Taking Part

Taking part this week in the Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest over at Chelsea Owens blog. It’s great fun!

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Wall Paradox?

I am grateful to be able to stay home today, to just watch it snow and not have to travel anywhere.

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. – Galatians 3:26-28

The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; – John 17:22

11 Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, 16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; 18 for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit. – Ephesians 2

1 Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. – Ephesians 4For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. – Galatians 5:17

34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; 36 and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. – Matthew 10 (v35 quoted from Micah 7:6)

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. – Hebrews 4:12

Me: Good morning Jesus!

Jesus: Good morning Jon!

Me: I pasted a lot of scriptures in the beginning of my journal entry for today. It seems the Spirit was leading from one to another in a trail of connections. I’m not sure I understand. There seems to be a paradox embedded in there.

Jesus: What kind of paradox?Me:Well, I thought at first, it was all verses about unity and seemingly in agreement with Your prayer for oneness John 17:22.

There is even Paul’s discourse in Ephesians 2 about the breaking down of the “barrier of the dividing wall” apparently segregating Jew and Gentile.

Jesus: That is not quite right. Let’s talk about that first.

Me: What is not quite right?

Jesus: What the dividing-wall divided. Paul was, in fact talking to Gentiles about their having been brought in by my having broken down the “enmity” which represents the thing that the law was pointing out: God is holy and man is sinful. Sin is therefore a definitive division between God and man; the ordinances of the law offering continual proof of the inability of men to keep them – that is, making plain which side of the wall one is on. Paul says explicitly in that passage in Ephesians 2 that I, in My flesh, “abolished” that enmity, that division. The enmity I abolished is the one between God and man. In My flesh, I bore your sin on the cross that it should no longer have legal power over you. He was telling the Ephesians that the same provision I made to bring the Jew in, made a way for them to the brought in as well. There is no difference in the provision. It is one and the same act. So, Jew and Gentile are joined in that they can choose God’s side of the wall.

Look extremely carefully. I did not break down the wall. I broke down the barrier that the wall presents. I made a way (Isaiah 43:19). I AM the way (John 14:6). “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life (John 5:24).

This is incomprehensible if you lose sight of the fact that God is Spirit (John 4:24) and sinful man is dead to spiritual things (Ephesians 2:1). The nature of the “barrier of the dividing wall” is death (spiritual followed by physical). The death wrought in man by sin is what separates from God who is the very essence of life. I Am the life (John 14:6).

The rest of the verses the Spirit led you to have to do with the fact that I have not removed your ability to choose your actions while you are still in your physical body. Those verses say clearly that the evidence of that truth is plainly seen; My word sharply marking the division. But if you choose Me, if you choose to walk in the Spirit, then your life can become a fulfillment of My prayer for unity with Me. And if you are one with Me, then you will be one with all others who are one with Me.

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

Jesus:You are welcome! My pleasure! I love you!

Escanaba River, Gwinn MI

Gratitude Journal, 12/28/2017

I am grateful for this week off from work to rest my mind from the urgencies of the office, the opportunity to more clearly fix my attention on things above and to cultivate a keener perspective on the proper place of temporal pursuits.

 

At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.

 

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” [Matthew 11:25-30]

Truth vs Death

1 John 5:1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. 2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.  6  This is the one who came by water and blood Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. 9 We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. 11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

Me:
Good morning Holy Spirit!

 

Holy Spirit:
Good morning Jon!

 

Me:
This passage contains yet another of those affirmations that You are One; Father, Son, and Spirit. Jesus said I Am the truth (John 14:6), and here, John is pointing out that You are the truth.

 

Holy Spirit:

Remember, Jesus also said, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; (John 14:16)

 

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17)

 

The sum of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting. (Psalms 119:160)

 

Truth is corrupt in the earth. Even the understanding of what truth is, has become corrupt. Every man goes his own way, thinking he gets to choose what he will believe to be true. He is even taught to think, “what is true for me”. There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. (Proverbs 14:2) The ones who teach this relativistic abomination are not of Me. There is an accelerating move in the world to revise history. The truth is often uncomfortable. It does not support the lie that man has become more enlightened and has evolved into a state that does not need a redeemer. The truth is often uncomfortable. It points out that it is you that needs to change, without regard to what the other fellow is doing.

 

Note carefully how this Word in 1 John 5 connects Truth and Life from the positive side, while Proverbs 14:2 explains the consequences of not taking the Way of Truth.

 

Me:
Thank You, Holy Spirit! I love You explanations and Your exhortations! I love You!

 

Holy Spirit:

You’re welcome! I love You!

Truth in Flesh Appearing

The sum of Your words is Truth, And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting. Psalms 119:160

 

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

 

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. John 14:6.

 

In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures. James 1:18

 

Me:
Thank you Father, for the Truth that You have bestowed upon us in the Son! I look around me and the planet is filled with those who are concerned with their “messaging” and with “controlling the narrative”. I suppose this is due, in part, to the narrow perspective from which what they are saying can reasonably be claimed true. It is not so with You. Whatever the perspective, seeking in adoration or railing in denial, what You put forth simply is. I love the stability of Your Truth and therefore the reliability.

 

ABBA:
You are welcome! I bestow because I love. Yes, I Am. I will be found true, though every man be found a liar (Romans 3:4). Let My word be in your mouth for My word will never return void but will accomplish that which I sent it to do (Isaiah 55:11). Jesus told you this (John 8:28,38). Follow His example.

 

Me:
Thank You Father! I love You!

 

ABBA:
You are welcome! I love you!

All the Fullness

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.

For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; Colossians 2:9-10

 

Me:

Good evening Father!

 

ABBA:
Good evening Jon!

 

Me:
This is an astounding passage, Father.

 

ABBA:

What do you find remarkable about it?

 

Me:
However much I meditate on the incarnation of Jesus, however reverently I search the scriptures, however much I attune my heart to hear, I am still overawed by the notion that in Jesus the fullness of God could reside! Not that I doubt; more that I have difficulty picturing how such a thing as Infinite Deity could be localized in a man or plopped down in a feed trough. And, it does not say part of, or the nature of, or the essence of; it says the fullness of.

 

ABBA:

I Am Spirit. (John 4:24) The physical limitations of a body are not a limitation to Jesus. You marvel also that the passage says in Him you have been made complete.

 

Me:
I do.

 

ABBA:
This is not less than fact. He is no more limited in you than in His own body. See too, He is head over all rule and authority. As you are in Him, praying daily for President Trump and Vice President Pence, never doubt the effectiveness of that, and don’t expect to get a good progress report from the world system.

 

Me:

Thank You Father! I love You! Thank You for reminding me to keep walking in faith that You are at work.

 

ABBA:

You are welcome! I love you!

Prayer-Refiner’s Fire

Me:
Good morning Father!

ABBA:
Good morning Jon!

Me:

Father, in Ephesians 6, verse 18, it says this: “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,”. What would You tell me further about this?

ABBA:

There is the possibility of doing anything either in the Spirit, or in the flesh. Do everything in the Spirit, especially prayer, which is of particular importance.

1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.

10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. 11 For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. 14 If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.

18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, “He is the one who catches the wise in their craftiness”; 20 and again, The Lord knows the reasonings of the wise, that they are useless.” 21 So then let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas [or yourself] or the world or life or death or things present or things to come; all things belong to you, 23 and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God.

I Am telling you, this is why it is of prime importance that you pray; “all things belong to you” means you have authority over all things – and therefore responsibility. This responsibility is the charge of a steward, for all comes from My hand. This means that you are representing My authority and not that which is within your flesh. The authority of the flesh was given away in Eden. The authority of the Spirit was given under a new covenant at the cross to any who will be bound to it. I Am Spirit. It is not possible to discharge your stewardship in the flesh, as all things done in the flesh will prove to be wood, hay and stubble. Only things done in the Spirit will prove to be gold, silver, or precious stones.

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. 2 Peter 3:10

Things done in the flesh, even for the wisest and strongest, are therefore useless. They will not pass the test. The things done in the Spirit will only be further clarified as the Refiner’s fire purges all vestiges of corruption.

Me:
Thank You Father! I ask You to help me learn how to carry out my charge in the Spirit at all times. Let me remember to allow the Spirit to have complete sway by faith. I am grateful also, for the myriad ways that You have given for us to sense whether Your Holy Spirit is the Power operating in our hearts at any moment or whether we have given place to the corruption of our rational minds. I am grateful that You are transforming my mind and have given Your Truth and your many great promises with which to occupy it, even in the sense of an armed force occupying territory in war. Thank You that You are Jehovah Nissi, God our Banner, God our Victory! I love You!

ABBA:

You are welcome! I Am indeed transforming You by the power of the Spirit and of My Word. No Word which I have spoken returns to me unfulfilled. Instead it accomplishes that which I send it to do. Therefore you can absolutely count on My promises and in My restoring all your mind and all your heart and all your strength to the purposes and to the joy and to the fulfillment of their original and perfect purposes. I love you!