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No Greater Love!

Well, here we are in a brand new year. For me, 2016 was not so bad. I have many blessings to count. As I move into 2017, I am reminded of God’s words in John 15. The command that Jesus gave the brethren to love one another. Isn’t it bad enough that the world is our enemy and inflicts all sorts of evil upon us? The world knows not the Father, but the brethren do know Him. Let us not act like the world for we are not of this world. As we know, being Christian does not mean we are perfect; we are just doing our best to grow to be like Jesus more every day. We will offend each other, and when we do, we must ask forgiveness and forgive. And, when one asks forgiveness, let us not demand our “pound of flesh,” which comes from pride through our enemy, but as Jesus said, “Forgive as I have forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32. Let us join together as His children and truly love one another that the world may see that love that comes from our Heavenly Father and want to be a part of God’s Kingdom too.

John 15

1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.

10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.

18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.

22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.

23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also.

24 If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.

25 But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.

26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.

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Posted by on January 2, 2017 in God's Love

 

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He Knew Me Then

I came across this old Dallas Holm song I have not heard for years and was reminded that I did not have to clean myself up from my sin to make Jesus love me. He knew me when I turned Him away and He loved me any way. Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” HE LOVED ME BACK TO HIM!

Please do not listen to the enemy’s lies. We do not have to clean up for Jesus to love us. I am so very glad that you love me in spite of me. When I think on the days I was in the world because I believed I was unworthy, I am horrified at the thought of ever going back again. Thank you my Jesus for what you have done and are doing in me.

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2016 in God's Love

 

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May God Continue to Bless America

 

Although progressive socialists have high-jacked our country for nearly 4 years now, I want to believe that there are still more of us who truly believe in the grit this country possesses, and we will make the real change that is needed this November. I pray that the overwhelming “entitlement mentality” communities finally understand that nothing the great O has promised is free. Unfortunately, because of the bad choice that was made in 2008, the innocent suffer along with the guilty who voted this Chicago Mob in to run our country. We also need to understand the division that this current “regime” is trying to cause in our great nation.

We MUST bring God back into our country and into our lives; else He will not continue to bless us. (Ezekiel 21:1-32 Our God is a just God)

The Duke said it best. “The Hyphen” and “America-Why I Love Her”:

Anna Writes, and Writes

 
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Posted by on July 4, 2012 in God's Love

 

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Jesus Pardons an Adulteress

I chose to use the word pardon here because I believe it is important for us to realize that when God forgives our sin, we are completely exonerated of our wrong-doing and made innocent through what Jesus did on the cross. It is as if we never sinned.

Satan knows that our human nature is to think back on forgiven sins and feel guilty and worthless because of them. He will bring the sins of the past to our remembrance in his attempts to hinder the work God wishes to do through us, but we must come against him. God assures us that not only does He forgive us of our sin, but he casts it as far away as the east is from the west – they never meet. When we listen to that stinking old devil and try to remind God, “Remember when I did that, I am so sorry.” God remembers it not. We must realize that when He forgave us we began anew and we now look forward, not backward.

Today’s Scripture – John 8:1-11

The book of John is my very favorite of the gospels. I will re-read it continuously while I have breath in me. I love that John shows how Jesus always won the great debates that he had with the Scribes and Pharisees. They were constantly attempting to trip Jesus up or trick him into stumbling, to no avail. They hated that he, as the Light of the World, revealed their Godless behavior. Re-reading this during times of attacks in my own life, gives me the peace of knowing that God is always in control and will always win over evil. Since my strongest spiritual gift is that of prophet, I strongly detest injustice.

In this passage, the Jewish leaders brought a woman “caught in adultery” without bringing the man she was caught with, as set forth in their own Law, to Jesus with the purpose of trapping him. If Jesus said the woman should not be stoned, they would have accused him of violating Moses’ Law. On the other hand, if he encouraged them to execute her, they would turn him in to the Romans who did not allow the Jews to perform their own death penalties.

Note in verse 2 that Jesus was sitting down as he was teaching. He “stooped down and wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.” It appears that Jesus was trying to ignore them, and he really did not want to get involved in this issue, but they continued to press him until he had to address it.

Go Jesus! “he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.” I do not believe that he meant if they were totally sinless in general; nor that if they had never broken the 7th Commandment that they could cast the first stone. It makes more sense that he may have been saying, “if there is one of you who is innocent of this sin, then let him cast the first stone at her.”

Then Jesus stooped again and continued to write on the ground. The thought has come to my mind that it is possible that he was writing the names of those men who had committed adultery themselves, perhaps with her. Rather, knowing Jesus’ compassion for all, he was more likely giving them the chance to slink away without having to face the all-knowing look in his eyes.

When Jesus stood again, the accusers were nowhere to be found. Their plot had backfired on them. They were the ones caught in their own trap! This is usually what happens when hypocrites impudently strive to point their fingers at others.

After asking her where her accusers were and seeing that they had fled, he said to the woman, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” She had watched as Jesus craftily sent her accusers creeping off in the opposite direction, as she awaited her fate.

The door to salvation was opened when Jesus showed her unimaginable grace and gentleness instead of condemning her. This must have begun a burning desire to hang around and reverently learn more from the Master. I find it ironic also that the Pharisees’ intentions to trip Jesus up not only backfired on them, but if they had not brought her to Jesus this day, she probably would have continued in her sin until her heart was so hardened that she would not have been able to be saved.

GOD ALWAYS KNOWS WHAT HE IS DOING! PRAISE HIM!

1   Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.
2   And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.
3   And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,
4   They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
5   Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?
6   This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
7   So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
8   And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
9   And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
10   When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
11   She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2011 in Jesus' Encounters with Women

 

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The Alabaster Box

“A sinful woman anoints Jesus’ feet” Luke 7:36-50

Luke had quite a knack for ticking the Pharisees off whenever he compared them with sinners – the sinners always came out ahead. Here we have Simon a well-known and respected religious leader who had invited Jesus to his home for dinner. It is obvious that his intentions were not genuine, as he did not offer Jesus the common courtesies that were readily available to his other guests. It was not by accident that he neglected to: 1. wash Jesus’ feet (because people wore sandals, their feet got very dirty); 2. anoint his head with oil; 3. offer him the kiss of greeting (this was a normal way of greeting one another).

So what were Simon’s true motives for inviting Jesus to his home and disgracefully disrespecting Him so? Maybe he felt that he was too good for Jesus. Was he trying to put him down in front of his elitist friends and make himself look good to them? Was he lording it over Jesus that he, Simon, was a “Godly” person who never mingled with “sinners?” Hmmm. Whatever the case, the contrast could not be more clear.

We still see this kind of hypocrisy in our churches today. I have witnessed much too much damage by those who believe they were so good all of their lives that they had little to ask forgiveness for, and therefore consider themselves better than others. Although they may have realized that “being good” will not get them to Heaven, and asked Jesus to be their Savior, they do not show evidence of having asked Him to be their Lord. They put on a good show, just as the religious leaders of Jesus’ time did, by involving themselves in different ministries just so they can say, “Look at me and how important and Godly I am.” But in God’s good time, their true hearts and motives are revealed.

I have noticed a much more forgiving and Christ-like spirit in those whom God has brought out of the battle-torn trenches of a sin-ridden-life. They are those who are appreciative of having been forgiven at all.

“He who is forgiven of much, LOVES much. He who is forgiven little, loves little.”

Enter: “a certain woman in the city, which was a sinner” (she was probably a prostitute) “when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,” (fragrant oil) “and stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.” (It was customary for them to recline while they ate. They laid on couches with their heads near the table, propping themselves up on one elbow and stretching their feet out behind them. This woman could easily anoint Jesus’ feet without intruding near the table.)

Notice first that she sought Jesus. I believe that God set a divine appointment for her with Him that day to receive salvation. The Spirit convicted her of her sin and drove her to the feet of Jesus for redemption at all costs.

It was a very brave act that she, a sinner and a woman, entered a Pharisee’s house uninvited. To be so bold says that she must have felt an extraordinary sense of gratitude that God would forgive such a one as she, along with overwhelming feelings of unworthiness. There was obviously deep remorse for her sin, as she wept tears of thankfulness bathing Jesus’ feet and drying them with her hair. I imagine that she laid every sin that she had ever committed at Jesus feet as she cried from within for forgiveness, understanding that she did not deserve it, but grateful to receive it.

“Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.” I get a mental vision of Simon’s face contorting as he recoiled at the sight of the woman touching Jesus. Not long ago, it shocked me to have heard similar words from one who claims to be a child of God: “I have to wonder if she is really saved. She always seems to be attracted to the kind of people like that woman who has divorced so many times. Can’t she find more Godly friends?”

And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have something what to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.” (Jesus heard Simon’s thoughts and interrupted them.)

“There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?”

“Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee; Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.” (Jesus honored the woman.)

When we fail to be honest with ourselves and overlook our own sins, we  lose our appreciation for what Christ has done in working forgiveness in our lives. Our pride hardens our hearts, and we begin to experience a lack of Christian love for others as we hold ourselves in too high esteem. Over time, our ears and our hearts grow deaf to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and we are in need of His reminding that “Pride cometh before a fall.”

Luke 7:36-50 “36. And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat.
37.  And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,
38. And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
39. Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.
40. And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on.
41. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty.
42. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?
43. Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.
44. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.
45. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet.
46. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.
47. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
48. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.
49. And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also?
50. And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.”

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2011 in Jesus' Encounters with Women

 

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