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.)

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??

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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