Rosh Hashanah (Part 2)

“This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.” Romans 13:11 NLT
Let me sound the trumpet – wake-up, it is time to repent!!!

Dear Heavenly Father – You are the One True God. Beside you there is no other.  I acknowledge your Lordship over my life. I praise and thank you for all you have done! Please help me as I search myself to see if there is any ways within me to repent of. In the name of Jesus – Amen

Tonight is the second evening of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year!
If you did not read yesterday: This holiday is also known as the Feast of Trumpets.  It is a two day celebrations beginning at sunset, yesterday and continuing to sunset Sunday, September 20th.  This marks the creation of Adam and Eve. It is a time of prayerful reflection and remembrance, and begins the agricultural cycles.  Of course the most well know practice of this holiday is the blowing of the shofar – a musical instrument made from an animal’s horn – a trumpet – which is a symbolic wake-up call unto repentance. Therefore I used the Romans 13:11 verse at the opening – the closest thing I could find to a verse that emanates the purpose of the trumpets for Rosh Hashanah.

Trumpets – there are many places throughout the Bible where trumpets are mentioned. One of the most famous is the trumpets and the city of Jericho. I am added excerpts of the story here but you can read the whole story in the book of Joshua, chapter 6. The story begins with a prophecy – “And the Lord said”.  Let us pay attention to the words of our Lord.

“Now Jericho was securely shut up because of the children of Israel; none went out, and none came in. And the Lord said to Joshua: “See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor. You shall march around the city, all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do six days. And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. It shall come to pass, when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat. And the people shall go up every man straight before him.” Joshua 6:1-5 NKJV

God said. God told the whole story ahead of time. Not always does God tell us the whole story in the beginning of a situation or battle. But this we know: It is finished. The battle belongs to the Lord. God’s ways are not our ways – but His ways are the only ways. And because of Revelations (quoted below) we know how this overall story ends.
But even though they knew the end of the story, they still needed faith. They still needed to march, they still needed to go through the whole plan. I am sure at some point they must have wondered, was Joshua crazy? How was marching in circles going to ensure a victory?  And as they marched on the final day, I wonder if they thought that by now, these walls should have fallen. And isn’t this a perfect mirror of us throughout 2020.  Walking around inside our houses, in circles, why has the curve flattened? Now that it has, why are we still captive? But God’s ways are not our ways and His plans are not our plans (Isaiah 55:8).  So here we wait for the sound of the trumpets and the cue to shout – and today we are in the Feast of the Trumpets!!! Today is the day to blow the trumpets! Today is the day to shout! Now is the time, today is the day (2 Corinthians 6:2)!!!!

So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.” Joshua 6:20 NKJV

Amen!!

But let’s not focus on our individual battles because the One True Living God reigns HIGH above them and has authority over them. Let is look to our great promise.

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.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 1 Corinthians 15:51-55 ESV

Which trumpet shall be the last? Shall it be one that blows during this Festival? Shall it come with this new year? 
We see the newest year that the Lord is giving us spread out before us. After this year we are hesitant to make plans, but God knows the plans He has for us (Jeremiah 29:11).  And this is the year that the walls will fall – this is the year we shall see victory with our eyes. We have learned in the passing year to be emptied of ourselves, filled with God. To no longer be self-reliant but to be completely God-reliant. We know His ways are not our and we have learned to hear His voice and stay within His will. This new year will not be our year – no! This will be the year of our Lord and He will be lifted up and glorified!

We know how this story end – so even if we are still walking around the wall – we shall keep walking and walking until God has the trumpets sound, until God says to shout!  Until then, remind ourselves of the end – and worship Him – standing firm in faith.

“Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying, “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign. The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.” Revelation 11:15-18 ESV

Dear heavenly Father – We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, and who is to come! You have taken your great power and you reign in my life. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done! Forever and ever – Amen!

If you don’t already, and today you would like to have a relationship with a God who can communicate with you and be part of your life (and protect you) – one who is full of mighty power and tender love, then please know that I have put the “A, B, C’s of Salvation” in my introduction. Please click here to follow the link.**

Thank you for reading ~ Grace be with you
Be healthy and blessed ~ I love you and love one another
Watch and Pray ~ Seek God & keep your eyes on Jesus!

Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

Rosh Hashanah (part 1)

“This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.” Romans 13:11 NLT
Let me sound the trumpet – wake-up, it is time to repent!!!

Dear Heavenly Father – You are the One True God. Beside you there is no other.  I acknowledge your Lordship over my life. I praise and thank you for all you have done! Please help me as I search myself to see if there is any ways within me to repent of. In the name of Jesus – Amen

Rosh Hashanah Is the Jewish New Year! So, Happy New Year!!! Anyone feeling hopeful that all the nonsense (things which do not make any sense) will end with the end of the Biblical year?
This holiday is also known as the Feast of Trumpets.  It is a two day celebrations beginning at sunset, today and continuing to sunset Sunday, September 20th.  This marks the creation of Adam and Eve. It is a time of prayerful reflection and remembrance, and begins the agricultural cycles.  Of course the most well know practice of this holiday is the blowing of the shofar – a musical instrument made from an animal’s horn – which is a symbolic wake-up call unto repentance. 

So, as we begin to celebrate creation and the creator – Why don’t we study Adam and Eve’s creation?

26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
29 And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. 30 Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. 31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”
Genesis 1:26-31 NKJV

Let us hold onto the “make man in Our image”.  And then let’s continue.

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”  Genesis 2:7 NKJV

God created us for a personal relationship – he knelt down, belt over us and placed his lips on us and breathed life into us. He did not do that for the animals. What could be more personal than touching us outside and in, with His life?  We are created for a personal relationship with God.

“And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him. 19 Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.
21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.
23 And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.”
24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.  25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”
Genesis 2:18-25 NKJV

Almost very creature was created out of dust, man was the only one who God breathed life into with the personalized breath and the only one created in His image – but woman was not created out of dust, she was created from bone. Bone already has life, bone is a support structure, and inside bone is the valuable soft marrow that produces blood cells which carry oxygen (essentially breath) to every internal organ. Women were created differently, as women were created for a different purpose than man. Man and woman are comparable but not the same – created differently unto different callings.

However, both man and woman were created to manage the earth and to be the glory of God (to glorify Him).  And God continues to create each and every one of us.  We all have the basic purpose in which we were all created and each of us also were created specifically for callings and plans He has for us.

“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.
17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! 18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.”
Psalms 139:13-18 NKJV

After the fall of man, every one of us were birthed into sin. We began in the womb with a perfect design which slowly changed and transformed into corruption.

So Jesus came to earth to bring the new covenant of grace!!! Which says: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV
New?! No it is “a new” – from the Greek καινὴ (kainē), meaning fresh, unused, new and even without the corruption of having been born into sin.  This “a new creation” is the restoration to being who God originally intended you to be – His masterpiece.

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 NLT

Anew – to the fulfillment of His plans back in the Garden of Eden before the fall of man. Amen! You understand who you are?! Never look at yourself and doubt – all will be revealed when you get to heaven. Just know, there is definitely a higher reason for the way you look, the way you think, and the way you are.  He has a purpose. He knew this planet needed someone with all of what you have and are at such a time as this. It is not for us to wait around for that plan to be fulfilled, but to actively seek His purpose and will for our life – the reason why we were created and fulfil the work we are called to do.

If you don’t already, and today you would like to have a relationship with a God who can communicate with you and be part of your life (and protect you) – one who is full of mighty power and tender love, then please know that I have put the “A, B, C’s of Salvation” in my introduction. Please click here to follow the link.**

Thank you for reading ~ Grace be with you
Be healthy and blessed ~ I love you and love one another
Watch and Pray ~ Seek God & keep your eyes on Jesus!

Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

So to my Jewish friends (both those who believe that Jesus Is the Messiah and for those who do not) Happy New Year – I love you all!
I am not Jewish. I am not trying to appropriate your holiday. I mean no offense by using your holiday as a base for a Bible study. 
However, I believe in your God, Jehovah.  The same God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (oh Israel). He is the one true living God.  I celebrate His Sovereignty and His lordship over my life.  I remember all the things He has done, this past year as well as over all time – I worship and praise Him! I blow my trumpet (and the only one I have is this blog making noise and declaring a wake-up call unto repentance). All for the glory of our God. 
I will not practice your prayers which are yours, I will not eat at your feasts which are yours, and I will not blow the shofar with is yours.
I came from Adam and Eve as did you. God set apart your family line to be a people unto Him. I am a gentile under grace, just trying to love your Father (and mine by adoption under grace). If I am wrong, and God does not have a grace for gentile – I would rather die having unfailing in loving the One True God. There is no other God. So He alone shall be worshiped. ~ Praying for blessings on your life throughout the year to come. Shalom

What can God do?

“And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” Revelations 4:8 ESV

Dear Heavenly Father – You are the One True God. Beside you there is no other.  I acknowledge your Lordship over my life. I praise and thank you for all you have done! Please help me as I search myself to see if there is any ways within me to repent of. In the name of Jesus – Amen

Tomorrow at sunset is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year! And if you have been flowing – it is a time of reflection, repentance and praise.  I have been obedient to the principles – but I must be honest, the attacks and life struggles that are up against me right now have me out of sorts, and especially struggling with this task. 

Today’s task is to think about all the things He has done and praise and worship Him for it.  So I pulled out my notebooks with all my Bible studies and flipped through them. Then when I started posting them here – I switched and skimmed through these posts as well.  

I do see the Lords hand!! But I also see all the unanswered prayers. Prayers that are heavy on my heart. Things that I need, and do not have (I must not need them). People I desperately want to see in eternity choosing the ways of this world and not the ways of God. My own child, rejecting me and God. Not to mention how the enemy is coming against me. A year ago, I felt the world had turn against me and I was attacked from all sides – throughout this year I have felt the world has turn against me and I am attacked from all sides – and now I feel exactly how one would expect to feel after a year of being beat up from all sides. It seems even little prayers go without a response or a ‘no’.  People ask me to pray and I almost want to say – ask someone else who has an effective prayer life. My prayer life seems to be getting by because of the prayers of my prayer partner.  (I thank God for her, every day. Everyone needs someone who will pray in agreement with them!)

“So that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.” Hebrews 6:18 ESV
Don’t worry about me, though – I am holding fast to the hope. God cannot lie. I may be struggling in faith – but since I am struggling there is obviously still faith! Amen?! And I am still holding on.

Every single prayer has a verse attached showing me how to pray the will of God. I am quoting those verses. I have my promises even though I am tired and do not see with my physical eyes and my spiritual eyes are all blurry from weeping. Weeping which causes my prayers to be all jumbled, both when I pray in English and when I pray in the spirit.

“But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 ESV

“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” Mark 10:27 ESV

“For nothing will be impossible with God.” Luke 1:37 ESV

I think God really wanted us to know this – Nothing is impossible for Him – All things ARE possible for Him. And He has even extended this amazing gift of possibilities to us!
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 ESV

So, I can wait on the Lord. This past year has been a time of waiting, persevering, begging even, and crying out to God. A year of growth and work – foundational work.

Lord change this situation – and slowly He has changed me.  Lord save my friends and family, and slowly He has changed me. Lord, bring back the prodigals, and well – He did bring me back.

My brother and I were talking about that last night – in the eyes of adults around me (when I was growing up) they thought I was a rebellious, lost cause. And God took this unruly, ‘learning disabled’, neuro-a-typical, mess that no one thought could learn and turned her into a student of the word of God. Look what the Lord has done. What was impossible in man’s eyes – yet here I am reading, studying, and writing it all down.

“‘Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.” Jeremiah 32:17 ESV
So pray the impossible prayers – pray them for a full year as I have – and pray them for longer if that is what it takes! Send a great awakening, Lord – Shake us, wake us, and set us loose in your power!

“If we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.” 2 Timothy 2:13 ESV
And He won’t leave us faithless. He will bring encouragement in renew us.

“but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 ESV
Oh Lord, why have I grown weary? What lesson should I learn to prevent it? But I praise you and thank you for the word, the truth, which encourages me so I can renew my strength.

“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” Romans 11:33 ESV

If the last 12 months had a theme, besides “wild unexpected craziness”, besides being locked in and waiting, besides working on building firm foundations and repairing broken foundations – which all seem like very universal themes. I think it is a greater lesson:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV
And these past 12 months, God has been in control – and He will continue to be in control – these are His ways.

What can God do? Well, every time I went to Him (every day, any time or as many times, sometimes, second by second – EVERY time) God gave me exactly what I needed at that moment and enough grace for the day – God’s grace has been enough and will be enough. God is sufficient for me.

As Adam was created to be dependent on the Lord (and in and through that dependency He had complete freedom), we too are being drained of all of our ‘self-reliance’ and are developing a ‘God-reliance’ and therefore He is becoming more and more glorified in us.  As the year progressed, the subjects my yet unanswered prayers have become more and more hopelessly impossible – and oddly this brings me great encouragement (when I reason with a sound mind and not the emotions of a beat up child). My God is powerful, unfailing, and faithful – He cannot lie. And now when things change, we will not be able to say it was man’s doing and we will not be able to say it was coincidence. God will be glorified.

Am I committed to continue – even if I never see (here on earth) the answers to my prayers? Yes. As long as God is glorified.
Continue to read, continue to pray, and continue to believe against all odds. Relationships can be hard work, especially when I am involved! I am a fallible, feeble, weak, fleshly human – so my side of the relationship needs much work. But God is solid and unstoppable. His side is firm; and as I struggle, He mercifully offers grace and secures me.

As I said near the beginning of this blog (and say again today), I cannot wait to tell you of the great things the Lord has done and announce my friends’ and families’ turn to God. I cannot wait to announce when my needs are met. I can’t wait to testify that the attacks no longer penetrate my armor and together – let us study and build a better and stronger armor out of more Bible understanding.

If you don’t already, and today you would like to have a relationship with a God who can communicate with you and be part of your life (and protect you) – one who is full of mighty power and tender love, then please know that I have put the “A, B, C’s of Salvation” in my introduction. Please click here to follow the link.**

Thank you for reading ~ Grace be with you
Be healthy and blessed ~ I love you and love one another
Watch and Pray ~ Seek God & keep your eyes on Jesus!

Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

Isaiah 40:31a

Self Reflections

“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” 2 Corinthians 13:5 ESV

Dear Heavenly Father – You are the One True God. Beside you there is no other.  I acknowledge your Lordship over my life. I praise and thank you for all you have done! Please help me as I search myself to see if there is any ways within me to repent of. In the name of Jesus – Amen

As I said yesterday, the Biblical New Year is coming upon us, Rosh Hashanah! Shalom! As with the approach of any new chapter, some self-reflection and thoughts of the old year should probably fill our minds.  I have been thinking.  Yesterday we also studied HOPE.  I don’t know about you, but I needed that.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13 ESV

“So that the power of the Holy Spirit” – I need more of that power in my life.  Lately the battle, the distractions, and the hindrances seem almost too much.  I am tempted to lose hope, myself.  Dear Lord, we need hope – please, fill us with joy and peace so that your Spirit may abound in hope in us.  In Jesus name we pray ~ amen
Let us cling to the verses of hope we looked at yesterday while we remember and reflect in preparation for the new year, because in this new year God will be doing a great thing!
“Now therefore stand still and see this great thing that the LORD will do before your eyes.” Samuel 12:16 ESV
Therefore we need to be prepared and be that new creature He has called us to be (2 Corinthians 5:17).

“And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.” Ezekiel 36:26 NLT
Lord, I know my heart has been stony and stubborn – I acknowledge you have been changing it and making it new during this past year, and I thank you for those lessons. Please continue the work you have started in me ~ amen
As I reflect, looking into the mirror at my last 12 months – I can see that when I asked God to change my situations, He said ok, and started to change me.  This is a blessed process of internal growth – but also it can be difficult as many things you and I would not want to admit about ourselves are either being exposed by others or mercifully God is reveals them to us – and we have to work out the process – repeatedly.

Let me explain: God reveals something negative about my nature that needs to change and then we have to change – sometimes this requires asking forgiveness and help changing – other times, we start to pull out this thing God wants changed in us and it slowly uproots thing after thing and then repentance after repentance. Slowly – God is working it out for us, but in the meanwhile it may seem that it’s a never ending process. (Not to even get started with the number of time over the last 12 months which I have failed at turning from something.) Then the enemy comes in and says that we are beat up and condemned.

“For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.” Romans 7:18 ESV
And we can all say – Amen! I know we are all feeling the battle more and more lately. As discouraging as this is, it means we are drawing closer to God and are walking more in the spirit, praise the Lord. Here in this verse we see a truth, we cannot hide from – in and of our self, we are no good and unable to change and do the things the Bible tells us to do. And we hear that voice that condemns us – see, I told you that you couldn’t. I say back to that voice: I know I can’t and I don’t need you to tell me, besides the Bible already tell me – BUT MY GOD CAN DO IT IN ME AND THROUGH ME!!! MY GOD IS ABLE!!! We must know our limitations and inabilities – because as we empty and become weak – God is strong. As we seem like a lost cause and condemned to our frailty – grace and God Himself, swoop in with deliverance – just read a few verses further: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1 ESV
We are NOT condemned – No! We are justified and washed clean from our transgressions and from the things we try to do outside of His will for our lives.

“Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord!” Lamentations 3:40 ESV

Heavenly Father, I come to you humbly through the Blood of Jesus and beg for forgiveness from ……….. and ask that you please help me not to continue, pour out your grace an mercy on me. Help me to change and be transformed into who you want me to be – In Jesus name we pray

I hear the voice saying – some of your readers have been Christians for a long time, they are all well beyond this. And I say get the behind me!  God set up the standard for annual self-reflection, leading to the new year. God also set up the Day of Atonement at the beginning of each year (Yom Kippur – Sunset on September 27th to sunset on September 28th). God also gives us many other times throughout the year for do a self – check and keep ourselves in line. This is God’s way. So no matter how long you have been saved – check yourself. What areas have you sinfully not committed to God? How many areas have you been praying His promises in and not yet seen the answer and sinfully given up saying it apparently not God’s will.

“The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent,” Acts 17:30 ESV

In such a time as this, we are no longer in times of ignorance. God has shown us the evils in this world, in each of our nations, and in our selves. Not only is the new year a time for the new you which God intended – it is also a time of repentance and even MORE so in such a time as this.

King David, was a man God said was a man after His own heart. We know God loves us – and we love Him (Lord, help us all fall more in love with you!); so shouldn’t we also try to be after God’s own heart.
David sinned and was human and He loved the Lord – and God honored that love, showed mercy and grace, as David humbled himself and cried out:

“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.”
Psalm 51:1-12 ESV

Let us make that our prayer for our world, for our nations, and for ourselves. Let us begin the work of repentance now and not wait until the Day of Atonement.  Let us draw even closer to God now and have a stronger relationship with Him – now and throughout the new year.

If you don’t already, and today you would like to have a relationship with a God who can communicate with you and be part of your life (and protect you) – one who is full of mighty power and tender love, one in whom you can hope against all odds, then please know that I have put the “A, B, C’s of Salvation” in my introduction. Please click here to follow the link.**

Thank you for reading ~ Grace be with you
Be healthy and blessed ~ I love you and love one another
Watch and Pray ~ Seek God & keep your eyes on Jesus!

Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

Hope for a new year

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13 ESV

Dear Heavenly Father – You are the One True God. Beside you there is no other.  I acknowledge your Lordship over my life. I praise and thank you for all you have done! Please help me as I search myself to see if there is any ways within me to repent of. In the name of Jesus – Amen

The Biblical New Year is coming upon us in a few days: Rosh Hashanah! Shalom! As with the approach of any new chapter, some self-reflection and thoughts of the old year should probably fill our minds.  I have been thinking.  And when I review everything that fell between September 2019 and September 2020, I quickly realize a blog post (even without scriptures) would not cover it all. Just 2020 alone has been a lot. I also quickly realized that the memories can be written out in two way: 1. All the crazy things that have happened in this world and how it has impacted us.  2. All the times God showed up and was there through it all.

I am going with the first! You surprised? Me too. But God gave me a word and to fully understand it – we should understand first how hopeless things are! I am still shocked I am writing this – please bear with me as I intend to give the hopelessness the smallest amount of our attention as possible. Especially since, the moment I said hopelessness – every one of you, as well as myself, all thought of many of the ways 2020 is hopeless. So it is obviously not something you need me to tell you. I am in the United States of America and at least half of my readers are from all over the globe. So let’s use a global perspective – Look at the politics and the policies our world leaders are (or are planning) to put in place and how more and more they are attacking the body of Christ and the word of God. Look at the rebellion, the lawlessness, the riots and the civil unrest. Look at the divisions. And finally look at how the earth, also, seems to be fighting with earthquakes, fires, storms, etc. It is hopeless. We humans cannot fix any of it.

We are in the most wonderful place we could ever be!!! If in humans’ eyes it is hopeless, then and only then can God get the glory for the fixes, because no man can say he or she did it. ONLY GOD CAN!!! Hallelujah!

We know God says he has plans for good and to give us hope (Jeremiah 29:11) and we know God’s ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8).  We just need to hang in there –
“Now therefore stand still and see this great thing that the LORD will do before your eyes.” Samuel 12:16 ESV

This is our hope! The faith and belief that God is moving and working even when we cannot see what He is doing and we do not know the plan.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 ESV
Let us examine my issues at work: They were bad and I prayed for my boss and leadership and I asked God to fix the situation. And the more I prayed the more things happened and the more everything fell apart at the seams. And the more I prayed “Lord fix it, please.” The more hopeless it became. I expected Him to start where we all were and fix it, but He took it all apart… and is rebuilding it. How can I say this when I am in the thick of a mess?? My hope is in God, and He is a rebuilding God – a new creature God – a redemptive God!!

“For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” Romans 8:24-25 ESV

At this point while dealing with my job, at this point while looking at all my prayer requests, at this point of being persistent like the persistent widow, at this point of getting tired and worn out, at this point where it is so tempting to lose hope – because all earthly hope is gone…. At this point, we say good bye to this past year, according to the Jewish calendar, and open the book on a brand new year. We have all the hopes every new year brings. What shall be our motivational verse for the year? What do we hope to accomplish? What are our HOPES?!?! 

“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Romans 15:4 ESV

See what God did there?? He quietly, carefully, calculated it out for us to give us a time of reflection and a new hope for the next 12 months. He already made the way for us! He will not let us run out of hope!! Let us start the year with hope! a living hope!!

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” 1 Peter 1:3 ESV

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4 ESV

And there is our true hope!  I mean, I hope work gets better. I hope the other situations in my life improve. I hope – But even if they do not, I will serve the Lord because my true hope is in Glory!

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 ESV

So through 2020, I hope. And as I am tempted to give up hope – I hope again as God reminds us not to lose hope. And we hope against all odds. And we fight for our hope like we fought for our peace (when fear swooped in this last spring to try and rob us of our peace).   
And we say (yes, say it with me out loud): My God is alive and mighty and able – and even if He does not, I will not bow to anything else but Him; especially not hopelessness!

“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:5 ESV
No shame in believing a powerful, yet invisible, God is doing a work in an invisible realm, which shall lift us up here in our physical realm, for physical eyes to see!

“So that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:7 ESV
And you all knew I would throw in a ‘grace’ verse!!! Because what is hope if not the expectation of more grace?! And if not for grace, where would we be?

“And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.” Psalm 39:7 ESV
For what do we wait? At this time, we wait on God. The waiting and being locked in and shut down is coming to an end, and some say we will do it again, but this waiting is a waiting on God, and He will not make us wait forever.  Take the time to grow in faith and hope. Take the time and praise Him – because our hope is in Him!

If you don’t already, and today you would like to have a relationship with a God who can communicate with you and be part of your life (and protect you) – one who is full of mighty power and tender love, one in whom you can hope against all odds, then please know that I have put the “A, B, C’s of Salvation” in my introduction. Please click here to follow the link.**

Thank you for reading ~ Grace be with you
Be healthy and blessed ~ I love you and love one another
Watch and Pray ~ Seek God & keep your eyes on Jesus!

Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

Supply My Needs (Part 7)

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 NKJV

Dear Heavenly Father – Honestly, I did not think it would take so many posts to study this chapter! It is overflowing in your goodness and love. Thank you for showing us even the little nuances of it. Thank for your providence and blessing. Please open our eyes to see you and our ears to hear from you. Wake us up, and please open our understanding. In the name of Jesus – Amen

Today we shall complete the study of the 4th chapter of Philippians and reach the promise of God’s provisions which we already have the full assurance of! We have learned so much: that we cannot put anything before God, about how God views us and in that truth we can stand fast and be strong in faith, that agreement is a powerful tool which causes the power of God to work, that help is on the way and we should be helpers, that we should rejoice and be gentle, that the Lord is at hand, that He has provided ample tools to combat anxiety, how to wait on the Lord for provisions, that God can use us even in our own need – to bless, not just the immediate situation, but generations to come, and we learned about giving in obedience to God which blesses us with our needs met!
God’s provisions are expressed in this this entire passage! Let us pick up on verse 17 of Philippians chapter 4, as we have studied up through verse 16 Saturday.

17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account. 18 Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God.” Philippians 4:17-18 NKJV

Can you imagine if you sent me a substantial gift and I sent you a thank you letter saying: thanks, but I have all I need? By the way, I used the gift for the purpose you intended me to, anyway.
I would be like: What?!?! I gave out of my lack – I am going to skip a meal or two this week so you can have and you say you didn’t need it??? And you aren’t giving it back?!?!?
Is it just me, or doesn’t it look like this is becoming a rather ungrateful thank you letter?!

Obviously, we must have a language barrier in the translation. We better take a closer look.
Just before this verse (as we saw yesterday) Paul praised them for their giving! So as Paul now says he wasn’t seeking the gift – he is acknowledging that they gave out of obedience to God. As a true teacher, his concerns are that they learn and grow from this experience.  He has learned, believes and lives in the peace of knowing God provides all our needs and God blesses a cheerful giver.
“But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 NKJV

So, when Paul says he seeks that their fruits abound – let me assure you that he isn’t trying to repay them with apples. In John 15:1-17 Jesus tells us that He is the vine and the Father is the vinedresser – as long as we are connected to Christ we can bear fruit – meaning the lessons can mature in us developing our characters. We become more Christ-like. In Matthew 7:15-20 Jesus said we would recognize false prophets by their fruits – or the fact that their character does not line up with the scriptures.  Here are what the scriptures call fruits: 
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV
As we have made it through most of this chapter we can look back and see where certain fruit was definitely being grown. 
Part 1 of this series we can see where the lessons of God’s love was being taught.
Part 2 and 3 of this series we can see where the lesson of loving others, joy, kindness, goodness, and gentleness is being taught.
Part 4 of this series we can see peace and self-control being taught.
Part 5 of this series we see longsuffering.
Part 6 of this series God’s faithfulness to us as we learn obedience.

Paul was obviously working on growing our fruit!

Now, When Paul says I have all and abound – He is saying I have received all of the gift and it meets every need, in fact he abounds, so it may be more than he needs. But that should not surprise any of you as we have studied the following verse many times:
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21 NKJV


Paul continues and confirms He has received the things sent from you. And here is where it all gets so beautiful:
a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God.

In the Old Testament when 2 parties entered into a covenant they each sacrificed something, cut them in two and then walked between them. Being part of the new covenant – we know Jesus was the sacrifice for our sins.  But when we enter into a relationship with God, through Christ Jesus – we must also make a sacrifice (maybe a few depending completely on your calling and His will for your life).  The first and only required sacrifice is that we repent and give up our old ways – a symbolic death to self. That is the minimal required sacrifice to enter the covenant of grace. It is a process that begins with believing and confessing, and is completed through the process of repentance. And this sacrifice gives us the free gift of a relationship with God, through Christ.
But then, in obedience to the will of God, He asks us to give out of our lack – and that is a sacrifice. Or God asks us to be missionaries and give up our homes and travel, which is a sacrifice. Some will even be called to be martyrs and that is obviously the ultimate sacrifice.  God will, as we grow in the fruits, ask us to make additional sacrifices – separate from old friends, give up music that isn’t edifying and isn’t in the list of things (we are told in this chapter) to think on, or it may be something smaller, or it may be something bigger. We each have our own.
But when we give it up and make that sacrifice – it is nothing compared to Jesus’s death and suffering, and it is nothing compared to the bountiful blessing instore for us after we have sacrificed things we are called to, and made room for the blessing. But to God – it is a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing!!! He is glorified in it. Obedience is the action of faith – but it is also the act of glorifying God.

The Philippian church made a sacrifice and it made way for a blessing which is:

“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 NKJV
And we finally made it to this verse! But we already understand it deeper and more fully. God’s riches in glory are unlimited. And He can also shift resources here on earth around.  He is in charge of it all. It is finished and taken care of – we must just live within His will and be obedient. This promise is added to all the things before it – so there is no reason to add to this, as it was already fully laid out in the previous verses. 

The only thing Paul can say after that, and the only thing God asks, is that we give God the glory for it:
“Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.” Philippians 4:20 NKJV

Glory to God!!!

Then Paul closes the letter with a greeting and a prayer:
21 Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you. 22 All the saints greet you, but especially those who are of Caesar’s household. 23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” Philippians 4:21-23 NKJV

Let me pray for you: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen Oh that beautiful grace!

If you don’t already, and today you would like to have a relationship with a God who can communicate with you and be part of your life (and protect you) – one who is full of mighty power and tender love, then please know that I have put the “A, B, C’s of Salvation” in my introduction. Please click here to follow the link.**

Thank you for reading ~ Grace be with you
Be healthy and blessed ~ I love you and love one another
Watch and Pray ~ Seek God & keep your eyes on Jesus!

Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

Supply My Needs (Part 6)

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 NKJV

Dear Heavenly Father – Thank you Lord for your gracious principles of giving and receiving – to meet our needs. Thank for your providence and blessing. Please open our eyes to see you and our ears to hear from you. Wake us up, and please open our understanding. In the name of Jesus – Amen

In our quest to study the 4th chapter of Philippians and to reach the promise of God’s provisions, we have learned so much about God and His provision – learning: that we cannot put anything before God, more about how God views us and in that truth we can stand fast and be strong in faith, that agreement is a powerful tool which causes the power of God to work, that help is on the way and we should be helpers, that we should rejoice and be gentle, that the Lord is at hand, that He has provided ample tools to combat anxiety, how to wait on the Lord for provisions, and that God can use us even in our own need – to bless, not just the immediate situation, but generations to come! 
God’s provisions are expressed in this this entire passage! Let us pick up on verse 14 of Philippians chapter 4, as we have studied up through verse 13 yesterday.

Paul continues his letter to them letting them know that ‘sharing in his distress’, they have done well and accomplished a greater good, that not even Paul could foresee. 

14 Nevertheless you have done well that you shared in my distress. 15 Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me concerning giving and receiving but you only.” Philippians 4:14-15 NKJV
Imagine giving to an evangelist who came through town for a tent meeting because God told you to give and you were obedient, and then almost 2000 years later a bunch of people are still reading about how only your church gave. Wow.  And how when you heard he was in another town and had a need, so you gave again, and again –
16 For even in Thessalonica you sent aid once and again for my necessities.” Philippians 4:16 NKJV
Wow.  How blessed! Their obedience in giving out of their need is an example for us all for all of time.

In the Bible, I struggle to find examples of people who gave out of their abundance. I am sure there are wealthy people who gave large amounts to the Lord, to the ministries and to the temple. There may even be examples – none come to mind and a quick search did not bring any examples to light. Instead, I see that those who gave out of their lack, out of their need, are recorded for all of time.
There is nothing wrong with tithing or only giving a small amount. Some people have abundantly and giving 10% is no sacrifice – to be very clear, it is not wrong to give out of your abundance, and to give without sacrifice, as long as you are giving according to what God tells you to give. Obedience is ALWAYS key. But God uses the example of people giving out of their lack many times – and there is a lesson in it that should be understood by everyone.  Even if you do not lack in finances, you may lack in other areas and it is in those areas you can apply these lessons. (We all have some sort of sacrifice and as I often say, obedience is the action of faith.)

“And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.” Luke 21:1-4 NKJV
Here is another example of giving out of need.  This widow was trusting that God would supply all her needs. This act of faith moved mountains – it may not be recorded exactly how God provided for her, but we know Jesus saw and asked God to take care of her, therefore we know she was provided for. We see that her story has been told for almost 2000 years, comforting all believers who gave out of their lack.

And then there is the widow at Zarephath.  God asked her to give out of her lack as well. The drought dried up God’s plan A for taking care of Elijah so God sent him to the widow. (God always has a provision and sometimes it requires a plan A and a plan B and maybe even more.)  The widow at Zarephath was obedient to the will of God and fed Elijah.  Here it is recorded what happened to her – God provided all her needs! 
15 So she went away and did according to the word of Elijah; and she and he and her household ate for many days. 16 The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke by Elijah.” 1 Kings 17:15-16 NKJV
She is also recorded for all of us to know of her faith and obedience.  Her gift to God, and to Elijah, keeps on giving. Did she know feeding a prophet would mean as feeding thousands of generations of believers with a great spiritual lesson about the principle of giving?

So without further delay – here is the principle at work:
Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38 NKJV

Without flat out saying it – God is teaching this to the church at Philippi (and to us as well), in practical application.  We haven’t even reached the verse yet about God suppling all our needs and we have seen the give and receive lessons (wrapped in putting God first, how God sees us and loves us, and the many ways in which he provides). We have learned about the lessons in the waiting time. And the blessings of giving.

So, as we all know, I start from a position of lack and I give in many ways – God has always met all my needs. If they aren’t met, then either I don’t need it or it’s not yet time.  So one day I had a little extra in the bank account, enough to cover a meal with my friends.  I offered to pay – they counter-offered to pay.  I asked them not to rob me off my blessings!!! This will not work with everyone, but my friends were very concerned about blessing me. They wanted to make sure I received a blessing. But since I am seldom in a position to bless them, I felt lead to do so. I pulled out this principle and showed them. If they blessed me with a meal, I got a meal. But if they let me bless them, they got a meal and I got a “good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over”!  Amen?!

Well, one day – they decided to bless me with a gift that was worth a lot of money. I told them no – God will provide another way. They reminded me of this lesson and told me not to rob them of their blessings from God.  So I pray: God, please return to them a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over”!  Amen! (Thanks for just praying that with me in agreement!)

God provides – God gets the glory. We may have a relationship with Him – but it’s kinda one sided when it comes to who gets the glory. It is always God! And quite honestly I am ok with that! His love, goodness and grace are abundant therefore He is worthy of all the glory!

If you don’t already, and today you would like to have a relationship with a God who can communicate with you and be part of your life (and protect you) – one who is full of mighty power and tender love, then please know that I have put the “A, B, C’s of Salvation” in my introduction. Please click here to follow the link.**

Thank you for reading ~ Grace be with you
Be healthy and blessed ~ I love you and love one another
Watch and Pray ~ Seek God & keep your eyes on Jesus!

Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

Supply My Needs (Part 5)

“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 NKJV

Dear Heavenly Father – Thank you Lord for your grace, while waiting on you. Thank you for the deep spiritual truths in your word. Thank for your providence and blessing. Please open our eyes to see you and our ears to hear from you. Wake us up, and please open our understanding. In the name of Jesus – Amen

In our quest to study the 4th chapter of Philippians and to reach the promise of God’s provisions we have learned so much about God, ourselves and already begin to understand His provision – learning: that we cannot put anything before God, more about how God views us and in that truth we can stand fast and be strong in faith, that agreement is a powerful tool which causes the power of God to work, that help is on the way and we should be helpers, that we should rejoice and be gentle, that the Lord is at hand, and that He has provided ample tools to combat anxiety! 
God’s provisions are expressed in this this entire passage! Let us pick up on verse 10 of Philippians chapter 4, as we have studied up through verse 9 yesterday.

Paul was in prison when he wrote this letter. The church in Philippi had collected funds to help him with the costs incurred by being in prison.  It is evident that collecting the funds and getting them to Paul, took some time – time where (without cell phone and a means for communication) Paul was stuck in prison without full knowledge of when or how God was going to provide for him.  He was stuck in one of those waiting places that God often puts us in.

10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” Philippians 4:10-12 NKJV

Paul uses this experience to share more with us about God’s provisions. God permitted the delay in the funds arriving. God used this time to reveal to Paul, that whatever state he is in, to be content, and practice focusing on God the provider and not the lack of provisions. Yet by inspiration he penned it to this church, who struggled in their own lack to collect enough fund to meet Paul’s needs. (We have already read that they lacked unity and agreement but there is other evidence that they also had financial needs.) Having given money out of their own need, they may have been tempted to be anxious about their own needs. So Paul used his needs being met to teach them how to get through it.

Don’t be anxious – instead, ask God.

No matter what, be content. Being content is a decision. Once we decide to be content – we may need to fight to stand fast on it, but we know in whom we believe. The state of being content is solid and firm – therefore the warrior, Peace, is there to help you.

During this time God taught Paul how to be abased, humiliated, lowered, and demeaned. The wonderful thing about being in a humble position is that Jesus says the humble will be lifted up (Matthew 23:12). We see this fulfilled when Paul is defended and delivered by God from prison!

Then Paul says he knows how to abound. This should be a study in and of itself. For some reason, many Christians do not know how to live in the blessings and in the harvest and in the bounty of God.  Do you?
We will put this concept aside for later.

As Paul waited for the provisions of God, which was being provided through the church at Philippi, who had needs of their own and it took a while for them to raise the funds and get them to Paul – we must point out another Biblical principal at work here.  God’s time is perfect and it is not our time.
For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.” Habakkuk 2:3 ESV
As a Jew, Paul surly knew the God in whom He believed and knew God would come through.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.” Isaiah 55:8 ESV
But why would God use a church full of needs, who would struggle to come up with the funds? Surly there were many churches that could have contributed. Surly there were many Christian all over the world who all could have given a little and shared in the burden, possibly gathering the funds faster.  No, God used this poor church in order to bless them. More on this tomorrow.

For those of you who want to go deeper (and those who do not, give it a try anyway) –  
“Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.” Verse 12b
Literarily speaking being full and being hungry are called binary opposition. They are extreme opposites and usually used to show the juxtaposition of each concept to emphasize what falls between them. But Paul is not drawing light to the differences here. He takes it a step further to a literary devise called ‘deconstruction’. Deconstruction seeks to undo the opposites and eliminate binary thinking. Essential saying there is no difference between being full and being hungry and no difference to abounding and to suffering need.  Although we have been taught our whole lives that these things are not like each other, that they are opposites and in opposition to each other – Paul is saying they are not just alike, but they are the same. 
He utilized this same literary devise in Philippians 1:21 – to live is Christ; to die is gain.
He is embracing a kingdom mindset – He is focused on God. He is seeking ye first the kingdom and knows all the things shall be added. 
Hungry? He chews (meditates) on the word of God, thanks Him and rejoices. Full? He meditates on the word of God, thanks Him and rejoices. They are the same as they require the same response and are only different sides of the same coin.
Needs? He prays. Abundance? He prays. Again the same coin as each other in the Kingdom of God – If God has all and is in control of all and provides for us then we really have no need or abundance. 
Alive? He dies to self to let the Lord be glorified. Dead? Enjoying the glory of the Lord. And again, which matters? To live or die – in the will of the Father and for His glory what is the difference?!
Yes, this is abstract and difficult for some people to understand – Like God existing both inside and outside of time and space. But if you are understanding – are you looking past these troubles and needs to remain kingdom minded?  It is written “It is finished” yet we are still going through it even though it is done and we are victorious!

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 NKJV
God’s provision and ability to meet our needs is not limited to our financial needs. It encompasses all our needs. Spiritually, we can do all things. Blessing others? Even in our needs we can do all things. Physically? We can do all things!

Why are we in this relationship with God, through Christ Jesus? Because He loves us and provides in every way. Because when we are kingdom minded – the cares of this world pass away and we can see into the spirit where all these things are already provided for.  You may have always thought Philippians 4:19 stood alone – but the entire passage, when studied together explains the verse and expounds upon it with such amazing…. Grace (for lack of another word for God showing us such favor and love to give us so much in one small passage)!

If you don’t already, and today you would like to have a relationship with a God who can communicate with you and be part of your life (and protect you) – one who is full of mighty power and tender love, then please know that I have put the “A, B, C’s of Salvation” in my introduction. Please click here to follow the link.**

Thank you for reading ~ Grace be with you
Be healthy and blessed ~ I love you and love one another
Watch and Pray ~ Seek God & keep your eyes on Jesus!

Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

Supply My Needs (Part 4)

“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 NKJV

Dear Heavenly Father – Thank you Lord for your grace, sufficient to overcome anxiety. Thank for your providence and blessing. Please open our eyes to see you and our ears to hear from you. Wake us up, and please open our understanding. In the name of Jesus – Amen

Since this verse begins with the word “and”, we are trying to study all that comes before it to understand all that this verse is adding onto with that word, “and”. While trying to read this chapter to get to that promise: God supplies all our needs.
We have learned: that we cannot put anything before God, more about how God views us and in that truth we can stand fast and be strong in faith, that agreement is a powerful tool which causes the power of God to work, that help is on the way and we should be helpers, that we should rejoice and be gentle, and that the Lord is at hand! 
God suppling our needs is one of the promises of God we can stand fast on along with all of the encouragement and gems in this same passage – let us pick up on verse 6 of Philippians chapter 4, as we have studied up through verse 5 yesterday.

In such a time as this – as we navigate a pandemic (yes, that is still ongoing), as we navigate a lawless time, and as we are sending children back to school and people are heading back to work (I already have) and as things open up while we are still receiving media news saying things are uncertain and scary…. In such a time – I have provided many studies about fear. And how NOT to fear though the word of God. Yet many, instead, have just learned to adjust to the ever present fears and are developing anxiety.  I suppose then, during this study, it is a blessing that we happen upon these next group of verses.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV

After learning how loved we are by God and validated and helped and and and… why are we still anxious?  GOD, himself, understand us and knows He needs to be direct with this.  All of His subtle reminders to put Him first and we miss it – and anxiety raises it’s self up – it glorifies it’s self against God.  It sneaks in and becomes an idol people worship as they dwell on it and not on God! It forces us away from God. We let it separate us from God.  OH Lord! Forbid it!!! Open our understanding that we can tear down this stronghold in our lives! Amen

This is a command – Do NOT be anxious.***
But what if it sneaks in? It is highly unlikely that it will sneak in if you are trusting God with everything – trusting by bringing it to Him in prayer and supplication.  But if it does, it means you missed giving that thing or things that make you anxious to God – so bring it to him. Remember my troublesome week (6 part series called “I know whom I Believe”)? I admit, I was tempted to be anxious – my prayer partner reminded me to ask God for a verse and cling to it. Something I constantly remind others to do. We all need that reminder, all the time. There is always a verse! The verse God gave me reminded me that I had already given those things to God and I am persuaded He is able to keep them, protect them, and even bless them (2 Timothy 1:12). I thanked God for His faithfulness. 
Paul says here to have thanks giving when you make your requests known. Let me tell you that thanks giving will be a natural response as you trust God with every area of your life. At this point I am tempted to jump ahead and remind you that a little bit further down in this same chapter is “God shall supply all your need”!  Seriously, where is there room for anxiety when we combined the two verses? YET that is NOT how this is written! There is more between giving the anxious things to God and Him meeting our need.  These things are our tools to fight anxiety.

Like verse 7 – “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”
Here Jesus replaces anxiety with peace. Peace that we cannot understand. Peace that has the ability to guard my heart!  We think of peace as a passive thing – but we see here that peace is a mighty warrior! Don’t tell me that is a stretch – you have experienced the battle that rages for your heart and mind. You know it is a fierce battle! It is a battle I committed a whole week to studying and posted. You know it would take a mighty warrior to guard those vulnerable areas! Peace is that mighty warrior! Peace is not passive. It is not drugged out silly spinning happy delusions. Peace is an active warrior bringing sound stability and a firm steadfast stance into your mind and heart. Quite frankly, I do not want a drugged out hippy guarding my heart and mind – it could never stand the battle that rages there.  Thank God for His providence in giving us a mighty warrior to do the job!

Put on the helmet of salvation and the breastplate of righteousness because that part is our job – we are also to give it all to God in prayer and then the great warrior Peace shall guard us!!!

Verse 6 is often quoted by itself. Which is nice but it is not meant to stand alone. Add verse 7 and it is still nice – but look how powerful it is within the context of all we have just studied and wait till you see what comes next!

Next comes another MIGHTY tool to fight anxiety.  I think I have challenged every one of my friends (who are anxious) to memorize the next verse.  Every time we feel anxious, give it to God in prayer and then redirect your mind (stop it from dwelling on the anxieties) by pulling this out and working on memorizing this next verse!  I also suggest memorizing it in the King James Version because it has a nice rhythm, making it easier. (If it helps you to know, I have memorized it myself.)
Besides memorizing it – we should also try to understand it as a tool against anxiety.

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Philippians 4:8 NKJV

As you can see, it is a nice long verse to work on memorizing. It will be ample distraction, that after you give your anxious thoughts to God, this task will truly redirect you mind.  Besides the fact that memorizing it is actually the act of doing exactly what the verse is saying we should do – think on things that are NOT anxious!  Think instead of these things because all GOOD things come from the Lord and these are all Good thing! Think on the Goodness of God! Think on the other verses and promises God has given us to stand fast on. Think about Philippians 4:1 – and how God views us. Think about verse 2 and how you can call a prayer partner to agree with against your anxiety. Think about verse 3 and helping others instead of sitting around paralyzed by your own anxious thoughts. Think about 4 and all the things we have to rejoice about and thank God for! Think about verse 5 and think about ways to show the world the Lord’s gentleness. Think about the great warrior called Peace coming to assist.

Referring back to my troublesome week – I asked God for a verse to stand fast on for the week and I meditated on it day and night. You all benefited from me studying it. I took Philippians 4:8 and practiced it by thinking on the word of God which is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and a good report – the word of God is virtuous, and full of praise! I prevented anxiety by refocusing, because by grace God used my friend to give me a reminder – which brings us back to help, help each other! We cannot exist in this battle alone.

When God promises to meet our needs – He has already shown us He has, without even saying it! Look at how His provision is designing a way to overcome anxiety and fear. Look at how peace has a dynamic role in guarding us. Peace isn’t just some passive concept. God’s provision is all over this! God has already made a way!

Yes, like peace, we must also play an active role in our own lives – we are responsible to apply these lessons.  A relationship is a two way street. God is doing His part, we must do our part. And He has clearly told us how to do our part.

“The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:9 NKJV

Even Paul says we must do it – and he says a little prayerful blessing over them and us. Let’s pray that as well, together – over everyone who reads this blog and over ourselves: “God of peace will be with you” Amen!

If you don’t already, and today you would like to have a relationship with a God who can communicate with you and be part of your life (and protect you) – one who is full of mighty power and tender love, then please know that I have put the “A, B, C’s of Salvation” in my introduction. Please click here to follow the link.

*** If your anxiety isn’t over one or two things – but a general anxiety disorder, God can still heal you. You just have more areas in your life that you need to give over to Him. The principles above will help you, as well. You need to lay it all down at the foot of the cross – expel it out of you and give it to God. Then ask God to fill you with peace and the Holy Spirit. As we empty ourselves, as for those spaces to be filled with the Holy Spirit and do not leave it empty – get more of God in you!
A lesson for another day – but you may have a curse or a demonic stronghold that requires deliverance. Go to you Pastor and the elders of the church and ask them to anoint you with oil and pray over you for deliverance while you commit each and every thing to God.  Deliverance is a hard work, but the freedom on the other side is worth it. And it is the reason Jesus bled for us. Do not hesitate or let distractions or obstacles prevent you – God is saying: “go to your Pastor and elders and ask for a deliverance prayer”. He is ready and willing to release you and this is the method He prescribes in His word.

Thank you for reading ~ Grace be with you
Be healthy and blessed ~ I love you and love one another
Watch and Pray ~ Seek God & keep your eyes on Jesus!

Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

Supply My Needs (Part 3)

“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 NKJV

Dear Heavenly Father – Thank you Lord for your grace which you have continually wrapped us in. Thank for your providence and blessing. Please open our eyes to see you and our ears to hear from you. Wake us up, and please open our understanding. In the name of Jesus – Amen

As we know this verse begins with the word “and” so we are trying to study all that comes before it to understand all that this verse is adding onto with that word, “and”. While trying to read this chapter to get to the promise of God suppling all our needs – we have learned that we cannot put anything before God. We learned more about how God views us and in that truth we can stand fast and be strong in faith. We have learned that agreement is a powerful tool which causes the power of God to work!  God suppling our needs is one of the promises of God we can stand fast on when we put God first, know who we are in God’s eyes and agree in prayer. This passage is packed with encouragement and gems – let us be excited to continue! Amen?? (Where are my agreeing partners, pulling Jesus into this study with us?!?!)

“And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.” Philippians 4:3 NKJV
Hey, Ladies!!! Don’t we all love Paul!!! Paul sees us. Paul shows us that God sees us. Through the words of Paul, God Himself validates our worth and our ministries and our gifts and our being. Always such a beautiful thing when we read the word of God and see God looking right back at us – He sees us and is sending help! This study is for both men and women readers – I just needed to give the ladies that little insight. But Men, if God sees the ladies then you ought to as well.

Starting at the beginning of this verse – the urge is addressed to the ‘true companions’. Who are the true companions?  They are those who truly have a relationship with God through Christ and are His companions – those who also because of that relationship with God through Christ, are in fellowship, companionship, and have a relationship with each other as part of the body of Christ.  This is for both the men and the women (and the children). And what are we supposed to do? Help. Assist. Of course we should help everyone – but the women are often overlooked. This verse is designed to draw eyes and attention to the women. Help them as they labor with, and in support, of ministries.  I watch the women work tirelessly behind the scenes for many ministries. Help them. And for those ‘tireless’ women, hang in there, because God is sending help.

(Also note that working, managing the home and raising the children is also a ministry if being done unto God, as a ministry unto Him for the edification of her husband. Therefore, help her too!)

Tell me of a church without a group of middle-aged (and older) women who gather together in prayer continually for their church and I will say to you – that church is dead. I do not need to see it to say that. If they are showing signs of healings and miracles, I promise you they are false prophets.  A critical ministry where women support the church is often in prayer and THAT is where the battle is won.  If the church is growing – it is because of their prayers. If lives are being saved, it is because of their prayers. If demons are being cast out and people are being healed, it is because of the support of these praying women.  Women tend to mother their churches in this ministry the same way they mother their children – in prayer!
Can men be on the prayer team too? Of course – in the New Testament church women and men are both in all ministries. Is my opinion of these praying women Biblically based? Only partially.  The Bible shows loose examples of the prayer support of women. But go to different church and talk with people from different churches and you will see – the women in the prayer closets determine the temperature of the church. My opinion is based on direct observation and revelation from God.

So, help these women. Help all the women in ministry. From the church bathroom cleaners to the Sunday school teachers to the prayer warriors to the preachers and evangelists and all in between. Help the women. If you are a believer, then for the glory of God help the women whose names are written in the Book of Life!
And Paul then adds – Help all whose names are written in the Book of Life. – We are to be helpers.

“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” Philippians 4:4 NKJV
Here is a common verse which we all love to sing and quote – but did you ever notice it follows “help the women”? Well, Paul, after you told the church to help us out – I for one am rejoicing. After acknowledging our ministries and valuing our labor with you for the gospel – I am rejoicing again!!!
Although verse 4, here, is also thought to be part of Letter B and the above verses (1-3) are thought to be Letter C (as I explained in part 1 of this series). In which case our ‘rejoices’ are not in direct reference to the above verse, however applicable that is.  And since it IS in this order in our Bible, it is not wrong to rejoice over the knowledge of these first few verses.

We do know that I am all fired up about “grace” and practically jump out of my seat at the word.  Paul was pretty fired up about joy! The joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10)! As a Jewish man, he, no doubt, knew this passage and applied it to his life – especially when he was imprisoned. (Recall the passage about him praising and worshiping in prison?) Well, funny you should bring that up – because Paul wrote this when he was in prison!
Prisons back then were not as nice as they are now. Dirt, thick heavy chains, rodents, maybe a rock to sit on if you were lucky and what about bathrooms??? Yea, they were horrible places. What was the worst situation you have been in? What was your hardship? When you were in the middle of it, were you trying to write a letter home encouraging them to rejoice (and rejoice again)? Were you also practicing this joy by singing until your chains fell off and the prison shook open? 

“Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.” Philippians 4:5 NKJV
We should actively show gentleness. With riots, all the lawlessness and civil unrest in the United States (and all over the globe) we need more gentleness. I see memes that say we need kindness – but moreover, we need gentleness! And why?  “The Lord is at hand.”
Gentleness can be the difference in our witness and in the salvation of someone we know. The Lord, His will, the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.  Throughout the book of Philippians and the New Testament, there is an expressed urgency. They preached the Lord’s prompt return – how much more should we be preaching it as we are obviously closer than they were to Jesus’s return?  Not only, but life is fragile – you and I may not have the opportunity again to bear witness and be gentle to someone who might deeply need an experience with our merciful, gentle Father.  

Maybe even today – you need, or you know someone who needs, more gentleness in their lives. Through grace you can be the gentleness and receive the gentleness of God. The gentleness to rejoice in the Lord and rejoice again.  The gentleness to be the help or accept the help that the Lord is sending. 
He will provide all your needs. He will. In the meantime, rejoice and be gentle.  And remember the Lord is at hand.  These are all part of our relationship with God, through Christ Jesus.

If you don’t already, and today you would like to have a relationship with a God who can communicate with you and be part of your life (and protect you) – one who is full of mighty power and tender love, then please know that I have put the “A, B, C’s of Salvation” in my introduction. Please click here to follow the link.**

Thank you for reading ~ Grace be with you
Be healthy and blessed ~ I love you and love one another
Watch and Pray ~ Seek God & keep your eyes on Jesus!

Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!