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Showing content with the highest reputation on 08/10/2020 in all areas

  1. 5 points
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  4. 3 points
    I use a tarp, 10x20, everybody holds it above their head as they're walking away from the sun/light. 😆
  5. 2 points
    "This was the same place where Abram had built the altar, and there he worshiped the Lord again" (Genesis 13:4). Abraham's faith was strong because Abraham had a strong prayer life! Prayer is direct conversation and communion with God, whether vocal or silent, planned or spontaneous, individual or corporate. "Prayer, according to Scripture, is conversation directed to God that, like human conversation, may take many different forms. It may come as an expression of desire or appeal, of sorrow or apology, of love or admiration, of gratitude or appreciation, of dissatisfaction or frustration - or of hopes and joys, fears and doubts, questions and curiosities. All these forms of communication can be broadly grouped under three major conversational categories: 1. Entreaty (or request), 2. Esteem (or worship), 3. Fellowship (or communion). In Scripture, prayer may take any or all of these forms" (Ward, M., Parks, J., Ellis, B., & Hains, T. (Eds.). (2018). Lexham Survey of Theology. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press. Genesis 4:25-26 is the first reference in Scripture to prayer. It says, "Men began to call on the name of the Lord." The same language "calling on the name of the Lord," is used by Abraham in Genesis 13:4). When I read the remainder of chapter 13 with this knowledge it definitely painted a better picture for me. Verse 8, Abram was easily able to let Lot choose what he wanted because Abram was waiting for God to deliver to him. Lot chose the best of the best that there was. It looked good anyways. But we find out later on how destructive that decision was. We have got to have a strong prayer life if we are going to have strong faith. I am ashamed to say it, but my prayer life definitely lacks what it should be. It should be like oxygen to my lungs, but it is more like a cheat meal when you're on a strict diet - a couple times a week maybe even once a week. Abram's faith reminds and encourages me that I, just like him, need to draw closer to God. Sometimes I ask God to show me certain things. "Explain these things to me God!" But now I feel like if He did that, and I did understand everything, then I really wouldn't need much faith would I ... What does your prayer life look like? How has prayer affected your faith? Be Encouraged, Chris
  6. 2 points
    I either build things into my novels by design on a first pass (as when I wrote a Steampunk series and depicted a shadow of a great winged bird passing by overhead in the first paragraph and revealed much later that the flying thing wasn't a robot flying overhead and not an albatross).
  7. 2 points
    Like Shamrock, I have take several passes at it in a draft. What's the point of foreshadowing? What do we, as writers, try to achieve by using it? The entire aim is to have the climax set up so that when it happens, when the antagonist reveals their plot or the main character reveals their strength, the readers can look back and see how everything pointed to that ending. I find that for myself, I have to complete a draft in order to know what elements I need to set up for that climax. Do I need to establish why burning something down is important, or a character's dislike of another? Do I need to set up the fighting skills of someone, or that their dog will growl at anyone who doesn't like it? I think the Sherlock Holmes stories are brilliant examples of this. As the readers, we see everything that Sherlock sees but, like Watson, are left in the dark as to what all those things mean. Yet, when Sherlock explains everything, we look back and go, "ah yes, I see". More examples are Agatha Christie's works, her characters Miss Marple and Hercule Peroit. Also the TV series Columbo. Actually, any mystery story will be an excellent study in foreshadowing.
  8. 2 points
    I wasn't going to respond because it's something I don't really like to think about. As QS, I was close to losing my hubby last February, pneumonia and congestive heart failure. He has had some other rough health issues as well, like diabetes, two heart attacks, shingles, prostate cancer, gall bladder removal, both shoulders need replacing, arthritis, etc., etc., etc. Yet, he is relatively well. And then there's me and my issues. However, what is truly scary (which I try not to think about and leave it to the Lord to deal with) is the fact that we have no life insurance. And we're on SS and now supporting two more adults. Extremely hard. Hubby always prays that I would go first just because of no insurance and he doesn't want my life turned upside down if he went first. Just praying the rapture comes before either one of us!!!
  9. 2 points
    I had a little route through my writing books and guess what - not one of them mention foreshadowing. Yet it is a technique used by writers of all mediums. It is the gun in an early scene that reappears as the murder weapon towards the end in a movie or novel. It is the season or landscape that the camera sweeps over which the m/c returns to. OK, just some obvious ones. It is difficult. I have needed to do it a couple of times. The difficulty I see is how not to make it too obvious or too well hidden that your reader miss it. Anyone else.
  10. 2 points
    Ahhh! Remember it well!
  11. 2 points
    I wrote a time-travel story. The way I see it, there are four schools of thought on this: 1. Time/history is fixed. If you are able to time travel, anything you do to change the past will either fail, or become part of history as we all know. 2. Time/History is fluid. You can go back in time and change anything, and it will change the future. The "Back to the Future" movies made this one popular. 3. Time/history is layered into infinite possibilities (multiverses). If you go back in time, make a change, it will only create another alternate reality. Your original reality/history still exists, but on different plain of existence. This can get very complicated. 4. History is fixed, and there is only one plain of reality in the universe that God created. Period. End of story. Time travel by scientific means is impossible (breaks all rules of physics, etc.), mainly because God prohibits it. Allowing someone to go back in time to change things undermines the very sovereignty of God. However, on rare occasions, a miracle occurs that can take someone back (or forward). But this occurs only by the will of God for a very specific purpose, and it won't change anything in history. For example: you're allowed to go back to witness David defeat Goliath. You can't change the outcome, or anything surrounding it. But perhaps, before the encounter, you're allowed to place the stones that David used in his sling? I chose #4 for my story. A grown man miraculously wakes up in his high school past, and has to figure out why he was put there. What he does only ends up becoming what already happened, but a brief encounter ends up changing a life that he would connect with after he got back to the present.
  12. 2 points
    This is the true story about my past life. It was a wicked one indeed, but the Great One pulled me out of it. My story of sin started when I was seven. At the time, I was in third grade, and I was homeschooled with Abeka. One day, during a particular math test, I remember struggling on a story problem and couldn't seem to figure out the answer to it. My mom had left for a few minutes to get the laundry from the dryer (in an apartment complex, we didn't have a personal washer and dryer), and she had left her answer key, which was closed, mind you, on the couch. I saw it and hesitated, debating if I should look for the answer or not. Finally I gave in. Little did I know that this would be my life for the next five years. Grade by grade, I began to cheat on tests and quizzes more and more. I'd sneak looks at my mom's answer keys whenever she wasn't around, write answers on the palms on my hands, etc. It got real in eighth grade, however. In eighth grade, it was almost like an addiction. I was scribbling down the answers to quizzes and tests on pieces of paper and hide them in my clipboard, which had a little part where you could store papers and such in it. Then, whenever I had a quiz/test, I would use that paper to get one hundreds. Sometimes I'd purposely not get an answer right so it wouldn't seem too obvious. And it worked. Nobody noticed. But through it all, God was watching. Near the end of eighth grade, I started feeling convicted about it. I didn't have peace about it, and finally, after finishing the last school day, I confessed to my parents. It was a hot mess after that. My parents were distraught, and I was too. I repented of my sins, but I had to pay the consequences. We called Abeka the next week to tell them what happened and how we could make it right, and we had a few options - either I could take eighth grade again, or I would have to take the quizzes and tests all over again. I chose the latter. From May to the second week of July, I was spending my summer break studying, taking quizzes and tests, and doing my hardest not to cheat. With God's grace, I passed eighth grade, and by His even more infinite grace, I even got on the honor roll! But my story wasn't over. Later in August, my pastor preached a message entitled "The Sin of Hypocrisy." This was a challenge to Christians if we were living under any sort of hypocrisy and were or were not aware of it. It pricked my heart hard. I didn't have inner peace because something told me I wasn't saved. Something told me that even though I made a profession of faith when I was five and joined my church at seven, I wasn't a true believer. By the power and grace of God, on August 5, 2020, I was saved. I released my doubt and my uncertainty at the feet of Jesus and received His free gift of salvation. And since then, I am certain that I'm a Christian! The moral of my life is this. Sinner, believer, or whoever you are, God knows your sin even when others don't. I scoffed at the saying that your sin would affect others, but really, it's truth. The lifestyle of cheating that I lived affected my parents, who had to deal with knowing about this and having to help me retake everything during the summer; my friends, who couldn't hang out with me as much because I had studies to focus on; my extracurricular activities, because I had to stop taking piano lessons for a couple of weeks just to focus; and especially me, as a person. If I had only not peeked at my mom's answer key, I wouldn't have had to live with the consequences five years later. If only I knew about that road I'd have to take, I wouldn't have succumbed to the temptation. The best part is that even if you're a sinner, God still saves. You might doubt that, Beloved, but it's true. It's as true as God's Word can get. And that's saying a lot for those who by faith believe in an invisible God! Your parents might not know about a past or current sin life, your friends might not know, your coworkers or neighbors or relatives might not know, but God knows. He is omniscient, meaning that He knows everything. And I do mean everything! He's also omnipresent, meaning that He's everywhere! Beloved, if you're not saved, I invite you to consider what the Bible says. We are all sinners, and as a result, we are all condemned to Hell. Many have gone that path, and many more will go down it. But you can avoid it! Here is how. Romans 3: 23 says, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" Because of our sin, we fall short of God's glory. We can't approach Him on our own. We're too evil to even stand before a holy, righteous God, and we deserve the punishment of Hell. Romans 6:23 confirms that statement: "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Wages is payment; for our sinful nature, our payment is death, or the eternal punishment of Hell. However, that verse offers hope. Notice the word "but." "...but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." He is the only way to Heaven, and we can't get there on our own! John 14:6 says, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." And it's simple to get to Heaven! Good works won't save you! Ephesians 2:8-9 states, "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." Romans 10:9-11 shows the one and only way to salvation: "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. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed." You need to repent of your sins. Repent means "to turn away from;" by repenting of your sins, you are asking God to forgive you of your sins while promising to not turn back to those. You need to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, that He died on the cross for you in your place, was buried for three days, and rose again on the third day. Though we cannot see Him, 2nd Corinthians 5:7 announces, "(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)" And you will be saved! It's only by repenting of your sins and believing on the Lord Jesus Christ that you will be saved! The best part is that you only have to do it once, because once you're saved, you won't lose that salvation! Yes, you'll sin due to our sin nature and will struggle more than ever in life, but you will still be saved. I hope that this testimony helped you.God bless.
  13. 2 points
    Seriously though, that's one I need to work on.
  14. 2 points
    Last November, our pastor, who was relatively new to us, gave us an assignment. He aske each of us to take time to answer questions for him and for those who would survive us. I did the exercise. it was very beneficial for me. I find that now, less than a year later, I need to update the instructions to my family. It's okay that I have to update it. Circumstances in our lives do change. I heard the story at my stepfather's mother's funeral. She was of advanced age and everytime they got a new pastor, she took in a document telling what she wanted done at her funeral. Her pastor told it as a part of his message to those who were left.
  15. 2 points
    When Fear Overcomes Faith "At that time a severe famine struck the land of Canaan, forcing Abram to go down to Egypt, where he lived as a foreigner" (Genesis 12:10). When I was 18 years old, I got a wild hair and I just decided that I was going to take off to Florida. I finished the week up at work, received my check, and was gone. I was only there for 3 months and realized that it definitely wasn't like the movies that I had grown up watching. I quickly decided that I had made a mistake and I was ready to get out of there. I wonder if Abraham felt this way? He had just left from home, which was a very big deal in their traditional setting, and the place where God led him - now there wasn't anything to eat! I would have been thinking, “God, why in the world would you bring me here to starve to death?” I would have quickly lost all hope and returned home - which Abraham didn't. He didn't question God, He didn't lash out in anger toward God, He just trusted him. Seems like this was a test of old Abe's faith. Isn't that how it goes though? When we determine to follow God and do the right thing, doesn't it seem that we are met with all sorts of difficult situations and obstacles? This is definitely true in my life. I am always second guessing everything; questioning everything. I guess that is ok to a certain extent, but with me that leads to doubting. If I start to question everything with God, I usually start believing my reasoning more than his which leads to me doubting and coming up with my own plan. This is when I let fear overcome faith! "As he was approaching the border of Egypt, Abram said to his wife, Sarai, 'Look, you are a very beautiful woman. When the Egyptians see you, they will say, This is his wife. Let's kill him; then we can have her! So please tell them you are my sister'" (Genesis 12:11-13). Maybe that is what happened to him too. He started out trusting God, but then maybe fear made him doubt. That is when he came up with the plan of lying. He told half the truth. I am so guilty of doing this. Not marrying my sister, but telling half-truths! You have to remember - A half-truth is still a whole lie! I am guessing that old Abe just got scared. Back then if you were in enemy territory and they wanted your wife, they would just murder you and take her. But if he was known as only her brother, then they would honor him and consult him and shower him with gifts for his favor and blessing. Abraham was correct in his thinking. They definitely desired Sarai, but not only was Abraham lying, he asked Sarah to lie too. I remember lots of times in my life when I have told half-truths. I remember lots of times in my life when I have asked others to lie for my own personal interest. I am sure we have all been there and done that so to speak. It may seem harmless at the time, but we will only create obstacles and barriers in our path. It will affect our relationship with God, and with those closest to us that we love. Be Encouraged, Chris
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    Is there a way to identify the person behind a Pixabay picture? I would like to give them credit when/if I use their picture on my blog.
  18. 1 point
    Hi all, So happy to have found this site! I have been feeling a press for quite some time to take my writing more seriously, and one of my first steps in doing so was to find community. I just happened upon a vlog this morning, and through a series of events, was led here. Not sure where all this will land, but I am excited for the opportunity to meet other creatives who are also fellow believers. Hoping to connect with those who are further along in this journey, while somehow giving back as much as I receive. Be well!
  19. 1 point
    I'd like to know if any other authors struggle with this, because I always am. I have a difficult time knowing how to brand myself. On the one hand, I believe a lot of my books would be appealing to secular readers who enjoy books like Artemis Fowl, and some of my other books would appeal to readers of secular books like Name of the Wind, and so forth. However, my books are obviously Christian, and I make no apology about it. But one of the reasons I write Christian Fantasy is because I want to share the gospel through story. I'd love nothing more than to reach secular readers and have them come to know Christ. So would me being so blatantly Christian in my marketing turn them off? Yet I have no shame in my beliefs, and I'm not afraid to tell anyone that I'm a believer. On top of that, I also think many Christian readers may enjoy my books as well. I can't decide if I want to market myself as a Christian author, or just as a fantasy author. I also don't want to market myself as a regular fantasy author, but then have secular readers feel "tricked" when there's blatant Christian themes in my books. I don't want to be dishonest. Any advice is helpful here!
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    Don't forget you can always use tineye.com to search. Select oldest and you'll find the uses of it starting with the first time. And you'll find out if you need to pay for it or not.
  22. 1 point
    I was born sixteen years after this, but I remember my parents listening to this.
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  24. 1 point
    Hi, Josie! Welcome!
  25. 1 point
    This is interesting. Just one more problem for people who struggle with commas. https://thewritelife.com/is-the-oxford-comma-necessary/
  26. 1 point
    Think of facets on a gem. Foreshadowing means to show seeminlgy unrelated facets that only cohere near the end. The key is to make the clues of a very different sort. One clue can relate to number, another to color. Throw in time, a scent, a newspaper clipping... Use focus. When a character finds something important, so will the reader. Use misdirection. The heroine is taken by the brooch, but the hidden message is in the panel under the jewelry box. Focus on thde wrong thing that is next to the right thing. Use repetition. When the same item or place or thing is introduced into multiple scenes, its importance is elevated. Use loss. Just as the importance of an item becomes clear, it is lost or stolen, prolonging the suspense. Use metaphor. The clue and the reality are only connected when a word puzzle is solved. Use unexpected literalism. Someone is taunting the hero with a commonplace phrase that will give it all away if they see through the metaphor. The villain tells the cop, "You'll make Detective someday. Then you'll be Snug as a bug in a rug." The dead body is in the trunk of a VW bug, wrapped in a rug.
  27. 1 point
    Good start zee. Keep going.
  28. 1 point
    It takes a while, Zee! Hangeth thou in there! Are you promoting it on social media?
  29. 1 point
    When I was a child I used to enjoy watching Superbook, that animated series about children who would go back to Bible times and witness events that are recorded in Scripture. I don't have a theological view about it, but I found it entertaining.
  30. 1 point
    If I ever had the ability to time travel, I'd go back to the Resurrection to witness it for myself. Faith is one thing, but to see the Hand of God in action for your self - the terror and the grandeur - is beyond any experience a human being can have. Everything in our world changed in a matter of 3 days. The Resurrection led to Christianity. Christianity led to the rise of the West. The rise of the West led to the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment led to the establishment of the United States of America. It had a hand in the Magna Carta, English Common Law, the Gutenberg press.
  31. 1 point
    I'm not to sure about time travel. Too many things can happen just being where you weren't. Unless you can only travel within the time you have lived, no more. @Accord64 scenarios just touch the tip of the ice berg of possibilities. A headache is coming 😫 just thinking about it.
  32. 1 point
    Yeah, I like #4. Not changing what happens in the past, but affecting what happens in the present/future.
  33. 1 point
    Congratulations on getting saved! That's awesome!
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  35. 1 point
    Excellent question. I'll be watching to see.
  36. 1 point
    Welcome, Sunny!
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    Welcome and I am glad that you are here!
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    Welcome! It's great to meet you
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  42. 1 point
    Hi SunnyFlorida, welcome to Christianwriters! It is great to meet you!
  43. 1 point
    Welcome, it's nice to meet you!
  44. 1 point
    Welcome aboard! 🙂 It's great to have you here!
  45. 1 point
    Welcome to the flock. You will find helpful, encouraging people here.
  46. 1 point
    Praying for you and your medical team.
  47. 1 point
    another update. went in to get the second infusion of remicaid, the new medicine (the last one I can try to help keep the UC in remission before seriously looking at surgery) - and although the first infusion went okay, I had a severe reaction to this one. The nurse said she'd never seen anyone react to it the way I had. Unfortunately, the doctor was out of town and will be till next week, so he wants to see me asap, which won't be until the 27th. but i may not be able to take remicaid, which means surgery might be the only option left. please keep me in your prayers, and I am so grateful for all the prayer so far. Thank you so much.
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  49. 1 point
    It is God's will for us to prosper in all things according to His will. However, it'll be terrible to see prosperity only from the eyes of flesh, but rather through the eyes of Faith. Seeing through the eyes of Faith is seeing through God's point of view, it is seeing through the light of God's word, it is knowing God's will concerning everything, by His spirit. For one to see through the eyes of Faith, He must first be filled with God's word and the holy spirit, it is the infilling of the holy spirit that gives and enables us see through the eyes of Faith. No one who's not baptized in the holy ghost can ever see through the eyes of Faith, because the holy spirit has not yet fully taken possession of His being. To be baptized in the holy ghost, is to desire to be immersed and become one with God's words ( Life ). It is the word dominating our hearts that fills us with the holy spirit which then, gives us the desire to be baptized in the holy ghost, not necessarily to speak in tongue, but rather, becoming more like Jesus, being empowered to do even greater things Jesus did while He walked the earth. The Holy ghost baptism, is empowerment from on high. To be baptized in the holy ghost, one must first desire it, but this desire can only be given by the holy spirit. Seeing through the eyes of Faith is seeing through God's word, by His spirit. God's word and His spirit must go together, we cannot come only by water but, rather by water and the blood, I mean; not only must we have God's word, we must have God's spirit, for it is the infilling of the word that grows God's spirit in us. How much we drink of His water will be equivalent to how much His spirit grows, dominates and possesses us. When God's spirit grows in us, it fills and dominates our entire being, reactivating our hearts to become sensitive to His spirit. The heart of man is the real self, the spirit man, and as we become filled, our spiritual senses are reactivated, to see, hear, speak, perceive and act Faith. The heart of Faith is a heart that hears what God speaks, sees what God's sees, and know what God wills. When we shut our fleshly senses, I mean; when we cease to see God from our fleshy point of view, when we begin to see, hear and perceive God by Faith, we then begin to prosper, because we begin to see in God's will, not ours. Man's will ends in time and can eventually destroy Him, but God's, is eternal. This will take us to the scriptural story of the rich young man who encountered Jesus in Mathew chapter 19. A rich Young Man who had everything came to Jesus, not for anything else, but to justify his heart. Of course this young man was born of God's spirit. There was a spiritual Force within the rich young man, a force he couldn't deny, a force convicting him that there is more to Jesus than repentance and obedience. And so, he wanted to be sure, not for accepting the conviction of the holy spirit but, rather to destroy it by justifying himself from His fleshly point of view, not God's. He asked Jesus two questions; " Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” “ All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?” [ Matthew 19: 16,20 ] Jesus answered him and said; “ If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” [ Matthew 19:21 ] Jesus knew all along, all the young man wanted was to justify himself and put to silence the conviction of the holy spirit in his heart. Jesus knew he wanted to hear what he wanted to hear from Jesus and not what God wanted for his heart. However, Jesus in His Love saw this man through the eyes of Faith and spoke God's word to Him. He saw the current state of his heart, He saw Him in his poor state. Although born of God, rich in material things, but very poor in things of the spirit. The man knew by the conviction of the holy spirit that there was more to it than living holy. Still, He wanted to hear from a higher authority who'll tell Him it is okay to remain in the poor state he's in and not journeying deeper by walking with Jesus to become rich in spirit. He wanted to silence the holy spirit by hearing; " Hey, it's okay, you've repented, your sins are forgiven, just continue in obedience okay." Many of us are following Jesus when He called us, but like the rich young man, we choose to remain in a poor state. God's will for us is to be restored and continue being restored when we received Jesus. However, man is a free moral agent, we have the will to choose either to remain in Him or to walk with him. To remain and Choosing to follow Jesus are two side of the same coin of God's kingdom. To remain is to inherit the kingdom of heaven, but choosing to follow is to become part of God's kingdom government, a stake holder in God's master plan. Choosing to remain in Jesus; is to choose to remain being saved, born of His spirit, saved from hell, but yet very poor in spirit, because although, living in Jesus yet, fixed on material things, "vanity." Those who're satisfied with just remaining, have an eye fixed on vanity and another on eternity. When we walk with Jesus with our eyes fixed on material things, still we can maintain our relationship, saved. Yet, remaining poor in spirit. Meanwhile, walking with Jesus, when He said; “ come, and follow me,” Is not necessarily about remaining in Him, but rather it is walking in His will. Walking in God's will is to let Him blur out every vision of the world that distracts and pose as a hindrance, keeping our eyes fixed on His will, the vision of His kingdom set before us, to gain eternal treasures. We are that treasures, but we cannot be until we yield to be refined like gold from glory to glory. When we choose to remain in Jesus, we begin to see Him mostly through flesh and less in spirit. We begin to see Jesus for only what He can do for us, to heal, bless and prosper us in time. However, when we come, and follow Him, when walk with Him, like Abraham who left His father's land and willing to sacrifice Isaac or the first Apostles who left everything without thinking twice to follow Jesus, we also, will be willing to give all He has given us as sacrifice to see His will fulfilled in and through us. To come, and follow, is to drop, lose, and leave all to follow Jesus wherever He leads. I mean; it is to live no longer for material things, but rather to desire and will for God's will to be done in us, on earth through us. His will is to restore His kingdom on earth through us, within our hearts. What are you willing to give in sacrifice for God's will to be fulfilled, not yours, but His? It is man's will to prosper on earth, but it is God's, to prosper in eternity. This is where many come to stop. A great multitude wants to remain, only a few do actually come and follow. Not everyone can accept this, because it's not given to everyone. It's a parable by Jesus. It's only given to those who are willing to die to self. This is why the Lord said we should pray for the Lord to send more harvesters for the harvest. Everything about the kingdom is irony to the flesh. When we choose the path of death, living not for self, then we begin to prosper eternally. “ Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Matthew [ 19:23‭-‬24 ] It's is hard for a man who's so concerned about flesh, being attached to this world to become rich in spirit. We must die here to live and gain over there. Anyone who lose his life ( flesh ) will gain it ( life eternal ). To gain life is reciprocal to attaining wealth in eternity, over there life is reciprocal to currency, wealth, authority and all. When we give way for earthly riches, we pave way for eternal treasures or prosperity, whatever you may call it. Giving way for earthly riches, is spending what we're been given by God to those in need. When I say “ in need,” I mean; both physically and spiritually, mostly spiritual because there no greater need than salvation. In salvation lies; healing, deliverance, blessings, strength, empowerment, restoration, everything. By doing this, we become one with Love ( God ) not only as we fellowship with Him always in our heart through meditation ( fellowship ), but also, through our neighbors ( enemies ), for whatever we do unto other that we do unto Him. When we cease to pursue earthly future and treasures for self, it creates an opportunity to spend more time in God's presence, because God will never give us anything that'll take or distract us from Him presence. When we spend more time with God, it paves way to pursue eternal future or treasures in Christ Jesus. Pursuing eternity future in Christ Jesus is pursuing eternal treasure that'll be used by God through us to bring salvation, restoration to all of creation, to deliver, save, heal, bless... All for one purpose, the building and establishment of His Kingdom. “ Then He said to them, “Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.” [ Matthew 13:52 ]. We gain more eternal treasure as we walk with Jesus in obedience, by giving out what were given. When we give, we receive, when we sacrifice to gain eternal treasure to give to the world, we gain more and God's word becomes true in our lives. For it's more blessed to give than to receive. If all the blessings God really wanted for us is mainly only on earth, I bet He'd just cut our life's short and take us to heaven the very moment we give our lives to Him. What is it you have to give? It's one thing to give your talent, but the ultimate is giving that which God has given and placed in you before creation. And this you can only find when you begin to seek God earnestly, desiring to know the purpose He created you, to see His will fulfilled in and through you. You can't find this ultimate treasure, until you begin to seek God earnestly. This ultimate treasure Is "you," your real purpose in God's master plan which has been hid in God, revealed only to those who didn't just choose to remain, but to walk with Jesus wherever, wherever He leads. This is were we find our true self in God's master plan. Hey, God's master plan is not for you to remain a doctor or whatever achievement or trophy you've attain by flesh, it's baffles me how many parents give birth to children as trophies. That's just a story book you created by the world, your own that'll eventually burn up. There's a book many really haven't opened, we all can open that book by the help of the holy spirit, but we can't actually finish it, because the master will always be greater than the servant, Only Jesus finished the will of the Father in His life. Prayer remains the highly general way of love to gain eternal treasures. I'll always say this for those whom haven't yet discover their purpose in God. Nothing can makes us love a person as much as praying for him. The more we pray for others, the more we love them. How much we give to other through prayers, will determine how much we'll receive. We give to receive more, not to attain a crown, ( of course we will ). Rather, we give to have more so, we can release more of God's life for the salvation of souls. By salvation, I mean; restoration, healing, strengthening and all there is for Jesus to help us in this spiritual battle we're all in, this Pilgrim's journey. Give all you have, " come, follow me," Jesus said. Following Jesus in obedience wherever He leads, fills us with treasures to give and to be given to give more. Remember, one cannot gain eternal treasures without Love. We do not love to gain eternal treasures like trophies, no, such is not love. But, rather to gain more Life, so we can release more unto the world in love. Life is restoration, giving out life in love is bringing restoration to the world. We don't long to be Crowned in eternity by our love, rather we love, sacrifice to see others restored as we also are been loved and are being restored and renewed inwardly every moment in of our lives in Christ Jesus. In the end, lies an inevitable crown and glory. “ Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” [ Matthew 19:21 ]
  50. 1 point
    Mark 1:21-28 I remember the 1st time I heard expository preaching. It was different for me in so many ways. It really penetrated my heart because I was understanding the Scripture the way it was meant to be understood – in context. It challenged me to not only grow deeper in my knowledge of God’s Word, but to grow in my daily life of living that Word out. I could not fully explain these things that day and I imagine that is how the audience in this synagogue is feeling as well. There was just something about this Jesus guy, something different from all the other teachers. When I teach, I will quote sources when I use them, and the scribes did the same thing when they taught in the synagogue. Jesus would explain the Scripture in a way that they had never quite experienced and then I suppose they were looking for the source of those words. Jesus never quoted anyone because He was the source. The author was standing right in front of them. They could see the Word that we read with their very own eyes and they could hear his voice with their very own ears. And then in verse 23, “A man in the synagogue who was possessed by an evil spirit cried out.” The only one in that religious gathering that knew who Jesus was, was the evil spirit. When the Word of God is spoken it has so much power. It convicts your heart and it initiates a desire in you to listen. It breaks you down and makes you aware that you are sinful; that you are separated from God. The people’s hearts were just so hardened that they could not turn to it. They wondered but they would not accept. I want to make you aware of this. Where was this evil spirit at? This is a question I want you to answer. Comment below. These people had never experienced anything like what took place that day. Jesus, the Son of God was right in front of them. Nature knew it, Satan confessed it, Angels recognized it, and here in this passage – the men felt it! But they would not accept it. How about you?
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