If your body part causes you to stumble, cut it off

43 If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. [44] [b] 45 And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. [46] [c] 47 And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, 48 where “‘the worms that eat them do not die, and the fire is not quenched.’ [d]49 Everyone will be salted with fire.


b 9:44 Some manuscripts include here the words of verse 48.

c Mark 9:46 Some manuscripts include here the words of verse 48.

d Mark 9:48 Isaiah 66:24

God goes further than avoiding negatives

You must not murder. (Exodus 20:13) Q. What does this mean?
A. We should fear and love God so that we may not hurt or harm our neighbor in his body, but help and befriend him in every bodily need [in every need and danger of life and body.] Luther, Small Catechism.

From Tim Keller

Not only does a good woman avoid hurting her husband, she goes further by being a source of blessing to his body, as her husband reciprocates.

“Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.”

— Ephesians 4:28

Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers

(28) Let him that stole (properly, the stealer) steal no more. . . .–In this verse St. Paul treats dishonesty, virtually, although less distinctly, from the same point of view as before. For he is not content with forbidding it, or even with forbidding it as fatal to society; but he directs that it be superseded by the opposite spirit of self-sacrifice, working in order to give to others what is honestly our own, as the fruit of the labour of “our own hands.” In that direction there is a profound wisdom, in striking at the root of that exclusive selfishness which so often and so naturally exhibits itself in dishonesty. But we note in it also a peculiar harmony with the great doctrine of unity; for the sense of unity will always exhibit itself in working what is “good,” that is, gracious, for the sake of “him that needs.”

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 28. – Let the stealer [steal] no more. Ὁ κλέπτων may be translated either as a noun or as the present participle. In either case it implies that even Christians might continue to steal, and that they had to be warned against the habit. This may seem strange to us, but not to those who consider how little theft was thought of among the pagans, and how liable such habits are to remain among converts from heathenism. Where there is a low moral tone and an uneducated conscience, very great irregularities may be found. Dishonesty in trade, deceit in business, are just the same. Among the Ephesians, thieving was probably the result of idle habits and of dislike to hard work. Hence the apostle says, But rather let him labor, working with his hands the things that are good, that he may have to impart to him that hath need. Idleness is mean, labor is honorable; Christ calls us to work, not for this reason only, but in order that we may have something to give away. Paganism would rob others of what is rightfully their own; Christianity leads me to give to others what is rightfully my own. This different genius of the two systems appears here very clearly. Observe the true use of superfluities – look out for the needy, and give for their relief.

The God who mourns

If you’ve ever seen a lightning bolt, heard thunderstorms, felt the magnitude of an earthquake, smelled the potent odor of sulfur in a natural hot spring or tasted a hurricane’s wrath, you realize how completely at God’s mercy we are.

But that doesn’t even scratch the surface. There is the turbulence of the Great Red Spot, the toxic environment and crushing pressure of the gas giants, the intensely violent energy of a supernova, the supermassive R136a1, the ultra large UY Scuti and the inconceivable size of the universe.

We are absolutely insignificant compared to the enormity of creation.

Despite all these awesome displays of power, God chose to be born in a manger. He decided to enter into our brokenness. The Bible, however, doesn’t magnify God’s name through these awesome displays of power in the created universe, but in the gospel (see Romans 1:16).

By rejecting his Son for us, God chose to mourn. He chose to temporarily abdicate his power and might, and instead lament for his children, whom he adopted and showered with abundant comfort. God chooses to mourn so he can turn mourning to dancing.

This parallels a couple who can be out in the world doing things associated with adults, maturity, independence and strength, but choose to stay home and nurse.

I would argue that God’s nature as a mourner makes him more glorified. Somehow, God is more magnified when he grieves. Our God is a suffering God. A patiently enduring long-suffering God. Strength and vulnerability are inseparable in God’s dictionary.

The act of selflessly feeding others is also an inseparable part of God’s nature. There’s something particularly sweet and humble about giving of yourself to benefit others. Humility is strength. God is somehow more God when he laments. And when he comforts those who lament. Comfort, affection, tenderness, mourning and consolation are inextricable parts of God’s nature.

“[I’m looking for a] man who finds comfort and solace between the curved mounds of my chest and craves the taste of my milk.”

— K

Breasts = feasting and abundance

The ESV of Proverbs 5:19 on the YouVersion Bible app contains a footnote on the word “breasts” pointing to Jeremiah 31:14 which reads:

“I will feast the soul of the priests with abundance, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, declares the LORD.”

A clear suggestion that breasts are meant to be sources of satisfaction, feasting and abundant delight.

See also Isaiah 66:11 (you will drink deeply from her comforting breasts)

The Marriage Supper of the Lamb

6 Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,

For the Lord our God
the Almighty reigns.
7 Let us rejoice and exult
and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his Bride has made herself ready;
8 it was granted her to clothe herself
with fine linen, bright and pure”—

for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

9 And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”

Revelation 19

Single and Lonely: Finding the Intimacy You Desire

Perhaps you are single by choice–you want to be on your own for a while, enjoying the freedom and benefits of adulthood. Perhaps it’s not your choice, and a divorce, death, or broken relationship has propelled you back into singleness. Or maybe the opportunity for a serious relationship has never arisen. But whatever your situation, sometimes you feel lonely and long for companionship. It’s natural to desire someone with whom you can share your lifetime, and it’s easy to think, If I were married or just had some kind of relationship, then I wouldn’t be lonely. But will a change in your circumstances really solve your problem with loneliness?

A Common Experience

Unfortunately, getting married won’t protect you from loneliness; married people get lonely too. Sometimes it’s because the marriage isn’t all that great. Maybe the only thing they share is the same bed. Maybe the only thing they agree on is to avoid talking to one another. Whatever the reasons, the reality is that marriage has fallen far short of their dreams. They are lonelier now than they’ve ever been.

Even spouses in great marriages sometimes feel lonely. A young couple splits their days between work and classes, studying all night and spending their weekends serving at church. A mother struggles when her husband is away on business trips, while he spends his evenings in lonely hotel rooms. A man who has worked his entire life so he and his wife can spend their retirement traveling together now spends every moment caring for her as she slips away with Alzheimer’s. He’s committed to her, but he’s lonely.

The list of people who experience loneliness goes on and on. People change jobs and move away from family and friends. The elderly spend hours alone in nursing homes. An alcoholic finds himself living on the streets. Soldiers serving overseas miss their families. Kids go off to college. Prisoners are in isolation. Patients are confined to bed. The list includes the person living next to you. It includes you– but not just because you are single. All of us, at one time or another, experience loneliness.

Circumstances vary, but the feelings are similar. We feel isolated, vulnerable, and alone. We want to talk and be heard. We want to be known and understood; we don’t want to feel invisible. We want to be included and cared about. We desire intimacy. We want to be connected to someone.

A Flawed Strategy

So how do we remedy this loneliness? When I was a child I thought it was simple: Make one really good friend. I was a good listener, and I combined that with a decent sense of humor and a willingness to be helpful. My job was to listen, make you laugh, and help you out. Your job was to be my friend so I wouldn’t be lonely. But eventually I would upset the balance of this arrangement by asking you to help me. If you couldn’t manage it, I felt hurt. Or maybe I couldn’t get you to listen to me for ten minutes when I had already listened to you for hours. In either case, I wouldn’t dare tell you that I was hurt because you might have gotten upset with me. So I would take self-protective steps to prevent getting hurt again. 

    Do you see the dynamic? I work to get you to like me, but I also work to protect myself from you. I move toward you because I want your acceptance, but I back away because I want to play it safe. A tug-of-war goes on within my heart. My desire for acceptance wins one moment, self-protection the next. The result? I send out a continuous stream of mixed messages. When I am self-protective, I withdraw into myself. But then I become afraid you are (a) losing patience with me; (b) glad to be rid of me; or (c) not even noticing that I’ve withdrawn. All of these possibilities are bad, so I risk getting hurt by being nice again so you’ll still like me. Sooner or later, it all takes too much effort, and we drift apart. But eventually, loneliness gets to me, the memories fade, and I begin the cycle all over again with someone else. 

    I didn’t always realize that my strategies not only increased my own loneliness, but added to other people’s loneliness as well. Neither did I realize what was going on in me beneath the surface. At a very basic level I was treating my friends like objects, manipulating them so they would do what I wanted. When they let me down, I saw them as obstacles to my sense of security and belonging. 

The Remedy for Loneliness 

In his mercy, God didn’t leave me to endlessly repeat this cycle. He opened my eyes to this reality: it isn’t what remedies our loneliness, but who remedies it—namely, Jesus Christ, the friend of sinners. 

    Loneliness is a result of man’s original sin against God in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1-13). The perfect union Adam and Eve had enjoyed with God and with each other was destroyed when they chose to disobey God. Sin separated them from God and from each other. Where once there had been openness (they had been naked and unashamed), sin made for hiding (behind fig leaves and trees). Where once there had been completeness, sin made for loss. Where once there had been acceptance, sin made for rejection. Where once there had been praise, sin made for blame (“she made me do it”). Hiding. Loss. Rejection. Blame. All ingredients of loneliness. Loneliness was born at the Fall. 

    It is true that before sin entered the world, God had declared that it wasn’t good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18), but God was stating a fact, not voicing how Adam was feeling. At the time, Adam was enjoying perfect communion with God. Apart from God telling him, he had no way of knowing that anything more was possible. Maybe Adam began to get an inkling of it as the animals paraded past him, but it was God’s assessment that man should not be alone. This shouldn’t surprise us. After all, God created man in his image, and he is not a God who exists alone. He is one God in three persons—three who are alike, yet distinct. God wanted man to enjoy fellowship with him, but he also wanted man to enjoy the kind of fellowship God enjoys as three members of the Godhead—with others who are like us, but distinct from us. Because we are made in God’s image, we are made to be in relationship with him and with other people. 

    Some have implied, if not stated outright, that marriage is the solution to loneliness. But where would that leave a child who won’t have that option for years? Or a prisoner with no hope of parole? Or an elderly widow or widower? This notion suggests that one category of people is potentially exempt from loneliness, and the rest of us are just stuck with it. But that’s not true. Remember, it was a married couple who first experienced loneliness. And consider this: if marriage was God’s answer to loneliness, why won’t there be marriage in heaven? That’s kind of a trick question because actually there will be. Only it won’t be individuals who are married in heaven. It will be God’s people corporately—the church, the bride of Christ—who will finally meet the bridegroom Jesus face to face (Revelation 19:1-9). 

    The real solution to loneliness lies not in marriage, but in our union with Christ, which leads to our union with one another. When God created Eve, he created marriage; but more than that, he created community.  

Marriage is a form of community, perhaps its most basic and elemental form. Community requires people coming together. In marriage it happens literally. Community usually involves the group expanding. In marriage this happens by bearing children. But God’s plans are always bigger and better than ours. 

    When God called Abram to follow him, he told him that his descendants would outnumber the grains of sand on the seashore and that all the nations of the earth would be blessed through him (Genesis 12:1-3; 13:16). God always had in mind a community made up of those from every tribe and language and people and nation. But the Israelites, Abram’s descendants, were so caught up in being the chosen race that they overlooked that part.  

    Even today we’re not much different. We’re big on family, but we tend to think of it narrowly—as in our own personal, nuclear families. Yet when Jesus was told that his mother and brothers wanted to speak to him, he said, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers? . . . Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother” (Matthew 12:48, 50). Jesus was redefining and enlarging the meaning of family. It’s still based on blood—but it’s his shed blood. 

    When you look at Genesis 2 through the lens of Jesus’ work on the cross, you will be blown away. Yes, it’s wonderful that a husband and wife become one flesh; but it’s even more wonderful that Christians comprise the body of Christ, so connected with each other that if one part suffers, we all suffer. If one part is honored, we are all honored. It’s incredible for a husband and wife to come together, to be fruitful and multiply; but it’s even more incredible that Christ grows and multiplies his kingdom by sending flawed people like us to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). It must have been fantastic for Adam and Eve to be naked yet unashamed with each other; but it’s even more fantastic that Jesus has washed away our sin, and we now stand clothed in his righteousness! We don’t need to hide behind fig leaves when our sin is exposed. Now we can confess our sins to one another. 

    This is what Jesus has done for us. He went to the cross, betrayed and deserted by his friends. As he hung there, becoming saturated with our sin, even his Father had to turn away from him. Has there ever been a lonelier moment? Adam and Eve hid among the trees because of their sin, but Jesus hung naked and exposed on a tree because of our sin. Adam and Eve were guilty, yet tried to pass the blame. Jesus was completely innocent, yet he took our blame on himself. Jesus was rejected by his Father so we could be accepted. He gave up everything so God might lavish his blessings on us. Because of Jesus’ love for his Father—and their love for us—Jesus hung on the cross until he died. By paying the penalty for our sin, he reversed the effects of the Fall and turned the tide on loneliness. 

Loneliness Can Be Relieved 

Do the effects of sin still linger? Of course. Loneliness will not be eliminated until we get to heaven. But in Jesus Christ and through his work, change is possible. Loneliness can be eased for us and by us. When I tried to handle it on my own, I did not understand that I needed to love people rather than fear them or use them. Through my counseling classes and Ed Welch’s book, When People Are Big and God Is Small, God helped me to identify what was going on in my heart and repent of it. 

    Have I arrived? Certainly not. Ask anyone who knows me. But now, at least, I know how to pray, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24). 

    I encourage you to ask the Lord to show you where you intensify your own loneliness and, even more importantly, the loneliness of others. For instance, some of us consider ourselves introverted or shy. To us, there’s nothing more intimidating than starting a conversation. What a great opportunity for a heart check! Ask yourself what’s holding you back. Fear of rejection? Fear of being embarrassed? You may be surprised to discover that it’s actually pride: You don’t want anyone to discover your flaws. Or maybe you don’t want to be seen talking to someone “like that.” There are lots of possibilities. Ask God to show you. 

    Maybe you are extroverted and outgoing. It is easy for you to talk to people you’ve never met before. In fact, you talk and talk and no one else can get a word in edgewise! What’s going on? Pride? Do you love to impress people with how smart or funny you are? Or perhaps it’s fear. You’re afraid of silence or of being alone. Ask God to show you. 

    Whatever you might find when God shows you your heart, remember that God wants to change you—and me—to make us more like him, more like the people he created us to be. When we surrender ourselves to him and let him work in us, amazing things happen. First, our relationship with him deepens. We find ourselves actually relating to him rather than just referring to our relationship with him. That kind of change certainly reduces our loneliness. 

Changed Priorities and Perspectives 

God also changes our priorities. Rather than being self-absorbed, we become more focused on others. If your goal is to solve your loneliness, you will end up using people as I did. But when you “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33, ESV) you will end up loving people. Along the way you’ll discover that you’re just not as lonely as you used to be. In fact, you may find you’re not lonely at all. 

    How might these changed priorities play out in your life? It might mean that you notice the aloneness of others—and instead of waiting for an invitation you invite a single-parent family over for dinner. It could mean reaching out to an elderly couple and helping them with the more strenuous household chores. Or perhaps you could run errands with someone else. We all have errands to run, so why not make it a social occasion? 

    You may be thinking, I’m too busy as it is. I don’t have time for that! But when you take these kinds of steps, relationships develop. Your perspective changes and you find that certain activities don’t seem as important as they used to. You may also find many times that double benefits occur. Having a family over for dinner gives you the opportunity to have fun with the kids, which also gives their parents a break. As you help the elderly couple with household chores, they share with you the wisdom of their years. When you run errands with someone else, you wind up helping each other with other mundane tasks, and that makes them easier and more enjoyable for both of you. 

    What are some other ways to move toward people? Let’s take a look at three: 

    1. Look and see. 

    How many people cross our paths every day? Shop clerks, bank tellers, trash collectors, neighbors, people we pass on the street, or those who sit behind us in church services week after week. All these people blend into the background of our busy lives. We give them a nod, but that’s it. Have we looked at them and seen them as people God has put in our paths to love, even in the simplest ways? 

    God sees us and watches over us. Remember Hagar in Genesis 16? Sarah could not conceive Abraham’s child, so she decided that Hagar her maidservant should bear Abraham a son. When Hagar conceived and Ishmael was born, Hagar treated Sarah with contempt. Sarah reacted by driving Hagar into the desert. Surprisingly, the angel of the Lord followed Hagar and spoke with her. Hagar was amazed! She said, “You are the God who sees me” (Genesis 16:13). Hagar, a slave woman, was not invisible to God. Should anyone now be “invisible” to us? 

    In Luke 7 Jesus was on his way to the town of Nain with his disciples. A large crowd followed them. Amid all the activity, Jesus saw a grieving mother and his heart went out to her. He stopped to comfort her and restored her dead son back to life. The Gospels are filled with accounts of Jesus seeing hungry, lost, hurting people and reaching out to meet their needs. How are we going to minister to a world full of lonely people if we haven’t first looked to see them? 

    2. Listen. 

    Something else we can do to move toward people is to listen to them—listen well. We serve a God who knows our every thought. He knows our words before they even reach our tongues, yet he encourages us to talk to him. When we do, he listens. Why? Because he wants us to relate to him, as a child to his father. How do we know he listens? Because Scripture records conversations he had with people—conversations that included give-and-take dialog between God and Abraham, Moses, Job, and many others. The Lord of the universe listens to us too. 

    If God cares enough to listen to us, how can we not care enough to listen to others? Listen not only to the words they say, but listen also for what they mean. Notice what their tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language are communicating. Listening well requires us to take a genuine interest in others. It also requires patience and wisdom that come only by the work of God’s Spirit in us. 

    3. Touch. 

    Touch can ease the loneliness of others. This is a sensitive subject since we live in a society where practically everything has been sexualized. Even Christians are prone to read all kinds of things into innocent actions. I’m not naїve; I know that sinful touching occurs even within the church. However, the correct response is not to avoid touching or to be paralyzed by fear of lawsuits. Rather, the church should be a place where we treat one another as family members with “absolute purity” (1 Timothy 5:1-2). 

Jesus didn’t just talk to the people he healed. He touched them, and he let them touch him, too. Those who have been physically or sexually abused should be able to find comfort and healing not only in the words they hear at church, but also in the touch they receive—touch that conveys nothing more or less than kindness. Do we want to be sensitive to people’s experiences and wise in the way we go about it? Absolutely! But we don’t want to overcompensate by never reaching out with a touch at all. When someone has been deprived of touch or hurt by inappropriate touch, it is wonderful to see her respond with joy when she is touched in kindness with the love of Christ. 

Scripture tells us to love one another (John 13:34). Next in line on the “one another” list is “greet one another with a holy kiss” (Romans 16:16). If that’s a little too much for you, how about offering a handshake, a pat on the back, a touch on the forearm, or maybe a hug? God created us with skin that is sensitive to touch, and he declared everything he created to be good. We, as the body of Christ, can offer his touch to lonely, hurting people. 

A Community of Oneness with Christ 

These suggestions are ways we can individually image Christ in a lonely world. But what can happen when people as a group decide to live out their oneness with Christ and each other? I once belonged to a church where the leadership didn’t want to just profess that Christ was the head of the Church; they wanted to practice it. They reasoned that Christ wouldn’t lead some of them one way and the rest another, any more than we would tell one leg to walk right and the other left. They believed that he would lead them all in the same direction, so they agreed to submit first to Christ and then to each other. That meant decisions had to be unanimous, not decided by majority or consensus. And unanimity meant that everyone truly believed in and agreed upon the direction God was leading them. This is radical oneness. 

One of the first things that needed to change was the way the church leadership conducted their meetings. Rather than opening with a brief devotional and prayer for the congregation, they began studying the Bible together and praying for themselves, repenting of their sins, and interceding for each other. Then they prayed for the congregation. Many were gifted businessmen who knew how to argue their positions and get their way, but this was a “whole new ball game.” They had to die to themselves and their agendas to seek the mind of Christ. They had to really listen to each other, not just wait until someone stopped talking so they could speak their piece. God trained them in patience, humility, and forbearance with one another. They learned to appreciate each other’s God-given gifts and perspectives. They developed a deep affection and respect for each other. They had begun by agreeing to a philosophy of ministry, but God knit their hearts together in love as they sought the mind of Christ. 

At times there would be one or two who thought things should go one way, while the rest felt otherwise. They would pray and wait until they were all of one mind. Sometimes the many ended up agreeing with the few. At other times the few eventually agreed with the many. But rather than being frustrated by the process, thinking, We’ve wasted so much time. Why couldn’t you have agreed with us in the first place? the leadership recognized that the delay was actually God’s mercy to them. He had prevented them from moving ahead prematurely. 

Sometimes the process was slow and painful. But something astounding happened! They not only learned to act as one, they also became one. The Holy Spirit enabled them to live out of their union with him to a degree they never had before. Their hearts were exposed and changed. They related to one another in new ways. Do you see the progression? Change in individual hearts led to change within the leadership, which then spread out into the congregation itself. God was growing and strengthening the church in a way that was faster and better than anything they could have done by their human efforts. 

It didn’t end there. Transformed members of the congregation reached into their neighborhoods, touching lives like never before. Those outside the church noticed and responded to the invitations of their neighbors. Others just showed up at church out of curiosity. In time, the makeover within the congregation resulted in a change in the makeup of the congregation. Men wearing Brooks Brothers’ suits sat shoulder to shoulder with people in tee shirts and jeans. 

Obviously, everyone involved was still only a sinner saved by God’s grace. Problems continued to arise that needed addressing. But nothing diminished the joy of witnessing firsthand an incredible answer to Jesus’ prayer in John 17:20-23

My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me….I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 

Whether we are single or married, we will experience loneliness in this fallen world. But God wants to enter into our loneliness and transform it. He unites us to himself and each other in Jesus as we submit our lives to him; and he calls us to enter into the loneliness of those around us. I look forward to the day when we will be delivered completely from loneliness to oneness with him. 

[About the author

JAYNE V. CLARK, M.A.R., is a counselor with over eighteen years of experience, a frequent retreat and conference speaker, and the author of many counseling articles.]

She’s very nursing-friendly

Women who are into ANRs are very lactation and nursing-friendly. They tend to have overwhelming maternal instincts and want to nurse everyone– baby, husband, other women’s babies, sick adults, and so on. They’re really caring and have a deep-seated desire to show this care through their milk production. Most Adult Nursing women won’t mind being wet nurses– both to babies and adults who need it for therapeutic reasons.

Fear of intimacy

It’s the intimacy that scares people away from ANRs.

Extreme intimacy is a terrifying novelty to citizens of a fallen world.

Being deeply intimate and vulnerable with another human being on such a level is too much, and touches a nerve. It’s taboo.

But I’ll tell you who should be afraid of intimacy with you. It’s a three times holy God, the One in whose face you spit everyday, yet who still invaded your world and died for you. The One who invaded your very cells and tissues though he originally found them disgusting and completely contrary to his nature. The One who is too holy to comprehend and can’t stand the sight of sin. It is he who should be afraid of being intimate with a sinner like you. Your rebellious body is alien and foreign to a holy God. He should be terrified of being anywhere near you. God is so holy, he’d rather touch dirt than sinners like you and I.

“Then the anger of the LORD was aroused against Uzza, and He struck him because he put his hand to the ark; and he died there before God” (1 Chronicles 13:10).

My solace

“He who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. ‘Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them,’a nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’b ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’c

— Revelation 7:15-17


a 16 Isaiah 49:10

b 17 Isaiah 49:10

c 17 Isaiah 25:8

Womanly way to care for a man

“I [… believe] that the man is the head of the household and his woman should take care of him.”

— woman who says she loves to cook

Breastfeeding your husband is not a way to baby him. It’s a way to honor him.

“[…]wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over 2by observing your pure and reverent lives. […] 5This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They put their trust in God and accepted the authority of their husbands. 6For instance, Sarah obeyed her husband, Abraham, and called him her master. You are her daughters when you do what is right without fear of what your husbands might do.”

— 1 Peter 3

See also Conservative family values

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

If you struggle with intrusive mental images of ANRs, then “think often that Christ suffered agony for your purity. Fight image with image. Christ crying in agony.”

Titus 2:14:

Christ gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

1 Peter 1:18; 2:24:

You were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, [but with the precious blood of Christ]. He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.

1 Corinthians 5:15:

He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.

Hebrews 10:29:

How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?

From Strategies for Fighting Sexual Sin by John Piper

Ezekiel 47: God is very life-nurturing and cares deeply about foreigners

New International Version

The River From the Temple

47 The man brought me back to the entrance to the temple, and I saw water(A) coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar.(B) He then brought me out through the north gate(C) and led me around the outside to the outer gate facing east, and the water was trickling from the south side.

As the man went eastward with a measuring line(D) in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits[a] and then led me through water that was ankle-deep. He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist. He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river(E) that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in—a river that no one could cross.(F) He asked me, “Son of man, do you see this?”

Then he led me back to the bank of the river. When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river.(G) He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah,[b](H) where it enters the Dead Sea. When it empties into the sea, the salty water there becomes fresh.(I) Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live.(J) 10 Fishermen(K) will stand along the shore; from En Gedi(L) to En Eglaim there will be places for spreading nets.(M) The fish will be of many kinds(N)—like the fish of the Mediterranean Sea.(O) 11 But the swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they will be left for salt.(P) 12 Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river.(Q) Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit(R) fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary(S) flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.(T)

The Boundaries of the Land

13 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: “These are the boundaries(U) of the land that you will divide among the twelve tribes of Israel as their inheritance, with two portions for Joseph.(V) 


21 “You are to distribute this land among yourselves according to the tribes of Israel. 22 You are to allot it as an inheritance(AJ) for yourselves and for the foreigners(AK) residing among you and who have children. You are to consider them as native-born Israelites; along with you they are to be allotted an inheritance among the tribes of Israel.(AL) 23 In whatever tribe a foreigner resides, there you are to give them their inheritance,” declares the Sovereign Lord.(AM)


  1. Ezekiel 47:3 That is, about 1,700 feet or about 530 meters
  2. Ezekiel 47:8 Or the Jordan Valley
  3. […]

Cross references

  1. Ezekiel 47:1 : S Isa 55:1
  2. Ezekiel 47:1 : Ps 46:4; Joel 3:18; Rev 22:1
  3. Ezekiel 47:2 : S Eze 40:35
  4. Ezekiel 47:3 : S Eze 40:3
  5. Ezekiel 47:5 : S Ge 2:10
  6. Ezekiel 47:5 : Isa 11:9; Hab 2:14
  7. Ezekiel 47:7 : ver 12; Rev 22:2
  8. Ezekiel 47:8 : S Dt 1:1; S 3:17
  9. Ezekiel 47:8 : Isa 41:18
  10. Ezekiel 47:9 : Isa 12:3; 55:1; Jn 4:14; 7:37-38
  11. Ezekiel 47:10 : S Isa 19:8; Mt 4:19
  12. Ezekiel 47:10 : S Jos 15:62
  13. Ezekiel 47:10 : Eze 26:5
  14. Ezekiel 47:10 : S Ps 104:25; Mt 13:47
  15. Ezekiel 47:10 : S Nu 34:6
  16. Ezekiel 47:11 : S Dt 29:23
  17. Ezekiel 47:12 : ver 7; Rev 22:2
  18. Ezekiel 47:12 : S Ps 1:3
  19. Ezekiel 47:12 : S Isa 55:1
  20. Ezekiel 47:12 : S Ge 2:9; S Jer 17:8; Eze 36:8
  21. Ezekiel 47:13 : Nu 34:2-12
  22. Ezekiel 47:13 : S Ge 48:16; S 49:26
  23. […]
  24. Ezekiel 47:22 : S Eze 36:12
  25. Ezekiel 47:22 : S Dt 24:19; S Isa 14:1; Mal 3:5
  26. Ezekiel 47:22 : S Lev 24:22; Nu 15:29; 26:55-56; Isa 56:6-7; Ro 10:12; Eph 2:12-16; 3:6; Col 3:11
  27. Ezekiel 47:23 : S Dt 10:19

1 Cor. 7: sex should be very frequent in marriage

According to 1 Corinthians 7, it’s not “when do we have sex?”, it’s “when don’t we have sex?”

— friend from an old church

God wants married couples to be so enraptured in love for each other that they can’t bear the thought of being apart. The physical expression of the one-flesh union must be a priority in a marriage, according to the title passage, and many similar passages in Scripture.

There is a fountain filled with blood lyrics

  1. There is a fountain filled with blood,
    Drawn from Immanuel’s veins,
    And sinners plunged beneath that flood
    Lose all their guilty stains:
    Lose all their guilty stains,
    Lose all their guilty stains;
    And sinners plunged beneath that flood
    Lose all their guilty stains.
  2. The dying thief rejoiced to see
    That fountain in His day;
    And there have I, though vile as he,
    Washed all my sins away:
    Washed all my sins away,
    Washed all my sins away;
    And there have I, though vile as he,
    Washed all my sins away.
  3. Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood
    Shall never lose its pow’r,
    Till all the ransomed church of God
    Are safe, to sin no more:
    Are safe, to sin no more,
    Are safe, to sin no more;
    Till all the ransomed church of God
    Are safe, to sin no more.
  4. E’er since by faith I saw the stream
    Thy flowing wounds supply,
    Redeeming love has been my theme,
    And shall be till I die:
    And shall be till I die,
    And shall be till I die;
    Redeeming love has been my theme,
    And shall be till I die.
  5. When this poor, lisping, stamm’ring tongue
    Lies silent in the grave,
    Then in a nobler, sweeter song,
    I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save:
    I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save,
    I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save;
    Then in a nobler, sweeter song,
    I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save.