Mansions Above are not Real Estate

I am grateful, Jesus, for the place prepared!

1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

John 14

Me: Good morning, Jesus!

Jesus: Good morning, Jon!

Me: I thank you for Your prompting to investigate the Greek behind “mansions” in John 14:2! I have never lived in a mansion, and frankly, this passage has never resonated much with me, until now.

Jesus: Yes, many have not felt the desire to seek after a fancy place to call home. But as you found out, I was talking about the marvelous and unmatched privilege of you personally, permanently abiding in relationship with the Father, and with Me, and with the Holy Spirit; all the fullness of God. The culmination of my preparation occurred at the cross, as I told Thomas:

4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?

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

John 14

In fact, all the rest of John 14 consists of my efforts to get the disciples to look past the impending terror of the cross to the fullness of the abiding life that I Am making possible.

You should look upon the translators with grace. Words fail any effort to describe the majestic panorama of the union I Am promising and is growing even now.

Me: Thank You Jesus! Thank You! I love You!

Jesus: You are welcome! Welcome home! I love you!

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Reasons to Give Thanks

I am thankful for growth, that we are constantly being built up in You, more firmly established day by day.

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

Colossians 2:6-7

Me: Good evening, Jesus!

Jesus: Good evening, Jon!

Me: There is a “therefore” in Colossians 2:6. What is that there for?

Jesus: That verse stands upon the whole chapter. Paul was exhorting the Colossians to look to Me for guidance and to be able to put aside those who were bent on introducing misleading doctrines (heresies).

Me: I see some specific examples enumerated in the chapter.

Jesus: What do you see? It will be beneficial to list them.

Me: O.K. –

  1. Comfort, overcoming disquiet
  2. Unifying love
  3. Faith/assurance in understanding (not tentative)
  4. Acknowledgment of the mystery of the Goddhead
  5. Treasure trove of wisdom and knowledge in God
  6. All the above as a guard against being misled or enticed into believing attractive error
  7. Order (I Am is a God of order, not chaos. )
  8. Steadfastness
  9. Faith (in Christ)
  10. Thankfulness/gratitude
  11. Wariness against deceit, philosophy, traditions of men and the world
  12. Recognition that Jesus is the exact (complete) representation of the Godhead
  13. Recognition that we are complete in Him
  14. Recognition that Jesus is Supreme over all powers and principalities
  15. Recognition that we are given power to overcome sin in Christ
  16. We are identified with Jesus in His death (to sin) and resurrection (to eternal life)
  17. In Jesus, the law and its condemnation was fulfilled and no longer contrary to us
  18. In Jesus, we have triumph over those (evil) powers and principalities
  19. We are not to submit to legalism, but see our whole existence in Christ
  20. Jesus nourishes and holds His body together and enables it to increase (if we are bonded to Him)
  21. Those identified in the death of Christ are not subject to the ordinances of the world as a way to serve God
  22. There ought not to be any pride in obeying the ordinances of the world

Jesus: What do you think now?

Me: There is an absolutely astonishing array of guidance, protection, wisdom, and promise to be thankful for in that chapter!

Jesus: Was it helpful to write down the points made?

Me: Yes, it was! Thank you! I love You!

Jesus: You are welcome! I love you!

The Evil

Jesus, I am grateful for the things that You speak. They are truth and they are life!

13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. John 17

John 17

https://biblehub.com/interlinear/john/17-15.htm (link added 11/19/2021)

Me: Good evening, Jesus!

Jesus: Good evening, Jon!

Me: I take great comfort in Your prayer for us. Would You help me with the significance of praying to keep us from the evil?

Jesus: Does the specific article surprise you? I want you to realize that evil is cohesive in that it represents all that has diverged from Me and My nature (and therefore My plan) according to the choice I Am giving man and had given the angels before man. The fact that the evil is manifested in myriad ways does not detract from its unified characteristic. [Hebrews 3:12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.]

To say it another way, I AM holy. All that are not in Me and I in them are unholy. [Leviticus 11:44-45, 19:2, 20:7, 26, 1 Peter 1:16]

Me: Thank You, Jesus! I love You! I am thankful that Your word is both true and sanctifying. Thank You for paying my ransom!

Jesus: You are welcome! I love you!

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Love and War

The Lord is a man of war: the Lord is his name.

Exodus 15:3

These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

Revelation 17:14

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords.

Revelation 19:11-16

He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

1 John 4:8

Are these statements about the nature and character of God incongruous?

Linked from https://www.ushmm.org/

Many persons in the armed services, law enforcement personnel, fire and medical first-responders, even parents; any whom have stood in the gap to protect others against the onslaught of evil unleashed in the world has no problem answering that question. Love is, in fact, the most effective motivation. Love enables one to look malevolence in the eye and stand for what is right and true, whatever the personal cost. The cost may not be trivial:

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

John 15:13

Peter learned that it takes more than passion to walk the path of sacrifice.

Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.

John 13:37-38

We have to pick a side. This is war, after all.

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

1 John 3:8 does not mean we do not sin or have lost the capacity to sin. Those who are in Jesus have been redeemed from the controlling power of sin (as long as we desire to be). Surely you can see that if I sin, I am not carrying out the mission of the One described in the passage above from Revelation 19. What am I doing then? Aiding the enemy, making myself less fit for service to the King. Remember? This is war. Such transgressions start to have the stench of treason.

What are we to do? One thing, is recognize we have been issued state-of-the-art equipment. Put it on.

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.”
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

Ephesians 6

A soldier needs to know his mission. Not just generally, but the details of it. Generally, we get the gist of the mission from the written word. Are you in it enough to know the mission outline? The details come through our relationship with the Living Word. We have cutting-edge communications. Are we listening?

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

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 15:14-15, 16:13

We have a Faultless Example; understanding the enemy, communicating constantly with the Commander, encouraging His troops, faithfully executing the mission through giving in the power of love, whatever the cost.

7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
10 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.
11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

John 10

Liberty!

I am grateful for the gift of salvation, believing that You empower me to become more like You!

[For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Ephesians 2:8;

Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. John 4:10;

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12]

14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

from James 2

Me: Good evening, Jesus!

Jesus: Good evening, Jon!

Me: I have read this passage out of James 2, thinking that James felt that works were preeminent in the life of the believing. That works are evidence, – a litmus test – as it were, of the fidelity of a disciple’s walk in You. It seemed to me to be an outpouring of a lifelong adherence to Judaism as it was practiced by the Pharisees in Jame’s time.

Jesus: Do not miss the earlier unmistakable reference that James made in verse 12:

So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.” Compare Galatians 5:1 to see what he was talking about:

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

James is simply exhorting to consider carefully whether your faith is placed in Me, resulting in a changed heart and changed works or in some idol (self is a common one) resulting in nothing. This is worth constant attention: are you in Me and I in you? If you are, the works will follow of themselves, as Mine do also. In fact, the works that will flow out of your life will be mine. You may walk in them freely.

If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. John 8:36

Me: Thank You Jesus! I love You!

Jesus: You are welcome! I love you!

Finding

I am grateful for Your faithfulness!

Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:

Isaiah 55:6

Me: Good evening, Jesus!

Jesus: Good evening, Jon!

Me: May You not always be found, Lord? Are you not always near?

Jesus: I may always be found by the one who desires to find me:

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

Jeremiah 29:13

Prior to the end, Perception of My presence is up to you. What do you call someone who goes where he is unwelcome?

Me: Intrusive? Unsought? Annoying?

Jesus: Do you think I will win any hearts, if I Am those things?

Me: Not the way You made us.

Jesus: That is right. “Unsought” is the test I use to know if I Am welcome with anyone. I seek a loving relationship with you. I could dominate I chose, but that is not why I made you. Nearly everyone knows someone who is insensitive to social cues. Even though they mean well, they may be seen as selfish and intrusive. Why? Because they are self-focused. You know I Am not like that.

Me: Why do you say “Perception” of Your presence?

Jesus: I am, of course, omnipresent. My existence everywhere and (every-when) is a feature of My nature. David knew this:

Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

Psalm 139: 7-16

For those who desire My company, as David (sometimes) did, I Am ever there for them. For those who do not, My presence is not obvious. The part of man that was made to perceive spirit did die in the Garden. It it only restored with the new birth when one chooses to answer My call. Then one can hear my voice. Here is an example of some who did not even when they could see me physically:

Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.

John 10:24-31

I promised My presence through Moses at the threshold of entering the land I swore to Abraham. Moses related it to Joshua in the hearing of all the people.

Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

Deuteronomy 31:6,8

I reinforced that promise to Joshua directly. This is who I Am.

There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

Joshua 1:5

To the disciples and all who would follow, I reassured of My closeness.

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Matthew 28:20

My invited presence is the key to a successful and joyful life.

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.

Hebrews 13:5

Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

Isaiah 55:6-13

Though I allow a relationship with Me to be optional, none should think that it does not matter at the last.

And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Revelation 3:14-22

Me: Thank You Jesus! Thank You for helping me to dig into these passages to hear what You are saying about them! I am blessed indeed to have Your promise to be with Me! I don’t know how those who do not know you, navigate their days. I love You!

Jesus: You are welcome! I love You, and I love that you love being with Me!

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Generations

I am grateful for Your mercy!

Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.

Matthew 17:17

He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me.

Mark 9:19

And Jesus answering said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you, and suffer you? Bring thy son hither.

Luke 9:41

Me: Good evening Jesus!

Jesus: Good evening, Jon!

Me: You know, Jesus, that last week I sat through another of those talks about improving one’s approach to the different attitudes and beliefs of the generations. It seems to me the basis of the books and lectures I have been exposed to is that every “generational cohort” has a set of more-or-less common experiences that shape outlooks.

Jesus: What did they say that resonated with you?

Me: I can certainly see a foundation for the notion that major life events could shape one’s thinking. I thought of my own upbringing during the cold war, complete with nonsensical duck and cover drills in grade school. Many in my generation developed fatalistic attitudes, not expecting to reach adulthood.

Jesus: Fatalistic attitudes are not limited to your generation. Why do you say the drills were nonsensical?

Me: A little later in life, when I had real NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) warfare training in the military, and had seen from close-in video records how the shockwave of a nuclear yield tosses everything in the air and then blows it away. I saw pictures of items further out etched on regular walls by the flash. I realized that ducking under a school desk with one’s hands on his head was really a kind of placebo, not a survival tactic.

Jesus: What did you find most eye opening from the presentation on generational interaction?

Me: One thing was hearing the defining anxiety for the latest generation getting to working age (gen-Z, I think) is fear of the consequences of global warming. That it would be incumbent upon employers to present their best “sustainable” face in order to attract and retain these workers because they had a need to feel they were “part of the solution rather than part of the problem”. Another thing was that at least part of the Millennial generation in the United States was strongly shaped by the events of September 11th, 2001.

I had just finished watching a documentary on the collapse of the Twin Towers and building 7 that brought up a lot of unanswered questions and asserted the discovery of residue of high tech thermite in the debris along with steel micro-spheres, which require molten steel to form. Those assertions (with many others) and those explanations that have commonly been put forth are at odds.

During the section in the presentation relating the different concerns shaping the various generations, It immediately occurred to me that no mater the generation, if these things were the defining events, they were all also highly politicized and the narratives that had been put forth were carefully constructed. They all bear the marks of propaganda designed to produce fear.

Jesus: Your observation about playing on fear is as accurate as it is intentional by those involved. Worse things are coming ahead of My return, nonetheless.

And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

Luke 21:25-27

Yet those who listen to Me hear My admonition to fear not.

But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.

Luke 12:31-33

Perfect Love gets rid of fear.

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

And fear of any but Me is inconsistent with who I Am. To be made perfect in love is to grow in perfect relationship with Me. That is not of your own doing, but My gift, if you will accept it.

He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

1 John 4:8

Me: What about the influence of the parents on the next generation?

Jesus: I gave parents the responsibility for raising their children.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6

Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates:

Deuteronomy 11:18-20

Most have vested this responsibility in stewards from whom they have required no accountability. Many have abdicated altogether. Your nation has adopted law pertaining to public schools contrary to My instructions in Deuteronomy 11 for parents. Much more often than parents know, their children are taught that the beliefs of their parents are outdated and wrong. So even if parents endeavor to teach My principles for life at home, they are being undermined in many cases.

I have given plenty of warning that the spiritual condition of parents has long-term consequences.

Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

Exodus 20:5

Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.

Exodus 34:7

The Lord is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.

Numbers 14:18

Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,

Deuteronomy 5:9

You know anger often comes in response to fear. Consider these instructions.

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Ephesians 6:4

Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.

Colossians 3:21

Me: The presenter of the talk on generational interactions said over and over that different beliefs and outlooks are not wrong and need to be embraced by the other generations, written into policy, and trained into the workforce. It seemed to me an assertion that moral relativism was fine. Just. Fine. Truth? What Pilate said…

Jesus: Here is a truth you can count on.

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

Proverbs 14:12, 16:25

I want to talk to you about another passage that you have not recognized is related.

But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented.

Matthew 11:16-17

Do you recognize the voice of the children of this generation? Saying to each other, “Fall into line with us. Do as we say is right and you will be accepted.”

“Peer pressure” and “Wokeness” are the order of the day. But I Am saying, “Listen to My voice! Set your heart on things above! Be filled with My Spirit! Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. 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: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Matthew 7:12-14

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

Jeremiah 29:13

Me: Thank You Jesus! I love You! I pray you will help me have the right attitudes.

Jesus: You are welcome! I Am working on your attitudes as you submit them to Me. I love you!

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Withered?

12 And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry:

13 And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet.

14 And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.

15 And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves;

16 And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.

17 And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.

18 And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine.

19 And when even was come, he went out of the city.

20 And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.

21 And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.

22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.

23 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.

24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

27 And they come again to Jerusalem: and as he was walking in the temple, there come to him the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders,

28 And say unto him, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things?

29 And Jesus answered and said unto them, I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.

30 The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me.

31 And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did ye not believe him?

32 But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed.

33 And they answered and said unto Jesus, We cannot tell. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.

from Mark 11
Photo by Dave Meckler on Pexels.com

I sat with an acquaintance (who shall remain anonymous) this evening who was recounting one after another of the things he judged to be perpetually wrong in his life, voicing his anger toward this family member or that one, the failure of mental health people to help him, his various “diagnoses”, why others were to blame for Every. Single. Thing. I found only one thing he said that I agreed with: the failure of those working in the mental health profession to help him. The truth can set one free from all these maladies. Coping strategies are, at best, only learning to live with one’s demons. If one has been conditioned that error is truth and truth is error, well, the steering is going to be off. Neither mental health professionals, nor I, nor anyone else can force someone to walk in truth they have discounted. (Why that condition exists in this case is a long story.)

I did try to get this friend to agree to look at the passage in Mark 11, especially verses 23 & 24. If one has a mountain to move, what are his chances of success if he dissipates all his energy giving voice to his inadequacy and the impossibility of the task?

The passage talks about believing and not doubting. Doubting in this context is simply unbelief. Belief vs. unbelief. Verse 22 says “Have faith in God.” That is who we are talking about here. People who know God. This friend says he is in that category.

I am sure the fig tree in this passage serves as an object lesson for exactly how to have a withered life. (Hoping one would choose to avoid that end, of course.) Where is the wisdom in a man cursing his own existence? If one does so, while blaming God for not “fixing” it, what shall we do with that promise in verse 23 that says, “[H]e shall have whatsoever he saith”?

I have written extensively before about the value of lending one’s voice to the truth the scripture proclaims about the believer. That is, acknowledging who we are in Christ.

My unhappy and misguided friend is applying his energy rushing headlong in a diametrically-opposed direction. We would all still be on that path if we were unable or unwilling to believe Jesus’ sacrifice for our sin is sufficient. Something deep inside recognizes the truth that we deserve destruction, except we acknowledge the value He places in us. Redemption in Christ brings us into His glorious light, even from the deepest darkness.

Lord, please open my friend’s eyes, for things are possible with You which are impossible with men. I know also, that he is not alone. I know what it is like. I thank You for leading me away from cursing my own life with the lips you gave me to express gratitude and Your majesty, and to marvel at all You have made and continually sustain for our benefit. I pray these words might give guidance to any who need to find You and learn to say what You say. Blessing and not cursing.

By Him All Things Consist

I am grateful that You have already given everything needed for life and godliness!

But he answered and said, “It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Matthew 4:4

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

2 Peter 1:3-4

Me: Good evening, Jesus!

Jesus: Good evening, Jon!

Me: Thank You for a pleasant day traveling toward home with You and Jeannie!

Jesus: You are welcome! Happy to be along!

Me: I cannot imagine a way to thank You enough for Your promises! The bonus of being a partaker in Your nature seems to eclipse all the promises individually, and even taken all together, as great as they are!

Jesus: If you are filled by my Holy Spirit, how could you be otherwise than a partaker of My nature? My divine nature is My Spirit. Likewise, My Spirit in you is My divine nature.

What you have lacked in understanding stems from the view that My Spirit is ethereal in the commonly held sense of no substance discernible by the physical senses. My Spirit is ethereal, in fact. But unlike the common conception, the mighty flow of My Spirit powers the entire created heavens and earth, the spiritual realm as well as the physical; giving form and substance and energy beyond the ability of man to conceive.

For by him 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 him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Colossians 1:16-17

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:  That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:4-10

Me: Marvelous! I love You Jesus! Thank You!

Jesus: I’m glad you liked My revelation to your heart! You are welcome! I love you!

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Gripe Not

I am grateful that You are the Sovereign of the universe, and I am not.

Me: Good evening Jesus!

Jesus: Good evening Jon!

Me: I was reading Step Four in the Alcoholics Anonymous Twelves Steps and Twelve Traditions book, and it was talking about various character defects as examples that they might help one learn to examine them. It sort of jumped out at me that this sentence was one of those hit-the-nail-on-the-head moments:

… griping that others failed to recognize my truly exceptional abilities?

While the authors didn’t also mention the desire to say, “I told you so!”, they could have. Then the thought came that You had many fail to recognize Your truly exceptional abilities. Yet, I’m sure You never griped about it and I can’t think of an instance of You telling an individual that they had been warned after things went wrong. What is the secret to being at peace about such “votes of no confidence”?

Jesus: Have you noticed that you do not also have a tendency to analyze ways in which your own shortcomings contribute to various problems, especially failing to help those you are responsible for adequately prepare to meet what is expected of them from those with higher authority in the organization? I know that the items that progress into crisis mode are most evident once someone in authority begins to express they view it as a problem. But as a manager (technically) responsible for directing the work of another you would do well to help them with your experience. I know the “chain of command” that is referred to in military service is often violated in private business; your protege’s get directions you hear nothing about unless there is some kind of trouble. Meanwhile, you tend to assume all is well, whether there is a storm brewing, or not.

I know the end from the beginning. Do you ask Me about these things, and what you should do about them? Recognize My truly exceptional ability to help! I ask My Father about everything. Then I do what He tells Me. This is the answer to your question about how I remained at peace. It is faithless to gripe about things you have asked Me to help with. If you have not, it is because you have asked not.

The best kind of discernment, is My discernment. I will help you with insight into the unseen. I know the thoughts and intents of the heart. Just ask.

Recognize, also, that I chose a few to disciple. These were generally not among those casting no-confidence votes, though they were all works in progress; as are you. This is the secret to multiplying the exceptional abilities that I Am giving you. Seek Me. Listen carefully. See clearly. Be diligent. Abide in Me. Keep My love for you and for your charges in mind. Love them in the power of the Spirit.

If you find you have detractors, so do I. Do not blame them. Pray for them. They are being used by the accuser, almost certainly without consciousness.

Me: Thank You Jesus! I love You! I ask you to help me make a habit of seeking You about these situations. I have so much I need to grow in!

Jesus: You are welcome! I love you! I am helping you grow. I Am the Vine.