Health and Healing #8

Eighth in a series about what the Bible has to say about healing.

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

James 1:2-8

I referenced this passage already in #3 with little commentary but would like us to revisit the problem of double mindedness (doubt) and faith. Most casual Bible readers can recite that “We walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). We can find evidence of the importance of wholeheartedness in Jeremiah the prophet:

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:13

and in the book of Revelation:


So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Revelation 3:16

Revelation 3:15

We have many sources that war against our walk of faith. That goes all the way back to the temptation in the Garden of Eden, “Has God really said?”

What if the doctor gives a bad report? He is highly trained. We have been programmed over a long time to count her trustworthy. In fact, the medical professional most likely will paint you the worst-case scenario. I expect he has been coached that to do less will expose him to more liability, lest someone claim he did not convey the seriousness of the situation. Our own symptoms vie for our constant attention, making it harder to have faith (expect) their sudden disappearance. Pains nag. We worry.

That is why the first part of our opening verses in James is so important. The Lord is faithful and affords us many opportunities to exercise our faith, perfecting us until we lack nothing!

In my journal earlier this week, the Lord reminded me how much this is like my personal physical exercise program. I could never have handled the weight that I work out with now when I was first starting out. No matter that I was much younger then. But by constantly pressing forward and building on the effort of days before, progress is slow and steady. Muscle tone gets better, bone density is maintained, circulation is improved, and I realize all manner of benefits.

When it comes to our walking by faith, we are well advised to not wait for a desperate crisis to get started.

It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.

Psalm 118:8

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Health and Healing #7

Installment seven in a series on what the scripture has to say about healing.

I am grateful, Father, that we know exactly who You are by what is revealed in the words and in the person of Jesus!

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:

Hebrews 1:1-3

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heir

This description of the deity of Jesus, as the express image of the Father, clearly stretches Meriam Webster’s second definition of heir to the n’th degree.

Remember the basic definition of the nucleus of an atom, made up of like charged particles? Do you remember that like charges repel one another? If you keep up with modern science, you may even have read about the so-called strong force that keeps the sub-atomic particles together that make up protons and neutrons, and the residual from this strong force that overcomes the natural repulsion of like-charged particles. (Fortunate for us!) I have not read anyone working in nuclear physics ask why these complicated things should be in the first place. Why should massless gluons act between quarks to make hadrons (protons and neutrons). Why should a residual force of these interactions be balanced to overcome the electrostatic repulsion of protons? Why do not oppositely charged electrons rush headlong into a collision with the nucleus? In Hebrews 1, we learn these things, and all else, are upheld by the word of his power.

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One might think Jesus therefore had His hands full with the many subatomic particles in the universe. But, no, He has time and inclination to speak to us. Do we have time to listen?

How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

Acts 10:38

Did you get that? Healing all. A-L-L. Did you recognize that what needed healing did not come from above?

He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose, the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

1 John 3:8

Jesus came to destroy that oppression (look back at Hebrews 1:3 for Jesus’ dealing with sin). Are we in Him? Are we walking according to His calling? Or are we habitually giving the enemy access to ourselves by going “our” own way?

For there is no respect of persons with God.

Romans 2:11

None of us is an exception in His sight. Salvation from sin and from sickness was purchased for all. The only caveat is God will not override our will. The choice remains with us. Do we continue with the deception proffered to Eve in the garden of Eden – has God really said? (Refer to Genesis 3.)

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Isaiah 53:4-5

P.S. Lest I set off a firestorm of objections that personal sin is not the cause of all sickness, let me say that I recognize that is a true statement. Sickness was released into the “very good” creation by original sin, and some of it now propagates by what some would term “natural” means. Nonetheless, deception is the sole weapon of the enemy. If we listen to him, we cooperate with our own destruction (John 10:10). This is a sad state of affairs for the believer who could be set free by knowing and following the truth (John 8:32). No one besides us has control. Our “decider” is ours alone. It is my prayer that my readers will persist in the revealed word, discover their identity in Christ, and find power to put the enemy and his works to flight.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

James 4:7
Night Fire

Health and Healing #6

1 When He was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him.
2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped Him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean.
3 And Jesus put forth His hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

16 When the even was come, they brought unto Him many that were possessed with devils: and He cast out the spirits with His word, and healed all that were sick:
17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.

Matthew 8:1-3, 16-17

https://biblehub.com/interlinear/isaiah/53-4.htm

The leper did not apparently doubt Jesus’ ability to heal, but was not sure of his willingness. Jesus said, “I will”. The scripture is clear here that Jesus healed all who came seeking.

God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). What He has done for another, He will do for you.

If you pay attention long, you will hear some assert that such miracles have passed away before our current era. They will, no doubt, rationalize their excuses in some way. Do not believe them, their rationalizations are merely the opinions of men being vaunted over the nature and character of the Lord. Instead, have faith in the eternal consistency and love of God (Hebrews 13:8).

https://biblehub.com/interlinear/hebrews/13-8.htm

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Health and Healing #5

Fifth in a series highlighting things the Bible has to say about the spiritual connections to health and healing. (This installment obviously a discussion with Jesus from my personal journal.)

Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

3 John 1:2-4 (NIV)

Bible Hub Interlinear for 3 John 1:2

Me: Lord , it seems there are a lot of senses that the word “soul” is given. Some take it to be synonymous with “spirit” and, if I recall correctly, Watchman Nee translated it as meaning the mind, will, and emotions (as distinct from the spirit). Strong’s has the Greek for this passage as psyche (from psucho; breath, spirit). Looking psyche up in the dictionary only serves to reinforce that this word has been twisted around a lot of different axles. How does the sense in which this is understood matter?

Jesus: To start on your question, let Me refer you to a passage that explicitly talks about bridging (or unifying) this division:

And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit (pneuma) and soul (psyche) and body (soma) be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians 5:23

God is Spirit (Pneuma), and those who worship Him must worship in spirit (pneumati) and truth.”

John 4:24

This passage in John 4 lets you know that God is Spirit. Yet no one who knows God would consider this identity as excluding the mind of God. Or emotions:

The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

1 John 4:8

Let me circle you back to the reference to walking in the truth in that opening passage from 3 John and compare this:

Jesus saith unto him, I Am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

John 14:6

You asked how the sense of soul (and spirit) matter. Let me remind you that John’s prayer is about “walking in the truth”. That is, that there be no shadow of division between the spirit soul and body. You referenced Romans 12:2 last time. That is a good verse to remember in this context. Those who are trusting in Me have been renewed in their spirit, in fact – have My Spirit indwelling, and must still be diligent to renew the mind. The body will be much more likely to align to the redeemed spirit if the mind is renewed with the truth (filled with the word, believed, and exercised in faith).

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Philippians 4:8 9

You also referenced this passage from Philippians last time, but it is well worth remembering. Many live as though they have no control over their own thoughts. The Spirit empowers such control, if the believer is willing to submit to the truth of the Word.

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

(2 Cor 10:5 NIV)

Paul shows a stark contrast between the negativity of the unregenerate heart and the one bearing a spiritual crop by the power of God:

Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Galatians 5:21-23

See here, as I spoke of the kingdom of God, and the people were healed as the truth was given:

And the apostles, when they were returned, told him all that they had done. And He took them, and went aside privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida. And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and He received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing.

Luke 9:10-11

But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:

1 Peter 1:15-17

One important marker of holy conversation is that it aligns with the Truth.

Me: Thank You Jesus! I love You! You have given me a lot to mull over!

Jesus: You are welcome! I love you!

Alan Gough’s Scroll Work for 23’rd Psalm (my photo)

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Health and Healing #4

Out of the Heart, the Mouth Speaks

Fourth in a continuing series of posts about the strong things the Bible has to say about health and healing and our part in it.

But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

Matthew 15:18-19

O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

Matthew 12:34-35

For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.

James 3:7-9

Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!

James 3:3-5

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.

Psalm 19:14

Though Jesus has pointed out in Matthew 15:18-19 (above) the involvement of the mouth of the unredeemed in his own defilement, There are plenty of other scriptures that highlight the source of a good heart, and the use of the mouth to empower the release of those things into your realm.

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

Proverbs 4:23

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Philippians 4:8

Jesus explains His the source of His words and the mighty importance of them.

For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.

John 12:49-50

The enemy hates our God’s-image-bearing souls. The scripture says the devil paces about, looking for prey. He has no power over a Christ-believer, unless the believer gives him the authority that rightfully belongs to the image bearer. Why would anyone do that? Often, we do it unwittingly. The devil has one method: deception. One deception is that our negative attitudes and talk are empty. In fact, by what we believe and say, we open the door to his attack. Remember that we just read that our faithless spew defiles; defiles our life, defiles our health, defiles our peace, defiles our purpose, and on and on. Don’t volunteer to be prey.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

1 Peter 5:8

And He tells us how our speech will come to reflect truth. The speech of the Holy Spirit describes our future. However, if we, being made in His image, instead speak a negative prophecy of our future, that power is given to us. We can have what we say. Our words are NOT empty. They reveal our attitude and our expectations. Another way to say it: Our words reveal the nature of our faith.

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

John 16:13

Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

Proverbs 18:21

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Romans 12:2

Sickness does not conform to the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Instead it belongs to the realm of him who comes to steal and kill and destroy.

How can we renew our minds to resist conforming to the worldly outlook? We learn the promises of God, and we believe them. Let those promises be the power that crosses our lips. This transformation does not happen overnight, but let it begin today.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Philippians 4:8

Always been this way?

Health and Healing #3

This is the third post in a series on things the Bible has to say about the healing nature of Jehovah Rapha, God our Healer. It is my hope as we progress, that you, dear reader, will become awed by the depth of the Scriptural evidence of this part of the redemption purchased for believers by Jesus at the cross as surely as we trust in His deliverance from the penalty of sin.

Let’s start today by considering the authority of the believer and the importance of our words and their backing by belief.

And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

Mark 11:22-25

What is your mountain? What apparently-immovable hindrance (or attitude) is blocking your way? If your self talk is defeatist, that hill will indeed remain stationary. Instead let your words be filled with faith in Him!

Does it go without saying? Those who practice witchcraft are attempting to conjure according to a perversion of this principle. Namely, that the form of their words will fabricate the outcome they desire (by magic). Notice in Mark 11:22 that the praying believer is first to have faith in God and in verse 25 is to believe he is receiving from God. It is God’s power. We know from the Scripture that God is holy. (If we know Him at all, our experience with Him bears that out, without question.) That He is holy means that He is wholly consistent: His words perfectly match His actions and His acts entirely obey His word. He never violates His nature: loving, just, wise, forbearing, giving, protecting, nurturing, attentive, to name a few characteristics. Do not, therefore, get the wrong idea about this awesome spiritual principle.

Here is another good evidence of our Source and His consistency:

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

James 1:17

Good and perfect gifts are evidence of His consistently loving nature. I love that He is referred to as the “Father of lights” here. Jesus contrasted of the good gifts given by the Father with the best we can muster on our own:

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

Matthew 7:11

A couple of passages in Genesis provide some exhortation to make our voice and our belief consistent, because we were made to be in harmony with Him (in His nature).

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Genesis 1:27

Backing up to the first part of Genesis 1 we find repeated reference to God speaking all of creation into existence. You know how it goes. He was exercising precisely the consistent expectation that Jesus is telling us to have in Mark 11. Making our words reflect unwavering faith in promises that we expect Him to deliver on is one way we are to walk in His way as image-bearers of our Creator.

Note there was no stubborn resistance to the Word of God in His creation work. No stars failed to begin their nuclear reactions, no galaxies failed to take their appointed shape. No particle of creation refused to exert gravitational attraction of all the other particles. That bears repeating. First He said, “let there be”, then, “and there was”.

Be wary that doubt counters faith. Don’t despair. We usually get opportunity to practice greater stability.

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

James 1:2-8

Who is the enemy that contends against you? You do not face your accuser alone.

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish.
Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought.
For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.

Isaiah 41:10-13

Finally, remember that these words of the Father in Isaiah are looking forward to the deliverance Jesus would attain for us at the Cross. Our perspective is looking back to the finished work of Jesus.

It is finished.

John 19:30

Health and Healing #2

Second in a series of scriptures and meditations on what the Bible has to say about the healing gifts of God through our Savior Jesus.

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Romans 10:9

There will be more on this as we go, but for now let me assert that salvation is first a spiritual redemption that has the potential to effect remarkable change in the body and soul as we walk by faith in the truth of His promises. Let me also try to drive home the power of what comes out of our mouths. Here is a powerful promise to walk in:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

John 14:12

How is this even possible? We live in a world that seems to delight in communicating the powerlessness of the individual against forces that are presented as overwhelming. That is a lie. The believer in Jesus can have the very presence of God in the depths of his being in the Person of the Holy Spirit. No power can stand against Him, save your free will (because He allows it).

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

John 16:7


Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

John 14:17

Look at these instructions Jesus gave to the 70 as He sent them out:

Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

Matthew 10:8

Does that seem like work you would expect out of common folk: fishermen, tax collectors, laborers, craftsmen? I will leave you with a demonstration of a possible, even likely, stumbling block. Unbelief. It stymied even Jesus:

And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things? And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house. And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

Matthew 13:50-58

Sometimes unbelief manifests itself in what we think we know instead of allowing ourselves to be convinced of the truth revealed in Scripture.

Looking west from home.

Health and Healing #1

Did you know that the Bible has a lot to say about health and healing? I thought I might start to share some of these passages, one at a time.

10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

1 John 5:10-15

Well, maybe one more verse in an effort to belabor the point:


The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

John 10:10

These passages are speaking to those with a vital relationship with the Lord Jesus. Believers may pray for others and see healing as a witness. This is essentially what Jesus was doing in His earthly ministry with regard to healing. The power of it was mysteriously flowing slightly upstream in time from the work He would finish later at the cross. If you want to see these promises at work in your life on a consistent basis, ask Jesus for that relationship. He longs to have that rapport with you, to welcome you as family.

Notice the life is IN the Son, and it is available to those who are in relationship with Him. Much more to come…

In Him all Things Hold Together

I am grateful for getting some of the barn signs in the county down today. It was below freezing and windy, but I really enjoyed my Wife’s company and help.

15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Colossians 1

Me: Good evening Jesus!

Jesus: Good evening, Jon!

Me: Thank You Jesus, for holding everything together.

Jesus: My plan requires it to hold together.

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29

Do you think about the plans that I have for you?

Me: I wonder sometimes, Jesus, if my belief that I am on the path you want me on is fully under the guidance of the Spirit and not merely a product of inertia.

Jesus: It is not merely inertia. I promised the Spirit to guide you into all truth (John 16:13) and you have a heart to listen. I Am faithful to speak to those who have a heart to listen. I am faithful to speak to you.

Me: I cannot overstate what that promise means to me. I honestly don’t know how people who don’t know You get out of bed in the morning.

The opening passage talks about You as creator of thrones and powers, rulers and authorities. You must be disappointed in our current authorities and their dismissal of Your plan. No, more their dismissal of You.

Jesus: Yes, I Am disappointed whenever any chooses not to have a relationship with Me.

Me: Is it more rampant now?

Jesus: Sin is progressive. Small steps at first. Eventually rushing headlong to destruction.

Me: We have elected officials who refuse to fix a broken voting system, the foundation of our republic. They draw back from making changes when cheaters cry foul. I know you see all this. My tendency is to believe that many elections are swayed by antics such as the dead voting. Am I a conspiracy theorist?

Jesus: No, what you sense is the truth. Let me remind you that this too falls under the “all things” coverage of Romans 8:28 –

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Also, in every age there has been a remnant dedicated wholeheartedly to Me. It is the same now. You meet many of them. Remnants do not win elections. They do tread the path to life eternal.

13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Matthew 7

Me: Thank You Jesus! I love You!

Jesus: You are welcome! I love you!

Photo by Janko Ferlic on Pexels.com

Abundantly Above

14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. 20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Ephesians 3

First things first. Paul is speaking to those who have joined God’s family by accepting the sacrifice Jesus made for us at the cross as efficacious for bringing us in. The world refers to us as Christians. Jesus knows us as family. We know Him as awesome! If that doesn’t describe you, just ask Him to help you begin that journey. If I have learned anything of Him, it is that He is faithful and that His offering of Himself to pay the sin-debt that we have accrued is a finished work.

When this passage speaks of the riches of His glory, does that resonate? Have you considered the endless expanse of the heavens on a cold winter night when untold suns twinkle from unimaginable distances? Have you considered that by His breath, He uttered “let there be”, and they were? Have you seen the reflection of the moon on the sea, shattered in sight into a thousand shards by the waves? Have you watched the tides progress by their lunar timetable? Have you listened and wondered at the whisper of wind carrying the sent of pines? Seen the glint of trout in clear mountain stream? Have you ever peered into a microscope at any of the universe too small for unaided human eyes to behold? Do you feel the tug of gravity? Have you considered the pull of every particle of creation on every other? Have you marveled that no corpuscle of matter exists alone? Do you note that it is by His power that all these things hold together (Colossians 1:17)? Have you comprehended that a lifetime of contemplating His majesty will not scratch the surface?

This. This is the One, who by His Spirit strengthens the believer in his inner man, who places in the ones who will accept Him, the very Spirit of Christ! To dwell, no less; to be at home.

The passage makes it clear that we walk in this truth by faith in Him and in this promise. Though we are indwelt/born again in our spirit by His Spirit. Our minds are still full of doubt and in need of an extreme makeover. We are called to participate in a transformation, in a renewing of the mind (Romans 12:2, Ephesians 4:23). We need to immerse ourselves in His Word (John 1:1), recognizing its truth until we are liberated (John 8:32). We must be set free from that we have believed that is not true; about ourselves, about others, and primarily, about Him.

Does that seem like an insurmountable task? That is why this passage tells us whose power is at work. Not our power, but His. Once you get this, you will see that the length and breadth and height spoken of in verse 18 of Ephesians 3 dwarf the inestimable dimensions of the universe that we peer into on those clear nights.

Christmas Cactus in November

In the beginning, in the garden, the temptation was to self-determination, rather than focus on the desire of our Maker. We have centuries of evidence of the results of that decision. If we know God for who He is, we can’t fail to recognize how that choice was made in the shadow of deception and how deluded one is to hold to it now. Praise be to God, in Jesus we have redemption and a way back (recovery)!