Boasting – more than annoyance

Father, I am grateful for today, for today’s opportunities, for its promise, for Your creation of it, and for Your presence in it.

This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118:24

Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.

Proverbs 27:1

Me: Good morning Father!

ABBA: Good morning Jon!

Me: Rejoice now, wait-and-see for tomorrow? No boasting?

ABBA: Boast not of self.

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 2:8-10

Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!

James 3:5

Here is a list, containing reference to boasters. See what company it keeps:

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

Romans 1:28-32

If, instead, you speak truthfully of Me and of My workmanship in your life you will unleash My power for good.

But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Ephesians 4:15-16

These things apply to you as an individual. Individuals make up families, organizations (from churches to governments), to all of society. I Am able to make the difference between health & joy and rot. The choice is yours.

Me: Thank You Father! I love you!

ABBA: You are welcome! I love you!

Alert?

I am grateful for safe travels!

But keep on the alert at all times (seasons), praying that you may have strength (prevail) to escape (flee) all the things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man. Luke 21:36

Me: Good evening Jesus!

Jesus: Good evening Jon!

Me: The verse does not seem to say to pray for strength, but rather that praying will result in strength (prevail). What do we need to prevail over?

Jesus: There are many things: fear, doubt, opposition, treachery, ignorance, bondage, encumbrances, deception, weakness, confusion, lies, all the works of evil.

Eph 6: Finally be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God… against the schemes of the devil… take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

Me: Thank You Jesus! I love You!

Jesus: You are welcome! I love you!

Sowing Wild Oats

“Sowing wild oats” is a euphemism for engaging in immoral behavior or even dissipation (useless behavior). The expression has been around since at least 1576 according to etymoline.com.

How did the phrase “sowing wild oats” get this connotation? Those not familiar with oats – wild or domesticated – there is a handy disambiguation page on Wikipedia.org. In short, wild oats are any of several genus of the oat family that are problematic when they invade cultivated oats. They steal the nutrients that the desired cultivated cereal crop would otherwise have available and reduce the yield significantly. Further, they are very difficult to control because they are so similar to the desirable plants, not only in appearance, but also genetically (making chemical control difficult). The seeds can apparently lay dormant for years. So, anyone who would “sow wild oats” would be engaging in wasteful and destructive behavior.

Sowing poorly habitually can waste a life. Not just here, but also hereafter. I’m going to let these scriptures speak for themselves. (What could I add?)

The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good. [Genesis 1:12]

“But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.

“I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you. [John 16:5-15]

Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. [Acts 2:38]

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. [Galatians 6:7-8]

The Spirit of Invention

I am grateful for twenty years with Jeannie! (yesterday)

Will they not go astray who devise evil? But kindness and truth will be to those who devise good.Proverbs 14:22

Me: Good morning Holy Spirit!

Holy Spirit: Good morning Jon!

Me: The notion of inventing (new) evil is interesting, given that Solomon declared in Ecclesiastes 1:9 there is nothing new under the sun.

Holy Spirit: Not invented in the existence sense, but new to the plotter. Just as devising good speaks of personal plans. Do you make plans to do good?

Proverbs 19:21 – Many plans are in a man’s heart, But the counsel of the Lord will stand.

Psalm 33:11 – The counsel of the Lord stands forever, The plans of His heart from generation to generation.

If you take My counsel when you make plans, then your plans will be for good. Kindness and Truth are in My very nature.

Galatians 5:22 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

John 16:13 – But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.

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

Me: Thank You Holy Spirit! Thank You for Your guidance! Thank You for building into my life! I love You!

Holy Spirit: You are welcome! I love you!

More Piles of Snow Melting

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!