Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Heaven (Grammar 101)

   By way of explanation and clarity I write this post. This will be a random ruminating on a word, or two. Heaven, let’s start there as it is the word I want to focus on. It is the day after Christmas and we have been excited about Jesus leaving Heaven for Earth. I have been among those celebrating Jesus' birth, however my focus has been on Heaven and the glory that lies ahead.

We know its size. 
We know its inhabitants, including God and Jesus.
We know the requirement for citizenship.
We know the principles it is governed by
and though we do not know its exact location, we do know it exists.
Heaven is where God, Jesus, angels and those believers that have gone on to glory live. When we as the saved saints leave Earth, Heaven will be our home. Just as surely as we live a particular country, Heaven is home to all of those just mentioned.

Let’s revisit basic grammar for a moment.

Nouns:   name people, animals, places things and ideas.

Abstract nouns:  refer to ideas, emotions, concepts and things not tangible, can not be detected by the 5 senses.
i.e.,  bravery, friendship, honesty, peace, wisdom, marriage.
Concrete nouns:   refer to nouns you can detect by your 5 senses.
i.e., coffee- can be seen, tasted and smelled. book- you can see and touch it.

Count nouns: a noun that can have a number in front of it, and an “s” following it is a count noun:  
i.e., I gave Baxter a pumpkin dog treat.
       He jumped up and grabbed three treats.
Treat is a count noun.
Non-count nouns: refer to nouns that can not have an “s” put on the end.
i.e.,  snow, jewelry, scenery, traffic.  

Collective nouns: refer to a word that represents a group, can be plural or singular, but is most commonly expressed in the singular.
i.e., bunch (grapes), choir (group of singers), flock (sheep), herd (cattle).

Here are the two that apply for this post.

Common noun: refers to general items.
i.e.,  dog, state, sea, woman, man.
Proper noun: refers to a name specific noun, identifies the general variety, is a one-of-a-kind item, and are always capitalized.
dog-   Baxter
state-   Maryland 
sea-   Red Sea
woman-   Queen Elizabeth
man-   R.T. Kendall  

Sentence Example:  When in Chicago the restaurant I enjoy is Elephant and Castle
Common noun:   restaurant 
Proper noun:   Elephant and Castle.
Sentence Examples:    Can you see a planet tonight? Yes, we can see Saturn
Common noun:   planet 
Proper noun:   Saturn

   While “heavens” (often used in plural form) connotes the sky and all the area above the Earth, Heaven as in the dwelling place of God and those mentioned above is a specific place, with a specific name and therefore is a proper noun that requires capitalization. I realize that does not happen in Bible translations and versions, but for me and here on Honeycomb, that is what I find to be correct. With that same grammar rule applied, much to my chagrin, so is Hell. Correct is correct so that rule will apply there, too.  

   I imagine I enjoyed the visit down Grammar Lane more that most, but I think not only words are so important, but so are their applications and the way they are presented. We are losing so much of the beauty in our language though abbreviations, slang and the twisted “urban” definitions given to lovely words- causing them to become something ugly and twisted, or in some cases ugly words that are used to speak of something desirable. On top of which, common grammar is quickly becoming a lost skill and a dumbing down in society is the result. This may not bother some, but it does me.

   So there is my little rumination on a word I love. Whether you agree with me or not, or care or don't, I would urge you to think about the words you use, how you use them, and if maybe societal trend has influenced your verbiage when maybe you would rather it did not. Yep! That's me: Wordgirl! Oh, and have been so since before the cartoon I found out about some years ago. 

Friday, November 17, 2017


   “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” This is what Paul in Philippians 4:4 encourages and exhorts us to do. There are times in our life that rejoicing may not be our first response. The good news is we are not to rejoice “for” everything, but “in” everything. The other side of that is, when circumstance would have us to be angry, afraid, or sad; we are still to rejoice “in” that circumstance. Rejoicing needs to be a lifestyle which means it is going to have to be a mindset. I would like to encourage anyone reading this to make the Word of God a first priority in your life. Be in it daily, and spend some of that time just talking with our Father. Renew your mind to the Word of God. When you do that you will be well prepared for that circumstance and be able to rejoice in it. If you do not, you are at the behest of your flesh, the same flesh that kept you out of the Word in the first place. That never goes well for us. We can do as Paul says in Philippians 3:1, “Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord.” We have the tools to be that overcomer and rejoice in everything. As we are gearing up for Thanksgiving this next week, and the time of year we celebrate Jesus’ birth, I would ask you to seriously think about spending time with God and and in His Word! Clear a piece of time out of your calendar each day, grab your Bible, and spend some time just for you to be alone with God, and watch the blessing flow in your life, and be blessed by the joy you will have!

Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
Psalm 119:105

So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
Isaiah 55:11

But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”
Matthew 4:4

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
John 15:7

 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Colossians 3:16

Sunday, November 12, 2017

God heals the brokenhearted!

   Like everyone, I have had my share of losses, disappointments and times of broken heartedness. For the larger part of this year I have been going through some difficult times emotionally and have recently experienced a considerably devastating broken heart. All along I have known that God is the mender of my, our, broken heart. Normally, I do not post anything particularly personal on Facebook or here on Honeycomb about my personal life. Because of something I heard yesterday that truly gave me some real revelation into the broken heart mender God is, I had to come forth with what I just wrote to let you know this close to my heart, personal and not just a “teaching” on a part of God’s Word.

   Yesterday, I was listening to a sermon Joseph Prince preached regarding the resurrection of Jesus. This particular teaching was on resting in the Power of Jesus’ resurrection life. Because Jesus died for us and was resurrected from the dead He will come back for His church and we will have glorified bodies just like His.  We all know why Jesus died, but Pastor Prince focuses on why He was resurrected. We know that it was for our justification, but do we really ever look at what that means?
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 2:4-5

When God raised Jesus Christ, He raised all that receive Jesus with Him.  When God raised Jesus He raised Him to sit at the right hand of Himself, which is the center of the universe and is a place of honor, authority, exaltation and rest. That is where Christ is seated and we are seated with Him! 

“...that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,...
Ephesians 1:17-20

As a result of this resurrection, and because as Christians we do sit with Jesus, we can have wisdom and revelation knowledge that gives us a the ability to truly know Jesus and understand the purpose and power of God. We then can have insight into God’s Word and how it works in our lives.

     After a number of other great points of truth, Pastor Prince began sharing some benefits we have from this resurrection power.  One of them that blessed me was when he spoke on peace. The one I am sharing this writing with you about that became clear revelation for me is what I am going to share here, now.

   Being a teaching on the power of the resurrection of Jesus, there was some preemptive teaching on His death. There was teaching on how horrible, grotesque and drawn out Jesus’ death was because all of the sin, disease, rejection, depression, torment, and all the curses were put on Jesus for mankind. The manifesting of His death was gruesome.  

   If one sin had not been paid for, and the debt was not paid, Jesus would not have been raised from the dead because the resurrection gave us the ability to be the righteousness of God, which could not happen with a sin hanging out there. 
And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 
1 Corinthians 15:17
The benefits of the finished work of Jesus are in everything we need!  

   When Jesus appeared to His disciples after His resurrection He spoke peace over them and showed them the payment was made so they could have that peace and the abundant life He had just bought for them, for all of us. He showed them His nail scarred hands and side.

Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” John 20:27

   Remember that I started this with a broken heart. This teaching enlightened me in such a deep way regarding God mending my broken heart.

But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. 
John 19:34

That soldier wanted to make certain Jesus was dead. Roman soldiers were skilled at killing and so he took his sword and pierced under His rib cage and up toward the heart. He was not checking to see if Jesus was dead, he was applying a piercing to Jesus that would insure He was dead. The medical community, heart surgeons particularly, testify that there is a membrane sac underneath the heart where blood and water collect when the heart ruptures. That is why water and blood gushed out of Jesus' side. Medically, there was proof that Jesus’ heart ruptured and that essentially His heart had ruptured, broken into pieces, literally. Therein is the proof He died, John saw it and by the Holy Spirit recorded it. Why did Jesus die of a broken heart? So we do not die of a broken heart. People die all the time of a broken heart, but it is not necessary because Jesus did if for us, a His death and resurrection power give us the way to be mended of a broken heart.

 ...who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,... 
Romans 4:25 - Romans 5:1
   Jesus’ nail scarred hands and sword scarred side were the receipt for the justification His death and resurrection payed for and bought for mankind. We received everything we ever needed, including the peace that can provide us with the power to mend a broken heart!

   The scripture, most points surrounding them and the benefit Pastor Prince explained through Jesus’ broken heart were pretty close to what he taught. The rest of this is my take on it. The point is through what he taught I was able to have that revelation knowledge that set me free from a broken heart! Praise God! It sounds simple I know, but when you get a revelation from God it means your heart receives that beauty of hope that gives you understanding about the riches of the glory we as Christians have! That revelation gives you understanding of the purpose and power of God in our lives! One word from God can burst into volumes in your heart! That is what happened as I gave attention to the Word Pastor Prince was teaching! That understanding of truth sets you free.  I want to tell you that..... set me free!

  Interestingly enough, today it has been three years since Baxter died and I still miss him, but my heart is mended. The revelation I received yesterday has already made a vast and wonderful transformation in me (as revelation by the Holy Spirit does). It is as if months of healing my heart happened in a few minutes. God is so good all of the time!

He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds.

Psalm 147:8

If you would like to hear this 28 minute teaching you can go here
go to the "Broadcast" drop down menu, 
then to "On demand", 
then to the teaching titled #348 - Rest In The Power Of His Resurrection Life (Saturday). 
I am not sure how long these teachings stay on here so if you don’t see it, it is because the time has lapsed. Any of his teachings you do see are well worth the time to watch them though.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Matthew 6:14-15

   Earlier this week a friend of mine shared with me something that was said in a setting among friends that involved these verses:

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. "

Matthew 6:14-15

I was confident I knew what those verses did NOT say, and reasonably confident that I knew what Jesus was teaching there. My friend and I were on the same page where our understanding of those verses were concerned. She was going to be busy this week and asked if I would take a closer look at them just to be certain we were not "off beam." You don't have to ask me twice to spend time in the Word diving for pearls. After pondering and spending time in the Word, I thought I might as well post the following which is what I sent her regarding those verses.

   As Christians we know that our eternal salvation is based on ones recognition of being in a state of sin, revelation that Jesus is the only One that has or will ever be the redemption for our sin, and then by the faith of God receive the Grace of His Son Jesus as our Savior. We come to that revelation and believe it in our heart and confess it with our mouth and we are saved, reborn.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 
John 3:16

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that at He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 
1 John 4:10

...that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 
Romans 10:9

    Salvation has absolutely nothing to do with what we do, our behavior, our works, and that includes after we are saved. 

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
Ephesians 2:8-9

There is no salvation maintenance program that one must stay one step ahead of their sin in order to keep the warranty current on their salvation status. There is no sin, other than denying Jesus Christ as Savior, that is greater than the redemption Jesus purchased for all mankind.

   There are things in scripture that lay out a blueprint for our lives, an operations manual if you will. Feeding and clothing the poor, visiting the sick and incarcerated, loving and forgiving others are all examples of some of that blueprint for our daily lives. Faith without works is dead, but God does not withhold forgiveness for wrong things done, or right things like forgiving others not done. Those are two very different things. The forgiveness and total restoration for us was a done deal on the cross. God accepted that payment for ALL sin- past, present and future! Choosing to not forgive someone is wrong, and it has consequences, but not damnation, and certainly not God not forgiving us for it. This forgiveness we received at salvation was the reconciliation back to God for us that Jesus came to give us, and it covers ALL of our sin, including not forgiving others. In that same vein, no one that dies outside of being saved will be able to stand in front of God and have any authority or success on being let into to Heaven just because He was a decent chap and forgave people.

   We are the righteousness of God the instant we receive Jesus, salvation. That is because at that instant the Holy Spirit places Jesus in our Spirit. Our old dead man becomes completely alive and permanently a NEW creation. Righteousness and sin do not cohabitate- ever. We live in a flesh body, we have a soul that has emotion, makes decisions and is where our will is, but we ARE a spirit. That spirit is what goes to Heaven, and is where our true life is. That is where Jesus resides in us, and our entire spirit has Him in it.

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 1 Corinthians 5:21

For by one [Holy] Spirit we were all baptized into one body[new birth, Gods’ children]—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:13

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
1 Thessalonians 5:23

   So having laid all of that out there, what is the consequence these two verses refer to?

   In essence we are not talking about the reconciliatory forgiveness we received at salvation. We are talking about the vanity of hypocrisy of asking for the forgiveness from God that we refuse to give others. This lack of forgiveness does not have anything to do with our right standing (being His righteousness) with God, but everything to do with the breach in daily fellowship with Him. 
   In John 13 Jesus uses a foot washing moment to talk to the disciples about how unless He washes them, they can have no part with Him.  
Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” John 13:8

Obviously, no one is eternally separated from God because they did not get their feet washed. 

In 1 Corinthians we see what the washing does. 

And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. 
1 Corinthians 6:11

Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” John 13:10

The disciples were intimately close to Jesus, daily. They were His disciples, students of what He taught and imitators of what He did. For them there was no spiritual need for a complete washing as a bath would do, but the cleansing from the washing of the daily sin. This type of spiritual daily “foot washing” keeps the fellowship between them and Jesus. Today, it is the daily time with God, the confession of those sins that so easily and regularly beset us that keeps us connected to Him. Not forgiving others is sin and needs to be repented of and forgiven. To not do so interferes with our fellowship, but does not touch our salvation.  The “but not all of you” refers to Judas. Refer up in the first two verses of John 13.

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son,to betray Him... John 13:1-2

   This is key in the two verses we are looking at.

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. "
Matthew 6:14-15

In the prayer Jesus models for those He was teaching that day He says:

“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

                     Verse 12 says, And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.
First off that word has been translated into “transgression” in some versions of the Bible. The word was written “debt”. Here is the word that was used here.  
G3783 opheilēma: properly, that which is justly or legally due, a debt; that which is owed that which is justly or legally due, a debt. something owed, i.e. (figuratively) a due; morally, a fault:—debt. (metaphorically) offense, sin.
The root of the word above is G3784 opheilō: (through the idea of accruing); to owe (pecuniarily); figuratively, to be under obligation (ought, must, should); morally, to fail in duty:—behove, be bound, (be) debt(-or), (be) due(-ty), be guilty (indebted), (must) need(-s), ought, owe, should.

   Remember this in Matthew’s gospel in the chapter just preceding the one we have been looking at? 

But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 
Matthew 5:22-24

God is all about loving relationship. He want us to abide in His love, and then glorify Him by showing it to others. Now, God is no longer judging the believer. Judgment for our sin has been passed, and the penalty was paid by our dear Jesus on the cross of Calvary. However, men will judge us. As we judge others by imputing anything that exacts something from them, or on them, we are not walking in that love that extends forgiveness. As we judge others by not releasing them with forgiveness, that is how we will be judged and what we have sown is precisely what we will reap. We see this in the Matthew’s gospel in the chapter after the one we are looking at.

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:1-7

Matthew 7 just above is one consequence of not forgiving others.

   You may have noticed that I have bolded the words “hypocrite” and “hypocrites” in the verses above. A large portion of Jesus teaching we find in Matthew has to do with religion and the Pharisees self righteousness. Jesus gets very emphatic regarding how dangerous that lifestyle is. He starts out this prayer in Matthew 6 by saying, “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men.” By the time He gets to verse 12, “And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.” He is clearly saying that if when you go to your Father for forgiveness and are not willing to forgive, you are being a double minded man who can expect nothing from Him, you are therefore no better than a hypocrite! For the believer that is where Matthew 7:1-7 comes in and you will reap the judgement you have sown. Again, since God no longer judges us it will be the sow and reap principle already established.
   When we pray for forgiveness we must make the amends toward those that have injured us, clearing the dirt on our feet of the everyday walking through life, just a foot washing. Otherwise this consequence of being hypocritically judgmental, reaping what we sow will come round and bite us.

   There is another school of thought out there regarding these verses. Simply put it believes that when someone does not forgive others, they themselves have not genuinely experienced forgiveness from God. I do not believe this to be true of those that are truly believers, period. I do not believe all believers immediately have a compassionate heart toward forgiveness. There are things that take time, process and revelation to actualize. Many scriptures address forgiving others, and those scriptures were talking to the church, believers. 

   After studying this out and pulling my finds together I thought to look in the Amplified Bible and found this. 

For if you forgive others their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins], your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others[nurturing your hurt and anger with the result that it interferes with your relationship with God], then your Father will not forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6:14-15

I was delighted to see that because in one small bracketed definition the Amplified Bible made the point I pondered this past week. Once again the AMP did not disappoint. 

   For now I will close with this:

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Overcoming unbelief!

   Last week on Facebook I posted an article by Chris Cree that had to do with the differences between faith and belief/unbelief. He wrote the article in November 2015, but re-posted it. I loved seeing that because I had been studying that very topic for a week when I saw it. You can read this article HERE. I am still studying faith and unbelief/belief out and this morning I caught myself pondering something I thought worth sharing here.

   These two verses have been omitted from several Bible versions, translations, while others will footnote them discrediting their validity.

However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” 
Matthew 17:21
So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.” 
Mark 9:29

    These verses are valid and very important. It is unfortunate they get in the way of certain scholars theology because they are quite simple to understand, support the overall message of the Bible, and are very powerful. Both verses are part of the same account of a man's son vexed by a demon spirit. Jesus' disciples could not cast it out even though they had done so with Jesus. Jesus comes on the scene only to find His disciples arguing with the scribes over the matter. When Jesus inquires as to the nature of the disputing the father of the afflicted boy tells him of the disciples inability to help his son, and says to Jesus, "...but if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us." "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes." is Jesus' reply. The father cried out with tears in his eyes, Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” 

   Jesus is not saying that this particular demon spirit is so very powerful that one must fast and pray to get it to leave a person. NO! Jesus' initial response to the arguing that He came upon was, "O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” He then cast the demon out of the boy. He did not begin to pray, call for a time of prayer with accompanying fasting. He just cast the evil demon out.

   Before I state the thought I was pondering this morning I want to say two things. Firstly, we do not do "works" to accomplish kingdom business, Jesus has done it all. We simply believe and use our faith for what we have already been given. Secondly, being a carnally minded rather than Holy Spirit led and minded is death.
For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Romans 8:6
So the thought I was meditating on this morning is, the more you live (think and behave) like the world, the weaker your faith becomes because the world feeds unbelief.

   You see, Jesus was very clear that it was their unbelief that kept them from successfully getting that demon out of that boy. When the disciples ask why they could not cast it out, Jesus point blank said, "Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting." 

   The point here is that we must be prepared for such opportunities to have victory when encountering the wiles of the devil. The only way to do that is to have been spending time in prayer (abiding in God's Word and making the Word, and God the center of our life) and then fasting those things that are of the world, are carnal and that destroy our belief in what God has given us. Stop watching the news and its horror and start putting the goodness, mercy and love of God our souls. Stop watching (I am not going to be politically correct here) the TRASH on television, including all the commercials about all the medication for all the diseases and a myriad of other messages that are completely contrary to what God has told us. Exchange the world influences in your life for the true life of God. When you are full of the world, you will only have the worldly and carnal to draw on. When you are full of God and His Word, you will have the kind of power to draw on that is required to operate in the things God left us to do.

   So from the thought I had this morning, "The more you live (think and behave) like the world, the weaker your faith becomes because the world feed unbelief" came this post.

   Guard your heart, build your faith and live victorious. If you haven't already, then start now! There is a great life ahead, just live it!!

Friday, October 6, 2017

God is Good, God is love!

Day 5: Amazing fact about God I am pondering today:
God is good, God is love and because I am His goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life.

   I have children and grandchildren that I absolutely love to be with. I have friends and a marvelous church that I enjoy being with. Hands down, my favorite place to be is in God’s presence. I realize the 23rd Psalm is one that is recited and read a lot. Sometimes when verses and passages of scripture get read a lot people don’t stop and really look at what it says. The Lord’s Prayer and so many other verses become common. That is just so sad when it happens. I guess if the enemy can’t steal it altogether from someone he will opt to try to make them indifferent. I am sorry to report, it has been successful. There is so much in God’s Word! It is full of life and well worth slowing down and meditating on. Tip: that is a tool for success- that is how much life there is in God’s Word.

   Today I have been thinking about how God loves us so much, and so unconditionally. He only wants good for us, and He delights in our prosperity.
“Let them shout for joy and be glad,
Who favor my righteous cause;
And let them say continually,
“Let the Lord be magnified,
Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.” Psalm 35:27

   I have heard people say God led them, or allowed them to be sick, broke, stressed, depressed and a number of other horrible things. That. Is. Just. NOT. True! 
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” John 10:10-11

   I am not going to do an expository teaching on Psalm 23, but I have been thinking about it today and do want to highlight a few things. The Lord is our Shepherd, and as we see above in John 10:11, He is a good shepherd. Sheep require much higher maintenance than other livestock. They are timid and fearful, stubborn and with habits that would question their IQ. Sheep need to be fed, tended to, protected, guided and brought back from wherever they wander off to, and they must be tended to constantly. Human behavior and sheep behavior have some very interesting parallels. A good shepherd constantly, vigilantly and meticulously cares for his sheep. That is what our Good Shepherd does. Here are a some things the Psalmist mentions just in the 23rd Psalm.
  • We do not want for anything (provision).
  • Jesus makes us lie down in green pastures (rest).
  • He leads us beside still water (peace).
  • He restores our soul (renews and refreshes my inner person) .
  • He leads us onto paths of righteousness (right standing with Himself).
  • We do not need to fear.
  • He is always with us.
  • He protects (His rod) and guides (His staff) me.
  • He comforts us.
  • He welcomes us (His table).
  • He favors us (anointing oil).
  • He fills us with good things.
  • His goodness (welfare and prosperity) follows us all the days of our life.
  • His mercy (lovingkindness, favor, grace) follows us all the days of our life.
  • We will live and remain with Him forever.  

The Lord is my shepherd;

I shall not want.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside the still waters.

He restores my soul;

He leads me in the paths of righteousness

For His name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil;

For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

You anoint my head with oil;

My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me

All the days of my life;

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever. Psalm 23

Psalm 23 alone can keep us meditating on the goodness and love of God for many hours, days even.

“...God is love. 1 John 4:8

“And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him”. 1 John 4:16

   Honestly, when you are reading your Bible and you come across the words God, Jesus and Holy Spirit, you could just insert the word Love and it would be spot on accurate. I encourage you to do that. For instance:

Now thanks be to God [Love] who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 2 Corinthians 2:14

 Therefore submit to God [Love]. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7

For God [Love] so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God [Love] did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:16-17

Amazing fact about God I am pondering today:

I am cared for by a very loving and Good Shepherd! My needs are met, I am protected and provided for, my very soul is restored, I am highly favored and loved and I always will be- forever, because God [Love] will never leave me. I will live with Him forever! 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The beauty of Communion!

Day 4: Amazing fact about God I am pondering today:

I love that God set up such a beautiful time of Communion we can share with Him over the bread and wine.

   From a young age I have loved the Word of God. I really have. I liked Sunday School and the Bible stories I would hear. As I got older I began to see how the Word of God was practical for my daily living, it became a blueprint for my life. When my daughters got to the age of junior and senior high school I thought it might be nice to take Communion at home. I was targeting Thanksgiving dinner. Because I honored God’s Word I thought I would ask my pastor about doing a family Communion table at home. He was very succinct in telling me that should be done in church, and there would, or could, be serious repercussion taking Communion in an unworthy manner. He was referring to this passage of scripture.

Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.  
1 Corinthians 11:27-32

   I am sure I do not want to know how many twisted takes have been preached out of those verses. When this is taught, there is strong consensus that these verses mean that we must judge our walk with God, and therefore our worthiness before partaking of the body and the blood of Jesus. That is not what those verses say. The only prerequisite for partaking of the Lord’s supper is to have made Jesus your Savior. To commune with God we must do so through Jesus, and only Jesus. That is what Communion is about. Anyone that has given themselves to Jesus Christ is allowed, and instructed to come to the table in remembrance of all Jesus did for mankind. God is no longer judging mankind, He put all of the weight of all of man’s sin for all time on Jesus. Jesus paid for us and took our judgement of death on the cross in our place. So what is it we are to judge then?

   The real problem here at the church of Corinth that Paul was addressing was the indifference- taking Communion as a meaningless religious ritual that had to be done. Communion was to represent all that Jesus was about to do for mankind the day after the Lord’s Supper. In that upper room, while sharing the bread and wine, Jesus said about those elements these things.

And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.”  Luke 22:19-20

We need to look in Isaiah to see the points of this New Covenant, and what Jesus was being given to us for.

Isaiah 53:4-6
4 Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Transgressions:   rebellion, sin, transgression, trespass.

Iniquity:  perversity, depravity, iniquity,  (moral) evil, guilt or punishment of iniquity, consequence of or punishment for iniquity.

Peace:   safe, i.e. (figuratively) well, happy, friendly; also (abstractly) welfare, i.e. health, prosperity, peace:—do, familiar, fare, favour, friend, great, (good) health, (perfect, such as be at) peace(-able, -ably), prosper(-ity, -ous), rest, safe(-ty), salute, welfare, (all is, be) well, wholly.

Healed:   רָפָא râphâʼ, raw-faw'; or רָפָה râphâh; a primitive root; properly, to mend (by stitching), i.e. (figuratively) to cure:—cure, (cause to) heal, physician, repair, thoroughly, make whole. 
   I inserted the Hebrew word used by Isaiah in verse 5 here to clarify that this is not spiritual healing, that is what Jesus’ wounds (blood) and bruises were for. Also, take a look in Exodus 15:26b  
“...I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.”
when God says He is the Lord that heals us, in Hebrew He was saying He was Jehovah-Rapha.  That is exact same word in Isaiah 53:5.

   When Jesus took our judgement for our sin, he restored us entirely. He paid for our wholeness, spirit, soul, and body. Our spirit was made alive. We were reborn, becoming a new creature because the transgressions and the consequence of the iniquity in us was paid for and forgiven by the blood that restored us back to God. Our soul was restored because Jesus took on the mocking and chastisement for us and that restored our peace. The stripes on His flesh, the broken places on His body, were the payment for our physical health.  

   Taking the bread and wine worthily simply means being in remembrance of ALL that  Jesus did on the cross. The cross is when the New Covenant was established, and the resurrection was God’s acceptance of the payment for us on that cross. Taking the bread and wine in the cavalier manner the church at Corinth was is the unworthiness spoken of by Paul, in 1 Corinthians 11.

   So what does remembering what Jesus did for us mean, and what does it look like?  Taking Communion in a worthy manner means we have come to the table ready to partake of everything Jesus’ death and resurrection provided for us- forgiveness, salvation, peace of mind, physical healing, deliverance from all evil, and total prosperity in every area of our life. This is done by judging ourselves by how much of those provisions we are willing to receive. The church has primarily focused on the blood of forgiveness and slid right over the bread for our healing, simply saying it was broken for us. We need to approach Communion in faith for all of those things, and accept all Jesus provided for us. The body and blood of Jesus has covered everything we need for living victoriously. 

   When you go to take Communion you can pray in faith that you receive all Jesus provided for you in the New Covenant. You can judge your heart according to the Word of God and where you have lacked anything and not walked according to the Word (strife, unforgiveness, addiction, fear, unbelief, jealousy) confess you have not been faithful, repent and ask for forgiveness. Thank God for being faithful to forgive you, and that He cleanses you from all unrighteousness. As you then take Communion confess that since Jesus’ body was broken for you and His blood was shed for you and that you recognize you are now forgiven and redeemed, that you see that Jesus bore all sickness, disease, fear, strife, sorrow and lack for you and that as you are now God’s righteousness you receive everything Jesus provided. Also, just as Jesus did- give God thanks!

   Communion is very powerful and does not have to be in a church, or with others. If you have something you need to get right with God, or you have a need, take some time with just Him and remember what Jesus did. Spend some time in prayer and conversation with God, and then stake your claim on His New Covenant promises, and receive all you need as you receive the body and blood.

Amazing fact about God I am pondering today:

I am so thankful to have access to God through Communion.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Jesus glorified His Father!

Day 3: Amazing fact about God I am pondering today:

   Jesus came to earth with the purpose of glorifying His Father by restoring man back to Him. He was completely in tune with and obedient to His Father, God.

   Jesus came to earth in humble a humble manner. His father, Joseph, was a carpenter. His mother and father were married while she was pregnant, and only after an angel had appeared to Joseph and explained to him the baby she was carrying was the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy that the child that would be Savior would be born of a virgin, and that baby was the Savior the Jewish nation longed and waited for. Joseph being of the lineage of King David, he and Mary had to travel to Bethlehem to be registered in the census. The Bible does not mention a donkey, but there are writings that indicate Joseph borrowed one for Mary. Jesus was born in a field of sheep, and laid in a manger. This was in complete contrast to the way the Jewish people expected Him, their Messiah to come. They were expecting a mighty warrior, a king in battle that could and would deliver them. Even though Jesus fulfilled so many prophecies just where and how He was born, they did not receive Him. He was too lowly.

   There are a number of incidents in Jesus’ ministry where He denied the violence others thought was called for. For instance, when Jesus was on His final journey to Jerusalem He was rejected by a village of Samaritans. James and John had experienced power and authority being Jesus’ disciples and wanted to use that power to call fire down from Heaven to destroy those Samaritans just as Elijah had done in God’s judgement of Ahaziah and his men. Jesus responded by rebuking James and John by saying, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.”

   On the night Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane Peter drew his sword and cut the ear of one of the arresting high priests servants off. Jesus responded by saying, “Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?” In other words, Jesus was asking Peter if he honestly thought for one minute that Jesus did not know He had been betrayed and would be arrested here... and if there was any question that Jesus would not submit Himself to this arrest that would end in His death. Jesus had been preparing them for this minute and there was to be no violence, just love that would glorify the Father, and save men. Just before this incident Jesus had prayed, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him.” He had also said, “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.”   

   Remember the woman caught in adultery that the scribes and Pharisees took to Jesus? They gave a report to Jesus about how the woman had been caught in the act of adultery, and then reminded Him of the law Moses had commanded that such should be stoned. They were busy those days trying to trip Jesus up and get Him to say something they could accuse Him of, have Him arrested and be done with Him. Sounds like big time pressure to me, but Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground as if not to hear them. We do not know what He was writing, but I can tell you what I believe He was doing. He was asking His Father what to say, and what He would have Jesus to do. The passage indicates it was if Jesus did not even hear them. I think it was His Father, God, that He was listening to. When He stood up Jesus said, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”

Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.” John 5:19

Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. John 8:28

I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.” John 5:30

In Hebrews we read: 

“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;  who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high...”

Of course Jesus was the  brightness of God’s glory and the express image of His Father God, He only did what the Father said and did only what the Father said to do! 

The same meekness, the same humility that He was born in is how Jesus lived. His entire birth was just the way God had it planned. His death was also just as God had it planned. That humility is true power and authority. Jesus operated in that way as He only did what the Father said to do, and He only said what the Father said to say.

Amazing fact about God I am pondering today:

Jesus came to earth with the purpose of glorifying His Father by restoring man back to Him. He was completely in tune with and obedient to His Father, God. I want to be that person, the person that is humbled before God, listening only to Him, and doing only what He says to do and to say. I want to glorify God with my life. When my days this side of glory are over I want this to be true of my life:

“I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.” 
John 17:4

Monday, October 2, 2017

My needs are met!

Day 2: Amazing fact about God I am pondering today:

   From the beginning of time, and even before, God has provided all I need before I ever need it.

   God created everything in six days. The order of creation was:
  • Day 1:  Heavens, Earth and Light  (heavens being outer space, all that was out and apart from earth, and earth had no formation)
  • Day 2:  Firmament which is the sky. This is the arch around the earth between the water on the surface of earth and the moisture in the air, the clouds. Now the earth has an atmosphere.
  • Day 3:  Dry land separated by bodies of water, and all plant life (food).   
  • Day 4:  Lights in the firmament; the sun, moon and stars. The sun creates light for daytime, the moon reflects the sun’s light for night time and they can be used to measure time.
  • Day 5:  All creatures that live in water. All birds of the air.
  • Day 6:  All creatures that live on land, livestock, reptiles and insects. AND MAN!!! Here is a great example of saving the best for last.
  • Day 7: God rested.
The first thing God did when man was created was to bless them and give them the gift of the earth and all in it. He gave man dominion over all the earth and its contents. God made the earth and its contents just for man, giving it to man he gave him dominion over the whole of it. God prepared the entire earth and everything in it for man before man even existed.

   When we heard the gospel, the true gospel of Jesus, and we knew in our heart we needed a Savior and that Jesus was the Messiah- the Savior for mankind, the faith we had to make that decision and ask Jesus to come into lives as Lord came from God. The grace we were saved by and the faith we were saved through were from God. We had nothing in us that would be able to produce that kind of faith. However, when we heard God’s Word and had the ears to really hear it, God gave us the gift of faith so we could act on His Word.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Romans 10:17

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
Ephesians 2:8

Before we were saved God made the provision of Jesus to redeem us back to Himself. When the time came He was ready to give us the faith needed to act on our heart’s decision. God supplies before the need. Everything we need has been provided for. 

Holy Spirit:
   At the end John’s gospel in Chapter 13, we see where Jesus is telling His disciples that He is leaving them.  Peter’s response was “Lord, where are You going?” Jesus said to him, “Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward.” Peter immediately said, “Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for Your sake.”  By the time we get to the beginning of Chapter 14 we see Jesus telling the disciples, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you."  The disciples were upset at the thought of Jesus not being there with them. There were a number of reasons for that, they were in fear of the Roman and Judaic government because of their affiliation with Jesus, and their deep love for Him alone was enough for them to not want Him to leave. So Jesus was assuring them that would be together again. Jesus proceeded to teach them some more things He wanted them to know before He went to Heaven. When we get down to the middle of Chapter 14 Jesus tells them He will be sending another “Helper”. The word “another” means of the exact same kind. He was assuring them there would be someone just like Him to be there with them. He assures them, “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” Later in Chapter 15 of the Holy Spirit He tells them, “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.”  Jesus goes to some length in Chapter 16 to tell them that this Helper, the Holy Spirit will not come if Jesus does not leave, but that when He does come after Jesus leaves the Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin. He will also guide them into all truth and glorify Jesus. Before Jesus left the earth for Heaven, having the Holy Spirit come to help the disciples and all the followers of Jesus was already in place.
   God is Love. Love is a verb and needs a person to give that love to. God in His desire to have fellowship with us, created us. Before He did so He made provision for all our needs. After mankind fell into sin and lost dominion and provisions, God immediately put into action a plan to provide redemption for us to restore that relationship. His name is Jesus. God, through Jesus provided all of that before we even needed it. Once we received that redemption and were saved, and back into a right relationship with God, before Jesus left earth to be at God’s right hand in Heaven- God was ready to send the Holy Spirit to us to guide and empower us in this life. He created us, redeemed us and empowered us- all before we needed it.

   I have a dear friend, a sister in Christ, that I truly cherish. I have watched her live by the grace of God for over 4 years now. She is remarkably able to trust God for everything she needs, and she is quite active in ministry. She understands and lives out the provision and grace of God. She is quite good at resting in Him for everything. I am at a place in my life that I am having to put my life in the complete care of my Father’s hands. I know in my head and heart how amazing God is and that from the first moment man was created all God has desired is to bless and prosper mankind. I am now learning to make that a reality in my life. I am getting better at it almost by the hour it seems. You see, God knew I needed an example like my dear friend. So, for years I have had the privilege of watching her, and marveling at her- unbeknownst to me that it would be a tremendous example I would be able to draw on. God provided that for me before I needed it. As I am learning to follow God’s example on the 7th day of Creation Week, to rest in Him, He is showing me His awesome love and provision!

Amazing fact about God I am pondering today:

I am loved so very much by God that has spent time before time existed providing everything for me I would ever need.... before I even needed it!

Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.      

Matthew 6:33