Just recently, I’ve been worshiping to this song by Jason Upton, over and over. It has become the cry of my heart. As the daughter of the Most High God, the more I learn of Him through experience and through His Word, I find myself more and more wanting to be like my Abba, my Daddy…
7 Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
9 God showed how much He loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him.10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
God is Love. Real love is that God loved us and sent His Son, Jesus to be a sacrifice for our sins. I’m not there yet. God has given me a greater love for mankind than I could ever have imagined, yet, I cannot truthfully say that I would be willing to sacrifice either of my children for anyone’s sake… Daddy make me just like You!
8 But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.9 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, He will certainly save us from God’s condemnation.10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of His Son while we were still His enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of His Son.11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.
I have such a hard time loving my enemies. It’s hard to love someone who hates me or those I love. Yet my Daddy loved me when I was His enemy. In fact, before He adopted me, when I was still a child of His enemy, the devil, He loved me and you! Daddy make me just like You!
4 But God is so rich in mercy, and He loved us so much,5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, He gave us life when He raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)6 For He raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.7 So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of His grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all He has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.
8 God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.
God, my Daddy, is rich in love and mercy. And He has made me, and you, if you are His child, an example of the incredible wealth of His grace and kindness toward us. Do you wonder how far that grace extends? His mercy, love, grace and kindness to us is so great that when He raised Christ from the dead, He raised us up right along with Jesus, and seated us in the heavenly realms. What kind of love is this? Daddy make me just like You!
How amazing is the love of Father God for His adopted sons and daughters. How could we not long to be like Him? Once He has captured our hearts, there is nothing more we can desire than to truly be like Him, and praise God! He knows that we, in our humanity, could never achieve our hearts desire to be like Him on our own, and so we, the sons and daughters of the Most High God have this assurance…
6 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
My prayer for each and every child of God is that He will continue His work within each and every one of us, so that each one of us will be like our Daddy… Daddy make each one of my brothers and sisters in Christ just like You!
1 In late autumn, in the month of Kislev, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes’ reign, I was at the fortress of Susa.2 Hanani, one of my brothers, came to visit me with some other men who had just arrived from Judah. I asked them about the Jews who had returned there from captivity and about how things were going in Jerusalem.
3 They said to me, “Things are not going well for those who returned to the province of Judah. They are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem has been torn down, and the gates have been destroyed by fire.”
In my last post, I promised to address the United States’ Illegal Immigration problem from a biblical perspective, and one of the first things that I want to note is that Jerusalem, God’s holy city is and has been surrounded by a great wall, for many centuries. In fact, when the Jewish refugees returned to their ancient home, after being captives of first Babylon, then Persia for seventy years, they returned to find their city in tatters. Walls were torn down and burned. Why was this wall so important to Jerusalem, and can we draw any parallels between their wall and the United States’ determination to build a wall today?
4 When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven.
As you well know, there has been a lot of outcry in the U.S. regarding the building of a wall along our borders. On the one hand, we have people crying, “Build that wall!” while on the other hand, we have people equally outraged crying out against it. As I was preparing to write this post about illegal immigration from a bibilcal perspective, the Lord placed Nehemiah on my heart. Therefore, as I share his story with you, we will compare Jerusalem’s need for their wall to be restored, and our own nation’s cry for a wall.
1 Early the following spring, in the month of Nisan, during the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes’ reign, I was serving the king his wine. I had never before appeared sad in his presence.2 So the king asked me, “Why are you looking so sad? You don’t look sick to me. You must be deeply troubled.”
Then I was terrified,3 but I replied, “Long live the king! How can I not be sad? For the city where my ancestors are buried is in ruins, and the gates have been destroyed by fire.”
4 The king asked, “Well, how can I help you?”
With a prayer to the God of heaven,5 I replied, “If it please the king, and if you are pleased with me, your servant, send me to Judah to rebuild the city where my ancestors are buried.”
6 The king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked, “How long will you be gone? When will you return?” After I told him how long I would be gone, the king agreed to my request.
After much mourning, praying and fasting about the sad state of his homeland and its broken wall, the king of Persia, whom Nehemiah served as a cup-bearer, inquired about his obvious heartache. Nehemiah then told the king about his concern for Jerusalem, and his brothers and sisters, and the king immediately asked, “Well, how can I help you?” Obviously Nehemiah had favor with both God and King Artaxerxes.
The walls of Jerusalem were originally built to protect its inhabitants, including the Judean king, and the holy Temple of God, from the attacks of their enemies. The walls were built and rebuilt to keep Jerusalem’s enemies out…
After praying to the Lord, Nehemiah asked King Artaxerxes to send him to Jerusalem, so that he could rebuild that once great city on a hill, the land of his fathers, and the king agreed to do so, giving Nehemiah a letter to Asaph, the manager of his forest, instructing him to give Nehemiah the lumber he needed to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, its gates, the Temple gates, and a house for Nehemiah. King Artaxerxes also sent letters to the governors of the province west of the Euphrates River, instructing them to allow Nehemiah to pass safely through their land so he could rebuild the city of Jerusalem. The king also sent horsemen and army officers along to protect Nehemiah. (see Nehemiah 2:7-9).
11 So I arrived in Jerusalem. Three days later,12 I slipped out during the night, taking only a few others with me. I had not told anyone about the plans God had put in my heart for Jerusalem. We took no pack animals with us except the donkey I was riding.13 After dark I went out through the Valley Gate, past the Jackal’s Well, and over to the Dung Gate to inspect the broken walls and burned gates.14 Then I went to the Fountain Gate and to the King’s Pool, but my donkey couldn’t get through the rubble.15 So, though it was still dark, I went up the Kidron Valley instead, inspecting the wall before I turned back and entered again at the Valley Gate.
16 The city officials did not know I had been out there or what I was doing, for I had not yet said anything to anyone about my plans. I had not yet spoken to the Jewish leaders—the priests, the nobles, the officials, or anyone else in the administration.17 But now I said to them, “You know very well what trouble we are in. Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire. Let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem and end this disgrace!”18 Then I told them about how the gracious hand of God had been on me, and about my conversation with the king.
They replied at once, “Yes, let’s rebuild the wall!” So they began the good work.
As I read the response of Jerusalem’s city officials, priests, nobles and members of the administration, I immediately drew a parallel to the response of many of our nation’s citizens cry for Donald Trump to, “Build that wall!” Like those Jewish refugees from so long ago, our nation’s citizens are weary of the terrorism and hatred that is taking place within and without our nation’s borders.
Please bear with me as I attempt to speak for those United States’ citizens who love our great nation, and who, contrary to the accusations of many more liberal people within the nation, are neither bigoted, racist, hate-filled xenophobes, homophobes, or any of the other epithets aimed at them. The men and women of this nation, who are crying out for our immigration laws to be obeyed, are simply men and women who care about this nation’s citizens and its children. Those who want that wall built, do not want it built to keep good, law-abiding immigrants out, but to keep those out, who have no respect for the law. We have not cried out for new immigration laws, but for those laws that have already been written, to be enforced. There are some who accuse the people who believe this way of being inhumane. Some even accuse Christians of not being “good Christians” because they hold these beliefs. I disagree.
1 Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.2 So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished.3 For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you.4 The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong.5 So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience.
According to scripture, a “good Christian” obeys the law of the land, providing that law does not cause us to disobey God. Enforcing our nation’s immigration laws does not cause people to disobey God. Furthermore, I would submit that many, who are promoting sanctuary cities, and encouraging people to disobey federal immigration laws, are not being humane, but anarchists. Indeed, when we look at the actions of those who accused President Trump of being a demagogue, who stirred up violence in his campaign, we soon discover that it is many of these people, who are in fact, demagogues. They have attempted to preempt free speech, by leading violent riots against anyone who does not support their views, on many college campuses across the country. It is many of these people, rather than the ones supporting adherence to the nation’s immigration laws, who are engaging in anarchy.
Legal immigrants and refugees have been, and always will be welcome to settle into our country. However, those enter into our country illegally, already demonstrate a lack of respect for the laws of our land. It is utterly wrong to reward those who illegally enter this country, demonstrating their contempt for our laws, while other immigrants, who choose to come to this country legally, must wait for years sometimes. Further, how is it logical or reasonable to expect the taxpayers of this nation to support illegal immigrants with free healthcare, no taxes, food benefits, and other aid, while many legal citizens are often unable to obtain the help they need???
Is it reasonable to welcome people that we know nothing about, people who may be terrorists and criminals, into this nation? Absolutely not! Those who claim that welcoming everyone into our land is humane are wrong. It is not humane to our own citizens, who may become prey to terrorists and criminals, simply because some people wanted to feel good about themselves by letting anyone and everyone enter our country.
Laws are put into place for the good of the citizens of that land. Immigration laws protect a nation’s citizens. Look at how quickly and horribly radical Islamic terrorism has invaded Europe, since those countries within the European Union have no borders.
A border wall between the United States and Mexico, another nation, is not the same as the Berlin wall, which separated brothers and sisters from the same country (indeed the same city!). Just as Jerusalem’s walls were necessary and approved of by God, to protect Judea’s sovereignty, so too, is it necessary to protect the sovereignty of the U.S.A., and if that means building a wall, I feel certain the Lord would approve.
If you had to choose between being able to write a blog (but not read others’) and being able to read others’ blogs (but not write your own), which would you pick? Why? Daily Prompt: Hobson’s Choice
Why is it that people like to play these silly games? I’ve never understood it, and I don’t like them. I’ve had people ask, “If you had to choose between dying in a fire or drowning, which would you choose?” or “If you had to choose between a handsome man, who is mean and cruel or an ugly man, who is kind and sweet, which would you choose?”
Really? Give me a break! Aren’t we faced with enough real choices in life without having to choose between imaginary things that are not likely to happen? It’s sort of like being asked to choose the lesser of two evils, and my response is as the minister, Charles Spurgeon once said, “Of two evils, choose neither.”
I can’t even begin to describe the joy, and the anguish I’ve felt as I’ve read the blogs of others, (not to mention the irritation and disgust I’ve felt at some others). Do you really think I would give up the pleasure of reading the poetry that springs forth from some, or the amazing artwork, that otherwise, I might never get to experience? Do you think I would choose to lose all of the friends and acquaintances I’ve had the honor to come to know in these few weeks since I began this great adventure in blogging? Absolutely not!
And as for never writing again, are you crazy? That would break my heart, and just think of it… if everyone chose to write, but not read, no one would ever read the blogs that I write, never comment on them, there would be no new relationships… no one to offer suggestions for my improvement… how sad that would be! I like to minister to people, to touch their hearts, but if there are no readers, only writers, then no one can experience the joy I want to share in my stories, or the love, or the fear. It would just be a cold, empty exercise in writing. No thank you.
Therefore, I’ll say it one more time, just so there are no questions. Of these two evils, “If you had to choose between being able to write a blog (but not read others’) and being able to read others’ blogs (but not write your own), which would you pick?” I choose neither.
Hallelujah! I am being challenged to execute a post with no three-letter words. Never having participated in a daily prompt, this is my first attempt at delivering an entire post without some of these dirty little words.
I have lived a sheltered life in which I foolishly believed that only four letter words were unacceptable. As a matter of fact, on several occasions, I rebuked my children as well as my husband because they uttered four letter words. Alas! Could it be that I was have been wrong about my aversion to four letter words?
Or is it possible that I only erred by omitting dreadful three-letter words also? Must I repent to humanity inasmuch as in my endeavor to raise a family of upright moral character, I failed in ignorance of this commandment of epic proportions – Thou shan’t utter three-letter words?
To everyone affected by my naiveté, I humbly offer my apologies. Please forgive me if you thou have hast suffered unduly doto because of my foolish usage of these naughty words. If anyone bears pain or suffering as a result of this, I pray peace is found.
I also seek your mercy on my behalf. I am devastated by my total dependence on these filthy words. Unfortunately, it is entirely possible that I could again breech this cardinal rule, thereby blundering headlong into some tortuous punishment, a consequence earned by my indiscretion.
Please also allow me to show my deep appreciation to the staff at WordPress, since I probably would have continued writing these nasty little words without ever ceasing if they hadn’t alerted me to this gross misuse of the eleventh commandment… Thou shan’t utter three-letter words.