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20140625

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Bible Study




will be transferring some bible study material here.


Question: Why did God talk about the fulfillment of Joseph’s destiny and not the process?


interesting question which requires some thought.



Joseph was a leader sent for a period of financial and economic crisis


what I find very interesting about the story of Joseph is the fact that he had something in him which others tried their best to stamp out. True, he did rub people the wrong way no matter what he did [from his brothers to potiphar's wife- the only person he didnt offend was the pharaoh, strangely enough].


however, there was a strong factor in him [dont know if it can be called his destiny], which kept on propelling him towards where he would be of maximum use, although he had to get there through despair, imprisonment, etc.

and obviously, the folks around him couldnt see this [not an excuse for anyone to have grandiose delusions though], and simply wanted him to be mundane. This was something he just couldnt do since even as a slave he was still chased and sexually harassed by potiphar's wife.[Although in her defence, we dont know if she routinely slept with random fellows and slaves. That's quite possible perhaps. But then why would potiphar be so upset?]

And even as a slave, he still rose to be the most trusted one in potiphar's household.Likewise even in jail he still became prominent due to what he had within him, ie his character or destiny i suppose. Which could be interpreted as an avenue for God's plan to manifest in his life.


Last edited by Admin on Sat Jun 28, 2014 12:39 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Bible Study :: Comments

Post on Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:23 pm  Admin

Being conformed to the world

romans 12


2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect


there are many questions today, about what is "acceptable" to certain groups and what is not.

If you are from a traditionalist background, you probably grew up being used to a list of "taboos" which separate people into "acceptable" and "unacceptable" , or "desirables" and "undesirables". More or less the same way whites struggled to accept the notion of blacks being accorded societal status, before the post-slavery era.

It is very difficult to break free of this mindset [when present], hence the rejoinder for christians to be transformed by the renewing of their minds, through the word of God, which will guide you and help you know what is acceptable when it comes to human interaction.


Conformed to the world versus Transformed by the word of God, your choice.

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Post on Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:24 pm  Admin

acts 9

43 Peter stayed in Joppa for some time with a tanner named Simon.

if you are squeamish about fellow believers who are not up to what you call "your social standard", then you limit yourself and neither is that Christ-like. You also limit the work of God.




What is a Tanner?


A tanner is someone who converts animal skin into leather.

In ancient history, tanning was considered a noxious or "odoriferous trade" and relegated to the outskirts of town, amongst the poor. Indeed, tanning by ancient methods is so foul smelling that tanneries are still isolated from those towns today where the old methods are used.

Skins typically arrived at the tannery dried stiff and dirty with soil and gore. . .


Once the hair was removed, the tanners would bate the material by pounding dung into the skin or soaking the skin in a solution of animal brains. Among the kinds of dung commonly used were that of dogs or pigeons. Sometimes the dung was mixed with water in a large vat, and the prepared skins were kneaded in the dung water until they became supple, but not too soft.

The ancient tanner might use his bare feet to knead the skins in the dung water, and the kneading could last two or three hours.

It was this combination of urine, animal feces and decaying flesh that made ancient tanneries so odoriferous.

Children employed as dung gatherers were a common sight in ancient cities. Also common were "piss-pots" located on street corners, where human urine could be collected for use in tanneries or by washerwomen


from wiki.



This was the occupation of Simon, who Peter stayed with in Joppa. As a fisherman, being in non-pc environments would not be new to him, but I doubt even he had any type of exposure at the level of the tanner.

And from here, God further revealed to him some other things and elevated him further, in the next chapter. He was used to minister mightily to another demographic.

Acts 10


10 At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment.

2 He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.

3 One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!”

4 Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked.

The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God.

5 Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter. 6 He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea.”







21 Peter went down and said to the men, “I’m the one you’re looking for. Why have you come?”

22 The men replied, “We have come from Cornelius the centurion



34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism

35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.

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Post on Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:25 pm  Admin

Acts 10


10 At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment.

2 He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.

3 One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!”

4 Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked.

The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God.

5 Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter. 6 He is staying with Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea.”


21 Peter went down and said to the men, “I’m the one you’re looking for. Why have you come?”

22 The men replied, “We have come from Cornelius the centurion



34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism

35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.

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Post on Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:26 pm  Admin

Had Peter run from Simon the tanner because of his living condition or occupation, he would have been running from the next step in God's plan.

Simon the tanner was the vessel God used to have Peter meet with the centurion later on.

There's no way any of the three people mentioned could have known how their paths would intertwine, except for the grace of God.



proverbs 3

34b He shows favor to the humble

5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

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Post on Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:26 pm  Admin

Your situation

1 Cor 7


Concerning Change of status


17 Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches.

18 Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised.

19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts.

20 Each person should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.

21 Were you a slave when you were called? Don’t let it trouble you—although if you can gain your freedom, do so.

22 For the one who was a slave when called to faith in the Lord is the Lord’s freed person; similarly, the one who was free when called is Christ’s slave.

23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings.

24 Brothers and sisters, each person, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.

sometimes we are called to minister in the situation where God has placed us.

read the passage again, its pretty much self explanatory.

God has his reason for placing us there, or allowing us to be placed there. All will work together for His purpose, in His time.


Eccle 3:1

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven

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Post on Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:27 pm  Admin

psalm 27:14

Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

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Post on Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:27 pm  Admin

2 Kings 5

17 “If you will not,” said Naaman, “please let me, your servant, be given as much earth as a pair of mules can carry, for your servant will never again make burnt offerings and sacrifices to any other god but the Lord.

18 But may the Lord forgive your servant for this one thing: When my master enters the temple of Rimmon to bow down and he is leaning on my arm and I have to bow there also—when I bow down in the temple of Rimmon, may the Lord forgive your servant for this.”

19 “Go in peace,” Elisha said.

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Post on Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:27 pm  Admin

God's Deliverance in Times of Discouragement


Exodus 14

19 Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them,

20 coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long.



I imagine the Isrealites must have initially been terrified and Moses himself would have been disheartened to see the angel and the pillar of cloud move away from them.

sometimes, when we do not know God's plan, it seems things are getting worse instead of getting better. In actual fact, He may be repositioning his angels just before his move of deliverance.



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Post on Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:28 pm  Admin

some background:


Exodus 13



21 By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.

22 Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.



Exodus 14

19 Then the angel of God, who had been traveling in front of Israel’s army, withdrew and went behind them. The pillar of cloud also moved from in front and stood behind them,


Moses or (let's say) the Isrealites probably knew fear at that moment, when it seemed the Lord was deserting them.

This is where the issue of faith comes into play.

The pillar which had signalled God's presence and support, withdrew and went behind them. In front was the ocean. No way back, no way forward.




coming between the armies of Egypt and Israel. Throughout the night the cloud brought darkness to the one side and light to the other side; so neither went near the other all night long.


the cloud signifies the word of God, which can mean darkness for one side and light for another.

During this period of deliverance for Isreal, it meant/caused a separation between children of God and the world, which is necessary during such times.

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Post on Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:29 pm  Admin

A wider context:


exodus 14

Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.


genesis 1

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

9 And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so.

10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.


in the bible, separation of the sea from dry land in this manner (or causing dry land to appear from the sea), originally happened during creation, when the earth was being formed.



The verse from Exodus 14 gives us a glimpse of how this was done.

Likewise Genesis 8:1

8 But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.

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Post on Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:29 pm  Admin

Matthew 14

He went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.

26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.

30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.

33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”


Matthew 8

23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him.

24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.

25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

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Post on Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:30 pm  Admin

How Spiritual are Relationships, or, Spirituality and Relationships.



we often find, these days, Christians are the ones struggling in relationships, almost more so than non-Christians. The reason this is amazing is because by virtue of what we preach and profess, one would think our relationships and personal lives would be a demonstration of what we say about Jesus having the power to overcome all trials, temptations and tribulations.

so, when we find ourselves encountering difficulties in holding our personal lives together, is that a reflection on Jesus who we say we serve, or is it something that should be viewed as separate from our professed faith.

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Post on Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:30 pm  Admin

John 2 :The wedding at Cana

On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there.

2 Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples.

3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.”

4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.”

5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

6 Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons.

7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim.

8 And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it.

9 When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom

10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.”

11 This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory.

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Post on Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:30 pm  Admin

I would like to point out a few things, not sure how to expantiate on this passage.

1. Jesus and his disciples were invited to a wedding.

Tracing Jesus' movements before that wedding:

a. John bore witness to the start of his ministry
b. Jesus started gathering his disciples
c. then he attended the wedding in Cana.


At the wedding, Jesus performed a miracle, for the marriage. There was no wine, and one can imagine the mood the guests would be in if no drinks were available at the function.

Every marriage has a social dimension, in addition to the personal one everybody knows about, while relatively few understand the other aspect which is a social sphere.


By attending that wedding, Jesus recognized this social ecosystem of which marriage forms a fundamental part, regardless of the level of insight of the participants.


Providing wine for the marriage was a miracle which was necessary right then, and which also is not limited to that point in time, since many marriages these days are in need of the same.

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Post on Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:31 pm  Admin

Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons.

The method Jesus used was very significant.

The Jewish rites of purification involved using water for ablution [washing of hands or other parts of the body]. These rites are reminiscent of baptism, which signifies washing away sin.


Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.

one would wonder why the waterpots were empty to begin with, as the passage implies. Does that mean purification rites had not been done in a while by the occupants of that house, or were the pots only filled according to a strict schedule?

Whatever the case may be, no purification had been done for a while, possibly because everybody had been busy with other things.

For the christian, purification involves fasting and prayer, such as stated here:

1 cor 7
Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer

when you find the wine is lacking in your relationship possibly due to the cares of this world, your schedule, other unforeseen/uncontrollable things which get you down and are making people question God/your religion when they see your relationship, it may be time to purify yourself and ask Jesus for the miracle of Cana.

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Post on Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:31 pm  Admin

And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it.

who was this master of the feast doing the ultimate taste test? We do not know, but what we do know is he is the one vetting the wedding and appraising its quality. Note, he was not one of Jesus' followers, but rather an outsider [not a christian].



Here is his comment:

“Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.”

in marriage, most times the good wine [figuratively speaking] is served through the honeymoon period, then its all bad wine and downhill from there.

when you allow God to control your relationship, the good wine lasts beyond the wedding reception and honeymoon phase.

The "afterwards" is not a sham intended to pull the wool over people's eyes while you're all "enduring" the bad wine of the marriage, but rather, its the time when people give God the glory for your union, and do not have a bitter taste in their mouth when talking of it. Their teeth are not set on edge.

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Post on Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:32 pm  Admin

On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee
as mentioned before, Jesus attended this wedding after calling his disciples and being verified by John the baptist.

Gen 1

Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so.

12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.


this was the first mention of expansion in the creation account. Social activity begins. Prior to that was day 1, when God created light, and day 2 which was the separation of earth and sky.

Day 3 marked the beginning of life on earth. The first ecosystem began, with plants beginning to provide the base needed to support life.

ecosystem = social interaction, in ways that are necessary for the continuation of species.

Looking at these factors, we see why Jesus attended a wedding soon after beginning his ministry.

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Post on Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:32 pm  Admin

Why do Christians have so much relationship troubles?

why cant our spirituality help us in this area?



the saying man is a tripartite being is a common one.

spirit, soul and body make up the human being. These three interact to build the individual ecosystem.

in this world, nobody consists entirely of spirit, soul or body, instead what you have is one might dominate more in a person, at the expense of the others.


if you nuture your spirit only [supposedly], then the soul and body will be starved. And likewise with the other two, when you cultivate either of these, it will be at the expense of the remaining parts.

achieving a balance is not easy, and this is why so many christians struggle. When the soul or body "rebounds" after neglect, it will of necessity have a stronger pull from that "rebounding " effect. Many will fall at this point. Relationships will go haywire due to actions on the part of the christian or in his/her environment.

Here is what the bible has to say:

romans 8

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.

6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.

7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.

8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.


14

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.

15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

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Post on Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:33 pm  Admin

so, how does one acknowledge the importance of the body and soul, or their effects on our daily living?

or rather, how does one keep from letting the body and soul take over our spirit and by extension, everything else?

first is to remember when you repress both, the rebound effect will be stronger.



as Jesus attended a wedding and turned water into wine, we should not underestimate the importance of nurturing our soul and body the right way, in a manner which will not undermine our faith or portray us as unserious christians.

the end result should still be to glorify God, in all that we do, according to his will.

and also, when you do it right, people will acknowledge the presence of God made a difference, just like it did at Cana.

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Post on Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:33 pm  Admin

**for any question about the wine, my assumption has always been its non-alcoholic, will not belabour the point however, since that's not the focus of the write up**

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Post on Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:34 pm  Admin

Something for everyone

The Samaritan Woman

So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph.

6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.

7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”

13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,

14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”

17 “I have no husband,” she replied.

Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

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Post on Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:34 pm  Admin

again we have a social situation, but this is different from the wedding in cana because for one, there was no wedding, and secondly, the woman involved is past the stage of having weddings, since she's already had five husbands.

However, Jesus' message remains the same: he asked her to bring him water.

Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?”

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Post on Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:34 pm  Admin

15 And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.

16 And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium; and they call together the whole band.

17 And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head,

18 And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews!

19 And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him.

20 And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him.

21 And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross.

22 And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull.

23 And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.

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Post on Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:35 pm  Admin

Of Unclean Things

Acts 10

14 “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”

15 The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”

16 This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.

note Peter did not actually eat any of the food in the vision and neither was he required to.

His heart was what was being tested, and the message was what needed to be gotten across. Namely, he should not call cursed what God has blessed.




Proverbs 21:2

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the Lord pondereth the hearts.


God ponders the hearts of both the Christian and the non-Christian.

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Post on Fri Jun 27, 2014 11:36 pm  Admin

When Little Is A Lot

Matthew 14


15 And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals.

16 But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat.

17 And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes.

18 He said, Bring them hither to me.

19 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.

20 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.

21 And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.


the main message here is found in verse 10:

and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed and brake, and gave the loaves

Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves.
niv

when we give thanks to God for the little we have, it becomes a lot.

so, instead of complaining, its better to praise, from whence comes multiplication of the minimal blessings we thought we had.

learn to be thankful even if you want and need more.

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