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.
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)
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.
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)
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)
Jesus said, “Don’t stop children from coming to me! Children like these are part of the kingdom of God.“
Yeshiva (Hebrew: ישיבה , lit. “sitting“; pl. ישיבות, yeshivot)
The LORD spoke with Moses face to face, just as a man speaks with his FRIEND.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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?
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
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.
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)
filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ–to the glory and praise of God.
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.”
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)
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.
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.”
“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.
All my children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of my children.
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.