Monday, February 27, 2017


Isn’t it interesting that this morning’s Bible message from the pulpit dove-tailed with a particular matter that has held my interest over the past few weeks of my own Bible Study? I like to think of such things as God’s doing such especially for me! Oh, I know others benefit by it as well, but an occasion such as this just reinforces my faith in His very individual care for me.
With the decision to do a chronological read-through of the Bible this year, I’d not gone very far before choosing to use the Easy Read Version for a change. Since I was already using the YOU BIBLE on my iPad, I knew it would be easy to switch back and forth between versions should I question anything that sounded different than my recall.
Having read a few chapters, I decided to start marking each verse that said or indicated that this particular person “did just as the Lord commanded.” I’d always been impressed with the verse stating, “Noah did according to all that the Lord commanded him.” (Genesis 7:5) This, of course, was in regard to his obedience in the building of the ark, as well as the follow-through.
As I continued to read through some of the additional OT books, the number of nearly identical scriptures, with more identifying character’s named, was astounding. This afternoon, I counted the scriptures I’d saved so far, a few of which are not in regard to this matter, but of the 178, most in the ERV are.  The primary reason for this standing out with such importance to me was based on how reminiscent it was to what Jesus plainly stated, “If you love Me, keep My commands.” (John 14:15) Once I kept coming across first one, and then another of those Old Testament verses stating, “And ___ (name) did all that the Lord commanded,” each one was a personal reminder of that New Testament verse from Jesus, too. 
With the thoughts in mind of doing all that the Lord commands from both the Old and New Testaments, let’s go back to the beginning paragraph’s thoughts regarding this morning’s message.  (THANK YOU, PAUL SHERO.) Particular focus was placed on consideration of the word “MUST” as it is found in regard to the selection of elders and deacons in I Timothy 3 and Titus 1.Though those are scriptures with which I am quite familiar, today it was time to consider them with the word MUST in context in depth. MUST isn’t just another word here. It’s meaning includes: ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY, UNCONDITIONAL, NOT JUST A SUGGESTION, BROOKS NO ARGUMENT, NO QUESTION, NO WIGGLE-ROOM, COMPELLLED. Sounds positively definite, don’t you think? Let’s look at a few of the verses with MUST added where the commas originally left the words out:
I Timothy 3:1-7
It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer (i.e.elder), it is a fine work he desires to do. 2 An overseer (i.e.elder), then, MUST be above reproach, MUST be the husband of one wife, MUST be temperate, MUST be prudent, MUST be respectable, MUST be hospitable, MUST be able to teach, 3 MUST not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but MUST be gentle, MUST be peaceable, MUST be free from the love of money. 4 He MUST be one who manages his own household well, MUST be keeping his children under control with all dignity 5 (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), 6 and MUST not be a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. 7 And he MUST have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
To sum this up, remembering back, the Old Testament leaders “did all that the Lord commanded”, the elders are to be the leaders in the church today with Christ as the Head, and Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commands.” When we look at what is past and what is ahead, we sometimes have a tendency to say, “But that’s impossible today.” Simple faith says, really look at the past. Consume those verses from the leaders of the Old Testament along with the commands and promises in the New, because Jesus promised to be with us always, (Matthew 28:20) and through Paul’s teaching we have learned that ,”I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)
“Remember those who led you,
who spoke the word of God to you,
and considering the result of their conduct,
imitate their faith.”
Hebrews 13: 7 NASB)

© M Sue    2-26-2017

Thursday, February 23, 2017


When the thought JESUS CHOSE comes to mind, along with the many facets of His life choices, I am reminded of how giving He was.
Of the many choices Jesus made, His outstanding selfless deed to leave heaven to come to live on earth with His full knowledge of what lay ahead, truly boggles my human mind! It seems to me that once in heaven, were it even possible, I, (and likely not one of you!) would ever want to return to earth! I am so very thankful for the life He lived in this world, for the true stories of how He handled so many of life’s situations, of how He must have looked people directly in the eye as He dealt with them, maybe with a hand resting upon a strong shoulder during a conversation, sometimes with an arm around a frail body, giving strength as He spoke Truth, because His very being exuded Truth, Truth in a simple human body.
When He gave the admonition to “Do unto others as you would have them to do unto you,” (Matthew 7:12) He showed He’d already done so by His life. But, when someone is unkind to me, the temptation is to pay them back when I know I should rather have a Jesus attitude, both because it would mean my obedience to Him and because that is truly how I’d prefer to be treated! “But it’s so hard, Lord.” Can you imagine me looking my Lord in the eye and saying that to him, the One Who hung on that cross for hours so my picky little sins as well as my tremendous blunders could be forgiven? In one sense, neither can I*, but if I believe the Bible (and I do) Hebrews 4:15 (NIV) says, “He was tempted in all ways just as we are.” THAT was the human Jesus. (And because of that, I could and I can talk to Him about anything*!)
First of all, it should be obvious if I choose to treat others as I want to be treated, then I’m going to be thoughtful, kind, and compassionate. Yet, when someone is unkind to me and my first thoughts are far from kind and compassionate, how opposite of the way of Jesus is that? So how did He handle such?
I Peter 2:23
“and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously;”
Ah, do you see the secret there? Instead of responding in kind, He turned it over to His Father God! We read in other passages where He went aside to pray, often to be alone, sometimes early in the morning, sometimes all night. (Luke 5:16; Luke 6:12; Matthew 14:23; Mark1:35) Yes, the human Jesus left Himself totally in His Father’s care. How did He do that? I’m going to suggest it was through His practice of making a choice. Yes, He had made THE CHOICE to follow His Father (“Don’t you know I must be about My Father’s business?” Luke 2:49) but He, like we, had to keep on making the decision to follow that choice. Part of that choice was keeping in close contact with His Father, God.
Oh, my! What a long way I have yet to go! I am so thankful for the compassionate kindness Jesus has chosen to show me. How can I help but want to be more like Him? In my thankfulness for the life He lived on the earth and for the example He chose to set for me, I know Jesus chose, therefore, I can choose, too.
© M Sue

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


How often do I think, and share with others, the memory, JESUS CHOSE?
As I consider those two words, so many thoughts come tumbling one on top of another, I can scarcely keep up with them in my own mind, let alone put them down on a page to share!
First off comes, “Take up your cross daily.” (Luke 9:23) Okay, from the moment I decided I wanted to be a follower of Jesus, I had made THE CHOICE; therefore, with that decision (i.e. choice) having been made, what else is there to consider? It’s simple, right? Two ways to turn, right or left, one being His Way, one being the way of the world; I’ve already made my decision, haven’t I? Then, “Take up your cross daily,” should be my life,” not just a verse to remind me that this was a choice I made so many years ago.
I was such a baby in Him at that time, I was not fully aware that the new life in Him (Romans 6:4) meant not only were my past sins washed away, but also as long as I kept on choosing to faithfully walk with Him, my sins would continue to be washed away! (I John 1:7)
How does all this fit together, this choosing as Jesus chose, when I remember He was without sin (I Peter 2:22) and I know that even though I make the effort to remember to make the right choices,  I sometimes react rather than act? Therefore, in my sin, I am not like Jesus. This is where I can choose to follow His example of humility and confess to Him I have sinned. Because He is waiting and watching in love, I can choose to return to taking up my cross and following Him His way.

© M Sue