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Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 119): Part 5

 ה He

33 Teach me, Lord, the way of your decrees,screen-shot-2016-11-13-at-5-56-39-am
    that I may follow it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law
    and obey it with all my heart.
35 Direct me in the path of your commands,
    for there I find delight.
36 Turn my heart toward your statutes
    and not toward selfish gain.
37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
    preserve my life according to your word.
38 Fulfill your promise to your servant,
    so that you may be feared.
39 Take away the disgrace I dread,
    for your laws are good.
40 How I long for your precepts!
    In your righteousness preserve my life.

 

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Insight from a Blind Man (A Study of John 9) Part 10

screen-shot-2017-02-27-at-6-11-22-amThe Pharisees were in a pickle.  They knew that the Sabbath was inviolable, but they also knew that Jesus had broken the Sabbath.  He had worked by making mud on the Sabbath!

They logically deduced, from their premise that their view of Sabbath-keeping was the correct one, that Jesus could not be the Messiah promised of God.  It just did not make sense!  Why would the Messiah violate His own commandments about treating the Sabbath as holy?

As we learn in Jesus’ other fights with the Pharisees, they had replaced God’s Word with their own traditions.  What they were defending was not always God’s truth, but their perspectives and additions and expansions of God’s truths.  And Jesus seemed to not care a whit when He broke their Sabbath!

NOT KEEPING THE SABBATH = NOT BEING FROM GOD.  Their logic was impeccable.  The only problem was that they now had a healed tourist in their midst, a grown man who wanted to go SIGHT-seeing!  He had been healed — by a Sabbath-breaker!

Their theological machinery was blowing a gasket!  “How can a sinner perform such signs?”  Of course, every miracle done by God through every human being in the Bible (apart from Jesus) was done through a sinner, was it not?  Something was terribly wrong — either with the miracle itself or the details of the miracle or the Person of Jesus.  Or their presupposition about the Sabbath?

I imagine that by this time the man born blind was becoming increasingly impatient.  Fingers screen-shot-2017-02-27-at-6-28-18-ampointing at him.  Accusations made.  Questions hurled like poisonous darts.  Looks of disgust, religious indignation, logical confusion reigning.  He was probably done with talking.  He wanted to go see some things.  (to be continued)

 

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2017 in john 9

 

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Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 119): Part 4

ד Daleth

25 I am laid low in the dust;screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-5-59-24-am
    preserve my life according to your word.
26 I gave an account of my ways and you answered me;
    teach me your decrees.
27 Cause me to understand the way of your precepts,
    that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds.
28 My soul is weary with sorrow;
    strengthen me according to your word.
29 Keep me from deceitful ways;
    be gracious to me and teach me your law.
30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
    I have set my heart on your laws.
31 I hold fast to your statutes, Lord;
    do not let me be put to shame.
32 I run in the path of your commands,
    for you have broadened my understanding.

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2017 in the heart

 

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Insight from a Blind Man (A Study of John 9) Part 9

screen-shot-2017-02-25-at-5-36-55-amAh, the miracle was done on the SABBATH!  The Pharisees saw themselves as the keepers of the Sabbath and their logic or lack of logic got them into a lot of debates with Jesus over the purpose of the Sabbath.

Jesus did not check the calendar to see what day it was before He spat on the ground, made mud, put it on this man’s eyes, and told him to go wash.  For Jesus the time was always right for a miracle!

The religiosity of the Pharisees blinded them from the truth about the Sabbath, the truth about this blind man, and the truth about Jesus.  Religion has a way of doing that.

Religion can be a substitute for the righteousness that is offered freely in the gospel. Religion can take the place of compassion.  Religion can poison one’s mind and cause one to think that he or she can work their way to heaven.  Religion can seduce one into minimizing God’s mercy and trampling on His grace.  Religion nailed the Son of God to the cross, didn’t it?

There is indeed a God-consciousness built inside each of us that is either met by God’s mercy or twisted by man’s own religious efforts.

The Creator of man, the Second Person of the Divine Trinity, stooped to make mud, much like man’s original creation in the beginning.  He can make mud and He can fashion it any way He chooses.  But man can judge Him by man’s religion and condemn His creative intervention into our world of darkness.  In a world of dust and dirt and precious little spiritual water, He spits on the ground He made and does something wonderful.  Which religion condemns. (to be continued)

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2017 in religion

 

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Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 119): Part 3

ג Gimel

17 Be good to your servant while I live,screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-5-40-05-am
    that I may obey your word.
18 Open my eyes that I may see
    wonderful things in your law.
19 I am a stranger on earth;
    do not hide your commands from me.
20 My soul is consumed with longing
    for your laws at all times.
21 You rebuke the arrogant, who are accursed,
    those who stray from your commands.
22 Remove from me their scorn and contempt,
    for I keep your statutes.
23 Though rulers sit together and slander me,
    your servant will meditate on your decrees.
24 Your statutes are my delight;
    they are my counselors.

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2017 in spiritual vision

 

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Insight from a Blind Man (A Study of John 9) Part 8

screen-shot-2017-02-25-at-5-36-55-am
Why do people want to know HOW something happened? They ought to be enthralled THAT something happened, don’t you think?

The problem here is that process is all-important to the religious leaders — and the people they have taught.  The real issue in this interrogation — for the friends and later especially for the Pharisees — is the day of the week in which this miracle took place.  THE SABBATH!

As the neighbors and those who had formerly known the blind man discover, Jesus had MADE MUD on the Sabbath to put on the man’s eyes so he could go wash and so he could — for the first time in his LIFE! — see!  The man born blind is succinct in his response:  “The man they call Jesus . . .”  He knew next to nothing about Jesus, not even His whereabouts.

“The man they call Jesus” — Soon this man would be calling Jesus “Lord”!  But first he has to go through a series of interrogations — and they will not be pretty.

Thank God that our ignorance does not inhibit the God of glory to do works of power in our lives!  He who made the deaf, the mute, and the blind (Ex. 4) can reverse the effects of the Fall and give sight where there had only been darkness.

Could it be that this man was actually wanting to find “the man they call Jesus” to thank Him?  screen-shot-2017-02-25-at-5-58-44-amAnd his searching gets side-tracked by this series of inquisitions?  He certainly becomes irritated and agitated (as we’ll see later) as the questions are hurled at him like  stones at the public stoning of an adulteress.

But for right now, he tolerates the questions and will be led to the religious authorities, presumably to give their stamp of approval to his miracle.  However, religion can become ugly.  Quite ugly. (to be continued)

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2017 in john 9

 

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Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 119): Part 2

ב Bethscreen-shot-2016-11-10-at-6-22-45-am

How can a young person stay on the path of purity?
    By living according to your word.
10 I seek you with all my heart;
    do not let me stray from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart
    that I might not sin against you.
12 Praise be to you, Lord;
    teach me your decrees.
13 With my lips I recount
    all the laws that come from your mouth.
14 I rejoice in following your statutes
    as one rejoices in great riches.
15 I meditate on your precepts
    and consider your ways.
16 I delight in your decrees;
    I will not neglect your word.

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2017 in meditation

 

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