Thought Provoking

Some months ago I read the following words of truth: Since then it has been power words that jog my memory on my daily walking path. My wife, Sara, and I so often review and remind each other of this truth over our dinner conversations and our times of sharing and prayer. Maybe you will find a nugget of truth in these words that might become applied application to your life.

“When we no longer see ourselves standing before God as our judge, we become perverted. Our ego is inflated. Flattery replaces truth. Our minds are grasped by wickedness and we deceive others. The path that we walk is evil. The result is a self- centered and self- consumed person who has no authentic relationship with God, himself, or others. Flattery, illusion, and deception determine his life. Only the Word of God and the Holy Spirit’s conviction can reveal to us such depths of human sin,”

32 thoughts on “Thought Provoking

  1. Gary, as you know I have tried to teach this for many years as I truly believe this progression. Maybe, my teachings have not been as effective in my life as I would of liked but I still believe the truth of these words.

    One of Dictionary’s meanings for flattery; “…excessive and insincere praise, esp. that given to further one’s own interests…” This gives me a picture from Gideon’s army of the men lapping up the water and got disqualified. Then, I read 30 plus verses from God’s word on flattery, among them, “Psalms 12:2- They speak falsehood to one another; With flattering lips and with a double heart they speak. May the LORD cut off all flattering lips, The tongue that speaks great things;” And, Proverbs 26:28 “A lying tongue hates those it crushes, And a flattering mouth works ruin.” And, yet we love the lie and give the lie. So often we say nothing and we are the biggest lie then as I understand this teaching.

    I am very grateful to have the joy of summer months to take the time to read, study and hopefully give the applied application to my life and hope flattery from my life is cut off. It yields no fruit for Kingdom Work. As I pray His prayer, “…thy Kingdom come thy will be done on earth as in heaven….:

  2. Great lessons in Gideon’s Army…a part here….”4 Then the Lord said to Gideon, “The people are still too many; bring them down to the water and I will test them for you there. Therefore it shall be that he of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go with you; but everyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go.” 5 So he brought the people down to the water. And the Lord said to Gideon, “You shall separate everyone who laps the water with his tongue as a dog laps, as well as everyone who kneels to drink.” 6 Now the number of those who lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was 300 men; but all the rest of the people kneeled to drink water. 7 The Lord said to Gideon, “I will deliver you with the 300 men who lapped and will give the Midianites into your hands; so let all the other people go, each man to his home.”

    —Judges 7:4–7

  3. Awful consequences of ‘disqualification’ and ‘The result is a self- centered and self- consumed person who has no authentic relationship with God, himself, or others.’ when discount God as judge’, ‘say nothing and we are the biggest lie’. Besides being disqualified, hell awaits this liar. Additionally, this liar must give an account for every idle word spoken before the Judge.

  4. Not sure I understand a word you said Debi about this blog. So what would all this you have written about mean if the person dosen’t even know. Lot of hot air being blown in wind with no candle light to go out is how I see your comment.

    And, are you saying I’m going to hell? If so, I better change…I do remember preachers preaching like this many moons ago! It put a little godly fear in the soul at times.

  5. No, I ceratinly wasn’t saying that you are going to hell. I was just trying to express my own thoughts on personal consequences for these things and apologize for no understanding. I see your point on just hot air.

  6. Sounds like you repeated the words of the writer. Still not sure of your point. But, that’s OK….we are searching for nuggets of truth. Hey, this is like a egg hunt? A sports game? Hunt and play to win the prize. Didn’t St. Paul talk about running to win? Glad to see we are in the game because we qualified for the team.

    Hey, my favorite football team, Washington, starts a new season tonight, Thursday night! Preseason but we play to win and to hopefully assure one a position. Looks like we are playing at least that well? Lol or are we?

  7. The teachings of this blog brings me to connect to Missy Buchanan and makes me aware I need to join in her conversation; “O, Lord, In wrestling with you, my imperfect faith is made stronger. In wrestling with you, I discover a deeper truth: that my questions usher me right back to you.”- Missy Buchanan
    Talking with God i

  8. “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3). I have prayed this scripture and longed for ways to share the sacred process of spiritual growth with others. I am in the radar of gratitude range! When I continue my steps I always tater back to the tag line in blog; “Only the Word of God and the Holy Spirit’s conviction can reveal to us such depths of human sin,” Oh, in the depth many times I find I just might have even deceived myself about my good traits. I am not on a party line to self-judgement but discovering a deeper self-awareness. I am thankful and full of gratitude for my group of motivated travelers seeking a deeper life in God. Loving sharing about God.

  9. As I was giving more meditative thought to blog teaching this am I was reminded by Holy Spirit of another writers’ word prayer found in Psalm 104:2,3,4; “Deliver Me, O Lord, from the Evil Man…Who devise evil things in their hearts; They continually stir up wars. They sharpen their tongues as a serpent; Poison of a viper is under their lips. Selah. Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; Preserve me from violent men Who have purposed to trip up my feet.…” NIV. Our blog word says, “Flattery, illusion, and deception determine his life.” Holy Spirit, I invite you to deliver me from being infected or a carrier of this ….

  10. I received this comment just this week although, I do receive others much like it: “Sara, You have touched so so many people’s lives and have given so much strength…You are a prophetess totally signatured by our Father, a teller of His word, and a comforter using His word to many many souls that otherwise would waste precious time and whole lives wandering blindly in this life here on earth….never realizing their role in God’s plan for them……Sara, I beg you Never stop!….Just have areas of time in between to sit on the beach and watch the waves….! … We’ll work till Jesus comes and we’ll be gathered home.”

    Q Is this flattery or encouragement? Am I bragging to bring these words in this discussion? Or, am I letting my light shine so that others can see and glorify God? Am I being deceived? Have I deceived the writer and others like them that bring the same similar message?

  11. I truely believe the comment you received is right on the mark. You know God’s Word. You know the application and steadfastness/obedience we must take with the Lord Jesus Christ. I have never known you to hold back with God’s truth about my life or others. I have been in the past under a false illusion thinking my life was great and we were on the road to a perfect little family, but underneath all was a cover up. Smile on the outside but a coverup underneath. Looking good on the outside but terribly upset with life’s journey on the inside. Even knowing God knew all the good, bad, and ugly within me. Then truth as Sara has spoken time after time into my life has been a double edged sword. Yes it hurts to be exposed. Yes it hurts that the illusion was exposed, but far more the hurt was that I had tried to be Jesus covering up a sin/sins. Only Jesus can do that with His blood. God’s Son paid it all at the cross, NOT ME. You, Sara exposed it. Yes I cried for sorrow overcame me with the truth of God’s Words and my Sin. Flattery lips even in the mist of sorrowful/painful situations nearly drug me down Satan’s highway many times causing denial of all with a little flattery syrup poured out of ones mouth. Thus the highway of a ferris wheel – flattery causing an illusion and then deep sorrow/pain and then flattery and an illision. Finally someone bold as a lion came along and put a stop to the ferris wheel. I use to call it Sara’s pointed boot getting to the heart of the problem. The boot which stopped the Ferris Wheel is God’s Word spoken into the life of a sinner me. I may continue to need to the boot. But it is for my good as in Proverbs it says that God corrects those whom He loves.

    1. Hey Rena see you are back from a ‘4ever’ vacation. Hope it was refreshing and rewarding. I thank you for the lovely box of fall placemats and mug rugs for my sunflower morning devotions. A very thoughtful and insightful gift!

      It’s wonderful that you have a life story of truths to share that comes from being a seeker of truth. These are the stories that burn like a fragrant candle in the midst of darkness. You sure have been an overcomer and now many are coming to your light to hear truth and walk in wholeness.

      It’s interesting how we are hearing in the news of two wonderful missionaries that traveled to a far away land to impart the light of good. Contacted a serious disease, Ebola. Death of the physical knocked on their door and a little vial of serum has given rise to hope. We don’t yet know the price that was paid by many to start this process of what may prove to be lifesaving for nations. I think of a little village in a far away land for us where a man that was qualified to save the whole world from destructive behavior made a decision to do so. He name is Jesus, Good Shepherd, Door, Messiah, Prince of Peace, Teacher among many others. His sacred, holy sacrificial blood gave a serum to heal and bring all that will partake of truth to a holistic lifestyle.

      Thanks for sharing your story and may many come to the light that you have given that will shine in the darkness of their night! Welcome home after weeks of vacation!

      1. My sewing skills were certainly improved upon as my sister gave up her own sewing and spend much time with me showing me how to correctly use different foots on the machine to make a job easier and measuring so the product is professional.

        I do thank God for all he has done in my life to bring me back to my sewing roots and for the help of a sister who is a great teacher of sewing. I also thank God for making my life so full with people who study the Word. Like football starting up – BSFellowhsip will start up soon as well as a new Sunday School year. Yeah! Summer has prepped me with study of the Word. Onward for Jesus I go. I wonder what projects God will give to all of us for this next year. Excitement mounts. Prepped and ready may we walk forward and not look over our shoulder of what was.

      2. Your comments about your sister teaching you on sewing skills have made a believer out of me! You made them!

        I’m riding buggy with you on this exciting prospect for all of us; “Prepped and ready may we walk forward and not look over our shoulder of what was.”

    2. I agree with you Rena about correction by the ‘boot’ as you write above; but my circumstances took a little different turn. The chastisement was indeed wounding but through it or maybe because of it I was able to pray, investigate and find help for a situation I for which I thought there was none.
      In fact in my devotions this morning I found a Scripture in Ezekiel that reads, “cast off all…transgressions and you [‘you’ being “me” understood] make a new heart and a new mind & renewed spirit & be converted and live.” [Ez. 18:31]. Although we are born again, often correction through strong chastisement is necessary….when we have not allowed the renewal in all areas of our lives.
      So in having “transgressions” pointedly remarked drove me, so to speak, to find solutions I had not even thought available to alleviate my concern or problem.
      Yes,’ correction at the time is painful but it eventually brings forth the “peaceable fruits of righteousness”

  12. Jeremiah’s prayer: “I know, Lord, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course. So correct me, Lord, but please be gentle. Do not correct me in anger, for I would die” Jeremiah 10:23-4 NLT.
    Again…whom He loves, He corrects…so we must strengthen the things that remain.
    Jesus says, “Those whom I dearly and tenderly love..I tell their faults and convict and convince and reprove and chasten. I discipline and instruct them…so repent and change your mind.” Rev. 3 19.

  13. “Am I bragging to bring these words in this discussion?”
    Sara, I have had many conversations with you, for the past 10 years, or so? I have attended Biblical retreats that you have taught, and prepared books, lectures, etc for. All for the purpose of bringing the TRUTH of the Word of God to each person. I, too, have had the “boot” of correction, as well as encouragement from you, and I can’t thank God or you, enough for this. There is a scripture that comes to mind and I may not have it exact but it speaks about boasting. And it says if we are to boast about anything, we are to boast about the Lord. You certainly boast about our Heavenly Father……. and I believe from the comments here, we all agree?

    1. Jeremiah 9: 23-24 (NIV) says: “This is what the Lord says: ‘Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,: declares the Lord.”

      1. What energy to wake up to! I love seeing connections of scriptures as each one sees a place to connect. All in different ways but connect. As I said above in a comment….Washington Football starts preseason tonight and I am jumping with excitement. I get to watch many great talented yet personalities and positions so different. We play to win! Go Skins! We start with an overload of prayers and after they show their stuff some will depart to other teams or home to wait for a call. Year after year my heart and eyes follow this scenario. I love that as a follower of Jesus Christ we put at least this much effort in our team. Training, workouts, overcoming injuries, ( like our RG3)…I Corinthians 9:26 with the great St Paul speaking or coaching, or quarterbacking gives us the clue, “So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing.”

        Thanks to all for encouragement! Without it we may sit down on the job or rest on our laurels as it were! Then the new ones that are appearing in our view, like the one that spoke to me above, may not have the opportunity to get up and join the team and play for the prize. The reason I posted were these words from her post to me; “…we may…waste precious time and whole lives wandering blindly in this life here on earth….never realizing their role in God’s plan for them…” I can’t seem to stop crying thinking that my selfishness of being so taken with myself may have and may be hindering a gifted talented player from being a star quarterback for advancing God’s Kingdom. The precious young lady that wrote those words to me ended her correspondence with; “may we work together until Jesus gathers his children home.” Whoa! We are in a new season and others have joined the team. Let’s get our play book out and begin to practice for our new season!

        Go Washington Skins! Go Lily team!

    2. ” You certainly boast about our Heavenly Father……. and I believe from the comments here, we all agree?”
      Yes, Tammy, I would also like to answer a big ‘Yes!’ to your question and add my deep gratefulness for Sara’s Biblical teaching, instruction and guidance throughout many years. I don’t know where I would be spiritually or mentally today without it.

      1. Debi, you sent me some emails recently from a man you are in familial relationship. If I recall correctly his words are a perfect pattern for the teachings of this blog. He instructed you that no one judges him. He instructed you that his opinion of himself were higher than yours and begin to name his praises. Justified his behavior and names no place where he gleaned such praise and approval of his behavior for himself except himself and the gloating and bloating went on and on. He axed all Christians that you know whether he knows or knew then or not. His emails just fit perfectly in this setting. What kind of “applied application” are you doing to help this poor lost weak man find a path of truth? Now, you don’t need to answer me of course. I am suggestion like all of us need to do and that is apply the Meds where needed and not attack the life giver as the writer of emails are doing. Or, quote words back to the blog just to believe we have made an intel point.

        It seems to me from all angles we here are all Bible Readers and we are searching and hoping for the The Holy Spirit to show up to guide our footsteps. Let us think on this; “In the Spirit-led life, the wind of God – the breath of the Spirit – propels me. Jesus explained the life of being born from above to Nicodemus: “The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8). As the wind blows with power and mystery, so the Spirit of God moves powerfully and mysteriously. As a disciple of Christ, I allow the wind of God to shape who I am am and where I go.”- J. David Muyskens

        I would think Debi and all of us when we have the wind in our face we would follow the Spirit. And, that is always grounded in Biblical truth and not the self as listed in blog. I asked Debi above if she was saying I was going to hell and she said no not at all or something to this effect. My point, why debi, were you not focused on dealing with the ugly redundant emails you are receiving knocking you out of the ball park and not trying to continue to try and teach us here by repeating the original teacher. We were asked to see if we could find some applied application…… .? Seems like you would be telling stories of hope and having that nutty talk turned to emails like the lady above gave me. For last thought, if you think on Debi’s email vs. mine. The lady I labored night and day with saw truth in Jesus and returned to give thanks. This other man is still gloating in his self and has no relationship with God or Debi and others. It’s stock market time, ring the bell! I believe Jesus is coming again!

  14. And commenting, again, on Jeepgary’s post: ” When we no longer see ourselves standing before God as our judge, we become perverted. Our ego is inflated. Flattery replaces truth.” (unquote). The Scripture that came to mind this morning in prayer concerning correction and conviction and judgment was, “I must needs go through Samaria” (Jn. 4:4) Yes! Samaria was where Jesus awaited the ‘woman at the well; where He told her ‘all she had ever done in her life.’
    He convicted her of her sins and He convinced her without a doubt that He was her Messiah. Conviction by the Holy Spirit, tender or hard, is a cleansing experience. The well was like that woman’s tribunal where the Just Judge, Jesus Christ had to meet her. He HAD to go there to Samaria for it was the will of the Father.
    It’s like the well-of-conviction that we must NEEDS GO THROUGH if we are to see ourselves at the end standing before our God as our Judge and to hear the desire of all who love the Lord….”well done thou good and faithful servant!”
    So thank God that our teachers are watching after our souls & leading us by correction to the well of conviction & REPENTANCE & CHANGE so that we may come forth without spot or wrinkle or any such thing when we stand before the Judge.

    1. MG, a good point. If we continue to think we know all we might not even get to the Bema seat, a place where our deeds (believers) will have a judging. Jesus stopped by the well, asked for a drink of water. Even he needed a little help. Then the woman that gave him a drink must have had the flattery pill for she tried to deceive Jesus. She didn’t get away with it, did she? He called her out on this? He didn’t say when judgement day comes God will judge you! Which seems like that would have been cruelty. He had her go public with the teaching she heard from Him. Go tell…worship in truth and spirit. You have had five husbands and now shacking with another. Imagine having friends or family going around saying I love Jesus or I just looooove people that I just act like the well woman and look Jesus right in the face and deny all my sleeping partners or other things. Seems like she went and spoke to the men and directed them to the Messiah. If my count be right that was at least 6 men. Whoa!

      1. Just a thought:
        That point Sara made about “she didn’t deceive HIM whatsoever’ is true; when in verse 18…”for you have had 5 husbands and the man you now have is Not your husband!” Confrontation & conviction!! She acknowledges He got it right and immediately changes the subject about where to worship thinking (maybe ?) to deter Him from the path He was taking her on. But He was ready for her. And the rest is history. Now after the “6” so-called husbands….now Jesus Christ Messiah would be her Husband.
        Just a thought……

  15. A little note quote Gary and I shared in our devotion time today. Thought you might appreciate…””In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” -Albert Schweitzer

  16. Sara, I see it when you spell it out to me above that “His emails just fit perfectly in this setting.” Why didn’t I see that and have the ability to connect and relate it to the blog clearly is what I am asking myself. I think I was focusing on myself as related to the blog. Struggling with turmoil regarding the emails.
    “My point, why debi, were you not focused on dealing with the ugly redundant emails you are receiving knocking you out of the ball park and not trying to continue to try and teach us here by repeating the original teacher”. It may be avoidance of pain and dealing with it; not wanting it brought out into the light for all to see; uncertainty and fear of how to handle it and discuss it coherently. I want to try to deal with it and work at it; be truthful and help the other person come to Truth;come to a personal place of being authentic and not a shallow copy-cat; to I ask and pray for help.

  17. Debi, I am praying for you & family matters….but above that…, wisdom and understanding in the Spirit so that you will be ready in how to answer every “man” who asks you “what in the world that he does not understand about your faith” and what is that hope within you.
    Pray for me, too, Debi.

  18. One thought might be stop struggling with self and wrestle with God! I think the original teacher has been clear on our Q&A’s….”Only the Word of God and the Holy Spirit’s conviction can reveal to us such depths of human sin,”

      1. Rena’s testimony is encouraging, a good example of overcoming. And I recently received two of her ‘sewing skill’ items for my birthday, a table runner and a coffee mug mat. They were really beautiful and so well done. Great job Rena! Thank you.

  19. Another Bible story told in John 8 beginning with verse 11 always fascinates me. A woman caught in adultery:

    Verse 9 NLT When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Vs.10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”

    Vs. 11 “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said,

    “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” Here is the mystery to me. And, even more so when I look at some of us today that rides the sin like its a trophy horse. When Jesus told this woman not to ever do it again. Hum, he may just be the one that would get thrown out of our church today. I can just hear the Mothers defending themselves and their young…”everybody is doing it.” ” thats’s so old it squeaks.” “I can’t make waves in my little family.” And, the best yet is the dumbest one in my thinking bank, “I don’t know what to say or do?”

    I may be so wrong in my study of this story. After all I was not there and don’t know the woman and the circumstances of her life. Maybe she had an abusive husband (she found some comfort and someone she thought understood her) or maybe she was so in love with the married man. ( Such pain to cut off love!) Maybe, it was her boss and her job was in jeopardy) Maybe he threatened her family or her….the maybes could stretch miles I would think if it were a game. But, it is not, it’s a sharp mirror that speaks with no flaws. Jesus and His teachings make no mistakes so our faith might say! If that be the case. Stop, do it no more….end of story!

    Are we still hounding God and man with the same old same old over and over? Let’s ask ourselves, did we ever hear of this lady of nuisance again? My answer would be, yes, daily for some of us as she just might reside within as a Siamese twin connecting heart and soul!

  20. 0h, yes, Hope in prayer!!! “GOD…you save us from ourselves and our selfish preoccupations. When we feel trapped, it may well be the dawn of a better day. Give us faith to believe that “the best is yet to be.” Amen.- Richard Morgan
    Settling In

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