Truth

Chapter 3

Good Monay Morning to this week 3 of 2021

I’m following in the pattern, one verse to one book of scripture. Today to 3. John:

I greatly rejoiced when some of the brethren arrived and testified to the truth of your life, as indeed you do follow the truth. (3 John 1:3)

Speaking of being consistent in his actions:

He showed the truth in his life, what impressed John was not that he knew the truth, but that he followed the truth. He lived it. He had a consistent life.

Truth’ involves both the quality of “faithfulness, fidelity, loyalty, sincerity, veracity”, and that of “agreement with fact or reality”.

Truth is the property of being in accord with fact or reality. In everyday language, truth is typically ascribed to things that aim to represent reality or otherwise correspond to it, such as beliefs, propositions, and declarative sentences.

Merriam Webster defines truth as :

: the truth
: the real facts about something
: the things that are true
: the quality or state of being true
: a statement or idea that is true or accepted as truth. In many Judeo-Christian churches the definition of truth is based upon statements made by new testament authors and the messiah. Truth, reality; the unveiled reality lying at the basis of and agreeing with an appearance; the manifested, the veritable essence of matter. The Hebrew thought and the culture is the driving force behind all of the translations. The word translates as truth, true, truly, right, faithfully, assured, assuredly , established, faithful, sure, verity, firmness, faithfulness, sureness, reliability, stability and continuance.

While that gives us a little more revelation, it is still not concrete, actually looking deeper we find out that truth is not antiquated or fulfilled.

Truth was, is, and is to come! This is wording we are very familiar with:
Who is, who was and who is and who is coming!

A great concept to tackle the concept of truth in our daily lives!

Wishing a blessed week, full of truth!

Philemon

Conviction

Chapter 2

Good Monday Morning to this week 2 of 2021

This year i’m planning on taking 52 verses out of 52 books of the Bible.

Jude 1:21 – keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.

Keep yourselves in the love of God  ….

Jude’s words are but the echo of the tenderer words of his Master and ours, when He said, ‘As My Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you. Abide ye in My love. If ye keep My commandments ye shall abide in My love.’

The words are in great harmony with the general tenor of Bible and Jesus language: , and, in “continue ye in my love” or in Pauls language “the love of Christ constraineth us”.

looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ ….

The verb implies, that the “mercy” is thought of as in the future. There is no ground, however, for limiting it to this significance, and it may well include all acts of mercy to which men were looking forward in patient expectation, as in store for them during the remainder of their earthly pilgrimage.

Thoughts for Every-Day Living writes it beautifully:

“Keep yourselves in the love of God” does not mean keep yourselves loving God, but keep believing and rejoicing that God loves you. “Conviction” is a good word there, because it comes from con and victum—conquered, or vinculum—a chain. Be conquered, be enchained, by the thought that God loves you. “Keep” means guard, protect, as in a fortress. Live in this castle, and no enemy of doubt or fear can by any means hurt you.

Wishing you a great sense of conviction of God’s love for you as you start into this new week.

Philemon

Reversal

Good Monday Morning to this first and week Nr. 1 of 2021

Chapter 1

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21.5

God is making all things new? Is this a prophecy, a wish, a desire, a vision ….

The first and only time that God addresses the seer, or speaks again after the verse in which he names himself as the Alpha and Omega. The almost unbroken silence assigned to God in the Revelation corresponds to the Egyptian idea of the divine Reason needing no tongue but noiselessly directing mortal things by righteousness. (Expositor’s Greek Testament)

A new conception of God. Often referred to a “new name” of God, for us to discover yet another part of God as he let’s this be known to us.

A a new spiritual body, a corruptible exchanged for the incorruptible.

A new character with new dispositions and habits.

A new social condition. Probably nothing will be more marked in the Kingdom of God than the new and then total reversals of the judgments and patterns of injustice currently prevailing .

A new dwelling place. Not literally, no need that we should take it that way. But as the other changes take place so with these changes result therefrom. In Psalm 107 there is much emphasis of this reversal. He turneth the wilderness into a standing water, and the dry grounds into water springs.” So is it for the righteous. So many are the aids to the faith, that, given a new moral character, there will be a new dwelling place.

The regeneration of the earth on which they dwelt is fulfilled in  Psalm 67: “All the people praise thee, O God; then shall the earth yield her increase; God shall bless us, and all the ends of the world shall fear him.”

Now, of all this, and much more is part of this this blessed spring tide. This spring tide needs to carry a seed. Have we, then, the seed of the life of God within us?

“I am come,” said the Lord, “that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” S.C

Lord, send us this spring tide, carrying the seed of life with these reversals for this earth, your creation, all people and nations, for us, create in us, create with us this “new thing” in this new year 2021.

Wishing all to see more of these “new things” and reversals this year.

Philemon

Make straight our paths!

Chapter 52

Good Monday Morning to this week 53 of 2020

Proverbs 3:5-6, ESV Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

It will be hard to grasp this year 2020 in a few words or a short review, I won’t even try, but it does echo in the verse of Proverbs. “lean not on your own understanding”. Often when we thought things were going to change for the good, another shockwave of announcements reached our ears.

It has been very interesting to see how many Bible verses sounded different, reading them was different this year. Actually, I understood some of the writers a lot better. Let’s look at a few verses coming to the end of this year 2020.

Romans 12:1-2, NIV Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.

We were challenged not to conform to the world, not to all the newest announcements nor to the latest theories of Christian friends sending out their newest conspiracy theories. We were also challenged not to fear, not for ourselves or our loved ones.

Renewal of mind … this was a constant for me. A constant checking, comparing, reading and seeking God and His Truth. In the renewal of mind, there was much new information and many new concepts to handle. Then followed the testing and approving of what I thought what the right way or God’s will for the ministry or my life or the lives of my family.

Isaiah 40:31, ESV but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

This verse a great encouragement to wait, have patience and let my strength and faith be renewed, not to grow weary. Well, yes I did grow weary, very weary as many of you I assume as well. But this year showed even more that when all our common remedies against weakness don’t function we turn back to spiritual applications and draw our strength from there.

Ecclesiastes 3:11, NIV He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Oh yes, everything has it’s time. Eternity in the hearts of men, I am sure we’re going to hear amazing stories of personal and individual change that happened 2021. When all the noise of Corona or other important matters were pushed aside, great changes started to happen in so many. I heard of many very good decisions being made, even in some of their darkest moments.

To conclude with Lamentations is very fitting to 2020. The following verse is so raw, so honest and right to the point and so true!

Lamentations 3:22-24, NASB The unfailing love of the LORD never ends! By his mercies, we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day. I say to myself, “The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”

Yes I will hope in Him!

I wish you a very blessed start into this new and last week of 2020!
Philemon

Disruptive Joy

Chapter 51

Good Monday Morning to this week 52 of 2020

Last week I felt unjustly treated and got only a glimpse of the hunger and thirst of righteousness. How much more those who over a long period of time hunger and thirst for this righteousness.

The Bible takes this many steps further. Quina Aragon shares with us:

God’s great story of redemption is filled with irony. Even as Matthew emphasizes that Jesus is the promised Messiah by virtue of his Scripture-fulfilling birthplace, he also introduces his Jewish audience to a mysterious group of foreigners: Magi from the East. Look at the Christ child already causing the nations to “rally to him”.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled,” the Bible tells us in Matthew 2: 5:6. This is the reality we see embodied by the Gentile Magi. Their joy overflowed into worship when they saw that shining sign of hope rest over the home of Hope himself. They traveled from afar to gladly bend the knee to the “king of the Jews” who, it turns out, is also the “King of the nations”.

The love of God is a scandal—too full to contain, too shocking to predict. It makes Christ-worshipers out of pagans, faith heroes out of foreigners. Are we willing to learn from these unlikely leaders and their generous, humble worship? If we are, perhaps we too will embody a beautiful irony—a disruptive joy, a bright hope, piercing through the darkness of our times.

Wishing you a good start into this week.

Philemon



A God We Can Touch

Chapter 50

Good Monday Morning to this week 51 of 2020

There are just so man good writers and texts out there. This one I just delight in sharing with you this Monday Morning. It’s out of a devotional of Luke written last week by Catherine McNiel; Finding God in His messy abundant world.

It was said that the gods of the ancient world lived outside time and space, on a different plane from our mortal existence, unreachable. On earth, in the hopes of glimpsing divinity, the ancients established hallowed places—a sacred tree or mountain, a holy temple or city—which they believed existed in both spheres, like a window to heaven. The people traveled to these holy places on holy days, believing the divine and mundane might nearly overlap for one reverent moment.

Luke takes pains to communicate that this story, this God, this mingling of divinity and humanity are altogether different. The Creator is arriving here, to our muddy, dusty, physical, emotional, beautiful, terrible world. Like a midwife carefully noting the time and place of birth, Luke clarifies that God’s birth interrupts a particular event—the Roman census—in a particular place—the town of Bethlehem—in a particular family—the house of David. Jesus is born into history, to a specific woman, exactly here and exactly now. We might gloss over these local details, but to Gentile readers Luke’s statement would be jarring.

On this night, God does not come like the gods of old, on a cloud or a storm, his untouchable power barely glimpsed through a holy mirror. No, God falls into the arms of his mother, arriving on this earth the way we all do. For months she carried him, for hours she labored with pain and blood and struggle, pushing until God was born on earth among us, an infant, vulnerable, wrinkled, and wet. Exhausted from the ordeal and sleeping now but soon to awaken, howling and hungry.

This is Luke’s unbelievable news: The true God came near to us physically, tangibly, in a way that we can see with our eyes and touch with our hands. God arrived in a village we could walk to, during a year we can remember. Divinity took on flesh in a mother’s womb, interrupting a marriage, a night, and a village like any other birth. We no longer meet God in sacred places and spiritual spheres but here on the ground, in the dirt, in our families and flesh and blood.

It is a shocking idea, even for us so many centuries later. There is no longer a separation between sacred and mundane. Our messy, daily lives are exactly where God is found, where God is at work. This is a God we can touch.

Catherine McNiel

I wish you a wonderful morning to exactly this messy and abundant World of His!
Philemon

The Journey of Advent

Chapter 49

Good Monday Morning to this week 50 of 2020

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. Isaiah 60: 1-2

Each year, God asks us to shed one more coat of awareness, one more dream state and come alive to the vision of God’s plan for each of us and the world-at-large.

The older we get, the harder this is to do. As children we had a sense of wonder. Our eyes were wide open and drinking in the fascinating gifts we beheld, our thirsty souls could not have enough of the wonders of creation.

Then, somehow, we grew too old to dream. We, tired of the abundance of the world, or at least grew weary of keeping up with the feast of life, and stepped away from the banquet of life.

The natural gift of wonder God gave us as children was meant to be kept alive, instead we let wonder go to sleep. We entered the typical dream state of most humans.

Why else does Jesus tell us today, ‘Stay awake!’
Advent says, ‘Wake up and realize the gifts of love you have received.’

Psychology says, ‘Let go.’
Spirituality says, ‘Wake up.’

In both cases there is a withdrawal from the busyness of daily life and a waking up to the subconscious and spiritual depths of ourselves and Him within us!

Rev. Alfred McBride, O. Praem., THE PRIEST, Gift of Wonder

Wishing you a good start to this week!
Philemon

The Third Day

Chapter 48

Good Monday Morning to this week 49 of 2020

It seems apparent from the scriptural record that the third day was selected for a given activity or matter at hand for some distinct purpose and attendant emphasis, which those who were involved in the situation understood.

Third day. And God said: ‘Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear. And it was so. And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters called He Seas; and God saw that it was good.

The apostle Peter denied knowing Jesus three times following the evening of his arrest. Jesus was resurrected from the grave three days after his death and burial.

The abundant use of the third day argues for viewing the third day as a literary motif that could be employed for several reasons.

Indeed, the number three or its compounds occurs hundreds of times. Noah had three sons and Job had three daughters. The Ark of the Covenant contained three sacred objects ‘The gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant” Solomon’s Palace of the Forest of Lebanon was designed with windows “placed high in sets of three facing each other. Likewise, in John’s vision a triple entrance way marked all four sides of the city of the New Jerusalem. David “bowed down before Jonathan three times, with his face to the ground and Daniel regularly prayed three times a day giving thanks to God. Israelite men were required to appear before the Lord three times in a year: “Three times a year all your men must appear before the LORD your God at the place he will choose.

The number three appears often in measurements of time as well. For example, Moses and Aaron petitioned Pharaoh, “Now let us take a three-day journey into the desert to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God. The fleeing Hebrews went three days without finding water in the Desert of Shur. When the Hebrews neared the Jordan River they were informed, “Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the LORD your God is giving you for your own.

In some contexts the third day appears to emphasize the presence of new information that will generate further activity. The third day and number 3 mean divine wholeness, completeness and perfection in the context of many biblical stories.

Thus on the third day Laban learned that Jacob had fled with his wives and property. The entire episode thus contains not only historical information, but the presence of the third day at the outset of the narrative alerts the reader to expect that the account will contain more details.

Similarly, on the third day Joshua and the Israelites learned that the Gibeonites had used deception when Israel made a treaty with them and so set out for their cities. Once again it is likely that the mention of the three days that had elapsed after making the inviolable treaty before the Israelites gained information of their being duped and the attention drawn to the third day alerts the hearer/reader that something out of the ordinary was about to happen.

When David was not allowed to accompany the Philistine forces to the battle. Upon reaching there on the third day, he learned that an Amalekite group had raided and burned the city. The presence of the third day motif at the beginning of the narrative not only reinforces David’s expected reaction but points to the probable success of his mission.

In an interesting case of the occurrence of three days and the third day motif together, Joseph instructs his brothers as to what they must do in order to verify that they had been telling the truth to the one whom they understood to be a powerful Egyptian official rather than their brother. Here again the third day motif may well send a signal that important developments are to follow. Indeed, the third day here reflects the fact that after the prescribed waiting period, important decisions were to be made on the third day.

This year we’ve been waiting for this third day. We often look to the next day to make ends meet. On the the second day we hope for better change or an ending to current situations. I think we should start looking, waiting and longing for the third day. Hosea writes: After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him.

Lets pray for this third and new day together. Let’s pray for the many situations in which not even the second day wants to come. Let’s pray for this third day for the compassion of the Lord to come to our neighbourhoods and surroundings. Let’s pray for this third day for many personal areas in our lives that are needing to transition from the 1st to the 3rd day.

I wish you the words for your prayers and for us to see this miracle of the third day happening in our lives and in the lives of many around us.

Philemon

Seven to Ponder

Chapter 47

Good Monday Morning to this week 48 of 2020

Seven quotes and verses that blow my mind. God’s word blows my mind a lot. It is so full of wisdom, truth, hope, and encouragement, and I am inspired every time I read it. Nonetheless, there are certain passages that are extraordinarily incredible, so here are my big six Bible verses and one great quote to start this new week!

One
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference.  Dave Tomlinson

Two
How then does a man gain the essence of wisdom? We cross the threshold of true knowledge when we live in complete awe and adoration of God. Stubborn know-it-alls will never stop to do this, for they scorn true wisdom and knowledge. Proverbs

Three
You clothed me with skin and flesh, and knit me together with bones and sinews. You have granted me life and steadfast love, and your care has preserved my spirit. Job

Four
Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands. Isaiah

Five
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Lamentations

Six
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews

Seven
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Wishing you a blessed start into this new week!
Philemon







Many Dwellings

Chapter 46

Good Monday Morning to this week 47 of 2020

“The wind blows where it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” – John 3:8

Recently I was asking God to speak to me and was so sure that it would be in words, in a book or in a message. The sentence with the expected words didn’t arrive, I started to get impatient and continued my journey to work. Then something strange happened, a new song started on my playlist, it played with a very slow beautiful pad of a synthesizer and bass introducing the tune. It was as if God was way saying, I have many dwellings – I will speak to you through music and tunes! Listen in! I was greatly humbled and moved. Then a friend asked me to send the song to him, but I can’t find it on my playlist anymore.

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever. John 14:16

The Paraclete means advocate or helper and comes from the Koine in Greek. It’s a combination of “para” (beside/alongside) and “kalein” to call, the word first appears in the Bible in John 14:16. John Muddiman explain; The word parakletos is a verbal adjective, often used of one called to help in a law court. In the Jewish tradition the word was transcribed with Hebrew letters and used for angels, prophets, and the just as advocates before God’s court. The word is filled with a complex meaning: the Spirit replaces Jesus, is an advocate and a witness, but also consoles the disciples.

Keener, Craig, Gift and Giver, writes about John 14:2–3. In the passage, Jesus assures his disciples that he is going to the Father’s house to prepare a place for them among the many dwellings “mansions” He promises that he will return to them and that they will be with him forever in his Father’s house. It is not surprising if we are unsure what Jesus was talking about, for even Jesus’ original disciples were confused. First, Jesus explains what he means by his coming again to his disciples after the resurrection. At that time he will give them his Spirit, through whom they will experience his presence and resurrection life. Second, Jesus explains what he means by the “dwellings” in the Father’s house: our current dwelling in God’s presence. Through the Spirit, Jesus and the Father will come and make their dwelling within each disciple, thus making them temples of the Lord (the Father’s house). The term dwell, or abide, which is the verb form of dwelling, appears several times in John 15, where Jesus talks about dwelling with us and we with him.

In the description of Paul Young in “The Shack” The Holy Spirit appears as a semi-transparent Asian woman named Sarayu. Young explains in his interview with Kim Gravel that this name, which is a Hindi word for a refreshing wind, was suggested to him by an Indian friend. He had been looking for a word that carried a sense of the Spirit as a wind, which is a biblical image of the Spirit’s activity.  In fact, the Greek word for spirit, pneuma, also means wind. The derivation of the name and the ethereal nature of Sarayu make this depiction of the Spirit relatively easy to accept, especially since most Christians are unlikely to conceive of the Spirit as either male or female. In fact, the clear depiction of the Spirit as a person is probably a healthy redress to the tendency some believers have to think of Him as merely an impersonal force to be referred to as “it”.

That means we seek not a single experience but a continuing relationship, daily encountering our master in the power of his Holy Spirit, living out of the power already imparted to us when we became followers of Jesus Christ. But if we become more yielded to his power in our lives through such experiences as Acts describes, then by all means we should be ready to encounter God in many different dwellings.

To the rational mind, the things of the Spirit often seem like foolishness. We can trust our heavenly Father to give us good gifts when we ask for them. So let us be unafraid and press in to ask Him for more of his wonderful Holy Spirit, more of his Dwellings, his Comforter, his Pneuma, His Sarayu – all that we may abide in Him!

Wishing you blessed week, dwelling in His wind!
Philemon