Listen, my dear brothers and sisters:
Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom
He promised those who love Him?
He is the only One who can ruin or redeem a man. (Psalm 75:7)
and multiplies their families like a flock. (Psalm 107:41)
So now you shall tell David, My servant this message is from the Eternal One, the Commander of heavenly armies:
“I took you from the pastures where you followed sheep and made you king of all My people Israel
so you now lead My sheep. (2 Samuel 7:8)
Jesus: Come, follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men. (Matthew 4:19)
Gray hair is a crown of honor, earned by living the right kind of life.
The glory of young men is their strength; of old men, their experience.
Recently it was impressed on me in ways that nothing else but God can teach
that endurance and encouragement come from the Lord.
I have come to the place where I walk in agreement with Caleb who agreed with God:
The Land Given to Caleb: A delegation from the tribe of Judah, led by Caleb, came to Joshua in Gilgal.
“Remember what the Lord said to Moses about you and me when we were at Kadesh-barnea?” Caleb asked Joshua. “I was forty years old at the time, and Moses had sent us from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land of Canaan.
I reported what I felt was the truth,
but our brothers who went with us frightened the people and discouraged them from entering the Promised Land.
But since I had followed the Lord my God, Moses told me,
‘The section of Canaan you were just in shall belong to you and your descendants forever.’
“Now, as you see, from that time until now the Lord has kept me alive and well for all these forty-five years since crisscrossing the wilderness, and today I am eighty-five years old.
I am as strong now as I was when Moses sent us on that journey,
and I can still travel and fight as well as I could then!
So I’m asking that you give me the hill country that the Lord promised me.
You will remember that as spies we found the Anakim living there in great, walled cities,
but if the Lord is with me, I shall drive them out of the land.”
So Joshua blessed him and gave him Hebron as a permanent inheritance
because he had followed the Lord God of Israel.
(Before that time Hebron had been called Kiriath-arba, after a great hero of the Anakim.)
And there was no resistance from the local populations as the Israelis resettled the land.
That’s exactly what Jesus did. He didn’t make it easy for himself by avoiding people’s troubles,
but waded right in and helped out. “I took on the troubles of the troubled,” is the way Scripture puts it.
Even if it was written in Scripture long ago, you can be sure it’s written for us.
God wants the combination of His steady, constant calling and warm, personal counsel in Scripture
to come to characterize us, keeping us alert for whatever He will do next.
May our dependably steady and warmly personal God develop maturity in you
so that you get along with each other as well as Jesus gets along with us all.
Then we’ll be a choir—not our voices only,
but our very lives singing in harmony in a stunning anthem to the God and Father of our Master Jesus!
Jesus’ Prayer for His Followers
Jesus said these things. Then, raising His eyes in prayer, He said:
Father, it’s time.
Display the bright splendor of Your Son
So the Son in turn may show Your bright splendor.
You put Him in charge of everything human
So He might give real and eternal life to all in His charge.
And this is the real and eternal life:
That they know You,
The one and only true God,
And Jesus Christ, whom You sent.
I glorified You on earth
By completing down to the last detail
What You assigned me to do.
And now, Father, glorify Me with Your very own splendor,
The very splendor I had in Your presence
Before there was a world.
I spelled out Your character in detail
To the men and women You gave Me.
They were Yours in the first place;
Then You gave them to Me,
And they have now done what You said.
They know now, beyond the shadow of a doubt,
That everything You gave Me is firsthand from You,
For the message You gave me, I gave them;
And they took it, and were convinced
That I came from You.
They believed that You sent Me.
I pray for them.
I’m not praying for the God-rejecting world
But for those You gave Me,
For they are Yours by right.
Everything Mine is Yours, and Yours Mine,
And My life is on display in them.
For I’m no longer going to be visible in the world;
They’ll continue in the world
While I return to You.
Holy Father, guard them as they pursue this life
That You conferred as a gift through Me,
So they can be one heart and mind
As We are one heart and mind.
As long as I was with them, I guarded them
In the pursuit of the life You gave through Me;
I even posted a night watch.
And not one of them got away,
Except for the rebel bent on destruction
(the exception that proved the rule of Scripture).
Now I’m returning to You.
I’m saying these things in the world’s hearing
So My people can experience
My joy completed in them.
I gave them Your word;
The godless world hated them because of it,
Because they didn’t join the world’s ways,
Just as I didn’t join the world’s ways.
I’m not asking that You take them out of the world
But that You guard them from the Evil One.
They are no more defined by the world
Than I am defined by the world.
Make them holy—consecrated—with the truth;
Your word is consecrating truth.
In the same way that You gave me a mission in the world,
I give them a mission in the world.
I’m consecrating Myself for their sakes
So they’ll be truth-consecrated in their mission.
I’m praying not only for them
But also for those who will believe in Me
Because of them and their witness about Me.
The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind—
Just as You, Father, are in Me and I in You,
So they might be one heart and mind with Us.
Then the world might believe that You, in fact, sent Me.
The same glory You gave Me, I gave them,
So they’ll be as unified and together as We are—
I in them and You in Me.
Then they’ll be mature in this oneness,
And give the godless world evidence
That you’ve sent Me and loved them
In the same way You’ve loved Me.
Father, I want those You gave Me
To be with Me, right where I am,
So they can see My glory, the splendor You gave Me,
Having loved Me
Long before there ever was a world.
Righteous Father, the world has never known You,
But I have known You, and these disciples know
That you sent Me on this mission.
I have made Your very being known to them—
Who You are and what You do—
And continue to make it known,
So that Your love for Me
Might be in them
Exactly as I am in them.
than a thousand anywhere else.
I would rather serve as a porter at my God’s doorstep
than live in luxury in the house of the wicked.
For the Eternal God is a sun and a shield.
The Eternal grants favor and glory;
He doesn’t deny any good thing
to those who live with integrity.
O Eternal One, Commander of heaven’s armies,
how fortunate are those who trust You.
the needy from the trash heap.
He raises them to sit with princes
and seats them on a glorious throne.
For the pillars of the earth are the Eternal One’s,
and on them, He has set the world.
(1 Samuel 2:8)
and called Him out of the sheep pastures.
From caring for the ewes, who gently nurse their young,
He called him to shepherd His people Jacob
and to look after Israel, His inheritance.
David shepherded them with the honor and integrity of his heart;
he led them in wisdom with strong and skillful hands.
God had this to say about David: “I have found David, son of Jesse, to be a man after My own heart. He’s the kind of king who will rule in ways that please Me.” (Acts 13:22)
Eternal One (to Samuel): Take no notice of his looks or his height. He is not the one, for the Eternal One does not pay attention to what humans value. Humans only care about the external appearance, but the Eternal considers the inner character. (1 Samuel 16:7)
Our words show what is in our hearts and our actions speak louder than words.
We were created to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth but are we living in fear of the father of lies?
Often, Jesus would cause a person to focus on Himself, the embodiment of the Word of God by saying,
“Fear not, only believe.”
It is His perfect love that drives out fear. His love perfects us by making us whole, complete, lacking nothing
and enabled to do all things through Him for His glory, honor and praise.
Endurance and Encouragement come from the Lord.
In His Presence is fulness of joy and the joy of the Lord is our Strength.
Your lives prove who is “lord”, Jesus or Satan just as Eve’s swallowing the Serpent’s bait showed her heart
already was straying from walking with the Lord in the garden of His delights. She feared that He was
holding back something that looked better than what He had already provided her.
Jesus is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.
Judah means “Praise.”
The LORD will inherit Judah as His portion in the holy land and will again choose Jerusalem.
Mighty Messenger: Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?
No creature of creation in all heaven, on all the earth, or even under the earth could open the scroll or look into its mysteries. Then I began to mourn and weep bitterly because no creature of creation was found who was worthy to open the scroll or to look into its mysteries. Then one of the elders consoled me.
One of the 24 Elders: Stop weeping. Look there—the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David. He has conquered and is able to break its seven seals and open the scroll.
I looked, and between the throne and the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders stood a Lamb who appeared to have been slaughtered. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes (the eyes are the seven Spirits of God sent out over all the earth).
John hears that the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has arrived and will open the seals to reveal the scroll’s mysteries. But when he turns to see the Lion, he sees a Lamb instead. Not everything is as it appears. The Lamb stands, even though He has been slaughtered as a sacrifice, because He has been resurrected from the dead. And now in his vision, John sees things as they truly are: the Lamb-King has seven horns and seven eyes, signifying the perfect power and perfect sight He possesses to rule the world.
The Lamb came and took the scroll from the right hand of the One seated upon the throne. And when He took it, the four living creatures and twenty-four elders fell prostrate before the Lamb. They worshiped Him, and each one held a harp and golden bowls filled with incense (the prayers of God’s holy people). Then they sang a new song.
Four Living Creatures and 24 Elders: You are worthy to receive the scroll,
to break its seals,
Because You were slain. With Your blood, You redeemed for God
people from every tribe and language, people from every race and nation.
You have made them a kingdom; You have appointed them priests to serve our God,
and they will rule upon the earth.
When I looked again, I heard the voices of heavenly messengers (numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands). They surrounded the throne, the living creatures, and the elders.
Thousands of Messengers (with a great voice): Worthy is the Lamb who was slain.
Worthy is the Lamb to receive authority and wealth and wisdom and greatness
And honor and glory and praise.
Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and beneath the earth and in the sea and all things in them echoing the messengers.
Every Creature: To the One who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
Be blessing and honor and glory and power
Throughout the ages.
And the four living creatures kept on repeating:
Four Living Creatures: Amen. Amen.
And the elders fell down and worshiped [Him who lives forever].
We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful
when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan.
From the distant past, His eternal love reached into the future.
You see, He knew those who would be His one day,
and He chose them beforehand to be conformed to the image of His Son
so that Jesus would be the firstborn of a new family of believers, all brothers and sisters.
As for those He chose beforehand,
He called them to a different destiny
so that they would experience what it means to be made right with God and share in His glory.
So what should we say about all of this? If God is on our side, then tell me: whom should we fear?
If He did not spare His own Son, but handed Him over on our account,
then don’t you think that He will graciously give us all things with Him?
Can anyone be so bold as to level a charge against God’s chosen?
Especially since God’s “not guilty” verdict is already declared. Who has the authority to condemn?
Jesus the Anointed who died, but more importantly, conquered death
when He was raised to sit at the right hand of God where He pleads on our behalf.
So who can separate us? What can come between us and the love of God’s Anointed?
Can troubles, hardships, persecution, hunger, poverty, danger, or even death?
The answer is, absolutely nothing. As the psalm says,
On Your behalf, our lives are endangered constantly;
we are like sheep awaiting slaughter.
But no matter what comes, we will always taste victory through Him who loved us.
For I have every confidence that nothing—
not death, life, heavenly messengers, dark spirits, the present, the future, spiritual powers,
height, depth, nor any created thing—
can come between us and the love of God revealed in the Anointed, Jesus our Lord.
the sentence is passed by order of the holy ones
So that all who live on the earth
may know that the Most High God is the true sovereign over all kingdoms of the earth;
He grants authority to anyone He wishes
and installs the lowliest of people into positions of power.’