27 Comments

  1. Ann said,

    January 17, 2011 at 1:36 am

    “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:15And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”

    I’ve been feeding much this week! That song speaks so much of what I may not want to deal with sometimes. Who likes being broken? Not I … but you’re right … I will pray it as my prayer to Him.I’m not much good to myself unless the Potter does His thing in my life.

    It’s our nature to stray. It’s His nature to redeem and protect us. It’s our nature to sin, it’s His nature to cleanse. “We come into this world with absolutely no redeeming goodness of our own.” So true … and yet yielding to Him is not often the easiest thing to do (especially when we feel we have the right answers!! )

    “No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the fruit of peace and righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” I’m trying to figure out the definition of ‘discipline’ … 🙂

    Thank you for this post, Theresa.

    Blessings,
    ann

  2. January 17, 2011 at 2:29 am

    Ann

    I almost deleted this entry right after I posted it. I forgot to include my main point in writing it, and became afraid it might be misunderstood and consequently fail to be edifying. There was a time when I was under a type of teaching that took Bible verses like 1 John 2:3-4 below and presented them in answer to the questions like this question below all alone and without plain scripture to help interpret them:

    “How does John describe the person who claims to know Christ but does not keep His commandments?”

    “3And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” 1John 2:3-4

    It is so upsetting to me when they do that…when they ignore all of the scripture that tells us that Christians do fail to keep the Lord’s commandments…that they will sin. I saw someone do that (It was not in a blog. It was somewhere else.) this weekend. People like this believe that they have a Savior as long as their sins are in the past. They lead people to mistakenly believe that they are in danger of losing their salvation with each new sin they commit if they fail to remember to confess it. It is so upsetting to me, because I was under that type of teaching when I was growing up and even part of my early adult life.

    I guess my post was sort of in response to it. The very fact that we have verses that teach us that the Lord corrects His children is a proof that Christians still fail to obey. We become more obedient over time (conformed into His image to an extent), but there will never be a day in our life time here that will be 100% sinless.

    I am so sorry if I presented the word in such a way to cause you to feel shame or fear. I might need to delete this post. I do know this…the purpose of discipline is to teach us, so we learn something…not to have an excuse to be cruel. The Lord is not cruel. He loves us so much.

    Love,

    Theresa

  3. bendedspoon said,

    January 17, 2011 at 3:33 am

    So true, His discipline seems harsh at times but I bear it knowing in my heart that He loves me enough to put me in His operation table and see me living with vibrance and thirst for things that matters

    If I believe that my kiddos will have a brighter future if they do this and that; stop this and that — what more the Lord who truly knows what lies ahead and who loves us?
    🙂

  4. January 17, 2011 at 3:38 am

    Ann, My nature is stubborn, too. I am right there with you…but even better is that the Lord is right there with us, too! 🙂

    Blessings!

  5. Debbie said,

    January 17, 2011 at 7:46 am

    Ah . . .I finally get to rest here in His words and yours and Ann’s and Rea’s. Sweet place to be . . .a safe place to be. You have helped me so much to understand about not being sinless, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t His. I’m so sorry for what you have been put through, but then there He is, using it to help others so they don’t have to go through that condemnation.

    Ann . . .I love how he does that, takes everything around us and that we read and uses it to do a work in us. Lots of days I cry my way through the blogs . . .through every song I hear on the radio or that my daughter sings. . .through whatever is said to me in person. What a weep bucket, eh?

    And Theresa . . .I wonder sometimes if the enemy takes what God means as loving discipline and tries to stab us with it? Make it seem harsher than He intends. So much of my life I see Him being so , so good to me. Very gentle. ( this has me crying even now) I always think it’s because He knows I’m such a wimp. Once . . .there was what seemed a very harsh time . . .very severe answer. I was hanging on by a thread. I didn’t understand and felt crushed. Later, I felt that what God was saying to me at that time wasn’t quite what I interpreted it to be. It was like part of the truth of it had been blocked. I’m so thankful that He kept me hanging on until I could understand more of what He was saying.

    God bless you and how you bring us hope and comfort in Jesus’ name. “)
    love, deb

    • January 17, 2011 at 1:07 pm

      “And Theresa . . .I wonder sometimes if the enemy takes what God means as loving discipline and tries to stab us with it? Make it seem harsher than He intends.”

      “Later, I felt that what God was saying to me at that time wasn’t quite what I interpreted it to be. It was like part of the truth of it had been blocked. I’m so thankful that He kept me hanging on until I could understand more of what He was saying.”

      Oh Deb, I believe you hit the nail on the head. In my life too, I am coming to the same conclusion about so many things!

      Thank you so much for sharing.

      Love, Theresa

  6. January 17, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Thank you everyone for all of your thoughtful comments. They are much appreciated!

    Theresa

  7. Margaret said,

    January 17, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Theresa,

    There is so much meat in this post…. There are a number of places throughout scripture where God tells us that He is being gracious for His own name’s sake…. We don’t deserve His mercy and grace, but our Lord lovingly gives it to us because “God is Love” — His name’s sake…..

    We know we can trust that quality of love and holiness in God because all of history shows how God continues to be merciful and kind to us sinners…. God is even merciful to those sinners who want to insist on work righteousness, as He sets various witnesses and His word in front of them, in order to get them to realize that they are not trusting Him according to the truths of His grace in Jesus Christ.

    Thank you for this post…. May we all let it help to shape us into what God wants us to be.

    Love,
    Margaret

    • January 17, 2011 at 6:04 pm

      Margaret,
      I just have to comment one more time.

      “God is Love” — His name’s sake…..”

      …I always was a little puzzled when I would see that phrase in that Ezekiel 36 passage. The Lord has so many titles and character traits. Ever since I first started my blog a year ago there have been themes that I have been emphasizing. One of them has been the truth that God is love:

      And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 1 John 4:16 KJV

      But for some reason I lost my grasp of that and did not include it in this post. In that passage the character trait mentioned is “holiness”. The word “holiness” has an odd effect on me, because for many years I was under a teaching that emphasized the Bible verse “Be ye Holy as I am Holy, and another that said “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord”, and they taught that it was achieved by a carefully disciplined exercise of our own free will rather than the truth that it is the Lord who makes us holy (that it is His work, not ours). This teaching that one can lose their salvation lead to a works/righteousness mentality.No one ever disputed that God was love, with there mouth, but it just seemed to have no relevance because how we employed our “free will” to make sure we “stayed” saved was the all-consuming theme.

      What you said was so simple but at the same time so profound…actually the whole key. It is the very thing that was missing, and I think that is what was troubling me. I cannot tell you how grateful I am that you pointed that out…His namesake–“God is Love”. I just went back and edited my post so it would reflect that more effectively. Thank you so much!

      Love,

      Theresa

      • Margaret said,

        January 18, 2011 at 4:16 pm

        Theresa,

        Sometimes striving to gain heaven through self-righteousness can even be found in churches that strongly preach salvation through faith in the grace of God in Jesus Christ….. It’s a very human tendency to want to be proud of what we can do “all by ourselves”…. But, God wants us to be content doing what we can do through Him…..

        That is a most tender and compassionate love from our Savior.

        Love,
        Margaret

  8. January 17, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    Margaret,

    “God is even merciful to those sinners who want to insist on work righteousness, as He sets various witnesses and His word in front of them, in order to get them to realize that they are not trusting Him according to the truths of His grace in Jesus Christ.”

    …that was me for so many years after I first was saved, and I knew all along that I couldn’t live up to it, and it made me so miserable. I am so thankful that although our understanding might fail, His Love and mercy will not fail. My flesh still causes me to doubt the wonderful “good news”, but the Lord through His word, reminds me again.

    Thank you so much for your comment it blessed me so much!

    Love,
    Theresa

    • Margaret said,

      January 18, 2011 at 4:24 pm

      Theresa,

      And, to think that all of this is worked by God because He knows the very inner depths of our hearts — our longings — our acknowledgement of His authority as the one and only LORD…. When we are willing to consider what God says to us in His word, He opens up our eyes to know that His grace for us is real — and that He longs for us to grow in His love…. It’s a miracle.

      Love,
      Margaret

    • January 18, 2011 at 4:25 pm

      Margaret,

      You are right. It is our tendency to be proud. May we never forget the Lord is full of compassion and tender mercies! 🙂

      Love,

      Theresa

      • January 18, 2011 at 4:28 pm

        Oh yes, it is so true! I am so thankful for His love. It is truly miraculous!

        Love,
        Theresa

  9. ServantBoy said,

    January 17, 2011 at 11:03 pm

    Hi Theresa,

    Suffering has been a big part of my life and now in my Christian walk too and it is probably so because of the challenges I have faced growing up. I don’t say this to have a ‘pity party’ but because it is true and relevant to your post.

    I have struggled with the thought that I suffer because of my own ill deeds and it was a result of it or that I suffer because of generational curses or that I suffer because I did not appease God or that I suffer because that is the only way God can bless someone else.

    The word of God constantly reminds us that God is love and then I questioned how a God of love could choose suffering as a way to teach us. Only when I had my own kids did I learn the reality of discipline and appreciate what God did in my life at times. At other times, it was through suffering that I was able to appreciate success because only one who has lost a battle knows the sweetness of it’s victory.

    I now am learning to boast in suffering with Paul because I am growing less and He is growing more in and through my suffering.

    Before I make this a blog post rather than a comment, I will end in saying that you have dealt with pain so beautifully and God is certainly glorified in your words and life. I pray that He will continue to bless you as you serve Him faithfully and present Him in all fullness as he needs to be revealed.

    In Him,
    Vineet

    • January 17, 2011 at 11:27 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing this. Your testimony in the above comment touches me deeply. I do have one thought in response to your thoughts on suffering. I know that suffering can be a result of sin, but it also can be experienced and “not” be the result of sin or any of those other reasons that you mentioned. I am thinking of the following example:

      1 As He was passing by, He saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples questioned Him: ” Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
      3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” Jesus answered. “[This came about] so that God’s works might be displayed in him. 4 We must do the works of Him who sent Me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

      6 After He said these things He spit on the ground, made some mud from the saliva, and spread the mud on his eyes. 7 “Go,” He told him, “wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means “Sent”). So he left, washed, and came back seeing. John 9:1-7

      The story continues as you read that chapter, but what I shared demonstrates that suffering sometimes is not the result of sin.

      It is very possible that the Lord is using your suffering for a very noble purpose. You are blessing so many with your blog.

      Looking Unto Jesus,

      Theresa

  10. January 18, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    What a wonderful post! Thank you so much for telling me about it! I’ve been so busy lately, I haven’t been able to keep up reading all of the blogs I like to every day, but I am so glad I was able to read this one this morning. It is such a comforting thought! I know that I have failed often, and I have felt His hand of correction. I just need to submit to Him. Thank you so much for the encouragement today!

    His son,
    Ben

  11. January 18, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    I am so glad it encouraged you! I hope you have a great week. 🙂

    Theresa

  12. pbus1 said,

    January 18, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Hello Theresa,

    You have a wonderful blog! This article in particular, is filled with so much substance! I thought about the chastening of the Lord. What came to my mind was the fact that He loves me enough to discipline me, whenever I need it. Just as a shepherd gently uses his rod, to keep his sheep in line, the Lord will sometimes use His Word to chasten us, to get us on the correct path once again. That’s love! It’s true, that “No chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” (Hebrews 12:11) The NIV version says, “Later on however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

    Blessings to you,

    Paulette

  13. January 18, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Paulette,

    “a harvest of righteousness and peace”…What a wonderful thing to remember when we are under conviction! That is just one more thing that should move us to turn to Him. He is our source of righteousness and peace…that is a great thought to meditate on!

    Love,

    Theresa

  14. Ann said,

    January 18, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    God is most faithful, Theresa.

    This post says so much and the comments give so much food for thought. I think I’m going to get really fat on this one! (Thanks Deb)

    May God continue to use your gifting to show us things we may otherwise have missed (or ignored 😉 ) and may His name be glorified.

    Thankful ,
    ann

  15. January 18, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Ann,

    May He do the same for you. That last one you posted (http://tonirand.wordpress.com/2011/01/17/a-sacrifice-of-thanksgiving/) really spoke to me.

    Love,
    Theresa

    • Ann said,

      January 19, 2011 at 12:53 am

      God bless you, Theresa

      I had written a post about Prayer and had that one saved for this week`s blog … I think God wanted me to post about the sacrifice instead.

      The issues are hard to deal with sometimes but I`ve given Him my life so where He leads, I will follow.

      Hoping, Praying, Trusting…
      ann

  16. January 19, 2011 at 12:58 am

    I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts on prayer. It is a subject of interest for me. 🙂

    Theresa


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