Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Posts Tagged ‘reconciliation’

Week 2, Day 7 of 40…

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on February 25, 2017

40 Days in the Desert

Updated February 25, 2018

Morning Prayer: Tuesday, Week I of Lent: Reading: Joel 2: 12-13 (emphasis added)

Return to Me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;  Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord, your God.  For gracious and merciful is He, slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment.

The Word of the Lord… Thanks be to God!

LOVE is patient and kind; LOVE is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude… it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. LOVE bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. ~1Cor 13: 4-5, 6-7 (emphasis added)

for God is LOVE. In this the LOVE of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this is LOVE, not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the expiation for our sins. ~1Jn 4: 8b-9 (emphasis added)

For God so LOVED the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. ~Jn 3: 16-17 (emphasis added)

“Jesus came not just to save us from our sin; He came to give us new life as well…He came to make us into a new creation!” ~The Word Among Us, Lenten Issue, 2012; The Gospel, What Is it?

Originally published: Mar 16, 2011

A most amazing lesson was presented to me, TWICE, on the First Sunday of Lent.  First in a devotional I am reading and then, second, in a series of sermons that I received from a very holy priest/monk who is a product of the Boy’s Town system and travels about establishing monasteries across the country, Fr Clifford Stevens.

In both sources, the connection is drawn between the fall of Adam and Eve and the faithfulness of Jesus during His temptation at the end of the 40 days.  Let me show you what I mean…

TEMPTATION OF ADAM AND EVE vs JESUS’ TEMPTATION IN THE DESERT

Now the serpent was more cunning than all the rest…

FIRST TEMPTATION:

[Satan] said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden’?”  …the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden…lest you die’.” ~Gen 3: 1-3

Eating…does this sound familiar?

The devil said to Him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread.” ~Luke 1:3

Okay, both are tempted to eat.  The woman has her choice of the finest fruits.  After all, she is in the Garden of Eden (Heaven on Earth!).  So why would she need to eat something God has asked her not to eat?

Why, when Jesus has fasted for 40 days to prepare Himself to face the great tempter, would Jesus need to break that fast just to prove to Satan who He is?

THEIR RESPONSES?

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate. ~Gen 3:6

Woman and Man ate – side note: if she turned and gave the fruit to her husband (Adam), then he had to be standing right there, heard all that the serpent said, and did nothing to prevent the disobedience. HE WANTED IT JUST AS MUCH AS HER.  Thus ALL of mankind fell at this very moment because of  disobedience.

Now let’s see what Obedience looks like:

And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone’.” ~Luke 4:1

When looking up that reference we are reminded of the continuation of that writing found in the Torah (of which Jesus is quoting), in the book of Deuteronomy, chapter 8, verse 3c:

…but that man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.

The above verse will become very important at the end…

ADAM AND EVE = DISOBEDIENCE

JESUS= OBEDIENCE

The woman saw that the tree was good for food…

SECOND TEMPTATION:

But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die…” ~Gen 3:4

Kind of like saying, “God really doesn’t know what He’s talking about!” OR “God just said that so you wouldn’t eat His fruit”.

Now, what does Satan say to Jesus regarding God’s sovereignty?

“If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here; for it is written, ‘He will give His angels charge of you, to guard you’. And ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’ ” ~Luke 4:9b

THEIR RESPONSES?

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate. ~Gen 3:6

Eve and Adam both ate of the fruit…they TESTED their God because they believed the serpent, a fellow creature, over their CREATOR!  Kind of like saying, “See God!  We know better than You!” Now they have ARROGANCE (aka Pride) to join their DISOBEDIENCE.

But Jesus responds differently. He responds with Humility…

“It is said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ” ~Luke 4:12

Hmm, I guess that means…

ADAM AND EVE = DISOBEDIENCE, ARROGANCE…

JESUS – OBEDIENCE, HUMILITY…

…and you will be like God…

THIRD TEMPTATION: Satan keeps on pressing…

For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” ~Gen 3:5

Kind of like saying…

“To you I will give all this authority and their glory; for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will.  If you, then, will worship me, it shall be yours.” ~Luke 4: 6-7

Satan promises that Adam and Eve that they “will be like God“, and to Jesus (who IS God) that He’ll have dominion over all the kingdoms of the earth (never minding that Jesus already possesses this simply because HE IS GOD).

THEIR RESPONSES:

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, and he ate. ~Gen 3:6

BOTH  Adam and Eve wanted to be like God, both wanted the power, the knowledge and…what?  DOMINION?  They already had this:

Then God said, “Let us make man in Our image, after Our likeness; then let them HAVE DOMINION over the fish of the sea [Yes, Bruce, Man does ‘own’ the ocean and all the fish in it], and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over ALL THE EARTH, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” ~Gen 1:26 (emphasis added; catch the movie reference?)

So if the Man and Woman already have DOMINION over God’s creation, why do they think they will get more by disobeying God?  Again, referring to the post on Ash Wednesday, Satan CANNOT give what Satan DOES NOT have!

Adam and Eve gave up EVERYTHING to believe A LIE, from the father of lies (cf Lk 8:44c), and ate of the fruit God had forbidden them to eat.  DISOBEDIENCE…IGNORANCE.

God SAID they would “die” if they ate of the fruit.  But they CHOSE NOT to LISTEN to the WORD of GOD, thus in their disobedience, arrogance, and ignorance they were BANISHED from the sight of the Lord – OUT OF THE GARDEN OF EDEN – which is separation from God – ETERNAL DEATH.  Spiritually, they DID DIE.

Think WE are any different today?  Think again!


Now the response that is made with OBEDIENCE, HUMILITY, and… WISDOM…

“It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve.’ ”~Luke 4:8

Jesus displays not only OBEDIENCE and HUMILITY, but also WISDOM in knowing that it is BEST TO LOVE GOD and NOT EMPTY PROMISES.  Thus the “angles ministered to Him” (cf Mark 1:13c),  after Satan departed and “Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee…” (cf Lk 4:14), to begin His public ministry.

ADAM AND EVE = DISOBEDIENCE, ARROGANCE, IGNORANCE = Separation from God

JESUS = OBEDIENCE, HUMILITY, WISDOM = Living in union with God

Now, which one do YOU want to follow?

Luke 4:16-21

Remember that reference to the Torah Jesus made, about man living “on every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord”? Well you have two examples of what that means.  The first is the example of DEATH, Adam and Eve’s DISOBEDIENCE, as a result of NOT LISTENING to the “Words of the Lord”, while the other is an example of LIVING because of Jesus’ OBEDIENCE to God’s words.

For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect was tempted as we are, yet without sin. ~Hebrews 4:15

The question YOU just need to ask yourself is:  Will I be obedient this moment and LISTEN to the voice of the Lord, or will I turn my back on Him and do my own will (disobedience), because really, I do know what is best! (Arrogance…Pride)

Personally, I would rather LISTEN to the voice of the Lord so that I may gain HUMILITY, WISDOM, and learn OBEDIENCE in the process.  Thus…

WEEK 2, DAY 7 of Lent:

Remember that list of 5 things you made last week?  For the first week you chose ONE (1) thing and asked God to Bless Me and Make Me Holy every time you found yourself doing that ONE (1) thing.  Well, this week you are going to add your SECOND (2nd) thing.  As you did last week, continue to repeat for your one thing, but when you find yourself doing your SECOND (2nd) THING…STOP!… take a deep breath and say: Lord, I can do nothing without YOU. Bless Me and Make Me Holy.

Humility is the KEY for this week.  For with Humility comes Wisdom and Wisdom always encourages us to seek the Will of God which will always demonstrate OBEDIENCE.  Thus making us more and more like Christ as we progress towards Holiness. Lord, I can do nothing without YOU.  Bless Me and Make Me Holy.

Speak with WORDs of Love: Father in Heaven, You know how much I struggle to be obedient and  to do Your Will.  Help me to strive to better this week than I did last week.  Help me to Love You with all my heart, all my soul, and all my strength.  For I can do NOTHING without You!  Have mercy, and Bless me, Oh my Lord, Jesus.  Amen!

Empty me, Oh Lord in HUMILITY and fill me with Your Charity.

Need the skinny again on what Lent is all about?  Visit here and read on…

Further Recommended Reading:

7 Seals of Revolution
The Season of Faith

Like a Thief…!

What It Means to be Reconciled

How Do You Respond to Mistakes?

Entering the Prodigal Hour

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A Scripture Reflection…

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on April 26, 2015

A time of Reflection...

A time of Reflection…

Since we’re in the middle of the 33 Days cycle that will conclude on Wed, May 13th, Our Lady of Fatima; I thought it would be nice to break up the posts a little with a reflection on the scripture passage of 1Peter 2:21-24.

Scripture Passage in full:

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps. He committed no sin; no guile was found on His lips. When He was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten; but He trusted to Him who judges justly. He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed.

Now, I don’t know about ya’ll, but I’ve seen some pretty dumb actions committed by Christians against their fellow Christians that really only serve one person – the Enemy! So how do we combat this?  How do we encourage our fellow Christians to stop “drinking the kool-aid” and begin to live as Christians – that is as followers of Christ are COMMANDED to live.

Yes! COMMANDED to live.  Jesus did not make the Christian lifestyle full of options for those who came after Him, saying, “You can pick and choose of this list what you’ll follow and how you’ll live…” Absolutely NOT! 

In fact He said,

“…he who does not take [up] his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me…I tell you, on the day of judgment men will render account for every careless word they utter; for by your words you will be [either] justified, [or] by your words you will be condemned.  Mt 10:38, 12:36-37

No mincing of words there! This is very strong language. Which is why we now return to the above passage to see HOW we are expected to fulfill the living out of a FAITHFUL Christian Life:

40 Days in the Desert

40 Days in the Desert

  • Christ provides for us an example, “…because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps.” So what is this example? Seven things make up this example – the complete number in biblical terms (See the Coming Soon Study for better understanding of this, chapter 9, The New Creation.)

1. He committed no sin” : Jesus did no wrong. He was falsely accused. Really, what did He do?  Held the religious leaders of His day accountable for their shenanigans (see Mt 6:1-18; 12; 15:1-20; 16:1-12; 21:12-27, 33-46…etc)

*How many times are good servants of God – bishops, priests, religious and laity – who are upholding the faith “raked over the coals” by those who claim to be “faithful catholics” but are really like those religious leaders of Jesus’ day?

* When we participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we pray in the Act of Contrition: “to sin no more and avoid the near occasion of sin” Are these just words? Certainly not. We need to follow the example of Christ!

2. “…no guile was found on His lips.” Guile = deceit: Scripture talks about those who say one thing and mean another. Whose mouths defile the soul and what that means:

“…what comes our of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery [well worth the full read], fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a man.”

3. “When He was reviled, He did not revile in return;” If you “revile” someone, you hate them, slander their good name, and pretty much seek to destroy that person – gosh does that sound familiar?

So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the council, and said, ‘What are we to do? For this man performs many signs. If we let Him go on thus, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation.’

“But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, ‘You know nothing at all; you do not understand that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation should not perish.” ~Jn 11:47-50 (prophesying that Jesus would indeed die for the Jewish Nation – God’s own chosen people)

Around my heart, O Lord, Your fingers entwine...

Around my heart, O Lord, Your fingers entwine…

*So how did Jesus respond?  Even at His trial He gave no answer to the false accusations made against Him (see Mt 26:59-63a). As the Son of God, Jesus could easily have called down fire and brimstone or even pointed at His accusers and say, “Dust!”, and they would return to dust, but He didn’t. His mercy and compassion for His accusers remained intact, EVEN when they crucified Him:

“Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do!” ~Lk 23:34

*So, too, must we do for those who revile us for our faith. We must forgive, we must have mercy and compassion, and we must PRAY for them (cf Mt 5:43-46). For if we foolish humans knew what we are doing to our immortal souls when we murder, slander, and commit iniquity against our fellow men we would not do such foolish things.

4. “…when He suffered, He did not threaten; Jesus had every right to fight back, to speak words of condemnation upon His persecutors, but He did not. Why do I make this bold claim? Because of what the Apostle Paul teaches us:

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

*But what a minute! Jesus is God (Jn1:1), is He not? So doesn’t this apply to Him?  It does, but remember, Jesus is setting US an example to follow. So He has quite literally:

Emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.”

*Death has NO HOLD on God, NEVER did, but death had a hold on US! God placed Himself in our place to take the death we deserved by our very sinful and disobedient nature (Gen 3:6-8, 19c). 

5. “…but He trusted to Him who judges justly.”

*When we are wronged and treated badly – especially for our Faith in Christ Jesus – it will be God who avenges our treatment and even our death. Forgive those who have wronged you, embrace the One who gives you life, TRUST in the Father Who loves His children very much! (Easier said than done, I know, but not impossible! See Lk 1:37; Mt19:26)

How will God deal with our sins?

How will God deal with our sins?

 6. “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.”

*By Christ’s death AND resurrection, we now have the ability to live as Christ lived – faithful and obedient to the Will of the Father by embracing His commandments.

*As St. Paul taught in his letter to the Galatians: I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by FAITH in the SON OF GOD, Who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Gal 2:20)

*Again, how is this possible?  Because the Word of God made flesh – Jesus – bore all of our sins in His Body and DIED for our sins – remember, death only had a hold on US. He took our punishment upon Himself. Why then, for the love of all that is holy, do we crucify Our Risen Lord and pierce His Most Sacred Heart over and over again with our foolish actions?!  We need to…

7. “…die to sin and live to righteousness. [because] By His wounds you have been healed.”

*We need to start living for the Glory of God, embracing His call to us to be holy as He is holy, which will only happen when we make the choice to follow Him without reservations, without compromise, and most certainly without excuses!  For the prophet reminds us with BOLDNESS:

“For YOU are My servant, I have CHOSEN YOU and not cast you off; FEAR NOT, for I AM with you, be not dismayed, for I AM your God; I will strengthen YOU, I will help YOU. I will uphold YOU with MY VICTORIOUS right hand.”

"Resist the devil... solid in your faith..."

“Resist the devil… solid in your faith…”

Thus concludes the Seven Fold example how to live a FAITHFUL Christian Life. We must:

  1. Commit no sin – and acknowledge it when we do – Confession!
  2. Do not lie  or bear false witness (that’s the 8th commandment… See also CCC§2464)
  3. Do not return insult for insult, but love your enemies and pray for them
  4. Vengeance belongs to God, leave it to Him, FORGIVE!
  5. TRUST in God with your whole heart (Love God with all your heart, all your strength …Mt 22:37)
  6. NO EXCUSES! Because of Christ’s death and resurrection we are set FREE from sin, we need to EMBRACE that FREEDOM!
  7. We NEED to live for God’s Glory, and do everything for our Creator because He has chosen us and LOVED us from the start (cf. 1Jn4:10; Jn 15:9-10)

GOT IT?… GOOD… NOW LIVE IT! 🙂

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