Message of Hope

James 4:8 offers us a message of HOPE!  “Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.” (NLT)

KJV uses the term ‘Draw’ vs. ‘Come’ do you think it makes a difference in light of what you have to do in order to cozy up to God? If I stop and think of how many ways my loyalty is divided between God and the world, I freeze. Therefore, there is no drawing or coming because I’m just a cold stone lost in the soil with not a spark of hope until I rock ‘n roll out of the ‘world ways’ into the ‘holy ways’.

When  I hear and experience no presence of God I only have to look at my heart and see if I see any fear and trembling into my double minded antics. I read recently the way to wholeness is to call a comic act and belly laugh. The book of, chapter and verse will surely give you a belly laugh when you’re double minded.

Lets make our list of ways we are doubled minded, if in fact you are, divided between God and the world and then plunge off the fence on one side or the other. I would just love to read about your plunge!

 

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26 thoughts on “Message of Hope

  1. Sara, you suggested making a list of the ways that we are double-minded. I liken mine [list] to that Psalm where David writes, “I can run through a troop and leap over a wall…”
    Number 1…how many time I have been ON that wall and have taken a leap over it… a break-through where I “plunge off the wall into His arms…..and… in just a few days, [hours maybe??] I crawl back up that “WALL” and fence sit, all over again. “Double-minded because I see something that pulls my attention away from and out of His arms of lovingkindness….distractions,….back up on that fence iI find myself…..that WALL OF Of-FENCE to our GOD. “Let not that man think he’ll receive anything from our GOD.
    But Thank God that with new determination and filling up on the Word of God, again..to not neglect my First Love, as Jesus decries in the Book of Revelation. I want to take the plunge again…into His arms

    1. Guess we could call it our bucket list. Good for you, MG, that you could ID your DM! I’m working on mine. The rewards are greater than words, thrills or emotions, I believe. But!

  2. In the above ‘Message of Hope’, you said/asked Sara: “KJV uses the term ‘Draw’ vs. ‘Come’ do you think it makes a difference in light of what you have to do in order to cozy up to God?”
    I think it might. In training horses, sometimes people use something called ‘draw reins’ to correct a horse’s bad behavior and get them to tuck and drop their heads into a submissive position so they can be managed. Another image that ‘draw’ evokes is that of throwing a lasso over an animal and then drawing it to yourself. Even the drawstrings on my hoodies suggest pulling on something in order to tighten the space. So ‘draw’ suggests to me that someone is headed in the opposite direction and needs to be redirected and pulled close to the one doing the drawing.
    To ‘come’ seems more like a response (w/ no drawstrings to coerce) to an invitation or even to a voice command.
    For me, I think God has mercifully used draw reins and lassos at times to draw me to Himself when my mind is bucking Him or running or spinning. At other times, I hear Him call and I know I better come. Which means I must have been at a distance from Him in order to have to come to Him. In both cases I think this is having a double mind because if I was loyal to Him all the time, I would be staying so near Him that my mind would be submissive to Him and I would hear, know His will and obey.

    1. Ha Debi, your draw vs. come melts down to ‘get there anyway you can’! 😌 I would think The Holy Spirit draws us with an invite to come….I often think of the Advent with the Magi on a search using tools of look-out and they found and they arrived and were able to present their valuable gifts. I want to draw close/come close to God with gifts of gratitude, praise and worship! My plunge is taking time to be appreciative of the Wonders of His Majesty and then respond often wherever I am and not waiting for a scheduled service to preform my duty in praise. But, daily walking and talking of the wonders of His majesty.

      In a study time recently with Tammy she reminded me of my love for the writings and teachings of Dr. A. W. Tozer. One of his book reviews states….”Tozer was known for many things: The real focus, however, of his daily life centered on the worship of God. Nothing else so occupied his mind and life. This worship of God was not something tacked onto a busy schedule. It became the one great passion of his life. Everything revolved around his personal worship of God.
      Tozer paid the price for this lifestyle of worship. Many, even of his own family did not understand him and his insistence on being alone. Some even regarded him as a bit odd, but what others thought of him did not trouble him in the least. His primary business was the worship of God. Nothing else mattered.”
      It could be said of me, I ‘feet deep’ but the baptism of the lifestyle of worship is my plunge. I’m daily working on it even as I make othe daily lily stop a top priority in worship. God gave us this most outstanding wonder to share a word of praise for all the world including my family to think I might just be a bit odd. As said of Tozer, “nothing else mattered”! Well, my coffee, thousand books surrounding me, people, places and things….

      My daily gratitude starts here, thank You God for the tools, skill and hands and all encompassed ability to worship You Mighty God in this worldview window that just might touch the ends of the earth. My plunge of majesty worship is on!

  3. “Lets make our list of ways we are doubled minded,”

    Would Romans 7: 14-25 be a list of “doubled minded?”

    (NLT) “So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. I have discovered this principle of life–that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.”

  4. T….I believe Paul was describing not only himself but all of us or any of us caught up in the throes of “RELIGIOUSNESS”. Our “RELIGION’S PRECEPTS” enumerate what is right and good to do but RELIGION cannot rescue us from what Paul is writing about…that hopeless, helpless enslavement to the ‘old man-old woman’ nature in us. Even good deeds and works, even feeding the poor [while commendable] lighting votive candles, all that RELIGION dictates for man to do to overcome, to draw close to GOD will NOT rescue or relieve us from the guilt of that sinful nature. Paul says that HE doesn’t commit the sin, it’s the sin nature. But we DO commit the sin and are tempted and DRAWN AWAY by our own lusts and desires.[james 1:14]
    Who could fight that kind of enticement without help? Paul tells us the answer. THANK GOD…He will.
    So on my bucket list of sins, if I start to be DRAWN AWAY by my own lusts, which I can identify very well by this time, even so….because I am born again of incorruptible SEED, I can by the help of the Holy Spirit, cry out for deliverance and He will help me. RELIGION cannot do that. RELATIONSHIP and FELLOWSHIP and FRIENDSHIP with the Lord Jesus Christ…KNOWING that He will rescue us when we cry out to Him …He will.
    [Sara’s book.”Relationship, Friendship, Fellowship”]

    1. Paul sure put before us the eye popping truth of our choices if it were not for GRACE! He opens our eyes to our lack of working knowledge. Have you heard the saying, “no one goes to hell with their eyes closed” Or, some may go with eyes open… ? The apostle Paul had said earlier in (Rom. 6:14), “Sin shall not have dominion, because you are not under the law, but under grace,”

      My thinking here may be off but I see grace in this light; A big, big icy snow storm, slippery as can be, cars, trucks, people wrecking all over the place. Out comes the salt and riding and walking on snow is a breeze. Grace laid down on the law prevents sin from wrecking our walk.

      1. sara, i like your analogy…about Grace being the salt that keeps us from slipping on the icy, slippery slope.
        That’s puny. We are supposed to be the SALT that helps others from slipping on the slippery slopes.
        And also, as we walk on in GRACE that keeps us from slipping..[into sin, again] we keep our eyes open for the LIGHT of His Truth is a lamp unto our paths.

      2. Sara, today I heard a preacher who was talking about the power that Jesus Christ gave to the Body of Christ when He said…”you shall receive POWER’. This minister said that the lack of POWER in the Church is greatly due to the fact that God’s people don’t HATE sin. He said, “oh yeah….they hate the WAGES of sin but they don’t Hate the sin.” He went on to say….people don’t indulge in something they HATE. If they hate a certain food or drink etc. they don’t eat it…refuse to eat it. So if you HATE sin you will do everything in your power and ask the Holy Spirit to help in Avoiding sin, refusing sin and the appearances of sin.
        Like you quoted..”no one goes to hell with their eyes closed”
        When we all come into the unity of the Faith and hate not only the wages of sin but the sin itself…then the Power of God that Jesus has deigned to us will come forth and the Church will be revived for these end times.

      3. ” He opens our eyes to our lack of working knowledge.” Sara this statement you made above along with your salt illustration has had me reading and re-reading the scripture you provided to really try to grasp, ‘Grace’. It’s a word I sing about and read over and over in the Bible, and think I know about. But your term, ‘working knowledge’, struck a chord…I am asking myself, do I have a knowledge of Grace that is workable in daily life situations and as practical as applying salt to an icy road? I think their is a depth of healing, wholeness and freedom that would come in really understanding and applying this knowledge.

  5. I think that the spelling of the word I was looking for ….a ‘pun…play on words..is spelled PUN-NY. Puny is something else…small….and I did NOT mean that, for sure.

  6. Let us go back to Romans 6:14 to start our pilgrimage. (See in above comment) If we say OT law (icy snow and freezing) and NT Grace (poured out salt) then we sojourned into Hebrews 12 “… live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. And, we begin our drive in verse; 15 “See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many….make some turns and travel on the grace (salt treated roads….)

    Let me know how Grace is faring in your working knowledge?

    1. “verse; 15 “See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many….make some turns and travel on the grace (salt treated roads….)”
      Footnotes (NLT) “Like a small root that grows into a great tree, bitterness springs up in our hearts and overshadows even our deepest Christian relationships. A ‘poisonous root of bitterness’ comes when we allow disappointment to grow into resentment, or when we nurse grudges over past hurts. Bitterness brings with it jealousy, dissension, and immorality. When the Holy Spirit fills us, however, He can heal the hurt that causes bitterness.”

      Bitterness…so easy to allow this to happen in our lives, when we’ve been deeply hurt. And….look at what it brings with it: jealousy, dissension, and immorality…….WOE, it has friends!! But…….Look at how we can be healed! “When the Holy Spirit fills us, however, He can heal the hurt that causes bitterness.”

      1. My comments on Tammy’s comments…
        1) I find the word, ‘can’ most interesting in the above reference when the Holy Spirit fills us He can….heal the hurt that causes bitterness. I really need to think on the can…..wonder why can and not absolutely will….

        2) my second thought on comment of omission of grace in Jude 2…. As grace is a counter force against sin…therefore, I can understand your comment; “where grace prevails there is mercy, peace and love in abundance.” Grace is a health vaccine….

  7. Grace, that unmerited favor of God, that I don’t deserve but that God can’t help Himself in His Outpouring of love and “graciousness”, is working faith more and more in our midst. Everything in my life is “grace, mixed with faith, without which it’s impossible to please Him.

    So, as a bonus, He even gives me the grace to effect change in my life by helping me to increase my faith in His word..that measure of faith that He’s already given; to trust, more and more, that He will effect in my life what He promises in His word bcz He cannot lie.

    And, speaking of “working knowledge’ 2 Peter 1:5 tells me to add to this faith, virtue and then to virtue …knowledge and to be able to WORK the Knowledge I need self-control.
    There’s more, but each addition requires WORK. And that’s what I’m WORKING on, now.

    1. MG sounds like you have your shopping done, checked out and driving home to unload and use your goods…2 Peter 1 made the shopping list, you bought into his theory and living the life! Verse 8 just the frosting on the cake….”For as these qualities are yours and increasingly abound in you, they will keep [you] from being idle or unfruitful unto the (full personal) knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).” Trolley on! U

  8. We started a study last night at church on the book of Jude. Not sure if this fits here, but thought I would share some of my notes from last night. Verse 2 says: “Mercy, peace, and love be yours in abundance.” (NIV)

    Some notes I took: “The word, ‘grace’ is omitted here. Mercy – compassion shown to us. Peace – is the gift of inner tranquility that comes from being in a right relationship with Christ. Love – His generosity as He grants us favor after favor. Where grace prevails there is…..mercy, peace, and love in abundance.”

    Any thoughts?

  9. TH, ”All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction ….” so we can take that blessing ”to the bank” so to speak…just grab onto that promise of favor after favor, for grace does prevail with those who have made Jesus the Lord of their lives and live like it..with not onlu proclamatiom of being born again but also with good deeds/works and doing well.
    [2Tim. 3:16 ]
    So that’s a good word, Tammy. Thanks

  10. Tammy you said in the footnotes you shared that that root of bitterness was poisonous… “A ‘poisonous root of bitterness’ comes when we allow disappointment to grow into resentment, or when we nurse grudges over past hurts.”
    This week’s Sunday school lesson from the Baptist quarterly where I attended was on ‘Bitterness’. It focused on how Joseph was mistreated so badly by his brothers yet he was able to forgive them. The lesson started out by saying that ”harboring unforgiveness is like drinking poison’. I thought this tied in with your footnotes on poisonous.

    1. Interesting that you bring up Joseph, Debi. I have recently been listening to Dr. David Jeremiah speak/preach, in Genesis, on Joseph’s story. If I understood him correctly (and I may not have his words exact), he said if we put on paper in three columns 1) “Prison” 2) Potipher’s house” 3) “Palace”, Joseph always honored God.

      Joseph could have allowed this bitterness (we are talking about) to grow, but he didn’t. I believe Sara is right…..”CHOICES” is where it is at.

  11. Proverbs 15:1 NIV gives us sound advice on how to deal with a seed that might sprout into contributing to bitterness…”A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger..” And, then there is the turn the other cheek issue. Writer, Wuellner, in “Forgiveness, the Passionate Journey”, offers some vital points on this….”responding out of power rather than force in ordinary encounters with those who may be opposing us? If someone makes an insulting remark we usually react in one of four ways: (1) instantly retaliating, returning insult for insult; (2) launching into defensive explanations; (3) falling silent and brooding; or (4) deflecting the hurt by making a joke out of it. But if we can take a moment to breathe slowly and deeply and then respond from God’s power, we can look the offender in the face and say quietly and firmly, “I wonder if you really meant that in the way it sounded. If so, it’s time we talk about the real issues.” Another, idea she gives, “Is there something about this conversation that makes you uncomfortable? Let’s look at this together.”

    She goes on to write, “This way of responding (and I have a long way to go learning it!) rises from our own sense of worth, combined with willingness to learn and grow. It is not submission, nor is it aggression or defensiveness.”

    I am back to my working knowledge. Find truth and then use it for growth. Answers, truth, are everywhere giving us mounts of knowledge but where is my working it into my life? I, like, Wuellner, say, “I have a long way to go of learning it.” Dosent this just cause another or other truths to mind pop? ” yeah, like 2 Timothy 3:7?

  12. Sara, in conjunction with that and the Sunday School lesson Debi mentioned above, our Sunday School leader said , over and over, that too often with Christians, [as with others]..I say, ‘Often, it’s NOT what we say as much as it is HOW we say it to another person(s).’
    As you quote Wuellner above, “Is there something about this conversation that makes you uncomfortable? Let’s look at this together.” Or even to to be aware that the words that came out of one’s mouth did not really convey what was meant. Sometimes, self-control of a wily soul is a difficult labor.
    I know that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. But sometimes the tongue gets in the way of the Holy Spirit Who is in our ‘hearts’ and we speak regrettably, even to those we love, causing wounds that could spout seeds of bitterness. Then we, the perpetrators, may have to share in the guilt of a harvest of bitter grapes.

    1. “If so, it’s time we talk about the real issues.” The real issue is the only issue? What’s your problem? I think the writer answered, what is your self worth? My thinking do you loath yourself?

      We have so many beautiful illustrations in our world to look to. I just saw the parents last night on the news speaking of the pain of losing their son…I won’t even give mention of how…but, their coming to terms of forgiveness is the beauty of their story.

  13. “…when the Holy Spirit fills us He can….heal the hurt that causes bitterness. I really need to think on the can…..wonder why can and not absolutely will….”
    Thinking on what you wrote above, Sara, wonder if it could it be He ‘can’ only if we don’t keep going back to revisit the hurt and re-open the wound once we have dealt with the cause of the bitterness?

    1. Good thoughts Debi…it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Steps and preparation of wanting to celebrate the lost of bitterness even when the solution for celebrating is right before my eyes. Choices!

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