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Spiritual development for intelligent people
Blog: God-in-a-Box—Your Inbox
Welcome to God-in-a-Box
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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, Jan 1 2021 02:00AM
Jesus knows Judas. He knows his need for approval, and that any confrontation would slam shut the door to his heart. This is the strongest he has spoken to him and it is directed to them all.
But Judas chooses to take offense and to ferment wounded pride into wanting revenge. After dinner, he goes straight to the palace of the high priest, and surprised at finding the council convened, offers to betray Jesus. The priests are overjoyed at the ease this gives them.
Judas had let greed grow inside until it had taken over every good trait. He envies and begrudges Jesus a gift appropriate for kings. For far less than it cost, he sells him out.
The eleven aren't like Judas. They truly love Jesus; they just don't fully appreciate who he is, distracted as they are by their own desires. Mary's gift of love is a lesson they need. After his death, they blamed themselves instead of her.
Simon is embarrassed, perhaps his father-pride wounded. His ignorance of God leads him to worry, What are my guests thinking? If Jesus were a prophet he wouldn't let Mary touch him, he would know she is a prostitute and not allow her such freedom with him.
But Jesus knows even more--that Mary had been deeply wronged by Simon, who had started her down the path he now condemns her for. And yet not wanting to expose him, Jesus tells Simon a story.
Matthew 26:14-16, Mark 14:10-11, Luke 7:39-40
By Arla, Jul 3 2020 01:00AM
Nicodemus was wealthy, educated, and talented. An honored member of the Sanhedrin and a man of influence, he found himself drawn to this poor Galilean.
He had been concerned about the racketeering, and was there when Jesus cleared the temple. Secretly moved with gratitude, he had watched the people come and be healed; he saw their joy and heard their words, and his heart was stirred.
He had studied the prophecies again. A conviction was growing: He must be the Messiah! But he wasn't ready to endorse Jesus. While most of the priests and rulers hated Jesus for his boldness, he and others in the Sanhedrin warned about their history of killing prophets and fighting against God. They knew they were under Roman rule because of rejecting reproofs sent by God, and they advocated caution.
Nicodemus greatly wants to talk with Jesus one on one, so to avoid ridicule he secretly inquires, and goes to Jesus at his night retreat while the city sleeps.
Finding Jesus on Mount Olivet, he means to compliment him by calling him a "teacher sent by God." But he does not recognize him as The Sent of God--the Messiah, exposing his fear and unbelief.
Jesus knows Nicodemus has come to play it safe and discuss safe things, like theory or doctrine, so he cuts straight to the heart of his need. Kindly, but with breath-taking directness, he honors him as a true seeker, but confronts his unconscious need.
Now on You Tube as The Desire of Hearts
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If you like this series, see Arla's new series on the Bible>