Chapter 10 Thoughts

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Life On The Highest Plane:  Chapter 10 Thoughts:

I read this chapter out loud as my Hon- drove us to Cannon Beach last week.  It gave us lots to ponder and talk about on our twelve-hour drive.  It has been worth the re-reading for me and I pray that you will take the time to read it and enjoy it as much as we have.

Chapter 10 covers the second of four spans in the “bridge of salvation”.  The first span covered in Chapter 9, spoke of the incarnation of Christ.  This chapter speaks of the Cross of Christ.

Right away the author dove into “the hour” that Jesus spoke of so many times during His ministry.  While reading through the many Scriptures that refer to this hour, it’s clear that Jesus not only knew He had come to die, but He also knew the purpose of why He had come to die.  He anticipated it and knew that it would complete His ministry on earth.

Jesus’ first mention of “the hour” was at the wedding in Cana.

“And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does that have to do with us?
My hour has not yet come.”
John 2:4

This verse has always struck me as kind of funny.  But was it a funny moment shared between Mary and her Son, Jesus?  Mary wanted Jesus to do something about the fact that the wedding party had run out of wine.  It leaves me wondering what she knew about Jesus as the Son of God. What exactly did she expect Him to do? Did she know that He could change the water to wine?  Had He shown her the things He could do at a time prior?  Maybe it was the Holy Spirit prompting her to speak, saying something to Jesus that even she did not understand…

I wonder when Jesus said that His hour had not yet come, if the comment thrust Mary into a thought that wasn’t as happy as the wedding they were enjoying at that moment.  Did she know the hour of which He referred to?  Did she know how difficult the hour would be for her as a mother, but incomparable to what it would mean for her Son, the One who would take upon Himself every sin ever committed by mankind?

Chapter 10 follows the study of “the hour” right on through to Matthew 26:45,

“Then He came to the disciples and said to them,
“are you still sleeping and resting?  Behold, the hour is at hand and
the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners.”

At this point I could see that the hour was definitely referring to the hour of Jesus’ death.  But so many wonderful questions were asked during this part of the chapter.  “Why would Jesus dread this hour?”  “Wouldn’t it be an hour of glorious release?”  “Wouldn’t the hour return Him to the presence of His Father in heaven?”

Here I could see how Jesus’ death related to both those who have placed their faith in Him as their Lord and Savior and to the unsaved man, for sin has to be judged by God. The saved man will see his judgment taken by Jesus on the Cross.  However, the unsaved man will have to take God’s judgment of his sin upon himself (even though Jesus has done that for him), since He has not believed in the Only Begotten Son of God.  This is so sad to think of since Jesus died for all men.  There is no reason for any man to have to take the judgment and penalty of his own sin and perish without God.  Except for one:  His own stubborn will.  He simply refuses to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved.

The questions may be asked, “Who exactly did Christ die for?  Are there only a select few?” I loved reading Scripture after Scripture in this chapter that said Jesus died for the sin of us all.  Not one person is left out!  When Jesus died on the Cross, He drew all men unto Himself and anyone who will come admitting they are a sinner in need of a Savior can be saved by the death of Jesus Christ. No one is exempt, except the man who chooses to make himself exempt by refusing to place his faith in the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross!

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.”
Titus 2:11

One mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
who gave Himself a ransom for all.”
1 Timothy 2:5-6

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
Isaiah 53:6

“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death,
crowned with glory and honor;
that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”
Hebrews 2:9

“This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior;
who would have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth.”
1 Timothy 2:3-4

The author says, “the great divide, a double exposure, the place of victory, a divinely-prepared turning point, the end of the old creation and the beginning of the new, and the place of decision that determines destiny”.  So true.  I loved this chapter and hope you take time to enjoy it as well.

 

Blinkin Squiggle

 

Happy SimplyLiving!

Constance

 

Chapter 9 Thoughts

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Life on the Highest Plane:  Chapter 9 Thoughts

It was interesting to see in Scriptural detail that took place during the incarnation to restore and reconcile man and indeed all of creation back to God.  The crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Christ will be studied in the chapters to follow, and I am very much looking forward to it.

We saw that:  1) man had to be restored wholly in order to fulfill the “original divine intention” in God’s creation; 2) that sin had to be dealt with in its entirety; i.e., “guilt, penalty, power and presence”; 3) the payment that Christ made with the sacrifice of His body on the cross had to “remove any separation between God and man” and be offered to everyone; 4) a new order of mankind “must supersede the old order” which was ruined and rejected by the fall; and 4) that “Satan must be defeated and dethroned” and God’s sovereignty restored fully over all of His creation.

Incarnation was one of the four spans of the bridge that would accomplish this and it began when Jesus was born as a baby.  I was thinking about how important this was to us.  Ruth Paxson mentioned how we are so prone to compare ourselves to one another, but in doing this we have no desire for anything better than our sinful nature.

In order for Christ to restore us wholly unto God, we needed Him to come in the likeness of God and in the likeness of us, so that we could look upon Him and have a revelation of God as He is, but still have a revelation of who we are, as we are – but also how God intends us to be.  WOW!

Have you ever thought about the fact that Jesus was the perfect representation of God and of us?  He was the God-man and He had to be this in order to reconcile us back to God…  I think this is incomprehensible!  Yet, it’s true and I believe it!

The author shared some amazing insights:

Through sin we have been blinded to the worth of God — Through sin we have been blinded to the worthlessness of our self.

When we compare ourselves to Christ alone, we can see the depth of sin into which we have fallen.

When we compare ourselves to Christ alone, we can see the height of holiness to which we may rise.

Here we see that in order for sinful man to partake of a divine nature, God had to first partake of our human nature.

Here again, we come to the incarnation — God coming to earth in the form of man, Jesus Christ.  We also see the Cornerstone:  The divine nature of God and the human nature of man in One, Jesus Christ.

But how does man partake of the divine nature?  We saw that this takes place in the death, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord Jesus.

We also read of how Jesus had to succeed on earth in all the ways that the first Adam failed.  Adam had human limitations, he was tempted from without by satan to “doubt, disobey, and be disloyal”.  Jesus would have to be tempted to sin in the same way.

On the Jordan with John the Baptist, Jesus identified Himself with sinful man and “He accepted responsibility as Savior of the world”.  Immediately after this, He was led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit to be tempted by the devil.

This is where I spent my time of meditation last night as I finished up this chapter.  Was it as God or as God-man that Jesus triumphed over satan in the wilderness?  I need to know the answer to this question.  This matters deeply to all mankind.

If Jesus triumphed over the temptation of the devil as God, then I cannot relate.  I can’t have victory over the temptations of the devil as God.  I must be able to overcome temptation as a mere man.

Revelation came sweeping over me of how Jesus was tempted in the same way Adam was tempted in the Garden of Eden.  Adam was tempted to become like God.  Jesus was tempted over and over again to act as God.  In this way, He would fail the battle just as Adam and all of mankind would be lost to the devil.

But, Jesus overcame the temptation of satan, not as God, but in the very same way that we as men have to overcome temptation!  How?

  • By wholly submitting to the leading of the Holy Spirit; and
  • By totally obeying the Word of God.

The author says, “Jesus’ victory in the wilderness was our victory as well”!

Did this obedience that Jesus displayed in the wilderness come easily to Him?  Hebrews 2:10 and 5:8-9 says that He learned it through suffering and sorrow, through trial and tribulation – it was not easy, it was learned painfully, just as we have to learn it.

The author reminded me that obedience took Jesus from the wilderness right on through to the Cross.  Obedience unto death according to the Father’s will.

Did this obedience reestablish unity between mankind and God?  Did it restore the image of God in man that had been marred by sin?  In both accounts, YES!

The author shows us that Jesus Christ has inaugurated a new order of people who are to be:  Heavenly, holy, pure and perfect — Just like He is.  We shall be conformed to the image of God’s One and Only Son.  Hallelujah!

I love this chapter of “Life on the Highest Plane”. 

Con-

Blinkin Squiggle

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Behold, bless the LORD, all
servants of the LORD,
Who serve by night in the
house of the LORD!

Lift up your hands to the
sanctuary
And bless the LORD.

May the LORD bless you from
Zion,
He who made heaven and
earth.

Psalm 134

Blinkin Squiggle

Blessings to you on this fine 27th day of February.

Constance

Chapter 8 Thoughts

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NOTICE:  This post consists of Life On The Highest Plane:  Chapter Reviews for Chapters 8, 7, 6, 5, 4 and 3 – not just Chapter 8.  In order to see all of them, please continue to scroll down.

Life On The Highest Plane:  Chapter 8 Thoughts

Ruth is very good at asking questions that I wouldn’t think to ask, but should.  Such as, “What method would God use in salvaging the wreckage wrought in humanity?  Would He try to repair… or would He replace it…?  Would He reestablish… or would He inaugurate…?”

It only makes sense that since it was a man who caused the ruin of mankind by disobedience – it would have to be a man who would save mankind through obedience.  It couldn’t be a bull or a goat or an angel.  But all men became sinners through the first Adam, so God would become man and as the last Adam, He would redeem all of mankind.

So man would be redeemed through a Man.  But Jesus was not a man who became God.  Jesus has always been God and He became a man.  He had to become a mediator that both God and man would trust in order to bring about reconciliation between the two.

I have never really thought about this deeply.  When I think of Jesus, I tend to start with the fact that He was born a baby, even though I know He has always been and will always be God.  I give Him a beginning of man.

It is easy to see how Jesus could be a Mediator that God would trust as He was tested and found to be totally obedient to God; sin free.  (God put Himself to the test, but obviously not to prove Himself to Himself, but to prove Himself to us).  But how could man trust Him to represent mankind?  How could Jesus relate and be like man?  I don’t think I could honestly say that I would even ever dare ask this question.  I mean, what if He can’t represent me?  Then all my hope is for nothing!  The honest answer to this question means everything to me!  I’m so glad God found Jesus worthy and raised Him from the grave!!!!  Hallelujah!

I love the answer from so many Scriptures:  Philippians 2:6-8, Hebrews 2:10, 1 Timothy 2:5, 1 Corinthians 15:47, John 1:1-2, John 1:14, and Hebrews 2:9 – “The Eternal Son of God became the Incarnate Son of Man…”.  “Heaven came to earth.”

He became one with us and He became part of our flesh and blood.  Hebrews 2:11 and 2:14 and 2:17-18.

But how did God do this?  The Scriptures again tell us over and over again:  He was born just like you and me!  It was and is the miracle of miracles and mystery of mysteries!!

Do I really believe this happened?  That God became a man?  Yes, I really do and this too is a miracle of miracles and mystery of mysteries, and this too is of God!

“The Godhead and the Manhood were joined together in one Person, never to be divided, whereof is one Christ, very God and very Man.” – Outlines of Christian Doctrine, by H.C.G. Moule, p.57.  This is another wonderful truth to meditate on.

God prepared a body for Jesus, and Jesus humbled Himself and partook of this human body.  He endured every conceivable suffering and died on the cross a condemned criminal.

He did this to become sinful mankind’s Savior.  He represented God and He represented man.  In this way He reconciled sinful man with a Holy God!  This is truly amazing!

I know I have said it so many times before, but I love this book!!  I was talking to a gentleman the other day who is also reading this book.  I had given it to his wife years ago to read and he found it on the shelf and began reading it.  He said it has changed his life!!

Happy SimplyLiving!

Constance

Blinkin Squiggle

Life On The Highest Plane:  Chapter 7 Thoughts

Right away I am seeing God’s love from a whole new perspective than how God’s love is examined these days by any believer .  We don’t even think to go back to Genesis to see God’s love from this perspective.  But why?  To think that God’s love is so great that not even the ultimate sin of rejection of God can begin to quench His great love is worth meditating on for a life time!  The fact that God could never cast away a sinner and still be considered love is so amazing.  And yet, this amazing love of God must be balanced out with the fact that He is holy, especially when it has to deal with man’s sin.

Wow!  I’ve never looked at the problem of sin from God’s perspective in this way before.  As a mom, I know to a very small degree what it feels like to have to deal with one of my kid’s sin – it must be stopped and brought under the scrutiny of God’s Word and the child must be given time alone to think about their sin and decide whether to repent or not.  Yet, I must open my arms and bid him/her to come to be loved as well.  Right now the amazing grace of 1 John 1:9 is coming to mind:

“If you confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive your sins, and to cleanse you from all righteousness.”

We don’t even understand how huge this verse is to us as Christians!  Praise the Lord!  To be able to come before my holy Creator, confessing of my sin, and He forgiving my sin instead of condemning it and then cleansing me instead of sending me away from His presence forever!  Amazing Grace, truly!

I have another thought at this point:  The sin of Lucifer did separate him forever from God – his sin was condemned and he was cast down to earth, away from God.  I see that Jesus did not come to save the angels – He came in the body of a man (in the likeness of man) to offer that human body as a sacrifice for man only.  He did not come in an angelic body, so therefore could not be a sacrifice for the angels.  At the time of Lucifer’s sin, did God look to the cross for a sacrifice and find nothing acceptable?  So, then Lucifer’s sin was condemned and he was cast away from God?  Just a thought…

At this point, I’m seeing God the Father as the holiness and God the Son as the love.  God the Father looked on Lucifer from all holiness and condemned his sin, there was no sacrifice from God the Son on Lucifer’s behalf, so there was no love to bid him come???  I don’t know why I’m thinking on this so much – it’s just interesting.  Sorry, if I’m not making sense J  Just thinking it through.

Isn’t it so amazing to consider Jesus’ crucifixion before the foundations of the earth?  Then to be promised in Genesis and then realized by man at the cross.  The work of Jesus at the cross truly is timeless – and amazing that man can still look back to the cross today and be saved by faith in Jesus!  Amazing!  Amazing!  Seriously, what if it were a one-time event – offered only to the ones who witnessed it.   And we say, “It was a one-time event”, but God adds to that statement and says, “Offered to all men, for all time from before the foundations of the earth until He comes again in the clouds!”  WOW!

Thank You Father for thinking of everything!  You do so love us!  Amen!

Happy SimplyLiving!

Constance

Blinkin Squiggle

Life On The Highest Plane: Chapter 6 Thoughts

This really is one of my most favorite chapters in this book!  The reason being is that it deals with a real problem we have today, one that some call “easy believism”.  Having said that, this is really one of my most hated chapters in this book.  It sparks a fire in me that wants to burn out of control!  Therefore, I apologize beforehand of the many words that can pour out of my heart.  I will try to keep it brief!

It only stands to reason, if we clearly understand the state of the unredeemed, that there must be a consciousness of one’s personal sin before there can even be a desire to be saved.  Without knowing how truly lost we are or having a glimpse of the wretchedness within, we will not see our need for a Savior – that will all be foolishness to us.  I personally believe this is why God first draws us to His Son – It’s there before the Spotless Lamb, that we can see the stark contrast between good and evil – it’s there with our own selves being contrasted with that of Jesus Christ Himself, we can see how wretched we truly are and how desperately we need Him!

Secondly, our response to that contrast:  Some cry “What must I do to be saved?!!!” – while some spit in the Spotless Lamb’s face…  I want to say here that the spitting can come in different forms.  There are those who are vile and unashamed in their pride and arrogance and quick to reject Jesus Christ as their Savior and who are even unashamed to let everyone know.  But there are those who are vile inwardly and come up with their own way by which to be saved and they set to “work” to do their own form of spitting in His face – In the church I believe, these are the most destructive.  They continually bring their own form of heresy to the altar to be approved before a silent God (this is their hope).  But our God is not fooled as we can be.  He looks on the heart, while we continue to look on the outward appearance and slowly get caught up in the “ABCs” of salvation.  O how sad as we lead our own children down this path!  It is so much easier to just skip the question, “What must I do to be saved?” with the emphasis being on “saved” to “What must I do to be saved?” with the emphasis on “I do”.  Ok – I’m done ranting.

I like her questions:  “What can a bond-slave do to free himself?…”  and everything said on pages 116 & 117 regarding this.  The last paragraph on page 117 begins to deal with humanism in its finest.  We take the place of God and decide what is acceptable and not and the second paragraph of page 118 sums it up perfectly!

I wonder if this is why we have so many within the church who struggle with knowing whether they are saved or not?  I have been thankful for the advice of Kay Arthur, who reminded us as Precept leaders to not tell someone who says they do not feel saved, they are saved.  This has to be the work of the Holy Spirit, not the work of man!  God’s Word says clearly in Romans 8:16-17 that “The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified with Him.”  Is the Holy Spirit taking a break when it comes to His job of bearing witness to Christians?  I don’t think so.

This summer has been one of God continually reminding me that my faith in Jesus Christ and His work is HUGE!  He keeps bringing me back again and again to just have faith in the work of Jesus on the cross.  It is His Righteousness, it His Blood, it is His Everything that I need – nothing of me will do – EVER!

O LORD Jesus!  I humbly surrender myself to You and all You have done on my behalf.  Help me to teach my children to do the same!  It is You that we need – nothing else will do!  Please don’t stop reminding me of this simple truth.

Happy SimplyLiving!

Constance

Blinkin Squiggle

Life On The Highest Plane:  Chapter 5 Thoughts

This is a wonderful Chapter in so many ways!  It’s hard to read the facts of our enemy and spend so much time thinking of his wicked ways – however, God makes it clear that it’s so important for us to understand and anticipate the schemes of this one who tries to usurp God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit in our lives every day.

I looked up the word abstraction for a clear definition:  it is the act of considering something as a general quality or characteristic, apart from concrete realities, specific objects, or actual instances.

I’m trying to take time here to really understand what is being said on pages 85 and 86.  Thinking:  We are born in sin – Adam’s sin has spread to all of mankind.  However, when we lie, or whatever other sin we may commit, it is coming from the father of that action of sin – the devil…

Likewise, when we commit an act of love or kindness – it is coming from the only One who is good – that is God…

I have always understood the Bible in this way.  However, so often I hear Godly people say that our sinful flesh actions are sometimes a result of our own heart’s desires and should not be blamed on the devil (as if we are giving him too much credit – or not putting enough blame on ourselves)???  Interesting.  I’m going to have to spend a little more time thinking on this – I know that I lean toward being very literal and black and white, so that’s probably what I’m doing here.  Maybe you have some thoughts that can help clear this up for me..  Let me know.

I love the paragraphs in this chapter that remind us of Victory in Jesus!  Such as:  “On the threshold of divine revelation we read the prophecy of a conflict between satan and God and every page from that on is but an unfolding of its progress toward its divinely appointed end, the ultimate and absolute defeat of satan, the eternal and perfect victory of God.” P. 89

The discussion on the two kingdoms that exist now reminds me of what I tell my kids often.  We are so blessed to be children of God’s marvelous light.  At this time in history, God allows us to take that Light into the kingdom of darkness (this world) and partake of it in moderation.  However, there will come a time (seen in Revelation), when those who are left on this earth will not be able to partake of that kingdom accept they have the mark of the beast.  They will not even be allowed to purchase food without that mark!  We are to hold onto the things of this cursed world lightly.  We are not to be friends with it.  There are so many warnings God gives us in His Word to not get grossly involved with this world, this kingdom of darkness – we cannot be His friend if we do.  This is hard!  My son is seeing how hard this is as he has been given the gift of understanding music so beautifully.  His desire to teach music theory someday has opened his eyes to the evil that lurks in the world of the arts.  There is a very thick darkness there – but God has allowed us to go in and bring the light of Christ – this takes a steadfast faith!

I wrote on 11/2/2010 in the margin of page 94 (description of the two rivers) – This is why it is so important for children of God to partake in the things of God constantly and to great abundance.  The truth of the Word of God must be consumed daily so our outflow is that of God and not of the world in which we live (the kingdom of darkness).  Many have been deceived to believe they can partake of this world and not be polluted, but they have become enemies of God!

Pages 96 to 99 are my favorite of this book!  I love these pages and could and have read them over and over.  Nothing and no one can thwart the plan of our God – Hallelujah!  Amen!

Another thing that is necessary to read over and over, because I tend to forget, is that looking for the evil or the bad to flee from it – doesn’t always work, since our enemy can come dressed as an angel of light!  Ugh!  This makes me cry out “Come Lord Jesus, Come!”

I cannot wait for us to be able to see the Church and the world totally separated – they can look so much alike sometimes – divorces, abused children, addictions, foul language, immorality, no virtues – This makes me cry out in sickness – we so desperately need our Lord Jesus every minute!

Happy SimplyLiving!

Constance

Blinkin Squiggle

Life On The Highest Plane:  Chapter 4 Thoughts

Right away this chapter reminds me of how much Christ has done for us and how careful we must be to be grateful every day.  Jesus has released us from a bondage that we had no way to release ourselves from.

Also, it helps me to understand Paul’s heart a little better in Romans 6:

1     What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?

2       May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?

3       Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?

4       Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

5       For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,

6       knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;

7       for he who has died is freed from sin.

8       Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,

9       knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him.

10       For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.

11       Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

12       Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts,

13       and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

14       For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

15       What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!

16       Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?

17       But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,

18       and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

19       I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.

20       For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.

21       Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death.

22       But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.

23       For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (Ro 6:1–Ro 7). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

Sorry to bring the whole chapter 6 of Romans into my notes, but as I read through it – it was overwhelming to be reminded what power sin once had over my life, and yet my Sweet Jesus in all His glory and power has set me free – why do I even waste a moment in sin – giving into it, when I clearly have power over it once for all?  Oh Lord!  How I long for You to come and put this body of death to rest that I might live in Eternity with You!  Come Lord, Come!

The description of sin causing civil war within the human personality and the spirit of man becoming a death chamber closed off to God is so sad, but so accurate…

She then says man now “…had the knowledge of evil but he had neither the wisdom nor the power to resist it.”  It is so important that we remember this as we share the Gospel and lead other’s by the Holy Spirit to Jesus.  I often find myself wondering how deep in sin people are willing to go these days – it seems unstoppable.  Then I remember, they have no wisdom nor power to resist it – It’s not their choice of how far into sin they go – they are slaves.

All thoughts of man without Christ are truly materialistic, sensual and rationalistic.  This is so true and there is no wisdom of God within them to help them to stop thinking along these lines.  Only through faith in Christ can this curse be broken, only through Him can we think about things with the mind of Christ.  Only through Him can we understand the Scriptures, without Him we declare the Scriptures foolish.

I think page 76 makes me most happy in this whole chapter J  “To will to do God’s will is man’s highest privilege, his most Godlike prerogative.  To live wholly within the will of God is to have righteousness, peace and harmony reign everywhere.”   This is where I stop to pray – O Lord, I want Your will in my life.  Take my will and let it be wholly consecrated Lord to Thee…  I wrote in the margin on this page – “Do we really believe this is our highest privilege, our most Godlike prerogative?  This is a place to meditate.

So now we come to pages 78 through 82 where the spiritual warfare begins.  In times past when I have attempted to read this book with others, we have not made it past this point.  May you and I press on!  And I want to say, “Thank you”, again Sally for reading this wonderful book with me – there are such gems to behold as we continue.

In the margin on page 79, I have written, “O Lord!” when I get to this point in this book, the warfare begins!  I’m overwhelmed Lord!  Help me to repent and keep moving through the pages.

Page 81 says, “God is light, sin is darkenss; therefore God must displace sin or sin displaces God.  God and sin cannot stay in the same place at the same time for they are mutually exclusive.”

Page 83 beginning at the 3rd paragraph down to the end of this chapter is overwhelming once again.  We must line our thinking up with what God says about sin and we must feel about sin the same way God does.  Overwhelming!  I have so many more thoughts on this chapter – I may spend more time in it and send more later.

I can hear the words of John the Baptist, “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.  “His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (Mt 3:11–12). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

Happy SimplyLiving!

Constance

Blinkin Squiggle

Life On The Highest Plane: Chapter 3 Thoughts

On page 41 in the margin I have a note from the very first time I read this book titled – “My Honest Question”:  Where does hopeless, sinful man without any good in him get the power to accept the free gift of eternal life?

I remember this being such a huge question for the first time in my walk with the Lord!  I remembered struggling off and on with the surety of my own salvation.  “How did I know for sure that I was saved?”, came to mind often.  This question was one that constantly hung over my soul.  It caused me much grief – I simply did not have an answer, until I began to see it here on these pages – straight from the Scriptures – in particularly, Ephesians.

Now, there are other notes on this same page in the margin, such as:  1) To accept eternal life through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ opens the way to live life on the highest plane here on earth;  2) Jesus said, “If I be lifted up I will draw all men to Myself.”  He draws us, the Father draws us – all of us.  However, not all will choose Him;  3)The Father draws us, woos us, receives us – He is full of Grace, Love and Patience!  Thank You LORD!;  4)  This is Grace!  O Father, You truly saved me!  I cannot boast in my salvation because I had nothing to do with it!  You alone are to be praised!

At this point, I realized how my faith must kick into full gear:  This was my revelation:  “I must read the Scriptures every day and I must choose to believe EVERYTHING God says – whether I feel it or not, because He is faithful, even when I am not, He cannot deny Himself!” , and right away my faith was put to a test.  I had a whole summer of not being able to truly sense the presence of God in my life, as I had up to that point.  How did I get through?  In my mind and my heart, I kept praying back to God, Whom I felt had deserted me,”You are faithful!  You will not leave me, nor forsake me!”.  I didn’t quit, and I focused my whole faith on these three truths and I came through stronger in my faith, than when I had begun the test.  I believe the key was that I did not lean on my own understanding (or my feelings which were VERY strong), but in all my ways I acknowledged God and He kept my path straight.  At this point, “All my ways”, were the three simple truths about God – it was all I could bring myself to believe at that point.

One thing that I believe to be a huge factor in the survival of this summer-long test was the fact that I did not try to convince myself that I was saved – or a sort of positive thinking.  I leaned wholly on the three truths that God is faithful, God will not leave me, God will not forsake me – these were my only anchor during that time.  The plain Scripture, nothing more.  – I have nothing to teach here, I simply want to share my thoughts and my prayers through a specific struggle with the specific subject of “How do I know for sure that I am saved?”

Regarding 1 John 5:11-12, still on page 41  – “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.  He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” – I have a lot of very deep thoughts that flow through my heart and mind, that I cannot even type out right this moment.  I may come back to this, when it can be processed clearly…

I just spent a whole page of typing on page 41 of Chapter Three alone, and  I fear I may never reach the end if I don’t move on – still I have so many thoughts…  

On page 44 the fact that through Adam sin and death came into the world and that through Jesus Christ salvation and life came into the world!  O thank You Father for Jesus – our Rescue!!!!  As I have studied the Scriptures inductively over the years, it has been such a delight to see the comparisons between Adam and Christ – I have found that a couple of hours of just meditating on these specific Scriptures bring immense joy to my soul that can last a lifetime!  The contrast of the two is Amazing Grace over and over!!!

On page 45 I noted that sin is known disobedience to the clearly revealed will of God.  How we love to muddy these waters…

On page 46 what stood out to me was the thought that God gave Adam, the first man, only one commandment, so only one transgression was possible for him…

From page 47 – 69 is one of the most complete studies of Scripture regarding our enemy and sin I have ever read through.  I am so thankful for these pages.  Knowing the tactics of the enemy of my soul, learning about him from his beginning to his soon end, gives me wisdom that is worth more than I could ever pay for!  Understanding the implications of sin and how it has been passed from Adam to all mankind is huge!

On page 52 – 2nd paragraph:  “undermining faith in God by malicious propaganda.”  This is a trait of the enemy that we must always be watchful for.  It can be so destructive, and truly living above reproach as God calls us to, prayer, and faith in God to keep the truth always prevailing is our only weapon in this battle.

I have so many thoughts on discontent and disorder – I would not know where to even begin.  I think simply put, we must begin in our own home, to win this battle.  A thought in the margin of page 53 from almost five years ago:  If we are surrounded by disorder, we will quickly become discontent, and this will make our senses easily tempted by things of this world that may seem “so much better” than the disorder we are living in.  This revelation was life-changing for me!

In reading through these pages, I was still struck by how the enemy’s schemes are still the same, yet we still fall for them!  O LORD JESUS – we need wisdom!  Give us wisdom and discernment for the times that we are living in and COME LORD JESUS COME – Take us Home to safety!

On pages 61, Ruth tells of sin in a way we should always keep in mind:  1) Sin is a fact;  2)Sin is a universal fact; 3) Every man is a sinner before he sins (our previous church actually taught that we were not actually sinners until we committed our first sin – this is how they justified that when infants die they go directly to Heaven) – However, the Bible does not teach this!

On page 65, I visualized the Cross of Jesus as the bridge that covered the gap that sin had caused between us and God.  The relationship between a husband and wife I saw as the horizontal beam and their relationship with God was the vertical beam – Ruth called it “The Eden Crisis”.  This is sobering to the bone.

On page 66, 2nd paragraph I had a thought:  God tells us in the New Testament to judge ourselves lest we be judged publically by Him.  It was the same in Eden.  The man had the ability via his soul to judge if he would allow himself to be affected by the world or God.  When he chose the world, he chose his own will instead of God’s will, thereby making God judge of him instead of keeping God as his Help.  (God, in His holiness had to judge sin.)  Page 67 says, “God’s holiness compelled Him to become a Judge, but His love compelled Him to become a Redeemer.”  This is so huge for us to understand and to explain to our children!

On page 68 I wrote the “Consequences of sin”:  Sweat, suffering, sorrow, separation from God, sacrifice of an animal – DEATH!  Still God has Victory and so do we through repentance and faith in Christ Jesus our LORD!

I fell like there is so much to talk about in this chapter.  But I also know that it is important to move on – there is still so much to be learned and learned again.

P.S.  Have you noticed any sly tactics of the enemy to keep you from reading this book.  Any lies, any deception, any confusion?  Press on – I promise there is still so much that we absolutely need to learn and be reminded of.

Happy SimplyLiving!

Constance

Book Review, Chapter 2

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NOTICE:  This Book Review is for Life On The Highest Plane: Chapters 1 & 2!!! – Scroll down for Chapter 1 Thoughts – Thank you!

Life On The Highest Plane:  Chapter 2 Thoughts

Whenever I read this chapter, I find myself so sad for Adam.  My heart truly goes out to God’s first man!  He had EVERYTHING to live a life of Godliness – he was without excuse, but then again according to 2 Peter 1:3, so do I.  Now my sadness turns towards me!  Still, I am thankful for this chapter to break it all down and get me back to the basics, the foundation of who we are and who we are not – Who God is and who He is not.

God is uncreated, eternal, infinite, heavenly, divine – the Fountainhead of all life.  God is a Person who thinks, loves and wills, but God is not a man like me!

Man is created, not eternal, finite, earthly, created from the dust of the earth.  Yet, like God, he is also a person who thinks, loves and wills – in the image of God, but man is not God!

Thought:  Oh how often I can easily get confused in this area of my thinking.  I make God out to be a mere man as if His thoughts and ways are just like mine.  I think He can overlook sin, just like I do…  And how quickly I can slip into the position of God – judging and cursing those who are God’s creation, made in His image – just like me. ( James 3:9-10)  This should not be!

I have to stop here and remind myself of how gracious God has been in sending His Son, drawing me to Him and giving me the Grace to believe, repent and be saved!  Through this, I have been restored to the place where I have the mind of Christ to think like Him, the Love of God flowing through me so I can Love like Him, and the Holy Spirit within me and a new heart and spirit to desire His will for my life and those around me!

Prayer:  Oh thank You Father, Son and Holy Spirit I can see that I have been made in Your image. 

Thought:  It’s interesting to think that Adam was made in the image of God, but also had the capacity for sonship.  It’s so true that we usually think the opposite direction, i.e.; God placed perfect Adam in the Garden knowing he would sin and need a Savior.

It is sobering to see that God placed perfect Adam on this earth to come into sonshiip with God.  Through Adam’s eventual sonship, all mankind would be blessed.  But Adam, instead of choosing this sonship, at the moment of testing chose to disobey God giving up his potential sonship, and thereby cursing all mankind.  WOW!

I have to say that my favorite part of Chapter Two is the breaking down of the man – body, soul, spirit.  This totally clicks with me.  It reveals to me why it is SOOOOO important for us to exercise self-control through the indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit and why it is SOOOOO important for us to practice discipline when it comes to our senses – we are very moved by what we can see, touch, smell, hear & taste and all these are greatly influenced by the things of this world.

My greatest desire is to be so in tune in my spirit with God, through the reading of His Word, prayer, meditation and fasting that my bodily actions influence this world rather than the world influencing me.  I think then I should be raptured to Heaven with such joy of being one with my Savior!!!  Oh Glory!  Oh Happy Day! 

In the margin of the book, I wrote this thought:  We minister to the world and reconcile them to God by communing with God daily, regularly, constantly – directing our soul to the things of God and surrendering totally.  Then our body will relay this message to the world in its actions/deeds – saturated and steeped in the Love of God.

So, I can now see clearly that God made man to be in constant communion with Him through his spirit.  There was absolutely nothing within Adam to hinder perfect obedience to God.  Likewise, there was nothing outside of man that would cause him to disobey God.  Everything was made perfect – it was all very good and it met every need of man.  God made a perfect man, placed him in a perfect place and had a perfect relationship with him.

Adam had the right to will and he had the power to will within God’s circle of will – this was true both internally and externally for Adam.

Thought:  As I think of myself in this triune state, it seems a little easier to focus on putting my efforts toward nurturing my spirit – the place of God awareness – rather than nurturing my body, the place of world awareness. If I do this, I would begin to live out Jesus’ words in my life that I should not worry about clothes, or what I will eat – my thoughts would be on His Kingdom and His Righteousness and He would care for the true needs of my body, just as He provided for the first man and woman in the beginning.  He is faithful and has been all along!  I love my God!

Prayer:  Father, You have always been a Faithful Provider and Protector.  Please help me to exercise this Truth in my daily life as I live as child of God, wife and mom.  Help me to influence the world with this Truth as I saturate myself in the things of You.  I long to work daily as a minister of reconciliation as You have called me to do.

Thank you so much for stopping by SimplyLiving101!

Blessings for the New Year!

Constance

Blinkin Squiggle

Life On The Highest Plane: Chapter 1 Thoughts

I love how this book starts out with the idea that “The Bible is God’s studio in which will be found the picture of each of His created beings.”, and then asks the question, “Do you wish to see your photograph?”

The thought of truly knowing what the God of the universe sees and thinks of when He looks at little, tiny me is intriguing, but somehow extremely scary as well.  He knows everything!  There is nothing hidden…  Like the woman at the well when she carries on what she believes to be an everyday normal conversation with another human being (with the exception that He is a Jew and she is a Samaritan), she learns quickly that He knows all things about her – nothing is hidden.  Wow!  She must have been overwhelmed and relieved all at the same time to hear her deepest secrets spoken out loud by  another!

Then all of mankind is divided into three classifications, and of course this sparks my curiosity as well.  How many times in the past nineteen years I have pondered the question, “What exactly is a carnal Christian?” and, “Is that even possible?”, “Is that true salvation?”, and so on.  Yet, Paul clearly points out that we as Christians can live in this manner.  Sigh…     Still there is the flip side, the higher plane – that’s where I so desperately want to live, just tell me how to get there and I’ll do it…  Oh, there’s only one Way, you say?…  (Please excuse my ramblings, I somehow amuse myself in this manner)

My most favorite part of Chapter 1 is the breakdown by Scripture of what the “Natural Man” is truly like.  This part of “Life On The Highest Plane” has helped me not only see the true depravity of my personal state of the first thirty years of my life – before God drew me to His Son, Jesus Christ – but has also helped me when I am having a conversation with one of my heathen family members.  Their lack of reverence or fear of God is now understood more clearly, and my frustration can be set aside while compassion quickly takes its place.  My note in the margin from the first time I read this book says, “Remembering what I was like before Jesus and studying the “Natural Man”, helps me understand the attitude of those in my life who do not love God.  It causes me to pray more sincerely for them.”  Also, I do believe that it is so important to remember what God has saved me from and how much I LOVED Him when He did so.  I must never forget my first LOVE for Christ and keep calling myself back to it, nor should I ever forget who I was, and what black, black darkness He has brought me out of.  It seems easy to slip into a subtle belief that I have always lived in His Glorious Light – but not so!

In regards to my thoughts on the “Spiritual Man” and the “Carnal Man” – this being my third time of reading through this book, my notes in the margins are interesting to read. 

On page 19, second and third paragraph, I wrote, “This explains to me why some Christians still participate in certain practices while others no longer do so.”  – As a fairly new Christian, I always thought it strange to walk out the front doors of our church and find people smoking near the “church-provided” ashtrays…

As I read about the “Carnal Man” again, my thoughts were:  “This is the moment in this book where I have to remember the best is yet to come.  Like the sinner needs to see himself as a sinner before he realizes he needs a Savior, so the “Carnal Man” has to see his “baby” state before he can begin to mature in Christ.

So, now I can see how viewing myself as God sees me is not so scary.  After all, it can only result in my steady maturing – but still there is some reservation of seeing the “real” me, that “deep down in my soul” me.  It’s like the first time I stared intently into my own eyes in the mirror.  There was something in me that didn’t want to look, I wanted to run away – it was very strange!  Now, I smile every time I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror or in a window.  My kids laugh at me.  It’s Jesus in me that makes me do it!

On December 16, 2010, I wrote in the margin of the “Carnal Man”,  “O Lord, I see myself as still carnal, yet know Your work is not finished.  I want so desperately to know the deep things of You – to willingly yield myself unreservedly to the Lord Jesus Christ – to believe the appropriating of Christ in my life with all His graces and gifts!  I believe Lord, I believe – please let it be so!  – I truly want Jesus to be Lord of my whole life – holding nothing back!

On February 6, 2011, I wrote, “God has already greatly answered this prayer!  As I read this again, I feel every bit of it more true of me than ever before!  Hallelujah, I have believed!  I am surrendering to Jesus more and more – I am living by the Spirit and not by my flesh more and more!  Hallelujah!  Thank You Father for doing this in me!  Please don’t stop until Christ returns.

Today, April 23, 2014, as I read this for a third time, my thoughts are reflecting on how God has drawn me from the “Natural Man” to His Glorious Son, Jesus Christ, and then steadily moved me from “Carnality” as a Christian to “Spirituality” – walking by the Spirit and not in my flesh.  The fact that Jesus has died to forgive me of my sins and also give me power over sin is very real to me!  I depend daily on this power over sin!  Yes, there are still periodic moments that I grieve the Holy Spirit and myself by choosing to obey my fleshly desires – but O how I truly hate these moments and quickly repent of them!  I am delighted to say these are no longer the norm.  My minute by minute desire is to walk with my Lord at the guidance of His Faithful Holy Spirit – I want so desperately to please my God alone.

Please don’t stop the work You have begun in me Father – I am prone to wonder so far from You, to walk by the leading of my flesh and not of Your Holy Spirit, to lean on my own understanding… – keep me at Your side, don’t let me go!  Keep me in Your strong grip Jesus, I so desperately need You!  You are my Everything!

What a wonderful book.  I highly recommend it to be read by all who desire a closer walk with their  Lord and Savior.

Happy SimplyLiving!

Constance