Graceless

chancie by chancie @
Job 19: 23-27
23-" Oh, that my words were recorded, that they were written on a scroll, 24- that they were inscribed with an iron tool on lead, or engraved in rock forever! 25- I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. 26-And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; 27-I myself will see him with my own eyes------I, and not another, How my heart yearns within me!"

 In the darkness of suffering, Job affirms that he will see God-----if not in this life, then in eternity. He refuses to give up on God, remaining in relationship even when no comfort comes and his questions are unanswered.

Past few weeks, it seems that I've read or heard of people close to me either going through unexpected illness or loss people to death. And Yesterday with the Boston Bombs, the only security we have that is never changing and will give us comfort is knowing that OUR REDEEMER LIVES. His words will comfort us in our darkness. Rest assure that he is preparing a place for us forever.

 Revelation 21:1-4 "Then I saw a new Heaven and a new earth, for the first Heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2-I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3- And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4- He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

 "He will wipe every tear from their eyes."
We can all remember crying as a child and having our tears wiped away by a caring person, whether your parent, an aunt, an uncle, special friend.....even as a teenager or Adult.......the feeling of someone caring enough to wipe away your tears.....your pain......remember the feeling you felt of love coming from that person......
 Think about a time that you, yourself has wipe away your child's tear or a love one after they have been hurt......That love you felt for that person.....God has that love for us......just so much stronger and greater than we could ever feel or know inside our own heart.
How many of us have ever said to our children or someone we love so deeply, "If you only know how much I love you........"
I wonder how many times God says that about us in a 24 hour period?
Chancie Martin by Chancie Martin @
I am currently learning about Saul/Paul's childhood and his transformation. I came across the following verses that I liked and at first it confused me like alot of the verses tend to do at first. He was answering a question he was asked by the Corinthians about food offered to idols. Which I think was neat because just yesterday, a very close friend/sister and I were getting our toes done. When we were finished getting our toes painted, the lady took us over to the drying station for the polish to dry. Now, I've been to this place many times but I have never seen a Shrine to Buddha. I wouldn't have thought to much about it but it actually had 2 real oranges and a few pieces of Chocolate in front of Buddha along with decorations. When we got in the car to leave, I told my close friend/sister about what I saw. We both were wondering what the two symbolized, why they did that and what would they do if someone actually went up to it and took the fruit or Chocolate. After all, we were in a nail salon packed with females and Chocolate is a females best friend! It actually had more to it than just eating food offered to idols as I keep reading. And, great advice to Believers.  
1 Corinthians 8: 1- About food offered to idols: We know that "we all have knowledge." Knowledge inflates with pride, but love builds up. 2- If anyone thinks he knows anything, he does not yet know it as he ought to know it. 3- But if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.
4- About eating food offered to idols, then, we know that "an idol is nothing in the world," and that "there is no God but one." 5- For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth---as there are many "gods" and many "lords"----
6- yet for us there is one God, the Father. All things are from Him, and we exist for Him. And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ. All things are through Him, and we exist through Him.
7- However, not everyone has this knowledge. In fact, some have been so used to idolatry up until now that when they eat food offered to an idol, their conscience, being weak, is defiled. 8- Food will not make us acceptable to God. We are not inferior if we don't eat, and we are not better if we do eat. 9- But be careful that this right of yours in no way becomes a stumbling block to the weak. 10- For if someone sees you, the one who has this knowledge, dining in an idol's temple, won't his weak conscience be encouraged to eat food offered to idols? 11- Then the weak person, the brother for whom Christ died, is ruined by your knowledge. 12- Now when you sin like this against the brothers and wound their weak conscience, you are sinning against Christ. 13- Therefore, if food causes my brother to fall, I will never again eat meat, so that I won't cause my brother to fall.
By custom, Corinthians commonly dined in pagan temples (centers for civic activity) or else partook of meat portions that had been offered there. And, they (Corinthian Christians) wanted to know if it was basically ok to eat food offered to idols as they reclined "at banquet" in a pagan temple (vs 10) or feasted in a household that had received such things. Paul offers two guiding principles: First, "knowledge" by itself makes a person arrogant but "loves builds up" believers. second, it is not by "knowledge" that we are approved of God, but by our love for God we are "known by him." That is the knowledge that counts most. Thus no believer should allow his relatively unimportant knowledge to become a cause of arrogance. Paul's answer that believers technically have the right to eat the food offered to idols. The logic behind his answer is: idols are a "non-reality" and there is no God but one. (from a side not in my study Bible). And, he keeps going with his advice: Believers at Corinth needed to be mindful that some in their fellowship, being so used to idolatry and having as yet a "weak conscience," could be harmed by seeing Christians partake of food associated with idols. For those who knew that idols were nothing, Paul stated the obvious: Eating food (even food sacrificed to idols) does not make believers unacceptable to God. However, if a "weak" believer saw a knowledgeable believer dining in an idol's temple, he might attach religious significance to it and become confused about allegiance to Christ. The strong are not to be a "stumbling block" to the "weak." The strong can destroy a weaker person's allegiance to Christ.
Side note of my Bible: "Sowing the Seeds of Truth"
Many of the same issues that threatened to divide the Christian community in Corinth still plague us today. For example, the problem of an inflated ego (knowledge that puffs us up) is not easily overcome in a culture in which people make choices based on their own preferences and perceptions. The main challenge that Paul proposes is that Christians are to be motivated first and foremost by love.
It goes on to ask a very powerful question: How are your actions --- no matter how justifiable or innocent they may seem in your eyes----likely to affect the faith of those who are not confident or strong in their faith?
I can remember a time, a while back when I saw a person that was so drunk that they passed out. I can remember so clearly that I could tell you what he/she wore. I did not know that person personally at the time. One day, I saw that same person at a church I was going to at that time. I heard nice things about the person and even spoke to that person who was raised in church. But, because of what I remembered seeing that one night, it made me wonder about the church. I was a "weak" believer at the time and although I'm not as strong a believer as I hope to become, I still remember that night and that person who grew up in church and was a Christian. The stronger I become and the more my love and knowledge grow for Christ, I see the person differently. You see, God really does know we aren't perfect. He knows we stumble and he's there to pick us up and sometimes carry us. That person stumbled as many of us do. However, that same person was used to change another person's life and lead him/her straight to our Savior. In turn, he/ she is returning the good deed and leading others to Christ. As I read this to my oldest Son, he kept asking who the person was. My reply was: It's not important who the person is. What was  most important was God's great work using the less likely in our eyes to be the perfect person in his plan!    
chancie by chancie @
just wanted to share something very special that happen to Jon on his trip that has GOD written all over it! Jon, Matthew & Travis are 12 hours ahead of us. I wrote the post that is posted below last night around 12 hours ago. So in order to fully understand what could only be explain by God using ordinary people to spread a simple message to others that meant everything to one person please read this fully. I'm sorry this is so lengthy but it truly is a blessing and I don't think Jon will mind me sharing with my sisters in Christ:

I have just finished my last CD and lesson on "Jesus the One and Only" by Beth Moore. Reflecting back at the past two to three weeks, it's been a struggle to read, hear and feel with my heart what Jesus went through for me and for everyone else. The beatings he suffered.....Why so brutal ? Not too much to share uplifting about what Jesus paid for our lives. As I struggled to pick up my book and read through another days devotional and more horrible actions against our Savior, it leaves us with the promise of God's Spirit in our soul if we are willing to ask for it. When Jesus appeared to the Disciples after his resurrection he tells them: Luke 24: 44: He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you. Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms." 45: Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.
 2 Corinthians 4-7-9: 7: But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8: We are hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9: persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
 The knowledge and the power in our lives comes from the one an only, God! Just remember when you start to doubt your worth to God on simple task such as praying out loud in Sunday School, leading Children church one Sunday morning or doing something bigger as stepping up to give your testimony to the youth or church, God hides his treasures in ordinary vessels to show that the powers are his, not ours. Believe in him and trust in him!
 This is the message I just got from Jon:
 Jon Martin
 I gave my testimony today in a village church in North Siberia. The Russians we are with said it is as far north as you can drive here. We had a great sermon from Tommy and then we went walking around the village talking to the people that didn't attend the service. After that we went back to the church and had a communion service with Rick preaching on the Last Supper to them. We just got back about an hour ago and ate dinner. While we were sitting there eating, the Russians that were with us told us about 10 people that were in that village gave their lives to Christ today just because we showed up there. Not because of anything we said or did while we were there, just for showing that we cared enough to show up. Then after we ate I came up to our room and read your post for Graceless.......I started crying so hard that I could hardly read it to Matthew and Travis. I told them there is no way that anyone can argue with me that there is no God when the same day that I give my testimony in Russia that you post on your blog about how God hides His treasures in ordinary vessels.... I LOVE U so much that I cannot even tell u!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
wrote @ 12:23 am
Chancie Martin by Chancie Martin @
I have just finished my last CD and lesson on "Jesus the One and Only" by Beth Moore. Reflecting back at the past two to three weeks, it's been a struggle to read, hear and feel with my heart what Jesus went through for me and for everyone else. The beatings he suffered.....Why so brutal ? Not too much to share uplifting about what Jesus paid for our lives. As I struggled to pick up my book and read through another days devotional and more horrible actions against our Savior, it leaves us with the promise of God's Spirit in our soul if we are willing to ask for it. When Jesus appeared to the Disciples after his resurrection he tells them: Luke 24: 44: He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you. Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms." 45: Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.
 2 Corinthians 4-7-9: 7: But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8: We are hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9: persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
 The knowledge and the power in our lives comes from the one an only, God! Just remember when you start to doubt your worth to God on simple task such as praying out loud in Sunday School, leading Children church one Sunday morning or doing something bigger as stepping up to give your testimony to the youth or church, God hides his treasures in ordinary vessels to show that the powers are his, not ours. Believe in him and trust in him!
Chancie Martin by Chancie Martin @
Everytime I pick up my Bible to do my devotional I pray to learn a neat new fact that I hadn't known before or that God would shed light on a fact he wants me to know. Well, this past week I came across this in my Beth Moore Bible Study:
 What three symbolic foods were to be eaten during every observance of the Passover meal ?

 Lamb, Bitter herbs & bread without yeast.

 Ok, we know what the lamb is symbolic of, Jesus Christ.

 Some might know what the bread without yeast symbolizes but I wasn't too sure. So, I looked it up in the Bible. 1 Corinthians 5:6-8
 6-"Your boasting is not good. Don't you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough? 7- Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast----as you really are. For Christ our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed. 8- Therefore let us keep the Festival not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth."

 What I really found interesting was the symbolism of bitter herb.
 This is straight out of Beth Moore "Jesus the One and Only."
 'The bitter herbs symbolized the bitterness of the suffering memorialized in the Passover observance: the bitterness of slavery, the bitterness of death, and the bitterness of an innocent lams' substitution. The herbs, eaten intermittently during the meal, would intentionally bring tears to their eyes as a reminder of the associated grief.

What a great meal to be a part of!!
Chancie Martin by Chancie Martin @
Malachi 4:2 "But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out & leap like calves released from the stable."
 I don't think I posted this one yet but I read it last week when my week was a tid bit rough. Just taking a few minutes to close my eyes and picturing the sun rising up in the morning, feeling the warmth of it touching my face and restoring my mind to face another day with the Lord by my side was very uplifting!
Chancie Martin by Chancie Martin @
I came across this in my Bible this morning and wanted to share it with ya'll. I really needed to find this today and hopes that it helps someone else as much as it made things clearer for me!

 "The Christian life is not a matter of doing great things for God. That's religion. Christianity is doing great things with God. That's the life of Jesus Christ in us. How can we adopt a spirit of "looking up to Heaven" as we go through our day? Some Christian traditions have created symbols for this purpose (a crucifix, a cross worn around the neck, a painting of a Biblical scene, and so on). If you were to create a symbol that would remind you of your dependence on God, what would it be? Where would you put it? What are some other things you could do to maintain an attitude of consistently "looking up to Heaven"?
 Mine is a Bible verse I put at the bottom of my work email to make me double check what I just wrote. It's Proverbs 15:1 "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."
 There are times when after I sent an email out, I see that I could choose my words better. I'm a work in progress, most definitely!
Chancie Martin by Chancie Martin @
"Jesus the One and Only" Beth Moore
 'When circumstances suddenly seem out of our control, our reactions may define the nature of our relationship with Christ.'
 I read that almost a week ago and I wanted to slide down a little in my chair! It hit home with me and the past two weeks! As I was trying to get into the last two sections of my devotional, I just couldn't get into it. It is going into Christ last days on earth and all the suffering he endured for us. It had not been the pick me up of the last 8 sections. And just like he always does, Christ gives me a Bible Verse that warms my soul!!!
 Malachi 4:2- "But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall."
 I got this out of my Bible as well that goes with this scripture:
 'Darkness in the Bible often symbolizes earthly like full of evil, ignorance, pain, and death. God promises to invade this world with righteousness as the sun invades the night, driving the darkness away. Other text clarify that this image represents the Messiah, whose coming will be celebrated like the dawn, often pictured as the wings of the sun. As a bird's wings offer protection, God's 'wings' will bring healing to His Children, who will never again fear the wicked.'
 Amen!!
 The neat thing about God's wings is that they are available as soon as you open up your eyes to see, ears to hear and heart to feel his presence in your life!
Chancie Martin by Chancie Martin @

I LOVE those moments when you are reading in your devotional and the verses from the day before comes to together in your mind and you understand it so much more. Yesterday I was reading about "the Rich man" Luke 18: 18-30. Then today it was about "Zaccheus the Tax Collector" Luke 19: 1-10. Both were rich and had personal time with Jesus Christ. However, the Rich man wanted so much to go to Heaven & wanted to know how.
 Luke 18:22 " When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasures in Heaven. Then come, follow me." 23-When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth." In Mark 10: 22 "At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth."
 Without being asked Zaccheus responds to Jesus this way: Luke 19:8- "But Zaccheus stood up and said to the Lord, 'Look, Lord! Here and now I give half my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount." 9- Jesus said to him, 'Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10- For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."
 From Beth Moore Devotional: "Jesus the One and Only"
 "Salvation was not impossible for either one of those rich men. The difference was that one saw how much he had to lose. The other saw how much he had to gain. Christ did not ask Zaccheus to sell everything he had and give to the poor. Maybe because once he regarded Christ as life's true Treasure, his wealth didn't mean nearly as much to him----which I believe is probably God's primary point to the rich."
 This by far has been the best way to put it! How much you'd lose ? How much you'd gain ?
Chancie Martin by Chancie Martin @
Psalm 34:18 "The Lord is near the brokenhearted; He saves those crushed in spirit."
 He has not left my side this week! I've had a few,...well more than a few times just this week my spirit seems to have been struggling and crushed.
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