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Before yesterdaySeeking God Daily

Time And Mortality

12 October 2020 at 01:11

Living My Dream

This week, I was met with some heartbreaking news. The first couple of days that passed since learning of it… I struggled with some things. After putting words to paper in poem, I cried. Then, I cried some more and told myself I was okay. That everything was going to be okay. Yet, when you see, hear, or know someone you love is terminally ill… are you ever okay?

The answer for this has not been easy, but in my heart.. I have come to realize that no… I am not, and perhaps it is within reason to believe that no one ever truly is when coming to terms with the concepts of time and mortality.

My mind has been a sea of questions and possibilities as of lately. My heart too, has been the heaviest with the weight of decisions and words that I dare not say, simply because…

View original post 106 more words

burresor

Time And Mortality

12 October 2020 at 01:11
Originally posted on Living My Dream:
This week, I was met with some heartbreaking news. The first couple of days that passed since learning of it… I struggled with some things. After putting words to paper in poem, I cried. Then, I cried some more and told myself I was okay. That everything was going…

James: Bold Speaker For Christ

9 August 2020 at 15:58

James the Elder is one of two known James mentioned in the bible. He is often mistaken to be the author of the book of James, when in fact it was not James of Zebedee that wrote it, but Jesus’ half brother, James. As it is believed that the book of James was written somewhere around 45 AD and the Son of Zebedee would have already died.

The manner in which he died though, might suggest a thing or two about him.

How did James, Son of Zabadee and a Son of Thunder die?

According to the New Testament book of Acts, James was a martyr for his faith and possibly the first of the disciples to be killed. James is also the disciple’s death that is written in scripture! He died at the hands of King Herod.

Acts 12:1 and 2 (Authorized King James Version)

Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.

Ouch, talk about brutal! It’s no joke when a public figure head sees a person as a threat. So something James said or did really riled up King Herod. Was it something he said or did? Was it something in the way he proclaimed his faith in Christ?

I’d honestly like to believe that it was something in the way he spoke about Jesus that perhaps rattled the king. As words, throughout history, have had the power to sway. Especially those spoken in truth, sincerity, and with conviction.

So much about James’ life and ministry remain a mystery. What clues does the bible give us though about this disciple?

Let’s take a closer look.

A possible testament to James’ earning the nickname of a Son of Thunder could originate from an instance much like his and John’s reaction to the Samaritans rejection of Jesus in Luke Chapter 9.

Luke 9: 51 through 56

Jesus again passes through Samaria

And when it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of Samaritans to make ready for him. and they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of Man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.

Now if that is not anger, I do not know what is. Then, can any of us say we have not felt that way perhaps when someone we love and care about has been treated cruelly? It does seem human nature to want to protect. Notice here, that James and John’s response was violence and that Jesus said to them that He was not there to destroy, but to save. Beautiful, no? Christ was showing these men, not that their anger was wrong. Rather that how they chose to direct that anger was.

burresor

James: Bold Speaker For Christ

9 August 2020 at 15:58

James the Elder is one of two known James mentioned in the bible. He is often mistaken to be the author of the book of James, when in fact it was not James of Zebedee that wrote it, but Jesus’ half brother, James. As it is believed that the book of James was written somewhere around 45 AD and the Son of Zebedee would have already died.

The manner in which he died though, might suggest a thing or two about him.

How did James, Son of Zabadee and a Son of Thunder die?

According to the New Testament book of Acts, James was a martyr for his faith and possibly the first of the disciples to be killed. James is also the disciple’s death that is written in scripture! He died at the hands of King Herod.

Acts 12:1 and 2 (Authorized King James Version)

Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.

Ouch, talk about brutal! It’s no joke when a public figure head sees a person as a threat. So something James said or did really riled up King Herod. Was it something he said or did? Was it something in the way he proclaimed his faith in Christ?

I’d honestly like to believe that it was something in the way he spoke about Jesus that perhaps rattled the king. As words, throughout history, have had the power to sway. Especially those spoken in truth, sincerity, and with conviction.

So much about James’ life and ministry remain a mystery. What clues does the bible give us though about this disciple?

Let’s take a closer look.

A possible testament to James’ earning the nickname of a Son of Thunder could originate from an instance much like his and John’s reaction to the Samaritans rejection of Jesus in Luke Chapter 9.

Luke 9: 51 through 56

Jesus again passes through Samaria

And when it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of Samaritans to make ready for him. and they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of Man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.

Now if that is not anger, I do not know what is. Then, can any of us say we have not felt that way perhaps when someone we love and care about has been treated cruelly? It does seem human nature to want to protect. Notice here, that James and John’s response was violence and that Jesus said to them that He was not there to destroy, but to save. Beautiful, no? Christ was showing these men, not that their anger was wrong. Rather that how they chose to direct that anger was.

Where’s The Love?

26 July 2020 at 14:36

It has been at least a couple months since I truly sat down and read God’s word and reflected on it. This morning, as I was going to begin to try do so some more research and reflecting on James of Zebedee and his brother, John I felt a pull to go another direction. My thoughts began to gravitated on all the pain, death, and suffering that we are seeing in the world today. Along with all the anger, violence, and hate that we are reading about in the news.

I admit, I have struggled a lot with my emotions over the course of this year. as there has been a number of personal battles added into the mix. The one thing that a number of us are likely desperate for right now is Love.

So today, I decided to reflect a bit on what the bible tells us about love.

 


What Does The Bible Say About Love?

Love your neighbor as you love yourself.

Leviticus 19:18

“‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.”

One of the most difficult things any one of us can have to do is look at someone who has hurt us and show them kindness, because we in turn, would hope for the same when we have wronged them. This particular verse is one I have seen quoted time and time again in terms of how we, as people, should treat one another.

If we look at the whole context of this verse, we more or less have an outline of how we should treat one another and the kind of attitudes and actions we need to avoid when it comes to how we approach one another.

Various Laws

19 The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.

3 “‘Each of you must respect your mother and father, and you must observe my Sabbaths. I am the Lord your God.

“‘Do not turn to idols or make metal gods for yourselves. I am the Lord your God.

“‘When you sacrifice a fellowship offering to the Lord, sacrifice it in such a way that it will be accepted on your behalf. It shall be eaten on the day you sacrifice it or on the next day; anything left over until the third day must be burned up. If any of it is eaten on the third day, it is impure and will not be accepted. Whoever eats it will be held responsible because they have desecrated what is holy to the Lord; they must be cut off from their people.

“‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10 Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God.

11 “‘Do not steal.

“‘Do not lie.

“‘Do not deceive one another.

12 “‘Do not swear falsely by my name and so profane the name of your God. I am the Lord.

13 “‘Do not defraud or rob your neighbor.

“‘Do not hold back the wages of a hired worker overnight.

14 “‘Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but fear your God. I am the Lord.

15 “‘Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.

16 “‘Do not go about spreading slander among your people.

“‘Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life. I am the Lord.

17 “‘Do not hate a fellow Israelite in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in their guilt.

18 “‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.

1“‘Keep my decrees.

‘Do not mate different kinds of animals.

“‘Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed.

“‘Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.

20 “‘If a man sleeps with a female slave who is promised to another man but who has not been ransomed or given her freedom, there must be due punishment.[a] Yet they are not to be put to death, because she had not been freed. 21 The man, however, must bring a ram to the entrance to the tent of meeting for a guilt offering to the Lord. 22 With the ram of the guilt offering the priest is to make atonement for him before the Lord for the sin he has committed, and his sin will be forgiven.

23 “‘When you enter the land and plant any kind of fruit tree, regard its fruit as forbidden.[b] For three years you are to consider it forbidden[c]; it must not be eaten. 24 In the fourth year all its fruit will be holy, an offering of praise to the Lord. 25 But in the fifth year you may eat its fruit. In this way your harvest will be increased. I am the Lord your God.

26 “‘Do not eat any meat with the blood still in it.

‘Do not practice divination or seek omens.

27 “‘Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.

28 “‘Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord.

29 “‘Do not degrade your daughter by making her a prostitute, or the land will turn to prostitution and be filled with wickedness.

30 “‘Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am the Lord.

31 “‘Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God.

32 ‘Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord.

33 “‘When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. 34 The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.

35 “‘Do not use dishonest standards when measuring length, weight or quantity. 36 Use honest scales and honest weights, an honest ephah[d] and an honest hin.[e] I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt.

3“‘Keep all my decrees and all my laws and follow them. I am the Lord.’”

We see these guidelines again in the Ten Commandments that God gave to Moses.

The Ten Commandments

20 And God spoke all these words:

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

“You shall have no other gods before[a] me.

“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

13 “You shall not murder.

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

15 “You shall not steal.

16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

These, when reflected on, sound so simple. Yet, the application somehow eludes us all in some way, shape, or form. For every time we wish ill on someone, we are not showing love. Just as each time we are envious of someone or speak falsely about someone out of anger or spite, we are not showing love.

A number of the injustices we see and allow in our world today, are clear violations of these simple instructions. The crime and the way we regard one another when it comes to a different of anything from our faith, values, cultures, and opinions are good examples of where love is sorely needed in our society.


What Is Love?

Love, romantic and otherwise, is defined beautifully in a single chapter of the New Testament book of 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13.

The Way of Love

13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

burresor

Where’s The Love?

26 July 2020 at 14:36

It has been at least a couple months since I truly sat down and read God’s word and reflected on it. This morning, as I was going to begin to try do so some more research and reflecting on James of Zebedee and his brother, John I felt a pull to go another direction. My thoughts began to gravitated on all the pain, death, and suffering that we are seeing in the world today. Along with all the anger, violence, and hate that we are reading about in the news.

I admit, I have struggled a lot with my emotions over the course of this year. as there has been a number of personal battles added into the mix. The one thing that a number of us are likely desperate for right now is Love.

So today, I decided to reflect a bit on what the bible tells us about love.

 


What Does The Bible Say About Love?

Love your neighbor as you love yourself.

Leviticus 19:18

“‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.”

One of the most difficult things any one of us can have to do is look at someone who has hurt us and show them kindness, because we in turn, would hope for the same when we have wronged them. This particular verse is one I have seen quoted time and time again in terms of how we, as people, should treat one another.

If we look at the whole context of this verse, we more or less have an outline of how we should treat one another and the kind of attitudes and actions we need to avoid when it comes to how we approach one another.

Various Laws

19 The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.

3 “‘Each of you must respect your mother and father, and you must observe my Sabbaths. I am the Lord your God.

“‘Do not turn to idols or make metal gods for yourselves. I am the Lord your God.

“‘When you sacrifice a fellowship offering to the Lord, sacrifice it in such a way that it will be accepted on your behalf. It shall be eaten on the day you sacrifice it or on the next day; anything left over until the third day must be burned up. If any of it is eaten on the third day, it is impure and will not be accepted. Whoever eats it will be held responsible because they have desecrated what is holy to the Lord; they must be cut off from their people.

“‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10 Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God.

11 “‘Do not steal.

“‘Do not lie.

“‘Do not deceive one another.

12 “‘Do not swear falsely by my name and so profane the name of your God. I am the Lord.

13 “‘Do not defraud or rob your neighbor.

“‘Do not hold back the wages of a hired worker overnight.

14 “‘Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but fear your God. I am the Lord.

15 “‘Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.

16 “‘Do not go about spreading slander among your people.

“‘Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life. I am the Lord.

17 “‘Do not hate a fellow Israelite in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in their guilt.

18 “‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.

1“‘Keep my decrees.

‘Do not mate different kinds of animals.

“‘Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed.

“‘Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.

20 “‘If a man sleeps with a female slave who is promised to another man but who has not been ransomed or given her freedom, there must be due punishment.[a] Yet they are not to be put to death, because she had not been freed. 21 The man, however, must bring a ram to the entrance to the tent of meeting for a guilt offering to the Lord. 22 With the ram of the guilt offering the priest is to make atonement for him before the Lord for the sin he has committed, and his sin will be forgiven.

23 “‘When you enter the land and plant any kind of fruit tree, regard its fruit as forbidden.[b] For three years you are to consider it forbidden[c]; it must not be eaten. 24 In the fourth year all its fruit will be holy, an offering of praise to the Lord. 25 But in the fifth year you may eat its fruit. In this way your harvest will be increased. I am the Lord your God.

26 “‘Do not eat any meat with the blood still in it.

‘Do not practice divination or seek omens.

27 “‘Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.

28 “‘Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord.

29 “‘Do not degrade your daughter by making her a prostitute, or the land will turn to prostitution and be filled with wickedness.

30 “‘Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am the Lord.

31 “‘Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God.

32 ‘Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord.

33 “‘When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. 34 The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.

35 “‘Do not use dishonest standards when measuring length, weight or quantity. 36 Use honest scales and honest weights, an honest ephah[d] and an honest hin.[e] I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt.

3“‘Keep all my decrees and all my laws and follow them. I am the Lord.’”

We see these guidelines again in the Ten Commandments that God gave to Moses.

The Ten Commandments

20 And God spoke all these words:

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

“You shall have no other gods before[a] me.

“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

13 “You shall not murder.

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

15 “You shall not steal.

16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

These, when reflected on, sound so simple. Yet, the application somehow eludes us all in some way, shape, or form. For every time we wish ill on someone, we are not showing love. Just as each time we are envious of someone or speak falsely about someone out of anger or spite, we are not showing love.

A number of the injustices we see and allow in our world today, are clear violations of these simple instructions. The crime and the way we regard one another when it comes to a different of anything from our faith, values, cultures, and opinions are good examples of where love is sorely needed in our society.


What Is Love?

Love, romantic and otherwise, is defined beautifully in a single chapter of the New Testament book of 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13.

The Way of Love

13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

A Son of Thunder – A Fierce Devotion

19 April 2020 at 14:00

66230-sons-of-thunder.1200w.tn_

James of Zebedee, much like my favorite disciple, was one with a fiery spirit. We can see that in the appointment of a nickname as one of the: Sons of Thunder.

Mark 3:13-19 New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Appoints the Twelve

13 Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. 14 He appointed twelve[a] that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach 15 and to have authority to drive out demons. 16 These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter), 17 James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means “sons of thunder”), 18 Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

Now, why is that?  When we examine chapter nine of the New Testament book of Luke, we might get a clearer understanding of why.

Luke 9:51-56 New International Version (NIV)

Samaritan Opposition

51 As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. 52 And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; 53 but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem.54 When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them[a]?” 55 But Jesus turned and rebuked them. 56 Then he and his disciples went to another village.

Intense right? This kind of devotion and desire to protect a loved one reminds me of much of the same dedication we show to our loved ones. Perhaps a brother or a sister?  It is this kind of love too that perhaps made him one of those in Jesus’ inner circle as this disciple was also willing to not only lash out at those who threatened Jesus, but was also willing to risk his life for Him too! Talk about some fierce love, there!

That same kind of devotion though, we notice while not discouraged, can lead to actions that Jesus did not encourage. Notice, that when James and his brother, John, talked of unleashing fire to rain down upon the Samaritans Jesus rebuked them.

Remember too, that when Peter displayed a similar type of spirit by moving to cut off the ear of one of those who came to arrest Jesus that he too was rebuked.

Even those closest to Jesus were not without faults. I wonder though, was it those same flaws… that made them so close? The fact that their faith was so strong that they were willing to fight for it? Even perhaps die for it?

 

 

 

 

burresor

66230-sons-of-thunder.1200w.tn_

A Son of Thunder – A Fierce Devotion

19 April 2020 at 14:00

66230-sons-of-thunder.1200w.tn_

James of Zebedee, much like my favorite disciple, was one with a fiery spirit. We can see that in the appointment of a nickname as one of the: Sons of Thunder.

Mark 3:13-19 New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Appoints the Twelve

13 Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. 14 He appointed twelve[a] that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach 15 and to have authority to drive out demons. 16 These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter), 17 James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means “sons of thunder”), 18 Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

Now, why is that?  When we examine chapter nine of the New Testament book of Luke, we might get a clearer understanding of why.

Luke 9:51-56 New International Version (NIV)

Samaritan Opposition

51 As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. 52 And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; 53 but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem.54 When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them[a]?” 55 But Jesus turned and rebuked them. 56 Then he and his disciples went to another village.

Intense right? This kind of devotion and desire to protect a loved one reminds me of much of the same dedication we show to our loved ones. Perhaps a brother or a sister?  It is this kind of love too that perhaps made him one of those in Jesus’ inner circle as this disciple was also willing to not only lash out at those who threatened Jesus, but was also willing to risk his life for Him too! Talk about some fierce love, there!

That same kind of devotion though, we notice while not discouraged, can lead to actions that Jesus did not encourage. Notice, that when James and his brother, John, talked of unleashing fire to rain down upon the Samaritans Jesus rebuked them.

Remember too, that when Peter displayed a similar type of spirit by moving to cut off the ear of one of those who came to arrest Jesus that he too was rebuked.

Even those closest to Jesus were not without faults. I wonder though, was it those same flaws… that made them so close? The fact that their faith was so strong that they were willing to fight for it? Even perhaps die for it?

 

 

 

 

The Power Of Fear

15 March 2020 at 10:40

The Power Of Fear

The presence of this new corona virus has caused an uproar, and the response has been alarming. While there is reason for concern, a greater power seems to have struck the hearts and minds of many. That being fear. So during this time of crisis, I am pausing my current study to focus on fear. As it is a strong driving force in this particular time. 

 

What is Fear? 

When we examine the definition of fear the emotion is defined in the following context, according to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary: 

Noun

1 aan unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger
b(1)an instance of this emotion
(2)a state marked by this emotion
2anxious concern : Solicitude
3profound reverence and awe especially toward God
4reason for alarm : Danger

Verb

1to be afraid of expect with alarm fear the worst
2to have a reverential awe of fear God
3: archaic : frighten
4:archaic to feel fear in (oneself) apprehensive

Notice, most definitions describe fear as an emotion. And a strong one at that! Likewise, this emotion is not necessarily without cause. It is all in how we respond to this emotion and how we choose to address that fear. 

So, that raises the question: 

 

What Does The Bible Say About Fear? 

1. Fear is a spirit. One that is not God given. 

2 Timothy 1:7 New Life Version (NLV)

For God did not give us a spirit of fear. He gave us a spirit of power and of love and of a good mind.

 

2 Timothy 1:7 King James Version (KJV)

7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

2. Fear can trap us, if we do not put our faith in God.

Proverbs 29:25 New Living Translation (NLT)

25 Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety.

 

Proverbs 29:25 King James Version (KJV)

25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.

3. God is with us. Always. Through everything. And we can trust Him in all circumstances.

Joshua 1:9 New Living Translation (NLT)

9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

 

 Joshua 1:9 King James Version (KJV)

9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

 

Psalm 23 New Living Translation (NLT)

Psalm 23

A psalm of David.

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. 2 He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. 3 He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. 4 Even when I walk
through the darkest valley, [a] I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. 5 You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings. 6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.

 

Psalm 23 King James Version (KJV)

23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

 

Luke 12:22-26 King James Version (KJV)

22 And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. 23 The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. 24 Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? 25 And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? 26 If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?

 

Luke 12:22-26 New Living Translation (NLT)

Teaching about Money and Possessions

22 Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. 23 For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing. 24 Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! 25 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? 26 And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?

4. No power on earth can separate us from God’s love.

Romans 8:38-39 New Living Translation (NLT)

38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39 King James Version (KJV)

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Yes, we are living in some frightening times. But we do not need to be a prisoner unto our own fears or the fears of the world. We can find comfort and wisdom in God’s word.

 

burresor

The Power Of Fear

15 March 2020 at 10:40

The Power Of Fear

The presence of this new corona virus has caused an uproar, and the response has been alarming. While there is reason for concern, a greater power seems to have struck the hearts and minds of many. That being fear. So during this time of crisis, I am pausing my current study to focus on fear. As it is a strong driving force in this particular time. 

 

What is Fear? 

When we examine the definition of fear the emotion is defined in the following context, according to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary: 

Noun

1 aan unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger
b(1)an instance of this emotion
(2)a state marked by this emotion
2anxious concern : Solicitude
3profound reverence and awe especially toward God
4reason for alarm : Danger

Verb

1to be afraid of expect with alarm fear the worst
2to have a reverential awe of fear God
3: archaic : frighten
4:archaic to feel fear in (oneself) apprehensive

Notice, most definitions describe fear as an emotion. And a strong one at that! Likewise, this emotion is not necessarily without cause. It is all in how we respond to this emotion and how we choose to address that fear. 

So, that raises the question: 

 

What Does The Bible Say About Fear? 

1. Fear is a spirit. One that is not God given. 

2 Timothy 1:7 New Life Version (NLV)

For God did not give us a spirit of fear. He gave us a spirit of power and of love and of a good mind.

 

2 Timothy 1:7 King James Version (KJV)

7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

2. Fear can trap us, if we do not put our faith in God.

Proverbs 29:25 New Living Translation (NLT)

25 Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety.

 

Proverbs 29:25 King James Version (KJV)

25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.

3. God is with us. Always. Through everything. And we can trust Him in all circumstances.

Joshua 1:9 New Living Translation (NLT)

9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

 

 Joshua 1:9 King James Version (KJV)

9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

 

Psalm 23 New Living Translation (NLT)

Psalm 23

A psalm of David.

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. 2 He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. 3 He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. 4 Even when I walk
through the darkest valley, [a] I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. 5 You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings. 6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.

 

Psalm 23 King James Version (KJV)

23 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

 

Luke 12:22-26 King James Version (KJV)

22 And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. 23 The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. 24 Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? 25 And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? 26 If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?

 

Luke 12:22-26 New Living Translation (NLT)

Teaching about Money and Possessions

22 Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. 23 For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing. 24 Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! 25 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? 26 And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?

4. No power on earth can separate us from God’s love.

Romans 8:38-39 New Living Translation (NLT)

38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39 King James Version (KJV)

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Yes, we are living in some frightening times. But we do not need to be a prisoner unto our own fears or the fears of the world. We can find comfort and wisdom in God’s word.

 

Prayers that will Help You Live Free of Anxiety and Worry — Counting My Blessings

21 February 2020 at 20:49

Came upon this blog post this evening as I was skimming through my usual reads.  It was a much needed read as lately with the flu sweeping through the apartment and an impending move… along with some big transitions, anxiety and worry have been at an all time high. This is surely a read for anyone else who is in need of some peace. Prayers have a way of giving comfort, as does having that quiet time with God.

I think we’ve all had times when the notes on tomorrow’s planner page have resulted in a restless night of worry and anxiety. A Doctor’s Appointment – for Yourself or Someone You Love. A Meeting with Difficult Person. A Huge Project Deadline. A Major Grade-deciding Exam. A Shortage of Money for a Major Need. A…

via Prayers that will Help You Live Free of Anxiety and Worry — Counting My Blessings

burresor

Prayers that will Help You Live Free of Anxiety and Worry — Counting My Blessings

21 February 2020 at 20:49

Came upon this blog post this evening as I was skimming through my usual reads.  It was a much needed read as lately with the flu sweeping through the apartment and an impending move… along with some big transitions, anxiety and worry have been at an all time high. This is surely a read for anyone else who is in need of some peace. Prayers have a way of giving comfort, as does having that quiet time with God.

I think we’ve all had times when the notes on tomorrow’s planner page have resulted in a restless night of worry and anxiety. A Doctor’s Appointment – for Yourself or Someone You Love. A Meeting with Difficult Person. A Huge Project Deadline. A Major Grade-deciding Exam. A Shortage of Money for a Major Need. A…

via Prayers that will Help You Live Free of Anxiety and Worry — Counting My Blessings

James The Elder

29 December 2019 at 11:28

James, like Peter, was known by more than one name. He was also called:

  • One of the “Sons of Thunder
  • James, “Son of Zebedee”
  • The Greater

The Apostle James

James, Son of Zebedee

He was one of four people in the New Testament with the name of James.  What is it though that makes this particular James so unique outside of being a disciple?

  • James was from humble beginnings. He was a fisherman.
  • James likely earned his name as one of the Sons of Thunder on account of his passion, ambition, and zeal.
  • James of Zebedee or James The Greater, was one of the first disciples to be martyred in roughly 44 AD.
  • He was also one of those inside Jesus’ inner circle of followers.
  • He was one of the few who witnessed the Transfiguration.
  • James The Greater is not the author of the book of the New Testament book of James. (Which I admit, I once believed, until I took the time to read a bit more about the book of James and begin studying James of Zebedee.)

 

st-james

burresor

James The Elder

29 December 2019 at 11:28

James, like Peter, was known by more than one name. He was also called:

  • One of the “Sons of Thunder
  • James, “Son of Zebedee”
  • The Greater

The Apostle James

James, Son of Zebedee

He was one of four people in the New Testament with the name of James.  What is it though that makes this particular James so unique outside of being a disciple?

  • James was from humble beginnings. He was a fisherman.
  • James likely earned his name as one of the Sons of Thunder on account of his passion, ambition, and zeal.
  • James of Zebedee or James The Greater, was one of the first disciples to be martyred in roughly 44 AD.
  • He was also one of those inside Jesus’ inner circle of followers.
  • He was one of the few who witnessed the Transfiguration.
  • James The Greater is not the author of the book of the New Testament book of James. (Which I admit, I once believed, until I took the time to read a bit more about the book of James and begin studying James of Zebedee.)

 

20 Important Things Jesus Said About Love — Counting My Blessings

20 September 2019 at 11:54

When the heart hurts it can be hard to love or immerse yourself in the Word. This morning, I came upon this beautiful message in Counting My Blessings.

 

Culture looks at love as a feeling. But the Bible describes it as so much more than the way we feel. Jesus had some things to say about love … both God’s and ours.

via 20 Important Things Jesus Said About Love — Counting My Blessings

burresor

20 Important Things Jesus Said About Love — Counting My Blessings

20 September 2019 at 11:54

When the heart hurts it can be hard to love or immerse yourself in the Word. This morning, I came upon this beautiful message in Counting My Blessings.

 

Culture looks at love as a feeling. But the Bible describes it as so much more than the way we feel. Jesus had some things to say about love … both God’s and ours.

via 20 Important Things Jesus Said About Love — Counting My Blessings

Meditating on the Commands of Christ (44): Do Good to Them Which Hate You — Summer Setting

18 August 2019 at 12:04

Needed this reminder so much today, as it has been a  trying week. In terms of patience and my neighbors. Sometimes, it is so easy to lose our tempers and do or wish ill on our neighbors.  Thank you, Summer Setting blog, for this beautiful reminder!

If there was ever a human being who did good to those who hated him, it was Jesus Christ. How so, you ask? Well, one of the best examples is in Matthew 26. At the beginning of the chapter, Jesus warned his disciples that in two days he would be betrayed to be crucified, but […]

via Meditating on the Commands of Christ (44): Do Good to Them Which Hate You — Summer Setting

burresor

Meditating on the Commands of Christ (44): Do Good to Them Which Hate You — Summer Setting

18 August 2019 at 12:04

Needed this reminder so much today, as it has been a  trying week. In terms of patience and my neighbors. Sometimes, it is so easy to lose our tempers and do or wish ill on our neighbors.  Thank you, Summer Setting blog, for this beautiful reminder!

If there was ever a human being who did good to those who hated him, it was Jesus Christ. How so, you ask? Well, one of the best examples is in Matthew 26. At the beginning of the chapter, Jesus warned his disciples that in two days he would be betrayed to be crucified, but […]

via Meditating on the Commands of Christ (44): Do Good to Them Which Hate You — Summer Setting

Praying Through Our Fears: A Lesson From A Fellow Blogger – Counting My Blessings

9 August 2019 at 19:48

Stress over my son’s struggles at school over the past three years and some of the attitudes following the recent shootings in El Paso and Dayton has crippled me. So much so, that I’ve forgotten something important: That God is always in our corner.

So when I came across this blog, I was truly touched and humbled.  For it is often when we are the most afraid we forget to turn to the Most High.

Many of us have spent the week praying for hurting families in El Paso and Dayton while at the same time trying to get their heads around the unsettling feeling that the places we’ve always believed we were safe, may not be. It’s understandable that some of us are feeling anxious and afraid. In the…

via 5 Prayers that will Strengthen You When You are Anxious and Afraid — Counting My Blessings

burresor

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