Sovereign Adonai

“But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” Genesis 15:2 NIV

In this verse, Abram seeks God for His promise, and we could study how profound this request is:
*Seeking God to provide a legacy,
*Seeking God for the ‘child’ promise and all the different meanings of the symbol of a child (including Christ coming as a child), and
*Seeking God for the promised inheritance – The Kingdom of God.
This is way too good to breeze over (but not the point of this study).  So let’s take a quick moment to think about the specific promises God has made to us. You know the ones where you look up a verse and it confirms a prayer – or you seek a verse in order to pray.

One of my favorite promises right now is:
In Luke 15:17 were it says “When he came to his senses” in reference to the prodigals.  This does not say if he does. It doesn’t say maybe he will.  It is written that the prodigals will come to their senses! AMEN! What a beautiful promise!

But let’s take a second look at this verse, but this time let us just look at those first few words:

New International Version – “But Abram said, “Sovereign LORD”
English Standard Version – “But Abram said, “O Lord GOD”
King James Bible – “And Abram said, Lord GOD”
Contemporary English Version – “But Abram answered, “LORD All-Powerful”
GOD’S WORD Translation – “Abram asked, “Almighty LORD”
American Standard Version – “And Abram said, O Lord Jehovah”
Brenton Septuagint Translation – “And Abram said, Master and Lord”
World English Bible – “Abram said, “Lord Yahweh”

This is the first use of the Hebrew word Adonai in the Bible.  Why was this name of God used in this particular verse – and why is it used throughout the Hebrew text – what does this verse reveal about God?  Lots of questions.

First of all, did you notice how brazen the question in the verse was? “What will you give me?” BOLD! Sounds so self-entitled! But when you see He called out to Adonai, (and you know who Adonai is) you understand how humble a request this is.

Adonai! Lord! Master, owner, has sovereignty over us! To call God Adonai acknowledges His leadership over you. His ownership of you. 
(um, girl?!?! This is 2020 and ain’t no one gots no ownership over no one – K?)
OK – so this name for our almighty God requires submission on our part, deep submission.  Open up to understand this, because a well of gratitude for who God is will swell in you as you understand.
As a parent I understand this sense of ownership from an owner’s point of view – that is MY child! As a child, did I understand this respectful submission going from child to parent?  I did not.  (Modern life has lost respect, love, and God – therefore many Godly principals which we should easily relate to, we now have to research to understand – sadly) So we must understand it isn’t “Daddy” or “Abba” but it is Father with the great reverence, respect and His ownership.

“The Father has loved us so much that we are called children of God. And we really are his children.” 1 John 3:1a NCV
We really are children of the fearful, to be revered, holy Father! Wow! There is that swelling in my heart – worship Him – worship Adonai!

Therefore Adonai is a respectful understanding of a father over a child – but it is so much more.  It doesn’t have a nice clean translation from Hebrew to English. Adonai’s meaning is multifaceted with it all being combined to mean – Adonai (which is written in English as “Lord”).   

Here in Genesis, and most frequently throughout Isaiah, Adonai is accompanied by the word Jehovah which means LORD. Adonai Jehovah! Lord LORD! Sovereign master LORD!

I know this is a different kind of Bible study than I usually post. It is good to study the words and the meanings because then your Bible studies are biblically accurate back to the Hebrew and Greek. So, we shall continue down this rabbit hole..

The 10 commandments forbade man from taking the Lord’s name in vain. They understood the depths of His Holiness and had strong fear of the Lord. Therefore when writing out the Bible they used YHWH.   As the bible was written and rewritten many times eventually most substituted Adonai in the place of YHWH for fear of taking His name in vain.  It is amazing that no matter how many different translations and no matter how many times it was written and rewritten – the Bible remains the inspired word of God, His revelation to man of Himself and His plan of salvation – and it never changes!

Adonai then takes on a stronger level of holiness, fear, reverence and respect for Lordship, Ruler, Leader, Master, Owner, Sovereignty, and Even Father.

So, let’s think about a kingdom in some fairy-tale – There is a great and powerful king who is well loved.And you are the child of this king and let us say you are about 7 or 8 years old.  When daddy is in the garden, he rolls around and plays with you, teaches you and loves you – and that doesn’t ever change, however, when daddy is holding court… now you must call him ‘king’ and show him the same respect that all the people in the court show him.  He is the king.  But to you he is more than king – he is your king and he is your father = ADONAI.

If you are understanding, you must worshiping Him with me – from deep within.  Understanding the name of whom we serve – understanding our relationship – our ownership. 

“Adonai our Lord, how excellent is Your Name in all the earth, You who set Your splendor above the heavens!” Psalm 8:1-2 TLV
Lord, LORD – we worship you in all your splendor!

“I heard Adonai’s voice, saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then I said, ‘Here I am. Send me!’” Isaiah 6:8 CJB
Wow – It is our owner who asked. Our all-knowing Father who asked. If this Holy one (and I understand the depths of His Holiness and respect Him) asks anything – who am I to say no? Of course, send me!

“He will swallow up death forever. Adonai [YHWH] Adonai will wipe away the tears from every face, and He will remove from all the earth the disgrace His people suffer. For Adonai [YHWH] has spoken.” Isaiah 25:8 CJB
We see here where Adonai was used to replace YHWH. Other translations say “Lord, LORD” – we should always pay attention when the word “Lord” is repeated. Many times when repeated it is “YHWH Adonai”, “Adonai Elohim”, “Adonai Jehovah”, etc.

Also there are times where Adonai is used alone. But look what happens when we use His Name(s) correctly:

“22 Therefore, you are great, ADONAI, God; for there is no one like you, and there is no God besides you – everything we have heard confirms that. 23 Who can be compared with your people, with Isra’el? What other nation on earth did God set out to redeem and make into a people for himself? You made yourself a reputation by doing for your land things that even for you are great and terrifying, for the sake of your people whom you redeemed for yourself from Egypt and from other nations and from their gods. 24 You set up your people for yourself as your people forever; and you, ADONAI, became their God. 25 So now, ADONAI, God, establish forever the word you have spoken to your servant and his house; do what you have promised. 26 May your name be magnified forever, so that it will be said, ‘ADONAI-Tzva’ot is God over Isra’el, and the dynasty of your servant David will be set up in your presence.’ 27 You, ADONAI-Tzva’ot, God of Isra’el, have disclosed to your servant, ‘I will build you a house. ‘This is why your servant has the courage to pray this prayer to you. 28 Now, Adonai ELOHIM, you alone are God; your words are truth; and you have made this wonderful promise to your servant. 29 So may it please you to bless the family of your servant and thereby cause it to continue forever in your presence. For you, Adonai ELOHIM, have said it. May your servant’s family be blessed forever by your blessing.” 2 Samuel 7:22-29 CJB

Well, I am going to leave you thinking on that. It is so GOOD! The God given kind of good. Enjoy.

Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

~Grace be with you ~
~Thank you for reading ~ Be healthy and blessed ~
~ Pray for our nation ~ Pray Psalm 91 ~

I don’t know what to pray

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 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 8:26-27 NIV

Let’s see if I can successfully insert an image into this blog:

If you cannot see it, it is a letter board that you put letters in to make a sign – but the letters are all scrambled and dropped on the sign.

I have seen this many times – every time I can relate it to a time I have prayed.  Today, I feel it to my core.  The verse above from the book of Romans gives some understanding to the feeling – sometimes we just don’t know what to pray as we ought and must rely on the Spirit to intercede. Although we feel this sometimes the Bible says to pray in the Spirit at all times.

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6::18 NIV

Before I get along too far let me throw in this passage:

“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:1-4 NKJV

Pentecost is a festival celebrated on the fiftieth day after Passover – this year’s Pentecost is coming up on May 31st.  Jesus’s followers gathered and prayed during the day of Pentecost in this passage and the Holy Spirit baptized them in fire with the evidence of praying in the Spirit as the Spirit gave them utterance.  If you have not yet experienced this, then pray for it – that is what the disciples did as you see here.  For added help, read the whole chapter of Acts 2.  And pray from your heart – pray all the things there are just no words to pray. Pray all the things you cannot fully understand yet. Let go and cry it all out to God.

For me, my heart has been heavy.  These people I pray for seem to rail against God. They are angry about the evils which have happened to them and have twisted it all around and with or without realizing it, they hold God responsible.

My heart breaks – it aches – the God who can set them free they blame for their self-imposed bondage.  I know if I hurt, God is also hurting. Jesus loves us – this we know. God loves us – this we know. The Spirit loves us – that is why the Spirit converts these deep pains (and joys) into prayers on our behalf.
The pain they are feeling over the lost souls is something we can only just begin to understand. So when we are hurting for them – know they are the creation of Jesus and have at the moment rejected Him, and His heart is broken too.

Often when these prodigals reject God – they also reject us and that rejection hurts us as well. God understand our pain and understands the complexities of it more than we do. He knew we would not have the words or knowledge of how to pray and gave us the Holy Spirit.
Oh Lord – How I love them!!! How I want what is best for them!!! I want to pray blessings into their lives and share you with them – I want to rejoice in their testimony and I long for the restoration!

How do I pray for their safety when they choose to be unsafe? How do I pray for the word of God to get in when they refuse to read?

I do encourage myself (and you) – it is written: the prodigal comes home!

“So he [the prodigal] got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” Luke 15:20 NIV

In the meanwhile, I find every applicable verse in the Bible and pray it…

“And [I pray] that the eyes of your heart [the very center and core of your being] may be enlightened [flooded with light by the Holy Spirit], so that you will know and cherish the hope [the divine guarantee, the confident expectation] to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints (God’s people)” Ephesians 1:18 AMP

I remind God – your word says it – I have prayed it – you wish none shall perish! Bring awakening and transformation!

I continue to cry out – Father God, look at what you have done in me! Let me testify of your goodness! If I, being as evil and horrible as I was could be transformed – you can do this or greater in these people who I pray for!

I eventually run out of verses – despite my constant searching for them.  I have prayed every last one and prayed them continually as the persistent widow!  But God, You said, You said…. I plea.
Every single day, without fail, at some point – I thank God for them and ask for grace for them and pray for their return.
Every. Single. Day.

“For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 14:2 ESV

So – as I am left depleted of words but my heart still burdened, I cry out in the Spirit!  I think the only word I have left is “breakthrough”.  And I find it mixed into the cries, tears, utterances, and worship.  Just a bunch of letters dropped on the message board. Just a great big dumping out of all that is in my heart.

“And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.” 1 John 5:15 ESV

Even the things we ask for that we do not even know we ask because we ask them when we “utters mysteries in the Spirit”. 

I tell myself – hang in there. Let me remind you as well, hang in there.  There is NO stronghold that will stop the flow of the Spirit!  Flow of the waters. Let me tell you about a thought I was having.
We had a storm move through our area, last Friday night. The predictions were bad.  We prayed God would calm the storm and our neighborhood experienced very little. Our experience was hardly even news worthy. (Praise the Lord for that praise report!) However, the surrounding areas had wind damage and minor flooding – and before I get off onto the storm it is the water I was thinking about.

The storm front, as it approached, was dark and looked like the sky was ripped open and water just poured out from it.  This water (all water) flows into everything. Including my basement.  It was not a lot of water and turning on the dehumidifier should dry it back up, the point is that a rock wall, sealed and resilient. The foundational structures in place. The pavement around the house. The soil, dirt, bedrock, roots of thirsty trees – nothing could stop the water from getting in. NOTHING. No matter how stubborn my house is.

And the same with the Living Water!

Yes, there is free will and all of that – BUT never underestimate God! God is still in control!  And when the trumpet sounds and we shoot up to meet Jesus – our prayers have been heard and they will be with us as well!

Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

~Grace be with you ~
~Thank you for reading ~ Be healthy and blessed ~
~ Pray for our nation ~ Pray Psalm 91 ~

It always comes back to grace

“And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. I have become foolish; you yourselves compelled me. Actually I should have been commended by you, for in no respect was I inferior to the most eminent apostles, even though I am a nobody.” 2 Corinthians 12: 9-11 NAS

Oh that sweet, sweet grace.  Today, let me be bathed in grace – that amazing grace that is sufficient. It is enough.

I have some sinus congestion, and with the changing of weather, the pressure in my head is… well, let’s just say it is noticeable. That compounded with a rough week, added to with some worrisome (for lack of a better word) news from my family – I did not sleep well last night.  Late this morning when I woke up, I received news that my sisters in Christ also had a strange (again lacking a better word) night. But ‘JOY comes in the morning’! But did it though?

I feel: Tired. Weak. Worn out. And even a little discouraged.
I sat down hoping to open my Bible and have a refreshing flood pour out and grace – yes grace – poured from the pages!!! As I am only human, and weak, and worn down, and a nobody –   And Christ says ‘but I am glorified as My power is perfected in weakness!’ AMEN!
And look again at verse 11 – even though I am a nobody, I can be lifted up like Paul (who wrote the book) was. 

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31 NIV

Lift – like the wind under the wings of eagles. And look at this grace: The Lord will renew our strength! Thank you Jesus!

To paraphrase Isaiah 44:21 – “Remember these things, for you, are my servant. I have made you, I will not forget you.”  God saw this week, last night, and my struggle. He has been right here by my side. He not only see me, He made me and knows me (Psalm 139). He has heard my prayers and hasn’t forgotten.

Oh – those prayers – As I persevere in prayer for the prodigals and try to build the faith of my brothers and sisters in Christ, did I forget that it would probably make a few demonic powers mad? Did I forget this is a battle? 
What do we know about battle strategy? Maybe that is something I should study up on.
But I know a good leader will stagger his troops out so that each individual can get rest enough to keep going.  Today I rest in that grace.  So I can stand therefore ( a military term meaning, when the battle is over get back up and be ready because you do not know if there is a second wave or another battle).

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” Ephesians 6:10 KJV
Notice how is doesn’t say be strong in our own might and there is grace in this verse sufficient for our weakness! In His power which is never failing, never weak, and never stops working – this is what we are to be strong in!

And as we grow strong in the Lord, despite our weakness – we should expect a disturbance in the force (yes, a Star Wars reference).  The battle to stop your growth and prayer should increase! If it isn’t, are you even being effective? Are you making some demons mad with your prayers? Are you praying down stronghold that are stopping up salvation, transformation and those waters of life?! 
Let us encourage ourselves in the Lord! When you think you cannot pray any harder… keep praying – it is time for an awakening! Wake up and get dressed…

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. 21 But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things: 22 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts. 23 Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.” Ephesians 6:10-24 KJV

If you, like me, do not have strong military battle strategy knowledge – God provided us with the basics. Here is the uniform – and it is also the rules of the battle. Glory! He provides guidance! (Some who know me in person know I often say – read the Bible because it has our directions for the day. If you didn’t read it, then how do you know what to do?)

Those repeated terms – the ones we are all catching and coming together and sharing – please take notice that in this battle preparation passage are some of these key terms which shall define this time that we live in:

WATCH AND PRAY – in verse18 we see the word watch again and this time there is more direction on how to pray: “praying in the spirit”.  This verse is over full with important information. And high on that list is to pray for all saints. We are all in this battle – pray for me; I pray for you. We must have each other’s back in these battles. We must lift each other up in prayer.

BOLD – in verse 19 “open my mouth boldly” and in verse 20 “speak boldly, as I ought to”
This is a prayer for himself and all Christians – this is also a command from our leader in this battle.  We shall pray it and do it!

And then after the battle preparations and encouragement and lessons – in verse 23 he prayer for peace for them. Not the kind of peace that means there will not be a battle – No. There will and is a battle.  This is for peace in the battle – peace in the storm.

Verse 24 – grace. I can never get enough of this grace!!! 
He prays over them, and all in the battle including us, for God’s grace! This is also a lesson for us – pray grace over our brothers and sisters, pray grace over the battle, and bathe in grace!

In our weakness let Jesus be strong. Be encouraged. Be lifted up. Be submerged in grace!  Ultimately, ‘the battle is Mine, says the Lord.’  And the final battle was already won on the cross – through the ultimate act of grace.  Keep our eyes on the prize.

As the church awakens and is refreshed, as the prodigals come home, and as the spirit moves again with the power of fire – keep looking up my friends our salvation draws near!

Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

~Grace be with you ~
~Thank you for reading ~ Be healthy and blessed ~
~ Pray for our nation ~ Pray Psalm 91 ~

Getting Through a Rough Day

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4 ESV

This was a rough week. Friday was a rough day. Nothing in particular happened, was just a rough go of things. Work was challenging, but not in a good way (mostly personalities). And it seems everyone was having a bit of a time managing.
I open my Bible and said: Dear Lord, What do you have for when we are having a rough week?
And LOOK! He has joy. 

I am thankful that it wasn’t more of a trial. I am thankful I relied on God this week.  I am not yet perfect and complete – but God isn’t finished with me.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” James 1:5-8 ESV

Well, well – isn’t this ripe! Exactly what I need.
Lord, give me wisdom to manage the situations at work.
Oh wait there is more – with no doubting.  I can believe He’ll give me wisdom. I believe He will help me through that.
But I sit here with my bible and my laptop and I am hurrying to write this out – because a terrible storm is coming! The weather man said damaging winds and tornados. I am charging my phone pulled out the candles and lighter expecting to lose power. Some of the siding blew off my house in the last bad wind storm and I fear the loss of more siding. I have prayed that God would calm this storm. I have asked my friends to pray with me. Yet I have no faith in my siding. I suppose it is good not to have faith in siding and I should have faith in God!
While in a little boat, in a sea, a big storm came and Jesus told the storm (wind and waves) to calm – and it did. Jesus command the weather. I am ashamed of my wavering faith over such a small thing that I know he can do. I am believing Him for some pretty big things yet find myself weak over this little thing.

And the book of James continues with…

“Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away.  For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.” James 1:9-11

Humility.  And that is a recurring word lately.  With all of our prayers against this pandemic and all of our prayers for our governor here in NY – I have seen so many people talk about Him needing to be humbled.  I can’t help but think – maybe he isn’t the only one. This was actually the word, “Humility”, that I was going to study today. 

As we catch fire for Christ it is easy to become overly confident – forgetting ourselves in a sense.  Maybe a spirit of “Look how much I have grown” – forgetting it is God who has grown in us! We need to walk with the Lord in humility.

“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” James 1:12-15

This week I was tempted to slack a bit at work – justifying this thought – thinking on it. How easy it would be to get away with it. Working from home and in the middle of a project that should take me a long time, no one will ever know.  Yet, Jesus knows and said we should work as if we are working for God Himself!  I admit, I made my week rougher by thinking about it until I gave into it.  I have apologized and repented. I did pass some tests this week – but the ones I have not passed have made me more aware of the growth I still need.

“Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.  Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” James 1:16-18

And his disciple and guidance is a beautiful gift. So is my work situation and my boss; yep, gifts from God.
Actually the pending storm is a gift from God as it brings in the warmer temperatures.  And my house with loose siding is a gift from God – He gives it, if He takes away the siding, it is His will – His plan. He will provide a way to make the needed repairs as He promised He will provide for my needs!

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” James 1:19-21

If I had this verse implanted this week, so many of my troubles might have been eased. Quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.  Oh I heard and didn’t listen well enough and made a fool of myself – then asked for the opportunity to fix it before anyone else knew and was told no.  Oh I was quick to speak! I made myself so worked up with blablablabla…. I should have just shut up. Man I was angry! It’s not fair! (I suppose it I just did it her way to begin with I wouldn’t be in this situation. And this pattern seemed to repeat itself each day with one or more of these being violated by me.  I had forgotten this is a gift from God.  If I obeyed this verse, the trials may not have been there.

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror.  For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” James 1:22-25

Sigh – if only I had been a bit more of a doer this week. 

“If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” James 1:26-27

Well, I would not say my tongue was unbridled.  I think I hid my temper tantrum well. I kept up the appearances.  But Jesus saw me. I was not justified – considering I hid my actions should be proof enough that I was in the wrong.

Hopefully, I pass the next time.
Thank you Lord for working on me! Help me be a doer of the word!  Let my actions glorify you!  And thank you for the joy that comes with this – the joy of learning and growing – the joy of knowing you love me and that is why you work on me. And thank you Lord for this word – at just the right moment.

Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

~Grace be with you ~
~Thank you for reading ~ Be healthy and blessed ~
~ Pray for our nation ~ Pray Psalm 91 ~

Eternal well after a drought

“When heaven is shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against you, if they pray toward this place and acknowledge your name and turn from their sin, when you afflict them, then hear in heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel, when you teach them the good way in which they should walk, and grant rain upon your land, which you have given to your people as an inheritance.” 1 Kings 8:35-36 ESV

Drought. Spiritual drought.  I remember when I was a child and we went to prayer meetings and they were hours and hours long, women laying, kneeling, and pacing at the altar.  They sang, and prayed and worshiped – they cried out in groans and wailed.  I recall once a warning about becoming dry and that all started singing “Spring up a well!”

Over time that church had a few church splits and the focus was divided after the first. I don’t recall many good prayer meetings after that.  Attendance grew and dipped – the regular ebb and flow of a church doing the best they could do. God preserved His church – and I walked away.

Recently, I have noticed from conversations with others that the churches they attended did the same things. Not real notable revivals or visits from evangelists. Nothing bad – just staying the course.

In the world during that time, I noticed what others were saying about the church.  It was a dead concept. Churches, Christians and especially God had no power. Lives were not changed by believing in God and therefore believing in Him made no difference – it was a waste of time. More and more hardened their hearts – as individuals and as a nation we turned our back to Jesus as things dried up.

This is a spiritual drought if I ever did see one.

“On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.” John 7:37-39 NIV

Jesus promised a drink – a glass of water that would quench!
I am seeing more and more posts on social media which refer to God.  I hear more and more people talking about God.  And many are people I never in a million years would think they would be turning to God (ever)!  During this pandemic, people are thirsty and searching for that living water.

People are thirsty they are grasping at even the muddied waters. You know the images with a (hopefully) well-intended positive message, but the message is slightly off from the biblical truth.  It’s muddy water!  False profits will come and take the message of God and change it slightly, making false prophets hard to discern without really knowing your Bible well.  Be wary of false prophets.  
“For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” Matthew 24:24 NIV
Know the Bible, discern the spirits, and be wise.  

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

They post verses and search for this plan God has to get them through this time.  Oh – but His plan is so much bigger than this time! The waters are coming! The drought is over! Jesus is filling His followers with living water to overflowing and they are passing it along.

“For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.” Isaiah 44:3 ESV

Hallelujah!

You my friend and I have been placed here for such a time as this.  I time of awakening, I time of freedom and boldness, a time when the damn of the spiritual river is about to burst!  Wait, what??? Someone doubted. Who did that?! Someone reading this did not believe Jesus has called you and loves you.  I am someone who understands.  Even my parents have told me they do not love me – so how am I ever to be loved? I am a lowly outcast, a geek, a nerd.  I am also a terrible sinner – having done sins that will make people gasp.  But look at the first disciples of Jesus – most of them were considered sinners and outcasts.

“For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.” 1 Corinthians 1:26 ESV

Jesus came for everyone, yes. He called the lowly and the foolish things of this world. He raised them up. He called them His brothers and explained how we are heirs with Him of our Father God’s inheritance.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9 NIV

Jesus chose us while we were yet sinners, before we were even born – and died on the cross for our sins, arising again to give us victory over death!

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” John 15:16 ESV

Before those fresh clean waters of the spring break forth in our lives we must understand this. We are loved and special and important.  He has a plan for us – yes a plan to pour out these waters, but also a plan that is much greater. Yes Lord – Pour out your plan over my life!

“And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38 ESV

He wants a deeper relationship, the same as when you are in love and it grows and you want more from your sweetheart. Move into the gift of the Spirit. Be baptized with the Holy Spirit – just pray and ask. And if you already are – pray in the spirit for these waters for yourself and for our nation! It’s time to submit further, release it all to God and go deeper – there is a river beneath and we need to dig it out!

“But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” James 4:6-8a ESV

It all comes down to “Seek God’.
“Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!” 1 Chronicles 16:11 ESV

Just thirst for Him, really thirst for him and He will fill you overflowing with these waters of Life!

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33
All these things- what things? Everything.  Everything follows seeking him – truly seeking him! Therein is the power, and glory and grace!

And as we look around at people thirsting after God, during a pandemic, realize – this drought is over and it’s time to water these souls.  They are a ripe harvest…

“He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Luke 10:2 NIV

The harvest is plenty!!!  

I have unsaved friends and family members, who I cannot reach – they will not accept it coming from me. I pray, Lord, send workers into this harvest, to my dear ones. Send them to bring in the harvest! And send me to harvest for others.
Yes, send me!  Send you too?? Yes! Rush out into the harvest they long for the living waters too!!!

“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14 NIV

Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

~Grace be with you ~
~Thank you for reading ~ Be healthy and blessed ~
~ Pray for our nation ~ Pray Psalm 91 ~

Hot or cold?

15 “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21 The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’” Revelations 3:15-22 ESV

In order to go into work, I must stop at the door and have my temperature checked. With ‘a fever’ still being considered a major symptom of Covid-19, my employer (like many others) have been doing temperature checks and you aren’t permitted in unless you are the correct temperature. 
This new practice gives new imagery to the above verses.  I can see us in a queue, standing 6 feet from the person in front of us, waiting to get into Heaven and there stands an angel with one of those fancy thermometers that they point at your forehead to take your temperature. As I stand there in line, I think to myself, I have had a good life. I wore ok clothes, maybe some would call them nice. I managed through life’s struggles – call on God when I needed to. Oh look, it’s my turn next!
And the Angel checks my temp and a buzzer goes off and guards come to grab me saying I am poor, blind and naked!  But I can see I am dressed!!!

It is as important to our health (and the health of everyone we encounter) that we take our spiritual temperature every day.  We want to be hot! On fire for Christ. We want to be walking in the Spirit and doing God’s will – lest we become one of “those Christians”. You know, the hypocrites who turn people away from God instead of showing them God.

Verse 18: “I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. “
What beautiful symbolism.

Gold refined by fire is Faith, as we can see when Peter compares faith to gold.
“These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:7 NIV
Faith is given in measure – enough, mixed with grace, will get you belief. The Bible says we should have faith as a child. And that a small amount of faith, even the size of a mustard seed, can move a mountain. Faith is the work of the cross, in action, in our lives.

White garments – is the washing away of sins.  One of the most beautiful acts of grace – forgiveness.
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7 ESV
And later in Revelations this washing white a snow is a described action of the blood of The Lamb.
The nakedness in this verse is a spiritual one.  It makes me think of those dreams people have of being out in public and not realizing they are naked! I suppose in this sense, it could alludes to being asleep. Maybe it’s time to wake up? (Did you see yesterday’s post.)

Salve to anoint your eyes – this verse was written to a city that exported eye salve, but Jesus is referring to a spiritual blindness – not being able to understand the scriptures.
“To open their eyes that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may thus receive forgiveness and release from their sins and a place and portion among those who are consecrated and purified by faith in Me.” Acts 26:18 AMP

Are you understanding this? This is the gospel, the work of the cross, and the grace. Are your eyes open? Are you only understanding it a little? 
Every day I pray for my readers; that God will open your eyes of understanding and that His word will get into your hearts.  You can also pray like David prayed in Psalms:
“Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.” Psalm 119:18 ESV

Verse 19: “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.”
Once your eyes are open – you will know your spiritual temperature. You’ll know if you’re washed clean, all the way clean. And you will know if your faith is more precious than gold.  And as a disciple of Jesus and child of God, he disciplines us to keep us on the right path if we start to stray, or fall asleep, or become lukewarm. If He didn’t love us he would just let us slip away – it is out of love that He is sounding the alarm clocks to wake up! To ignite yourselves in the love of Him! “Be zealous [enthusiastic, passionate, fervent, fanatical, and eager]”!! Be on fire!!!
AND “repent”! Repentance is not just asking forgiveness of your sins but to also atone and turn away from those sins and sinful ways. I could not change how I was on my own – God gave me the grace and helped me along the way. Belief in God is transformative!

Verse 20: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”
A nostalgic image of Jesus knocking on a door, comes to mind, when I see this verse. Who was it; who had that plaque with this verse by their door when I was a child? Anyone else remember those plaques?  
This verse is simple in its metaphor – Your heart, mind, soul, and life is the door. (Yes – I intentionally listed multiple items and used a singular conjugation of the verb. Because heart, mind, soul and life are many things and is also one thing – which is you.) Jesus wants to be in your heart, but also in your life; doing everyday things like eating together and hanging out like a best friend. OOooo He really is a best friend – better than a best friend!
It is interesting that this verse follows the others. How lukewarm does He think we might be that he needs to ask to come back in?!  Have we become so busy and lukewarm that we might have pushed him out the door – maybe without realizing? Maybe it’s time to check our temperature.

Verse 21: “The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.” 
Well ! – always a promise! Yes, there always seems to be grace in my posts and there always seems to be a promise in my posts! And here is your promise – the Kingdom of Heaven!!! To live in eternity with Christ, sitting next to Him in our Father’s throne room! 
Keep focused on the prize! This is the very end result that God wants so bad he sacrificed His only Son.  God longs for restored communion with us. He loves humanity that much! 
Lord help us see people the way you do. Help us conquer our selfish desires, conquer our sins, conquer the obstacles and the enemy.  

Verse 22: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

So, if we heard it right it is:
Are you lukewarm?
Let me remind you of the grace of the work of the cross.
I only correct you because I love you. Repent.
Let me back in!
I have a prize for you.

Just like the eyes being open so you can understand – ears have to be open for understanding.  It’s kind of like yesterday’s post – they are asleep or dull. IT IS TIME TO WAKE UP!!!

Imprisoned – asleep – lukewarm – drought – famine
The church around the world as a whole have been in one or more of these spiritual states in recent history. Maybe all of those terms are different ways of describing the same state of being? 
It’s time for the well of living waters to make us thirst no more. The Bread of Life to feed us. And our prisons shaken free as we learn to stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made you free.

We are the harvest, are we ready?  There are many others in the world who are not part of the body of Christ yet, who are also waking up, heating up, drinking, eating and being freed – it is time to gather in the harvest.

Lots happening all at once during such a time as this – so stay focused on God; turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace!

Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

~Grace be with you ~
~Thank you for reading ~ Be healthy and blessed ~
~ Pray for our nation ~ Pray Psalm 91 ~

It’s high time to wake up!

“Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.”  Romans 13:11-12 ESV

Yesterday we did a nice study about getting some physical rest. Good solid stuff. It is important to rest when we live in such a time as this – because spiritually it is time to wake up!!  Let’s read the above verse again in the Amplified Bible:

“Do this, knowing that this is a critical time. It is already the hour for you to awaken from your sleep [of spiritual complacency]; for our salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed [in Christ].” Romans 13:11 AMP

I suppose the first question I should ask myself is: am I asleep in deep slumber? Maybe just a nap? In some lucid state somewhere between asleep and awake? Am I nodding off occasionally? Am I in that groggy state of morning awake before I am even able to make coffee? Am I awake?  How awake?
This is an important. Especially now.  Our salvation, the rapture (when Jesus comes to take His church home) is closer than when we first believed. If in the first century it was closer – it is all the more now – right now – in such a time as this.  The amplified calls the time “a critical time”. Well, if a pandemic that locks all the people around the world in their homes is not surreal enough to be called critical, then I do not know what is!

But I do know the night is far gone.  In the end times (as it gets closer to the rapture) lots of signs must happen and are happening. One sign is a time of spiritual complacency, the night, followed by an awakening. Look around – are your eyes open to see it? Do you see the prodigals coming? They are on their way – I know, because God brought me back and I know the road and I see them coming! 
Do you see the new names showing up in the church’s feed on social media? Do you see more images of verses and “God” stuff on social media in general?
Do you feel it in the air – the air feels like its harvest time?  Time to bring in the harvest!
The night is far gone – the day is at hand!!! The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!

Cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light”
Let’s start making a few very important connections in scripture.  The Apostle Paul wrote Romans and Ephesians and this reference to armor shows up in both books.  It’s important because as we wake up we should get dressed properly – and we are in a spiritual battle.  Do you think the enemy (satan and demons) are going to just let us harvest all these hungry souls?  The world has been in hibernation and wakes up hungry for God; and as the equivalent to the first century church wakes up there will be a fight for our unsaved love-ones and friends. So as Paul says in Ephesians…

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Galatians 6:10-18 NIV

How do we know that the church that is waking up and being called in the harvest is equivalent to the first century church?  When Isaiah is prophesying Jesus coming in Isaiah 35 – there have been theological debates about which verses prophesy which time periods of Christ’s return. Some say verses 1-7 are His first coming and 8-10 the second coming – after the rapture when Earth shall be made new. Is it possible the whole timeline is in there? Jesus comes in verse one and completes the work of the cross and maybe 3-6 are about a time period before the second coming mentioned in 8-10? A time period of strengthening, harvest and the signs and miracles all over again like seen in the time of Jesus and the first century church.

“Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.” Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert” Isaiah 35:3-6 ESV

Strengthening – stretching as we wake up. And those who are anxious, and other versions say fearful! Sound a lot like the times in which we live.  I long to see the eyes of the blind opened, ears of the deaf unstopped, lame men leap, mutes singing!!! This will be so much more than ‘spring up a well’! This shall be waters breaking forth in the wilderness and desert! Expect a great wave!

Jesus warns that we may miss it – we may not wake up in time. God forbid!

34 “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth. 36 Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:34-36 NIV

Come Lord Jesus, come!  And bring in the harvest!

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 NKJV

Not willing that any should perish!!! Bring in the harvest!

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you.” Isaiah 60:1-2 ESV

In this case we can say the thick darkness is slumber and sleep – but it’s high time to wake up!  The Lord will shine His light upon us and we can spread the light around the world.

“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” Romans 13:11 KJV

I, personally, fear saying I am awake – or that I am on fire for God. I have not seen the fullness of the signs and wonders of God’s promise. I have seen my own transformation and that alone is a testimony great enough to overcome satan and bring others in to Christ.  But what if I have a reputation of being alive, but I am not. You see – that is a warning written in Revelations. A warning in relation to waking up!

“I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you” Revelations 3:1b-3

Wake up and strengthen what remains – this sounds a lot like that passage in Isaiah about strengthening the hands and knees, right? 
For I have not found your work complete – No, my work, what I am called to is not complete. I have only just begun.
Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent – and repent – repentance in a life style. Sinning less and less – growing more and more. Always remember to ask forgiveness for your sins and turn away from them. I think that last verse says Hell is our alternative – So let’s do this!!!

SOMEONE SOUND THE MORNING ALARM CLOCK!!! IT IS HIGH TIME TO WAKE UP!

“Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 1 Corinthians 15:51-54 ESV

Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

~Grace be with you ~
~Thank you for reading ~ Be healthy and blessed ~
~ Pray for our nation ~ Pray Psalm 91 ~

Free to rest, or wake up

“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:36 KJV

Repetitive themes in my days seem to guide these Bible studies. Hard to believe I have as much outside influence as I do, being ordered to stay home and be socially distant. But God gets in! I am sure it helps that I actively seek him.
My pastor does an evening Bible verse and prayer on Facebook every day, lately. It is so GOOD (yes that GOOD that comes only from God!) to have a mini prayer meeting every night! We pray in the Spirit and worship with songs that come from our hearts. Granted he cannot hear us and I can only hear him and myself – but when you take a peek at the comments and likes you know you are agreeing in prayer with other brothers and sisters of Christ! So many things are different these days but that Spirit does not change and in Spirit we can all join hands! I love those prayer meetings! (and I got side tracked)
So most nights, Pastor prays that our sleep will be sweet. What a beautiful sentiment. But I realize, I slept a lot better the nights he prayed that.  I have never really struggled with sleep – had periods of nightmares after traumatic events, but that is a way the brain helps process those kinds of things. So I never thought I needed to pray for myself to have better sleep. 

“When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” Proverbs 3:24 NIV

After seeing multiple prayer requests yesterday and today for sleep, I thought I should look into this sleep thing. Spiritually I feel an awakening and this requires our bodies be well rested so we can consume all the goodness the Lord is beginning to spring up.  

The Son has set us free – we are free to sleep. Just a thought about that all-encompassing freedom we studied yesterday. Anyway, sleep is a promise from God and here are some verses to pray when you need sleep (along with reasons you might not be sleeping).

Stress, worry, burdens are a reason to have trouble sleeping.

“In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves.” Psalm 127:2 NIV
No need to pull an all-nighter, He’ll give us the ability to sleep AND get it done.

“1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.“ Psalm 23: 1-6 NIV

A big reason to struggle with sleep is fear – remember he has given us power, love and a sound mind and…

“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8 NIV
In Him we are safe – it’s ok to sleep.

“He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” Psalm 121:3-4 NIV
While we sleep we have the assurance that God is still working and handling our needs, wants, prayer requests, etc.

“1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” 3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. 5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,” Psalm 91:1-5 NIV
We can ask God to shelter us; let us rest in His shadow. He’ll guard us and protect us – even from the terror of night (He can protect us from nightmares)!

Sometimes we can’t fall asleep is because we are restless – During this social distancing and staying home, many of us are not as active as we were. We need to work and move more.

“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” Genesis 2:2-3 NIV
God gave us the example. Work then rest. Don’t you always sleep better after a day of yard work or a day of moving and being busy?

“Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.” Matthew 8:24 NIV
Jesus had been walking and teaching and being busy – he was so tired he slept through the storm. Also, God can give you enough peace to sleep and rest during whatever storm you are going through.

“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31 NIV
Jesus was also concerned with the rest of his disciples. He is also concerned with our rest. He wishes to give us rest.

Wake up to watch and pray – Yes, sometimes that sleepless night is God asking you to be a watchman! So don’t try to roll over and go back to sleep, No! Wake up!!

On these types of nights, don’t fight God about it because you won’t be getting any sleep anyway, but He will sustain you and you will be sufficiently rested for the next day.  I spoke of this is in previous posts and referred to Jesus asking the disciple to “watch and pray” with him in the garden for an hour (see Matthew 26:36-44).
When He wakes you, pay attention to what he might have you intercede regarding, or maybe to just talk with Him and if you don’t know just praise and worship Him until it comes to you.

“The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.” Isaiah 50:4 NIV
God might wake you to give you instructions or to teach you something. What better time than early in the morning (2am? 3am? 4am?) when there are few distractions.

“By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me – a prayer to the God of my life.” Psalm 42:8 NIV
Or maybe He just wanted to listen to you sing? I am not a singer – can’t even carry a tune in a bucket. So God has not woke me to sing, but it’s a thing (and now I expect I will be woke up to sing? My family will not enjoy that! – laughing at myself)

“Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord. Lift up your hands to him” Lamentations 2:19 NIV
Sometimes the best time to pour it all out to God is in the middle of the night. And hey, if you can’t sleep anyway – you might as well work on your relationship with him. He is up, and is always excited to hear from us.

Dear heavenly Father, give my readers sweet sleep tonight so they can be refreshed, ready to drink from the well that is spring up and to awaken and ready when the morning dawns.  And Lord, for your watchers, who you stir at night, please give them strength to pray and worship through their evening, or early morning, task and still grant them rest and a refreshing so we are all ready when it is time to wake up. I asks these things through Jesus that he will be glorified and that we can be a testimony.

Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

~Grace be with you ~
~Thank you for reading ~ Be healthy and blessed ~
~ Pray for our nation ~ Pray Psalm 91 ~

Stand Fast in the Liberty

“Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1 KJV

This is a word I knew I had to study and it has been with me for days. I have looked it up and approached it from many angles – but it is always better to let God lead you.

Through this pandemic – I have heard many talk about the perceived infringements on our civil liberties and the good old fashion American Freedoms. I will not take a stand on this issue. Many of God’s people, throughout history, fell under a government which was or became corrupted – and took civil liberties away from Christians just because they followed Christ. Best example: the first century church (as our scriptures today with initially directed to them, although still apply to us today). 

When I study the politics of that time and see the martyrdom of the apostles and early church leaders, social distancing doesn’t seem that bad. Yes, it is crippling small businesses – yes, its destroying the economy – yes, there are a lot of bad thing happening – I am just saying I haven’t see Governor Cuomo come for the individuals in the church and mount them on a pole, tar them, set them on fire and use them as a street light. I haven’t seen anyone crucified, boiled in oil, or even imprisoned for believing in Christ.  There is still hope for him.  

I am a freedom fighter – fighting for the term “freedom” as defined in the first century church. They needed civil liberties, but they found a freedom which confounded their rulers. Jesus did not come as a political warrior, he did not fight for our governmental freedoms.  He came to give a freedom which is so much more powerful and the government cannot take it away!

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32 KJV

Jesus is the truth – Jesus shall make you free – Herein is the power and authority and boldness needed right now in this world!

“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:36 KJV

Free indeed, free indeed!!! Free from sin – from death – from hell and damnation – free to have confidence and boldness – FREEDOM!!
Again, out loud and proclaim it!!! I AM FREE! Free indeed, free indeed!!! Free from sin – from death – from hell and damnation – free to have confidence and boldness – FREEDOM!!

“For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error, promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved.” 2 Peter 2:18-19 NAS

False profits and leaders are selling a form of freedom – which is actually bondage.  They are slaves to their own corruptions. This is a warning to the early church as well as us! Jesus is free and therefore can free us – give us liberty.  But be warned of those enslaved by something, because their freedom will enslave you in whatever they are enslaved to.  

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Romans 8:18 NAS
Our suffering of this present time is nothing compared to what the first century church went through, however, I am not saying it isn’t rough for you. I am saying keep your eyes on Jesus – on God and what is to be revealed! If the church survived being put to death by looking up, we can manage through this by looking up!! Focus on God!

19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” Romans 8:19-21 NAS
There is that slavery to corruption again.  We are the creation – we are waiting for Christ’s return! We are on the brink of an awakening!  It is high time to wake up (Romans 13:11)!!!!  Time to come into the freedom of the glory of the children of God!

22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. 24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. 26 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” Romans 8:22-27 NAS

Oh children of God – groan! Pray in the Spirit! If you are not yet baptized with the Spirit, then pray for it and it shall come upon you quickly as NOW is the time! Now! Pray fervently! Just pray in the Spirit! Pray in tongues – A LOT. Under your breath as you do dishes, as you walk, as you watch church on line, as you have your mic on mute during zoom meetings, etc. The Bible says pray without ceasing – well, pray in the spirit! Can you not tell, that it is time???

Oh but my money worries and this pandemic worries and this situation and …

28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.” Romans 8:28-30 NAS
Have peace about your needs!  He has provided and always will. Focus on God. Focus your worship on God, His goodness, His Son, and grace!!! 
Matthew 6:33 – Seek Him first!!! Literally. Its time. Do not worry about the “all things added unto you” part – just seek him!

Do not pray for the harvesters to go out into this harvest (which is ripe and ready)! No, you are called, for such a time as this, to be a harvester!!! Go! Be free! Be Bold! Gather in those who He has called!

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:31-39 NAS

This is freedom – this is liberty! Stand fast, yes, stand fast, therefore, in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made you free!!!  Put aside your selfishness, your will, your sins – wake up! It is well past time! The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!

Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

~Grace be with you ~
~Thank you for reading ~ Be healthy and blessed ~
~ Pray for our nation ~ Pray Psalm 91 ~

Happy Mother’s Day?

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34 NIV

Today I keep seeing: “One day at a time” memes all over the internet and a couple sent directly to me.  I say, “OK God – what is in this for me? Are you trying to point me in a direction?”  I knew that today I wanted to do a bible study in honor of Mother’s Day.  But before I started I looked up what this verse and thought about it for a while.

Then I searched concordances for verses on Mothers and Children and Love…
sigh…

I have spent a long time at this study and I have refused to bring a verse up onto this page, but I will. 

Let’s be real.  Mother’s Day is difficult for many of us (maybe even most of us). At least everyone in my close circle has some sort of hindrance on Mother’s Day.  
Some of us no longer have mothers on earth as they have passed on. Some of us have issues and childhood baggage associated with our Mothers. Some of us are estranged from our mothers. Some of us have mothers who seem to meddle in everything seemingly ruining things in our lives. Some have mothers who are so dreadful, I won’t give an example. And on, and on, and on…
Then – as we age and become adults – some of us have developed “mother” issues with ourselves, like: our inadequacies and guilt, the feeling of our children’s choices reflecting poorly on our parenting, the wish that we did better – Or even issues like: never having wanted children and having them, or having disabled children and resenting them for the burden, or always wanting children and never having them, or still wanting, or having lost a child (or more), or abortion(s), or miscarriage(s), etc.

The concept of “Mother” doesn’t seem as simple, clean, or easy as it was in Bible times, although I am sure, even if not spoken of, these complex emotions happened.

The bible says a Godly mother is…
“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” Proverbs 31:25 NIV
My mother was not, at least not in my eyes. And I most certainly was not. I can try to be, but at this point this verse doesn’t give me the warm fuzzies that Mother’s Day is supposed to give.

“Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Proverbs 31:28-29 ESV
I had a therapist tell me I needed to remove my mother completely from my life in order to heal from the emotional damage she has done. I haven’t. I no longer see that therapist or any therapist. And I don’t have an answer on this.
My mother’s husbands do not arise and call her blessed – she is single again at this point.
My mother’s mother was probably not called blessed by her husband – we learned as adults that my mother came from an extra-marital affair my grandmother had. And my mother always tried to be a dutiful daughter – as we watched unrealistic demands be put on her and when she failed grandma came down hard and critical of her. (Mom knew the pain of it, but in her broken state she turned around and did it to us.)
And I do know that my son couldn’t even grasp the concept of arising and calling me blessed, he is submerged in a spiritual battle over his life and selfishness seems to be winning (but if only I raise him better). I haven’t ever been married – I have no husband to call me blessed. I was engaged – but he decided he wanted something else in his life.
Let’s just stay out of Proverbs 31.  It’s a great place to study and strive to be – but it only hurts on Mother’s Day.

“I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him.” 1 Samuel 1:27 NIV
And I lost a child, miscarriage. It devastated me. It’s a wound that doesn’t heal quickly – probably because it is too taboo to talk about and grieve through. When I have talked about it – it’s not comforting when you compare miscarriage stories. So many women without a ceremony, a closure, a memorial. So many unceremonious deaths with no sympathetic support. And some women who have had abortions hear the grief of those who have lost a child they wanted, and it stirs all sort of more complex feelings and emotions. I don’t know what it is like to choose to end your child’s life, but I do know what it is like to seriously contemplate it – so there is no judgment here, ladies. Just a whole lot of loss. We have all lived the best we could – and now my mother’s days will always remind me of my princess not being here with me.
And I look at my sister, having always wanted a child and never being able to have one. She must feel that both her body and her God betrayed her. I know so many women who are angry about these things. It’s not fair, and here is mother’s day and they aren’t a mother.

Mother’s Day is a complex set of emotions – satan himself has rose up against women and motherhood.  It is a fabulous way to ensure the sin cycle and damage are passed from generation to generation, further damaging and corrupting each generation more and more. 

Look at us now. A holiday (designed to honor and respect the woman who gave birth to you, raised you, supported and helped you become the person you are today) now leaves us naked, exposed, and vulnerable.  Where is the card, which says: “Mom, can’t we just agree to ignore this whole holiday?”  How difficult it is to give her an atta-boy when she literally failed and intentionally damaged.  I can see that she was damaged and broken, but does that give her justification? I was damaged and broken and I did not do those things to my child – but then again, I failed my child in other ways. As he got older I started saying things like: God gave you a mother so you would have something to talk to your therapist about. Which is the sad truth of the world we live in, in so many ways.

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 ESV

However, our Father is called, Jehovah Rapha – the Lord our healer.  He has been a restoring God since the fall of man. Always about restoring us to him and us with each other.  So, I must forgive, find the healing words to speak over myself, then the words to bless.

“Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:37b NIV
We know that if we do not forgive, we will not be forgiven – and if we are not forgiven, we cannot be made clean and get into heaven.  I wish we were like God, because when He forgives, He forgets. We are not able to forget. Nor should we – we have learned behavioral patterns that are damaging and we can now avoid doing them and avoid people with these same patterns.  But it make us forgiving others into quite a long process some times. You may think you’ve worked it all through then – here is Mother’s Day and that hurtful woman wants accolades. Deep breath, it’s ok. I have forgiven and the Lord helps me keep it forgiven.
The biggest thing I have learned through my relationship with Christ is that if we are focused on Christ, these things heal and fade away – Christ becomes everything and my pain from these unfair situations fades by comparison of importance and then you look over at your pain and notice it is healing. Healing. It’s a process. 
Spending time focused on the wrongs does get you anywhere but down a rabbit hole of unexplainable wrongs. Forgive and move forward in Christ.
Forgive yourself. Forgive your mother, even if she has passed. Forgive your grandmother. Forgive the child that did not live and forgive all the strange things your mind blames. Forgive the unreasonable – forgive the reasonable. Forgive God, if you are hold Him responsible (even if you feel like you are wrong for blaming Him – forgive him anyway).  Forgive and let is all go – start with a cleared slate so you can find the scripture verses to write on it – and move forward in Christ.

Find the healing words to speak over myself?
This is where I stop sharing my personal part. Because you must seek ye first God, then he adds everything else. These verses are important to seek out and pray.  And they may change, for example just after the miscarriage there weren’t any verses I would let comfort me, at the 1 year anniversary I had already shuffled through a few and now it is yet a different verse. Every stage of healing there is another verse. Keep digging into the Word and ask God to show you.

And then how do we bless our mother and other mothers?
“Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.” Proverbs 16:24 ESV
Did you see that? Grace! My best friend! Pray for the Spirit of Grace over your words and let God guide you. (I did not select this verse because of the word ‘grace’, by the way; I selected it for the healing.) When God and the Spirit of Grace move, the words will touch the soul and bring healing to the body – healing the wounds that “mother” has caused in ourselves, our mothers, our children, and our friends, and even healing our relationships with these other mothers.

This is not a quick, sudden turnaround – lots of layers of emotions and lots of generations of damage that all needs to heal.  So it brings me back to my verse of today – one day at a time. Today forgive, even if you have to do it again tomorrow. Today read and pray healing, even if you have to do it again tomorrow. Today bless, even if it is rejected, and even if you have to do it again tomorrow.)

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34 NIV

One day at a time while you do your part – the forgiveness and seeking God.  The healing however shall be glorious!!!

“Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for you are my praise.” Jeremiah 17:14 ESV

“And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.” Luke 8:48 ESV

“Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.” Isaiah 58:8 ESV

Thank you Jesus for healing us – and helping us work through living a life of forgiveness.

Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

~Grace be with you ~
~Thank you for reading ~ Be healthy and blessed ~
~ Pray for our nation ~ Pray Psalm 91 ~