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In this blog, I share what the Lord shares with me. I reference scripture a lot in support of what is being said. I realize that what is in each entry is NOT a complete 'word' on what is being said, but is rather enough information to stimulate our spirits to dig deeper (remember the Bereans Acts 17:10-11) thereby gaining a fuller understanding for ourselves.

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Saturday, February 24, 2024

2-24-2018  For the Love of God


I’ve addressed the question before “Really, Who is God?” and, at that time, I shared three main spiritual events in my life.  I talked about how these experiences impacted my life but I didn’t really talk about how they came into being.  And that’s what I want to talk about today.  These, and all the other things I have experienced in my Life wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for the LOVE GOD has for me.”

Communication with Father (or anyone else, is a two way street.  So is God’s love – He communicates with us, then we need to communicate with Him.  Communicate = talking.

First, God so loved me that He gave His only begotten Son that should I accept His Son (Jesus) into my life and through my commitment to Him, I would enjoy eternal fellowship with the Father through the Son forever (John 3:16).

Second, I discover that if I love God I will live according to what Jesus said because it is a demonstration of my love for Him.  Jesus said “If you love Me, keep My commandments (John 15:10-12).  His commandments are actually a single commandment – to Love.  But love moves in two directions – up and outward. God’s concept of love is to truly care about Father (the great I am), who He is and just what does He mean to me, then to care about those around me.  

Truly caring about our relationships is LOVE!    

Thirdly, God’s ultimate desire for me to have a relationship with Him through my love for Him (He loved me first).

What I want you to take away from this is about how Father loves me and then how I can return that love to him.  And, keep in mind, this isn’t just about me, it’s also about you.

Jesus says that whatever you’ve done to the least unto those in My kingdom, you’ve done unto me (Matt. 25:31-46).  He watches over us and stands beside us when we n need His help.  He is the first of many brothers of those who seek the Lord (Rom. 8:29).  Jesus IS our ‘big’ brother! 

Basically, I grew up in a Southern Baptist Church.  In my youth, I faithfully attended Sunday School and, as a group, the boys in my class and I attended services afterward.  After High School, I drifted away from attending church on a regular basis.  Several years later, I met the woman I wanted as my wife, who was also Southern Baptist, so we went to my old church to see if the pastor would perform the ceremony.  There was a new pastor (less than a year, I think) and he agreed to do our ceremony but he required one condition – that for the marriage to succeed, Jesus must be involved in our lives.  He explained how things would work then he turned specifically to me.  He asked me if I knew Jesus as my personal Savior.  I replied that I attended Sunday School in my youth.  “That’s not what I asked you” he said.  I responded to his next question with “I’ve never done anything really bad and try to treat people nice.”  Again, he said “that’s not what I asked you.  We exchanged thoughts then He asked me one final time “Have you ever received Jesus into your heart?”  At that moment, I felt a tugging deep down inside and admitted “No” and then the pastor asked me if I would invite Him into my life.    I said “Yes.”  Iprayed to let Jesus into my heart and immediately I felt a huge, very heavy burden literally lifting up off my being.  In reflection, at the moment I realized that, that was when, Jesus had become my big brother!  God, the Father, was now with me and in me!

While I was yet a sinner Christ died for me (Rom. 5:8).  I had the ‘audacity’ to ask Him into my life and, in spite of who I was.  He did not refuse.

Again, at that moment, I knew that while yet a sinner, Jesus had exchanged His life for mine 2000 years ago.  Also, in reflection, I’ve come to realize that was just the first step.  I’ve spent all my life learning, continually, how to walk more closely with my Lord.  Over the years, I’ve learned the depth of what ‘keeping His commandments means and, more so, what giving my love to Him truly means.

When I confess and repent my sins, He is faithful to forgive and forget them (Rom. 10:9, 1 John 1:9, Isaiah 38:17, Micah 7:19).

As I’ve lived my life, too many times I’ve fallen short of Father’s expectations for me and time and again, I’ve had to repent things which I have done.  It took years for Father to finally get into my thick skull to take care of business up front and not to put things off.  As with King David, when the prophet Nathan reminded him of the sin he had committed with Bathsheba which resulted in a little baby who died.  Through Nathan’s confrontation, David repented because he had come to realize what he had done (2 Sam. 12:1-18).  Father has impressed upon me that when I’ve “messed up”, as soon as I realize what I have done – that is the time to repent, not days, weeks, months, etc. later.    That is admit my guilt, confess my sin and turn away from it.  God forgets our sins (Micah 7:19, Isa. 38:17) and so should we.

Should I sin (after salvation) I do have an advocate with Father as long as I repent (1 John 2:1).

What more can be said here?  I remember, as I truly confess my sin, God puts that repented sin behind His back and it slides into the sea and is forgotten (thank you for the reminder  Micah and Isaiah?

Father loves me and I do my best to show my love for Him.  Let me share a couple of situations where God has shown His love for me.  Now, grant it, other people may have experiences more dramatic or traumatic than my situations, but these are a couple of mine.

Baltimore/Washington Parkway connects Baltimore Md. With Washington DC (no brainer).  My home was just a few miles outside the DC line and my sister was about fifteen miles closer to Baltimore.  The Parkway was the quickest route between the two points.  When I was in my early twenties, I rode a Triumph 250cc dirt bike.  I was coming from my sister’s, on the parkway and about a mile from my exit was a ninety degree turn in the road (OK, about 90 degrees), in the direction I was headed.  I was coming out the back side of that curve and as soon I had a clear view of the traffic ahead, it was stopped – dead!  The speed limit was 65 mph then and the closest car to me was maybe thirty yards.  I thought to myself ‘hit the brakes and lay the bike down.  Minimum damage I get severe road burn but I should live, maximum damage I slide under the car in front of me and suffer greater damage to myself as well as the bike.  Then I heard a small voice ‘get off the throttle and steer onto the shoulder’.  It was a gravel shoulder, but I did it.  I was able to safely slow the bike down to a controllable speed and safely survived what could have been one very nasty incident.  The Holy Ghost gave me direction.  God was watching out for me!  And, yet, at that time, I had not yet given my life to Him so I wasn’t appreciative as I should (or could) have been.  I didn’t even really know Him then.  If that isn’t love?  Not me!  The Lord!

The other experience I’d like to share was on my job.  Except, for a little under two years, I was a ‘federal’ employee ‘lifer’.  I worked for the US government, CIA, GSA and FDA.  Yup, that’s the Central Intelligence Agency, the General Services Administration and I retired from the Food and Drug Administration.  While at FDA, about five years after I had given my life to Him, I experienced God’s love for me, in my  finances.  I was a documents clerk with the FDA for the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) specifically Office of Generic Drugs (OGD), under CDER, all under FDA).  I received, and coded documents then forwarded them for drug approval and resourced them to the appropriate discipline reviewers, aka chemist, medical doctors, pharmacologist, etc.  Not all the drug companies followed standard procedures by declaring what issues the document was addressing, fortunately they did file it to the appropriate drug application.  I processed various types of documents which would pertain to formula changes, packaging changes, expiration date extensions, manufacturing changes, quantity changes and the like and of course they all submitted an annual report reflecting all of the year’s activity for that application.  One day, I sat at my desk grumbling (to myself) about processing ‘easier’ documents versus more involved documents.  Annual reports were the easiest and it was a pain (oft times) trying to figure out just what the companies were doing with other documents.  While I sat grumbling, I heard a small voice say  “Give Me the job.”  I looked up and around then said “OK, it’ Yours.”  I knew Jesus by this time.  I believe, at that time, I was a GS4 but I might have recently been promoted to GS5, the ceiling of the pay scale for my position.  About two years later, we were told that our position was being upgraded to a GS7.  Still working within OGD.  Several years later, my supervisors told me a position was opening up as a contract Liaison which would go to a GS9.  CDER had sixteen review divisions (each dealing with a different drug type, heart, lung, kidneys, etc.) The liaison position meant that I would be training contractor staff to do the same job I had been doing (for about ten years) and I would also be dealing (as a liaison) with issues between the contractor and the government, as well as writing procedures for the contractor and explaining the impact for both contract and government staff.  After a few years, my GS9, then the top level of my position, was also upgraded to a GS11.  After a while, I was told that one of my co-workers would soon be retiring and my supervisors wanted me to replace him.  He retired and I did take his position which was a  GS12 slot and that’s the position from which I retired.  Generally, GS 10 and above positions, in the government, required college education.  I thanked God for giving me the ingenuity and the availability to attain that GS12 with only a high school diploma.  Father showed His love towards me through my paycheck. 

Other situations showing God’s love for me and how He protected me would be reflected in the near accident when I first bought that Triumph 250, or on the roof of the hotel in Saigon or when, the day before one of my coworkers and I were scheduled to check out of country (Vietnam) and catch a plane back to good ole USA  and during which we encountered a helicopter ride to the middle of nowhere, yet, we did make our flight the next morning. 

Over the years, I have always given ‘something back to God, but I haven’t always been a ‘tither’. Later in my life I have made sure Father has that which is holy to Him (Lev. 27:30).  And even through my failings in those years, Father has always given me direction and made sure I always had what I needed to meet my needs.  Yes, there were lessons in the process, but Father kept showing His love for me.

Over the years, He has continually grown me in knowledge of the bible AND drawn me into a closer relationship with Him. 

Has Father blessed me?  Definitely!  Has He shown His love towards me?  How can I count the all the blessings and situations He has pulled me through?

I can never, ever, fully repay Father for what He has done for me, but I do my best by learning what He has taught me and doing my best to be faithful and obedient in His will.  I give Him praise and glory by singing songs back to Him, which He has given me as well as singing along with recordings from professional artists.  I enjoy singing those songs for as I do, I feel His presence in my life.  Some songs, He has given me, even reflect those ‘physical’ feelings I have when I am in His presence.

I may not be like Daniel, who prayed every morning, noon and night but I do set a significant amount of time each day to spend with my Lord.  I like to know what Father and I talk about, but He has also impressed upon me that there are times I just can’t express myself in the way He likes, so yes, I also pray in the Spirit, that is the heavenly language Father has given me,  tongues (1 Corinth. 14:13-15, 39-40).

What I do doesn’t compare to what He has done for me, but I am still trying.  Before Father took her home, I used to tell my wife that “I was trying”.  She would look at me, get a slight smile upon her lips and say “Yes, I know.  Very.”  How often must Father look at me with that similar, subtle smile?  I thank God that He loves me.

I love the Lord with all my heart and He has shown me, over the years how He loves me.  Without going into greater detail, what more can I say?

Father does things for us and all too often we are not even aware of His presence or even consider His involvement in what happens in our lives.  Sooooo

Now, how about you?


Saturday, February 10, 2024

            2-10-2024        Unity of and with God


This Tuesday AM, I was still pondering what to put in the blog and Father said “try this for size”:

Over the years, Father has shown me the unity of the Godhead and recently He has shared a couple of eye-openers (at least for me).

In the Book of Deuteronomy chapter 32, Moses explains to Israel that God is their “Rock” (more specifically Deut. 32:15).  Jesus is the “rock” in the New Testament (1 Corinth. 19:1-5).  Do we see a connection?  Is there a unity here?

Now, in Exodus, in reference to bring Israel out of Egypt, Moses asks God “Whom shall I say has sent me?”  And God responds “I AM that I AM.  Tell them that I AM has sent you.”  In the Book of Revelation, John, while on the island of Patmos and ‘in the Spirit’, hears a voice and turns to see one like the Son of man in the midst of seven candlesticks.  His hair was white, like wool or snow, His feet were like brass and His eyes like the flame of a fire.  So, what caused John to turn and look?  The voice said “I AM Alpha and Omega, the first and the last ….” (Rev. 1:10-16).  Hmmm.  Are both Father AND Jesus claiming to be I AM?  Are there two I AMs?  Or just one?

Father reminded me that the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Jesus (Col. 2:9-10).

He also reminded me that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God (John 1:1).  And the Word was made flesh and lived in our midst, the only begotten of the Father (John 1:12-14).  Here’s a unity, a oneness, that’s hard to overlook.  And yes, Luke says that Jesus is the ‘supposed’ son of Joseph (who through many generations) was the son of Adam who is the son of God (Luke 3:38).  Consider that Adam was not ‘begotten’ of the Father, but God created by Him.  Jesus was ‘begotten’ through a human (Mary Matt. 1:22-25, Luke 1:28-35, 38) with no ‘human’ Father.  The angel told Mary that the Holy Ghost would come upon her.

Biblical situations declaring that both Father and Jesus (Son) ae indicated as thee ‘Rock’ and ‘I AM’. 

Now, not in the scriptures, but on a personal note.  Over time, I asked Father about His unity, more than once.  From ‘man’ I have heard ‘three persons but one in nature’, implying that there are three Gods, but all three are one, that is the same in thought.  But my response (to myself) was that, then, makes us polytheistic, not monotheistic.  Poly meaning more than one and mono meaning, literally one. 

So Father told me this (you can believe this if you want, the choice is yours) that He is Spirit and we must worship Him in Spirit and truth (John 4:24).  Then consider that when He created all that is, He spoke it into existence (Gen. 1:1-31).  The words ‘God said’ appear nine times in Genesis chapter one.  In case you are wondering, according to biblical numbers, nine means God’s completeness.  So God ‘said’ and it was so. 

So what did God say?  No, not the “let there be”, but what do these letters spell?  Words!  God spoke Words to create all that is.  Who is the lving Word of God?  Jesus (John 1:14).

Okay, how did those words ‘go forth’?  What does Genesis say? “… The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”  What is the ‘Spirit’ God?  The Hebrew word here is ruwach (H7307) which is translated ‘ breath’. 

So, in creating all that is, God (the essence) spoke (Words) and His Spirit (breath) carried those words into action, creating whatever God spoke!

Father has given us a similar capacity.  When we speak, what happens?  We (our essence) says something (our words) and then our breath carries those words into the world by ‘shifting the atmosphere’ around us.  Shifting?  Shifting?  What do I mean by shifting?  Our breath stimulates the air around us and the sound of our voice carries for a distance.  How loud we speak determines how far our words travel.  When you are within my range (here’s science) those air waves, (which carry my voice) stimulates the ear drum, anvil and stirrup in your ear so you can hear what I say.  As long as we speak the same language, then, you can understand what I have just said.  Get the idea? 

Essence, words, breath – Father, Son and Holy Ghost (Spirit), then body soul and spirit (us).

God is a three part entity and so are we!  We are made in God’s image? 

Made in God’s image can involve several aspects.  One, as a three part being as just cited.  Two, does God have a head, arms, legs, feet and hands like we do?  Jesus did.  He was born into humanity.  God sent His Son, made (born) of a woman, under the Law to redeem us so that we might also become sons so that we might also declare God as Abba (Father) (Gal. 4:4-6).  And Three – love.  God is love (1 John 4:8).  God loves us so much, He has given us the capacity to love Him in return (1 John 4:10).  So if God loves us so much shouldn’t we love Him with the same fervor and one another in the same capacity (1 John 4:11)?  What did Jesus tell us was the greatest commandment?  Love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength which is the first commandment (Mark 12:29-30) and the second is to love our neighbor as ourselves.  There is no greater commandment than to love (Mark 12:31).  Why?  Because the Law and the prophets hang (rely, support, based on) these commandments of love (Matt. 22:40).

So, we‘ve seen the unity of the Godhead AND the relationship to us.  Yes?

Father gives us the promise of everlasting life with Him (John 3:16) when we accept that final blood sacrifice Jesus gave for us.  Scripture tells us that Father is not really impressed with the offering and sacrifice of animals, but Jesus has come to offer Himself, once and for all, taking our sin upon Himself (1 Peter 2:24) and is now sat down (or is standing) at the right hand of God (Heb. 10:1-12). 

Think about this.  My son, my only son, is the true banner carrier of my (surname – last) name.  Yes I have an uncle, who also has a son and I don’t know how many uncles and cousins beyond that, but my son carriers that banner for this part of the family.  My son carries my genes (as well as his mother’s) and he has passed that on to his sons (yes plural).  My son was not created but born through the union between my wife and myself.  As I said, he carries my side of the ‘family tradition’. 

In the beginning, there was nothing through which God could work –.  No sky, no air, no water, to dirt, no nothing!  He spoke it all into existence.  Then, Adam was created from the dust of the earth (Gen. 2:19).  Jesus was born with the union of (wo)man, not with a man (male) but by the  Father through the Holy Ghost (Luke 1:35).  Now, remember how God created all things!  He spoke all things into existence.  Father spoke, the Holy Ghost carried His Word and Mary brought forth Jesus (again Luke 1:35).

One last passage here.  Look at Jesus’ words “Neither do I pray for these alone but those who believe on Me through their word.  that they may be one, Father, as You are in Me and I in You that they also may be one with us, that the world may believe You have sent Me.  The glory You have given Me, I have given them that they may be one as We are one.  I in them, You in Me that they may be made perfect in one and that the world will know that You have sent Me and have loved them as You have loved Me. (John 17:20-23).

Through our ‘salvation’, we are adopted into the family of God and Jesus is our big brother (Eph. 1:4-5), but is He ‘just’ our big brother?  Of course not.  We have obtained our eternal existence through Him and His sacrifice of love He showed towards us. 

Hopefully, we have seen the unity of the Godhead, Father, Son and Holy Ghost.  God, the Father, is ONE God and through His love for us, He desires us to become one with Him, through Jesus (His only begotten son).  That is one with the Creator of all things.