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February devotional

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A call beckoning the Hundredth Sheep

February 2019 – a month to contemplate the nature of love…

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Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not  puffed up;  does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked,  thinks no evil;  does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;  bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away…And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.                                                                                  I Corinthians 13:4-8, 13

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Your ‘church place’ – is it a place to get to know your loving heavenly Father?  A place to hear what He has been doing the last couple weeks in the lives of others? A place of encouragement? Hospitality? Spontaneity? A place to worship Him in beautiful music and contemplating that the whole earth is FULL of His glory? A place where you can find many, many folks of the Matthew 25(R) type?

When the Son of Man comes in His glorythe King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:  for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;  I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?  Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’   Matthew 25: 31, 34-40

Or rather, is it a place focusing programs and planning and budget constraints? A place to hear what He did a couple thousand years ago? A place to recite ‘creeds’?  A place where you can find mostly folks of the Matthew 25(L) type?

Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you didn’t visit Me.’

Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’  Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’  And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”                                                   Matthew 25: 41-46


February…the month during which many humans contemplate the nature of love. Consider that THE essential theme of the Bible, God’s written Word of instructions to humans, is the unfailing love affair between humans and our loving heavenly Father and Creator.

Our loving heavenly Father knows us, intimately! Consider –

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you… Jer.  1:5

You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. Psalms 139:2

Your hands have made me and fashioned me…  Psalms 119:73

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb, I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.             Psalm 139:13-14

By You I have been upheld from birth; You are He who took me out of my mother’s womb…  Psalms 71:6

But You are He who took Me out of the womb; You made Me trust while on My mother’s breasts.   Psalms 22:9

Your hands have made me and fashioned me, an intricate unity [a complete system]Job 10:8

And now the Lord says, Who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant…           Isaiah 49:5

The rich and the poor have this in common, the Lord is the maker of them all.  Proverbs 22:2

He fashions their hearts individually…     Psalms 33:15

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.           Ephesians 2:10

Our loving heavenly Father protects us –

…He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.  Proverbs 30:5

For the commandment [instructions for life] is a lamp, and the law a light…   Proverbs 6:23

…no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly. Psalms 84:11

You have hedged me behind and before… [God has your front AND back!] Psalms 139:5

The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them. Psa. 34:7

As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people from this time forth and forever.   Psalms 125:2

For He shall give His angels charge over you, to guard you in all your ways.   Psalms 91:11

Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble. Psa. 119:165

Our loving heavenly Father interacts and communicates with us –

You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. Psa139:2

Then the Angel of God spoke to me [Jacob] in a dream, saying…    Genesis 31:11 

Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Write these words…  Exodus 34:27

‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’  Acts 9:4

I will instruct you…in the way you should go…l guide you with My eye. Psalms 32:8

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, you shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘go THIS way’    Isaiah 30:21

Our loving heavenly Father is in this for the ‘long haul’; He will never leave us [those who choose to follow Him, His instructions], never hurt us, and will provide all our needs!

For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’    Hebrews 13:5

'Do not go after other gods to serve them…and I will not harm you.'     Jeremiah 25:6

I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken… Psalms 37:25

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only son…       John 3:16

Purity and Stability

God gave us His law, the Ten Commandments, cast in stone…the 7th of which states  –

thou shalt not commit adultery (Exodus 20:14 and Deuteronomy 5:18)

Jesus, son of God incarnate, offered a little more detail -

But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:28)

So is God some old esoteric tyrant who does not want humans to have fun? To enjoy pleasure? Au contraire -

There is a connection between impurity and instability in a person. The instability can manifest as rapid mood swings, different personalities, outbursts of anger, sudden use of improper vocabulary, or probably most any other irrational or ‘out of character’ erratic behavior. Impurity is sexual.

Consider how a man and wife very very often seem to become more and more similar as time passes; the reason is that the concept ‘two shall become one’ is more than physical!  Aside from the obvious physical ‘joining’, there is also a spiritual joining…the very spirits and souls of the 2 who ‘share space’ intermingle! In any sexual encounter, the original soul of each person is altered by the ‘give and take’.

Worse (and for once it seems the medical establishment got it right) - whoever you slept with (‘shared space with), you have also ‘shared space’ with everyone your partner had ‘shared space’ with, and intermingling of unknown traits! Consider the very meaning of the word ‘pure’ – to be clean, untainted, unpolluted

Consider Proverbs 6:32 – whoever commits adultery [‘sharing space’ with a person you are not married to] with a woman …destroys [ruins, corrupts, pollutes] his own soul.

And Proverbs 7: 25–26 – do not let your heart turn aside to her ways…for she has cast down [caused to fall, divide] many wounded [polluted].

And Proverbs 2:19-20 -  when wisdom enters your heart…discretion will preserve you….to deliver you from the immoral woman…none who go to her return [‘you’, the ‘old you’, will never return because the ‘old you’ has been altered/changed/corrupted and thus no longer exists].

Proverbs 6:26-28 – for by means of a harlot a man is reduced to a crust of bread [toast!]can a man take fire to his bosom and his clothes not be burned? Can a man walk on hot coals, and his feet not be seared?

And, now Proverbs 5: 1-6 - …pay attention to my wisdom…lest you ponder her [an immoral woman] path – her ways are unstable; you do not know them;  thus, a hallmark of past impure sexual encounters is present instability…vacillating! (the greater the number of impure sexual  partners, the worse the instability). Such a person is apt to frequently change their mind suddenly, and from my own experience, often emotionally, because the person not only does not  know what he or she wants, but they don’t even truly know who he or she is since the present person consists of unknown elements from past impure relationships.

Continuing in Proverbs 5:8-11 – remove your way far from her [the immoral woman] …lest you give your honor to others and your years to the cruel [the terrible]and you mourn when your flesh and body are consumed.  And consider Proverbs 24:21 - do not associate with those given to change…[vacillating];  and James 1:8 alludes to a double-minded [two-spirited, vacillating] man, unstable in all his ways…  - ALL his ways!  Unstable; vacillating. NO telling when the person will ‘go off’, and NO telling what the person will do next!

The point being – those who are ‘given to change’, those who change a lot, those who vacillate for no apparent reason, are showing signs that the enemy (the demons) is currently active in the person’s life. And the person is dangerous in all sorts of ways…to themselves, to you and to others…possibly not only physically but also emotionally. Keep in mind - if the vacillation is caused by a ‘compromised’ soul, is because they are  no longer ‘ themselves’; they are a strange and unknown two-spirited ‘mutant’…they have aspects of two spirits trying to govern at the same time. (and this does not even consider the possibility, make that probability, of the additional evil and ugly influence by demons who have gained power over the individual!).

Fortunately, there is a remedy for the instability. Consider James 4:8 cleanse your hands you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded… , and 1 John 2:1 - if any man sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ…., and Psalms 62:6 - He only is my rock and my salvationI shall not be moved [vacillate].

And especially reflect on the beloved 23rd Psalm – …He restores my soul

Rejoice in Matthew 5:8 – blessed are the pure [uncorrupted, unpolluted] in heart, for they will see God

Past impurity and present instability are closely related. Ask your loving heavenly Father to restore your soul and purify your heart! Daily!

God is NOT a detached meanie. His Word is NOT prison bars, NOT shackles. God's Word is a LAMP...a head light...high beams / fog lamp....to help keep us on the right road! but wise and loving directions for our own good! Because He loves us!! More than we can imagine! He cannot love us more! He cannot love us less!

 

And one [angel] cried to another and said:

"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!"           

Isaiah 6:3

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen,

being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power

…so that they are without excuse,

Romans 1:20

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Todd, a 2-month old golden retriever puppy, on a hike in Arizona with his ‘owner’, sensed danger in a rattlesnake. He moved between his owner and the snake, blocking the attack, and ‘took the bullet’. He survived the attack and is recovering nicely! (from a story in fellowshipoftheminds.com, by Dr. Eowyn, 12-8-2018

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. John 15:3

But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; and the birds of the air, and they will tell you;
Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you; and the fish of the sea will explain to you. 
Job 12:7-8

One of my most favorite people, ever, LV, is an old friend in northern Michigan. We spoke this week about all sorts of things, including the severe weather forecast – wind and ice and snow and freezing rain, or combinations thereof. Edmund Fitzgerald weather. A forecast such as this is not at all uncommon for that latitude in the Great Lakes region in January. But the real issue was whether or not it was a good idea to attend her Sabbath festivities held each week, including several hours of worship and song and food and fellowship with a couple dozen or so friends. Did I mention the Shabbat activities involved driving about 45 miles (each way…in good weather), along a lake front highway?

LV decided to go for it, but would keep her eyes open for a sign from our loving heavenly Father. She bundled up and stepped outside her kitchen door into the garage. To avoid a buildup of carbon monoxide, she was in the habit of opening the garage door before starting her car. She pushed the button to open the garage door. Nothing happened!

The garage door was frozen solid to the ground.

Whether you turn to the right or to the left,

you shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘go THIS way’

Isaiah 30:21

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…Turn at my warning…because you disdained all my counsel…and would have none of my warning…I will laugh at your trouble; I will mock when your fear comes…they shall call upon me, and I will not answer…they shall not find me; they did not choose the fear of the LORD…     Proverbs 1:23-30     

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The fear [respect, reverence, LOVE, trust…and fear] of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom… 

Proverbs 9:10

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Those who leave everything in GOD’s hand

will eventually see

GOD’s hand In EVERYTHING!

[Jesus speaking]

If you love Me, keep My commandments.

John 14:15

Love is forgiving

Love is for giving

Unforgiveness is the most toxic stuff known to man!

A friend loves at all times. Proverbs 17:17

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Special valentines day message:

Guys – Do not ask God for one of His daughters if you can't even find time for His Son!

The world teaches women to find a ‘knight in shining armor’.

The Word of God teaches women to find a man attired in the full armor of God.

And do not be conformed to this world [being like everyone else…thinking like everyone else], but be transformed by the renewing of your mind [think in a new way…think new thoughts!]    

Romans 12:2

11 ways to LOVE:

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.     John 13:34-35

The three most important words of human language?

No - not ‘I love you!’  But rather –

‘TELL ME MORE!’







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