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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/books/item_id/2216091-Divine-Nudges
Rated: E · Book · Inspirational · #2216091
The Lord doesn't always speak in an audible voice, but often in nudges, moving the heart.
The Lord is a gentleman. He is patient. He is longsuffering

He often remains silent, while we are speaking, but He will not remain silent forever.
He can be grieved and quenched when we refuse His message.

When nothing else works to get our attention,
then He may allow "...the pestilence that walketh in darkness;..."
to come into our lives to urge us to "...abide under the shadow of the Almighty."

When He gets our attention, and we begin to cry, "Daddy, save me," (Romans 8:15, KJV)
then "...I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him."

These selections come from Psalm 91. Many times my thoughts return to my childhood
with the reading of this psalm. When I was a little boy, I was wont to hide behind
my earthly daddy when dangerous or unfamiliar situations arose in my life.
My Daddy on earth was much bigger and much stronger than I was.

How much greater, today, as a grown man, that I can look to my Heavenly Father,
Who is infinitely bigger and stronger than my earthly father ever was.

As children, we were very good at "reading" our parents.
They gave us certain looks, which told us how to act without ever speaking words.
"You better not speak right now. I am so angry about what you have done."
"I love you, Dear One. Come here. Let me give you a hug."
Myriad were the looks in between these two extremes on the continuum.

The Lord in like manner says, "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go:
I will guide thee with mine eye.
" (Psalm 32:8, KJV)

Earthly parents would often touch us on the shoulder in public,
especially when we were "acting up." When our eyes met,
they would simply hold up one index finger, waving it back and forth.
This meant, "Stop! Think about what you are doing!
Change your behavior before the hand of judgment falls on the seat of knowledge!
"

Of course, at other times a big, strong, gentle arm would wrap slowly around our chests,
drawing us back to them in a warm embrace, simply meaning, "I love you,...just because."

The Lord in His inimitable ways gives us His Own Divine Nudges.
Previous ... -1- 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... Next
April 9, 2021 at 4:36pm
April 9, 2021 at 4:36pm
#1008121
"...and having on the breastplate of righteousness;" (Ephesians 6:14c, KJV)

Paul seems a little matter-of-fact when he lists the breastplate of righteousness in the spiritual armor of the Christian. Paul says, "Put it on." It is a given, that a soldier will wear his or her metal covering to shield the vital organs of the body from the midsection to the neck from attack.

What is righteousness? Since the base word is "right," then righteousness is the environment in which right can flourish. "Jesus saith unto him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.'" (John 14:6, KJV) "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1, KJV)

Bottom Line: Jesus is God. Jesus is Truth. Jesus is Right. Righteousness means being like Jesus. Our breastplate is effective against attacks, only when that breastplate looks like Jesus, HIStory's Only Christ (aka Messiah.)

Living like Jesus is the tallest of tasks. I am imperfect as a human being, therefore I need Jesus to live His Perfection through me. The life of the Christian is the life of exchange. I gave Jesus my Sin. He gave me His Mercy and Grace.

The breastplate of righteousness covers vital organs. Jesus is the Vital Core of Righteousness. In Christ, I live. Apart from Christ, I die.

May we all seek Jesus Christ this very day.


The righteousness, that shapes my core
is Jesus in my stead,
for Hope increases evermore
in Him, Who once was dead.

Upon the cross, He died for me.
In state He laid in tomb,
but on the third from death was free,
and brought me to His room.

All righteousness I now possess
is Christ's Gift, evermore.
Salvation in Him ever blessed
with peace to live in store.



by Jay O’Toole
on April 9th, 2021


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April 8, 2021 at 11:02pm
April 8, 2021 at 11:02pm
#1008072
"Wait on the LORD:
be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart:
wait, I say, on the LORD.
"
(Psalm 27:14, KJV)


-------------------------------------


"Just wait upon the One Above,
and live in courage with His Love.
For He shall strengthen all thine heart.
To wait on the Lord is where we start.
"

To wait on the Lord is where we start.
To wait on the Lord's the end.
We wait on the Lord. His Truth impart,
and lives will surely mend.

The Type-A person frets to wait.
There's so much we must do.
In silence, we are never late.
All is done when waiting's through.


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April 7, 2021 at 4:39pm
April 7, 2021 at 4:39pm
#1007970
"These things I have spoken unto you,
that in me ye might have peace.
In the world ye shall have tribulation:
but be of good cheer;
I have overcome the world.
"
(John 16:33, KJV)


-------------------------------


The days of Earth are short,
and know some sadness, here and there.
The Truth is best and blest import.
It lifts me from each daily care.

Eternal Day will never end.
We thank God for Salvation's Gift.
The pains of Earth will in Him mend.
With lasting Hope, He hearts will lift.

The victors live in Christ Alone,
overcoming through each day.
The pains of life are by them known,
but blessings start and last for aye.


by Jay O’Toole
on April 7th, 2021


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April 6, 2021 at 11:48pm
April 6, 2021 at 11:48pm
#1007914
"6 Seek ye the Lord while he may be found,
call ye upon him while he is near:

7 Let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts:
and let him return unto the Lord,
and he will have mercy upon him;
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
"
(Isaiah 55:6-7, KJV)

----------------------

"6 Seek the Lord while you can find him.
Call on him now while he is near.
7 Let the wicked change their ways
and banish the very thought of doing wrong.
Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them.
Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously.
"
(Isaiah 55:6-7, NLT)

----------------------


Please, seek for God when He wants to be found.
Please, call to His open ears.
All sinners, put your sinnings down.
Reject wrong thoughts and fear.

Return to the Lord. He will embrace.
His mercy's ever new.
Come back to God. Receive His Grace.
Abundantly He will pardon you.


by Jay O’Toole
on April 6th, 2021


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April 5, 2021 at 10:40pm
April 5, 2021 at 10:40pm
#1007844
You are worthy God’s best.
He gave you His Son.
You will pass through the test.
The work has been done.

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April 2, 2021 at 10:40pm
April 2, 2021 at 10:40pm
#1007632
For many years I've known about the Armor of God, but how to put it on my spirit man has often evaded me, simply because I am a concrete thinker, predominantly.

Matthew 18:3 has always comforted me in this regard because Jesus said, "Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." Children tend to be concrete thinkers. This makes me feel like I'm in good company for fulfilling Jesus' mandate.

Now, I've said all that to say this, "Jesus loves to use concrete items as spiritual metaphors." He did this for the Jewish people of His earthly sojourn, especially for the children, and these illustrations still have application for those of us, who read the Bible, today.

The wise man and the foolish man of Matthew 7:24-27 in the Sermon on the Mount hits the target of the heart of our lives, today. The human, who builds the house of his or her life on the solid Rock of God's Truth will stand in the day of testing when the floodwaters of His Justice tests its value, according to the material upon which it has been built.



To understand the Belt of Truth, it helps me to understand the purpose of belts in this physical realm. For instance, I've been walking around my house all evening, wearing a pair of pants with no belt. Some people I've known seem to enjoy this state, I, on the other hand, do not. I feel incomplete. I feel concerned about keeping my pants up, even though my girth insures, that my pants falling down is really not a strong possibility.

In a word, when it comes to pants, a belt is a cinch for keeping life in order. As a belt, God's Truth keeps life from falling apart.

A couple of minutes ago I went a put on a belt for the first time this evening. I feel emotionally whole, properly put together, and ready to face the world. Though some may look at that last sentence, thinking that I'm just being silly, I can assure you, that I have worn a belt for so many days of my life, I feel unclothed without one.

Spiritually speaking, I'm the same way. Having memorized John 3:16 at age, three or four, having started to read the King James Version of the Bible at age, six, shortly after I was saved, and having studied The Bible, consistently, for much of my life so far, I can assure you, that when Life throws a question my way I feel unclothed, spiritually, if I don't have a Bible answer for the situation at the ready.

If Life asks, "Which came first the chicken or the egg?" my response is simple and quick. "The chicken came first because God created the chicken. That's found in Genesis 1, and John 1:1. God is the Creator. Jesus is integral to the Creation.

If Life asks, "How old is the Earth? Thousands or billions of years?" Again, that's simple, "The Earth is about 6,000 years old. I'm NEVER been willing to allow that it is older than 10,000 years." Why am I so certain of the young Earth? God created Adam. Adam could not have been created able to survive as an infant unless the Lord Himself was willing to change Adam's diapers. Since diapers are never mentioned in the Bible, but naming the animals shortly after his own creation is mentioned, then it is logical to assume, that Adam was created with apparent age. Adam had to have appeared to be at least 15 - 25 years old on the very first instant of his existence in order to accomplish all of the directives the Lord gave to him in the Garden of Eden, like naming the animals, while sustaining his own life from the fruit trees of the Garden. Therefore, if Adam had apparent age when he first began to exist in order to be in keeping with the Lord's Purposes, then isn't it equally probable, that the Lord could have created the Earth as well as all of Creation with apparent age for the purposes He had for them, too?

If atheists, scientists, and well-meaning Christians ask, "But science has proved the Earth is billions of years old through radiometric dating, then I will laugh right along with the Lord in Psalm 2, saying, "Fooled you. One does not leave his or her secrets out in the open for enemies to steal. Yet, the Truth is left out in the open in the very same place for One's children to find. The issue is not location, but perspective. Truth is often like a hologram. If you stand to the left of the hologram, then you may not see the image. However, if you stand to the right of the hologram, then the image is plainly seen. Let the reader make the application."

Every scientific experiment that "science" uses to disprove God, bears the exact same data I can use (with His Wisdom, of course) to prove the existence of God. It's all the holographic effect, that perspective colors conclusion. Both Science and Christianity are at the bottom line presuppositions of faith.

I believe "God created the Heavens and the Earth." Genesis 1:1, KJV, and cross-reference with John 1:1, KJV. My belief in this regard is admittedly, Faith. I cannot PROVE what I say I believe.

Scientists, who are atheists or evolutionists or both, believe the cosmos was formed after The Big Bang. However, since this presuppositional basis for their evolutionary metanarrative cannot be proved in any way, shape, form, nor fashion, then if we are to be honest, we must label this position to be categorically, Faith.

Science prides itself on the use of the Scientific Method, which purports, that all theories and hypotheses must be verified through "critical observation or exact (or nearly exact) recreation of the premise" under discussion. The Origin of the cosmos in macro and the Earth in micro CANNOT possibly be Observed, nor Recreated ever by any scientist. Therefore, the belief of scientists in The Big Bang as cosmological of our existence apart from One Lone Creator God is by definition of the Scientific Method, faith, presupposition, and not-able-to-be substantiated beyond a reasonable doubt.

Bottom Line: This is an issue of faith, which cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. It's one man's word against another's, which would be a toss-up if these were merely the words of humans, that we see on Earth, today. However, in reality, it is a matter of Man's word (evolution) against The Man's Word, (The Bible, the Word of the Man, Jesus Christ of Nazareth.) I'm sticking with Jesus.

I could go on for another hour if I were to discuss the intricacies of belt saws, which were used back in the Depression-era to cut lumber into usable strips. Without the belt, the saw couldn't work. Without God's Truth, Christians are powerless.

Using a similar principle, belts have been used in automobiles for many years to keep the engines cool and moving down the road. Cars can't run without fanbelts as well as the belts that rotate the drive shafts.

God's Truth is integral to the very core of our lives. We ignore God's Truth to our own detriment. May The Lord draw us to His Word (His Truth) with as much excitement as children are drawn to sugary breakfast cereals. May we study The Truth with that image in our hearts, this day and every day throughout Eternity.


by Jay O'Toole
on April 2nd, 2021


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April 1, 2021 at 11:51pm
April 1, 2021 at 11:51pm
#1007555
The belt of Truth around the waist
can make us stop to think
about the things we stop to taste,
that bring us to the brink.

When we were young the belt was snug,
and easier to cinch.
The older self's a bigger hug
with no more skin to pinch.

Why does it seem a losing cause
to make the body fit?
Why does our running seem to pause
because we don't commit?

The spirit man he needs the same
endeavors to be strong.
Is flabbiness a daily blame?
"Those Were The Days," our song?

When we do hide His Word within,
it cinches life for good,
but when we're lazy toward our sin
awakenings are rude.

The belt of Truth can tell a tale
of fitness for His cause.
For we are fit when Truth avails.
We're not by earthly draws.

How can He be the Lord of All,
when all of life distracts?
"Please, make me fit for every call.
Let Your Meat aye attract.
"


by Jay O'Toole
on April 1st, 2021


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March 31, 2021 at 10:59pm
March 31, 2021 at 10:59pm
#1007414
"The fight we fight is not with those
within this world we see.
The fight we fight will full disclose
the powers, that they be.


"The fight is fought beyond the eyes
with principalities,
the rulers in their dark disguise
of wickedest disease.


"Wherefore now take you armor full
of God, that ye may stand,
resisting every earthly pull
to stand by God's great Plan.


"I charge, thee, stand therefore as girt
with truth about your loins,
and wear your breastplate as a shirt
of righteousness enjoined.


"Your feet be shod on every side,
prepared to speak of peace,
the Gospel casting down all pride
to give hearts full release.


"Above it all, I bid thee take
the shield of faith to quench
all fiery darts, that would thee stake
to wicked martyr's bench.


"And on your head, Salvation blest,
your helmet ever sure.
To know this Christ and in Him rest,
we're evermore secure.


"The Spirit's Sword is ever strong.
It is God's lasting Word.
"
Advance by speaking, sing Its song,
and nevermore be lured.

"Be praying always with all prayer.
In humbleness, we ask.
Within the Spirit always there,
complete for every task.


"And watching thereunto be firm,
with all perseverance last.
Each supplication builds the berm
for saints 'til trial's past.
"


------------------------------------


"12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood,
but against principalities, against powers,
against the rulers of the darkness of this world,
against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God,
that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day,
and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore,
having your loins girt about with truth,
and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod
with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith,
wherewith ye shall be able to quench
all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation,
and the sword of the Spirit,
which is the word of God:

18 Praying always with all prayer
and supplication in the Spirit,
and watching thereunto with all perseverance
and supplication for all saints;
"
(Galatians 6:12-18, KJV)


by Jay O'Toole
on March 31st, 2021


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March 30, 2021 at 11:53pm
March 30, 2021 at 11:53pm
#1007360
"He must increase,
but I must decrease.
"
(John 3:30, KJV)

"For it is God which worketh in you
both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
"
(Philippians 2:13, KJV)


----------------------------------


The surly soul, I oft could be,
came screaming 'tween the knees
of her, who screamed to be made free
this weight nine months decreed.

Left to myself 'tis pretty, NOT.
Yet He, Who for me came
lived a perfect life, without one blot
to take my Hellish blame.

My foolish mirror caused Him harm
two thousand years ago.
His blood fell from the lashes swarm
before I learned to know.

The mark of death upon my heart
caused Him to breathe His last,
that when my days would know their start
the sting of death was past.

He stepped out of the rocky grave
to give me life anew,
that good I'd learn to thus behave,
and live when life was through.

The day he broke my selfish heart,
He made me better far
than those, who've served Him from the start,
and live beyond the stars.

I'm better off to live as He
as He lives through my days.
For "more of Him and less of me"
is better for display.

When my life is its version best
the face you'll see is Christ
for He's the One, Who passed the test,
and paid my latest price.


by Jay O'Toole
on March 30th, 2021


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March 29, 2021 at 11:56pm
March 29, 2021 at 11:56pm
#1007293
"For God so loved the world,
that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him
should not perish,
but have everlasting life."

(John 3:16, KJV)


-----------------------------------------

"For God so loved this broken world,
He gave His Only Son,
that when this Gift is full unfurled,
receivers, life have won.

"Believers in this One, Who's Blessed
by Substitute are saved,
that death may no more scare, nor test,
those once by fear enslaved.

"Their perishing from HIStory's gone.
Now evermore there's life."
Salvation is The gift so won,
without the human's strife.

There is but One in Whom we live,
this Jesus Only Lord.
Our hearts, unchanged, to Him we give,
full resting on His Word.

-----------------------------------------


by Jay O'Toole
on March 29th, 2021


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March 12, 2021 at 10:48pm
March 12, 2021 at 10:48pm
#1006270
To hear the Voice of God Above,
we need some times of peace.
He speaks to hearts so filled with love
His Gifts he can release.

To pray and pray and pray, again,
takes hours at a time.
We cannot hear while hoarding sin
with spirits smeared with slime.

One soul, one fam'ly, country fair
may come to His great Heart,
when spirits lay before Him bare
with lives His good impart.

For God is Holy, HOLY Thrice,
apart from human thought.
We need His Spirit's blest advice
in lives completely bought.

"O, God, please help me hear Your Voice,
obeying as I go,
full seeing, that Divinest Choice
has made me Your Mind to know."


by Jay O'Toole
on March 12th, 2021


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March 11, 2021 at 11:56pm
March 11, 2021 at 11:56pm
#1006220
"30 He must increase, but I must decrease.

31 He that cometh from above is above all:
he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth:
he that cometh from heaven is above all.

32 And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth;
and no man receiveth his testimony.

33 He that hath received his testimony
hath set to his seal that God is true.

34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God:
for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.

35 The Father loveth the Son,
and hath given all things into his hand.

36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life:
and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life;
but the wrath of God abideth on him."
(John 3:30-36, KJV)


-------------------------------------


"The Greatest One deserves to be, yet greater in all things,
but I deserve in all things to become each day much less.
The One, Who comes from Heaven is why Creation ever sings.
The one, who is of Earth is earthly and can never bless.

"From Heaven Christ is over all
by ear and eye He testifies,
yet none receives the Word he says.
By that each heart of man, it lies.

"This one, receiving ev'ry Word,
that's coming from God's Mouth, which speaks,
hath sealed this very Truth preferred,
Salvation comes to those He seeks.
(John 6:37, KJV)

"For Christ was sent from God Above,
and Christ did speak God's Word Alone.
The Holy Spirit came in love,
o'erflowing Him, Who would Atone.

"The Father loveth His Own Son,
the Only Son He's ever known.
He giveth all things, be and done,
into the hands made for the Throne.

"Now, he believing on the Son
hath everlasting life in heart,
but he believing not this One
shall never see life from the start.
For disbelieving's always done.
Right there God's wrath, He doth impart."

O, Soul, whose childhood heard The Word,
whose parents took thee to God's House.
Reception makes God's Truth be heard.
Conviction we must never douse.

Today's the day God calls thee come.
Be saved from Sin, each part and sum.
Just look to Jesus. He will save
your heart, and make a door your grave.


-----------------------------------------


"(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted,
and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee:
behold, now is the accepted time;
behold, now is the day of salvation.)
"
(II Corinthians 6:2, KJV)


"For God says,

At just the right time, I heard you.
On the day of salvation, I helped you.”

Indeed, the “right time” is now.
Today is the day of salvation."
(II Corinthians 6:2, NLT)


by Jay O'Toole
on March 11th, 2021


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March 10, 2021 at 2:56pm
March 10, 2021 at 2:56pm
#1006150
"For God so loved the world,
that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him
should not perish,
but have everlasting life.
"
(John 3:16, KJV)


-----------------------------------


"For God so loved the world He made,
His Son was His best Gift,
that by belief of call obeyed
the human heart He'd lift.

"No death He'd ever wish upon
a human soul He made,
but everlasting life anon
for ones, who sins would trade,
receiving Christ, the Only Son.
Their debt on Him was laid."


Salvation is in None Other.
It is only through Jesus Christ
of Nazareth, that we may be saved.

(John 3:16; Romans 10:9-10,13; Philippians 2:13)


by Jay O'Toole
on March 10th, 2021


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March 9, 2021 at 11:10am
March 9, 2021 at 11:10am
#1006071
The land of all my longing days.
The land I've never seen.
The land of Hope for child and strays.
The land, that's always been.

"I've come to my own home at last!
My country aye is here!
Belong I here. It holds me fast.
This land is blest and clear.


"This is the land I've looked for long,
though knew it not 'til now.
'Come further up and in,' our song.
At Aslan's paws, I bow.
"

"Come further up. Come further in."
Drink now of pristine bliss.
I long to see apart from Sin.
I long His Face to kiss.

The Battle Last at the stable won.
Believing hearts see true.
For those, who don't, no doubting's done,
forever dark and blue.

For Aslan's folk taste steak and wine.
The others drudge through Murk.
This Narnia is Joy Sublime.
The rest of goodness shirk.

The land of Home will know my name.
The land of Home, now e'er.
The land of Home from whence He came
forever is it there.


--------------------------------------


I have come home at last!
This is my real country!
I belong here.
This is the land
I have been looking for all my life,
though I never knew it till now...
Come further up, come further in!

― C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle
https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/1059917-the-last-battle


by Jay O'Toole
on March 9th, 2021


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March 8, 2021 at 3:10pm
March 8, 2021 at 3:10pm
#1006021
These lovely days of earthbound cheer
are but a meager taste of bliss.
We think the best is just lived here,
but more is there than thoughts of this.

"Dear, Lord of Glory, name the tune,
that brings to mind our last estate,
that voices swell or softly croon
of One, Whose Nature is so great."

"Amazing grace. How sweet the sound!"
"Jesus is the Sweetest Name."
"Once was lost, but now I'm found."
The Gift from God, He is the same.

These shadowlands which Lewis saw,
are but a dream before the day.
the frozen sod e'er morning's thaw
becomes great rest and lasting play.


by Jay O'Toole
on March 8th, 2021


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March 5, 2021 at 4:43pm
March 5, 2021 at 4:43pm
#1005876
Prompt:
Matthew 5:13
"Ye are the salt of the earth:
but if the salt have lost his savour,
wherewith shall it be salted?
it is thenceforth good for nothing,
but to be cast out,
and to be trodden under foot of men.
"

Right after the beatitudes, Jesus says we are the salt of the earth.
What does it mean to be the salt of the earth?


-------------------------------------------


Salt is known for adding flavor to food.
In the years prior to the refrigeration,
salt was used to preserve food almost indefinitely.

Salt has a wonderful influence when it is functioning as originally created.
When salt has become useless, it is worth little more than to be strewn across an icy sidewalk or street to improve traction for walkers and drivers.

The comparison between salt and Christians is very clear. When Christians are strong in holiness and in agreement with the purposes of the Lord, the world is preserved through our influence. Not only this but we help life to be more enjoyable.

However, when Christians are no longer holy and in agreement with the purpose of God, meaning there is little difference between the lives of these Christians and the lives of people, who do not claim to have a relationship with the Lord, then our impurities cause us to lose our influence in the world. We no longer preserve our culture, and attacks hit their mark as in the devastation of 9/11 in America, and the current political upheavals in this once-godly nation as well.

I'm sure a great deal of salt was applied to the sidewalks and streets of Texas, and the other snow-inundated states of this country over this past month to six weeks. Without revival, that comes to return us to holiness, drawing us into agreement with the purposes of God, I am now concerned, that Christians may have little more purpose than to be walked on.

May the Lord be merciful, saving our influence, and restoring the godliness and subsequent greatness of our nation in the very near future. Otherwise, we stand to be in one of the cycles of ancient Israel in which our country will be punished for a season until we cry out in repentance to God, Who hears, and Who saves.


------------------------------------------------


His salty people on the Earth
are Christians e'er to be.
For salt can give our meat new birth,
a tasty meal to free.

But when we are just tasteless fools,
unholy like the world,
our uselessness in that day rules,
our banner's not unfurled.

Unsalty salt is good for naught,
but tossing on the road.
The trodden foot is what we've bought.
We're useless, sin's abode.

Though salt cannot be changed, again,
the Christian can repent,
confessing all our filthy sin
with raiments fully rent.

Our worthless life, we can't restore
apart from Christ redeemed,
but influence renewed is more
than sinfulness once seemed.

The salt of Earth, our daily task,
preserving where we live.
"Please, keep us holy, Lord, we ask,
Your daily Word to give."

The salt of the ocean's all throughout.
It cannot be removed.
Preserve our world from lives of doubt
through us by Christ reproved.


by Jay O'Toole
on March 5th, 2021


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March 4, 2021 at 6:03pm
March 4, 2021 at 6:03pm
#1005809
"3 Trust in the LORD, and do good;
so shalt thou dwell in the land,
and verily thou shalt be fed.

4 Delight thyself also in the LORD;
and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

5 Commit thy way unto the LORD;
trust also in him;
and he shall bring it to pass.

6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light,
and thy judgment as the noonday.

7 Rest in the LORD,
and wait patiently for him:
fret not thyself because of him
who prospereth in his way,
because of the man
who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
"
(Psalm 37:3-7a, KJV)


------------------------------------------


Scriptural Paraphrase:

"O, trust in the Lord, and do only good.
He gives you Home within the land.
He meets the need you have for food.
His lasting Day is more than grand.

"Delight yourself, also, in Him.
He made you, that you'd bless His heart.
Your hopes, desires, a pool to swim
to give you joy, that life would start.

"Commit your way unto the Lord.
Trust Him, also, with your all.
He brings the best He can afford.
Just bring your voice, and on Him call.

"He makes the world to see your good.
Your righteousness stands in His Light.
Your judgment as the noonday's food
will show, that life in Him is bright.

"For in the Lord, we fully rest.
And patiently for Him we wait.
We fret not for the ones, who test,
and try us in the evil gate."

The Lord sees all.
He keeps our way.
We need just call
on Him each day.


by Jay O'Toole
on March 4th, 2021


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March 3, 2021 at 4:55pm
March 3, 2021 at 4:55pm
#1005737
Prompt:
Continuing the topic of the beatitudes, let's look at the next three in line.

Matthew 5:7-9
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.


Explain what these three verses mean to you.

--------------------------------------------------


"Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy."

Mercy is the acquittal of punishment for someone, who is legally guilty, and for whom the guilt is beyond any form of reasonable doubt.

This verse could be rendered according to this paraphrase. "Greatly honored is he, who forgives completely everyone, who has standing guilt against him, who has ever wronged him in any way, and who has debt associated with these wrongs on any level, the debt of which has been legally forgotten in every way, never to be mentioned from the mouth ever, again. Those, who forgive in this manner will be forgiven in this self-same manner."

"Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God."

Purity means the state of being untainted, uncorrupted, and unchanged in any way from the original state of the item or person in question.

The Lord is pure in His Holiness as well as in every other characteristic of His Person.
The state of holiness is either HOLY or it is no longer Holy, it is sinful and corrupt.
The state of purity is either PURE or it is no longer Pure, it is damaged, it is corrupt.

Gold is pure when only gold exists in the nugget.
Silver is pure when silver alone exists in this piece of precious metal.

If we look at the human heart in all honesty, then we must confess, that the "pure human heart" is an oxymoron. It's impossible. Humans cannot have pure, untainted, morally-upright hearts in their own strength and abilities. However, humans, who have been transformed by the purity of Jesus Christ in His strength, in His Absoluteness of Goodness, in His strength and ability, have been given pure hearts as a gift from Another.

Therefore, this verse may be paraphrased in the following way. "Greatly honored are those, whose hearts are now single, unified, and morally whole by virtue of the gift of Salvation from Jesus Christ. These are the ones, who in the purity of The Christ, now have the ability to see God in complete peace."

"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."

Peacemakers are those, who walk into an environment of discord, disharmony, disunity, and active wrath between parties, staying there long enough to have the end result of peace and love between all parties.

Peacemakers have the ability to stop the fires and animosity in the major cities of the United States, restoring compassion and harmony from the heart between all individuals, for all individuals.

Peacemakers have the ability to create a state of love between Democrats and Republicans.
Peacemakers have the ability to draw angry people away from believing their lies into embracing the Truth with their whole hearts.
Peacemakers have the ability to create an environment of peace the world over. This is Peace, that lasts throughout all Time and Eternity.

As you have probably guessed by now, there is Only One, Who can achieve this level of Peace on Earth. His Name is Jesus of Nazareth, HIStory's Only Christ. When He returns in the flesh to establish His Kingdom from His Throne in Jerusalem, there will be universal Peace for the better part of 1000 years.

For now, people, who labor in the direction of this kind of Peace bear the titles of being Christlike and peacemakers.

May the Lord make each of us merciful, and pure peacemakers by virtue of Salvation in Jesus, the Christ.

Blessings, All.


by Jay O'Toole
on March 3rd, 2021


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March 2, 2021 at 4:48pm
March 2, 2021 at 4:48pm
#1005683
Prompt: In Matthew 5:5-6, we have the next two beatitudes.

Matthew 5:5-6
5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.


What do these mean to you?

I have consistently understood "meekness" to be "strength under restraint." The meek are not weak, getting used badly throughout life as a doormat, but neither are the meek, those who bully others in order to get their own way.

How do the meek inherit the earth? The meek inherit the earth by retraining their great strength, waiting for the Lord to give them their inheritance after a consistent life of faithful service to the Lord Jesus, the Lord of Glory, Who honors those who employ well their gifts and talents, until the Master of the House returns to take account of their service.

Matthew 25:14-30 is the lesson of the talents. There are strong comparisons between the servants, who used well their talents, and the meek, who inherit the Earth.

In Matthew 5:6 we learn about those, "which do hunger and thirst after righteousness." What is the nature of those, who are hungry and thirsty? People, who are hungry and thirsty have a consistently narrow focus until these needs are met. When my daughter finishes a dance rehearsal all she wants is a bottle of water, until she gets to drink that bottle of water.

There is a term, that I first came to know in the part of the world in which I currently reside. However, with the internet, the concept is, no doubt, a bit more ubiquitous these days. What is that term? "Hangry." When an individual is so hungry as to be instantly irritable or angry with very little provocation, then they are called, "Hangry."

We, humans, are used to eating every three to four hours, but those, who go for seven or eight hours are often unable to "think straight," until they eat something, even a candy bar or a handful of nuts. People, who fast (or "go without eating") for an extended time like a week or two for religious or philosophical reasons may find, that they are beginning to function better than those, who have missed eating for only half a day.

"1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit
into the wilderness
to be tempted of the devil.

2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights,
he was afterward an hungred.

3 And when the tempter came to him, he said,
If thou be the Son of God,
command that these stones be made bread.

4 But he answered and said,
It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
"
(Matthew 4:1-4, KJV)


A forty-day fast is about the limit a human can endure, and still continue to live. The Holy Spirit led Jesus to the wilderness for the purpose of being tempted by the devil, but before the temptations began Jesus was brought to the end of His physical endurance by going without food for 40 days.

The first temptation was about meeting the need, that Jesus had, for food. Jesus' response was telling. Jesus acknowledged, that physical food was (and is) important. "Man shall live by bread, but Man shall not live by bread alone." Instead of giving into Satan's temptation to meet this lesser need, Jesus quoted Scripture, regarding the first need of every human being. "(Humans) must live by every word that proceeds out of God's Mouth." Truth is more needful than food.

Finally, let us focus on the second verse in our prompt, today. Jesus' response to the tempter is directly addressed in Matthew 5:6, "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." Those, who desire the Precious Word of God with the same level of intensity, that very hungry people desire physical food, "will be filled," completely satisfied, and fully met, regarding their spiritual needs.

Blessed are the meekly strong
for they inherit Earth.
Honored are the ones, whose song
are words of the new birth.

Blessed are the great desires
of hunger, thirst for good.
Honored through the Word, much higher,
and filling more than food.


by Jay O'Toole
on March 2nd, 2021


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March 1, 2021 at 10:56pm
March 1, 2021 at 10:56pm
#1005607
Prompt: In the first few verses of Matthew chapter 5, this is where we find the Beatitudes. What does Matthew 5:3-4 mean to you?

Matthew 5:3-4
"3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
"

------------------------------------------------------------------


The Lord honors honesty from the heart.

Sometimes a friend may ask, "How are you doing?" If we respond, "I'm okay," that may be the socially-appropriate response, but it may not be the truth.

When the Lord asks us such a question, it is important to remember, that He made us, He is omniscient, and He can see through every bit of fluff, that we can create for a response.

For the Lord to ask the question, "How are you doing...(Really?)" The "really" may or may not be stated, but it is ALWAYS understood with respect to Him. The Lord never asks us, "How are you doing?" in order to find out anything. He already knows how we are doing. The Lord asks each of us, "How are you doing?" in order to give each of us the opportunity to pause, to process, and to respond in a way, that helps each of our own hearts to know how we are each doing.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." My own paraphrase of this verse is "Greatly honored is everybody, who is feeling poorly to the very core of his or her being, admitting it (to the Lord) without hedging. Their reward for their honesty will be to dwell in the Kingdom of Heaven." This verse is very similar to I John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." No one gets to live in Heaven with unconfessed sin. Everyone, who confesses (agrees with the Lord about) their sins receives forgiveness from the Lord, regarding that sin.

Even when we are not involved in gross sin, but we want to gloss over how we are feeling at any given moment, the dishonesty about our feelings is arguably sin in itself because we are lying, that we feel better than we, actually, do. This becomes a sin, that needs confession in order to be forgiven. (I John 1:9)

When the Lord asks any one of us, "How are you doing?" 'tis much better to open our hearts, saying, "Lord, I've sinned, even in a small thing. Lord, I don't feel good about this part of my life. I am spiritually not who I want to be. Will You please forgive me, help me, and guide me to where I need to be going?"

"Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.". This verse in continued confession (agreement) with the Lord about, who we, actually, are. Again, here is my paraphrase of this verse. "Greatly honored is everyone, who is feeling a significant loss in some area of life. In processing this significant loss, this individual receives the highest level of comfort from the One, Who understands every form of loss."

Death = separation
Mourning = processing the separation, which is the death of something in life (or the end)


Mourning is always the processing of some significant loss (aka a death) in life (or at its end.)
The Blessing comes from allowing the processing to flow.
Those, who do not mourn, are consistently cursed to live a depressed life, since the mind may be able to deny, that a significant loss has occurred, but the spirit has no such ability. The loss will be lived in some way in the life of the one, who has lost something or someone, who is significant to that individual.

"Tis better to willingly process, experience, give into grief and agree with the Lord about this significant loss in life, since He is the Only One, Who can help us to process and to get beyond the debilitating elements of this grief. The grief will always exist as a part of the history of the one, who has experienced the loss, but grief, that has been grieved in the Presence of the Lord, and with his aid, can become hopeful grief, that is filled with joy, rather than remaining caustic grief, that causes the individual to pine away in the "living death" of depression until that sad soul is finally dead absolutely.

Honesty with the Lord results in the Blessedness of His SHALOM. (Hebrews 4:9)

May the Lord Jesus help us to process our grief in the blessedness of honesty as He draws us to the Joy of His lasting Shalom.


by Jay O'Toole
on March 1st, 2021


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