Washing

I am grateful for Your help discerning the sources of error in my power-capacity measurements at work.

Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,

Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

1 Peter 2:1,24

Me: Good morning Father!

Abba: Good morning Jon!

Me: How is it that being dead to sins, I still manage to commit some?

Abba: When you do, are you walking in faith of these revelations of the truth?

Me: Clearly not.

Abba: Jesus told you that He walked in faith. He remained entirely without sin. When you are in Him, that is your state as well.

Me: And when I sin, I am not in Him?

Abba: Consider Jesus’ parable of the vine in 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.

John 15

Me: Yes, Father, if sin enters my life it is always because I have neglected the word and the Word. When I do that, my natural inclination is to view the circumstance from my habitual perspective instead of from Yours. Then I am prone to judging harshly on incomplete knowledge or skewed perspective. That is, unless I am busy excusing myself!

Abba: The vinedresser works methodically. Clearing what is dead, diseased, or useless (like excusing yourself) – one snip at a time. The branch becomes stronger and in due time bears more fruit.

How about this passage?

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones.

31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Ephesians 5

Me: Thank You Father! I choose to abide in the word and in the Word. Please let Your Holy Spirit get my attention if I am remiss. I love You!

Abba: You are welcome! I Am doing the thing you ask. I love you!

Jesus’ Self Talk

I am grateful for You, Jesus!

1 Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.

2 After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.

3 Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.

Hosea 6

From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

Matthew 16:21

Me: Good morning Jesus!

Jesus: Good morning Jon!

Me: Jesus, most of Hosea is calling Israel and Judah to task for their idol worship and wrongdoing. Yet right in the middle of all that there live these three verses that open chapter 6. Is that the way that You knew that You would be raised up on the third day? Was this a message left to Your human self to prepare Your heart for the sacrifice You would make for us?

Jesus: You have heard the question posed, “What would you say to your future (our younger) self?” You have read of My struggle with consenting to My impending death in the garden (Matthew 26). I tell you that I was strengthened by this passage in Hosea, and with it I strengthened My disciples that they would know what was coming (or at least remember that I had told them when things occurred just as I said).

Me: What about the part of the passage about You coming as the rain? The later and the former rain unto the earth?

Jesus: The farmer knows the benefit of the former rain to sprout the seed and the latter rain to complete the growth of the crop to its full yield. Even so, the one who receives Me shall sprout unto new life, and the one who endures in me shall be brought into full fruition.

Me: I have to recognize, Jesus, that had I been able to go back and speak to My former self, I would still have been full of rebellion and willfulness, serving self with as much vigor as any Israelite ever bowed down to a lifeless image. There has never been a time when I did not need You as my Savior.

Jesus: I had to accept the passage in Hosea by faith, even as you must walk by faith.

Me: I am glad to know that, Jesus! I love You!

Jesus: I am glad to show that faith to you. I love you!

Night Fire

Ark

I am grateful for for the transforming power of Jesus. For left to our own way, we get something else:

God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Genesis 6:5

Me: Good evening Jesus!

Jesus: Good evening, Jon!

Me: I am also grateful we were able to make the trip to visit the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum with the grand kids last week. I pray they will continue to think about what they saw and let it soak in.

Jesus: It was a good investment in them.

Me: We are so very broken if we are not in communion with You. And now that we have Your saving grace and power available to us, I am saddened by how many choose their own way instead. I have had periods in my own life where I was choosing my own way – and suffering the negative consequences of those decisions – not as though I can stand in judgment from some lofty vantage point. It is as if the incredible sacrifice You made to save us is of no interest. I have friends whom I try to point to You, yet they continue to struggle with the consequences of bad choices. They may know a little about You, but they do not really know You. You remain just a character in the book, I suppose. I know myself how subtle errors in thinking (well, maybe not so subtle) can derail our ability to accept the intimacy you offer. We fail to take Romans 5:6 seriously: For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. We know we are sinful and imagine we have to clean ourselves up before we will become acceptable to You. Never mind that is You who enables any real change.

Jesus: I gave you a gift at the Ark Encounter last week, to be standing behind the Asian couple reading the display about there being no place for racism in Christianity. Did you see their delight at reading the message that all are descended from Adam, and from Noah and that the notion of race is a false construct?

Me: Yes! Thank You very much for that! The husband kept saying, “Makes sense!” They even turned to me and shared their joy at considering the truth of that fact, though I was a prefect stranger to them, in that moment they apparently felt the kinship and wanted to share their excitement! Because of their speech, I don’t think English was probably their first language. Yet the recognition of the truth was all over their faces!

Jesus: And at the Creation Museum you were standing next to the black woman who was looking at the display of brutal treatment that has accompanied slavery: shackles, pictures of awful scars from beatings, and separation of families on the auction block. Again, with the message that there is no place for such in Me. You could tell she was moved by the consideration of it. Did you know that she could tell the same about you?

Me: I wasn’t aware. I did say to her that it was clear why You called us to be one in You. How could it be that slavery has been excused? That mistreatment of others for any reason has been excused?

Jesus: I know you know this passage. It applies here.

There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

Proverbs 14:12, 16:25

Some justified slavery because the Bible speaks of slavery and because it has been prevalent down though history, they reasoned, being sovereign, I must have condoned it. They did not know Me, as you say. Nor did they believe me when I put the world into their power. Instead, men promptly began handing over their authority to the devil.

Me: Thank You for talking with Me Jesus! I love You! Thank You again for all the gifts!

Jesus: You are welcome! I love you!

Ark Encounter

Your Eyes

I am grateful for the day!

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Matthew 27:46

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.

Psalm 22:1-2

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.

Hebrews 13:5-6, 8

Me: Good morning, Holy Spirit!

Holy Spirit: Good morning, Jon!

Me: I have read, Holy Spirit, that Jesus was quoting Psalm 22 from the cross, to make it plain to his followers and the others around that they were seeing the prophecy detailed in that Psalm fulfilled. That seems to make some sense. I am unclear whether Jesus was truly wrestling with feeling forsaken, in the throes of unimaginable suffering and on the heels of his struggle to submit His 100% human will in the garden of Gethsemane not that long before.

Holy Spirit: He was tempted in like manner as all men. (Hebrews 2:18, 4:15)

Me: I recall from my reading of the prophet Habakkuk (chapter 1), a similar sense of dismay as to whether God would hear or look away because of sin:

The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see.

O Lord, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save!

Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention.

Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.

Then the charge comes from God for the prophet to consider the Chaldeans through He would send judgment on Israel for their sin. He speaks of the terribleness of the judgment in great detail

Habakkuk 1:5-11

Finally, Habakkuk gets back to considering You; that You are pure and holy and the instrument of Your judgment is not:

Art thou not from everlasting, O Lord my God, mine Holy One? we shall not die. O Lord, thou hast ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God, thou hast established them for correction.

Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?

And makest men as the fishes of the sea, as the creeping things, that have no ruler over them?

They take up all of them with the angle, they catch them in their net, and gather them in their drag: therefore they rejoice and are glad.

Therefore they sacrifice unto their net, and burn incense unto their drag; because by them their portion is fat, and their meat plenteous.

Shall they therefore empty their net, and not spare continually to slay the nations?

Habakkuk 1:12-17

Holy Spirit: And the object of judgment was not righteous either. Hence My judgment. Do not neglect that Jesus has borne all the judgment due you. You are under a new covenant. Jesus is your redeemer. Your part is to give your heart to Him and to allow Him to make it new. The choice is still yours. The power is God’s

Me: I am grateful for Your grace! I am grateful for Your provision! Thank You! I love You!

Holy Spirit: You are welcome! I love you!

Enablement

I am grateful for a sunshiny day!

My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

1 John 3:18

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

John 4:23-24

Me: Good morning, Holy Spirit!

Holy Spirit: Good morning, Jon!

Me: I wonder, when I read this passage, if You intend us to understand not love JUST by what we say, but to back it up by what we do. And, why does it say “neither in tongue” after saying “in word”?

Holy Spirit: Jesus, as always, is your example. You know that He loves by the proof of His (voluntary) death in your place. You can see from these verses that He was careful to tell you that He is your example:

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. John 13:34

As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. John 15:9

This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. John 15:12

For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. John 16:27

Further, consider the reason the passage tells you to love in deed and in truth. I Am the truth, this passage is referring to (John 14:6). Unless you are enabled by My power, you will not manage to love in deed for your own efforts will fall short. Remember Jesus’ own prayer in the garden for the strength to carry out the Father’s will on the night before His crucifixion (Matthew 26:36-46).

Except by Me, you will not be able to love God any better than you can love others. The kind of love that is required it My love:

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

John 4:23-24

Me: Thank You Holy Spirit! I love You!

Holy Spirit: You are welcome! I love you!

Sovereign of Time

I am grateful for Your self-sacrifice Jesus!

Me: Good evening, Jesus!

Jesus: Good evening, Jon!

Me: I have long had a sense, Jesus, that You are “outside” of time. But that does not seem quite the right perspective.

Jesus: I Am the Sovereign of time. I Am the Alpha and Omega; the Beginning and the End. I Am the Life. I Am the Author. I Am the Finisher. (Genesis 1:1-3; Exodus 3:14; John 11:25, 14:6; Revelation 21:6)

For by [Me] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by [Me], and for [Me]. Colossians 1:16

Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Isaiah 46:10

And sware by [Me] that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as [I] hath declared to [My] servants the prophets. Revelation 10:6-7

Me: Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. Revelation 4:11

… Holy, holy, holy, [are You, O] Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of [Your] glory! Isaiah 6:3

A Few Entries from My Gratitude Journal for Thanksgiving

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.

Thank You for Your wise provision! I Love You!

Land of Uprightness

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.

Me: Thank You Jesus! I love You! 

Jesus: You are welcome! I love you!

Freedom’s Source

I am grateful that my freedom comes from 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?

Luke 11:13

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.

Romans 13:10

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.

Romans 6:23

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.

Romans 8:37-39

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.

Me: Thank You Holy Spirit! I love You!

Holy Spirit: You are welcome! I love you!

All, All, All

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: Thank You Jesus! I love You!

Jesus: You are welcome! I love you!