Go Forth First-Fruits

ImageNow Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other children because he came along when he was an old man.

So Israel presented Joseph with a special robe he had made for him—a spectacularly colorful robe with long sleeves in it. 

But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than the rest, they grew to hate him and couldn’t find it in themselves to speak to him without resentment or argument.

One day Joseph had a dream. When he told the dream to his brothers, they hated him even more.  (Genesis 37:3-5)

they grew to hate him—they wouldn’t even speak to him.

 

His brothers said, “So! You’re going to rule us? You’re going to boss us around?

And they hated him more than ever because of his dreams and the way he talked.

(Genesis 37:8)

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(Now Jesus Himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country.)

 

(John 4:44)

The Lord will fight for you, and you won’t need to lift a finger!  (Exodus 14:14)

Afflictions are among our mercies.

They prove our faith and love, they humble our pride, they wean us from the world, and quicken our prayer.  (Matthew Henry)

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Remember Joseph outcome

At the appointed time the Lord exalted him. 

Joseph was not bitter but better by God’s grace in time of need. 

He cried out to the Lord and the Lord heard, Judged and saw to it in His timing. 

Joseph not only forgave but forgot all natural tendencies to view the dishonor and disrespect

because He saw the hand of God in his life divinely orchestrating all circumstances

to come to the good for not just himself but others in the household of faith. 

God truly made Joseph fruitful in the land of his affliction.

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Remember Jesus

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 true believers are the Lord’s anointed

They are anointed with the oil of God’s grace with an unction from the Holy One

and they know all things for they have the mind of Christ. 

They stand before Him and bear His name which carries His weighty Sovereign authority.

Blessed communion—they are so near to God they are in union with Him–their Maker is their Husband,

the Lord of Hosts, His name.  What God has joined together let no man tear asunder.

And he that touches him touches the apple of his eye; so dear are they to Him.

Thank the Lord for all the glorious things He does; proclaim them to the nations.

Sing His praises and tell everyone about His miracles.

Glory in the Lord; O worshipers of God, rejoice.

 

Search for Him and for His strength, and keep on searching!

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Think of the mighty deeds He did for us, His chosen ones—descendants of God’s servant Abraham, and of Jacob.

Remember how He destroyed our enemies. 

He is the Lord our God. His goodness  is seen everywhere throughout the land. 

Though a thousand generations pass He never forgets His promise, His covenant with Abraham and Isaac 

and confirmed with Jacob. This is His never-ending treaty with the people of Israel:

“I will give you the land of Canaan as your inheritance.” 

He said this when they were but few in number, very few, and were only visitors in Canaan.

Later they were dispersed among the nations and were driven from one kingdom to another;

but through it all He would not let one thing be done to them apart from His decision.

He destroyed many a king who tried! 

Touch not these chosen ones of Mine,” He warned, “and do not hurt My prophets.”

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He called for a famine on the land of Canaan, cutting off its food supply.

Then He sent Joseph as a slave to Egypt to save his people from starvation. 

There in prison they hurt his feet with fetters and placed his neck in an iron collar 

until God’s time finally came—how God tested his patience! 

Then the king sent for him and set him free. 

He was put in charge of all the king’s possessions. 

At his pleasure he could imprison the king’s aides and teach the king’s advisors.

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Then Jacob (Israel) arrived in Egypt and lived there with his sons. 

In the years that followed, the people of Israel multiplied explosively until they were a greater nation than their rulers. 

At that point God turned the Egyptians against the Israelis; they hated and enslaved them.

 

But God sent Moses as His representative, and Aaron with him, to call down miracles of terror upon the land of Egypt.

They followed His instructions.

He sent thick darkness through the land  and turned the nation’s water into blood, poisoning the fish.

Then frogs invaded in enormous numbers; they were found even in the king’s private rooms.

When Moses spoke, the flies and other insects swarmed in vast clouds from one end of Egypt to the other. 

Instead of rain He sent down murderous hail, and lightning flashes overwhelmed the nation.

Their grapevines and fig trees were ruined; all the trees lay broken on the ground.

He spoke, and hordes of locusts came and ate up everything green, destroying all the crops. 

Then He killed the oldest child in each Egyptian home, their pride and joy—

and brought His people safely out from Egypt,

loaded with silver and gold; there were no sick and feeble folk among them then.

Egypt was glad when they were gone, for the dread of them was great.

 

He spread out a cloud above them to shield them from the burning sun

and gave them a pillar of flame at night to give them light. 

They asked for meat, and He sent them quail and gave them manna—bread from heaven. 

He opened up a rock, and water gushed out to form a river through the dry and barren land; 

for He remembered His sacred promises to Abraham His servant.

 

So He brought His chosen ones singing into the Promised Land. 

He gave them the lands of the Gentiles, complete with their growing crops; they ate what others planted. 

This was done to make them faithful and obedient to His laws. Hallelujah!

 

(Psalm 105)

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Do you not yet see that what the enemy intends for evil, God is allowing for His greater good that His name be glorified?

 They wandered from country to country, camped out in one kingdom after another;
But He didn’t let anyone push them around, He stood up for them against bully-kings:
Don’t you dare touch My anointed ones, don’t lay a hand on My prophets.”

 

(1 Chronicles 16:20-22)

Remember David

Who although anointed of God had to learn the lesson (discipline) of the wilderness

in waiting on God’s timing to remove those that sought to destroy him. 

Remember King Saul

Who was driven insane enough to leave off obeying God and sought to kill David out of jealous envious hatred and rage,

David said this—

Far be it from me because of the LORD that I should do this thing to my lord, the LORD’S anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, since he is the LORD’S anointed.”  (1 Samuel 24:6)

With these words David sharply rebuked his men and did not allow them to attack Saul. (v. 7)

Man does not live by bread alone but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God:

As David

As Esther

 

As Ruth

As Tamar

As Joseph

As Jesus in the wilderness

We need to come to the place where we realize that are not sufficient for these things

but that our sufficiency is in Christ Jesus. 

All these things are necessary to turn us away from all other things that would draw us away from fully trusting in Him.

These things and people have come against the Seed (Word) faith of God that is

planted in our hearts but God is allowing it (even as with Job) in order to grow us

 

up in the likeness of His Son Jesus the Christ.  The love of God is shed abroad

in our hearts by His Holy Spirit and we are putting down deep strong roots as

we hold steadfast and true to He alone who is Faithful and True. 

God has heard

 

God is Judge

God is seeing to it.

He is raising the bar

He is increasing our confidence to boldly come before His throne of grace

to find strength and help in time of need.   He alone is Lord.  He is all we need.

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The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever,

that we may follow all the words of this law.

(Deuteronomy 29:29)

 

It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by His own authority.”

(Acts 1:7) 
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.

 

(Proverbs 25:2)

God’s nature is always inherent in life.  Ask, Seek, Knock

You will find Him even as He has chosen to reveal Himself in your walks and talks

in nature.  He is waiting to reveal Himself to you in all your walk.

 

His Word stands

His Word endures forever

“Hold your peace”

“Guard your heart”

for out of it flow the issues of life and death

God is the author of life not confusion

 

Man’s ways are not God’s ways

Be still and let God show you the way

For Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life keep looking to Him for

Jesus is the author and finisher of faith.  He spoke creation into being

 

and He is the Final Word.  All authority resides in Him.  He is the

Living Word of Almighty God the Father.  His Holy Spirit is given to

lead and guide us into all truth every step of the way home.

Miracles happen to those who BELIEVE.

 

God will make a way there will be a highway for the holy.

Nothing unclean will walk in that way.

Remember it is a narrow road that leads to life.

When God squares accounts they are truly settled.

Remember Job

Remember Joseph

Remember Esther

Remember Ruth

Remember Tamar

Remember God’s special promise given to those with brotherly love—

Letter to Philadelphia

 

Write down My words, and send them to the messenger of the church in Philadelphia.

“These are the words of the holy One, the true One, and the One who possesses the key of David,

which opens the possibilities so that no one can shut them. The One who closes all options so that no one can open:

“I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door, which no one can shut.

I have done this because you have limited strength, yet you have obeyed My word and have not denied My name. 

Watch, and I will make those of the congregation of Satan—those who call themselves ‘Jews’ but are not

because they lie—come before you penitent, falling at your feet.

Then they will know how much I have loved you. 

Because you have obeyed My instructions to endure and be patient,

I will protect you from the time of trial which will come upon the whole earth and put everyone in it to the test. 

I will soon return. Hold tight to what you have so that no one can take away your victor’s wreath.

  “As for the one who conquers through faithfulness even unto death, I will plant that person as a pillar in the temple of My God, and that person will never have to leave the presence of God. Moreover, I will inscribe this person with the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, New Jerusalem—which descends out of heaven from My God—and My own new name.

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God’s intention for the world is this: “I will be your God, and you will be My people.”

This is fulfilled by those who are faithful to Him.

“Let the person who is able to hear, listen to and follow what the Spirit proclaims to all the churches.”

(Revelation 3:7-13)

Jesus: I am the true vine, and My Father is the keeper of the vineyard.  

My Father examines every branch in Me and cuts away those who do not bear fruit.
He leaves those bearing fruit and carefully prunes them so that they will bear more fruit; 
already you are clean because you have heard My voice.
Abide in Me, and I will abide in you.
A branch cannot bear fruit if it is disconnected from the vine, and neither will you if you are not connected to Me.

I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you abide in Me and I in you, you will bear great fruit.

Without Me, you will accomplish nothing.

If anyone does not abide in Me, he is like a branch that is tossed out and shrivels up and is later gathered to be tossed into the fire to burn.  If you abide in Me and My voice abides in you, anything you ask will come to pass for you. 

Your abundant growth and your faithfulness as My followers will bring glory to the Father.

At a time when all of His disciples are feeling as if they are about to be uprooted,

Jesus sketches a picture of this new life as a flourishing vineyard—a labyrinth of vines and strong branches steeped in rich soil, abundant grapes hanging from their vines ripening in the sun.

Jesus sculpts a new garden of Eden in their imaginations—one that is bustling with fruit, sustenance, and satisfying aromas. This is the Kingdom life. It is all about connection, sustenance, and beauty. But within this promise of life is the warning that people must be in Christ or they will not experience these blessings.

Jesus: I have loved you as the Father has loved Me. Abide in My love. 

Follow My example in obeying the Father’s commandments and receiving His love.

If you obey My commandments, you will stay in My love.

I want you to know the delight I experience, to find ultimate satisfaction, which is why I am telling you all of this.

My commandment to you is this: love others as I have loved you.

There is no greater way to love than to give your life for your friends. 

You celebrate our friendship if you obey this command. 

I don’t call you servants any longer; servants don’t know what the master is doing, but I have told you everything the Father has said to Me. I call you friends. 

You did not choose Me. I chose you, and I orchestrated all of this so that you would be sent out and bear great and perpetual fruit. As you do this, anything you ask the Father in My name will be done. 

This is My command to you: love one another.

 If you find that the world despises you, remember that before it despised you, it first despised Me. 

If you were a product of the world order, then it would love you.

But you are not a product of the world because I have taken you out of it, and it despises you for that very reason.

Don’t forget what I have spoken to you: “a servant is not greater than the master.”

If I was mistreated, you should expect nothing less. If they accepted what I have spoken, they will also hear you. 

Everything they do to you they will do on My account because they do not know the One who has sent Me. 

If I had not spoken within their hearing, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for ignoring My voice.

 If someone despises Me, he also despises My Father. 

If I had not demonstrated things for them that have never been done, they would not be guilty of sin.

But the reality is they have stared Me in the face, and they have despised Me and the Father nonetheless. 

Yet their law, which says, “They despised Me without any cause,” has again been proven true.

I will send a great Helper to you from the Father, one known as the Spirit of truth.

He comes from the Father and will point to the truth as it concerns Me. 

But you will also point others to the truth about My identity, because you have journeyed with Me since this all began.

(John 15)

 

Again remember we did not choose Him but He chose us

We love because He first loved us.

Miracles happen to those who believe.

For those that come to God must believe that He is and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him.

This is the generation of Jacob who seek God’s FACE.

For they see God as their Source their Provision their Provider their Providence,

Their Savior and LORD.

His will not theirs is the guiding force in their life.

Not as Esau who forfeit so much for so little, trading the eternal for the temporal

and losing touch with reality.

We are members of the household of faith and faith works by love.

Unbelief not only hinders but quenches the Holy Spirit.  It acts as a choke valve

to the outpouring of God’s tremendous flow from the very throne room of His

great love that purchased our freedom in Christ Jesus to walk in newness of reality.

HE rights every wrong

HE repays or rewards in accordance with our deeds

Every knee will bow and Every tongue confess that Jesus Christ Is Lord

whether in submission now or subdued rebels later.

We are merely His instruments of Grace members of the body of Christ Jesus.

Give Place

Give Room

For it is in Him that we live move and have our BEING.

God is a spirit and those that worship Him do so in spirit and in truth.

We weren’t created to carry a burden of negativity but to release the power of God

in truth and love.  As we take everything to the Lord in prayer, we receive the

power of God working in our hearts to right every wrong His way His time.

We are appointed to go and bear fruit and it is only found in union with Him.

THEN the Father will give whatever we ask in Jesus’ name.

As God SAYS

He SPOKE and it is

Jesus is the same yesterday today and forever He is LORD

He is Lord of ALL

Matthew 21:21 speaks to our situations by faith in God who operates in unfailing love.

Where sin abounds His grace super abounds His love covers a multitude of sin.

The love of God covers ALL.

His grace is ENOUGH.

hatred stirs up strifes; but love covers all sins (Proverbs 10:12)

Walk in love as Christ also has loved us and gave Himself for us…

Gifts of the Spirit, which are intended to strengthen the church body,often divide the body because members of the church elevate those who possess the more visible gifts over those whose gifts function in the background. In fact, this is the very problem facing the Corinthians. So while talking about the importance and function of these gifts in chapters 12 and 14, Paul shifts his focus to the central role love plays in a believer’s life in chapter 13.

Love is essential for the body to be unified and for members to work together.

Members of the body that are very different, with little in common, are able to appreciate and even enjoy others

because of the love that comes when a life is submitted to God.

What if I speak in the most elegant languages of people or in the exotic languages of the heavenly messengers, but I live without love? Well then, anything I say is like the clanging of brass or a crashing cymbal. What if I have the gift of prophecy, am blessed with knowledge and insight to all the mysteries, or what if my faith is strong enough to scoop a mountain from its bedrock, yet I live without love? If so, I am nothing.  I could give all that I have to feed the poor, I could surrender my body to be burned as a martyr, but if I do not live in love, I gain nothing by my selfless acts.

Religious people often spend their time practicing rituals, projecting dogma, and going through routines that might look like Christianity on the outside but that lack the essential ingredient that brings all of it together—love!

It is a loving God who birthed creation and now pursues a broken people in the most spectacular way.

That same love must guide believers, so faith doesn’t appear to be meaningless noise.

Love is patient; love is kind. Love isn’t envious, doesn’t boast, brag, or strut about. There’s no arrogance in love; it’s never rude, crude, or indecent—it’s not self-absorbed. Love isn’t easily upset. Love doesn’t tally wrongs or celebrate injustice;

but truth—yes, truth—is love’s delight! 

Love puts up with anything and everything that comes along; it trusts, hopes, and endures no matter what. 

Love will never become obsolete.

Now as for the prophetic gifts, they will not last;

unknown languages will become silent, and the gift of knowledge will no longer be needed. 

Gifts of knowledge and prophecy are partial at best, at least for now, 

but when the perfection and fullness of God’s kingdom arrive, all the parts will end.

When I was a child, I spoke, thought, and reasoned in childlike ways as we all do.

But when I became a man, I left my childish ways behind.

For now, we can only see a dim and blurry picture of things, as when we stare into polished metal.

I realize that everything I know is only part of the big picture.

But one day, when Jesus arrives, we will see clearly, face-to-face.

In that day, I will fully know just as I have been wholly known by God

But now faith, hope, and love remain; these three virtues must characterize our lives. The greatest of these is love.

(1 Corinthians 13)

God opens doors that no man can shut

God closes doors that no man can open

Seek God in all things for God alone is in control.  Our times are in His hands.

Father in the Name of Jesus, I realize that I’ve left myself open to the attacks of Satan through the envious, jealous spirits that covet Your gifts in me, Your mantle on me, and Your anointing resplendent through me.  These are Yours and I am Yours.

These are meant to serve.  Forgive me for being zealous over the gifts rather then the Giver. 

They are Yours to use as You see fit.  I submit my heart in obedience to Your authority.

I lay down my will to rise in Your will on earth as it is in heaven. 

I trust Your Word and I delight to obey it. 

Help me to walk in a way pleasing to You that brings souls to the Kingdom. 

Satan, in the Name of Jesus I bind your minions that are coming against my life through evil spirits

that according to Matthew 18:18 God says through His Word in Christ Jesus

that “whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven.” 

You no longer have an open door in my life through these spirits.

Thank You Lord for giving me freedom to walk over the power of the devil in Christ Jesus. 

According to Matthew 18:18 Your Word PROMISES “whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” 

I loose the Love of God in my life to FLOOD my being so COMPLETELY that I will “OVERCOME evil with good” 

Help me to read Your Word faithfully each day. 

Show me Your Way, Your Truth and Your Life as Your Word blazes the path each day through the revelation and wisdom given by Your Holy Spirit who is my guide and helper.  Thank You Lord for hearing and answering my prayer, Amen.

 

Take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. (Ephesians 6:17)

Your ears will hear sweet words behind you:

Go this way. There is your path; this is how you should go”

whenever you must decide whether to turn to the right or the left.

(Isaiah 30:21)

 

Those who love Your Law have great peace, and nothing will cause them to be hurt in their spirit. 

I hope for Your saving power, O Lord, and I follow Your Word. I obey Your Law, for I love it very much.  

I obey Your Word and Laws, for You know all my ways.

 Let my cry come to You, O Lord. Give me understanding because of Your Word. Let my prayer come to You.

Help me because of Your Word. May praise come from my lips, for You teach me Your Law. 

May my tongue sing about Your Word, for all of Your Word is right and good. 

May Your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen Your Law.I have much desire for Your saving power, O Lord.

Your Law is my joy. Let me live so I may praise You, and let Your Law help me. 

I have gone from the way like a lost sheep. Look for Your servant, for I do not forget Your Word.  (Psalm 119:165-176)

 

Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him: Those who defy God are broken, but those who depend on Him are

Blessed  (Psalm 2:12)

In returning and rest–

Turn to prayer, it is the key to unlocking the blessings of God.  Prayer moves the heart of God like nothing else. 

The king’s heart is as water in the hand of the Lord.

 

I will love You, O Lord, my strength.  The Lord is m y rock and my fortress and my deliverer;

My God, my strength in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.  (Psalm 18:1-2)

Teach me to pray, O Lord, that I may release the hidden talents which You have planted within my heart

by Your Word (Seed) which is Faithful and True.  Teach me how to do Your Work for the good of myself and others. Amen.

 

I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel.

I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere. And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.

You were all called to travel on the same road and in the same direction, so stay together, both outwardly and inwardly.

You have one Master, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who rules over all, works through all, and is present in all. Everything you are and think and do is permeated with Oneness.

(Ephesians 4:2-6)

Until we’re all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God’s Son,

fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ.

No prolonged infancies among us, please.

We’ll not tolerate babes in the woods, small children who are an easy mark for impostors.

God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love—like Christ in everything.

We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other.

His very breath and blood flow through us, nourishing us so that we will grow up healthy in God, robust in love.

 

The Old Way Has to Go

And so I insist—and God backs me up on this—that there be no going along with the crowd,

the empty-headed, mindless crowd.

They’ve refused for so long to deal with God that they’ve lost touch not only with God but with reality itself.

They can’t think straight anymore.

Feeling no pain, they let themselves go in sexual obsession, addicted to every sort of perversion.

 

But that’s no life for you. You learned Christ!

My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to Him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it!

And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces His character in you.

 

 What this adds up to, then, is this: no more lies, no more pretense. Tell your neighbor the truth.

In Christ’s body we’re all connected to each other, after all. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself. 

(Ephesians 4:17-25)

 

The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; Your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of Your hands.  (Psalm 138:8)

 

–for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

  Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.

 

  Don’t grieve God. Don’t break His heart.

His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for Himself.

Don’t take such a gift for granted.

 

 Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive.

Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.  (Ephesians 4:29-32)

 

Who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

(1 Corinthians 1:8)

Be Ready for the Lord’s Coming

We must wear faith and love as a breastplate, and our hope of salvation as a helmet. 

God did not choose us to suffer His anger, but to possess salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,   who died for us in order that we might live together with Him, whether we are alive or dead when He comes.  

And so encourage one another and help one another, just as you are now doing.  (1 Thessalonians 5:8-11)

Final Instructions and Greetings

 We beg you, our friends, to pay proper respect to those who work among you,

who guide and instruct you in the Christian life.   Treat them with the greatest respect and love because of the work they do. Be at peace among yourselves.

 

  We urge you, our friends, to warn the idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.  

See that no one pays back wrong for wrong, but at all times make it your aim to do good to one another and to all people.

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  Be joyful always,   pray at all times,   be thankful in all circumstances.

This is what God wants from you in your life in union with Christ Jesus.

 

 Do not restrain the Holy Spirit;   do not despise inspired messages.  

Put all things to the test: keep what is good   and avoid every kind of evil.

 

  May the God who gives us peace make you holy in every way and keep your whole being

—spirit, soul, and body—free from every fault at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  

He who calls you will do it, because He is faithful. (1 Thessalonians 5:12-24)

Unbelief is the great hinderance to Christ’s favours.

 

Let us keep faithful to Him as the Savior who has made our peace with God.  (Matthew Henry)

Jesus Heals a Boy with an Evil Spirit

“It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him.

But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!” 

And Jesus said to him, “‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.

Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.” 

(Mark 9:22-24)

Jesus Heals a Boy with a Demon

Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not drive it out?

And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you,

if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain,

‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.

“But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”  (Matthew 17:19-21)

 

My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work.”

 

(John 4:34)

I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You. (Psalm 119:11)

Have faith in God,” Jesus answered.  (Mark 11:22)

 

God will make this happen, for He who calls you is faithful.  (1 Thessalonians 5:24)

 

He will surely do it.

Then Jesus said,Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?

(John 11:40)

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

(1 Corinthians 13:2)

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Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely,

and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it.  (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)

Don’t Just Pond-er,  Let Your True Beauty Shine!       

This magnificent flower emerges from the dirty and unclean bottom of a pond,

but still remains untouched and unstained by the dirt and mud surrounding it in the pond.

This unique quality of the flower is believed to represent pure spirit, rebirth, beauty, fertility, transcendence, and resurrection.
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The pink lotus is the supreme lotus, which denotes the highest and noblest yet it rises from the lowest place

which God prepares for it to bloom and grow in perfect assurance that His love never fails and that His truth endures forever.

Place Your Life Before God

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you:

Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—

and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him.

Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.

Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.

Readily recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it.

Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity,

God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. 
(Romans 12:1-2)

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The water lily, aka, the  lotus flower symbolizes beauty and spirituality.
The flower has been a part of almost every culture, civilization and religion in the world, where it is used to teach people something, symbolically.

Also referred to as Sacred Lotus, this flower has been the symbol of detachment from worldly desires and illusions.

It symbolizes purity in the true sense of the word–representing the purity of the mind and soul. 

Considered the embodiment of perfection–It defines the capacity of the soul to expand and embrace the beauty of life with a clear conscience.

Living a life of gratitude is the embodiment of the victorious, truly abundant life found only through the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to be made right with God the Father Almighty. 

It is impossible to live victoriously if our heart is filled with other lesser things than the beauty of our Redeemer’s unfailing love and truth.

Our assurance does not lie in our self but in the knowledge and appropriation of the Word of God and all that He has accomplished on our behalf.  This is how we walk victoriously through all that comes against us.  This is the abundant everlasting life!  No man comes to the Father but through Jesus Christ the Only Begotten Son who gave Himself for us. 
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Thank God, then, for our Lord Jesus, the Anointed, the Liberating King, who brought us victory over the grave.     

(1 Corinthians 15:57)

But let me tell you something wonderful, a mystery I’ll probably never fully understand.

We’re not all going to die—but we are all going to be changed.

You hear a blast to end all blasts from a trumpet, and in the time that you look up and blink your eyes—it’s over.

On signal from that trumpet from heaven, the dead will be up and out of their graves,

beyond the reach of death, never to die again. At the same moment and in the same way, we’ll all be changed.

In the resurrection scheme of things, this has to happen:

everything perishable taken off the shelves and replaced by the imperishable,

this mortal replaced by the immortal.

Then the saying will come true:

Death swallowed by triumphant Life!
Who got the last word, oh, Death?
Oh, Death, who’s afraid of you now?

It was sin that made death so frightening and law-code guilt that gave sin its leverage, its destructive power.

But now in a single victorious stroke of Life, all three—sin, guilt, death—are gone, the gift of our Master, Jesus Christ.

Thank God!  (1 Corinthians 15:51-57)   

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Pond-ering, or Reflecting, the Glory of the Lord

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord,

are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.
For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.  (2 Corinthians 3:18)

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.
Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test?
 (2 Corinthians 13:5)
   
In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.  (Proverbs 16:9)
Whatever plans I make, the Lord will overturn and direct my steps.

I will seek You in the morning,

And I will learn to walk in Your ways,

And step by step You’ll lead me,

And I will follow you all of my days.”

-Michael W. Smith, “Step by Step

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. (Proverbs 16:3)

Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face!

They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone.

And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete.

We’re free of it!

All of us!

Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of His face.

And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah,

our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like Him. 

(2 Corinthians 3:16-18)

Dear Father, Thank You for the capacity to take joy in You today. 

Help us to rest and rejoice in the good gift of Your grace.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 The lotus symbolizes life ever renewed and revitalized when it peeks out of the muddy waters every morning.

It holds great importance in the East and is considered among the most sacred and beautiful flower.     

Pink lilies represent wealth, youth, vigor, and joy.

Analysis of dreaming of lilies has been done by many. It could mean that it is time to put your thoughts into action.

It also suggests that the person having such dreams is in search of tranquility and possibly has a chaotic life, thus seeking for a balanced well-being.

Examine carefully what you have been calling your prayertime. 
How much of it is really praying?
Have you learned to address God deliberately–and then listen to His response?
Or are you basically just ponder-ing? 
Make Sure!       

The water lily symbolizes enlightenment and purity of the soul, since the flower blooms or emerges from the mud.
           
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You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right.
Then you can see God in the outside world.”  (Matthew 5:8)

So bow down under God’s strong hand; then when the time comes, God will lift you up.
 Since God cares for you, let Him carry all your burdens and worries.

You, LORD, will keep the needy safe
   and will protect us forever from the wicked,
who freely strut about
   when what is vile is honored by the human race.
— Psalm 12:7–8

Humility is rarely a virtue that our culture values.
We’re trained from an early age to show our strengths and hide our weaknesses.
This type of thinking also spills over into our models of leadership, as we learn to dictate to others how they should perform.
Peter, however, says that we should be humble in our relationships with one another and not lead as dictators.

In fact, this humility before one another and God is actually the position of the greatest strength.

Our enemy desires to consume us, but we find strength to resist him when we are dependent upon God for His strength.  (James 5:6-7)

Worldly wisdom may promise the good life, but it leads to chaos and destruction every time.

Ultimately true wisdom comes from God.       

Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head,

I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations.

Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees.

No danger then of walking around high and mighty!

At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it.

Three times I did that, and then He told me,

My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift.

It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness.

Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—

abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over!
And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.  (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

Lay yourself bare, face down to the ground, in humility before the Lord; and He will lift your head so you can stand tall.        (James 4:10)       
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Most importantly, be disciplined and stay on guard.
Your enemy the devil is prowling around outside like a roaring lion,

just waiting and hoping for the chance to devour someone.

Resist him and be strong in your faith,

knowing that your brothers and sisters throughout the world are fellow sufferers with you.

 After you have suffered for a little while,

the God of grace who has called you to His everlasting presence through Jesus the Anointed will restore you, support you, strengthen you, and ground you. For all power belongs to God, now and forever. Amen.
(James 5:8-11)                               

Boaz and Jachin were two copper, brass or bronze pillars which stood in the porch of Solomon’s Temple,

the first Temple in Jerusalem.
There is a detailed description of the pillars in II Kings 7:15–22, 41–42 and II Chronicles 3:15–17; 4:12–13.

The pillars were composed of two major parts: the stem  and the capital of the pillar.    

The capitals were decorated with three varieties of ornamentation – shushan (“lilywork”), sevakhah (“mesh-work”)

and rimmonim (“pomegranates”), crowned by an additional architectural design called gullah (גֻּלָּה).

The last item is usually interpreted as a round bowl.

The LORD shall establish you an holy people to Himself, as He has sworn to you,

if you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and walk in His ways. (Deuteronomy 28:9)

Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and He will establish your plans. 

Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him;

He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and so shall your plans be established and succeed.

Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.

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God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.   
(2 Thessalonians 3:3)

The one who calls you is faithful, and He will do it.
(1 Thessalonians 5:24)

And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ,

after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.  (1 Peter 5:10)

For the worship leader. A song of David.

I waited a long time for the Eternal;
    He finally knelt down to hear me.
    He listened to my weak and whispered cry.
He reached down and drew me
    from the deep, dark hole where I was stranded, mired in the muck and clay.
    With a gentle hand, He pulled me out
To set me down safely on a warm rock;
    He held me until I was steady enough to continue the journey again.
As if that were not enough,
    because of Him my mind is clearing up.
Now I have a new song to sing—
    a song of praise to the One who saved me.
Because of what He’s done, many people will see
    and come to trust in the Eternal.

Surely those who trust the Eternal—
    who don’t trust in proud, powerful people
Or in people who care little for reality, chasing false gods—
    surely they are happy, as I have become.
You have done so many wonderful things,
    had so many tender thoughts toward us, Eternal my God,
    that go on and on, ever increasing.
Who can compare with You?

Sacrifices and offerings are not what You want,
    but You’ve opened my ears,[a] and now I understand.
Burnt offerings and sin offerings
    are not what please You.
So I said, “See, I have come to do Your will,
    as it is inscribed of me in the scroll.
I am pleased to live how You want, my God.
    Your law is etched into my heart and my soul.”

I have encouraged Your people with the message of righteousness,
    in Your great assembly (look and see),
I haven’t kept quiet about these things;
    You know this, Eternal One.
I have not kept Your righteousness to myself, sealed up in the secret places of my heart;
    instead, I boldly tell others how You save and how loyal You are.
I haven’t been shy to talk about Your love, nor have I been afraid to tell Your truth
    before the great assembly of Your people.

Please, Eternal One, don’t hold back
    Your kind ways from me.
I need Your strong love and truth
    to stand watch over me and keep me from harm.
Right now I can’t see because I am surrounded by troubles;
    my sins and shortcomings have caught up to me,
    so I am swimming in darkness.
Like the hairs on my head, there are too many to count,
    so my heart deserts me.

O Eternal One, please rescue me.
    O Eternal One, hurry; I need Your help.
May those who are trying to destroy me
    be humiliated and ashamed instead;
May those who want to ruin my reputation
    be cut off and embarrassed.
May those who try to catch me off guard,
    those who look at me and say, “Aha, we’ve trapped you,”
    be caught in their own shame instead.

But may all who look for You
    discover true joy and happiness in You;
May those who cherish how You save them
    always say, “O Eternal One, You are great and are first in our hearts.”
Meanwhile, I am empty and need so much,
    but I know the Lord is thinking of me.
You are my help; only You can save me, my True God.
    Please hurry.
(Psalm 40)

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and, again, in Psalm 138
A song of David.

To You, Lord, I give my whole heart, a heart filled with praise, for I am grateful;
    before the gods, my heart sings praises to You and You alone.
I bow before You, looking to Your holy temple,
    and praise Your name, for Your unfailing love and Your truth;
    for You have placed Your name and Your word over all things and all times.
On the day I needed You, I called, and You responded
    and infused my soul with strength.

May all the kings of the earth praise You, O Eternal One,
    because they have heard the words You have spoken.
They will marvel at the Eternal’s ways, and they will sing,
    for great is the glory of the Eternal.
Although He is greatest of all, He is attentive to the needy
    and keeps His distance from the proud and pompous.

Whenever I walk into trouble,
    You are there to bring me out.
You hold out Your hand
    to protect me against the wrath of my enemies,
    and hold me safely in Your right hand.
The Eternal will finish what He started in me.
    Your faithful love, O Eternal One, lasts forever;
    do not give up on what Your hands have made.
(Psalm 138)
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Since the beginning, our loving Creator has been pursuing us, drawing us closer to Him.

He invites us to move closer to Him so we can be fully His.

Where do you think your fighting and endless conflict come from?

Don’t you think that they originate in the constant pursuit of gratification

that rages inside each of you like an uncontrolled militia?  

You crave something that you do not possess, so you murder to get it.

You desire the things you cannot earn, so you sue others and fight for what you want.

You do not have because you have chosen not to ask.

And when you do ask, you still do not get what you want because your motives are all wrong—

because you continually focus on self-indulgence.  You are adulterers.

Don’t you know that making friends with this corrupt world order is open aggression toward God?

So anyone who aligns with this bogus world system is declaring war against the one true God.

Do you think it is empty rhetoric when the Scriptures say, “The spirit that lives in us is addicted to envy and jealousy”? 

You may think that the situation is hopeless,

but God gives us more grace when we turn away from our own interests.

That’s why Scripture says,

God opposes the proud,
    but He pours out grace on the humble.

So submit yourselves to the one true God and fight against the devil and his schemes. If you do, he will run away in failure.   Come close to the one true God, and He will draw close to you.

Wash your hands; you have dirtied them in sin.

Cleanse your heart,

because your mind is split down the middle, your love for God on one side and selfish pursuits on the other.

He’ll Promote You at the Right Time       

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Now is the time to lament, to grieve, and to cry. Dissolve your laughter into sobbing, and exchange your joy for depression.   Lay yourself bare, face down to the ground, in humility before the Lord; and He will lift your head so you can stand tall. 

My brothers and sisters, do not assault each other with criticism. If you decide your job is to accuse and judge another believer, then you are a self-appointed critic and judge of the law; if so, then you are no longer a doer of the law and subject to its rule; you stand over it as a judge.  Know this—there is One who stands supreme as Judge and Lawgiver.

He alone is able to save and to destroy, so who are you to step in and try to judge another?

Listen carefully, those of you who make your plans and say,

We are traveling to this city in the next few days.

We’ll stay there for one year while our business explodes and revenue is up.”  

The reality is you have no idea where your life will take you tomorrow.

You are like a mist that appears one moment and then vanishes another. 

It would be best to say, “If it is the Lord’s will and we live long enough, we hope to do this project or pursue that dream.” 

But your current speech indicates an arrogance that does not acknowledge the One who controls the universe,

and this kind of big talking is the epitome of evil

So if you know the right way to live and ignore it, it is sin—plain and simple.
 
He Gets the Last Word

God has had it with the proud,
But takes delight in just plain people.

So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs.

God’s strong hand is on you; He’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; He is most careful with you.

He Gets the Last Word

Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping.

Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith.

The suffering won’t last forever.

It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—

will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, He does.
(1 Peter 5:6-11)

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But He says to the Son,

You’re God, and on the throne for good;
    your rule makes everything right.
You love it when things are right;
    you hate it when things are wrong.
That is why God, your God,
    poured fragrant oil on your head,
Marking you out as king,
    far above your dear companions.
(Hebrews 1:8-9)   

But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted,

just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent.  (2 Corinthians 11:3)       

Your hand is promised in marriage to Christ, who has cleansed you with His own blood washing you in the living, reviving, water of His Word so that His Holy Spirit may present you as a pure virgin to her husband.

And now I’m afraid that exactly as the Snake seduced Eve with his smooth patter, you are being lured away from the simple purity of your love for Christ.

This is not just a matter of words but the integrity of God’s Word in Christ Jesus.
   
The devil came in the form of a serpent to wile away time from the wife

stealing what belonged to man as his gift and helpmeet from God. 

He did this by injecting his poisonous innuendos into her mind,

coming first between her husband in the natural,

and in the turning from Adam to the serpent, between her true Husband, her Maker. 

The devil is always about dividing in order to steal, to kill and to destroy.

Knowledge puffs up but the Truth sets free.
You will know the Truth and the Truth will make you free.
Who the Son sets free is really free!

    Mr. Pope says, very truly, “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Both Pope’s original verse and the misquotation of it were predated by an anonymous author, signing himself ‘A B’, in the collection of letters published in 1698 as The mystery of phanaticism:

    “Twas well observed by my Lord Bacon, That a little knowledge is apt to puff up, and make men giddy, but a greater share of it will set them right, and bring them to low and humble thoughts of themselves.”

    The Two Trees as The Two Pillars were to Point the Way, the Truth and the Life

–which are only found in the unfailing everlasting love of the Father who purchased our freedom

in the Son who was totally completely sold out to the Father in love.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made.

He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 

You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman.
(Genesis 3:1; 4)

And did you know that your cousin Elizabeth conceived a son, old as she is? Everyone called her barren, and here she is six months pregnant! Nothing, you see, is impossible with God.

And Mary said,

Yes, I see it all now:
    I’m the Lord’s maid, ready to serve.
Let it be with me
    just as you say.

Then the angel left her.  (Luke 1:36-38)

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires.  (Ephesians 4:22)

Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—

But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit,

which in God’s sight is very precious.
(1 Peter 3:3-4)

Simple Faith and Plain Truth   

The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation.

This is the way our Savior God wants us to live.

He wants not only us but everyone saved, you know, everyone to get to know the truth we’ve learned:

that there’s one God and only one, and one Priest-Mediator between God and us—

Jesus, who offered himself in exchange for everyone held captive by sin, to set them all free.

Eventually the news is going to get out.

This and this only has been my appointed work:

getting this news to those who have never heard of God, and explaining how it works by simple faith and plain truth.

Since prayer is at the bottom of all this, what I want mostly is for men to pray—

not shaking angry fists at enemies but raising holy hands to God.

And I want women to get in there with the men in humility before God,

not primping before a mirror or chasing the latest fashions

but doing something beautiful for God and becoming beautiful doing it.

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I don’t let women take over and tell the men what to do.

They should study to be quiet and obedient along with everyone else.

Adam was made first, then Eve; woman was deceived first—our pioneer in sin!—with Adam right on her heels.

On the other hand, her childbearing brought about salvation, reversing Eve.

But this salvation only comes to those who continue in faith, love, and holiness, gathering it all into maturity.

You can depend on this.
(1 Timothy 2)

Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the Word,

they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct.  (1 Peter 3:1)
 

“When I passed by you again and saw you, behold, you were at the age for love,

and I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your nakedness;

I made my vow to you and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Lord God, and you became Mine.

Then I bathed you with water and washed off your blood from you and anointed you with oil.

I clothed you also with embroidered cloth and shod you with fine leather.

I wrapped you in fine linen and covered you with silk.

And I adorned you with ornaments and put bracelets on your wrists and a chain on your neck.

And I put a ring on your nose and earrings in your ears and a beautiful crown on your head.
(Ezekiel 16:8-14)

Just as the prodigal returned in repenting and rest to his true home and estate
Likewise the Bride, who is as Christ’s own Body.

But the father said to his servants,

Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet.’  (Luke 15:22)

The Woman gave birth to a Son who will shepherd all nations with an iron rod.

Her Son was seized and placed safely before God on his Throne.

The Woman herself escaped to the desert to a place of safety prepared by God, all comforts provided her for 1,260 days.

War broke out in Heaven. Michael and his Angels fought the Dragon.

The Dragon and his Angels fought back, but were no match for Michael.

They were cleared out of Heaven, not a sign of them left.

The great Dragon—ancient Serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, the one who led the whole earth astray—

thrown out, and all his Angels thrown out with him, thrown down to earth.

Then I heard a strong voice out of Heaven saying,

Salvation and power are established!
    Kingdom of our God, authority of his Messiah!
The Accuser of our brothers and sisters thrown out,
    who accused them day and night before God.
They defeated him through the blood of the Lamb
    and the bold word of their witness.
They weren’t in love with themselves;
    they were willing to die for Christ.
So rejoice, O Heavens, and all who live there,
    but doom to earth and sea,
For the Devil’s come down on you with both feet;
    he’s had a great fall;
He’s wild and raging with anger;
    he hasn’t much time and he knows it.

When the Dragon saw he’d been thrown to earth, he went after the Woman who had given birth to the Man-Child.

The Woman was given wings of a great eagle to fly to a place in the desert to be kept in safety and comfort for a time and times and half a time, safe and sound from the Serpent.

The Serpent vomited a river of water to swamp and drown her, but earth came to her help, swallowing the water the Dragon spewed from its mouth. Helpless with rage, the Dragon raged at the Woman, then went off to make war with the rest of her children, the children who keep God’s commands and hold firm to the witness of Jesus.  (Revelation 3:5-17)

Trust in the Lord

For length of days and years of life And peace they will add to you.
Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and good repute In the sight of God and man.  (Proverbs 3:2-4)
           
His Bride Has Made Herself Ready in His Love

Him (to her): You, my love, are beautiful.
        So beautiful!  (Song of Solomon 4:1)
               
Here Comes the Bride Walking in His Spirit

You’re beautiful from head to toe, my dear love,
    beautiful beyond compare, absolutely flawless.
(Song of Solomon 4:7)
                  
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For the worship leader. A contemplative song of the sons of Korah to the tune “The Lilies.
 A love song.

 My heart is bursting with a new song;
    lyrics to my king erupt like a spring
    for my king, to my king;
    my tongue is the pen of a poet, ready and willing.

Better by far are you than all others, my king;
    gracious words flow from your lips;
    indeed, God has blessed you forever.

Psalm 45 describes the beauty, power, and influence of God’s anointed king and may have been composed in honor of a royal wedding.

Whether we realize it or not, the overall well-being of a nation is tied directly to its leaders.

When the leaders are just and make good decisions, then the welfare of a nation is secure.

But when leaders are unjust and make poor decisions,

and they pursue personal agendas rather than the public good, then nations suffer.

This is why Scripture instructs those of faith to pray for all people everywhere,

especially that those in authority would lead the world to dignity and peace (1 Timothy 2:1-3).

Psalm 45 celebrates that rare breed, a godly king who pursues truth and justice.

It anticipates a joyful union and future children who will one day follow in the steps of their father.

May the world witness a new breed of leader, fashioned in the image of this psalm.

With your sword at your side,
    you are glorious, majestic,
    a mighty warrior.

Ride on in splendor; ride into battle victorious,
    for the sake of truth, humility, and justice.
    Perform awesome acts, trained by your powerful right hand.
Razor-sharp arrows leap from your bow
    to pierce the heart of the king’s foes;
    they lie, defeated, before you.

O God, Your throne is eternal;
    You will rule your kingdom with a scepter of justice.
You have loved what is right and hated what is evil.

That is why God, your God, has anointed you
    with the oil of gladness and lifted you above your companions.[c]
All of your clothing is drenched in the rich scent of myrrh, aloes, and cassia;
    In palaces decked out with ivory, beautiful stringed instruments play for your pleasure.
At a royal wedding with the daughters of kings among the guests of honor,
    your bride-queen stands at your right, adorned in gold from Ophir.

Hear this, daughter; pay close attention to what I am about to say:
    you must forget your people and even your father’s house.
Because the king yearns for your beauty,
    humble yourself before him, for he is now your lord.
The daughter of Tyre arrives with a gift;
    the wealthy will bow and plead for your favor.
A stunning bride, the king’s daughter waits within;
    her clothing is skillfully woven with gold.
She, in her richly embroidered gown, is carried to the king,
    her virgin companions following close behind.

They walk in a spirit of celebration and gratefulness.
    In delight, they enter the palace of the king.
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O king, in this place where your ancestors reigned, you will have sons;
    you will make them princes throughout all the land.
 I will make sure your name is remembered by all future generations
    so that the people will offer you thanks and praise now and forever.

In Hebrew, shoshannim,  lily-like flowers, perhaps the melody to which the song is sung
 
(Psalm 45)       

Even though the church is in exile here—she is not for a moment forgotten by God—
Peace to you—to all who walk in Christ’s ways.   

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation;

He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
(Isaiah 61:10)

And the serpent, that beguiling trickster from the original garden–what becomes of him? 
His self promotion is his down fall.
 
You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering,

sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, emerald, and carbuncle;

and crafted in gold were your settings and your engravings.

On the day that you were created they were prepared.

You were an anointed guardian cherub. I placed you;

you were on the holy mountain of God; in the midst of the stones of fire you walked.

You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, till unrighteousness was found in you.

In the abundance of your trade you were filled with violence in your midst, and you sinned;

so I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God,

and I destroyed you, O guardian cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.

Your heart was proud because of your beauty;

you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor.

I cast you to the ground; I exposed you before kings, to feast their eyes on you.  (Ezekiel 28:13-17)

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He sends from heaven and saves me, rebuking those who hotly pursue me– God sends forth His love and His faithfulness.

(Psalm 57:3)

Repentance means to turn away from sin and turn to God.

Ezekiel 14:6 says, “Thus saith the Lord GOD; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.

To You, O Lord, I Lift Up My Soul

 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)

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With the pure, You show Yourself pure. With the sinful You show Yourself to be against them.  (Psalm 18:26)

Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.  (Matthew 21:12)

Habakkuk’s

Question

This is the special Word which Habakkuk the man of God saw. 

O Lord, how long must I call for help before You will hear? I cry out to You, “We are being hurt!” But You do not save us. 

Why do you make me see sins and wrong-doing? People are being destroyed in anger in front of me.

There is arguing and fighting.   The Law is not followed. What is right is never done.

For the sinful are all around those who are right and good, so what is right looks like sin.

The

Lord’s

Answer

 

Look among the nations, and see! Be surprised and full of wonder!

For I am doing something in your days that you would not believe if you were told. I am bringing the Babylonians to power. They are people filled with anger who go across the whole earth to take homes that are not theirs. They fill others with fear. They make their own law about what is fair and honored.  

Their horses are faster than leopards, and show less pity than wolves in the evening.

Their horsemen come on running horses from far away. They fly like an eagle coming down to get food. 

They all come in anger. Their armies move like the desert wind. They gather prisoners like sand. 

They make fun of kings and laugh at rulers. They laugh at every strong city and build a battle-wall to take it. 

Then they move through like the wind and keep going. They are guilty men, whose strength is their god.”

Habakkuk’s

Second

Question

 Have You not lived forever, O Lord, my God, my Holy One? We will not die.

O Lord, You have chosen them to judge. You, O Rock, have chosen them to punish us. 

Your eyes are too pure to look at sin. You cannot look on wrong. Why then do You look with favor on those who do wrong?

Why are You quiet when the sinful destroy those who are more right and good than they? 

Why have You made men like the fish of the sea, like things which move along the ground that have no ruler? 

The Babylonians bring all of them up with a hook, and pull them away with their net.

They gather them together in their fishing net, and so they have joy and are glad.  So they give gifts in worship to their net. They burn special perfume to their fishing net, because their net catches all the good things and good food they need. 

Will they empty their net forever and keep on destroying nations without pity?

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God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites,

‘The LORD, the God of your fathers–the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob–has sent me to you.’
“This is my name forever, the name you shall call me from generation to generation.”
(Exodus 3:15)


“I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty,

but by my name the LORD I did not make myself fully known to them. (Exodus 6:3)


The LORD is a warrior; the LORD is His name.  (Exodus 15:3)


He who is the Portion of Jacob is not like these, for He is the Maker of all things, including Israel, the people of His inheritance– the LORD Almighty is His name.  (Jeremiah 10:16)

“Therefore I will teach them– this time I will teach them My power and might.

Then they will know that My name is the LORD.”  (Jeremiah 16:21)
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Song of Thanks for Being Kept Safe

 I love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my safe place, and the One Who takes me out of trouble.

My God is my rock, in Whom I am safe. He is my safe-covering, my saving strength, and my strong tower. 

I call to the Lord, Who has the right to be praised. And I am saved from those who hate me.

The ropes of death were all around me. The floods of death make me afraid. The ropes of the grave were all around me.

The traps of death were set for me. 

I called to the Lord in my trouble. I cried to God for help. He heard my voice from His holy house.

My cry for help came into His ears.

Then the earth shook. The mountains were shaking. They shook because He was angry. 

Smoke went out from His nose and the fire that kept coming from His mouth burned everything around it. 

He parted the heavens and came down. Dark clouds were under His feet. 

He sat upon a cherub and flew. He traveled on the wings of the wind. 

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He made darkness His hiding place, the covering around Him, the dark rain clouds of the sky. 

Through the light before Him passed His dark clouds, hail stones and fire.  The Lord made thunder in the heavens.

The voice of the Most High spoke out, hail stones and fire. 

He sent out His arrows and divided them. He threw down lightning and sent them running. 

Then the deep part of the sea could be seen.

And the deep part of the earth was opened up, because of Your sharp words, O Lord,

because of the powerful breath from Your nose.

He sent from above, and took me. He lifted me out of many waters. 

He took me away from the powerful one who fights against me, and from those who hated me. They were too strong for me. They stood against me in the day of my trouble. But the Lord was my strength. 

He brought me out into a big place. He gave me a safe place, because He was pleased with me.

The Lord has paid me because of my being right with Him. Because of my clean hands He has paid me.

For I have kept the ways of the Lord. And I have not sinned by turning from my God. 

All His Laws are in front of me. I have not set His Laws aside. 

Before Him I was without blame. And I have kept myself from sin.

So the Lord has paid me back for being right with Him, and for my hands being clean in His eyes.

To the faithful, You show Yourself faithful.

To those without blame, You show Yourself without blame. 

With the pure, You show Yourself pure.

With the sinful You show Yourself to be against them. 

You save those who are suffering, but You bring low those who have pride in their eyes. 

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You make my lamp bright. The Lord my God lights my darkness. 

With Your help I can go against many soldiers. With my God I can jump over a wall.

As for God, His way is perfect. The Word of the Lord has stood the test.

He is a covering for all who go to Him for a safe place.  For Who is God, but the Lord? And who is a rock except our God? It is God Who covers me with strength and makes my way perfect.  

He makes my feet like the feet of a deer. And He sets me on my high places.

He teaches me how to fight, so that I can use a bow of brass. 

You have also given me the covering that saves me. Your right hand holds me up. And Your care has made me great. 

You make the road wide for my steps, and my feet have not tripped.

 I went after those who fight against me, and caught them. And I did not return until they were destroyed. 

I hit them so they were not able to rise. They fell under my feet. 

You have given me strength for war. You have put under me those who have fought against me.  

You have made them turn their backs to me also. And I destroyed those who hated me. 

They cried for help, but there was no one to save. They cried to the Lord, but He did not answer them. 

Then I beat them as small as the dust in the wind. I emptied them out like mud in the streets.

 You have taken me away from the fighting of the people.

You have made me the leader of nations. People whom I have not known will serve me. 

As soon as they hear, they obey me. Those from other lands obey me. 

These people from other lands lose their strength of heart. And they come shaking from behind their walls. 

The Lord lives! How great is my Rock! Praise be to the God Who saves me!

He is the God Who punishes those who have done wrong to me. He puts nations under my rule. 

He saves me from those who hate me. Yes, You lift me above those who rise up against me.

You save me from those who want to hurt me. 

So I will give thanks to You among the nations, O Lord. And I will sing praises to Your name. 

He gives His king great power over trouble. And He shows loving-kindness to His chosen one, to David, and to his children after him forever.

(Psalm 18)

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It is dangerous to despise the mystery of God, and as dangerous to receive the mysteries of Satan.

Let us beware of the depths of Satan, of which those who know the least are the most happy.

How tender Christ is of his faithful servants! He lays nothing upon His servants but what is for their good.

There is promise of an ample reward to the persevering, victorious believer;

also knowledge and wisdom, suitable to their power and dominion.

Christ brings day with Him into the soul, the light of grace and of glory,

in the presence and enjoyment of Him their Lord and Saviour.

After every victory let us follow up our advantage against the enemy,

that we may overcome and keep the works of Christ to the end.  (Matthew Henry@Revelation 2)

And I will give to each of you

So palpably shall God’s hand be seen in the judgment on Thyatira, that the whole Church shall recognize it as God’s doing.

(Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary)
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in Ezekiel 33:27 and Leviticus 20:10; and θανάτῳ τελευτάτω, Matthew 15:4 and Mark 7:10; the phrase recurs in Revelation 6:8. Those who have not merely been beguiled into sin by her, but are united to her in a permanent moral relationship

(John 8:44), shall perish in some signal manner by the visitation of God.

Thus we have three parties marked off:

(1) Jezebel herself, the source of all the mischief;

(2) her children, who are even such as herself;

(3) her victims, who have been led astray by her.

She and her children are to be visited with sickness and death, because they will not repent, and the others with tribulation, if they do not repent.

Her doom and that of her children is certain; that of her victims may yet be averted.

Moreover, the one seems to be final, the other remedial.

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And all the Churches shall know; literally, shall come to know, shall learn by experience.

This statement seems conclusive with regard to the purpose of these epistles.

Although addressed to local Churches at a particular crisis, they are for the instruction of “all the Churches” throughout the world, and throughout all time. He which searchs the reins and the heart (comp. Romans 8:27; Psalm 7:9; Jeremiah 11:20; Jeremiah 20:12).


God said also to Moses, This shall you say to the Israelites:
The Lord, the God of your fathers, of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has sent me to you! This is My name forever, and by this name I am to be remembered to all generations.  (Exodus 3:15)

Footnotes:

  1. Exodus 3:15 To know the name of God is to witness the manifestation of those attributes and apprehend that character which the name denotes (Exod. 6:3; I Kings 8:33ff.; Ps. 91:14; Isa. 52:6; 64:2; Jer. 16:21) (John D. Davis, A Dictionary of the Bible). God’s name is His self-revelation (Charles Ellicott, A Bible Commentary).
  2. The name signifies the active presence of the person in the fullness of the revealed character (J.D. Douglas et al., eds., The New Bible Dictionary).

I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD I did not make myself fully known to them.   (Exodus 6:3)
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The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.  (Exodus 14:14)

Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.  (Psalm 24:8)

Let them know that You, whose name is the LORD– that You alone are the Most High over all the earth.  (Psalm 83:18)

The LORD will march out like a champion, like a warrior He will stir up his zeal;

with a shout He will raise the battle cry and will triumph over His enemies.   (Isaiah 42:13)

Bring to an end the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure– you, the righteous God who probes minds and hearts.  (Psalm 7:9)

Test me, LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind…(Psalm 26:2)

…and with you, Lord, is unfailing love; and,  You reward everyone according to what they have done.  (Psalm 62:12)

You have searched me, LORD, and You know me.  (Psalm 139:1)

But You, LORD Almighty, who judge righteously and test the heart and mind, let me see Your vengeance on them,

for to You I have committed my cause.  (Jeremiah 11:20)

“I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind,

to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.”  (Jeremiah 17:10)

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For the Son of Man is going to come in His Father’s glory with His angels,

and then He will reward each person according to what they have done.  (Matthew 16:27)

He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts.

What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.”  (Luke 16:15)

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 8:27)

And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened.

Another book was opened, which is the book of life.

The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.

(Revelation 20:12)

The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done.  (Revelation 20:13)

Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.
(Revelation 22:12)

Restoration Promised Again

Then the Word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the second time, while he was still confined in the court of the guard, saying, Thus says the LORD who made the earth, the LORD who formed it to establish it, the LORD is His name,

‘Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’

(Jeremiah 33:1-3)
 
Jesus is Coming Again

Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy;

and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness;
and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy.”  
“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. 
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”  (Revelation 22:11-13)
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Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there.
He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.  (Matthew 21:12)
 
There will be an accounting rendered
The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word,
but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.
(Matthew 13:22)

For God, who said, Let light shine out of darkness,”
made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
(2 Corinthians 4:6)

But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness.
They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.  1 John 2:11)

Now is the time for judgment on this world; Now the prince of this world will be driven out.

  (John 12:31)


He makes winds His messengers, flames of fire His servants.
(Psalm 104:4)

 

God’s time to help His people is, when they are sinking, and all other helps fail.

(Matthew Henry @Psalm 144:1)

Perseverance is more than endurance. It is endurance combined with absolute assurance and certainty that what we are looking for is going to happen. Perseverance means more than just hanging on, which may be only exposing our fear of letting go and falling. Perseverance is our supreme effort of refusing to believe that our hero is going to be conquered. Our greatest fear is not that we will be damned, but that somehow Jesus Christ will be defeated. Also, our fear is that the very things our Lord stood for— love, justice, forgiveness, and kindness among men— will not win out in the end and will represent an unattainable goal for us. Then there is the call to spiritual perseverance. A call not to hang on and do nothing, but to work deliberately, knowing with certainty that God will never be defeated.

If our hopes seem to be experiencing disappointment right now, it simply means that they are being purified. Every hope or dream of the human mind will be fulfilled if it is noble and of God. But one of the greatest stresses in life is the stress of waiting for God. He brings fulfillment, “because you have kept My command to persevere . . .” (Revelation 3:10). 

(My Utmost For His Highest)

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And will not God bring about justice for His chosen ones, who cry out to Him day and night?

Will He keep putting them off?  (Luke 18:7)
וַיֹּאמֶר֩ עֹ֨וד אֱלֹהִ֜ים אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֗ה כֹּֽה־תֹאמַר֮ אֶל־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵל֒ יְהוָ֞ה אֱלֹהֵ֣י אֲבֹתֵיכֶ֗ם אֱלֹהֵ֨י אַבְרָהָ֜ם אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִצְחָ֛ק וֵאלֹהֵ֥י יַעֲקֹ֖ב שְׁלָחַ֣נִי אֲלֵיכֶ֑ם זֶה־שְּׁמִ֣י לְעֹלָ֔ם וְזֶ֥ה זִכְרִ֖י לְדֹ֥ר דֹּֽר׃

The Curses of Disobedience

Then the LORD said to Moses,

Stretch out your hand toward the sky so that darkness spreads over Egypt–darkness that can be felt.”  (Exodus 10:21)
 
Moses’ Song of Deliverance

The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation;

This is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will extol Him.
The LORD is a warrior; The LORD is His name.
Pharaoh’s chariots and his army He has cast into the sea; And the choicest of his officers are drowned in the Red Sea.
(Exodus 15:2-4)

The LORD will afflict you with madness, blindness and confusion of mind.  (Deuteronomy 28:28)

 
The Light of the Gospel
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,
in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. 
(2 Corinthians 4:3-5)

Elisha Captures Blinded Syrians
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So he answered,Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 
Then Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.”
And the LORD opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. When they came down to him, Elisha prayed to the LORD and said,
“Strike this people with blindness, I pray.” So He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.”
(2 Kings 6:16-18)

“I will bring such distress on all people that they will grope about like those who are blind,

because they have sinned against the LORD.
Their blood will be poured out like dust and their entrails like dung.”  (Zephaniah 1:17)

The Coming of the Kingdom

The Coming of the Kingdom

“And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: 

they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage.”  (Luke 17:26-27)

“It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building.”  (Luke 17:28)

But on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. (v.29)

Jesus told His disciples (students, learners, those with a teachable spirit)
a parable to SHOW them that they should always pray and not give up.
(Luke 18:1)

Mercy triumphs over justice.

Jesus taught His disciples a valuable lesson about keeping on praying in His parable of a family situation where the unjust judge gave in to the widow’s request because she kept bothering him so much.

Our hope is in God who alone can take out our impure and stony hearts and give us hearts of flesh that are broken in repentance and contrite in trusting steadfastness before Him. 

This is the soil that brings forth 100 fold the Seed that the Lord God plants, waters and brings increase in.

We are rooted and grounded in His unfailing love which is shed abroad in our hearts by His Holy Spirit.

Like a tree planted by the waters…

All for His glory that His name be made known.

All my hope is in You Lord. 
All my courage and success, are from You Lord

God is my Rock who is my Shelter, my Source of strength, grace, mercy and He alone is Faithful and True; He is my help and succour in all times of need.

I will not be moved because His character is unchanging, His mercy never ceasing and
His love unfailing. 

Praise the LORD for His mercy endures forever!  Praise the LORD for His love never fails!

Be strong and of good courage, do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your GOD is with you WHEREVER you go.  (Joshua 1:9)

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I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True.

With justice He judges and wages war.

(Revelation 19:11)
 

Thank You, Lord, for being WITH me each day.  Thank You for catching me when I fall. 

Thank You for nourishing me when I thirst.  Thank You for healing me when I am sick. 

And most important, Lord, Thank You for loving me with Your Great Love that never fails.  Amen.

 

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.

Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long.


Do not withhold Your mercy from me, LORD; may Your love and faithfulness always protect me.

(Psalm 23:6; Psalm 25:5; Psalm 40:11)

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The Lost Coin

Do we really care if the lost get found?

Who are we serving?  God or self?

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Listen! The Lord, the Eternal, the Holy One of Israel says,

Eternal One: In returning and rest, you will be saved.
        In quietness and trust you will find strength.

God invites His people to lean only on Him. If they will just stop their busyness and self-reliance, God will be able to take care of them.

    But you refused.
               
(Isaiah 30:15)
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Last night was dreaming again and although it seemed like many dreams they all were part of one.

This morning, the Lord showed me how the dreams signified my working to earn the right to receive what He had promised was wrong that His Word (Jesus) is a gift which comes by grace and faith in what Jesus accomplished on the cross. 

Jesus fulfilled ALL.  All the law; All the prophecies.   Man could not perform what only God Himself can fulfill. 

We have to believe in order to receive. 

As the fulfillment was two-fold, He paid the debt of sin which comes from rebellion against His law;

He also fulfilled the prophecies which foretell completion, wholeness, healing, righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 

Six days man is given to labor in parallel to God’s works in creation but the seventh day is holy to the Lord
    The Sabbath was made for the needs of human beings, and not the other way around.

Then Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath.”
Then Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made to serve us; we weren’t made to serve the Sabbath. The Son of Man is no lackey to the Sabbath. He’s in charge!”  (Mark 2:27)
   
The High Priest Who Cried Out in Pain

Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to Him and get what He is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.  (Hebrews 4:14-16)

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So let us step boldly to the throne of grace, where we can find mercy and grace to help when we need it most.

We were made to walk with God so closely that every day of this new life as a born again believe in Jesus Christ

the Living Word of Almighty God the Father is a sabbath rest.

Recreation, Restoration, Revival, Rewards, Recompense are all God’s works which were already completed on the sixth day as God rested on the seventh (sabbath) from ALL His Works.  Jesus was the lamb slain from before the foundation of the world was laid.

For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.  (2 Peter 1:21)

Or imagine a woman who has 10 silver coins. She loses one.

Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the whole house, and search diligently until that coin is found?

And when she finds it, doesn’t she invite her friends and neighbors and say,

Celebrate with me! I’ve found that silver coin that I lost”?

Can’t you understand?

There is joy in the presence of all God’s messengers over even one sinner who changes his way of life.  (Luke 15:9-10)

And He said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”  (Matthew 18:3)

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)

Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child. 

(Psalm 131:2)

But then something happened: God our Savior and His overpowering love and kindness for humankind entered our world;   He came to save us.

It’s not that we earned it by doing good works or righteous deeds; He came because He is merciful.

He brought us out of our old ways of living to a new beginning through the washing of regeneration; and He made us completely new through the Holy Spirit,   who was poured out in abundance through Jesus the Anointed, our Savior.  

All of this happened so that through His grace we would be accepted into God’s covenant family and appointed to be His heirs, full of the hope that comes from knowing you have eternal life

This is a faithful statement of what we believe. 

(Titus 3:4-8)

In light of all of this, what should we say about our ancestor Abraham?

If Abraham was made right by performing certain works, then he would surely have something to brag about. Right?

Not before the Creator God, because as the Scriptures say,

Abraham believed God and trusted in His promises, so God counted it to his favor as righteousness.”

Now, when you work a job, do your wages come as a gift or as compensation for your work?

It is most certainly not a gift—you are only paid what you have earned.

So for the person who does not work, but instead trusts in the One who makes the ungodly right, his faith is counted for him as righteousness.

Remember the psalm where David speaks about the benefits that come to the person whom God credits with righteousness apart from works? He said,

Blessed are those whose wrongs have been forgiven
    and whose sins have been covered.
Blessed is the person whose sin the Lord will not take into account.

So is this blessing spoken only for the circumcised or for all uncircumcised people too?

We remind you what the Scripture has to say: faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness.

So when was the credit awarded to Abraham? Was it before or after his circumcision?

Well, it certainly wasn’t after—it was before he was circumcised.

Eventually he was given circumcision as a sign of his right standing, indicating that he was credited on the basis of the faith he possessed before he was circumcised.

It happened this way so that Abraham might become the spiritual father of all those who are not circumcised but are made right through their faith. In the same way, God destined him to be the spiritual father of all those who are circumcised as more than an outward sign, but who walk in our father Abraham’s faithful footsteps—a faith he possessed while he was still uncircumcised.

The promise given to Abraham and his children, that one day they would inherit the world, did not come because he followed the rules of the law. It came as a result of his right standing before God, a standing he obtained through faith.

If this inheritance is available only to those who keep the law, then faith is a useless commodity and the promise is canceled.

For the law brings God’s wrath against sin.

But where the law doesn’t draw the line, there can be no crime.

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This is the reason that faith is the single source of the promise—so that grace would be offered to all Abraham’s children, those whose lives are defined by the law and those who follow the path of faith charted by Abraham, our common father.

As it is recorded in the Scriptures, “I have appointed you the father of many nations.”

In the presence of the God who creates out of nothing and holds the power to bring to life what is dead,

Abraham believed and so became our father.

Against the odds, Abraham’s hope grew into full-fledged faith that he would turn out to be the father of many nations, just as God had promised when He said, “That’s how many your descendants will be.”

His faith did not fail, although he was well aware that his impotent body, after nearly 100 years, was as good as dead and that Sarah’s womb, too, was dead. In spite of all this, his faith in God’s promise did not falter.

In fact, his faith grew as he gave glory to God because he was supremely confident that God could deliver on His promise. This is why, you see, God saw his faith and counted him as righteous; this is how he became right with God.

The story of how faith was credited to Abraham was not recorded for him and him alone, but was written for all of us who would one day be credited for having faith in God, the One who raised Jesus our Lord from the realm of the dead.

He was delivered over to death for our trespasses and raised so that we might be made right with God.
(Romans 4)

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 Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from Him.
(Psalm 62:1)       

That’s why, as long as that promise of entering God’s rest remains open to us, we should be careful that none of us seem to fall short ourselves.   Those people in the wilderness heard God’s good news, just as we have heard it, but the message they heard didn’t do them any good since it wasn’t combined with faith.

We who believe are entering into salvation’s rest, as He said,

That is why I swore in anger
    they would never enter salvation’s rest,

even though God’s works were finished from the very creation of the world. (For didn’t God say that on the seventh day of creation He rested from all His works? And doesn’t God say in the psalm that they would never enter into salvation’s rest?

There is much discussion of “rest” in what we are calling the First Testament of Scripture.

God rests on the seventh day after creation.

In the Ten Commandments God commands His people to remember the Sabbath day, keep it holy, and do no work.

By letting go of daily work, they declared their absolute dependence on God to meet their needs.

We do not live by the work of our hands, but by the bread and Word that God supplies.

But a greater rest is yet to come when we will be released from all suffering, and when we will inherit the earth.

Jesus embodies this greater rest that still awaits the people of God, a people fashioned through obedience and faith.

If some of us fail to enter that rest, it is because we fail to answer the call.

So if God prepared a place of rest, and those who were given the good news didn’t enter because they chose disobedience over faith, then it remains open for us to enter.

Once again, God has fixed a day; and that day is “today,” as David said so much later when he wrote in the psalm quoted earlier:

Today, if you listen to His voice,
Don’t harden your hearts.

Now if Joshua had been able to lead those who followed him into God’s rest, would God then have spoken this way?

There still remains a place of rest, a true Sabbath, for the people of God because those who enter into salvation’s rest lay down their labors in the same way that God entered into a Sabbath rest from His.

So let us move forward to enter this rest,

so that none of us fall into the kind of faithless disobedience that prevented them from entering.

The Word of God, you see, is alive and moving; sharper than a double-edged sword; piercing the divide between soul and spirit, joints and marrow; able to judge the thoughts and will of the heart. No creature can hide from God: God sees all. Everyone and everything is exposed, opened for His inspection; and He’s the One we will have to explain ourselves to.

By God’s Word, everything finds a rhythm, a place. It fills, empowers, enlivens, and redeems us.

But it also divides and destroys. It pierces and exposes our disobedience and unfaithfulness.

Since we have a great High Priest, Jesus, the Son of God who has passed through the heavens from death into new life with God, let us hold tightly to our faith.

For Jesus is not some high priest who has no sympathy for our weaknesses and flaws.

He has already been tested in every way that we are tested; but He emerged victorious, without failing God.

So let us step boldly to the throne of grace, where we can find mercy and grace to help when we need it most.
(Hebrews 4)

There is another witness, too—the Holy Spirit—whom God has given to all who choose to obey Him.
Those who listen to instruction will prosper; those who trust the LORD will be joyful. (Proverbs 16:20)

Those who are wayward in spirit will gain understanding; those who complain will accept instruction.

In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

Consider the parable of the prodigal he returned home to his rest

Yet his elder brother remained at home but was not at rest.

 “Go get the fattest calf and butcher it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate  because my son was dead and is alive again.

He was lost and has been found.

So they had this huge party.

 Now the man’s older son was still out in the fields working.

He came home at the end of the day and heard music and dancing.  

He called one of the servants and asked what was going on.  

The servant said, “Your brother has returned, and your father has butchered the fattest calf to celebrate his safe return.”

God’s grace is a gift that cannot be earned

 The older brother got really angry and refused to come inside,

so his father came out and pleaded with him to join the celebration.  

But he argued back,

Listen, all these years I’ve worked hard for you. I’ve never disobeyed one of your orders.

But how many times have you even given me a little goat to roast for a party with my friends? Not once! This is not fair!  

So this son of yours comes, this wasteful delinquent who has spent your hard-earned wealth on loose women, and what do you do? You butcher the fattest calf from our herd!

 The father replied, “My son, you are always with me, and all I have is yours. 

  Isn’t it right to join in the celebration and be happy?

This is your brother we’re talking about. He was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found again!”  (Luke 15:23-32)
                               
From the dream, the Lord was speaking to me on His divine order, His righteous judgement based on believing or rejecting

His gift of grace.  No matter how hard we try we cannot come to that place except by choosing to believe Jesus fulfilled ALL.

From that place of rest is released our greatest potential, our capacity to bear all things for His name’s sake and glory!

potential        (See also latent, capacity, potency)
possible, as opposed to actual.
capable of being or becoming.
expressing possibility.
possibility; potentiality.
a latent excellence or ability that may or may not be developed.
Mathematics, Physics. a type of function from which the intensity of a field may be derived, usually by differentiation.
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potency
the state or quality of being potent.
power; authority.
efficacy; effectiveness; strength.
capacity to be, become, or develop; potentiality.
a person or thing exerting power or influence.
 
Synonyms
strength, force, energy, capacity, potential.

latent
present but not visible, apparent, or actualized; existing as potential.
Pathology . (of an infectious agent or disease) remaining in an inactive or hidden phase; dormant.
(Dormant could be expressed as asleep, inactive)
Botany . (of buds that are not externally manifest) dormant or undeveloped.

Synonyms
dormant, quiescent, veiled, Latent, potential refer to powers or possibilities existing but hidden or not yet actualized. Latent emphasizes the hidden character or the dormancy of what is named: That which is potential exists in an as yet undeveloped state, but is thought of as capable of coming into full being or activity at some future time.

capacity
the ability to receive or contain.
the maximum amount or number that can be received or contained.
power of receiving impressions, knowledge, etc.; mental ability: the capacity to learn.
actual or potential ability to perform, yield, or withstand.
quality or state of being susceptible to a given treatment or action.

Can be confused: ability, capacity.

Originates from the word for roomy (affording ample room; spacious; large)
Synonyms
capacious, generous, ample, extensive.

Synonyms
dimensions, amplitude. endowment, talent, gifts. aptitude, adequacy, competence, capability.
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My soul quietly waits for the True God alone
    because I hope only in Him.
He alone is my rock and deliverance,
    my citadel high on a hill;
    I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my significance depend ultimately on God;
    the core of my strength, my shelter, is in the True God.

Have faith in Him in all circumstances, dear people.
    Open up your heart to Him;
    the True God shelters us in His arms.

[pause]

Human beings disappear like a breath;
    even people of rank live artificial lives.
Their weight is that of a breath in a balance—nothing.
    Added together, they’re still lighter than air.
Do not resort to oppression;
    resist the temptation of ill-gotten gain.
    If you achieve wealth, don’t let your heart get attached.

The True God spoke this once,
    and twice I’ve heard:
That You, the True God, hold all power;
Your love never fails, O Lord,
    for You pay every person back
    according to his deeds.
(Psalm 62:5-12)

God has heard
God is Judge
God will see to it.

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Recently, the artist Plumb’s song has been getting alot of airplay, and even though I already had owned this cd for quite awhile, God is speaking afresh to my heart through the lyrics:

 
“Don’t Deserve You”

You’re the first face that I see
And the last thing I think about
You’re the reason that I’m alive
You’re what I can’t live without
You’re what I can’t live without

You never give up
When I’m falling apart
Your arms are always open wide
And you’re quick to forgive
When I make a mistake
You love me in the blink of an eye

I don’t deserve your love
But you give it to me anyway
Can’t get enough
You’re everything I need
And when I walk away
You take off running and come right after me
It’s what you do
And I don’t deserve you

You’re the light inside my eyes
You give me a reason to keep trying
You give me more than I could dream
And you bring me to my knees
You bring me to my knees

Your heart is gold and how am I the one
That you’ve chosen to love
I still can’t believe that you’re right next to me
After all that I’ve done

I don’t deserve your love
But you give it to me anyway
Can’t get enough
You’re everything I need
And when I walk away
You take off running and come right after me
It’s what you do
And I don’t deserve you

I don’t deserve a chance like this
I don’t deserve a love that gives me everything
You’re everything I want

I don’t deserve your love
But you give it to me anyway
Can’t get enough
You’re everything I need
And when I walk away
You take off running and come right after me
It’s what you do
And I don’t deserve you
And I don’t deserve you

     PLUMB     
Writer(s): Tiffany Arbuckle, Matt Bronleewe
Copyright: Songs From The Science Lab, Sony/ATV Cross Keys Publishing

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A Future in God

So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming when Jesus arrives.

Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing.

You didn’t know any better then; you do now.

As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness.

God said, “I am holy; you be holy.”

You call out to God for help and He helps—He’s a good Father that way.

But don’t forget, He’s also a responsible Father, and won’t let you get by with sloppy living.

Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God.

It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in.

He paid with Christ’s sacred blood, you know. He died like an unblemished, sacrificial lamb. And this was no afterthought. Even though it has only lately—at the end of the ages—become public knowledge,

God always knew He was going to do this for you.

It’s because of this sacrificed Messiah, whom God then raised from the dead and glorified,

that you trust God, that you know you have a future in God.

Now that you’ve cleaned up your lives by following the truth, love one another as if your lives depended on it.

Your new life is not like your old life. Your old birth came from mortal sperm; your new birth comes from God’s living Word. Just think: a life conceived by God himself! That’s why the prophet said,

The old life is a grass life,
    its beauty as short-lived as wildflowers;
Grass dries up, flowers droop,
    God’s Word goes on and on forever.

This is the Word that conceived the new life in you.
(1 Peter :13-25)           

And all things, whatever you ask in prayer, BELIEVING, you will RECEIVE.  (Matthew 21:22)

                The endurance and faithfulness of the saints will be tested here.           

Yes, Lord, I KNOW that ALL things are POSSIBLE with You. 

Please grant me the patience and strength to SEE the POTENTIAL in what lies before me.  Amen.

Like in the dream, the dime represents the number “ten” which is God’s Divine Order, Law.
It was impossible for man apart from Christ to keep the Law fully. 

That is why Christ came to not only destroy the works of the devil but to fulfill ALL the Law and ALL the prophecies concerning Him for God was never taken off guard by the devil who is our adversary.

The devil is a thief and a liar and he only comes to steal, to kill and to destroy.
Jesus came that we have life to the fullest!

In Hebrew, “ten” is written as “yod” a closed hand. 

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Because ten is also the number of the law, which brings divine order, it signifies, “the works of the law.”

Remember Jesus said that flesh & blood can not inherit the Kingdom of heaven? 

That you must be born again…in Hebrew the number “eight” indicates a new beginning, the new birth in a BELIEVER. 

Nine is visitation and manifests the Holy Spirit’s leading, training, and judgment
(which is learning to discern right and wrong) in the life of the BELIEVER,

and acts as a witness against the UNBELIEVER to EXPOSE the secrets of his heart.)

Ten is the number of divine order being reestablished one way or another through the judgment of the law

(as pictured by the Ten Commandments).

Can’t Hide Behind a Religious Mask

 But Jesus’ primary concern was his disciples.

He said to them, “Watch yourselves carefully so you don’t get contaminated with Pharisee yeast, Pharisee phoniness.

You can’t keep your true self hidden forever; before long you’ll be exposed. You can’t hide behind a religious mask forever; sooner or later the mask will slip and your true face will be known. You can’t whisper one thing in private and preach the opposite in public; the day’s coming when those whispers will be repeated all over town.

I’m speaking to you as dear friends. Don’t be bluffed into silence or insincerity by the threats of religious bullies.

True, they can kill you, but then what can they do? There’s nothing they can do to your soul, your core being.

Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life—body and soul—in His hands.”  (Luke 12:2-5)   

In other words, it MANIFESTS the actual sentence of the law which follows the gathering and presentation of the evidence.  After the Holy Spirit has REVEALED the evidence to EXPOSE men’s hearts (ie. Number “nine”), the Judge REVEALS the law. 

That is, he PRONOUNCES  the sentence (ie. Number “ten”) according to the law.

Ten is the number that PORTRAYS the TIME OF JUDGEMENT when men EITHER RECEIVE

reward or come under divine judgment.  One way or another, the law must be fulfilled and the divine order reestablished.

Jesus replied,

This is the work (service) that God asks of you: that you believe in the One Whom He has sent

–that you cleave to, trust, rely on, and have faith in His Messenger.”  (John 6:29)

We who believe are entering into salvation’s rest, as He said,

That is why I swore in anger
    they would never enter salvation’s rest,

even though God’s works were finished from the very creation of the world.  

(For didn’t God say that on the seventh day of creation He rested from all His works?  (Hebrews 4:3-4)   

The meaning of the number ten is based upon the divine law,

because as Revelation 20:12-13
say, “ALL WILL BE JUDGED “according to their deeds.”

When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day

As it was in Noah’s day, repentance is being preached and a call to salvation in Christ Jesus;
As it was in Noah’s day, people are rejecting the message.
They are pronouncing their own sentence.
By believing, one enters in to the rest of God.
By rejecting, one is dead in their sin.

Jesus fulfilled ALL the law and ALL the prophecies.
Jesus at the cross received the law’s judgment for sin and rebellion against God and dealt a death blow to sin and death. 

Our sin and rebellion forever dead and buried and our new life is hidden in Christ Jesus who arose with healing and forgiveness.  Our real life and true identity are yet to be revealed in Him when He returns

for we shall see Him as He is and we will be like He is!
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Holy confidence in God as a Father, and awful fear of him as a Judge, agree together;

and to regard God always as a Judge, makes him dear to us as a Father. 

(Matthew Henry ~ 1 Peter 1:17-25)

 May God the Father and the Lord Jesus the Anointed surround you with grace and peace.

This letter begins with praise and thanksgiving to

    God the Father, who blesses us
    Jesus, who redeems us
    the Holy Spirit, who seals us.

Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus the Anointed One,

who grants us every spiritual blessing in these heavenly realms

where we live in the Anointednot because of anything we have done, but because of what He has done for us.

God chose us to be in a relationship with Him even before He laid out plans for this world;

He wanted us to live holy lives characterized by love, free from sin, and blameless before Him.

He destined us to be adopted as His children through the covenant Jesus the Anointed inaugurated in His sacrificial life.

This was His pleasure and His will for us.

Ultimately God is the one worthy of praise

for showing us His grace; He is merciful and marvelous, freely giving us these gifts in His Beloved.

 Visualize this: His blood freely flowing down the cross, setting us free!

We are forgiven for our sinful ways by the richness of His grace, which He has poured all over us.

With all wisdom and insight, He has enlightened us to the great mystery at the center of His will.

With immense pleasure, He laid out His intentions through Jesus,

a plan that will climax when the time is right as He returns to create order and unity—

both in heaven and on earth—when all things are brought together under the Anointed’s royal rule.

In Him we stand to inherit even more.

As His heirs, we are predestined to play a key role in His unfolding purpose

that is energizing everything to conform to His will. 

As a result, we—the first to place our hope in the Anointed One—will live in a way to bring Him glory and praise.

Because you, too, have heard the Word of Truth—the Good News of your Salvation—and because you believed in the One who is Truth, your lives are marked with His seal. This is none other than the Holy Spirit who was promised as the guarantee toward the inheritance we are to receive when He frees and rescues all who belong to Him. To God be all praise and glory!

This letter begins with praise and thanksgiving offered to God.

Paul celebrates all the spiritual “blessings” available to all believers in Jesus, the Anointed One.

This means that He is the one through whom God has acted to rescue the world.

But more than that, He is the Lord to whom we belong and the spiritual place where all believers are presently located.

In God’s purpose, heaven has come down to where we live so that we now occupy this wonderful realm where salvation is at work, where God’s truth and beauty are a reality, and where we wait as the rest of His plan is worked out.

This is why, when I heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus that is present in your community and of your great love for all God’s people, I haven’t stopped thanking Him for you. I am continually speaking to Him on your behalf in my prayers.

Here’s what I say:

God of our Lord Jesus the Anointed, Father of Glory: I call out to You on behalf of Your people.

Give them minds ready to receive wisdom and revelation so they will truly know You.

Open the eyes of their hearts, and let the light of Your truth flood in.

Shine Your light on the hope You are calling them to embrace.

Reveal to them the glorious riches You are preparing as their inheritance.

Let them see the full extent of Your power that is at work in those of us who believe, and may it be done according to Your might and power.

Friends, it is this same might and resurrection power that  He used in the Anointed One to raise Him from the dead and to position Him at His right hand in heaven. There is nothing over Him. He’s above all rule, authority, power, and dominion; over every name invoked, over every title bestowed in this age and the next.   God has placed all things beneath His feet and anointed Him as the head over all things for His church. This church is His body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.
(Ephesians 1)

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But God’s not finished. He’s waiting around to be gracious to you.
He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you.
God takes the time to do everything right—everything.
Those who wait around for Him are the lucky ones.

“Your salvation requires you to turn back to Me
and stop your silly efforts to save yourselves.
Your strength will come from settling down
in complete dependence on Me—
The very thing you’ve been unwilling to do.”

God Takes the Time to Do Everything Right

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In the midst of the storms of life, lift up your heads for your redemption draws nigh.

A song for those journeying to worship.

 I look up at the vast size of the mountains—
    from where will my help come in times of trouble?
The Eternal Creator of heaven and earth and these mountains
    will send the help I need.

He holds you firmly in place;
He will not let you fall.
    He who keeps you will never take His eyes off you and never drift off to sleep.
What a relief! The One who watches over Israel
    never leaves for rest or sleep.

The Eternal keeps you safe,
    so close to Him that His shadow is a cooling shade to you.
Neither bright light of sun
    nor dim light of moon will harm you.

The Eternal will keep you safe
    from all of life’s evils,
From your first breath to the last breath you breathe,
    from this day and forever.

(Psalm 121)

God Takes the Time to Do Everything Right

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 “And then—then!—they’ll see the Son of Man welcomed in grand style—a glorious welcome! When all this starts to happen, up on your feet. Stand tall with your heads high. Help is on the way!”  (Luke 21:28)

God Takes the Time to Do Everything Right

We are surrounded by a culture that demands quick actions.

Whenever problems arise, this mentality can quickly leech over into our walk with God.

The Word promises that our salvation comes through repenting and resting, yet we strive to be acceptable to God on the basis of our works.

When difficulties arise God promises that quieting ourselves before Him and trusting is our Source of strength.

Yet we quickly react to the urgent in our lives and spring to action before finding the place of peace and quiet before God where our trust in Him gives us strength.

God Takes the Time to Do Everything Right

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When enemies, trouble, persecution and opposition rise up against the Word that God has planted in our hearts as His holy Seed, our hope, our blessed assurance and confident knowing is in calling on He who is Faithful and True to arise.

For nothing can stand against the LORD.

I believe God wants His people to be a witness of His truth in how we live out our salvation.

We’re to be resting in faith and responding to difficulty in a quiet trust that testifies to the strength of God is us.

When we take the time to be still before God, we will find that His answers for us are much different than the instinctive

reactions we first had.  We also learn that waiting on God in quiet trust results in fruit far beyond what our natural responses

could have accomplished.  God longs to be compassionate and gracious to us, but He requires our trust and yielding to do so.

God Takes the Time to Do Everything Right

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(Paul D. Blank, Pastor of Immanuel Christian Fellowship, Manheim Pennsylvania)

Dear Father, help me to learn that my strength is in being still before You and receiving Your provision and heart.

Help me not to react to my circumstances, but instead to find a place of peace in You and to be moved by Your

Holy Spirit.  In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

God Takes the Time to Do Everything Right

I will wait for You

I believe in the Word that You promised

I believe that You have heard; You Judge; You will see to it.

Forgive me for being restless and impatient for it is only in You that we live, move and have our being.

Forgive me for not striving for I am not a human ‘doing‘ but a human ‘being‘ created to be about my Father’s business

which is trusting and obeying Your Word as revealed by Your Holy Spirit in Christ Jesus. 

Amen.

God Takes the Time to Do Everything Right

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God Takes the Time to Do Everything Right

 

God holds me head and shoulders
    above all who try to pull me down.
I’m headed for His place to offer anthems
    that will raise the roof!
Already I’m singing God-songs;
    I’m making music to God.

Listen, God, I’m calling at the top of my lungs:
    “Be good to me! Answer me!”
When my heart whispered, “Seek God,”
    my whole being replied,
“I’m seeking Him!”

(Psalm 27:6-9)

God Takes the Time to Do Everything Right

 

Others too were radiant at what He did for them. Theirs was no downcast look of rejection!

Look to Him and shine,
    so shame will never contort your faces.

(Psalm 34:5)

God Takes the Time to Do Everything Right

Arise, shine, for your light has broken through!
    The Eternal One’s brilliance has dawned upon you.
See truly; look carefully—darkness blankets the earth;
    people all over are cloaked in darkness.
But God will rise and shine on you;
    the Eternal’s bright glory will shine on you, a light for all to see.
Nations north and south, peoples east and west, will be drawn to your light,
    will find purpose and direction by your light.
In the radiance of your rising, you will enlighten the leaders of nations.

Don’t be shy; don’t be doubtful; lift up your eyes and look around.
    They have gathered all around you, eager to come and be close to you.
And your children will come back to this land:
    your sons from the farthest places of wandering,
    and your daughters gently carried home.
And when you see it, your face will glow;
    your heart will race and be filled with joy.

(Isaiah 60:1-5)Image

 

God Takes the Time to Do Everything Right

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.
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.

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.

Please answer me: Don’t give up.
    Wait for the Eternal in expectation, and be strong.
    Again, wait for the Eternal.

(Psalm 27:11-14)

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God puts us through a tough training program because He always goes for the gold!  Some never let the Master get started with the training.  Others don't stay with it long enough to experience that possible high.  Then there are those glowing, radiating participants--spiritually exercised disciples, the mature disciplined ones.

God puts us through a tough training program because He always goes for the gold! Some never let the Master get started with the training. Others don’t stay with it long enough to experience that possible high. Then there are those glowing, radiating participants–spiritually exercised disciples, the mature disciplined ones.

 

Basic meaning of the word, “disciple”:

“student,” “pupil,” “apprentice,” or “adherent,” as opposed to a “teacher.”

In the ancient world, however, it is most often associated, with people who were devoted followers of a great religious leader or teacher of philosophy.

The Hebrew term for followers is fromלמד which means “to learn” or “instruct.” 

Being a disciple one must have a willing, listening, and obedient heart.  A teachable heart that follows instructions.

Hearing and doing.

Trusting and obeying.

The Greeks used the term μαθητής to refer to a “learner,” or on a more committed level, an “adherent.”

 

Discipleship as a Call to Personal Commitment to Jesus

In the Bible, discipline has a positive and essential place in the lives of God’s people.

God had prescribed a way of life for His people. They had to learn how to be obedient.

The process by which God’s people learned obedience was the

discipline of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 11:2 NIV).

 

Discipline comes from a Latin word “disco” which means to learn or get to know, a direct kind of acquaintance with something or someone. Discipline refers to the process by which one learns a way of life. A disciple was like an apprentice who was learning a trade or craft from a master. Such learning required a relationship between the master who knew the way of life (discipline) and a learner (a disciple). Within this relationship, the master led a learner through a process (the discipline) until the learner could imitate or live like the master.

 

In the Old Testament, the covenant relationship between God and His people made Yahweh the Master.

Through praise and correction, God led His people.

The goal was to bring His people to a kind of maturity where obedience was the rule rather than the exception.

Parents, judges, kings, prophets, and wisemen worked with God in teaching His people.

Successful discipline resulted in a life pleasing to God.

The earliest setting for discipline was the family (Deuteronomy 6:20-25 ).

(from Holman Bible Dictionary: Discipline)

Not my will but Thine.

So don’t feel sorry for yourselves.

Or have you forgotten how good parents treat children, and that God regards you as His children?

My dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline,
    but don’t be crushed by it either.
It’s the child He loves that He disciplines;
    the child He embraces, He also corrects.

God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children.

This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training, the normal experience of children.

Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God?

We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God’s training so we can truly live?

While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them.

But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God’s holy best.

At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.  (Hebrews 12:4-11)

 

 

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God is continuously in the business of making His children into what He wants them to be.

And He knows when and how to answer our prayers to make it happen.

Cutting short that process by answering our prayers too soon or the way we thought He shold

deprives us of His divine perfecting.

God changes caterpillars into butterflies,

Sand into pearls,

and coal into diamonds.

Using Time and Pressure

He’s working on you too.

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When we say, “I can’t resolve the problem.

God says, “Trust in Me.”   (Proverbs 3:5-6)

God says,

I will meet your needs

I will teach you.”

I will show you and give you revelation.”

So that you understand the covenant I have made with you.”

Strength from Weakness

Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head,

I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations.

Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees.

No danger then of walking around high and mighty!

At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it.

Three times I did that, and then He told me,

“My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.”

Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift.

It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness.

Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.  (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

 

Don’t look for the exit sign

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Be a Disciple

It is difficult to persevere, confident of God’s timing and faithfulness, when circumstances scream at us to find the nearest exit door from the place of testing.  One lesson we must learn is that God’s process for maturing us usually runs directly through the wilderness of testing and opposition.

We walk through the valley of the shadow of death to learn about our shepherd’s rod and staff.  Only after the lesson of that valley are walked through does He prepare a table for us in the presence of what opposed us and then the anointing pours over us and the cup of blessing overflows.  (see Psalm 23).

God desires to pour out the full measure of blessing, but not before the desert place has tested our hearts and proven His.  When we try to “run on swift horses” to escape the process designed to teach us repentance, rest, quietness, and trust, God is obligated to send the process swiftly to the next place we run until we finally embrace it and learn His heart.

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Remember, God is gracious and longs to show compassion, but He cannot do so if we constantly run for the nearest exit from the place He has determined we will discover it.

Lord, teach me to view my circumstances through Your eyes Help me to rest in You and not run from what I must walk through in order to receive Your anointing and blessing found only in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, Amen.

Shared from Paul D. Blank, Pastor

Immanuel Christian Fellowship, Manheim, PA

 

God Takes the Time to Do Everything Right

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Don’t Throw It All Away

So, friends, we can now—without hesitation—walk right up to God, into “the Holy Place.” Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The “curtain” into God’s presence is his body.

 

So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.

 

If we give up and turn our backs on all we’ve learned, all we’ve been given, all the truth we now know, we repudiate Christ’s sacrifice and are left on our own to face the Judgment—and a mighty fierce judgment it will be! If the penalty for breaking the law of Moses is physical death, what do you think will happen if you turn on God’s Son, spit on the sacrifice that made you whole, and insult this most gracious Spirit? This is no light matter. God has warned us that he’ll hold us to account and make us pay. He was quite explicit: “Vengeance is mine, and I won’t overlook a thing” and “God will judge his people.” Nobody’s getting by with anything, believe me.

 

Remember those early days after you first saw the light? Those were the hard times! Kicked around in public, targets of every kind of abuse—some days it was you, other days your friends. If some friends went to prison, you stuck by them. If some enemies broke in and seized your goods, you let them go with a smile, knowing they couldn’t touch your real treasure. Nothing they did bothered you, nothing set you back. So don’t throw it all away now. You were sure of yourselves then. It’s still a sure thing! But you need to stick it out, staying with God’s plan so you’ll be there for the promised completion.

It won’t be long now, he’s on the way;
    he’ll show up most any minute.
But anyone who is right with me thrives on loyal trust;
    if he cuts and runs, I won’t be very happy.

But we’re not quitters who lose out. Oh, no! We’ll stay with it and survive, trusting all the way.

(Hebrews 10:19-39)

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The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him,
and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.
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Come close to the one true God, and He will draw close to you. Wash your hands; you have dirtied them in sin.
Cleanse your heart, because your mind is split down the middle, your love for God on one side and selfish pursuits on the other.
(James 4:8)
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.
(Psalm 73:28) 
Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.  (1 Timothy 2:8)
 
You are my hiding place; You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.
 
Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.  (1 Peter 1:22)Image
 
Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God
 
Our feet are standing Within your gates, O Jerusalem 
–That I may declare Your praises in the gates of Daughter Zion, and there rejoice in Your salvation.

The LORD said to me, “Proclaim all these words in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: ‘Listen to the terms of this covenant and follow them.”

All who have this hope in Him purify themselves, just as He is pure.

My loved ones, let us devote ourselves to loving one another. Love comes straight from God, and everyone who loves is born of God and truly knows God.  Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

 Because of this, the love of God is a reality among us: God sent His only Son into the world so that we could find true life through Him. This is the embodiment of true love: not that we have loved God first, but that He loved us and sent His unique Son on a special mission to become an atoning sacrifice for our sins.   So, my loved ones, if God loved us so sacrificially, surely we should love one another. No one has ever seen God with human eyes; but if we love one another, God truly lives in us. Consequently God’s love has accomplished its mission among us.

 How can we be sure that He truly lives in us and that we truly live in Him? By one fact: He has given us His Spirit.

We have watched what God has done, and we stand ready to provide eyewitness testimonies to the reality that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.  

If anyone unites with our confession that Jesus is God’s own Son, then God truly lives in that person and that person lives in God.   We have experienced and we have entrusted our lives to the love of God in us.

God is love. Anyone who lives faithfully in love also lives faithfully in God, and God lives in him. 

This love is fulfilled with us,

so that on the day of judgment we have confidence based on our identification with Jesus in this world.  

Love will never invoke fear. Perfect love expels fear, particularly the fear of punishment.

The one who fears punishment has not been completed through love.

We love because He has first loved usIf someone claims, “I love God,” but hates his brother or sister, then he is a liar. Anyone who does not love a brother or sister, whom he has seen, cannot possibly love God, whom he has never seen. 

He gave us a clear command, that all who love God must also love their brothers and sisters.  (1 John 4:7-21)

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  “I still remember the way you clung to Me in your youth, in the early days of our union.
        Like a young bride, you loved the vows you made.
    As I led you from slavery in Egypt to your freedom in Canaan, you drew close to Me.
        Even in the barren wilderness along the way, I filled your every need.
In those days, you, Israel, were set apart for Me, the Eternal.
        You were like the first portions of the harvest—devoted and true.
    All who defied this arrangement and ate My portion for themselves were guilty,
        and evil rained down upon them.”  (Jeremiah 2:2-3)

Therefore tell the people:

This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Return to me,’ declares the LORD Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the LORD Almighty.  

From the days of your ancestors you have ignored my commandments and have not kept them! Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD who rules over all. “But you say, ‘How should we return?

But you have behaved more wickedly than your ancestors. See how all of you are following the stubbornness of your evil hearts instead of obeying Me.

(Zechariah 1:3; Malachi 3:7; Jeremiah 16:12)

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Repentance is a Change of Direction; A Change of Heart

Let Us Go to the Lord’s House!

We are creatures of choice and we have the ability to choose how we will react to any circumstance.

Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you. 

Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established.  (Psalm 4:25-26)

Choose wisely before taking the first step and as you walk, know that the Lord walks with you when you choose to

align your heart in agreement with His Word and life in alignment with His Will.  His Holy Spirit is given to lead and

guide you into all Truth every step of the Way into Everlasting Life in Christ Jesus, the Anointed One and His anointing.

 If you decide that you’re not willing to serve Him, then today is the day for you to choose whom you will serve. 

…But as for me and my family, we will serve the Eternal.   (Joshua 24:15)

Those of us who follow Jesus today come to know Him as that gentle but strong shepherd who guides us through life if we will follow Him.

The Eternal is my shepherd, He cares for me always.
He provides me rest in rich, green fields
    beside streams of refreshing water.
    He soothes my fears;
He makes me whole again,
    steering me off worn, hard paths
    to roads where truth and righteousness echo His name.

Even in the unending shadows of death’s darkness,
    I am not overcome by fear.
Because You are with me in those dark moments,
    near with Your protection and guidance,
    I am comforted.

You spread out a table before me,
    provisions in the midst of attack from my enemies;
You care for all my needs, anointing my head with soothing, fragrant oil,
    filling my cup again and again with Your grace.
 Certainly Your faithful protection and loving provision will pursue me
    where I go, always, everywhere.
I will always be with the Eternal,
    in Your house forever.

(Psalm 23)

What happens when you come into agreement with
God’s Word, His Spirit and His people

Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it.

A Call to Be Holy

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Because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”

If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth;  knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,

but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.

For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you 

who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory,

so that your faith and hope are in God.

(1 Peter 1:16-21)

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.  (Matthew 5:8)

He will call out to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, the Rock my Savior.’  (Psalm 89:26)

My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.  
But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.  (James 2:1; 9)

Do not show partiality in judging; hear both small and great alike. Do not be afraid of anyone, for judgment belongs to God. Bring me any case too hard for you, and I will hear it. 

For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.

For God does not show favoritism. 

As for those who were held in high esteem–whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not show favoritism–they added nothing to my message.

(Deuteronomy 1:17;10:17; Romans 2:11; Galatians 2:6) 

Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.  (Colossians 3:25)

Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God

Hide Your face from my sins And blot out all my iniquities.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.  (Psalm 51:9-11)

And God, who knows the heart, testified to them giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us;

and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith.  (Acts 15:8-9)

Opening his mouth, Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality,

but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him.” (Acts 10:34-35)

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For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love.

(Ephesians 1:4)

For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.  (Romans 8:29)

Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great:

He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.  (1 Timothy 3:16) 

But in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom also He made the universe.  (Hebrews 1:2)

Since the children have flesh and blood, He too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might break the power of him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil–

(Hebrews 2:14)

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Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord!  

And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 

Keep these words in your heart that I am telling you today. Do your best to teach them to your children.

Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk on the road and when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as something special to see on your hand and on your forehead. 

Write them beside the door of your house and on your gates.

  The Lord your God will bring you into the land He promised to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give to you.

(Deuteronomy 6:4-10)

The Lord will watch over your coming and going, now and forever.  (Psalm 121:8)

To me, one of the most precious scriptures in all the Word of God is Psalm 133.

Verse one says, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

There are three Hebrew words that are critical to understanding the power and promise of this verse.

The first is pleasant—the Hebrew word means “musical.”

The second is “dwell”—the Hebrew word means to pitch a tent.

The final word is “unity”—the Hebrew word means agreement.

It is the same word, “echoed,” used in Deuteronomy 6:4 by Moses—“Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one.”

By joining in agreement with God’s Word, His Holy Spirit and His people in the city where He wrote His name, you are creating Heavenly music as you pitch your tent in the Holy City together with prophets, priests, and kings of old and releasing God’s prophetic power in your life. That’s amazing!

And it is greatly needed right now.

(Dr. Mike Evans)

“God’s way of salvation is made available through the Jews. But the time is coming—it has, in fact, comewhen what you’re called will not matter and where you go to worship will not matter.

 “It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God.

Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth.

That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for:

those who are simply and honestly themselves before Him in their worship.

God is sheer being itself—Spirit.

Those who worship Him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.”  (John 4:22-24)

God’s loving presence has come to all people and not just to Jews.  The truth is, that through Jesus, God is making all people, and not just one chosen nation, clean and whole.

As we let go of the traditions of men, we are letting go of much that divides us from God and one another

So that we can take hold of the commands of God through steadfast faith in Christ Jesus, the Son of God.

I pray that we be truly Christ’s disciples–His Holy Spirit our guide and teacher leading us out of dead religious

thinking and traditions.  To walk as Christ did through and past every obstacle on the narrow road that leads to

Real Life that we be no distracted, sidetracked, blindsided in any counterfeit pursuit that seeks to replace complete

confidence in God’s Son (for all of God’s promises are “Yes and Amen” in Christ Jesus).  That nothing or no one separate

us from God’s unfailing love in Christ Jesus.  Amen.

A song of David  for those journeying to worship.

This is a Davidic psalm celebrating the grandeur and significance of Jerusalem and its temple.

It is ironic that Jerusalem means “city of peace” since more battles have been fought over it than over any other city.

 I was so happy when my fellow pilgrims said,
    Let’s go to the house of the Eternal!

(Psalm 122:1)

Then the King will say to those on his right,

Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.’  (Matthew 25:34)

We have made the journey, and now we are standing
    within your gates, O Jerusalem.

Jerusalem! What a magnificent city!
    Buildings so close together, so compact.
God’s people belong here. Every tribe of the Eternal
    makes its way to Jerusalem
Just as God decreed for Israel
    to come together and give thanks to the Eternal.
In Jerusalem, justice is the order of the day because there sit the judges
    and kings, the descendants of David.

Ask heaven to grant peace to Jerusalem:
    “May those who love you prosper.
O Jerusalem, may His peace fill this entire city!
    May this citadel be quiet and at ease!”
It’s because of people—my family, friends, and acquaintances
    that I say, “May peace permeate you.”
And because the house of Eternal One, our God, is here, know this:
    I will always seek your good!

(Psalm 122;2-9)

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The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom.  TO HIM BE GLORY FOR EVER AND EVER.  AMEN  (2 TIMOTHY 4:18)

As Christ spent one-fourth of His recorded ministry dealing with the enemy; let this be a Word of warning to us, as

Christ’s followers, to be constantly alert that we open our minds not to Satan but to God our Father who is in heaven.

And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.  (Acts 10:38)

Jesus:   The truth is that the Son does nothing on His own; all these actions are led by the Father.

The Son watches the Father closely and then mimics the work of the Father. 

The Father loves the Son, so He does not hide His actions. Instead, He shows Him everything, and the things not yet revealed by the Father will dumbfound you.  

The Father can give life to those who are dead; in the same way, the Son can give the gift of life to those He chooses.

The Father does not exert His power to judge anyone. Instead, He has given the authority as Judge to the Son.

So all of creation will honor and worship the Son as they do the Father.

If you do not honor the Son, then you dishonor the Father who sent Him.

 I tell you the truth: eternal life belongs to those who hear My voice and believe in the One who sent Me.

These people have no reason to fear judgment because they have already left death and entered life.

 I tell you the truth: a new day is imminent—in fact, it has arrived—when the voice of the Son of God will penetrate death’s domain, and everyone who hears will live.

You see, the Father radiates with life;

and He also animates the Son of God with the same life-giving beauty and power to exercise judgment over all of creation. Indeed, the Son of God is also the Son of Man. 

If this sounds amazing to you, what is even more amazing is that when the time comes, those buried long ago will hear His voice through all the rocks, sod, and soil and step out of decay into resurrection.

When this hour arrives, those who did good will be resurrected to life,

and those who did evil will be resurrected to judgment.

 I have not ever acted, and will not in the future act, on My own. I listen to the directions of the One who sent Me and act on these divine instructions. For this reason, My judgment is always fair and never self-serving. I’m committed to pursuing God’s agenda and not My own.  (John 5:17-30)

 

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For the worship leader. A song of David.

Psalm 68 is a hymn describing God as a Divine Warrior,

marching from Sinai through the wilderness to make His home in Jerusalem.

May the True God rise up and show Himself;
    may those who are united against Him be dispersed,
    while the people who hate Him run away at the sight of Him.
As smoke disappears when it is blown by the wind,
    may You blow away Your enemies forever.
As wax melts in the presence of fire,
    may the wicked heart melt away in God’s presence.
But may those who are righteous rejoice
    in the presence of the True God—so may they be glad and rejoice.
    Yes, let them celebrate with joy!

 Sing songs of praise to the name that belongs to the True God!
    Let your voices ring out in songs of praise to Him, the One who rides through the deserted places.
His name is the Eternal;
    celebrate in His glorious presence.

The True God who inhabits sacred space
    is a father to the fatherless, a defender of widows.
He makes a home for those who are alone.
    He frees the prisoners and leads them to prosper.
Yet those who rebel against Him live in the barren land without His blessings and prosperity.

O True God, when You led Your enslaved people from Egypt,
    when You journeyed with us through the wilderness,

[pause]

The whole world trembled! The sky poured down rain
    at the power of Your presence; even Mount Sinai trembled in Your presence,
    the presence of the True God, the God of Israel.
You sent a heavy downpour to soak the ground, O True God.
    You refreshed the land—the land Your people would inherit—when it was parched and dry.
 Your covenant people made their homes in the land,
    and because You are so good, You provided for those crushed by poverty, O True God.

The Lord gives the word;
    there are very many women ready to tell the good news:
 “Kings who lead the armies are on the run!
    They are on the run!
And the woman who stays at home is ready, too,
    ready to enjoy the treasures that they’ve left behind!”
When they lay down among the campfires and open the saddlebags, imagine what they’ll find—
    a beautiful dove, its wings covered with silver,
    its feathers a shimmering gold.

When the Almighty scattered the kings from that place,
    it was snowing in Zalmon.

 O Mount Bashan, you mighty mountain of the True God;
    mountain of many peaks, O Mount Bashan.
 Why are you so jealous, O mountain of many peaks,
    when you look at the mountain the True God has chosen as His dwelling place?
    The Eternal will surely abide on Mount Zion forever.

The chariots of God are innumerable;
    there are thousands upon thousands of them.
The Lord is in their midst, just as He was at Mount Sinai.
    He has come into the holy place.
When You ascended the sacred mountain,
    with Your prisoners in tow, Your captives in chains,
    You sat in triumph receiving gifts from men,
Even from those who rebel against You, so that You, the Eternal God, might take up residence there.
Blessed be the Lord
    who carries our heavy loads every day,
    the True God who is our salvation.

[pause]

We know our God is the God who delivers us,
    and the Eternal, the Lord, is the One who saves us from the grip of death.

The True God will certainly shatter the skulls of those who oppose Him;
    He’ll smash the hairy head of the man who continues on his sinful ways.
The Lord said,
    “I will bring the enemy back from Bashan.
I will bring them back from the deepest parts of the sea,
So that you may plant your feet in their blood
    and your dogs may lick up their portion of the foe.”
The solemn march in Your honor, O True God, has come into view;
    the march that celebrates my God, my King, has come into the sanctuary.
 The singers went first, and the musicians came last
    between rows of girls who played tambourines.
 Come, let us gather to bless the True God
    and to praise the Eternal, He who is the fountain of Israel, the source of our life!
 Look! There are the rulers of Benjamin, the youngest in the lead.
    A great crowd follows
The princes of Judah,
    the princes of Zebulun, the princes of Naphtali.

 [Your God is the One who has given you strength];
    show Your power, O True God, as You have done for us.
 Because of Your magnificent temple in Jerusalem,
    many kings will line up to bring You gifts.
Reprimand the beasts in the tall grass,
    the herds of bulls that are with the people’s calves,
Trampling over the pieces of silver.
    He has driven out the people who love to be at war.
 Ambassadors will come from Egypt;
    the people of Ethiopia  will reach out their hands to the one True God.

Let all the kingdoms of the earth sing to the True God.
    Sing songs of praise to the Lord.

[pause]

To Him who rides high up beyond the heavens, which have been since ancient times,
    watch and listen. His voice speaks, and it is powerful and strong.
Attribute power to the one True God;
    His royal splendor is evident over Israel,
    and His power courses through the clouds.
O True God, You are awesome from the holy place where You dwell.
    The True God of Israel Himself
    grants strength and power to His people.

Blessed be our God!

Literally, selah, likely a musical direction from a Hebrew root meaning “to lift up

(Psalm 68)
 
Where God has given steadfast hope, He expects there should be a steady, regular walk and conduct.
(Matthew Henry)
 
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.

(Psalm 1)

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