I am grateful for my life, Jesus! I am full of joy at being able to talk to You!
Thank You Jesus for the wildlife on the way this morning! Turkey, pheasant, baby bunny, killdeer, an awesome display of Your creativity!
Thank You for the victory You purchased at great cost over the enemy by Your faithful and loving sacrifice on the cross!
Thank You Jesus, for overcoming on our behalf!
Thank You for purchasing my freedom! I love You!
Thank You Jesus for deliverance from the darkness and the invitation to walk in the light with You!
I know our relationship is gratifying to me and I feel blessed by Your love. I don’t suppose I have thought much about You being grateful for it. Thank You for showing that to me!
I am grateful for the beauty of the tall pines in my view this morning! Your creation is marvelous, a testimony to Your magnificence!
I am grateful that the muscle I pulled in my back is getting better, that by Your stripes I am healed!
I am grateful that we are justified as a gift by Your grace; that redemption is in You!
I am grateful for the Winter solstice; that the physical processes of the seasons were established by Your limitless wisdom and that with You there are never unintended consequences to take You by surprise.
I am grateful for Your Spirit of all Truth whom you sent to guide us into all truth. (John 16:13)
Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness. Psalm 143:10 (King James Version)
Me: Good evening Jesus!
Jesus: Good evening Jon!
Me: Tell me about the land of uprightness. Is it a place?
Jesus: If you abide in Me and give heed to the Spirit’s guidance, it is intended to be wherever you are. Did I not come to destroy the works of the devil? (1 John 3:8) Did I not tell you to do the works that I do? I Am supporting you in this with My power. (John 14:12)
Me: I was telling a friend on Sunday, who is already doing some journalling, that although there is much one can and should do to make oneself more receptive, there is no closed-form formula for hearing from or following You. I told him that what we truly hear from You internally, will always be in concert with what is revealed in the Bible. It seems that having memory of scripture is a big part for me, that the Spirit calls passages to mind when I am seeking to hear from You.
Jesus: If I made it a formula, it would be static and men would see no need of relationship with Me. There would be no humility or bond of loving conversation. My ways are not your ways, nor are my thoughts your thoughts, except you yield your mind to My Spirit. Have your heard the phrase “thinking God’s thoughts after Him”? It is paraphrased from words written by Johannes Kepler in humility of his research and the revelation in My word that man is made in My image. He believed man was therefore capable of understanding the nature of My creation because I desire it to be understood and made it plainly visible. (Genesis 1:27, Romans 1:20) I am telling you that John 14:12 is calling you to do My works after Me.
Me: How can I live up to this charge?
Jesus: If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, you will bear much fruit, glorifying My Father, proving to be My disciple and friend. (John 15:7-8) Let My words abide in you; make their home in you, have their effect on you through obedience, fill the environment around you because they have crossed your lips from their place of abundance in your heart (Matthew 12:34). Neither let any faithless or unbelieving word take that same path. Speak love, and joy, truth and peace, hope, and trust in Me. Let not words of fear, or doubt, anger or ungratefulness dilute and pollute the power of faith. Remember the power of My word by which all creation came into being. Remember that if I had coerced man to respond to me by a formula, rather than making our relationship the way, he would not reflect My image (John 10:30). As for the land of uprightness, I Am leading you.
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
Me: Good evening, Holy Spirit!
Holy Spirit: Good evening, Jon!
Me: We met with the Tea Party group today and talked about how readily people laid down their freedom to assemble together and to to pursue their pursuits. Really, to pursue Your pursuits.
Holy Spirit: There was a bit of imprecision in that gaze backwards.
Me: In what way, Holy Spirit?
Holy Spirit: You were told that by giving those things up temporarily you could help save the lives of the vulnerable. No one wanted to put others at undue risk. As good citizens, you complied with the instructions you were given (with great emphasis on how critical they were). I told you in the scriptures to obey those who rule over you. (Romans 13) In that same chapter, you find this verse:
Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
It is only as the situation with Covid-19 unfolded, that you realized that much of the information that was given at first was mere guesswork, followed by fearful speculation, followed by manipulation by those with agendas aimed at control which was itself aimed at grasping power. Power at terrible expense to many, I would add.
Me: Hardly any of us want to be responsible for the sickness or death of another. We hear of ones who have died. Most imagine them innocent victims of random illness. There is little recognition that we are all appointed to die on account of the wages of sin is death and therefore our own doing. The only question, really, is the precise time of death. The ones aiming at control certainly never mentioned the name of Jehovah Rapha, lest hope derail their plans.
Holy Spirit: For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
If one knows Me, then he knows that not even death will separate from Me. It is My perfect love that cast out fear.
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
1 John 4:18
Your freedoms are from Me. They are not granted by any government. You need not fear those who can only kill the body. (Matthew 10:28)
Me: I wouldn’t consider myself brave enough to face the power of the government the way Jesus did.
Holy Spirit: He was looking ahead to His death when He spoke the words of Matthew 10:28. You are not trapped by the empty naturalistic dogma that has enslaved many, for you believe what I say to you.
It is only the most evil who would use the love you hold for others as a weakness to be manipulated. He does this because he does not understand the very power of the love he would use to control is Me, and I will be his undoing. Blinded by his rage, your enemy does not even recognize he is attempting to lay hands on Me. Imagine his surprise when his scheme goes wrong.
I am grateful for the guidance You give us! I am grateful for Your love and example!
Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. – Proverbs 14:34
Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,
Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. – Matthew 22:35-40
Me: Good afternoon, Jesus!
Jesus: Good afternoon, Jon!
Me: Why did you say, “And the second is like unto it”?
Jesus: Both have their basis in love. Both require an unequivocal attitude; all, all, all. “All your heart” will result in your desiring the most intimate relationship you can have. Not the most you can muster in yourself, but the most you can have in the power of My Spirit as you purpose to submit your heart to Him. “[A]ll your soul” involves your hands and feet and the practical outworking of what you can do. Again, with My empowerment (John 15:5). “[W]ith all your mind”, of course, is talking about what you think of Me (and your neighbor). Is is the truth? Do you see your neighbor as made in My image?
Me: Good morning Holy Spirit! I am perplexed by the way You told Isaiah to deliver a message (chapter 6) that Jesus later quoted in Matthew 13 to explain why He taught in parables.
8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” 9 He said, “Go, and tell this people:
‘Keep on listening, but do not perceive; Keep on looking, but do not understand.’ 10 “Render the hearts of this people insensitive, Their ears dull, And their eyes dim, Otherwise they might see with their eyes, Hear with their ears, Understand with their hearts, And return and be healed.”
13 Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says,
‘You will keep on hearing, but will not understand; You will keep on seeing, but will not perceive; 15 For the heart of this people has become dull, With their ears they scarcely hear, And they have closed their eyes, Otherwise they would see with their eyes, Hear with their ears, And understand with their heart and return, And I would heal them.’
16 But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. 17 For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
Holy Spirit: Good morning Jon! Part of the problem being addressed is willfulness. In your idiom, one might say “he didn’t want to hear it”, or some such expression implying a closed mind or heart. How does that work out in practice? The message being delivered is contrary to the belief or desire of the recipient, so he discounts it entirely.
Jesus taught in parables because they were stories that were easily remembered and contained a somewhat oblique example of the truth that He wanted to teach. This approach at least has a chance of getting past the mental defenses of the willfully disobedient to get some level of consideration. An important aspect of a parable is that it is about someone other than the hearer; it is not a direct challenge to his mistaken beliefs. Nor is is an override of the choice of the individual. He may take it or leave it; spend time musing about it, or not.
You were created with the ability to filter the information you perceive, to categorize, to make judgments as to its value and to remember what you consider important. Control of this process is mostly subconscious and is regulated by your beliefs. Filtering of information was designed to be subconscious. If it were not so, it would increase the burden instead of easing the work the attentive part of the mind must do. Taken together, your beliefs and understanding of your environment is sometimes called your worldview.
Looking inward, people have beliefs about themselves. The same filtering of perceptions takes place related to self and to one’s behavior. For example, if you believe “I’m a good person”, your are less likely to be able to determine if criticism of your behavior is valid than if you believe you are good insofar as you are submitted to the leading of Christ. No one is harder to correct than the person who is completely convinced he is right.
Me: Of course, I believe He is good, and what I do is good if it is of His leading. (Mark 10:18, John 15:5) Still, I recognize that I sometimes have a negative script running in my head. At least I may recognize it if it rises to the level of consciousness or if negative emotions get egregious enough to bring it to the forefront.
Holy Spirit: That is why the scripture tells you to be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2). And you know from the process of learning anything difficult, that takes time and repetition. You should also recognize that as you have submitted to My leading that negativity has greatly diminished over time.
Me: You could remove it in the twinkling of an eye.
Holy Spirit: My way assures that it is obvious that it is your choice.
In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. – 1 John 4:10
Me: Good morning Holy Spirit!
Holy Spirit: Good morning Jon!
Me: My gratitude about the love of God is not just that the love of God is affirming. I believe I understand better now that God will not condone the things I do that are not good for me; good for me in the sense of making me better able to carry out my life commission from Him and resulting in the most benefit to me in this life – I can observe this over time – and in the life to come, as I understand His eternal viewpoint. Any understanding I have is because of Your revelation, of course! I am certainly grateful for that!
Holy Spirit: Jesus knew the Father loved Him. He knew also the love of the Father for you. Had he not laid down Our omniscience to become fully man, He would have been able to look down through the generations and feel His own love toward you, specifically. No matter about that, because I revealed it to Him in principle in the same way you conduct yourself in love toward great grandchildren not yet born.
Yet I know you realize, as much as you know, the hard path that Jesus took in carrying out His own life commission, the express plan of God for your salvation. He even said that there is no greater love, than that a man lay down his life for his friends – then ones he is charged with protecting (John 10:11 & 15:13). This plan was from the beginning, as all the scripture testifies. Jesus grew into this love over time, though he arrived in the normal way of men, as a needy infant.
In particular, I want you to see that Jesus did not say, “I will lay down My life for you if you will agree to dedicate yourself to following Me”. No, He laid it down for “whosoever will” (Mark 8:34, Rev 22:17 and many other verses). In these same verses, it is clear that though He did not condition His actions on your response, your benefit – or lack of it – depend upon your choice.
Jesus had a choice as well. It was for love that he wrestled with that decision in the garden, ultimately resigning Himself to serving you in death (Matthew 26:36-46). The death He died, was the one you had accrued to yourself. And do not think I Am speaking only of the physical realm. In this matter, the spiritual realm is supreme for the physical will pass away, but the Spirit is eternal:
But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? Hebrews 9:11-14
Thinking about the year in retrospect, I thought I might share some selected entries from my gratitude journal. Some of these were addressed specifically to God the Father, some to Jesus, some to the Holy Spirit (all of whom are One, despite their distinct personalities and relationships with us).
I am grateful…
… for Jesus’ faithful heart and sacrifice for me!
… that Jesus it the Truth and the Holy Spirit is sent to guide us into all the truth!
… for rest.
… for a loving wife!
… to be healthy!
… for your Word and the Truth; an anchor against the tempest of deception the enemy is driving into this world as the unwitting give him opportunity.
… for time to dedicate to worship and to become better acquainted with Your Word.
… for those who share lessons they have gleaned from Your Word.
… for encouragement!
… for Your peace!
… that You are merciful!
… that You teach us many things!
… for Your kind intention!
… for the negotiations the President has been engaged in to improve our trade position.
… for the good economy and record-low unemployment!
… for the $10 bill I found in the yard and that the nearest neighbor is a half-mile away.
… for Your guidance!
… that all the promises of God, in You Jesus, are “Yes!” and “Amen!” (2 Corinthians 1:20)
… for the capacity to be grateful, and the benefits of being grateful!
… for forgiveness in Jesus!
… for all the unappreciated ways I have been helped by You!
… for a warm hug from my grand-daughter after traveling to see her recital.
… for the remainder of the year off from work to rest (after 12/21).
… that You have faithfully brought me this far!
… for Your generous heart!
… And, I am grateful the thermometer doesn’t say -22F very often!
14 For as many as
are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15 For ye have not
received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received
the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16 The Spirit
itself* beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of
Short side trip: Greek αὐτὸ is the third-person pronoun (he,
she, it) determined by context. I believe the Holy Spirit is a
person, an essential part of the Person of God (Deuteronomy 6:4),
even as our spirit is an essential part of our being. I don’t
presume to fault the KJV translation too much; it is impossible for
the mind of man to contain a full understanding of God any more than
a child knows a parent fully. We may know the Spirit as He
incrementally reveals Himself to us in our spirit when we become
intentionally still enough to hear.
17 And if
children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if
so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified
18 For I reckon that
the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared
with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Me: Good morning
ABBA: Good morning
Me: When I went to
investigate Romans 8:17 further, I began to meditate on all of Romans
8, and I found it to be a cache of endless treasure (and a few hard
ABBA: When you were
raising children, did you find that they were usually able to
comprehend the full depth of things that they asked questions about?
Me: No, they were
able to recognize and ask about many things that were both mysterious
to them and wonderful at the same time. Deeper understanding often
required more intellectual background than they yet possessed.
Really, more than I yet possess.
ABBA: How would you
Me: Some dads would
say, “Ask your mother” but I have always been disposed to try to
give some response. I wish I could say I generally gave a
heart-centered answer, merely acknowledging that it was a complicated
question. At a young age, they were usually trying to decide how to
relate to the thing, not learn how it was designed. I wasn’t
heart-centered enough myself in those days and would ususally give an
answer they were unprepared to make use of. I suppose I am still
prone to do that if anyone asks me something.
ABBA: Yes, most
young children are trying to learn, whereas some adults are trying to
control. I understand you want to be accurate. I made you that way.
Still, you have to consider the questioner and their frame of
reference. I sent My Son, in part, to communicate My love for you
(John 3:16) in a way that was unmistakable.
Me: The heart
message in verse fifteen is one that is at the very center of the
good news of the Gospel – that in Jesus we are adopted into Your
family and no longer under the fearful severity of the law (which we
instinctively understand we have violated). Now, we are brought in by
love (1 John 4:8).
ABBA: You understand that the law is satisfied because Jesus suffered the penalty due to you. Do you also understand that as heir you have all of My resources available to carry out our mission? Do you know, you inherited a part of My mission as well? (Matthew 28:16-20)
Look at Romans 5:5. “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Do you understand that this promise is that My very nature is being manifest in you?
Me: I am trying to
understand. I hope that is what this series is accomplishing for me
and for any who read it with a spirit of contemplation. I know these
things intellectually. I can read them in the scriptures. It is the
heart that is stubborn. Usually, I don’t even realize that it is
being so obstinate or that I have some negative self-talk running in
the background. I do know that I need to repent of those internal
messages that run contrary to the promises You have made to us.
ABBA: Keep listening
for My Spirit to guide you into all the Truth. Keep delving into the
scripture while looking to Me for Guidance. Commit My promises to
memory and the Spirit will bring them to remembrance when you need
Now, what do you
consider a hard concept?
Me: As I read on in
Romans 8, I got to wondering about the “predestination” concepts
in verses 29-30 (and many other places). I decided to read a bunch
of other’s take on those verses. I was surprised by what I found.
ABBA: How so?
Me: I found a lot of
people identifying as “Calvinists”, making all kinds of
assertions about You and what this passage means. Some were mostly
taking aim at “Armenians” whom they said were wrong to not put
enough emphasis on it. Some seemed to be emphasizing Your loving
nature, but perhaps only to some particular insiders of Your
choosing. Others took what I would say are extreme views, claiming
any foresight You have is equivalent to a final determination and
that man has no free will and therefore no responsibility. Some
claimed they were saved and others were irrevocably out because You
had not chosen them. I found that the banner of Calvinist
flies over all kinds of doctrinal positions. So much so, that I would
say it is meaningless in a practical sense. I am sure I have not
scratched the surface, nor that I want to.
Why do people feel
the need to put You in some kind of box that they can circumnavigate?
Don’t they even have a sense of Your limitless nature? Don’t
they ever go outside at night and look up at some of what You have
done? And how do some so handily ignore the Great Commission, or the
fact expounded in Scripture that You are not willing that any should
perish, while recognizing that some choose to reject. And that is
another thing, some of these particular Calvinists used the fact that
some reject You as “proof” that You did not choose them. If I
know You at all, I know that is not true.
I believe you led me
to these related scriptures:
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men
count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that
any should perish, but that all should come to repentance
Romans 3 – Speaks
of the inclusive will of God.
Ephesians 4: Grieve
not the Holy Spirit. (Why give this instruction if, as I understand
the extreme position of some, that the will of God is irresistible?)
Proverbs 14:12 –
There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof
are the ways of death. (This explains well enough to me why it is
hard to get a persons to change their mind. Their way seems right
to them. Convinced of it they are, yes. They don’t see the end
because it is, well, at the end.)
John 1:12-13 But as
many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of
God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of
blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of
ABBA: Of course I
led you to these scriptures and you know your identity as My child.
The philosophies of men do not and can not describe Me. I have
repeatedly shown you that a few of those who emphasize My sovereignty
do so in order to be dogmatic about something they think they know
about Me – that they really have no choice. At least they
recognize the universe is not all about them. But they miss this
fact; the only one who can restrict Me is Me. You are made in My
image in this regard. You can control what you do, too. To belabor
the point, I can of My own will, let you act according to your own
will. It should not be lost on you that true love between us is not
possible under other circumstances.
Me: Thank you
Father! I love you!
ABBA: You are
welcome! I love you!
I live and work in a community where perhaps the majority of the population attends churches where the members would identify as Calvinists. Many have been schooled at Calvin College, or one of the many similar institutions. Please understand that I know something of the hearts of these people and I am in no wise intending to paint my friends and acquaintances with a broad brush because of the extreme views of the few internet denizens that I mentioned above. I know from conversations with friends that these local churches have active missionary programs. Why would they do that, if salvation was an irrevocably-settled issue through “predestination”? It was through one of these churches that I initially learned that I could have a direct and intimate conversation with God and expect to hear from Him in my spirit through His Spirit.
On the other hand, if any finds him or herself subscribing to the notion that we don’t really have a choice, please keep seeking. Consider this: Why would the scripture spend so much time telling us how to live in alignment with God’s plan, if we could not fail to do so?
I am grateful for
the astounding warm-up today; 22F below earlier in the week, 52F now.
And when I came to
you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of
wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined
to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. 3 I
was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, 4 and my
message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but
in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith
would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.
6 Yet we do speak
wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age
nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; 7 but we speak
God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined
before the ages to our glory; 8 the wisdom which none of the rulers
of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would
not have crucified the Lord of glory; 9 but just as it is written,
“Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”
[ This quote is from Isaiah; For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, Nor has the eye seen a God besides You, Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him. – Isaiah 64:4]
10 For to us God
revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things,
even the depths of God. 11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a
man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the
thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have
received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from
God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, 13
which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but
in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with
14 But a natural man
does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are
foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are
spiritually appraised. 15 But he who is spiritual appraises all
things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. 16 For who has known
the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind
of Christ. – 1 Corinthians 2
Me: Good evening
Holy Spirit: Good
Me: This passage is
chock full of wisdom and the promise of still more wisdom borne (and
born) by You! Thank You!
Holy Spirit: You are
Me: I am mystified
by Paul’s comment, which I know he got from You, that the rulers
would not have crucified Christ had they understood all. Had they
not, where would we be?
Holy Spirit: You
have often observed that Jesus did not pull any punches in speaking
with the rulers. He consistently told the truth in a way that would
inflame their indignation and instinct to protect the sin they
imagined was righteousness because it was, well, theirs. They were
simply respecters of themselves. Not a humble bone in their bodies.
Paul is just observing, matter of fact, that they did not get it.
Even when bluntly told the truth.
When Paul uses the
words “predestined before the ages” in verse seven, he is
pointing out that God knew fully from before He created that man was
going to need to be rescued from the power of sin. He knew before
there was time. He knew before there was any man. He had always
known. Yet, He chose. He chose to create. He chose to create man. He
chose to create you. He chose that in the Son, He would bear your
sin, that in Me, He, who is holy, would be able then to communicate
with you who is only made righteous by faith in the Son. Were it not
so, communication would be futile. (2 Corinthians 4:4, John 12:40, 2
Chronicles 7:14, Matthew 13, Isaiah 6:9) You observe this in your
day; those who see not and hear not because the truth is foreign to
Me: Yes, Holy
Spirit! If it were not for You, none of us would ever overcome our
Thank You for
speaking with me about these things! I love You!
Holy Spirit: You are welcome! I love you! I love the ones that still persist in their not seeing and in their not hearing, but I Am unwilling to override their choice.
I am grateful to have the Word of God
to hear and the Spirit of God to guide. I can scarcely imagine the
universe that some believe exists by some innumerable set of random
variations. (That started from what, exactly?)
“In everything, therefore, treat
people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law
and the Prophets. Jesus, Matthew 7:12
Me: Good afternoon Jesus!
Jesus: Good afternoon Jon!
Me: I didn’t mean for it to be afternoon before speaking with You in this journal entry. I went out to plow the snow drifts that accumulated last night, and it was a much bigger job than I expected. Beautiful, though. Thanks for the trio of young deer that ran by, heading North. They were lovely as well. Your creation is full of Your magnificence! Everywhere I look, there is reason for awe and amazement!
Jesus: You are welcome.
Me: Lately my company has been making a distinction in their statement of the “Golden Rule”, that we should treat others the way that they want to be treated. They made that assertion without any further explanation, as though it was self-evident. That has kind of bothered me, because it seemed a modification of my understanding of what the scripture says. I am grateful to You for showing me that I was wrong about that and that my perspective was actually a self-centered one.
Jesus: Yes, I thought it was high time that you had that sorted out. The difference is, of course, seeing it from the perspective of the person you are treating however you are treating them. You are the one who knows how you want to be treated and if you assume that the way that you want to be treated is the way that they want to be treated then you have not afforded them the same freedom as you have exercised over your own desires.
Me: Treating them how they want to be treated instead of how I want to be treated requires me to find out how they want to be treated.
Me: That is not always easy.
Jesus: It requires building a relationship and being sensitive to their reactions to you.
Me: That seems pretty hard. It certainly is not possible if my focus is on myself.
Jesus: The Spirit is given to guide you into all the truth.
Me: You are saying that truly understanding others is the work of God, aren’t You?
Jesus: Yes. The work of God in you. … and I saw every work of God, I concluded that man cannot discover the work which has been done under the sun. Even though man should seek laboriously, he will not discover; and though the wise man should say, “I know,” he cannot discover. – Ecclesiastes 8:17
Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?”Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” John 6:28-29
Me: Thank You Jesus! I am grateful to You for the things you tell me. I love You!