On the last day, the climax of the holidays, Jesus shouted to the crowds,
“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.
For the Scriptures declare that rivers of living water shall flow from the inmost being of anyone who believes in Me.”
I am still not all I should be, but I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing:
Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,
I strain to reach the end of the race
and receive the prize for which God is calling us up to heaven because of what Christ Jesus did for us.
I hope all of you who are mature Christians will see eye-to-eye with me on these things,
and if you disagree on some point, I believe that God will make it plain to you—
if you fully obey the truth you have. (Philippians 3:13-16)
In Christ’s Family
In Christ’s family there can be no division into Jew and non-Jew, slave and free, male and female. Among us you are all equal. That is, we are all in a common relationship with Jesus Christ. Also, since you are Christ’s family, then you are Abraham’s famous “descendant,” heirs according to the covenant promises. (Galatians 3:28-29)
The Truth endures forever…all those that seek to suppress the Truth with a lie, beware!
The Archangel Michael, who went to the mat with the Devil as they fought over the body of Moses, wouldn’t have dared level him with a blasphemous curse, but said simply, “No you don’t. God will take care of you!”
But these people sneer at anything they can’t understand, and by doing whatever they feel like doing—
living by animal instinct only—they participate in their own destruction.
I’m fed up with them!
They’ve gone down Cain’s road; they’ve been sucked into Balaam’s error by greed;
they’re canceled out in Korah’s rebellion. (Jude 1:9-11)
The Way to Blessing is not through scheming but through surrender and trust.
Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
He’s the one who will keep you on track. (Proverbs 3:5)
From Penuel, Jacob emerged as ISRAEL triumphantly LEANING in trust on God!
I believe that I will see the goodness of the LORD in this world of the living.
the Lord is there.” (Ezekiel 48:35)
The nations will see your vindication, and all kings your glory; you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will bestow. (Isaiah 62:2)
BURNING OUR PLOW
To fulfill God’s plan and God’s purpose for our life requires us to let go of “ours” and embrace
God’s story. Jesus Christ is the Living Word of God the Father Almighty. It is only in Him that
we live, move and have our being. As He is TRUTH, it is in Him that are real identity is found.
Apart from Him we can do nothing and we are lost (in error).
Trust in the Lord your God, and you will be made strong. Trust in the men who speak for Him, and you will do well. (2 Chronicles 20:20)
“Go back the way you came through the desert to Damascus.
When you get there anoint Hazael; make him king over Aram.
Then anoint Jehu son of Nimshi; make him king over Israel.
Finally, anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to succeed you as prophet.
Anyone who escapes death by Hazael will be killed by Jehu;
and anyone who escapes death by Jehu will be killed by Elisha.
Meanwhile, I’m preserving for myself seven thousand souls: the knees that haven’t bowed to the god Baal, the mouths that haven’t kissed his image.”
Elijah went straight out and found Elisha son of Shaphat
in a field where there were twelve pairs of yoked oxen at work plowing;
Elisha was in charge of the twelfth pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak over him.
Elisha deserted the oxen, ran after Elijah, and said, “Please! Let me kiss my father and mother good-bye—then I’ll follow you.”
“Go ahead,” said Elijah, “but, mind you, don’t forget what I’ve just done to you.”
So Elisha left; he took his yoke of oxen and butchered them. He made a fire with the plow and tackle and then boiled the meat—a true farewell meal for the family. Then he left and followed Elijah, becoming his right-hand man. (1 Kings 19)
but taking our share in the abuse of Jesus. This “insider world” is not our home.
We have our eyes peeled for the City about to come.
Let’s take our place outside with Jesus,
no longer pouring out the sacrificial blood of animals
but pouring out sacrificial praises from our lips to God in Jesus’ name. (Hebrews 13:13-15)
Joseph named his oldest son Manasseh (meaning “Made to Forget”—
what he meant was that God had made up to him for all the anguish of his youth,
and for the loss of his father’s home).
The second boy was named Ephraim (meaning “Fruitful”—
“For God has made me fruitful in this land of my slavery,” he said). (Genesis 41:51-52)
People Returning for the Reunion
You’ll know that I, God, am your Savior,
your Redeemer, Champion of Jacob.
I’ll give you only the best—no more hand-me-downs!
Gold instead of bronze, silver instead of iron,
bronze instead of wood, iron instead of stones.
I’ll install Peace to run your country,
make Righteousness your boss.
There’ll be no more stories of crime in your land,
no more robberies, no more vandalism.
You’ll name your main street Salvation Way,
and install Praise Park at the center of town.
You’ll have no more need of the sun by day
nor the brightness of the moon at night.
God will be your eternal light,
your God will bathe you in splendor.
Your sun will never go down,
your moon will never fade.
I will be your eternal light.
Your days of grieving are over.
All your people will live right and well,
in permanent possession of the land.
They’re the green shoot that I planted,
planted with My own hands to display My glory.
The runt will become a great tribe,
the weakling become a strong nation.
I am God.
At the right time I’ll make it happen.”
There God Commands the Blessing–even Life Eternal
The unity of brothers in Christ for we are all members of one another in Christ who is our Head.
Abba (Father), I belong to You!
Message to the Church in Philadelphia
(the enduring love of true brothers in the LORD Christ Jesus)
“I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown.
‘He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore;
and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem,
which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.
‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’ (Revelation 3:11-13)
Grow up in Christ.
The basic foundational truths are in place:
turning your back on “salvation by self-help” and turning in trust toward God;
baptismal instructions; laying on of hands; resurrection of the dead; eternal judgment.
God helping us, we’ll stay true to all that. But there’s so much more. Let’s get on with it! (Hebrews 6:1-3)
God doesn’t miss anything.
He knows perfectly well all the love you’ve shown Him by helping needy Christians,
and that you keep at it.
And now I want each of you to extend that same intensity toward a full-bodied hope,
and keep at it till the finish.
Don’t drag your feet.
Be like those who stay the course with committed faith and then get everything promised to them.
When God made His promise to Abraham, He backed it to the hilt, putting His own reputation on the line.
He said, “I promise that I’ll bless you with everything I have—bless and bless and bless!”
Abraham stuck it out and got everything that had been promised to him.
When people make promises,
they guarantee them by appeal to some authority above them
so that if there is any question that they’ll make good on the promise, the authority will back them up.
When God wanted to guarantee His promises, he gave His word, a rock-solid guarantee—God can’t break His word. And because His word cannot change, the promise is likewise unchangeable.
We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up His permanent post as high priest for us, in the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 6:13-20)
Think about God’s story; otherwise, you are thinking about some distorted story of fallen, broken people.
(to His disciples) If you want to follow Me, you must deny yourself the things you think you want.
You must pick up your cross and follow Me.
The person who wants to save his life must lose it, and she who loses her life for Me will find it.
Look, does it make sense to truly become successful, but then to hand over your very soul?
What is your soul really worth?
The Son of Man will come in His Father’s glory, with His heavenly messengers,
and then He will reward each person for what has been done.
I tell you this: some of you standing here, you will see the Son of Man come into His kingdom before you taste death. (Matthew 16:23-28)
( Come to Christ, who is the living Foundation of Rock upon which God builds;
though men have spurned Him, He is very precious to God who has chosen Him above all others.
And now you have become living building-stones for God’s use in building His house.
What’s more, you are His holy priests; so come to Him—you who are acceptable to Him because of Jesus Christ—and offer to God those things that please Him. As the Scriptures express it, “See, I am sending Christ to be the carefully chosen, precious Cornerstone of my church, and I will never disappoint those who trust in Him.”) 1 Peter 2:4-6
Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, “Your name shall be Israel.” (1 Kings 18:31)
With the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord
Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again. (1 Kings 18:37)
Son of Man, Son of God
This is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out.
“And that’s not all. You will have complete and free access to God’s kingdom, keys to open any and every door:
no more barriers between heaven and earth, earth and heaven.
A yes on earth is yes in heaven. A no on earth is no in heaven.” (Matthew 16:18-19)
Christ the Perfect One
All these many people who have had faith in God are around us like a cloud.
Let us put every thing out of our lives that keeps us from doing what we should.
Let us keep running in the race that God has planned for us.
Let us keep looking to Jesus. Our faith comes from Him and He is the One Who makes it perfect.
He did not give up when He had to suffer shame and die on a cross. He knew of the joy that would be His later.
Now He is sitting at the right side of God.
The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off–for all whom the Lord our God will call.
The God before whom walked
my fathers Abraham and Isaac,
The God who has been my shepherd
all my life long to this very day,
The Angel who delivered me from every evil,
Bless the boys.
May my name be echoed in their lives,
and the names of Abraham and Isaac, my fathers,
And may they grow
covering the Earth with their children. (Genesis 48:16)
And without trusting, it is impossible to be well pleasing to God, because whoever approaches Him must trust that He does exist and that He becomes a Rewarder to those who seek Him out.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of Wisdom.
Wisdom bestows Well-being
God knows well what He is doing.
He has established rewards for living wisely: A happy, long life. A good reputation. Guidance when you need it most. Health. Success. Even, dare we say, fatherly discipline.
These are just a few of the benefits accompanying God’s wisdom.
My son, always remember what I have taught you;
keep my instructions dear to your heart.
If you do, they will be your guide to
a long, healthy, prosperous life.
Stay focused; do not lose sight of mercy and truth;
engrave them on a pendant, and hang it around your neck;
meditate on them so they are written upon your heart.
In this way, you will win the favor of God and others,
and they will think well of you.
Place your trust in the Eternal; rely on Him completely;
never depend upon your own ideas and inventions.
Give Him the credit for everything you accomplish,
and He will smooth out and straighten the road that lies ahead.
And don’t think you can decide on your own what is right and what is wrong.
Respect the Eternal; turn and run from evil.
If you depend on Him, your body and mind will be free from the strain of a sinful life,
will experience healing and health,
and will be strengthened at their core.
Pay tribute to the Eternal in all of your affairs.
Honor Him with the best of what you make.
That way you will prosper to the fullest
and have plenty of food to eat and wine to drink.
My son, do not ignore the Eternal’s instruction
or lose heart when He steps in to correct you;
Because the Eternal proves His love by caring enough to discipline you,
just as a father does his child, his pride and joy.
Grow In God, Go in God
Paul has been preaching about the call of God to freedom, and so he now spells it out:
we are done with the demands of the law; now we are free to live in the Spirit and to be truly right with God.
As free people, the Spirit gives us the characteristics of Jesus; we, too, can freely love in joy and peace.
We can have patience along with kindness and faithfulness that can only come from the Father.
We can reflect the goodness of God while being gentle in operating with self-control.
For those who follow Him and live in the Spirit, these characteristics or fruits are a gift from God.
As we grow in the faith, we find that we belong to God and can walk daily in the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit produces a different kind of fruit: unconditional love, joy, peace, patience, kindheartedness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. You won’t find any law opposed to fruit like this.
He said, “Then you see how every student well-trained in God’s kingdom is like the owner of a general store who can put his hands on anything you need, old or new, exactly when you need it.” (Matthew 13:52)
Look, in the mansions of the rich and powerful you will find everything from silver and gold serving bowls
to wooden containers and clay jars; some are used for special occasions—where honor is important—others are used for more mundane tasks. So tell them, if they will clean up their lives and purify themselves from dishonorable teachings that lead people astray, then they can become honorable vessels, consecrated and useful to the Master, made ready for every good work He has in store.
Timothy, run away from youthful desires.
Instead, direct your passion to chasing after righteousness, faithfulness, love, and peace,
along with those who call upon the Lord with pure hearts.
Excuse yourself from any conversations that turn into foolish and uninformed debates
because you know they only provoke fights.
As the Lord’s slave, you shouldn’t exhaust yourself in bickering; instead, be gentle—
no matter who you are dealing with—ready and able to teach, tolerant without resentment,
gently instructing those who stand up against you.
Besides, the time may come when God grants them a change of heart
so that they can arrive at the full knowledge of truth.
And if they come to their senses,
they can escape the devil’s snare and walk freed from his captivity and evil bidding. (2 Timothy 2:20-26)
Guard my mouth, O Eternal One;
control what I say.
Keep a careful watch on every word I speak. (Psalm 141:3)
How fortunate are those who discover Lady Wisdom
and those who understand her ways!
For her worth is greater than the most expensive prize you could win.
Her profit is greater than the finest thing you could buy.
No gem is more precious than she is—
your most extravagant desire doesn’t come close to her.
She holds the secret of a long life in one hand
and riches and fame in her other hand.
Her ways are pleasant;
all of her pathways are peaceful.
She is like a tree that produces a satisfied life for anyone who can wrap their arms around her;
happiness waits for any who hold her tightly.
It was by wisdom that the Eternal fashioned the earth
and by understanding that He designed the heavens.
Through His knowledge, the deep was divided into seas and sky,
and the clouds understood when to let down the morning dew.
My son, never lose sight of God’s wisdom and knowledge:
make decisions out of true wisdom, guard your good sense,
And they will be life to your soul
and fine jewelry around your neck.
Then each one of your steps will land securely on your life’s journey,
and you will not trip or fall.
Your mind will be clear, free from fear;
when you lie down to rest, you will be refreshed by sweet sleep.
Stay calm; there is no need to be afraid of a sudden disaster
or to worry when calamity strikes the wicked,
For the Eternal is always there to protect you.
He will safeguard your each and every step.
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.
Avoid fighting with anyone without good reason,
especially when no one has hurt you;
you have nothing to fight about.
Do not envy someone who profits at the expense of others
or copy any of his tyrannical ways,
For crooked people are detestable to the Eternal,
but those with integrity receive His counsel.
His curse lingers over the wicked and their families,
but He forever favors residence of those who do what is right.
God treats the arrogant as they treat others,
mocking the mockers, scorning the scornful,
but He pours out His grace on the humble.[b]
In the end, the wise will receive honor,
but fools will face humiliation.