Same Mind

Unity in the body of Christ in the bond of peace.

Hidden Treasure

I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Philippians 4:2

Usually, I just slide over this passage, but this time I felt like God wanted me to look closer. It seems Paul had to encourage the churches to agree with each other a lot. Earlier in this same letter to the church in Philippi Paul had written:

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Philippians 2:2  

To the Corinthians he wrote:

I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what…

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Our greatest witness

Let your life be a witness of Christ to all around you.

In My Father's House

We don’t prove that Christ is real by philosophical argumentation, although that may help our minds sort out what we already believe. Philososphy can only show us why there must be a God, why we continue to exist, but it cannot give us an experience of God. And only our experience of Christ changes us, which is also our greatest witness that He’s real and very much alive.

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Not Abandoned

Hidden Treasure

We were on vacation not long ago “up north.” One night I was up alone for hours trying to be quiet in the tiny camper while my husband slept. Couldn’t sleep and very depressed. Thinking about all that was going wrong. Sickness, financial troubles, family members leaving the faith. That is when I told God I felt abandoned. In morning more devastating family news on Facebook. By the time we were eating breakfast I was bawling. Not a fun time.

Packing up to go “enjoy” the day, my husband stepped in some doggie doodoo and it got tracked all over the camper. At least an hour was spent cleaning rugs and mats and shoes at the camp water pump. Then he banged his head real hard trying to wrangle things back in. Finally, on our way to the beach, a big heavy, wet floor mat that we thought could ride…

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It’s time to shift our pandemic paradigm

In My Father's House

Norway has become the latest country to drop ALL Covid restrictions (see Daily Mail article here), joining an increasing number of other countries. Norway will have no vaccine mandates, no vaccine passports, no masks, no social distancing. Large venues, concerts, parties, sporting events are all allowed, no restrictions on public places or gatherings of any kind.

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A wrong attitude leads to unfruitfulness

Wow, this is good.

In My Father's House

In Jesus’ parables that deal with His return, the point is not about what we’re doing when He returns but what we were doing while He was away. The two parables in Matthew 25 are no exception. In both parables, the return of the bridegroom and businessman took longer than expected. It seems that the five foolish virgins and the unfaithful steward both operated out of fear rather than faith. I want to look at the second parable about the talents (bags of gold coins) in particular here, and see how attitude affects our judgment and fruitfulness.

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Our Someone

Hidden Treasure

If only there were someone to arbitrate between us, to lay his hand upon us both, someone to remove God’s rod from me, so that his terror would frighten me no more. Job 9:33-34

For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time. 1 Timothy 2:5-6

Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. Hebrews 9:15

What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death (this misery of the soul arising from sin)? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:24-25

Even now my witness…

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Emptied

Hidden Treasure

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:5-8 (ESV)

Jesus “emptied himself.” The word means to make empty, to abase (humble, lower oneself), make of no reputation. Isaiah says it even more starkly:

He [Messiah] was despised (held in contempt, disdained) and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed (valued) him not. Isaiah 53:3

Did you ever think that, out of his deep love for us, Jesus emptied…

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What is needed is mercy

Wow …”this is my command: Love each other deeply, as much as I have loved you. (John 15:9-12 TPT*)”
I will spend my whole life learning to do that…gladly.

In My Father's House

James said that mercy triumphs over judgment (James 2:13). But why is this so? One reason is because this world would be insufferable without mercy. Just imagine a world where there’s no mercy given for any wrong you’ve might’ve ever done in your past. No forgiveness, no redemption, just judgment. Would you want to live in such a world? The problem is, we do seem to be living in such a world today.

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Putrefied Talk

This is key to living in God’s righteousness which He has so graciously given to us in Christ. II Cor. 5:21

Hidden Treasure

Do not go about spreading slander among your people. Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life. I am the LORD. Leviticus 19:16

I thought this verse kind of startling. Slander (Hebrew rakiyl) is being a scandal-monger, slanderer, tale bearer, informer, spreading gossip. We think of endangering the life of others as doing things like reckless driving or driving under the influence, but could gossip endanger the life of our neighbor? According to the Bible our words are powerful for giving life or for causing death.

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21

The Passion Translation says it this way:

Your words are so powerful that they will kill or give life, and the talkative person will reap the consequences. Proverbs 18:21 (TPT)

Maybe this is why Jesus said that to call someone a name could…

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