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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, Dec 3 2020 02:00AM

The lawyer is sincere and his answer completely ignores their rules. He gets that God's law isthe expression of love for God, your neighbor, and yourself, but if that's true... Conviction suddenly brings clarity and with it guilt, and the need to justify himself. So he asks Jesus to clarify, "Who is my neighbor?"

The rabbis argued this question endlessly. It was accepted that Samaritans and outsiders were not "neighbors," but what about the classes in their society? According to Pharisaic rules, contact with the "ignorant" and "unclean" required tiring effort to cleanse yourself.

Jesus sidesteps their controversy by telling a story that had recently happened--some of the participants in his audience.

"A man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho was robbed, stripped and beaten, and left to die..."

You've heard the story, a priest and a Levite came by and crossed on the other side.

These men held positions that represented God to the people, and God's laws required them to relieve even the suffering of animals.* They are called to do what Jesus' is doing, "binding up the brokenhearted and bruised."**

"Defilement" and selfishness held them back. They were thinking about all the time required to cleanse themselves after contact with the dead. But guess what! He wasn't dead!

"A Samaritan came along, saw the man and, feeling pity, put oil and wine on his wounds, lifted him onto his donkey, and carefully walked him to an inn and cared for him. The next morning he left money with the innkeeper, promising more if needed."

Finishing his story of the good (but hated) Samaritan, Jesus looks at the lawyer, who feels like his mind is transparent.

continued tomorrow...

Luke 10:25-35 *Exodus 23:4,5, Deuteronomy 10:17-19 **Luke 4:18

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, Oct 22 2020 01:00AM

The thing is, the Pharisees and Sadducees have been given many signs that Jesus is who he claims to be--their Messiah.

First, they have had signs in the heavens: They are aware that angels had announced and celebrated his birth to shepherds. They have heard about the special star that guided the Magi to him. They have known about the dove of light and the voice from heaven at his baptism.

Second, they know the scriptures, that Jesus is doing the very work prophesied of Messiah: healing disease, casting out demons, raising the dead, preaching hope and God's love to the poor. He is setting God's oppressed people free.*

But the catch is Jesus' miracles call them out because they are so indifferent to human suffering--often causing it. He won't give a sign at the demand of pride and unbelief.

Again and again, they have seen the prisoners of Satan set free. They witness the change in hearts as well as bodies, the transformation of character. But they miss the sign--the highest evidence that he is here as Messiah--the presence of the Holy Spirit empowering everything he says and does, revealing the character of God.

Their hypocrisy comes from their self-glorifying spirit. Exalting self is their purpose. Wanting an easier way than submission to God, they pretend holiness! (Truely not easier!)

The religion of Jesus is authenticity. He lived on earth to show us what God is like. The keynote of His life was, "Father, make Your name shine. Make Your character known."

Matthew 16:1,4,12 Mark 8:11,12,21, *Isaiah 60:1

By Arla, Jun 22 2020 01:00AM

While Jesus is gone to the wilderness, John is drawn back to study the prophecies in Isaiah. His own words "Lamb of God" had surprised him, and had put new meaning on Messiah's work, and while he still doesn't understand that the Christ's suffering ministry precedes a later conquering one, he knows there is more than he realized.

The Jewish leaders study scripture, too, and they know Messiah's time is near. Some remember Zacharias' vision and the birth of John, but things get lost in 30 years. Humans forget.

The people wonder, Is John the Messiah? His geographic position is near sites where God had worked miracles of deliverance in their history, helping to revive interest in the Messiah.

The Sanhedrin, the Jews' religious governing body, feel they have to make some statement about John. So they send examiners to question him.

John says clearly, "I am not the Christ...or Elijah...or Moses..."

"Then who are you? And why are you baptizing?"

"I am the one Isaiah spoke of 'preparing the way of the Lord.' I baptize with water," mid-sentence, John stops, sees Jesus again in the crowd, and announces the Messiah to his questioners, "but among you is the One who comes after me..."

But they can't receive it.

Most of those who had seen Jesus baptized couldn't hear the voice or see the Spirit given. Now they look around but can't recognize Him; He is poor and not what they want, so they don't "get it." Spiritual things are discerned through a connection with God and they aren't connected.*

John 1:19-27, *1John 5:20

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

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