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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 11 2020 02:00AM

Jesus' words hold the people spellbound. His knowledge of the sacrificial service, the law, and the prophets far exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees--his understanding brings the true meaning alive. As they were in Capernaum, the people at Jerusalem are enthralled.


The priests observing this, try to discredit him, "You haven't attended our schools; what authority do you have to teach in the temple?"


"My teaching is from Him who sent me," answers Jesus. "If you want to do Abba's will, you will know whether it is from Him."


Jesus says that receiving truth depends on your heart's openness to God. They are hiding from Elohim because ever since Jesus healed on the Sabbath at the Pool of Bethesda, they have been plotting his death.


"Moses gave the law you accuse me of breaking by making a man whole on Sabbath, but you break it by wanting to kill me." He confronts them, showing he knows their hearts.


For an instant terror fills them, they see they are fighting Infinite power. Somehow they must disparage him. "You have a demon! Who wants to kill you?" they scoff.


Many believe Jesus; others are mislead by the pretense of the Pharisees. If the people would study the prophecies for themselves they wouldn't be fooled. Ruach would help them understand. Abba wants them to recognize His son.*


But Ruach won't force us to believe. He leaves us free to choose between light and darkness; He desires us to investigate the evidence and decide. He will open the minds of those seeking truth.**


John 7:16-30 *The Pharisees know Isaiah 53, 59 and 61 which give a clear picture of Jesus life, work and death **John 7:17,




By Arla, Aug 24 2020 01:00AM

On another Sabbath, Jesus is teaching in the synagogue as usual, and he sees there a man with a withered hand. He knows the Pharisees are watching. He knows he will be regarded as a law-breaker, but he sees this as a chance to teach the real meaning of Sabbath and free it from its load of rules.


So he asks the man who needs healing to stand. Then he questions the teachers, "Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath? To save life or to kill?"


They are silent. What can they say? They are planning to kill him on the Sabbath!


Looking at them with anger, pained over the hardness of their hearts, he says to the man, "Stretch out your hand."


The man lifts it up and he can stretch it out! His hand is healed.


Then Jesus turns back to the Pharisees. "If any of you has a sheep that falls into a pit on the Sabbath, won't you pull it out? How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath."


Jesus shows that Sabbath is a sign between God and his children; not a requirement, but a link connecting them to Him, indicating that He will restore them to wholeness.*


God's laws are meant to comfort, benefit, and protect, not to be a test to see if we can keep them. In John 14 Jesus implies they were the first comforter given to us.**


Matthew 12:10-12 *Ezekiel 20:12, **John 14:15-16 (In the Diaglott interlinear Greek New Testament) Jesus literally says "My laws will keep you...and I will send you another comforter..." (emphasis mine)


By Arla, Jan 22 2020 02:00AM

While the Pharisees are legalistic and concerned with controlling all things external and behavioral, the Sadducees are intellectuals and all about science. Forerunners of the first Deists and materialists, they believe God isn't involved or interested in humanity. Having no use for miracles, they don’t believe in resurrection either, thinking God would need to reconstitute flesh and blood--an impossibility.


Sadducees are wealthy and have the influence money brings. The High Priest is usually chosen from them, and typically, they hold themselves aloof from the people. They treat Pharisees with disdain also, even though both compose the Sanhedrin.


Until Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, they were aloof and disdainful toward Jesus as well. But resurrecting someone who'd been dead four days got their attention. Now they are alarmed and feel the need to discredit him.


So they come with a story. Referring to the law, they tell Jesus about a family who had seven sons. The oldest was married but died, and each successive son dutifully married his widow (according to their law) and also died. Now they smugly inquire, "In the resurrection, whose wife will she be?"


Kindly and swiftly, Jesus cuts to their core, "Your problem is you don't know the scriptures or the power of God. In heaven, resurrected people will be like angels--unmarried.


"But about the resurrection, God spoke to Moses of dead people as though they're alive because to Him all exist in the now, whether resurrected or dead."


No one had a comeback, or any more traps, and they prided themselves on knowing scripture!


Matthew 22:23-33, Mark 12:18-27, Luke 20:27-39


By Arla, Jan 19 2020 02:00PM

Jesus has the Pharisees' attention, They're angry. But knowing his death is a few days away, he speaks boldly, trying with everything he has to open the eyes and hearts of the leaders of his nation. This is for them.


A few Pharisees were baptized by John, but for the most part, the leaders rejected that he had come from God.* (However, the tax collectors and prostitutes responded and received John's baptism.)


"Listen to another parable," says Jesus, "A vineyard owner sends servants to collect his share of the harvest. But the tenants beat and kill messenger after messenger. The owner can't imagine that they would harm his son, so finally, sure they will reverence him, he sends him. Somehow the tenants reason that if they kill the heir, they will get the vineyard, so they kill him too."


Then Jesus asks, "What do you think the owner of the vineyard will do when he comes?"


Jesus is addressing everyone, but the Pharisees, drawn-in, answer, "He will destroy those terrible men and rent out his vineyard to responsible tenants!" They don't realize until too late that he is talking about them, and they have just condemned themselves. Unwittingly, hearts crack open.


Now with tenderness Jesus faces them, "Haven't you read, 'The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone?' I know you have."**


He is referring to a metaphor of Messiah that they know well; the cornerstone prophecy in Psalms and Isaiah that became an actual occurrence in the history of building Solomon's temple. Any honest heart had to get it.


Matthew 21:33-46, Mark 12:1-12, Luke 20:9-19 *Luke 7:30 **Psalm 118:22-23, Isaiah 28:16



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

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