Start Here

Hello, and welcome in the Name of Jesus. I have been looking for an outlet for the talent the Lord has given me so graciously and think I have finally found what I am to do to bring glory to His Name.

I am by no means a prolific writer, or even the one with the proper grammar, but how can I keep silent?

Over the past week or so, I was thumbing through old entries of revelation the Lord had opened my eyes to as I read His word. Eagerly, I had been jotting down on luceleeve since January of this year and realized this could be my Kingdom work.

 

On our ladies meeting on Tuesday not long ago we were talking about the Parable of the Talents. The Lord gave each of His servants a talent of how much they were able to handle. It was His wisdom that selected how many to give each. I realized that since I came to know the Lord last year, personally, which is beyond the realm of mere “head knowledge”, after all, as Minister says, “Knowledge is NOT revelation”, I have been burying, ungratefully, the talent He gave me. My greatest desire is to hear “Well, done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of thy Lord.”

And so here is my humble offerings.

May God bless you, encourage you, and give you peace.

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What a Savior

I was reading in Matthew 27 today. I’ve realized every-time it comes to the crucifixion, I am overly? emotional. It’s as if it’s new and raw and there were times not that long ago where I found myself holding my breath as they lay Him in the tomb. The next day comes and with it the next chapter and I’m nearly clapping my hands as He raises, victoriously! Sound silly? I hope I never lose my awe and wonder at what transpired that day. And that’s the truth. I pray my heart never becomes calloused- again. I pray for sensitivity and childlike faith when it comes to the things of God. So I’ll take the “silly” term, if it fits.

2 Kings 22:19 Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the Lord…I also have heard thee, saith the Lord

I shook my head as Judas threw back the money he’d accepted to betray Jesus. Fool! How could you? My heart breaks as I recall the previous chapter when by a kiss of all things- an intimate, friendly, familiar kiss- he betrayed the Lord of glory. Oh, how could you!

But my heart caught something it never has in all the years I’ve read Matthew’s gospel. The priests reaction. I can almost picture them pulling out the scrolls of the law. “No, no,” one says tapping the well-worn segment, “we couldn’t put it in the treasury.” Several eyes meet his as they nod in agreement.

“It’s blood money,” one replies.

“We could buy a field, seems a shame to waste such money.”

And so they did.

Slightly exaggerated dialogue, but it troubles me.

Did they feel guilty? Did it dawn on them…ever… that they were more concerned with keeping the law… the treasury “clean”.. then they were that they were about to crucify the Lord? Did they ponder this? A Man’s blood would be shed! Not just any man’s either.

It troubles me.

Between the urge to pluck out every single hair  on my head one by one at their cruelty, their casualness, their AUDACITY, I leaned away from my Bible.

Really, many are doing the same thing today. Careful, ever so careful to fulfill the law to a T. To fulfill man-man-tradition, to dot their I’s and cross their T’s, everything to perfection, yet they reject the Lord. Jumping from religion to religion, much like a “younger”, very much foolish version of myself, aiming for the heights but unredeemed of my own making. So busy fulfilling laws and marking off a check mark that God is forgotten.

Mark 7:9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

It’s easy to point fingers and snarl at these men in Biblical times! Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m too animated, I’m the one to throw my hand in the air, “Are you blind?!” But are we innocent? It’s so easy to be driven by everything but the love of God.

Judas was motivated by money. I like money too.
Judas was motivated by greed. I like stuff too.

I think that’s why we need to be watchful and vigilant.

Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

With that sobering note I pressed on as it dawned on me that the only way that these men could go as far as they did was, yes, it was God’s plan – He would die for the souls of men (Luke 9:51) – but because these men were devil-filled. How else can one explain the fact they sought and persuaded the people to DESTROY Jesus?
If only they knew… they’d never have done it.

1 Corinthians 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

Now, because He has died and risen again, we have an Advocate.
Now, because He has died and risen again, we have salvation offered.
Now, because He has died and risen again, He has defeated death and hell.

It really stood out to me how true the verse is, He went through all we go through, yet He did not sin. One of the things that was really pronounced to me in the latter half of this chapter was the mental abuse He went through. The seeds of doubt that were planted even as He hung, in agony, on the tree to save my soul. The mockery, the ridicule.

Hebrews 2:18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.


Jesus is 100% God and 100% Man. His human side endears Him to me like I cannot explain. I know what it’s like to be mocked and ridiculed. The words sting, slice and rip. It’s cruel. But what sticks around the longest is doubt. The seeds that manifest, that grow faster then a dandelion. He bore it all! The anguish, the physical anguish, and the mental anguish! What a Savior! I wept. I am, naturally, NOW, a cry-er, but I think this went past hormones or whatever else you could blame it on. Look what He endured… for you.

Matthew 27:35,36 And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots. And sitting down they watched him there;…”

It’s more sickening even as I read it again as I type this out. They sat there and watched Him dying… hurting… They sat there and watched Him like it was a spectacle! My God.


One of the things that came to me over and over was… why didn’t He say, ENOUGH! He could have.

Why didn’t He say, “You’re not worth it after all…”

He isn’t profited by us!

Can you see Him?!

Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Matthew 27:39-44 And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God. The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.

Picture it, if you can.


Reviling. Mocking, twisting His Words. Not only from the ground, the soldiers, the priests, the multitude but from those in the same fate as He! How can it be?! Why did you stay there, Lord?

But notice something.


Maybe it stood out more so to me because it’s a plague. The plague of doubt. The voice of condemnation.

“IF.”

One teeny word just as powerful as “IN”. (Are you IN Christ, or are you playing nearby?)

“If”. Doubt. Seeds of doubt that fester, even more so in an open wound.

You sin, you are reminded of it by others. Then the gnawing voice of doubt, “If…”

It sounds like this.

You slipped up again, you really think you’re saved?
You slipped up, why would He save you?
You’re too far.
Grace expired three years ago.

Can you hear it?

Jesus did.

“IF….”


Can you hear the “f” drag like the serpent’s tongue “s’s”?


My God.


Why did you stay there?

I know patient, loving people. I can’t imagine anyone doing what my God did for me. He didn’t do it for Himself. It wasn’t Him that fell. It was He who stooped. The lofty, high, majestic God of all creation lowered Himself.
Hear this… Hear His torture.


Matthew 27:46,50 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

The most beautiful thing happened. The reason why He stayed there. No one like Him.


Matthew 27:51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

Salvation was wrought. Blood spilt for me to wash in. From HEAVEN TO EARTH, He paved the way to the mercy seat (behind that veil!) with blood for me to approach.
Casually?
I think NOT.

The Familiar

My Mina (1)

Over the past weeks, months even a terrible sensation has fallen over me that’s hard to put into words exactly. It’s only gotten worse. It’s so desperately sobering. It’s not a happy message, and definitely not fluff. When it came to me I felt almost as I was sucker punched in the gut. It went beyond, deeper, then a lot of things that come to me on the surface, for lack of a better term of how to point it out. This seemed to rise up from within. And it held me there. When it would slowly push out of my mind, as I am human and get distracted, it would come again and rattle me again, and again, and again.

One thing I’ve come to understand… I’ve mentioned before I’m a bit of a slow learner when it comes to the things of God, right?… is that if something is of God, it will be confirmed in His word. In fact, I would dare to say it’s one of the “easiest” ways to see if someone is a false teacher or true. God’s message will not contradict His Word, for the Word of God is His mind. The Word of God tells us to test the spirits. It even gives the example of the Bereans, who diligently searched each thing Paul taught, whether those things he said were truth or not. We would do well to emulate them.

Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

I was reading a quote. I had just logged onto Pinterest and there it was but unfortunately as soon as the website loads on the app on my phone it refreshes and I had milliseconds to read it before it disappeared and I couldn’t locate it again. It was powerful. “Discernment isn’t just the ability to distinguish between right and wrong, truth and error, but between truths and half-truths.” Wow. That’s quite terrifying come to think of it. This is the day of deception. The Bible says if it were possible they would deceive the very elect.

Matthew 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

How can we know Truth if we don’t know the Word of God? Oh for a love of the Word of God.

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

I heard recently that a State is planning to ban the Bible. First came the legalization of marijuana here in Canada. I was appalled. What is this? Some alternate universe? Now this? It’s horrific! We, the Christians, are not the problem. Yet the world is happy to accuse us and believe horrid things about us. We are marked and targeted. The people of God have often been a persecuted people. That’s not going to stop. I shake my head at these cutsie little clips, “It’s going to go up from here.” “The best is yet to come.” Yeah, when Jesus comes. Not before. Unless you fall, hook line and sinker for false peace.

Matthew 24:9-10 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

I recently read in Ezra 5 where God’s enemies reported to the King that if he allowed God’s people to continue building he wouldn’t get his tax money etc. It’s nothing new that the people of God are slandered.

Psalm 101:5 Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.

Waves of nausea.
My God, keep me from the slander of others. And forgive me my slander!

The devil himself is the accuser of the brethren.
Revelation 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

The Bible tells us we are to be subject to the rulers. And we do. Only in the event where God’s law supersedes. We must obey God rather than men. And then, we accept the punishment for choosing the Lord’s side. That day will come. Yet there is encouragement in all of this. When we are doing things for God, God will take care of us. We will not die before we’ve done all we have to do for HIm. Continue doing the work for God. Even when things get hard, continue on. Those that trust in God will not be put to confusion. The world loves its own. Why are we going through attacks? It’s because we’re not of the world. Be thankful when it hates you. We are Christ’s.

The world is not my home, but it’s what I know. When I see the news Im in a bit of a shock. Can’t bury head in sand anymore. I can’t la la la anymore. I see it coming. It’s accurate with Scripture. How can you say the Bible is false?
Now, I have recently heard tell that there are talks of bringing in a one world government within 12 years!
God is not surprised. Neither am I. The difference, well, one of the differences between the Holy One of Israel and I is that He isn’t biting His fingernails. He is God. He has not lost, nor has He surrendered His sovereignty.

There’s no way you can convince me that this isn’t the end of the age. We don’t know the day or the hour, that much is true, but Jesus said we will know the seasons. I don’t know about you, but I see prophecy is fulfilling right in front of my eyes. Which is rather frightening, if I let my flesh speak. And even more frightening, or amazing… that it lines up perfectly with the Scriptures. I think of a huge one that has recently come to pass. Jerusalem (it always was, but anyway…) is now Israel’s. Whatever your standpoint on politics the fact remains that God is able to use His own, and those that are without to bring to pass His will and His purposes. All of our hearts are in His hands. Think of Pharaoh!

What I’m trying to say is while we yet have time we need to be about our Father’s business. We need to be busy working for the Kingdom. But we can’t forget the God of all this. We have to make sure we ourselves are “rooted and grounded”. I think back to the small blog I wrote before this one. I mentioned that we have to determine to be steadfast. We have to deliberately choose to follow God whatever the circumstance. I think Kingdom work can go two wide swings, either we want nothing to do with it.. always taking, or avoiding… whichever way you want to look at it. Or we can be constantly giving and giving our time, service, etc, making ourselves so busy for God that we forget God…squeezing Him out of our lives, never realizing it… or perhaps, worse, assuming that it’s ok and that He understands cuz after all we are serving Him. There’s got to be a middle ground for sure.
Live for God now. But be sure He comes first in all things.

2 Peter 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

For the past while I have been troubled about our approach to God. It could very well be from reading nearly all of the Old Testament, or it could be a prophetical warning message from God. Regardless of what or where it comes from, it is of God for it confirms itself in the Word of God. I worry about the way we approach God. I worry we take a “Casual Friday” attitude with God. He is become Familiar to us. That’s terrifying. Sometimes I think that over the years especially we’ve lost our sight of Who God is. We’ve somehow painted Him into a “God of our own making.” All love. All heaven. All butterflies and forgiveness. And that’s why, I’m sure, grace is abused so much.
I would never dare to say that God is not a God of love, or He has no grace and mercy, but I can’t help but remember that Jesus preached more on hell then He did of heaven. Yes, He died to redeem our souls. He is the Lover of our soul. He is the Friend to those that OBEY Him. Not just believe. The devils also believe in God.

James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

I recall reading that verse and being troubled even when I was without God. That the devils tremble before Him and we skip into His presence with a la-tee-da approach.

Weeks have passed since this initial thoughts came over me, and so I am working backwards, in a way.

A few days ago I sat down to do my afternoon devotions. As I began to pray, this heaviness came over me. My head and shoulders felt so unbearably heavy and I could feel myself bowing myself down. I couldn’t get past how great He is and who I am. I recalled reading in the Psalms the day before, or earlier that very morning how He is great then the heavens. Even as I’d mentioned in the last blog of Solomon’s prayer, the very heavens cannot contain Him! How is it that this great God would desire to dwell within me?
Consider the greatness of our God. There is NONE like Him.

Psalm 8:1,3,4 O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

1 Kings 8:27 But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?

He is greater than the heavens. He is greater than the expansive galaxies. He is brighter then the sun. He is fairer then the lilies. Just think on Him! I know the more I do, the smaller I feel, the lower I feel. If my body wasn’t aging so rapidly, I would fall prostrate. I’ll leave that for my glorified body in heavens. This is just a glimpse of glory! How great our God is! Who am I? Who am I that You should look upon me?

I think pride is likely the sin found most in the Christians of today. It’s easy to understand. Well, we are the saved. We are the chosen. I recall writing about how daily I would run to see if it was “today” that God saved me. It was never quite clear 100%. I could only see as the days went on that my love for the world, and the worldly entertainment and other wickedness was no longer found. And I know that I don’t have the willpower of my own. One wonderful thing about that, was that I was able to see what I was. What God brought me from. A foul-mouthed, dirty minded wretch. Oh the blood of Jesus! It washes white as snow!

Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

We feel pride over just about everything. Or is it just me? I think collectively for this moment. Doesn’t the Pastor feel pride that his churches membership is growing? That’s just one example! I recall talking to my dad a few days ago on this very thing. In fact it was he who mentioned about church membership and numbers and I found myself saying, “I don’t care! I don’t care to be numbered! I don’t care about membership! I just want to be in God’s number! I just want to be in the remnant!”

Remnant. It even SOUNDS small. Jesus said the way is straight, narrow is the gate, FEW will find it.

Isaiah 1:9 Except the Lord of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.

We are nothing! Why such a prideful view of ourselves? The song says “You are not dependent on anything we can do.” God is not benefitted from us. If I think God is leaning forward, expectantly HOPING I will say He is great in my writing as an “affirmation”, He’s NOT. Whether I say it or not… He is great!

This prideful view of ourselves can drive us to even worse. Where we come to a place where we assume that we can saunter before God. He’s familiar to us. Perhaps it comes down that we have known Him since infanthood. Or we’ve said the sinners prayer back in 1976. Casually, we approach Him. And I believe that’s wrong. I think there’s a huge difference between “coming boldly before the throne of grace” which depicts to me knowing that because of Jesus’ Blood I am ABLE to come to Him and coming nonchalantly. Reverence pushed aside. He is our “Daddy” after all.

We’re too casual. He deserves so much more. Holiness unto the Lord. Sanctified. Perfect. There should be no sloppiness. God is still the same God. God IS a God of love, Jesus died for me! He’s the Lover of my soul. But He is more than that! “Knowing the TERROR of the Lord, we persuade men…”. Doesn’t sound too “loving.”
You see, He’s also the consuming fire.

He is the same God all throughout the Bible. He’s so beautiful, so tender and loving, and yet. God is so holy. I’m scared we’re not treating Him with enough reverence.

I read Ezra 9. I’d go as far to say this is not a book that is cracked open often. I was humbled. I was shaken. I was burdened. I was convicted. And it has.not.lifted. I consider this the Lord trumpeting a warning…

“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Ezra 9:1 (a), 2(b),3-4Now when these things were done, the princes came to me, saying, The people of Israel, and the priests, and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the people of the lands, doing according to their abominations… the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands… And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down astonied. Then were assembled unto me every one that trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the transgression of those that had been carried away; and I sat astonied until the evening sacrifice.

“…everyone that trembled at the words of the God of Israel…”

I read that and it came to mind when Moses made a separation, a line was drawn between those that truly worshipped God and those who’d turned aside.

Exodus 32: 26 Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the Lord’s side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him.

That was a huge one. Are we playing church? Hypocrites abound. Am I one?

I continued, soberly, the knots in my stomach growing tighter. How far we have fallen, O God, where we are nearly indistinguishable between the world. The fact is, dear reader, that no one should have to ask if we are a Christian. They should see it! They should see that we have “been with Jesus.” Are we bearing fruits? My God!

Ezra 9:5-6 And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the Lord my God, And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens.

Where’s that swagger? Where’s that, “God owes me something” attitude we often approach Him with? My God, Ezra couldn’t bear the fact that they’d sinned.

I downright wept.

I recalled the prayer of the Publican. “God be merciful to me a sinner.”

See, it doesn’t matter the length of our prayers. It’s the attitude, it’s the heart behind them. God doesn’t hear the prayer of those that keep iniquity in their heart. God doesn’t hear when we pray “for show” (to ourselves) as the Publican’s counterpart, the Pharisee did. His ear is only ever open for the contrite, sincere heart.

Ezra cried out in repentance for the nations sins. He owned their sins. He didn’t pass the blame. They had done wickedly, blatant disobedience to what God had required of them. Despite the punishment come upon the nation, he restated that God was merciful, even in the midst of punishment. He always punishes less than what we deserve. Don’t you know it would be just of God to strike us dead? He is holy! We are not.

I noted something in the ending of his humble prayer. Something I hope we see clearly. Something I pray God opens our understanding to. Israel was severely punished for their sins. We are given recordings of it. We recall to mind the Scripture that says that the Word of God is for our instruction, right? Well, we have no excuse. Israel had more excuse then we for they didn’t have the complete word of God! Those that know more, will be judged more!

God gave His law. Be holy. Be separated. Don’t be tainted, don’t be blemished with this world. The Word we have now is greater than they of old had. We are more advantaged. Our punishment will be worse. Don’t follow after them. Not make same mistakes as they did. It would be just for God to consume us. And yet somehow this great God gives mercy. If mercy is spurned and spurned this long the horrible judgment will be all the worse. Mercy will not last forever. Seek God for salvation now. How can we say that God is unfair? All we have to do is walk holy. It’s not hard. it takes guts. That’s about it. God made it so easy for us. There is no excuse.

Ezra 9:14-15 Should we again break thy commandments, and join in affinity with the people of these abominations? wouldest not thou be angry with us till thou hadst consumed us, so that there should be no remnant nor escaping? O Lord God of Israel, thou art righteous: for we remain yet escaped, as it is this day: behold, we are before thee in our trespasses: for we cannot stand before thee because of this.

Where do we stand? I look at my own life. How many times have I looked back to the sins God delivered me from? Sighed for them. We’re tainted. We’re too worldly. We’re no different from the world. We go to the movies, we listen to the songs… there’s little to no distinction. The apostasy? It’s now. The great falling away is beginning. People are showing whose they are.

2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

Matthew 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

It’s not always an abrupt falling away. And I actually think it is worse for that reason. It’s gradual. Church is less important. Prayer? No time for that. Bible study? I already know it all. Weariness takes over, even. We’ve served God faithfully for twenty-five years. It’s bad enough that we’re starting to question if God is Truth… IS He coming back? What’s taking so long… I guess I can stumble a little. I’ve been “holy” for 30 years, surely I can have a bit of fun. My overall goodness will outweight whatever sin I may do. Gradually, gradually the candle… the Holy Ghost fire… is extinguished.

Matthew 24:44-51 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

God does not beg.

Are we Christ’s? The remnant is so small.

Do we tremble at the word of the Lord? Do we grieve and weep at the sins of others? are we laughing at their falling? are we restoring them? Are we warning them? …knowing the terror of the Lord we persuade men.

2 Corinthians 7:9-11 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

This is the spirit of repentance that desperately needs to fall. It’s not enough for “im sorry”. It’s so much more than that. its more then just “sorry”. It’s got to be real repentance. A complete turn about. It’s so much more then a sinners prayer. There’s going to be a rude awakening.

Where did we get this “God is only love” notion? This is the same God as He ever was. He warns us that we must bear fruit. If we don’t we are dead, no matter what we want to deceive ourselves into thinking and are fit only for the fire. This is the same God that cries out against lukewarmness with an image of spewing us out! This is the same God who says if your eye offend you (to sin) PLUCK IT OUT that you don’t burn in hell! My God! Can you hear the trumpeted warning?!

Again, we have no excuse. we have the bible. It’s in our language, in our homes, accessible by the internet…
And, its not enough just to say we read it. We have to study it. Pray for godly wisdom. Pray for revelation. Pray for understanding. He’s faithful!

If after we know the truth we go back we’re without excuse. I don’t even want to think about judgment day. I believe God gave us a glimpse of those in that situation.

2 Peter 2:3(b),4-6,12-15,17,20-22… their damnation slumbereth not. For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

I noted something the other week. I noticed that my “followers” dwindle every time I post a heavy message. It stings. In my flesh I feel sad and rejected. I mentioned in blogs and to people that it seems that when you truly live for God in sincerity, the attacks come worse than ever before. I mentioned it to Sister P. She pointed out how much worse Jesus must have felt to see all the disciples run, Peter deny Him, and even now seeing those for which He came to save spurning Him. So what have I to complain of? It still hurts. I get it. I do. But it still hurts. I feel alone. I won’t back down to “save face” though. The Bible says we cannot have both Him and the love of the world. One must die. I told that to my dad this past week. I know I am not alone, though alone, because I serve the God as Daniel. He was with Daniel. He is with me. I serve the God as Paul. He was with Paul, He is with me.

2 Timothy 4:16-17 At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.

Dad said something to me. “God knows His soldiers.”

I’m going to stand by His grace.

Separate from the filthiness of the world now. Make sure you’re on “God’s side” of the line. Don’t be a pretend Christian. God is not fooled by hypocrisy. Be pure. Don’t be a muddled mess. Make sure you are the virgin Christ is coming for… unblemished and unspotted.Make up your mind now… before persecution comes “home”… serve the Lord will all your heart, mind, soul and strength. Be faithful.

I was reading of the building of Solomon’s temple. The reverence where they would not even tap the stones inside, but brought them in pre-made. I think often of the holy angels, those that never sinned, that obey God without delay who cannot bear to look upon God but cover, as Isaiah said in chapter 6, their faces as they cry out “Holy! Holy! Holy!” What’s wrong with me? I feel we are not cutting it with holiness unto the Lord.

I was reading of when Jesus threw out the money changers in the temple. Righteous anger! God’s house is to be a house of prayer! We, now, are the temple of the living God, yet we allow willful sin? How is that any different? God will NOT allow sin. He hates it. There should be no irreverence in the house of God. What must God think of our Bingo nights? Man made programs? Oh God!

The Holy Spirit is our seal. The Bible says if it is in us at the last day we also will rise in the last day. (Romans 8:11). The Bible warns us not to grieve the Holy Spirit. It’s the unpardonable sin. If He leaves us- JUSTLY- we won’t rise in the last day!

Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Without the Holy Spirit we are NONE of His. Don’t deceive yourself.

Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

If we are constantly allowing sin in our life, turning from Him, rejecting Him, how dare we think that we are God’s and that all is well? A rude awakening. A shakedown is coming. Judgment must begin in the House of God.

1 Peter 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

The warning has sounded.

A Small Lesson from Solomon’s Prayer

The Dedication of Solomon's Temple.png

In 1 Kings 8, Solomon had finished, at long last building the temple of the Lord, and he dedicates it with a lengthy prayer that speaks of what God had said. The conditions of blessings and curse under the Lord. The Lord said so many times over that IF we obey… IF we walk in His ways… IF we follow Him He will bless, and the opposite if we disobey and turn from Him. He is just and right. It amazes me at the simplicity of Christ. It comes to me over and over how simple this is. Easy, no. Not always. What are we asked to do? Honor God. Believe. Have faith. Obey. Serve HIm wholeheartedly. Love HIm and worship Him only.

Matthew 22:36-40 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Is it so hard? It seems to me if there is a hard part, Jesus did it. He died for me. While I was yet in sin.

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

But one verse stands out to me in the chapter more than the rest. I loved how he reiterates how HUGE God is! It makes me think of the Psalms, “You are higher than the heavens! What is man that Thou art mindful of him?” Amazing!

But it’s not even that.
It’s the simple verse right there in verse 13.

“I have surely built thee an house to dwell in, a settled place for thee to abide in for ever.” 1 Kings 8:13

I got a few things from it.

1. We need to resolutely make up our minds that we will serve God.

1 Chronicles 28:9 And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.

2. That He will have preeminence in our lives/hearts as we are NOW the living temples of the Lord.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

3. We must pray that we are steadfast in God, that we will always have Him with us. I will not go up unless You are with me! Dwell with me. Don’t pass me by. Don’t visit. Remain. Abide.

Exodus 33:13-17 Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight: and consider that this nation is thy people. And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. And he said unto him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth. And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.

4. May I be settled in my walk with Christ.

Colossians 1:21-23 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;…

When Elijah Disappears

When Elijah Disappears. Finding your strength in God and realizing He is all sufficient.png

I’ve had this topic in my head for so long now it’s hard to tell when it first came to me. I’ve thought about it, but I suppose with the craziness of life I figured it would be far too much for me to tackle, and so it sat, growing dust, if that were possible on the screen of my computer. Another reason I prolonged attacking this document was the worry that it could rub people the wrong way, or that I could be looked down upon as needy, whiny… what have you. It’s such a strong topic (for me) and always in the back of my mind, much like my previous blog “The Forgotten God“, that I’ll take the repercussions, as humbly as I can. I think it’s by and large a needful topic, and so… here goes “nothing.”

The last blog I wrote was my testimony, as sad as it came out. I can’t even begin to count how many times I’ve re-read it. Is it ok? What must people think? What must my family think? Jessica isn’t perfect after all. I laugh… sadly… as if they needed a blog to come to that conclusion. I suppose what I’m trying to say is when you “bare it all” that sickening feeling surfaces. Is it pride? I don’t really know. Regardless, I’d mentioned in it a few people who came to my “aid”. I truly believe that they were sent from God, perhaps in my life for no other reason than for that very purpose. As humbly, and as real as I can say, the sister I mentioned (by birth and through Christ) and I for one reason or another were estranged, if it were possible, even though we lived in the same house for years. It really wasn’t until even much later then that precious day when Jesus came that we bonded. It’s shameful. And I am terribly sorry for the years I missed out on, especially in our adult years. And I suppose in that very scenario I can truly write that perhaps God had her planted as my sister, clearly knowing beforehand that we were strangers to each other (I take the blame), but in His foreordained plan and wisdom she would be used mightily by Him in His perfect timing to snatch this brand out of the burning.

 

Jude 23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

 

 

She is valued so highly by myself now more than I can say for that reason. She could have just as easily shrugged her shoulders with a “You made your bed…” but she submitted to God’s plan for her, for me! Wow, mercy is amazing. And pathetically hard for me to explain and write. Another thing she did was introduce me to Sister P. This lady, not much older than we sisters, has in the short time that I have known her (November 22 makes one year!) filled a role of spiritual mother and elder sister that I needed. She brought gentle reproof at times, but by and large she has been the angel in the sea of witnesses that encourages me to continue to hold fast to my God. I thank the Lord infinitely for these two women in my life. He knew I needed them. And in loving kindness He planted them when I needed them most.

God is tremendously good. Don’t ever forget that.

Matthew 5:45, “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”

Awesome God.

I read just this morning in the book of 1 Kings 3 of how in a dream the Lord asked Solomon what he desired. Solomon asked for wisdom. It pleased God. And God answered with wisdom, knowledge, riches… over and above! He really does give liberally!

1 Kings 4:29 And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore.

Awesome God!

Not only did God lovingly give me these women but He, in time, added more and more to my pathetically small circle. Each person has their function. Each person is a blessing like no other. I never would have imagined last year, or the year before or ever, really, that this would be my life today. Life isn’t peachy. Life is very hard. Life is an ongoing battle. It seems that the harder I try to live holy, the more the enemy attacks. I was saying just yesterday to these beautiful women in my life that it’s as if a “radar” goes off with a “She’s trying to live for God. All forces… ATTACK!”

I wish I were joking.

But I know that when I have been shot and am wounded that there will be one arm minimum under mine to help me drag myself to the end where I will hear, by God’s grace alone, “You have finished your course… here is your crown…”

1 Timothy 4:7-8 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

Wow.

That’s beautiful imagery. I will weep if there are any tears left then as I embrace the sister that helped me limp before I fling myself at the feet of my Savior.

I am thankful! I am thankful for mercy! I am thankful for friendship.

But sometimes as I trip I find myself painfully alone.

There’s been so many times that I’ve lost track of that I am seconds away from a headplant and I’m frantically looking… especially… for my sister or Sister P.

And they’re not there.

Elijah has disappeared.

I can’t begin to describe how frightening it is.

Alone, yet not alone, for I know Christ is with me.

But in that moment that He seems distant. I suppose that’s the worst of it.

Lord, where are You?

The heavens seem stony.

The sisters are nowhere to be found.

I’m alone.

And the enemy reminds me.

“I told you.”

“What?”

“You’re annoying.”

“I don’t mean to be.”

“You push away everyone. You’re too needy. People are sick of you.”

“But-“

“Did you really think they actually cared about you?”

“I thought…”

“How many times have you wrecked your relationship with H? These people from church don’t really care about you. They’re fake. You’re alone. You’re alone. You’re alone.”

Cue the voice that repeats itself until I’m curled up in a ball of tears.

Yes! I wish I could say I’m joking…exaggerating either. But no, this is painfully real.

And I give in to the voice that taunts. How could I think I could have friends? I am far too needy. My texts to them far outweigh theirs to me. Do they think I’m stupid?

It’s a miserable situation.

Sometimes I can figure out its the enemy.

Sometimes I can’t.

Which is pathetic since the line is nearly ALWAYS the same.

I don’t always give in. Or at least completely. I’ve never been good at the “binding” or “taking every thought captive” or “rebuking”. I feel insignificant. I KNOW the Name of Jesus is powerful! I know it “works”. I know “greater is He that is in me…”.

But I’m weak.

Give me points for honesty.

I don’t gripe about my sisters. I know they’re busy. Much busier in comparison to my tranquil life that I mentioned briefly “In the Season of Waiting.” But I do realize something. I could easily lower myself to dirt that I’m the problem and start a pity party- minus the balloons, they are bad for the environment.

I realized that I have a tendency to look, and pedestal man.Whether it be a preacher, a family member, a dear friend. I have a tendency to “follow man” when Jesus said over and over “FOLLOW ME.”

It’s not wrong to have role models to follow. It’s not wrong at all. But it becomes a huge problem when these people take the place of Christ. Or sit side by side beside Him where you come to a place you could “pick”. I am grateful that I can consider these two sisters that “high”. I am so grateful that they sincerely love the Lord and are shining lights for Him. I am so thankful God can use them as vessels for His purposes. I admire them and love them dearly. But it scares me when they get “that high” in my sight.

 

 

Isaiah 37:16  O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth.

God is God. He won’t share His glory. He has no equals. There will be a shakedown.

 

Matthew 17:4-6 Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.

 

 

The fact is in some ways I am glad they “disappear”. It’s hard on me like you wouldn’t imagine. I am still crying for them. I am still messaging frantically, or leaving… 21 minute messages on Whatsap. I am still overwhelmed with relief when they return my message. But I think that it’s a blessing in disguise when I see Elijah has left me.

You see, man is fallible. Error prone. We, on this earth, are imperfect. No matter how closely we walk with God, we are far from perfect. In fact, we know that its common knowledge that only Christ was spotless and perfect, without sin. So, if I look to Christ instead, I know He is utmost Truth. Perfect. We are prone to fail. Fail in our walk, fall, stumble, lose our tempers, sigh loudly (I’m guessing!) when my 35th text message rolls in. God is God who never fails. He is altogether Lovely. He is patient, kind, longsuffering, merciful to usward.

One thing that I ran across during my readings as of late was how many times it seemed God was saying along the lines of “Come.” “Talk to Me.” “Abide in Me.” In fact, one of the most mesmerizing verses I’ve read in a bit came as I read Matthew again.

Matthew 14:15-16 And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals. But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat.

Did you catch that? “They need not depart…”

Maybe it’s just me, but I heard “Let them linger.”

Oh how He loves us!

God, You are excellent. Give me a desire to linger. Give me the longing to run to You first before I search frantically for these angels on earth. Let me find my peace in You!

 

Another positive thing when Elijah disappears is it shows us where we are in Christ. It’s no wonder that the Bible says to make our calling and election sure. (2 Peter 1:10)

 

We have to know individually where we stand in Christ. When it comes down to it, on judgment day, we cannot hold the shirttails of our mentors, parents, siblings… we have to have our souls hidden in Christ in God. If we are not “in” ourselves… we are damned. We all must face the judgment seat of Christ.

 

2 Corinthians 5:10  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

 
The truth is, we will likely not have these precious, God-given souls forever. The Bible says all those in Christ will suffer persecution and continues even into Revelation that there will be tremendous persecution like never before… the Great Tribulation… the time of Jacob’s trouble. Will we stand strong, alone? Are we ourselves rooted and grounded in the faith? When the winds of horrible persecution comes, if the fellow-tree we have our roots wrapped up with is gone, (and I’m not talking about pre-tribulation rapture here), are we anchored and secured in the Rock of Ages ourselves?

 

 

I mentioned “briefly” I am glad when my sisters disappear as Elijah did. Do you know the story I’m referring to? It’s found in 2 Kings 2.

I can only imagine the sense of panic to see my “Mentor” taken away. To be “alone”.

I think sometimes it’s to toughen us… me…

To encourage me to find my trust and hope in God alone.

To realize who He is. What He is. His wonderful-ness to me.

They fail me.

He never will.

That’s a beautiful thing.

Is it Today?

A little lessonMy Mina.png

 

Is it today?
The first thing I do when I get online each day is head straight to “On this day”. What a genius thing Facebook invented to catalog each thing you ever shared. Well, actually, now that I think about it, it’s borderline creepy. #butthatsjustme
But in this instance, it’s a wonderful thing.
I wade through the multiple notifications that explode on my two inch by four inch screen like fiery popcorn kernels, swiping left, swiping right the barrage of notifications until I’m there and I hold my breath as I scroll through them.
Is it today?

 

It all started, really, when the first post appeared. Well, not quite the FIRST post, but the first post that reminded me of the event. The life altering moment.
It was a horrid reminder. I could sense the cry in it. And even the snarky attitude lurking behind it.
It wasn’t the day.

 

“I’m searching! I’m searching!” I’d written a year ago. “Who would have thought that at 30 I would be questioning salvation.”
The dilemma was sincere. I knew I was lost. I finally understood that if I died, no matter what I’d believed or convinced myself to believe, I would have been lost. Hell-fire would have greeted me. I just didn’t know where to go, how to get there. Things I’d learned from my childhood were foreign. What is “salvation“? Is there a possibility of being “too far gone”? How do you “live for Christ”?
The attitude was scoffing. Not at the concept so much as contempt, really, for anyone who was able to truly sing with their whole heart, “Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine.” In fact, I recall perfectly starting a new board to prove my point on Pinterest. “BLESSED ASSURANCE?”
In some ways, looking back, I had a point, and there was much more to salvation then I could imagine, but back then it was just to broadcast what I foolishly, carelessly deemed “flaws”.

 

I knew better. But I chose to do what I wanted to do. I played with hell’s fire. I lived no different from my worldly counterpart, yet had the audacity to tilt my nose towards the heavens as I proclaimed, “Yes, I’m a Christian. I’m just a bad example of one.” Well, give me points for honesty. But that’s as far as it went. The fact is, had the billionth time I said the “sinners prayer” worked, I had no claim on salvation. My lifestyle brought shame and disgrace to God. And I know He’d not have owned me as His. I had only persuaded myself that my name was somehow written on His palms. What a terrible error.
I flopped around like a jellyfish out of water. Which religion would accept me? I flipped between Judaism- like I could give up bacon-, Messianic Judaism- again with the bacon-, and (if my poor dad knew this…) Catholicism.
I suppose I was caught between a triangle of knowing I wasn’t making it, wanting to make it, but not willing to commit to Christ, or it could have been simply wanting to hear I was making it after all. Even looking back now, having a checkmark list to follow vs faith alone seems significantly easier…

 

From the moment, especially, that my grampa left us, I let myself go, if it were possible, worse. The night I returned to Quebec no less then 5 bottles of alcohol were in the grocery cart. And so I digressed into binge drinking. No stranger to heartache, I thought it would do as it had done so many years before. Numb the pain. Make me forget.
Oddly, it had the opposite effect. I still don’t understand. Regardless, the last time I recall drinking myself into a stupor, I passed out from exhaustion, waking in the middle of the night, screaming and crying in pain.
It’s a wonder my liver isn’t shot.
Tylenol taken, the pain subsided. But terror had taken over me.
The only similarity that came to mind was when the evil spirit tortured Saul.
It was a blustery day during one of our last camping adventures. The winds howled and the rains poured. Nothing out of the usual, but I was horrified. And it never went away. Weeks went by and the panic and the despair only continued to the point where I was in constant fear. And fear has a funny way of pointing at eternity.

 

Or does it.

 

I can’t help but think right now of those stoic in a “we die and that’s it.”

 

For the sake of argument I will point out that it pointed at eternity then, for me, having been brought up in this.

 

I realized somewhere between the gawking outside to see if bombs were falling, or if it were over a certain kilometer of wind speed, surely a sign that an earthquake or hurricane was afoot, and screaming in tears on the floor of our apartment, that I wasn’t making it. Everything I was was blatantly a sham. I’d deceived myself.
I look back at this time of my life with mixed emotions. Like, why did it have to feel so raw and painful? So horrendous? I’ve never gone through anything like it in my life and surely wouldn’t want to go back through it for all the money in the world. Why did it have to reach such a low point where hurling myself off our third store balcony seemed sweet relief? Why so low? Why would God let me go to that point?
I think there’s some explanations I will never understand “this side of heaven.” But whatever God willed, He did, with justice and goodness. Everything He does is right and good. Even when it came to the blubbering mess that sweat profusely as I typed the same message to everyone I knew on my meager friend’s list that professed Christianity.

 
“Is there no hope for me? Am I beyond grace?”
It was simplistic enough. Maybe there are those seasoned Christians who shake their heads with a wry smile at the cry of my heart. Perhaps I would have done the same. I can think of many times… well, hey, 30 years of times, where I would have simply ignored the feelings, and busied myself until the impending sense of judgment and hellfire passed.
But perhaps the urgency and the strength of the turmoil I lived was exactly what I needed. Nothing I did could shake the knowledge that the wages of sin was death.
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men:…” 2 Corinthians 5:10-11
And so I waited.

 

Panic doesn’t even begin to describe the feelings. Scanning the heavens for bombs, or worse… the heavens rolling apart and Jesus coming with vengeance.

 

Is it today?

 

I can’t help but wonder, now, if those I sent out the smoke signals to, knew it was so pressing, so real. My lips were sucking in air at the surface of the waters I drowned in, the last strength I had was in the hand I managed to hoist in the air, waving frantically.

 

It was that day.

 

Cry out to Him!”

 

That was the cumulation of the messages I received. And I did. How I did! Sinner’s prayers were forsaken as I wept before the God I’d rejected.

 

I believe He heard my cry.

 

David wrote that God will not despise the broken and contrite heart.

 

I suppose, though, I’d expected bells and whistles to go forth. A supersonic voice, “YOU DID IT!”

 

How is it that 30 years of “ingrained” knowledge was foreign?

 

My mind is fading faster then I care to admit. But I recall my elder sister – I thank God in flesh and by the Spirit- telling me to read the word. Diligently. Disciplined. Another sister in Christ told me to start in Psalms, or John, or Acts.

 

Overachiever? Maybe. I did all three.

 

Psalms were always easy for me.

 

I read Psalm 1, got to verse 1 and blanched.

 

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.”

 

“Then I trembled at the law I’d spurned…” the song could very well have been wrote for me.

 

He called out my lifestyle. And I cried out harder to God. Only this time with faith attached. Faith, possibly tinier then the mustard seed, if that’s possible. I believed He HEARD me, despite how rocky and gut wrenching my prayer.

 

I flipped over to John each word, foreign, strange, lolled over my tongue.

 

He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” John 1:11-12

 

Lord, I believe!

 

My testimony is shabby, and I often feel worse when I try to tell it, or I listen to others and then think back to mine. But it’s mine.

 

When this jellyfish flopped…

 

When this soul searched with ever-flowing tears…

 

And both situations fell short and left me empty handed that’s when Jesus stepped in. When I was at my lowest crying out “I’m searching! I’m searching!” He answered the lost sheep, “Here I am!”

 

Bless His holy Name.

 

And even as I go through “On this day” and sigh, today is not the day, I still praise God because He’s always on time.

 

And it’s because His compassions fail not that I am not consumed.

 

“For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God, Let no man decieve you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.” Ephesians 5:5-6
And it’s no glory to me, you see. And maybe that’s why I feel the “shame” at my “inadequate testimony”.

 

It’s hard to tell, to be honest.

 

One thing I know though, it was mercy and grace that found me. Amazing grace that I should receive a portion. Amazing grace that I should receive an adoption. Amazing grace! How sweet was the sound,

 

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:14-16

That saved a wretch like me,

 

For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more then lovers of God;…” 2 Timothy 3:2-4
“…such were some of you…” 1 Corinthians 6:11

 

I once was lost, but now am found,

 

“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 2 Timothy 3:7

 

..was blind but now I see,

 

“For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light.” Ephesians 5:8

 

Praise His Holy Name.

 

It’s still not today… but because of Him.. I can look forward with greater anticipation then I have for this to “crowning day”.

 

“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” 1 Corinthians 15:51-52

 

 

Is it today?

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the Season of Waiting

 

How to live scripturally during the season of waiting.png

 

 

I’m a housewife. I think the role is honorable. I think it is even Biblical. I am my husband’s helper. I cook, I clean, I love. And I love it. But I’m pace-y. Fidgity. I want to do something. I hate sitting around waiting. It’s got to be one of the worst things ever. I was so happy when I felt the prod to pick up the laptop and beat my fingertips against the keyboard, this time, for the first time, for the glory of God. I felt… busy. Useful.
But it’s easy to be discontent even with that.

 

I began to think even just today about how much more I want to do.

 

I just read yesterday about when David charges Solomon to build the temple. He said, “Arise and be doing.” (1 Chronicles 22:16)
I began a document here, rearing to write. How inspirational! I could feel the so-called creative juices flowing in my head.

And nothing came.

Like … NOTHING.

 

Regardless, that line stuck in my head for HOURS. Arise and be doing! It’s not time to be lethargic. It’s not time to be sitting on your hands. I recalled the verse in Ecclesiastes I’d read a while back. Not to look at the winds and clouds and postpone sowing, but get to work now. (Ecclesiastes 11:4)

 

I also believe that’s Biblical. Work while it is yet day.

 

I recalled today when I visited my sister in Ontario. I remember sitting with her at our sister’s from church and throwing myself at her, “I can sort canned goods! I’d love to do that!” Pitiful really. Borderline pathetic. I long to do something! Anything!

 

I had a long look at myself. Is it because I want to be seen? I think deep down in the inside crevices of my heart there is a portion of me that says, “Of course.” I’d like to have my name there as Jessica contributed. But by and large beyond all that is wanting to give back to the One who has done so much for me.

 

It really is the weirdest thing. His commandments have become joyous, because I want to please the King. And it doesn’t feel like a chore, or that I’m missing out, it’s… as if it were “second nature”. It’s not even a fearful thing that makes me feel this way. I don’t do it so He will love me. He already does! He loved me before I loved Him! I don’t do it so He won’t punish me. It’s not fear-based obedience. It’s pure love. And it’s strange for me. This feeling of adoration. I’ve never known anything like it. Because I have been loved so much, everything within my heart stirs up to reciprocate that love back. So I pray against pride and I pray hard for a job to do in the Kingdom work. (1 John 5:3)

 

Surely there’s got to be more to my life then sitting here typing away, or flipping trying to find a verse, or up to my elbows in flour, or scrubbing a bird-cage!

 

I want something more! I need it. I crave it.

 

And I think there is something more that I need and that’s not particularly lacking, but always needful.

 

It came on me today as I sat here opening and closing the hymnal.

Maybe this is just the time that God meant when He said, “Come ye yourselves apart and rest a while.” (Mark 6:31)

 

Maybe it was more than just so HIs weary disciples could sit down for more then ten minutes.
Maybe it was more than just to get a small nap in, or catch some sights before the next moment arose.

 

Maybe it was for them to get to know Him better.

 

Maybe this season of waiting, of “resting” is not rest at all, in the usual sense of snoozing, or relaxing.

 

Maybe this is the time to get absorbed in HIm. To know Him more intimately. To get ourselves rooted and grounded in Him.

 

Rooted and grounded.

 

For some reason the words struggle to roll off my tongue as if I don’t know the full meaning, or something. Goodness knows. It’s a prayer of ours we say, right? A “quip”. Earnest, or maybe robotically. The Lord knows each heart, thought and motive!
I thought about this today. How can we be firmly planted in the Lord, unwavering, unshakable if we don’t really know Him. How can we know Him if we barely give Him the time of day?

 

Maybe this resting, this waiting, this slow-going life has a purpose that is just as extraordinary as those that are on the mission field. Maybe it’s to know God. To know Who I love. TO know Who I serve.

And why.

I think even little jobs, done to Him, joyfully, are of great worth.
“…serve tables. Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.” Acts 6:2-3
I don’t know 100% what serving tables is, but it sounds “menial”. But yet, done to God’s glory, it was blessed.

 

I think also, this is why verses are included such as “Whatsoever ye do do it in the name of the Lord, giving thanks...” (Colossians 3:17)

So, if I push a broom, I will do it for Him.

If I’m looking at the pile of dishes, I will conquer the pile joyfully, as to the Lord.

If I’m singing I will do it with thanksgiving, giving my all, for it’s for Him.

 

And I think, no matter how small our labor is in our eyes, or even in other’s eyes… the Lord is yet faithful to include us “little people” when He says He will not forget our labor. (Hebrews 6:10)

It is Profitable: The Warning before Judgment (Part 2 on Matthew 5)

The Warning before Judgment. Part 2 Matthew 5.png
Matthew 5:20-48

 

 

I read Matthew 5 verse 20 and felt sick to my stomach.

 
“For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

 

Goodness.
Maybe it’s just me.

 
In that moment I could have just easily closed my Bible and given up. I’m not a Jewish expert, but I would say that they (from my memory here, don’t quote me!) were the serious students of the law, the perfect ones, seriously devout.

 
Gosh. How do I compare?

 

 
My prayer is that of the publican, “God be merciful to me a sinner!”

 
I’m the one who listens to 20 minute prayers with a wistful sigh as I offer up a 2 1/2 minute one.
I’m the one who forgets to fast even within the hour I’ve just prayed to God WHY I’m fasting.
I’m the one who wishes I could skip a service at church and battles the flesh to sit at the kitchen table.

I’m the one who pulls out my hair as I groan with frustration similar words to those of the Apostle Paul, what I would do, I do not, and what I would not, that I do… O wretched… WOMAN… that I am!

 

How can I possible compare to the righteousness of the Pharisees.
Or the scribes… aren’t they the ones who transcribed out the Bible?
Gosh. I don’t compare.

 
Yes, definitely a moment where I might as well hang up the towel. In that case, I won’t enter the Kingdom of heaven.

 

Just before my forehead hit the waxy pages of my Bible in despair, I remembered something.

 

I have grace.

 

Grace that empowers me to live holy. I have an Advocate. Jesus Christ the Righteous. I have the complete Word of God that tells me He loves me and is faithful to forgive me my sins when I repent.

 
On top of all that I realized another thing. The Israelites of old were held to a different standard then we are. All because of Jesus.
This is what I mean. Hopefully it will come out clearly. The Bible says that all Scripture is given for our reproof, instruction, example…

 
So because I see from reading the precious pages what the errors of God’s chosen people are, I can be much more careful to not repeat the mistakes they were punished for.
I have it as instruction of how to live my life, in fact to skip to the end of Matthew 5 it says “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” That’s my standard. Grace helps me press forward to this goal.

 
Because of the Word of God and grace, I know that I cannot live carelessly and sloppy, and it would be a foolish thing to provoke God by repeating errors plainly pointed out in Scripture.
I believe because we have the complete word of God we will be held to a higher standard then Israel of old, even. And those who know the truth will be judged more. We have zero excuse.

 
It bothers me so much about the abuse of grace it seems every other post I make here I refer back to it. And I’m a mere mortal. Flawed, yet forgiven. How much worse to Christ who died an agonizing death to free and redeem us from the sin that we hurry back to?!

 

 

I was reading through the “It has been said…” and then Jesus’ “opinion” (I lack words sometimes… excuse me.) “But I say unto you…” and noted a few things. I think in some ways these can be referred to as danger signs.

 

Anger leads to hatred leads to murder.
Maybe that’s why it says so often in Scriptures to lay aside all malice…

 

Impure thoughts leads to lust that leads to fornication/adultery.
Wow. That’s intense.

 

Always amazes me that many of these sins in God’s eyes are looked at with a casual expression amongst us… even among the people of God… or those that claim His Name. Yikes!

 

 

I’ll leave off at v 29-30 “And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.”

 

 

Whatever looks like sin, flee from!
Avoid, shun the very appearance of evil.
Whatever would hinder me or chain me in bondage, abhor!
Cleave to Christ.
Don’t dabble. Don’t look. Don’t mar your garment.
Stay clean. That’s the Bride Christ is coming for.
Straight is the gate and narrow is the way and FEW there be who find it.