Archive for March, 2019

LORD – I Look to You!

March 29, 2019

Psalm 121:1-2 AMPC
1 I will lift up my eyes to the hills [around Jerusalem, to sacred Mount Zion and Mount Moriah]—From whence shall my help come?
2 My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.

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Psalm 3:3-4 AMPC
3 But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. 4 With my voice I cry to the Lord, and He hears and answers me out of His holy hill. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!
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A Song:
LORD I will lift up my eyes
I will look to You
You are my help and shield

LORD I will lift up my eyes
I will look to You
You are my help and shield

You are the lifter of my head
HalleluYah HalleluYah
You are the lifter of my head

LORD I look to You
LORD I look to You
You are the lifter of my head!
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Psalm 84:11-12 AMPC
11 For the Lord God is a Sun and Shield; the Lord bestows [present] grace and favor and [future] glory (honor, splendor, and heavenly bliss)! No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
12 O Lord of hosts, blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man who trusts in You [leaning and believing on You, committing all and confidently looking to You, and that without fear or misgiving]!

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 @Khollandsblog
Tweets:
Discouraged? Afraid? Bowed down? Look away from the world-Lift up your eyes to Jesus-Your help&shield-He alone is able to keep you! -Ps 121; Ps 3:3; Ps 84:11-12 #TrustHim
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Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these stars
The One who leads forth their host by number
He calls them all by name by the greatness of His might
And the strength of His power
Not one is missing! –Isaiah 40:26 #TrustHim
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Word Study
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From Ps 3:3 bible hub{Barnes Notes}

  • My shield – Not only in these dangers, but in all dangers. The declaration here has a general form, as if he could trust in Him at all times.
  • My glory – My honor, or the source of my honor. That is, He bestows upon me all the honor that I have, and it is my glory that I may put my trust in Him.
  • The lifter up of my head – The head, in time of trouble and sorrow is naturally bowed down, as if overpowered with the weight of affliction. Psalm 35:14 : “I bowed down heavily as one that mourneth for his mother;” (Ps 38:6;Ps 42:5; Ps 44:25; Ps 57:6; Jn 19:30) To lift up the head, therefore, or to raise one up, is to relieve his distresses, or to take away his troubles. Such a helper, David says, he had always found God to be, and he looks to Him as one who is able to help him still.

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Jesus Teaches in Parables

March 25, 2019

Matthew 13:10-17 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Purpose of Parables
10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”

11 He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:

‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,
And seeing you will see and not perceive;
15 For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them.’
16 But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; 17 for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
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Why did Jesus teach in Parables?

  • Mark 4:10-12, 24-25 Amplified Bible (AMP)
    10 As soon as He was alone, those who were around Him, together with the twelve [disciples], began asking Him about [the interpretation of] the parables. 11 He said to them, “The mystery of the kingdom of God has been given to you [who have teachable hearts], but those who are outside [the unbelievers, the spiritually blind] get everything in parables, 12 so that they will continually look but not see, and they will continually hear but not understand, otherwise they might turn [from their rejection of the truth] and be forgiven.” …

    24 Then He said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear. By your own standard of measurement [that is, to the extent that you study spiritual truth and apply godly wisdom] it will be measured to you [and you will be given even greater ability to respond]—and more will be given to you besides. 25 For whoever has [a teachable heart], to him more [understanding] will be given; and whoever does not have [a yearning for truth], even what he has will be taken away from him.”

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    ***Mark 4:25 The person “who has” is one who is receptive to God’s word, while the one “who does not have” is the person who is blind to and has rejected the spiritual truth and godly wisdom already given to him. As a result, even what little he had previously understood about Jesus will no longer be clear to him.
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    Matthew 5:6 Amplified Bible (AMP)
    6 “Blessed [joyful, nourished by God’s goodness] are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness [those who actively seek right standing with God], for they will be [completely] satisfied.

=> How diligently do you study spiritual truth and apply Godly wisdom?
=> How hungry and thirsty are you to be in right standing with God?
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Why did Jesus put this after the Sower Parable and before the explanation(Mt 13:1-9, 18-23)?

  • Think of the “depth” of the four soils
    • Soil by the wayside
    • Soil on stony places 
    • Soil among the thorns
    • Soil on good ground

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What does it mean to have a teachable heart?

  • How deep is your desire to study and apply God’s word? –Mk 4:24
  • Your desire/love for truth? –Mk 4:25; 2Thess 2:10
  • Mark 8:17-18 Amplified Bible (AMP)
    17 Jesus, aware of this [discussion], said to them, “Why are you discussing [the fact] that you have no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? 18 Though you have eyes, do you not see? And though you have ears, do you not hear and listen [to what I have said]? And do you not remember?
    =>Symptoms of hard heart = unable to see(perceive), unable to understand, unable to hear, and unable to remember.
    =>The Spirit opens eyes, ears, minds to perceive what God has prepared for those who love(obey) Him –1Cor 2:9-10;Is 64:3-4;Jn 14:15.
    *** How desperate are you for the Spirit to open your understanding?
  • James 3:13-18Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 And the seedwhose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
    =>True fruit is marked by true wisdom and a love of the truth. It is pure and accompanied by righteousness, faith, love, and peace.
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    True Wisdom Earthly Wisdom
    Humble/Meek Prideful
    Pure Self Seeking Envy
    Peaceable Strife/Disorder
    Gentle Harsh
    Willing to Yeild Unteachable
     Full of Mercy(Compassion) Heartless
    Fruitful Unfruitful
    Sincere(Straightforward) Hypocite
    Impartial Favoritism

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    1 Peter 1:18-23… you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. 20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you 21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.22 Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, 23 for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.
    =>What kind of wisdom is your fruit marked by?

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Word Study
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From NetBible Mt 13:10

  • parable[3850] = an earthly story with a heavenly meaning, a comparison

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From NetBible Mt 13:15

  • heal[2390] = to cure, make whole{to free from errors and sins}
  • * A quotation from Is 6:9-10. Thus parables both conceal or reveal depending on whether one is open to hearing what they teach.

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Faith and Patience

March 23, 2019

Luke 8:15 Amplified Bible (AMP)
15 But as for that seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word with a good and noble heart, and hold on to it tightly, and bear fruit with patience.
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James 5:7 Amplified Bible (AMP)
7 So wait patiently, brothers and sisters, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits [expectantly] for the precious harvest from the land, being patient about it, until it receives the early and late rains.
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Thinking about patience again and how “bearing fruit” takes time(steadfast endurance). Patience is also a “fruit” of the Spirit!
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Galatians 5:22-25 Amplified Bible (AMP)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature together with its passions and appetites.

25 If we [claim to] live by the [Holy] Spirit, we must also walk by the Spirit [with personal integrity, godly character, and moral courage—our conduct empowered by the Holy Spirit].
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This takes faith! Faith + Patience produces Abiding and Fruit!
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Hebrews 11:6 Amplified Bible (AMP)
6 But without faith it is impossible to [walk with God and] please Him, for whoever comes [near] to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He rewards those who [earnestly and diligently] seek Him.
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John 15:4 Amplified Bible (AMP)
4 Remain in Me, and I [will remain] in you. Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself without remaining in the vine, neither can you [bear fruit, producing evidence of your faith] unless you remain in Me.
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Word Study
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From NetBible Lk 8:15

  • hold it fast[2722] = keep it, cling to it, retain it
    * There is a tenacity that is a part of spiritual fruitfulness.
    * Bearing fruit takes time (steadfast endurance), just as it does for the farmer. See Ja 5:7.
  • a just (noble, virtuous)[2570] and worthy[18] heart = a honest and good heart
  • patience[5281] = steadfastness, constancy, endurance, perseverance
    * from [5278]  = to preserve under misfortunes and trials to hold fast to one’s faith in Christ, remain, abide
    => to endure, bear bravely and calmly: ill treatments

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From NetBible Ja 5:7

  • patient[3114] = to be of a long spirit, not to lose heart
    *to persevere patiently and bravely in enduring misfortunes and troubles
    *to be longsuffering, slow to anger, slow to punish
    ** same as [3116]

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From NetBible Gal 5:22

  • patience[3115] = endurance, constancy, steadfastness, perseverance, forbearance, longsuffering, slowness in avenging wrongs
    ** same as [3116]

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From NetBible Jn 15:4

  • remain[3306] = abide, continue to be present, to last, endure, dwell

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The Sower, the Seed and Four Soils

March 20, 2019

Matthew 13:1-9 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Parable of the Sower
13 On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea. 2 And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.

3 Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. 8 But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
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Who is the Sower? What is the seed? Four Soils?

  • Isaiah 55:9-11 New King James Version (NKJV)
    9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    So are My ways higher than your ways,
    And My thoughts than your thoughts.
    10 “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
    And do not return there, But water the earth,
    And make it bring forth and bud,
    That it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
    11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
    It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please,
    And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
  • The Sower – Jesus “sowing” – “drawing”
  • The Seed – God’s word, the message of the kingdom of God
  • The Soils – heart conditions, responses to God’s word, the message of the kingdom of God

=>How carefully are you considering, attending to Jesus’ message of the kingdom of God?

The Four Soils Explained

  • Matthew 13:18-23 New King James Version (NKJV)
    The Parable of the Sower Explained
    18 “Therefore hear the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. 20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. 22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. 23 But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”
  • Soil by the wayside
    =>no understanding = takes no time to consider message for themselves
    =>Just follows the crowd – Broad is the way – well worn = no soil –Mt 7:13-14
  • Soil on stony places 
    => no root so stumbles/is offended
    Colossians 2:6-7 NLT … And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to live in obedience to Him{walk in Him}. 7 Let your roots grow down into Him{be firmly rooted} and draw up nourishment from Him, so you will grow in faith, strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with thanksgiving for all He has done.
  • Soil among the thorns
    =>choked and becomes unfruitful
    * Jesus “natural family” thought He was out of His mind –Mk 3:21
    =>They did not yet believe in Him as the Messiah
    and were actually hindering His work –Jn 7:4-6;Acts 1:14
    * This rejection by His own family was predicted –Ps 69:8;Mic 7:6;Mt 10:34-39
    =>made me wonder which “soil” his natural family was — maybe the one choked out by thorns – the Pharisees/worlds strong opposition?!
    Matthew 7:15-16 Amplified Bible (AMP)
    15 “Beware of the false prophets, [teachers] who come to you dressed as sheep [appearing gentle and innocent], but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them [that is, by their contrived doctrine and self-focus]. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?
    Hebrews 5:11-14 Amplified Bible (AMP)
    11 Concerning this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull and sluggish in [your spiritual] hearing and disinclined to listen. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers [because of the time you have had to learn these truths], you actually need someone to teach you again the elementary principles of God’s word [from the beginning], and you have come to be continually in need of milk, not solid food. 13 For everyone who lives on milk is [doctrinally inexperienced and] unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a spiritual infant. 14 But solid food is for the [spiritually] mature, whose senses are trained by practice to distinguish between what is morally good and what is evil.
  • Soil on good ground
    =>hears, understands and heeds bears much fruit
    Luke 8:15 Amplified Bible (AMP)
    15 But as for that seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word with a good and noble heart, and hold on to it tightly, and bear fruit with patience.
    Acts 17:11 Amplified Bible (AMP)
    11 Now these people were more noble and open-minded than those in Thessalonica, so they received the message [of salvation through faith in the Christ] with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.

=> Are you just following the crowd and relying on their understanding of Jesus’ message? How much time and effort do you take to personally consider His message?
=> How “firmly rooted” in God’s word are you? How much time and effort are you taking to be nourished and grow in His word?
=> Can you recognize and stand up to the “thorns” – false prophets/teachers? How “mature” are you?
=> How tightly are you holding to God’s word/ your faith under trials?  How steadfast is your patience/faith to bear fruit?


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Word Study
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From NetBible Mt 13:3
Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower[4687] went out to sow[4687].
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From NetBible Mk 4:14
The sower[4687] sows[4687] the word.

  • sower[4687] = sows, scatters seed
    *from greek [4685] = to draw

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From NetBible Mt 13:9

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From NetBible Mt 13:19

  • understand[4920] = consider, understand, be wise.
  • wayside[3598] = a travelled way, road

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From NetBible Pro 12:3
NLT … Wickedness never brings stability; only the godly have deep roots

  • * “a root of righteousness” = stresses the security of the righteous; they are firmly planted and cannot be uprooted – they have deep roots”. The righteous are often compared to a tree –Pro 11:30;Ps 1:3, 92:13

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From NetBible Mt 13:21

  • stumbles[4624] = to fall away, entice to sin, apostasy, metaph. to offend
    And blessed is he who is not offended[4624because of Me. –Mt 11:6

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From NetBible Lk 8:15

  • hold it fast[2722] = keep it, cling to it, retain it
    * There is a tenacity that is a part of spiritual fruitfulness.
    * Bearing fruit takes time (steadfast endurance), just as it does for the farmer. See Ja 5:7.
  • a just (noble, virtuous)[2570] and worthy[18] heart = a honest and good heart
  • patience[5281] = steadfastness, constancy, endurance, perseverance
    * from [5278]  = to preserve under misfortunes and trials to hold fast to one’s faith in Christ
    => to endure, bear bravely and calmly: ill treatments

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Brothers and Sisters

March 15, 2019

Matthew 12:46-50 New King James Version (NKJV)
Jesus’ Mother and Brothers Send for Him
46 While He was still talking to the multitudes, behold, His mother and brothers stood outside, seeking to speak with Him. 47 Then one said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak with You.”

48 But He answered and said to the one who told Him, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” 49 And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! 50 For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.”
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Luke 8:19-21 New King James Version (NKJV)
Jesus’ Mother and Brothers Come to Him
19 Then His mother and brothers came to Him, and could not approach Him because of the crowd. 20 And it was told Him by some, who said, “Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see You.”

21 But He answered and said to them, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.”

What takes precedence?

  • Matthew 10:34-39 New King James Version (NKJV)
    Christ Brings Division
    34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ 37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.

=>Is Christ number 1 in our lives?

Who is my mother and who are my brothers? Who is my true family?

  • Whoever does the will of My Father is My brother, sister and mother –Mt 12:50
  • Those who hear the word of God and do it –Lk 8:21
  • * Jesus “natural family” thought He was out of His mind –Mk 3:21
    =>They did not yet believe in Him as the Messiah
    and were actually hindering His work –Jn 7:4-6;Acts 1:14
    * This rejection by His own family was predicted –Ps 69:8;Mic 7:6;Mt 10:34-39

=> How “whole-heartedly” are we seeking the Lord’s will and word?
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Deuteronomy 6:5 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
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2 Chronicles 25:2Amaziah did what was pleasing in the LORD’s sight, but not wholeheartedly.
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Word Study
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From NetBible Mt 12:49

  • disciple[3101] = a learner, pupil

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From NetBible 2Chr 25:2

  • pleasing[03477] = straight, upright, correct, right

Comfort for the Comfortless

March 14, 2019

Psalm 34:17-19 Amplified Bible (AMP)
17 When the righteous cry [for help], the Lord hears
And rescues them from all their distress and troubles.
18 The Lord is near to the heartbroken
And He saves those who are crushed in spirit (contrite in heart, truly sorry for their sin).

Psalm 147:3 Amplified Bible (AMP)
3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds [healing their pain and comforting their sorrow].

19 Many hardships and perplexing circumstances confront the righteous, but the Lord rescues him from them all.

Comfort for the ComfortlessJn 14:18
Healing for the heartbroken
Help for any in distress.

The righteous cry – the Lord  hears
The Comforter
 –Jn 14:16
An ever-present help Ps 46:1
Draws near …

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Psalm 119:49-50 AMPC … Remember [fervently] the word and promise to Your servant, in which You have caused me to hope. This is my comfort and consolation in my affliction: that Your word has revived me and given me life. 

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Word Study
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From NetBible Jn 14:18
John 14:18 KJV … I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.

  • leave[863] = depart from, abandon
  • comfortless[3737] => leave fatherless, bereaved
    *abandon as orphans = leave you helpless

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From NetBible 2 Cor 1:3-5Jn 14:16
2 Corinthians 1:3-5 NLT
God Offers Comfort to All
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort[3874]. 4 He comforts[3870] us in all our troubles so that we can comfort[3874] others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort[3870] God has given us. 5 For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort[3874] through Christ.

John 14:16 AMP … And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter [3875]
(Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever …

  • comfort[3874] paraklesis = a calling near, summons for consolation/help
  • comforts[3870] parakaleo = to call to one’s side/aid
  • comforter[3875] parakletos = summoned, called to one’s side/aid

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From NetBible Ps 119:50

Psalm 119:49-50 AMPC … Remember [fervently] the word and promise to Your servant, in which You have caused me to hope. This is my comfort and consolation in my affliction: that Your word has revived me and given me life. 

  • affliction[06040] = suffering, pain, sorrow, trouble
  • revived[02421] gives life, quickened, restored, refreshed
    –>from sickness, discouragement, faintness, death
    His quickened word –>revives, refreshes, restores, brings hope, healing and life!

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Compassion – Beauty from Ashes

March 2, 2019

Fresh oil and wine
Poured out compassion Lk 10:33-34
The blood of Christ1Pe 1:18-19
The scarlet thread of loveHe 9:22
Beauty from ashesIs 61:3
Faith refined through the fire 1Pe 1:7
Rise up, rise up and shine!Is 60:1
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1 Peter 1:6-8 NASB … In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory …
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A Song:
Beauty for ashes –Is 61:3
Joy for your mourning(morning) –Jer 31:13;Ps 30:5
Stand firm in the fire –Ex 14:13-14
A new day is dawning … –Ps 46:4-5

Rise up, rise up and shine –Is 60:1
Your strength in the Lord –Neh 8:10
Joy divine –Ps 16:11
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine! –Mt 5:14-16

Nehemiah 8:10Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
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Jeremiah 31:13I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.
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 @Khollandsblog
Tweets:
Poured out compassion-Beauty for ashes-Joy for you mourning(morning)-Stand firm in the fire! #BeautyForAshes

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Related:
Clay and Treasure
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