THE DESIRES OF MY HEART!

Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act. -Psalm 37:4-5

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I have some wonderful news I would like to share with all of you!  For years, I have been working on writing a book about my life.  Within the last two years, I finally got serious about it, and I’m happy to say…it is now available on Amazon!

As most of you know, my dad was a Baptist preacher…hence making me a PK, also known as a preacher’s kid.  The life of a preacher’s kid is not an easy one at times as we are always to be the ‘Example’ to all the other kids around us.  If you are not the rebellious type…it’s not hard; but if you have a rebellious bone in your body -growing up a preacher’s kid is tough.  I think all my bones were rebellious!

My point is this…after I committed my life to the Lord, I began to see His purpose for me.  I have always loved to write things, and that is how the book came to be.  God KNOWS the desires of your heart, and if you wish to use them to “please Him”, and help others in the process,  He will bring those desires to fruition!  In passing conversation, folks would hear some events of my life and say, “You should really write a book about that!”  So…I finally did it!

As you read it,  I pray it will help you on your journey through this thing we call life.  We have all had some rough patches…but Jesus can help us get through them!

The title of the book is:

FINDING ALL THE PIECES…The Life and Struggles of a Preacher’s Daughter.  It is written under my pen name:  Lila Burns.

Hope you’ll check it out!  It’s available on Amazon in paperback and also on Kindle.

For those of you that encouraged me and prayed for me during the writing of this book, I want to give you my heart-felt thanks!  I never could have finished it without all of you!  Thanks again!

Anita

UNDER THE SUN…VS…UNDER THE SON

Yesterday’s message was really great!  Pastor spoke on Ecclesiastes chapter 1.  It was a real eye-opener to me when I realized that even the wisest, richest man on earth at that time said, “Meaningless!  Meaningless!  Utterly meaningless!  Everything is meaningless.”  What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun? (verses 1-3)

I got it yesterday when Pastor was talking…but this morning, I REALLY go it when I saw the mountain of laundry piled high from only three days!  How does that happen?  I just spent one whole day last week washing clothes, bedding, etc…and here it ALL is again!  When you see the picture for yourself, and have to deal with it…it IS all meaningless!  Life and its daily duties seem to never end!

But, Solomon wasn’t talking about laundry! LOL!  I doubt he ever did any for himself!  He was saying throughout the whole chapter that there is NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN that happens in this world; the wind blows, the seasons change, and then it starts all over again…day after day, year after year…or in my case…laundry!

However, as Pastor pointed out later in the sermon, when we accept Jesus into our hearts and lives, The Son makes ALL things new!  HE gives us purpose in our lives!  Jesus said in Matthew 5:13-16  (MSG)  13 “Let me tell you why you are here.  You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth.  If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness?  You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage. 14-16 “Here’s another way to put it:  You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world.  God is not a secret to be kept.  We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill.  If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you?  I’m putting you on a light stand.  Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand-SHINE!  Keep open house; be generous with your lives.  By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this (our) generous Father in heaven.

So…to all of you…all of us, that have the Monday morning blues, knowing this same old humdrum week of repetitive  actions has just started…be encouraged!  God has a plan and a purpose for your days ahead!  Look for the purpose in everything, and then act on it.  It’s a new day…a new week!  Let The Son make ALL things new for you!

Anita

Under The Son

The Deeper Meaning of Life: Ecclesiastes by Danny Leavitt

Introduction Author: King Solomon

Ecclesiastes (/ᵻˌkliːziˈæstiːz/; Greek: Ἐκκλησιαστής, Ekklēsiastēs, Hebrew: קֹהֶלֶת‎, Kohelet, Qoheleth) is one of 24 books of the Tanakh or Hebrew Bible, where it is classified as one of the Ketuvim (or “Writings”)

Important verses
Ecclesiastes 3:11

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

 

Ecclesiastes 5:7

Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore, fear God. NIV

 

Nothing New Under the Sun
Ecclesiastes 1 (NIV)

1 The words of the Teacher,  son of David, king in Jerusalem:

2 “Meaningless! Meaningless!”

says the Teacher.

“Utterly meaningless!

Everything is meaningless.”

3 What do people gain from all their labors

at which they toil under the sun?

Mark 8:36-37 (MSG)

34-37 Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you?
4 Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever.

5 The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.

6 The wind blows to the south and turns to the north;

round and round it goes, ever returning on its course.

7 All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full.

To the place the streams come from,

there they return again.

8 All things are wearisome, more than one can say.

The eye never has enough of seeing,

nor the ear its fill of hearing.

9 What has been will be again,

what has been done will be done again;

there is nothing new under the sun.

10 Is there anything of which one can say,

“Look! This is something new”?

It was here already, long ago;

it was here before our time.

 

Matthew 5:13-16 (MSG)

Under the Son

13 “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.

 

14-16 “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.

 

Matthew 6:24-34 (NLT)

24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.

 

25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

 

 

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

 

 

 

Romans 12:1

Berean Literal Bible

Therefore I exhort you, brothers, through the compassions of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy to God, well-pleasing, which is your reasonable service

 

1 Peter 5:7The Message (MSG)

6-7 So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.

 

Under the Son

All things are new

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE GATHERING

CHURCH DENVER                 January 29, 2017

 

The Deeper Meaning of Life: Ecclesiastes by Danny Leavitt

Introduction Author: King Solomon

Ecclesiastes (/ᵻˌkliːziˈæstiːz/; Greek: Ἐκκλησιαστής, Ekklēsiastēs, Hebrew: קֹהֶלֶת‎, Kohelet, Qoheleth) is one of 24 books of the Tanakh or Hebrew Bible, where it is classified as one of the Ketuvim (or “Writings”)

 

Important verses
Ecclesiastes 3:11

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

 

Ecclesiastes 5:7

Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore, fear God. NIV

 

Nothing New Under the Sun
Ecclesiastes 1 (NIV)

1 The words of the Teacher,  son of David, king in Jerusalem:

2 “Meaningless! Meaningless!”

says the Teacher.

“Utterly meaningless!

Everything is meaningless.”

3 What do people gain from all their labors

at which they toil under the sun?

Mark 8:36-37 (MSG)

34-37 Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you?
4 Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever.

5 The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.

6 The wind blows to the south and turns to the north;

round and round it goes, ever returning on its course.

7 All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full.

To the place the streams come from,

there they return again.

8 All things are wearisome, more than one can say.

The eye never has enough of seeing,

nor the ear its fill of hearing.

9 What has been will be again,

what has been done will be done again;

there is nothing new under the sun.

10 Is there anything of which one can say,

“Look! This is something new”?

It was here already, long ago;

it was here before our time.

 

Matthew 5:13-16 (MSG)

Under the Son

13 “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.

 

14-16 “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.

 

Matthew 6:24-34 (NLT)

24 “No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.

 

25 “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? 27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. 33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

 

 

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

 

 

WHAT, ME WORRY??

Here’s another good one from Lee!  I don’t know where he finds all this stuff…but keep it coming friend!  Great reminder to us all… -anita

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That defining catchphrase from the sage of the ages, Alfred E. Neuman, humorously provides the title for this little piece. Ask someone older if you’re not acquainted with Alfred.

But, Alfred’s signature comment aside, if you’re like me, you may worry too much. I worry about lots of little things: are we about to run out of milk in the house, or I forgot to close the door and the dog may get out and lay on the couch. Oh, and my back is killing me and I probably should take an ibuprofen or two. But, then even more worry kicks in and I get concerned that too much of that stuff can damage liver and stomach.

Of course, I worry about big things, too. Now that I’m retired, will we have enough money to live on for the extent of my days. Or, one of the kids is doing something I consider unhealthy and what should I say or do to head them off without offending them. I had open-heart surgery many years ago and today I felt a pain in my chest. Is that angina…am I suffering a small heart attack?

I’ve learned an interesting fact in recent years that might help you, fellow worriers. The Bible can be our best friend. I was reminded of that this morning as I read an article on worry. The author, Thomas Brewer, made a couple of powerful points. He reminds us that faith (and trust) comes from the Lord Jesus, and the associated corollary of that is: “…when we don’t trust Christ, we trust someone or something else.” That something else may be our spouse, our bank account, even our own self. I guess I have let myself down too many times to fall into that trap! But, guess what, I still do at times.

Brewer then makes the point, “In the end, all anxiety is a failure of faith….” He then turns to the Bible citing Romans 14:23 which says that anything done not in faith is sin. Whoa, my worry is sin!? Actually, I guess one can draw no other sensible conclusion. As a believer, God has made me, has plans for my life, and controls all that happens to me in the course of that life. To doubt Him is to doubt both His love for me and even His ability to make His plans for me come to fruition. Or worse, doubt that His plans for me are good and really the best outcome for me in life. In short, do I know best or does God?

In addition to relying on the Bible for answers to life’s dilemmas, Brewer also suggests another thing maybe we don’t do enough of, particularly when we face uncertainty. Try prayer. Brewer cites a favorite verse that many of us have: God’s promise to work all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose [Rom 8:28]. I used to look at prayer as a last-ditch idea to try when all my other plans had failed. Nowadays, I try really hard to talk to God in prayer before I make any substantial move regarding nearly everything. Practice makes perfect, so the saying goes, and the more I pray the more natural it has become. I hardily recommend it to you.

Lee Pierce

 

ANSWER THE DOOR!

Below is the promise I drew for today.  I have heard this particular scripture used in witnessing to the lost in an effort to bring them to Salvation.  It is used perfectly in context…for it IS Jesus asking to enter the heart of the sinner and save him from his sins; however, it can also apply to those of us that already KNOW Jesus as our Lord and Savior.  Take a look…

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” -Revelation 3:20

In plain English…here is what Jesus is saying to the Believer…(and I paraphrase using my own words)

Hello?!  I’ve been standing here at the door of your heart for a while now…if you hear me, can you please open the door?  I’d like to come in and have some ‘alone’ time with you! It’s been a while since we talked.  Can we discuss what’s going on in your life?  If you’ll share your troubles with me, I’m sure I can help…

If you are reading this, and don’t know Jesus as your Lord and Savior…He is waiting patiently for you to hear His call, open the door of your heart, and experience His abundant Life.  It’s the reason He came and died!  He did it…just for YOU!

If you are already a Believer, He’s waiting for some ‘alone’ time with you…a ‘one on one’ visit with His friend!  He longs to have fellowship…relationship with you!  Take a moment out of your busy day, find a quiet place, and take a few moments to talk with Jesus!  You’ll be glad you did!

p.s.  So will He!

Anita

OUR EVOLVED BODY-NOT A CHANCE!

Here’s one for the Evolutionists to ponder on!  Thanks Lee! -anita

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I’ve often thought about trained scientists and medical personnel who have so much wondrous and awe-inspiring knowledge about their respective disciplines and the human body. In fact, in some ways I’m even a little jealous of what all they know. Yet many of those people still manage to reach a conclusion that says the wonders that they see regularly all occur as a result of chance and evolution.

I was reminded of this again recently when I read a story authored by Dr. Randy Guliuzza of the Institute for Creation Research detailing the incredible functionality of our own body as each person’s body works day after day doing something as mundane as maintaining our body temperature. I had never thought about it before, but our body works very hard, constantly, to keep our body temperature within 2° F of approximately 98.6° F. According to this article, our body works best in a temperature range of 96° to 101°, all controlled by the body’s temperature regulator, the hypothalamus. How important is this regulation of temperature? Small children go into seizures at a temperature of 106° and most people die if temperature gets near 109°. Conversely, if our body core chills below 87° we go into cardiac arrest.

In the article I read, the amount of body heat our body generates is massive. “…about 60% of [our] daily energy needs—[that’s] enough heat to raise the temperature of 20 lbs. of water about 2° every hour—is expended just staying alive.” Apparently, some engineers assert that, if an office building is optimized for thermal efficiency, that building could be heated through the winter “…using only the body heat of the occupants themselves.”

And how does our body do this regulation? There are hundreds of “thermoreceptors” located throughout our body that each send up to 240 impulses per second to the hypothalamus. This organ controls two systems: a heat-losing center and a heat-promoting center. When one center is stimulated, a concurrent signal is sent to the other center inhibiting its operations. When we get too hot, the heat-lose center signals tiny muscle fibers lining blood vessels in the skin. This decreases muscle tone and allows the vessels to dilate and become flush with warm blood shunted away from our core. Thus, the skin acts as a large radiator as it off-loads body heat and we appear “flushed.” In extreme, when we are severely heat-stressed, we are able to evaporate off up to two quarts of sweat an hour from the skin!

And when our core is threatened with becoming cold? Our marvelous body sends signals to the muscle fibers mentioned above to constrict and decrease blood flow. This reduces heat loss and our bodies retain warm blood in the deep body core. At the same time, skin temperature begins to approach that of the surrounding cold environment and we adjust our clothing if possible. If even more heat is needed, the hypothalamus can send a signal to the adrenal glands to boost cellular metabolism. The glands exude adrenaline which increases cellular burning of sugar to make heat. Our body can even produce heat rapidly by send neurological signals to muscle fibers to begin pulling rapidly against one another involuntarily—we call this shivering. In just a few minutes, this process can increase heat production by up to 400%!

The conclusion? It’s the same conclusion which can be reached upon examining so many functions just within our own body, let alone throughout the rest of creation. According to Dr. Guliuzza, “…these traits and all of the thermoregulatory processes could never have been built up gradually through some long evolutionary route of trial and error. For survival’s sake, thermoregulation has to be 100 percent in place and functional.”  And I’m sure he would agree with my conclusion: we were made this way from the beginning by our God.

Lee Pierce

GET THE MESSAGE?

Matthew 24:13

But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”  -KJV

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I found myself praying that verse this morning-reminding God of His promise.  I was looking to Him for a few things this morning…for my husband’s health, my son’s return to Him, and strength for myself to endure whatever may come my way today.

Then I thought about our (My husband and I) last twenty five years together.  We have endured many things that most folks seem to escape.  I reminded God of all those things… I even named a few to Him.  I also quoted something that the Apostle Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:7- ” I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:”  Yeah!  I reminded God Almighty, the Creator of all things, that we had endured all the things that were sent our way, and we kept on serving Him, and continue to do so.

Then I went a step further…I boldly asked for favor.  From whom?  Everyone!  I asked that even our enemies would be at peace with us; that God would move on our behalf and cause them to be kind and forgiving to us-to show us favor, even if they didn’t want to.

You may be asking yourself…”Is that even possible?  To make your enemies be at peace with you and show you FAVOR?”  I can testify that it is not only possible…but probable IF we put it all in God’s hands.  We have experienced favor from those that hate us!  Just like the children of Israel when they left Egypt.  See- Exodus 12:30-40. 35 The Israelites did as Moses instructed and asked the Egyptians for articles of silver and gold and for clothes. 

36 The LORD had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians.

I tell you all that, to say this…Continue to endure…Remind God of His promises…Ask boldly for favor!  YOU WILL BE BLESSED IF YOU DO THESE THINGS!

p.s.  I have to say…I have had to re-type this three (3) times this morning; it kept disappearing!  Guess the devil didn’t want anyone to get this message!   HA!  Too bad for him…GOD WANTS YOU TO ‘GET IT!’

Anita

AS I LAY ME DOWN TO SLEEP AND PRAY THE LORD MY SOUL TO KEEP…

Thanks for the reminder!

Here’s one from Agent X- Fat Beggars School of Prophets.  This should make us all take pause and thank God for all He has provided…things we usually take for-granted.  It could be me out there, suffering from the cold with nowhere to go and nothing to eat!  Remember this next time you see a homeless person and feel disgusted…

“IF NOT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD…THAT COULD BE YOU…THAT COULD BE ME!” -anita

*******************************

 

I want to THANK You, O God, for the warm, dry, bed I have to sleep in tonight.

Thank You for the wonderful woman I have to share it with.

Thank You for our good kids.

Thank You for the fine HOME we live in – a castle situated, as it is, in a garden of grass, trees, and flowers.

Thank You for coming to live here with us.  When I look into the faces of these infant, foster children You blessed us with, I see Baby Jesus in my arms, and I ask You to make Your servants prepared for the Master’s return to His HOUSE!  (If God is in there, is it temple?) Oh, God, how I need Thee every hour!

And as I look out the window and smile at the blessed falling rain on this cool October night, I am reminded of every bum, beggar, and prophet taking shelter under bridges, parking garages, awnings, and “No Trespassing” signs – men and women a plenty – who will not be invited into either Your HOUSE or mine tonight.  I think of Matt and Ryan, of Erica and Rudy, of Jerry, of May (Oh… May, who is now without her beloved James) and soooooo many others, and I wonder how they manage tonight.  I think of that elderly couple I met last year who were living in their storage unit, hiding from the owner and the authorities, and if they are warm tonight.  I think of Jeremy and Andy and those guys who struggle with mental illness or drug addiction, some of whom are quite adventurous and probably view this cold and wet as a challenge to be conquered – God Bless ’em.  Oh, God, how they need Thee every hour!

May n Lee

If Jesus lives there, that's a temple?

And of course I pray asking You to give them Your Hope, Your Joy, Your Peace, and Your Comfort in full measure…. But even more than that, for all our sakes, I pray that they might bear Your image (though they largely neither know how nor particularly desire it).  And so, therefore, I ask You to express Yourself through them, in Your mighty and mysterious way.  And that at the sight of You (in them) the mountains would bow down, the valleys would stand at attention, and the crooked places would straighten out (Isa. 40:3-5).  That at the sight of You (in them) the economy would turn upside down and be shaken out to the core just like You did using those beggars of old (II Kings 6:24 – 7:20).  And then at the sight of You (in them) Your Kingdom come and Your will be done in Lubbock, Texas LIKE IT IS IN HEAVEN! (Matt. 6:10).

Easter Tent City II

Please Lord, hear my humble prayer and rouse Your mighty self.  Do not delay.  We are waiting.

Agent X

WE ARE UNBELIEVABLY LOVED!

Here’s a good one from Lee!  Thank you Jesus for your love! -anita

*******************

I’ve been busily reading on the doctrine of the Trinity and came across an astounding thought in the course of that study. I had never thought of this in the terms used in the material I was studying, and I want to share it in case you have never had this insight either.

First, let me say that I am sure in my heart that God loves me. Most Christians, I would venture to say, are familiar with passages like John 3:16 and 1 John 3:1 and they believe that Christ loved them enough to die for them. Having said that—and having believed it myself—I guess I also unilaterally set a limit on just how much God could love me. After all, on the one hand you have me, much like you, a dyed-in-the-wool sinner. Quite capable of doing, thinking, and saying things all the time that are less than pleasing to our God. On the other hand, you have the Lord Jesus. The Father’s beloved Son in whom He is well pleased. A Son who is part of the Holy Trinity; one in essence with the Father Himself. In short, Jesus is God! I certainly don’t compare!

Well, now… the readings I’ve been doing on the Trinity spent a lot of time discussing the doctrine of “inseparable operations.” I thought I was a fairly well-informed Christian but, admittedly, I had never heard of that doctrine. It says, in part, that because all three members in the Trinity are of one essence, each Person of the Trinity works with the others to do everything. A good example of this is found in Genesis 1 and John 1 where, clearly, all three members of the Godhead were present at creation. In the material I’ve been studying, it expounds on this thought: “…if God is one, then each person of the Godhead must be involved in everything that God does.” When you think about that statement, make sure you distinguish in your mind that what Jesus does as God can be different than what Jesus did as a man incarnate, but that’s a topic for another time.

Back to the point I raised: how could God the Father love me like He loves His Son? Jesus provides the answer Himself. John quotes our Lord Jesus in an incredibly uplifting passage: John 17:20-26. Jesus first prays to His Father concerning the Disciples but then, in verse 20, He says, “I do not ask in behalf of these alone (the Disciples), but for those also who believe in Me (that’s you & me)….” A couple of verses later, Jesus mentions something which I had never thought about all that much before. Jesus says in verse 23, “…that the world may know that You (the Father) sent Me and loved them (us) even as You loved Me.” Dr. R.C. Sproul puts it this way: “God’s love for us…is of a different order. It is love born of grace.” While you and I are not part of the Holy Trinity, we still are loved by our Father with the same love He has for His Son. One last thought: Jesus loves us enough to die on a cross. Our Father in heaven, while He never died on a cross as did Jesus the man, loves us in the same way—to the same degree—as Jesus because they are inseparable in the Holy Trinity. Maybe it’s just me, but I find it astonishing that our heavenly Father could love me as much as He loves Jesus.  We are so blessed!

Lee Pierce

 

 

Proverbs: The Big Picture by Pastor Danny Leavitt

Practical Living

WISDOM, COMPASSION, COURAGE

Purpose of Proverbs
Proverbs 1 (MSG)
Wise Sayings of Solomon
A Manual for Living
1 1-6 These are the wise sayings of Solomon,
David’s son, Israel’s king—
Written down so we’ll know how to live well and right,
to understand what life means and where it’s going;
A manual for living,
for learning what’s right and just and fair;
To teach the inexperienced the ropes
and give our young people a grasp on reality.
There’s something here also for seasoned men and women,
still a thing or two for the experienced to learn—
Fresh wisdom to probe and penetrate,
the rhymes and reasons of wise men and women.
Start with God

7 Start with God—the first step in learning is bowing down to God;
only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning.

Proverbs 9:10 (KJV)
10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

Proverbs 31 (MSG)
The words of King Lemuel, the strong advice his mother gave him:

A Pleasing Life

Proverbs are not Promises they are guidance
Proverbs 3:1-2 (VOICE)
3 My son, always remember what I have taught you;
keep my instructions dear to your heart.
2 If you do, they will be your guide to a long, healthy, prosperous life.

Proverbs 14:34 (KJV)
Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.
Proverbs 6

Proverbs 6The Message (MSG)
Seven Things God Hates
16-19 Here are six things God hates,
and one more that he loathes with a passion:
eyes that are arrogant,
a tongue that lies,
hands that murder the innocent,
a heart that hatches evil plots,
feet that race down a wicked track,
a mouth that lies under oath,
a troublemaker in the family.

Proverbs on Marriage

Proverbs 5:15-20 (MSG)
Never Take Love for Granted
15-16 Do you know the saying, “Drink from your own rain barrel,
draw water from your own spring-fed well”?
It’s true. Otherwise, you may one day come home
and find your barrel empty and your well polluted.
17-20 Your spring water is for you and you only,
not to be passed around among strangers.
Bless your fresh-flowing fountain!
Enjoy the wife you married as a young man!
Lovely as an angel, beautiful as a rose—
don’t ever quit taking delight in her body.
Never take her love for granted!
Why would you trade enduring intimacies for cheap thrills with a whore?
for dalliance with a promiscuous stranger?

Compassion
Proverbs 31
8-9 “Speak up for the people who have no voice,
for the rights of all the down-and-outers.
Speak out for justice!
Stand up for the poor and destitute!”
Proverbs 3:3-4

Proverbs 3:3-4New Living Translation (NLT)
Never let loyalty and kindness leave you!
Tie them around your neck as a reminder.
Write them deep within your heart.
4 Then you will find favor with both God and people,
and you will earn a good reputation.

Proverbs 14:31The Message (MSG)
31 You insult your Maker when you exploit the powerless;
when you’re kind to the poor, you honor God.

Courage
Proverbs 24

Proverbs 24New Living Translation (NLT)

24 Don’t envy evil people
or desire their company.
2 For their hearts plot violence,
and their words always stir up trouble.
3 A house is built by wisdom
and becomes strong through good sense.
4 Through knowledge its rooms are filled
with all sorts of precious riches and valuables.
5 The wise are mightier than the strong,[a]
and those with knowledge grow stronger and stronger.
6 So don’t go to war without wise guidance;
victory depends on having many advisers.
7 Wisdom is too lofty for fools.
Among leaders at the city gate, they have nothing to say.
8 A person who plans evil
will get a reputation as a troublemaker.
9 The schemes of a fool are sinful;
everyone detests a mocker.
10 If you fail under pressure,
your strength is too small.
11 Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to die;
save them as they stagger to their death.
12 Don’t excuse yourself by saying, “Look, we didn’t know.”
For God understands all hearts, and he sees you.
He who guards your soul knows you knew.
He will repay all people as their actions deserve.
13 My child,[b] eat honey, for it is good,
and the honeycomb is sweet to the taste.
14 In the same way, wisdom is sweet to your soul.
If you find it, you will have a bright future,
and your hopes will not be cut short.
15 Don’t wait in ambush at the home of the godly,
and don’t raid the house where the godly live.
16 The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again.
But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked.
17 Don’t rejoice when your enemies fall;
don’t be happy when they stumble.
18 For the Lord will be displeased with you
and will turn his anger away from them.
19 Don’t fret because of evildoers;
don’t envy the wicked.
20 For evil people have no future;
the light of the wicked will be snuffed out.
21 My child, fear the Lord and the king.
Don’t associate with rebels,
22 for disaster will hit them suddenly.
Who knows what punishment will come
from the Lord and the king?
More Sayings of the Wise
23 Here are some further sayings of the wise:

It is wrong to show favoritism when passing judgment.
24 A judge who says to the wicked, “You are innocent,”
will be cursed by many people and denounced by the nations.
25 But it will go well for those who convict the guilty;
rich blessings will be showered on them.
26 An honest answer
is like a kiss of friendship.
27 Do your planning and prepare your fields
before building your house.
28 Don’t testify against your neighbors without cause;
don’t lie about them.
29 And don’t say, “Now I can pay them back for what they’ve done to me!
I’ll get even with them!”
30 I walked by the field of a lazy person,
the vineyard of one with no common sense.
31 I saw that it was overgrown with nettles.
It was covered with weeds,
and its walls were broken down.
32 Then, as I looked and thought about it,
I learned this lesson:
33 A little extra sleep, a little more slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
34 then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit;
scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.