey Christ’s teachings. Even so, I continue to pray all will obey Him.

My hope and prayer is that each of you will have a peaceful and blessed day amid all the turmoil in the world about you. Be Blessed and Stay Safe!

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Photo Above: by Jasmin Ne @Unsplash.com.

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The Healing Power of Faith

~~ a devotional ~~

~~ by tkbrown — ≥∑

“So Jesus said to them, ‘Because of your unbelief, for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move and nothing will be impossible for you.'”

Holy Bible (New King James Version)Matthew 17:20

If faith the size of a mustard seed can move a mountain, what can faith do for us in our daily lives? How many times have you said to yourself, “If I could just _____.” Fill in the blank with whatever you may have desired. This is not to say if we ask for a million dollars with an undying faith, we will receive it. We probably won’t, but not because we didn’t have adequate faith.

Perhaps when we do not get the object of our prayers, we ask in the wrong spirit, or we ask for the wrong thing, or maybe we just are not ready for that prayer to be answered. For example, if I ask for something that will lead me astray, I may or may not get it. If I do get it, it will test my resolve to serve God and Jesus. Perhaps God is using my prayer and the object of my desire to refine my faith, making it purer by skimming off the sin associated with that request. The refinement will only occur if I survive the “smelting process,” remaining true to my faith in God throughout or–if I have given in to temptation–returning to that faith at some point in a spirit of repentance.

Sometimes, when we are “too sure of our faith,” we stray because our faith has been placed in ourselves instead of in Jesus Christ and God in heaven above. Sometimes–during this “faith in ourselves”–we fail the refinement process because we have placed our faith in another person or persons rather than in Jesus Christ’s ability to carry us through any storm.

Putting our faith in another follower of Christ–or group of followers– can take the wind from beneath our wings if those brothers and sisters in Christ fail us in a time of true need. It is during such times that we must keep our “eye” on Christ in order to receive His guidance and strength. If I have never truly strayed before, this might be just what is needed for me to realize the depth of my sin and my need for forgiveness. Sometimes, when we are too certain of our faith, we have to fall hard before we can renew that faith by repenting and begging God’s forgiveness.

Then again, there are times when the sin in our lives prior to repentance and the receiving of God’s forgiveness was so great there is no doubt in our mind of our need. Prior to his conversion, Paul (then Saul) of Tarsus had set about destroying the followers of Christ. Truly believing he was doing what God wanted, Paul put everything he had into the effort. Then, he was stricken blind when he met Jesus on the road to Damascus. This gave him a few days to think about his past and what he had been doing.

When Ananias came to him and instructed Paul in what he must do, he repented and was baptized immediately (Acts 9:1-22).

Acts 9:1-22 (NKJV)

  • 1 — “Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest”
  • 2 — “and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.”
  • 3 — “As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven.”
  • 4 — “Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?'”
  • 5 — “And he said, “Who are You, Lord?’ Then the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.'”
  • 6 — “So he, trembling and astonished, said, ‘Lord, what do You want me to do?’ Then the Lord said to him, ‘Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do‘”
  • 7 — “And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one.”
  • 8 — “Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one. But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus.”
  • 9 — “And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.”
  • 10 — “Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias, and to him the Lord said in a vision, ‘Ananias.’ And he said, ‘Here I am, Lord.'”
  • 11 — “So the Lord said to him, ‘Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus for behold, he is praying.'”
  • 12 — “‘And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.'”
  • 13 — “Then Ananias answered, ‘Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem.'”
  • 14 — “‘And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name.'”
  • 15 — “But the Lord said to him, ‘Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.'”
  • 16 — “‘For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My names sake.'”
  • 17 — “And Ananias wen his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.'”
  • 18 — “Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.”
  • 19 — “So when he had received food, he was strengthened. Then Saul spent some days with the disciples at Damascus.”
  • 20 — “Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.”
  • 21 — “Then all who heard were amazed, and said, ‘Is this not he who destroyed those who called on this name in Jerusalem, and has come here for that purpose, so that he might bring them bound to the chief priests?'”
  • 22 — “But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesus is the Christ.”

After this time, Paul was even more zealous for Christ’s cause than he had been against it prior to the forgiveness received when he was appointed the replacement apostle for Judas Iscariot. Later, in Chapter One, Verse Fifteen of Paul’s First Letter of instruction to Timothy, he said: “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” In this statement, Paul told Timothy he had “seen the light” regarding the ill-founded reasoning of his past and was not ashamed to admit his wrongdoing because his forgiveness proved Jesus purpose for coming to this earth.

The devotional scripture I have chosen today (below) reveals a faith that would move mountains. This woman had suffered female problems for twelve years. She and been to doctor after doctor and had suffered many treatments–some of them apparently quite painful–to no avail. The only thing she had to represent her faith in doctors was destitute poverty.

When this woman heard about Jesus healing the sick, the maimed, and the demon possessed, she knew she would be healed if it were possible to merely touch the garment He wore. She knew she would not need Him to touch her, she would be healed by the power in the garment He wore. Upon learning Jesus was in the area, she pressed through the crowds surrounding Him and . . . finally . . . she managed to touch the hem of His garment. Immediately, she was healed. Immediately the flow of blood stopped!

When Jesus turned and asked, “Who touched Me?” she just knew she was in trouble. She tried to shrink away and hide–then, He looked here in the eye. She knew, He knew it had been her. So, she went forward and fell at His feet. Tearfully she told of her lengthy plight and her faith she would be healed if she could only touch His garment. She needed not disturb Him, she would be healed by the power in His garment.

When Jesus heard her reasoning behind touching His robe, He said “her faith had healed her,” and He told her to “go in peace.” Can you imagine her relief at the understanding of His forgiveness and of the fact that her faith in Him had saved her? What an example for those of us looking for a source of strength in this day and time! We need look no further than the example this woman provides. Whatever our need, whatever our ailment, whatever our weakness, He will heal us if only we believe.

I pray our hearts will always be open to the guidance and strength Jesus provides if only we believe He can and will. I cannot count the times this has been proven in my life, and I am thankful for each. I know I have sinned and come short of God’s glory. I know Jesus forgiveness for that sin and His guidance will pull me through and into heaven at day’s end. It is my prayer that each person reading this devotional can see the same in his or her life. For those who are not quite there yet, I pray somehow the path can be seen and followed before it is too late.

Blessings, and for those in America and those who join us in spirit this week, Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful for Christ, for His forgiveness, and for His loving guidance when I get out of my own way. For what are you thankful this holiday week? Please feel free to share in the comments below.

Mark 5:25-34 (NKJV)

  • 25 — “Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years.”
  • 26 — “and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse.”
  • 27 — “When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment.”
  • 28 — “Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction.”
  • 30 — “And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched My clothes?'”
  • 31 — “But His disciples said to Him, ‘You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?””
  • 32 — “And He looked around to see her who had done this thing.”
  • 33 — “But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth.”
  • 34 — “And He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be healed of your affliction.'”

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Wind Beneath My Wings – lyrics – BETTE MIDLER

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I know this song may not have been written to reflect faith in Jesus Christ, but it perfectly describes my faith in Him. He is “everything I would like to be” and He is “the wind beneath my wings.” Only with His love, support, strength, and guidance will I be able to be true to my quest of serving God. Listen to the song and apply the words to a faith in Jesus Christ. Let me know what you think. Do you think they can describe faith in Jesus Christ?

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Source: Holy Bible — New King James Version (NKJV)

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Photo Above: by Brigitte @ Unsplash.com.

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My Morning Do . . . Milk of the Word

~~ by tkbrown

1 Corinthians 3:1, 2 (NKJV)

  • 1 — “And I , brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal , as to babes in Christ.”
  • 2 — “I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able;”

23 September 2020 — While working on posts for the “Greek Words for ‘love’ in the New Testament” series, I have thought much on my Biblical studies through the years. During my younger years, I studied mostly by verse and by topic. When I needed spiritual strengthening, I would search out scriptures on a particular topic and study it. The scripture was indeed food for my soul.

I grew up in a rural area, so our church family was small. When I was fourteen, I began teaching the Sunday night Children’s Class. There were five children in the class, ages five to twelve. We could not afford the purchase cost of lesson materials, so I started with the four Gospels, and we would take a few verses each week. I would write out the lesson sheets for each child.

The lessons consisted of scripture, copied word for word, with blanks to be filled in. During class, we would read the lesson scripture and fill in the blanks. The youngest could not write, but his siblings helped him fill in the blanks on his sheets. I knew from when I was younger, he could remember what we talked about, especially with two siblings who probably talked with mom and dad about what had been studied. During the two years I taught the class, we digested many morsels as they began being introduced to solid spiritual food.

As I have pondered the purpose for my reminiscing, I realized, the study of Greek words for “love” began in my teen years. The minister taught the teen / adult class. We did much the same as I did with the children, except we did not have fill-in-the-blank sheets. We studied directly from the scripture–a few verses a night. It was during my teen years, in these classes where I learned to study more in depth. The minister spoke of the Greek words for “love” occasionally during these classes, as he did for other words when he thought we could benefit from the learning.

I awoke this morning with understanding of why I had been pondering my younger days. I was being shown, during my teen years, how to study as a mature Christian. In order to do this, we begin as babes in Christ needing the “sincere milk of the word,” referenced by Peter in 1 Peter 2:2:

  • “as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.” (King James Version — KJV).
  • “as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.” (New King James Version — NKJV).

The King James Version (KJV) of the New Testament uses the wording, “sincere milk . . .,” whereas, the New King James Version (NKJV) has changed “sincere” to “pure.” Personally, I prefer the “sincere milk . . .” for this thought process. Just as I fed my babies “milk” in their early days in order to aid their healthy growth — especially bone and teeth growth needing much calcium, we as new Christians need the “milk” of the scriptures to form a firm foundation for our Spiritual growth. As we grow, we are introduced to the more mature instruction so we can develop strength in other areas as we also continue consuming the “milk” to aid continued strengthening of the foundation.

As I pondered this, I realized my attention was being brought to the “solid food” aspect of scriptural study. When I prepare an especially savory meal for physical nutrition, I savor every morsel. This savoring is part of the spiritual growth process too. It is necessary, at times, to take a scripture word by word to learn the true meaning behind the original Greek text in the New Testament. It is necessary to chew it slowly, try to discern which spices were added during preparation. What were the other solid foods added to the dish? Our spiritual study must be taken just as slowly at times.

I said all of the above to say this: The series on Greek words used for “love” in the New Testament is a word by word type of study. We are taking each word as a single morsel of solid food and savoring each flavor (meaning) in order to absorb the most nutrition (understanding) from the food. By learning the various words used in the original Greek text, we are sorting through the flavors of Greek nutrition in order to truly understand what the English version says when it only uses one word, “love,” in its translation.

It was necessary for me to step back and explain this before progressing any further with the Greek words for “love” study in order for you, the readers, to understand the importance of knowing the original Greek term. Just as a chef must know exactly which flavors are needed to achieve a certain flavor, it is necessary for us to know what words added to the flavor of the original text. This is what is meant by the apostle Paul’s reference to “solid food” in 1 Corinthians.

I hope this little aside helps you to understand the “why” behind the “what” of what we are doing with this study. This is my prayer! Blessings to all!

My Morning Do . . . “Love”

~~ by tkbrown

21 September 2020 — Do you know the meaning of the word ‘love’?

I have decided to look at the meaning of the word ‘love’ this week. I already knew the Greek language embraces several different words in the expression of ‘love.’ I had thought I would first give the definition of ‘love’ from the Meriam-Webster dictionary and then cover the Greek definitions. However, when I opened Merriam-Webster to the word ‘love,’ I found more definitions for the word than are found in the Ancient Greek language. Ergo, since the New Testament of the Holy Bible was originally written in Aramaic Greek, I decided to cover those definitions first. Then, I will cover the English language definitions of ‘love’ later.

The Ancient Greeks identified six words which defined various definitional approaches of the word ‘love.’ Those words are:

  • Eros, or sexual passion . . .
  • Philia, or deep friendship . . .
  • Ludus, or playful love . . .
  • Agape, or love for everyone . . .
  • Pragma, or longstanding love . . .
  • Philautia, or love of self . . .
    • (Krznaric, 2013).

Throughout my lifetime, I have frequently listened as ministers of God’s Word and various speakers referenced the definitions of ‘love’ as applied by the Ancient Greek civilization. Those definitions have aided me many times over the years, not only in studying the New Testament, but also regarding life issues in general.

The reason I decided to look at the word ‘love’ is the same as the topic of today’s “My Morning Do . . . “Love”. More specifically, love as it describes God. I want to focus on four verses which just barely scrape the tip of the iceberg when describing ‘love’ as it relates to God. The first of these is Ephesians 5:1, which I present below.

Ephesians 5:1 — “Therefore, be imitators of God as dear children, (NKJV).

Ephesians was written to the Christians at Ephesus by the apostle Paul around 62 A.D. while imprisoned at Rome, (Wikipedia, Eds., 2020). The verse says we are to be imitators of God ‘as dear children.’ How often do we see young children imitating ‘Daddy’? As children of God, we are to do the same. Thus, it is necessary to know God pretty well. Searching the scriptures on ‘God’, we find multitudes of descriptors. So, I decided to narrow it down and start with three verses in 1 John 4:7-9:

  • 7 — “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.”
  • 8 — “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
  • 9 — “In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.”

The authorship of First, Second, and Third John is disputed among Bible Scholars. Therefore, I will not discuss this today. We can look at that later. Suffice it to say, the author saw a need to pen letters admonishing Christians regarding their love for each other. In this light, the verses presented above testify to the love of God. He states, “God is love.” Thus, to be the kind of Christian God wants us to be, it is necessary to understand the various definitions of ‘love’ and how they applied–or did not apply–to Christians to whom the letters were written.

When combined with all the other topics I am addressing in “My Morning Do . . . ” it will take a few weeks to cover all aspects to which I wish to relate my discussion, because I do not want to take away from my other topics. So, I look forward to meeting with you (in blogosphere) regularly to discuss these various topics related to ‘love’ in “My Morning Do. . . . ” With that, I bid you Adieu until the morrow!

Blessings to all!

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Sources:

Scripture References are from the Holy Bible — New King James Version (NKJV).

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Photo Above: from pexels.com.

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Jesus Talks with Nicodemus

John 3:2 — “This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, ‘Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.'”

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Scripture is from the Holy Bible — New King James Version (NKJV)

Notes on Scripture (below) by tkbrown

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Lesson Scripture — John 3:1-36

  • 1 — “There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.”
  • 2 — “This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, ‘Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.'”
  • 3 — “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.'”
  • 4 — “Nicodemus said to Him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?'”
  • 5 — “Jesus answered, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.'”
  • 6 — “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.'”
  • 7 — “‘Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again‘.'”
  • 8 — “‘The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.'”
  • 9 — “Nicodemus answered and said to Him, ‘How can these things be?'”
  • 10 — “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?'”
  • 11 — “‘Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness.'”
  • 12 — “‘If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?'”
  • 13 — “‘No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.'”
  • 14 — “‘And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,'”
  • 15 — “‘that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.'”
  • 16 — “‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.'”
  • 17 — “‘For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.'”
  • 18 — “‘He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.'”
  • 19 — “‘And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.'”
  • 20 — “‘For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.'”
  • 21 — “‘But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.'”
  • 22 — “After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He remained with them and baptized.”
  • 23 — “Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there. And they came and were baptized.”
  • 24 — “For John had not yet been thrown into prison.”
  • 25 — “Then there arose a dispute between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purification.”
  • 26 — “And they came to John and said to him, Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified–behold, He is baptizing, and all are coming to Him!”
  • 27 — “John answered and said, ‘A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven.'”
  • 28 — “‘You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent before Him‘.'”
  • 29 — “‘He who has the bride is the bridegroom, but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore, this joy of mine is fulfilled.'”
  • 30 — “‘He must increase, but I must decrease.'”
  • 31 — “‘He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all.'”
  • 32 — “‘And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony.'”
  • 33 — “‘He who has received His testimony has certified that God is true.'”
  • 34 — “For He who God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure.'”
  • 35 — “‘The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand.'”
  • 36 — “‘He who believes in the Son has everlasting life, and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.'”

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Old Testament Prophecy Related to John 3:1-36

v 8Ecclesiastes 11:5 — “As you do not know what is the way of the wind, or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, so you do not know the works of God who makes everything.”

v14Numbers 21:9 — “So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole, and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.”

v16Isaiah 9:6 — “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulder, and His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

v231 Samuel 9:4 — “So he passed through the mountains of Ephraim and through the land of Shalisha, but they did not find them. “Then they passed through the land of Shaelin, and they were not there. Then he passed through the land of the Benjamites, but they did not find them.”

v28Malachi 3:1 — “Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight. Behold, He is coming, says the Lord of hosts.’

v29Song of Solomon 5:1 — The Beloved: “I have come to my garden, my sister, my spouse; I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk (To His Friends) Eat, O friends! Drink, yes, drink deeply, O beloved ones!”

v30Isaiah 9:7 — “Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”

v34Deuteronomy 18:18 — “I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him.”

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New Testament Scripture Related to John 3:1-36

v 2John 7:50, 51

  • 50 — “Nicodemus (he who came to Jesus by night, being one of them) said to them,”
  • 51 — “‘Does our law judge a man before it hears him and knows what he is doing?'”

v 2John 19:39 — “And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds.”

v 2John 9:16 — “Therefore some of the Pharisees said, ‘This Man is not from God because He does not keep the Sabbath.’ Others said, ‘How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?’ And there was a division among them.”

v 9John 9:33 — “‘If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing.'”

v 2Acts 10:36-38

  • 36 — “The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ–He is Lord of all–“
  • 37 — “that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached;:
  • 38 — “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”

v 31 Peter 1:22-25

  • 22 — “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,”
  • 23 — “having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,”
  • 24 — “because ‘All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away,'”
  • 25 — “‘but the word of the Lord endures forever,'”

v 5Acts 10:36-38

  • 36 — “The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ–He is Lord of all–“
  • 37 — “that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached;”
  • 38 — “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”

v 61 Corinthians 15:50 — “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption.”

v 9John 6:52 — “The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, ‘How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?'”

v 9John 6:60 — “Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, ‘This is a hard saying; who can understand it?'”

v11Matthew 11:27 — “‘All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.'”

v11John 3:32 — “‘And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony.'”

v11John 8:14 — “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Even if I bear witness of Myself, My witness is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I came from and where I am going.'”

v13Ephesians 4:8-10

  • 8 — “Therefore He says; ‘When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.'”
  • 9 — “(Now this, ‘He ascended’–what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth?”
  • 10 — “He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)”

v14John 8:28 — “Then Jesus said to them, ‘When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself, but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.'”

v14John 12:34 — “The people answered Him, ‘We have heard from the law that the Christ remains forever; and how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up?’ Who is this Son of Man?'”

v14John 19:17, 18

  • 17 — “And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Galgotha,”
  • 18 — “where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center.”

v15John 6:47 — “‘Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.'”

v15John 3:36 — “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he wo does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

v16Romans 5:8 — “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

v17Luke 9:56 — “‘For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.’ And they went to another village.”

v18John 5:24 — “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.'”

v18John 6:40 — “‘And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life, and I will raise him up in that last day.'”

v18John 6:47 — “‘Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.'”

v18John 20:30, 31

  • 30 — “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book;”
  • 31 — “but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”

v19John 1:4 — “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.”

v19John 1:9-11

  • 9 — “That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.”
  • 10 — “He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.”
  • 11 — “He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.”

v20Ephesians 5:11-13

  • 11 — “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.”
  • 12 — “For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.”
  • 13 — “But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.”

v211 Corinthians 15:10 — “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”

v22John 4:1-3

  • 1 — “Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John”
  • 2 — “(though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples),”
  • 3 — “He left Judea and departed again to Galilee.”

v23Matthew 3:5, 6

  • 5 — “Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him”
  • 6 — “and were baptized by Him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.”

v24Matthew 4:12 — “Now when Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He departed to Galilee.”

v26John 1:7 — “This man came for a witness to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe.”

v26John 1:15 — “John bore witness of Him and cried out saying, ‘This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.‘”

v26John 1:27 — “‘It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.'”

v26John 1:34 — “‘And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.'”

v26Mark 2:2 — “Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door, and He preached the word to him.”

v26Mark 3:10 — “For He healed many, so that as many as had afflictions pressed about Him to touch Him.”

v26Mark 5:24 — “So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him.”

v271 Corinthians 3:5, 6

  • 5 — “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one?'”
  • 6 — “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.”

v271 Corinthians 4:7 — “For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?”

v28John 1:19-27

  • 19 — “Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, ‘Who are you?'”
  • 20 — “He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, ‘I am not the Christ.'”
  • 21 — “And they asked him, What then? Are you Elijah?’ He said, ‘I am not.’ “Are you the Prophet?’ And he answered, ‘No,'”
  • 22 — “Then they said to him, ‘Who are you, that we many give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?'”
  • 23 — “He said: ‘I am The voice of one crying in the wilderness; make a straight the way of the Lord.’ As the prophet Isaiah said.'”
  • 24 — “Now those who were sent were from the Pharisees.”
  • 25 — “And they asked him, saying, ‘Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?'”
  • 26 — “John answered them, saying, ‘I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know.'”
  • 27 — “It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.'”

v292 Corinthians 11:2 — “For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”

v31John 3:13 — “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.'”

v31John 8:23 — “And He said to them, ‘You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.'”

v311 Corinthians 15:47 — “The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven.”

v31John 6:33 — “‘For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.'”

v32John 3:11 — “‘Most assuredly, I say to you, ‘We speak what we know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness.””

v32John 15:15 — “‘No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.'”

v331 John 5:10 — “He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself, he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His son.”

v34John 7:16 — “Jesus answered them and said, ‘My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me.'”

v34John 1:16 — “And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.”

v35Hebrews 2:6-8

  • 6 — “But one testified in a certain place, saying: ‘What is man that You are mindful of him, or the Son of Man that you take care of Him?'”
  • 7 — “‘You have made Him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned Him with glory and honor and set Him over the works of Your hands.'”
  • 8 — “‘You have put all things in subjection under His feet.’ For in that He put all in subjection under Him; He left nothing that is not put under Him. But now we do not yet see all things put under Him.”

v36 John 3:16, 17

  • 16 — “‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.'”
  • 17 — “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.'”

v36John 6:47 — “‘Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.'”

v36Romans 1:18 — “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.”

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Notes on Scripture: by tkbrown

Nicodemus came to Jesus by night to discuss differences of opinion he had been hearing and to get some clarification on some specific points. Nicodemus is a Pharisee and a ruler of the Jews. He told Jesus they knew He was from God because, if He were not, He would be unable to do the many signs and wonders. He also wanted to find out how he might become a part of the kingdom of God about which Jesus taught. Jesus told him,, “unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” This confused Nicodemus and he asked, “How can one who is old enter his/her mother’s womb and be born again.”

Jesus explained, one must be born of both water and the Spirit to enter the kingdom. He differentiated the fleshly birth from the Spiritual birth. He and John had been baptizing with water; so, this indicates one must be baptized of water and the Spirit. Nicodemus struggled to understand.

Using the example of wind blowing and the inability to “know” from whence it comes or where it goes, Jesus told Nicodemus it is not something one can fully understand. “It just is.” Still confused, Nicodemus said, “How can these things be?” Jesus referenced Nicodemus’ position in the Jewish community–teacher of Israel,”–and pointed out that he should know these things. He said, “I have told you earthly things which you do not understand; so, how are you going to understand heavenly things.”

Jesus proceeded to discuss His coming down from heaven as the same Son of Man who was then in heaven–meaning He was both places. He discussed the need to be ‘lifted up’–crucified–because God is not willing that any should perish but that all might have everlasting life. He explained, “God loves the world so much He sent Jesus to earth to die for every man/woman so their sins did not have to keep them from heaven. Everyone who believes He is the Son of God might, thus, enter the kingdom. Anyone who does not believe He is the Son of God has already condemned himself, or herself.” Then He repeated, “God’s desire is that every person be saved, so His coming to earth was never to condemn anyone– that condemnation is fully completed by every man or woman who does not go to heaven. The love of darkness and evil keeps the sinful from the light. Those who believe and adhere to truth live in the light. Their deeds are clearly seen–not hidden as those of persons preferring darkness.

After His meeting with Nicodemus, Jesus and His disciples went to Judea and remained there teaching and baptizing. Jesus taught; His disciples baptized. John was also teaching and baptizing not far away. He had not yet been imprisoned. The Pharisees were confused by the need for both John and Jesus to be teaching and baptizing. A dispute arose among them and some of John’s disciples who then took the matter to John for answers. John reminded them he had always told them there was One who came after him who was before him– whose sandal strap he was unworthy to loose. Finally, they specifically asked him if he was the Christ. John replied he was not. They asked if he was a prophet, or Elijah. Each time, John responded in the negative. They ultimately asked him, “Then just who are you that we might tell the true answer to those who sent us?”

John, using the example of the bride and the bridegroom, stated it is the bridegroom who has the bride, and the one who stands with the bridegroom is his friend. The friend is happy for the bridegroom, but once the bride belongs to the bridegroom, his friend must discreetly disappear. They mentioned that Jesus was now baptizing more than John. This, John explained as being God’s plan in that Jesus, having the testimony of God via direct contact, had certified that God is real and true. Thus, He would continue to increase in followers and John would steadily decrease and fade from the picture.

John then reiterated what Jesus had told Nicodemus. God sent His Son into the world to save everyone from their sins. God desired that every man and woman be saved and have an eternal home in heaven. Therefore, everyone who believes Jesus Christ is God’s Son has the opportunity to be saved. Those who do not believe He is the Son of God have already condemned themselves.

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  • Lesson One: Zacharias to Have Son
  • Lesson Two: Jesus Birth Foretold
  • Lesson Three: Zacharias’ Son, John, is Born
  • Lesson Four: Jesus is Born
  • Lesson Five: And Jesus Grew . . .
  • Lesson Six: John Begins His Ministry
  • Lesson Seven: Jesus is Introduced to the World
  • Lesson Eight: Jesus’ Ancestral Lineage
  • Lesson Nine: Jesus is Tempted by Satan
  • Lesson Ten: Jesus Begins His Ministry (Part 1)
  • Lesson Eleven: Jesus Begins His Ministry (Part 2) — Sermon on the Mount (Part 1)
  • Lesson Twelve: Jesus Begins His Ministry (Part 3) — Sermon on the Mount (Part 2)
  • Lesson Thirteen: Jesus Begins His Ministry (Part 4) — Sermon on the Mount (Part 3)
  • Lesson Fourteen: Jesus Begins His Ministry (Part 5) — Sermon on the Mount (Part 4 — Conclusion)
  • Lesson Fifteen: Jesus Turns Water to Wine — The Wedding at Cana
  • Lesson Sixteen: Jesus Heals the Sick, Casts Out Demons
  • Lesson Seventeen: Jesus Talks With Nicodemus

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Photo Above: by en.wikipedia.org.

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