Encircling Love (Part 2…Circle the Answer)

Originally posted on February 20, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Scripture references;

He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.  1 John 4:8 KJV

You have encircled me; You have placed Your hand on me.  Psalm 139:5 HCSB

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.  John 14:6 KJV

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.  2 Peter3:9 KJV

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.  Matthew 5:6 KJV

And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.  John 10:16 KJV

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Matthew 11:28  KJV

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.  Revelation 3:20  KJV

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. John 17:20-24 KJV

And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.  John17:11-12 KJV

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. John 10:27-29  KJV

And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. Isaiah30:21 KJV


Today I am thinking about how workbooks are in some ways very similar to life.  They both present us with new material to be covered, and lessons to be learned.  They also present us with material that we have previously covered to help ensure retention. They each also come with questions to be answered and problems to be solved.

In workbooks you will find  exercises to complete that come in many different forms.  There are True/False questions, Fill in the Blank questions,  essay questions, and review questions, but the most popular kind are…You guessed it!….Multiple Choice.  They will provide possible answers, and you have to circle the right answer.

Life presents us with exercises to complete, as well.  We are challenged to discern between that which is true from that which is false,  fill our voids (blanks), and provide others with explanations. Then of course the exercise we face more than any other is …Multiple Choice. The number of choices can vary, but will often decrease over time. We all hope to select the right answer.

There is one way that life differs from a workbook. In a workbook we seek out the answer, but in life the answer is continually seeking us.  This answer is always true, and is capable of filling all of our empty spaces, no matter what size they are or how many we have. This answer is Jesus.  He longs to be chosen, but  He chose us first, and because He chose us first, He actively seeks us and calls out to us. If we hear Him calling  and then call on Him He has promised to come into our hearts and live in us, but He also promised that we would be in Him. Where in Him? In His tender, yet mighty hand. We will still have questions, and problems, and decisions to make, after we receive Him, but they will be less burdensome, because He will be with us, and ready to guide us, if we ask Him… every step of the way.

Have you circled the right answer?   I hope so…The answer has circled you.

Do you know Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord?  Please click here:https://pronetoponder.wordpress.com/category/about-salvation-very-important-words/ and make sure.

Do you have a Bible? If you don’t have one, you need not worry. Just go to http://www.biblegateway.com. They have many versions and translations of the Bible that you can read. Some of the best things in life are free!

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23 Comments

  1. bendedspoon said,

    February 19, 2011 at 8:45 am

    I enjoyed reading this post Teacher Theresa! Made me look back on how my life’s challenges were given to me and if I had answered correctly. Regardless how I fared in it I think I learned quite well because I have accepted The Answer. I never felt so blessed until then.

    “You have encircled me; You have placed Your hand on me.” This excites me so much…to be in the His hand!

    Theresa is the Queen of Godly Analogy. True or False? 🙂

    • February 19, 2011 at 3:23 pm

      “Queen of analogy”…I take that as a big complement, because your posts on your blog are just filled with analogy! 🙂

      “You have encircled me; You have placed Your hand on me.” Psalm 139:5 HCSB

      I try to put verses like that in every post no matter what I choose for my topic. This world can be a hard place at times, and we must never forget that if we have placed our faith in Christ we are his blood bought born again child…we are His and we are in His constant care even when it is hard for us to see it:

      “16 Therefore we do not give up; even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. 17 For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. 18 So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen; for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 HCSB

      Love,
      Theresa

  2. Linda said,

    February 19, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    I have a really nice little book where I write down all my important verses, and some of my most important private moments with Him… even how He chose me first, long before I was ready to select the “right answer.”

    Today I’ll write down some of your verses in my book, because they are a perfect fit for me today!

    Thanks Theresa! Great post… : )

    • February 19, 2011 at 4:11 pm

      Linda,

      Here are a just a few more:

      “16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” John 15:16

      “37All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 38For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:37-40″

      ” 44No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. 45It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. 46Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. 47Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. 48I am that bread of life.”John 6:44-48

      “2Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

      …The bread seeking the hungry. Isn’t it great? 🙂

      He chooses us and we choose Him. He says “I do.” and we say “I do.”…a marriage made for Heaven! The teaching of the sovereignty of God and the teaching of man’s free will are compatible. It is our human frailty that hinders us in our ability to comprehend this. His ways are so much higher than ours.

      I kind of got carried away on this reply. Consider it a buffet to choose from. I bet you already have some if not all of these in your book. 😉

      Love,
      Theresa

  3. Margaret said,

    February 19, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Theresa,

    This is a great insight that we all need to remember…. We don’t have to feel alone as we search for the answers we need in life…. Let’s just choose Jesus!

    Love,
    Margaret

    • February 19, 2011 at 4:16 pm

      Margaret,

      Amen! Let’s choose Jesus…every hour every time we feel that Heavenly “check”, and draw near with our hearts and soak up that love! 🙂

      Love,
      Theresa

  4. Heather said,

    February 19, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    Hi Theresa,

    This is an encouraging post.
    I’ve been feeling pretty low, lately, and seem to need frequent reminders that Jesus never fails anyone who has placed her trust in Him. What makes the concept of multiple choice so difficult for me is that every time I prove to be all too human, I’m thrown back into wondering whether I had ever placed faith in Christ or had been fooling myself all along with emotion and moralistic window dressing.
    Lately, the idea that one can “lose” his justified position before God continually pops into my mind–which is odd, as I have found far more Scriptural evidence (when read in context) for security in Christ than I have for the position that a true child of His can do something foolish for which he will be cast away. The most disturbing aspect of the experience is that it eats away at the foundation to which a believer must return when experiencing chastisement over sin or some other uncomfortable circumstance.

    At any rate, thank you for sharing this.

  5. February 19, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    Heather,

    I know that you know much…can rightfully divide the word of truth probably a lot more skillfully than I can.

    I am so sorry that someone is “attempting” to “sift you”…however, I am praying for you and someone far greater than me has prayed and is ever interceding and “when”…not “if” but “when” you come through this trial you will strengthen many.

    I made a statement in one of my responses to the comments on this post:

    “He chooses us and we choose Him. He says “I do.” and we say “I do.”…a marriage made for Heaven! The teaching of the sovereignty of God and the teaching of man’s free will are compatible. It is our human frailty that hinders us in our ability to comprehend this. His ways are so much higher than ours.”

    Heather, I hope these words didn’t cause you or any of my readers to think that I believe that Saints won’t persevere, that Christians are not eternally secure. I agree with you…to doubt our security is a horribly disturbing experience. Psalm 18 comes to mind. Whenever I look at myself, my flesh (which is quite often) I doubt, but then just in the knick of time the Lord lifts me out of those miry pits. No matter if you are a Calvinist thinking Christian or an Arminian thinking Christian (I have been in the Arminian camp and then moved from that camp to the Calvinist camp; still haven’t totally embraced all 5 points) you can find yourself doubting. You can doubt that you will be able to stay saved, you can doubt that you ever were really saved, and you can also doubt that you ever were really saved and that it might not be even possible to be saved period if you interpret certain words in certain Bible verses certain ways. I am the chief of doubters, and it sure can vex my soul, but praise the Lord! He is helping me and delivering me.

    There are so many things I still need to learn, so many things that I fail to grasp, but there are a few things of which I am certain:

    1) All who call on the Lord shall be saved (Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:8-13)

    2)If I called on Him it is because I heard Him calling… “and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” I am not his foster child on some kind of probation, I am His blood bought adopted child. 🙂 I may stumble in both my walk and in my mind, but I will not be utterly cast down.

    3) There are things in scripture that describe the nature of both our salvation and our walk. If I confuse them they will most certainly undermine my peace, but not my position.

    I know you have a full plate and a full nest and you will never have to worry about me trivializing the troubles that come with depression and anxiety. Last year I spent much of the month of June huddled in my bedroom next to the box fan in terror while I held either my husband’s or my 16 year old daughter’s hand. Then there were a few hours here or there when I was actually able to have devotions. They are titled “Psalm 40…The Lord Inclines”, and there are 9 posts in the series that was written over the course of several months. I have them here if you would like to read them:

    http://en.wordpress.com/tag/when-you-are-afraid/2/

    https://pronetoponder.wordpress.com/2011/02/11/psalm-40-the-lord-inclines-part-9-glimpses-from-groans/

    I was much better by July or August, but had a relapse that lasted almost 2 weeks just a few weeks ago. I am very hopeful that in time I might be completely free of these attacks…I am so thankful that I feel well today. 🙂

  6. Debbie said,

    February 20, 2011 at 4:59 am

    Hi Theresa . . .sorry it took me so long to get here. I always want some quiet time, so I can ponder what you write for us. Been behind lately and the faster I go the behinder I get!
    So . . .I read this and it is just so beautiful. The way you marry scripture together, and tell us how He marries us and says “I do”, like the most wonderful Love Story ever, that goes on forever and ever. My soul is drenched in this tonight, where it was drying out, getting too hard, too harsh. Now this softening and hope and happy ever after. sigh. Thank you so much. Yesterday I lost my patience, lost my cool, lost my kindness . . .but today you reassure me that I did not lose my Love, my Jesus. God bless you and give you the same sweet assurance you give all of us with each post.
    love, deb

    • February 20, 2011 at 4:12 pm

      Deb,

      “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” James 1:17

      It just makes me so miserable when I stumble…when I stray. I just hate that feeling when I see my sin. But the Lord has the remedy:

      21This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.

      22It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

      23They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

      24The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.

      25The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.

      26It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3:21-26

      I am thinking of a song…

      Love,
      Theresa

      P.S. I stumbled last night, too.

  7. pbus1 said,

    February 20, 2011 at 11:36 am

    Hello Theresa,

    I really enjoyed reading this article. The analogy was wonderful! During my career as a teacher, my students used workbooks, quite often. Sometimes, after choosing an answer, they would erase the initial answer, and choose another one. I thank God, that on those occasions, when we choose the incorrect answer, we can use the eraser, the precious blood of the Lamb, to take away our mistakes. Then, we get another chance to choose the correct answer, Jesus Christ! He truly is the answer, for the world today. Above Him, there is no other. Jesus is the ONLY way!

    Thanks so much for sharing this post. It was a great read!

    I was also glad to read, that you are feeling well! May the blessings of the Lord, continue to rest upon your life!

    Paulette

    • February 20, 2011 at 3:53 pm

      Paulette,

      I am so glad you enjoyed it. I am glad you pointed that out. It is funny that when I first wrote this I was thinking about the possibility of a person that has never been saved reading it and seeing their need to place their faith in Christ, and what a difference He can make not just because He saves us from our sins, but also because we need that relationship…a source of comfort when we are lonely, sad, afraid, or overwhelmed. I hoped that the Lord might use it in that sense.

      But you and the others brought out another thing that is equally valuable. Not only do people need to enter into a personal relationship ( to receive Christ as Savior )…they need to choose to follow/obey Him daily…yield to Him as their Lord. We get saved and then are given a desire to live a life that is pleasing, but we will still sometimes make the wrong choices…we will sin. Then we are convicted and feel regret, but He has promised that He will erase them and provide us with new opportunities…just like you said.

      If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

      I am reminded of how the Lord dealt with Peter in John 21:15-23. The Lord delights in mercy and He delights in guiding us. Yes, He truly is the only way. 🙂

      May the blessings of the Lord rest on your life, too.

      Theresa

  8. February 20, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Here is the song…

    • Debbie said,

      February 20, 2011 at 10:35 pm

      Thank you!!! Aubrey’s little face was perched up over the couch, beaming and listening. I wish you could see her every time I say, can we listen to a song? 🙂 You bless us, always! God bless you too, with His sweetness and love today!

      • February 21, 2011 at 4:55 am

        Oh Deb,
        That makes me so happy! That song comforts me. Sometimes when I see my sin I just cringe. I have to have little talks with myself and say:

        “Theresa, you are not the only sinner in the world. The Bible really does tell us that Jesus loves the world and that I am included. It really does say that if we confess our sins He is just and able to forgive, and with Him is ‘plenteous redemption'”.

        For some reason when I hear songs like this I just feel like a very much loved little child. I try to avoid depending on feelings, but it is so nice to have them! 🙂

  9. Ann said,

    February 21, 2011 at 3:24 am

    Thank you, Theresa

    I like the fact that ‘the Answer has circled me’ 🙂

    “You hem me in behind and before” – NIV
    ” I look behind me and you’re there, then up ahead and you’re there, too” – THE MESSAGE
    “You have beset me and shut me in–behind and before” … AMPLIFIED

    Regardless of the version I read, the Answer is still the same 🙂

    Many thanks, Theresa. If Psalm 139 wasn’t already my favourite, it would become just that tonight!

    Encircled!!!
    ann

    P.S. – Thanks for the song – it is no secret at all!

    • February 21, 2011 at 3:47 pm

      Oh my… I overlooked this when I first read your comment:

      “You have beset me and shut me in–behind and before” … AMPLIFIED

      There are so many wonderful pictures the Lord gives us to illustrate salvation:

      “15And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life. 16And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.” Genesis 7:15-16

      I am so thankful. 🙂

      Theresa

  10. February 21, 2011 at 5:02 am

    I slip psalm 139 into everything! LOL 🙂

    I hope you have a great week, and pray for me and my family. We need it. 🙂

  11. October 15, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    Reblogged this on Moore to Ponder and commented:

    “…Today I am thinking about how workbooks are in some ways very similar to life. They both present us with new material to be covered, and lessons to be learned. They also present us with material that we have previously covered to help ensure retention. They each also come with questions to be answered and problems to be solved…”

  12. Debbie said,

    October 16, 2016 at 6:41 am

    I am so so,glad you reposted this! Just love it and you so much!
    God bless you! Deb

    • October 16, 2016 at 6:55 am

      I am so thankful you feel that way, Deb! I love you, too…am so thankful for our friendship!

      Blessings,
      Theresa

  13. October 21, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    I am always so thankful for your reassuring reminders of God’s ever present love. Thank you.

    • October 22, 2016 at 2:22 am

      Thank you so much, Cynthia. I have really missed blogging. I am working more hours than I used to work. My devotions have suffered a little from that. I hope that I will be able to return to blogging more regularly soon.

      Blessings,
      Theresa


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