What God Calls Evil Is Evil

“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.   For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[c] you want.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.  The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” -Galatians 5:16-24

 

The Word of God has ONE meaning with MANY applications. Don’t twist the Word of God to make it fit your interpretation and fit your personal lifestyle. The Word of God can be used to apply in many ways, but it cannot be made to mean what you think it means.

Let’s take for instance Jesus sitting, drinking, and eating with the sinners. Yes, he did. However, He spoke to them against their behavior and sin. He did not participate in it. Nowhere in scripture will you find Jesus getting drunk or sinning. No, it’s not a sin to have a glass of wine.  It’s getting drunk that’s the issue and the problem. It’s engaging in things that will get you into trouble while you’re drunk.

Let’s talk about some of those stories. Zacchaeus the tax collector was the worst of sinners. Yes, Jesus told Zacchaeus to come down from the tree Jesus would eat with him at his home. Immediately, Zacchaeus repented and gave half his money to the poor and gave back the money to all those he cheated. In fact, all those he cheated received back their money plus four times the amount to make up for his sin. To the prostitute, Jesus told her to go and sin no more. He didn’t use her. He saved her from the stoning. To the woman at the well, Jesus told her to stop living with her unmarried husband and showed her what real love was by sitting with her, not by using her. Jesus had compassion for her, not disgust. To the religious leaders he told them to stop their pretend living, and to those who were disrespectful to in the LORD’s house, Jesus overturned their tables. He had no pity for them. Their hearts were cold as stones; they did evil before God by their double lives as they believed one way but acted another way. They were pretenders and had no intentions of living right before God and then would persecute those who were doing what they were doing in secret.

He constantly spoke against injustice, prejudices, and hate. He showed us how to stand for truth, love, and respect others. He in no way showed us or taught us to accept sin, condone it, or hide it. We have never been given the right to judge anyone. We have been given the right to know right from wrong and act appropriately. We love people, but we don’t engage in their sins. Simple as that. Love, and don’t engage.

Let me bring it home clearly. I’m not going to hate those that go out drink, get drunk, and then engage in doing stupid and harmful things to themselves and others. At the same time, you will not find me anywhere near their presence. This does not mean I’m not going to help anyone who wants to change their behavior and turn their lives around. I’m in to help in any way I can. They will never hear me say I approve, condone, or will ever participate with them in that behavior nor will I allow myself to be manipulated by them. They will hear me say I will help them, but they must give up their drinking and get their lives straightened up. This means getting a whole new set of friends who are not engaging in sinful behaviors. They need to stop the negative behavior and change their mindsets.

Please understand clearly the difference between loving people and agreeing with behaviors God says are sinful. Jesus preached about love, but He never allowed those who came in contact with Him to continue in their sin. He told each one, “Go and sin no more!” I cannot and will not agree with sin, or those who willingly want to continue in their destructive ways. Imagine a judge allowing someone who drinks and drives to continue willfully driving while drinking. It’s nonsense! No judge, even a corrupt one, would ever allow it.

Please understand the meaning of scripture before posting and sharing things that promote lies, hate, and prejudices. We are all held responsible before God on what we say and what we do.

Stand strong in truth, love, and justice. We have the highest judge looking at us from Heaven. We love people, hate the sin, and pray for those who are caught up in false understanding, knowledge, and false teachings coming from pulpits and religious leaders as in Jesus’ days who manipulated and distorted truths for their personal gains.

Jesus was not understanding and kind to them. He overturned their tables and called them snakes. This is what He had to say to those evil religious leaders, “You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.”

Can you say, “Ouch?” Be very careful what you say and do. My personal rule. I love, respect, and do good to all who come in contact with me. However, I will not condone, hide, or accept sins in any way or form. This is my lifestyle. I choose better for myself and model right living for my children and those who watch me.

Be strong leaders by words and actions. Don’t be manipulated to do wrong and evil. So many people are hurting. Some at the hands of evil people, others by choice. Whoever comes in contact with you, lead by the word of God and by the power of His Spirit living in you. We are to bring hope and a desire with them to seek after the God who loves them and desires to fill them with real joy, love, and peace!

Teresa Allissa Citro,
Founder and President, Thread of Hope, Inc.

Psalm 84

PSALM 84.11


PSALM 84


*

How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

*

I long, yes, I faint with longing
to enter the courts of the Lord.

*

With my whole being, body and soul,
I will shout joyfully to the living God.

*

Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young
at a place near your altar,
 O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, my King and my God!

*
What joy for those who can live in your house,
always singing your praises.

Interlude

*

What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord,
who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

*
When they walk through the Valley of Weeping,
it will become a place of refreshing springs.

*

The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings.
They will continue to grow stronger,
and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem.

*

O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, hear my prayer.
Listen, O God of Jacob.

Interlude

*

O God, look with favor upon the king, our shield!
Show favor to the one you have anointed.

*

A single day in your courts
is better than a thousand anywhere else!

*

I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God
than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.

*

For the Lord God is our sun and our shield.
He gives us grace and glory.

*

The Lord will withhold no good thing
from those who do what is right.

*

O Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
what joy for those who trust in you.

*

God’s Got It; He Has Gone Before You!

GOD IS THE LORD YOUR HELPER

& THE LORD WHO WATCHES OVER YOU!

Psalm 121

I look up to the mountains—
does my help come from there?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth!

He will not let you stumble;
    the one who watches over you will not slumber.
Indeed, he who watches over Israel
never slumbers or sleeps.

The Lord himself watches over you!
    The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
The sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon at night.

The Lord keeps you from all harm
and watches over your life.
The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go,
both now and forever.

*

GOD IS THE LORD WHO GOES BEFORE YOU!

Deuteronomy 31:8

Do not be afraid or discouraged,

for the Lord will personally go ahead of you.

He will be with you;

he will neither fail you nor abandon you.

*

GOD TOOK CARE OF THE ISRAELITES

& THE LORD WHO SUPPLIES YOUR EVERY NEED!

Deuteronomy 2:7

For the Lord your God has blessed you in everything you have done.

He has watched your every step through this great wilderness.

During these forty years, the Lord your God has been with you,

and you have lacked nothing.

*

Much Love To You All,

Linda A. Knowles

Executive Director, Thread of Hope, Inc.

PRAISE HIM!

Psalm 150

Praise the Lord!

Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heaven!
Praise him for his mighty works;
praise his unequaled greatness!
Praise him with a blast of the ram’s horn;
praise him with the lyre and harp!
Praise him with the tambourine and dancing;
praise him with strings and flutes!
Praise him with a clash of cymbals;
praise him with loud clanging cymbals.
Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord!

Praise the Lord!

May – Daily Bible Portions

 



MAY’S DAILY PORTIONS OF SCRIPTURE

ONLINE BIBLE

(Multiple Bible Translations Available):

http://www.biblegateway.com

FLOWERS 1



May 1

Joshua 7–8, Luke 14:1–24, Psalm 50:1–6

Proverbs 10:21–22


May 2

Joshua 9:1–10:15, Luke 14:25–15:7, Psalm 50:7–13

Proverbs 10:23–25


May 3

Joshua 10:16–11:23, Luke 15:8–32, Psalm 50:14–23

Proverbs 10:26–28


May 4

Joshua 12, Luke 16:1–18, Psalm 51:1–4

Proverbs 10:29–30


May 5

Joshua 13–14, Luke 16:19–17:10,  Psalm 51:5–12

Proverbs 10:31–32


May 6

Joshua 15, Luke 17:11–37, Psalm 51:13–19

Proverbs 11:1–2


May 7

Joshua 16–18, Luke 18:1–17, Psalm 52

Proverbs 11:3–5


May 8

Joshua 19–20, Luke 18:18–43, Psalm 53

Proverbs 11:6–8


May 9

Joshua 21, Luke 19:1–27, Psalm 54

Proverbs 11:9–10


May 10

Joshua 22–24, Luke 19:28–48, Psalm 55:1–3

Proverbs 11:11–12


May 11

Judges 1, Luke 20:1–18, Psalm 55:4–10

Proverbs 11:13–15


May 12

Judges 2–3, Luke 20:19–47, Psalm 55:11–16

Proverbs 11:16–17


May 13

Judges 4–5, Luke 21:1–24, Psalm 55:17–23

Proverbs 11:18–20


May 14

Judges 6–7, Luke 21:25–38, Psalm 56:1–7

Proverbs 11:21–23


May 15

Judges 8:1–9:21, Luke 22:1–23, Psalm 56:8–13

Proverbs 11:24–25


May 16

Judges 9:22–10:18, Luke 22:24–46, Psalm 57

Proverbs 11:26–28


May 17

Judges 11–12, Luke 22:47–65, Psalm 58:1–4

Proverbs 11:29–31


May 18

Judges 13–15, Luke 22:66–23:12, Psalm 58:5–11

Proverbs 12:1–2


May 19

Judges 16–17, Luke 23:13–32, Psalm 59:1–7

Proverbs 12:3–4


May 20

Judges 18–19, Luke 23:33–56, Psalm 59:8–17

Proverbs 12:5–7


May 21

Judges 20–21, Luke 24:1–12, Psalm 60:1–5

Proverbs 12:8–9


May 22

Ruth 1–2, Luke 24:13–35, Psalm 60:6–12

Proverbs 12:10–12


May 23

Ruth 3–4, Luke 24:36–53, Psalm 61

Proverbs 12:13–15


May 24

1 Samuel 1–2, John 1:1–18, Psalm 62:1–4

Proverbs 12:16–17


May 25

1 Samuel 3–5, John 1:19–51, Psalm 62:5–12

Proverbs 12:18–20


May 26

1 Samuel 6–8, John 2, Psalm 63:1–4

Proverbs 12:21–23


May 27

1 Samuel 9–10, John 3:1–21, Psalm 63:5–11

Proverbs 12:24–25


May 28

1 Samuel 11–13, John 3:22–4:6, Psalm 64:1–3

Proverbs 12:26–28


May 29

1 Samuel 14, John 4:7–38, Psalm 64:4–10

Proverbs 13:1–2


May 30

1 Samuel 15–16, John 4:39–54, Psalm 65:1–5

Proverbs 13:3–4


May 31

1 Samuel 17, John 5:1–24, Psalm 65:6–13

Proverbs 13:5–7


 

The Gospel of John


JOHN 19:1-42


JUDGE

JESUS SENTENCED TO DEATH

Then Pilate had Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip. The soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they put a purple robe on him. “Hail! King of the Jews!” they mocked, as they slapped him across the face.

Pilate went outside again and said to the people, “I am going to bring him out to you now, but understand clearly that I find him not guilty.” Then Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said, “Look, here is the man!”

When they saw him, the leading priests and Temple guards began shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

“Take him yourselves and crucify him,” Pilate said. “I find him not guilty.”

The Jewish leaders replied, “By our law he ought to die because he called himself the Son of God.”

When Pilate heard this, he was more frightened than ever. He took Jesus back into the headquarters again and asked him, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave no answer. 10 “Why don’t you talk to me?” Pilate demanded. “Don’t you realize that I have the power to release you or crucify you?”

11 Then Jesus said, “You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above. So the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.”

12 Then Pilate tried to release him, but the Jewish leaders shouted, “If you release this man, you are no ‘friend of Caesar.’ Anyone who declares himself a king is a rebel against Caesar.”

13 When they said this, Pilate brought Jesus out to them again. Then Pilate sat down on the judgment seat on the platform that is called the Stone Pavement (in Hebrew, Gabbatha). 14 It was now about noon on the day of preparation for the Passover. And Pilate said to the people, “Look, here is your king!”

15 “Away with him,” they yelled. “Away with him! Crucify him!”

“What? Crucify your king?” Pilate asked.

“We have no king but Caesar,” the leading priests shouted back.

16 Then Pilate turned Jesus over to them to be crucified.

CROSS 1THE CRUCIFIXION

So they took Jesus away. 17 Carrying the cross by himself, he went to the place called Place of the Skull (in Hebrew, Golgotha). 18 There they nailed him to the cross. Two others were crucified with him, one on either side, with Jesus between them. 19 And Pilate posted a sign on the cross that read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” 20 The place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek, so that many people could read it.

21 Then the leading priests objected and said to Pilate, “Change it from ‘The King of the Jews’ to ‘He said, I am King of the Jews.’”

22 Pilate replied, “No, what I have written, I have written.”

23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they divided his clothes among the four of them. They also took his robe, but it was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. 24 So they said, “Rather than tearing it apart, let’s throw dice for it.” This fulfilled the Scripture that says, “They divided my garments among themselves and threw dice for my clothing.” So that is what they did.

25 Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, “Dear woman, here is your son.” 27 And he said to this disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from then on this disciple took her into his home.

THE DEATH OF JESUS

28 Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. 30 When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

31 It was the day of preparation, and the Jewish leaders didn’t want the bodies hanging there the next day, which was the Sabbath (and a very special Sabbath, because it was Passover week). So they asked Pilate to hasten their deaths by ordering that their legs be broken. Then their bodies could be taken down. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the two men crucified with Jesus. 33 But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead, so they didn’t break his legs. 34 One of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water flowed out. 35 (This report is from an eyewitness giving an accurate account. He speaks the truth so that you also may continue to believe.) 36 These things happened in fulfillment of the Scriptures that say, “Not one of his bones will be broken,” 37 and “They will look on the one they pierced.”

THE BURIAL OF JESUS

38 Afterward Joseph of Arimathea, who had been a secret disciple of Jesus (because he feared the Jewish leaders), asked Pilate for permission to take down Jesus’ body. When Pilate gave permission, Joseph came and took the body away. 39 With him came Nicodemus, the man who had come to Jesus at night. He brought about seventy-five pounds of perfumed ointment made from myrrh and aloes. 40 Following Jewish burial custom, they wrapped Jesus’ body with the spices in long sheets of linen cloth. 41 The place of crucifixion was near a garden, where there was a new tomb, never used before. 42 And so, because it was the day of preparation for the Jewish Passover and since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.

From The Gospel of Mark

MARK 14:32-71

GARDEN 1

Jesus Prays in Gethsemane

32 They went to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and Jesus said, “Sit here while I go and pray.” 33 He took Peter, James, and John with him, and he became deeply troubled and distressed. 34 He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

35 He went on a little farther and fell to the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting him might pass him by. 36 “Abba, Father,” he cried out, “everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”

37 Then he returned and found the disciples asleep. He said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? 38 Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”

39 Then Jesus left them again and prayed the same prayer as before.40 When he returned to them again, he found them sleeping, for they couldn’t keep their eyes open. And they didn’t know what to say.

41 When he returned to them the third time, he said, “Go ahead and sleep. Have your rest. But no—the time has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Up, let’s be going. Look, my betrayer is here!”

 

JESUS ARRESTED

 

Jesus Is Betrayed and Arrested

43 And immediately, even as Jesus said this, Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived with a crowd of men armed with swords and clubs. They had been sent by the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders. 44 The traitor, Judas, had given them a prearranged signal: “You will know which one to arrest when I greet him with a kiss. Then you can take him away under guard.” 45 As soon as they arrived, Judas walked up to Jesus. “Rabbi!” he exclaimed, and gave him the kiss.

46 Then the others grabbed Jesus and arrested him. 47 But one of the men with Jesus pulled out his sword and struck the high priest’s slave, slashing off his ear.

48 Jesus asked them, “Am I some dangerous revolutionary, that you come with swords and clubs to arrest me? 49 Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple? I was there among you teaching every day. But these things are happening to fulfill what the Scriptures say about me.”

50 Then all his disciples deserted him and ran away. 51 One young man following behind was clothed only in a long linen shirt. When the mob tried to grab him, 52 he slipped out of his shirt and ran away naked.

Jesus before the Council

53 They took Jesus to the high priest’s home where the leading priests, the elders, and the teachers of religious law had gathered. 54 Meanwhile, Peter followed him at a distance and went right into the high priest’s courtyard. There he sat with the guards, warming himself by the fire.

55 Inside, the leading priests and the entire high council were trying to find evidence against Jesus, so they could put him to death. But they couldn’t find any. 56 Many false witnesses spoke against him, but they contradicted each other. 57 Finally, some men stood up and gave this false testimony: 58 “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this Temple made with human hands, and in three days I will build another, made without human hands.’” 59 But even then they didn’t get their stories straight!

60 Then the high priest stood up before the others and asked Jesus, “Well, aren’t you going to answer these charges? What do you have to say for yourself?” 61 But Jesus was silent and made no reply. Then the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”

62 Jesus said, I am. And you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

63 Then the high priest tore his clothing to show his horror and said, “Why do we need other witnesses? 64 You have all heard his blasphemy. What is your verdict?”

“Guilty!” they all cried. “He deserves to die!”

65 Then some of them began to spit at him, and they blindfolded him and beat him with their fists. “Prophesy to us,” they jeered. And the guards slapped him as they took him away.

Peter Denies Jesus

66 Meanwhile, Peter was in the courtyard below. One of the servant girls who worked for the high priest came by 67 and noticed Peter warming himself at the fire. She looked at him closely and said, “You were one of those with Jesus of Nazareth.”

68 But Peter denied it. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said, and he went out into the entryway. Just then, a rooster crowed.

69 When the servant girl saw him standing there, she began telling the others, “This man is definitely one of them!” 70 But Peter denied it again.

A little later some of the other bystanders confronted Peter and said, “You must be one of them, because you are a Galilean.”

71 Peter swore, “A curse on me if I’m lying—I don’t know this man you’re talking about!” 72 And immediately the rooster crowed the second time.

Suddenly, Jesus’ words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And he broke down and wept.

%d bloggers like this: