Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Today Our Daily Bread 1 Cor 11 & 2 Cor 2:14

Scripture selections are taken from the Rock Church Daily Bread Reading schedule for each month. “Lena’s Journalin’” are Lena’s comments on the specific passages from her Daily Journal.

1 Corinthians 11
1 And you should follow my example, just as I follow Christ's.

Instructions for Public Worship
2I am so glad, dear friends, that you always keep me in your thoughts and you are following the Christian teaching I passed on to you. 3But there is one thing I want you to know: A man is responsible to Christ, a woman is responsible to her husband, and Christ is responsible to God. 4A man dishonors Christ[a] if he covers his head while praying or prophesying. 5But a woman dishonors her husband[b] if she prays or prophesies without a covering on her head, for this is the same as shaving her head. 6Yes, if she refuses to wear a head covering, she should cut off all her hair. And since it is shameful for a woman to have her hair cut or her head shaved, then she should wear a covering.[c] 7A man should not wear anything on his head when worshiping, for man is God's glory, made in God's own image, but woman is the glory of man. 8For the first man didn't come from woman, but the first woman came from man. 9And man was not made for woman's benefit, but woman was made for man. 10So a woman should wear a covering on her head as a sign of authority because the angels are watching.
11But in relationships among the Lord's people, women are not independent of men, and men are not independent of women. 12For although the first woman came from man, all men have been born from women ever since, and everything comes from God.
13What do you think about this? Is it right for a woman to pray to God in public without covering her head? 14Isn't it obvious that it's disgraceful for a man to have long hair? 15And isn't it obvious that long hair is a woman's pride and joy? For it has been given to her as a covering. 16But if anyone wants to argue about this, all I can say is that we have no other custom than this, and all the churches of God feel the same way about it.

Order at the Lords Supper
17But now when I mention this next issue, I cannot praise you. For it sounds as if more harm than good is done when you meet together. 18First of all, I hear that there are divisions among you when you meet as a church, and to some extent I believe it. 19But, of course, there must be divisions among you so that those of you who are right will be recognized!
20It's not the Lord's Supper you are concerned about when you come together. 21For I am told that some of you hurry to eat your own meal without sharing with others. As a result, some go hungry while others get drunk. 22What? Is this really true? Don't you have your own homes for eating and drinking? Or do you really want to disgrace the church of God and shame the poor? What am I supposed to say about these things? Do you want me to praise you? Well, I certainly do not!
23For this is what the Lord himself said, and I pass it on to you just as I received it. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took a loaf of bread, 24and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is given[d] for you. Do this in remembrance of me." 25In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant between God and you, sealed by the shedding of my blood. Do this in remembrance of me as often as you drink it." 26For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord's death until he comes again.
27So if anyone eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord unworthily, that person is guilty of sinning against the body and the blood of the Lord. 28That is why you should examine yourself before eating the bread and drinking from the cup. 29For if you eat the bread or drink the cup unworthily, not honoring the body of Christ,[e] you are eating and drinking God's judgment upon yourself. 30That is why many of you are weak and sick and some have even died.
31But if we examine ourselves, we will not be examined by God and judged in this way. 32But when we are judged and disciplined by the Lord, we will not be condemned with the world. 33So, dear brothers and sisters,[f] when you gather for the Lord's Supper, wait for each other. 34If you are really hungry, eat at home so you won't bring judgment upon yourselves when you meet together.
I'll give you instructions about the other matters after I arrive.
~Lena’s Journalin~
“Follow me as I follow Christ!” Oh that we would look for this in one another and then lay down our pride enough to do this. It is an independent spirit and pride which led to rebellion, that tries to prevents us from following after anyone. Then there’s also a religious stigma that has lied to us and has said men are all hypocritical anyway, so I’m not following a one of them! (as though we ourselves are perfected as of late) We who judge, should be careful lest we fall into our own sin as life and God prove our own weaknesses and the power of our own words meant to be examples or made examples of. The point is not that I am perfect, but that I am being perfected, that I follow Christ and not my own flesh natured desires. Yes I may stumble and fall, but Christ is greater and has provided for my mistakes as I remain His follower, I gain His great grace to wash and cleanse me from sin and to keep me on the pathway of life. Christians are not yet perfect, but are being perfected and know who to follow and who to go to where help is needed, when grief attacks, when sorrow tries to take rule, when stress and strife make their place, etc.
There are great responsibilities in following Christ, namely that another will also follow you! I always see that word as my ability to respond to God’s call for leadership. Response- ability. What helps or prevents me from responding to what God has called each one of us to do? Do I react and rebel or do I respond?
Ever heard the phrase, “in who’s name have you come?” The person being asked was obviously a representative of the person who sent them, and even in the NT Jesus stated that we can use His name. Well if a person had a bank account and they were wealthy and they said, you can use my name, wouldn’t you be so inclined to do so? You’ve been covered, you’ve been vested, you’ve been given power, and author-ity. You are not just – Lena Barnes alone, you are a representative of a wealthy person who gave you their name to use and who gave you a seat in a place of honor or it could even be someone who messed up a whole lot of things for you because of association by reputation!
God did not call any of mankind do dwell alone with no advisors, no representation, no accountability, no partnering no strength. We can take this scripture as a whole and look at it as God sees it, we can rise above what appears by our own worldly traditions and see that Our Lord did not desire mankind to be without Him (man has the Lord as his cover),nor without one another (woman has her covering). Have you ever watched a Western show and there’s a shoot out, one enemy against another and the guy says to his buddy- “Gotcha covered”?
This passage is more saying it could be very uncomfortable, even shameful to not be “covered” in life, than it is saying (legalistically speaking) you should not cut your hair.
In their day, it probably would feel awful and tremendously exposing to be shaven as a woman, and quite possibly it was a sign of someone who has sinned and was being publicly shamed. For the people of this day, Paul used this as an expression of his point. Jesus came to teach us how to make a show of His and our enemies, not a show of us, as our enemy would so love to do.
What is the way of “covering”, protection, strength to overcome in any battle and grace? How? Through authority given by God, submitting one to God’s will and plans through advisors, through accountability and most of all humility, which will take the advise of another and actually do it, rather than resist it and disregard it as though nothing at all was said.
More than even talking out the actual logistics of taking communion, Paul is speaking about division and its awful plight against brethren, the church and God. Think about it, Division is what the original sin did. It is the very spirit of satan. Satan wants to work in God’s houses and Paul is saying, look he even tries it in the midst of a holy and God thing, in the very act of remembrance of our Lord! Paul outlines a few guidelines to follow. Guidelines actually help eliminate the spirit of division, because they help define what unity looks like so one can follow after it. The main point though is to become aware of where satan devises to divide each of us as individuals who are or could become a part of a huge body of believers who become unified under the same name, under the same purpose, under the same Lord who cleansed us from all of our weaknesses and who forgave us our sins. This is the Lord Jesus who died a gruesome death and took blows to heal us from symptoms dissentions! Paul takes the very powerful act of obedience and shows how in our obedient action the devil could come right in and try to steal way our unity. The point is to stay aware and to guard our faith as though it is a priceless pearl, guard our brethren and their faith as though it is a room of gold bars, and represent Christ as though he means everything to you.
This is a covenant meal- Your life becomes my Life, Your name- my name, your home my home, your weapons my weapons, your enemies and foes- my enemies and foes! Some of God’s enemies are strife, division, hatred, rebellion, loneliness, etc. Communion is a time to say to God, Your enemies are my enemies also and I will love instead of fighting Your people, I will submit myself to you and to those You’ve set me under to follow. I’ll do it by faith and trust and reliance on You and in obedience to You, which is an act of defiance to Your enemies! I’ll allow you to fight for me, rather than me fighting for You, I’ll do this by my acts of obedience which are expressions of love to You and to others. The communion table is the place of evaluation, which is why He says- as OFTEN as you do this….He’d desire we get to and stay at that place of evaluation and surrender, OFTEN!

1 Corinthians 11:4 Greek his head.
1 Corinthians 11:5 Greek her head.
1 Corinthians 11:6 Or then she should have long hair.
1 Corinthians 11:24 Some manuscripts read broken.
1 Corinthians 11:29 Greek the body; some manuscripts read the Lord's body.
1 Corinthians 11:33 Greek brothers.

(daily repetitive verse)
2 Corinthians 2:14
Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Today Our Daily Bread 1 Thess 5 & 2 Cor 2:14

Oops I guess I posted wrong passage yesterday It should have ben 2 Cor, not 1 Cor- sorry! Scripture selections are taken from the Rock Church Daily Bread Reading schedule for each month. “Lena’s Journalin’” are Lena’s comments on the specific passages from her Daily Journal.

1 Thessalonians 5
1 I really don't need to write to you about how and when all this will happen, dear brothers and sisters.[a] 2For you know quite well that the day of the Lord will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night. 3When people are saying, "All is well; everything is peaceful and secure," then disaster will fall upon them as suddenly as a woman's birth pains begin when her child is about to be born. And there will be no escape.

4But you aren't in the dark about these things, dear brothers and sisters, and you won't be surprised when the day of the Lord comes like a thief. 5For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don't belong to darkness and night. 6So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be sober. 7Night is the time for sleep and the time when people get drunk. 8But let us who live in the light think clearly, protected by the body armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation. 9For God decided to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. 10He died for us so that we can live with him forever, whether we are dead or alive at the time of his return. 11So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
Pauls Final Advice
12Dear brothers and sisters, honor those who are your leaders in the Lord's work. They work hard among you and warn you against all that is wrong. 13Think highly of them and give them your wholehearted love because of their work. And remember to live peaceably with each other.
14Brothers and sisters,
we urge you to
~ warn those who are lazy.
~ Encourage those who are timid.
~ Take tender care of those who are weak.
~ Be patient with everyone.
~ 15See that no one pays back evil for evil, but ~ always try to do good to each other and to everyone else.
~ 16Always be joyful.
~ 17Keep on praying. 18No matter what happens,
~ always be thankful, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
~ 19Do not stifle the Holy Spirit.
~ 20Do not scoff at prophecies,
~ 21but test everything that is said.
~ Hold on to what is good.
~ 22Keep away from every kind of evil.
Pauls Final Greetings
23Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until that day when our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. 24God, who calls you, is faithful; he will do this.
25Dear brothers and sisters, pray for us.
26Greet all the brothers and sisters in Christian love.[b]
27I command you in the name of the Lord to read this letter to all the brothers and sisters.
28And may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you.
1 Thessalonians 5:1 Greek brothers; also in 5:4, 12, 14, 25, 26, 27.
1 Thessalonians 5:26 Greek with a holy kiss.
~Lena’s Journalin’~
In our days of busy, busy- rush, rush- pressured life that is full of stress, I don’t think people are necessarily “saying” all is well, everything is peaceful and secure, BUT spiritually speaking and concerning their relationship with God, the Creator of this whole Universe, they do. There is a certain purposeful ignorance going on and people are living as though there is plenty of time to think of that later on when we are older, have slowed down a bit, have lived out the desires and plans of our self directed lives, etc. This is what Paul is speaking of here. Concerning God, His word, Prayer, relational issues, eternity, they are acting as though they have the choice of death and life and control their own destinys. This is a symptom of a prideful spirit, which is the spirit of the devil who could care less if we live eternally separated from God our Father and Creator. In fact that is his whole plan, to distract us from what is truth and the true reality of the true life of the spirit. He wants us to fil our lives with more and more false purposes and stay on the moving sidewalk of stress and business which amounts to nothing at all in the light of eternal peace. He’s saying if we succumb to this worldly pull and give in to its call, we will suddenly find ourselves in a grievous place, because the lord will come, he will appear to each one of us and we will know very clearly right then, what we chose and did not choose. There will be no way to run back the ‘tape” and do it over, none at all, no matter how badly we’d like to do that.
There is a groaning going on, because the birth of the purposes of God manifested in the earth, is eminent and is upon the earth, whether they acknowledge Him or not. Those who know Him, know He is coming. They can recognize His call and the evidences of His soon arrival and call to order.
There is an attack like never before on us, we are busy busy and we are sleepy sleepy, yet have accomplished nothing! This is a spiritual matter and must be dealt with. Those who sleep must shake themselves and shake their lives up or allow god to shake them. It is a matter of the death or life of the purposes of God!
It is a time like no other for constant reminders and encouragement to help keep each other away from the deception of darkness and sleep.
“Can you not wait for Me 1 hour” is upon the church! Watchman watchmen of the night…..ARE YOU AWAKE? If not, wake up O sleeper, arise from the dead and let the SON shine, why? How? Jesus Christ is risen in you! You may feel you can’t, but that is an outright lie, the word of God says you Can DO ALL things through Christ who strengthens you! Yes maybe you in your flesh and under the sawy of a curse cannot, but who do we serve? Is He small? Is He weak? Is He asleep? No He does not sleep or slumber, He is always there. He is the LORD strong and Mighty, Mighty in your small battle with stress.
Rebellion would love to have its way, that is its nature. It does not want anyone to bring change or tell it what to do! God sends teachers, lovers into our lives to show us the way to His purposes, show us the way to victory and rebellion rises up and protests- “we don’t like to do it that way”. Well the truth is the flesh does not like to do “it” at all. So lay down the flesh man and its desires and put on Christ, who humbly took on human nature to show us the possibilities available to us to rise up in spiritually activated life here on earth! Humility is an action word, it does what it is told. It quenches rebellion by obedience, no matter how it feels. It opposes rebellion.
When Paul speaks about helping our leaders/teachers here, honoring them in humility. He is showing us the way to become and stay victorious over god’s enemies, namely rebellion. When we, as adults who teach children – mind you, obey a teacher, and trust that God sent and gave us that teacher, we are demonstrating a victory in Christ. A victory over rebellion, and this victory MUST be maintained. We cannot go back to our old fleshly ways or we will defeat the purpose of God.
Paul gives us a maintenance plan here- always pray, encourage, love etc, etc. THIS is the way to walk out our salvation! How can one on earth be blameless? By obedience to God, His word and His ways. through the blood of Jesus covering our mistakes as we walk out God’s praise.
So then how or why would one stifle the Holy Spirit? Let’s look at this word, it is the word quench which is defined- to extinguish, quench, of fire or things on fire, to be quenched, to go out, metaph. to quench, to suppress, stifle of divine influence
Think of communication. So you say something to me, because you love me and are concerned for my welfare, you desire to see in my life a successful outcome. Your love for me and desire to see success leads you to speak with me about certain matters in my life. I don’t take it as love at all, I receive it as criticism and in rebellion to my perceived criticisms, I disregard your advise to me, I categorize it as a suggestion, which I have the prerogative to take or leave. I leave it, not because it is bad advise, but because of the rebellion against criticism that I deal with. This happens in our relationship again and again. You think I don’t ever like your advice, you think I’m somewhat foolish and selfish, because I always do the opposite of what you’ve seen, as my friend, would help me. This affects our communication in the future, your receptivity to me and my words and my advice is very, very limited. You can hardly express your love and concern for me anymore, because rather than listen to you I block your words out. I have quenched the “fire” or passion or energy of the flow of a two way relationship. I won’t allow you influence in my life. I’m my own person, I’m independent of you. Our relationship has changed, over time it has to, it has not progressed at all because I disregard you and your wisdom. Now we are casual, we are friendly, more like acquaintances, not close.
This is what we do to God, His word, His messengers, His Spirit. We are our own persons and our pride tells us we can hear God’s voice for our own selves and don’t need the advise or explanation of the word from others, or the Divine input God has set up in our lives through people and relationships. We have quenched God’s Holy Spirit, we have removed His Divine passion out of our sphere of influence. Remember the property of fire is one of change? It changes what is to what will be. When we quench the fire of God, we remove the possibilities of Him changing us. If we despise change, we quench His Spirit, because who He is will change us, and He wants us to invite Him to change us.
Testing prophecies, does not mean criticize them. It means compare them with God’s word and the words of God he has given to you personally. That’s all.
Notice when one gets what is good, he must keep it, he must hold on to it? he must not let go. Things are so easy to let go of, especially good ones, as soon as a good things comes our way, the enemy wants to bring thoughts of evil and steal away what is good. Oh magnify your problems with me, says the enemy, lets us exalt evil together. Dear God help us! I just want to stick my fingers in my ears and say “I CAN”T hear YOU!” I want to turn the worship songs up and say ”I CAN”T hear you!” I’m LISTENING TO GOD! I can’t take THAT call, I’m speaking with my Father! I’m listening to and doing His word. No matter what! Amen.

(daily repetitive verse)
2 Corinthians 2:14
Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Today Our Daily Bread 1 Cor 2 & 2 Cor 2:14

Scripture selections are taken from the Rock Church Daily Bread Reading schedule for each month. “Lena’s Journalin’” are Lena’s comments on the specific passages from her Daily Journal.

1 Corinthians 2
Paul Preaches Wisdom
1Dear brothers and sisters,[a] when I first came to you I didn't use lofty words and brilliant ideas to tell you God's message.[b] 2For I decided to concentrate only on Jesus Christ and his death on the cross. 3I came to you in weakness--timid and trembling. 4And my message and my preaching were very plain. I did not use wise and persuasive speeches, but the Holy Spirit was powerful among you. 5I did this so that you might trust the power of God rather than human wisdom.
6Yet when I am among mature Christians, I do speak with words of wisdom, but not the kind of wisdom that belongs to this world, and not the kind that appeals to the rulers of this world, who are being brought to nothing. 7No, the wisdom we speak of is the secret wisdom of God,[c] which was hidden in former times, though he made it for our benefit before the world began. 8But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would never have crucified our glorious Lord. 9That is what the Scriptures mean when they say,
"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him."[d]
10But we know these things because God has revealed them to us by his Spirit, and his Spirit searches out everything and shows us even God's deep secrets. 11No one can know what anyone else is really thinking except that person alone, and no one can know God's thoughts except God's own Spirit. 12And God has actually given us his Spirit (not the world's spirit) so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us. 13When we tell you this, we do not use words of human wisdom. We speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit's words to explain spiritual truths.[e] 14But people who aren't Christians can't understand these truths from God's Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them because only those who have the Spirit can understand what the Spirit means. 15We who have the Spirit understand these things, but others can't understand us at all. 16How could they? For,
"Who can know what the Lord is thinking? Who can give him counsel?"[f]
But we can understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.

1 Corinthians 2:1 Greek Brothers.
1 Corinthians 2:1 Greek mystery; other manuscripts read testimony.
1 Corinthians 2:7 Greek we speak God's wisdom in a mystery.
1 Corinthians 2:9 Isa 64:4.
1 Corinthians 2:13 Or explaining spiritual truths in spiritual language, or explaining spiritual truths to spiritual people.
1 Corinthians 2:16 Isa 40:13.

~Lena’s Journalin’~
God’s Word does not need human explanation to prove or justify it, yet the Lord desires humans to understand and trust in His word. In that, He does not want human understanding to take over belief by faith, by trying to reason and dispute God’s word. God’s word is His word. It is not up for dispute, whether we understand it or not. The goal is to gain understanding with an open and pure heart of one who has been drawn by God’s tremendous love and who then through that love relationship, desires to know everything one can about the other (God).
I think our intelligent world causes us to figure God out in a manner much like the Greek philosophers of this day did. They’d study and weigh matters and prove or disprove them, by presentations and arguments etc. This passage says that God and His word are spiritually discerned, not intelligently figured out or proven. The natural mind is the soul of man. The soul and the spirit are not the same. Man has 3 parts of His person just as God does. Man is a living spirit who has a soul (this is where his mind, will and emotions are), then to be alive on earth, God gave each one a human body. We all know that when we stop breathing here on earth, our bodies stay here and decay, but our spirit man goes to either be with or apart from God in eternity. We’ve heard of people who “knew” about things after dying and “passing on”, they even looked down at their bodies and saw their bodies lying down dead, yet they knew the surroundings and people etc, that knowledge is from the soul working with their spirits who are still alive.
Spirit and soul are not the same, yet they do and should work together the purposes of God. Our souls are the receptors of spiritual or natural discernment. We see a truth or a lie and it is presented to and through our souls and it’s windows (eyes, ears, taste, smell, touch, etc…)Then we either take it in, accepting it as truth or desire, or we reject is as though it is harmful or a lie. Our souls process what we sense. Once our souls have processed, then our spirits fellowship the reception and take it all in, receiving it as a part of oneself.
Anyway, all of that written, the enemy knows this process and will use it for his “glory”. Ignorance of God’s word is bliss only to God’s enemy, who gloats when we stay that way. He’ll also stroke our souls and try to bring us tastes or smells etc that seem right or good, but are not truth based o God’s word. He likes to cater to one’s sense realm and make on think that the sense realm is the real person and all that matters. This is where “figuring God out” comes in. If we base any truth on soulish knowledge, we will not be able to receive it. Satan has trained a whole world is the power of the senses (soul) and has made this his seat of rule. He couldn’t have God’s throne, so he’s tried for a substitute. If he can get man in the soul realm, he can have some sort of rule in the minds of men. Our bodies (souls and spirits) are meant to house God and His spirit, if we give the rule of that over to satan by philosophically taking God in along with every other things we’ve ever heard, we have given God’s throne inside of us, where He was designed to rule, over to another. God won’t share that place with others, so He leaves until invited back. Satan has been enthroned in another mind on earth.
We cannot figure God out, we can only come to know Him as Savior, King, Friend and Lord. He wants to be the lover of our souls, He desires to take the thrones of our hearts and minds, to protect us from other’s who will try to seize that place. Knowing is a very intimate word, it is a word for lovers and best friends. To know Him and make Him known is the highest of accomplishments.
He wants that place in us because He loves us, not because He wants to control and rule us. That’s the character of satan, not God. Don’t allow our world to cloud and taint God’s nature, confusing god and God.
No human words could convince any soul man of God’s love or power. It is received and obtained through the spirit man. The soul can filter out the spiritual things of God, if we allow it to.
God is revealing Himself to man daily. What an awesome and honored place to be in, His revelatory presence. Even His gifts cannot be figured out. The figuring out rather than receiving by faith is what has limited God’s power being made to live and breathe inside of each one of us.
So, who does know God’s mind? Jesus does, and because he does, so can we, because we have received Jesus and the same spirit that lived in Christ. The ones who love Him and seek Him, not trying to prove Him right or wrong, can see Him and His will very clearly.
Ya know how lovers on earth can know what one another is thinking? Even seek to know more of how one another thinks? This is the same in a minute model of hos we as lovers of God can seek to know His mind and be in fellowship with His spirit, even to the point of fellowshipping counsel as Abraham did. Abraham was a friend of God and he conversed with God as did Moses, on a friendship level, of course God had and has the “last word”, but there was input from His man.

(daily repetitive verse)
2 Corinthians 2:14
Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Today Our Daily Bread 1 Cor 15 & 2 Cor 2:14

Scripture selections are taken from the Rock Church Daily Bread Reading schedule for each month. “Lena’s Journalin’” are Lena’s comments on the specific passages from her Daily Journal.

1 Corinthians 15

The Resurrection of Christ

1Now let me remind you, dear brothers and sisters,[a] of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then and still do now, for your faith is built on this wonderful message. 2And it is this Good News that saves you if you firmly believe it--unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place.
3I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me--that Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. 4He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, as the Scriptures said. 5He was seen by Peter[b] and then by the twelve apostles. 6After that, he was seen by more than five hundred of his followers[c] at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died by now. 7Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles. 8Last of all, I saw him, too, long after the others, as though I had been born at the wrong time. 9For I am the least of all the apostles, and I am not worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted the church of God.
10But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me--and not without results. For I have worked harder than all the other apostles, yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace. 11So it makes no difference whether I preach or they preach. The important thing is that you believed what we preached to you.

The Resurrection of the Dead

12But tell me this--since we preach that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying there will be no resurrection of the dead? 13For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either. 14And if Christ was not raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your trust in God is useless. 15And we apostles would all be lying about God, for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave, but that can't be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. 16If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. 17And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless, and you are still under condemnation for your sins. 18In that case, all who have died believing in Christ have perished! 19And if we have hope in Christ only for this life, we are the most miserable people in the world.
20But the fact is that Christ has been raised from the dead. He has become the first of a great harvest of those who will be raised to life again.
21So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, Adam, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man, Christ. 22Everyone dies because all of us are related to Adam, the first man. But all who are related to Christ, the other man, will be given new life. 23But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised first; then when Christ comes back, all his people will be raised.
24After that the end will come, when he will turn the Kingdom over to God the Father, having put down all enemies of every kind.[d] 25For Christ must reign until he humbles all his enemies beneath his feet. 26And the last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27For the Scriptures say, "God has given him authority over all things."[e] (Of course, when it says "authority over all things," it does not include God himself, who gave Christ his authority.) 28Then, when he has conquered all things, the Son will present himself to God, so that God, who gave his Son authority over all things, will be utterly supreme over everything everywhere.
29If the dead will not be raised, then what point is there in people being baptized for those who are dead? Why do it unless the dead will someday rise again?
30And why should we ourselves be continually risking our lives, facing death hour by hour? 31For I swear, dear brothers and sisters, I face death daily. This is as certain as my pride in what the Lord Jesus Christ has done in you. 32And what value was there in fighting wild beasts--those men of Ephesus[f]--if there will be no resurrection from the dead? If there is no resurrection,
"Let's feast and get drunk, for tomorrow we die!"[g]
33Don't be fooled by those who say such things, for "bad company corrupts good character." 34Come to your senses and stop sinning. For to your shame I say that some of you don't even know God.

The Resurrection Body

35But someone may ask, "How will the dead be raised? What kind of bodies will they have?" 36What a foolish question! When you put a seed into the ground, it doesn't grow into a plant unless it dies first. 37And what you put in the ground is not the plant that will grow, but only a dry little seed of wheat or whatever it is you are planting. 38Then God gives it a new body--just the kind he wants it to have. A different kind of plant grows from each kind of seed. 39And just as there are different kinds of seeds and plants, so also there are different kinds of flesh--whether of humans, animals, birds, or fish.
40There are bodies in the heavens, and there are bodies on earth. The glory of the heavenly bodies is different from the beauty of the earthly bodies. 41The sun has one kind of glory, while the moon and stars each have another kind. And even the stars differ from each other in their beauty and brightness.
42It is the same way for the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies, which die and decay, will be different when they are resurrected, for they will never die. 43Our bodies now disappoint us, but when they are raised, they will be full of glory. They are weak now, but when they are raised, they will be full of power. 44They are natural human bodies now, but when they are raised, they will be spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, so also there are spiritual bodies.
45The Scriptures tell us, "The first man, Adam, became a living person."[h] But the last Adam--that is, Christ--is a life-giving Spirit. 46What came first was the natural body, then the spiritual body comes later. 47Adam, the first man, was made from the dust of the earth, while Christ, the second man, came from heaven. 48Every human being has an earthly body just like Adam's, but our heavenly bodies will be just like Christ's. 49Just as we are now like Adam, the man of the earth, so we will someday be like Christ, the man from heaven.
50What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These perishable bodies of ours are not able to live forever.
51But let me tell you a wonderful secret God has revealed to us. Not all of us will die, but we will all be transformed. 52It will happen in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, the Christians who have died[i] will be raised with transformed bodies. And then we who are living will be transformed so that we will never die. 53For our perishable earthly bodies must be transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die.
54When this happens--when our perishable earthly bodies have been transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die--then at last the Scriptures will come true:
"Death is swallowed up in victory.[j]
55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?"[k]
56For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. 57How we thank God, who gives us victory over sin and death through Jesus Christ our Lord!
58So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and steady, always enthusiastic about the Lord's work, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.

1 Corinthians 15:1 Greek brothers; also in 15:31, 50, 58.
1 Corinthians 15:5 Greek Cephas.
1 Corinthians 15:6 Greek the brothers.
1 Corinthians 15:24 Greek every ruler and every authority and power.
1 Corinthians 15:27 Ps 8:6.
1 Corinthians 15:32 Greek fighting wild beasts in Ephesus.
1 Corinthians 15:32 Isa 22:13.
1 Corinthians 15:45 Gen 2:7.
1 Corinthians 15:52 Greek the dead.
1 Corinthians 15:54 Isa 25:8.
1 Corinthians 15:55 Hos 13:14.

~Lena’s Journalin’~
If the law gives sin its power, I wonder what grace does? No wonder satan causes religious people to try to enforce laws that they themselves do not anf of course cannot keep without grace. Satan would rather we are under a powerful stronghold of sin, then it will take a tremendous amount of grace to be freed from its grip on us.
Whenever people say how big a problem is, and they are playing a “oh magnify my problem with me” game, I take myself into the realm of the impossible and I begin to magnify God in my mind. I usually say something like, “God is a great big God.”
Satan wants us to forget how “big” God is. When we magnify his evil works, God is not the highest or the biggest in our lives, He’s not magnificent anymore, in our thinking, satan’s evil thoughts have taken God’s royal throne in our minds and instead of possibilities, we see everything as impossible.
Paul is dealing with this very thing right now in this passage. If we do not continually magnify Our Father God Most High deception will be able to come in and if we entertain his words to us rather than God the Father’s words to us, we are listening to lying deceiving spirits. When we listen to them they start to have an instant audience with us, they’ve taken us captive and now abide with us. This is a dangerous place, because we serve a jealous God who won’t give His plce to another. If we choose to give His place to others, He leaves, he is unwelcomed, he will not dwell with another. Do you see what happens oh so subtly? Where God made his abode, now satan resides, in our minds. Do you know why the scripture says, “we have the mind of Christ”? because our minds belong to God, we are God’s temple, His holy dwelling place, reserved for His spirit to speak continually with us, but he has to be the One and ONLY. If He’s not that, he’s not there, unless the strongman is bound and kicked out, for good. It is a commandment- …Him ONLY shall we serve! He will not share His place even in our minds with others.
It got so bad here that the devil was trying to get a bunch of the believers together to nullify a doctrine of their new church! They witnessed the resurrection of Jesus. They put the puzzle pieces together to figure out what God had just done. I think satan figured out what God had done too and he has always been a recruiter, he loves miserable company and so wants to take as many converts to his doom as possible, in that he wins against God once again. Ok, so Jesus died and rose, satan was not a part of that deliberated action, he can try his best to nullify it now, by causing us as believers in Christ to choose to believe his lies rather than believe in Christ!
Think awhile on these things…..
(daily repetitive verse)

2 Corinthians 2:14
Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Today Our Daily Bread 1 Cor 14 & 2 Cor 2:14

Scripture selections are taken from the Rock Church Daily Bread Reading schedule for each month. “Lena’s AsJournalin’” are Lena’s comments on the specific passages from her Daily Journal.

As we read through this chapter today, let’s be thinking from the perspective of the chapter that preceded this one, the agape “Love” chapter…. Love being the motivation, love being the reason, the opportunity to love being the guise for everything we’d do or be in Christ.

1 Corinthians 14

The Gifts of Tongues and Prophecy

1Let love be your highest goal, but also desire the special abilities the Spirit gives, especially the gift of prophecy. 2For if your gift is the ability to speak in tongues,[a] you will be talking to God but not to people, since they won't be able to understand you. You will be speaking by the power of the Spirit, but it will all be mysterious. 3But one who prophesies is helping others grow in the Lord, encouraging and comforting them. 4A person who speaks in tongues is strengthened personally in the Lord, but one who speaks a word of prophecy strengthens the entire church.

5I wish you all had the gift of speaking in tongues, but even more I wish you were all able to prophesy. For prophecy is a greater and more useful gift than speaking in tongues, unless someone interprets what you are saying so that the whole church can get some good out of it.
6Dear brothers and sisters,[b] if I should come to you talking in an unknown language,[c] how would that help you? But if I bring you some revelation or some special knowledge or some prophecy or some teaching--that is what will help you. 7Even musical instruments like the flute or the harp, though they are lifeless, are examples of the need for speaking in plain language. For no one will recognize the melody unless the notes are played clearly. 8And if the bugler doesn't sound a clear call, how will the soldiers know they are being called to battle? 9And it's the same for you. If you talk to people in a language they don't understand, how will they know what you mean? You might as well be talking to an empty room.
10There are so many different languages in the world, and all are excellent for those who understand them, 11but to me they mean nothing. I will not understand people who speak those languages, and they will not understand me. 12Since you are so eager to have spiritual gifts, ask God for those that will be of real help to the whole church.
13So anyone who has the gift of speaking in tongues should pray also for the gift of interpretation in order to tell people plainly what has been said. 14For if I pray in tongues, my spirit is praying, but I don't understand what I am saying.
15Well then, what shall I do? I will do both. I will pray in the spirit,[d] and I will pray in words I understand. I will sing in the spirit, and I will sing in words I understand. 16For if you praise God only in the spirit, how can those who don't understand you praise God along with you? How can they join you in giving thanks when they don't understand what you are saying? 17You will be giving thanks very nicely, no doubt, but it doesn't help the other people present.
18I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. 19But in a church meeting I would much rather speak five understandable words that will help others than ten thousand words in an unknown language.
20Dear brothers and sisters, don't be childish in your understanding of these things. Be innocent as babies when it comes to evil, but be mature and wise in understanding matters of this kind. 21It is written in the Scriptures,[e]
"I will speak to my own people through unknown languages and through the lips of foreigners. But even then, they will not listen to me,"[f] says the Lord. 22So you see that speaking in tongues is a sign, not for believers, but for unbelievers; prophecy, however, is for the benefit of believers, not unbelievers. 23Even so, if unbelievers or people who don't understand these things come into your meeting and hear everyone talking in an unknown language, they will think you are crazy. 24But if all of you are prophesying, and unbelievers or people who don't understand these things come into your meeting, they will be convicted of sin, and they will be condemned by what you say. 25As they listen, their secret thoughts will be laid bare, and they will fall down on their knees and worship God, declaring, "God is really here among you."

A Call to Orderly Worship

26Well, my brothers and sisters, let's summarize what I am saying. When you meet, one will sing, another will teach, another will tell some special revelation God has given, one will speak in an unknown language, while another will interpret what is said. But everything that is done must be useful to all and build them up in the Lord. 27No more than two or three should speak in an unknown language. They must speak one at a time, and someone must be ready to interpret what they are saying. 28But if no one is present who can interpret, they must be silent in your church meeting and speak in tongues to God privately.
29Let two or three prophesy, and let the others evaluate what is said. 30But if someone is prophesying and another person receives a revelation from the Lord, the one who is speaking must stop. 31In this way, all who prophesy will have a turn to speak, one after the other, so that everyone will learn and be encouraged. 32Remember that people who prophesy are in control of their spirit and can wait their turn. 33For God is not a God of disorder but of peace, as in all the other churches.[g]
34Women should be silent during the church meetings. It is not proper for them to speak. They should be submissive, just as the law says. 35If they have any questions to ask, let them ask their husbands at home, for it is improper for women to speak in church meetings.[h]
36Do you think that the knowledge of God's word begins and ends with you Corinthians? Well, you are mistaken! 37If you claim to be a prophet or think you are very spiritual, you should recognize that what I am saying is a command from the Lord himself. 38But if you do not recognize this, you will not be recognized.[i]
39So, dear brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and don't forbid speaking in tongues. 40But be sure that everything is done properly and in order.
1 Corinthians 14:2 Or in unknown languages; also in 14:4, 5, 13, 14, 18, 22, 28, 39.
1 Corinthians 14:6 Greek brothers; also in 14:20, 26, 39.
1 Corinthians 14:6 Or in tongues; also in 14:19, 23, 26, 27.
1 Corinthians 14:15 Or in the Spirit; also in 14:15b, 16.
1 Corinthians 14:21 Greek in the law.
1 Corinthians 14:21 Isa 28:11-12.
1 Corinthians 14:33 The phrase as in all the other churches could be joined to the beginning of 14:34.
1 Corinthians 14:35 Some manuscripts place verses 34-35 after 14:40.
1 Corinthians 14:38 Some manuscripts read If you are ignorant of this, stay in your ignorance.
~Lena’s Journalin~
I see people who’ve been influenced by religious, law enforcing church goers and also those of us who have seen some crazy out of there Charismatically expressed things saying, “see”, you don’t HAVE to pray or speak in tongues, it is a gift!
These thoughts and statements are true, very true, we do not “have to”, it IS a gift. A gift God gives and desires us to have, just like he desires us to have salvation and accept the sacrifice His Son made for all of us by shedding His blood. We don’t have to accept or live out faith in that accomplishment and victory over the strongholds of sin either. God is such a “gentle-“man”, He gave each one of us a freewill and is not forceful in nature AT ALL, He will not force us to receive salvation, nor will He force us to take any gift that He wants to give us or wants us to have. He does not act as men act, He is God and a very, very loving Father.
The point in the 1st 4 verses is, what would be more important in our spiritual lives, talking to men? That is extremely important. How would God’s message get to other men if we did not talk to men about Him, right? Or is it more important to speak with and to God? Oh, wow, yeah, that is very, very important. In fact that could be likened to a couple getting married and having children. If the couple never had face to face intimacy, there would be no children. If we try to talk to people about God, but don’t know Him well or know Him intimately, who’s children are they? His or ours? “His, mine or ours”???? Do you think one can do a good work of God without talking to God about His work, he desires done? I know this answer is quite amazing, but we can. That’s called religious works. We know that if we do a certain work for God, it will be a good work and so we go and do it, knowing it is good, but if we have not specifically talked to God and gotten His mind on the matter and His specific will on our part of His plan, we are working for Him and not specifically with Him as he wills it. just because something good worked beforehand and went well, does not mean it is what or how God would like it done this time either. I’ve seen many many good Christian people worn out by the “work of God” (myself included) and I’ve come to know that when man even does the work of God on his own strength and ideas, he becomes lame, sick, weak, torn down, etc, just like any other labor he does! God is not looking for workers, he’s looking for friends who love Him enough and speak with Him enough, that they’d do anything he asks because of that love relationship and through the strength of that relationship that comes through the empowerment of HIS SPIRIT, not my own strong willed human spirit.
So back to “see, not everyone has the gift of speaking in tongues”. This is so true, not everyone receives every gift God desires to give them. It is up to each individual who has been given the offer, whether they are brave or trusting or confident in God’s gentlemanly nature, enough to receive it. Whether they believe he would want them to have it and why. God wants us to gain understanding of things so that faith can arise in us to receive what He has provided for us. Once a certain amount of understanding comes, the Lord wants us to believe in Him and trust Him. James 1:17 says, every good and perfect gift comes from God and the father above. Luke 11 says if we ask god of his spirit, would He give us a snake? What is His nature? That of natural hurt inflicting worldly fathers, who kid and joke around? Or that of an enemy who would trick us and hurt us. NO, not of either of these, remember His intent, motivation etc is LOVE and a deeper more intimate fellowship with each one of us.
I know this is a bit lengthy, but please bear with me (I’m being led of the Lord) Let’s try to read this from the possible perspective of Paul, a man who encountered God the Father
In a big way, this man went from being a Christian tormentor, to a lover of God and men, all men. He was completely changed by the spirit of Christ inside of him, he was transformed. Some say after this encounter, he went away for several years and was taught the word of God and was in constant one on one fellowship with God’s spirit through His word and in prayer. He’d found that God’s presence was the best place in all of the world to be in, that there was no other place like this. Yet by being in the intense presence he was in, he was called from that place to go and preach, to go and share the good news and to spread it far and wide. As with many who really come to know God intimately and know who He is and what His presence is like, Paul possibly had a hesitancy to go into the world and preach a gospel to and with peoplehe’d so greatly persecuted. He may have had a few conversations with the Lord, “Are You sure, we could just stay here in this wonderful presence, just You and me alone, here. I like this here, there’s lots of peace etc…” But God’s holy awesome presence was what had changed him and was what was prompting him to go elsewhere. In that presence he had the ideas of God become his ideas, their ideas were becoming the same. Paul wanted to have this presence go with him in working the ministry also. How could he do that, while working, be in God’s presence too. How could he have God’s ideas abounding in his own mind as he had in the place of solitude? By praying, by praying in an intimate uninterrupted by human will way, by praying the same words God would pray, having the same ideas God would have, the same utterance God would give to Paul and to the world. The only way to have that was to come into the “throne room” the intimate place where we speak the same as God. Not where God speaks the same as us. We’re not asking God to bless our ideas and thoughts in this place. We’ve experienced His presence, intimacy with Him, we’ve encountered Him and have come up into a higher, deeper place of fellowship, where we are asking Him what His thoughts are and how we can help implement them for Him. WOW.
We have children’s pastors in our church. He is from Cuba and she is from Brasil, but they both live here in the good ol’ USA. When they met, he spoke Spanish, she spoke Portegese. They ended up getting married and worked through communication barriers as their intimacy and desire for one another increased.
She (think of the church as being the female in this love relationship with the lord) adjusted her speech more than he did in this instance, she began to speak His language more than he spoke hers (we’re still referring to God’s language here- tongues is god’s language). Then they moved to the USA and they both spoke Spanish to one another, but needed to hone in on their English to be able to speak to al of us. It was even a matter of respect to us that if they were gonna be able to communicate with us, they’d begin to learn how we speak, take on our native language and in so doing our fellowship would and has increased. Listen to this, this is very key, very key- it has to do with respect and intimacy of fellowship and unselfishness…..
When they are desirious of speaking only with one another, they go back to speaking in Spanish, that is their love language with one another. They honor us and speak English, this is their love language with us……..(RU hearing what the Spirit of Christ and God are saying right now?)
Speaking in tongues is only a matter of respect for the deeper intimacy with God’s Spirit, and mind. We do not have to, and yes people do things out of order, but their disorder does not have a bearing with our intimacy with God, our one on one time. Just like if someone speaks unkind or curses in Spanish, that does not take away from our children’s pastors using it as their own intimate language with one another. When someone abuses something that will be between them and God when they account. When we give account, we will never be able to bring those abusers in to God’s presence with us as excuses as to why we refused to believe or receive his gifts available to us to bring us to the place where we do his work with His will and strength.
When we speak with tongues we speak to God and not to men. Is that good? Yes. Is it also good to speak as men speak? Even in prayer? Yes! There is a time for every use. Is it disrespectful to come in front of a congregation of people and zone out and only speak to God aloud for the whole time we are together gathered to help one another grow up in what God has already shown each of us in the intimate places we’ve all already been with God? Yes! What Paul was trying to express here is that he has his times of intimate prayer and he loves it so much that he could do that everywhere else he has to go and in every situation, but just like if our c pastors were to speak in Spanish around me every time they speak in my presence, I’d feel excluded somewhat, I’d feel disregarded somewhat, it would be better to speak in understanding words, so I’d feel included. Yet paul also said it would be a sign to those who don’t believe if they heard tongues in the church, then if they heard the tongue interpreted too that would even bring more understanding and in bringing understanding edification would come to everyone present and that would be even better in that setting.
He was not saying never speak in tongues corporately in church! He was just pointing out what would be of more benefit in that setting. But can you imagine in your spirit times when all of the people of God only wanted to hear the voice of God and not human voices? When a corporate people desired to speak to God as he speaks in His “native” love language, singing spiritual songs unto Him? How would that make god “feel” when 50-100-1000 people were all in one accord in one place with the same mind of pleasing His heart and thinking His thoughts all at once? Wow. I think he longs for that.
I think Pastors & people like Paul know He longs to hear our hearts beating for His heart, His heart beat His heart’s cry. If one people would lay down their differences of opinion, and all of the different ways we all speak, Portegese, Spanish English, Christian-ese, opinionated, confrontational, striveful speech all became one speech, the language of God! We all stopped what we thought we should do and accomplish and decided to seak as one, in the love language God knows and wants- the language of His spirit. Wow!

(daily repetitive verse)
2 Corinthians 2:14
Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Scripture selections are taken from the Rock Church Daily Bread Reading schedule for each month. “Lena’s Journalin’” are Lena’s comments on the specific passages from her Daily Journal.

Acts 27
Paul Sails for Rome
1When it was decided that we would sail for Italy, Paul and some other prisoners were handed over to a centurion named Julius, who belonged to the Imperial Regiment. 2We boarded a ship from Adramyttium about to sail for ports along the coast of the province of Asia, and we put out to sea. Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica, was with us.
3The next day we landed at Sidon; and Julius, in kindness to Paul, allowed him to go to his friends so they might provide for his needs. 4From there we put out to sea again and passed to the lee of Cyprus because the winds were against us. 5When we had sailed across the open sea off the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we landed at Myra in Lycia. 6There the centurion found an Alexandrian ship sailing for Italy and put us on board. 7We made slow headway for many days and had difficulty arriving off Cnidus. When the wind did not allow us to hold our course, we sailed to the lee of Crete, opposite Salmone. 8We moved along the coast with difficulty and came to a place called Fair Havens, near the town of Lasea.
9Much time had been lost, and sailing had already become dangerous because by now it was after the Fast.[a] So Paul warned them, 10"Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also." 11But the centurion, instead of listening to what Paul said, followed the advice of the pilot and of the owner of the ship. 12Since the harbor was unsuitable to winter in, the majority decided that we should sail on, hoping to reach Phoenix and winter there. This was a harbor in Crete, facing both southwest and northwest.
The Storm
13When a gentle south wind began to blow, they thought they had obtained what they wanted; so they weighed anchor and sailed along the shore of Crete. 14Before very long, a wind of hurricane force, called the "northeaster," swept down from the island. 15The ship was caught by the storm and could not head into the wind; so we gave way to it and were driven along. 16As we passed to the lee of a small island called Cauda, we were hardly able to make the lifeboat secure. 17When the men had hoisted it aboard, they passed ropes under the ship itself to hold it together. Fearing that they would run aground on the sandbars of Syrtis, they lowered the sea anchor and let the ship be driven along. 18We took such a violent battering from the storm that the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard. 19On the third day, they threw the ship's tackle overboard with their own hands. 20When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved.
21After the men had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: "Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss. 22But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. 23Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me 24and said, 'Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.' 25So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. 26Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island."
The Shipwreck
27On the fourteenth night we were still being driven across the Adriatic[b] Sea, when about midnight the sailors sensed they were approaching land. 28They took soundings and found that the water was a hundred and twenty feet[c] deep. A short time later they took soundings again and found it was ninety feet[d] deep. 29Fearing that we would be dashed against the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daylight. 30In an attempt to escape from the ship, the sailors let the lifeboat down into the sea, pretending they were going to lower some anchors from the bow. 31Then Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, "Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved." 32So the soldiers cut the ropes that held the lifeboat and let it fall away.
33Just before dawn Paul urged them all to eat. "For the last fourteen days," he said, "you have been in constant suspense and have gone without food—you haven't eaten anything. 34Now I urge you to take some food. You need it to survive. Not one of you will lose a single hair from his head." 35After he said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all. Then he broke it and began to eat. 36They were all encouraged and ate some food themselves. 37Altogether there were 276 of us on board. 38When they had eaten as much as they wanted, they lightened the ship by throwing the grain into the sea.
39When daylight came, they did not recognize the land, but they saw a bay with a sandy beach, where they decided to run the ship aground if they could. 40Cutting loose the anchors, they left them in the sea and at the same time untied the ropes that held the rudders. Then they hoisted the foresail to the wind and made for the beach. 41But the ship struck a sandbar and ran aground. The bow stuck fast and would not move, and the stern was broken to pieces by the pounding of the surf.
42The soldiers planned to kill the prisoners to prevent any of them from swimming away and escaping. 43But the centurion wanted to spare Paul's life and kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and get to land. 44The rest were to get there on planks or on pieces of the ship. In this way everyone reached land in safety.
Acts 27:9 That is, the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur)
Acts 27:27 In ancient times the name referred to an area extending well south of Italy.
Acts 27:28 Greek twenty orguias (about 37 meters)
Acts 27:28 Greek fifteen orguias (about 27 meters)
~Lena’s Journalin’~
Do you see how it was decided for these which way and where they would go? They did not choose this route, or manner of travel or “way”. Even an Apostle was placed (by God) into a man’s hand? He was left to this man’s decisions, etc? Evere feel your destiny being stirred by the will of others? Or yur life in other’s hands?
Adramyttium means: "I shall abide in death".
So no matter, the family we find ourselves in, the situations or job positions we hold or where we live, God can and will take our lives and allow the hands of men to be upon us, steering us more and more towards trust and reliance on Him. It really did not matter here how fair or unfair things were, was God invited into the situation? Would God be allowed to be with them on the journey, through the storm? Or would people disregard the hand of God as it appeared to be manifested as a man’s hand? Would they say, “God is surely NOT in this situation?”, God would not allow this or that, or be angry that God actually “allowed” this to happen to them?
I’d think twice before disregarding God in the future, whether circumstances, relationships, positions or any other situation are uninvited by us or not. I’d be seeking to find Him in any and every place. Calling on Him and making Him known on the journey as Lord and King!
No matter, the matter, no matter the whatevers- abiding til death!
Some of the suffering we incur inside of our journey would be from lack of the acknowledgement of Him and His will and plan. Our lack of seeking of God’s face and wisdom on matters that seem to not involve Him at all by outward appearance could be detrimental to the outcome in any given situation or “storm”.
How do we move on? By continuing in faith, no matter what. Continue in faith.
How difficult is it to hold faith? Very, at times, very difficult. Why? Some of the journey was charted out and our enemy got a hold of the map and has purposely set up traps to get us off course or quit in our continuity and especially our journey of faith.
Just because there is diffuculty, does not mean that God is not involved, or could become involved. He never said , “if you serve Me, you’ll never hit a storm and anything you do will cause all weather patterns to become still in your presence.” He never promised we’d not lose things along the way. I believe these are all tests given, yes even by satan, to see how very strong, or very weak our faith is or has become. To see if what we proclaim in “Christian-ese”, is real or just talk.
I find that as I walk closer and closer to and with the Lord that I see how many weights of life need to come off and be shed off of me. I see how things become so trivial and meaningless, while people and just being obedient to God is of utmost prominence on my priority list.
Notice when people are closer to death, priorities get real clear. Real clear! Suddenly what we thought was so important, becomes so easy to do without and life or the salvation of others becomes what is desired to salvage and save.
The voices of and the wisdom of others becomes very very important to the navigation through the rest of the journey, and hearing the voice of our savior is imperative.
Do you see how this parallels the spiritual needs of priority, relationship, heeding advice of others, etc? Storms bring immediate maturity!
This word is fitting for all of us- purpose preserves life. God showed Paul his days beyond these. This purpose gave him assurance of life, this purpose no matter how small, preserved his life, renewed and regenerated his faith and also that of others. Grab a hold of a purpose from God and LIVE- DO not let go! You’ll go thorugh just about any storm you have to get through if you have a sense of purpose!
What do you think this spiritually means and applies to when it was said- unless you stay with the ship you’ll lose your lives?
I believe it has many-fold meanings. Some would be to stay where God has put you, yes that job, that relationship, that church etc. get through and then ask God where you should go on to, don’t quit in the interim. Don’t quit, in some cases we will grow on, but quitting is not a part of God’s nature. Ask and seek His help through the storm, get through it. growing on does not always mean leaving where you are physically, but growing up and becoming a different you inside of the same situation.
I have heard of the ship as being the faith, the fellowship of the church and Christ’s body. I’ve heard of the sea as being the world. If we are involved with the world rather than the people of God and the things of God it is hard for some to be truly and solidly saved.
Ever hear of “get on board”? These literally did float on board, till they reached land! Maybe you have been wandering in your faith or not solid in the fellowship with the people of God’s house, it is time to “get on board” and make it safe to land/and the next steps towards greater purpose.

(daily repetitive verse)
2 Corinthians 2:14
Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Today Our Thanksgiving Daily Bread Luke 22 & 2 Cor 2:14

Scripture selections are taken from the Rock Church Daily Bread Reading schedule for each month. “Lena’s Journalin’” are Lena’s comments on the specific passages from her Daily Journal.

Luke 22
Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus
1The Festival of Unleavened Bread, which begins with the Passover celebration, was drawing near. 2The leading priests and teachers of religious law were actively plotting Jesus' murder. But they wanted to kill him without starting a riot, a possibility they greatly feared.
3Then Satan entered into Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve disciples, 4and he went over to the leading priests and captains of the Temple guard to discuss the best way to betray Jesus to them. 5They were delighted that he was ready to help them, and they promised him a reward. 6So he began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus so they could arrest him quietly when the crowds weren't around.
The Last Supper
7Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread arrived, when the Passover lambs were sacrificed. 8Jesus sent Peter and John ahead and said, "Go and prepare the Passover meal, so we can eat it together."
9"Where do you want us to go?" they asked him.
10He replied, "As soon as you enter Jerusalem, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you. Follow him. At the house he enters, 11say to the owner, `The Teacher asks, Where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?' 12He will take you upstairs to a large room that is already set up. That is the place. Go ahead and prepare our supper there." 13They went off to the city and found everything just as Jesus had said, and they prepared the Passover supper there.
14Then at the proper time Jesus and the twelve apostles sat down together at the table. 15Jesus said, "I have looked forward to this hour with deep longing, anxious to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins. 16For I tell you now that I won't eat it again until it comes to fulfillment in the Kingdom of God."
17Then he took a cup of wine, and when he had given thanks for it, he said, "Take this and share it among yourselves. 18For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdom of God has come."
19Then he took a loaf of bread; and when he had thanked God for it, he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, "This is my body, given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." 20After supper he took another cup of wine and said, "This wine is the token of God's new covenant to save you--an agreement sealed with the blood I will pour out for you.[a]
21"But here at this table, sitting among us as a friend, is the man who will betray me. 22For I, the Son of Man, must die since it is part of God's plan. But how terrible it will be for my betrayer!" 23Then the disciples began to ask each other which of them would ever do such a thing.
24And they began to argue among themselves as to who would be the greatest in the coming Kingdom. 25Jesus told them, "In this world the kings and great men order their people around, and yet they are called `friends of the people.' 26But among you, those who are the greatest should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. 27Normally the master sits at the table and is served by his servants. But not here! For I am your servant. 28You have remained true to me in my time of trial. 29And just as my Father has granted me a Kingdom, I now grant you the right 30to eat and drink at my table in that Kingdom. And you will sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Jesus Predicts Peters Denial
31"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to have all of you, to sift you like wheat. 32But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen and build up your brothers."
33Peter said, "Lord, I am ready to go to prison with you, and even to die with you."
34But Jesus said, "Peter, let me tell you something. The rooster will not crow tomorrow morning until you have denied three times that you even know me."
35Then Jesus asked them, "When I sent you out to preach the Good News and you did not have money, a traveler's bag, or extra clothing, did you lack anything?"
"No," they replied.
36"But now," he said, "take your money and a traveler's bag. And if you don't have a sword, sell your clothes and buy one! 37For the time has come for this prophecy about me to be fulfilled: `He was counted among those who were rebels.'[b] Yes, everything written about me by the prophets will come true."
38"Lord," they replied, "we have two swords among us."
"That's enough," he said.
Jesus Prays on the Mount of Olives
39Then, accompanied by the disciples, Jesus left the upstairs room and went as usual to the Mount of Olives. 40There he told them, "Pray that you will not be overcome by temptation."
41He walked away, about a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42"Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine." 43Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. 44He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.[c] 45At last he stood up again and returned to the disciples, only to find them asleep, exhausted from grief. 46"Why are you sleeping?" he asked. "Get up and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you."

Jesus Is Betrayed and Arrested
47But even as he said this, a mob approached, led by Judas, one of his twelve disciples. Judas walked over to Jesus and greeted him with a kiss. 48But Jesus said, "Judas, how can you betray me, the Son of Man, with a kiss?"
49When the other disciples saw what was about to happen, they exclaimed, "Lord, should we fight? We brought the swords!" 50And one of them slashed at the high priest's servant and cut off his right ear.
51But Jesus said, "Don't resist anymore." And he touched the place where the man's ear had been and healed him. 52Then Jesus spoke to the leading priests and captains of the Temple guard and the other leaders who headed the mob. "Am I some dangerous criminal," he asked, "that you have come armed with swords and clubs to arrest me? 53Why didn't you arrest me in the Temple? I was there every day. But this is your moment, the time when the power of darkness reigns."

Peter Denies Jesus
54So they arrested him and led him to the high priest's residence, and Peter was following far behind. 55The guards lit a fire in the courtyard and sat around it, and Peter joined them there. 56A servant girl noticed him in the firelight and began staring at him. Finally she said, "This man was one of Jesus' followers!"
57Peter denied it. "Woman," he said, "I don't even know the man!"
58After a while someone else looked at him and said, "You must be one of them!"
"No, man, I'm not!" Peter replied.
59About an hour later someone else insisted, "This must be one of Jesus' disciples because he is a Galilean, too."
60But Peter said, "Man, I don't know what you are talking about." And as soon as he said these words, the rooster crowed. 61At that moment the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered that the Lord had said, "Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny me three times." 62And Peter left the courtyard, crying bitterly.
63Now the guards in charge of Jesus began mocking and beating him. 64They blindfolded him; then they hit him and asked, "Who hit you that time, you prophet?" 65And they threw all sorts of terrible insults at him.
Jesus before the Council
66At daybreak all the leaders of the people assembled, including the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. Jesus was led before this high council,[d] 67and they said, "Tell us if you are the Messiah."
But he replied, "If I tell you, you won't believe me. 68And if I ask you a question, you won't answer. 69But the time is soon coming when I, the Son of Man, will be sitting at God's right hand in the place of power."[e]
70They all shouted, "Then you claim you are the Son of God?"
And he replied, "You are right in saying that I am."
71"What need do we have for other witnesses?" they shouted. "We ourselves heard him say it."
Luke 22:20 Some manuscripts omit 22:19b-20, given for you . . . I will pour out for you.
Luke 22:37 Isa 53:12.
Luke 22:44 These verses are not included in many ancient manuscripts.
Luke 22:66 Greek before their Sanhedrin.
Luke 22:69 See Ps 110:1.

~Lena’s Journalin’~
The enemy of God looks for opportunities to make it appear God is not God and make us think he is god. The very spirit of satan was in Judas or he would not have operated this way, yet the actions that followed were bringing together the purposes of God (Rom 8:28). Because of the nature of the enemy, he had no idea that the death of God’s Son would be the next step and the answer of the salvation of the world, he did not care about the world so did not think as God thought about the world. He felt death meant hell, because it did to him, it meant defeat, because that is his own destiny. He would have liked to “take Jesus down” with him. He knew sacrifices made atonement and that that had become somewhat of a futile and religious act. That people would make sacrifices (of animals) for sin and go and sin again, still needing salvation from their deeds. He never thought a man would do such an act, yet not only a man, but THE MOST HIGH GOD! Satan is into self exaltation, so he does not think of stepping down low, as Jesus did. It was/is not in his nature or in the nature of sin.
This is why Jesus said, the Son of man must die, but woe to the one who betrays Him. Jesus would die without Judas’ help, and satan wouldn’t want anyone to know that one! Also, Jesus said to His disciples, the greatest is the one who is willing to be the least- this exemplifies the very nature of God and shows forth the nature of satan. Self exaltation- satan, Love exaltation- God!
betrayal is defined
to give into the hands (of another), to give over into (one's) power or use, to deliver to one something to keep, use, take care of, manage, to deliver up one to custody, to be judged, condemned, punished, scourged, tormented, put to death, to deliver up treacherously, by betrayal to cause one to be taken, to deliver one to be taught, moulded, to commit, to commend, to deliver verbally, commands, rites, to deliver by narrating, to report, to permit allow, when the fruit will allow that is when its ripeness permits, gives itself up, presents itself
Not all of that definition sounds horrible, most sounds actually loyal, exactly! The loyalty is given over to the wrong master!
Remember Feast of Unleavened bread meaning, a gathering in celebration of those who are made spotless by the shed blood of one who makes them cleaner than they could ever make themselves? The one who takes away their sin and its penalty?
These carried the burden of guilt and sin all year long. They waited for the day when they could petition and sacrifice to be made clean from this guilt and its stain on their lives. They were pleased to be able to make sacrifices, they all stopped everyday life, had a holiday and gathered in this one place to make the sacrifices for their sins (they had church).
Is it not significant that the beginning of this feast was when Jesus was being prepared mentally for his own sacrifice? Also during the days of the feast He was being offered for the sins of the whole world! That is marvelous. As He was eating the “last super” the spotless, unblemished lambs were being brought into the city for slaughter.
At this last supper, Jesus was signifying what would be happening to Him at Passover. He had shown them that He was THE BREAD of LIFE, and this bread would be given to whoever would take and receive it and allow it/Him to become a part of their inner life, He was telling them He had to drink in the will of God in action and pour out His own life for His Father’s will and for the sake of the world, so that they could also decide to do the Father’s will. He was asking them to share with Him in the same pattern of taking Him in, giving Him out and laying down their own lives for the Father’s will and the world.
You can see they did not get the significance of this, as no natural man can. Without the understanding given by the power of God’s spirit how can a naturally minded man understand God’s mind, who does not think as men do? Jesus spent much time with them explaining, but soon they’d have the same spirit inside of them that He had demonstrated for them these 3 years! They would get it. It was in seed form now, and understanding would come and activate the seeds many times over in the future. If someone does not seem to immediately ‘get it” don’t worry, they will- for God’s powerful word does not go out void, but it will accomplish what it pleases and will prosper in the places it is sent. (Isa) The main part is to be available to get the word in so it will grow and be brought forth with time and experiences.
Notice Jesus telling the disciples that each of them had the very same offer of betrayal as Judas did, and that the time of its opportunities were not over with. Satan was coming to “take them all out”. The difference between Judas’ betrayal and Peter’s denial was allegiance, and deliberate turning towards and away from inside of the heart. Judas’s betrayal was influenced by satan and the nature of his works, Peter’s denial was based on flesh natured fear, self preservation, and revealing of iniquity. God was gonna show Peter His heart. Notice in this passage, Jesus tells him that he would be repenting. That very act of messing up and turning back to God would show disciples all over the world what to do.
to deny is defined-
to affirm that one has no acquaintance or connection with someone , to forget one's self, lose sight of one's self and one's own interests
I wonder, when they were in the garden and Jesus admonished them that they too needed to pray, if He was showing them they’d have their own temptation to fight and their flesh would be weaker later on and through prayer was where they’d find all the strength they’d need? God is so faithful.
I cannot stand it when people blame Him for things that happen, because as we see here, Jesus showed Peter his own heart ahead of time, then told Him he’d be weak and needed to seek God, or he’d find himself in failure, which would bring great grief to His heart later on. Most of us listen to our pride and feel we know everything about everything, and so don’t heed foresight given us by God, and the subtle hints of obedience and prevention of woe. Had Peter listened, he may have done warfare and cancelled his fall and face off with woe. He would have seen it coming, but resisted its offer. We all can be like that, living by our own experiences or living by the faith of the Son of God and through obedience be blessed in that we do not have to walk through so much pain etc. We become wise when we live this way, fools when we do not. Fools live through lots of experiences and pain. They go somewhere, but not very far. Obedience is blessed and those who trust, listen to, and obey God, His word, His voice- these live long, go far, and reproduce blessings for others.
Let’s be the obedient ones who bring salvation to the earth, who go “far” with obedience, who reproduce Him.
Happy Thanks Giving!

(daily repetitive verse)
2 Corinthians 2:14
Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.