Messiah

This is My Son

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Baptism-of-JesusGood morning, beloved,

Imagine the day with me. The Bible doesn’t tell us the time of day, but I’d like to think John the Baptist has been hard at work all day, teaching, baptizing and guiding people to the truth. He is exhausted. Yet, he knows his purpose. He knows the plan. He will not give up. He pushes his hair from his eyes and looks up to the horizon and there he sees a man. This was not just any man. I wonder if the Spirit stirred within him as He did when John jumped for joy in the womb upon seeing Mary. He came to the water’s edge.

John 3

13 ·At that time [Then] Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan River ·and wanted John to baptize him [L to be baptized by John]. 14 But John tried to ·stop [deter; dissuade; prevent] him, saying, “·Why do [Do] you come to me to be baptized? I need to be baptized by you!”

15 Jesus answered, “Let it ·be this way for [happen] now. ·We should do all things that are God’s will [or In this way we will do what God requires; L For thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness].” So John ·agreed to baptize Jesus [gave in; consented; allowed it].

This was to be no ordinary baptism, no ordinary encounter. Listen to Jesus’ words even here.

Let it be… In a way, Jesus was calming the storms within John. Peace, be still. This is your calling.

Do all things that are God’s will…God has seen fit that John baptize Jesus. In doing so, we learn and see the Trinity.

16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he came up out of the water. Then ·heaven[the sky/heavens] opened, and he saw God’s Spirit ·coming down [descending and lighting/settling] on him like a dove [C either in the form of a dove, or in bird-like descent]. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my ·Son, whom I love [dearly beloved Son; Ps. 2:7; Gen. 22:2], and I am ·very [well] pleased with him [Is. 42:1].”

Jesus, the Son..as soon as Jesus was baptized..

God’s Spirit…coming down lighting on him like a dove..

God the Father…a voice from heaven, This is my Son…

Jesus, there’s just about that name. From Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words:

  • Greek: iesous
  • is a transliteration of the Heb. “Joshua,” meaning “Jehovah is salvation,”
  • Thus ‘Christ Jesus’ describes the Exalted One who emptied Himself, Phl 2:5, and testifies to His pre-existence; ‘Jesus Christ’ describes the despised and rejected One Who was afterwards glorified, Phl 2:11, and testifies to His resurrection. ‘Christ Jesus’ suggests His grace, ‘Jesus Christ’ suggests His glory.” *

Spirit of God. From Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words:

  • Greek: pneuma
    1. the third person of the triune God, the Holy Spirit, coequal, coeternal with the Father and the Son

      1. sometimes referred to in a way which emphasises his personality and character (the “Holy” Spirit)

      2. sometimes referred to in a way which emphasises his work and power (the Spirit of “Truth”)

      3. never referred to as a depersonalized force

How can I be so sure that we see the Trinity here? I know, the words. This is my Son. I’ve heard the argument, maybe it was an angel. Maybe it was the Holy Spirit speaking on God’s behalf. We can look no further than the Greek itself. Beautiful.

Voice:

“a sound,” is used of the voice

(a) of God, Mat 3:17;

Friends, the voice? The voice was God’s. And, so Matthew has recorded here in his beautiful gospel the Trinity together in one place for us all to behold.

A voice from heaven said, this is my Son with whom I am well pleased.

We can learn so much by study and reflection into the word of God. By learning and loving His word, join me, won’t you?

Pray on. pray on.

Love like a river

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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.

 

THIS is the day?

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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.

Love Sees

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.