He Is (at 32:45)

Old notes taken mostly from my personal time with God. We're moving house again, so, I guess we're back to being, literally, pilgrims on the Rough Roads of Planet Earth. (Photo taken on a road to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, North Auckland, NZ, Dec 2009.)

Friday, February 20, 2015

Peace



Dated Dec 21, 2014 317am Eastern Time


God is love and His covenant with His people He calls His Covenant of Peace.

When we see a rainbow across the horizon it reminds us of Noah and his ark.

“To me this is like the days of Noah, when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth. So now I have sworn not to be angry with you, never to rebuke you again.
Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:9,10





In fact, it reminds us of the very presence of God because there is a rainbow in His throne in Heaven. (Revelation 4:3)

In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for peace is “shalom” but it doesn’t only mean peace as we understand it from the English language. According to Strong’s concordance 7965 it means “completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord.” It also comes from the root verb “shalom” meaning “to be complete, perfect and full.” In the New Testament, the Greek word for “peace” is “erenaeus” which means “harmony, tranquility, safety, welfare, health.”

In the New Testament, God extends His Covenant of Peace to us through His Gospel of Peace, literally, His “good news of Peace” in Jesus Christ.

When Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden of Eden because of sin, they were driven out from the presence of God, out from fellowship and relationship with Him. They were estranged from God. They lost that “shalom” which is found only in God. And so they and their descendants became wanderers and vagabonds in the earth, searching for that “shalom” - that peace, completeness, fullness, perfectness, health, safety, tranquility, welfare and harmony which they could never find in the world but only in God. We all are just like Adam and Eve. We are ever seeking and yet not finding, until we come to know the “good news of Peace” in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is our Peace, our “shalom”, our “erenaeus”.

Hundreds of years before His birth, the prophet Isaiah called Him The Prince of Peace:

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah 9:6

The priest Zechariah, father of John the Baptist, described the way of Jesus as the path of peace. He prophesied that his son John would be the prophet that would prepare the way for Jesus, who would guide us into the path of peace. (Luke 1:79)

At Jesus’ birth the angels announced tidings of great joy, announcing peace to men on earth:

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:14

Teaching his disciples, Jesus Himself said He gives them peace that the world cannot give and it’s the peace that will enable them to face troubles here on earth:

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Right after His resurrection, Jesus’ greeting to His disciples was peace:

While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. Luke 24:36,37

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the door locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. John 20:19,20

A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” John 20:26

Jesus also told His disciples to teach this good news of peace to other people:

Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” John 20:21

One of the titles of God our Father is “God of peace,” ( Romans 15:33, 16:20, Hebrews 13:20) and also “God of love and peace” (2 Corinthians 13:11).

Indeed, we have peace with God through Jesus Christ:

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, Romans 5:1

We are not only reconciled with God when Jesus put away the enmity between God and men through the atoning sacrifice of His own precious blood, but He also reconciled both Jew and Gentile into one body:

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.
For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility. Ephesians 2:13,14

Yes, the answer even to racism and discrimination, is Christ - our peace!

Also, when God sent His Son that we may have His peace, not as the world gives, but the peace of God - “shalom” - we must remember it means “completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord.”

That is why Jesus is also called “Wonderful,” because His peace includes everything we can ever long for!
Two thousand years ago, in the city of David, a savior was born to us - God’s gift - a baby who grew up and preached the good news of peace and fulfilled it, that we may have peace. Indeed, good tidings of great joy to all people! Jew, Gentile, Greek, black, brown, yellow, red or white, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Scientologist, agnostic, atheist, Satanist, gay, straight, pro-life, pro-choice, etc. - that Savior was born unto all men and women! A gift is a gift, whether we take and appreciate it or not, it remains a gift. Such is God, the God who is love!




Monday, February 2, 2015

Most Shared Bible Verses

Dated July 12, 2013



The "YouVersion" Bible App just reached 100 Million downloads and they said that the three most-shared verses on Twitter, Facebook, email and text are:

Isaiah 53:5, Hebrews 4:15 and Matthew 7:7. (from Breaking Christian News)

Interestingly these verses talk about the source of our healing, the personality of that source and the way to access that source.

Isaiah 53:5 (The Source of our healing who is Jesus.)

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.

This verse is from one of the prophetic passages in the Old Testament talking about Jesus, hundreds of years before He came.

Hebrews 4:15 (The Personality of that Source, who is Jesus.)

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.


Matthew 7:7 (The way to access God for all our needs and blessing, including healing, the most-sought-after blessing mentioned in the most popular verse above.)

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.


These are very good verses that say God is near and accessible, and that "God is love." But that's only one facet of His personality. The other facet, "God is holy," seems to be totally missing. Maybe because we are so overwhelmed by our troubles here on earth that most of the time we focus only on God's love and mercy because those are what we need in urgency? However, if we only care about the fact that God is holy and if we live according to His guidelines for justice and holiness, we wouldn't be in the hot soup (of a wounded / sick / needy state) we are in, would we?

Maybe we need to quote more on that facet of God's character, too - like those found in Proverbs 3, for instance:

3 My son, do not forget my teaching,
but keep my commands in your heart,
2 for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you peace and prosperity.

(That's the secret of long life.)

7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and shun evil.
8 This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.

(Guideline for good health and well-being.)


9 Honor the Lord with your wealth,
with the firstfruits of all your crops;
10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
and your vats will brim over with new wine.

(Guideline for prosperity.)


These are only a few, there are many more in the Bible. Ultimately, the whole Bible gives us understanding of the situation we are in. Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33) That means we shouldn't be wondering why being in this world is so troublesome. And Jesus, having overcome the world, has gone to another world where there's no trouble. He is our example so we can follow Him there, and if we let Him, He also gives us the power to overcome this world. He encourages us to persevere - take heart - until we get there.


Maybe God uses our troubles to draw us to Himself and His decrees, so we would learn His ways and understand our situation - that our little troubles here on earth are only harbingers of the bigger trouble coming our way, if we do not take heed?


Psalm 119:71 It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.


We need to learn the decrees of God if we are to follow Jesus to the world where He is now, a world without trouble or tears.


2 Timothy 3:14, 15

14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it,
15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.


Could it be that this world of troubles and tears, this place where we learn to call on God to answer our earthly needs, is actually a pre-departure area for eternity?  An eternity of a better world called Heaven, or eternity of a worse world called Hell? If we were in our mother's womb for 9 months in preparation for an earthly life of 90 years, what could the 90 years (or so) of our earthly life be preparing us for? Could it be eternity?

The above verse says the Holy Scriptures is able to make us wise for salvation - meaning, it teaches us salvation. It also says our salvation from this troublesome world and our worse trouble ahead is through faith in Christ Jesus. While we are still in this pre-departure area, wouldn't it be wise for us to know who is this Jesus Christ and what is His way of salvation, so we would indeed be delivered from the bigger trouble coming our way - Hell itself??

An Alarming Discovery

Dated July 31, 2013


I was going to quote a verse from the Bible and usually I would just cut and paste it from the online Bible site Biblegateway.com. However, I noticed that since a few months ago, Biblegateway.com had phased out my favorite translation: NIV 1984. Last time they had both "NIV 1984" and "NIV", the latter presumably being the NIV 2011. Now they have only NIV 2011 available and they label it only as "NIV" (no year), which means that for people who are not aware that they have made a new 2011 translation, they will presume this is one and the same NIV of 1984 (and they hope to pass it off as such for all time?).

What's alarming about this is that the verse I was looking up was Malachi 4:6

"He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse." (NIV 1984)

Biblegateway NIV has this:

6 He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children,and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.” (NIV 2011)

Now I know this verse by heart, so, I know this is an inaccurate and misleading translation of that verse because the intent of Malachi is really for the fathers, as mothers' hearts are always devoted to their children.

So, I looked up other online Bibles that offer various translations, hoping I can still find the NIV 1984 online. I couldn't find any!? Is it just my search engine? It seems we now have only Biblegateway.com and they have monopolized the online Bible??? I seem to have found one or two more but they seem to be related to Biblegateway.com as well and they don't have the NIV 1984 either.

When I searched further, I found this:

http://zusings.com/2013/01/22/the-death-of-the-niv-1984-bible-1984-2012/


Main point of above article:


"The King James Version’s OT (Old Testament) was written with certain available Masorectic Texts. When the Dead Sea Scrolls were found they became factors in subsequent translations such as the Revised Standard Version and New Living Translations. In short I understand why we can justify new translations when new manuscripts are found and the English language changes. But we haven’t experienced a significant linguistic shift since 1984 and I haven’t heard any news about concrete critical archaeological manuscript findings. And I’d like Bible scholars out there to comment on revelatory and meaningful recent discoveries in hermeneutics and exegetical approaches that merited application to the NIV1984...


The resulting NIV 2011, among other things, has obvious questionable gender pronoun changes. The Unlocking Femininity Blog eloquently addresses this in the old but rich post from 2011: Words Matter: Why We Can’t Recommend the NIV 2011."

I also found this: https://getsatisfaction.com/memverse/topics/niv_1984_missing_from_bible_gateway
posted March 4, 2013

And this: http://bltnotjustasandwich.com/2013/04/05/biblica-kills-online-tniv-and-niv-1984/
posted April 5, 2013


There is no doubt that the King James Version will remain our only reliable version because some Bible scholars had a lower opinion of the NIV 1973, 1978, 1984 anyway, but we all know that the KJV is more difficult to relate with, not to mention understand, especially for new believers or people who are just starting to read the Bible.


Meanwhile, I think we should avail of the NIV1984 Close Out Sale here:http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/cms_content?page=2676035&sp=114187

They are phasing it out!!!

With Obama pushing the gay agenda and this underhanded and seemingly un-publicized move by Zondervan, the once-thought-of-reliable Bible publisher, I believe something big is going on behind our backs.

This note is mainly for Christians.

God bless to all.

Followers

Smile! God loves you and me. ^____^

About Me

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The Many Versions of Love Stories 1. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. They live happily ever after. 2. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. The marriage sours, they part, and live happily ever after. 3. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, kiss and marry. Then boy finds out it's more fun to be girl... or girl finds out it's more fun to be boy, they part, change sexes and live happily ever after. 4.Finally, boy or girl meets God. It's love at first sight... The roads went rough, the tides rose high, the strong winds blew and the quake shook the ground... but they truly live happily ever after, forever and ever. 5. Try God's love... it's always happy forever after, and the story never ends. :-D