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We are called to lift others up before God continually

Special Messenger of the Eternal:  Listen to what the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies, has to say:

“If you bind yourself to Me, walk according to My teachings, and perform your priestly duties without fail; then you will be in charge of My house in Jerusalem, you will organize the activities in the courtyards surrounding the most holy place, and I will give you a place among all My heavenly council members gathered here.  (Zechariah 3:7)

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God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my Witness how constantly I remember you.
(Romans 1:9) 

But Jesus lives forever. He is the Religious Leader forever. It will never change.  And so Jesus is able, now and forever, to save from the punishment of sin all who come to God through Him because He lives forever to pray for them.  (Hebrews 7:24-25)

In the same way, the Holy Spirit helps us where we are weak. We do not know how to pray or what we should pray for, but the Holy Spirit prays to God for us with sounds that cannot be put into words.   God knows the hearts of men. He knows what the Holy Spirit is thinking. The Holy Spirit prays for those who belong to Christ the way God wants Him to pray.  (Romans 8:26-27)

That certainly qualifies as three witnesses.  That is the easiest way to confirm a truth in the mouth of 2 or 3 witnesses.  

 Jesus said, “I am the Road, also the Truth, also the Life. No one gets to the Father apart from Me. If you really knew Me, you would know My Father as well. From now on, you do know Him. You’ve even seen Him!”  (John 15:6-7)

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

(Isaiah 30:21)
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Be Warmed, Be Filled

Do not withhold what is good from those who deserve it;
    if it is within your power to give it, do it.  (Proverbs 3:27)

 But I will say this to encourage your generosity: the one who plants little harvests little, and the one who plants plenty harvests plenty.  Giving grows out of the heart—otherwise, you’ve reluctantly grumbled “yes” because you felt you had to or because you couldn’t say “no,” but this isn’t the way God wants it. For we know thatGod loves a cheerful giver.”  (2 Corinthians 9:6-7)

We are intimately linked in this harvest work. Anyone who accepts what you do, accepts Me, the One who sent you. Anyone who accepts what I do accepts My Father, who sent Me. Accepting a messenger of God is as good as being God’s messenger. Accepting someone’s help is as good as giving someone help. This is a large work I’ve called you into, but don’t be overwhelmed by it. It’s best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice. You won’t lose out on a thing.”  (Jesus speaking in Matthew 10:40-42)

Ask for What You Need

One day He was praying in a certain place. When He finished, one of His disciples said, “Master, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.”

 

So He said,When you pray, say,

Father,
Reveal who You are.
Set the world right.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with You and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.

 

Then He said,Imagine what would happen if you went to a friend in the middle of the night and said, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread. An old friend traveling through just showed up, and I don’t have a thing on hand.’

 

The friend answers from his bed, ‘Don’t bother me. The door’s locked; my children are all down for the night; I can’t get up to give you anything.’

 

 But let me tell you, even if he won’t get up because he’s a friend, if you stand your ground, knocking and waking all the neighbors, he’ll finally get up and get you whatever you need.

 

“Here’s what I’m saying:

Ask and you’ll get;
Seek and you’ll find;
Knock and the door will open.

 

 Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This is not a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your little boy asks for a serving of fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? If your little girl asks for an egg, do you trick her with a spider? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing—you’re at least decent to your own children. And don’t you think the Father who conceived you in love will give the Holy Spirit when you ask Him?”  (Luke 11:1-13)

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When your relatives came to you needing money,
        for no good reason you took their clothes for collateral and left them naked.
You have never given so much as a cup of water to the thirsty
        or a crumb to the hungry.  (Job 22:6-7)

 Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer.

Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and He’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes! 

(1 Peter 4:7-11)

Do not withhold what is good from those who deserve it;if it is within your power to give it, do it.
Do not send your neighbor away, saying, “Get back with me tomorrow.I can give it to you then,”
    when what he needs is already in your hand.
Make no plans that could result in injury to your neighbor;
    after all, he should be more secure because he lives near you.  (Proverbs 3:27-29)

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Remember, nothing is impossible with God—

Remember the feeding of the 5,000?  And, again, He fed of the 4,000?

 

When evening came, the disciples came to Him and said, This is a remote and barren place, and the day is now over; send the throngs away into the villages to buy food for themselves.

 

Jesus said, They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat.

 

 They said to Him, We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.

 

He said, Bring them here to Me.

 

Then He ordered the crowds to recline on the grass; and He took the five loaves and the two fish, and, looking up to heaven, He gave thanks and blessed and broke the loaves and handed the pieces to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people.

 

And they all ate and were satisfied. And they picked up twelve small hand baskets full of the broken pieces left over.

 

And those who ate were about 5,000 men, not including women and children.  (Matthew 14:15-21)

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Then, the few that remain of Israel,that handful of Jacob’s people who escape,
Will finally quit depending on the power of others(others who abuse and take advantage of them)
And will instead lean on the Eternal One, the Holy One of Israel.
This remnant of Jacob’s people who endure and escape the great destruction
    will come back to the Mighty One, to the embrace of God.  (Isaiah 10:20-21) 

God says in Isaiah 53:5, “The chastisement needful to obtain peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes that wounded Him we are healed and made whole“. The Hebrew word for peace in this scripture is shalom. It basically means “nothing missing, nothing broken,” or wholeness in every area of your life—spirit, soul and body.

Disciples: Which one of us is the most faithful, the most important?

Jesus (interrupting):   The authority figures of the outsiders play this game, flexing their muscles in competition for power over one another, masking their quest for domination behind words like “benefactor” or “public servant.” 

But you must not indulge in this charade. Instead, among you, the greatest must become like the youngest and the leader must become a true servantWho is greater right here as we eat this meal—those of us who sit at the table, or those who serve us? Doesn’t everyone normally assume those who are served are greater than those who serve? But consider My role among you. I have been with you as a servant.

 You have stood beside Me faithfully through My trials.   I give you a kingdom, just as the Father has given Me a kingdom.

(Luke 24:24-29)

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Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand

 Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then He went up on a mountainside and sat down.   Great crowds came to Him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at His feet; and He healed them. The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.

 

 Jesus called His disciples to Him and said, I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.”

 

His disciples answered, “Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?

 

 How many loaves do you have? Jesus asked.

Seven,” they replied, “and a few small fish.”

He told the crowd to sit down on the ground.  Then He took the seven loaves and the fish, and when He had given thanks, He broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people.  They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.  (Matthew 15: -37)

ImageI am not going to command you, but I am going to offer you the chance to prove your love genuine in the same way others have done.  (2 Corinthians 8:8)

 

Love others well, and don’t hide behind a mask; love authentically. Despise evil; pursue what is good as if your life depends on itLive in true devotion to one another, loving each other as sisters and brothers. Be first to honor others by putting them first  Do not slack in your faithfulness and hard work. Let your spirit be on fire, bubbling up and boiling over, as you serve the Lord.   Do not forget to rejoice, for hope is always just around the corner. Hold up through the hard times that are coming, and devote yourselves to prayer.  Share what you have with the saints, so they lack nothing; take every opportunity to open your life and home to others.

 

 If people mistreat or malign you, bless them. Always speak blessings, not curses.   If some have cause to celebrate, join in the celebration. And if others are weeping, join in that as well.   Work toward unity, and live in harmony with one another. Avoid thinking you are better than others or wiser than the rest; instead, embrace common people and ordinary tasks  Do not retaliate with evil, regardless of the evil brought against you. Try to do what is good and right and honorable as agreed upon by all people.   If it is within your power, make peace with all people.  Again, my loved ones, do not seek revenge; instead, allow God’s wrath to make sure justice is served. Turn it over to Him. For the Scriptures say, “Revenge is Mine. I will settle all scores. But consider this bit of wisdom:If your enemy is hungry, give him something to eat. If he is thirsty, give him something to drink; because if you treat him kindly, it will be like heaping hot coals on top of his head.” 

Never let evil get the best of you; instead, overpower evil with the good.  (Romans 12:9-21)

We know what true love looks like because of Jesus. He gave His life for us, and He calls us to give our lives for our brothers and sisters.

 If a person owns the kinds of things we need to make it in the world but refuses to share with those in need, is it even possible that God’s love lives in him? My little children, don’t just talk about love as an idea or a theory. Make it your true way of life, and live in the pattern of gracious love.  (1 John 3:16-17)

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Brothers and sisters, it doesn’t make any sense to say you have faith and act in a way that denies that faith.

Mere talk never gets you very far, and a commitment to Jesus only in words will not save you.   (James 2:14)
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Faith and Works

If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food,  and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?  Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.  (James 2:15-17)

Stand in the Water and Touch the Fire!    
 Overwhelm them with appreciation and love!

Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part. Our counsel is that you warn the freeloaders to get a move on. Gently encourage the stragglers, and reach out for the exhausted, pulling them to their feet. Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs. And be careful that when you get on each other’s nerves you don’t snap at each other.

Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out.
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Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens.

This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.

Don’t suppress the Spirit, and don’t stifle those who have a word from the Master. On the other hand, don’t be gullible.

Check out everything, and keep only what’s good. Throw out anything tainted with evil.

May God Himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. The One who called you is completely dependable. If He said it, He’ll do it!

Friends, keep up your prayers for us. Greet all the followers of Jesus there with a holy embrace. And make sure this letter gets read to all the brothers and sisters. Don’t leave anyone out.

The amazing grace of Jesus Christ be with you! (1 Thessalonians 5:13-28)
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To Laodicea

 Write to Laodicea, to the Angel of the church. God’s Yes, the Faithful and Accurate Witness, the First of God’s creation, says:

“I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking. You’re not cold, you’re not hot—far better to be either cold or hot! You’re stale. You’re stagnant. You make me want to vomit. You brag, ‘I’m rich, I’ve got it made, I need nothing from anyone,’ oblivious that in fact you’re a pitiful, blind beggar, threadbare and homeless.

 “Here’s what I want you to do: Buy your gold from me, gold that’s been through the refiner’s fire. Then you’ll be rich. Buy your clothes from me, clothes designed in Heaven. You’ve gone around half-naked long enough. And buy medicine for your eyes from me so you can see, really see.

“The people I love, I call to account—prod and correct and guide so that they’ll live at their best. Up on your feet, then! About face! Run after God!

 “Look at Me. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear Me call and open the door, I’ll come right in and sit down to supper with you. Conquerors will sit alongside Me at the head table, just as I, having conquered, took the place of honor at the side of My Father. That’s My gift to the conquerors!

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 “Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches.”  (Revelation 3:14-22)

Samuel:  Don’t be frightened. It is true that you have done evil, but never stop following the Eternal One. Serve Him completelyand do not follow empty things that do not have the power to benefit or save you. They are worthless. For the sake of His reputation, He will not cast away His chosen people. Before you ever chose Him, the Eternal One chose you as His own because it pleased Him.

As for me, the last thing I would ever do is to stop praying for you. That would be a sin against the Eternal One on my part. I will always try to teach you to live and act in a way that is good and proper in His eyes.

Make this your one purpose: to revere Him and serve Him faithfully with complete devotion because He has done great things for you. But if you continue in your evil ways against Him, you and your king will be swept off the face of the earth.
(1 Samuel 20:20-25)
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Choose This Day Who You Will Serve

Both Joshua and Elijah offered this choice–
The moment Ahab saw Elijah he said, “So it’s you, old troublemaker!

It’s not I who has caused trouble in Israel,” said Elijah, “but you and your government—you’ve dumped God’s ways and commands and run off after the local gods, the Baals. Here’s what I want you to do: Assemble everyone in Israel at Mount Carmel. And make sure that the special pets of Jezebel, the four hundred and fifty prophets of the local gods, the Baals, and the four hundred prophets of the whore goddess Asherah, are there.

So Ahab summoned everyone in Israel, particularly the prophets, to Mount Carmel.

Elijah challenged the people: “How long are you going to sit on the fence? If God is the real God, follow him; if it’s Baal, follow him. Make up your minds!

Nobody said a word; nobody made a move.

Then Elijah said, “I’m the only prophet of God left in Israel; and there are 450 prophets of Baal. Let the Baal prophets bring up two oxen; let them pick one, butcher it, and lay it out on an altar on firewood—but don’t ignite it. I’ll take the other ox, cut it up, and lay it on the wood. But neither will I light the fire. Then you pray to your gods and I’ll pray to God. The god who answers with fire will prove to be, in fact, God.

All the people agreed: “A good plan—do it!

Elijah told the Baal prophets, “Choose your ox and prepare it. You go first, you’re the majority. Then pray to your god, but don’t light the fire.

So they took the ox he had given them, prepared it for the altar, then prayed to Baal. They prayed all morning long, “O Baal, answer us!” But nothing happened—not so much as a whisper of breeze. Desperate, they jumped and stomped on the altar they had made.

By noon, Elijah had started making fun of them, taunting, “Call a little louder—he is a god, after all. Maybe he’s off meditating somewhere or other, or maybe he’s gotten involved in a project, or maybe he’s on vacation. You don’t suppose he’s overslept, do you, and needs to be waked up?” They prayed louder and louder, cutting themselves with swords and knives—a ritual common to them—until they were covered with blood.

This went on until well past noon. They used every religious trick and strategy they knew to make something happen on the altar, but nothing happened—not so much as a whisper, not a flicker of response.

Then Elijah told the people, “Enough of that—it’s my turn. Gather around.” And they gathered. He then put the altar back together for by now it was in ruins. Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes of Jacob, the same Jacob to whom God had said, “From now on your name is Israel.” He built the stones into the altar in honor of God. Then Elijah dug a fairly wide trench around the altar. He laid firewood on the altar, cut up the ox, put it on the wood, and said, “Fill four buckets with water and drench both the ox and the firewood.” Then he said, “Do it again,” and they did it. Then he said, “Do it a third time,” and they did it a third time. The altar was drenched and the trench was filled with water.

When it was time for the sacrifice to be offered, Elijah the prophet came up and prayed, “O God, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, make it known right now that you are God in Israel, that I am your servant, and that I’m doing what I’m doing under your orders. Answer me, God; O answer me and reveal to this people that You are God, the true God, and that You are giving these people another chance at repentance.”

Immediately the fire of God fell and burned up the offering, the wood, the stones, the dirt, and even the water in the trench.

All the people saw it happen and fell on their faces in awed worship, exclaiming, “God is the true God! God is the true God!

Elijah told them, “Grab the Baal prophets! Don’t let one get away!

They grabbed them. Elijah had them taken down to the Brook Kishon and they massacred the lot.

Elijah said to Ahab, “Up on your feet! Eat and drink—celebrate! Rain is on the way; I hear it coming.

Ahab did it: got up and ate and drank. Meanwhile, Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel, bowed deeply in prayer, his face between his knees. Then he said to his young servant, “On your feet now! Look toward the sea.”

He went, looked, and reported back, “I don’t see a thing.

Keep looking,” said Elijah, “seven times if necessary.

And sure enough, the seventh time he said, “Oh yes, a cloud! But very small, no bigger than someone’s hand, rising out of the sea.

Quickly then, on your way. Tell Ahab, ‘Saddle up and get down from the mountain before the rain stops you.’”

Things happened fast. The sky grew black with wind-driven clouds, and then a huge cloudburst of rain, with Ahab hightailing it in his chariot for Jezreel. And God strengthened Elijah mightily. Pulling up his robe and tying it around his waist, Elijah ran in front of Ahab’s chariot until they reached Jezreel.

(1 Kings 18:17-46)
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For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you.

We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives.  (Colossians 1:9)

Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith. 

(1 Thessalonians 3:10)

I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers.  (2 Timothy 1:3)

So says the Eternal One, whose love won’t give up on you.

This promise stands to God’s covenant people: nothing can happen to them unless God wills it and makes it so.

Only if they invite it will destruction come.

Throughout this time of rebellion and punishment God makes it clear that they hold their fate in their own hands.

And if they haven’t understood the message, God tells them who will do the nation-building—an unworldly restoration. He says that He provides the raw materials; He creates the tools and provides the skills with which the builders build.

He alone is responsible for restoring the nation.

And no matter what charges the adversary may concoct, God will not be put off.

Even though Israel rebelled and was unfaithful at one time, that is in the past.

The future is sure: God’s faithfulness to His covenant, His enduring love for His people, will stand for all time.

So the challenge goes out from the prophet to God’s people—speaking on God’s authority—to align themselves with God, accept Him as God, and they will surely win.
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Eternal One: Ah, Jerusalem, so miserable and distressed! I will rebuild you
        with floors of shimmering mosaics, set sapphires in your foundations.
I will decorate your towers with rubies,
        and your gates will sparkle with all manner of precious gems.
    Costly jewels will adorn the entire wall that circles your precincts.
Every one of your children, the people who call you home,
        will be students of the Eternal; oh, they’ll be so happy and live in peace!
This time, you will be founded and grounded
        on right thought, speech, and action.
    And no one will trouble you, abuse or oppress you;
        you will know no fear and have no worries.
If a nation marches against you,
        know that I am not behind it.
    Anyone foolish enough to challenge you will fall to you.
I have created the blacksmith
        who readies the fire and forges weapons for wars;
    And I have created the destroyer to ravage and ruin.
But no instrument forged against you will be allowed to hurt you,
        and no voice raised to condemn you will successfully prosecute you.
    It’s that simple; this is how it will be for the servants of the Eternal;
        I will vindicate them (Isaiah 54:11-17)

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Psalm 100.  A song of thanks.

Psalm 100 is one of the best known and most loved psalms.

This hymn of thanksgiving invites the whole world to come to God’s temple in Jerusalem and enter its sacred spaces with unbridled joy and hearts filled with gratitude. And why should we? The psalm provides the answer.

Not only has God created us—a gracious act of love in and of itself—but He has made us His own people.

He has chosen us and loved us. As with Psalm 23, God’s people are cast in the role as sheep living well in His pasture.

The psalm ends on a high note of confidence and hope.

At all times—but perhaps more in times of difficultywe need to be reminded of what is true.

Regardless of what seems to be happening around us, the Eternal is good; His love and faithfulness will endure forever.

Raise your voices;  make a beautiful noise to the Eternal, all the earth.
Serve the Eternal gladly; enter into His presence singing songs of joy!

Know this: the Eternal One Himself is the True God.
    He is the One who made us; we have not made ourselves;
    we are His people, like sheep grazing in His fields.

Go through His gates, giving thanks; walk through His courts, giving praise.
    Offer Him your gratitude and praise His holy name.

Because the Eternal is good, His loyal love and mercy will never end,
    and His truth will last throughout all generations.

Circle Zion, take her measure, count her fortress peaks,
Gaze long at her sloping bulwark, climb her citadel heights—
Then you can tell the next generation detail by detail the story of God,
Our God forever, who guides us till the end of time.

(Psalm 48:12-14)

When we’re bringing our requests to God, we’re saying, “Lord here’s the need”–
the circumstance, the person, whatever it may be; then we ask Him to answer
according to His Omniscient Will.

It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from Him comes to Me.”  (John 6:45)
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No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest.  (Hebrews 8:11)

Those who err in mind will know the truth, And those who criticize will accept instruction.
Those who are wayward in spirit will gain understanding; those who complain will accept instruction.”
    (Isaiah 29:24)

 “Don’t let foreigners who commit themselves to the Lord say,

    The Lord will never let me be part of His people.’
And don’t let the eunuchs say,
    ‘I’m a dried-up tree with no children and no future.’
For this is what the Lord says:
I will bless those eunuchs who keep My Sabbath days holy
and who choose to do what pleases Me and commit their lives to Me.
I will give them—within the walls of My house—a memorial and a name
    far greater than sons and daughters could give.
For the name I give them is an everlasting one.
    It will never disappear!

“I will also bless the foreigners who commit themselves to the Lord,
    who serve Him and love His name,
who worship Him and do not desecrate the Sabbath day of rest,
    and who hold fast to My covenant.
I will bring them to My holy mountain of Jerusalem
    and will fill them with joy in My house of prayer.
I will accept their burnt offerings and sacrifices,
    because My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations.

(Isaiah 56:3-7)

 “I will heal their waywardness.  I will love them lavishly. My anger is played out.
I will make a fresh start with Israel.He’ll burst into bloom like a crocus in the spring.
He’ll put down deep oak tree roots,he’ll become a forest of oaks!
He’ll become splendid—like a giant sequoia,
    his fragrance like a grove of cedars!
Those who live near him will be blessed by him,
    be blessed and prosper like golden grain.
Everyone will be talking about them, spreading their fame as the vintage children of God.
Ephraim is finished with gods that are no-gods.
    From now on I’m the One who answers and satisfies him.
I am like a luxuriant fruit tree. Everything you need is to be found in Me.

(Hosea 14:4-8)

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  1. Are you of the holy remnant, Gathered to the King of Peace?
    Have you found a full atonement, And abundance of His grace?
    Yes, my soul has come to Zion, On the high and holy way,
    And I’ve seen the darkness flying, Driven by the light of day.
  2. Have you heard a voice from heaven, Calling in a solemn tone,
    “Come, my people, from confusion, This is not your native home”?
    Yes, I heard, and to my vision, Zion’s glory brightly shone;
    Then I rose and fled the ruin, Taking not a Babel stone.
  3. Have you learned that all this remnant Must be dressed in uniform?
    Are you clothed in that white raiment, That will shine before the throne?
    Yes, I found the precious fountain, Opened when the Savior died,
    Here I washed my stains of crimson, And my soul is sanctified.
  4. Do you know the saints inherit—Since we’re gathered into one—
    All the greatness of the kingdom, Under all the Shining Sun?
    Yes, all glory be to Jesus! By His might I overcame,
    In the fullness of His blessing On His throne of love I reign.
  5. Do you know, oh, ransomed brother, That we stand upon the verge,
    Where old Time fills up his ages, And the lost will mourn his dirge?
    Oh, what myriad souls are sleeping, Soon to wake in judgment fires!
    Help, O God! Thy remnant gleaning, Until time, indeed, expires. 
    The Holy Remnant | Daniel S. Warner, Mrs. M. J. Groves
     pub.1911Image

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One can agree with all the truths in the Bible and still miss the power of God. 
We must approach God humbly as creations, not as those aspiring to fully explain the Creator of the universe. 

When we pray our “answers”, we’re demanding that God do something and we’re telling Him we want it done now–

just the way we want it, Lord.” 

That is not following Jesus, who prayed,

My Father, if there is any way, get me out of this. But please, not what I want. You, what do you want?”  (Matthew 26:39)

Rely on God’s Spirit to demonstrate God’s power.  If  not, your faith will be based on human wisdom and not the power of God.       

The foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength. 

(1 Corinthians 1:25)

Give God TIME and you will be more than CONQUEROR!
Give God TIME to TURN your overwhelming problem into a TRIUMPH!

Day by day the Lord also POURS OUT His steadfast love upon me, and through the night I sing His songs and pray. 

(Psalm 42:8)

BE JOYFUL ALWAYS, PRAY CONTINUALLY, GIVE THANKS IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES,
FOR THIS IS GOD’S WILL FOR YOU IN CHRIST JESUS. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
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 God has a good plan for us.
 
While the envy, hatred, and cruelty of other people might play havoc in our lives, as it did in Joseph’s, we can hold fast to our confidence that God is in control.  He knows how to transform whatever is meant for evil against us to a good outcome, as he did eventually for Joseph.
 
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”  (Romans 8:28)
 
Dear Lord, as I WAIT EXPECTANTLY for You to turn my trouble into triumph, grant me a spirit of patience.  Amen.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.    (Matthew 5:10)
 
Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is TIME to seek the LORD, until He comes and showers His righteousness on you.
(Hosea 10:12)
 
Do horses run on the rocky crags? Does one plow the sea with oxen? But you have turned justice into poison and the fruit of righteousness into bitterness.  (Amos 6:12)
 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.  (Galatians 6:8)

Jesus Blesses the Children

…Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples REBUKED them.  But Jesus said,Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”  After laying His hands on them, He departed from there.  (Matthew 19:13-15)       
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After fulfilling their sacred duties according to the law of the Lord, Mary and Joseph returned with Jesus to their own city of Nazareth in the province of Galilee.   There Jesus grew up, maturing in physical strength and increasing in wisdom, and the grace of God rested on Him.

Every year during Jesus’ childhood, His parents traveled to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration. 

When Jesus was 12, He made the journey with them.

They spent several days there, participating in the whole celebration. When His parents left for home, Jesus stayed in Jerusalem, but Joseph and Mary were not aware.   They assumed Jesus was elsewhere in the caravan that was traveling together. After they had already traveled a full day’s journey toward home, they began searching for Him among their friends and relatives.  When no one had seen the boy, Mary and Joseph rushed back to Jerusalem and searched for Him.

After three days of separation, they finally found Him—sitting among a group of religious teachers in the temple—asking them questions, listening to their answers.   Everyone was surprised and impressed that a 12-year-old boy could have such deep understanding and could answer questions with such wisdom.

His parents, of course, had a different reaction.

Mary: Son, why have You treated us this way? Listen, Your father and I have been sick with worry for the last three days, wondering where You were, looking everywhere for You.

Jesus:   Why did you need to look for Me? Didn’t you know that I must be working for My Father?

Little is recorded about Jesus’ life between His birth and the age of 30. But this one episode tells so much. First, Jesus’ family life is a lot like anyone’s—full of mishaps and misunderstandings. Second, as Jesus enters young adulthood, He begins manifesting an extraordinary sense of identity. (Remember, a 12-year-old isn’t “just a kid” in Israel—he is becoming a man.) He isn’t just “Mary’s boy” or “Joseph’s stepson.” He has a direct relationship with God as His Father, and He knows His life will follow a path of working for God.

Neither Mary nor Joseph really understood what He meant by this.  Jesus went back to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. His mother continued to store these memories like treasures in her heart.  And Jesus kept on growing—in wisdom, in physical stature, in favor with God, and in favor with others.  (Luke 2:39-51)
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Jesus said,Don’t stop children from coming to me! Children like these are part of the kingdom of God.
(Matthew 19:14)

Yeshiva (Hebrew: ישיבה , lit. “sitting“; pl. ישיבות, yeshivot)

The LORD spoke with Moses face to face, just as a man speaks with his FRIEND. 
(Exodus 33:11)

The reality is that Jesus is the Anointed One, the Liberating King, who was crucified on our behalf.     

In John 10 we are shown the battle for the hearts and minds of all people everywhere—

Jesus: I tell you the truth: I am the gate of the sheep.  All who approached the sheep before Me came as thieves and robbers, and the sheep did not listen to their voices.   I am the gate; whoever enters through Me will be liberated, will go in and go out, and will find pastures.  The thief approaches with malicious intent, looking to steal, slaughter, and destroy; I came to give life with joy and abundance.

 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep in His care.   The hired hand is not like the shepherd caring for His own sheep. When a wolf attacks, snatching and scattering the sheep, he runs for his life, leaving them defenseless.   The hired hand runs because he works only for wages and does not care for the sheep.   I am the good shepherd; I know My sheep, and My sheep know Me.   As the Father knows Me, I know the Father; I will give My life for the sheep.   There are many more sheep than you can see here, and I will bring them as well. They will hear My voice, and the flock will be united. One flock. One shepherd.   The Father loves Me because I am willing to lay down My life—but I will take it up again.  My life cannot be taken away by anybody else; I am giving it of My own free will. My authority allows Me to give My life and to take it again. All this has been commanded by My Father.

Jesus loves to explain truth through everyday things like vines, fruit, fishing, building, and shepherding, as He does here. He is a master communicator. In this metaphor, Jesus is the shepherd. Eventually He becomes the sheep as well. On the cross, He is destined to become the innocent sacrifice that makes all future sin sacrifices and burnt offerings unnecessary.

    lived [yeshev)               

This verb has the connotation of putting down roots and living somewhere, rather than just resting temporarily while on a journey to another destination.  The Hebrew noun yishuv, meaning settlement, is related to yeshev, which means sit, remain, dwell or settle.
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God’s blessings follow you and await you at every turn:
    when you don’t follow the advice of those who delight in wicked schemes,
When you avoid sin’s highway,  when judgment and sarcasm beckon you, but you refuse.
For you, the Eternal’s Word is your happiness. It is your focus—from dusk to dawn.
You are like a tree, planted by flowing, cool streams of water that never run dry.
Your fruit ripens in its time;  your leaves never fade or curl in the summer sun.
No matter what you do, you prosper.
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For those who focus on sin, the story is different.
    They are like the fallen husk of wheat, tossed by an open wind, left deserted and alone.
In the end, the wicked will fall in judgment; the guilty will be separated from the innocent.
 Their road suddenly will end in death, yet the journey of the righteous has been charted by the Eternal.

E’en though it be a cross That raiseth me,
Still all my song shall be Nearer, my God, to Thee.

Nearer, My God, to Thee” is a 19th-century Christian hymn by Sarah Flower Adams, based loosely on Genesis 28:11–19, the story of Jacob’s dream.
 (Lyrics: Sarah F. Adams Music: Lowell Mason (1792-1872)

As dusk approached one day, he came to a place where he could stay for the night. He saw stones scattered all around and put one of them under his head; then he lay down to sleep.   During the night, God gave him a dream. He saw a ladder set up on the earth, and its top reached to the heavens. He saw some messengers of God ascending and descending on it.  At the very top stood the Eternal One.
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Eternal One: I am the Eternal One, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you are now lying is the land I have promised to give to you and your descendants.  Your descendants will be as many as there are specks of dust on the earth. You will spread out to the west, east, north, and south. Through your descendants, all the families of the earth will find true blessing. Know I am with you, and I will watch over you no matter where you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done all I have promised you.

Dreams are a bit mysterious. There are many theories about what dreams are and why we dream, but no one knows for sure. What is sure is that at times in the Scriptures God uses dreams to reveal Himself to His covenant partners. Certainly not everyone has revelatory dreams, and not all dreams are revelatory. But sometimes, on special occasions, when it suits God’s purposes, dreams can be a vehicle to see, hear, and experience reality as God knows it. It happens here with Jacob, who has not yet fully embraced the Eternal as his God; and it continues to happen in both testaments with Joseph, Daniel, Peter, and others.

 The dream ended, and Jacob woke up from his sleep.

Jacob (to himself): There is no doubt in my mind that the Eternal One is in this place—and I didn’t even know it!

 But even as he said this, a bit of fear came over him.

Jacob: This place is absolutely awesome! It can be none other than the house of God and the gateway into heaven!

 So early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had put under his head, set it up as a pillar, and then poured oil on top of it to commemorate his experience with God.   He named that place Bethel, which means “house of God.” Before that the name of the city had been called Luz.  

Genesis 28:11-19

The twenty-first century church needs to hear this truth today!  See yourselves as a part of the local, global, and historic church, which is the body of Christ Jesus! 
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Oh that you would have a “Damascus Road” experience to embrace the warning to the  Laodicean (LUKEWARM) church!
               
Greater Love has No One than This

…”You are My friends if you do what I command you.  “No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.  “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.”   (John 15:14-16)   

Neither God nor His people will sit idly by and let the poor and right-living suffer.

The Eternal Lord does nothing Without revealing His plan to His servants, the prophets.
    They are His spokespeople.
The lion has roared; who is not afraid?
The Eternal Lord has been heard;  His prophets can’t help but prophesy.
(Amos 3:7-8)

Warnings from Israel’s Past

… Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved.  Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, “THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK, AND STOOD UP TO PLAY.”  Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day.  (1 Corinthians 10:6-8)

Any temptation you face will be nothing new.

But God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can handle.

But He always provides a way of escape so that you will be able to endure and keep moving forward.

So then, my beloved friends, run from idolatry in any form. 

As wise as I know you are, understand clearly what I am saying and determine the right course of action. 

When we give thanks and share the cup of blessing, are we not sharing in the blood of the Anointed One?

When we give thanks and break bread, are we not sharing in His body? 

Because there is one bread, we, though many, are also one body since we all share one bread. 

Look no further than Israel and the temple practices, and you’ll see what I mean. Isn’t it true that those who eat sacrificial foods are communing at the altar, sharing its benefits?

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So what does all this mean?

I’m not suggesting that idol food itself has any special qualities or that an idol itself possesses any special powers, but I am saying that the outsiders’ sacrifices are actually offered to demons, not to God.

So if you feast upon this food, you are feasting with demons—I don’t want you involved with demons! 

You can’t hold the holy cup of the Lord in one hand and the cup of demons in the other.

You can’t share in the Lord’s table while picking off the altar of demons.

Are we trying to provoke the Lord Jesus? Do we think it’s a good idea to stir up His jealousy?

Do we have ridiculous delusions about matching or even surpassing His power?  (1 Corinthians 10:13-22)
       
But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.   

1 Corinthians 5:11

Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry.    1 Corinthians 10:14

Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.  1 John 5:21

REMEMBER JOSEPH—Image

So she grabbed Joseph by his outer garment and demanded “Let’s have some sex!” Instead, Joseph ran outside, leaving his outer garment still in her hand.
(Genesis 39:12)

Remember Joseph’s grandfather Jacob dreamed and saw an open heaven with heavenly messengers descending and ascending.  Likewise, Joseph was giving dreams and insights into the Kingdom of God!  And for this, he was hated by his brethren as they misunderstood his destiny.  The devil is well aware of the destiny of God’s children being controlled in His Eternal purpose manifest in this time and place.

Jude, a slave of Jesus the Anointed and a brother of James, to you, the ones whom God our Father loves and has called and whom Jesus, the Anointed One, has kept.  Kindness, peace, love—may they never stop blooming in you and from you.

 Friends, I have been trying to write you about our common salvation. But these days my heart is troubled, and I am compelled to write to you and encourage you to continue struggling for the faith that was entrusted to the saints once and for all.  Vile men have slithered in among us. Depraved souls who stand condemned have made a mockery of the grace given to us, using it as a pretext for a life of excess, lived without any thought of God. These poor fools have denied Jesus the Anointed, our one Lord and Master.

 You have heard the stories many times, and the Spirit has enlightened you about their meaning, but you still need to be reminded. Remember when the Lord saved our ancestors from the land in Egypt? He breathed life into their earthen lungs and took back the life from those who did not believe.   And God has kept the rebellious heavenly messengers bound and chained in utter darkness—shadowy gloom—until the time when His judgment arrives, because they failed to keep their rightful positions and abandoned their appointed realms.   Sodom and Gomorrah and all their neighbors were defeated by their own sexual perversions as they pursued the strange and unnatural impulses of the flesh. Let these who went their own way and are experiencing the eternal heat of God’s vengeance—a punishment by fire—be a warning to you.

These stories are examples to help you understand the fate of those dreamers who have slipped in and defiled your community, rejected those in charge, and insulted the glorious majesty of the heavenly messengers.  Even their chief, Michael, when disputing with the devil over Moses’ body, did not offer his own taunting judgment against him. Michael simply said, “May the Lord’s rebuke fall on you.”

The deceivers among you despise what they do not understand; they live without reason like animals, reacting only with primal instincts; and their ways are corrupting them.   Woe to these deceivers! They are doomed! They have followed in the footsteps of their father Cain, sold their souls for profit into Balaam’s deceit, and suffered the devastation of Korah’s rebellion.

These men are cold stones on the warm hearth of your love feasts as they glut themselves without fear, thinking only of their own benefit. They are waterless clouds, carried away by the wind; autumn’s lonely and barren trees, twice dead, uprooted; violent waves of the sea breaking over the bow, foaming with shame; lost and wandering stars destined to live forever in gloomy darkness.

During the seventh generation after Adam, the prophet Enoch said, “Look! The Lord came, and with Him tens of thousands of His holy messengers to judge wicked men and convict the impious and ungodly for all they have said and all the hard things they have done against the Holy One.”  These men are complainers who look long and hard to find the faults of other men. They are led by their own lustful desires like fools down the path of destruction. They are arrogant liars who want only to get ahead of others.

But you, friends, remember the words of the emissaries of our Lord Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King:  “At the end of time, some will ridicule the faithful and follow their lusts to the grave.”  These are the men among you—those who divide friends, those concerned ultimately with this world, those without the Spirit.   You, however, should stand firm in the love of God, constructing a life within the holy faith, praying the Spirit’s prayer, as you wait eagerly for the mercy of our Lord Jesus the Anointed, which leads to eternal life.

Keep being kind to those who waver in this faith. 23 Pursue those who are singed by the flames of God’s wrath, and bring them safely to Him. Show mercy to others with fear, despising every garment soiled by the weakness of human flesh.

Now to the One who can keep you upright and plant you firmly in His presence—clean, unmarked, and joyful in the light of His glory— to the one and only God, our Savior, through Jesus the Anointed our Lord, be glory and greatness and might and authority; just as it has been since before He created time, may it continue now and into eternity. Amen.  (Jude 1)

Whatever you do—whether you eat or drink or not—do it all to the glory of God!
(1 Corinthians 10:27)  

Be— 
filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ–to the glory and praise of God. 

(Philippians 1:11)
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BE AS CHILDREN SPLASHING IN THE OVERFLOW WHETHER IN THE SHALLOWS
OR IN THE STILL WATERS THAT RUN DEEP, KNOWING THAT I AM WITH YOU
I AM WALKING ON THE WATERS BY MY SPIRIT WHO FROM THE BEGINNING WAS
HOVERING OVER THE WATERS.
 
Overflow with Thanks Giving!

Take the TIME to count your blessings, one by one.  Who can re-count all the blessings that the LORD provides? 

If we lived to be as old as Methuseleh, we would not come close. 

By our thanks giving, we grow more deeply in stability in the midst of all things. 

We are greatly strengthened in His presence.  We are filled to overflowing with joy unspeakable and full of God’s glory! 

The Lord gives grace and glory—no good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly WITH Him. 

May our lives be outpourings of thankfulness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.         

Open the floodgates of heaven and pour us out as Your blessing on a dry and weary land. 

That there not be room enough to contain it! 

When the enemy comes in like a flood the Spirit of the Lord lifts up a Standard against him. 

His banner (standard) over His children is His unfailing love!  Many waters cannot quench love.

Stand in the Water and Touch the Fire!       
 
I have much to say in judgment of you. But He who sent me is trustworthy, and what I have heard from Him I tell the world.”
(John 8:26)
 
Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.  (John 3:11)
   
 Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, but he will be a joy to many others. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him.   As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.”  (Luke 2:34-35)

However, in the presence of mature believers, we do impart true wisdom

not the phony wisdom typical of this rebellious age or of the hostile powers who rule this age.

Despite what you may think, these ruling spirits are losing their grip on this world.

But we do impart God’s mysterious and hidden wisdom.

Before the ages began, God graciously decided to use His wisdom for our glory. 

This wisdom has not been grasped by the ruling powers of this age;

if they had understood, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory.  

But as the Scriptures say,

No eye has ever seen and no ear has ever heard
    and it has never occurred to the human heart
All the things God prepared for those who love Him.

God has shown us these profound and startling realities through His Spirit.

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep mysteries of God. 

Who can see into a man’s heart and know his thoughts? Only the spirit that dwells within the man.

In the same way, the thoughts of God are known only by His Spirit.  

You must know that we have not received the spirit of this rebellious and broken world but the Spirit that comes from God,

so that we may experience and comprehend the gifts that come from God.  

We do not speak of these gifts of God in words shaped by human wisdom;

we speak in words crafted by the Spirit because our collective judgment on spiritual matters is accessible to those who have the Spirit.  

But a person who denies spiritual realities will not accept the things that come through the Spirit of God;

they all sound like foolishness to him.

He is incapable of grasping them because they are disseminated, discerned, and valued by the Spirit. 

A person who walks by the Spirit examines everything, sizing it up and seeking out truth.

But no one is able to examine or size up that kind of spiritual person,   for the Scripture asks, “Does anyone know the mind of the Lord well enough to become His advisor?” 

But we do possess the mind of the Anointed One.       
(1 Corinthians 2:6-16)
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Forever, O Eternal One, Your word stands in heaven, firm and resolute.
Your faithfulness endures to every generation; You founded the earth, and it remains.
Everything remains today in keeping with Your laws, for all things exist to serve You.
If I had not found joy in Your guidance, then I would have died from my misery.
I will never forget Your precepts, for through them You have given me life.
I belong to You, Lord; save me  because I have taken care to live by Your principles.
The wicked lie in wait, anxious to kill me; I will set my mind on Your statutes.
I have seen the limit of all perfection, but Your commands are all-encompassing.
(Psalm 119:89-96)
 
The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves.

For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.   Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins.   But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins.   It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

 Therefore, when Christ came into the world, He said:

Sacrifice and offering You did not desire,
    but a body You prepared for Me;
  with burnt offerings and sin offerings
    You were not pleased.
 Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about Me in the scroll—
    I have come to do Your will, My God.’”

First He said,Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them”—though they were offered in accordance with the law.  

Then He said, “Here I am, I have come to do Your will.

He sets aside the first to establish the second. 

And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.  But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time He waits for His enemies to be made His footstool.  For by one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this.

First He says:

 “This is the covenant I will make with them
    after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
    and I will write them on their minds.”

Then He adds:

Their sins and lawless acts
    I will remember no more.”

And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.

A Call to Persevere in Faith

Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,  by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, His body,   and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 

let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.  

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,   not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 

but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 

Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.

How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?

For we know Him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”  and again, “The Lord will judge His people.”   

It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering.  Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.

For, “In just a little while, He who is coming will come and will not delay.”

And,

But My righteous one will live by faith.  And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.”

But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved. 

(Hebrews 10:19-39)

All my children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of my children.
(Isaiah 34:18)

May the LORD, the God of your ancestors, increase you a thousand times and bless you as He has promised!        (Deuteronomy 1:11)

True Wisdom from Above

… But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.  (James 3:17-18)

They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green.  (Psalm 92:14)

A wicked person earns deceptive wages, but the one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward. 

The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.
(Isaiah 32:17)

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Believe You Me

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Jesus: The One who sent Me is with Me; He has not abandoned Me because I always do what pleases Him.”

(John 8:29)

We are witnesses to these things.

There is another witness, too—the Holy Spirit—whom God has given to all who choose to obey Him.

(Acts 5:32)

By definition, an apostle of God is a messenger of God – even Jesus Christ is referred to in this way:

 

“Therefore, holy brethren, who share in a heavenly call, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession. He [see The Logos] was faithful to Him [see The Father] Who appointed Him.” (Hebrews 3:1-2 RSV)

“Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, even so I send you.” (John 20:21 RSV)

 

The robber comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I came so they might have life, a great full life.” (Jesus speaking in John 10:10)

This ending point becomes the starting point for Luke’s sequel, known as the Acts of the Apostles.

The story isn’t really over; it’s just begun.

The life and ministry of Jesus that Luke has just recounted is the mustard-seed stage of the kingdom of God that continues to grow and grow and grow.

Now it’s time for this Kingdom to fill the world.

If Luke’s Gospel is about what Jesus began to do and teach, then Luke’s sequel is about what the risen Jesus continues to do and teach through His followers for millennia. Luke writes in hope that future believers will be taken up into this beautiful story that will never, ever end.

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Pleasing the Lord means doing His Will by living in the light of His Word.  Those who do what their sinful old selves want to do cannot please God.  (Romans 8:8) 

God is a God of peace. He raised our Lord Jesus from the dead. Jesus is the Good Shepherd of the sheep. His blood made the New Way of Worship which will last forever. May God give you every good thing you need so you can do what He wants.

May He do in us what pleases Him through Jesus Christ. May Christ have all the shining-greatness forever! Let it be so. Christian brothers, I beg of you to listen to these words that will help you.  (Hebrews 13:20-22)

So that you will live the kind of lives that prove you belong to the Lord. Then you will want to please Him in every way as you grow in producing every kind of good work by this knowledge about God.  (Colossians 1:10)

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in Him.  (Colossians 2:6

So we make it our goal to please Him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.  (2 Corinthians 5:9)

Not So much what we do, but why we do it.

No matter what, never betray His trust; get over “it” and keep walking in His will.  This is how we overcome.

God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you’re ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done. As one psalmist puts it,

He throws caution to the winds,
    giving to the needy in reckless abandon.
His right-living, right-giving ways
    never run out, never wear out.

This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God.

 

Carrying out this social relief work involves far more than helping meet the bare needs of poor Christians. It also produces abundant and bountiful thanksgivings to God. This relief offering is a prod to live at your very best, showing your gratitude to God by being openly obedient to the plain meaning of the Message of Christ. You show your gratitude through your generous offerings to your needy brothers and sisters, and really toward everyone. Meanwhile, moved by the extravagance of God in your lives, they’ll respond by praying for you in passionate intercession for whatever you need. Thank God for this gift, His gift. No language can praise it enough!  (2 Corinthians 9:8-15) 

If the way you live isn’t consistent with what you believe, then it’s wrong.

Any action not consistent with faith is sin.  

Be true to your  convictions and act from faith. For whatever does not originate and proceed from faith is sin (

whatever is done without a conviction of its approval by God is sinful).  (Romans 14:23)

ImageSo finally, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus, we ask you, we beg you to remember what we have taught you: live a life that is pleasing to God as you are already doing. Yes, we urge you to keep living and thriving in that life! For you know the instructions we gave you, instructions that came through the Lord Jesus.  Now this is God’s will for you: set yourselves apart and live holy lives; avoid polluting yourselves with sexual defilement.   Learn how to take charge over your own body, maintaining purity and honor.  Don’t let the swells of lustful passion run your life as they do the outsiders who don’t know God.   Don’t violate or take advantage of a fellow believer in such matters. As we told you before and warned you: the Lord will settle the score with anyone who does these things.   Here’s why: God does not call us to live impure, adulterous, scandalous lives, but to seek holiness and purity  If you ignore this message, then you’re not only rejecting us but you’re rejecting God, the One who has given His Holy Spirit to live in you.

Paul uses the language of a loving faith family reaching out to others.  (1 Thessalonians 4:1-8)

 

 For we speak as messengers approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News. Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts.  (1Thessalonians 2:4) 

The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes.

Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, But the LORD weighs the hearts.

To do righteousness and justice Is desired by the LORD more than sacrifice.  (Proverbs 21:1-3)

The Eternal One is high above it all; for that is where He lives;
    He will fill Zion (that heaven on earth) with justice and all manner of doing right.

God will be what holds things together, fast and firm during these times.
He will be boundless salvation,  the roots and fruits of wisdom and knowledge.
Zion’s most precious possessionis the people’s awe-filled respect of the Eternal.  (Isaiah 33:5-6)

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A son naturally honors his father and a slave respects his master.”

“If I am your father, where is My honor? If I am your master, where is My respect?

The LORD who rules over all asks you this.  (Malachi 1:6)

“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”  (Luke 6:46)

 Brothers and sisters, it doesn’t make any sense to say you have faith and act in a way that denies that faith.

Mere talk never gets you very far, and a commitment to Jesus only in words will not save you 

It would be like seeing a brother or sister without any clothes out in the cold and begging for food, andsaying,

Shalom, friend, you should get inside where it’s warm and eat something,” but doing nothing about his needs—leaving him cold and alone on the street. What good would your words alone do? The same is true with faith. Without actions, faith is useless.

By itself, it’s as good as dead.   I know what you’re thinking: “OK, you have faith. And I have actions. Now let’s see your faith without works, and I’ll show you a faith that works.”

 

Don’t you realize that faith without works is useless, like a glove without a hand or a hat without a head?

Do you think that just believing there’s one God is going to get you anywhere?

The demons believe that, too, and it terrifies them! 

The fact is, faith has to show itself through works performed in faith.

If you don’t recognize that, then you’re an empty soul. 

Wasn’t our father Abraham made right with God by laying his son Isaac on the altar? 

The faith in his heart was made known in his behavior. In fact, his commitment was perfected by his obedience. 

That’s what Scripture means when it says, “Abraham entrusted himself to God, and God credited him with righteousness.”

And living a faithful life earned Abraham the title of “God’s friend. Just like our father in the faith, we are made right with God through good works, not simply by what we believe or think.  

Even Rahab the prostitute was made right with God by hiding the spies and aiding in their escape. 

Removing action from faith is like removing breath from a body. All you have left is a corpse
(James 2:14-26)

 

But Christ is not dead, He’s ALIVE!  EVERY FACT IS TO BE CONFIRMED BY THE TESTIMONY OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES.

A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.  (Deuteronomy 19:15)

But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’  (Matthew 18:16)

Remember the two heavenly messengers who spoke to Mary at the empty tomb?

Two Men:

“Why are you seeking the living One in the place of the dead?   He is not here. He has risen from the dead.

Don’t you remember what He told you way back in Galilee? 

He told you that the Son of Man must be handed over to wicked men, He must be crucified,

and then on the third day He must rise.  (Luke 24:6-7)

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Didn’t it have to be this way? Didn’t the Anointed One have to experience these sufferings in order to come into His glory?

If you are wondering if your faith is authentic, take a look at your life. Are you doing what is right?

The one persisting in sin belongs to the diabolical one, who has been all about sin from the beginning.

That is why the Son of God came into our world:

to destroy the plague of destruction inflicted on the world by the diabolical one. 
(1 John 3:8)

Jesus said that He always did the things that pleased His Father. What a great example for us to follow.

Remember His call, and live by the royal law found in Scripture: love others as you love yourself.
You’ll be doing very well if you can get this down.  (James 2:8)

 

You’re God-Taught

One final word, friends. We ask you—urge is more like it—that you keep on doing what we told you to do to please God, not in a dogged religious plod, but in a living, spirited dance. You know the guidelines we laid out for you from the Master Jesus. God wants you to live a pure life.

Keep yourselves from sexual promiscuity.

 

Learn to appreciate and give dignity to your body, not abusing it, as is so common among those who know nothing of God.

 

Don’t run roughshod over the concerns of your brothers and sisters. Their concerns are God’s concerns, and he will take care of them. We’ve warned you about this before. God hasn’t invited us into a disorderly, unkempt life but into something holy and beautiful—as beautiful on the inside as the outside.

 

If you disregard this advice, you’re not offending your neighbors; you’re rejecting God, who is making you a gift of his Holy Spirit.

 

 Regarding life together and getting along with each other, you don’t need me to tell you what to do. You’re God-taught in these matters. Just love one another! You’re already good at it; your friends all over the province of Macedonia are the evidence. Keep it up; get better and better at it.

 

Stay calm; mind your own business; do your own job. You’ve heard all this from us before, but a reminder never hurts.

We want you living in a way that will command the respect of outsiders, not lying around sponging off your friends.

(1 Thessalonians 4:1-12)

 We’ve been waiting for You, Eternal One, to come and shower us with grace.
    In the morning, be our strength; in times of trouble, be what saves us.

(Isaiah 33:2)

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This portrait of the early church as an unselfish community is captivating and inspiring. It presents a challenge for many followers of the Anointed One who want to show sacrificially their love to Him and His church. Many today wonder how to translate this into a modern culture so shaped by consumerism and self-interest, but no translation is necessary. These problems weren’t foreign to the early community. In contrast to the generosity and sincerity of some like Barnabas, Luke now explains that others gave not out of love, but out of a desire to be honored by the community.

Free At Last, Sins Forgiven

So live your life in such a way that acknowledges that one day you will be judged. But the law that judges also gives freedom, although you can’t expect to be shown mercy if you refuse to show mercy. But hear this: mercy always wins against judgment! Thank God! 

(James 2:12-13)

Paul describes the root of salvation; a person is saved by God’s grace received through faith. James is explaining the fruit of salvation; saving faith is a faith that works.

An Ounce of Grace Can Overcome a World of Hurt

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Ah, you will see for yourself the beauty of the One who rules over all.
    Your eyes will take in a land that stretches far beyond the horizon.
 You will think back on the terror you experienced:
    Where is the officer who counted the plunder, weighed out our taxes, and calculated our defenses?
You will no longer see rude and arrogant people in charge of the city,
    and you will no longer have to listen to their strange babbling and incomprehensible muttering.
Ah, just look at Zion! The city where we celebrate,
    where we make our God-appointed feasts.
You’ll see a Jerusalem at peace, untroubled, undisturbed,
    like a permanent tent with stakes driven deep and ropes that never break.
 There, the Eternal, so splendid and regal,
    will be for us a place of broad rivers and wide canals.
No large boats will pass through them—no mighty ships will sail their waters.
For the Eternal One is our Judge; He has prescribed our laws;
    He rules over us, and He is the One who will save us.
 You who try to sail in will be unable,
    as if your lines are limp, your mast is wobbly, and your sails are furled.
The spoils in your hold will be divided among the deserving.
    Even those who can hardly walk will take what you had taken.
And nobody who lives in God’s city will say he doesn’t feel well.
    For everyone will be washed clean and forgiven for their wrongdoing.

(Isaiah 33:17-24)

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The Word Became Flesh

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.   He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.   In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.  (John 1;1-4)

You killed the author of life, but God raised Him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.  (Acts 3:15)

And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death– even death on a cross!

(Philippians 2:8)

ImageIt is written: ‘And He was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in Me. Yes, what is written about Me is reaching its fulfillment.”  (Luke 22:37) 

—And the Scripture was fulfilled that is saying, ‘And with lawless ones He was numbered.’

God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us,

So that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.

(2 Corinthians 5:21) 

So I will give Him a share among the mighty, and He will divide the prize with the strong, because He poured out his life in death and He was counted with sinners. He carried the sins of many. He intercedes for those who are rebellious. 

(Isaiah 53:12) 

So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.  (Hebrews 9:28) 

Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name.  (Philippians 2:9)
 
The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful Word. After He had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.  (Hebrews 1:3)
Image He has sent me  to provide for all those who grieve in Zion, to give them crowns instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of  tears of grief, and clothes of praise instead of a spirit of weakness. They will be called Oaks of Righteousness, the Plantings of the LORD, so that he might display His glory.  (Isaiah 61:3)

The scroll John eats is taken from the hand of the powerful messenger who announces the fulfillment of all the prophecies. Just as it did for the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel (2:8–3:4), the scroll represents the message John is required to proclaim; but first he must take it in and it must become a part of him. Initially it tastes sweet, but as it settles deep within him, it becomes bitter. God’s message is always bittersweet. It is sweet joy for those who turn to God, but bitter sadness for those who do not accept it.

Then I received a measuring rod. It resembled a staff, and I was commanded to take measurements.

A Voice: Get up, and measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship in it.   However, do not measure the court outside of the temple. Separate that area out because it has been handed over to the nations. They will trample over the holy city for 42 months.  I will authorize my two witnesses to prophesy for 1,260 days dressed in sackcloth, the clothes that mourners wear.

These two witnesses are the two olive trees and two lampstands standing in front of the Lord of the earth. If anyone wishes to harm the witnesses, fire spews out of the witnesses’ mouths and consumes their foe in flames. Anyone who wishes to harm them is destined to die this way. They have the authority to shut up the sky so that no rain may fall during the time of their prophecies. They also have authority to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with any plague whenever they desire.

The two witnesses bear a striking resemblance to the faithful prophets of Israel and the faithful martyrs of the churches. Together they stand speaking God’s message as the nations rant and rave and trample the holy city.

The lampstands, which signify the churches, are not the light, but they welcome the light and present it to the world.

The olive tree, even today, is a symbol of Israel.

Olive trees supply the oil for the lamps so that they may burn brightly in the darkness.

For a season, the two witnesses enjoy God’s protection, but a time is coming when they will fall victim to the nations and then lie silent.

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On the day they finish their testimony, the beast from the abyss will declare war on them and win victory by killing them. Their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city (which, spiritually speaking, is called Sodom and Egypt) where their Lord was crucified. For three and a half days, representatives of the peoples and ethnicities, languages and nations stare down at their lifeless bodies and refuse them a proper burial. Because these two prophets tormented the earth dwellers by speaking God’s message, the people will rejoice over their dead bodies and celebrate their deaths by exchanging gifts with one another.

At the end of the three and a half days, the spirit of life that comes from God entered their corpses, raising them, and they stood again on their feet. Those who looked on were terrified by what they saw. Then they heard a great voice from heaven.

A Voice: Come up here!

Their enemies watched the spectacle as the witnesses ascended into heaven in a cloud.

In that same hour, a great earthquake shook the earth causing one-tenth of the city to crumble into dust, and 7,000 people were killed in the earthquake. Then the rest who were left alive, quaking in fear, turned and glorified the God of heaven.

The second disaster has passed; watch as the third disaster comes quickly.

The seventh messenger sounded his trumpet, and great voices in heaven confessed:

Voices from Heaven: The kingdom of the world has given way to the kingdom of our Lord
        and of His Anointed One.
    He will reign throughout the ages.

When the seventh messenger blows his trumpet, the kingdom of this world comes to an end. The rule and reign of God and His Anointed has arrived in full to eclipse the rogue kings who rebelled against the Creator and mocked His good name. God’s kingdom entered our world in the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Jesus. It slipped in almost unnoticed beneath the noses of the powers that be. It grows silently as a seed in the earth until it fills the cosmos.

Today Christians live between the times: we live as aliens and strangers rescued from this present darkness, but we also live as citizens who long for the Kingdom that is to come. Until then we are to seek His kingdom and help carve out the territories for Him.

Then the twenty-four elders, who sit before God on their thrones, fell prostrate and worshiped God.

24 Elders: We give You thanks, Lord God, the All Powerful,
        who is and who was.
    For You have wielded Your great power
        and have begun Your reign.
The nations have raged against You,
        but Your wrath has finally come.
        It is now time to judge all of the dead,
    To give a just reward to Your servants, the prophets,
        and to the saints and all who honor Your name,
        both the small and the great,
    And to destroy those who cause destruction to the earth.

Then God’s temple in heaven was opened up, and His covenant chest could be seen within His temple. Lightning flashed all around. Noises and thunder rumbled. The earth trembled. Heavy hailstones fell from the sky.

(Revelation 11)

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A Call to Persevere
…But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,  keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.  And have mercy on some, who are doubting.

(Jude 1:20-22)  May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

(2 Corinthians 13:14)  The Lord has risen indeed! It’s true! 

Jesus: I’ve been telling you this all along, that everything written about Me in the Hebrew Scriptures must be fulfilled—everything from the law of Moses to the prophets to the psalms.

Then He opens their minds so they can comprehend the meaning of the Hebrew Scriptures.

Jesus:   This is what the Scriptures said: that the promised Anointed One should suffer and rise from the dead on the third day,   that in His name a radical change of thought and life should be preached, and that in His name the forgiveness of sins should be preached, beginning in Jerusalem and extending to all nations.   You have witnessed the fulfillment of these things.   So I am sending My Father’s promise to you. Stay in the city until you receive it—until power from heaven comes upon you.  (Luke 24:44-49)

—While we wait for the blessed hope–the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.  (Titus 2:13)

—As you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.  (2 Peter 3:12)

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This is Only a Test—It’s Only a matter of Time!  Faith Perseveres and Stands the Test of Time

Remember Joseph who had big dreams from an early age?  Yet his brothers despised and sold him out.

In bondage in Egypt, Joseph was entrusted with his master’s possessions yet the “lady of the house” had other

ideas and sought to ‘have Joseph” for herself.  But Joseph had God’s Word as a Seed growing deep within his

heart and knew that one must Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.  Joseph understood that we are not our own; that we are created to bring glory

and honor to our Father in heaven.  So Joseph did not fall into sin but instead was thrown into prison for obeying the LORD

and rebuffing the temptation.

Appearances are deceptive and misleading for FROM what seemingly appeared hopeless place, Joseph ended up in a better position than he could have ever hoped or imagined beyond his wildest dreams! God’s ways are not our ways and neither are

His thoughts ours.  We must be transformed by the renewing of our minds so that we may prove what His good and acceptable Will is.

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Remember David?  He was called, chosen and anointed to be the leader to unite God’s people yet it was many years before

God’s Word was fulfilled.  David lost everything and nearly his own life yet the Lord restored all.

Yet David wrote Psalm 144 which encourages God’s children in revealing the Source of Strength—

Blessed Be the Lord, My Rock

Blessed be the LORD, my rock, Who trains my hands for war, And my fingers for battle;

My lovingkindness and my fortress, My stronghold and my deliverer, My shield and He in whom I take refuge, Who subdues my people under me.  (Psalm 144:1-2)

God is strengthening and hardening us to difficulties so that we may be transformed into His likeness as we go through the fire which is designed to remove every trace of the hardness of heart that is naturally “human” and bring forth His divine

radiance from a heart that is tender and reflects His glorious nature.

He is teaching us the true worth of life and the value only found in Prayer and Praise! 

No matter where you are, whether comfortable, irritable, God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you always having all sufficiency in all things may abound to every good work.  (2 Corinthians 9:8)    Celebrate God no matter the

place or position whether on the highest mountain top or  rock bottom in the deepest valley.

Remember the man with the son who threw himself into the water and fire seeking relief in release?

Lord we believe, help our unbelief!

We are learning to stop seeing all as “lost” but know that the lost are found in Christ!

For truly the Lord is our Rock and Redeemer.
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There is hope for your future”, declares the LORD, “and your children shall come back to their own country.”

(Jeremiah 31:17)

Paul’s test for spiritually immaturity:

Do you argue? Do you compare yourself to others? Are you jealous?

Answer “yes” to any of these, then you are spiritually immature.

  My job was to plant the seed, and Apollos was called to water it. Any growth comes from God,   so the ones who water and plant have nothing to brag about. God, who causes the growth, is the only One who matters.   The one who plants is no greater than the one who waters; both will be rewarded based on their work.  We are gardeners and field workers laboring with God. You are the vineyard, the garden, the house where God dwells.   Like a skilled architect and master builder, I laid a foundation based upon God’s grace given to me. Now others will come along to build on the foundation. Each serves in a different way and is to build upon it with great care. 

 There is, in fact, only one foundation, and no one can lay any foundation other than Jesus the Anointed.  As others build on the foundation (whether with gold, silver, gemstones, wood, hay, or straw),   the quality of each person’s work will be revealed in time as it is tested by fire.   If a man’s work stands the test of fire, he will be rewarded.   If a man’s work is consumed by the fire, his reward will be lost but he will be spared, rescued from the fire.  

Don’t you understand that together you form a temple to the living God and His Spirit lives among you?  

If someone comes along to corrupt, vandalize, and destroy the temple of God, you can be sure that God will see to it that he meets destruction because the temple of God is sacred. You, together, are His temple.

  Don’t let anyone deceive himself. If any one of you thinks he is wise in matters pertaining to this world, he is going to be really disappointed. In fact, one must be deemed a fool by worldly standards in order to become truly wise   because the wisdom of this rebellious and broken world looks like foolishness when put next to God.

So it stands in Scripture, “He catches the wise in their deceitful plotting.” 

And the Scriptures add, “The Lord knows the highest thoughts of the wise, and they are worthless.” 

So there is no reason for anyone to boast in human leaders. You already have it all.   So whether it is Paul, Apollos, Cephas, the world, life or death, the present or the future—it all belongs to you.   You belong to the Anointed One, and the Anointed One belongs to God.  (1 Corinthians 3:6-23)

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 And so you are no longer called outcasts and wanderers but citizens with God’s people, members of God’s holy family, and residents of His household.  You are being built on a solid foundation: the message of the prophets and the voices of God’s chosen emissaries  with Jesus, the Anointed Himself, the precious cornerstone.  The building is joined together stone by stone—all of us chosen and sealed in Him, rising up to become a holy temple in the Lord. 

In Him you are being built together, creating a sacred dwelling place among you where God can live in the Spirit.

(Ephesians 2:19-22)

Psalm 18
For the worship leader.

A song of David, the Eternal One’s servant,who addressed these words to the Eternal after He had rescued him from Saul and his other enemies.

This Davidic psalm is also found in 2 Samuel 22. It expresses gratitude to God for saving him.

1 I love You, Eternal One, source of my power.
2 The Eternal is my rock, my fortress, and my salvation;
    He is my True God, the stronghold in which I hide,
    my strong shield, the horn that calls forth help, and my tall-walled tower.
3 I call out to the Eternal, who is worthy to be praised—
    that’s how I will be rescued from my enemies.

4 The bonds of death encircled me;
    the currents of destruction tugged at me;
5 The sorrows of the grave wrap around me;
    the traps of death lay in wait for me.

6 In my time of need, I called to the Eternal;
    I begged my True God for help.
He heard my voice echo up to His temple,
    and my cry came to His ears.

7 Because of His great anger, the earth shook and staggered;
    the roots of the mountains shifted.
8 Smoke poured out from His nose,
    and devouring fire burst from His mouth.
    Coals glowed from Him.
9 He bent the heavens and descended;
    inky darkness was beneath His feet.
10 He rode upon a heavenly creature,[a] flying;
    He was carried quickly on the wings of the wind.
11 He took darkness as His hiding place—
    both the dark waters of the seas and the dark clouds of the sky.
12 Out from His brilliance
    hailstones and burning coals
    broke through the clouds.
13 The Eternal thundered in the heavens;
    the Highest spoke; His voice rumbled [in the midst of hail and lightning].[b]
14 He shot forth His arrows and scattered the wicked;
    He flung forth His lightning and struck them.
15 Then the deepest channels of the seas were visible,
    and the very foundations of the world were uncovered
At Your rebuke, O Eternal One,
    at the blast of wind from Your nostrils.

16 He reached down His hand from above me; He held me.
    He lifted me from the raging waters.
17 He rescued me from my strongest enemy,
    from all those who sought my death,
    for they were too strong.
18 They came for me in the day of my destruction,
    but the Eternal was the support of my life.
19 He set me down in a safe place;
    He saved me to His delight; He took joy in me.

20 The Eternal One responded to me according to my goodness;
    I kept my hands clean, and He blessed me.
21 I kept the ways of the Eternal
    and have not walked away from my True God in wickedness.
22 All His laws were there before me,
    and I did not push His statutes away.
23 I was blameless before Him;
    I kept myself from guilt and shame.
24 That’s why the Eternal has rewarded me for my right living;
    He’s rewarded me because He saw my hands were clean.

25 You are loyal to those who are loyal;
    with the innocent, You prove to be innocent;
26 With the clean, You prove to be clean;
    and with the twisted, You make Yourself contrary.
27 For You rescue humble people,
    but You bring the proud back in line.
28 You are the lamp who lights my way;
    the Eternal, my God, lights up my darkness.
29 With Your help, I can conquer an army;
    I can leap over walls with a helping hand from You.
30 Everything God does is perfect;
    the promise of the Eternal rings true;
    He stands as a shield for all who hide in Him.

31 Who is the True God except the Eternal?
    Who stands like a rock except our God?
32 The True God who encircled me with strength
    and made my pathway straight.
33 He made me sure-footed as a deer
    and placed me high up where I am safe.
34 He teaches me to fight
    so that my arms can bend a bronze bow.
35 You have shielded me with Your salvation,
    supporting me with Your strong right hand,
    and it makes me strong.
36 You taught me how to walk with care
    so my feet will not slip.
37 I chased my enemies and caught them
    and did not stop until they were destroyed.
38 I broke them and threw them down beneath my feet,
    and they could not rise up again.
39 For You equipped me for battle,
    and You made my enemies fall beneath me.
40 You made my enemies turn tail and run,
    and all who wanted my destruction, I destroyed.
41 They looked everywhere, but no one came to rescue them;
    they asked the Eternal, but He did not answer them.
42 I beat them to sand, to dust that blows in the wind;
    I flung them away like trash in the gutters.

43 You rescued me from conflict with the peoples;
    You raised me up to rule over nations.
    People who did not know me have come to serve me.
44 Strangers come to me, afraid.
    As soon as they hear about me, they serve me;
45 Strangers who have lost heart
    come fearfully to me from behind their high walls.

46 The Eternal is alive! My Rock is blessed,
    and exalted is the True God of my deliverance—
47 The God who avenged me
    and placed the peoples under me,
48 Who rescued me from all my foes.
    Truly, You raised me up above my enemies
    and saved me from the violent ones.

49 For this I will praise You among the nations, O Eternal,
    and sing praises to Your name.
50 He is a tower of salvation for His king
    and shows His enduring love to His anointed,
    to David and his descendants forever.
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Many people fear death; perhaps it’s the idea of the unknown that stirs the imagination. Death is the great enemy that stands before believers; but through Jesus’ own death and resurrection, the power of death is broken. Paul uses the gentle image of the faithful being asleep as a new perspective on the finality of death. One minute you close your eyes to this world; the next you are celebrating with Jesus and experiencing the resurrection of the body. Those sleeping will not even miss a moment; it will all happen in the blink of an eye.

Now, brothers and sisters, you don’t need further instruction from us or anyone else for that matter regarding how the seasons and times will play out.  That’s because you know the truth well enough. The day of the Lord will race onto the scene and surprise us like a thief in the night.  People will be going about their business chanting, “All is well! All is at peace!” and in the next moment, ruin and destruction will suddenly seize them as labor pains grip a woman about to give birth; for them there will be no escape.  My brothers and sisters, it will be different for you. You do not dwell in the darkness, so that day will not surprise you like a thief.   For you are all children of light. You are sons and daughters of the day. We are not created of night, nor are we owned by darkness.  So then let’s not give in to sleep or wander around in a stupor as some do, but let’s stay awake and in control.   You see, sleepers sleep through the night, and drunkards drink the night away;  but since we belong to the day, we should stay sober and in control, covered with a breastplate of faith and love and a helmet of the hope of salvation.   For God has not destined us, His chosen, to face His wrath but to be the heirs of salvation through our Lord Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King,   who died for us. So regardless of whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.   So support one another. Keep building each other up as you have been doing.

Brothers and sisters, we ask you to show appreciation to those who are working hard among you and those who are your leaders as they guide and instruct you in the Lord—they are priceless.  When you think about them, let it be with great love in your heart because of all the work they have done. Let peace live and reign among you.

Brothers and sisters, we strongly advise you to scold the rebels who devote their lives to wreaking havoc, to encourage the downcast, to help the sick and weak, and to be patient with all of them.  Make sure no one returns evil for evil, but always pursue what is good as it affects one another in the church but also all people.   Celebrate always,  pray constantly, and   give thanks to God no matter what circumstances you find yourself in. (This is God’s will for all of you in Jesus the Anointed.)  Don’t suppress the Spirit.   Don’t downplay prophecies.   Take a close look at everything, test it, then cling to what is good.   Put away every form of evil.

So now, may the God of peace make you His own completely and set you apart from the rest. May your spirit, soul, and body be preserved, kept intact and wholly free from any sort of blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus the Anointed.  For the God who calls you is faithful, and He can be trusted to make it so.

Brothers and sisters, we ask you to pray for us.  Greet one another warmly with a holy kiss.  Here is my charge to you before the Lord: have this letter read to all our brothers and sisters [in the faith].  May the grace of our Lord Jesus, God’s Anointed, be with all of you.

Paul knows the healing power of touch.

When members of a loving community embrace, the hardest days are easier and no one feels alone.
(1 Thessalonians 5)

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The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.(Psalm 34:18)

But when they came to Jesus, and saw that He was dead already, they brake not His legs…For these things were done, that the Scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of Him shall not be broken.    (John 19:33-36)

He keeps all his bones: not one of them is broken.        (Psalm 34:20)
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The righteous cry, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saves such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones: not one of them is broken.  (Psalm 34:17-20)

The Hebrew word for peace in this scripture is shalom. It basically means “nothing missing, nothing broken,” or wholeness in every area of your life—spirit, soul and body.

Walking in Truth

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” (3 John 1).
   
The Favor of God shows up…

I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.    (Psalm 27:13-14)

Again, remember David—Psalm 27 is a song of David.

1 The Eternal is my light amidst my darkness
    and my rescue in times of trouble.
    So whom shall I fear?
He surrounds me with a fortress of protection.
    So nothing should cause me alarm.

The psalms provide us with a way to think about and pray through the various threats we face.

Our enemies today may not be the same as in biblical times, but they are no less real.Consider the threats on the horizon. Some may be national. Others may be more personal.

Still they come to surround us and destroy us if they could only get the chance.

The reality is there are times when our enemies appear to have the upper hand and our cause is lost.

But wait and listen to the psalm! All is not lost because, ultimately, God is our light and salvation. The darkness will lift, and our Savior will come. He will settle all scores, and we will live in the beauty of His presence.

2 When my enemies advanced
    to devour me alive,
They tripped and fell flat on their faces into the soil.

3 When the armies of the enemy surround me,
    I will not be afraid.
When death calls for me in the midst of war,
    my soul is confident and unmoved.

4 I am pleading with the Eternal for this one thing,
    my soul’s desire:
To live with Him all of my days—
    in the shadow of His temple,
To behold His beauty and ponder His ways
    in the company of His people.

5 His house is my shelter and secret retreat.
    It is there I find peace in the midst of storm and turmoil.
Safety sits with me in the hiding place of God.
    He will set me on a rock, high above the fray.

6 God lifts me high above those with thoughts
    of death and deceit that call for my life.
I will enter His presence, offering sacrifices and praise.
    In His house, I am overcome with joy
As I sing, yes, and play music for the Eternal alone.
7 I cannot shout any louder. Eternal One—hear my cry
    and respond with Your grace.
8 The prodding of my heart leads me to chase after You.
    I am seeking You, Eternal One—don’t retreat from me.
9 You have always answered my call.
    Don’t hide from me now.

Don’t give up on me in anger at Your servant.
    You have always been there for me.
Don’t throw me to the side and forget me,
    my God and only salvation.
10 My father and mother have deserted me,
    yet the Eternal will take me in.

11 O Eternal, show me Your way,
    shine Your light brightly on this path, and make it level for me,
    for my enemies are lurking in the recesses and ravines along the way.
12 They are watching—hoping to seize me.
    Do not release me to their desires or surrender me to their will!
Liars are standing against me,
    breathing out cruel lies hoping that I will die.

13 I will move past my enemies with this one, sure hope:
    that with my own eyes, I will see the goodness of the Eternal
    in the land of the living.

14 Please answer me: Don’t give up.
    Wait for the Eternal in expectation, and be strong.
    Again, wait for the Eternal.
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The Day of the Lord
 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief;  for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness;  so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober  (1 Thessalonians 5:4-5) –to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.   (Acts 26:18)
But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.  (1 Thessalonians 5:8)

Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.  (1 John 2:8)
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But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.

While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.  (1 Thessalonians 5:4; 3)

Isaiah 1:19 says, “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.

God can do something with a person who has a willing heart. In fact Psalms 25:12-13 in The Living Bible promises that when you fear the Lord, “God will teach you how to choose the best. You shall live within God’s circle of blessing….”

They did not thirst when he led them through the wilderness.  (Isaiah 48:21)

They thirsted not in the desert, when He led them out: He brought forth water out of the rock for them, and He clove the rock, and the waters gushed out.
Speak!

Declare!

Proclaim!

Webster’s dictionary defines faithful as “full of faith, believing, strong or firm in one’s faith, firmly adhering to duty, a true fidelity, loyal, true to allegiance, constant in the performance of duties or services.”

II Chronicles 16:9 says God is looking for faithfulness, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him….The Hebrew word for perfect there means “loyal, devoted, dedicated, faithful.

The Thirsting Soul Satisfied in God.
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Psalm 63,  A song of David while in the wilderness of Judah.

1 O True God, You are my God, the One whom I trust.
    I seek You with every fiber of my being.
In this dry and weary land with no water in sight,
    my soul is dry and longs for You.
    My body aches for You, for Your presence.
2 I have seen You in Your sanctuary
    and have been awed by Your power and glory.
3 Your steadfast love is better than life itself,
    so my lips will give You all my praise.
4 I will bless You with every breath of my life;
    I will lift up my hands in praise to Your name.

5 My soul overflows with satisfaction, as when I feast on foods rich in marrow and fat;
    with excitement in my heart and joy on my lips, I offer You praise.

GIVE THANKS to the LORD for what HE has DONE!

The Scripture plainly says you reap what you sow (Galatians 6:7).

If you desire to be a receiver, you have to be a giver.

Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again” (Luke 6:38).

Let the REDEEMED of the LORD, SAY “SO!

We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak” (II Corinthians 4:13).
Foundation for TRUE Success in LIFE

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success

(Joshua 1:8).

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    By yourself you’re unprotected.

With a friend you can face the worst.
Can you round up a third?
A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped. (Ecclesiastes 4:12)

My feet are planted on this ROCK and I will not be shaken.  Your praise is always on my lips; Your Word is living in my heart!

For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith

(Mark 11:23).
 
But celebrate this: God selected the world’s weak, the foolish to bring shame upon those who think they are strong, wise; likewise, He selected the world’s weak to bring disgrace upon those who think they are strong. (1 Corinthians 1:27)

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon their knees. (William Cowper)

intercessor
literally “go-between”.

When I am weak, You make me strong for the eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:13)
 
Does He not see my ways and count my every step?  (Job 31:4)

STAND in the WATER and TOUCH the FIRE!

Thanks Giving FIRES up our faith! 
  But when I tell myself, I’ll never mention Your name

        or speak for You again, it’s no use.
    The word of God burns in my heart; it is like fire in my bones.
        I try to hold it all in, but I cannot.  (Jeremiah 20:9)
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PATIENCE IN PERSECUTION

 For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.  For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. (2 Timothy 1:6-7)

GO, REST HIGH ON THAT MOUNTAIN —-

God sometimes allows us to be CHANGED from an active to an inactive PERSON.  But instead of folding up in our confinement, we can take advantage of the OPPORTUNITY to become a POWERFUL INTERCESSOR! 

Worry is sin to a BELIEVER.

Lord I BELIEVE, help my unbelief!

Thank You Lord, I believe You fulfill Your purpose for me. All my children will be taught by You and they will have unlimited SHALOM.

You will increase me more and more, me and my children.  There is no greater joy than that my children are walking in the TRUTH.

Open the eyes of my heart that I might see wondrous things from Your law.

IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS!

I know that You never leave or forsake me and that Your Holy Spirit is given to lead and guide me into all TRUTH every step of the WAY home to You in Christ Jesus.

It’s one thing to SAY that we TRUST GOD and another to manifest OBEDIENT faith through Thanks Giving!

But as Scripture says: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love Him.”

For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.

(1 Corinthians 2:9-10)
REMEMBER IT TAKES BOTH FAITH AND PATIENCE TO INHERIT GOD’S PROMISES!

THIS IS GOD’S MESSAGE!

“This is God’s Message to Zerubbabel: ‘You can’t force these things. They only come about through my Spirit,’ says God-of-the-Angel-Armies. ‘So, big mountain, who do you think you are? Next to Zerubbabel you’re nothing but a molehill. He’ll proceed to set the Cornerstone in place, accompanied by cheers: Yes! Yes! Do it!’”  (Zechariah 4:6)
Blessings for Obedience

It is a fearful thing to promise God obedience and break that promise.
The Road to Life Is a Disciplined Life

The number one law of receiving is don’t quit! Stay with the Word. Stay with what God has told you to do. Even if you make a mistake, repent and get back on track. That’s faithfulness. It’s part of the prosperous life because “a faithful man shall abound with blessings.” (Proverbs 28:20)

The blessings  reflect  God’s primary intention toward us: to bless and not to curse.

When the Lord reveals His glory and character to Moses (Exodus 34:6–7), He declares at length that He’s a God of love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness, and only then adds that He will never allow injustice.

ROCK OF AGES CLEFT FOR ME!

The only basis on which God can forgive us is the tremendous tragedy of the Cross of Christ. To base our forgiveness on any other ground is unconscious blasphemy. The only ground on which God can forgive our sin and reinstate us to His favor is through the Cross of Christ. There is no other way!  (My Utmost For His Highest)

But the thing that awakens the deepest fountain of gratitude in a human being is that God has forgiven his sin. Paul never got away from this. Once you realize all that it cost God to forgive you, you will be held as in a vise, constrained by the love of God. (My Utmost For His Highest)

The earth is the LORD’s & the fullness thereof!
The LORD set the earth upon the foundations of the waters.

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OUT OF THE ASHES WE RISE!
THE LORD WILL REBUILD
 
The world is being shaken in these last days.  TIME is short.  Please help us to bring Jesus to this lost and broken world!
 

As I looked, a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman came into view clothed in the radiance of the sun, standing with the moon under her feet, and she was crowned with a wreath of twelve stars on her head.   She was painfully pregnant and was crying out in the agony of labor. Then a second sign appeared in heaven, ominous, foreboding: a great red dragon, with seven crowned heads and ten horns.   The dragon’s tail brushed one-third of the stars from the sky and hurled them down to the earth. The dragon crouched in front of the laboring woman, waiting to devour her child the moment it was born.

 She gave birth to a male child, who is destined to rule the nations with an iron scepter. Before the dragon could bite and devour her son, the child was whisked away and brought to God and His throne.  The woman fled into the wilderness, where God had prepared a place of refuge and safety where she could find sustenance for 1,260 days.

The sign that appears in the vision is of a celestial woman who gives birth to a son. While it’s possible this could refer to Mary, the mother of Jesus, it is also possible this is a symbol of God’s chosen people. The faithful remnant of Israel is the womb that carried the Lord and delivered Him to the world. While the great red dragon does his best to destroy and devour Him, God has another plan. Since then, the dragon and his minions have done their best to harangue and persecute the woman’s children. But again he does not have the final word.

 A battle broke out in heaven. Michael, along with his heavenly messengers, clashed against the dragon. The dragon and his messengers returned the fight,  but they did not prevail and were defeated. As a result, there was no place left for them in heaven.  So the great dragon, that ancient serpent who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world, was cast down to the earth along with his messengers.   Then I heard a great voice in heaven.

A Voice: Now the salvation and the power
        and the kingdom of our God
        and the authority of His Anointed One have come.
    For the accuser of our brothers and sisters,
        who relentlessly accuses them day and night before our God,
        has been cast down and silenced.
  By the blood of the Lamb
        and the word of their witnesses,
        they have become victorious over him,
    For they did not hold on to their lives, even under threat of death.
 Therefore, rejoice, all you heavens;
        celebrate, all you who live in them.
    But disaster will befall the earth and the sea,
        for the devil has come down to your spheres,
    And he is incredibly angry
        because he knows his time is nearly over.

 When the dragon realized he had been cast down to the earth, he pursued the mother of the male infant.   In order to escape the serpent, she was given the two wings of the great eagle to fly deeper into the wilderness to her own special place where she would find sustenance for a time, and times, and half a time.   Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a raging river that chased after the woman, trying to sweep her away in the flood.   But the earth came to her rescue. It opened its gaping mouth and swallowed the river that spewed from the dragon’s mouth.   As a result, the dragon was enraged at the woman and went away to make war on the rest of her children—those who keep the commandments of God and hold fast to the testimony of Jesus.

  And  the dragon stood waiting on the sand of the seashore.
(Revelation 12)

This mystery has been kept in the dark for a long time, but now it’s out in the open. God wanted everyone, not just Jews, to know this rich and glorious secret inside and out, regardless of their background, regardless of their religious standing. The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, so therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple. That is the substance of our Message. We preach Christ, warning people not to add to the Message. We teach in a spirit of profound common sense so that we can bring each person to maturity. To be mature is to be basic. Christ! No more, no less. That’s what I’m working so hard at day after day, year after year, doing my best with the energy God so generously gives me.  Colossians 1:26-29)

 And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.  “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”  (Matthew 16:17-19)

Let God’s Wisdom and Truth PREVAIL together with His unfailing Love!

For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet, till her vindication shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch.”  (Isaiah 62:1)
 
 
Crucified LAID behind a STONE.
Why do you seek the living among the dead?  He is not here, He is RISEN just as He SAID!

they have greatly oppressed me from my youth, but they have not gained the victory over me.” (Psalm 129:2)

To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But You, LORD my God, brought my life up from the pit.  (Jonah 2;6)
 

A Full Life in the Emptiest of Places

“If you get rid of unfair practices,
    quit blaming victims,
    quit gossiping about other people’s sins,
If you are generous with the hungry
    and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out,
Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness,
    your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.
I will always show you where to go.
    I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places—
    firm muscles, strong bones.
You’ll be like a well-watered garden,
    a gurgling spring that never runs dry.
You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew,
    rebuild the foundations from out of your past.
You’ll be known as those who can fix anything,
    restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate,
    make the community livable again.

“If you watch your step on the Sabbath
    and don’t use my holy day for personal advantage,
If you treat the Sabbath as a day of joy,
    God’s holy day as a celebration,
If you honor it by refusing ‘business as usual,’
    making money, running here and there—
Then you’ll be free to enjoy God!
    Oh, I’ll make you ride high and soar above it all.
I’ll make you feast on the inheritance of your ancestor Jacob.”
    Yes! God says so!  (Isaiah 58:9-14)

YOU MAKE ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR MY GOOD!
 
   God says in Rom 2:13, “For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified” Profession means nothing but condemnation unless one lives their profession.
 
You believe that there is one God; you do well: the devils also believe and tremble, but wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?”  Beloved, dead faith  is no faith at all, it is idle and lying talk.  It is a lying profession, and is the same caliber belief all the demons of hell have.  Genuine faith is alive.  Genuine faith works the righteous works of God.  Genuine faith obeys God’s ten commandment law of love.  The Bible warns us in James 1:22-25 to, “be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.  But whoso looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”  God’s law of love is the law of liberty to those who hear it and obey all its precepts.  The obedient child of God is especially blessed of God.  Remember beloved the words of Jesus in John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”  The Word further warns us in 1 John 3:18, “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”  Finally we find it declared in 1 John 5:2-3, “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep his commandments.  For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments; and his commandments are not grievous.”

     You must be one of God’s faithful watchmen giving a loud cry lifting up your voice showing God’s professed people their transgression and sin.  God calls you to love Him and obey all the precepts of His Ten Commandment Law of love and liberty.  You are called of God to be a “Repairer of the breach” warning all both in the world and especially in Christendom to cease living in sin, and obey by the grace of God His law of Love?

     (from God’s FINAL CALL and WARNING)

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 The LORD has disciplined me severely, But He has not given me over to death.
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But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all Your deeds. 
For You, LORD, have delivered me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the LORD in the land of the living.
  (Psalm 73:28; 116:8-9)
 Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of His works with songs of joy.

The living, the living–they praise You, as I am doing today; parents tell their children about Your faithfulness.
 (Psalm 107:22; Isaiah 38:19)

Since the Anointed suffered in the flesh, prepare yourselves to do the same—anyone who has suffered in the flesh for the Lord is no longer in the grip of sin— so that you may live the rest of your life on earth controlled not by earthly desires but by the will of God.

The reality of suffering in the world causes many to question the existence of an all-powerful and all-loving God.

A God of power and love is expected to be both able and willing to remove suffering from our lives.

Ultimately, God will make all things new and end suffering, but for now God allows it and calls us to rejoice in the midst of it. Though we may not understand it, pain and suffering have a purpose in God’s plan, and our Creator is not immune to it. Through Jesus God enters into our suffering; now we are called to enter into His.

You have already wasted enough time living like those outsiders in the society around you: losing yourselves in sex, in addictions and desires, in drinking and lawless idolatry, in giving your time and allegiance to things that are not godly.

When you don’t play the same games they do, they notice that you are living by different rules.

That’s why they say such terrible things about you. 

Someday they, too, will have to give an account of themselves to the One who judges the living and the dead.   (This is why the good news had to be brought to those who are dead so that although they are judged in the flesh, they might live in the spirit in the way that pleases God.)

We are coming to the end of all things, so be serious and keep your wits about you in order to pray more forcefully. 

Most of all, love each other steadily and unselfishly, because love makes up for many faults. Show hospitality to each other without complaint. Use whatever gift you’ve received for the good of one another so that you can show yourselves to be good stewards of God’s grace in all its varieties.   If you’re called upon to talk, speak as though God put the words in your mouth; if you’re called upon to serve others, serve as though you had the strength of God behind you. In these ways, God may be glorified in all you do through Jesus the Anointed, to whom belongs glory and power, now and forever. Amen.

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Dear ones, don’t be surprised when you experience your trial by fire. It is not something strange and unusual,  but it is something you should rejoice in. In it you share the Anointed’s sufferings, and you will be that much more joyful when His glory is revealed.  If anyone condemns you for following Jesus as the Anointed One, consider yourself blessed. The glorious Spirit of God rests on you.  But none of you should ever merit suffering like those who have murdered or stolen, meddled in the affairs of others or done evil things.   But if you should suffer for being a Christian, don’t think of it as a disgrace, as it would be if you had done wrong. Praise God that you’re permitted to carry this name.

People often suffer because of poor decisions that result in shame, but the people of God face persecution for their faithfulness that leads to honor and glory.

For the time for judgment has come, and it is beginning with the household of God. If it is starting with us, what will happen to those who have rejected God’s good news?  It is written in Proverbs,

If it is hard for the righteous ones to be saved,
    what will happen to the ungodly and the sinners? 

 So even if you should suffer now for doing God’s will, continue doing good and trust your futures to the judgment and mercy of a faithful Creator.

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Among the dead no one proclaims Your name. Who praises You from the grave?

(Psalm 6:5)
 
To You, LORD, I call; You are my Rock, do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if You remain silent, I will be like those who go down to the pit.

What is gained if I am silenced, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it proclaim Your faithfulness?

 
Is Your love declared in the grave, Your faithfulness in Destruction?

 
It is not the dead who praise the LORD, those who go down to the place of silence.

(Psalm 28:1; 30:9; 88:11; 115:17)
 

 For the dead cannot praise You; they cannot raise their voices in praise. Those who go down to the grave can no longer hope in Your faithfulness.  (Isaiah 38:18)

They went down alive into the realm of the dead, with everything they owned; the earth closed over them, and they perished and were gone from the community.

(Numbers 16:33) 

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 Jude, a slave of Jesus the Anointed and a brother of James, to you, the ones whom God our Father loves and has called and whom Jesus, the Anointed One, has kept.   Kindness, peace, love—may they never stop blooming in you and from you.

 Friends, I have been trying to write you about our common salvation. But these days my heart is troubled, and I am compelled to write to you and encourage you to continue struggling for the faith that was entrusted to the saints once and for all Vile men have slithered in among us. Depraved souls who stand condemned have made a mockery of the grace given to us, using it as a pretext for a life of excess, lived without any thought of God. These poor fools have denied Jesus the Anointed, our one Lord and Master.

 You have heard the stories many times, and the Spirit has enlightened you about their meaning, but you still need to be reminded. Remember when the Lord saved our ancestors from the land in Egypt? He breathed life into their earthen lungs and took back the life from those who did not believe.  And God has kept the rebellious heavenly messengers bound and chained in utter darkness—shadowy gloom—until the time when His judgment arrives, because they failed to keep their rightful positions and abandoned their appointed realms.   Sodom and Gomorrah and all their neighbors were defeated by their own sexual perversions as they pursued the strange and unnatural impulses of the flesh. Let these who went their own way and are experiencing the eternal heat of God’s vengeance—a punishment by fire—be a warning to you.

 These stories are examples to help you understand the fate of those dreamers who have slipped in and defiled your community, rejected those in charge, and insulted the glorious majesty of the heavenly messengers.   Even their chief, Michael, when disputing with the devil over Moses’ body, did not offer his own taunting judgment against him. Michael simply said, “May the Lord’s rebuke fall on you.” 

The deceivers among you despise what they do not understand; they live without reason like animals, reacting only with primal instincts; and their ways are corrupting them.   Woe to these deceivers! They are doomed! They have followed in the footsteps of their father Cain, sold their souls for profit into Balaam’s deceit, and suffered the devastation of Korah’s rebellion.

 These men are cold stones on the warm hearth of your love feasts as they glut themselves without fear, thinking only of their own benefit. They are waterless clouds, carried away by the wind; autumn’s lonely and barren trees, twice dead, uprooted;  violent waves of the sea breaking over the bow, foaming with shame; lost and wandering stars destined to live forever in gloomy darkness.

 During the seventh generation after Adam, the prophet Enoch said, “Look! The Lord came, and with Him tens of thousands of His holy messengers  to judge wicked men and convict the impious and ungodly for all they have said and all the hard things they have done against the Holy One.”   These men are complainers who look long and hard to find the faults of other men. They are led by their own lustful desires like fools down the path of destruction. They are arrogant liars who want only to get ahead of others.

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 But you, friends, remember the words of the emissariesof our Lord Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King:   At the end of time, some will ridicule the faithful and follow their lusts to the grave.”   These are the men among you—those who divide friends, those concerned ultimately with this world, those without the Spirit.   You, however, should stand firm in the love of God, constructing a life within the holy faith, praying the Spirit’s prayer, as you wait eagerly for the mercy of our Lord Jesus the Anointed, which leads to eternal life.

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 Keep being kind to those who waver in this faith.  Pursue those who are singed by the flames of God’s wrath, and bring them safely to Him. Show mercy to others with fear, despising every garment soiled by the weakness of human flesh.

Now to the One who can keep you upright and plant you firmly in His presence—clean, unmarked, and joyful in the light of His glory—   to the one and only God, our Savior, through Jesus the Anointed our Lord, be glory and greatness and might and authority; just as it has been since before He created time, may it continue now and into eternity. Amen.

 I didn’t die. I lived!

    And now I’m telling the world what God did.
God tested me, He pushed me hard,
    but He didn’t hand me over to Death.
Swing wide the city gates—the righteous gates!
    I’ll walk right through and thank God!
This Temple Gate belongs to God,
    so the victors can enter and praise.

(Psalm 118:17-20)

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Psalm 135

Praise the Eternal!
    Praise and glorify the name of the One who always has been and always will be;
    praise Him, servants of the Eternal!
2 Join in the chorus, all you who minister in the Eternal’s temple;
    in the courts of our God’s temple,
Glorify the Eternal, for He is good!
    Sing praises, and honor His name for it is delightful.
For the Eternal made His choice; He selected Jacob as His own;
    He claimed Israel as His possession.

5 Now I know this: the Eternal is great; His power is unmatched.
    Our Master is above any so-called god.
He does whatever He pleases,
    in heaven, on earth,
    in the seas, and in all the ocean depths.
He draws up the clouds that rise over the whole earth,
    He causes rain and the lightning to strike,
    and He summons the wind from His storehouses.

He took the lives of Egypt’s firstborn,
    human and beast alike.
O Egypt, He worked wonders and signs before your eyes,
    signs against Pharaoh and Pharaoh’s servants.
10 He destroyed nation after nation
    and killed mighty kings:
11 Sihon, the Amorite king;
    Og, the king of Bashan;
    and even all the kingdoms of Canaan.
12 He conquered their land and gave it as an inheritance—
    an inheritance for His people, Israel.

13 Eternal One, Your name is everlasting.
    Your legacy, Eternal One, will be known through all the ages.
14 For the Eternal will judge His people,
    He will show compassion to those who serve Him.

15 The nations have idols of silver and gold,
    crafted by human hands!
16 They shaped mouths for them, but they cannot speak;
    they carved eyes into them, but they cannot see;
17 They placed ears on them, but they cannot hear;
    they cannot breathe, not even a puff of air from their mouths!
18 The artisans who made them
    are just like them,
    and so are all who mistakenly trust in them, no exceptions.

19 House of Israel, praise the Eternal;
    house of Aaron, praise the Eternal;
20 House of Levi, praise the Eternal;
    all those who revere the Eternal, praise Him!
21 Blessed be the Eternal from Zion,
    the One who has made Jerusalem His home.
Praise the Eternal!

Psalm 146

Praise the Eternal!
    Praise the Eternal, O my soul;
2 I will praise the Eternal for as long as I live.
    I will sing praises to my God as long as breath fills my lungs and blood flows through my veins.

Do not put your trust in the rulers of this world—kings and princes.
    Do not expect any rescue from mortal men.
As soon as their breath leaves them, they return to the earth;
    on that day, all of them perish—their dreams, their plans, and their memories.

5 Blessed are those whose help comes from the God of Jacob,
    whose hope is centered in the Eternal their God—
Who created the heavens, the earth,
    the seas, and all that lives within them;
Who stays true and remains faithful forever;
Who works justice for those who are pressed down by the world,
    providing food for those who are hungry.

The Eternal frees those who are imprisoned;
He makes the blind see.
    He lifts up those whose backs are bent in labor;
    He cherishes those who do what is right.
The Eternal looks after those who journey in a land not their own;
    He takes care of the orphan and the widow,
    but He frustrates the wicked along their way.

10 The Eternal will reign today, tomorrow, and forever.
    People of Zion, your God will rule forever over all generations.
Praise the Eternal!

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Psalm 147

Praise the Eternal!
It is good to sing praises to our God,
    for praise is beautiful and pleasant.
The Eternal, Architect of earth, is building Jerusalem,
    finding the lost, gathering Israel’s outcasts.
He binds their wounds,
    heals the sorrows of their hearts.
He counts all the stars within His hands,
    carefully fixing their number
    and giving them names.
5 Our Lord is great. Nothing is impossible with His overwhelming power.
    He is loving, compassionate, and wise beyond all measure.
The Eternal will lift up the lowly
    but throw down the wicked to the earth.

Psalm 147 is a postexilic hymn of praise to God as Creator and Sustainer. It celebrates the rebuilding of the walls and gates that protect Jerusalem. God secures the city, grants peace to the border towns, and controls the elements.

Open your mouths with thanks!
    Sing praises to the Eternal!
    Strum the harp in unending praise to our God
Who blankets the heavens with clouds,
    sends rain to water the thirsty earth,
    and pulls up each blade of grass upon the mountainside.
He opens His hands to feed all the animals
    and scatters seed to nestlings when they cry.
10 He takes no pleasure in the raw strength of horses;
    He finds no joy in the speed of the sprinter.
11 But the Eternal does take pleasure in those who worship Him,
    those who invest hope in His unfailing love.

12 O Jerusalem, praise the Eternal!
    O Zion, praise your God!
13 For His divine power reinforces your city gates,
    blesses your children in the womb.
14 He establishes peace within your borders,
    fills your markets with hearty golden wheat.
15 His command ripples across the earth;
    His word runs out on swift feet.
16 He blankets the earth in wooly snow,
    scattering frost like ashes over the land.
17 He throws down hail like stones falling from a mountain.
    Can any withstand His wintry blast?
18 But He dispatches His word, and the thaw begins;
    at His command, the spring winds blow, gently stirring the waters back to life.
19 He brings Jacob in on His plan, declaring His word—
    His statutes and His teachings to Israel.
20 He has not treated any other nation in such a way;
    they live unaware of His commands.
Praise the Eternal!

Psalm 148

Praise the Eternal!
All you in the heavens, praise the Eternal;
    praise Him from the highest places!
All you, His messengers and His armies in heaven:
    praise Him!
Sun, moon, and all you brilliant stars above:
    praise Him!
Highest heavens and all you waters above the heavens:
    praise Him!

Let all things join together in a concert of praise to the name of the Eternal,
    for He gave the command and they were created.
He put them in their places to stay forever—
    He declared it so, and it is final.

Everything on earth, join in and praise the Eternal;
    sea monsters and creatures of the deep,
Lightning and hail, snow and foggy mists,
    violent winds all respond to His command.

Mountains and hills,
    fruit trees and cedar forests,
10 All you animals both wild and tame,
    reptiles and birds who take flight:
    praise the Lord.

11 All kings and all nations,
    princes and all judges of the earth,
12 All people, young men and women,
    old men and children alike,
    praise the Lord.

13 Let them all praise the name of the Eternal!
    For His name stands alone above all others.
    His glory shines greater than anything above or below.
14 He has made His people strong;
    He is the praise of all who are godly,
    the praise of the children of Israel, those whom He holds close.
Praise the Eternal!Image

Psalm 149

Praise the Eternal!
Write new songs; sing them to Him with all your might!
    Gather with His faithful followers in joyful praise;
Let all of Israel celebrate their Maker, their God, their friend;
    let the children of Zion find great joy in their true King.
So let the music begin; praise His name—dance and sing
    to the rhythm of the tambourine, and to the tune of the harp.
For the Eternal is listening, and nothing pleases Him more than His people;
    He raises up the poor and endows them with His salvation.
Let His faithful followers erupt in praise,
    singing triumphantly wherever they are, even as they lie down for sleep in the evening.
With the name of God and praise in their mouths,
    with a two-edged sword in their hands,
Let them take revenge on all nations who deny God.
    Let them punish the peoples.
Kings and nobles will be locked up,
    and their freedom will be bound in iron shackles.
This judgment against them, decreed by a holy God, will be carried out.
    It’s an honor for all His faithful followers to serve Him.
Praise the Eternal!

Psalm 150

If Psalm 150 is any indication, then the worship of the one True God ought to be full of life and energy. Consider what it must have looked and sounded like in those days: voices lifted, shouting for joy, trumpets blaring, stringed instruments playing, people dancing, pipes humming, tambourines keeping rhythm, cymbals crashing. There are times when worship ought to break out in joy. Is it possible that our worship is too quiet, too reserved, too structured?

Praise the Eternal!
Praise the True God inside His temple.
    Praise Him beneath massive skies, under moonlit stars and rising sun.
Praise Him for His powerful acts, redeeming His people.
    Praise Him for His greatness that surpasses our time and understanding.

3-4 Praise Him with the blast of trumpets high into the heavens,
    and praise Him with harps and lyres
    and the rhythm of the tambourines skillfully played by those who love and fear the Eternal.
Praise Him with singing and dancing;
    praise Him with flutes and strings of all kinds!
Praise Him with crashing cymbals,
    loud clashing cymbals!
6 No one should be left out;
    Let every man and every beast—
    every creature that has the breath of the Lord—praise the Eternal!
Praise the Eternal!

This doxology not only closes Book Five, but it also closes the entire Book of Psalms. Up until now, the songs in this book have reminded us of all the reasons we should praise God. Some songs have even commanded us to praise Him. But this closing remark takes the command to praise one step further: everything alive—humans, animals, and heaven’s creatures—must praise Him. Praise is what God created us to do; it is one of our highest purposes in life. So it is no wonder that the longest book of the Bible is purely devoted to helping us do just that.

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The Creator of All You Can See or Imagine

 Who Has scooped up the ocean in His two hands,
    or measured the sky between His thumb and little finger,
Who has put all the earth’s dirt in one of His baskets,
    weighed each mountain and hill?
Who could ever have told God what to do
    or taught Him His business?
What expert would He have gone to for advice,
    what school would He attend to learn justice?
What god do you suppose might have taught Him what He knows,
    showed Him how things work?
Why, the nations are but a drop in a bucket,
    a mere smudge on a window.
Watch Him sweep up the islands
    like so much dust off the floor!
There aren’t enough trees in Lebanon
    nor enough animals in those vast forests
    to furnish adequate fuel and offerings for His worship.
All the nations add up to simply nothing before Him—
    less than nothing is more like it. A minus.

(Isaiah 40:12-17)

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LONGING FOR HER BELOVED

The Lord knows those who are His. (2 Timothy 2:19)  I am my Beloved’s and He is mine.
Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.
As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for God’s approval. They will be satisfied.

(Proverbs 21:21; Matthew 10:7; Matthew 5:6) 

I love those who love Me, and those who seek Me find Me.  (Proverbs 8:17)
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
  (Isaiah 12:3)
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Who is this coming up from the wilderness LEANING on her beloved?

Beneath the apple tree I AWAKENED you; There your mother was in LABOR with you, There she was in LABOR and gave you birth.
Put me like a seal over your heart, Like a seal on your arm.
For love is as strong as death, Jealousy is as severe as Sheol; Its flashes are flashes of fire, The very flame of the LORD

(SoS 8:5-6)

For seven days present food offerings to the LORD, and on the eighth day hold a sacred assembly and present a food offering to the LORD. It is the closing special assembly; do no regular work. 
‘On the eighth day hold a closing special assembly and do no regular work.

 (Leviticus 23:36; Numbers 29:35)
 
“Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?” says the LORD. “Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?” says your God.

(Isaiah 66:9)
Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children.

 Before she goes into labor, she gives birth; before the pains come upon her, she delivers a son.

  (Isaiah 66:8b, 7)

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A Pilgrim Song 

If God doesn’t build the HOUSE,
    the builders only build SHACKS.
If God doesn’t guard the city,
    the night watchman might as well nap.
It’s useless to rise early and go to bed late,
    and work your worried fingers to the bone.
Don’t you know He enjoys
    giving rest to those He loves?

 Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift?
    the fruit of the womb His generous legacy?
Like a warrior’s fistful of arrows
    are the children of a vigorous youth.
Oh, how blessed are you parents,
    with your quivers full of children!
Your enemies don’t stand a chance against you;
    you’ll sweep them right off your DOORSTEP.

(Psalm 127)

To Love, to Be Loved

God is love. When we take up PERMANENT RESIDENCE in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us.

This way, love has the RUN OF THE HOUSE, becomes AT HOME and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is NO ROOM in love for fear.

Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.  (1 John 4:17-18)

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You who sit down in the High God’s presence,
    spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow,
Say this: God, You’re my refuge. I trust in You and I’m safe!
That’s right—He rescues you from hidden traps,shields you from deadly hazards.
His huge outstretched arms protect you—under them you’re perfectly safe;
    His arms fend off all harm.
Fear nothing—not wild wolves in the night,not flying arrows in the day,
Not disease that prowls through the darkness,not disaster that erupts at high noon.
Even though others succumb all around,drop like flies right and left,no harm will even graze you.
You’ll stand untouched, watch it all from a distance, watch the wicked turn into corpses.
Yes, because God’s your refuge,
    the High God your very own home,
Evil can’t get close to you,  harm can’t get through the door.
He ordered His angelsto guard you wherever you go.
If you stumble, they’ll catch you;their job is to keep you from falling.
You’ll walk unharmed among lions and snakes,and kick young lions and serpents from the path.

 

 If you’ll hold on to Me for dear life,” says God,I’ll get you out of any trouble. i’ll give you the best of care
    if you’ll only get to know and trust Me.
Call Me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times;  I’ll rescue you, then throw you a party.
I’ll give you a long life,  give you a long drink of salvation!

(Psalm 91)

What can I give back to God for the blessings He’s poured out on me?
I’ll lift high the cup of salvation—a toast to God!
I’ll pray in the name of God;
I’ll complete what I promised God I’d do, and I’ll do it together with His people.
When they arrive at the gates of death, God welcomes those who love Him.
Oh, God, here I am, Your servant,
Your faithful servant: set me free for Your service!
I’m ready to offer the thanksgiving sacrifice and pray in the name of God.
I’ll complete what I promised God I’d do, and I’ll do it in company with His people,
In the place of worship, in God’s house, in Jerusalem, God’s city.
Hallelujah!
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DO YOU TAKE THIS MAN TO BE YOUR LAWFULLY WEDDED HUSBAND?
FOR WHAT GOD HAS JOINED TOGETHER LET NO MAN TEAR ASUNDER
FOR THERE IS NOTHING THAT CAN SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF GOD
WHICH IS IN CHRIST JESUS!

Israel’s Only Savior

 But now, this is what the Lord says—
    He who created you, Jacob,
    He who formed you, Israel:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are Mine.
  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
  For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush  and Seba in your stead.
 Since you are precious and honored in My sight, and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life.
 Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west.
 I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’  and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.
Bring My sons from afar and My daughters from the ends of the earth—
 everyone who is called by My name,  whom I created for My glory, whom I formed and made.”

Lead out those who have eyes but are blind,who have ears but are deaf.
 All the nations gather togetherand the peoples assemble.
Which of their gods foretold this and proclaimed to us the former things?
Let them bring in their witnesses to prove they were right,so that others may hear and say, “It is true.
 You are My witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and My servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe Me and understand that I am He.
Before Me no god was formed,  nor will there be one after Me.
 I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from Me there is no savior.
 I have revealed and saved and proclaimed— I, and not some foreign god among you.
You are My witnesses,” declares the Lord, “that I am God. Yes, and from ancient days I am He.
No one can deliver out of My hand.   When I act, who can reverse it?

(Isaiah 43:1-13)

Who is it He is trying to teach? To whom is He explaining His message? To children weaned from their milk, to those just taken from the breast?  (Isaiah 28:9)

Those who are wayward in spirit will gain understanding; those who complain will accept instruction. (Isaiah 29:24)

You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you to go and bear fruit–

Fruit that will last.  Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in My name.

(John 15:16)

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16)  All your children will be taught by the LORD, and your children will have unlimited peace.  (Isaiah 54:13)

No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest.  (Hebrews 8:11)

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INVITATION TO THE NEEDY

Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk Without money and without cost.

“Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And delight yourself in abundance.

(Isaiah 55:1-2) 

Cure the sick, bring the dead back to life, cleanse those with skin diseases, and force demons out of people. Give these things without charging, since you received them without paying.

  (Matthew 10:8) 

From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”  (Matthew 4:17)

but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.  (John 4:14) 
He sends from heaven and saves me, rebuking those who hotly pursue me– God sends forth His love and His faithfulness.  (Psalm 57:3)

MY HEART WILL FOLLOW AFTER YOU

Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!”  (Matthew 4:19)

 

 

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.
Fishermen will stand along the shore; from En Gedi to En Eglaim there will be places for spreading nets. The fish will be of many kinds–like the fish of the Mediterranean Sea.   
Gather to Me this consecrated people, who made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.”
(Ezekiel 47:9-10; Psalm 50:5)

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending“, saith the Lord, “which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”

It is written in the Prophets:They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to Me.”  (John 6:45) 

His left arm is under my head and his right arm embraces me.  (SoS 8:3) Unfailing love and truth have met together. Righteousness and peace have kissed!  (Psalm 85:10)

For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.  (Revelation 1:8; 2 Peter 1:16-21)
Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long.
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Do not withhold Your mercy from me, LORD; may Your love and faithfulness always protect me.  (Psalm 25:5; Psalm 40:11) 
He leads the humble in justice, And He teaches the humble His way.  All the paths of the LORD are lovingkindness and truth To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies. (Psalm 25:9-10)

YOU SHOWED FAVOR TO THE LAND

Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, That glory may dwell in our land. Lovingkindness and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Truth springs from the earth, And righteousness looks down from heaven.

 

Surely Your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

(Psalm 23:6; Psalm 85:9-11)

Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which lives and abides for ever. 

(1 Peter 1:23)   Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.(Acts 2:39)    But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.  (Acts 1:8)   It is the Spirit that quickens; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they  are spirit, and  they  are life.  (John 6:63)

O God, you are my God;
    I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
    my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
    where there is no water.
I have seen you in your sanctuary
    and gazed upon your power and glory.
Your unfailing love is better than life itself;
    how I praise you!
I will praise you as long as I live,
    lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
You satisfy me more than the richest feast.
    I will praise you with songs of joy.

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On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to Me and drink.


Whoever believes in Me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” (John 7:37-38)

THERE MUST BE A MORNING AFTER

We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work.

 (John 9:4)

The People Are to Turn from Their Sin

 Come, let us return to the Lord. He has hurt us but He will heal us. He has cut us but He will cover the sore.  

After two days He will give us new life.

He will raise us up on the third day, that we may live before Him.  

So keep on trying to know the Lord.

His coming to us is as sure as the rising of the sun.

He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain giving water to the earth.

(Hosea 6:1-3)Image

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You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.

(James 4:2)

People often suffer because of poor decisions that result in shame, but the people of God face persecution for their faithfulness that leads to honor and glory.

 For the time for judgment has come, and it is beginning with the household of God. If it is starting with us, what will happen to those who have rejected God’s good news?   It is written in Proverbs,

If it is hard for the righteous ones to be saved,
    what will happen to the ungodly and the sinners? 

So even if you should suffer now for doing God’s will, continue doing good and trust your futures to the judgment and mercy of a faithful Creator. (1 Peter 4:17-19)

If the righteous can expect to be repaid on earth,
    how much more can the ungodly and the sinners?  (Proverbs 11:31)

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Therefore, doing what the law prescribes will not make anyone right in the eyes of God—that’s not its purpose—but the law is capable of exposing the true nature of sin.

But now for the good news: God’s restorative justice has entered the world, independent of the law. Both the law and the prophets told us this day would come. This redeeming justice comes through the faithfulness of Jesus the Anointed One, the Liberating King, who makes salvation a reality for all who believe—without the slightest partiality. You see, all have sinned, and all their futile attempts to reach God in His glory fail. Yet they are now saved and set right by His free gift of grace through the redemption available only in Jesus the Anointed.

(Romans 3:20-24)

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 Instead, credit God with your new situation: you are united with Jesus the Anointed. He is God’s wisdom for us and more. He is our righteousness and holiness and redemption.(1 Corinthians 1:30)

Asking is the rule of the kingdom
“Whether we like it or not, asking is the rule of the Kingdom. If you may have everything by asking in His Name, and nothing without asking, I beg you to see how absolutely vital prayer is.”

C. H. Spurgeon

Ask and ye shall receive!!

Ask, Seek, Knock!
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8)

I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.

Do Not Judge
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.  Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure– pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”  (Luke 65:37-38)
“Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25)

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God will give you the best
“God will either give you what you ask, or something far better.”

Robert Murray M’Cheyne

Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.

(Psalm 34:4; 37:4)

Pray with all your might
“You must pray with all your might. That does not mean saying your prayers, or sitting gazing about in church or chapel with eyes wide open while someone else says them for you. It means fervent, effectual, untiring wrestling with God…This kind of prayer be sure the devil and the world and your own indolent, unbelieving nature will oppose. They will pour water on this flame.”

General William Booth

And will not God bring about justice for His chosen ones, who cry out to Him day
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.


No weapon formed against you shall prosper,
And every tongue which rises against you in judgment
You shall condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
And their righteousness is from Me,
Says the Lord.

(Isaiah 54:17)
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And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. (Romans 8:1; 27) 

The first sign of revival
When God intends great mercy for His people, the first thing He does is to set them a-praying. -

Matthew Henry

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles.  (Psalm 34:17) 
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? (Romans 8:32)

Prevailing prayer
Prevailing or effectual prayer is that prayer which attains the blessing that it seeks. It is that prayer which effectually moves God. The very idea of effectual prayer is that it effects its objects.

Charles Finney

Prayer KEEPS a family together for what God joins together, no man can tear asunder.

Who would dare to accuse us, whom God has chosen? The judge himself has declared us free from sin. Who is in a position to condemn? Only Christ, and Christ died for us, Christ rose for us, Christ reigns in power for us, Christ prays for us!

(Romans 8:33-34) 

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?  (Romans 8:31)

The Life-Light

The Word was first,
the Word present to God,
    God present to the Word.
The Word was God,
    in readiness for God from day one.

 Everything was created through him;
    nothing—not one thing!—
    came into being without him.
What came into existence was Life,
    and the Life was Light to live by.
The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;
    the darkness couldn’t put it out.

There once was a man, his name John, sent by God to point out the way to the Life-Light. He came to show everyone where to look, who to believe in. John was not himself the Light; he was there to show the way to the Light.

The Life-Light was the real thing:
    Every person entering Life
    he brings into Light.
He was in the world,
    the world was there through him,
    and yet the world didn’t even notice.
He came to his own people,
    but they didn’t want him.
But whoever did want him,
    who believed he was who he claimed
    and would do what he said,
He made to be their true selves,
    their child-of-God selves.
These are the God-begotten,
    not blood-begotten,
    not flesh-begotten,
    not sex-begotten.

The Word became flesh and blood,
    and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
    the one-of-a-kind glory,
    like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
    true from start to finish.

 John pointed him out and called, “This is the One! The One I told you was coming after me but in fact was ahead of me. He has always been ahead of me, has always had the first word.”  (John 1:1-15)—-and the LAST Word—

 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was taken up into heavenand he sat at the right hand of God.  (Mark 16:19)
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The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. (Hebrews 1:3)

When you focus your whole attention, thought, time and heart upon the Person
and character of Jesus Christ, BELIEVING–things CHANGE!

Now Jesus returns to prayer, an important and sometimes difficult topic. Here He gives the very essence of prayer.

Just ask and it will be given to you; seek after it and you will find. Continue to knock and the door will be opened for you

All who ask receive. Those who seek, find what they seek. And he who knocks, will have the door opened.

Think of it this way: if your son asked you for bread, would you give him a stone? Of course not—you would give him a loaf of bread. If your son asked for a fish, would you give him a snake? No, to be sure, you would give him a fish—the best fish you could find. So if you, who are sinful, know how to give your children good gifts, how much more so does your Father in heaven, who is perfect, know how to give great gifts to His children!

This is what our Scriptures come to teach: in everything, in every circumstance, do to others as you would have them do to you.

There are two paths before you; you may take only one path. One doorway is narrow. And one door is wide. Go through the narrow door. For the wide door leads to a wide path, and the wide path is broad; the wide, broad path is easy, and the wide, broad, easy path has many, many people on it; but the wide, broad, easy, crowded path leads to death. Now then that narrow door leads to a narrow road that in turn leads to life. It is hard to find that road. Not many people manage it.

(Matthew 7:7-14)

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“God has no greater controversy with His people today than this, that with boundless promises to believing prayer, there are so few who actually give themselves unto intercession.”

“Wherever the Church is aroused and the world’s wickedness arrested, somebody has been praying.”

A. T. Pierson

We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.

 (Hebrews 12:2)


“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.  (Matthew 18:19)

A spirit of grace and supplication precedes revival
Jonathan Edwards comments that when God has something very great to accomplish for His church, it is His will that there should precede it the extraordinary prayers of His people, quoting from Ezekiel 36:37 ­ “I will yet for this be inquired of by the house of Israel, to do this for them.” In Zechariah 12:10 it is revealed that, when God is about to accomplish great things for His church, He will begin by a remarkable pouring out of “the Spirit of grace and supplication.” It is the invariable constitution of the kingdom of heaven that blessings of great magnitude are not imparted except to prayers of the deepest urgency.

Errol Hulse

If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”  (Matthew 21:22)

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He told them this parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees.
 (Luke 21:29)
When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near.
  (Luke 21:30)
 He who vindicates me is near. Who then will bring charges against me? Let us face each other! Who is my accuser? Let him confront me!
  (Isaiah 50:8)
Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.  (Luke 21:31)
“When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”  (Luke 21:28)

Faith grows as we live move and have our being in the Lord; as His powerful
Holy Spirit fills us to overflowing in His abundant Life.

You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.

(Jeremiah 29:13)

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