48 thoughts on “Sacred Lines

  1. “Do I always know them?”
    I don’t think I do because I don’t know what ‘Sacred Lines’ really are.
    When I read what you wrote and thought about it, I thought Sacred Lines might be the guidelines, Holy parameters that dictate “how I pray, things I think and deeds I indeed do”. Like the Holy Spirit dropping a plumb line down in these areas as a standard for me to live by.

  2. What are sacred lines? I agree with Debi’s thoughts that they might be guidelines” (the plumb line that falls)” from the throne of God right into my day. my life, my experience and I have to deal with it (or NOT!)
    Another thought about the “sacred lines”. They might be Lines of Scripture, sacred sentences from the mouth of God by which we plot and which direct our prayers…like the model prayer that Jesus taught…THE LORD’S PRAYER. Or the admonishments, teachings and instructions that are given in the Word of God on how to walk, pray and ‘do’ by the Spirit of the living God.
    Like Sara taught the other day, Oh yes! We DO know them, (the Scriptures). And we quote and recite them handily. But how is our DOING of the Scriptures…those holy lines which our God has given us to live by?

  3. Great ideas! Plumb line…

    I thought about, ‘blurred lines, crossed the line,(bring someone/something into line cause someone or something to conform), straight line, out of line,(out of line informal behaving in a way that breaks the rules or is considered disreputable or inappropriate), lines of communications, and the line goes on and on…’ Marked Boundaries! (a line that marks the limits of an area; a dividing line…)

    When I pray for myself or others do I know how and what to pray according to the boundaries set forth in God’s Word on the issue. Not my wishful thinking or partial truth by extracting one liners from The Word of God said by Paul or other.

    Sacred (connected with God )…are my words, deeds and above all prayers connected to God. This is a small portion of what ‘sacred lines’ mean to me.

  4. I heard a preacher say using a line from a country song, I believe…’you got to know when to hold em, when to fold em and when to walk away….and when to run.’

    “It is an honor for a man to cease from strife…” (Proverbs 20:3, AMP)

    Most of the time my prayers are distractions just to survive the Giant. Look, how David, shepherd boy, handled the giant in the country song…. just before David fought the giant, Goliath, his brother, Iliab, tried to confront him. But, David knew that arguing with Iliab wasn’t even worth his time and strength. He knew his real battle was with Goliath, and he didn’t want to be distracted. He simply “turned away” from Iliab and kept his focus on what he was called to do.” Wonder why he didn’t just stand there and keep talking and praying the same old story….David, even as a young man knew, ‘sacred lines.’

  5. “When I pray for myself or others do I know how and what to pray according to the boundaries set forth in God’s Word on the issue.”
    One thought I had is that many times there are conditions to the blessings promised us or others in God’s word…some ‘if’s” in order to get the ‘then’s”. Maybe the ‘then’ blessing (such as healing, prosperity, etc, etc) is wishful thinking if the condition for it isn’t met; and that’s where the focus of the prayer should be first..on meeting the condition.

  6. But, don’t I need to know the then or if ‘s? Prosperity condition is work hard regardless of prayer? Isn’t it. Or, have good DNA?

    Proverbs 20:4 ” Sluggards do not plow in season;
       so at harvest time they look but find nothing.”

  7. So “plowing” in season is ONE of the conditions. But so is praying with an UNDIVIDED heart. Motive and spiritual condition come into play here, I believe. The willingness to acquiesce to the will of God even, for example, when we are praying for healing of a loved one… might be a hard labor in the spirit if our hearts desire one thing and God has another plan for it.
    Yet, God can do what HE did for Hezekiah who turned his face to the wall and God gave him favor. So we sow prayers in hope. So in some cases is prayer a conundrum? Help!!

  8. Some “Sacred Lines” that I love….but do I live them??? are “Do unto others”; “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” OUCH!
    “Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”
    (“and BUNDLES more”) (c) slm
    Unless this is happening in my life right now….as Sara says, INDEED, in fact, in reality, in this earthen vessel now, then comes into play ‘clanging gong and tinkling cymbal.’

  9. Sacred Lines reminds me of Johnny Cash’s song, “I Walk the Line”. Hopefully we who call ourselves Christians will do as the lyrics say – hard but life’s journey in the spirit –

    “I keep a close watch on this heart of mine
    I keep my eyes wide open all the time
    I keep the ends out for the tie that binds
    Because your’re mine (Jesus), I walk the line”

    I find it very, very easy to be true
    I find myself alone when each day is through
    Yes, I’ll admit that I’m a fool for you.”

    If only I/we could do what this song says in our spiritual lives.
    Hold on to Jesus by keeping a close watch on the heart:
    Pray and study the scriptures
    Keep in close counsel with the HOLY SPIRIT
    Do what the HOLY SPIRIT says to do (LISTEN and OBEY)
    Love people but hate evil
    Examine the heart to see if any ways are not pleasing to God and change
    Pressures of life come to try to push you off the line God has chosen for YOU
    Counter the Pressure and throw all that is not of God aside as you step one step at a time with HIM through the stormy, fiery trials of life.
    Say to all around you, I’ve chosen to be a fool for Jesus in the eyes of this world
    and with each step forward I make along this way, I’m stepping in the foot prints of Jesus because I’ve chosen to walk the (sacred) line.

  10. Rena, could you give me an example of your words; ‘Love people but hate evil.’ How do I love someone that is doing evil?

  11. Thinking more on sacred…just saying the word seems to say to me set apart for God with Him as the focal point. And for that to happen, the lines from my heart, my mind, my works, all that I say and do must point to Him so that He is glorified. If that is not happening, then the lines are blurred, or worse still, lead back to glorifying self, not the Lord.

  12. “Do not give the devil an opportunity to work.” (Ephesians 4:27, ISV) Here the writer was talking about angry…could be fear or other footholds that I give the devil to work in my life. I need to draw some lines that cannot be crossed.

    I see the need more and more to draw sacred lines in my life…

  13. “love the person but hate the evil.” Love the person with an addiction such as alcohol, porn by showing them tough love – getting help, helping them follow through on the steps that need to be taken – holding them accountable for those steps – saturating them in prayer. All the time you hate the sin and evil that is destroying them. Better you hold fire to the feet than for them to feel the ring of fire that takes them down, down, down away from God forever. Only tough love will PERHAPS give the person hope and help and eventually freedom from the sin that besets them and steps to check up on themselves for the rest of their lives so it will not happen again.

  14. Thr Rabbi’s article makes you stop and think about lines..his seem pretty clearly drawn but I think he does a good job pointing out where the lines get blurred in peoples’ minds.

  15. Rabbi says at the end of his post; “Indeed, if we don’t begin to hate and fight evil, more victims will suffer and more innocents will die.”

    I have reread his post (I have given reference above for reading) over and over and it gives me unrest in my soul. Sacred Lines are not always easily defined in my mind. I think Debi pointed out Rabbi’s article as helping us see this.

    I think it a little uncomfortable to read and think about. But, without thought, understanding, knowledge, wisdom and interacting how would one be able to define ‘Sacred Lines’ and how to cross by force or not cross at all!

  16. “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.” Psalm 19:1-4. When I thought about this verse and the Psalm it seems the Lord has many ways of drawing lines in our lives, speaking lines in our hearts and showing us His boundaries.

  17. I agree Debi, “how the Lord has many ways of drawing lines in our lives.” As a Christian I believe while we journey on earth we work to prepare a special “Demarcation” for eternity.

  18. I recently read on FB “God gave us commandments, not suggestions. ” I keep reading this blog and I keep seeing one word……”ACCOUNTABILITY”. God’s Word tells us that He will separate the sheep from the goats…..woe, Lord help us get our sacred lines right.

  19. Matthew 25:31 gives us the parable of sheep and goats. It tells you what you must do to be on the sheep side. And, if not, take your leave says the glorious judge. Vs. 41-43 “Then he will turn to the ‘goats,’ the ones on his left, and say, ‘Get out, worthless goats! You’re good for nothing but the fires of hell. And why? Because—

  20. “And why? Because-” “For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.” (verse 42-43) “And he will answer, I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.” (verse 44)

  21. Footnotes for verses 34-40 says: “This parable describes acts of mercy we all can do every day. These acts do not depend on wealth, ability, or intelligence; they are simple acts freely given and freely received. We have no excuse to neglect those who have deep needs, and we cannot hand over this responsibility to the church or government. Jesus demands our personal involvement in caring for others’ needs (Isaiah 58:7)”

    I’d like to ask: “What if you try to be involved in the lives of those who may have “deep needs”, but really want nothing to do with you?”

  22. Needles that question gives rise to the Scripture that says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8)
    And if those with deep needs refuse to respond to your kindness and or desire a relationship with you, well , there are so many deep needs in this earth, people we can help, clothe, feed, send Bibles, support, pray and petition for, etc.
    And as it is written in Mark 6:11,….
    “.But if any place refuses to welcome you or listen to you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate.” This is a tough one but sometimes, like one of the modern day prophets has said in one of her meetings, “Leave them alone and they’ll come home wagging their tails behind them.”
    Might be good advice and save some heartache. 🙂

  23. Needles that’s a good question. Perhaps the answer to your question may be in the footnotes you shared: “…they are simple acts freely given and freely received.”

  24. Needles and Debi, I need some help on the freely given and freely received given by the footnotes and comment. Does this mean give kind acts and receive acts from others? Or?

    “What if you try to be involved in the lives of those who may have “deep needs”, but really want nothing to do with you?” I think this question is very broad? Let me try and explain what I am thinking.

    If a husband and wife have divorced and one has remarried and the other just keeps wanting to help the x…maybe one needs to find someone else to help? I am really trying to think of a situation that would fit into Needles’ question. Maybe minor child? Elderly parents? And, another thought, maybe I should take a deep long look in the mirror at myself to see if maybe its me and I don’t really have the help for the deep need.

    Like to hear other thoughts on this?

  25. I took freely given and freely received to mean that the person you want to readily and willingly help must want to readily and willingly receive your help. I think it has to have some health guidelines. If your help is not wanted in the case of minor child or elderly than maybe something can be worked out for somone else to step in and assist (though this is agreeing to a form of help also?)

  26. If I am reading correctly, this is the story we are referring to, right? “For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.”

    This is the good we are to do daily according to the footnotes. OK, it doesn’t sound much to me like no receiving but the giving of them. And, the results were; “Jesus said, I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.”

    I am back to my ‘mirror’, how pure are my motives?

  27. Pure motives…a pure heart…is at the root of all we do for Christ. . If I see someone in need and my heart goes out to that person and I am touched by their indigence or destitution I Desire to give to them because I feel the love of Christ motivating me.

    However, this happened to Sister Grandma and me several years ago. We were eating lunch at a bakery in town and had just gotten our coffee and bagels, cream cheese served in a paper sack…when we looked out the bakery window and saw a disheveled-appearing, homeless-type man going through the trash at the curb in front of the bakery. We “ASSUMED” he was hungry and looking for a crust of bread, roll, etc. We both deliberated for a moment and decided I would offer him my bagel and Sister G & I would share hers. I ran out the door proffering my treasure/offering and spoke to the man who WAS disheveled with soiled clothing and hair. I said something to the effect…we want to share this bagel with you. He hardly looked at me but brushed me off with “Nah! i don’t want that.” Evidently he was looking for “SOMETHING ELSE” besides food. As he continued his treasure hunt.
    Now my question is this? Obviously we did not consult with the Holy Spirit but our emotions were touched and moved by the appearance of the “need” we saw out the window. Will it be accounted to us for good that we wanted to feed someone who looked like he needed something? Or will that “work” be burned up like straw & chaff at the Bema?
    This is another version of Needles’ question.

  28. In regards to the elderly, I wonder what the mirror has said about me.

    I wonder now as a giver to my elderly parents
    if they the saw someone who was kind and caring about them as individuals or did they see a look to say you owe me something so please give
    me something please.

    The parents who poured much into my life
    Grew old, full of life and life stories
    Loving to sit and talk
    Only wanted to receive the time to tell a story or two, hug, share a cup of coffee and dessert, help with the yard or kitchen, encourage you and receive encouragement to face their changing circumstances in health and etc., a listening ear,
    and looking at all God has done in my life and theirs.
    Time and Love for them is all they wanted.

    My own mother had a joy of crafts and loved to create them with me, talking about her newest ones for her Sunday School Class. She also loved watching TV ministries in the evenings. She constantly asked if I thought she were going to heaven. She also liked her chickens and bunny and mowing the lawn. When my Dad died she said that Jesus was so kind to her – She said she saw a rainbow over her little garden and that was the only place it was. She said she knew Jesus loved her and was giving her hope to go on. Jesus reached her deep need in her life. Did I?

    My mother-in-law loved to sit on the porch and tell me all about the character of the birds that fed in the bird feeder and talk about her North Dakota roots. She loved spending time in the kitchen cooking, talking, and doing dishes. She needed an ear to express her concern for Pops health.
    She loved cards and could whoop just about anyone. Did I ever meet the deep need in her?

    Each one has gone now with no more stories to tell, or lives to share, nor gifts to give. Will Jesus think I gave to their deepest need or did I take from their hand making them feel I was the bad one and not the good one who came to their door. Mirror of my soul – you alone know where I stand!

  29. I guess what keeps coming back to me is what Jesus said to His disciples and that I quoted above….Let’s go forward from this place”…but do you know where He was going forward to? TO THE CROSS! Sometimes when we desire to move forward there is a sacrifice that must be made to accomplish the goals that Christ has in His plan for us. If we want to move forward, we will have to do a lot of dying to self, giving up our selfish motives that masquerade as concern and even faking righteousness. To “go forward from a place of stagnation, of “stuckness”…I read a blog today on stirring up the stew so it won’t get stuck on the bottom of the pan, (and burn????. We might have to suffer a little bit, or maybe a lot. Jesus did. He went FORWARD with His face set like flint and faced the cross, and the horrid shame and pain and wounding that it held. We don’t even want to give up a meal….well, I’ll speak for myself. But going forward means leaving the “old lady or old man” such as the case may be, behind and facing our destiny even if it costs us to give up our grudges, our resentments, our hurts and woundings…our bucks!! ( And not just Starbucks, either. Where our treasure is there our heart will be. Let’s pray to move forward from this ‘sticky’ place and let’s go forward TOGETHER.

  30. Yes let’s move forward from this place. I just came from visiting my aunt who had been in the hospital for five weeks. She said she had time to reflect on her life and she knew that their have been many things she regrets in life. She said she can not face another surgery. That statement reminded me of Jesus in the Garden.

    New International Version (©1984)
    Going a little farther, He fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

    How many times has life placed us in this position. It has caused us to look up to the cross and to the risen Lord of hope.

    My Aunt said she prayed to die, but God apparently had other plans for her because he brought her through. Mistakes and regrets she must move forward. Perhaps we will all join her and move forward.

  31. Rena, glad that your Aunt is home and doing so much better. Interesting, she prayed…

    I reread Needles question above, and she asked ‘…try to be involved in lives that may…’ involved; “connected or concerned with someone or something, typically on an emotional or personal level…” ?

  32. My Aunt said she was so fortunate to have CCI, thedailylilies praying for her. She also knows we sang and prayed for and have been praying for her as you directed during a recent church service. She said that it must of been those prayers that were answered and not her own. She also was lifted up by a local Luthern Church there. What a wonderful thing God does when the body of Christ comes together.

  33. Hey Rena, maybe the answer lies in, “Father knows best.” I am so very happy that she is doing so well. Hope she will get busy and become a part of her local church.

    I know and understand how so many do not believe in the local church. This brings me to more thought on sacred lines, things I, indeed, do, and things I indeed, think? And, say…
    An Armenian friend of mine shared how upset this action of former Secretary of Rice made him. He had no grandparents and others to invest in his life because of this, being the Armenian Genocide.”
    “In her new memoir, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice brags about twice killing U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide.”

    Sacred lines, say, deeds, prayer, stick my head in mud and say, don’t know. Each day brings new challenges.

  34. I think Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s article that Sara references in a comment above is worth re-reading as he lists this Genocide, along with other evils, that we have an obligation to hate.

  35. Rena, So glad your aunt is recovering and recognizes how great God is in HIS wisdom. Before we were formed in our mother’s womb His plan has already gone forth. We were encouraged to pray for her by our pastors and I have her on my list every day and pray for her and will continue to do so. In agreement there is strength. Jesus said where two or three are gathered in My Name there I AM in the midst ( in the midst of our agreement) What a mighty God we serve!
    Another thing that Jesus said that we can cling to at this time is that with man a thing may be impossible but with God , that which is impossible with man is possible with GOD. He is proving that every day.

  36. Thanks Debi for the reminder to reread Rabbi’s article. I will forward this to my friend, Haig. I ask myself the question, “…how can we practice love without hate?”

  37. Eccl. 3:8 says, “There is a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.” Need the wisdom of Solomon to know when to love and when to hate? Hate sure has it merits?

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