Steal, kill, and destroy

I just recently returned from the surgeon’s appointment and the news was not good. He told me “There is nothing I can do for you.” Obviously, I was devastated. Just like my dad, I’d always been the bull, the strong one, and was very athletic. In all my life long scraps, I’d only lost to one man, a seasoned colored fighter in the ring. I was 15 and he was 17, but I was used to beating men 3-5 years my senior.

Anyway, after I’d knocked him across the ring and onto his back (to put it politely), it must have ticked him off because he got back up and preceded to TKO me. He was a better man than I was that night and I was OK with that. The only thing I was not OK with is he beat me in front of my dad. I was a very long time in getting over that. But this isn’t the point of my blog.

Like Monk used to say, “Here’s the thing. . .” Here I am 58 years later and I’ve concluded that the older you get, the more your parts start wearing out. A person knows that that day is coming but it’s still a shock when it begins to happen. However, age and my athleticism finally caught up with me in the form of arthritis – bad. It is throughout my entire body.

Due to a recent and severe fall, both of my knees are no good, which makes going down stairs very difficult. This is exacerbated by my arthritis. Because of a trip to the Bahamas and sunburn, I developed Venous Insufficiency coupled with Stasis Dermatitis. This is an issue where the veins have a problem sending blood back to the heart. (Bad circulation in the legs – bad circulation in the heart. Oops, flag!)

Now the biggy. Because of the VISD, I have P.A.T. (Paroxysmal Atrial Tachycardia), which is just an irregular heart beat and as long as I take my meds, I’m golden. Oh, did I forget to mention that my memory is fading quickly :-).

Now, I can’t even raise my right arm more than 5in in front of me AT ALL. I can’t even man up and go an inch extra daily. I have a high tolerance to pain and sometimes the pain puts me in the rafters and they’re telling me that there’s nothing they can do for me. Great!

Due to a lifting accident (and my age with NO shoulder muscle, which I also forgot to mention LOL), I severely tore my rotator cuff. Now I don’t mind losing to a better man than I am at any given time, but to lose to the enemy and life, that’s another thing. But this still isn’t the point of my blog. Thank you Jesus.

How many times have we grumbled before going to Christ first? As we open up to Christ, He will put His thoughts into our minds. We go through many stresses during our day and unless we make Jesus a part of our lives and daily conversations, even in the small things, it can turn to self-pity and rage. This opens the door for the enemy to come in and steal our joy.

v10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: [John 10:10a KJV]

Last night I watched a DVD that has prompted me to interject this extra blog. The title was “Me Before You.” The movie started with showing a virile young athletic man doing many things, skiing, surfing, and excelling in different sports. Then life put him on hold when a motorcycle hits him while he walked across the street. And here is the point of my blog.

Months later, a young woman needed a job and found a job as a caretaker. She arrived at the residence to find this young man in a wheel chair. Of course, they fall in love but he wants to commit suicide because of the emotional and physical pain he has to endure especially in loving her. What a frustrating time it must have been for him to kiss the woman he loved and not be able to fulfill that love for her, EVER. Not to be able to caress her, feel her close to him, and to consummate their feelings and love to each other. It must have been very painful for him.

I can’t fathom the idea of what this man went through as a paraplegic, being dead from the neck down and having to have someone totally take care of him 24/7/365: the washing, feeding, wiping, grooming, transporting, putting him to bed, and getting him up again. Taking care of his bathroom needs, and all the other things that we, as normal and fully functional human-beings, take for granted and can do. And here I was wrapped in self-pity worrying about whether I was even a man or not and if any woman would ever want me.

I can still walk, although not very good, I can still write (my passion and mandate from God), and I’m learning to do most everything with my left hand like comb my hair, brush my teeth, shave, and all the simple tasks that we take for granted. I’ve got my left hand and arm that I can fully use to lift my right arm for different tasks, like lifting my right hand across this paper to finish the end of this sentence. I can still dress myself, groom myself, drive, and many other things, although pulling on my socks and tying my shoes is painful. I can, and will, buy some slip-ons. Problem solved.

I am so-o-o sorry Lord for my grumbling and thank you for reminding me of the second stanza of John 10:10, which says, I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.Lord, because of you, I have life and life more abundantly. It is well with my soul Father. Please forgive me. The enemy will NOT steal my joy. I am a good man, although limited, and worth having if anything by you Lord.

My heart goes out to those who can’t even do what I can do. To them, I can do allot. My Earthly father said once to me and I have never forgotten. He said, “No matter how bad-off you think you are, there is ALWAYS someone a little worse off.” My dad should have written a book on his wisdom.

Thank you Jesus for helping me to see this issue through a simple movie and I repent.

Relationships through the tree

Part Three of Four: The Branches

So far, we have learned from our tree metaphor that the roots of the tree is its stability, and that Christ is the roots and that stability of a relationship that helps the man and the woman grow and prosper. Furthermore, we learned that the trunk is the strength of the tree and our resolve in the relationship. Resolve says that nothing will come between the man and woman or separate us from the love of God.

The branches of the tree reach up toward the light of the sun and life. The only thing that will deter us from the love of God is the branches of anger, jealousy, fear, disgust, sadness, contempt shame, pride, and many others. Other things that will deter us are unresolved issues and sin that wave in the wind of temptation as they also try and reach up to the light of the Son and life.

v7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
v8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river. . . — Jeremiah 17:7, 8a,b

The wind has blown over many a tree leaving nothing standing but the cracked and split tower of the trunk. As with the tree, the wind of temptation has also blown over many a relationship leaving nothing but the trunk of cracked and split resolve.

When there is an unwillingness to root the relationship in Christ or fail to resolve that nothing will come between them or Christ, then the branches of sin makes man top heavy and the relationship will fall. When there is an unwillingness to change and grow, the wind of temptation will huff and puff and will blow our relationship down.

In two weeks, we will go over part four of our tree metaphor and learn of the fruit of the tree. Until then. . .
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Relationships through the tree

Part Two of Four: The Trunk

All truth is parallel. For every natural truth there is an equal and corresponding spiritual truth. In our present series, we are looking at the tree as a metaphor for a relationship and/or marriage.

The last time, we read about the roots of the tree in terms of its stability. Some key words from part one for review are temperament, strengths/weaknesses, growth, change, stability, and of course, rooted in Jesus Christ.

This time we’ll look at the trunk, which I call resolve. In a relationship or marriage the trunk of resolve grows from the roots of our spiritual strengths and weaknesses and our ability to change and transform ourselves into the image of Christ [1]. Being rooted in Jesus Christ gives the tree of relationship stability, which is the threefold cord of Ecclesiastes 4:12.

However, the roots of stability are not any good unless the trunk of resolve (the couple who are rooted in Christ) is committed and determined to settle and maintain an active resolution of a contentious dispute or disagreement. They must decide that the relationship is more important than the dispute, because once the resolve breaks down and not restored, the relationship/marriage is doomed, baring a miracle from God, which is always possible.

v31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander as well as all types of evil behavior.
v32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. [Ephesians 4:31, 32 NLT]

Resolve is a process and is something on which a couple needs constantly to work. This process does not happen over night [2]. (Trust me on that one.) The couple needs to be aware of their issues (different for different couples) and they need to arrest the issue(s) before AND/OR after the infraction. Therefore, resolution requires choice, a choice for compromise and more times than not. . .repentance and forgiveness.

This is really a condensed narrative on this series so I hope I have presented it in a clear enough fashion to help those in need of the tree’s solution.

So far, we have looked at stability (balance and rooted in Christ) and resolve, two of the main ingredients in a relationship. Next time we will look at the limbs of the tree.
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[1] 2 Corinthians 3:18; Romans 8:29; Romans 12:2
[2] John 13:34; Romans 12:10; Romans 15:5; Hebrews 12:14; 2 Corinthians 13:11; 1 Corinthians 13:6; Hebrews 12:15; Psalms 133:1

Relationships through the tree

Part One of Four: The Roots

I recently visited Cathedral Grove in BC Canada. It is a place where many old and very tall trees reside. It is serene and a quiet place to be accept for the occasional chatter of a few people. Although many trees remain standing, there are a few that laid flat on the ground due to a once extreme storm. It is a shame that they weren’t strong enough to withstand the power of the wind.

It is too bad that some of our relationships/marriages do not stand the test of time and fall because of the various storms that attack those institutions. As I walked through the Grove, I could see another spiritual parallel of the tree.

v6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
v7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. – [Colossians 2:6-7 KJV]

Shallow Roots
The roots of a tree give it stability, making it possible to stand when the storms of life hit. Like a house or building, the roots of the tree are its foundation. If the roots are not deep enough, the tree will not stand and it will fall. It is simple physics, and since all truth is parallel, it is simple faith.

I see the shallow roots of a tree as the weaknesses and sins of man [1], and the lack of change that creates instability. Nothing describes man better in terms of weaknesses or strengths as do the temperaments. These temperaments are melancholy, sanguine, phlegmatic, and choleric.

Everyone has a root temperament and has qualities of at least two. Having said this, if a person is unwilling to change in the slightest, there will be no growth for that person. Without change, relationships can be doomed especially if one is of a stronger type than the other.

The storms of sin hit us all. The winds of the storm are anger, jealousy, fear, regret, unbelief, while others it might be allot more severe like pornography. Seven things God hates and you can find them in Proverbs 6:16-19. These and other sins are the winds that blow over the tree of relationship (and they don’t do the individual any good either, but we’ll cover that in part three.

Deep Roots
Love in a relationship is much like a tree, when you have a deeply rooted love, life works. Relationships work. Love is give and take, which sometimes, requires change even if slightly away from our temperament. Otherwise a person can become stagnant and a relationship can falter and suffer. It takes much more but this is a good start. Love is all about the other person, not about the individual. So if we need to change. . .change. Whatever we need to do, do the thing.

When a tornado hits, it rips the trees with shallow roots from the soil, but those with deep roots remain standing. If the shallow roots do not change and head for deeper soil, it is doomed to lay flat like those I encountered at Cathedral Grove. In the same way, God challenges us to have those same kinds of deep roots in Him [2]. Jesus also warns us of the dangers of shallow roots in the parable of the seed.

v5 And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:
v6 But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. – [Mark 4:5-6 KJV]

So root yourself in Christ DEEPLY. Develop a hunger for Him. Focus on Him. Love Him with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength [3]. He IS the answer to all things. He IS the Way, the Truth, and the Life [4]. You will not get to heaven without Him. There is nothing stronger that a threefold cord – Man, woman, and Jesus Christ [Ecclesiastes 4:12]. Sorry, but do not shoot the messenger.
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[1] Man or woman. . .mankind
[2] Jeremiah 17:8
[3] Mark 12:30
[4] John 14:6

Enemy strategy

 

I did not write this but thought it very worthy of passing on. It’s funny how we can read something and say, “Wow, that was powerful, true, and right on the money,” and then go about our business as usual. It’s only a page and a quarter long. Enjoy.

Do you know how Satan deceives the children of God? Here are just some of his schemes that he uses for the Christian community. You can see how clever Satan is and Christians must be aware of Satan’s schemes and cleverness. Be aware of it. You might already be a victim of Satan’s scheme. Be on guard always! Learn his schemes so that you are aware of his strategies.

Satan called a worldwide convention of demons. In his opening address he said, “We can’t keep Christians from going to church. We can’t keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth. We can’t even keep them from forming an intimate relationship with their savior. Once they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken.

“So let them go to their churches; let them have their covered dish dinners, BUT steal their time, so they don’t have time to develop a relationship with Jesus Christ.

“This is what I want you to do,” said the devil: “Distract them from gaining hold of their Savior and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day!”

“How shall we do this?” his demons shouted.

“Keep them busy in the non-essentials of life and invent innumerable schemes to occupy their minds,” he answered. “Tempt them to spend, spend, spend, and borrow, borrow, borrow.

“Persuade the wives to go to work for long hours and the husbands to work 6-7 days each week, 10-12 hours a day, so they can afford their empty lifestyles. Keep them from spending time with their children. As their families fragment, soon, their homes will offer no escape from the pressures of work!

“Over-stimulate their minds so that they cannot hear that still, small voice. Entice them to play the radio or cassette player whenever they drive. Keep the TV, VCR, CD’s and their PC’s going constantly in their home and see to it that every store and restaurant in the world plays non-biblical music constantly. This will jam their minds and break that union with Christ.

“Fill the coffee tables with magazines and newspapers. Pound their minds with the news 24 hours a day.

“Invade their driving moments with billboards. Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, mail order catalogs, sweepstakes, and every kind of newsletter and promotional offering free products, services and false hopes…

“Keep skinny, beautiful models on the magazines and TV so their husbands will believe that outward beauty is what’s important, and they’ll become dissatisfied with their wives. Keep the wives too tired to love their husbands at night. Give them headaches too! If they don’t give their husbands the love they need, they will begin to look elsewhere. That will fragment their families quickly!

“Give them Santa Claus to distract them from teaching their children the real meaning of Christmas. Give them an Easter bunny so they won’t talk about his resurrection and power over sin and death. Even in their recreation, let them be excessive. Have them return from their recreation exhausted.

“Keep them too busy to go out in nature and reflect on God’s creation. Send them to amusement parks, sporting events, plays, concerts, and movies instead. Keep them busy, busy, busy!

“And when they meet for spiritual fellowship, involve them in gossip and small talk so that they leave with troubled consciences. Crowd their lives with so many good causes they have no time to seek power from Jesus. Soon they will be working in their own strength, sacrificing their health and family for the good of the cause. It will work! It will work!”

It was quite a plan!

The demons went eagerly to their assignments causing Christians everywhere to get busier and more rushed, going here and there, having little time for their God or their families, and having no time to tell others about the power of Jesus to change lives.

I guess the question is. . .has the devil been successful in his schemes?

You be the judge!!!!!

Does “BUSY” mean: B-eing U-nder S-atan’s Y-oke?

What Matters to you?

I was going through a stack of old papers making sure I wasn’t throwing something important away when I ran across an email from a bank that advocated a bill-pay plan that would save the customer some time. In this day of a failing economy, their theory was that the less time we spent on paying bills, the more time we had for family. Their lead was “Spend more time on what matters.”

All truth is parallel so this statement hit me right between the eyes. It sounded like a great idea and although their idea leaned toward the financial end of the spectrum, I see the world in utter chaos financially, politically, socially, and spiritually. The social media is abuzz with political images and comments decrying the political corruption and the oppression of people.

Don’t get me wrong, politics are very important but there just doesn’t seem to be any actions taking place to thwart the problems that enslave us and all we do is glorify the enemy’s plan and speak his evil into the atmosphere. Therefore, I felt that I wanted to write a small piece on what glorifies Christ instead of the enemy.

So…what does matter?

We all have to balance our lives of course but each of us needs to figure out what is personally important to us and spend time in that arena. If that means politics to some, that’s OK, it’s your time and what is important to you. What is important to me is, it is a time to stop glorifying Satan’s plan and start focusing on Jesus Christ. It is time to start bringing as many sheep into the fold as we can. It is time to be listening for the Shofar. It is about to blow. Christ is coming to abduct His Bride. The only hope for America and the world is to return to faith in Christ. America was founded on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is what is important to me.

God’s Word seems to think so as well. The Bible is ALL about Jesus. It is about Jesus and His Bride. He paid the bride price in full by purchasing her on the Cross.

Colossians 3:1-4 KJV
v1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
v2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
v3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
v4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

Starting and Living a forgiven life

The story of Christ’s coming, His purpose, and our living a forgiven life as told by God Himself.
The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken. . .[Deuteronomy 18:18 KJV]
Therefore. . .
. . .the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. [Isaiah 7:14 KJV]
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 53:5]
However. . .
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. [2 Peter 3:9 KJV]
Because. . .
. . .the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. [Romans 6:23 KJV]
So. . .
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. [John 3:16 KJV]
Therefore. . .
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. [2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV]
And. . .
Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? [Luke 24:26 KJV]
So. . .
The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day. [Luke 9:22 KJV]
And. . .
. . .they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. [Acts 16:31 KJV]
Remembering that. . .
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. [Philippians 4:13 KJV]
Therefore. . .
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways, acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths. [Proverbs 3:6 KJV]
Because. . .
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. [2 Timothy 4:8 KJV]
Therefore. . .
. . .brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: [1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV]
What must we then do to lead a forgiven life. . .?
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. [Acts 2:38-39 KJV]
And. . .
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 KJV]
Therefore, follow along and receive Christ’s forgiveness. . .
Jesus, I believe that you died for me. I believe that you were buried and that God raised you from the dead on the third day. I want to be forgiven. I repent of my sins and turn away from the wrong doing that displeases you. I ask for your forgiveness. Please Lord, come into my heart and guide me in your ways. Thank you Lord. I am now a child of God. In your name, amen.

Take Up Your Cross

I just can’t handle him anymore. He’s mean, cruel, and abusive. I know God hates divorce, so I guess this is the cross I have to carry.

How many of you have heard this statement quoted at least once and maybe concerning other subjects? Many feel that carrying one’s own cross means that it is a burden for them to carry. They believe that it is what Christ meant when He told the disciples to deny themselves and to take up their cross and follow Him. Let’s look at what He told His disciples.

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. – [Matthew 16:24 KJV]

Granted, Christ’s Cross bar appears to be a huge burden, especially after everything He had to endure on the way to Calvary’s tree. In fact, Christ fell once and the soldiers ordered Simon of Cyrene to help Him carry the bar [1]. Christ’s back was already laid bare to the bone and each step must have been excruciating for Him as the bar ground into His scourged back.

Nothing could be further from the truth as to the meaning of what Christ meant. Life is full of burdens that we must endure and work through but when we have Jesus, those burdens are light. Jesus told us to, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light [2].”

Jesus was telling His disciples to die to self and stop trying to help in the decisions of life and just to follow Him. The message behind these three verses was, in fact, obedience. Jesus set the stage of His journey down the Via Dolorosa to the Cross in the Garden of Gethsemane as He prayed to His Father, “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

Jesus was not scared or telling His Father, “What have I gotten myself into? Can I change my mind Father?” On the contrary, the Bible prophesies that Christ must suffer and it was His human side that spoke out as He asked His Father, “Will my death really save my people, and do I have to die to save them?” But notice what He stated directly after His question, “. . .Nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done.” Hebrews 12:2b confirms this, “. . .who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross. . .

Christ knew that He had to die on the tree, but He also knew that Judas was bringing the soldiers to capture Him. It is my contention that He may have been asking His Father that the cup of premature death be removed from Him as well, because Judas was about to betray Jesus by bringing the soldiers for Christ’s arrest.

Christ’s 33 years of physical life was in obedience to the Father, even unto the death of the Cross. We must daily choose between God’s will and our own. Every day we, as believers, take up our cross and follow Him on our own Via Dolorosa [3]. On our journey, obedience is the key. The question is, how far will we carry our own cross? How far down our Via Dolorosa are we willing to travel? Are we acquiescing to God’s will or to our own? The real question is will we carry our cross unto death – for the sake of Christ? Is our faith in Christ a conviction, or just a preference?
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[1] The traditional sense is that Christ actually fell three times but it cannot be verified in Scripture.
[2] Matthew 11:28-30
[3] Via Dolorosa is Latin for “The Way of Grief.”

WORDS ON PAPER

Well gang, I have been studying Christ’s death on the Cross for a few days now and my heart feels very heavy this morning. It’s been an emotional time for me. However, it’s been a very worthwhile study and because I understand now what Christ actually went through for me, it has brought me even closer to Him. The level of His love for me means a lot more to me now. I feel that for two thousand years we have all, me included, been sugarcoating God’s Word in terms of Christ’s Cross experience, to help our medicine go down like Julie Andrews sang about in her song “A Spoonful of Sugar.”

Now I have never done this before on one of my blogs, but because of the heaviness in my heart, I would like to pray my heart on this blog entry. I don’t know where this is going gang so have patience with me please. Whatever ends up on my computer, that’s the way you’ll read it. May God bless you all. Because of my studies and because of the times in which we find ourselves, we should be in God’s Word heavily and humbly seeking His face and turning from our wicked ways. We should be taking up our cross and following Jesus in total obedience. Repentance and salvation are the words for today and not just on paper. I exhort you to study God’s Word, and don’t just read the words that are on paper.

“Our dear heavenly, gracious, and merciful Father, I come to you asking you for forgiveness. Lord, I am in need of your grace and mercy for my heart is heavy this morning as I reach out to you. I confess that I have minimized you and your love for me. I am remorseful and heavy laden because I have not carried my own cross in a way that would be worthy to you Lord. I want to be your disciple but I fear that I have fallen very short.

“I sin every day thereby making a mockery of your death on the Cross. Lord, please forgive me that when I sin, I put you back up on the Cross. And worse Lord, since you dwell within me, I make you experience my sin with me. Please forgive me Lord.

“I know that I am worthy Lord, because you are in me and dwell there for which I am grateful and thankful. However, I know that I am undeserving. I feel like Paul this morning Lord when he wrote in your Word, “What I do, I allow not, and what I hate, that I do. . .Lord it’s not that I am unwilling to carry my own cross and obey you unconditionally no matter what the cost. It’s just that it is not I that sin but the sin nature that dwells within me, like Paul says. But Lord, Paul and I are making excuses for our own decisions, and I ask forgiveness for my excuses. Like Paul, I hate it when I sin against you or take you for granted. We have the choice that you gave us and it is up to us personally to fight the sin nature and make the right and righteous decision(s).

“I thank you Lord for your love for me, and that you would actually die for me, a sinner, is incomprehensible to me. Lord, I hate to ask, given all that you have already done for me but I am need of your grace and mercy. I therefore ask for forgiveness for minimizing your death on the Cross and what it took for you to get there and through that time.

“Lord, I just feel in my heart that I want to ask forgiveness for the whole world because we have ALL minimized your death on Calvary’s Tree, but I can’t, for it’s up to each of us to do so. The way mankind has treated you Lord is unforgivable, but I know that you would forgive them, each and every one, if they’d just ask. I know that it’s up to each of us to ask you Lord. Father in heaven, please send the Holy Spirit to those who don’t know you and share with them the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. My heart cries out to those who don’t know you Lord.

“I love reading your Word Lord for it is a lamp unto my feet and a guide unto my path. But I must confess Lord that many times; I just read the words on the paper of your Word. For that, I am truly sorry. Thank you Lord for your Word.

“But Lord, I don’t understand something. Sometimes you just tell us about an incident or about what happened. You don’t show us. Lord, please forgive the writer in me but I need to see, feel, and be shown to fully understand the consequences of what we are supposed to feel, learn, understand, and obey. I speak of the Via Dolorosa and the Cross Lord. I feel that I have sugarcoated and minimized those events. Oh I’ve read the words Lord, many, many times but only as words on the papers of your text. Then I thank you in my spirit for doing that for me, and then go about my day. I am so sorry for taking you for granted and for not studying about you.

“I have done that for years Lord. I know that you were wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, and that your stripes healed us. I think that all Christians know this verse and could quote it verbatim but I am so sorry for JUST READING those words and not studying, imagining, and understanding what those words really meant and what has happened to you. I never asked, “How did it affect you Lord? How did it affect the characters in your Word? What actually happened to them? What actually happened to you? How can I apply that to my life?” What you did for us and what you went through on the Via Dolorosa and the Cross were NOT JUST WORDS ON PAPER. The words actually happened and had consequences.

“Lord. . .The Roman soldiers unmercifully beat you, they shredded your back with leather straps laced with metal, bones, and glass. . .thirty-nine times. You bled profusely. How you withstood the pain, I know not. Your back was laid bare to the bone and sinew could be seen. Your face was puffed and swollen from the beatings. Your eyes were probably swollen shut. They crammed a crown of thorns on your head and you bled much more, not to speak of the excruciating pain that you experienced because of the thorns. Your own blood dripped down on your face and into your mouth, maybe even into the slits you had remaining of your eyes. By this time Lord, because of the loss of blood and lack of water, you were dangerously dehydrated, weak, and disoriented. After that, they made you carry your own Cross a half of a mile down the Via Dolorosa with the Cross grinding on your already bare to the bone back.

“Then they nailed you to a Cross with 7-9 inch spikes, which meant more bleeding and terribly excruciating pain. You were beat to a pulp and your body was like hamburger. You were slaughtered Lord like the lambs to the slaughter. You hadn’t had anything to drink since the night before and you even refused the sponge filled with gall and wine. It would have made things easier for you Lord and a little less painful. It would have eased your suffering a little Lord. But you refused it, just for me (and all of us). Thank you Lord. I mean that Lord. I say that with my heart Lord, not just with my words. It seems hardly enough to say.

“Lord, if the physical pain wasn’t enough, you no doubt suffered emotionally because much of the world and some of your disciples rejected you and even claimed that they didn’t know you. They even slept while you were sweating blood. And here you were, dying for them and they ignored and rejected you. I am so sorry Lord. You were an emotional and physical wreck and disheartened by all the rejection.

“Then to top it all off, they hung you on the Cross for six hours suffering all that emotional torment and excruciating physical pain. You depleted a great deal of your blood. You were completely spent, exhausted, dehydrated to the point of death. You were terribly weak and your legs gave out on the Cross thereby dislocating your shoulders, arms, and wrists. Because of all this, you were unable to support yourself so that you could exhale. ALL the sins of every human being that ever lived or will ever live were placed on your shoulders. My Lord God and savior, Jesus Christ, you eventually suffocated to death. Oh my God in heaven, I am so sorry. Then for the final act, they thrust a spear into your side, piercing your heart and lungs.

Lord, your love for me overwhelms me and I scarce know what else to say. I should fall prostrate before you and stay there for the rest of my life because of what you did for me.

“Lord. . .Please forgive me for I have played a huge part in your death and suffering. I am so very sorry Lord. In fact Lord, we all play a part in your death, pain, and suffering, but I can only speak for myself. ‘Thank you Lord’ seems so inadequate. How can I even come close to loving you in that capacity? But I do thank you Lord for what you did and continue to do for me. That you will never leave or forsake me is a complete mystery to me Lord, and while I was yet a sinner, you died for me. Lord God in heaven, I worship you and love you, with all my heart.

“Lord, I am in tears as I pray this to you, not to open up old wounds but to show you that I understand what you went through and that you are NOT just a bunch of words on paper to me that I just read and then go about my day. This study has brought me to a new understanding of the level and magnitude of the love that you have for me Lord. Although the study was hard to do Lord, it was so much more enlightening to make it, rather than to just read the words of your Gospel “Jesus died for our sins.” To go through all that you did Lord, just for me, has brought me even closer to you.

“My study has opened my eyes to the brutality that you suffered for mankind and the VERY high price that you paid for your Bride. And to have them reject you Lord, hurts my heart and more so as it no doubt hurts yours. I am so sorry for what you went through and how the world, myself included, have treated you, rejected you, and not properly taken up our own cross to follow you no matter what the cost.

“You are everything to me Lord. You are my Lord, my Savior, my master, my King, my light, my guide, my salvation and redemption, and soon coming husband and I give worship, glory, and honor for all the days of my remaining life. Lord, I give you my life. Have your way with me. I am proud to be in your family and associated with one of those who are called by your name – Christian. Lord, I give you my undying gratitude, respect, and worship, and I do so in the name that is above every name, and that name Lord. . .is yours — Jesus Christ. Amen.”

DO WE DIE IN ADAM OR EVE?

Someone asked me recently, “Why do we die through Adam, when the Bible clearly says that it was Eve who took the first bite?” I wondered the same thing once and it is why I researched an answer because he was right, the Bible does say that Eve took the first bite. Maybe this question has puzzled you as well. I know it did me then. Thankfully I had an answer for him [1] and all due to my earlier research. First, let’s look at the Scripture to which he made reference.

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. [1 Corinthians 15:22 KJV]

Right now, and to answer the question before us, we only need to concern ourselves with part “a” of verse 22, For as in Adam all die. . . It is a given that when you disobey God, it is sin, for The wages of sin is death. . . [2].

Granted, Eve took the first bite as Genesis 3:6 tells us, but v6 also tells us that, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. So why does all of mankind die in Adam? Here is why.

Genesis 2:17 reveals that God told Adam what would happen if he ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, “. .for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die [3].” The thing is, God had not even created Eve as yet. He didn’t create Eve until Genesis 2:21, 22.

Therefore, Eve was not present when God commanded Adam not to partake of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But wait a minute, doesn’t Genesis 3:2, 3 clearly state that Eve knew about the commandment when she answered the serpent. Read for yourself in your own version of the Bible, Eve’s words to the serpent.

We know that Eve was not present when God commanded Adam, but verses 2 and 3 clearly states that she knew. Because of her response, we must assume that Adam told her of God’s commandment. The Bible says that sin is not imputed where there is no law [4]. Because God did not personally tell Eve of the commandment, His Word considers her beguiled [5] and does not charge her with sin.

Adam should have stepped in, protected his wife, and stopped Eve from partaking of the fruit because he knew first hand of the commandment. Therefore, Adam sinned and God charged him accordingly. However, because of the woman’s participation in the transgression, a judgment was forthcoming [6]. However, because of the faith of many before Mount Sinai [7] in God, Christ’s death on the Cross imputed unto them His righteousness [8].

And there you have it. The Bible is right again, go figure. The Bible is an anvil that has worn out many hammers. (Add one more hammer Sorry guy. LOL.)
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[1] 1 Peter 3:15
[2] Romans 6:23
[3] His physical life would become terminal but more importantly, he would die a spiritual death. He would not live forever.
[4] Romans 5:13 From Eve to Mount Sinai, Jesus imputed to them His righteousness.
[5] Genesis 3:13
[6] Eve’s participation included 1) speaking for her husband. 2) Not deferring to him. 3) She added to the commandment thereby interpreting God’s Word thereby speaking for God. 4) Usurping not only her husband’s authority but God’s.
[7] Again, from Eve to Mount Sinai
[8] Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3; Romans 4:22