You only truly believe that which moves you to action.
No one can say, “I’ve never done anything wrong.”
The branch that stays connected to the Vine bears the most fruit.
“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!”
“Jesus has perfect self-esteem:he knows of God’s love expressed in his origin and destinyand therefore can relinquish human status to become a servant.”
A friend loves all the time, and a brother helps in times of trouble.
May we never forget that a friend loves at all times, including awkward times, painful times, uncomfortable times. I’m afraid we’re not taught well how to love one another. Many lack a “success model” for this. I guess most people don’t actually know how to be with suffering people. Or they don’t care. Or they’re ignorant of suffering going on around them. Or they’re just lazy and selfish.
I have a few suffering people in my life right now, and it pains me to hear how few come through and are really there for them in a tangible, ministering way. It’s not fun, it’s depressing, at times awkward, yet it is an entrance into the manifest presence of God in an amazingly unique way. And is it not exactly where we should be? With those who are struggling?
If we simply hang out with those with good lives and who make us feel good, how different are we than the world? Is that the healing of the nations?
Are we not called as Christ followers to be with the widows, orphans, sick, imprisoned, homeless, lonely, hungry, and naked.
If we allow him to go on like this, soon everyone will believe in him. Then the Roman army will come and destroy both our Temple and our nation.
Jesus replaces Temple and nation. Jesus replaces Torah and family for that matter.
This is not an arbitrary removal of cherished possessions from our lives. Rather, this is the bestowing of something so much better that, if we are open to it, brings us great joy and authentic experience of a life of significance. In the process, the things replaced drop to their proper position and level of importance within our lives. Everything the world and religion has to offer is trumped and transcended by Jesus and what He offers.
Fear of losing something shows you are holding on too tightly to it. How ridiculous it is to be encountered by God Himself, my loving, omnipotent Creator, and at the same time be worried about losing my church or country! Yet this is exactly how we live many of our days.
We have the Ultimate, the Source, the best possible, but fail to see it or to recognize it. We want “more” when there is no possibility of more because we already have ALL. Because we have God, we can afford to lose anything and still have everything.
It truly is in how we see–in what we choose to look at, isn’t it? Losing things, especially people or health, is very painful, but it doesn’t destroy us, unless of course we let it. There is a difference between sorrow and despair. We may experience great sorrow and yet hold on to who we really are in Christ. So much of life really does depend on what we choose to focus on–what we have or don’t have. And this goes far beyond the cliche gratitude for a car that runs or a closet full of clothes (though it is good to be thankful for these temporal blessings).
We have the love of God for Christ’s sake!
And nothing can possibly ever separate us from that [Romans 8:35-39]. Therefore, if what you fear to lose is God because you’re holding on to dear life to Him, good! Because you can’t lose Him. So there’s nothing to fear there.
This I choose to focus on, to make my “go to” right now, in this present moment, today, and everyday. This is what we remind each other of daily so that we will live a full life of abundance. We help each other to live into our life of significance that is already there waiting for us to acknowledge and take hold of.
But we need reminding of it, constant reminding. For everything “out there” seeks to distract us from this beauty that always is. So much attracts us to take hold of that which is far less than what we can and in fact already do have.
It is deceiving.
And we try desperately to wring the world’s offer of a lasting, fulfilling significance that is not even there to be wrung.
I will remind myself that I am at every minute loved by that which is perfect, condition-free, eternal Love.
What more could I possibly want than that?
Commit your acts to Yahweh, and your plans will be established.
As important as human planning is, the ultimate outcome depends on Yahweh. All planning should thus be done with the idea that God can and may indeed overturn it. We don’t simply ask God to honor all of our plans, but rather submit all of our actions to Him, getting to the point that even if something doesn’t “work out”, we are able to see a deeper plan at work, and rest in it. We have peace because of our trust in Yahweh.
Pleasant words are liquid honey, sweet to the taste and healing to the bones.
Our words hurt or heal. The old saying “Sticks and stone…” would have sounded like complete BS to the sages. Our words penetrate to the core of people (“the bones”), and affect them. Other Proverbs indicate that healing words are those spoken at the right time. The more tuned in we are, the more we will be aware of what needs to be spoken when, and then act upon that knowledge.
It never ceases to amaze me how powerful encouraging words are. I received some affirming words yesterday that totally lifted my spirits and countenance for the rest of the day.
Don’t hold back an encouraging word. It’s more powerful than you probably realize. If someone is on your mind, tell them. If you have a word, share it. Make it a point to encourage someone everyday.
The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
Jesus came to awaken us from the sleepwalking, pathetic, shallow excuse for a life that the world offers us.
If you want a fulfilling, adventurous, unpredictable life of depth, then follow Jesus. It is safely dangerous and will not disappoint anyone who takes it seriously. It’s free, as it’s already been paid for, but it will cost you.
Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.
Healing words give life.
Do your words give life to those with whom you speak?
Do your words encourage?
Plans fail without good advice, but they succeed with the advice of many others.
It’s amazing(ly sad) how many try to succeed on their own great ideas without seeking the wisdom of others. I’ve seen many fail year after year because they do not learn from their own mistake of going at things alone. They do not learn from others because of pride.
Knowing it all, succeeding in nothing.
Wisdom is characterized largely by looking at one’s mistakes and making the necessary corrections. Humility involves being open to listening to correction. Doing this improves one’s ability to properly navigate reality and therefore leads to glory.
The Lord is pleased with kind words.
The fear of Yahweh is wise discipline, and humility comes before glory.
Talking with a wise friend yesterday, he painted a great picture of the pile-up at the gate of heaven due to the humility of everyone there saying, “You first. No, you, please. You. No, really, go ahead.”
“If you were blind,” replied Jesus, “you wouldn’t be guilty of sin. But now, because you say, ‘We can see,’ your sin remains.”
Jesus seemed to be most condemning of those who thought they knew it all and looked down on others.
These references to “blindness” are interesting. What I take from this is that it is important to come to God empty. It is when we empty ourselves of our own thoughts and false narratives from our family, culture, and religion that we are most open to God and the truth He would like to fill us with.
It is those who come to Him blind that He gives the ability to see. When I come to Him professing to know nothing is when I receive the most from Him.
That which can be most filled is that which is most empty.
This is tough though. We have so much in our heads, so much history. So much potential blockage. It’s like YHWH wants to provide the most perfect of food for our body from His own garden that He created especially for us. But we just stuffed ourselves with so much McDonalds that we can’t even take a bite. We’ve gotta stop eating that pseudo, non-fulfilling food, crap it out, throw it up, maybe get our stomach pumped for some of us, and make room for that which gives true life and health.
The best meal is the one you eat when you’re famished. My best time with Jesus is when I come to Him starving for Him. Like an old friend use to say to me when I wanted a Mountain Dew, or “poison” as he called it, “If water doesn’t sound good to you, then you’re not really thirsty.”
Even in laughter the heart is sad, and the end of joy is grief.
Some of us use humor to mask what is going on inside, to keep people at arm’s length from our heart for it is too painful or embarrassing to let people in.
Look past people’s defenses to see if there is more going on; they may actually be crying out for help, just beneath the surface.
This of course can be taken too far. Sometimes I say ridiculous things simply to make people laugh in pants-wettingly shockitude. I am not ALWAYS hiding something. As we get to know people, we will grow in our discernment.
“Before Abraham existed, I AM.” -claim of Jesus the Nazarene
Jesus was more than a great teacher or good example.
He was the incarnational Word of YHWH…listen to Him.
Jesus is the forever present LOGOS.
He is the love of YHWH embodied.
Those who are careful about what they say protect their lives, but whoever speaks without thinking will be ruined.
Just shut up and try to listen once in a while. You’ll be peasantry shocked at how peaceful it is.
[New Roop Version or NRV>>Tagline: “Oh the NeRVe of this translation!”]
“My teaching isn’t my own,” replied Jesus, “it comes from the one who sent me! If anyone wants to do what God wants, they will know whether this teaching is from God, or whether I’m just speaking on my own account. Anyone who speaks on his own behalf is trying to establish his own reputation. But if what he’s interested in is the reputation of the one who sent him, then he is true, and there is no injustice in him.”
“Anyone who believes in me will have rivers of living water flowing out of their hearts, just like the Bible says!”
Remember, we pursue God Himself, and not the Bible. As great as it is, it merely points us to YHWH.
The same goes for a good teacher, pastor, or leader. They will only point us to God and the pursuit of Him directly, never to themselves or their own teachings.
What matters most is that you love God from the inner most private places of your heart. Perhaps we can be a catalyst for each other to that end, like the Bible is, but that’s all we are–> Empowered Powerless Pointers to the Power.”
Or EPPTTPs as we like to call them here at The Ripple Effect.
Anyone who loves learning accepts correction, but whoever hates correction is stupid.
Oh this one never gets old to me.
This was Jesus’s reply. “I’m telling you the solemn truth,” he said. “You aren’t looking for me because you saw the signs, but because you ate as much bread as you could.”
Why are you seeking Jesus?
For what you can get from Him?
To make your life a little better?
Or to follow Him, out of love and trust, through whatever He takes you?