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Blog: God-in-a-Box—Your Inbox

 

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We hope this becomes a dependency. Strange thing for a therapist to say. But we are dependent on God for life and peace and joy. Spending time with Him every day (imagining these vignettes) will enhance your life and growth as nothing else can.

 

Misinformation about God is rampant out there today. This is good stuff--agreeing with the best interpretation you can put on Scripture.

 

  Below, Love's Playbook, Arla's new series, is the first interpretive version of the Bible -- it's God's love story like you've never read it--written to keep you reading! (Images are Amazon linked )

 

By Arla, Nov 17 2020 02:00AM

Later, after forgiving the adulteress, Jesus is teaching as the morning sun comes over Mt. Olivet and hits the gold and the white marble of the temple. Pointing to the dazzling reflection of sunlight he says, "I am the light of the world," a powerful declaration of his identity, recorded later by John.*


The night before had been the last ceremony of the week--the Festival of Light--when the temple courts were filled with dancing, and ablaze with lamps and lanterns commemorating the pillar of fire in the wilderness wandering of their ancestors.


Light had always been a symbol of Adonai's presence--in the cloud, on Sinai, covering the sanctuary and then the temple.


Here as Jesus, he continues, "If you follow me, you will have the light of life; you won't walk in darkness." His words are confident, convincing.


The forgiven woman, now in the back held there by a love she has never known, feels like he's talking straight to her. It's the best promise she's ever heard.


But in saying this, Jesus claims oneness with God, and the Pharisees who stayed are ready to challenge. "You can't testify for yourself."


"My witness is true because I know who I am. Your law requires two witnesses. I am one and my Father is the other."


"Where is your father?"


"If you knew me, you would know Him," answers Jesus. If their hearts were open to God's love they would have recognized him.


"Who are you?" They're pushing him to declare himself, thinking the people will reject a poor, homeless Messiah.


John 8:12-19 *John 1:1-5



By Arla, Jul 23 2020 01:00AM

Jesus is brought before the Sanhedrin for healing the cripple; he begins by saying, "Sabbath healing is consistent with God who maintains the universe--even on Sabbath. And I work with Him."


The priests are shocked, "He claims equality with God! This is blasphemy!"


They get it. He is not claiming to be God's son as they do. He is claiming to be One with God in will and in nature.


Jesus refuses their charges telling them he doesn't make his own plans, but depends on his Father to show him his work day by day. He teaches dependence on God--that we may have it, too, and see ourselves as always under His care. As long as we give ourselves to God, He will guide us.


He tells them his authority is doing the work he came into the world to do--the very thing he's arraigned for--adding, "God has committed all judgment to the Son, and those who believe in him don't even come into judgment." (v. 24) God's Spirit inside is resurrection power working in you now!* He boldly tells them he will even raise the dead!


He charges them with unbelief, "Moses will accuse you...for Moses wrote about me, but if you don't believe Moses, how will you recognize me?"


They are incensed! They know Moses words! But Jesus' authority is unquestionable... and they are spellbound and speechless as he walks out.


However, they recover and send warnings of him, "the imposter Messiah", throughout the country.


He has violated their traditions, and they will not be taught. As they close their hearts to God, Satan takes control of them.


John 5:17-47 *Ephesians 1:19, 3:20



By Arla, Jul 22 2020 01:00AM

In the temple, Jesus sees the healed man and says, "Now that you're well, see you don't go back to your old ways or something worse could happen."


The man is overjoyed at seeing his healer again. Ignorant of the hatred or the plots of the priests against Jesus, he eagerly gives him credit and directs the church leaders to him.


The Pharisees want to publicly discredit Jesus and break his popularity because the people crave his picture of God as a loving Father; it heals their wounded hearts and oppressed spirits. If the leaders hadn't opposed him, he would have worked an incredible transformation of their whole religious system.


Far from being a delight, Sabbath had become heavy with rules. The penalty for Sabbath breaking would have been enough to put Jesus to death had the Sanhedrin been independent of Rome. But because they are subject to Roman rule, and this charge won't stand in their courts, they can't execute him.


So they arraign him instigated and fueled by another council: the dark side. Since Satan's wilderness defeat, all of his forces are concentrated on opposing Jesus' influence.


How ironic that religious leaders are used to accomplish the schemes of the powers of darkness, becoming weapons in the war on the side against God.


Jesus chose to heal on the Sabbath saying, "pick up your bed..." to bring up the question of Sabbath keeping, and free it from the restrictions that had cursed it. God does not desire suffering, and relieving it on any day is in harmony with God's law.


John 5:14-16


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If you like this series, see Arla's new series on the Bible>

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