Thanks Jeannette, Charlene, Forrest [i]and[/i] Zeke!
It's been interesting to see where you each went as a response to this.
I agree that culture has always been contrary to God's ways. Any given culture at any given time will 'brainwash' those growing up in it. Men love darkness, it's as simple as that. But the one thing about today's world verses any time in the past is the level of bombardment our minds are taking with music, TV, movies, etc, etc. As a result and in the broadest terms, we live in a world full of emotionally tweeked screwed up mental cases like never before.
For me, one thing the Lord has placed on my heart is the need for understanding, compassion and grace towards each other. On this forum there is a great zeal for holiness, and I praise God for that. Yet I am keenly aware that too often this zeal for holiness can cause a certain judgemental spirit to creep in to our hearts. We absolutely must not allow this to happen.
One of the reasons this can occur is our recognition that today's churches have turned the grace of God into a license for sin. God forbid that I should defend such a thing. Still, our God and Father is longsuffering. He has a forbearance that we just can't quite wrap our heads around. When someone truly gets saved, He seals that person with the Holy Spirit and [i]never lets go![/i] This is true even when they don't seem to measure up to our standards of acceptable growth rates or perceived holiness.
If God is giving grace so must we. Again, this does not mean we ignore sin or give it license. But the truth must be spoken with real agape love. The [i]goodness[/i] of God leads to repentance. A struggling brother or sister needs encouragement and understanding, not condemnation.
Wow, talk about a spring board! I can't believe I wrote all that in response to your one comment about the subliminal effects of culture through the ages![/color] :-(
[color=3300FF]Dear, Dear Forrest
I can so relate to your desire to just go home. It truly grieves our hearts to see all this deception, both in and out of the church. I want to share with you the word the Lord gave me this morning. Isaiah 38- short form. Hezekiah is sick. The prophet tells him he will die for his rebellion against God. Hezekiah cries out for mercy and God grants him 15 more years of life.
After reading this my initial reaction was 'what?' ER Lord? What are You saying? Then..., I must have heard wrong, this is probably just me. I randomly flipped open my bible four times. Every time the passage was about someone dieing. At his point I thought this is crazy, I'm going to be sure to go to the N.T. this time. When I did the following leaped off the page.
2 Timothy 4:5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, [i]fulfill your ministry[/i].
I suddenly got it. Redeem the time, life is short. Count each moment as precious. Oh my dear sister, Rejoice! Rejoice that your days are not yet completed. Rejoice that He still has a purpose for your presence here. Rejoice and again I say Rejoice!
Only a God like ours could take four or five verses about death and one verse about ministry and breath life into it.
Take heart dear sister. You are a real blessing here at SI. If you are this much of a blessing to us who can only read your words, I can only imagine how valued you are by at least some of those you encounter out there in the 'real' world.[/color]
Very interesting post, much appreciated. As to the seven Spirits...best guess is they represent the seven attributes of the Holy Spirit. Aren't there seven names of God in the form of (for example) Jehovah Raphah, Jehovah Tsidkenu etc?
One thing I'm sure of, if you encounter them they will be anything but imaginary and you won't call them by nicknames like Einstien![/color]
Rejoicing in Him
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After all, we are following the dream HE has shown us; we want HIS purposes, not ours, don't we, so what's wrong with that?
I was talking to a friend once about this very thing and the scripture in proverbs about delighting yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart, came up. It added interesting angle on the whole thing.
My own musing on this topic has bought me to hte conclusion that if you do not read the NT you will more than likely get stuck into this mode of thinking. The OT is full of blessings (and curses) that come with apllying his word. If we do not read the NT you will never understand what GOds will for you in Christ Jesus is.
It is about Jesus, his church and serving his body withing the models/parameters of NT scripture. Without Pauls epistles we can easily just live for ourselves and use Gods blessings as a means to personal gain, when our gain in Christ only has its meaning in the church to which we belong. These things can make us selfish, because it encourages so much developed of the self that the development of his body takes second place.
It really is so subtle as you say, wanting to have nice things and live a peaceful life is not bad, but it must be put in context of what you have those things for, in Gods eyes. I am reminded of a story of William Booth, this is third hand info so I do not know the validity of the statement. Apparently while he is lying on his death bed his followers send word for one last thing that he would have them know. After all the years of serving he left them with the word 'others'. He could have said so much, but that is all he said. Jesus christs life and the life which we now have finds its meaning in the depth to which we serve his creation.
Coming back to what was mentioned earlier in this thread about subliminal messages, it affects our lives in the banks we use, the insurances we have, the school we choose for our children everything. Most of it is based upon an underlying fear that we are going to suffer emeasurbly without having these things.
I now certainly in my life, fear is the motivating factor in most things that come from the world.
p.s. John, regarding the spirit guides, who are the seven spirits in the golden lampstand of revelation? :-)
I did go through a very long phase of wanting to know what my ministry and gifting was, in order, as I thought, to fulfill God's purposes for my life. There was a time when I would have lapped up this teaching on Joseph (as I said it was very well done) in the church I attend. It wasn't about success, or prosperity preaching, and there was some really good stuff in a couple of the talks.
But it was all about us finding [i]our[/i] role and purpose and calling, and working with the Lord to bring it to pass. The idea seems to be that if you have no God-given dream to aim for then you won't be able to fulfill it. Is this what "Purpose-Driven is all about as well? I still can't bring myself to get a copy of the book, let alone read it!
The Lord seems to have taken me past that now, to where all that matters is to do what He wants day by day. Not that I always [i]do[/i] :oops: , but that's all that matters, whether I do it or not! The problem in my case (as mentioned elsewhere) was the "needing to be needed", rather than being comfortable and prosperous (though that's nice too!) I was desperate for a purpose, a calling, to be used by God, to not feel such a useless failure...
We all no doubt have different expressions of these kinds of human weaknesses, and it is there that Satan insinuates his temptations.
Come to think of it, JESUS was purpose-driven, but not in a way that most Christians want to be! His aim and goal on earth was the [i]Cross[/i]! Of course, He healed some people and did some miracles on the way, and the teaching of the disciples was vital, but the Cross was the final goal.
Isaiah 50:5 [color=000099] The Lord God has opened My ear;
And I was not rebellious,
Nor did I turn away.
6 I gave My back to those who struck Me,
And My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard;
I did not hide My face from shame and spitting.
7 For the Lord God will help Me;
Therefore I will not be disgraced;
Therefore [i][u]I have set My face like a flint[/i][/u],
And I know that I will not be ashamed.[/color]
Compare Luke 9:51-52
[color=000099] Now it came to pass, when the time had come for tHim to be received up, that [i][u]He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem[/u][/i], 52 and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. 53 But they did not receive Him, because [i][u]His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem.[/u][/i][/color]
Re: the Seven spirits of God I always thought it meant the same as Isaiah 11:1-2
[color=000099] There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse,And a Branch shall grow out of his roots.
2 The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him,
The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The Spirit of counsel and might,
The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.[/color]
Count the number of attributes and you come up with 7.
The Spirit of the Lord
The Spirit of wisdom
The Spirit of understanding
The Spirit of counsel
The Spirit of might
The Spirit of knowledge
The Spirit of fear of the Lord
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