A Barnabas Blog
Stone Casting - Voting in Scripture
Stone Casting ~ Voting in Scripture
There was a custom in the ancient courts of justice wherein a person would be condemned by a black pebble and acquitted by a white pebble. The Greek word that Luke uses above when writing of Paul’s testimony before Agrippa is psephos and it represents a vote of condemnation, Paul casting black stones against Christians before he encountered Jesus, amen.
Today we have the power in our words and actions to condemn or acquit. Remember in Matthew’s gospel where Jesus tells Peter he is to forgive not just seven times, but seventy seven times. That sounds so crazy to us today because we want fairness, an eye for an eye. Luke says if our brother sins against us seven times in a day and comes back seven times saying, “I repent” that we are to forgive him. Do we do that? Can we even do that? All things are possible with God my friends. (Matthew 19:26, Mark 10:27) Let’s look at one final verse that uses the same Greek word Paul used in our first Scripture. It comes from the pen and letter of Jesus Himself to the church at Pergamum:
Right now Jesus is standing at the door and knocking. (Revelation 3:20) He offers forgiveness if we will only accept His free gift of being salvation. Maybe you have judged yourself too long or allowed the judgment of others to impact your life to such a degree you’ve removed yourself altogether from the idea of being acquitted. There is One, and only one who has the power to forgive sin and set captives of condemnation free. He is the Way and the Truth and the Life. His Name is Jesus. He is God. Would you trust in Him today? Find a church before or after you vote. Visit a pastor. Call a friend who will sit and look at God’s Word with you and allow the Truth to begin to excavate through all the layers of hurt. Let love in.
I pray today like Paul, that each one of us encounters Jesus, and the stones we cast are white stones. That we will operate with the mercy of God and not the mercy of man; that we will forgive as we have been forgiven. The culture and climate of the day begs us to cast condemning eyes and words upon our fellow pilgrims on this earth. Friends condemn the sin and acquit the sinner. Thank You, Father for Your mercy. Thank You, Jesus for Your forgiveness.
Be blessed, be a blessing to someone else.
~ brother William
 Climate Change:  measurable differences having  affected conditions of a  known location.
Luke 11:28 He said, "Even more, those who hear the Word of God and keep it are blessed!"
 You want a blessing? Hear the Word of God! ;o) amen! Nothing will change your life like hearing the Word of God!! Listen for it! Make sure your heart is ready for it! This means you’re contrite, confessed, and corrected! If you haven’t corrected course or repented yet confess! If you haven’t confessed of known or unknown sin in your life yet ask God to show you what it is or where it is in your life, so you can possess the convicted heart that leads to confessing it. You are closer to the kingdom of God the closer you are able to follow Jesus!
Luke 8:15 But the seed in the good ground--these are the ones who, having heard the Word with an honest and good heart, hold on to it and by enduring, bear fruit.
 Your fruit is your measurable difference: what is being produced by your words, actions, deeds, and behavior as you are responding to God’s leading. Ok, you’re a Christian. You’ve been a Christian for several years… great! What have you done with it?? What have you done with the Truth that Jesus Christ is both Savior & Lord? Is Jesus the Messiah, the Perfect Sacrifice, and Sovereign King of glory? If you really believe this how does your life look different now than it did before you confessed Him Lord? It should look different. It should make a difference or your believing could have been in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:2 and by which you are also being saved if you hold firmly to the message I proclaimed to you - unless, of course, your faith was worthless.
Understand the Bible even teaches about “worthless faith.” I pray this is not the case in your life, but know that it could be, amen.
Isaiah 64:1 If only You would tear the heavens open and come down, so that mountains would quake at Your presence--
 Affected conditions… nothing can or will alter the atmosphere of your life like the presence of God! I know so many right now need a good ‘shake up!’ (a good quake, amen!) Folks that don’t know God and even folks that do and have just become numb to the slaughtering of innocents abroad in terror (assassination of Christians) and at home in the name of personal liberty (abortion of children) or become tolerant of homosexuality (God calls this sin), pornography (God calls this sin), even appointing practicing homosexuals to church leadership. Is this Christian? Is this following close to Jesus? Yes, Jesus told the prostitute, “your sins are forgiven” but do we forget that He next commanded her as a result of her sin being forgiven that she, “go and sin no more.” If you can’t let go of sin you can’t hold on to the Savior…. What are our hands grasping tight to? We must be broken and bold in our following Christ Jesus.
Psalms 34:11 Come, children, listen to Me, and I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
Before inviting the presence of a holy God, before worship, there must be a fear of the Lord. It’s the beginning of wisdom, (Psalms 111:10) the beginning of knowledge, (Proverbs 1:7) and a requirement for worshipping in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:24).
Ezekiel 36:26 "I'm going to give you a new heart, and I'm going to give you a new spirit within all of your deepest parts. I'll remove that rock-hard heart of yours and replace it with one that's sensitive to Me.
 Your most important stewardship is a known location called your heart. The way God works with hearts is not putting a bandage on something that has been broken. He can and will do that for His heart. But until you’ve asked for and received His heart the location of your heart will be a jungle overgrown with thoughts of elevating self. A miracle He performs every day is totally replacing a heart knowing nothing but sin with a heart than can know, trust, follow, and feel the love of God.
If you want to name and claim something today… claim the love of God!
I pray climate change for you today friends! I pray the God of heaven and earth, the creator of all things alter the very atmosphere of your life with a new heart and new spirit if that’s what is necessary or a waking and quaking away from your own will and desires, and toward His will and His desires for you, amen. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Thank You, Lord!! Praise You, today and always Lord!!!
Be blessed, be a blessing to someone today, in Jesus’ Name amen.
Brother William Joshua Triplett
The Desire of Our Hearts
God grants the desires of the new heart
Understand verse 4 is preceded by verse 3, amen. Even as the Lord promises to bestow the requests of our hearts it is after God has been taken delight in (seeking God). It’s while the person’s heart is dwelling in the land and living securely (saved by God). It’s when God is trusted and the believer is acting in that trust (assured by God and striving for God’s glory). Yes, God wants to give you the desires of your heart; just know and understand all along the way He wants you seeking Him, accepting salvation by the shed blood of His Son, assured of His sovereignty and striving in His will.
Satan grants the desires of the natural heart
When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness he offered Jesus everything that would tempt and lure the natural heart of man: living on our own bread instead of God’s Word, tempting God instead of trusting God, and worshipping anything or anyone in place of or even alongside God. Remember Jesus had just come some forty days earlier from being baptized in the Jordan River by John, and the Holy Spirit’s descending upon Him, and His Father audibly speaking His pleasure of Jesus as His Son. Here is the kicker… It was the Holy Spirit that led Jesus into the wilderness. Before Jesus could complete the work the Father had for Him, He had to meet and overcome evil in the world. Understand with this example the Holy Spirit will send us to be tested in the work God has for us. And we, just as Jesus overcame, can and will be delivered always if/when we rely on and obey God’s Word. Know this: you are being tested when the deceiver asks you if you are God’s son; you are being tested when the deceiver promises you glory for your worship, and finally you are being tested when the deceiver twists God’s Word to deliver you into temptation. Be on the lookout when God’s provision is not enough, God’s worship is watered down, and God’s Word is cherry-picked to meet agendas and accusations. Make sure your relying is on God’s Word. Make sure your reverence is a result of God’s grace. And finally make sure your response is in God’s will.
Friends, be of utmost care today when you name it and claim it. Make sure the desire of your heart is the very desire that the Father has purposed you for and not what the father of lies intends to use in persuading you away from the very work God has intended for you.
My prayer today is that you receive the desire of your heart and that His Name is Jesus, amen!
Be blessed, be a blessing to someone today, in Jesus’ Name amen.
Brother William Joshua Triplett
Be Encouraged! Never Be Ashamed!
Dear friends, be encouraged today! Never be ashamed to share the Truth that Jesus is Lord and Satan is a liar.
Every tongue will confess Jesus is Lord (Philippians 2:11)
The Father of lies is Satan (John 8:44)
The parables in the Bible were given to confound the wise (Luke 8:10) – the headlines of actual events today are given to confirm the wounding. Be encouraged to open God’s Word and see for yourself what He has to say. Be encouraged to understand the times just as the sons of Issachar did in Scripture. By sharing the news stories and headlines that our world and our witness is suffering today I mean to be an encourager for you to seek God and to hear what He has to say and not to condemn women pastors or homosexuals (understand this: if someone claims to be Christian the Bible actually gives me authority to do just that – to be a correcting and compassionate voice revealing sin and encouraging confession and repentance - hear that: it's my responsibility as a brother to encourage them to get right with God (Luke 17:3))
I am not the accuser or condemner….. but I know who is…
The accuser of the brethren is Satan (Revelation 12:10)
Unbelief condemns the unbeliever (Hebrews 3:19)
Adultery condemns the adulterer (2 Peter 2:14)
Cheating condemns the cheater…
Lying condemns the liar…
Stealing condemns the thief…
We condemn ourselves with our actions against God’s desire for our well-being (Jeremiah 29:11).
Yes, sin and death entered the world (Romans 5:13)
The good news is this… Jesus condemned sin! (Romans 8:3)
And Jesus overcame the world! (John 16:33)
Father today I pray for a turning away from the lies and toward the Truth. I thank You, Father, that there is a Man waiting to tell us our sins are forgiven. I thank You for confounding the wise, and bringing low the proud of heart. I praise You for Your mercy and ever-loving kindness. Be glorified, be magnified, be made known. In Jesus’ Name amen.
The Great Refuge
The people all over the world are crying out, “We have a refugee crisis!”
Friends the great crisis of our age is that we have an entire world seeking and accepting refuge in anything and everything except Jesus Christ, the One that waits for every soul to call Him Lord.
One Amazing Scroll!
Before the 2nd century A.D. books were called scrolls. This may sound funny to us, but consider that books are changing shape in these very days. For example you may have at your home or in your car or in your purse right now an eBook, an iBook, or an audiobook. As we look at Chapter 6 of the book of Revelation and observe the process of a one of a kind scroll being opened within the very throne room of heaven let’s take just a moment to look back in Scripture and in history for a little more information on scrolls and seals, amen.
The prophet Jeremiah shows us a land deed purchase (scroll) for land that would later be redeemed (Jeremiah 32:6-27). Does that sound familiar? A deed in heaven for a people that would later be redeemed? It was uncommon to have writing on the backs of scrolls. Rather it was the front side that was smooth, having horizontal grain that allowed for easy writing. The back side of the scroll was much more difficult to write on having vertical grain and being much rougher and uneven. The only times it was necessary to write on the backside, the rough outside, of a scroll was to record a time and date, or place, or owner: something small, but significant to the contents inside. Examples of these very special kind of scrolls would include title deeds and wills. History records for us that the Roman Emperor’s Vespasian and Augustus following Roman law at the time both had wills with seven seals.
Here is a link to a great picture where we can see two sheets of a scroll found in Qumran from the book of Psalms. It shows the specifications in detail for us of early scroll construction and layout. The papyrus was made into 8x10 inch sheets, joined horizontally, and rolled onto a wooden roller. Each page had 2 inch margins on the top and bottom and of an inch separating three 3 inch columns. To offer some perspective here are some measurements of the lengths of New Testament scrolls (books):
Jude & Philemon - one sheet
Romans - 11 feet long
Mark - 19 feet long
John - 23 feet long
Matthew - 30 feet long
Luke and Acts - 32 feet long
Revelation - 15 feet long
There’s another amazing scroll. It’s called the Lamb’s book of life, amen. Just like the land that Jeremiah bought and paid for in advance scales have been used to weigh out the price for you and me… our lives… for eternity… and the price was death on a cross by a perfect and sinless man. Jesus has paid in advance the price for all creation to be redeemed. It’s a matter today of us being moved by the Holy Spirit to say, yes, LORD, I am yours. I accept Your sacrifice on my behalf! Thank You, LORD!!
May the LORD bless you my brothers and sisters, my friends.
Jesus is Coming Soon!
The prophet Ezekiel was ordered to set his face towards the mountains of Israel and prophesy against them (Ezekiel 6:2). The people had been carried off one place and another by the Chaldeans. Nothing was left but the land. It was desolate, void, and empty of what would even seem like hope. And yet GOD had Ezekiel proclaim The Word of The LORD to the mountains, to the hills, to the waterways, to the valleys, to the desolate wastelands, and to the abandoned cities (Ezekiel 36:5)… why? Because there would be a returning. Just as the Israelites returned to the land Christ is returning for His Bride. Jesus is coming soon amen!
Even when the land was devastated, hope had seemingly been ravaged, and ruin was left for the eyes of the prophet to behold the LORD sent Ezekiel. The LORD is sending disciples today to announce to the remnants of a wrecked and barren world The Word of The LORD! Who will proclaim it? Who will not have his crown taken? Who will keep the prophecy in the book?
Our hearts are heralding His return. Let not our lips remain silent of our Savior’s coming!
The Cost of Living in Christ
Each of us suffers a cost of living. We are required to meet a somewhat-fixed financial amount of weekly-monthly-annual expenses no matter where we live. This currency value covers expenses like food, shelter, clothing, transportation, communication, and medical. Some may have it budgeted right down to the smallest of coins knowing exactly what they consume and require daily. This cost of living will vary from person to person and from location to location. Some require more. Some require less.
The cost of living in Christ is nothing from you or from me; there is no fluctuation from person to person. It is no more for me and no less for you. It is a uniquely free gift. That sounds crazy doesn’t it! “Will, it has to cost somebody something,” you say! Well that’s true. It cost GOD. It cost the Father the life of His Only Son.
The cost of living in Christ Jesus was paid in full on a wooden cross erected in Judea some two thousand years ago. There is nothing we can do or say or pay to become a citizen of heaven. Jesus has done it. The Lamb of GOD has said, “It is finished.” (John 19:30) The Perfect Sacrifice has met our entry fee. The asking price has been set and settled.
Would you believe in Jesus? That is what GOD wants today. He wants you to stop paying for all the sin in your life that He has already paid for in offering the life of His Son Jesus.
It’s not sin that’s gonna open or close the door of heaven to anyone. It’s pride. The cost of eternal life in heaven is believing in Jesus, the sin remedy. The cost of eternal death is saying you don’t need Him.
Spend some time in prayer this week friends. Spend some time in thanksgiving that the price has been paid! Thank You, LORD!!
Trust in The LORD
What does it mean to trust in The LORD?
Here the LORD says He’s going to do something and according to historical accounts we have the gift of looking back and seeing it was done. In one of the most unexpected places and people in 539 BC the Jews find a friend from a far country, Cyrus, the Medo-Persian King. Cyrus, Bible commentaries even suggest, had a nose like the beak of a hawk or eagle.
I am so grateful that the LORD accepts and forgives my ignorance of His Word and His Ways for they are so far above my own. (Isaiah 55:9) He continues to write His Word upon & fill my heart with His love in spite of me being… well… me, amen. Just like Cyrus, who had no clue what GOD had declared (Isaiah 44:28, 45:1) for his life through the prophet Isaiah some two hundred years before he was even born. We have to look no further than our own life and testimony to see GOD’s purposes being accomplished. And yes, the LORD continues to declare the things that are not yet done and will certainly make them happen; He’s planned them, and will certainly carry them out.
Just like David trusted in the Old Testament and Paul trusted in the New Testament:
Got Game from GOD?
Game in the Bible is food. (Genesis 27:3, 5, 7, 25, 31, Leviticus 17:13, Job 24:5, Psalms 76:4) What are you being fed today? The world, lies, bitterness, racial injustice, or Truth, the very Bread of Life?
Satan is a master keeper! And it’s not a game to him. Your soul, your false worship, your time in everything that is not for the glory of GOD means everything to him.
Has he kept you from GOD’s Word today? Has he kept you from sharing the Truth of the resurrection of Jesus Christ today? Has he kept you from teaching that Christ is coming again… to get ready?
Christianity is not a spectator sport! It is not a religion of regard. The disciples didn’t observe from a distance the growth of the early church. They were the ones growing it.
They met daily (Acts 2:46-47a)
They cared daily (Acts 6:1)
They won souls daily (Acts 2:47b)
They searched the Scriptures daily (Acts 17:11)
They increased in number daily (Acts 16:5)
We are not overcomers until we apply the Blood of the Lamb over the frame of our flesh and testify Jesus’ work in our live and on this earth. It’s not a question at the next faith trial in your life of what would Jesus do? It’s responding to what Jesus has already done! He lived. He breathed. GOD became man, fully GOD and fully man in Jesus Christ, predicted and fulfilled, amen. He suffered. He served. He died to rise again! (Revelation 12:11) If we are not actively testifying, applying then we are not actively overcoming. Listen friends… if you are not walking and talking Jesus today at work, at home, at sport then Satan is being allowed to cover your mouth, your mind, and your heart, sideling the very hope and plan that GOD has for you. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Spend some time with GOD this week. Ask Him for a new heart, not to change the one you have. Ask Him for a new Spirit, for His Spirit to indwell you! (Ezekiel 11:19, 18:31, 36:26)
Important Whether Announcement
100% chance of mouths confessing, hearts repenting, minds renewing, Son shining & GOD reigning!
Friends, our actions and our words, our every move and muttering, reflect whether we believe Jesus is LORD…
& whether Jesus is…
The Last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45)
Our Advocate (1 John 2:1)
The Almighty (Revelation 1:8)
The Aleph and The Tav (Revelation 1:8)
The Amen (Revelation 3:14)
Our High Priest (Hebrews 3:1)
The Arm of The LORD (Isaiah 51:9, Isaiah 53:1)
The Author and Finisher of our Faith (Hebrews 12:2)
The Author of Eternal Salvation (Hebrews 5:9)
The Source of GOD’s Creation (Revelation 3:14)
The Beloved Son (Matthew 12:18)
The Blessed and Only Ruler (1 Timothy 6:15)
The Branch (Isaiah 4:2)
The Bread of Life (John 6:32-33)
The Captain of Salvation (Hebrews 2:10)
The Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4)
The Christ of GOD (Luke 9:20)
The Comfort of Israel (Luke 2:25)
The Cornerstone (Psalm 118:22)
Counsellor (Isaiah 9:6)
The Creator (John 1:3)
The Dayspring (Luke 1:78)
The Deliverer (Romans 11:26)
The Desire of Nations (Haggai 2:7)
The Sheep Gate (John 10:7)
The Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6)
The Faithful Witness (Revelation 1:5)
The Foremost and the Final (Revelation 1:17)
Firstborn from the Dead (Revelation 1:5)
Our Forerunner (Hebrews 6:20)
The Glory of The LORD (Isaiah 40:5)
Our GOD (Isaiah 40:3)
The Good Shepherd (John 10:11)
The Ruler of Israel (Matthew 2:6)
Our Great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14)
The Head Over All Things (Ephesians 1:22)
The Heir of All Things (Hebrews 1:2)
The Holy Servant (Acts 4:27)
The Holy and Righteous One (Acts 3:14)
The Holy One of GOD (Mark 1:24)
The Holy One of Israel (Isaiah 41:14)
Our Horn of Salvation (Luke 1:69)
The I AM (John 8:58)
The Image of GOD (2 Corinthians 4:4)
Our Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14)
Our Everlasting Strength (Isaiah 26:4)
The Judge of Israel (Micah 5:1)
The Just One (Acts 7:52)
The King of the Jews (Zechariah 9:9)
The King of All Ages (1 Timothy 1:17)
The King of Kings (1 Timothy 6:15)
The King of the Nation (Revelation 15:3)
Our Lawgiver (Isaiah 33:22)
The Lamb Slain (Revelation 13:8)
The Lamb of GOD (John 1:29)
Our Leader and Commander (Isaiah 55:4)
The Life (John 14:6)
The Light of the World (John 8:12)
The Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5)
The LORD of All (Acts 10:36)
The LORD of Glory (1 Corinthians 2:8)
The LORD of Lords (1 Timothy 6:15)
The LORD Our Righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6)
The Man of Sorrows (Isaiah 53:3)
Our One Mediator (1 Timothy 2:5)
The Messenger of The Covenant (Malachi 3:1)
The Anointed Commander (Daniel 9:25)
The Messiah (John 1:41)
Mighty GOD (Isaiah 9:6)
The Mighty One of Jacob (Isaiah 60:16)
The Bright and Morning Star (Revelation 22:16)
A Nazarene (Matthew 2:23)
The Only Begotten Son (John 1:18)
Our Passover (1 Corinthians 5:7)
The Prince of Life (Acts 3:15)
The Prince Over the Kings of the Earth: (Revelation 1:5)
The Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6)
A Mighty Prophet (Luke 24:19)
A Prophet Like Moses (Acts 3:22)
Our Redeemer (Job 19:25)
The Resurrection and The Life (John 11:25)
The Rock (1 Corinthians 10:4)
The Root of David (Revelation 22:16)
The Rose of Sharon (Song of Songs 2:1)
Our Savior (Luke 2:11)
The Seed of the Woman (Genesis 3:15)
The Shepherd and Bishop of Our Souls: (1 Peter 2:25)
Shiloh (Genesis 49:10)
The Son of The Blessed One (Mark 14:61)
The Son of David (Matthew 1:1)
The Son of GOD (Matthew 2:15)
The Son of The Most High (Luke 1:32)
The Sun of Righteousness (Malachi 4:2)
The True Light (John 1:9)
The True Vine (John 15:1)
The Word Made Flesh (John 1:14)
A Witness: (Isaiah 55:4)
The Word: (John 1:1)
The Word of GOD (Revelation 19:13)
In the Sweet “BY AND BY”
The Blood of the Lamb & Word of Our Testimony
To be honest it came as a surprise when the Holy Spirit began His convicting upon my heart in the area of testimony. For years I held to the understanding that it was by the words of my OWN testimony and the Blood of Jesus that I was an overcomer… There was a big uh-oh moment when I realized the Scripture verse I was using to back this up was specific and pointed at something greater than myself…
Forgive me friends when I confess my testimony has been lacking as of late, shallow, and short and the subject matter… well more self than Savior. My testimony is not what I had for breakfast. I am not an overcomer by claiming that the Blood of Jesus Christ covers me and sharing my favorite waffle recipe. A testimony that does not contain my Emmanuel is empty; void of Truth, Life, and The Way.
Here is one example: recently my wife and I saw a movie called “Unbroken.” It is described as a film that showcases the triumph of the human spirit. Unfortunately the movie doesn’t tell the whole story of Zamperini, the writers, producers, directors and actors chose to omit from film the work of Jesus Christ in and through Zamperini’s life (thankfully, the Graham family has released the “rest of the Unbroken story” in the film Zamperini; captured by grace. What a telling reminder for us all. Are we captured by grace when we evangelize? Do we evangelize? Or are we more in the habit of telling our timelines, our to-do list, and not our testimony of Jesus Christ? And getting pats on the back for getting through a tough circumstance, illness, of our own strength?
As we look back on the Scripture verses unpacking the Greek word dia sheds a nice bit of light on the verses for us. We see it two times in both verses. In the Greek it’s not just “BY” the Blood… It is after the Blood, always the Blood, because of the Blood, by reason of the Blood, thereby the Blood, throughout the Blood, within the Blood … We can hear the very same thing happen when you use the same Greek definition of the word dia applied on the next use in the verse; “BY” the Word. It is after the Word, always the Word, because of the Word, by reason of the Word, thereby the Word, throughout the Word, within the Word …
There is a danger in the Church today. Christians are testifying self and thinking that testimony carries the power of overcoming, not so. It is only when Jesus is affirmed and His Blood is applied. You can say the Name Jesus a hundred times a day (and have people thinking you are religious) and not be His. Demons know and say His Name. You can testify about yourself and your life until you become tired of talking and it will mean nothing for the kingdom. It will mean nothing to Jesus.
Today I will be careful by Whose power I claim victory, amen. Whose testimony… Whose blood… LORD thank You for this journey! LORD thank You for the by and by of Your Testimony, Your perfect and sinless life lived out, Your suffering, death and resurrection fulfilled! And all according to Your Word! Hallelujah!
My Jesus Delivers Me Still!
As a teen I was unable to see sex (outside of marriage) for what it was…
..lust, the flesh completely ruling over me – and NOT love!
As a young man I was unable to see alcohol for what it was…
..hijacker of sound mind, actually a joy stealer - NOT required for fun!
In fact I was unable to see pride and every kind of sin for what it was in my life…
Until I saw love for what it was! His Name is Jesus, amen!
He saw me hurting, He heard me crying, He came in my darkest hour, and before He delivered me from the pleasure and penalty of sin He showed me what they really were in my life. An abomination to Him, and eternal death to me. Today my Jesus delivers me still from the power of sin daily, amen! Please open GOD’s Word and hear Him speak to you. He can change your life for eternity! The Book of Romans is as good a place to start as any!
Thank You, LORD! (with all my heart)
Thank You, Jesus!! (with all my mind)
Hallelujah!!! (with all my strength)
Conceal & Carry; Permitting Sin
(Giving License to Lawlessness)
We must be careful friends, full of care, that we are not hiding or harboring the weapons of the enemy. Satan would have us stow away sin, bury bitterness, and offer room and board to rejection and abandonment and not just for a moment, but for the length of our lives, sidelining our ability to share GOD’s love with others, quenching the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit from ministering to us and through us. Recently I heard a man of GOD ask the question, “What does Satan want with a man of GOD?” His answer was threefold and soaked in Scripture; that our testimony would be damaged (our word would be worthless), our faith would be destroyed (our confidence in Christ would collapse), and our purpose be derailed (our ministry missing the mark). Hear this friends. GOD wants you holy, built up, and on the right track! Satan would rather you hide away your guilt, stuffing it down deep, with pain and selfishness marinating over the full course of your life. Consider this illustration: a turkey on Thanksgiving – slow cooked, whatever you stuff it with gives flavor to the meat, right? Well, it’s the same with sin… what we fill our lives with will permeate the entire flesh even to the skin. What does the aroma of a sinner’s worship smell like to God? Pleasing? The same as a righteous man? Hardly! Instead of the sweet smell or fragrant aroma that GOD deserves and desires we see in Philippians 4:18 our worship is a stench, a rotten stink like that of Isaiah 3:24.
Our prayers as well as our praises can suffer the stench of selfishness or be a sweet aroma to our Father, amen. Let us be mindful, our minds being full, of the fact that the deceiver wants us to be unaware of GOD’s plan for our living in the hope and resurrection of His Son! Revoke Satan’s license of lawlessness in your life. Ask the LORD to remove the pleasure of sin from your life. Ask the LORD for a new heart and a new Spirit! (Ezekiel 11:19) He is faithful and just! If we confess to giving permit to the profane He will forgive our sins and purify us from all… not some, not a little, but all unrighteousness! Don’t you want to be clean?
Get right with GOD today!
Sin Pardoned & Savior Praised
Why do we see Nathaniel all of a sudden praising and proclaiming Jesus as LORD? Scripture tells us that Jesus beheld Nathaniel under the fig tree. The Greek word used to behold is eido and it means to see (inspect, examine, to look at) and to know (to cherish, to pay attention to). Wow! What could it be that Jesus was looking at, paying attention to, cherishing while meeting with Nathaniel under the fig tree? Could it have been a confession? A true repentance? Is this why we see Christ audibly profess Nathaniel as having no guile as he and Philip approach? It shook me recently to consider Nathaniel could have been singing from Israel’s hymnal…
(worthy of note) The very same word is used for deceit in both passages of Scripture.
Perhaps the LORD is waiting to meet under the fig tree today… waiting to hear even a song…
GOD bless you, beloved. That you may be a blessing unto others, in Jesus’ Name amen.
Freedom in Christ
Having freedom is one thing. Possessing freedom in Christ Jesus is everything!
True liberty is not forged in the policies of presidents, but found in the person of Jesus Christ, amen!
Friends, today I have found myself praying for freedom; not just for myself, but for my wife, church leadership, extended family, believers and non-believers across globe.
Father hear the cries of my own heart and all those seeking freedom. My GOD, my LORD today the keynote of my heart is one of freedom; freedom from the fear of personal shortcomings in faithfulness before any charitable deed, freedom from not feeling beautiful enough until a brush might stroke the hair – allow that no thief steal from our hearts or minds the assurances so seeded in Your Word of Truth, in the treasure of Your Son, Jesus, amen. Father would there be freedom from the tearing down of our local church body and freedom from the spirit of lack or half-heartedness among any of our pastors. We appeal for freedom from maternal/paternal anxieties – that the prayers for our children be rooted in trust and the promises of Your Word and not from any lies of the flesh. You are Sovereign, LORD GOD. Your hands are faithful in the holding of our spirit and purposed in the molding of our hearts. Father, would freedom, yet not just freedom of speech or temporary peace of mind freedoms, but eternal freedom in Your Son be the petition from the lips of this nation. Let there be freedom for Your children, Israel. Freedom from terror by day or night for Jerusalem, and freedom for the innocent children being taught the correct way to butcher. Would this growing culture of calamity and hour of hatred be shortened but for Your glory. In the Name of the King of kings I appeal “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, come LORD, Jesus, come.
Friends, may you know freedom, liberty in the LORD, Jesus Christ, amen.
Murmuring vs. Marveling
The LORD has been impressing upon me specifically this week that I have a choice; moment by moment in each circumstance that comes my way to meet it with undertones and uneasiness or overzealousness; with whining or absolute wonder. Basically, I can either murmur or marvel at each particular place and time in which the GOD of all creation has seen fit to have me represent Him as an ambassador of His Truth, His mercy, and His grace. Remember saints that Paul taught the Corinthians…
Wow! Believers in Yeshua can put on the mind of Christ. What a gift to understand and to actually put this into practice in our lives! We might know how we should behave and what we should do, but if we're cut off from the Jesus, if we're distanced from the LORD there won't be any fruit. Therefore saints we need to be in His presence every day and in His Word as a practice of habit!
It’s funny to me that the vestment that a priest wears is called a habit! Ha! This should be our habit to put on Christ Jesus, amen. While exploring the fruit of the Spirit a year or so ago The LORD was faithful to reveal something pretty beautiful at that time and as a result when I visit churches and teach pastoral and worship teams about Biblical worship this is the picture I share of what I call responding in Truth…
When I respond in…
Love | I am His
Joy | I am His rejoicing
Peace | I am His resting
Longsuffering (Patience) | I am His waiting
Gentleness | I am His accepting
Goodness | I am His giving
Faith | I am His living
Meekness | I am His submitting
Self-control | I am His taming
Worship is our response in the Spirit knowing we are His. Friends when it comes to the behavior of the Savior we never see Jesus murmur in Scripture. We do see the Torah scholars, the Pharisees, and even His disciples murmur, but not The LORD. It’s no surprise that the multitudes marveled at Jesus (Matthew 9:33). What caught me off guard this week is seeing Jesus marvel. He marveled at His very own creation. He marveled at the faith of the centurion, amen (Matthew 8:10, Luke 7:9). Would Jesus marvel at our faith?
Father GOD, thank You for the gift of this day, the opportunity to marvel at Your creation, the chance to be a servant for Your kingdom, and the hours in the day Father You’ve provided us to feast upon Your Word! Would I cause You to marvel, would my faith be steadfast and sure in Your sight today. Would there be no denying that You are my LORD. Save me from my unbelief, rescue me from my doubt that I might abide in Your presence continually, in Jesus’ Name, amen.
Be blessed friends, allow the LORD to be a blessing to others through you, in Jesus’ Name amen
"Wow is GOD!"
From “woe is me” to “wow is GOD!”
Remember the characters Droopy the dog and Eeyore the donkey from Winnie the Pooh? They were “woe is me” personalities. If that same attitude has been sneaking its way into your thoughts consider the names of two people that dealt with real life & real problems like you might be facing this day, David & Eleazar.
David was a shepherd and the youngest of eight brothers. He was the last in line. And yet GOD gave him victory over a giant and anointed him to rule over all of Israel. Hear David’s own words…
Eleazar, one of David’s mighty men, remained. When the Philistines put on their armor for battle the army of Israel fled save a select few. Eleazar was one that stood still. Friends understand that the enemy knows the power of the Word of GOD and will seek to remove it from your hand and heart today. Look what happens when we refuse to let go of our hope…
GOD fashions shepherds into warriors and empowers the least of these for the greatest of roles. Instead of “the sky is falling” fear let “the heavens are open” faith and The Word of GOD inhabit your praises and your prayers… your thoughts this day. Let’s not let cartoon characters like Chicken Little be our influences, but real people, real heroes, real men of GOD. Be quick to speak words of thanksgiving and praise like David. Stand strong like Eleazar and hold tight to the only weapon we have against darkness, the Truth, the Power to set us free, GOD’s Word. Here’s how Jesus used this Sword of Truth…
Be magnificently delivered, be a blessing to others for the glory of GOD, amen
We Are Saved By GOD
Lot couldn’t leave if he wanted…
Even after Lot knew the city he was living in was going to be destroyed he couldn’t bring himself to leave it! Or even lead his family away from it! This is very important to understand…He could not by his own power separate himself from sin or those he loved most! It required an act of GOD, the very hands of angels to remove Lot, his wife, and his daughters from the destruction that awaited. Even after being physically removed from the impending danger Lot’s wife was drawn to look back, and suffered death as a result.
Understand the implications: we cannot save ourselves. Even the elect can and will be deceived.
I pray the hand of The LORD is upon you today, that you hear clearly when & where you need to leave and when necessary you flee for your very life depends on it, in Jesus’ Name amen.
The Volume of Your Life has Significance – Don’t be Blind to Hope
The Bible is full of both history and prophecy; things that have come to pass and those things not yet fulfilled. With 8,362 prophetic verses, 1,817 different predictions, and 737 completely different matters (per J Barton Payne, Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy) several major prophetic themes can be gleaned: Israel, Jerusalem, The Temple, Babylon, Russia (Magog), Rise of China, European Super State, Ecumenical Religion, Global Government, and the rise of the Occult. One prophetic theme I’d like to look at just a little closer is “The Scarlet Thread;” from the Seed of the Woman (Genesis 3) to the call of Abraham (Genesis 12) to the Tribe of Judah (Genesis 49) to the Dynasty of David (2 Samuel) to the Virgin Birth (Isaiah) to another tree in another garden, across the landscape of both Old and New Testaments is the presentation of the Coming One, the central person of all history whom the Hebrews call the Messiah, Jesus Christ. What I found beautifully stirring was the Word of GOD testifying to Itself; to Jesus Christ, The Coming One, Yeshua HaMashiach, amen.
(Koinonia House Publishing)
[His story is a love story written in blood on a wooden cross that was erected in Judea about two thousand years ago. His crucifixion wasn’t a tragedy; it was an achievement! Announced in advance in the Garden of Eden at the dawn of history, He made His human debut in a manger in Bethlehem, paid a cosmic price on our behalf at the Cross, and now appears ready to finalize His climax of all human history on our near horizon. In the Biblical record, every detail, every place name, and every number has been skillfully tailored by deliberate design. And they all point to Him. He is on every page, intricately hidden in every detail of the text].
Friends, I have been medically confirmed as being red-green colorblind. As a child it was at times confusing but today I see it as a rare gift; you see when I open a Bible to study or to just wash in GOD’s Word the letters shift in color from black to red continually. I could open up a Bible that has zero red lettering and still see red across the entire library. It’s not just the words in the New Testament that Jesus spoke that I see in red… I literally get the joy of seeing Jesus, The Scarlet Thread, throughout the entire volume. Beloved, my prayer today is that you could see Jesus on every page! And that you might experience His Holy Spirit alive in your life, a new creation!
And as the volume of The Book becomes more and more important to you I would also pray that you understand the volume of your life has significance to Him who made you! Courage & clarity find you without obstacle this week beloved in Jesus’ Name, amen.
The Light Shines On!
Did you realize we, as a remnant Roman culture, measure our days by beginning and ending in utter darkness; midnight to midnight? Culture: what an interesting word. In simple terms it’s how/why we do what we do. And yet it’s a word upon which one could base a lifetime of study or work. There are aspects of cultures, systems within, which are universal for example government. Every culture past, present, and future contains a system of government. And likewise every culture has a system of values. We could consider the values of the United States as being presented in our nation’s founding documents; the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and our Constitution created and ratified as early as 1786. When looking for a common denominator from order to disorder, from design to randomness, from what is discernable to that which is not, the Hebrew would call this boker to erev, what became known as morning and evening we need look no further for America than the date June 17th 1963. It marks the Supreme Court decision no longer allowing the reciting of Bible verses or the LORD’s Prayer in public schools. As a result, the consequence or fruit of our Nation’s values can be seen in decay by the following 1993 Heritage Foundation findings:
560% increase in violent crime
400% increase in illegitimate births
400% increase in the divorce rate
300% increase in single-parent homes
200% increase in teenage suicides
75% drop in SAT scores
This data is captured over a span of 30 years, and yes it is twenty years old. However, do you think we have boomeranged to better Biblical moral values over the last 20 years? How much over the last two thousand years have we as a world population taken the Word of GOD and allowed encroaching darkness to deny the ability to discern what is sacred; at home, and in the workplace, be it in truth or even Christian tradition? Is it possible certain people or events have sped up or slowed down the erosion of the truth of GOD’s love for Jews and Gentiles alike or Jesus Christ being fully made known?
Pray for our families, our communities, our nation, our world; Father we pray, we seek You, we turn from our wicked ways and ask for the LORD’s tarrying to be shortened in these increasingly dark days in Jesus’ Name, amen.
Anger Shouts; Love Doesn't Have To...
Sometimes our lives do not express the order which we would prefer. No one wants to be unhappy. No one wants to have a quick finger on the “respond in anger” button. If you find yourself screaming at another, yourself, or even The LORD today please consider it is not necessary for being heard. What has drawn me to this cord of thought is hearing couples in both public and private settings with voices raised so loud toward one another they are heard in other rooms and across parking lots and seeing entire sentences in capital letters in blogs and posts for emphasis. Unfortunately it is often not just a matter of decibel, but also disdain; the words used harbor hurt and pain rather than humility and peace. Is there someone today that we could speak to with more charity and less clamor? The LORD spoke to Elijah not in a storm, or an earthquake, or a fire, but a still small voice:
Father GOD, You provided the remedy for the most profound of gulfs; Your holiness and my sin. You introduced grace in the Person of Your Son, Jesus Christ, not that a bad person could be good, but that a dead man might have life, amen. I pray Your peace for these families, Your calm in such frenzied chaos, in Jesus’ Name, amen.
Truth - Not Found, Rather Fulfilled
Considering the definition of truth I have become appreciative of one Bible teacher’s rendering, “when the word and the deed become one.” So many throughout history and today are making a journey of finding truth, a life mission to locate meaning as if it grew on a sacred tree in a secret alpine meadow in the form of a flower that blooms only once every twenty years. This creates quite a desperation in the seeking, an “I’ll do anything, whatever it takes” to encounter so valuable a resource as truth in attitude or mentality. It’s been said that the greatest distance any person can navigate is the eighteen inches between the head and the heart. Could it be that simple? That truth is not an intellectual pursuit, but a chasing of the heart? And what if it’s not done by us, but we are the ones being sought? This is the story of the Gospel friends. It becomes not a record or a log of what we’ve done or where we’ve been, memories in our minds, but an account of Who Jesus is and what He has done; His love, His sacrifice, written upon our very hearts, not as something past or future, but a uniquely free and freeing gift – a true and magnificent present.
“Where the word and deed become one” is illustrated when we do what we say, when our tangible actions reflect our spoken words. Can I submit that Jesus’s tangible actions on the cross at Calvary reflected GOD’s spoken Word, that hundreds of patterns were fulfilled in one day by one Man, one LORD come to save us. The verses above show Jesus Messiah testifying of Himself on behalf of His Father’s plan of redemption: “everyone that would believe on His Son would have everlasting life,” (John 3:15-16) amen. Jesus taught in parables to “confound the wise.” (Luke 8:10) The Greeks were renowned for being accustomed to hearing and hungry for “the next great idea.” The hunger of the world today seems so similar. The Christian gift of discipleship comes when we are able to share The Way, The Truth, and The Life, not so much as a thing, a place, or even style of living, but rather a Man, Jesus Christ of Galilee. And not as the next great idea, but as the First and the Last, the Alpha and Omega – the only and narrow Way. Sharing the Word of GOD in its fullness has a way of cutting through weeds of doubt and deception that often grow over or cover the hearts and eyes of brothers and sisters and revealing who Jesus was, is, and will be to our state of being sinners, forgiven, and loved. Joy! Consider what it means to be worthy. As a child of GOD we are now more than trustworthy, having been found worthy of trust in small things and as a result been given more. We are found Truthworthy; understanding the fullness of Christ, the Word made flesh, and that the Kingdom awaits His Redeemed. Who can I share the Truth of Christ with today?
Father GOD today may my words and my deeds become one; one in union with the very indwelling Spirit of Life You have freely given; one in the death and rising of Your Son, Yeshua HaMashiach, one in the promise of His soon return first for His bride and then for His reign of peace, meeting those You place before me with love and grace in Jesus’ Name amen
Is Your Identity in Christ?
A faithful witness reveals an identity in Christ Jesus.
Please understand this truth has a counterpart: an unfaithful witness reveals an identity outside of Christ Jesus. Being a faithful witnesses, a truth representative, is of such importance to GOD that He assigns us this quality with His very own hand, giving it to us in stone among the Ten Commandments.
Faithful witnesses are recorded from Genesis to Revelation. Consider the two witnesses in Revelation Chapter 11? Are they Prophets from the past? Scripture records both Enoch (Genesis 5:21-24, Hebrews 11:5) and Elijah (2 Kings 2:1-22) as being translated to heaven. But the curious record of Satan fighting the Archangel Michael (Jude1:9) for the physical body of Moses puts him in the running also as a candidate for me. The events that the two witnesses in Revelation bring to pass parallel events that both Moses and Elijah have previously performed:
Elijah | calls down fire from heaven (2 Kings 1:10), shuts heaven, no rain (James 5:17-18)
Moses | turns water into blood (Exodus 7:20), smites earth with plagues (Exodus 7-12)
Both Moses and Elijah seem to have had their ministries interrupted. Could Revelation be where they resume? Possibly, my personal belief is that the two witnesses in Revelation will be two individuals that have been found Truthworthy from a Father’s account & trustworthy with a small amount. The LORD has found me Truthworthy by removing the darkness over my eyes to see Jesus Christ as the Son of GOD. What remains to be seen of the days ahead is my ability as His servant to be trustworthy with the "talents" He has given me, to multiply until His return.
If you are struggling to know if your identity is truly in Christ today please consider taking an inventory of your witness and the LORD will be faithful to reveal your heart. Do you love GOD? More than anything else?? Do you keep His commandments? These are just a couple of His own faith indicators… Have you shared the Truth of His Son with others?
Father GOD, would Your Name be quick to my lips. Would Your Son be fast to my mind. Thank You for the gift of Your Holy Spirit. May my service be this day a result of His leading and not my own flesh that You might be glorified in all I do I pray in Jesus’ Name, amen.
What is Covenant?
What is covenant?
It is not a promise to GOD. It is a promise from GOD.
Who is a candidate for covenant?
GOD’s creation, and whom GOD wills.
When GOD made a covenant with the Earth “He Himself provided” a rainbow to remind all living things they will never be consumed by water again:
When GOD made a covenant with Abraham “He Himself provided” a chosen people:
When GOD made a covenant with Moses “He Himself provided” The Law for a chosen people:
When GOD made a covenant with Aaron “He Himself provided” a priesthood for a chosen people telling Moses directly:
When GOD made a covenant with David “He Himself provided” a line of kings for a chosen people speaking by way of the prophet Nathan:
When GOD made a covenant with Adam “He Himself provided” Eve establishing marriage:
What is the purpose of covenant?
To glorify GOD. Remember both Adam and Abram were asleep as GOD cut or sealed His covenant with each them.
What’s the difference in relationship and covenant?
A relationship involves interaction between at least two objects. Would you consider with me for just a moment while I attempt to illustrate how broad the difference might be; I can be in a relationship with a light switch. You see, I’m the one that turns it on and off every time I enter or exit the room. I act. It responds. I flip it up the lights turn on. I flip it down the lights turn off. I can forget and leave it up… A funny thing about relationship is you are always in it. If I never touch that particular light switch again I am still in relationship with it. I am simply no longer choosing to use it. Consider two business partners; just because a business venture ends and they both move on to other ventures that doesn’t mean they are not still in relationship. Working independent of one another is relationship. The moment you meet someone you are in relationship; intimacy is the choice we navigate. Did you shake their hand or no? Did you hug or perhaps share a kiss? However the greeting, however the reaction you have been in relationship with everyone you’ve ever met from the moment you met them. What if you spoke of someone you didn’t even know? Did you say something encouraging or hurtful? Either way it affects relationship. All of that only to say covenant is different. It is a binding agreement before GOD. Covenant is ordained by GOD for His pleasure. Covenant glorifies GOD! You can be in and out of covenant just as you can be in and out of GOD’s will, out of GOD’s pleasure. You are always in relationship, but not always in right relationship with GOD, amen. Covenant is not something that can be shared alone between two people. Covenant is not entered into, agreed upon, or shared without GOD. Adam donated the rib, but was otherwise uninvolved with GOD fashioning and bringing him his wife. It was for GOD’s pleasure to see man not alone.
LORD thank You for covenant. Thank You for all the boundaries You’ve introduced in my life. Just like You gave Moses & the Israelites boundaries before the giving of the Torah, (Exodus 19:23) I see it is how You make ready the way for covenant.
Provision: Greed vs. Need
(Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret, Wiersbe Bible Commentary)
GOD has not promised to supply all our “greeds.” When the child of GOD is in the will of GOD, serving for the glory of GOD, then he will have every need met. Hudson Taylor often said, “When GOD’s work is done in GOD’s way for GOD’s glory, it will not lack for GOD’s supply.”
LORD, let me lay my needs before You and not my greeds, amen. Let me serve kingdom purpose today and not carnal craving. Not my will, but Yours be done, Father, In Jesus’ Name I ask, amen.
(Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee)
There are three degrees of power here, and several expositors have likened them to the three stages of Christian growth that you have in 1 John 2:12-14. These three stages of growth are: (1) the young Christian shall mount up as an eagle; (2) the adult Christian shall run; and (3) the mature Christian shall walk.
(Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee)
This reminds me of the black preacher down in my southland who preached a very wonderful sermon, in which he said, "Brethren, this church, it needs to walk." And one of the deacons said, "Amen." He continued, "Brethren, this church needs to run." And the deacon said, "Hallelujah." Then he said, "Brethren, this church needs to fly." And this deacon said, "Amen and hallelujah." Then the minister said, "Well, it's going to cost money to make this church fly." To this the deacon replied, "Let her walk, brother, let her walk."
My friend, regardless of who you are, if you are going to move with GOD through this life, it will cost you something. But GOD will furnish you strength whatever your condition. If you need strength to walk, He will give it to you. If you need strength to fly, He has that for you also. This is a wonderful chapter revealing the comfort of GOD as our Creator, as our Savior, and as our Sustainer.
PRAYER ~ LORD let me fly only that I might fly to You, let me run only that I might come quickly to Your Word, let me walk only that I might walk the path You’ve laid before me in Your will.
Be blessed friends, only that the LORD might bless others this day through you, in Jesus’ Name amen.
May this be a time of revelation for you, my friends!
On the Hebrew calendar Chodesh Sivan (today is the first day of the month of Sivan) is also referred to as the Month of Revelation, amen ;o)
The first five days of the month of Sivan anticipate the day that the Torah was revealed to Israel at Sinai, namely, on the sixth of Sivan, a date which the rabbis later associated with the holiday of Shavuot (“Weeks” or “Pentecost), which occurred exactly 7 weeks after the exodus from Egypt. For Messianic believers, the month of Sivan also commemorates the giving of the Ruach Ha-Kodesh (Holy Spirit) to the followers of Yeshua after His ascension into heaven.
Be blessed, allow the LORD to bless others through you, in Jesus’ Name amen.
(Special thanks to www.hebrew4christians.com for providing some wonderful information)
Just because we might have neglected the Mercy Seat doesn't mean GOD has abandoned it, amen... Praying is putting GOD first and foremost in our life. Remember the LORD today through the graces and mercies afforded...
Be blessed, be a blessing to others in Jesus’ Name, amen.
GOD Had a Plan for Noah, He Has a Plan for You
The great flood was anticipated and preached upon for four generations before it occurred and centers around a man, a man named Noah. Noah was the great-grandson of Enoch and the grandson of Methuselah. Scripture tells us Enoch won approval as one who both walked with and pleased GOD and Methuselah had the longest life recorded by man – 969 years!
What a family history! Do we understand fully how blessed we are today? Who we are in relationship? Our family history? The generations of Noah did. They had full assurance in YAHWEH Tsuri (The LORD is my Rock) and as a result their children’s children’s children were sealed by GOD in a vessel surviving 377 days of judgment, the greatest devastation ever experienced by the earth and those calling it home.
Jesus speaks of future events in the Gospel according to Matthew:
Only having an understanding of what the days of Noah were all about can we begin to recognize what this prophetic word from Jesus describing what the second coming will look like to us. Are you walking with GOD today? You could be…just like Enoch. Have you been sealed for eternity? You could be…GOD has set a plan in motion to save us by believing on His Son, Jesus Messiah. We are seeing wars, rumors or wars, famine, disease, death, martyrs, global chaos, earthquakes, and false Christs all with increasing intensity. Are these times as the days of Noah? Please take some time to examine your walk with GOD. Is there a false Christ in your life? Anti-Christ actually means “in place of” Christ and not just against or the opposite of Christ. Your time and attention are targets for the enemy. Is the fantasy found in television, video games, pornography, alcohol, drug addiction, or materialism deceiving you from the reality of what GOD would really have for you?
My prayer today is simple that you be stirred and stir others. To GOD be all glory, in Jesus’ Name amen.
Applying the Blood of Christ
A fingerprint can be defined as a distinctive identifying characteristic. You and I in each of our fingers and toes have epidermal swirls and lines that when inked and printed become visual signatures. People can tell where we have been and what we were doing by these marks we’ve left behind. Likewise each page of Holy Scripture contains verses, words, letters even spaces between the letters whereupon applying the blood of Christ we begin to see Jesus revealed; where Jesus is and what He is doing on behalf of the Father. Sometimes the words paint a clear picture for example: Jesus tells us in His own words
However, sometimes it’s only after we apply the blood to the words on the page that we see clearly who Jesus is and what He is doing for the Father’s glory; below we see the earliest known prophecy from Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah. The prophecy occurs in the Old Testament yet it is recorded and revealed in the Book of Jude in the New Testament.
This is one small example of what happens when the blood of Christ is applied to Scripture. Friends, consider what happens when you apply the blood of Messiah to your life? Others will begin to see Jesus in you; who He is and what He is doing for the Father’s glory in you.
Be blessed, bless others, in Jesus’ Name amen
Sometimes People Need...
We have the ability to help or hurt each person we meet on the road (passing by or ignoring is continuing to allow hurt to that person). Jesus above shares a parable with us below (notice in parables the people never have names).
May I share a recent dream where the LORD unfolded before me a lesson in serving?
IN THE DREAM: There was a middle aged black woman working in a fast food restaurant & for some reason I was a patron. (Fast food is not something I usually do as I have been on budget for some time) So just being there I knew was special. In fact I don’t remember being hungry. I do specifically remember having the understanding that I was there to help someone. I approached the counter and a young girl asked if she could take my order. When I didn’t speak she turned around to look at her coworker and realized that we were staring into each other’s eyes, and she said, “Oh, you came to see...” (no name spoken) The middle aged woman came out from behind the counter to the front of the restaurant and we talked for a bit in a hallway by the restrooms and then we eventually set down at a booth and I continued to listen, just listen to hear her.
Her voice began to become distant and what took focus was the LORD sharing and unfolding for me the following 4 pastoral principles:
1 - Sometimes people just need to have someone listen
2 - Sometimes people just need to hear they are loved
3 - Sometimes people just need to be held
4 - Sometimes people just need a hand
This can be reflected upon by believers: LORD, am I being a good listener or denying a loving ear? Have I shared Your love with someone lately or was it the latest gossip (keeping Your precious, overcoming love to myself - forgive me LORD)? Have I hugged someone lately or even offered a compassionate hand to hold onto? Have I seen someone lately that could have used one more hand? Did I stop & help or walk on by? I understand LORD, how I respond can help or hurt; the situation, the people involved, and even disappoint You. Thank You for Your patience, thank You for this parable.
This can also be looked at by searching hearts: are you expecting Jesus? The LORD wants to hear you. He wants to tell you that you are loved. He wants to embrace you. He wants you to have the ultimate helper, His Holy Spirit dwelling within you. Contact someone you trust if this message is stirring your heart toward the LORD, amen.
Be blessed. Be a blessing others in Jesus’ Name amen
Growing in Christ
Growth: are you maturing in your walk with GOD?
The Old Testament opens with what’s referred to as the Pentateuch or Torah, the five books of the Law. This section captures the beginnings of the relationship between GOD and the people of Israel with a focus being on the Exodus event where they enter Egypt as a family and come out as a nation, the theme is one of being led from slavery into freedom. As we enter the book of Joshua we find ourselves in historical periods where the people of Israel under judges and kings fight to establish and keep the Promised Land. Beginning with the book of Job we enter into what is considered the Poetic or Wisdom section of the Old Testament. This section is comprised of many songs, poems, prayers, and lessons as the people of Israel wander the desert, live in the Promised Land, worship in the temple, and struggle through exile. Finally the Book of Isaiah brings us into a section of the Old Testament regarded as the Major and Minor Prophets. Something of note is the descriptions major and minor are not relative to the individuals, but to the size of the books or length of the text. In addition to incredible foretelling the prophets walk us through a “calling back to fidelity to GOD.” They trumpet a hope for Israel even in the time of exile, “there is One that is to come, One that will be our King and we His people, a mighty Deliverer, a Messiah.”
GOD not only has a plan for Israel, He has a plan for you, amen. Have you been pulling the covers up over and over again attempting to block out the light of the waking day that is before you. Is it time to stop hitting your spiritual snooze button? Please consider a local Bible Study to learn more about His plan; it will not only show your spiritual compass true north, but also reveal where you really are, and how to get from slavery into freedom.
Be blessed. Be a blessing others in Jesus’ Name amen
The milkman slows his wagon to query the missionary walkin' on the country road with his Bible, "You found Jesus did ya?"
The missionary replies, "No sir. Firstly, if I said yes that would mean sir that Jesus, well, that would mean that Jesus was lost and that just ain't right.
And second, I reckon if I said that I found Jesus that would be givin' me credit when it all belongs to Him, amen!"
The road that the good LORD has you on today is exactly where He wants you to give Him the glory. Acknowledge Him! Confess Him! He loves you and He is worthy, amen
Why Does Jesus Write to Seven Churches?
Why wasn’t a letter written to the church at Rome or the larger assemblies of believers in Jerusalem or Antioch? The seven letters that Jesus wrote in the book of Revelation were to real angels and real churches with real people suffering real problems and giving real promises to overcomers. The verse spoken again and again “He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” asks the Christian reader of Revelation to hear, understand, and reflect upon not only the state of these churches bordering the Aegean Sea but also the condition of his own heart and relationship with Jesus Christ.
The reader is promised early in the book of Revelation a blessing and taking stock of one’s life, ministry, and place in GOD’s Kingdom can certainly bring about a realignment or faith adjustment. Each letter contains seven elements: the name of the church, title(s) of Christ, something to applaud, something to address, something to apply, an assurance, and a call of adherence. The surprise comes in the prophetic implications of the seven churches used. In any other order it wouldn’t make sense, it wouldn’t line up, but in the order that Jesus gives these letters to the angels and John a type or a model can be seen of the Church:
Ephesus | The Apostolic Church – strict on doctrine, forgot their first love
Smyrna | The Persecuted Church – willingly suffered for the sake of the Gospel
Pergamos | The Married Church – united paganism & Christianity, world compromise
Thyatira | The Medieval Church – power hungry, practicing paganism, politics
Sardis | The Denominational Church – the Reformation, watchfulness, persevere
Philadelphia | The Missionary Church – missionary outreach, ambassadorship
Laodicea | The Apostate Church – Forgetting altogether the main thing
LORD, You have known us from the womb and number our days. Thank You for Your seven letters to the seven churches. You share the things that John saw, and the things that are, and the things that are to come hereafter. May our hands and feet be found faithful LORD, making You known. Thank You for calling us friends. It is in Your most holy Name I pray, Jesus the Christ amen.
Our GOD is a Hands on GOD
“Some days you’re the windshield, some days you’re the bug:” Mark Knopfler, (the bug 1992).
Trials, tribulation, circumstances, and consequence continue to lay before me the absolute sovereignty of my LORD; His plan, His preparation; some days I have felt shaping and kneading and others cleansing and fortifying water being added to continue the molding process that is my salvation in the hands of my Potter, amen. This hands on sanctification process for me is the result of GOD’s chastening love; it’s in the blood of Jesus Christ and it covers me. Does it give me a license to keep on sinning because I am forgiven? No. It gives me a heart to love like He would love, a mind to know that I am His, and eternal gratitude.
Sanctification from the perspective of our LORD is the result of us submitting to His Will and it can be reviewed in five of the seven letters to the seven churches within the book of Revelation:
Ephesus: working, laboring, enduring with patience, despising evil, naming false prophets, serving Jesus Christ, and persevering.
Smyrna: working, facing tribulation [persecution], bearing poverty, and withstanding slander.
Pergamos: Honoring the Name of Jesus and not denying the faith even where Satan dwells.
Thyatira: working, loving, having faith, serving, and enduring with patience.
Philadelphia: working, opening doors none can shut, having some strength, keeping the Word of God, and not denying the Name of Jesus.
I am thankful to no longer being shaped by a Truth-hiding culture, flesh, or foe.
Many contest Gordon’s Calvary while others lean passionately on the Church of the Holy Sepulchre; no matter your geographical mindset, being made holy speaks loud and clear from a borrowed tomb outside Jerusalem. Can you hear it? Can you hear what the Spirit says to the churches? GOD wants you in His hands:
Richest blessings be to you, your families, and those the LORD is ministering to through you, in Jesus’ Name amen.
GOD's Timing is Perfect
Is it time? Time to say, “I’m sorry, I was wrong, I love You, LORD?”
Noah’s new beginning is noted to the month and day just as Israel’s deliverance from bondage. The stars and planets had to be in some kind of celestial event for Joshua’s long day! How long in advance had this been in the works? Do you believe it when GOD said He knew you from the womb? (Isaiah 44:2, Jeremiah 1:5) That He fashioned you and knows the hairs on your head? (Matthew 10:30. Luke 12:7) GOD’s timing is perfect. Anything else is a lie. The enemy (the flesh, the world, and Satan) will seek to blind you from your inheritance in Christ. I fell prey to the lies and deceit and wandered a spiritual desert for many years before my Father showed me, told me secrets that none can refute, and wrung out what was emotionally left of me only to fill me with the most beautiful love for others, a heart of sincerity and service that was foreign to my flesh and bones before I said yes to Jesus. Have you been putting off your start in something wonderful? Do you need rescue from rubbish? You can be delivered today. Just as victory has been found for millions who stood in unbelief before…
Understand what GOD’s Word and perfect timing promise:
Behold He comes,
Behold He dies,
Behold He lives,
Behold He saves,
Behold He reigns!
Meet with Him before bed tonight. It’s never too late to say I’m sorry, I was wrong, I love You, LORD amen.
Giving Your Heart to GOD
Why is life on this earth so painful at times? Doesn’t the Bible say there will be no tears?
Yes, GOD’s Word does say there will be no more sadness, and what a day that will be, thank You, LORD, amen! However, sorrow and depression are allowed to thrive because today, right now, earth is a sanctuary city for sin. Things that are not allowed in heaven, in the presence of the LORD GOD, find shelter here. The Greek word that really helped me with this concept is meta touta; hereafter, after these things.
John faithfully records for us in the book of Revelation the things that were; the vision of Christ (chapter 1), the things that are; the seven churches (chapters 2-3), and the things that are to come; what follows the seven churches – the meta touta (chapters 4-22). There will be a day, there will be a time, and there will be a place where sin is no longer allowed to take up residence. Sin is not represented in the Bible as the absence of good, but rather lawlessness, real and positive evil, and an absolute rebellion to GOD’s Law. Friends do not allow your hearts to be sanctuary cities for things unholy, altogether unhealthy. Would you believe me if I said there is a more excellent way to process pain and suffering? See what the LORD says:
Understand the way is different. And it begins with giving your old heart to the LORD, letting Him have the hurt, allowing His Spirit to lead you into an incredible meta touta, hereafter.
The Right Attitude
Laziness is a black hole behavior; suffering spiritual laziness means allowing abysmal attitude to interrupt GOD's plan for our lives. When the Apostle Paul warns the faithful in Thessalonica to stay away from “idle” Christians forgive me for paraphrasing, but he is saying “don’t get sucked in, theirs is a foolish frame of mind.” In western culture we have a well-known illustration for laziness; it’s called the couch potato. This is going to sound strange, but are you a couch potato for Christ? Is Jesus the risen or resting LORD of your life? You don’t have to be a Bible scholar or a mature Christian to share the love of GOD with those around you. It could be as simple as acknowledging who you were before you met Christ on the road and who you are today as a result of accepting Him as LORD of your life. Maybe someone is facing an inward battle today and waiting to hear your testimony, needing to hear there is power in the name of Jesus… there is no celestial object or abyss so vast that the blood of Jesus Messiah can’t reach in and rescue the lost. While it is not our role to save it is our responsibility to serve. Let the Holy Spirit do the saving! Just be faithful in your testimony. You don’t have to sit on the couch to minister to a couch potato, invite them to coffee or for a walk. Don’t get sucked into sedentary thinking or serving. Here’s what the Apostle Paul has to share about the importance of attitude:
Paul would have the believer positioned just as Christ leading by example in humility and love in service to man, putting on the mind of Messiah (1 Corinthians 2:16).
Summarized Bible Commentary 1 Corinthians 2:16, “The Christian on his knees can see farther than the philosopher on his tiptoes.”
If today you find yourself off track and unsettled in the way you’ve been perhaps not entirely living, but lingering your life for Christ. You are not alone. As a matter of fact you are in fine company! The psalmist David knew well a man’s mind can get stuck in the mud, showing us first-hand how to give it to GOD and ask for a renewed heart and mind.
Be blessed, be a blessing to others, in Jesus’ Name amen.
Praying 2 Thessalonians Chapter 3
Summarized Bible Commentary RE: Second Thessalonians Chapter Three - It is required of those who have professed Christianity, that they live according to the precepts of the Gospel, that they be not accounted disorderly persons devoid of the divine love and hope which they profess. If Christ is allowed to direct our love upon Himself, it will rectify all our affections toward men and keep us in the attitude of expectation of His momentary coming.
In accordance with the faithful Apostle Paul, his second letter, and what was later divided and is now called the third chapter to the Thessalonians Father GOD in this New Year I bring the following petitions to the feet of my Savior, to the cross on Calvary, to the open tomb on the morning of the third day, Father GOD, for the ears of my Redeemer: 2 Thessalonians
I pray for all missionaries | 3:1
I pray Your Word might spread rapidly | 3:1
I pray Your Word might be honored | 3:1
I pray ministers of Your Word be rescued from worthless and evil people | 3:2
(Yes, LORD even from within their own congregations)
I pray strength & protection from Satan for Your ministers in the field | 3:3
I pray faithful hearts find the love of YHWH and the endurance of Messiah | 3:5
I pray telling distance from Christians who are not professing Jesus as Messiah | 3:6
I pray continued work night and day for missionaries without being a burden | 3:8
I pray assemblies see a missionary example from leadership | 3:9
I pray the faithful want to eat; and work to see the glory of the LORD done | 3:10
I pray saints stop interrupting the work of saints | 3:11
I pray that saints take up their own work to see the glory of the LORD | 3:12
I pray steadfast Spirit for all missionaries | 3:13
I pray a holy division between stumbling block-believers and saints | 3:14
I pray conviction over hearts of the faithful, a stirring toward stewardship | 3:15
I pray the peace of Yeshua be ministered to the saints without obstacle | 3:16
I pray the grace of Yeshua HaMashiach over all | 3:18
Thank You, Father GOD, in Jesus’ Name, amen.
The Day of The LORD
Is every day “The Day of the LORD” or does this term represent a special and specific timeframe in Scripture?
You could say its apples and oranges when comparing the Psalm above, an outright praising and thanksgiving for another day and what the LORD is doing in the singer’s life, to the Day of the LORD. I found nowhere in Scripture that the Day of the LORD is every day or that the Day of the LORD is Sunday. Here’s what the prophets and disciples have to say when it comes to the Day of the LORD:
It is near (Isaiah 13:6)
It is coming – cruel, with wrath and fierce anger – to turn the entire inhabited earth into a desolation and to annihilate sinners from it (Isaiah 13:9)
It is a day of clouds! The time of the gentiles is fulfilled! (Ezekiel 30:3)
It approaches, and like destruction from the Almighty, it will come! (Joel 1:15)
Tremble, all of you inhabitants of the land, because it is coming. Oh, how near it is! (Joel 2:1)
It is great, and very terrifying. Who will be able to survive it?" (Joel 2:11)
The sun will be given over to darkness, and the moon to blood, before it comes (Joel 2:31)
For multitudes, multitudes it is near in the Valley of Judgment! (Joel 3:14)
It's a day of darkness to those rejecting Messiah, and not light. (Amos 5:18)
There will be darkness, and not light - pitch black at that, without a ray of sunshine?" (Amos 5:20)
It approaches all nations. As you have done it will be done to you - your deeds will return to haunt you! (Obadiah 1:15)
It approaches, remain silent in the presence of the LORD GOD and because the LORD has prepared a sacrifice for those whom he has invited to be consecrated. (Zephaniah 1:7)
It is great and approaches, as if speedily, and the bitter cry of the mighty soldier can be heard (Zephaniah 1:14)
It is a day of wrath, the zeal of the LORD will destroy the unfaithful (Zephaniah 1:18)
It will be great and terrible and preceded by Elijah the prophet, (Malachi 4:5)
The sun will become dark, and the moon turn to blood, before it (Acts 2:20)
Some people’s Spirit may yet be saved (1 Corinthians 5:5)
It will be like a thief in the night for non-believers (1 Thessalonians 5:2)
It will not be like a thief in the night for believers (1 Thessalonians 5:4)
Don’t be fooled when folks say it’s already come (2 Thessalonians 2:2)
Encourage one another because it’s coming nearer (Hebrews 10:25)
The heavens will disappear with a roaring sound, the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done on it will be exposed. (2 Peter 3:10)
John heard a loud voice behind him like a trumpet (Revelation 1:10)
Eleven writers reference it specifically; that it is accompanied by signs and sounds in the heavens and on earth; GOD's wrath passionately and powerfully released.
I hope this look into the day of The LORD was helpful. Be blessed. Bless others.
Before the Day of the LORD
What does the Apostle Paul say must transpire before the “Day of the LORD?”
Paul writes his second letter to the church at Thessalonica to eliminate confusion that had set in following his absence. The assembly was in an uproar regarding end times. Whether it was from a forgery of a letter floating around or that they didn’t completely understand Paul’s initial teaching of last days and in particular the “Day of The LORD” a state of excitement and alarm was pulsing through the church.
What the Apostle shares in response is an incredible process outline for parousia or the presence of Messiah with His people. I cannot help but feel for Paul, as he begins his second letter to the church at Thessalonica he even includes Silas and Timothy as witnesses as insurance the instruction being redustrubuted is authentic. It seems there was no “easy button” for the early church. Quite contrary what unfolds often resembles use of a “drama button.” "Do not be deceived," Paul says as he provides the sequence of events that must transpire before Messiah is to occupy the Throne of David.
> Verse 3: A falling away first (apostasy - deliberate abandonment of a formerly professed position or view, a rejection of former allegiance) [II Thessalonians 2:3]
> Verse 7: The Holy Spirit indwelling believers is removed (rapture)
> Verse 8: The man of sin is revealed. (this person is not Satan, but is accompanied by power of Satan)
> > Verse 4: Opposing and exalting himself above everything called God or worshipped. [Ezekiel 28:2, Daniel 11:36-37]
> > Verse 4: Seating himself in the sanctuary of GOD (the Temple has been rebuilt) [Matthew 24:15, Revelation 13:7]
> > Verse 4: Declaring himself GOD [Revelation 13:14-15]
> > Verse 9: Producing signs and wonders; miracles by deceit [Exodus 7:22, 8:7]
> Verse 8: The Day of the LORD begins when Messiah’s physical presence reduces the wicked one by the mere breath of His mouth. [Isaiah 11:4]
Is the Church (the Body of Christ) presently suffering or enduring church leadership teaching false doctrine even using the name Jesus Christ and denying His Sovereignty?
“It isn’t necessary to believe in GOD to be saved” & “Grace means that I get all Jesus deserves”
These two comments were made between June and September 2013 by professing Christian church leaders, Catholic & Protestant. It is clear apostasy is under way and has been for two thousand years. Has the Spirit of GOD, the one restraining evil on earth been removed? Has the man of sin been revealed? Paul tells us assuredly these things are coming before the LORD returns to rule on earth.
Every hour, every day that we have beloved is an opportunity to profess Jesus Christ; Who He is, what He did, and that He is returning, amen.
Scripture: Parables & Patterns
In chapter thirteen of Matthew’s Gospel account Jesus begins teaching in parables not to make things clear, but just the opposite to confuse even more those that would otherwise think themselves wise.
Is it possible the letters to the seven churches in the book of Revelation could have parallels to the parables in Matthew’s chapter thirteen Gospel account?
(1) The church at Ephesus - The Sower and the 4 soils. (Jesus explains this parable; God is the Sower, His Word is the seed) LORD, am I good soil? Or Have I forgotten my first love like the church at Ephesus? Am I allowing the world to restrict spiritual fruit that would be bringing You glory?
(2) The church at Smyrna - The Tares & the Wheat. (Jesus also explains this parable; Jesus is the Sower, the world is the field, God’s children are the wheat, and the Satan’s seeds are the tares, end times is the harvest, and angels are the reapers) The church at Smyrna had nothing bad said about them, only good; they were withstanding ominous darkness and enduring persecution. The harvest brings victory for the beloved and sets in motion the beginning of sorrows for the lost.
(3) The church at Pergamos - The Mustard Seed. The church at Pergamos suffered spiritual compromise worshipping YHWH & Baal simultaneously. The mustard seed parable teaches of a monstrous tree (what is supposed to only be a three foot tall bush) becoming foliage large enough for the birds of the air to take shelter and rest. LORD, may my heart and mind offer no cover for foul emotions and perditious thoughts, but be cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb and renewed daily in Your Holy Spirit, amen.
(4) The church at Thyatira - The Woman & The Leaven. Leaven is used throughout Scripture symbolizing sin. Jesus rebukes the church of Thyatira for tolerating the woman, Jezebel. What are we tolerating in the church today that Jesus would openly rebuke? Sin cannot be allowed to rise in the body of Christ.
(5) The church at Sardis - The Treasure in the Field. Are we dead or alive? Jesus named the church of Sardis “dead!” Do you know what a treasure you are to the LORD? Jesus wanted you so badly His Father bought the whole field, amen. Nothing can be added to the price He has already paid if you will only accept the free gift of eternal life in Christ and refuse the deceiver’s offer; what looks like temporary bliss, is an eternal death.
(6) The church at Philadelphia - The Pearl of Great Price. Of all the jewels, pearls are the only ones made by a living organism as a response to irritation being introduced. It is then removed from its place of growth and becomes an item of adornment. Jesus has only good things to say about the church at Philadelphia and promises they will lend eternal beauty to God’s Sanctuary.
(7) The church at Laodicea - The Dragnet (Jesus shares with us the meaning of this parable with angels sorting those that have chosen Christ and those that have rejected Christ in the end times) Jesus finds the church at Laodicea neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm and as a result He spits them out of His mouth. Don’t be separated from love everlasting. The choice is yours.
Jesus is "The Amen"
Jesus identifies Himself as “The Amen” to the church at Laodicea. Can you identify why this title may have been used?
The Greek word used for amen in this verse is of Hebrew origin (H543) pronounced aw-mane' and means properly firm, trustworthy, truly and verily. Bible dictionaries often list AMEN as an adverb and explain the word is used more often as the declaration “may it be so.” It comes from a root meaning to confirm; to support; or to be faithful. The primary concept behind this word is constancy and reliability. It is used as a declaration to acknowledge affirmation of a statement:
It is used in acceptance of a curse:
It is used in affirmation of a prophecy:
It is also used in response to worship and praise:
When I see how the word AMEN has been used in Scripture and look at His letter to the church at Laodicea I can see significant parallels as Jesus affirms His authority, confirms a curse, and foretells of reward:
AMEN, thank You, LORD!
Are Christian principles a threat to today’s lifestyles?
As Paul penned his second letter to the Thessalonians persecution had set in; it was no longer just the Jews that had Christians on their risk-to-our-current-lifestyle radar, but now the Roman Empire as well. A local governor declared that every Christian must bow before a statue of Augustus Caesar and Christians who did not subject themselves to this order would meet suffering. It was in Thessalonica where the practice of offering a wine cask on the altar to Venus or Caesar, taking it to the public marketplace, sprinkling all the meat, produce, and material goods, and declaring them consecrated to their god was introduced. Anyone who purchased or ate any of the goods would be recognized as worshipping a false god. So, when Christians ceased buying in the marketplace they immediately became identified. History would mark this time the beginning of great persecution to Christians including crucifixions, burnings, and beheadings… sounds incredibly savage right? That type of infliction is well behind us right? After two thousand years sadly, no. Estimates of 150,000 Christians a year are being killed for their faith, yes killed; that’s the entire population of the Netherlands, slaughtered annually for professing Jesus Christ as Savior and King.
Please forgive the heavy heartedness of this information in what is supposed to be a time of great joy. We will corporately give glory to the incredible birth of Jesus in just four days and yet my thoughts today are on those the LORD has called home.
Dear friends, are Christian principles a risk to current lifestyles? Just this week New York educators removed “Christ the Savior is born” lyrics from the “Christian” Hymn Silent Night and had a fifth grade choir perform it. While Christians are not being murdered for their faith in the United States it is clear there are death blows being made to doctrine and to the divinity of Jesus Christ around the world, amen. As we stand united in praise in the coming days my prayer is that Christians worldwide corporately begin to understand our circumstance not just in our community, but across continents. Our prayers are needed and the more informed we are the more precise we can be for our brothers and sisters in prayer.
Thank You, LORD, for Your Word, Your promises and Your continued provision, in Jesus' Name amen.
A Biblical Focal Point Review
How can you glorify the Name of the LORD, Jesus Christ, as a believer?
What’s right? What’s not right? How to get right! And how to stay right!
Is there an antidote to apostasy? What’s the cure for perilous times?
How would you like it if your entire welfare, training, and career were in the hands of someone else, another influential person? This is the case with Timothy and the Apostle Paul. Timothy’s apprenticeship suitcase had stickers from Berea, Corinth, Macedonia, Philippi, Thessalonica, Ephesus, and even a jail in Rome testifying his whereabouts… ok, maybe no stickers, but we have record of him in 12 of the 27 books in the New Testament, two of which hold his name, amen. In the second letter to Timothy and the third chapter Paul predicts false teachers, describes enemies of Truth, and commends his protégé. He offers advice on where to go, what to turn toward during times of great falling-away: GOD’s Word.
John Wesley shares in Explanatory Notes, “The Spirit of GOD not only once inspired those who wrote it, but continually inspires, and supernaturally assists those that read it with earnest prayer.” Is the Holy Spirit teaching you as you read GOD’s Word? Convicting you where corrections need to be made? Thinking and acting in accordance to GOD’s will is a result of spending time in His Word. The more time you spend in the world, the flesh and in deceit the more homage and reverence you will have toward it.
Please look sincerely at your life, your daily routine. Politics will convince you compromise is the way to get things done. Did the early church compromise and worship Caesar? No. And they knew it would bring persecution. Television will tell you tolerance is gospel. How open-minded was Jesus about buying and selling in the Temple? He wasn’t. This is how He tolerated greed and excessive desire.
Do you want to glorify the Name of Jesus Christ as a believer? Open GOD’s Word and see what He has to say about what is acceptable today. We looked first at Timothy and the thought of being under the authority of someone else. LORD, let me be faithful for You like Timothy was for Paul; going where You need me, preaching what You need preached. Thank You for Your abiding Word, Father, Your indwelling Spirit, and the mercy I found at the feet of Your Son, in Jesus' Name amen.
Jesus Offers Hope
Does GOD “open doors?” What should you expect?
Jesus here gives the church at Philadelphia a unique personal assurance of who He is and what He is capable of doing: He is a key holder, a one-way door opener, a one-way door closer, and positioner. He not only says He opens and closes the opportunities afforded the beloved, but also places them where they need to be when they need to be there. Remember the Good Samaritan? [Recap: there was a person gravely in distress on the road; a priest walked by, then a Levite walked by, and finally the person to stop was someone you might not have expected, a Samaritan]. This Samaritan hadn’t taken holy orders or been born into the heritage of a long line of holy men; he was just a man whom the LORD placed compassion on his heart for another in need. What a song of hope in a season of expectation; and Jesus holds the key. Here are some other biblical examples where doors are divinely opened.
The takeaway for me in these verses is that “He was there:” Jesus opened the doors of the heavens, made ready the streets of Babylon, and moved solid ground and shackles so that His Father’s plan be fulfilled.
Not only was Jesus Messiah there then… Immanuel, He is here. Be of cheer my dear friends!
On GOD's Team
The view from the field beats the view from the stands!
It’s the 9th inning stretch which means it’s down to the wire, near the end of the game, and fans have been sitting for hours. Some folks will stretch, walk around a bit, grab a snack, or take the opportunity to seek restroom relief. It’s one last chance to take a break; after all… rooting and cheering hard all afternoon takes a toll, right? Have you been there? Do you know what I’m talking about? Are loyal and faithful two words that people would use to describe you? When Jesus writes His letter to the church at Philadelphia in the book of Revelation these two words seem to represent the assembly.
Friends I think sometimes I know I am on the team and just don’t have my head in the game. Jesus isn’t asking us to come to His home turf on Sunday and be a fan. He’s not asking for “likes” or “amens.” He’s asking us to get out of the stands, walk down to the field and pick up the ball; feel the tanned leather and cotton stitching of the threads in the palm of our hand, put on the glove, and take up the bat.
I almost see a team jersey in the works with the Names and city in this verse of victory. Has the LORD has been asking you to get out of the comfort of being a Jesus fan and into the game? And what does that even look like? – More reading GOD’s Word and less assuming, taking what is preached and taught straight to GOD and His Word and seeing that agreement is found; inviting someone to Bible study; picking them up and taking them home if needed, bringing the love of Messiah to others. Are you sitting in the stands today? How many opportunities to share what GOD has specifically done in your life have been missed? What I am trying to convey today is this: the church at Philadelphia got the thumbs up from Jesus because they played ball come rain or shine. They didn’t have a lot of strength, but obeyed GOD’s Word. The gospel was not a spectator sport for them. I’m not saying don’t go to NASCAR this weekend. I’m saying don’t forget you have a license to drive too! There is a huge risk today of being a devotee and not a disciple, an enthusiast and not an evangelist.
Philadelphia was a real church with a real time in history just like you and me. The walk that each of us has with the LORD today is just as real. May we be called loyal and faithful in Jesus’ Name amen.
Confessed & Reconciled
There has been much talk among brothers and sisters this week of keeping ourselves unspoiled and it has reminded me of something the LORD shared me within the last year...
Here we can see the gift, the importance of being reconciled ;o)
These six verses capture the time and experience of Nathaniel meeting Jesus what looks like for the first time. What the LORD shared with me is that not only was Nathaniel in a “high place” under the fig tree in prayer with GOD, but when Jesus says He “saw” him under the fig tree the Greek word used there can imply something much deeper: “I experienced you, was with you under the fig tree.” That is not necessarily new teaching, but what the LORD showed me last week was that Nathaniel was confessing his sin before GOD, seeking reconciliation. As a result Jesus’ first words calling out to him are, “there is a true Israelite (one of my Father’s chosen) one in whom there is no deceit (because he had just come from confession). And too as a result Nathaniel is able to see Jesus for who He is and led to proclaim His Sovereignty audibly, immediately, and passionately: "Rabbi, you are the Son of GOD! You are the King of Israel!"
Are we standing reconciled with the King of kings or is Jesus perhaps calling us to spend some time under the fig tree with Him today?
Be confessed. Be reconciled. Be blessed, amen ;o)
Avoiding & Embracing
There was a time in my life when I was quite good at avoiding, a card-carrying member of the “if it’s not in front of me I don’t have to face it” club. Understand to be good at anything requires practice and I practiced “keeping my distance” every opportunity I could: evading bill collectors, dodging confrontation, steering clear of commitment period whether it be financial, personal, legal, spiritual, emotional, you name it I could side-step it. I even detoured from filing taxes for a couple years. Where were my priorities? I can tell you with complete sincerity where they were not. They were not on things that mattered.
Isn’t that funny? GOD’s Word wanted all along for me to avoid evil, strife, the path of the wicked, evil men, preachers of false doctrine, being criticized, and outright lies. Before I was in GOD’s Word and taking the Bible seriously Satan had me avoiding responsibility, trust, love, even a relationship with a King, amen; all the things GOD so desired to bless me with.
Friends, the most important stewardship that we have is of our heart. Where is your heart? Is it avoiding GOD or embracing GOD? Are you avoiding sin or embracing sin? The first, and best step in avoiding sin is accepting salvation in Jesus Christ, amen. Praying for you and asking you to pray for me while GOD works this out is an opportunity to embrace His plan for our lives; prayer is a divine appointment.
My prayer this morning is that you be set free from avoiding the Truth and the Way and the Life that is Jesus Christ, accept Him into your life and be separated immediately from the penalty, continually from the power, and eventually altogether from the presence of sin, amen.
Dead or Alive?
You’ve seen it, right? Road kill, the highway remnants of a once healthy, happy, and unsuspecting herbivore? Friends, beloved, the birds of the air congregate and feast on the dead. Would Satan, the prince of the powers of the air, congregate and feast on less? When your faith is dead who is feasting? When your passion for GOD’s Truth is gone who is celebrating?
When Jesus opens His letter to the church at Sardis He introduces Himself as the One who has the seven spirits of GOD and the seven stars. This title means that Jesus is in possession of the very fullness (seven being a Hebrew number of completeness) of the Spirit of GOD and that all of the angels are under His authority. This might come as a surprise to some, but Satan is an angel, albeit fallen. When overtaken by pride the most beautiful of Christ’s creations rebelled, yes, but understand Satan is never out from under the authority of Jesus Christ, amen. Jesus continues in verse one to say exactly what needs to be said (please pardon the paraphrase Triplett translation): “Hey! Church! You know what? You might have everybody else fooled, but not Me (Jesus)… Things might look good on the outside, but I see what’s going on. Inside you are a mess!” It’s so bad He names them “dead,” barren, idle, stagnant, without life. When the Author of Life says you’re no longer in operation it’s turn-around time! Are you putting on a new shirt on Saturday or Sunday and giving everyone else the impression you’re in good health, happy, yet hiding from some hard truths? Maybe your heart has just been run over so many times, even by friends, family, and church members that you’ve become road kill on the inside, afraid, unwilling to trust anyone anymore. You are not alone. You can overcome. There were overcomers in the church of Sardis and this is what Jesus told them:
The desire of the LORD is not for you to be engulfed in lifelessness, but firm in the fullness of eternal living, in Him. White clothes, Book of Life… these are incredible gifts; the most awesome promise to the overcomer in this verse for me is that Jesus will recognize you in the presence of GOD and the angels. Will you acknowledge Him, your Redeemer, today?
Have you ever written a letter; taken the time, sat down, gathered your thoughts, prepared for the task by gathering your pen, paper, computer, typewriter, or any necessary tools that would pass your message, your idea, on to your intended recipient? Why would you write a letter? Would it be because you are thinking about someone? For some reason they are occupying your thoughts or your heart enough that you are compelled to tell them something, something of value… even if it’s two words, “love you!!” The case is no different for our LORD in His seven letters to seven churches. Jesus is giving each of us something of value here in the book of Revelation 2-3: from congratulations to concerns; from advice to assurances. Here’s the report card outline:
Jesus applauds the faithful for works, labor, patient endurance, despising evil, naming false prophets, serving Him, perseverance, enduring tribulation, poverty, and slander, honoring His Name, not denying Him even where Satan dwells, love, service, opening a door none can shut, having some strength, keeping His Word, and not denying His Name.
Jesus shares an unsatisfactory report in leaving your first love, being heavy on doctrine – dead in devotion, following false gods, following structure over His Spirit, tolerating idolatry, murder of innocents, arranging false witness, having the name “dead,” and being neither cold nor hot.
Jesus says remember your first love, repent, do not be afraid, be faithful until death, wake up, hold fast to what you have, let no man take your crown, and be zealous. Six of the seven churches were told to repent!
Jesus promises the overcomers will eat of the tree of life, not be hurt by the second death, receive hidden manna, have a white stone with a new name, be given power over nations, wear a white raiment, be secured, beautify heaven’s sanctuary and not have to leave, have written upon them His New Name, His Father’s Name, and His City’s name, dine with Him, and sit with Him on His Throne.
We’ve looked at the good, the bad, the guiding, and the blessings the LORD has to share with us in these letters. For me I have to ask myself now what I recognize in my life, my family, my local church, my nation… Is there room for improvement? Where can I start? LORD I begin today by giving thanks and praise to You for making me, well, me. I have some work to do. I can see that. It’s You that I am trusting now LORD, to You that I surrender all, and to You that I write this letter.
The Path of Life
What was Elijah's challenge to the people of Israel?
A nation had been divided: The northern kingdom was now Israel and the southern kingdom Judah. A beloved prophet of the LORD to the northern kingdom was Elijah. “How long will you keep hesitating with both sides?” These were the words asked to the people Israel by the prophet Elijah before GOD used him to expose and ultimately eliminate 850 false prophets. (450 prophets of Baal [Phoenician god] & 400 prophets of Asherah [Phoenician goddess])
Chances are we are familiar with the historical account: the 850 false prophets were unsuccessful at gaining the attention of their deities and unable to produce fire for their offering on Mount Carmel whereas GOD accepted the sacrifice form Elijah and fell fire from heaven in consummation.
The custom of that day to mutilate themselves in order to serve or gain the attention of their gods really stands out to me today. This practice begs me to ask of myself if there are idols in my own life, things in place of Christ that I go to for comfort: food, alcohol, sex, etc… am I being crippled physically, emotionally, or spiritually?
These words in red from Jesus Messiah to the church at Thyatira are absolutely sobering. Jesus says He is the one who searches minds and hearts. He is offering time to repent for any who are willing to accept the challenge. If there are strongholds in our lives today He wants them removed. Jesus wants to be your stronghold; what you reach for in times of need, the special place, your Peace, amen.
It reminds me of returning to the town where I went to high school. Upon returning it looked totally different. Nothing was the same. The buildings had changed. The streets had changed. I no longer recognized faces on Main Street. Have things changed in your heart so much since the last time He was there that Jesus wouldn’t even recognize it today? Maybe today is the day you invite Him back in or even into your heart for the first time, amen. “How long will you keep hesitating with both sides?”
Giving Thanks To GOD
Is giving thanks the same as giving thanks to GOD?
In 290 BC the city Euhippia was renamed Thyatira by king Seleucus I Nicator and means daughter. It had many earlier names and even has a different name today. When Jesus writes His letter to the church at Thyatira He uses the title “Son of GOD.” Here you could say we see the Son addressing the daughter, Jezebel. Jesus also uses the title “He who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze." This is another contrast. Like the Son counters the daughter, so Jesus here distinguishes Himself from the sun god, Tyrimnas, the guardian or protector god of Thyatira, represented with flaming rays and feet of burnished brass. What the LORD brings into view in this letter, twelve verses in the book of Revelation, is pagan practices of the early church. He condemns them saying, "You tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing My servants."
So, who is this Jezebel and what does she have to do with pagan practices? Have you ever been told no and gone and done something anyway? This was the scenario for Jezebel and the servant in Naboth’s vineyard. Understand Jezebel was a real person, daughter of a king and wife to Ahab, the seventh king of Israel. Her qualities include marrying for profit, seeking to exterminate GOD’s teachers, murdering innocents, arranging false witness, condemnation, and execution, desiring power over the nations, and worshiping Ashtoreth, goddess of fertility. She would be called cunning, daring, and unscrupulous. Are these qualities we can see today? Is it possible there are pagan practices, Jezebels, at work in churches, Christian homes, or even in our hearts right now? It is a valid question.
The challenge for me is much like that of Thyatira… to recognize what is not of GOD & set it down. For example we just celebrated a national holiday called thanksgiving. There was much giving thanks; for food, family, friends, safe travel, etc. but honestly I saw very little visible and heard very little audible giving thanks to GOD the Father for family, thanks to Jesus for the sustaining nourishment of one more day, thanks to the Holy Spirit for indwelling the faithful, teaching us daily what it means to love like the LORD.
LORD is there a visible difference between the light and the dark in my life?
Friends, I am thankful for you. But know it is to GOD that I am thankful for you being in my life. It is to GOD that I am thankful for your health and safety. It is to GOD that I am thankful you are beside me in the storms of life. Yes, it is a season for me of giving thanks indeed; giving thanks to GOD, amen.
Thank You, Jesus!
It is argued that Christ is nowhere to be found in the Old Testament and yet the more time I spend in GOD’s Word the more I encounter Him daily; today was no exception.
Here we have words in the oldest book in the Bible speaking of last things; redemption, assurance, second coming, and resurrection. Even while enduring extreme physical, emotional, personal, and financial crushing Job witnesses to Bildad proclaiming his Redeemer lives! In ancient Israel a kinsman redeemer was a family member who bought a slave's way to freedom or who took care of a widow. Faced with death and decay, Job still expected to see GOD - and he expected to do so in his body! Wow! Job is not alone in company when it comes to severe emotional pain, and suffering. Jesus Himself met such extraordinary anguish as He shed blood on the Mount of Olives in an olive grove named Gethsemane. As a matter of fact the name Gethsemane means literally wine press of oils, “place of crushing.” Luke, the physician, describing the agony of the LORD in Gethsemane, says:
Friends our freedom has been bought. Whatever we are facing today, however great the obstacle or terrible the grief, know that there is One, a Redeemer, who has come and been crushed for our transgressions, our sins will not determine our eternal home. It all comes down to acknowledging His work, His mercy, and His authority. Three simple words can change your life today. If you’ve come to a place where you understand the world crushes, the flesh fails, and Satan is a liar, perhaps you’ve arrived at your Gethsemane and are ready to say. “Thank You, Jesus.”
Thank You, Jesus! He’s waiting in the garden! Thank You, Jesus!
Fishermen smell like fish: feedback from a maritime missionary.
The Apostle Paul had many journeys while preaching the gospel to the early Church; times at sea, hikes over land, up, down, there and back again in many cases. Communicating from Corinth Paul shares with the Thessalonians by way of letters. He had recently spent three Sabbaths there teaching in Synagogue and possibly stayed in the city a number of months. It’s beautiful to witness in that small window of time from his letters when Paul and Silas departed what was left behind: an assembly of believers whom had received the doctrines of the faith and would be unmoved by persecution. In the Believer’s Bible Commentary G. R. Harding Wood explains it this way:
The Christian who is expecting the return of the LORD Jesus has no room for:
(1) Idols in his heart (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10);
(2) Slackness in his service (1 Thessalonians 2:9, 1 Thessalonians 2:19);
(3) Divisions in his fellowship (1 Thessalonians 3:12-13);
(4) Depression in his mind (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18); or
(5) Sin in his life (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
Looking at his outline is encouraging and at the same time causes me to think of my own thoughts, actions, and prayers; what I have done, what I have failed to do. There is a thankfulness that blows through my mind for the outline of what is good in the eyes of GOD; His Word is fixed in my hands and daily before my eyes. He knows my stumbling and asks above all that I turn to Him when I fall.
There is a wake that follows each of us. We leave behind something everywhere we go and with everyone we meet. What is it that I can leave behind for You today LORD?
A servant called, confronted, and commissioned: Confessing the work of Jesus Christ in my life, amen.
In the summer of 2012 the LORD spoke to me in the still, small voice I had become familiar with and said, “do not join a church, do not join a band; study My Word and write.” At the time I was working full time in the oil fields of Alaska and serving as a worship servant and missionary on the Arctic Ocean which I had been doing for a decade. Comfortable would be a word I would associate with my lifestyle at the time. I knew what my next day would look like, where my next meal would come from, and where I was going to lay my head at night. Two months following this word from the LORD I was released from my obligation to the North Slope (oilfields) as there was downsizing within my department, laid off in good standing with my company as they needed truck drivers and I happened to have only five years’ experience where most of the other folks had ten and twenty. When management called to let me know the only words I could think were… “amen, thank You, LORD!” “Father, You said to study Your Word and write and now I see You are actually providing the time and means to do so!” On another note I was active in three choirs at one church and serving as time allowed in many others; playing and singing contemporary, traditional, Hispanic, and charismatic worship. The LORD raised up servant leaders let me leave each one of those leadership roles in good standing as well; absolutely amazing is all I kept thinking. So, I dove into GOD’s Word with a verse by verse commentary study of every book of the Bible, which I am still currently pursuing way the by ;o)
At a Christmas party in Virginia with relatives in mid-December 2012 a stranger asked me in the kitchen of my sister-in-law, “I’m a software engineer, what do you do?” I replied, “I used to teach software in the oil & gas industry.” A few minutes later, obviously unsatisfied with the answer I gave he asked again, “so what do you do?” I responded again, “I used to help folks with hardware, software, and oilfield specific software troubleshooting issues.” Finally about fifteen minutes later he walked up to me and asked again, “so what is it again you do?” and I responded, “I helped rollout software packages to the field and supervision in the oilfields of Alaska.” (yep, drove a truck and taught software – good catch; they call that a multi-skilled operator, hee hee). What I didn’t realize at the time, but woke the next morning in horror to was this. I DENIED CHRIST THREE TIMES last night! I was specifically asked what I was doing three times by a stranger and three times I answered him in what I thought he might want to hear or understand instead of answering him with the commission that GOD had me in, “I am studying GOD’s Word and writing.”
As the LORD would have it in October of 2013 I was approached at a house concert in Vermont and asked by a stranger, “what are you doing here?” And even though I knew most in attendance were not confessing believers in Jesus Christ my answer this time was not rehearsed, but quick and sure, “I am here in Vermont recording music for the LORD.” She said, “do you mean you are a Christian?” And in the home of a well-known and practicing Buddhist I said, “Yes, I am writing and recording music for the glory of GOD, amen.” She asked and this is the kicker… for the third time she asked an even deeper question of the faithful, “does that mean that you are born again?” My heart was leaping as I fully understood what was happening. I might as well have been standing at Tabgha on the shores of the Sea of Galilee with my LORD asking, “Do you love me” for the third time. I responded, “yes, my life is now my LORD’s.”
I understand Father GOD, my call is to love and to serve and to love again; feeding all You put before me. Thank You for Your patience, thank You for Your faithfulness, thank You for Your love and forgiveness. I hear You asking me to be faithful in return and I accept Father, in the Holy and Healing Name of Jesus Messiah, send me, Here I am, amen.
Helmet of Salvation
Where does Satan get his mail? Is there hope for evicting evil thoughts?
When something has locality it has a physical address, like a neighborhood or district. We each have locality of our own. Yes, we have a home in heaven, and yet we are pilgrims in this place; we have time and space we occupy right now on earth. Satan is like us in this respect. He does not have the ability to be physically in more than one place at one time unlike the Bible illustrates GOD can (Jeremiah 23:23-24, Psalm 139:7-10, 2 chronicles 6:18, Acts 7:48-49, Matthew 28:20, Hebrews 13:5). We even find in the book of Revelation Jesus names Pergamos, the fabled city of Zeus’s birth, an abode for Satan.
While He compliments them they have not denied Him in this very evil of places, Jesus goes on to say that they have worshipped other gods too and repentance is necessary. Surviving evil in evil times and places requires the full armor of GOD (fasten the belt of truth, put on the breastplate of righteousness, be firm-footed in the gospel of peace, take up the shield of faith, take up the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of GOD, be always praying and alert)
Satan uses lies as his chief weapon, and we must counter his lies with GOD’s Truth. We are not lost, but have been redeemed, amen. The Father cared so much to send His Only Son that we might have eternal life in Christ and not chaos. There were more idols in Pergamum than possibly all of Asia lending Jesus to name Satan’s seat as being there. What about the mind of man. Are our thoughts so populated at times with idols that strongholds have been constructed? I can offer with certainty that is not what GOD desires. And that’s why He provides us with tools like the helmet, this Blessed Hope of Salvation in Jesus Christ, amen. Understand friends the test of a man is who he is and not where he is from. Even Pergamos has overcomers. Know you are His. Trust He is preparing a place for you. Love Him with all you can. May the thoughts of Truth occupy our mind and the strongholds of deception be forever foreclosed upon.
Thank You, Father GOD, for Your Word, Your Hope, Yeshua HaMashiach, my Savior and coming King, in Jesus’ Name amen.
The Two-Edged Sword
Friends understand there is a two-edged sword: It was in the beginning, will be, and speaks today. His Name is Jesus Christ.
Pergamos, built upon a high rock outcropping, a natural fortress, is the third church in a series of seven to receive a personal letter from Jesus Christ. Of the seven letters to seven churches in the book of Revelation five are earnestly advised to repent and Pergamos is one of them. Jesus introduces Himself in His letter to Pergamos as “The One who holds the sharp two-edged sword.
Navigating through Scripture gives us an understanding of just what this two-edged sword is:
This two-edged sword comes out of the mouth of GOD, it is the weapon by which war is waged, it strikes down nations, it puts to death the unrighteous, it is the Word of GOD and it divides as it judges the very inner parts of man. It is spiritual and physical. It transcends time and space. It existed in the beginning with GOD (John 1:1) and will be fulfilled (Ezekiel 21:7).
LORD let my innermost be divided this day, set apart for Your work, Your will for my life. I am sorry for my sins. I am sorry for piercing Your perfect flesh with my unrighteousness. I resolve, yes I repent this day and seek to be an overcomer for Your glory. Like the church at Pergamos, LORD may hidden manna and my new name in Yeshua find me without obstacle, in the Name of He that holds the two-edged sword, Jesus Messiah, amen.
In The Name of The LORD
It has been described as the greatest missionary manual ever written (1 Thessalonians 2:1-10). In his letter we can see Paul reminding folks how he came and why he came. As Paul writes letters to churches and travels from town to town he comes in the Name of the LORD. This phrase is not uncommon in Scripture, used in gospel accounts usually relating directly to Jesus Messiah. We see the phrase “in the name of the LORD" seven times in the New Testament outside of the gospels:
As I trace the verses down I see baptisms, preaching, remembering the prophets, and healing. This week’s big question for me is am I processing oxygen into carbon dioxide for plants or am I living, breathing, walking, speaking, dreaming, waking, confessing, praying, and counting each new day a blessing all for Jesus? Do I sincerely come in the Name above all names? Or like Paul points out am I in it for the money, fortune, fame? Do I have a hidden agenda deceiving my way into people’s hearts? Am I preaching what is most dangerous, truth? Paul was in it to win it for the LORD, nobody else. It wasn't about making people feel better about themselves. It was about knowing Jesus completely. No flattering talk, not seeking praise for himself, void of greed and polluted goals. It's not about me, LORD, my life is Yours, in Jesus' Name amen.
Do you have the heart of a missionary?
Salvation does not begin with giving up something, but with receiving someone. The Thessalonian letters carve out a prophetic hope that when applied drives one to personal holiness and evangelism. Paul explains how he turned to GOD from idols by hearing, listening, and doing. The early church grew leaps and bounds in Paul’s time because he (and others) was bound to Christ and to sharing the good news, that Jesus Christ is LORD, in addition to his own personal testimony. We see the heart of missionary unfold on the pages of his letters. I believe that is the LORD’s challenge to us today…
Do others see the heart of a missionary unfolding day after day in us? Are we bound to the LORD, to sharing that sins have been forgiven for all by the shed blood of a perfect sacrifice some two millennia ago? Are we hearing, listening, and following through like Paul? If not what might be standing in the way? Is my witness effective? Are my friends, family, and partners in fellowship turning from idols, having changes of heart for the LORD? Great questions to spend some time with the LORD this week, amen.
When it comes to having blessed hope in Jesus Christ, Koinonia Institute’s C.W. Missler would add “the coming of Christ to take His church out of the world is not an escape mechanism. Rather, it is an incentive to serve Him and to give out the Word of GOD. If your belief in Scripture has no effect on your life maybe it’s time to reconsider what you believe. The expectation of the coming of the LORD should be the motivating factor in the life of Christian, not a motivating factor, but THE motivating factor. ”
Father GOD, help me to “leggo my eggo” set aside my own ego, any sense of exaggerated self-importance, and to follow more closely this model Paul has set before us, this heart of a missionary. Thank You for the new heart and renewed mind Father that seek after Your will and Your kingdom in Jesus’ Name amen.
Why do Christians undergo trials? The bible is not silent on this. Therefore understand that GOD is not silent on the troubles of men. In my own life I have encountered what I considered difficulties at the time and now see clearly GOD’s hand intervening, making a more excellent way. Here are several sources, most gathered from Hal Lindsey’s “Combat Faith,” in GOD’s Word that speaking directly to pain, suffering, hardship, and adversity.
To glorify GOD
Daniel 3:16-18, 24-25 (fiery furnace)
To Discipline for known sin
Hebrews 12:5-11 (a correcting Father)
James 4:17 (following my will, not His)
Romans 14:23 (defining sin as conduct not flowing from faith)
1 John 1:9 (bringing about confession)
To prevent us from falling into sin
1 Peter 4:1-2 (producing obedience)
To keep us from Pride
2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (acknowledging human weakness - Paul’s “thorn in the flesh”)
Galatians 4:15; 6:11 (underlining infirmity)
To build faith
1 Peter 1:6-7 (joy in trials)
To cause growth
Romans 5:3-5 (method of maturing)
To teach obedience and discipline
Acts 9:15-16 (developing trust)
Philippians 4:11-13 (submitting to service)
To equip us to comfort others
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (teaching from experience)
To prove the reality of Christ in us
2 Corinthians 4:7-11 (earthly vessels, heavenly destinies)
For testimony to the angels
Job 1:8 (GOD to Satan)
Ephesians 3:8-11 (announcing among the heavens)
1 Peter 1:12 (revealing to angels)
The idea of accepting forgiveness from Jesus Christ, the Son of GOD, and eternal salvation might sound simplistic; however being a Christian isn’t always easy! The Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary says of trials: “No true servant of GOD escapes the eye of the adversary of GOD.” By meeting regularly with brothers and sisters, engaging in loving and edifying fellowships, leaning on His Word for understanding, and seeking GOD’s will in prayer and thanksgiving we have part of a strategy of not only dealing with trials, but exiting not as a victim of calamity, but a champion, victorious through Him, with Him, and in Him, our Blessed Hope and Coming King, Jesus Messiah amen.
Understand friends the difference between Truth & myth: Jesus Christ did not say, “I am the myth, the wrong way, or the death” rather He said just the opposite “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life." Abundant life is not in the flesh, right paths are not found chasing worldly gain, and fullness of truth is certainly not the weapon of darkness. If you are tired of the lies, deception, dead ends, and death being glorified in your life... maybe it's time to give Jesus another chance in your heart, amen. GOD bless you!
Tree of Life
What makes the Bible’s “tree of life” unique from other religions, cultures, and myths?
The tree of life – a symbol of life-giving Divine power
Arabic – tuba tree
Celtic – crann bethadh
Greek – lotus tree
Egyptian – lusaaset’s acacia tree
Hindu – halpasoma tree
Norse – igdrasil’s ash tree of existence
Persian – homa tree
Sumerian – mes tree
Yoruban – obatala tree
Rabbins & Mohammedans – probation tree
Zend & Avesta – death destroyer tree
Buddha found enlightenment under a tree with three branches…
There are dozens of trees of life throughout cultures that give legend to eternal life and Divine power. There is One Jesus Christ who was predicted, whose parentage, plight, and passion for every person ever born is documented inside and outside of Scripture. What I wish to frame here is the difference between myth and Truth. Truth is free of myth. A friend’s recent definition of a myth is what occurs whenever there is a deviation from truth. What is the circumstance of man today, but the same as the church at Ephesus; being deviated from Truth on a daily basis by new loves replacing or seeking to replace our primary love, the very Composer of Charity, Grace Manifest born of a virgin and become Man in the person of Jesus Messiah.
In His letter to the church at Ephesus Jesus gives the readers a post script and an appeal: “Hear o Israel!” Let everyone, gentile & Jew alike, listen for the Holy Spirit speaks. In eating of the tree of life the Church are not only offered an honor, but a reward, a return to everlasting life with the Father. In John Gill’s exposition of the entire Bible he writes that Jesus Christ Himself is the tree of life in the Garden of Eden and is so called because He is the author of life, natural, spiritual, and eternal. Jesus says hear Me, and I will give a special advantage that is the sustaining nourishment, the very Bread of Life, manna from heaven; the wisdom, strength, and character necessary to live a life free from the bondage of sin and deception.
What happens when you renew your first love? Jesus promises restoration that is incredible to imagine. So why do I believe Him? I believe Him because of what He has already shown, lived out, proven through the shedding of His blood, dying and rising (witnessed by hundreds of Jews, non-Jews – people that had no motive to support or deny His resurrected appearances). I believe Him because He is incredibly alive today, right now bearing fruit in the hearts of the faithful; love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, humbleness, and self-control. Father I pray today to recommit myself to bearing fruit for the kingdom. If my loving has been deviated, if my eyes have turned from your perfect Sacrifice let me be renewed in heart and mind following in the servant passion of Your Son in whose holy and mighty Name I pray, in Jesus’ Name amen.
“The tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of GOD.” It is but little we can say concerning such a tree: no worm is gnawing at its root, no serpent coils around its stem, no sere leaf trembles upon it as the prophet a coming winter; its every leaf is jeweled with purer dew than ever sparkled on the eyelids of the morning. A tree! ‘Tis but another word for beauty, for beauty walks forth in ever-varying manifestations. A tree! ‘Tis but another name for progress, for the circling sap bears through every fibre life and fruitfulness. A tree! Shall we assemble around that central tree? We cannot do so until we have assembled around the Cross. (J. Parker, D. D. – The Biblical Illustrator)
There is no such thing as a homeless, unemployed Christian!
In the book of Revelation in the midst of seven letters to seven angels to seven churches a pattern begins to emerge, a pattern of sevens. There are even seven verses in the first letter to the first church. But not only is there a numeric pattern there is also a pattern of graces illustrated to the church at Ephesus. It was the Apostle Paul who introduced us to faith that works, love that labors and hope that endures while writing to the Thessalonians and Corinthians and as we look at the accolade here spoken by Jesus Christ Himself to the church at Ephesus we can see this grouping of graces once again.
We see faith working, love laboring, and hope enduring in verse two and in verse three that number seems to taper to two; hope endured and faith without fatigue. It is quite an amazing setup for what comes next. Jesus is going over their report card with them and giving them the positives before He begins His coaching session on what needs improvement. Verse four is just that:
The People’s New Testament Commentary has this to say in summary of verse four: “They have not maintained the ardor and devotion of the love of their earlier history. Nothing but the fervent love of the Bride can satisfy the Bridegroom. This change shows that many years must have passed since the last communication of Paul to the Ephesian church.
I am not only thankfully reminded of the love that my LORD has for me, but also that I am called to love Him first. He desires to be my primary passion. As an overcomer I have a job to do, amen. This earth is not my home, heaven is. Likewise I have a job and it pays in kingdom rewards, not shekels or franks or dollars. Father, this day I approach the foot of the cross with a sorrowful heart where I have not kept my first love. Like the church of Ephesus LORD let me return to the labor of loving; open and Yours, ready and willing, here I am, in Jesus’ Name, amen.
Faith, hope, and love: when and where do we first encounter these three graces simultaneously joined in Scripture?
It is by many accounts 52 AD (just two decades following Christ's death and resurrection and the trifold presentation of grace in the parts of faith, hope, and love is given to readers initially in Paul’s first letter or epistle to the Thessalonians. And like a pop-up book these words seem to rise off the pages and come to life when banded together. (ok maybe that’s just me) The threefold benefit of faith, hope, and love will again be shared together by Paul with the churches in Thessalonica and Corinth. Here’s the verse that sets the stage:
And finally in to the church in Corinth…
That they/we understand fully the grace afforded in Christ Jesus; the work of faith, the patience of hope, and the labor of love is clearly an aim for Paul. With these verses in view we can hear Paul’s affection for the Church as steadfast, producing echoes across the ages. Some other places we see faith, love, and hope as united are Galatians 5:5f; Colossians 1:4f; Hebrews 6:10-12, Hebrews 10:22-24; and 1 Peter 1:21f.
Here are some “faith, hope, and love “patterns to consider through the lens of past, present, and future with eyes fixed upon The LORD.
Faith rests on the past and looks back to a Crucified Savior
Love works in the present and looks up to a Crowned Savior
Hope looks to the future and looks on to a Coming Savior
If your life is not distinct, made noticeably different by these three...faith, hope, and love. Do you think it should be? It can be right now, amen. This is where I spent some quiet time with the LORD, gave Him some lies that had crept into my thinking and recommitted myself to His authority, His will, and His Word, amen.
Is there a past, present, and future in being saved?
Considering salvation this week under a new light was quite revealing. I have always looked at salvation, being saved, as one dimensional, basically in a sense-past tense, a singularity event marking me forever His, amen. The verses I had in mind to this line of thought are:
Until this week while studying Revelation chapter 1 the tenses in Scripture verses had never been so visually or mentally stimulating. These verses from Ephesians eloquently illustrate having been saved from the p-e-n-a-l-t-y of sin. Some refer to this past tense of salvation as justification.
What about the present tense? The Summarized Bible has this to say about the entire 6th chapter of Romans; its contents reveal “deliverance from the power of indwelling sin by counting the old life dead, and yielding to the new life.” This commentary reflects how operationally, by the Holy Spirit, and moment by moment we are undergoing sanctification; in the present tense being saved of the p-o-w-e-r of sin. Some refer to this ongoing process, the present tense of salvation, as sanctification.
In the verse above from Romans we can see a future tense, the anticipation that our bodies shall be set free from the p-r-e-s-e-n-c-e of sin. Some call this coming salvation the redemption of our bodies or glorification.
This whole exercise of thinking of salvation in more than one dimension has been of such benefit this week. I know my LORD was with me. I know my LORD is with me. And I know my LORD will be with me tomorrow. With this type of assurance it sure puts any concerns or trials I might have into a better perspective. GOD bless you & have a sanctifying week, in Jesus’ Name amen!
So often we see in Scripture a question and a near immediate answer provided. Take Revelation 1:20 for example: what are the seven lampstands? …churches! Whether it’s studying Scripture or walking out our Christian faith how does one keep from getting deceived or going down the wrong path? Not always coming in the blink of an eye the answer is relying on the “Whole Counsel of GOD.”
What is the “Whole Counsel of GOD?” Great question!
Always “put Christ right in the center” if you do not understand or have a question. Put Christ in it! Our LORD does this for us in the book of Revelation and it brings abrupt clarity.
The Apostle Peter personally witnessed and warned us that we have a “more sure word of prophecy.” It’s not second hand information. They witnessed Jesus lifted up as the brass serpent of Moses’ day. We must take Scripture seriously.
Remember Jesus Himself challenges us to “search the Scriptures and they are they which testify of Me.” I can only speak for me, but my heart longs to hear the LORD say, “Well done good and faithful servant” and not “depart from Me, I never knew you!”
“Jesus Christ is what the Bible is all about from cover to cover:” He was foretold, came, established covenant, departed His Holy Spirit for encounter, and Glory approaches, amen.
Revelation itself points out that the “Testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
We pray every time we say the LORD's Prayer for His guidance, “His plan of action come to pass.” What we are actually praying for is exactly what Revelation is all about
Father, hear the prayer of a child. You are at my center. Your Word lights my path. Every page of Your Testimony invites me to pursue Your countenance, encounter Your wisdom, power, and love, and hope for Your express return. Thank You, I love You, Abba, amen.
GOD Hears Prayer
Accepted: 30 day challenge to pray this verse out loud from a sister in Christ in Idaho, USA
GOD hears prayers, amen. Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel which means GOD Hears, amen.
GOD answers people, amen. Remember Elijah’s famous prayer that brought down fire from heaven:
Day 17: Thank You, Father, for hearing and answering the prayers of the faithful. We are humbled in seeing so many examples in Your Word, our lives, and the lives of others of Your faithfulness. Let us be of one heart and mind in the praying, seeking, and in the turning from transgression; to Your Truth, to Your Way, to life everlasting in Your Son, Jesus Christ, amen.
Waiting For The LORD
Reading the book of Revelation this week has impacted me personally in making me a promise!
What a beautiful promise offered to both the one that reads aloud the book of Revelation and any that hear the words of the book of Revelation with a special caveat “that they remain watchful.” The Greek word tereo is used where we see “obey” in the Scripture above and it means to watch; to guard from loss or injury, properly by keeping the eye upon, to fulfill a command, to maintain. What my heart hears the LORD asking me to do here is to remain faithful, honoring my position as betrothed and awaiting the bridegroom, for the time is at hand. It reminds me of the parable of the ten virgins and the oil in their lamps. Half were unprepared and half were prepared, watchful, maintaining preparedness, for the coming of their anticipated husband.
There are so many examples of promises within GOD’s Word; conditional and unconditional, covenants between nations and men. One internet blogger counts 3573 separate Bible promises, that’s one promise for every day for a decade! My heart rejoices at the opportunity to be vigilant for the coming of our LORD, amen. Let me not be foolish LORD. Father, thank You for speaking to me personally, for giving me the oil my lamp needs to shine for Your glory, sharing all that You have shared and for blessings yet to come. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Dear churches, please hear a worship servant on music in the Church... When an assembly is reading words together (seeing them on a screen on wide viewer), singing those words aloud (proclaiming agreement in assembly), and those words are not biblical what is the assembly committing? I submit the assembly is committing a corporate attack on GOD’s indwelling Holy Spirit, proclaiming humanism, waiting for themselves to get goose bumps all the while blaspheming the One True GOD. Here's what the LORD teaches from the prophet Isaiah.
Please if this sounds at all familiar to you, confess, repent, make an about face in your worship for Who GOD Is, and what He Did; not who you are, your church is, or what you or your church is doing. If your worship consists of just following rules of the church or reading words on a screen because everyone else is doing it please consider this verse from Isaiah. Find a quiet place, close the door, open your heart and ask the LORD what worship looks like. His Word has thousands of examples of both false & true worship. It's so important to GOD it was His first commandment written by His finger in stone, amen. (honor GOD alone, have no others) One beautiful example is when an alabaster jar is broken and the humble spirited woman anoints the LORD’s feet even with her tears and dries them with her locks of hair. Her worship is all about Christ, who He is and what He has done for her, she is not affected by what everyone else in the room is crying (I can't believe she is wasting that oil - that's a year's worth of wages - why is she just sitting there and not busy preparing food)... let us please consider our worship...
Father, I pray the hearts of the faithful turn from honoring anyone, but You, Father. The glory is for You. The honor is for You. The praise is for You! amen
Prophesy or Prose
Is the book of Revelation really prophecy?
It’s probably not customary to answer a question with a question, but I am eager to ask, “Is the Bible  a collection of stories good for moral teaching or  is it GOD speaking to humanity; The First and The Last speaking authority over creation, death, time, heaven, earth, our very lives?” Because depending on how a person interprets it makes all the difference in this case. You see, when the Bible is regarded as simply good fiction then the answer is “no, the book of Revelation is not really prophecy. I mean it’s colorful and has some intriguing illustration, but prophecy, definitely not.” However, when the Bible as a whole is revered, regarded with awe, then the writings within begin to stand on their own and this is when and where and when a person can come to the answer “yes, the book of Revelation is really prophecy, after all the book claims to be prophecy multiple times.” The book of Revelation unveils itself to be prophetic here:
If believing prophecy is real is a bit of a stumbling block for you let me share a verse from the Old Testament:
This verse is GOD giving account of Himself, testifying before men not only is prophecy real, but He has purpose for it, amen? For any ears that will hear these words my prayer today is not that you believe in prophecy, but that you believe in GOD and the One He sent to pay the price for every sin ever committed. His name is Jesus. Please don’t take my word for it; close your eyes, open your heart and ask Him.
Old Testament | Christ in Prophecy
Gospels | Christ in History
Acts | Christ in the Church
Epistles | Christ in Experience
Apocalypse | Christ in coming Glory
LORD, You declare the end from the beginning, amen. LORD, You put on flesh and bone, amen. LORD, You taught to serve, amen. LORD, You hold all things together, amen. LORD, You are coming soon, amen.
Being an ambassador for Christ…
When you choose to be an Ambassador for Christ (number three of the Ten Commandments - thou shalt not take the LORD's name in vain), your stewardship of prayer, time, money, talents, loving like Jesus, and sharing GOD's Word becomes more than a goal, more than a priority, it becomes a quality of who we are in Christ. The “I got this,” see you on Sunday Jesus kind of mentality, heart, or relationship is no longer sufficient. Your hunger is deeper; your thirst becomes greater for more of Him and less of you.
Here’s the sticker-shock question; would a jury of your family, friends, and acquaintances find you guilty of being a Christian today, right now? Is your love proving to them that you are a disciple of Christ? If not, then it's time to commit to understanding what GOD’s love (Agape) is and what it means to practically live it out. GOD bless you, beloved. You are in my prayers, but more importantly understand you are in two very important hands; the hands of Jesus Christ and the hands of His Father.
Set Free - Set Aside
Yes, Yes, & Yes!
What is revealed to Moses in the Burning Bush?
Wow! In the Book of Exodus GOD predicts to Moses that it will take the death of the firstborn before the Nation of Israel will be set free from slavery in Egypt. For me I hear a real model being setup here; the Church will be set free from slavery to sin by the death of the Firstborn. There are six times the LORD Jesus is declared to be the Firstborn of GOD in the New Testament. (Romans 8:29; Colossians 1:15, 18; Hebrews 1:6, 12-23; Revelation 1:5). Something interesting to consider is that if we review the Greek word “prototokos” used for “first-born” it signifies priority and not necessarily referring to birth, but of rank; the firstborn possessed the inheritance and leadership.
Am I am set free from the law?
Am I am set free from sin?
Am I being set aside for His work?
My LORD has called me to a holy reckoning through His sanctifying grace and by the Blood of the Lamb of GOD are my sins are forgiven! No more wandering, no more wondering, it’s time to submit and commit to the Will of my Father in heaven, that He may be honored, glorified, and made known, amen.
...accepting a challenge from my sister in the LORD, Sharon Stolebarger ;o)
...please join in prayer if you are able.
Father You bind the chains of Pleiades and loosen the cords of Orion. All the heavens declare Your glory. Who am I but dust and yet fashioned in an image of holiness, hairs on my head counted, more precious than sparrows, thank You, Father, for Your love. LORD, I seek You, I set my face low in prayer, I reject the song of the damned and praise Your holy Name! You are faithful to pardon. You are faithful to heal. As far as the East is from the West I cannot be separated from Your love, my sins are forgiven by the precious shed blood of heaven's perfect Lamb, in whose mighty Authority and Name I petition Your hand in the restoration of the United States of America, I pray in Jesus' Name, amen.
What is the Abrahamic Covenant and how is it being challenged today?
Not only do I find it amazing that GOD physically visited Abram, but also that GOD put Abram in a “deep sleep” so that the covenant being made would be unconditional; taking what would normally include participation by both parties in the figure eight covenant ritual and completing it alone. Abram could add nothing to it; in no way could he violate the covenant, the promise was one sided, unconditional.
Today this unconditional love and covenant that GOD displayed is brought alongside and compared to conditional and situational ethics, the idea that not only do we have something to contribute, but moreover man’s principles and human values govern circumstance and provision. They are different friends. GOD’s love is one way and without interruption, not dependent upon man, circumstance or condition. Thankfully we have the holy and inspired Word of GOD, Truth in black and white and red, to lean upon and go back to when we have questions and can see that GOD’s covenant was re-confirmed by an oath in the book of Genesis:
…and confirmed again to Isaac and Jacob despite their acts of disobedience later in the book of Genesis:
Thank You, Father, for Your faithfulness.
Am I responding today with the unconditional agape love of my Father or trying to cut a covenant of my own, depending on Him or my own flesh? LORD allow me Your strength and Your will to keep Your instructions, commands, statutes, and laws. In Jesus’ Name amen.
In chapter four of Genesis we see the fallen brothers Cain and Abel, children of fallen parents Adam and Eve, both sons making an offering to GOD. Abel’s was accepted, and Cain’s was not. At first glance it may look like their offerings were a result of who they were or what they did for a living as Abel was a shepherd and Cain was a farmer. However the reason one sacrifice was accepted and the other was not accepted is more the result of pleasing GOD. You see there was an order to the sacrifice, there was a prescribed way of presenting offerings to GOD and if accepted the offering would be consumed by fire as illustrated time and again throughout The Old Testament. Abel by offering a sheep was following the procedures which GOD had ordained, by the shedding of blood and offering a lamb which GOD had made, whereas Cain was doing it his way, offering fruits of a cursed ground, submitting an offering of his own works, his own labor. The Lesson for me from this Genesis recount is in my offering; do I bring to GOD the things which honor Him or the things that would honor Will Triplett. Are my life choices bringing my Father in heaven glory or myself praise? I think I’ll sit and visit with the LORD this week and explore these questions some more.
GOD bless you in Jesus’ Name amen.
Keeping & Guarding
Please pray travelling mercies (Psalm 121:8)... most of the entire next month I will be travelling for the LORD; speaking, singing, sharing testimony, and recording music for His glory, amen
GOD Be In Your...
Will you help me finish a prayer for a friend?
GOD be in your work
GOD be in your play
GOD be in your...
Thank you for your hearts & minds! ;o)
Laboring For Love
Are we workmen approved? Will you consider looking at a man of GOD that labored in faith named Nehemiah with me?
What were the leadership lessons of Nehemiah? Are those leadership qualities alive in this generation?
Upon hearing the troubled state of his brothers and sisters in his homeland Nehemiah immediately fell into days of weeping and mourning. Compassion led Nehemiah to submit himself to fasting & prayer before the GOD of heaven and eventually to make his request known to the king.
Serving as cupbearer to king Artaxerxes of Persia, Nehemiah chose his words with extreme care & prayer. What could have resulted in Nehemiah losing his position or even his life, this wisdom quality led the king to grant him passage, provision, and time away from work necessary for Nehemiah to accomplish what the LORD had put on his heart.
When those that would not wish to see the walls of Jerusalem restored plotted to harm the people working Nehemiah defended against conspiracy. Speaking courage over the people Nehemiah led them in prayer and set guards to watch over the work night and day even picking up arms, laboring with one hand and holding weapons with the other.
In those days taxes had become unbearable driving families into slavery, brother unto brother. Nehemiah took council and brought charges in a grand assembly placing truth and hope on the table; the nobles and officials were silent and in the presence of witnessing priests agreed to right judgment, forgiving debts.
By rebuilding Jerusalem’s wall Nehemiah had stirred the power balance in the land of Judah and there were those that agreed to do him harm; four times inviting Nehemiah to meet them privately and finally a fifth time presenting a letter littered with false accusations; claiming Nehemiah full of pride. Always GOD let Nehemiah see and understand the true heart and conspiracy behind these men and the prophetess desiring only to discourage his restoration efforts.
Exercising Fear of the LORD:
It was wonder and awe in GOD that kept Nehemiah and his entire house humble. Even though he governed Judah for 12 years neither Nehemiah nor any of his servants took land for themselves. In fact he and all his servants persevered in the work on the city wall and in prayer asked the LORD to remember only his work for GOD’s people.
It was reverence that drove the whole of Jerusalem to reconciliation, repentance, and to remembrance in keeping of the Feast of Booths (Tabernacles). Devotion to GOD, piety even under pressure allowed Nehemiah to finish well; dedicating the wall, sealing a new covenant, and organizing the priests and Levites in the temple.
When it comes to Nehemiah and lessons in leadership can you see the gifts of the Holy Spirit clearly being the foundation of his success? Like Nehemiah the LORD has given each of us dreams and hearts to be pursuant. May prayer and humility be our companions; myself along with the leaders of families, communities, and nations the world over - as the days ahead draw to a close that we might finish strong for the LORD our GOD, in Jesus’ Name amen.
Along with his friends, Daniel "purposed in his heart" that he would not defile himself. What did that mean for him and his companions? What does that mean for me & you today?
The LORD is in the blessing business…
When I was born I was born into original sin; Daniel and his friends were born from sin and into Covenant with GOD through the Nation of Israel. The LORD removed me from the penalty of sin as He rose to power in my heart; Daniel and his friends were removed from Israel, but not from Covenant as the Babylonian Empire rose to power. Through repentance and reconciliation the LORD calls me His own; the Babylonian court was reconciled to Daniel and his band of brothers upon seeing their physical and mental aptitude as superior to the others in the court which resulted largely in part to their faithfulness to keeping a kosher diet. Just as Daniel and his friends were rewarded with freedoms and eventually a place in governing so too is my eventual reward, today my profit is the fellowship in the Body and under the Blood of Jesus Christ;
I am a man removed, I am a man reconciled, I am a man rewarded.
LORD, You were, You are, You always will be, amen
Master of One Thing?
What does Ben Franklin’s quote, “Jack of all trades, master of one,” mean to you? Should the Christian’s “specialization” be the Bible?
Boy, did I spend a good portion of my life in left field! I did not know Ben Franklin’s quote was actually, “Jack of all trades, master of one.” I thought it was “… master of none.” The first time I heard the teaching that the Christian’s one thing mastered should be the Bible, I was floored. It was absolutely an ‘aha’ moment, bigger than biting into a York Peppermint Patty. If anyone is familiar with the sport of hockey I was being checked and hard against a non-confrontational faith walk to date. It was what I needed to hear and when I needed to hear it, amen! My personal practice of washing in the Word and praying daily has been incredibly affected by the addition of bible study.
May you hear GOD’s love for you clearly today, in Jesus’ Name amen.
The LORD has been teaching me lately where my home is, that I do not belong to this world, but to Him, that my place is within Him. As recorded in the Gospel of John:
Amen, LORD. My real estate is in Christ. Today I am thankful for foreclosures; the foreclosures that are taking place for the children of GOD that are hearing the good news, repenting, and accepting new life in Jesus Christ. No more dwelling in the world, no more debt to the flesh, no more giving in to the lies of the enemy, it is finished, "tetelestai" in the Greek. The price has been paid!
Come home to the LORD, amen.
Samuel's Life & Labor
An Old Testament Who’s Who - a quick look at the life and career of Samuel.
Born in Ramah, which means “the height,” the hill country about twenty-five miles north of Jerusalem to parents Elkanah and Hannah, Samuel was an answer to prayer. Though the name Samuel technically means “his name is GOD” there is speculation that it could mean “asked of GOD” or even “heard of GOD” from the perspective of Hannah. At the age of three Samuel was taken to Shiloh and presented to the priest, Eli, for a lifetime of service to GOD. He spent many years growing up in the presence of the LORD and serving the Tabernacle before having his own personal encounter with GOD. As a young man, possibly at the age of twelve or thirteen Samuel heard a voice in the night and came to his Rabbi, Eli, several times that evening before understanding it was The Voice of GOD calling out to him. Finally responding “Here I am, speak LORD for your servant hears” Samuel is able to receive his call. A devout man of prayer he became Israel’s last and most notable judge. Samuel also served as a prophet and priest. In his old age he ministered as GOD’s adviser to Israel’s first king, Saul. Samuel anointed Israel’s greatest king, David, and is recorded to have been buried in his birthplace, Ramah.
I find myself like many within the Body of Christ in a season of patient obedience after having heard the still small voice of my Father. What wonderful things the LORD has in store for each of us if we, like Samuel, will allow ourselves to be dedicated to the LORD, to hear His voice over the clamoring of this world, and to serve His kingdom above ourselves.
Loving Like Jesus
A friend in the LORD reminded me this morning to ask of myself… do others know, my friends and folks I meet on the street… can they tell I am a Christian by the love I exhibit/express outwardly?
1) Love | fruit that deals directly with our heart
2) Joy | fruit that deals directly with our heart | rejoicing in love
3) Peace | fruit that deals directly with our heart | resting in love
4) Longsuffering (Patience) |fruit that affects our neighbor | waiting in love
5) Gentleness | fruit that affects our neighbor | patience passive | accepting in love
6) Goodness | fruit that affects our neighbor | patience active | responding in love
7) Faith | fruit that manifests our relationship with GOD | living in love
8) Meekness | fruit that manifests our relationship with GOD | faith toward GOD | submitting in love
9) Self-control | fruit that manifests our relationship with GOD | faith in our walk | taming in love
Have you ever heard that we are called to be “Fruit” inspectors and not “Gift” inspectors? Can we take just a moment and look at the nine Fruits of the Spirit. In the listing above working from top to bottom and left to right we can visualize the nine Fruits being broken into three categories [1-3, 4-6, & 7-9] of response: Fruit that deal directly with our heart, Fruit that affect our neighbor, and Fruit that manifest our relationship with GOD. Taken to another level (separated by the vertical line character) we can see that there are sub-relationships; that joy can be defined as love rejoicing and peace can be defined as love resting. After spending some time on the fruit an even deeper sub-relationship began to come to light between each of the fruits; their connection back to love. Just as we see the three category sub-relations for example; gentleness is patience passive, and is associate to longsuffering, we also can note its relation all the way back to love (where our survey of fruit began) as love accepting.
A really fun exercise I found beneficial today was reading again each fruit of the Spirit and inserting the name of Jesus in place of the word love.
Finally I prayerfully consider today, “Where am I in relation to love?”
When I look at the Book of Acts and how it reveals what the early believers devoted themselves to I have to ask myself, “is my Christian faith a day-to-day reality or a once-a-week routine?”
They met daily
They cared daily
They won souls daily
They searched the Scriptures daily
They increased in number daily
The LORD has definitely touched me, perhaps not so much with a limp as Jacob, but my mind is hungry for more of GOD’s Truth daily and my heart is taking steps toward caring without prejudice. Weekly Bible studies, the Koinonia Institute, local church services, and (yep) even social media afford opportunities to meet with the Body of Christ daily. Even when not in physical contact communion with believers is available through prayer, telephone, and email contact. Can I see places where I can more closely model the early believers? My goodness yes! Father, GOD, help me this day to be a city on a hill, a banner for Your amazing love. Allow me to be a faithful witness for You today that Your kingdom may be increased, Your glory may be made manifest. This morning I submit to You in the Holy Name of Your Only Son, the Breaker of otherwise unbreakable Seals, Jesus Messiah, amen.
Weapons of Our Warfare
Hi family & friends, brothers & sisters! ;o) What are your weapons of your warfare? When I consider my three enemies as being the world, the flesh, and the fallen one, Satan, then my counter-measures in parallel consist of the Kingdom of GOD, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ, amen. How quickly I am able to respond in defense or even be growing offensively in these areas are directly proportional to my prayer life.
The Kingdom of GOD sought out yields provision!
The Holy Spirit overcomes the flesh!
Jesus Messiah overcomes temptation from Satan!
Ultimately, following the responses of Jesus is paramount for me; obeying not my own desires, but GOD’s Will, trusting not my own thoughts or feelings, but GOD’s Power to perform in my life, and not following my flesh or things of this world, but worshiping and serving only GOD, amen
He Is Coming Back!
Looking at 'second coming' Scripture; Is there contradiction or confirmation?
The “Rapture” | The “Second Coming”
John 14:1-3 | Daniel 2:44-45
1 Corinthians 15:1-53 | Daniel 7:9-14
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 | Daniel 12:1-3
Romans 8:19 | Zechariah 14:1-15
1 Corinthians 1:7-8 | Matthew 13:41
1 Corinthians 16:22 | Matthew 24:15-31
Philippians 3:20-21 | Matthew 26:64
Colossians 3:4 | Mark 13:14-27
1 Thessalonians 1:10 | Mark 14:62
1 Thessalonians 2:19 | Luke 21:25-28
1 Thessalonians 5:9 | Acts 1:9-11
1 Thessalonians 5:23 | Acts 3:19-21
2 Thessalonians 2:1 | 1 Thessalonians 3:13
1 Timothy 6:14 | 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10
2 Timothy 4:1 | 2 Thessalonians 2:8
Titus 2:13 | 2 Peter 3:1-14
Hebrews 9:28 | Jude 14-15
James 5:7-9 | Revelation 1:7
1 Peter 1:7, 13 | Revelation 19:11-20:6
1 John 2:28-3:2 | Revelation 22:7, 12, 20
Jude 21 | n/a
Revelation 2:25 | n/a
Revelation 3:10 | n/a
When looking at passages in Scripture that deal with the ‘second coming’ of Christ subject matter two groups begin to develop; a couple dozen talk about the “Second Coming” with Christ coming in power and glory and a whole other group that speaks in contrast. It comes down to a wrath of GOD issue. Does the Church, the Body of Christ, endure the “Great Tribulation” or not? Do the Scripture verses above contradict one another or are they speaking of two specific events? This is something the reader has to come to with the help of the Holy Spirit. Here are some distinct differences in what I consider to be two separate events.
The “Rapture” | The “Second Coming”
Translation of all believers | No translation at all
Translated saints go to heaven |Translated saints return to earth
Earth not judged |Earth is judged; righteousness established
Imminent, any-moment, no signs | Follows predicted signs, including Great Tribulation
Patterned (Enoch) in the Old Testament |Predicted in the Old Testament
Believers only |Affects all men on earth
Before the day of wrath |Concluding the day of wrath
No reference to Satan |Satan is bound
Christ comes for His own |Christ comes with His own
He comes in the air |He comes to the earth
He claims His bride |He comes with His bride
Only His own see |Every eye shall see Him
Tribulation begins |Millennial Kingdom begins
Freedom in Scripture
Many men & women have had profound things to say about freedom through the ages. I found more than one hundred references describing what it means to be “free” in the Bible. Here is one ;o)
searched using "free" e-Sword software ;o)
Genesis 5 matches
Exodus 5 matches
Leviticus 4 matches
Numbers 4 matches
Deuteronomy 5 matches
Joshua 2 matches
Judges 1 match
1 Samuel 1 match
1 Kings 3 matches
2 Kings 1 match
Job 4 matches
Psalms 6 matches
Proverbs 1 match
Isaiah 4 matches
Jeremiah 8 matches
Ezekiel 2 matches
Luke 5 matches
John 5 matches
Acts 3 matches
Romans 9 matches
1 Corinthians 12 matches
2 Corinthians 3 matches
Galatians 7 matches
Ephesians 1 match
Colossians 1 match
Titus 1 match
Hebrews 3 matches
1 Peter 1 match
Revelation 4 matches
May GOD bless you & keep you safe as you come together and celebrate national independence this week, in Jesus’ Name amen.
Jesus The Unique Son
What makes Jesus Christ Unique? Let’s look at some prophecy past; proof from history.
Was every detail of the life of Jesus Christ written down in advance? First may I offer as a reminder that Christ is not a last name ;o) It is a title, so when we hear or see this it is referring to Jesus as ‘The Christ’ (Greek) or ‘The Messiah’ (Hebrew). The entire sum of the Old Testament was in print in 270 BC, nearly three hundred years before Jesus was born and it contains over three hundred prophecies detailing the Coming Messiah. No other book, no other religion, no other faith movement in history has had the audacity to do this; claiming in advance the life, love, grace, and the divinity that would come in the form of this man. Have you ever heard that the New Testament is in the Old Testament concealed and the Old Testament is in the New Testament revealed? Here are some Old Testament prophecies quoted in the Gospels:
He was to be of David’s family
(2 Samuel 7:12-16; Psalms 89:3-4, 110:1, 132:11; Isaiah 9:6-7, 11:1)
He would be born of a virgin
(Genesis 3:15, Isaiah 7:14)
He would be born in Bethlehem
He would sojourn in Egypt
He would live in Galilee
He would live in Nazareth
He was to be announced by an Elijah-like herald
(Isaiah 40:3-5; Malachi 3:1, 4:5)
He would occasion massacre of Bethlehem’s children
(Genesis 35:19-20; Jeremiah 31:15)
He would proclaim a Jubilee to the world
(Isaiah 58:6, 61:1)
His mission would include the Gentiles
His Ministry would be one of healing
He would teach through parables
(Isaiah 6:9-10; Psalms 78:2)
He would be disbelieved, rejected by rulers
(Psalms 69:4, 118:22; Isaiah 6:10, 29:13, 53:1)
He would make a triumphal entry into Jerusalem
(Zechariah 9:9; Psalms 118:26)
He would be betrayed by a friend for 30 pieces of silver
(Zechariah 11:1-13; Psalms 41:9)
He would be like a smitten shepherd
He would be given vinegar and gall
They would cast lots for His garments
His side would be pierced
(Zechariah 12:10; Psalms 22:16)
Not a bone would be broken
(Exodus 12:46; Numbers 9:12; Psalms 34:20)
He would die among malefactors
(Isaiah 53:9, 12)
His dying words were foretold
(Psalms 22:1, 31:5)
He would be buried by a rich man
He would rise from the dead on the 3rd day
(Genesis 22:4; Psalms 16:10-11; Jonah 1:7; Hosea 6:2)
His resurrection would be followed by the destruction of Jerusalem
(Daniel9:26, 11:31, 12:1, 11)
Something that is important whenever reviewing what someone has to say about Scripture is ‘not to take their word for it!’ Don’t be an assumer, but rather a consumer of Truth. Thank you for hearing what I have to say, but what will really move you toward Truth is if you look and see for yourself what GOD’s Word has to say. If these Scriptures blew your mind just think there are eight times as many predicting the Second Coming of Jesus! ;o)
Are you a seed? Ha! Some thoughts on seeds fell on my plate today ;o)
Does GOD issue a declaration of all-out war in the Book of Genesis? As man is tempted in the garden and falls a cosmic drama begins to unfold. Early in Genesis GOD explains how this loss of position for man and the deceit of the shining one will be manifest; in hostility, and opposition between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent.
So my response to the question earlier is yes, GOD does declare war as a result of man’s fall & Satan’s rebellion. What turns my stomach a little is the thought of an offspring from darkness or fruit from Satan. Yuk! The idea of seeds really stands out and leads me to look a little closer into the characteristics of seeds and some really neat insights appear...
Seeds ensure the continuation of a species
Seeds pass on traits from the parent (made in GOD’s image?)
Seeds are usually brown, black, grey, or other pale colors to blend in with the ground so they are hard to find by the animals that eat them (wow! Look at the skin colors of the human race)
A seed has a hard seed coat to protect it until it receives the right amount of moisture to grow (full armor of GOD?)
Seeds have a food source inside to help the new plant, also inside, grow (The LORD writes His Word on our hearts and makes us a new creation)
Seeds also have special features that help to disperse or spread them (making disciples of all nations?)
Seeds that spread out have a better chance of survival than seeds that just accumulate in one spot (being sent, like the seventy two)
Boy do I feel like a seed! Ha! The LORD has called me (germinate), is maturing me (grow), is making me more into the image of His beautiful Son (flower), allowing me to sow into others His amazing love (set seed), and He is preparing a place for me so that finally I will come home (die) – thanks for also exploring the life cycle of a plant (in parentheses) with me. Father, thank You for Your protection, Your provision, for making me in Your image, for knowing me from the inside out, for trusting me with Your Truth; Your Son. May I faithfully carry Your Word to new ground in the days ahead in Jesus’ Name I come and I ask, amen.
Happy Father's Day Abba, GOD!
Happy Father's Day JC Triplett!
Happy Father's Day William Grover Isaacs!
I believe one of the reasons GOD created music is to move the heart of man. It grieves me that churches across America are playing and singing songs that their congregations cannot sing or corporately enter into worship. After writing nearly two hundred songs the LORD has called me to be on staff for His publishing company, amen. I used to write songs for the masses, radio ready material with a synthetic 1-2-3 industry methodology. Now I understand that GOD might use one song for one soul. The music I write is no longer for the world, no longer for the masses, but for the one; the One GOD and the one that will have ears to hear that special grouping of words and music that the LORD may have prepared just for them. GOD bless all the willing vessels that are venturing out into uncharted waters in their lives, into faith, into a life of serving You, LORD, amen.
Remember... success in not in numbers, it's in The Name of The One who is sending you forth!
What Are The Gifts of The Spirit?
The Apostle Paul lists nine “Gifts” of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12: wisdom, knowledge, prophecy, faith, healings, miracles, spiritual discernment, speaking in tongues, and interpretation of tongues. There are at least twenty-one New Testament “Gifts” of the Spirit if one considers: administration and apostleship also from (1 Corinthians 12); serving, teaching, encouraging, contributing, leadership, showing mercy (Romans 6-8); celibacy (1 Corinthians 7:7); evangelism, pastoring (Ephesians 4:1); and public service (Acts 6:2-4). Many commentators would suggest that these “lists” are intentionally incomplete and only representative.
When I think about gifts of the Spirit and the state of the Church as the bride of Yeshua my mind is drawn specifically to wedding gifts. Researching Jewish wedding customs reveals that following the time of “Eyrusin” or the betrothal the groom would return to his home to fulfill his obligations during the betrothal. But just prior to leaving he would give his wife-to-be a “Matan ntm” or bridal gift, a pledge of his love for her. Its purpose was to be a reminder to his bride during their days of separation of his love for her; that he was thinking of her – and that he would return to receiver her as his wife. (Note: this “Matan ntm” is separate from the price “Mohar” paid for the bride)
After reviewing commentators’ thoughts, a look at some of Israel’s traditions, and surveying GOD's Word I am left with the impression that the “Gifts” of the Spirit are given to prepare the Church for the Bridegroom; some “Gifts” are recorded for our benefit, but only in the fullness of the Gentiles will all her “Gifts” be known. Until then my responsibility lies in waiting for my LORD, but not in a static sense; waiting in faithful service, dynamic, and exercising the unique "Gift(s)" The Helper has given/is giving me to testify to the Truth, proclaim Messiah's return, and celebrate victory over the fallen one.
Thank You, LORD & amen!!! ;o)
And yes, thank you for your grace this morning friends! You are right, "crazy-good" would be from the triplett translation of the Greek word poikilos meaning word manifold, many-sided, various ;o)
The Seven Soons in Revelation
The Book of Revelation is full of sevens; seven churches, seven seals, seven bowls, seven trumpets, etc. I recently found there are seven appearances of the word “soon” from seven separate verses in the final book of the Bible. Some translations use the word quickly. I happened to be studying with the ISV. I’ve listed them in order of appearance below along with (*) chapter titles:
(*)The Revelation of Jesus the Messiah to the Seven Churches
(*)The Letter to the Church in Philadelphia
(*)The Resurrection of the Witnesses
(*)He is Coming Soon
(*)He is Coming Soon
First, Jesus makes known the idea of occurring soon or coming quickly to the fullness of the Church followed by a reiteration to the church at Philadelphia or what some consider the “missionary church.” Next Jesus puts on alert the two witnesses. Next we see the same announcement by an angel and then immediately followed by the LORD Himself. In a closing prayer we hear it again from Jesus Himself again and finally Jesus offers one last conclusion. The message from the beginning of the Book of Revelation to the very end seems clear; “Jesus is coming soon.”
Are you ready?
For any friends that may not know I am just returning from three tours back-to-back-to-back in Israel. The group I went with was absolutely amazing; we had a personal guide that gave us daily history, geography, and even Hebrew lessons ;o) Koinonia House offers several tours annually and even has one incorporating Rome in the fall [http://khouse.org/pages/Israel_Tours/Israel-Tours/]. The most special time for me was reflecting daily on GOD's Word with the group in some of the areas the events took place some two thousand years ago. At Bethabara many received baptism or rededications. Something I found to be particularly beautiful that day were the three white doves... There were a dozen other buses and even more cars to find shade, many tour groups and individuals there at that same time and yet these three white doves were compelled to hang around our group until we departed safely, amen. Thank You, LORD!
...at the time I also did not realize the tour bus operator logo we had been riding on the whole time was incorporated a white dove, amen.
We visited the Church of the Holy Sepulcher today. It was quite crowded & somewhat confusing. Muslims hold the key to the only door and open it and close it daily and many denominations of Christians claim parts of the building site. When I came to Israel on day one my cab driver was kind enough to give me a personal tour of Jerusalem (The Old City) and having learned I was a Christian brought me to the church. I was able to walk around the structure, but never left the main floor of the building. Now upon returning on day fifteen of having my feet on Israeli soil I ventured upstairs to a second floor and found what I could only think are prayer candles. I still do not know which sect claims ownership to the portion of the building in which I was standing, but my prayer ever since stepping into the giant, ancient church was to stop arguing about the death of Christ and start agreeing to living in Him, amen. This is the picture my camera (iPhone) captured of a candle box and prayer balcony overlooking the rotunda. NOTE: It was not windy. There was no glass or Plexiglas for light reflection or refraction (the background was all open air). I cannot explain the small independent lights that look like flames and seem to be moving in all manner of directions above the actual candles. My objective at the time was only to take a picture of a cross on the floor below as a background for the prayer candles that were burning. The small lights (flames, tongues) were not visible at the time to my naked eye. It was only after reviewing the stock that I noticed the rising lights.
GOD bless you, your family, and those that The LORD will minister to through you, in Jesus’ Name amen.
From Nimrod's Castle
Today we prayed for Israel and two neighboring countries; Syria from the top of Mount Hermon and Lebanon from Nimrod's Fortress in the Upper Galilee. As we were arriving and assembling to pray at Nimrod’s Castle it looks as though lights were also on approach that no one saw at the time, only later in visible in reviewing film. In just a few moments following the taking of this picture we would be standing corporately in the fortress mezzanine, in the direct trajectory of these three lights, praying for Shalom of Israel.
GOD bless all at home, travelling, and abroad in the Name of Yeshua, amen.
There are 282 verses about mothers in the Bible according to 'esword' While I cannot quote those back to you at present, mom, I can say your love is written on my heart and will always be! I love you! Happy Mother's Day! ;o)
Through our ups and downs in all kinds of weather... you are there!
LORD thank You for my mom. She is the first one that told me about You and Your love and she continues to show me what it looks like to live that love out daily, amen!
When I asked my new friend and brother in the LORD Tom to please take a photo of me on Mount Precipice (looking at neighboring Nazareth) it was very sunny out, but it looks like in the photo here I'm getting an extra dose of light amen. The time here in the land and with the people is a real blessing. Thanks again for all your prayers. Peace and grace in Yeshua from the Galilee.
Shalom my friends from Israel.
I used to think shalom meant merely "peace to you" and today I learned that some rabbis would define it as a much more sincere blessing "may you experience what Adam & Eve did before the fall." wow! that's got some more goodness to it ;o) GOD bless you.
The picture is from the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth. The light through a stained glass windows was casting a beautiful warmth to the time there this morning. Thank You, LORD!!
The LORD My Help
My friends thank you for your prayers as my feet, hands and heart begin a month long journey through Israel. You've reminded me who my Help is ;o) and it takes me to a time when He was the Help to some other boys in a foreign land...
Chapter three of the book of Daniel is where we find the story of the fiery furnace. Three brave lads (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego - Babylonian names) are found to be faithful to their GOD, the GOD of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and in violation of King Nebuchadnezzar’s law of worship. Consequently they are delivered to the fiery furnace to be consumed by fire. In outrage when the three deny his authority as deity King Nebuchadnezzar orders the furnace to a heat seven times greater than customary; this produces such an immense heat that it even overcomes the guards in proximity to the furnace. Stunned, King Nebuchadnezzar sees a fourth man in the fire with the young men and comes to a personal revelation of their GOD; He is mighty to save, an ever-living GOD.
Where the world would have me leaning more toward the Babylonian names: “illumined by the sun god” - Shadrach, “who is like unto the moon god” - Meshach, “a servant of nego (shining fire)” - Abednego I have to look no further than the Hebrew meaning of the names of these three faithful lads to understand that my GOD is with me just as He was with them in the fiery furnace;
Hananiah - Beloved of the LORD,
Mishael - Who is GOD,
Azariah - The LORD is my help.
Friends we are surely "beloved of the LORD, who is GOD, and the LORD is our help!”
12 Minor Prophets - 1 Major Decision
Who, what, when [BC], where, and why: The list of individuals below is of Minor Prophets from the Old Testament in the order in which they appear. Minor Prophets means they have smaller chapters, fewer words, in the Bible and not that they are any less important than the Major Prophets; consider the term a “librarian’s label.”
Hosea prophesies [784 – 722] before the exile and to Northern Kingdom
“National sin is intolerable and it will be punished”
Joel prophesies [835 – 756] before the exile and to Judah
“Invasion by plague, Turn ye to Me - I will restore, the Day of Yahweh”
Amos prophesies  before the exile and to Northern Kingdom
“Davidic Kingdom restored; sermons & visions – all judgments”
Obadiah prophesies  before the exile and to Edom against Edom
“Edomite justice and eventual destruction”
Jonah prophesies  before the exile and to Nineveh during Assyrian captivity
“A reluctant prophet, a 40 day reckoning, miracle repentance”
Micah prophesies [750 – 710] before the exile and to Judah
“Imminent judgment, ultimate blessing, repentance”
Nahum prophesies  before the exile and to Nineveh against Assyria
“Doom of Nineveh, Yahweh will not acquit the wicked”
Habakkuk prophesies  before the exile and to Judah against Babylon
“A vision: the just shall live by faith, a prayer: rest in the day of tribulation”
Zephaniah prophesies  before the exile to Judah; Manasseh/Amon
“Wrath coming upon Judah, upon all nations, after wrath healing”
Haggai prophesies  after the exile to Ezra & Zerubbabel
“Rebuild the temple; arouse, support, confirm, assure”
Zechariah prophesies [520 – 518] after the exile to Nehemiah
“While Temple being built and after; many visions"
Malachi prophesies  after the exile post Exile to Esther
“Final message to a disobedient people”
Twelve Books and twelve men; sixty-seven chapters representing nearly five hundred years of faithfulness: today contenders for the faith continue the story. Yes, much of what these men prophesied has come to pass; judgment, wrath, rebuilding, repentance, healing and hope. Just think! There will be a day when we hear our names called out from being written in a book, the Lamb’s Book of Life, amen! Christ’s testimony is still being professed aloud in the faithful. What we do matters. What we say counts. My story started when I said “yes.” Yes Jesus, You are LORD, forgive me LORD. Please come into my life and be my King, my Sovereign, and my Kinsman Redeemer. I love You, LORD, because You first loved me, amen. Friends I am praying for you, if you haven’t said “yes” to the LORD that you would take some time to visit with Him soon. Maybe this is GOD’s time for you, like the Minor Prophets testifying before; your time for repenting, your time for rebuilding, your time for receiving healing and a hope that endures.
GOD bless you.
Headed East to make some music ;o)
Jeremiah's Lament = Repent
Jeremiah, the longest book in the Bible (apart from the 5 condensed books that make up Psalms), is recognized as one of the Major Prophetic books of the Old Testament. In the book we find the Jewish Nation divided into Northern and Southern Kingdoms and the Prophet Jeremiah ministering to Judah, the Southern Kingdom. Jeremiah is often referred to as the Weeping Prophet; his direct and very simple writing style reflects tenderness and sympathy for his people. He prophesies address:
- The blood curse on Jeconiah (affecting the line of David and the genealogy of Jesus)
- The doom of Babylon (GOD has a plan for Babylon yet to be fulfilled)
- Before the fall of Jerusalem (Judah is sinning, Divine judgment is coming)
- After the fall of Jerusalem (Idolatry & immorality will return with Divine judgment)
- Gentile nations (Egypt, Philistines, Moab, Ammon, Edom, Damascus, Elam)
- The New Covenant (where the New Testament gets its name)
- 70 years in exile (twenty years in advance)
GOD’s message of divine judgment upon the nations spoken through Jeremiah was not always easy to deliver and even harder to hear. In forty years Jeremiah never had a grateful response. But we see him later quoted over fifty times in the New Testament and half of those within the book of Revelation. The parallel that I take from Jeremiah is that the future of my nation and my personal future will be a direct result of my decision to repent and believe upon The LORD. Am I responding gratefully to His message and to Christ today?
Friends, success for our culture is the result of our flesh.
Success for me is the result of GOD’s Love; it’s in the blood of Jesus Christ and it covers me. Does it give me a license to keep on sinning because I am forgiven? No. It gives me a heart to love for a lifetime, a mind to know that I am His, and eternal gratitude.
We can see what success looks like for our LORD as the result of us submitting to His Will and it can be viewed in five of His seven letters to the seven churches in the book of Revelation:
Success for Ephesus is working, laboring, enduring with patience, despising evil, naming false prophets, serving Jesus Christ, and persevering.
Success for Smyrna is working, facing tribulation [persecution], bearing poverty, and withstanding slander.
Success for Pergamos is honoring the name of Jesus and not denying the faith even where Satan dwells.
Success for Thyatira is working, loving, having faith, serving, and enduring with patience.
Success for Philadelphia: working, opening doors none can shut, having some strength, keeping the Word of GOD, and not denying the Name of Jesus.
As more than one billion Christians across our world celebrate this day as Good Friday, success speaks loud and clear from a hill overlooking Jerusalem. Can you hear it? Can you hear what the Spirit says to the churches? GOD wants success for you, it’s a future and a hope in His Son, amen.
Richest blessings be to you, your families, and those the LORD will minister to through you, in Jesus’ Name amen.
Fall in Love
Father, my birthday prayer this year is to fall absolutely in love with Your Word that I might know You more and share Your great love with others, for Your Love just as Your Word does not return void, but accomplishes what You please.
Faith Choices Matter
Friends, the today in which we are living is the consequence of the way those before us have chosen to love.
Seeing Solomon praying for Israel he understood that our choices matter and that GOD is waiting for us to turn to Him and listening for our prayers, amen.
~ the following is courtesy of Kim Smith in my Spiritual Discipline class – Koinonia Institute
As you are lost in a forest, darkness begins to fall, the trees are closing in around you, and the animal noises of the night begin to grow. Just ahead you see a split in the path where you must choose which way to go. As you draw closer you see that down one path lay an unmoving, apparently dead man. You look toward the other path and see a man standing upright and beckoning with his hand for you to follow him.
Which path will you take?
This is essentially what all other religions offer: to follow men who have gone before you and become silenced and lifeless, or to follow the living man, Jesus Christ, who has traveled ahead and is presently encouraging us toward living.
Praying for Victory in the Red Zone
“It’s the devil that condemns us, but the Holy Spirit that convicts us.”
Be aware of Satan’s tactics to bring you into condemnation by reminding you of past sins. Through introspection, he desires that you keep your mind centered on yourself and away from praying, praising and pulling down strongholds. The battleground is your mind!
Prayer matters to us!
Prayer matters to Jesus too!
Just as we are encouraged to always be in prayer Jesus lives to be in prayer for us! Wow! So stop worrying about what someone else thinks or says about you, but understand with confidence you are being considered in prayer right now by the creator of all things, Jesus Messiah, amen
Praying for Revival
~ Praying for revival; not a reformation, but a resurrection!
Give Jesus a schemer like Jacob
-and He’ll give you an Israel, a prince with GOD;
Give Jesus Simon the cursing fisherman,
-and He’ll give you a Simon Peter, a mighty preacher;
Give Jesus Saul, a persecutor of the church,
-and He’ll give you Paul, a militant missionary, an Apostle
Give Him yourself, and see what happens!
Molecule of Love
Sometimes I get overwhelmed by GOD's grace.
Thank You, LORD!!! ;o)
... anybody else ever feel like that?
Praying in Spirit
Praying for a brother in The LORD, William 'Skip' Langley.
Surgery: receiving a pacemaker and defibrillator this morning @ PMC, Anchorage, Alaska. Thank You, LORD.
Fight The Good Fight!
NOTE TO SELF: Remember to "fight the good fight" (Paul said to Timothy - 1 Timothy 1: 18). Praises to GOD! Praises to my Father in heaven!
New Year's Blessing
Praying divine appointments and abundant blessings in Jesus Christ for you and your families in the year of our LORD 2013, amen
Christmas Joy be experienced in our homes and hearts, amen...
The Little Drummer Boy
He was a poor boy too and wondered, “What gift do I have that’s fit for a King?”
GOD is on the side of the poor…
…..born in a borrowed stable
…..borrowed loaves and fishes to feed the crowd
…..borrowed a coin to illustrate a truth (give to Caesar)
…..borrowed a donkey to present himself to Jerusalem
…..borrowed a room to celebrate Passover
…..died on a borrowed cross (belonged to Barabbas)
…..laid in a borrowed tomb (Joseph of Arimathea)
In the borrowing there is always return. Is the LORD asking something of you today? Perhaps you are ready to receive a gift from GOD, consume living bread and water, give to the LORD what is His, receive the King of kings, avoid eternal death, surrender the burden of your sins, and rise in everlasting victory with Him.
It’s a great question. “What gift do I have that’s fit for a King?”
Ask the LORD this week and see what He says.
Share Something Unforgettable: Jesus
Ever seen or experienced something so beautiful you couldn't really explain it? That is what we have the opportunity today to be to the next person we meet. Show a kindness without expectation, exhibit a patience that overcomes the circumstance, or offer forgiveness to one who clearly crosses a personal boundary. Show them something they will never forget. Show them something that they have never seen before because it's not of this world. We have the chance to be a willing vessel for the love of Jesus Christ. How crazy is that?
Health Alert: SIN+
In central Africa 1 in 3 have AIDS; in America the data shows 1 in 100. Most of us already know about AIDS, but there is news of another even more serious disease; incurable, has no preventive vaccine, most people don’t know they have it and are carriers infecting others. It involves the blood, carries permanent genetic defects, and of course results in death. It is the subject of deliberate deceit. It’s more virulent than being HIV+, it’s called being SIN+. It’s more deadly, effects go beyond physical death itself, its effects are eternal; the good news of course is that there is a remedy and it’s available for the asking. It again involves the blood; not yours but the blood of Jesus Christ.
The LORD is My Shepherd
A fella is not a horse thief because he steals a horse. Rather, he steals a horse because he is a horse thief.
Friends, I am not a musician because I sing or because I write or play. I sing and I write and I play because I am a musician.
You’ve gotta be a Christian before you can live a Christian life. You are not a Christian because you lead a Christian life. You lead a Christian life because you are Christian.
We do not become sheep by following the Shepherd. We follow the Shepherd because we are one of His sheep.
“Horse Thief” Koinonia Institute
Whaddya Get When Ya Squeeze a Christian?
What do you get when you squeeze a lemon?
... Lemon Juice!
What do you get when you squeeze an orange?
... Orange Juice!
What do you get when you squeeze a Christian?
... you should get Christ! Amen?
Christian challenge - if you are feeling pinched, confined, constricted, muzzled, or uncomfortable in your ability to be patient, kind, loving, gracious, giving, or of sincere help today... remember that you are a light bearer! If you get squeezed let living water be what others receive in your distress.
Thus Says The LORD
An inscription on a cathedral in Lubeck, Germany reads...
Thus sayeth Christ our LORD to us:
Ye call Me Master and obey Me not
Ye call Me Light and see Me not
Ye call Me Way and walk Me not
Ye call Me Life and choose Me not
Ye call Me Wise and follow Me not
Ye call Me Fair and love Me not
Ye call Me Rich and ask Me not
Ye call Me Eternal and seek Me not
Ye call Me Noble and serve Me not
Ye call Me Gracious and trust Me not
Ye call Me Might and honor Me not
Ye call Me Just and fear Me not
If I condemn you, blame Me not.
GOD's Way is the Best Direction
Is there a fork in the road?
Are you being given a chance to love today, to be a servant?
Are you saying yes?