Who is online?
In total there are 12 users online :: 0 Registered, 0 Hidden and 12 Guests :: 2 Bots

None

[ View the whole list ]


Most users ever online was 111 on Thu 12 Dec 2013, 2:28 am
Latest topics
» Shooting on Las Vegas Strip kills more than 50, hundreds wounded
Yesterday at 10:53 pm by Admin

» ISRAEL VIDEO'S
Yesterday at 10:23 pm by Admin

» PROPHESY NEWS WATCH
Yesterday at 10:16 pm by Admin

» FRANCIS FRANGIPANE MINISTRIES
Yesterday at 10:11 pm by Admin

» Delrifkah: HEBREW SAGE MIGHT SAY.
Yesterday at 9:54 pm by Admin

» THE MASTERS LIST Dean W. Masters
Yesterday at 9:40 pm by Admin

» HEAVEN LETTERS
Yesterday at 9:38 pm by Admin

» GOSPEL FROM ASIA
Yesterday at 9:35 pm by Admin

» My Manna
Yesterday at 9:29 pm by Admin

» World Famous Journalist Who Exposed Clinton Foundation Crimes Found Murdered
Yesterday at 7:41 pm by Admin

» THE CLARION PROJECT
Yesterday at 6:11 pm by Admin

» Gen. John Kelly: ‘Stunned’ After ‘Empty Barrel’ Frederica Wilson Politicized President’s Phone Call
Yesterday at 6:07 pm by Admin

» WORLD ISRAEL NEWS
Yesterday at 6:05 pm by Admin

» Daily Disciples
Yesterday at 6:02 pm by Admin

» WORTHY NEWS
Yesterday at 5:58 pm by Admin

» Ps 10-25
Yesterday at 4:27 pm by clark thompson

» NUGGET Today's Devotional
Thu 19 Oct 2017, 9:30 pm by Admin

» +Dev+ Michael D. Inman
Thu 19 Oct 2017, 9:27 pm by Admin

» Meditation Chip Brogden
Thu 19 Oct 2017, 9:23 pm by Admin

» ALERT: Hillary Caught In Major New Fraud Scandal
Thu 19 Oct 2017, 9:09 pm by Admin

Navigation
 Portal
 Index
 Memberlist
 Profile
 FAQ
 Search

Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Page 4 of 39 Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 21 ... 39  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Mon 12 Dec 2016, 10:37 pm

Doulos Meditation on Salt (#9 of 10)

#9 of 10 Meditations on Salt. Scripture: Zephaniah 2: 9…Moab shall become like Sodom and the Ammonites like Gomorrah, a land possessed by nettles and salt pits, and a waste forever. Jeremiah 17:6—They (Judah) shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when relief comes. They shall live in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land.

Reflection: Salt is not always a symbol for something good. It can also be connected with desolation and death. Salt tends to be found in deposits in places where water is scarce. Where there are abundant rains, the salt gradually dissolves and leaches away, leaving soil that is fertile and can support fruitful trees and grasses.


But in the severe hot desserts where rain is scarce, the bush in the landscape barely survives under conditions that keep it from being beautiful, fruitful, or expansive. It cannot even provide good shade for the weary traveler. Stunted growth and eventual death—that’s the fate of the desert shrub in a salt land.

The righteous person is like a luxurious plant in a well watered land: “They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither.” (Psalm 1:3)

Without God we become salted deserts, but with Him our lives become beautiful and good things flow to the people around us and to the whole world.

Prayer Starter: Father, lead us as the sheep of your flock to environments with still waters, abundant grasses and safety. Rescue us from the salt deserts of this world. Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Sun 11 Dec 2016, 11:55 pm

Doulos Meditation on Salt (#8 of 10)

#8 of 10 Meditations on Salt. Scripture: 2 Kings 2:19-22—Now the men of the city said to Elisha, “Behold, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees; but the water is bad and the land is unfruitful”…Then he went to the spring of water and threw salt in it, and said, “Thus says the LORD, I have made this water wholesome; henceforth neither death nor miscarriage shall come from it.” So the water has been wholesome to this day…

Reflection: What do you make of this story about the prophet Elisha? And what does salt have to do with it? God can surely perform a miracle without salt.

But biblical miracles often have the use of some substance or action—for example, Jesus’ used mud in healing a blind man, Peter’s shadow on a cloth had healing power, Jesus paid the temple tax with a coin from a fish’s mouth, Aaron threw down his rod and it became a snake. Looking at the accessory artifact sometimes gives us insight—it may not always be incidental.

Salt was thought to have cleansing power; it was associated with purification and accompanied sacrifices in the temple; it was indestructible and could pass through fire unchanged.

Is there some deep meaning about water as symbol in ancient Israel? Jesus used water and salt in his teachings many times. Do they have to do with each other? I haven’t a clue why Elisha threw salt into the spring—unless he was following instructions from God we are not informed about.

Prayer Starter: Father, help us to appreciate salt and water, both of which have symbolized life in your scriptures, for we know that life comes from you. Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Sun 11 Dec 2016, 12:08 am

Doulos Meditation on Salt (#7 of 10)

#7 of 10 Meditations on Salt. Scripture: Colossians 4:6—Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone.

Reflection: Have you ever heard a remark by someone which seemed out of place, inappropriate, or groundless? Have you ever characterized that remark as “tasteless,” or “insipid,” or in “bad taste?”

Those words seem to fit like a glove when we think of language that is thoughtless or harmful. On the other hand, Paul speaks of language “seasoned with salt” and he is thinking of words that express ideas that are right, kind, useful, helpful and appropriate.

Is your language seasoned properly? Of all the sins of my life (I don’t have space here for a list) the most frequent has always been stuff that comes out of my mouth—words that I later regret, sometimes apologize for, that keep me from being effective in a situation, or alienate someone whose friendship or confidence I never regain. The loss is always mine.

One of my frequent prayers is that God will control my speech so that it may be gracious, demonstrating the love of God for the world, flowing from the will of God and not from my own ego. God is the great chef of our souls—he wants to tastefully season our speech with salt.

Prayer Starter: Father, let every word that comes from your children be seasoned with the salt of truth, kindness, persistent love and boundless joy. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Fri 09 Dec 2016, 10:24 pm

Doulos Meditation on Salt (#6 of 10)

#6 of 10 Meditations on Salt. Scripture: Numbers 18:19—All the holy offerings that the Israelites present to the LORD I have given to you…it is a covenant of salt forever before the LORD for you and your descendents…2 Chronicles 13:5—Do you not know that the LORD God of Israel gave the kingship over Israel forever to David and his sons by a covenant of salt?

Reflection: “From the symbolical standpoint we probably reach the true explanation of the striking expression ‘covenant of salt’ which denotes a covenant that is inviolable and valid in perpetuity. The presence of salt, therefore, with every sacrifice may have come to symbolize the irrevocable character of J’s covenant with Israel.” (Hastings Dictionary of the Bible)

A covenant is different from a contract. The latter is between two people (peers) who agree about something and sign their names to it. The former is contract-like in that there are two parties, but it is different in that it is made by one who alone has the right to make it and agreed to by the other.

God, being the omnipotent creator enacts covenant on behalf of his creation—he binds himself to covenant. The human response is sometimes sincere commitment, but often human faithfulness to covenant wavers and falters.

God’s side of the covenant is solid. He is the rock—unmovable, unchanging, and eternal—if God commits to covenant, you can be assured that it will be done as He has said. With God, every covenant is a covenant of salt.

Prayer Starter: Lord, thank you for the new covenant that Jesus sealed by the blood of the cross. Help us to see in that imperishable sacrifice the ultimate covenant of salt. Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 7:32 pm

Doulos Meditation on Salt (#5 of 10)

Scripture: Matthew 5:13…if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled underfoot. Luke 14:34—Salt is good; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored?

Reflection: Can salt lose its taste? Was Jesus misquoted? First, consider that some of the salt in common use was very poor quality. Salt from the Dead Sea has a high content of gypsum and other minerals—and easily acquires a stale and alkaline taste. Perhaps Jesus is not saying salt can be tasteless, but the “good taste” is lost amid the bad tasting residue.

Rabbi Joshua b. Chananja (c. 90 AD) reportedly told a story, “There was once a mule which had a foal… He was asked: Can then a mule bear offspring? He said: These are fables. He was then asked: When salt loses its savor, with what shall it be salted? He answered: With the young of a mule. He was then asked: Does then the unfruitful mule have young? He answered: Can salt lose its savor?” (bBek., 8b)

Was this just a current saying about salt? Or had the Rabbi read the words of Jesus, and perhaps being in the narrow literalist mode pinned his response on the obvious impossibility of salt losing its flavor?
I guess believers see more to Jesus’ words than the little word games some would play—in antiquity or even now.

Prayer Starter: Father, teach us of our value as believers in this world. Use us like salt to make a difference in society.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Wed 07 Dec 2016, 8:47 pm

Doulos Meditation on Salt (#4 of 10)

#4 of 10 Meditations on Salt.

Scripture: Matthew 5:13—You are the salt of the earth…

Reflection: Matthew applies the general sayings of Jesus very specifically to the disciples. He points to the lives of Jesus’ followers as being in some way salt-like.

It’s hard to see the role believers play in the grand supra-cosmic scheme of things—but like salt in the mixture the outcomes are changed through us by Christ’s presence in us. Paul grasped a little of it when he said saints would “judge the world,” that there will be a revealing of the sons of God.

The church is the body of Christ—the continuation of the very presence of Jesus in the world. And the Holy Spirit who lived in him continues to live in the body of believers.

What would the world be like without the followers of Jesus? What are the odds there would still be massive slavery in the world? Would democracy exist? Would humane treatment of enemies happen? Would women still be silent slaves bought and sold? Would the hungry or naked or desperate be better or worse off? Is morality or peace or justice furthered or retarded by the presence of Jesus’ followers? How would society change if believers vanished? Is life better or worse in a society dominated by the message of Jesus?

Does salt preserve; do believers? Does salt flavor; do believers? Does salt remain unchangeable and permanent; does the faith of believers?

Prayer Starter: Lord, make us salt and light to a world in decay and darkness. Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Tue 06 Dec 2016, 5:11 pm

Doulos Meditation on Salt (#2 of 10)

#2 of 10 Meditations on Salt. Scripture: Deuteronomy 3:16, 17—And to the Reubenites and the Gadites I gave the territory from Gilead as far as the Wadi Arnon…the Arabah also, with the Jordan and its banks, from Chinnereth down to the sea of the Arabah, the Dead Sea…

Reflection: Rivers, wadis, mountains, and lakes were markers for the tribes of Israel as they settled Canaan. Chinnereth (“harp” = sea of Galilee) drains into the Jordan which runs snake-like to the Dead Sea. The actual name in Deut 3 is the “Salt Sea,” a unique body of water.

And how salty is the Salt Sea? One hundred pounds of its waters yield nearly 25 pounds of salts. Regular sea water would yield about 6 pounds. Four times as salty as sea water, no fish can live in it, no plants grow near it and you cannot sink in its waters. Every stone and stick around the edges is covered with salt—looking something like snow.

You watch the waves and feel that there’s something abnormal going on—the weight of salts slows the movements and the strangeness is completed by the pewter grey color and over 100 degrees Fahrenheit air temperatures.

Around this sink-hole sea with no outlet are water eroded ravines tapering up to hot dry mountains. With its surface 1293 feet below sea level, its length of 47 miles and widest diameter of 9 miles the Salt Sea played a big role in the biblical text—the location of Sodom and Gomorrah, numerous salt deposits and asphalt pits, the birthplace of the story about Lot’s wife.

Prayer Starter: Father, help us to read ancient scripture with a feel for climate and topography, for culture and event, for symbol and tradition, for the Sea of Galilee and the Salt Sea. Amen.

Doulos Meditation on Salt (#3 of 10)

#3 of 10 Meditations on Salt. Scripture: Job 6:6—Can that which is tasteless be eaten without salt? Ezekiel 16:4--…nor were you washed with water to cleanse you, nor rubbed with salt, nor wrapped in cloths…Baruch 6:28—Likewise their wives preserve…meat with salt…Deuteronomy 29:23—all its soil burned out by sulfur and salt, nothing planted, nothing sprouting…

Reflection: Salt was used as a condiment to improve the taste of food. When a baby was born, it was rubbed down with salt and bathed with water. Did this ritual come from religious practice or hygienic concern?
Perhaps the former, since the salt was looked upon as a preserver and necessity to life. In the Letter of Jeremiah (Baruch 6), is mention of preserving meat with salt. On the negative side, land was sometimes salted to destroy crops or to render captured land unusable.

It is little wonder that salt was a commodity highly valued by every human society. Wars were fought over its possession and it came to symbolize both good and evil, depending on the way it was used in symbolic language.

What do you suppose Jesus meant when he addressed the disciples with the comment “You are the salt of the earth?”

Prayer Starter: Father, make us as useful as salt and make us the salt of the earth, preserving, cleansing and giving flavor and zest to the human experience. Help us to understand the ways salt was used in ancient times and what meaning this contributed to their lives. Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Sun 04 Dec 2016, 10:29 pm

Doulos Meditation on Romans 4:16

Scripture: Romans 4:16—For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham (for he is the father of all of us, as it is written, I have made you the father of many nations)…

Reflection: Salvation is a gift to the person who by faith walks with God. Abraham is pictured as more than Father of the Jews (even in fleshly descent, many peoples claim Abraham as father); but also father in a more spiritual sense of every person who has the same kind of faith. This is because the vehicle of grace was a promise, not a law.

The law as a vehicle of grace was unworkable, because perfect law keeping requires perfect obedience which none of us can produce. Promise as a vehicle of grace, however, is an entirely different ball game.

Promise depends on the one who promises (that’s God)—in contrast to law whose fulfillment depends on the law keeper (that’s us). So which would you rather depend on—God’s promise, or your own performance? Hmmm.

For the believer that’s a no brainer. It is through faith we receive God’s promises—what words can we use?—trust, dependency, clinging to God, surrender, commitment—for the believer God “reckons” righteousness apart from law—that unworkable system weakened by human flesh.

Prayer Starter: Father, we praise you for your promises—and especially the promise to Abraham so long ago, that through his seed the whole world would be blessed in Christ. Amen.

Doulos Meditation on Salt (#1 of 10)

#1 of 10 Meditations on Salt. Scripture: Leviticus 2:13—You shall not omit from your grain offerings the salt of the covenant with your God; with all your offerings you shall offer salt. Sirach 39:26—The basic necessities of human life are water and fire and iron and salt and wheat flour and milk and honey, the blood of the grape and oil and clothing.


Reflection: Sirach listed salt as one of the “basic necessities” and in ancient Judaism, every sacrifice was accompanied by salt called “salt of the covenant.” It symbolizes many things—preservation, indestructibility, permanence, earth.

When you get to looking, salt found its way into many of our English words from its widespread usage by the Romans. They salted their veggies and called them “Salad;” soldiers were paid in salt; hence a man could be “worth his salt.”

Salacious refers to being in love or in the “salted state.” You might want to read Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky if you have a taste for this kind of thing.

Salt was essential for life (though it also was sometimes associated with death—a rather schizophrenic substance you might say.)

What did ancient Jews think when they offered salt to God? Did they see in it the offering of the whole earth; the unchangeable of God’s covenants; the essence of life? Were they giving something they couldn’t live without?

Prayer Starter: Father, we wonder and speculate about the “salt of the covenant.” Expand our understanding that we may appreciate more those ancient worshippers. Amen.

Doulos Meditation on Romans 4:16

Scripture: Romans 4:16—For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham (for he is the father of all of us, as it is written, I have made you the father of many nations)…

Reflection: Salvation is a gift to the person who by faith walks with God. Abraham is pictured as more than Father of the Jews (even in fleshly descent, many peoples claim Abraham as father); but also father in a more spiritual sense of every person who has the same kind of faith. This is because the vehicle of grace was a promise, not a law.

The law as a vehicle of grace was unworkable, because perfect law keeping requires perfect obedience which none of us can produce. Promise as a vehicle of grace, however, is an entirely different ball game.

Promise depends on the one who promises (that’s God)—in contrast to law whose fulfillment depends on the law keeper (that’s us). So which would you rather depend on—God’s promise, or your own performance? Hmmm.

For the believer that’s a no brainer. It is through faith we receive God’s promises—what words can we use?—trust, dependency, clinging to God, surrender, commitment—for the believer God “reckons” righteousness apart from law—that unworkable system weakened by human flesh.

Prayer Starter: Father, we praise you for your promises—and especially the promise to Abraham so long ago, that through his seed the whole world would be blessed in Christ. Amen.

Doulos Meditation on Salt (#1 of 10)

#1 of 10 Meditations on Salt. Scripture: Leviticus 2:13—You shall not omit from your grain offerings the salt of the covenant with your God; with all your offerings you shall offer salt. Sirach 39:26—The basic necessities of human life are water and fire and iron and salt and wheat flour and milk and honey, the blood of the grape and oil and clothing.


Reflection: Sirach listed salt as one of the “basic necessities” and in ancient Judaism, every sacrifice was accompanied by salt called “salt of the covenant.” It symbolizes many things—preservation, indestructibility, permanence, earth.

When you get to looking, salt found its way into many of our English words from its widespread usage by the Romans. They salted their veggies and called them “Salad;” soldiers were paid in salt; hence a man could be “worth his salt.”

Salacious refers to being in love or in the “salted state.” You might want to read Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky if you have a taste for this kind of thing.

Salt was essential for life (though it also was sometimes associated with death—a rather schizophrenic substance you might say.)

What did ancient Jews think when they offered salt to God? Did they see in it the offering of the whole earth; the unchangeable of God’s covenants; the essence of life? Were they giving something they couldn’t live without?

Prayer Starter: Father, we wonder and speculate about the “salt of the covenant.” Expand our understanding that we may appreciate more those ancient worshippers. Amen.

avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Fri 02 Dec 2016, 4:48 pm

Doulos Meditation on Psalm 63 (#8 of 8)

#8 of 8 Meditations on Ps 63. Scripture: Psalm 63:8—My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.

Reflection: The right hand in symbolism is the hand of welcome (“right hand of fellowship”). It is the hand of power (it wields the sword). It lifts in praise and volunteers for service. It is straightforward and not secretive.

The Christian has an intimate friend in God—the God who knows the mind and heart better than we know ourselves. And because he loves us he extends the right hand—lifts us up, gives us power, and accomplishes his will through us.

Such God does for the soul who clings—the man or woman who through tribulation and loss, sickness and prosperity, in every age and avenue of life holds on to its God. Everything else is changeable and temporary—but God never leaves us or fails us.


Prayer Starter: God, you are our refuge, our pillar of strength, our rock and our redeemer. We depend on you and bind ourselves to you. We commit ourselves to your will and your purposes. Please use us daily to extend the message of Jesus and to serve the needs of mankind. Show us how to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the prisoners, and heal the sick—without ever for a moment forgetting that we are yours and we need you every hour. Amen.

Doulos Meditation on 1 Corinthians 13:12

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13:12—For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we shall see face to face.


Reflection: A common artifact from archaeological digs of residences is the mirror. Many first century mirrors are in museums around the world—but they are not made of glass like ours. They were made of copper or one of its alloys (bronze, brass), polished to a high shine.

Two problems: (a) rarely was a mirror perfectly flat, so the reflection was a little distorted—your nose might be longer or one ear somewhat bigger. (b) Metal mirrors, though polished, did not give you a bright image—your look at yourself was always colored the color of the metal mirror. You could see your image for sure, but “dimly.”


Paul is comparing earthly understandings with eternity’s far clearer vision. Things that now are confusing, iffy, providing us with uncertainty and guesswork, will beyond this life be crystal clear—as though we were looking behind us by using the brass mirror and then turned to see the person face to face.

Time and space are where the ambiguities are—eternity is clear. Notice that it is not so much propositions that will be clear (though certainly we will understand better), but relationships—their reality, meanings, and importance. Isn’t that the nuance of seeing someone “face to face?”

“Beloved, we are God‘s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is.” (1 Jn 3:2)

Prayer Starter: Father we gaze into mirrors you have provided in scripture, creation, prophecy and Jesus—but we long for the day when we see you face to face. Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Thu 01 Dec 2016, 11:47 pm

Well, my wife and I enjoyed our week's break, but now we're back---relaxed, refreshed and ready to work. I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving time with your families and friends and are looking forward to a productive finish to this year.

We went to Nashville, Tennessee to see our daughter and her crew. Stayed in their new house and ate all of their food we could. Saw a couple of great grand children for the first time.
I will be looking at a few things we can do differently for the rest of the year and want your input.

Be safe and happy--love God and others.

Sincerely, Robert Barkley and Diane


Doulos Meditation on Psalm 63 (#6 of 8)

#6 of 8 Meditations on Ps 63. Scripture: Psalm 63:5—My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast, and my mouth praises you with joyful lips…

Reflection: The soul’s emotion, will, and intellect are far more complex than the largest mainframe computer could hope to be (does a computer hope?) It is a great repository of blessing—a rich feast, the Psalm declares.

Think about your inner life. Is it rich—with imagery, experiences, feelings of love, perceptions and hopes, comforts and confidences? You can arrive at some evaluation by asking yourself “How easy is it to describe exactly what I am feeling, thinking and willing?” Try it and see if it is not your language that is too clumsy and poor to articulate your soul—that the richness simply cannot be expressed.

Actually the soul and the body are intimately connected. The body expresses what the soul’s intellect thinks, what the soul’s feelings are, and what the soul wants.

But the body that expresses things is also the avenue for collecting data from the outside world. Are you hot, cold, feeling healthy, tired, alert, or drowsy?—body connects the world outside with soul, the world inside. Body is some kind of interface with the world of nature. Body praises God with joyful lips—but does so because soul is overwhelmed with richness within—with all those blessings that go with being human—a “rich feast.” They are connected—richness and praise.

Prayer Starter: Lord, feed us on the spiritual banquet that satisfies our souls. Amen.

Doulos Meditation on Psalm 63 (#7 of 8)

#7 of 8 Meditations on Ps 63. Scripture: Psalm 63:6…when I think of you on my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.

Reflection: Again and again the lyricist points to the source dynamic of adoration and praise. What is your personal experience? Do you wake in the night praising God? Do your thoughts through the watches of the night result in nightmares and torture, or in luxuriant blessing and peace of heart and mind? Protected by his “wings” we sing for joy.

As I get older, I don’t sleep as well as I used to. I wake up sometime after midnight and the guys I drink coffee with testify that they experience the same. We older guys have no problem getting up early like we did as teenagers. But what do you do with that hour of wakefulness at 3 AM? I know some people who focus intently on going back to sleep—they toss and turn and count sheep (or stock coupons, oil wells, or bank notes).

I find that an hour in the night is a blessing from God and is not to be wasted. I read, meditate, pray, confess my sins before the Father, intercede for a friend with cancer, write another meditation, look at a passage of scripture.

I have no problem when I quit focusing on myself and commune with God. When he is through showing me his glory, he makes me sleepy and I crawl back into bed.

Prayer Starter: Father, we praise you for you are always present with us—to guide, listen, empower, inspire, strengthen, and generate within us praise to your name. Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Wed 30 Nov 2016, 9:27 pm

Doulos Meditation on Psalm 63 (#2 of 8)

#2 of 8 Meditations on Ps 63. Scripture: Psalm 63:2—So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary…

Reflection: When you spend time in the sanctuary of a church, temple or cathedral, do you see God? Of course, I don’t mean get a literal glimpse of the invisible Spirit-God; but neither did the Psalmist. His language is quite metaphorical. Ancient Jewish worshippers, like us today, use this word “see” to mean much more than eyesight. Its nuances include being aware of, confronting, envisioning, imagining, sensing, adoring, feeling, and experiencing.

The great European cathedrals of the middle ages were carefully built to help the worshipper focus on the God of heaven. The upward expanse of St Peter’s, the great rose window of Notre Dame, the impressive Church of South India in Medak, the Sistine Chapel, and even the large protestant churches in New England—all were designed by architects with God in mind.

I sometimes sit in one of these great churches and prayer just happens. My heart and mind are led to praise God. It happens also on mountain tops, watching sunsets, or sitting in the stunning beauty of a Japanese garden.

God is, of course, everywhere. But some places are just more conducive to seeing him—and lingering in those places is what the Psalmist loved.

Prayer Starter: Father, tune our hearts and minds to see you—to imbibe of your glory and bow in awe before your holiness. Thank you for every place hallowed by your presence. Amen.

Doulos Meditation on Psalm 63 (#3 of 8)

#3 of 8 Meditations on Ps 63. Scripture: Psalm 63:2—looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory…

Reflection: If I see God, what do I see?—ghost, vision, little clay figure? All creation is a mediator of knowledge of God. If I want to understand a sculptor I examine his sculpture; a painter, his painting; an architect, his skyscraper; an evangelist, his converts; a father, his kids.

Creation is a vehicle for revelation. There are others—law, history, prophets, science, scripture, and associates. Two things I can learn from examining the work of a creator: (1) His power, including his attention to detail, knowledge and wisdom, and (2) His heart and mind—who he is and why he does what he does. Seeing God is seeing his actions and his nature.

“Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made. So they are without excuse...” (Paul in Rom 1:20-21a)

I begin to see God when I see his power (in terms of what I can examine in my world) and when I see his glory (the expression of his holy nature in time and space).

Raw power (but no holy nature) or a glorious nature (but no powers) are both disastrous if alone. God reveals himself to us—both his actions and his nature. Praise him!

Prayer Starter: Father we love you because you have shown yourself to us as both the God of all power and the God whose nature is holy and loving. Teach us to meditate on your glorious nature and to trust in your infinite power. Amen.

Doulos Meditation on Psalm 63 (#4 of 8)

#4 of 8 Meditations on Ps 63. Scripture: Psalm 63:3—Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.

Reflection: What causes worship? That is, do you see worship as an initiative or a response? This makes a large difference in our understanding of what we are doing when we praise God.

If we humans are the initiators, then prayers are things we say to God to get what we want; hymns are songs we sing because someone insists that God demands it; communion is our way of ritualizing remembrance or sacrament because God has said do so.

By contrast, the psalms and scriptures generally view worship as response. Prayers are generated within us by God’s Spirit as we see the glory of God; praise rises out of our experience of steadfast love from God; the Father puts a new song within the heart of his children.

Worship cannot be obedience to commands, but is composed of expressions of love and trust brought about in our lives by God’s Spirit working in us. If I held a gun on you, I might cause you to sing a hymn or say a prayer. I could not cause you to worship.

In the church service the same dynamic is at play---how many times we go through the motions because it’s the thing to do according to our tradition, religious politics or liturgy—but nothing is happening on the inside! Contrast this with the man or woman who sees God in the sanctuary, or the sunset, or on the mountain-top and from whose heart praise flows naturally and easily.

Prayer Starter: Father, bring out of us the praise due your name, the psalms and hymns of happy hearts, the prayers and thanksgivings appropriate to our experience of your love. Amen.

Doulos Meditation on Psalm 63 (#5 of 8)

#5 of 8 Meditations on Ps 63. Scripture: Psalm 63:4—So I will bless you as long as I live; I will lift up my hands and call on your name.

Reflection: To bless God is to praise him as the source of all blessing. Several biblical words are like this (bless and hallow come to mind), i.e. I can add nothing to God, so my part is always acceptance, recognition and gratitude.

Used of God such words refer to him as source and initiator. Used of man such words refer to acknowledgement. God blesses me is divine initiative. I bless God is not the same—this is acknowledgment and recognition.

The ancients often raised their hands to heaven in worship—in body language, it’s the posture of adoration, supplication, submission, and surrender. In the modern cop show the traces still remain: “Come out with your hands up.” The person who does so shows he is fighting no more, his weapons are gone, his surrender is declared.

I travel periodically in countries where hands are lifted in praise and I am struck by the faith of the people at worship. The hands like the feet are instruments of activity and achievement. Offering them to God carries a heavy weight of meaning for the worshipper. Our psalm emphatically declares, “…as long as I live.”

Prayer Starter: Father teach us to look at our hands and feet, consciously surrendering them to your service; blessing you with our lips as you have blessed us by your presence. Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Tue 29 Nov 2016, 11:49 pm

Doulos Meditation on 1 Samuel 5:12

Scripture: 1 Samuel 5:12—Those who did not die were afflicted with tumors, and the outcry of the city went up to heaven…6:4—Five gold tumors and five gold rats…because the same plague has struck both you and your rulers. Make models of the tumors and of the rats that are destroying the country, and pay honor to Israel’s god.

Reflection: In Epidaurus (Greece) there are the remains of a temple devoted to the Greek god Asclepius, the god of healing. In the museum display are small models of hands, eyes, tongues, and other body parts—molded in hardened clay. These were placed in the temple by those who sought relief from the injuries or diseases of specific body parts.

I don’t know whether the models strengthened their prayers or prompted Asclepius to act—but they were participating in an age old idea of bringing before the god an image, a model, or some representation of the problem. The bringing itself, I suspect, was the core action of faith.

I was at a youth rally where the teenage participants were encouraged to write their sins on a slip of paper and bring them to the stage where a large wooden cross stood. Hundreds did so and using the available hammers and nails, the kids would fold the slip of paper into a small square and nail it to the cross.

I don’t know if the confessions on paper enhanced their devotions—but of this I am confident: bringing sins to the cross makes sense.

Prayer Starter: Father, for the cross and all it means we are eternally grateful. Help us day by day to bring all we have or think or do and place on the cross our every concern. Amen.

Doulos Meditation on Psalm 63 (#1 of 8)

#1 of 8 Meditations on Ps 63. Scripture: Psalm 63:1—O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

Reflection: Do you talk about God? Lots of people do—church people, bible classes, and theologians. Do you use God as slang, curse-word, or habitual thing you say to strengthen your language or impress someone with how serious you are?

I’m not impressed with either group—those who habitually talk about God or those who habitually use God-based epithets.

But I am impressed with someone who walks and talks with God. Why are the Psalms so powerful? I believe it’s because they are for the most part personal expressions of people who are experiencing God’s presence—or lamenting his absence.

They are not theoretical, but are the emotional outpouring of the deepest needs, pains and joys of the human heart. Our lives of comfort somewhat dull our senses—picture yourself in a dry land, with searing sun and long hot days that drain your energy, cause you to be sweaty and dirty, make you miserable and expose you to sunstroke and death.

In that situation, picture that cool clear drink of water that saves your life, quenches your thirst, gives you rest and peace. From despair to delight—that’s the difference to contemplate—the difference God makes in our lives.

Prayer Starter: Father, be to us a refreshing drink from a cool spring. Restore, refresh, revive, and rescue us from dryness, discouragement, destruction and death. Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Mon 21 Nov 2016, 7:16 pm

Doulos Meditation on 2 Chronicles 6:18

Scripture: 2 Chronicles 6:18—But will God indeed reside with mortals on earth? Even heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, how much less this house that I have built!

Reflection: Ancient people widely believed that their gods lived in the temples they had built and dedicated to them. This general belief was held by many of the people of Israel as well.

But when Solomon built and dedicated the temple of God in Jerusalem, he prayed this prayer that acknowledged that no building he built could adequately house the eternal God of heaven.

Isaiah (Ch 6) experienced a vision of the Eternal God seated on a throne. The passage reads “and the hem of his robe filled the temple.” What a powerful commentary on the faith of the Israelites. Their beloved and celebrated Temple—a wonder of their world—could not hold more of the reality of God than a few threads—a hem in his garment. A great prophet like Isaiah saw the greatness of God and the smallness of all human religion. 

Prayer Starter:  Father, we know that you cannot be reduced to human thinking; that you don’t live in human temples; that you are more in every way than we can comprehend or articulate. Your infinity eclipses our finite natures and exposes our hopeless inadequacies. We praise you as the Eternal God who loves us and has entered time and space to deal kindly with all that he has created. Thank you for being our God. Amen. 

Doulos Meditation on Ezekiel 34:11

Scripture: Ezekiel 34:11—For thus says the Lord God: I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out.

Reflection: In a chapter where the shepherds of Israel are roundly condemned for feeding themselves and not the sheep, for allowing the sheep to be scattered on the mountains, and  for not searching for the lost sheep—this significant punch-line—thus says the Lord God: I myself will search for my sheep!

The larger context is speaking of the leadership of Israel—the false shepherds who claimed to be protecting the sheep while they were actually harming, ignoring, and damaging the sheep. 

Just as the leadership of Israel was accountable before God, leaders of God’s people in our day bear a heavy responsibility. Like those ancients, some modern leaders are participants in leadership with ulterior motives—gaining advantage for themselves, protecting their own prerogatives and turf, using others to further their own agendas. God will no more excuse today’s leaders than he did Israel’s. 

In this same chapter God said, “I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd.” (34:23) He was speaking of Jesus, the Incarnate God to come who said “I am the good shepherd.”

Prayer Starter:  Father, thank you for the eternal king who sits forever on the throne of your servant David. He is the Good Shepherd and we are the sheep of his pasture. Amen.  

To all our faithful readers at this holiday season Greeting.

I expect to be out of town all this week, so I will not be posting the usual stuff----Give your computer a rest !

We will be eating Thanksgiving dinner with our daughter Debbie and her family in Nashville, Tennessee.
I hope all of you experience a warm and friendly welcome wherever you go, have plenty of good food to eat and return safely home next week.

Give some thought to inviting some less fortunate person(s) to eat with you---and give thanks for all God's goodness.

Sincerely, Robert Barkley.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Sun 20 Nov 2016, 9:39 pm

Doulos Meditation on Revelation 12:10b

Scripture: Revelation 12:10b…for the accuser of our comrades (brothers) has been thrown down.

Reflection: The term Satan means adversary and in the earlier Old Testament passages it applied to any kind of opposition, personal or national. For example in Num 22:22 where God’s messenger stood in the road in front of Balaam’s donkey, he is called the satan or adversary. (Notice 2 Samuel 19:22; 1 K 5:4; 11:25 for other examples).

By New Testament times, the adversary was pictured as a specific evil personality who opposes God and his purposes. The accuser—one who looks for flaws, sins, imperfections and failures and calls attention to them—was pictured as the Christian’s enemy and one who devoured the weak in faith. 

To see this evil spirit in the role of accuser might give us some cause for reflection. Have you ever seen someone who spent his time bad-mouthing others? Someone who criticizes and works to find the flaws in every plan, the mistakes in every sermon, the sins in others? 

Ever notice that this perceptive and shrewd accuser rarely notices any flaws in himself? When you find such a person in your church or school or workplace—do you suppose he or she might be Satan’s unwitting assistant?

Prayer Starter:  Father, we step outside your protective cover so often. We sit in judgment on others and criticize and compare. Lord, forgive us for taking on ourselves the roles that scripture assigns to the Evil One, making us de facto helpers. We don’t want to aid or abet Satan’s deadly work—protect us from his presence and his power. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Doulos Meditation on 1 Corinthians 10:31

Scripture:  1 Corinthians 10:31—So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.

Reflection: Of all the things you do during a 24 hour day, how many of these do you do for the glory of God? Really? Are you being honest with me? 

Glorifying God is not a matter of making God more glorious. It is a matter of living our lives in such a way that the glory of God is seen working through us. 

This is not for Sunday morning church service, either. It is “whatever you do” on Tuesday, or whether you “eat or drink” at suppertime. The passage is comprehensive—the implication is that there is nothing left out. I deny or glorify God by the way I handle myself from moment to moment.

Do you think that includes how I answer someone’s question? How I drive my car? How I speak up in a meeting? How I arrange and display the stuff on my desk? How I use my computer? 

God’s glory is the bright image of his holiness projected against the screen of time and space. God’s glory is what we see if we look at the moral, spiritual, eternal values and concerns of the universe. Some people see God’s glory--some do not. Those who see God’s glory reflect and praise that glory. They serve others and in so doing are demonstrating the glory of God that shines in their lives. 

Prayer Starter: Father, you are the glorious God whose love and holiness shines through all your works. Teach us to be yielded to you that your glory may feed through each of us. Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Fri 18 Nov 2016, 6:54 pm

Doulos Meditation on 1 Corinthians 11:6

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 11:6—For if a woman will not veil herself, then she should cut off her hair; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or to be shaved, she should wear a veil.

Reflection: Some people imagine that God dictated the bible with every word being exactly true and binding on God’s people for all time to come. Others see in scripture messages to the people of a particular time, race, and culture fitting to that culture. 

The latter people would say that as times, customs, and cultures change the applications of biblical principles will be different than they were at some time and for some culture in the past.

In order to be a good interpreter of scripture, you must decide what role cultural practice plays in things. 

Some, who believe every piece of instruction in the scripture was intended to remain the same for all ages have the additional problem of selectivity in their applications of biblical statements. They will cling tenaciously to some statement about women not teaching, but you can hardly find a one of them insisting that their wife wear a veil. 

There’s a lot of uptightness among those who believe they have the answers—and the place of culture is the question that few attempt to answer very completely. 

Prayer Starter:  Father, open our eyes to see valid and eternal truth—and to distinguish that from the changing applications that undergo cultural transformation. Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Thu 17 Nov 2016, 10:06 pm

Doulos Meditation on the Christ Hymn (#16 of 16

#16 of 16 Meditations on the Christ Hymn. Scripture: Colossians 1:20—through the blood of his cross.

Reflection: I confess to you my understanding of the death of Jesus is limited. Somehow it was the only way to free us from sin. It flowed from extreme love and has resulted in indescribable blessing. No explanation is complete—we humans simply cannot get our brains around it.

“The wages of sin is death,” wrote Paul, “but the gift of God is eternal life.” 

Somehow the Christ paid the penalty for my sins. He offered himself as perfect and effective sacrifice for the sins of the world—something never accomplished by humans offering animal sacrifices. 

The story of the bible is largely the story of human failure and God’s intervention. Humans tried to do without God; satisfy God’s righteousness through keeping laws and being morally upright; save themselves through knowledge and wisdom; practice mysticisms of feelings, knowing, visions and experiencing. 

Real peace with God is beyond the reach of all of these—it is available in Christ because God has intervened—and what a startling intervention! 

He came in flesh to reveal himself to the world. He offered himself as the sacrifice for sins. He reigns as king of kings. I don’t understand it; but I am trusting in him. He has not misled us.


Prayer Starter:  Father, we thank you with all our hearts for the blood of the cross through which we are cleansed and given eternal life. Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 10:31 pm

Doulos Meditation on the Christ Hymn (#15 of 16)

#15 of 16 Meditations on the Christ Hymn. Scripture: Colossians 1:20—by making peace through the blood of his cross.

Reflection: Jesus was called the Prince of Peace—yet he warned that he brought a sword to earth that would divide families, friends, and societies. Peace is offered but it is on God’s terms. 

I can find no substitute peace in power, wealth, education, human strength or wisdom. And here is where many people have hit an obstacle in their quest for peace.

The tragedy of sin is that it does unpeaceful things: it enslaves, systematically deprives, and then kills. The man who rejects the blood of Jesus will never find freedom from these evils—he is enslaved by lust for all the things of this world. 

He begins to experience slow but inevitable deprivation as he loses his ability to control, to afford, to understand, to change or to enjoy the things that bind him. He knows no peace and at long last he dies—taking nothing with him, retaining power over nothing, and now having no hope for anything. Tragedy. 

Christian faith is paradoxical. Surrender is not doom—it is the path to victory. Freedom from sin and death is not an achievement—it is a gift. Eternal life is available only to those who fully trust in Jesus as the one who has brought peace by the blood of his cross. There is no other way.

Prayer Starter:  Father and God, how very humble we feel when we consider that you have make arrangements that we can have eternal life in Jesus. Bring us to a true faith. Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Tue 15 Nov 2016, 10:59 pm

Doulos Meditation on the Christ Hymn (#14 of 16)

#14 of 16 Meditations on the Christ Hymn. Scripture: Colossians 1:20—and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth of in heaven…

Reflection: The achievement of reconciliation is an accomplished fact of history; 
“God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself,” Paul wrote. 

He also suggested that his ministry was at the service of this reconciliation—announcing it and explaining it and urging people “be reconciled to God.” 

On God’s side, the great work of reconciliation is done and is available to all men everywhere. On man’s side, God never takes away my ability to refuse his gifts.

Have you ever seen one person trying to be reconciled to another, but the offers of reconciliation were rejected, scorned, and refused by the second person. Does that happen sometimes in marriages; in business; in churches? 

The greatest tragedy of your life would occur if you were one of those people who (for whatever reason) refuse the reconciliation that God has arranged for, paid for, offered, and awaits your response for.

Prayer Starter:  Thank you our God for your work of atonement and your offer of reconciliation in Jesus. May no one take this lightly or think it unimportant. Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Mon 14 Nov 2016, 11:06 pm

Doulos Meditation on the Christ Hymn (#13 of 16)

#13 of 16 Meditations on the Christ Hymn. Scripture: Colossians 1:19—For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell…

Reflection: These are choppy theological waters—as well we might expect—when small human minds grasp at the most colossal mysteries of the universe. 

The first three centuries of the church’s life were unsettled ones as well; the largest discussions and heresies were centered on the nature of Christ and his relationship to God the Father. Was Jesus all human but blessed by God and elevated to honor and power? Was Jesus all God and only appeared to humans to be like them while not actually having any physical body at all—a Ghost! Was the God-Man half and half—partly God and partly human?

Scripture is a repository of the deepest thoughts about the most profound experiences with God that humans have ever had. 

The Holy Spirit working through these humans stirred and refined these internal things that they might be shared with all ages to come. He inspired the expressions of truth—and as you know inspired means “breathed”—remember that the Spirit is the supernatural “breath of life”. 

Paul wrote that all scripture is God-breathed (theopneustos). 

Everything that God is, rested in Jesus. He was fully God and fully man—and centuries of reflection have not improved on Paul’s statement, “…in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell…” 

It is no wonder he is the preeminent head, beginning, firstborn, and creator.

Prayer Starter:  Father, we honor the Son who was sent to save us from sin and fill us with your Spirit, and show us the way to heaven. Thank you so much for your bountiful grace. Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Sat 12 Nov 2016, 2:51 pm

Doulos Meditation on the Christ Hymn (#11 of 16)

#11 of 16 Meditations on the Christ Hymn. Scripture: Colossians 1:18—he is the beginning…

Reflection: The beginning of what? One might reflect backward and suggest He is the beginning of creation, of life on earth, of humans and the Chosen People. These things, while true, do not seem to be what our passage is pointing to. 

He is the beginning right now—of things beginning right now; and this seems to be connected with His position as Head of the Body, the church. What’s new about the church?

Scripture does not picture creation as a one-time thing when God made something out of nothing. Rather the picture is of the continuous creative presence of God through history. 

In Jesus there was a new revelation of God and in his resurrection a new hope for eternal life. In him came a new priesthood and sacrifice, a new victory over the evil one. In brief, the Judaeo-Christian heritage looked to new heavens and new earth; a Christian is one who is born anew; Paul wrote “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” 

Jesus was the beginning of the new age—the age of “all things new.” Everything new is where Jesus is heading and all those who live in him find themselves part of that new and yet not fully revealed future—the Apocalypse mentions that they are citizens of the New Jerusalem—the city that comes down from God.

Prayer Starter:  Father, we long for newness—clean and fresh and eternally yours. We look to Jesus as the beginning of newness and bless your name because you are making all things new in him who is the beginning of the new creation. Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Fri 11 Nov 2016, 9:50 pm

Doulos Meditation on the Christ Hymn (#10 of 16)

#10 of 16 Meditations on the Christ Hymn. Scripture: Colossians 1:18—He is the head of the body, the church…

Reflection: The church is the outflow and instrumentation of Divine Incarnation. Not a human organization seeking God, but Divine organism breathing life into all its parts. 

Terms like “member of the church” and “organizing a church” have distorted meanings in most of our minds. God’s Spirit working in us makes “church” happen. It is the result, the outflow of God’s actions. 

A church may organize, of course. That’s a good thing. But the organization does not produce the church, the church produces the organization! And a “member” of a church (or a civic club, or a political party) is different than a “member” of the body of Christ. The former may have a little value, but the latter brings eternal life.   

Jesus is the head of the church. Just as your head coordinates every muscle, sinew, eye and hand as you reach up to catch a baseball, Jesus works in every Christian to accomplish his will in the church. When this direction is pre-empted, only spasms are produced—not coordinated actions. 

Dying churches have lost their connection with the head. When God’s Spirit communicates to every cell of the body the mind of Jesus the church grows healthy and strong.  

Prayer Starter:  Father let the mind of Jesus flow through every neuron of the body of Christ—bonding us intimately together in love and energizing us to do your bidding. Destroy our false notions of uniformity and union, instead creating unity by your Spirit who works within the whole body of Christ.  Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Thu 10 Nov 2016, 9:12 pm

Doulos Meditation on the Christ Hymn (#9 of 16)

#9 of 16 Meditations on the Christ Hymn. Scripture: Colossians 1:17—and in him all things hold together.

Reflection: In Paul’s time, many people thought there were spirits who managed the universe—various gods ran the sun, moon, stars, rivers, death, fortune, and agriculture. 

Perhaps the Colossians did not see clearly the implications of accepting Jesus as Christ. 

Paul stresses: the one who alone created, alone maintains the natural and supernatural processes of heaven and earth. If such spirits or gods exist and function as managers of nature, then the Christ created them as well. 

They could have no separate existence apart from their creator. So, they cannot be independent mediators or controllers of destiny. 

If you have relationship with Jesus the Christ, you are associating with the High Boss—dealing with him eliminates the need for messing with the hired help. Law can flow only from a lawgiver—and that applies not only to the laws of love, forgiveness, and faith—but the laws of gravity, thermodynamics, and molecular motion.


Prayer Starter:  Jesus, we praise you as the eternal Son, co-equal with the Father, and worship you as the one who has created us and our world and sustains it all with your Word of Power. Teach us how to be true Christians. Give us the Holy Spirit that we might worship Father, Son and Spirit in all we do. Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Wed 09 Nov 2016, 9:08 pm

Doulos Meditation on the Christ Hymn (#8 of 16)

#8 of 16 Meditations on the Christ Hymn. Scripture: Colossians 1:17—He himself is before all things…

Reflection: Within God is a three-personal existence—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit (Not three Gods but One Three-personal God). 

The church soundly rejected the heresy of Arias who denied that Jesus was Divine. The Nicene Creed (325 AD) read in part, “And I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God of God, Light of Light, true God of true God; begotten, not made, of one substance with the Father. By whom all things were made.” 

Even in our time some espouse the views of Arias, but they stand clearly apart from biblical and historical Christianity.

The term “before” of course carries the meaning of being there first—prior to other things. But it also has the connotation of being first in importance, in power, glory and honor. 

The virgin birth in Bethlehem was not the beginning of Jesus. From all eternity he was the Divine Son, of the same essence as the Father and the Spirit. We do not understand all the implications of the Trinity—but we cannot be authentically Christian without it. 

Prayer Starter:  Our Three Personal God, how incomprehensible you are in all your complexity and majesty! We turn to you daily as to a strong and loving Father and give you thanks for the Incarnation of your Eternal Son who came into our world to save us from sin; and we give thanks for your Spirit in us, sanctifying, reviving and transforming us. Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Tue 08 Nov 2016, 11:44 pm

Doulos Meditation on the Christ Hymn (#7 of 16)

#7 of 16 Meditations on the Christ Hymn. Scripture: Colossians 1:16—all things have been created through him and for him…

Reflection: Although the Eternal Son created this universe, the process continues as he brings about the “new creation” and moves inexorably toward the consummation of all things. 

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Cor 5:17) Looking back, all the visible and invisible worlds came from him, but looking forward we await more and more appearances of the unimaginable creation to come. 

The first creation was “through him” but the whole process moves forward “for him.” 

Paul wrote, “The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.” (Rom 8:19-21) 

Sounds like there’s going to be a party like you’ve never seen—a feast of joy and love full of shouting and praise for the Creator—where nothing evil can enter and the concentrated holiness of the presence of God fills all who are present. 

Of course, that is only half of the good news! The other half is that you are invited. It is all happening “in Christ,” and that’s the only place to be!

Prayer Starter:  Father we rejoice that you created us all, but are beside ourselves with joy at the thought of being in on the finishing of the new creation in Christ. Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Admin on Mon 07 Nov 2016, 8:45 pm

Doulos Meditation on the Christ Hymn (#3 of 16)

#3 of 16 Meditations on the Christ Hymn. Scripture: Colossians 1:15—the firstborn of all creation…

Reflection: Jesus is the firstborn.  This little used word at first spoke of the sequence of births in a family (Jesus was Mary’s firstborn.) But by Jesus’ time, there was larger significance. Great distinction and honor was given to the firstborn son in Jewish family life, dating to the plague in Egypt that killed the firstborn of the Egyptians but saved the firstborn of Israel.

The firstborn son in Jewish families inherited a double portion of the family wealth, was the head of the extended family after the death of the father, and was responsible for care of his widowed mother. He was in charge of his sisters until he placed them in marriage to others.

In 1:15 emphasis is not on being first in time (though he was prior in time as well), but being supreme in importance, honor, and majesty.

Jesus is above all—his is the name above all names—before him every knee bows. How much God loves you and me! He sent his Son to be our sacrifice for sin! Unbelievable! The highest for the lowest, the all powerful for the helpless, the self-living for the dead in sin, the exalted and glorious Lord of all creation for the creature that decided to go it on his own and turned his back on God. Words fail us—thank you Lord.

Prayer Starter:  Father of our Lord Jesus, out of your deep love we are rescued eternally from sin and death. We bow speechless before you for your great gift. Amen.

Doulos Meditation on the Christ Hymn (#6 of 16)

#6 of 16 Meditations on the Christ Hymn. Scripture: Colossians 1:16—whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers…


Reflection: Perhaps Paul is using the language of the heretics he is combating at Colossae. These words may have been technical terms for spiritual beings with various roles in creation.

Later in his letter he says, “Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize” (2:18a). The heretics may have claimed that their knowledge of these spiritual beings came from visions—“Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions (2:18b).

These ideas continued to blossom in early church history until the middle of the second century when they comprised the first major heresy of the church known as Gnosticism.

The Christ is the exclusive agency of God in creation.  The government of the universe is not a power-sharing coalition—God is the absolute sovereign; he has done all things through the eternal Son whom we worship as Lord.

He is superior to all others, prior to all others, to be honored above all others. The Christian knows Jesus as the Lord without peer or competition.

Prayer Starter: Father, keep us from idle speculations about worlds we cannot see, but keep us trusting in you and the eternal Christ, knowing that all power and authority reside in you. Instill in us true humility and devotion. Guard us from being deceived by our own imaginations and conceits. We pray in the name of our Lord Jesus the Christ. Amen.
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 48441
Join date : 2008-10-25
Age : 72
Location : Wales UK

View user profile http://worldwidechristians.6forum.info

Back to top Go down

Re: Doulos International ~ Robert Barkley

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 4 of 39 Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 21 ... 39  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum