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Skip Barland

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Knowing God from the Inside Out…

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Luke 17:20-21
20 Asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He replied to them by saying, The kingdom of God does not come with signs to be observed or with visible display,

21 Nor will people say, Look! Here [it is]! or, See, [it is] there! For behold, the kingdom of God is within you [in your hearts] andamong you [surrounding you].

Hebrew for Christians

The implication that God is our Creator is enormous and pervades everything else in our lives.

God’s creative power is witnessed by all conscious life. The Divine Light that was created before the sun and the stars represents God’s immanent presence that “lights up” all of creation – including our minds (Gen. 1:3).

Since we were created b’tzelem Elohim, “in the image of God,” the witness of God’s truth is foundational to all of our thinking as well. The revelation (not the invention) of logical first principles is part of God’s “signature,” if you will, of how the mind is wired to reality.

Likewise we have intuitive awareness regarding the existence of moral truth (i.e., the standard of justice and moral law), aesthetic truth (i.e., ideals of beauty, goodness, worth, and love), and metaphysical truth (i.e., cause and effect relationships).

“The heavens are recounting the glory of God, and the expanse is proclaiming his handiwork” (Psalm 19:1).

God’s power and presence can be clearly inferred from the tremendous effect of the universe itself.

As Paul stated, “the invisible things of Him (τά ἀόρατα αὐτοῦ) from the creation of the world are clearly seen (καθοράω), so that people are without excuse” (Rom. 1:19-20).

It is the fear of the LORD (יִרְאַת יהוה) that is truly the beginning of wisdom and knowledge (Psalm 111:10; Prov. 1:7; 9:10).

The Hebrew word for fearing (ירא) and seeing (ראה) share the same root.

We cannot truly see reality apart from reverencing God as the Lord and King of Creation.

[https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10155881735577810&id=56347292809]

Another Scripture that I really like is found in the Book of Acts:

Acts 17:26-28
26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’

We can gather from these Scriptures that we live in a sea of God’s presence, and that He is nearer to each of us than most realize.

He is in fact all around us, even closer to us than our next breath.

Like any father, as we can learn from verse 27, God loves to play hide n seek with His kids, with the intent that we should seek after Him (even grope after Him, as a blind man in a dark room, with the intent always that we find Him.

The key is that the search begins from within, as we learn to seek God, with ALL our heart, soul and strength (Mark 12:29-30), and this is key, that we must do so by FAITH – meaning with our absolute trust and reliance upon His Word.

This requires total 24/7 commitment, discipline and effort on our part, in the same sense that the most important thing for a drowning man is his next breath of air.

WITHOUT THAT GOD CONNECTION IN OUR LIFE, WE ARE ALL LIKE FISH OUT OF WATER, FLOPPING AROUND ON THE SHORES OF LIFE, SEEKING OUR WAY BACK HOME.

God’s promise to each of us is that when we seek Him with that same commitment and desperation, we will find Him.

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WOE  CALIFORNIA: THE  GOLDEN  STATE  IS Tarnished – Prophecy given by Terri Hill on September 17, 2015

Woe to you, California, the golden state is tarnished!

Your shoreline is polluted; your land is scorched and dry. Crops are languishing in the field. The fresh springs of water have dried up and your wells are depleted.

Where is the life-giving flow of My Spirit? Where is the fountain, the water of My Word that gushes forth with a mighty cleansing stream?

Where is the hunger for My holy presence? Where is the desire by My people to hear the uncompromising Word of God that pricks the heart and convicts the conscience?

I tell you, it has become outdated in many places, cast aside like an old garment. My Word has been diluted and polluted like the water in your land.

You have muddied the waters with your feet; you attempt to work up a flow through your own fleshly efforts, by utilizing the foot pumps of Egypt.

You have erred, calling sensationalism a visitation of My Spirit; you have embraced strange practices for worship in spirit and in truth.

Woe to you, California. You have turned your back on Me, like an unfaithful spouse. You have become wanton and careless, and now your beauty is being stripped from you.

I blessed you with mighty moves of My Spirit, which in times past, have brought forth ministries that would touch the nations.

Mighty revivals emerged and ministries were born through the tears and the travail of unknown, humble men of God who wept between the porch and the altar.

Appointed ministries were planted within you like noble vines upon the fresh soil. But now, you have become like a degenerate vine. You grow upon an unplowed field; you are untamed, undisciplined, given over to weeds and hardened clay.

I had expected an abundant harvest to be produced from your fields, for your gifts were flourishing and My power was present for a time. But now you see that Heaven has withheld its rain; your fruit is inferior and the land has been burnt with fire. Your apostasy has caused it to be so.

Instead of the golden reflection of My divine nature, I see the tarnished ways of the world among the congregations of My people.

The culture of entertainment has permeated your assemblies; the sins of the prodigals are ignored; the vices of the wicked are not addressed.

Instead of the call to repentance and holiness from your pulpits, there is a call to inclusive membership in your clubs.

Instead of the call to cross-carrying obedience, there is an appeal for tolerance, as not to offend the multitudes.

Your soothsayers prophesy falsely; you seek them out, and not Me. I see a strange fire burning upon the altars of your mega-ministries; I smell defiled bread, and not the fresh manna of heaven.

The tables in your land are full of meat being sacrificed to idols. You have accepted the customs of the pagans; you have embraced the forbidden practices of the foreigners who live among you.

Some of the strangers who enter your land and have mingled among your population, devise their plans.

I tell you, some will rise up to bite you like a serpent. You have rejected Me and My Commandments repeatedly; you have shed innocent blood continually; you have celebrated perversion completely, and have made it your law.

For these things, the land shall mourn.

Yet in the midst of this, I offer redemption, an opportunity for the mixed multitude to turn to Me, for I weep over them, and I long to gather them unto Myself.

In spite of their hardened hearts, I plead with humanity. For within your borders, I have a Remnant, a people who have not bowed to the god of this age.

And they are Mine, My Beloved, in whom I have placed My Spirit and My heart.

They are hidden from the eyes of the world; they seek no glory for themselves, nor do they aspire to build their own kingdom that others may take notice.

Mine are those who wait upon Me, who seek Me continually. They have set their faces like a flint to do My will, and not their own.

They weep over the abominations in the land and intercede for the lost. Their good works are as incense that arises before Me, and so do I intervene in their behalf.

Their pleas for mercy upon this wayward generation have been heard. And so it is to My beloved Remnant, that I disclose what I am about to do.

I call to you, to stand upon your watch and cry out now for My mercy as My righteous judgment begins.

For I say, California, your calamity is near to come. Invasion is at your gates and borders; destruction is at hand. Woe to you, California, the iniquity is full in many of your cities, and judgment must come, for I am a God of justice and the wicked shall not go unpunished.

I say to My people: prepare! I call to My Beloved: “cry out”, pray for the people of California as well as the nation.

You have been the salt that has preserved it and kept it from total ruin and spoilage. In My mercy, I give a window of time that many may turn to Me, for I am not willing that even one should perish.

I watch for the prodigals to return to Me; I wait for the rebellious to cry out to Me. Did I not say that the Harvest is the end of the Age?

And is this not upon you now? Be ready, My reapers, for My visitation comes, and My glory shall be revealed.

I will pass through the land, and I will shake all that can be shaken. And when I do, I shall receive a Harvest unto Myself, an inheritance of sons and daughters. I will gather them together and bring them into My barn.

[http://awordindueseason.com/recentpropheticwords.htm]

By Faith Alone…

Our acceptance by God is based entirely upon FAITH (Eph 2:8-9); and even though this acceptance (our forgiveness & reconciliation) back into God’s family is “not of ourselves” (it’s a gift from God & not by works of anything we can do to earn it), nevertheless FAITH, by its very definition (Heb 11:1), requires action based upon our obedience to Gods Word.

Hebrews 10:38

“Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.”

Hebrew 11:6

“Without faith it is impossible to please God: for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”

Faith is the medium of exchange between heaven and earth (the means by which we may appropriate heaven’s resources); and by its very nature, it requires our casting our very lives, our bodies and the entirety of our life circumstances upon the reliability and trustworthiness of both God and His Word.

Proverbs 3:6
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean NOT unto your own understanding.”

So based upon these scriptures, our acceptance by God and our appropriation of heaven’s resources have NOTHING to do with our righteous acts, nor our performance of anything we can do to earn it; but rather it’s ALL based entirely upon our resting in ALL that Christ accomplish for us on Calvary’s cross.

Hebrew for Christians

“And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness” (Gen. 15:6). 

Here note the distinction between the promise of God and the commandments of God. 

The promise of God is rooted in God’s heart – his desire and will, his character and passion – but the commandments of God are rooted in man’s heart, in his desire and will to obey (or not). 

Receiving God’s love is not based on imperative and the language of conditional acceptance, but is based on the promise of love and grace. 

The “work of faith” (מַעֲשֶׂה הָאֱמוּנָה) is to believe that God accepts you despite your unacceptability, and that you are esteemed righteous for believing the truth of God’s heart. 

Faith justifies the ungodly because faith accepts the promise, just as Abraham was justified because he trusted in the promise of the seed to come. 

Therefore, as Rabbi Paul taught, we maintain that a person is justified apart from the law (Rom. 3:28), which is to affirm that eternal life is found exclusively in the grace and promises of God. 

This is the Torah of “faith, hope, and love,” and it is a lifelong discipline to know it in the truth. 

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for God’s righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matt. 5:6).

[http://www.hebrew4christians.com]

Come join the Adventure!

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Every Cloud has a Silver Lining… 

For every covenant child of God, there is a rhyme and a reason for everything that happens in their life. 
God promises to enter into every situation (the good, the bad and the ugly) and cause it to work together for our good, for everyone who loves Him and is called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28).

There are many examples of this that we may read all throughout the Bible. 

The reason for why God allows trials and tribulations is beauses it’s the only way our faith muscles may grow. 

Saturday, September 03, 2016
This Evening’s Meditation

C. H. Spurgeon

The Lord trieth the righteous.

—Psalm 11:5.

ALL events are under the control of Providence; consequently all the trials of our outward life are traceable at once to the great First Cause. 

Out of the golden gate of God’s ordinance the armies of trial march forth in array, clad in their iron armour, and armed with weapons of war. 

All providences are doors to trial. Even our mercies, like roses, have their thorns. 

Men may be drowned in seas of prosperity as well as in rivers of affliction. Our mountains are not too high, and our valleys are not too low for temptations: trials lurk on all roads. 

Everywhere, above and beneath, we are beset and surrounded with dangers. Yet no shower falls unpermitted from the threatening cloud; every drop has its order ere it hastens to the earth. 

The trials which come from God are sent to prove and strengthen our graces, and so at once to illustrate the power of divine grace, to test the genuineness of our virtues, and to add to their energy. 

Our Lord in His infinite wisdom and superabundant love, sets so high a value upon His people’s faith that He will not screen them from those trials by which faith is strengthened. 

You would never have possessed the precious faith which now supports you if the trial of your faith had not been like unto fire. 

You are a tree that never would have rooted so well if the wind had not rocked you to and fro, and made you take firm hold upon the precious truths of the covenant grace. 

Worldly ease is a great foe to faith; it loosens the joints of holy valour, and snaps the sinews of sacred courage. 

The balloon never rises until the cords are cut; affliction doth this sharp service for believing souls. 

While the wheat sleeps comfortably in the husk it is useless to man, it must be threshed out of its resting place before its value can be known. Thus it is well that Jehovah trieth the righteous, for it causeth them to grow rich towards God.

Come join the Adventure! 

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Let us call upon the Lord in our time of trouble… 

The Torah states that the LORD is close to us… 

“in all our calling to Him” (Deut. 7:7). 

He listens to all of our heart’s cry – our yearning, our lament, as well as our praise, and attends to our daily needs. 

Our part is to turn to God for help in all that we do: we are to “know Him in all our ways” (בְּכָל־דְּרָכֶיךָ דָעֵהוּ) by trusting in his nearness (Prov. 3:5-6). 

The Torah states that the LORD is close to us “in all our calling to Him” (Deut. 7:7). He listens to all of our heart’s cry – our yearning, our lament, as well as our praise, and attends to our daily needs. 

Our part is to turn to God for help in all that we do: we are to “know Him in all our ways” (בְּכָל־דְּרָכֶיךָ דָעֵהוּ) by trusting in his nearness (Prov. 3:5-6). 

Even if we feel our prayer is unanswered, we trust despite our temporary darkness, believing that God sees our need and knows what is best for us. 

God is close “in all our calling to Him” (בְּכָּל־קָרְאֵנוּ אֵלָיו), and therefore we are often brought to a place of need. 

We can endure suffering and find acceptance as we call upon God for help in all that we do, then if we feel our prayer is unanswered, we trust despite our temporary darkness, believing that God sees our need and knows what is best for us. 

God is close “in all our calling to Him” (בְּכָּל־קָרְאֵנוּ אֵלָיו), and therefore we are often brought to a place of need. We can endure suffering and find acceptance as we call upon God for help in all that we do. 

[Hebrew for Christians] 

Psychology Profile on the 12 Disciples… 

The Twelve Disciples: Were they management potential?

MEMO

TO: JESUS, SON OF JOSEPH, WOODCRAFTER CARPENTER SHOP, NAZARETH

FROM: JORDAN MANAGEMENT CONSULTANTS, JERUSALEM


Dear Sir:

Thank you for submitting the resumes of the 12 men you have picked for management positions in your new organization. All of them have now taken our battery of tests; we have not only run the results through our computer, but also arranged personal interviews for each of them with our psychologist and vocational aptitude consultant.

It is the staff opinion that most of your nominees are lacking in background, education, and vocational aptitude for the type of enterprise you are undertaking. They do not have the team concept. We would recommend that you continue your search for persons of experience in managerial ability and proven capability.

Simon Peter is emotionally unstable and given to fits of temper. Andrew has absolutely no qualities of leadership. The two brothers, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, place personal interest above company loyalty. Thomas demonstrates a questioning attitude that would tend to undermine morale.

We feel that it is our duty to tell you that Matthew has been blacklisted by the Greater Jerusalem Better Business Bureau. James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus definitely have radical leanings, and they both registered a high score on the manic depressive scale.

One of the candidates, however, shows great potential. He is a man of ability and resourcefulness, meets people well, has a keen business mind and has contacts in high places. He is highly motivated, ambitious, and responsible. We recommend Judas Iscariot as your controller and right-hand man. All of the other profiles are self-explanatory.

We wish you every success in your new venture.

Sincerely yours, 
Jordan Management Consultants

[From: “Transforming Discipleship: Making Disciples a Few at a Time” by Greg Ogden – printed in SoJo Mail for 30 October 2003.] 

Getting our head around the fact that God’s ways and thoughts are truly not the ways of man or of this world. 

Jesus instructed His disciples to come to Him and learn of Him, and we are told in the Bible that the wisdom of this world is far different from the wisdom of God, and so by the spirit we are to operate with the mind of Christ. 

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  <ΙΧΘΥΣ><

     Jesus 

    Christ

    Son of 

    God

    Saviour

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