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for good?

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family. And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified. What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:26-39, NRSV)

All things work together for good…

Not that everything will be good, or good for us, but through every and all situations God is working.

And how is God working through the worst things in our lives?

I can’t tell you, but as Paul said, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” And that word if, is εἰ in the Greek, which is a word that means if, but it also means since. This is not Paul asking a question, but making an emphatic statement, “Since God is for us, who can possibly be against us!”

No one, so in every thing God will be with us and work through it with us.

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if you continue…

Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, ‘You will be made free’?”  Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:31-36, NRSV)

If the biggest smallest word in the English language!

“If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples.” If you continue means they were listening to and following His words. That is a question for some. But do we continue to listen and follow the words Jesus is saying to us?

They questioned even the statement of being set free, because they are descendants of Abraham, and therefore are a part of God’s chosen people, but have they forgotten this little place called Eygpt? And the years the Israelite people spent there in slavery? Never been slaves to anyone? Really?

But it isn’t about being a slave to a master who is human, could be, but more than that it is about us living a life that is freed from all worries and concerns. It is about us finding joy in the darkness because we are connected to Jesus.

It is about hearing His calling and following. It is about abiding in His word and allowing Him to abide in us.

 

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Since

170305Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! for it is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.’” Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him. (Matthew 4:1-11, NRSV)

This passage always gets me because we think that Satan is questioning Jesus as to if he is the son of God or not. But the word in the Greek is the word that means if or since. Maybe Satan isn’t questioning if Jesus is the Son of God, but telling Him, since you are the Son of God you can make bread from stones, so eat. Doesn’t dimish the temptation, but changes the whole passage. Satan knows who He is. He is trying to make Him use His power in ways He shouldn’t, for self-gratification.

And Satan quotes scripture because everyone can read and know scripture, but only those who follow after Jesus will read it and understand it. Others will use it out of context and cause others to stumble.

So do not look to yourself, but look to God and follow where He is leading. Since He is the Son of God He will not steer you wrong.

 

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If

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What is the question?

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor, and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! for it is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.’”  Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him. Now when Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. (Matthew 4:1-11, NRSV)

Jesus is tempted. But before He is tempted He is driven out into the wilderness, the desert space, by…

The Holy Spirit! God took Him there!

And when Satan comes to Him after He has been there in the desert, we assume with nothing for 40 days and tempts Him…

And Satan asks Him a question, “If you are the Son of God…”

Does Satan not know who He is? Or is he trying to confuse Jesus? You know if you are really hungry, sometimes you don’t think straight.

Satan is wondering if Jesus is the Son of God, or is Jesus actually knows who He is. Or maybe there is something else here.

The Greek word Εἰ means if, and it also means since. So is Satan saying, “If you are the Son of God…” or “Since you are the Son of God…”

You see I think Satan knows who He is, and is trying to get Him to question the plan. It is not that He is not able to do everything Satan is asking Him to do, He can, but to do that would question the plan and not allow God to be in control.

So do you know who Jesus is, and do you trust Him?

It is as simple as, “God if I only knew for sure your plan…” Or “God, since I know who you are, you have the plan…”

 

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if

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.” (john 11:17-27, NRSV)

If you had been here…

I know he will rise again…

Yes Lord I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God…

All of the statements at the end are cancelled by the statement, “If you had been here…”

If we really believe in the resurrection, and if we truly believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the Living God, then there is no if you had been here. There is the here and now, and the fact that He is always with us, even when we do not feel Him, or see Him, or know He is there.

Jesus waited 4 days, because in 3 days Lazarus could have waken up, and for the sake of the disciples He wanted them to see the true power, and sometimes we need that as well, but knowing the stories we do, we shoudl wipe if away, and always go with since…

Since I know Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the Living God, I will trust and follow and know that He will always provide and care for me!

 

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If ~ Day 5 Photo a Day Challenge Lent 2014

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Posted by on 2014/03/09 in Biblical, Devotional, Discipleship, Lent

 

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