Tag Archives: Healing

YOU SHALL LOVE…

I recently read a rule on writing: write the way you speak. And so this is me trying to write how I speak, only…I don’t—actually—know that I would’ve started off so eloquently as I have. It might’ve started something more like me interrupting your peaceful train of thought on something much more…stupid— “so yo I read this rule about writing the way you speak,” as you roll your eyes to look at me with annoyance for interrupting a perfectly awesome daydream about things I would not care at all about other than, of course, the fact you cared enough to depart your attention from the society I so happen to inhabit. Which is unacceptable. I can’t have that.

Anyway. The point is, I need your attention. “Why” might be your urge that boils from within to a steam for my ears to hear, but let me save you that frustration by demanding you obey these two commandments before you burn…me (haha—did you like that pause, cause I did).

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Upon these two commandments hang the whole Law and the Prophets.”—Matthew 22:36-40 (NASB)

See, now, doesn’t that make you feel all better…

If you’re of the literal type, you might be driven to brink of insanity when stuck on whether your author is being humorous or narcissistic—or possibly both. And so let me save you the suspense by affirming that I look at myself in the mirror when singing, also after taking a selfie, which causes me to start singing again. So basically I’m singing as I look at myself in the reflection of my computer screen:

OUR GOOOOOD…IS AN AWWESOMMEE GOD
HE REIGNS…FROM HEAVEN ABOVE
WITH WIIIISDOM, POWER, AND LOVE—

Because after all, our God is an awesome God for making someone like me— am I right!? And if you haven’t laughed at all by anything I’ve written thus far…welp, congratulations, you interpret everything from an extreme literal perspective. Which is perfectly fine, you just…might, well…need a moment, or two, to breathe, but regardless; my sense of humor is outstanding— am I right!?—(last one—that was the last one).

So now that you’ve loved me this far into your reading, lets talk about how God loves you.

YOU SHALL LOVE

I don’t think Jesus—the proclaimed Son of Man—would’ve said what He didn’t learn from His Father—the proclaimed God—without you—the proclaimed reader—in mind when He said: You shall love .

Is it wrong of me to believe that Jesus knew the conditions for such a—an axiomatic—statement yet to be proven on the terms of human nature?

I guess what I mean by that is…because Jesus knew that mine and your condition of sin (as equivalent to those questioning) blinds us from seeing the truth of such love accomplished in Him; how could there be any other way for us to see that eternal meaning of Love that God is, than for Jesus to die without tasting sin—although tempted to the point of sweating blood in resistance as you might recall “yet not as I [Jesus] will, but as You [Father] will“? The discipline of God’s Just wrath due our sin could only be quenched by the blood and water of the innocent Lamb of God—Jesus our Christ. And that, by what Jesus did on the cross, gives us a new way of seeing.

Whatever the hurt, pain, or suffering you’re experiencing; you might be on trail for your faith. And I encourage you by calling to mind where Jesus is, your Intercessor of the faith in which you hold so dear. Keep holding, hold on, don’t let go. God knows the truth of your condition so intimately that He gave His only Son as that Lamb for the sake of you. He loves you.

Don’t get me wrong, I write this in “confidence” while yet experiencing my own set of trials tempting my carnal intellect for all kinds of ghastly evil; a 3 or 4 letter word at my fingertips all too simple to type with a swift motion of my pinky—*enter*—is all it takes. Then down the rabbit hole I go with all reputation to proceed me, and that might be you at this very moment or possibly even the next. Is it? Will it be?

If it is; if it will be; be encouraged! There will be a necessary discipline, two world’s divided before you; one world will hate you, and the other will identify you as a hypocrite, but live in the former and not the latter even when you might visit the latter for a time (Don’t stay there!) Keep the faith!

Jesus showed us how we shall love, I pray we are doing so in this Christmas season, and even to death.

Amen

It will be healing to your body And refreshment to your bones | P3-V8

The Rewards of Wisdom

Proverbs 3; I die daily devotional.

8 It will be healing to your body And refreshment to your bones.


What will be healing to our bodies and refreshment to our bones?

 … 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil. 8 It will be healing to your body And refreshment to your bones. …

We have a short life span as it is, so what is the significance of this wisdom? To experience healing and refreshment?

It’s difficult to separate from the reality of our impending death to believe in a life everlasting, but I write with the Lord being present in both mind and body which produces the reality of an impending life that is eternal.

Faith to trust in the Lord and lean not on our own understanding, to acknowledge Him as our straight and narrow path to God our Father, and to respect the nature of His design and glory is to experience our lives change in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. We will experience the ongoing discipline of our Holy God as the Father Who—loves us more than we can fathom as enough—produces in us this wisdom of healing and refreshment for time with Him in the eternal, having learned through the severity of disobedience—by the consequence of our present condition of death—enlightened by the grace of God to Jesus Christ for our salvation.

To experience healing and refreshment, is to experience the discipline of repentance from dead works to serving a living God. To repent, and serve God, is a choice made by people of faith in Christ our Lord, Jesus. Amen.


RESOURCE

Proverbs 3 (NASB)—blueletterbible.org
1 My son, do not forget my teaching, But let your heart keep my commandments; 2 For length of days and years of life And peace they will add to you. 3 Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute In the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil. 8 It will be healing to your body And refreshment to your bones. 9 Honor the LORD from your wealth And from the first of all your produce; 10 So your barns will be filled with plenty And your vats will overflow with new wine. 11 My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD Or loathe His reproof, 12 For whom the LORD  loves He reproves, Even as a father  corrects the son in whom he delights. 13 How blessed is the man who finds wisdom And the man who gains understanding. 14 For her profit is better than the profit of silver And her gain better than fine gold. 15 She is more precious than jewels; And nothing you desire compares with her. 16 Long life is in her right hand; In her left hand are riches and honor. 17 Her ways are pleasant ways And all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, And happy are all who hold her fast. 19 The LORD by wisdom founded the earth, By understanding He established the heavens. 20 By His knowledge the deeps were broken up And the skies drip with dew.  21  My son, let them not vanish from your sight; Keep sound wisdom and discretion, 22 So they will be life to your soul And adornment to your neck. 23 Then you will walk in your way securely And your foot will not stumble. 24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid; When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. 25 Do not be afraid of sudden fear Nor of the onslaught of the wicked when it comes; 26 For the LORD will be your confidence And will keep your foot from being caught. 27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, When it is in your power to do it. 28 Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come back, And tomorrow I will give it, ”When you have it with you. 29 Do not devise harm against your neighbor, While he lives securely beside you. 30 Do not contend with a man without cause, If he has done you no harm. 31 Do not envy a man of violence And do not choose any of his ways. 32 For the devious are an abomination to the LORD; But He is intimate with the upright. 33 The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked, But He blesses the dwelling of the righteous. 34 Though He scoffs at the scoffers, Yet He gives grace to the afflicted. 35 The wise will inherit honor, But fools  display dishonor.


COMMENTARY

Chapter 3

Matthew Henry (P3-V8) Commentary
2. A dutiful subjection: Fear the Lord, and depart from evil; take heed of doing any thing to offend him and to forfeit his care. To fear the Lord, so as to depart from evil, is true wisdom and understanding (Job 28:28); those that have it are truly wise, but self-denyingly so, and not wise in their own eyes. For our encouragement thus to live in the fear of God it is here promised (v. 8) that it shall be as serviceable even to the outward man as our necessary food. It will be nourishing: It shall be health to thy navel. It will be strengthening: It shall be marrow to thy bones. The prudence, temperance, and sobriety, the calmness and composure of mind, and the good government of the appetites and passions, which religion teaches, tend very much not only to the health of the soul, but to a good habit of body, which is very desirable, and without which our other enjoyments in this world are insipid. Envy is the rottenness of the bones; the sorrow of the world dries them; but hope and joy in God are marrow to them.

Bold as a lion

Warnings and Instructions

Proverbs 28; I die daily devotional.

1 The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, But the righteous are bold as a lion.

After reading the commentary for this verse provided in our resource, I appreciated the connection between the wicked flee when no one is pursuing, and guilt.

"Guilt in the conscience makes men a terror to themselves, so that they are ready to flee when none pursues; like one that absconds for debt, who thinks every one he meets a bailiff."—Matthew Henry

As I meditate on this verse and commentary, think to myself, “how does it apply to me.” In my head this exercise works, but now, how to articulate it into writing where it makes sense? That’s quite the psychological exercise because it’s no longer about me, but the relationships between: God, the author to this proverb, Matthew Henry (17th/18th century biblical commentator), myself, and you. However, I’ve already hinted at the focus, “How does this apply to us?” And a deluded paranoia comes over me by the thought that I’ve done something so terribly wrong that it’s impossible for me to be forgiven and reconciled to a holy God.

“Why is that—” I ask myself, and then remember my guilt. I remember how I was sexually abused. I remember how I was physically abused; psychologically abused; spiritually abused. But then I also remember how all that abuse—much like a virus invading cells—invaded to reprogram my psyche, and a lot of what happened to me convinced me of a different identity. I’d become the virus. I’m guilty! So now that the virus has successfully reprogrammed me, I flee. I make excuse after excuse to avoid the truth because the truth is pursuing me. … Is it?

BOLD AS A LION

It’s time to face the virus. I won’t forget my wife Laura in agreement to the encouragement of our friends, “go to this ‘re:generation‘ program” that my church provides, which is basically like going to A.A. meetings, but on steroids—so I thought. Okay maybe not steroids, but I think you get the point. I also won’t forget how Laura decided to go along with me as though she didn’t need it, and well—I’ll let her tell you that story—because that woman was dead wrong up-in-dis-house. As soon as we arrived at our first meeting, we’re separated (women with women and men with men), it felt sketchy the first couple of sessions, but it was a safe place. After I’d “graduated” the first six weeks, I was given a dedicated group of other adult men with issues all across the spectrum. It came about after 5 months in, all that testosterone was like a bomb going off and we all killed each other! I’m ghostwriting you right now… Are you paying attention? These guys dumped all their heavy weight of sin on the floor to watch it burn—because nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.

Romans 8:38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

To continue in our guilt is to continue in our very … insecurely … wicked behavior, that virus of sin—that does separate us from God. This is why the Word of God is preached and the gospel available to believe because it’s a miracle. You are a miracle! Yes, you could give me reasons to prove against that fact; it only makes sense, when we feel convicted by whatever sin separates us from God. And you might say to me, “But Nathan, you don’t understand what I’ve done! You don’t know the skeletons in my closet!” and you’d be right, but I can tell you this! Nor-do-you-mine! And if I’m here preaching a victory over my sin to you, do you dare challenge the validity of the Lion in me? Because shoot… bear with me another mile, and let me tell about this gospel!

It wasn’t a Lion that conquered the sin in you, but a Lamb. The Lamb of God—given as the sacrifice to atone for not only the “virus” of your enemies if their faith reveal it so, but for you, your sin. And if God were to have it be that your enemies be turned back to Him even after the injustice done against you, who are you oh man to talk back to the Lion of God—Jesus Christ. Is it not righteous to hope for those guilty of injustice to experience remorse, a conscience convicted, and forgiveness extended being reconciled to God? Is that not what it means to be as bold as a lion?

Don’t be afraid or a coward to confess the nature of what is hidden deep within you. If you believe in God through Jesus Christ then you have a Lion inside you, willing to help clean up all your mess. Find someone you know in the Lord, someone you can trust with all your soul, and let them pray over you—be healed.

James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.


Resources

Proverbs 28 (NASB)—blueletterbible
1 The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, But the righteous are bold as a lion. 2 By the transgression of a land many are its princes, But by a man of understanding and knowledge, so it endures. 3 A poor man who oppresses the lowly Is like a driving rain which leaves no food. Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, But those who keep the law strive with them. 5 Evil men do not understand justice, But those who seek the LORD understand all things. 6 Better is the poor who walks in his integrity Than he who is crooked though he be rich. 7 He who keeps the law is a discerning son, But he who is a companion of gluttons humiliates his father. He who increases his wealth by interest and usury Gathers it for him who is gracious to the poor. 9 He who turns away his ear from listening to the law, Even his prayer is an abomination. 10 He who leads the upright astray in an evil way Will himself fall into his own pit, But the blameless will inherit good. 11 The rich man is wise in his own eyes, But the poor who has understanding sees through him. 12 When the righteous triumph, there is great glory, But when the wicked rise, men hide themselves. 13 He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion. 14 How blessed is the man who fears always, But he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity. 15 Like a roaring lion and a rushing bear Is a wicked ruler over a poor people. 16 A leader who is a great oppressor lacks understanding, But he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days. 17 A man who is laden with the guilt of human blood Will be a fugitive until death; let no one support him. 18 He who walks blamelessly will be delivered, But he who is crooked will fall all at once. 19 He who tills his land will have plenty of food, But he who follows empty pursuits will have poverty in plenty. 20 A faithful man will abound with blessings, But he who makes haste to be rich will not go unpunished. 21 To show partiality is not good, Because for a piece of bread a man will transgress. 22 A man with an evil eye hastens after wealth And does not know that want will come upon him. 23 He who rebukes a man will afterward find more favor Than he who flatters with the tongue. 24 He who robs his father or his mother And says, “It is not a transgression,” Is the companion of a man who destroys. 25 An arrogant man stirs up strife, But he who trusts in the LORD will prosper. 26 He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But he who walks wisely will be delivered. 27 He who gives to the poor will never want, But he who shuts his eyes will have many curses. 28 When the wicked rise, men hide themselves; But when they perish, the righteous increase.

See here, (28:1—Matthew Henry Commentary)
1. What continual frights those are subject to that go on in wicked ways. Guilt in the conscience makes men a terror to themselves, so that they are ready to flee when none pursues; like one that absconds for debt, who thinks every one he meets a bailiff. Though they pretend to be easy, there are secret fears which haunt them wherever they go, so that they fear where no present or imminent danger is, Ps. 53:5. Those that have made God their enemy, and know it, cannot but see the whole creation at war with them, and therefore can have no true enjoyment of themselves, no confidence, no courage, but a fearful looking for of judgment. Sin makes men cowards.

Degeneres animos timor arguit-
Fear argues a degenerate soul.—Virgil

Quos diri conscia facti mens habet attonitos-
The consciousness of atrocious crimes astonishes and confounds.—Juvenal

If they flee when none pursues, what will they do when they shall see God himself pursuing them with his armies? Job 20:2415:24. See Deu. 28:25Lev. 26:36.

2. What a holy security and serenity of mind those enjoy who keep conscience void of offence and so keep themselves in the love of God: The righteous are bold as a lion, as a young lion; in the greatest dangers they have a God of almighty power to trust to. Therefore will not we fear though the earth be removed. Whatever difficulties they meet with in the way of their duty, they are not daunted by them. None of those things move me.

Hie murus aheneus esto, nil conscire sibi-
Be this thy brazen bulwark of defence,
Still to preserve thy conscious innocence.—Hor.

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