Are you ready to sacrifice your Isaac?

Genesis 22: 1-19

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One In Mind and Spirit!

1If you find any comfort from being in the Anointed, if His love brings you some encouragement, if you experience true companionship with the Spirit, if His tenderness and mercy fill your heart ; then, brothers and sisters, 2here is one thing that would complete my joy— come together as one in mind and spirit and purpose, sharing in the same love. 3Don’t let selfishness and prideful agendas take over. Embrace true humility, and lift your heads to extend love to others. 4Get beyond yourselves and protecting your own interests; be sincere, and secure your neighbors’ interests first.

5In other words, adopt the mind-set of Jesus the Anointed. Live with His attitude in your hearts. Remember:

6Though He was in the form of God, He chose not to cling to equality with God;7But He poured Himself out to fill a vessel brand new; a servant in form and a man indeed. The very likeness of humanity, 8He humbled Himself, obedient to death— a merciless death on the cross! 9So God raised Him up to the highest place and gave Him the name above all. 10So when His name is called, every knee will bow, * in heaven, on earth, and below. 11And every tongue will confess * “Jesus, the Anointed One, is Lord,” to the glory of God our Father!

C2 Paul describes a community where every person considers the needs of others first and does nothing from selfishness; it pulls together rather than pulls apart, and it is a body that knows its purpose and lets nothing interfere with it. It is an extended spiritual family where others line up to become part of this sacred assembly and to make it their home because they feel encouragement and know they are truly loved. So Paul urges the Philippians to strive for this radical unity and fulfill his joy by having the mind of Jesus who humbled Himself, became a servant, and suffered the death of the cross. Jesus becomes the example of humility and service, leading to the kind of unity Paul imagines.

12So now, my beloved, obey as you have always done, not only when I am with you, but even more so when I can’t be. Continue to work out your salvation, with great fear and trembling, 13because God is energizing you so that you will desire and do what always pleases Him. 14Do all things without complaining or bickering with each other, 15so you will be found innocent and blameless; you are God’s children called to live without a single stain on your reputations among this perverted and crooked generation. Shine like stars across the land. 16Cling to the word of life so that on the day of judgment when the Anointed One returns I may have reason to rejoice, because it will be plain that I didn’t turn from His mission nor did I work in vain. 17Even if my lifeblood is to be poured out like wine as a sacrifice of your faith, I have great reason to celebrate with all of you. 18And for the same reason, you can be glad and celebrate with me.  emphasis mine

Nelson, Thomas (2012-04-10). The Voice Bible: Step Into the Story of Scripture (p. 1445). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

normal . . . .

Can someone please tell me where I can find the “normal” stick.  You know that stick we use to judge everyone (young and old).  Personally, I do not believe it exists and is a figment of our imagination.  The only “stick” we are to judge ourselves with is God and we are told not to judge others.  This can be hard because Satan uses this tool to keep us divided and in constant disarray.  We must remember God’s words:

Jesus: 1If you judge other people, then you will find that you, too, are being judged. 2Indeed, you will be judged by the very standards to which you hold other people.

C15 So when someone is tempted to criticize his neighbor because her house isn’t clean enough, she seems ill-tempered, or she is a bit flighty— he should remember those same standards and judgments will come back to him. No one should criticize his neighbor for being short-tempered one morning, when he is snippish and snappish and waspish all the time.

Jesus: 3Why is it that you see the dust in your brother’s or sister’s eye, but you can’t see what is in your own eye? 4Don’t ignore the wooden plank in your eye, while you criticize the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eyelashes. 5That type of criticism and judgment is a sham! Remove the plank from your own eye, and then perhaps you will be able to see clearly how to help your brother flush out his sawdust.

Nelson, Thomas (2012-04-10). The Voice Bible: Step Into the Story of Scripture (p. 1159). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

13For You shaped me, inside and out. You knitted me together in my mother’s womb long before I took my first breath. 14I will offer You my grateful heart, for I am Your unique creation, filled with wonder and awe. You have approached even the smallest details with excellence; Your works are wonderful; I carry this knowledge deep within my soul. 15You see all things; nothing about me was hidden from You As I took shape in secret, carefully crafted in the heart of the earth before I was born from its womb. 16You see all things; You saw me growing, changing in my mother’s womb; Every detail of my life was already written in Your book; You established the length of my life before I ever tasted the sweetness of it.

Nelson, Thomas (2012-04-10). The Voice Bible: Step Into the Story of Scripture (p. 727). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

73Your strong hands formed me and established me; give me understanding so I can learn Your commands.

Nelson, Thomas (2012-04-10). The Voice Bible: Step Into the Story of Scripture (p. 716). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Now go and sin no more!

Sofia, Messenger of the Lord’s Army!

Confirming One’s Calling and Election

3His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises,  so that through them you may participate in the divine nature,  having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;  6and to knowledge, self-control;  and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;  7and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind,  forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.u 10Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble,  11and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  2 Peter 1: 3-11

  (2013-09-24). The MacArthur Study Bible, NIV (Signature) (Kindle Locations 298421-298449). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

1 Peter 5:6-11

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him,  standing firm in the faith,  because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, a firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen

(2013-09-24). The MacArthur Study Bible, NIV (Signature) (Kindle Locations 296945-296963). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Word Study/Hope/Anchor

In the same way, when God wanted to confirm His promise as true and unchangeable, He swore an oath to the heirs of that promise. 18 So God has given us two unchanging things: His promise and His oath. These prove that it is impossible for God to lie. As a result, we who come to God for refuge might be encouraged to seize that hope that is set before us. 19 That hope is real and true, an anchor to steady our restless souls, a hope that leads us back behind the curtain to where God is (as the high priests did in the days when reconciliation flowed from sacrifices in the temple) 20 and back into the place where Jesus, who went ahead on our behalf, has entered since He has become a High Priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.

17 Because God wanted to show His unchangeable purpose even more clearly to the heirs of the promise, He guaranteed it with an oath, 18 so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for our lives, safe and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain. 20 Jesus has entered there on our behalf as a forerunner, because He has become a high priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.  (emphasis mine)

Hebrews 6:17-20

hope

anchor

Our hope is the anchor that keeps us grounded!

Our hope is anchored in Christ Jesus!

Our hope keeps us safe and secure!

().Retrieved from https://www.biblegateway.com/

Hear ye! Hear ye!

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!  It is hereby declared on the 25th day of the month of June of the year 2014 that all churches are bully free.  Anyone caught bullying will be ushered to the door! No exceptions!  By order of the Most High God!  Mark 12:30-32

What if the man had refused to stand?

Acts 3:1-10

Peter Heals a Lame Beggar

1One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer— at three in the afternoon.

2Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts.

3When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money.

4Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!”

5So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.

6Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,  walk.”

7Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong.

8He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping,  and praising God.

9When all the people saw him walking and praising God,

10they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

(2013-09-24). The MacArthur Study Bible, NIV (Signature) (Kindle Locations 253960-253979). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

throw off . . .

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,

 

let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.

 

What do I need to throw off?

What hinders my walk with the Lord?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

throw. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved March 25, 2014, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/throw 

off. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved March 25, 2014, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/off

(2013-09-24). The MacArthur Study Bible, NIV (Signature) (Kindle Locations 291557-291558). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Hebrews 12 The…

Quote

Hebrews 12
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

(2013-09-24). The MacArthur Study Bible, NIV (Signature) (Kindle Locations 291556-291567). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

I may stumble, but I will not fall!

25David said about him: “ ‘I saw the Lord always before me.  Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.   26Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope,

Acts 2:25

Kaiser Jr., Walter C.; Garrett, Duane (2010-10-19). NIV Archaeological Study Bible: An Illustrated Walk Through Biblical History and Culture (Kindle Locations 101802-101808). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

grace = freedom

But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. So Pilate decided to grant their demand. 25 He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will.   Luke 23:23-25

release –  to free from confinement, bondage, obligation, pain, etc.; let go: to release a prisoner; to release someone from a debt.

released. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved December 22, 2013, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/released

(n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2023:23-25&version=NIV

least restricted environment . . . .

 restrict – to confine or keep within certain often
specified limits or selected bounds
What restrictions are we placing on fellow Christians?
2013, estrict. (n.d.). Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. Retrieved November 02, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/restrict

sinner friendly . . . . .

Is your Sunday school sinner friendly?

What or who do you talk about in front of guests?

And their scribes and the Pharisees complained against His disciples, saying, “Why do You eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”

Luke 5:29-31

Levi gave a large dinner at his home for Jesus. Everybody was there, tax men and other disreputable characters as guests at the dinner. The Pharisees and their religion scholars came to his disciples greatly offended. “What is he doing eating and drinking with crooks and ‘sinners’?”

Luke 5:28-30

When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

Mark 2:16-18

Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi’s house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him.

Mark 2:14-16

But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

Matthew 9:12-14

Go easy on those who hesitate in the faith. Go after those who take the wrong way. Be tender with sinners, but not soft on sin. The sin itself stinks to high heaven.

Jude 1:21-23

Here’s a word you can take to heart and depend on: Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. I’m proof—Public Sinner Number One—of someone who could never have made it apart from sheer mercy. And now he shows me off—evidence of his endless patience—to those who are right on the edge of trusting him forever. Deep honor and bright glory to the King of All Time— One God, Immortal, Invisible, ever and always. Oh, yes! I’m passing this work on to you, my son Timothy. The prophetic word that was directed to you prepared us for this. All those prayers are coming together now so you will do this well, fearless in your struggle, keeping a firm grip on your faith and on yourself. After all, this is a fight we’re in.

1 Timothy 1:14-16

[ We’re All in the Same Sinking Boat ] So where does that put us? Do we Jews get a better break than the others? Not really. Basically, all of us, whether insiders or outsiders, start out in identical conditions, which is to say that we all start out as sinners. Scripture leaves no doubt about it: There’s nobody living right, not even one, nobody who knows the score, nobody alert for God. They’ve all taken the wrong turn; they’ve all wandered down blind alleys. No one’s living right; I can’t find a single one. Their throats are gaping graves, their tongues slick as mudslides. Every word they speak is tinged with poison. They open their mouths and pollute the air. They race for the honor of sinner-of-the-year, litter the land with heartbreak and ruin, Don’t know the first thing about living with others. They never give God the time of day. This makes it clear, doesn’t it, that whatever is written in these Scriptures is not what God says about others but to us to whom these Scriptures were addressed in the first place! And it’s clear enough, isn’t it, that we’re sinners, every one of us, in the same sinking boat with everybody else? Our involvement with God’s revelation doesn’t put us right with God. What it does is force us to face our complicity in everyone else’s sin.

Romans 3:8-10

[ The Story of the Lost Sheep ] By this time a lot of men and women of doubtful reputation were hanging around Jesus, listening intently. The Pharisees and religion scholars were not pleased, not at all pleased. They growled, “He takes in sinners and eats meals with them, treating them like old friends.” Their grumbling triggered this story.

Luke 15:1-3

(n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.biblegateway.com/

What legacy are you leaving your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren?

IMG_0481legacy – anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor: the legacy of ancient Rome.

 

 

 

 

 

Nelson, T. (1982). Take Mate Bible NKJV (p. 65). Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc.

legacy. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved August 11, 2013, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/legacy

Can something good come from something bad?

Acts 8: 4-8

Christ Is Preached in Samaria

Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.  Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. And the multitudes with one accord  heeded ( emphasis mine) the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were paralyzed and lame were healed.

Acts 7:55

Gazing upward into heaven, he (Stephen) saw something they (Sanhedrin) couldn’t see (emphasis mine) : the glory of God, and Jesus standing at His right hand.

Why could they (Sanhedrin) not see what he (Stephen) saw?

Acts 7: 54-60

Acts 7:54-60

The Stoning of Stephen

54 When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. 55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

57 At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, 58 dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul.

59 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.

 

Still thinking . . . . .

(n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%204&version=NIV

Acts 7:54-60

The Voice (VOICE)

54 Upon hearing this, his audience could contain themselves no longer. They boiled in fury at Stephen; they clenched their jaws and ground their teeth. 55 But Stephen was filled with the Holy Spirit. Gazing upward into heaven, he saw something they couldn’t see (emphasis mine) : the glory of God, and Jesus standing at His right hand.

Stephen: 56 Look, I see the heavens opening! I see the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!

57 At this, they covered their ears and started shouting. The whole crowd rushed at Stephen, converged on him, 58 dragged him out of the city, and stoned him.

They laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul, 59 while they were pelting Stephen with rocks.

Stephen (as rocks fell upon him): Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.

60 Then he knelt in prayer, shouting at the top of his lungs,

Stephen: Lord, do not hold this evil against them!

Those were his final words; then he fell asleep in death.

 

Sophia

Aside

My name is Sophia, a messenger of the Lord’s army.  God has called me to join the ranks of those spreading the word. Abba is kind and compassionate, loving all!  I first met him when the scribes and the Pharisees pulled me from my bed and threw me at his feet.  They were testing Jesus seeing what he would say.  With stones in their hands the scribes and Pharisees were judge and jury.  He stooped down to the ground and wrote in the sand giving them little attention. This did not make the scribes and the Pharisees happy.  They wanted a response.  He raised himself up and said, “go ahead throw that stone if you are sinless“.  One by one they dropped the rocks and walked away.  When I looked up they were all gone.  He looked at me with love and compassion and said “go and sin no more”. I have followed him ever since.   He’s with the disciples under that big oak tree speaking a common language.  The common language of love and acceptance.  Now go and sit with the one who loves you most, our Lord and Savior!

You too, can have a relationship with the one I call Abba.  He is waiting for you with patience and understanding, longing for you to follow.  He will not force himself on you, but will wait for you till you are ready. Now come and join the followers of the Way!