Posts Tagged With: Messiah

Love like a river


Good morning, beloved,

Mossman River and Gorge Photo by Photnart

Your love is like a river…

37 On the last and ·most important [L greatest] day of the feast Jesus stood up and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. [C The feast of Shelters/Tabernacles featured a water pouring ritual that may stand in the background of Jesus’ speech.] 38 If anyone believes in me, rivers of living water will flow out from that person’s ·heart [L belly; gut], as the Scripture says[Is. 55:158:11Ezek. 47:1–12Zech. 14:8, compare John 4:10–11Rev. 7:1722:1].” 39 Jesus was talking about the Holy Spirit. The Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet been ·raised to glory [glorified]. But later, those who believed in Jesus would receive the Spirit. John 7 EXB

I didn’t know where the Lord was taking me this morning with this song.  Yet He had a plan, and I needed to listen. Come with me? Water is a powerful metaphor in the Bible. We can all agree on this. I think where we fall short is our understanding of the context of this beautiful passage.  The Expanded Bible gave me some hints of the depth of this passage.  Notice in the brackets in verse 37, I’ve highlighted them. The feast of Tabernacles was nearing the end. This feast...

The Bible reveals dual significance in the Feast of Tabernacles. Agriculturally, Sukkot is Israel’s “thanksgiving,” a joyous harvest festival to celebrate the ingathering of grain and wine. As an historical feast, it’s main characteristic is the requirement to dwell in temporary shelters or booths in remembrance of God’s protection, provision and care during their 40 years in the wilderness. There are many interesting customs associated with the celebration of Sukkot. These are explained in detail by About.com’s Judaism Guide, Ariela Pelaia.

Jesus and Sukkot:

During Sukkot, two important ceremonies took place. The Hebrew people carried torches around the temple, illuminating bright candelabrum along the walls of the temple to demonstrate that the Messiah would be a light to the Gentiles. Also, the priest would draw water from the pool of Siloam and carry it to the temple where it was poured into a silver basin beside the altar. The priest would call upon the Lord to provide heavenly water in the form of rain for their supply. During this ceremony the people looked forward to the pouring out of the Holy Spirit.  (Feast of Tabernacles, Mary Fairchild)

So as the Jews were looking forward to the time of the Messiah, looking forward to an outpouring of God’s favor by bringing the Messiah to them, Jesus stood and provided the answer. He was the source of living water!  So when Jesus spoke these words, He was declaring Himself  as the Messiah and the fulfillment of these promises, these prophecies.

·Spoken words [L The words of a person’s mouth] can be like deep water, ·but [or and] the fountain of wisdom is like a flowing stream. Proverbs 18:4 EXB

The Banias Waterfall on Israel. Author: Nahum Dam (2004) Photo by NahumDam

Isaiah 44: 3 I will pour out water for the thirsty land and make streams flow on dry land. I will pour out my Spirit ·into your children [on your descendants/offspring/seed] and my blessing on your ·descendants [offspring].

I realize as I get older how much I love to be near water. I grew up spending time on the shores of Lake Michigan every summer. The warm sand, the cold water, the waves, the stillness, the thunderstorms that would fly across the water…so much of the Lord speaking to me. Now, as I take my children to Lake Michigan, as we live very close to a small lake, as we vacation (courtesy of my sweet neighbor) God draws me to Himself by way of His waters. I listen to music today and He declares to me, His Love is Like a River. Then I hear this one:

Isaiah declares the word of the Lord! He will pour forth water, streams will flow, His Spirit will pour out. And then jump back to Jesus’ words, Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink!
I’ve heard it said,

I really like the message of the Bible, I just don’t think Jesus is the only way to God. There are many pathways to God.

Oh, my friends, if we truly look through the Old Testament, searching the clues, there is no way that we can come to this conclusion. I found this amazing article that discusses how Jesus is the only way.  He is the way, the truth and the life. Right?

17 “The poor and needy people look for water,    but ·they can’t find any [there is none].    Their tongues are ·dry [parched] with thirst.But I, the Lord, will answer ·their prayers [L them];    I, the God of Israel, will not ·leave them to die [L abandon/forsake them].18 I will ·make rivers flow [L open rivers] on the ·dry hills [barren heights]    and springs flow through the valleys.I will change the ·desert [wilderness] into ·a lake [pools] of water and the ·dry [arid; parched] land into ·fountains [springs] of water.John 7

So, we come. I come, Lord Jesus. I know that my help comes only from the Lord. I can face this day with You. I can show love and kindness, not in my strength, but in Yours alone. You are the rays of sunshine bursting through the trees.  Friends, what if it is all true? We never, ever need to be afraid. His love never fails. It never gives up. Mathematical Probability aside, Jesus fills. He restores. He will not leave you ever. Can anyone else make promises like this?

Dunwich Heath. Gorse Bushes on Dunwich Heath Photo by Edward

Pray on. Pray on.

 

Categories: Bible teaching, Cara thoughts..., Music, Pictures from commons... | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

THIS is the day?


Sellin Pier by Thomas Wolf

Good morning, beloved,

My boy has had a hard couple of days which in turn has made a hard couple of days for me. I listen to him talk to me, telling me how he is feeling and what hurts him. He is rising up in frustration, words pour forth from his mouth and I sit there amazed. He is so young to be buying into the lies of the evil one. So we take these lies and place them next to the light of truth. I realize something this morning. He spends more time frustrated then joyful. Happy. Kid-like. His joy is stolen when he focuses on lies. This verse popped into my head this morning when I was praying for him.  I want to include more than just the verse. Context!

Psalm 118:

21 I will confess, praise, and give thanks to You, for You have heard and answered me; and You have become my Salvation and Deliverer.

22 The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.

23 This is from the Lord and is His doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.

24 This is the day which the Lord has brought about; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

25 Save now, we beseech You, O Lord; send now prosperity, O Lord, we beseech You, and give to us success!

This day, we’ve all heard this verse, haven’t we? It is a verse planted on plaques, written to encourage, to help us with the day we are facing. Be glad in this day! Um, nice,

night view of Sellin pier by Jean-Luc 2005

but not exactly. These verses are actually a prophecy of the day of the Lord, when He returns as our Salvation and Deliverer. The hint is verse 22. the chief cornerstone is Jesus. The Lord is bringing the Messiah.

However people mean this verse to encourage us to bear through our day, these verses can DO that. He is coming again. We can rejoice because our Salvation and Deliverance has come and will come again. Save now! Come now! We can celebrate. We can have joy even in the midst of pain because we know this is not the end. To my son, to me, to you the lies that Satan feeds us are just that: lies. Let’s not eat those anymore. Let us join together and rejoice.

This pier is located in Germany. I love these pictures. I am reminded that our way, however dark it may seem, is lit by the Word of God. We know that we have a great promise awaits us. Heaven. We need to keep following His voice.

Psalm 119:

103 How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

104 Through Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.

105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

My thankfuls today:

33. I’m thankful for a clean kitchen.

34. I’m thankful for clean water.

35. I’m thankful for nerve blocks. :)

Pray on. Pray on.

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Love Sees


Railway station in Kreiensen in the district of Northeim, Lower Saxony, Germany in the year 1963. by Michael Gäbler

Good morning, beloved,

Blogs are like pictures. They tell you part of a story, capture a moment, you look around the picture or blog either enjoying the moment or cringing back. This picture tells me a story. Who are these people? Where are they going? Where is the Mama taking those two little children? I admire the sun casting it’s glow upon these travelers. The shadows. Who took this picture? Yes, we have a name, but what is his story? As you enter into my world, my thought, my world, I hope you admire not the writer, but the One who truly authors it all. He is who you should admire. He knows the whole story. He knows all the answers to our questions. He knows you. He knows me.

Just think about that for a moment. He knows everything, Your thoughts, your motives, you! And guess what? He loves you. Now, I don’t know about you, but considering the thoughts that scamper through my mind, my past, my foibles, that thought overwhelms me today.

A Canadian special operations soldier descends in front of Mt. Rainier onto Fort Lewis, Wash., after jumping with U.S. 1st Special Forces Group Soldiers Dec. 2 during Menton week. The week-long celebration leads up to the 65th annual Menton Day, which commemorates the inactivation of the combined U.S. and Canadian First Special Service Force on Dec 5, 1944. by The U.S. Army

The God who created, shaped and formed this mountain? Yes, He loves me. And you. He wants to be with you. With me.

Frankly, I’m a bit of a mess today. My head hurts and I’m just ready to figure this all out. I woke up with thoughts of inadequacy and frustration. And do you know what brought me peace? I began reciting the AWANA Sparks verses. Each one of my kids has learned these verses. I’ve helped them practice and practice.

S…is for Savior. “The Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the World.” 1 John 4:14

P…is for Power. “Great is our Lord, and mighty in power;
His understanding is infinite.” Psalm 147:5

A…is for According to the Scriptures. “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures. ”  1 Corinthians 15:3

R…is for Raised. ” and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,” 1 Corinthians 15:4

K…is for Keep. “Whoever keeps the whole Law but stumbles at one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” James 2:10

S…is for Saved. ““Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved,” Acts 16:31

I didn’t get them all right. Blame it on the headache, I say. Yet, His Word never comes back void. His peace prevailed. His Word has prevailed. Who has been more blessed by AWANA? I’m not so sure. (grin)

Isaiah prophesied 700 years before the birth of John that there would be…”A voice of one who cries: Prepare in the wilderness the way of the Lord [clear away the obstacles]; make straight and smooth in the desert a highway for our God!” Isaiah 40:3

Now for the fulfillment:

In those days there appeared John the Baptist, preaching in the Wilderness (Desert) of Judea

And saying, Repent (think differently; change your mind, regretting your sins and changing your conduct), for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

This is he who was mentioned by the prophet Isaiah when he said, The voice of one crying in the wilderness (shouting in the desert), Prepare the road for the Lord, make His highways straight (level, direct). Matthew 3:1-3

I found while I was hunting for other information this amazing text on the Prophesies of Messiah:

Yes, one could possibly find one or two prophecies fulfilled in other men, but not all 61 major prophecies! In fact the chance of one man fulfilling even eight prophecies is 1 in 10 to the 17th power (1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000) This has been illustrated by imagining placing 100,000,000,000,000,000 silver dollars on the State of Texas which would result in two feet “sea” of silver wherever you tread! Now it where the odds get interesting. Mark one of the silver dollars distinctively and throw it into the state. Stir it all up and blindfold a man who has one pick to select the marked coin. That’s the odds against anyone fulfilling only 8 prophecies, much less what most authorities feel is something like 330 plus Old Testament prophecies in some way fulfilled in the Messiah. To phrase it another way, these incredible odds just illustrated are the same chance that the OT prophets would have had of writing eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man providing they wrote them in their own wisdom. One can conclude that the fulfillment of even just eight prophecies proves that God inspired the writing of these prophecies to a definiteness which lacks only one chance in 10 to the 17th power! The odds against all 330 plus OT prophecies being fulfilled in one man cannot even be reasonably illustrated, as they are so high!

Another objection to the Messianic Prophecies pointing to Jesus is that Jesus deliberately attempted to fulfill the Jewish prophecies. This objection seems plausible until we realize that many of the details of the Messiah’s coming were totally beyond human control.

Note also that some of the prophecies concerning the Messiah are of such a nature that only God could fulfill them, such as Christ’s virgin birth, His sinless and holy character, His resurrection, and His ascension. Only God could cause Jesus to be born of a virgin and to be raised from the dead. Precept Austin

Humbling, isn’t it? Jesus is who He says He is! And He can accomplish what concerns you today. He is able.

My thankfuls today:

30. I’m thankful for a pj afternoon yesterday.

31. I’m thankful for books that make me laugh.

32. I’m thankful for modern medicine that helps alleviate symptoms.

Love sees us. Pray on. Pray on.

 

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Bethlehem by night by Sengaska

Bethlehem by night by Sengaska

Good morning, friends,

Today finds me grateful for yesterday.  My world is spinning, my symptoms are intense today. However, yesterday, at church, at home, I was feeling better than I have in such a long time. Yesterday was a gift. Worshiping the God of heaven and earth brought our family such encouragement. There is an elderly woman at our church whom I always run to give her a hug. She always calls me honey and reminds me to stay encouraged. “I’m having surgery soon, honey, now I don’t want you to worry because I have the Lord by my side..” I love looking into her eyes and seeing such hope and love. She makes me think of Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 15:

42 So it is with the resurrection of the dead. [The body] that is sown is perishable and decays, but [the body] that is resurrected is imperishable (immune to decay, immortal).

43 It is sown in dishonor and humiliation; it is raised in honor and glory. It is sown in infirmity and weakness; it is resurrected in strength and endued with power.

44 It is sown a natural (physical) body; it is raised a supernatural (a spiritual) body. [As surely as] there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body.

Well, it is December 3rd, unbelievable how quickly this year has passed me by. I found a fabulous website that walks through the prophecies of the Old Testament about Jesus. I want to go through these prophecies on day at a time.

First, my thankfuls:

15. I’m thankful for Christmas music that points to my Savior. Normally, I kind of get tired of the music but this year I need all the reminders I can get. K-LOVE has a Christmas music station!

16. I’m thankful for Christmas cookies that my Mom and my kids made.

17. I’m thankful for our church and the community we share.

Views from Givat HaArbaa, near Hebron road, Jerusalem by Deror avi

Views from Givat HaArbaa, near Hebron road, Jerusalem by Deror avi

So, the first prophecy occurs in Genesis…

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her[a]Offspring; He will bruise and tread your head underfoot, and you will lie in wait and bruise His heel. (Christ fulfills through his victory over Satan the wonderful promise here spoken. See also Isa. 9:6; Matt. 1:23; Luke 1:31; Rom. 16:20; Gal. 4:4; Rev. 12:17.)

The fulfillment:

Galatians 4:

But when the proper time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born subject to [the regulations of] the Law,

To purchase the freedom of (to ransom, to redeem, to [a]atone for) those who were subject to the Law, that we might be adopted and have sonship conferred upon us [and be recognized as God’s sons]. (Webster’s New International Dictionary offers this as a definition of “redeem.”)

Commentary from the  Precept Austin website:

Most conservative writers agree this is the Prot-evangelium (“First Gospel”), which

1) Prophesies hostility between “your seed” (Satan & unbelievers, cf Jn 8:44) and her Seed (Christ & all “in Christ” by faith)

2) Promises the good news that the woman’s seed (Christ) would crush the Devil’s head, a mortal wound spelling utter defeat on the Cross where Jesus forever triumphed over Sin, Satan & Death. Satan bruising of Messiah’s heel pictures His suffering.  Note God’s mercy to promise the Messiah before pronouncing sentence! The rest of the Old Testament proceeds to point ahead to the Seed, the Messiah.

W H Griffith Thomas writes that Genesis 3…

 “is the call of Divine justice, which cannot overlook sin. It is the call of Divine sorrow, which grieves over the sinner. It is the call of Divine love, which offers redemption for sin.” (Genesis, A Devotional Commentary)

So today, as you go about your day, remember you are His child. You were bought at a price. Now you have been adopted. You belong to the King of Kings. I’m so excited to walk through these prophecies together! Remain here all month and we will keep looking for Jesus through the Old Testament.

Pray on. Pray on.

 

Categories: Music, Old Testament, Pictures from commons..., Prophecies | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


 

A specimen of Aquilegia formosa in Illinois, USA. by Daniel Schwen

Good morning, beloved,

Last night after writing the blog, I went upstairs to find a book to read and I came across a book on my Kindle.  The Hour That Changes the World: A Practical Plan  for Personal Prayer and I began. I loved the graph included in the book to guide one in prayer.

Here’s a link to a synopsis of the book with the graph.

I began to pray with this guide and knew that this was a guide I could follow and stay consistent.  Approaching prayer expectantly, just as Priscilla Shirer encouraged us to do, elbows on the knees, chin on hands, leaning forward. Do you see? Pray knowing God is speaking, listen to His voice. Taking every thought captive..as Priscilla quoted Henry Blackaby: The more you know God, the more clearly you can hear from God.

How do we know Him? Time in His Word, time in prayer, time just listening…

Romans 5:

Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us.

While we were yet in weakness [powerless to help ourselves], at the fitting time Christ died for (in behalf of) the ungodly.

Now it is an extraordinary thing for one to give his life even for an upright man, though perhaps for a noble and lovable and generous benefactor someone might even dare to die.

But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us.

He loves us. Jesus is for real. He starts the change with us.  Hope in the Lord. Put your hope in the Lord.

Pray on. Pray on.

 

Categories: Bible teaching | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments


 

Vasily Polenov (1844-1927). Sea of ​​Galilee. 1888. Oil on canvas. On the Tiberiad Lake, 1888

Good morning, beloved,

It’s been awhile! My apologies, my body has fought me this week. I can’t help but think about all the people in my life who live with chronic pain and carry on. Walk on.  If that is you, know that our God walks with  you. He knows you and He sees you. You are never alone. I have had a week of jaw pain. TMJ or  Temporomandibular Joint. Well, three weeks of headaches, clicking jaw and such, you never know how much you use the body part in crisis until you feel the pain every time you move.  Well, the hero act lasted quite awhile until finally the straw that broke the camel’s back occurred.

So my mother came blazing in to the rescue, thank YOU God, and has stayed with us this week. I got so behind on everything. And she has worked hard to bring our family back into order. I’ve missed writing and studying the Word with you.

The physical therapist educated me on my jaw, why this happens, what is happening and how to help. This visit with him was a cup of cold water. I have exercises I am doing, wearing a splint (not sounding like a complete dork), eating soft foods..and as I got upset, stressed and frustrated yesterday (not my best day), I began noticing how I clench and grind my jaw, but with wearing a splint, I’m able to feel the pain and stop. Not just so I don’t clench, but it draws me up and reminds me to calm, say verses I know, turn on the music, and breath. It’s a little like fasting..a prompt to pray, a prompt!

Let’s look at the hope we have. :)

1 Peter 1

6 though now for a little while you may be distressed by trials and suffer temptations,

So that [the genuineness] of your faith may be tested, [your faith] which is infinitely more precious than the perishable gold which is tested and purified by fire. [This proving of your faith is intended] to redound to [your] praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) is revealed.

Without having seen Him, you love Him; though you do not [even] now see Him, you believe in Him and exult and thrill with inexpressible and glorious (triumphant, heavenly) joy.

Very red clouds at sunrise by Simon Eugster

Let’s look through the Bible together for verses that support and encourage this set.

Isaiah 12 : Behold, God, my salvation! I will trust and not be afraid, for the Lord God is my strength and song; yes, He has become my salvation.

We are commended to remember who God is, He is our salvation, our deliverance, our strength and our song. So we need to offer our hearts, trusting in Him and not fear. So today, look through His lens at your life. Remembering..

John 16: (Jesus talking!) 22 So for the present you are also in sorrow (in distress and depressed); but I will see you again and [then] your hearts will rejoice, and no one can take from you your joy (gladness, delight).

Oh, friends, our lives can bring such sorrow. Our neighbor had the police out yesterday, forcibly removing an abusive presence in her house.  Her life is in crisis.  Yet to remember, I will see Jesus. My heart will rejoice and there is not one person who can take my joy away. Do we remember to have joy? It’s hard when pain is staring us in the face yet God calls us to trust and love Him. Even if you are clinging to Him with everything you have. 

Romans 5: 11 Not only so, but we also rejoice and exultingly glory in God [in His love and perfection] through our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom we have now received and enjoy [our] reconciliation.

Jesus is our reconciliation. We can rejoice, glory in His love..why? Through our Jesus.

2 Corinthians 12: But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, maypitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!

10 So for the sake of Christ, I am well pleased and take pleasure in infirmities, insults, hardships, persecutions, perplexities and distresses; for when I am weak [in human strength], then am I [truly] strong (able, powerful in divine strength).

 

I am convinced. Loving Him, trusting Him, hoping in Him in our various trials, they will bring glory to God! Glory! Hold tight to His hand today. I’m going to exit.

Pray on. Pray on. Love you all.

 

 

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Asking


 

A sunrise in Zwickau (Saxony, Germany) by André Karwath

Good morning, beloved!

My girl is walking around! No brace! I am So thankful for this gift from God. It still twinges when she turns or twists..but it is so much better! Praise God. He raises us up. He lifts us on high. The only downside I see is now she is a dedicated Barbie fan. ;) Noah did get his stitches out and he is in good shape. The doctor was thrilled with his leg’s healing.  Yet, she did say he is unable to run or jump for two months since the surgery. This should be interesting. Ahem. He received his gift from his grandparents last night as well. My dad made him an amplifier for his guitar. Very, very fun stuff. :)

Let’s begin our study for the day! Matthew 7

Keep on asking and it will be given you;  keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you.

For everyone who keeps on asking receives; and he who keeps on seeking finds; and to him who keeps on knocking, [the door] will be opened.

Or what man is there of you, if his son asks him for a loaf of bread, will hand him a stone?

10 Or if he asks for a fish, will hand him a serpent?

11 If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good and ]advantageous gifts to your children, how much more will your Father Who is in heaven [perfect as He is] give good and advantageous things to those who keep on asking Him!

Zeroing in on verse seven, Jesus has some specific instructions:

  • Keep on asking
  • Keep on seeking
  • Keep on knocking

Why? You will receive, you will find and the door will be opened! (He repeats these phrases twice in two verses! Remember repetition means the Lord wants you to get it!) It would be unimaginable to me as a parent to give my child a stone or a serpent when he/she asks for food. Unthinkable! That is, of course, Jesus’ point here. We give good gifts to our children but I’m not perfect. I don’t see as my God sees. He is in heaven, perfect, willing to give good gifts to those who keep on asking. :)

I will admit to you what comes first to my mind is asking for things like a car for Joshua, or financial security enough to cover our med bills  or a Vitamix with all the smoothies we are eating…yet, this chapter is the culmination of a Sermon and if we look back through the chapters, Jesus is teaching us to trust Him above all else and everything we need will be provided. Walking in the Spirit, fleeing evil, holding tight to the will of God in our lives…so even if i don’t “get” these things, I trust in Him, I hold tight to Him and He will provide. He will care for us. Are we making it just as He promised? In the palm of His hand, we have joy and peace. No matter if we stay at one car, live paycheck to paycheck and have no Vitamix :)!

Matthew 7:12 So then, whatever you desire that others would do to and for you, even so do also to and for them, for this is (sums up) the Law and the Prophets.

Our example in life is our Father in how we treat others. Knowing we are not perfect, Jesus commands us to treat those around us as we desire to be treated. We cannot give those who God has placed in our lives stones or serpents. Jesus tells us this sums up the law and prophets..let’s look into this deeper.

Romans 3: 

20 For no person will be justified (made righteous, acquitted, and judged acceptable) in His sight by observing the works prescribed by the Law. For [the real function of] the Law is to make men recognize and be conscious of sin [[a]not mere perception, but an acquaintance with sin which works toward repentance, faith, and holy character].

21 But now the righteousness of God has been revealed independently and altogether apart from the Law, although actually it is attested by the Law and the Prophets,

22 Namely, the righteousness of God which comes by believingwith personal trust and confident reliance on Jesus Christ (the Messiah). [And it is meant] for all who believe. For there is no distinction,

Matthew 5: 

17 Do not think that I have come to do away with or undo the Law or the Prophets; I have come not to do away with or undo but to complete and fulfill them.20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness (your uprightness and your right standing with God) is more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus has begun to summarize what He began in Chapter 5. Do you see?

Matthew 22: 

35 And one of their number, a lawyer, asked Him a question to test Him.

36 Teacher, which [e]kind of commandment is great and important (the principal kind) in the Law? [Some commandments are light—which are heavy?]

37 And He replied to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (intellect).

38 This is the great (most important, principal) and first commandment.

39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself.

40 These two commandments [f]sum up and upon them depend all the Law and the Prophets.

Well, I need to get moving. Love Him totally and completely and love those God has put in your life. Pray on, pray on.

 

Categories: Bible teaching, Sermon on the Mount | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

His kingdom..seek and find!


 

Rock’s tree peony (Paeonia rockii). The plant is grown up in a garden. Ukraine. by George Chernilevsky

Good morning, friends,

Well, another weekend has begun and with it a gaggle of children. Noah had some friends sleep over last night and Ella had a friend with her as well. As I reflect on the week, so much blessing came this week. I have prayed for the duration of our time here that our house would be filled with happy children and that I could begin to open my house to others and this week they came in packs. :) It made me very happy to hear laughter ring through these walls. So long it felt like only tears, frustration and fear reverberated off these walls. It has been as if all the windows have opened, the sunshine broke through and spring is finally here. Praise God!

“Thus says the Lord Who made [the earth], the Lord Who formed it to establish it—the Lord is His name: Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know (do not distinguish and recognize, have knowledge of and understand).” Jeremiah 33:2-3 AMP

Dust sunbeams through tree by Fir0002/Flagstaffotos”.

Matthew 6:

25 Therefore I tell you, stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; or about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life greater [in quality] than food, and the body [far above and more excellent] than clothing?

26 Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they?

27 And who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure (cubit) to his stature or to the span of his life?

28 And why should you be anxious about clothes? Consider the lilies of the field and learn thoroughly how they grow; they neither toil nor spin.

29 Yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his magnificence (excellence, dignity, and grace) was not arrayed like one of these.

30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and green and tomorrow is tossed into the furnace, will He not much more surely clothe you, O you of little faith?

Sunbeams by Fir0002/Flagstaffotos

31 Therefore do not worry and be anxious, saying, What are we going to have to eat? or, What are we going to have to drink? or, What are we going to have to wear?

32 For the Gentiles (heathen) wish for and crave and diligently seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows well that you need them all.

33 But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.

34 So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries andanxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.

God’s specific instructions:

  • Don’t be worried about your life: eat, drink, clothes
  • Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness
  • Do not be worried about tomorrow

Seek first His kingdom…

Seek (zēteō)..

1) to seek in order to find

a) to seek a thing

b) to seek [in order to find out] by thinking, meditating, reasoning, to enquire into

c) to seek after, seek for, aim at, strive after

2) to seek i.e. require, demand

a) to crave, demand something from someone

kingdom (basileia)..

1) royal power, kingship, dominion, rule

a) not to be confused with an actual kingdom but rather the right or authority to rule over a kingdom

b) of the royal power of Jesus as the triumphant Messiah

c) of the royal power and dignity conferred on Christians in the Messiah’s kingdom

2) a kingdom, the territory subject to the rule of a king

3) used in the N.T. to refer to the reign of the Messiah

With these definitions in our back pocket, we can find some answers! Crave, demand, seek in order to find His royal power, kingship, dominion and rule in your/my life. How about it? Beginning your day with the cry out prayer of asking for Him to guide you in seeking first His kingdom, asking His Spirit to fill you, guide you and move you towards His purposes for your life.

Promises in Matthew 6

  • Your Father feeds the birds of the air..are you not worth more than they?
  • If God clothes the grass of the field..will He not much more clothe you?
  • Your heavenly Father you need all these things

Let’s look through some other verses that encourage our faith and trust!

Philippians 4:19 And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

God will give you all you need. Christ Jesus’ glory and riches will give you all you need. :)

Philippians 3:But whatever former things I had that might have been gains to me, I have come to consider as [one combined] loss for Christ’s sake.

Yes, furthermore, I count everything as losscompared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him [of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly]. For His sake I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish (refuse, dregs), in order that I may win (gain) Christ (the Anointed One),

And that I may [actually] be found and known as in Him,not having any [self-achieved] righteousness that can be called my own, based on my obedience to the Law’s demands (ritualistic uprightness and supposed right standing with God thus acquired), but possessing that [genuine righteousness] which comes through faith in Christ (the Anointed One), the [truly] right standing with God, which comes from God by [saving] faith.

His kingdom, His glory, His riches:

  • a priceless privilege of knowing Jesus
  • becoming more deeply and intimately recognizing and understanding Him clearly and fully
  • winning/gaining Christ
  • righteousness comes by faith in Christ
  • truly right standing with God..by saving faith in Him!

Psalm 27: 

 One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek, inquire for, and [insistently] require: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord [in His presence] all the days of my life, to beholdand gaze upon the beauty [the sweet attractiveness and the delightful loveliness] of the Lord and to meditate, consider, and inquire in His temple.

For in the day of trouble He will hide me in His shelter; in the secret place of His tent will He hide me; He will set me high upon a rock.

And now shall my head be lifted up above my enemies round about me; in His tent I will offer sacrifices and shouting of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud; have mercy and be gracious to me and answer me!

You have said, Seek My face [inquire for and require My presence as your vital need]. My heart says to You, Your face (Your presence), Lord, will I seek, inquire for, and require [of necessity and on the authority of Your Word].

Oh, Lord, I love this!

  • seek so that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life
  • to behold and gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
  • instead of fearing: I will offer sacrifices and shouts of joy, singing praises to the Lord

Luke 10: 

38 Now while they were on their way, it occurred that Jesus entered a certain village, and a woman named Martha received and welcomed Him into her house.

39 And she had a sister named Mary, who seated herself at the Lord’s feet and was listening to His teaching.

40 But Martha [overly occupied and too busy] was distracted with much serving; and she came up to Him and said, Lord, is it nothing to You that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me [to lend a hand and do her part along with me]!

41 But the Lord replied to her by saying, Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things;

42 There is need of only one or but a few things. Mary has chosen the good portion [that which is to her advantage], which shall not be taken away from her.

if we look at what Mary was doing: who seated herself at the Lord’s feet and was listening to His teaching. Look at the word: feet (pous),It is used in phrases expressing subjection, 1Cr 15:27, RV; of the humility and receptivity of discipleship,Luk 10:39Act 22:3; of obeisance and worship, e.g., Mat 28:9; of scornful rejection, Mat 10:14Act 13:51. Washing the “feet” of another betokened the humility of the service and the comfort of the guest, and was a feature of hospitality…

Mary was seeking first His kingdom and Jesus was commending her on her choice.

Pray on, beloved. Pray on.

 

Categories: Bible teaching, Sermon on the Mount | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Light…


Lightning from a freak storm on August 2nd, in Southwestern Ontario. by Matthew Trevithick

Good morning, beloved of God,

We had rain last night! Rain! We sat outside last night and watch God’s fireworks. The magnificence of God displayed for all to see.

Lightning by Axel Rouvin

While we were sitting out enjoying the storm, there was a burst of light that was so bright, so vibrant and so close that a conversation of heaven soon followed which of course got me thinking…

Today’s Biblegateway verses again were God’s gift and then moved me in the light (yes, I did say, light) direction..come with me? So let’s start there:

Zechariah 14

In that day there will be no light; the luminaries will dwindle. For it will be a unique day which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night, but it will come about that at evening time there will be light.

And in that day living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea; it will be in summer as well as in winter.

9 And the Lord will be king over all the earth; in that day the Lord will be the only one, and His name the only one.

We know we are in very dark times. We live waiting and hoping and longing for Messiah‘s return. And in this sweet passage, Zechariah saw that day. What a beautiful day! I’m going to include a short passage from David Guzik to help explain this:

a. At evening time it shall happen that it will be light: Now Zechariah looks forward to the glory of Jerusalem in the Messiah’s kingdom. The lights we guide our lives by will diminish, but God will bring His own light.

b. Living waters shall flow from Jerusalem: Jerusalem will no longer be a dry city, but a glorious river will flow from the city and branch off both east and west, and it will be a never ending flow (in both summer and winter it shall occur).

i. All over the world people want to know what will happen to Jerusalem. Zechariah knows the answer – God will gloriously save and restore Jerusalem, making it the capital city of the millennial earth.

ii. Ezekiel 47 records a vision that may describe this scene. Ezekiel saw a river flowing from the throne of God and down to the Dead Sea, bringing life and vitality everywhere.

Now, I want to share with you some fabulous verses on light.

Isaiah 60

“ Arise, shine; for your light has come,

And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.

Sonnenaufgang im Forstbotanischen Garten Tharandt by Henry Mühlpfordt

“For behold, darkness will cover the earth

And deep darkness the peoples;

But the Lord will rise upon you

And His glory will appear upon you.

Sky at sunset from Brancoli’s crux (Lucca) by Lucio Torre

“ Nations will come to your light,

And kings to the brightness of your rising.

Hosea 6:

“So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord.

His going forth is as certain as the dawn;

And He will come to us like the rain,

Like the spring rain watering the earth.”

Luke 1:

76 And you, little one, shall be called a prophet of the Most High; for you shall go on before the face of the Lord to make ready His ways,

77 To bring and give the knowledge of salvation to His people in the forgiveness and remission of their sins.

78 Because of and through the heart of tender mercy andloving-kindness of our God, a Light from on high will dawn upon us and visit [us]

79 To shine upon and give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to direct and guide our feet in a straight line into the way of peace.

80 And the little boy grew and became strong in spirit; and he was in the deserts (wilderness) until the day of his appearing to Israel [the commencement of his public ministry].

Well, friends, rest in His light today. Pray on. Pray on…

Categories: Bible teaching, Cara thoughts..., Old Testament, Pictures from commons..., Psalms | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


“The Lord does not delay and is not tardy or slow about what He promises, according to some people’s conception of slowness, but He is long-suffering (extraordinarily patient) toward you, not desiring that any should perish, but that all should turn to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 AMP

Gígjökull, an outlet glacier extending from Eyjafjallajökull, Iceland. Lónið is the lake visible in the foreground. by Andreas Tille

Good morning, beloved,

God gave me a beautiful morning.  Watching children worship…oh, nothing like it..nothing, nothing, nothing…imagine heaven, then sign up for a VBS in your area…and watch the worship. Or come to mine and watch the leaders lead these kids. Here is the song that my kids think I’m “obsessed” with. Well, I supposed listening to it over and over does qualify…

Remember the verses we worked on yesterday, well, the hand signs that went with it were glorious to kingdom work. Glorious! The Spirit was moving, I will tell you what! He gave the words, He gave the motions, the kids were listening and it was a beautiful, glorious thing. Children came to walk with the King of Kings. They said yes to Jesus in their hearts. Now they need to find the King and walk with Him. He captured their interest. He captured their hearts and now they want to know Him more and more.

Friends, look around you. There are those around you who need to hear that the wages of their sin is death. Death. I’ve read a book about Heaven and NDEs (Near Death Experiences) and some are not pretty..those that experience a taste of hell. One man woke up on the operating table begging to be baptized and his life was radically changed from there on out. We get afraid of offending people. DUDE! Those who have not accepted the free gift of eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord don’t just get a taste they get an eternity. There is not one iota of Selah in that comment.

I was asking my little third graders about gifts..what is important about gifts? All of them say thank you!! Yes, that’s true…What else? That you play with it!! True…Finally a little boy pipes up. That you open it? YES!!

Praise the One who paid our debt!Join me in praying for these little ones who have said yes to Jesus?

Here’s the verses for today:

Romans 5

While we were yet in weakness [powerless to help ourselves], at the fitting time Christ died for (in behalf of) the ungodly.

Now it is an extraordinary thing for one to give his life even for an upright man, though perhaps for a noble and lovable andgenerous benefactor someone might even dare to die.

But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us.

Therefore, since we are now justified ([f]acquitted, made righteous, and brought into right relationship with God) by Christ’s blood, how much more [certain is it that] we shall be saved by Him from the indignation and wrath of God.

We’ve heard these verse, we’ve possibly pondered these verses but let’s look at little deeper, shall we? ;)

God could have turned His back on us. Yet, what does verse 8 say most vividly, most clearly? He shows, clearly proves…what is Satan’s clear lie to us so often?

God could never love you after what you’ve done. And what truth do we let go flying out of our heads? While we were STILL sinners…

Ephesians 1:

[So that we might be] to the praise and the commendation of His glorious grace (favor and mercy), which He so freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

In Him we have redemption (deliverance and salvation) through His blood, the remission (forgiveness) of our offenses (shortcomings and trespasses), in accordance with the richesand the generosity of His gracious favor,

Which He lavished upon us in every kind of wisdom and understanding (practical insight and prudence),

1 Timothy 1:

15 The saying is sure and true and worthy of full and universal acceptance, that Christ Jesus (the Messiah) came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am foremost. (That would be Paul!)

16 But I obtained mercy for the reason that in me, as the foremost [of sinners], Jesus Christ might show forth anddisplay all His perfect long-suffering and patience for an example to [encourage] those who would thereafter believe on Him for [the gaining of] eternal life.

Isaiah 53:

All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has made to light upon Him the guilt and iniquity of us all.

1 Peter 3

18 For Christ [the Messiah Himself] died for sins once for all, the Righteous for the unrighteous (the Just for the unjust, the Innocent for the guilty), that He might bring us to God. In His human body He was put to death, but He was made alive in the spirit,

Let’s take these truths to every boy and girl. And please be in prayer for those in Colorado with the wildfires, frightening times…

Pikes Peak mountain and smoke plume from the Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado Springs, CO. by Beverly Lussier

Pray on. Pray on.

Categories: Bible teaching, Music, New Testament, Pictures from commons..., Romans | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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