The Greatest Commandment

What it says about God

In Exodus 19, Israel was at Mount Sinai.  God spoke to Moses with cloud and thunder and lightnings.  The people were in awe and fear and cleansed their bodies and clothing because God would come down on the mountain in three days.  No one including animals were to approach the base of the mountain, other than Moses and Aaron.  In chapter 20, Moses received the “Ten Commandments” from God Almighty:

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20:1 And God spoke all these words, saying:

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

You shall have no other gods before Me.

You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

12 Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

13 You shall not murder.

14 You shall not commit adultery.

15 You shall not steal.

16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

17 You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

What do these verses say about who God is?  God is holy. His mighty hand through awesome, terrifying signs and wonders, released the Israelites from the hands of the Egyptians; the house of their bondage.  God is Father, Lord, jealous, worthy of honor and obedience, wants to give his children rest, provides a father and mother that should be honored (the first commandment with a promise), He’s provider, justice, very concerned about His children’s welfare. Oh, and He is love!

Isaiah 45:22  “Look to Me, and be saved,
All you ends of the earth!
For I am God, and there is no other

Leviticus 19:18 You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.

This was the Law in the Old covenant.  What happened to it in God’s New Covenant?  Let’s see what Jesus had to say, first to the Lawyer:

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36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”

37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

person holding pencil writing on a paper  To the Scribes:

Mark 12:29 Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

pexels-photo-433267.jpegSo, the whole underlying theme of the original 10 Commandments was:  Love the Lord God with everything you are and all that you have, then love your neighbor as you love yourself.  That takes care of the vertical and horizontal planes we live in.  But, Jesus did not leave it at that; He took it further by going to the heart attitude:

Adultery in the Heart

Matthew 5:27 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Love Your Enemies

Matthew 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

James, the Lord Jesus’ brother, adds to Jesus’ aim at the root of our unlovingness:

James 2:8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well; but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all11 For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty13 For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

The Apostle Paul sums up the whole law in these two passages:

Romans 13:9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Galatians 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Jesus did not come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill the Law that we could not.  The Law was a teacher or task master, showing us that we cannot completely obey it by our human will. Christ solved this problem by paying the price we could not pay. Because of this, the Law is no longer written on stone tablets, but it is written on our hearts.  This is why we can sense what is against the Law of love because there will be a check in our Spirit if Jesus Christ is Lord of our life.  But you may ask: “How do I forgive my parents?”  Unforgiveness is not helping you and it’s keeping them from repentance and salvation. Honor them as the ones who gave you life and leave their punishment to the Lord God; He promises to not let them go unpunished.  How do I forgive the one who’s hurt me or my family?  The same way.  You can forgive them; it doesn’t mean you have to make them your best friend or excuse their sin.  It means you are forgiving them as God in Christ forgave you; if you do not forgive their sins, He can’t forgive you of your sins. (see Matthew 6:12 & Mark 11:25-26)

People who have been taken up to Heaven tell how overwhelming God’s love is there.  God IS Love incarnate!  Do you know that He doesn’t do anything for you that’s not good? John 10:9-10 The thief (satan) does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.  I  (Jesus) have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly. 

Our Heavenly Father, God in Heaven, IS LOVE!  It is not in His nature or ability to lie, kill, steal or destroy; He is not a man that He would lie.  Satan, the father of lies, cannot do anything BUT lie, kill, steal and destroy.  There is no love lost between satan and his demons; they don’t even like each other!  Who would you rather believe… that voice inside your head that says,”I could NEVER forgive him (or her) for what he’s done to me”… or the God who loved you enough to send His Son to die for us all, even the one who’s hurt us?  Steep yourself in the love of God, that abounds toward us in Christ Jesus, through the Holy Spirit. Leave the devil to wallow in the mire with his cohorts.

Shalom to you, my dear readers; complete peace and wholeness in your life and being in Christ Jesus, Amen

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Stop Cuddling The Pain of Your Past

I appreciate my fellow blogger’s words in the post link below (please click on it).  I will add some of my own thoughts as well.

via Stop Cuddling The Pain of Your Past

Yes, much has happened and left pain and scars in our life up to this point.  These things make us what we are today – But Christ!

Christ Jesus came to live, suffer, die and rise again to the right hand of the Father, ever interceding for us.  Jesus did not come to condemn us and leave us in our sins, He came to save us from all of that, to give us not just life, but Zoe life, abundance!  If we’re living in our past and nursing our wounds, we have no room for this Zoe life.  It also means we’re holding a weapon against the one who hurt us – which many times is our self! Lindsay Roberts says unforgiveness is like drinking poison and sitting back to wait for the other person to die!

Stand firm in the truth of God’s Word:

John 3: 14- 17 As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.  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.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

God does not condemn, but He DOES convict!  The world condemns us, but conviction brings us to see our wrongs so we can see the light of God through Jesus Christ that removes them.  Jesus paid the ultimate price we could not; taking our condemnation on that cross, never more to be held against those who accept His sacrifice. So, when the devil tries to remind you of your past, remind him of his future!

Don’t let the enemy of your soul have any more ground that belongs to you; stop cuddling the pain of your past, in Jesus’ mighty, powerful name!

Philippians 3:12-14 …I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Chris Jesus has also laid hold of me.  Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

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Comfort Others

The reason I can offer comfort to others starts with this principle of God:He loved us

Which leads to:

2 Corinthians 1   

Comfort in Suffering

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,                       

the Father of mercies and God of all comfort

who comforts us in all our tribulation,

that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble,

with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 

I have been through deep waters of trouble and tribulation: abused at age 7 by my brother’s friend, lost my father to heart attack when 11, suffered migraine headaches from age 15, lost virginity at 16  (connected with upsets ages 7&11), pregnant at 18 (also connected to 7&11) , married at 18 years +6 weeks, 4 children born 2-5 weeks before their due dates (4 in less than 5 years), miscarriage after 4th child, Mononucleosis during deer hunting season, breast lumpectomies, marital problems, Mom died, breast cancer & radiation, …and the list goes on.  (I’m sure you’ve got many trials of your own you could list as well)

 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us,

so our consolation also abounds through Christ. 

Yes, I have found my consolation in Christ, it has abounded through brothers and sisters in the Faith, family, friends and neighbors.  

Now if we are afflictedit is for your consolation and salvation,

which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer.

Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. 

The Word of God in the Bible has been my consolation as I have suffered.  The Word shows me how Christ suffered for my benefit and how the Apostles also testified to suffering and afflictions similar to mine.  If we truly belong to Christ Jesus, we will suffer as He and His followers throughout the generations have been afflicted and suffered.  Those being persecuted in our time count it a privilege to share in the sufferings of Christ, as Paul did, being counted worthy to belong to Him.

And our hope for you is steadfast,

because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings,

so also you will partake of the consolation.

I have found fellowship amongst fellow sufferers and been able to share my experiences to help comfort and encourage others.  None of this would have been possible if I’d not first experienced those who brought comfort to me from the comfort they themselves had received.

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This is a photo from my travels to church.  The 20 minute drive gives me time to watch the sky in fascination.  I give praise to the Father for the glory of the Lord that’s on display for those who choose to look.  This scene reminds me of when Jacob saw the steps ascending up to heaven the night he lay his head upon a stone to rest when he was fleeing from Esau. Here I can envision the angels ascending and descending! 

God’s love is written all across the sky – it’s His billboard!  I encourage you to contemplate the comfort you’ve been blessed with and also think about what you’ve been through that can help others in their trials.   I urge you to look up; His love is written all across the sky!

Learning to Live By Faith

Challenges strengthen our faith, Praise God!                                                      Here’s a few incidences of God’s work in my life lately.

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Photo by Burak Kebapci on Pexels.com

Car In Culvert:

I had rushed my plant cuttings to the Treadwell’s barn to add to the garden clubplant sale that was being set up Friday for the Saturday sale. Pulling on the grass next to another car,  I had a little chat with Sara Treadwell while I unloaded my pots.  I’d had a quick thought that I should  have backed in when I parked, but I’d ignored it.  I got back into my car to rush back to the house because we were taking my son to the city to have back treatment and John was anxious to leave.  As I started backing out, I couldn’t quite see where I was in relation to the culvert.  Well, I managed to get my VW Jetta hung up with the right front wheel spinning over the abyss.  I got out and saw how close I came to falling in; I’m sure an angel had intervened!  A neighbor stopped with his truck and was eager to help, but had nothing to hook up to my car with.  I called John and calmly told him I needed help.  Well, here’s God’s further grace in this situation: John came with son Chris, who was saying: “Good thing I decided to come early!” and John saying: “I’m glad (son) Alex gave me this tow strap that’s been in the back seat of my truck!”  The neighbor helped guide John’s truck into place, Chris got the tow strap attached, then got in to drive while John pulled.  The man and Sara helped stabilize the car as it came back onto solid ground, while I looked on, my heart singing!  No damage to the car and we got Chris to his appointment in good time.  Sara was able to put a caution sign by the culvert before the sale and I’ve vowed never again to think about damaging grass; I WILL back up, pull out from now on- ALWAYS!  Oh, the plant sale went well next day, even in the rain.

Blown Tire:

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A couple weeks later, I was driving back from Lowville, heard a noise toward the back of the car, then the low tire light came on.  I drove just a bit more and realized I must have a flat tire.  I didn’t want to pull to the side of the main road, so I drove slowly onto the next turnoff.

Again, I knew who was in charge and was fairly calm.  John and I had taken off the snow tires and put on the regular ones less than a month before, so I knew I couldn’t change a tire by myself.  I pulled into the first house, no one home; limped to the second house and found an older man answered the door.  I told him I had a flat tire and couldn’t change it myself, but could help.  He yelled to his wife what was going on, then came out through the garage as I was digging out the tire changing stuff and the tire.  Man had a Vietnam Veteran hat on, so I had a topic of conversation.  He brought out his big jack, but we had to use the car’s jack to get it under the frame due to the flat tire.

Praise God, VW gave this Jetta a full size spare!  we efficiently worked together to get the tire changed, I packed up and thanked him for being there in my time of need.  Praise God, it was still light out, the man was home and willing/able to help and had the tools needed.  I drove a bit slower the rest of the way home, talking to husband John on the car phone.  He was concerned the rim was ruined, an extra expense along with having to buy 2 new tires to balance the car.

Well, John came from Lowville the next morning, found the rim was not damaged because of the side of the tire blowing out and cushioning it!  Hallelujah!  We went to Sam’s Club.  John decided to buy all 4 new tires due to a discount when buying 4.  They were able to get right to changing my tires while we drove the truck over to Lowe’s to get things John needed in Lowville.  He’d not wanted to get new tires for the car until the next spring, but the Lord had other plans!  Thank You, Father God, for providing the finances to re-tire the car!

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Photo by Nubia Navarro (nubikini) on Pexels.com

Road Trip?

I had planned a 4 day trip to Virginia to visit family while my husband’s on his Alaska fishing trip.  He’d actually suggested it; my daughter-in-law and two granddaughters were going to go with me so I wouldn’t be driving alone.  After the two previous adventures with my car, I was bolstered in my faith and trusting.  I knew angels had ministered and guided my car, I knew Father God has it all under control, I knew Jesus inside me is mighty and Holy Spirit guides me.  It surprised me when John told me he didn’t want me traveling while he was gone.  He talked about getting AAA coverage for me with the troubles I’d had.  He made known he wasn’t apposed to me visiting my family, but not while he’s away.  He made a comment that he can’t go on “blind faith”.

Well, I kept calm and let go my plans after texting my daughter-in-law and sister.  It’s just as well I don’t leave the “homestead” end of June, the garden has needed a lot of watering and I have other things to do here while John’s gone.  Life is going much easier as I’m learning to trust and obey the Lord. Through this growing relationship, I’m learning more about my husband as my authority – beneath Jesus -covering me.  Learning to let go and to not take things personally has really lifted a burden from my shoulders and eased my mind.  I want to walk by faith more each day, a closer relationship with the maker of the Universe as I muse along this journey.

What about you, my readers?  How are you growing in your Heavenly and earthly relationships?  What challenges are YOU overcoming in Jesus’ name?

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Stand Tall for Christ Award

Dear Readers, this is a little different post for me.  I am very honored that Stand Tall For Christ has nominated me for this award:

 Keith Moser, who writes the Stand Tall For Christ blog, has created this award to reward and help good Christian bloggers grow their readership. You can check out this award through the above link.

These are the questions he’s asked me with my answers; sorry, I have a hard time narrowing things down and directly answering the questions!

1.When did you first get to know Jesus Christ as your savior?                                             November, 1983 (20 years of age), spent 5 days saying the Sinner’s Prayer with Ben Kinchlow on the 700 Club before he mentioned you might not notice anything big; have to take it by faith.  So I did!
2.What is your favorite verse of scripture?                                                                                       Currently, Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be know to God; and the
peace (Shalom) of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
3.What is your favorite article you have ever written?                                                                    “Against the Tide…What’s Your Stride?”
4.What is your favorite Christian Song/Artist?                                                                                Currently, Mighty Warrior//Elevation Worship.
5.What is your favorite Christian Book (besides the Bible)?                                                         God Calling by “two listeners”
6.What is your best advice for other Christian Bloggers?                                                               Tap into the Spirit and the Bible and tell everyone you know to look you up!
7.Who has influenced your walk with Christ the most?                                                                Currently, Dan Mohler and Bill Johnson as well as elder Saints I interact with!

Keith also asked me to nominate 7 other Christian blogs.  Here they are:

  1.  One Little Light 
  2. My Blessings By Grace
  3. Grace Over Pain
  4. Perfect Chaos
  5. Noble Devotion
  6. Victor’s Corner
  7. Inside Cup 

It is good to give honor where honor is due and all these bloggers are blessing the Lord by sharing their faith with others.  Hat’s off to Christ Jesus for Standing Tall For Christ running with this idea the Spirit gave him.    

I encourage you to check out the bloggers I’ve nominated and also find ways to give honor where it’s due in your circle of influence …and if you’d like to answer any of the above questions, I like to get to know my readers!

all for thee

 

Keep It Simple?

Musing on the “simple” things of God:

The Blood and Sacrifice:

In the second half of Hebrews chapter 13, Apostle Paul is concluding his “Religious Directions” about sacrifices.  The bodies of the sacrificed animals in the temple were brought outside the camp after their blood was sacrificed on the altar for sin.  Jesus Christ is our blood sacrifice for sin and sanctification; His body was sacrificed outside the camp (city) also.  In verse 13, Paul starts with “Therefore”, telling us to go out to Him, bearing His reproach so we may bear His likeness, doing good to all and sacrificially sharing with others.  The second “Therefore”:

Giving Thanks:

Hebrews 13:15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lipsgiving thanks to His name.

Godliness with Contentment:

give thanks in everything1Timothy 6:6 Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be contentBut those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.

The Great Love:

The Shulamite to Her Beloved

Song of Songs 8:6 Set me as a seal upon your heart,His love endures (2)
As a seal upon your arm;
For love is as strong as death,
Jealousy as cruel as the grave;
Its flames are flames of fire,
A most vehement flame.
Many waters cannot quench love,
Nor can the floods drown it.
If a man would give for love
All the wealth of his house,
It would be utterly despised.

How great is the love the Father has for us that we should be called His children; and we are!  It’s as simple as that; God love for me is stronger than death, stronger than the grave; how could I ever doubt His love for me?  Our heavenly Father’s love is the simplest, deepest thing on earth and we only get to taste a small part of it during this journey; just think what’s awaiting us in Heaven!

Love Leads to Purity:

Remember, what Jesus did by being punished for our sins made a way for us to be like Him; not by our own efforts, but by His working within us.  If we love Him, we will press into Him, which leaves less and less room for the impurities of this life to reside in us.

1John3:1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

The righteous one realizes their need for Christ Jesus’ cleansing blood.  When we accept the great love of the Father that sacrificed the Son, the obedience of the Son that led to the cross, we dip our “toes” into the great love of the Father.  Even one who has a small portion of faith, a beginning relationship with the Lord with a first taste of His love, is better off than the wicked one who sins through unbelief building a “castle in the sand” who cannot find true love on this planet at any price.  It has been said the biggest sin these days, even in the church is the sin of unbelief; not taking God at His word, not believing His power is enough to do what He has said.

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Psalm 27:16 A little that a righteous man has
Is better than the riches of many wicked.

So…I encourage you to dig into the true riches found in the Bible; Lisa Bevre wonderthe Word of God.   Since the Holy Spirit inspired the words in the Bible, ask Him to guide you deeper into the Truths it holds.  The Father’s arms are open wide; take a step toward Him and He promises to run to meet you; He is the Father calling to the prodigal son!  (Quote from Lisa Bevere)

 

Why I Support Donald Trump and Will Vote For Him Again

If you don’t believe Brother Keith, check out Kat Kerr’s videos where God showed her about Trump as well as prophets on Sid Roth’s program and others who I trust in the Lord and have heard Him speak about our president and our country. Give the man grace! God doesn’t choose the qualified; He qualifies the chosen!

Stand Tall For Christ

171126114837-donald-trump-file-10-29-2017-super-tease Photo Credit: CNN

I have been meaning to write this article for some time, but have just kept pushing it to the side, mostly to give Trump some more time in office and see how things develop in his Presidency.

There are many people criticizing Christians for supporting and electing Trump so I think it’s important to clearly articulate why I personally support him as our President and why I will vote for him again.

There are two things we have to consider in our President. One – the person that Donald Trump is and two – the job he is doing as President. On the first issue, I am obviously not pleased with certain aspects of Trump’s lifestyle, however I have learned long ago, that when I start to judge someone I try not to forget the man I once used to be. It was only through the…

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