God Knows The Heart

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So, the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with defiled hands?” He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites, as it is written: “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain” their teachings are merely human rules.” You have not let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”                                                      Mark 7:5-8

As we read in the book of Mark, Jesus’ opponents which was the Pharisees and scribes from Jerusalem questioned Jesus about why he and his disciples were not living according to the tradition of the elders. Trying to embarrass him and undermine his authority. When with the crowd he had been teaching, they questioned Jesus about eating with ritually of the elders would never do which is to eat with unclean hands.

The tradition of the elders was an oral interpretation of Israel’s ancestral custom. The Pharisees considered this tradition legally binding all Jews, even through not all followed it. Mark’s gospel of the explanation of the purification ritual demonstrate he is not sympathetic towards the tradition.

Jesus first responded to his opponents by quoting from the Prophets and the Law, sources important than the tradition of the elders. He said his adversaries were people who honored God with the lips but not with their hearts. They taught human laws as divine doctrine which can also be found in Isaiah 29:13 which states “These people come near to me with their mouths and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship is based on merely human rules they have been taught.”  Finally, Jesus responded directly to their question about the purification regulation. However, he addressed the crowd, not his opponents, thus resuming his position as a teacher with authority. He told the crown that nothing went into a person could defile them. Rather it was the things that comes out of a person’s mouth that defiles them. In other words, things that a person puts into their mouths such as food could not defile them, it is what comes out of a person’s mouth, which truly comes from the heart  Jesus’ new teaching about inner purity calls us to reexamine our tendency to engage in long-held traditions and rituals rather than the transformation of our hearts. It also challenges our tendency to hold on to human traditions as if they were divinely commanded. Finally, it calls us to reexamine the exclusive stance of our faith communities. This last challenge may be the hardest call of all, if our faith is predicated on a versus then understanding. Just as traditions and purity regulations helped preserve ancient Israel’s religious and ethnic identity and faith is a hostile world, so traditions and purity rules help preserve traditional biblical Christian identity. Are we like the crowds following Jesus or are  we like Mark’s first readers, are confronting Jesus. Do we hang on to traditions and rituals remaining exclusive in our thinking in order to protect our traditional faith and identity? Or do we let God open our hearts-even if such action subjects our faith and identify to change?

We need to remember what Jesus tells us as well as his disciple, God is not interested at our human traditions, which is that we come to church on Sunday mornings and sit in the pew, we then feel that we did our Christian duties until next week. We are called Christians because we are followers (disciples) of our Lord Jesus Christ, and we should live our lives according to the teaching of Christ. More important is what God told Samuel in the book of 1 Samuel 16:7 God does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Eileen

 

 

 

 

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Why A Heart Needs To Rest (Guess Blogger)

I would like to introduce to you Rebecca Jones:

I’m a writer, Christian, I love music and art. I am hoping to encourage others, to inspire them to follow their dreams and trust Jesus. I am always working on improving my blog, keeping with the theme of teaching women to rest and be the beloved, and to depend on the mercy and grace of our Lord. It’s all for His glory. Thank you reading or following, blessings. https://www.pinterest.com/beckyspage1916/

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Why does a heart need to rest? Proverbs 23:4 says to guard it, for out of it flows everything you do. Sometimes, it translates it that issues flow. And they do. I was guilty of not guarding mine. I let things said and done hurt me to the extreme. My heart was overwhelmed and I had to turn to Jesus. I truthfully, don’t think I would have survived had I not.
I am very good with words, for God’s glory. I try to choose them wisely. I highly recommend reading Proverbs about words. Soft words, kind words, and healing words, all do a heart good. The Bible is full of love and poetry. John is the best book to read about God’s love. Sow these words into your heart so you can meditate on them and walk in them, and speak them at a moment’s notice.

You, as a believer, have an enemy. The devil would like nothing better than to steal from your heart and he will if you let him. Mark 4 and Matthew 17 describe the sower and how he comes immediately for the Word’s sake. And he will wriggle it out of your heart, break it out, rip it out. Anyway, he can get it! Using anybody he can. Family, fellow Christians, it doesn’t have to be someone you may not know or pay much attention. You have to get close to inflict these wounds.
Look at how the disciples argued, Jesus rebuked Peter, there was contention and the worst of all Judas. Jesus loved them all and look how they treated Him. They even ran when He was arrested. Jesus is the most forgiving person ever and look how people treat Him. even now, they call Him when they need Him but how often can we say we talk to Him about little things, big decisions or anything at all. Even a moment of thanks, ” Where are the other nine?, He asked of those He healed.

I talk to Him all the time now. I used to just pray, but now I talk to Him as a friend, a best friend. I tell Him things I can’t tell anyone else. Nothing extreme, just sorting things out, so I won’t make the same mistakes. Your heart needs to rest and that’s more than less stress, watching your diet or even medication. It’s His rest, work for it, concentrate and focus on the healer of hearts, not the breaker. And I’m not just talking romance here. Love is so much more than that.
His love is deeper than a physical relationship, yet, as intimate as a marriage. I love Jesus and He loves me even more! So let your heart rest and safely trust in Him, you can trust your heart if He’s in it! Watch your words. His heart beats for you. Rest! So your heart will receive His peace and that passes understanding. Rebecca Jones

A heart at peace gives life to the body. Proverbs 14:30
He left us His peace and it is important to speak that into our hearts and spirits. Even for health to our bodies. John 14:27, We also need the peace that passes understand to guard our hearts. Philippians 4:7

Worthy Ambition

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They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest. Sitting down, Jesus called the twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”      Mark 9:33-35

This part is proof that the disciples didn’t understand the concept of Jesus as the Messiah. They still thought of Him in terms of an earthly King and of themselves as important officials in that Kingdom. When Jesus asked them what they were arguing about, they were ashamed and fell silent. Jesus treated this matter seriously. He told them that if they were in search of true greatness in His kingdom, they had to look for it in being last, not by being masters, but servants. Instead of getting others to do things for them, they should do things for others.

This is the point of view of common sense. The really great people who are remembered and who made the greatest contribution to life, are not people who asked, “How can I use the state and community to reach my own goals?” but. “How can I use my personal talents and gifts in the service of others?”

Since unselfishness is scarce and when it manifests, it is remembered. Every economic problem would be solved if people would live for what they could do for others instead of what they could take for themselves. Every political problem would be solved if people’s ambition was to serve the state and not themselves. The division and disputes that cause the rift in the church would not happen if the church would see itself as a servant to others. Position doesn’t count as long as service is rendered. In this respect, Jesus revealed one of the greatest practical truths to the world. 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

 

The Glory of the Mountaintop

Mark 9.pngAfter six days, Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus.    (Mark 9:2-4)

Here we are at one of the mystical moments in Christ’s life. It is said about the transfiguration of Jesus took place on Mount Tabor. But Tabor is in the South of Galilee and Philippi far on the northern side. Tabor is only 1000 feet high and in Jesus’ time it had a fort on top. It is more likely that it happened on Mount Hermon, which is 9200 feet high and much closer to Caesarea Philippi.

We will never be able to say for sure what really happened. We can only bow in worship while we try to understand. The Gospel of Mark says that Jesus’ clothes became “dazzling white” At the end a cloud covered them. A cloud always featured when God spoke in the Old Testament: God spoke to Moses in a cloud; a cloud settled on the Tabernacle when God was inside, a cloud filled the Temple of Solomon when God occupied it.

Jesus’ transfiguration was something very precious to Him. He now knew He had God’s approval to continue on the road He had taken. But it was also a very special experience for the disciples. They were devastated by Jesus’ announcement that He was going to Jerusalem to die. They were shocked and didn’t understand. Jesus’ transfiguration gave them something to hold on to. They had the story of His transfiguration in their hearts and could tell it to everybody.

“To be in Christ is redemption, but for Christ to be in you is sanctification. To be in Christ is to be fit for heaven, but for Christ to be in you is to be fit for earth.  (Anonymous)

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Becoming A Prayer Warrior

Luke 6.jpgWhat is pray?, it is a conversation that we have between us and God. Pray is an important tool in the life of a Christian, and without this it is impossible for us to grow close with God and have a Spiritual Life with the Risen Lord Jesus Christ. Through out the Scriptures both in the Old and New Testament we read about the great prophets and their pray life. As we look into the life of Jesus, he knew how important one’s pray life is.  Very early in the morning while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.                                                 Mark 1:35

One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he designated apostles.                                                         Luke 6:12-13

But when you pray go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.                                                                                         Matthew 6:6-8

Some of you may say to yourself, why should I even pray if God is who he says he is and knows all, why should I even pray then. The answer is simply, God longs a relationship with all of his children and we do that thru prayer. When you have something of great importance don’t you go and meet with your friends, or family member and share in with all of your joys and sorrows? your answer would be of course, so why not go to God with all of your joys and sorrows and not just someone close to you. If there is ever a time you just don’t know what to say, or even the words don’t come easy at that very moment, no need to worry because the Holy Spirit will intercede on your behalf. God wants you to watch in hope as you wait for Him, your Savior. The longer we have to wait, the more we must learn to trust Him and him alone. If you feel a little anxious, seek his help as Jesus my Lord and Savior, here I sit and wait, wait for your peace within my soul, I love you father however at this times the words come hard to find. Your words just needs to be simply and you don’t need to go on and on, just talk with him as you would your friend. During our prayer time we need to confess to God any of our wrongs doing, God is a forgiven Father, and he will love you regardless of what you have done. Knowing that God forgives us allow us to forgive someone who has hurt us in any what shape or form. Pray for others as you would pray for yourself or a family member, in praying for someone else will also allow you to draw close to your Heavenly Father. We are all here on earth to help one another and if the only way you can help is thru your prayers, don’t worry yourself because that is the best thing you and I can ever do is to pray. We need great Prayer Warriors here on earth to bring peace to our world, no the only one that can change a human beings heart is God and not us however we can ask God to do his will. Humble yourself and ask God to see if there is anything within you that he needs to change for you to become the person he as created you to be and believe me he can and he will.

Praise God for all you have and trust Him for all you want!        (By John Wesley)

You who are born of God according to the marks laid down in His Word well know that you are His children. Your hearts assured before Him. Everyone who has observed these marks can sense and know of a truth at this very moment whether, in the sight of God, you are His child. The question is not anything else: What are you now? Is the Spirit of adoption now in your heart? Make the appeal to your own heart: Are you now the temple of the Holy Spirit? He now dwells within you.

Lord Jesus!

May everyone who prepares his or her heart to seek Your face receive that Spirit of adoption and be enabled to cry out “Abba!” Father” Let them now have power so to believe in Your name as to become children of God and know and sense redemption through Your blood and the forgiveness of sins.

Amen

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Will You Follow

mark 1As well read in the gospel of Mark 1:16-20 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fisherman. “Come follow me, ” Jesus said, and I will send you out to fish for people. At once they left their nets and followed him. When he had gone a little father, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay he called them, and they left their Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.

Jesus knows that we are all a work in progress, however even thro we are, he is calling all of us to follow him. Are you willing to give up all the earthly pleasure and to say yes to Christ to do what he has ask you to do. It will not be an easy choice my friends however I can say that it will be the best choice that anyone will ever make. Once you decided to follow him you will never regret the choice you have made, because it is the right one. The disciples truly didn’t have to think about what Jesus was telling them was to “Come and follow me.” As Christian we are the disciples of our Risen Lord Jesus Christ and we all are called to make disciples for his kingdom. How can you do it believe me it is not hard at all, first you need to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior if you have not already, and if you did Praise His Name, begin seeking out a church so that you are able to grow and learn spiritually. Attend a Bible study and begin reading a Bible and if you don’t have one I know that the church you are attending will be more than willing to give a Bible to you. Begin spending time alone with your Heavenly Father he has so much to share with you and he has been waiting a long time for you to come to him with a willing heart (that is all it takes) This world is only our temporary home, however your home for all of eternally will be with our Lord Jesus Christ, however in the meantime you and I have much needed work that he has called us to do. Are you willing to follow, are you will to say yes Jesus I am willing to follow you for today and always.

 

Grace and Peace to You My Friends

Overcomer

“That day when evening came, Jesus said to his disciples.,” Let us go over the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious storm came up, and the waves broke  over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown. He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Peace! Be Still” Then the wind dies down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith? They were terrified and asked each other. “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”                                                        Mark 4:35-41 NIV                                       These words in the Gospel of Mark, talked about Jesus’ disciples who became so afraid because of the storm that they were facing, reminded me with the storms we all face during different times of our lives. No one here on earth is ever perfect neither is their lives, oh yes they may tell you everything is wonderful, but truth can be told not really. When we are children most of us can say that while growing up you had no worries at all, we ran and play, attend school, and perhaps church, until a storm becomes so real to us. Perhaps during all of your childhood you didn’t face some kind of tragedy, but eventually you will, just like all of us do. It is the way we all seem to handle life storms, do we run and hide, and cry out Lord save me!, sounds familiar to you, I have said this and perhaps you as well. Many such storms are the death of someone you loved very much and you feel as through you simply can not go on, overtime with God’s help you will be an overcomer. When financial difficulties come around and you simply don’t know how you are going to make this months bills, and somehow you do, that is when you are an overcomer. Sickness for you or someone you love, such as myself with a child with chronic illness and more than one. I try to remind myself in the middle of the storm that is going crazy all around me, just to ‘BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD”