The Great Polarization

 ‘...I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body,
and after that can do nothing more. 
But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who,
after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. 
Yes, I tell you, fear him! 

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies?
Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight. 
But even the hairs of your head are all counted.
Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.

 ‘And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others,
the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God;
 but whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God. 
And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven;
but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. 
When they bring you before the synagogues, the rulers, and the authorities,
do not worry about how you are to defend yourselves or what you are to say; 
for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that very hour what you ought to say.’...

 Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life,
what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. 
For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 
Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn,
and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!
And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?
If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest?
 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 
yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 
But if God so clothes the grass of the field,
which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven,
how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 
And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. 
For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 
Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

 ‘Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 
Sell your possessions, and give alms.
Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven,
where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Luke 12)

Interesting story...


A man was famous in the art of wrestling.

He knew Three hundred and sixty and seven stake etc and wrestled with one of them every day.
He was very kind to a student.

He taught him Three hundred and fifty-nine stake and kept only one stake, that is, he did not teach it.

He became a great wrestler in the youth arena and his fame spread far and wide.

No wrestler in the whole country had the courage to challenge him.

One time this young man said to the king in the assertion of his power.

The supremacy that the teacher has over me is due to his seniority and the right of training,
otherwise he is not less than him in strength and art.

The king of time did not like his arrogance.

He ordered the teacher and student to wrestle.

On the appointed day, grand arrangements were made for this wrestle and the King, to see it,

Government officials, court officials and wrestlers from all over the country gathered.

The youth came to wrestling like a drunken Elephant.

It was guessed that he could also break a mountain.

The old master realized that the young student had surpassed him in strength.

However, the youth did not know the final stake.

The teacher used the same stake and lifted the young man over his head with both hands and then threw him on the ground.
The noise of wah haw went everywhere, and the arrogance of the youth was found in the dust.

We get two tips from this story.

First no matter what wealth, fame, honor and name a person has, he should always choose humility.

Because. These are temporary things and are given by God,
so when a person becomes arrogant upon meeting them, he is the cause of God's displeasure.

Therefore, this arrogance should be avoided in any case.

The second, advice is that no matter how much a person rises in rank.

But. If you claim to be better than your teacher or if you oppose your teacher, he will be called rude and impolite.

And whoever does not respect his teacher in any field, he can never reach any position in life.

If you know that someone has more knowledge than you, don't try to learn from him or compete with him.

With thanks to Suleiman Mash (Facebook Friend)

Anxious? Fearful? Worried Sick? Apprehensive?

Most people are these days.

To me, the most heartbreaking of all are the kids who have never known unconditional love and affirmation by parents.

Small children flocked to Jesus whenever the saw Him. His disciples were annoyed.

Then little children were being brought to Jesus in order that he might lay his hands on them and pray.
The disciples spoke sternly to those who brought them; but Jesus said,
‘Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them;
for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.’ 
And he laid his hands on them and went on his way." (Matthew 19:13-15)

Fear in us adults often leads to escapism, denial, scapegoating.
It is hard work shutting God out of one's life but most people are very good at this.

Jesus, however, is the most interesting Person in the universe!

It's safe to shut off the TV and just talk to God.
He has all the time in the world to relate with you.

Jesus is a Friend of sinners and no one is righteous.

Yes, of course, a healthy respect for the omnipotent Being who created everything is wise.
You and I are accepted before God because the man Christ Jesus is our Mediator, our go-between.

Psalm 14

To the Chief Musician. A  Psalm of David.

The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’
   They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds;
   there is no one who does good. 

The Lord looks down from heaven on humankind
   to see if there are any who are wise,
   who seek after God. 

They have all gone astray, they are all alike perverse;
   there is no one who does good,
   no, not one. 

Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers
   who eat up my people as they eat bread,
   and do not call upon the Lord? 

There they shall be in great terror,
   for God is with the company of the righteous. 
You would confound the plans of the poor,
   but the Lord is their refuge. 

O that deliverance for Israel would come from Zion!
   When the Lord restores the fortunes of his people,
   Jacob will rejoice; Israel will be glad.

The Widow’s Offering

What is Money For?

Then Jesus sat down opposite the offering box, and watched the crowd putting coins into it. Many rich people were throwing in large amounts. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, worth less than a penny. He called his disciples and said to them, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the offering box than all the others. For they all gave out of their wealth But she, out of her poverty, put in what she had to live on, everything she had.” (Mark 12:41-44) Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box. He also saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. He said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all offered their gifts out of their wealth. But she, out of her poverty, put in everything she had to live on.” (Luke 21:1-4)

Small Children and Jesus

Jesus and Small Children

Jesus used small children to shape up His disciples when they got carried away with enthusiasm about their prospective careers in following Him. They had each followed Jesus when He called them, though they did not necessarily know one another. Skeptical, but willing to follow Him, they were amazed at His teaching and lifestyle. What’s in this for me? 

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.

“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!
“If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire.
“Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven. For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.”

Compare Mark’s gospel: “Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them.” (Mark 10:13-16) 

No Special Treatment

"God has no favorites
but he does have many intimates."
(Ray Stedman)

The mother of James and John called Jesus aside on the Jericho road to Jerusalem
to seek special favor from Him when we finally arrived in office:  

Now Jesus, going up to Jerusalem, took the twelve disciples aside on the road and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death, and deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify. And the third day He will rise again.”
Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Him with her sons, kneeling down and asking something from Him.
And He said to her, “What do you wish?”
She said to Him, “Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on the left, in Your kingdom.”
But Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”They said to Him, “We are able.”
So He said to them, “You will indeed drink My cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared by My Father.”
And when the ten heard it, they were greatly displeased with the two brothers. 

  But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 18:1-11) 

Children delighted in Jesus when he stopped the temple circus the second time after His final arrival in Jerusalem a bit later:  

Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He said to them, “It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of thieves.’ ”
Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant and said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?”
And Jesus said to them, “Yes. Have you never read, Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise’?”

The Temple Cleansings

Come Now You Rich!

Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten.  Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days. Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter. You have condemned, you have murdered the just; he does not resist you.

Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.

Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door! My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful. (James 5:1-11)

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you
that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.
And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle
than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:23-24)

Hiding in the Rock

Psalm 31

The LORD a Fortress in Adversity 
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. 

In You, O LORD, I put my trust; 
Let me never be ashamed; 
Deliver me in Your righteousness. 
Bow down Your ear to me, 
Deliver me speedily; 
Be my rock of refuge, 
A fortress of defense to save me. 
For You are my rock and my fortress; 
Therefore, for Your name’s sake, 
Lead me and guide me. 

Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me, 
For You are my strength. 
Into Your hand I commit my spirit; 
You have redeemed me, O LORD God of truth. 
I have hated those who regard useless idols; 
But I trust in the LORD. 

I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy, 
For You have considered my trouble; 
You have known my soul in adversities, 
And have not shut me up into the hand of the enemy; 
You have set my feet in a wide place. 

Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am in trouble; 
My eye wastes away with grief, 
Yes, my soul and my body! 
For my life is spent with grief, 
And my years with sighing; 
My strength fails because of my iniquity, 
And my bones waste away. 
I am a reproach among all my enemies, 
But especially among my neighbors, 
And am repulsive to my acquaintances; 
Those who see me outside flee from me. 

I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind; 
I am like a broken vessel. 
For I hear the slander of many; 
Fear is on every side; 
While they take counsel together against me, 
They scheme to take away my life. 

But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD; 
I say, “You are my God.” 
My times are in Your hand; 
Deliver me from the hand of my enemies, 
And from those who persecute me. 
Make Your face shine upon Your servant; 
Save me for Your mercies’ sake. 

Do not let me be ashamed, O LORD, for I have called upon You; 
Let the wicked be ashamed; 
Let them be silent in the grave. 
Let the lying lips be put to silence, 
Which speak insolent things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous. 

Oh, how great is Your goodness, 
Which You have laid up for those who fear You, 
Which You have prepared for those who trust in You 
In the presence of the sons of men! 
You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence 
From the plots of man; 
You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion 
From the strife of tongues. 

Blessed be the LORD, 
For He has shown me His marvelous kindness in a strong city! 

For I said in my haste, 
“I am cut off from before Your eyes”; 
Nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications 
When I cried out to You. 
Oh, love the LORD, all you His saints! 
For the LORD preserves the faithful, 
And fully repays the proud person. 

Be of good courage, 
And He shall strengthen your heart, 
All you who hope in the LORD.

Extra Credit

Seasons of Stress in the World

Screws are Being Tightened

Eight Thousand Million People

Hard Times

Hunkering Down

The Body of Christ in Perilous Times

At the Gate

Hiding in the Rock


The Hidden of the Lord


"Hard Times" Mavis Staples, (Stephen Foster)

"All the Good Times are Past and Gone" (Norman and Nancy Blake)

Marching Upward to Zion

My Lord Knows the Way Through the Wilderness
version two

No Hiding Place Down Here (Carter Family)

Notes by Lambert Dolphin 

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January 8, 2022. July 16, 2023.