1 Peter 1:22

1 Peter 1:22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart

According to this scripture, how are our souls purified? By obeying the truth. Not just going through act, but “through the Spirit”. What truth do we obey? Sincerely loving the brethren. Since we do this, we can love one another more fervently. The word “fervent” used is the greek word ektenos. Which comes from the verb ektenes meaning to “stretch out the hand”. Love is not a mental affection or feeling but is an action. You can’t quietly love a person in your mind and not share it. Love is not just words. Feelings are fleeting, but true love extended has a lasting effect(fruit) in the one receiving it.

Trodding that Same Path

When any ounce of my being is lifted up
My Lord reminds me that it is with the meek with whom He will sup
When any praise swells my heart inside
My Lord reminds me that grace is given to the humble not the one with pride

My knees must be flexible and always ready to bend
As a sheep who is willing to let it’s Shepherd tend
Comfort comes from knowing that He with His staff and rod
Will lovingly train and conform me and lead me up the same Path He
trod

Our Other Half (poetic thoughts on Eph 5:22-33)

One flesh shall be
One flesh not two
Loving His body
His body washed anew
His wife, His bride
His bride, knitted to His side
He is spent for her
And she for Him

What is the price that each one paid
Each invoice says “a complete sacrifice was made”
He feeds, He keeps, He warms, He broods
Like one with its young
Comforts her as a mother to her child
Speaks well of her, without no guile
Kindness rolls from His tongue

As Christ was and is and is to come
We as His “other half” in a clearer mirror should see
What our half to our other Half should be

The Widow Who Gave It All

(Mark 12:30, 40, 43-44,
Matt 5:3, 6:19-21, 25-34)

Two mites would have sustained her
For one more day
But with her mites
She gave her life away

Out of her nothing to give
She gave it all
Even as the dust
Forsaking the nothing
She did trust

No permanent dwelling
Or earthly family with which to live
But the Lord sustaineth
And in the Lord she remaineth

To the eyes of men
This widow was poor
But to God she had sought the kingdom
And she had riches in store

Ponds and Rivers

My thoughts after reading 2Peter 1…When we truly know the Lord, not just by the mind, then that literally bids or commands our attention to worship Him and give Him all the glory that He deserves and to resolutely boldly pursue His life, and His standard of holiness. There is nothing rapids_from_gorge_toplike being a stagnant pond which is the opposite of being a river of living water. A pond generally has life in it, but if not fed from an outside source of water, life will cease and eventually will dry up. Not a good water source to drink from either, because it can make you sick. Rivers on the other hand are abundant in life, freshness, clean, ever flowing, ever pursuing the ocean or larger body of water, or more living water. Drinking water from a river is usually safe(granted no one is dumping pollution in it) there is no time for yucky stuff to grow in it, it doesn’t take a break from moving. Near the end of a river one would fine rapids, bumpy and rocky. The race to the finish line is picking up speed, easier because we can see our reward ahead, but yet harder from more serious tests we have to pass yet to get there. Like a river, we should be boldly pursuing to attain what the Lord has promised, his ever abundant life for us(the ocean, which never seems to run out of water and life)in His kingdom. I can’t afford to be stagnant. I don’t want to be that fig tree our Lord withered because it produced no fruit. I am a river not a pond, purged from the impurities of sin; not to look back, a river doesn’t look back it keeps going in a forward motion. Oblivious to the things around it that might hinder it. So when it sees the end in sight, it’s start sprinting and falls into the ocean in need of rest, the finish line. I can’t wait til this body can rest in Him for all eternity…

The Fast of Relief

Most of us know that fasting(abstaining from food/drink) is supposed to be something that followers of Jesus Christ are to do regularly for various reasons.

Matt 6:16-18,Matt 9:14-17,2 Cor 6:4-5
2 Cor 11:25-27,Matt 17:20-21

Acts 14:23,1 Cor 7:5

But how many of us have come across Isaiah 58, and know what fasting really is? Brethren, read through the passage and see the importance of it. Is our abstaining from food(or other “good deeds” for that matter) really accomplishing anything if we neglect what the Lord really wants from us, obedience. In Isaiah 58, the people of God were looking for God, were excited about God, did things for God, wanted to know His will, and heartily prayed a lot.(58:2)But still wondered why their “deeds” were not rewarded and it seemed that God was not listening or paying attention to it at all.(v 3)Israel believed that their acceptance by God was by their own works.They didn’t see that abstaining from food had nothing to do with what God wanted from them. And that they were fasting with the wrong motives, and not sorrowful; it was all a show (v 4,5). They were despising their neighbors and exploiting them. They were only thinking of themselves. True fasting is denial of self and the loving of others(God AND man). Hear the Lord:

Isa 58:6-7 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? 7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?

jesus_gave_the_people_bread2

How can we say we love God, who we don’t see, and yet not love our neighbor who we do see? Just “loving God” is not acceptable. (1John 4:7-21) Loving our neighbor IS loving God; it’s a package deal. We feign love for God if we neglect others and their needs. We are then liars. By this we will be judged. (Matt 25:31-46) whether we are sheep or goats; the obedient on the right(sheep), the liars on the left(goats). Did you deny yourself of daily comfort, so that you could relieve your neighbor in his affliction, his hunger, his lack of clothing, his lack of shelter? “Well done good and faithful servant“(Matt 25:21)….”Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” Did you turn from your brother’s need, when you had it in your hand to give or do? “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels

Does it seem like your prayers are not being answered? And that your walk the Lord seems to be stagnant, though you are doing, doing, doing for the Lord? Examine yourself, and whether you are truly obeying Him or just going through the motions. When we truly obey and walk in love for God and our neighbor it is His delight to answer our needs and enlighten our eyes, and guide us in His will.(Isaiah 58:8-12)(1John 3:16-24)

(Isaish58:13-14) Resting in the Lord’s work should be our delight. We need to fast from our own works, our ways, our own idea of pleasure, and our own opinions. Esteem and relieve others first above ourselves. When we do that, we can then without pretense say “I Love God” (Matt 25:35-40)

The Killing Zone

From the comfort of my chair
As I sit with little care
A thought comes to mind
“How could I be so unkind?
Forgetting those our brethren
Also looking forward to the Kingdom of Heaven

As I fall down to my knees
“Father, help them please.
Endure the pain of torture
To remember their Hope so sure
And as men seek to take their life,
Remind them that Jesus did not fight back in strife

Prostrate on my face I now lie
“Make me worthy Lord also to die.
To suffer for Thy name
And bring thee glory not shame
Just like those thy saints in the killing zone
Patiently longing for their true homemm-bk1-p019