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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Matthew 10:1,5(A) And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. These twelve Jesus sent forth…
What an amazing thing. Despite knowing Judas was the traitor… he was still endued with power from on high. He was “one of them.” No one would have thought otherwise. Jesus never let it on. And that’s a bit of a scary thing the more you think about it.
I was mentioning in another blog “Praise the Lord,” my desire, my dream, my heart is to be with the people of God. I want, also, to be like Anna, living my days in the church of God, giving myself over to serving, prayer and fasting.
Luke 2:37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.
Those are good intentions. They are sincere, Lord knows. But works, without faith, is dead. I can give all I have to the poor. I can memorize the entire Bible. I can know every doctrine… but if it’s all just head knowledge, I am going to hell.
Why? What a harsh thing to say! I can’t get over how many times I’ve had people drop off like flies.
Would it surprise you to know that Jesus said it first?
Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Not everyone that claims the Name of Christ. Not everyone that calls themselves a Christian. Do you think that Judas knew from his first following of Jesus he would betray his Lord? I don’t think he did. I know that the name “Christian” wasn’t called out until Acts, but I’m sure he reveled, at least during Jesus’ “popular moments”… “Ah yes, I am one… of course, I am disciple number 1…” He claimed the Name of Christ. Not everyone who prophesies in God’s Name. Not everyone who casts out devils. Not everyone who performs mighty works. Judas surely did this! As referenced above, he was given power from on high along with the eleven others.
And yet he was given over. The devil entered him and he betrayed his Lord.
Head knowledge… won’t save you. Company of Christians… won’t save you.
I’ve heard this Scripture so many times. Haven’t you? But one last thing struck me desperately hard. In the paragraph, four words sucker punched me. “I never knew you.”
What? Lord, You know all things! What could this mean? You don’t know me?
This isn’t about my name. My address. My favorite food. It’s about a personal relationship. The personal relationship was lacking. How can we be Christ’s and stay “in” Him? By obeying. By seeking His will. By being doers of the Word and not just hearers deceiving ourselves.
I never knew you.
Let it never be so with me.
We can do so much, and this is what many religions count on, good deeds, thinking they can somehow, what?, earn enough righteousness to make it on their own? They do and do and do,but without faith, it is impossible to please God! That’s one of the key things to salvation, “Faith”. “Believe” . “Trust”.
It sounds so cliche! Why is that? I’m afraid sometimes, I find things have either been watered down so much, misconstrued, I have no idea, to be quite honest, that things have lost their meanings. I recall reading a book by John Bevere years ago. He said we use the word “Awesome” to describe everything so that when we refer to Christ as Awesome, it’s “meh.” And that’s truth!
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Without faith it’s impossible to please Him. Have faith in God.
Overused? Maybe a better term will come to me, if not, swap it out with whatever is more fitting.
Faith is so imperative!
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
This should be scary warning enough, right? What’s the opposite of pleased? Displeased. My God! I don’t want to displease and grieve my Savior!
But if you look through the gospels, even as far as I have gotten thus far in 2019, Matthew 10, out pops at least one whopper of the vital-ness of faith.
I loved Matthew 8. Right from the get go out poured deeper meanings then I’d seen before. And sadly, I admit, I grew up “religious”. This makes me 1000% sure that it is the Holy Spirit that gives the understanding, because I surely didn’t have it before. And it makes me even more then that sure that we need the Holy Spirit!
From one portion to the next something finally was revealed to me. I remember distinctly being so confounded by it last year, I remember texting three separate people asking for help to understand. And they did a wonderful job! I am thankful for godly friends and relatives… but until the Spirit opens the eyes, it’s still dim.
Praise God for revelation.
Matthew 8:10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
The subject was faith. The story was of the centurion begging Jesus to heal his servant. Jesus readily agreed. I can’t describe how my heart sings when I see and read and understand His eagerness to help! Never an eye-roll, never a huff, “No, I’d rather not.” Praise God! The centurion then tells Jesus he is not worthy that the Lord of glory should enter his house but if He’d just “speak the word,” the servant would certainly be healed.
I get goosebumps.
What faith! No wonder Jesus was exuberant! “I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.”
Israel, to whom the promise was given, the covenant, the blessing upon blessing, the help, the David beating Goliath, the walls of Jericho falling, the Lord leading them ever so tenderly through the wilderness. Israel to whom was sent the prophets Jeremiah, and Hosea! Israel who had heard, surely, the stories of God’s faithfulness to Daniel.
Israel. God’s beloved. Where is your faith?
As my heart thunders in my chest, I continue… “salvation is come to the non-Jews.”
Ok, not so many words…
Let’s read that again.
Matthew 8:11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.
The non-Jews are accepted! Praise God!
v.12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
In one moment rejoicing, in the next, a shudder.
Who are these… “children of the Kingdom”? Those Jews who rejected Him. The Jews… who would NOT believe that Jesus was indeed their long awaited Messiah.
Without faith it is impossible to please Him. For he that cometh to Him must believe that He is. And that He is a Rewarder of those that diligently seek Him.
It doesn’t matter your works. Your “claim” of Christ’s Name. Your miracles. Your prophesying. Your lineage. Your heritage. Your head-knowledge. If you have no faith. If you have no personal relationship with God… you are none of His.
A spattering of cries sounded, urged by yet another exhortation to praise the Lord. “Say ‘Hallelujah!'”
Over and over the urge was given, until a great cry went forth of praise.
Well by the time it was done, I was convinced ten minutes surely elapsed. So, it’s phone church. I kind of shuffled the phone from one ear to another. Can we get on with it already? We get it. Praise the Lord.
I don’t always have a triumphant attitude of glorious-ness, despite the new birth.
I like to often blame it on my being solo here in Quebec. No churches that preach what I know is Truth anywhere near me. Stranded, I feel like Elijah “whining” to the Lord, “It’s only me now, God.” (1 Kings 19)
He really is a good Father. Not only does He put up with me…He even loves me. He even plants these precious verses to quiet my heart. There will be a rest for the people of God. He cares about my loneliness. It won’t be like this forever.
Psalm 68:5-6 A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation. God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.
Sometimes it feels like God passes me by. Sometimes I feel disconnected from the people of God. It’s difficult to feel the “closeness”. Sometimes it feels like…God is confined to Scarborough.
Maybe I ought not to have gone…repeatedly. Visiting my sister I hate to admit I was borderline more excited about church then anything else. It’s been years. Stranded and alone. The very first Sunday service I went to, I could “feel” it. I hate to use the word, “feel”. A relationship with God isn’t based on feelings, but hopefully you can read through the poor choices of words and get to my heart. Sunday night was even more electrifying. I’ve tried so many times since coming back here to explain what transpired, when one moment I’m sobbing a song I’d never heard, yet the words, even garbled made sense to my soul and glorified God. The Spirit was heavy and strong, almost tangible. I was in the midst of people I barely knew, still barely know, and a place I would gladly live the rest of my life in, surrounded by such godly, sincere people. I was “living the dream”, and yet, in that moment no one else was there. Yes, I could hear the cries of worship and singing, the brush of my sister as she worshiped beside me. But in that moment, I was enraptured with my God. The Spirit fell heavily as did my thud on my knees. I’m a big girl- we’re working on that 😉 . I couldn’t get low enough, who am I in the presence of the Almighty God?
All good things must end.
I boarded the bus that would bring me the hours upon hours upon hours ride home to my “Godless Quebec”.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, the Lord surely ministers to me still. But not in that same intensity.
And so I am alone. Listening to what I’m crying out to be in. Lord, raise up a man of God here! Lord, bring me back to Scarborough, no longer the rebellious youth, but the redeemed woman following hard after You. Shuffling an overheated phone against my ears, straining to hear.
And I’m upset now.
I bite my lip and shake my head. Must be nice.
What an attitude!
I’ve surely forgotten more often then I care to admit that God is omnipresent. He is not bound to Ontario, He is not bound to Quebec, He is not bound to Antarctica… He is everywhere. He visits His people. I’m amazed He loves me as I go from whiney “I’m the only one left!” to I want to hang up.
How do I know He loves me?
Because as I’m griping and mid-drumming my fingers, correction came.
Does God speak audibly? I suppose He could. This time He chose the small frame of the African minister I’ve grown to admire. To sum up the rebuke…“Why aren’t you praising God!”
My fingers stopped drumming.
“If you cannot praise God here, do you think you will be welcome to praise God there?”
Humbled, I cried out for forgiveness and praised.
I’d forgotten that He is to be worshiped at all times. Whether I’m there in the “church” physically, or spiritually, whether I am alone or in a crowd. Whether it’s Sunday, or Thursday. He deserves my praise.
What about those bad days?
Oh it’s easier said then done, isn’t it?
I think this is why it’s said over and over, recall to mind God’s faithfulness. Those are worth keeping up in the front of your mind during those times of trials. Life is hard. It’s not going to get easier. All who live in Christ will suffer persecution, the Word tells us. Is He still deserving of my praise? Yes! 1000 times yes!
This world is a wicked place. I’ve noticed where I am, it’s suicides. It’s atheism. It’s…not even sincere Catholicism anymore! It’s “godless”. This isn’t surprising. And it’s no wonder that judgment is coming.
2 Peter 3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
I’ve been reading in Genesis since the first of the year. The wickedness of man came up before the Lord and it grieved Him at His heart. Gosh, mankind had only been alive for such little time in comparison to the… what are we at now? 6,000? 8000 years in?
If I were God…
Let’s all be grateful that I am not.
The point I’m trying to make is if Noah’s generation brought the flood, why should we be dumbfounded that this generation will be punished? Worse for us, no doubt, we had access to God’s word. We KNEW the Truth.
Psalm 68:21 But God shall wound the head of his enemies, and the hairy scalp of such an one as goeth on still in his trespasses.
I pray daily for a love of God to come out of me. I don’t want to look at anyone with hatred, or disgust, or prejudice, or anything! I want to see your soul! When someone talks down to me, I want to love and pray for them still! It’s very difficult. I don’t want anyone to go to hell. And I’m the so imperfect human that gets huffy during church (eeep). God REALLY doesn’t want man to perish, but that all men should come to repentance.
So He provided the way.
And we praise Him for His salvation.
I had a point of my “speal” at the beginning of this. My despair of being solo and the horribleness a lot of times of feeling “outside.” How much worse, had the Lord not, mercifully (why did He need me of all people?) saved my soul. An eternity of being without God. Forever “outside”. That is true despair!
Luke 16:24-26 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
The fact that God has given us His salvation, and the honor of being adopted, accepted in the beloved is an amazing thing. If I am in Christ I don’t have to fear tomorrow. I will never be separated from God. He is forever with me. Not of good that I have done, but because of His mercy towards me. He’s done it all! All to Him I owe. What is required of me? To stay in Him, to walk holy, in obedience, walking in the Spirit. His commandments surely are not grievous.
Salvation is an amazing thing. It’s something that could be dwelt upon, and I think it will be dwelt upon forever. Jesus said every tears shall be wiped from our eyes… but will we forget that He saved our soul? I don’t think so. I think the song of the saints will be one of glorious praise. “Thank You Lord!”
I was mentioning this very topic to my dad just yesterday. I wanted to quote what he wrote.
” wonder how many , supposedly Christians really looks at their life in amazement, and say , God chose to reveal Himself to me , and save me . Amazing . Salvation is nothing God owed us . “
Praise the Lord…. for godly parents!
Incredible thing, the more we think on it. We fail, we fall, we sin, and yet for some reason God loves us enough to save us. And forgive. And forgive… Over and over I think on the verse in Lamentations, its because of His mercy I am not consumed. Great is HIS faithfulness (surely nothing I’ve done!)
I was reading in Psalms chapter 68 yesterday. .. I was just mentioning in my last post how amazing it is to see how well the Old and New Testaments coincide. Well, God did it again!
Psalm 68:16 Why leap ye, ye high hills? this is the hill which God desireth to dwell in; yea, the Lord will dwell in it for ever.
A hill of all things! When the Lord chose to dwell upon it, it danced and leaped for joy!
Where does that intertwine in the New Testament, you ask?
Luke 19:40 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.
If we, as God’s people would not cry out in praise to Him even the stones would cry out! It’s a wonder they don’t already. For how often do we say “Thank You Lord for saving my soul?”
This is the sacrifice God desires. He delights in His people’s praise. Don’t hold back. He is worthy.
Psalm 68:3,26,35 But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice. Bless ye God in the congregations, even the Lord, from the fountain of Israel.O God, thou art terrible out of thy holy places: the God of Israel is he that giveth strength and power unto his people. Blessed be God.
Because of His great love, this is only “temporary”. I have hope for a future in the midst of the people of God… and God Himself.
It’s been difficult to get any writing done for the past week, or more. With the holidays full swing, despite not celebrating them myself, his presence made it difficult. What can I say? I’m used to my solitude. When inspiration would strike, I would find that he was on the computer and by the time he got off, so had my mind. I am also very much not a pen and paper blogger. Jot down notes, or ideas, sure, but to actually write? Nah.
I find my mind a frustrating thing. I forget more often then I remember. The perks of growing old, yes, I’m sure. But I find it difficult when it comes to what I deem highly important things. We will not suffer if I forget to jot down paper towels on the grocery list. But when Godly inspiration comes that I MUST share, and it leaves me that quickly? It’s nearly unbearable. And I find myself pondering why would the Lord allow something like that? I’m only coming to terms now that I believe during these…frequent moments… that the revelation was simply for me, or that it was not His timing to have it “put out”, for lack of a better term. I run ahead of Him more often then I’d like to admit, and it usually turns out terrible. In fact, I was just having this conversation the other day, how often I ran ahead of God, even in the past year of 2018, and failed.
Psalm 127:1 Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
Sometimes, God is merciful, in this aspect, and it can be easily swept aside as a learning curve, other times, it drags on. Whether I like to say it or not, sin brings forth consequence, and running ahead of God- doing my own “will”, is sin. Thus the constant reminder. And still mercy at that, as I remember God’s timing is perfect. Wait, Jessica.
Which brings me to the point of this blog, that has stayed with me, despite my pleading look at my husband to get off the computer before it left me. That stayed with me as I exercised, started laundry, tweaked old blogs, surfed the web. Thank You Lord.
Sin has it’s consequence. It often is a lengthy reminder. The wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23)
Last year I finished reading the Bible in November, so I began rereading select portions over again, which was great. I couldn’t believe how much I gleaned that I hadn’t seen the first time. No glory to me, only to God who gives His Spirit to enlighten us, I put my beloved Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the book shelf, and continued “solo”. I thank God for revelation. This year, I had no idea what to do, but I know that my Bible would never return, forsaken to the shelf again. What better way to start a new year then to return to the beginning? Ok, so it was a little willy nilly, but I’ve learned over the past year that every word of God is profitable, so why not.
2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
I’m so glad I did! Genesis 1. Matthew 1. And of course I continued with the Psalms that I had begun 60 plus days prior.
Besides knowing- hey, its common knowledge- that Genesis and Matthew were the first books of the Old and New Testaments, I knew no other connection. Genesis is the creation, the patriarchs, not particularly about Jesus, even though I know Jesus is God… Matthew is the story of Jesus. Yesterday slipped by without much happening. I figured I’d finish the creation story anyway by reading the second chapter of Genesis too. So I skip ahead to today. Genesis 3 and Matthew 2.
I hadn’t finished the chapter in Genesis when revelation came. These books completely entwine with one another!
Well, I was so happy, thrilled even! I finished the chapter and jumped up to grab the computer. Of course… it’s occupied. I’m trying to put into practice the love of God. It’s come up far too many times for me to simply ignore it. I’m glad I returned to the Word, finishing Psalms and Matthew. What do you know? Psalms fits in perfectly.
Genesis (at least the early chapters) speaks of Jesus. Not only as Creator, but Reconciler.
I often thought, especially during my youth in Sunday school, what a fool Eve was and if I ever see her I’m going to tell her so. “Thanks a lot.”
The enemy is crafty, subtil, he is doing everything he can to destroy, he is vicious, but uses enticing words and plants seeds of hard thoughts of Christ. He also uses an arsenal of doubt, unbelief, anything he can to worm his way in and downplay Jesus. He is literally the enemy of our souls. He also believes in God. He also uses Scripture. We must know the voice of our Shepherd. If it were possible he would deceive the very elect. (Matthew 24) I hated Eve. But as I look upon myself, I’m afraid at times I would have fallen too. Maybe for even less persuasion.
Adam wasn’t innocent in all this. Proverbs 1:10 tells us, “If sinner’s entice thee, consent thou not.” God gave man free will. What we do with it is up to us.
I looked at the punishment given. It was fair and just. God implemented then that the wages of sin is death. Sin brings forth death in one sober sentence, “Dust thou art, to dust shalt thou return.” (Genesis 3:19)
Adam… and on would have to toil, each day bringing them closer to the moment they would return to the ground.
It didn’t have to be that way.
The punishments were terrible. Painful childbirth, willfull submission, tedious labor. Death.
Oh, I hate to think about it. I’m a weak fleshling. Surely that was the worst punishment of all, right? I don’t think so.
I think it was the loss of fellowship, the intimacy as before. God walked with man in the garden in the cool of the day.
Genesis 3:8 And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.
Sin made a gap.
I often think of the tear soaked faces after all the “But this one here made me…”. Repentance surely fell. Realization sank in.
But I wonder if we ever think about what it did to God. For God to walk amongst His creation, this great and glorious King admiring the work, “it was good,” that beautiful fellowship He had, so close, so intimate… I’m sure it broke His heart. He gave everything! He gave multitudes of trees! He gave all sorts of plants. He provided and lavished… But man disobeyed. Sinned. Wasn’t satisfied. The best wasn’t good enough.
I’m crying. Oh my.
I despised Eve in particular. But don’t we do the same today?
Jesus gave His life. He gave His precious Word (our intimacy), He calls us near to pray (communicate), and what do we do?
Reject. Ignore. Gosh, a soap opera is on. Facebook games are so addictive.
Maybe we haven’t rejected Christ. Maybe we are called by His Name. We read the word… habit tells us we must. We pray.. before meals…
Lord, forgive us!
I can picture things easily in my mind. Shouldn’t that be a mark of a BETTER writer? I can see His tenderness towards His wayward children. “Redemption will come. Reconciling.”
Ok, in not so many words. But He suggested it.
No sooner had the henious sin been committed but mercy was there. Salvation would come. What a beautiful revelation!
From the fatefull fall of the garden, a good chunk of the Word flipped over we get to Matthew 1-3. And I gaze in awe.
From the plan of redemption, to redemption’s “birth”. God is untimed. But His timing is perfect.
Galatians 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
The Saviour. Our reconciliation.
Matthew 1:21-23 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
Considering how precious this was, it’s now into my second day trying to word my wayward thoughts… I know the pros likely take a week to blog. Actually, that’s just a guess. I’m glad I didn’t hurry through this because another thing came.
God (Jesus) walked with His creation in Genesis. Look at the Name He is given in Matthew 1:23. Emmanuel. God with us. I’ve heard quotes before, “God couldn’t stand being separated from us.” I kind of see it.
Sin made a gap. Jesus made a Way.
And the promise of His “God with us” didn’t stop at the crucifixion, praise the Lord! He is with us always, even unto the end of the world!
Another thing that caught my eye in the beginning chapters of Matthew were the wise men that came to Herrod. “Where is the King?”
I’m not very smart. LOL. That sounds sadly pathetic. Hear me out.
I don’t really know why they are “wise men”. I have heard it was because they were the astrologers and smart guys of the time. Over the course of the last month, I’ve seen one too many (one itself was too many!) “jokes” that they were wise because the oils they bought are so great. I don’t consider that the least bit humorous.
I wondered why God would inspire Matthew to write that. “Wise men.” Why not lower them… after all, “To the only wise God…” right? Why not lower them to “Students” or “Star gazers” or what have you. Why call them the wise men? Do I think too much? My husband says I do.
It dawned on me as I read the verses below their introduction.
Herrod, irritated, asked them what they were talking about, to which they responded, “It is written.”
These men were wise! They studied the Scripture. They KNEW their Torah’s were speaking of Jesus.
And… they put it into action, in obedience, coming. That’s wisdom.
Lastly, the Psalms declares what Jesus is and praises Him. It’s simplistic enough. Once the plan was made, God acted. He has become even more then our Salvation. Call Him Jesus, the angel said. Jesus means Saviour.
He is so much more! I have come to realize that unless the Lord reveals these characteristics of His to you personally, they can come across as mere words.
He is our Shield! He is our Fortress! He is our Strength! He is our Joy! He is our Peace!
Friends, if you know God, worship Him. Never withhold praises. Declare His mighty works. Recall to mind His faithfulness. When revelation comes, praise Him and declare Who He is!
I was reading in Matthew 27 today. I've realized everytime 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 fitsI was reading in Matthew 27 today. I've realized everytime 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 fitsI was reading in Matthew 27 today. I've realized everytime 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 fitsI was reading in Matthew 27 today. I've realized everytime 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 on 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 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 fulfil 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 checkmark 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 vigilent.
Matthew 26:41Watch 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 dandylion. He bore it all! The anguish, the physical anguish, and the mental anguish! What a Saviour! 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 Saviour!
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. Revilings. 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 moreso to me because it’s a plague. The plague of doubt. The voice of condemnation.
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?
“IF….” Can you hear the “f” drag like the serpent’s tounge “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.
Call me crazy. I have a board on Pinterest I visit daily. I have put a handful of log cabin or old stone houses photos. One for each family member. Mom and Dad will have a log cabin, my eldest sister and her son, and, prayerfully Stewart will have a stone house, my second sister will have a cozy house with a lush garden… she’ll likely landscape it herself… I dare to say out of the three of us sisters she’s the only one with a true green thumb, hopefully A and my gardens will come premade. My brothers will have a house each, also. I’m undecided about my own. Perhaps that’s why I left off pinning breathtaking properties and turned my direction. I pin exotic flowers. Well, so lily’s aren’t exotic, but the color patterns, I mean. They catch my breath!
I daydream about the Celestial City. I dream of us all being there.
I visited my sister in the Spring of this year and she gave me one sentence that hasn’t lost it’s grip on me, or maybe it was in a letter, funny how fast my mind fails me. Regardless, she said, “We will go together to visit the Lord once a year.” I didn’t quite get it at the time. But the imagery it brought forth. Winding interweaving trails between all our houses, oh! we must be close, we’ve been through enough separation, and wooded, flowery pathways that lead to the Most High on our yearly trip.
I think of that often. Our beautiful home, the peace the beauty of being in God’s Millennial Kingdom, for lack of a better term. Put it this way, it didn’t take me long to hit nearly the 1000 pin mark… it just a matter of months. One day, I cannot tell why, or when… it hit me.
I long for the day we are together, and I earnestly pray we are counted among His sheep.
I will stoop to smell each flower and bask in the gloriousness of His creation, no more sin! I will cling to my family and finally love with perfect love.
But it’s not that my heart is content with.
Even after 900+ pins.
My greatest joy will be seeing Jesus. My greatest joy will be beholding Him and crying with delight, if it is possible, “Jesus loves even me!” The wonder of it all isn’t a perfect “earth”, its Him! He is the center, He is the glory!
I would never dare presume that I am the only one who has had this revelation that it’s not pearly mansions or stunning handiwork that is our delight but Him alone, so with humility I say I can nearly picture in that day the Lord, once again, resting in delight in His creation- oh He loves us! He delights in giving good gifts! Sister Lucy is making a new bouquet for her entryway, I can see Him smiling in delight. But I can only imagine how much greater His delight when here and there a few gather close to Him, leaving behind the glory to see His glory.
Is it okay if we visit more then once a year? I’m not sure I’d want to leave.
What a glorious hope to look forward to.
Psalm 23:5 “Thou preparest a table before me,”
Instantly that conjures up an image of the wedding feast, right? It’s prepared for us in glory, and He has invited us to partake. It almost seems weird the thought that God is the One who prepares it, though. I mulled over the thought for the longest time. On earth, Jesus was lowly, servantly. He never thought twice about stooping to wash the feet of His disciples, or, that maybe He should pull up in a Rolls Royce instead of a lowly braying donkey. Philippians provides insight that He took upon Himself to humble Himself to the form of a man, and not only that, but to die for mankind. Serving seems to be what He is.
That’s understandable after reading the Bible, but to think of Him still retaining this part of His character in glory? Seems almost blasphemous. Until I was in my daily devotions (I’m still in Luke) The first image that sprang to mind was the aghast as Peter, “Don’t wash my feet, Lord!” Recalling Jesus’ answer, I concur with Peter, “Oh? All of me then! Make me utterly clean!”
Luke 12:36-37 And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.
“…in the presence of mine enemies” Psalm 23
But then you realize that can’t be the only time God provides for us so tenderly as if we deserve it. There’s no sin in heaven. So it also is here on earth. God who owns the cattle upon a thousand hills, who knows each bird… provides right now for us.
The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. Psalm 23:1
“..thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.”
I was reading lately about the customs of old.It was said that the more prestigious the guest the more expensive the oil, thus the hub bub when Mary anointed Jesus with spikenard. Jesus saw past the costliness of this precious oil and loved her heart more then the sacrifice I think.
Not long after reading into this, I was watching a clip on Facebook, they said it was “calming” and for me it was anything but calm. A bundt cake was lavishly poured liquid icing on, the colors swirling into the most beautiful colors, it was fully covered without measure and they.would.not.stop.pouring. Oh, I’m well aware there was a bowl underneath to catch the excess and likely it was used again, but stop! It’s covered!
It got me rethinking this verse… God gives and gives and gives. He lavishly pours the highest oil of value on us as if we are worth anything to deserve it. Oh the love of Jesus! He gives without measure. My cup runneth over. This is Jesus. This is His character.
Over the past week I have been terribly sick, thus the delay and “fog” . I’m glad I delayed though, even for just this one extra paragraph. On Sunday Minister said something that brought this passage back to mind. He said that people often think that their blessings, from God (every good and perfect thing comes from Him) of course, is because they are His. This is dangerous thinking. Unless we are in Christ, we are none of His. If we have not the Spirit of God as our seal, we are none of His. Don’t assume you are His. Know you are His. The fact of the matter is God is good. He is good to the unjust and evil as well to His children. This is His character. He gives. He loves us when we were yet sinners. He washed the feet of Judas for crying out loud. He is wonderful. He is loving. He is gracious. He is perfect. He is giving. This is His goodness.
Psalm 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
We’ve already covered the goodness of the Lord. So, I googled “Define Mercy”…
mer·cy /ˈmərsē/Submit noun 1. compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.
What a profound explanation! I cannot help think of the verse in Lamentations. It’s because of His mercies we are not consumed.
Lamentations 3: 21-25 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.
I mentioned above that He is our Delight. Our reward, our inheritance. There’s nothing satisfying, even of the best of His gifts, outside of Him. Anything outside, and not of Christ will surely come down. Don’t waste your time searching and searching, there’s nothing outside of Him. I can assure you that I’ve tasted many wells, but none has satisfied me like Jesus. Nothing else matters. Nothing. The closer you draw near to God the closer He draws near to you. He satisfies the thirsty soul that longs after Him. He Himself has promised that those that hunger and thirst after righteous shall be filled. No doubts there…
If only we could understand we’re merely pilgrims passing through. That this world holds nothing for us, how we’d long for the day we go home. Oh to be a pillar in the House of my God! I pray often that this love of the world will lose it’s grip on me. Use me here, Lord, even as You would, but let my contentment never lie in this world or what it offers. Let the only thing that thrill me is You. As the hymn says, “All the way my Saviour leads me, what have I to ask beside?” Let me be content, my eyes fastened on my Crown and Joy, the Lord Himself until He brings me home and…
Once we finally understand our nature, our bent to sinning, as the hymn puts it, we can understand and appreciate the cross of Christ even more.
I can will all I want to stop sinning, but unless God does the heart work, I labor in vain. Truly none of my righteousness counts. It’s of His mercy that saves me. It’s His blood that washes away my sin.
I’ll be honest, during my late childhood up into my adult years, I admit hymns such as “Nothing but the Blood of Jesus” had me skipping them over in the hymnbook. It wasn’t that I hated the words, but singing variations of the same concept, the same line, I found monotonous- much like “Holy, Holy, Holy.”
Which brings to mind how I’ve said many times over- well, the Bible said it, actually- unless we have the Spirit of God we have no understanding. Head knowledge, surface knowledge perhaps, but that’s it, at best. These songs were dull to me, because I never grasped what it was saying.
“What can wash away my sin? NOTHING but the Blood of Jesus.”
I can strive… I can whip myself with leather and nails (like they do around Easter time), I can say a billion “sinners prayers”, I can read a book of the Bible each day, I can say an entire book of written prayers, and memorize Scriptures each week, I can attend church faithfully every weekday service and twice on Sundays, I can give all I own to the poor, but NOTHING can save but Jesus alone.
Original sin started with Adam.
Romans 5:12 “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”
And it stayed with us, and forever will. We are man, born in sin. You don’t have to teach an infant to sin, they do it naturally. We are sinners.
1 John 1:8-10 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
Sin always leads to another sin. The most heinous sin didn’t likely start in one moment. It’s the “little sins” (as we see them, for in God’s sight every sin is equal) that add up and the sliding begins until we are utterly wicked (again, using our standards).
I had to, of course, edit in the passage I read today in Luke 5. Peter cries out to Jesus, “Depart from me for I am a sinful man!”
I don’t think it’s so much of wanting Jesus to go away, it’s the horrid realization of what we are. Sin cannot dwell before a Holy God.
I love Jesus’ response. “Fear not.”
The godly sorrow that works repentance Jesus saves. Fear not. He will save you. Only trust Him.
Sin separated us from God. I just had a recent conversation about the Garden of Eden, how the Lord and Adam and Eve would walk together- what a fellowship, what a joy divine! I can hardly make my mind comprehend it! After sin… the fellowship was destroyed. And it was only through Jesus’ mercy and desire to reconcile us- RESTORE US- that He came and died on the cross of Calvary that whosoever will may be saved through Him.
Colossians 1:20-23 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 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;
Restoration…. reconciliation… came at a cost much more intense then monastery life… it came through the shedding of blood… only through the Blood is there remission of sin.
I can’t earn it. I can only accept the finished work of Calvary. Works cannot save me.
However, on the same side of things, they do.
Hear me out, by now I’m sure you realize I have difficulty articulating my thoughts. Faith…without works… is dead faith.
It can be a hard walk, or a light burden, depending on how you look at it.
Those that love the Lord, who know where they have been brought from, to them, His commandments are not grievous, it’s an honor to serve the One who redeemed me from destruction. But if my heart is too attached to this world, it can become unbearable. Feel as I’m being deprived. Party pooper lifestyle.
Where is my heart? What is my heart’s condition?
When you are redeemed something happens. You have this love… this desire you likely never had…or understood… to serve, trust, obey. His commandments that once repelled you are no longer grievous. Because it’s not a LAW to obey – or else! It’s an act of love! When the Holy Spirit is inside you, you don’t feel the inclination towards sin. It’s not to say you don’t stumble. But you don’t willfully sin, and when you fall, repentance comes. And God will not resist that contrite heart, that cry, “Help me Father! Lord, be merciful to me a sinner.”
Jesus is our Good Shepherd. He doesn’t look callously at the sheep that’s twisted up in a thorny bush with a, “Tough luck. You should have listened.” That bleating, that tear stained face and repentant sorrow of godliness draws Him in love. He’s not willing any should perish! This is what He told the religious leaders of His day, He came to call sinners to repentance. Those who knew that nothing can save them, not themselves, not their priests, not their mom, not their friends… Jesus. Only Jesus!
“Fear not…” (Luke 5). He is mighty to save! And when He saves, He saves completely.
Thus, the Psalmist’s realization. “He restoreth my soul.”
I surely can’t on my own. I can find temporary comfort when a fellow sheep comes and talks calmly to me as I’m twisted in a thicket, but they can’t lift me out. I need Him! Only He can restore my soul!
And once He does, it’s for me to continue on. To do any less is sin, for wallowing in gloom and self-pity is just as sinful as not crying out to Him in the first place. Accept His forgiveness and move on… in holiness. It’s a requirement. (Hebrews 12:14)
But beware, also of being the stellar Christian, so into the show of religion that you don’t realize that your heart has slipped away and it’s mere actions, your heart is far from Him and lip service is all you render. It’s easy to replicate the motions and yet the candle is on it’s dying embers, seconds from being snuffed out. Lukewarm…
It’s not enough to put on the show. The show doesn’t save us. God sees past the veil of hypocrisy and looks at the heart. I don’t know how many times I’ve read now that “The Lord…knowing the thoughts…”. False works don’t fool Him. There’s nothing hid that is not revealed to Him. That can be a terrifying realization. God sees my deeds, hears each word, but also the inner recesses of the darkness of my heart.
It’s not enough to say a sinners prayer and continue with the thought “I’m saved” and do what you did previously.
Without holiness no man shall see the Lord.
The Bible says to put away sin with all malice! Hate it. Absolutely abhor sin! Flee from it! Run! Separate yourself!
Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
Salvation takes action.
Luke 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
The Bible says to deny ourselves, take up our cross DAILY and follow Him. I will continually put my flesh under subjection. I will choose to follow Christ. I will be willing to forsake all for the sake of just knowing Him. It takes action. Resolution. Unwavering-ness. Those that waver are of no use. Fickle ground. The cares of the world choke them, light trial and they are offended. If they continue as such they are castaway.
Luke 9:25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?
Blessed are they that are not offended of Christ.
Perfection doesn’t happen overnight, that’s true. But God is faithful, He will complete the work He started.
“Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:24
But there has to be progress. There must be fruit.
1 Thessalonians 4:1-7 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.
We must choose to follow Him as He leads towards the paths of righteousness. David said in the Psalms, “Let your righteousness and truth light my way…”
As He leads and lights the way, we must choose to obey. God will not force us.
It’s never easy… when you obey it seems the enemy will rise up even more in defiance. We need to fixate our eyes on Jesus, our Good Shepherd. I will follow, regardless the cost. Let the enemy roar, as long as I am IN Christ, I have nothing to fear.
Hear David’s confidence, “Even though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me…”
There’s blessing and reward in obedience.
That’s not to say the days are all happy and bright. We ought to have the joy of the Lord at all times, in fact, it’s our strength, but on the days when it’s dreary and black we can still rest assured and repeat David’s affirmation. “…Thou art with me…” God’s people have often been a persecuted people, life, even in God, isn’t a flower-bed existence. The reason we can get through these days are through faith and hope in Christ. I can’t even imagine the depressive life of those who are adamant that “We die and that’s it.”
Over the weekend I heard a song… for probably the sixth time (yeah, I just made up that number). Regardless I’d heard it before and it was wonderful, but it hit me harder last night.
My Hope is in Christ alone.
The words were poetic like David’s, in fact, there’s a good chance it was based on one of the many psalms. As I sat there as the final notes played I began wondering if it was on a Psalm after his grievous sin with Bathsheba, and if that wasn’t bad enough, the murder of her husband so he could take her as his, or before. Then I realized, it doesn’t really matter because God forgave him, and David had that assurance. Regardless his wicked stumble, God was still His confidence, still his hope. What a merciful Savior. My hope is Christ alone, nothing else will profit me. If God should take everything from me, my home, my food, my family, am I going to hod on with such confidence? There’s nothing outside of Him. I don’t want to love or hold on to anything more then Jesus. Jesus, Jesus only! I must have Him. This is my confidence… this is my Hope.
This is what I cling to, His precious promises during those days that seem to fill up our lives… The valley of the shadow of gloom. In this life, troubles come more often then we’d like and it will always continue as such, that’s why verses like “There’s rest for the people of God”, in the heavenlies where Christ is encourages me so. Everyday is a constant battle between flesh and the enemy and I’m pooped. Yet there is a rest. But with the onslaught of troubles, and of course it only ever gets worse when you are sold out for Christ, it’s another battle on top to simply throw in the towel. There is no true peace outside of Christ, to give in is a terrible decision. Hold fast. Help will surely come. Cleave to Christ’s promises. His promises are as sure as His judgments. Not one shall fall.
1 Thessalonians 5:8-11 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
Encourage yourself in the Lord. He is absolutely trustworthy as our Help and Stay. He is our Keeper! With Him on my right hand, I shall not be greatly moved.
On the other end of the spectrum, if you are without Christ, it’s an entirely different ballgame. You cannot hold onto anyone’s shirt tails, you will give answer to the Lord yourself.
Psalm 50:16-23 But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? Seeing thou hatest instruction, and casteth my words behind thee. When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers. Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother’s son. These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes. Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver. Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.
Seek Him while He may be found that you may say, “Because of Jesus, it is well with my soul.”
I’ve had a thing on my mind for so long. I mentioned it briefly before but I wasn’t quite sure what the Lord was trying to tell me about it. If I were to be completely honest I’m still not 100% clear on it… but regardless, I’ll take my “findings” thus far and share them. If nothing else it’s insightful.
The topic is essential oils. If you were to scroll down on any of my posts there’s an “about me”, and right there it shows that I sell them, I suppose because of that fact I study up on them a little more then the average joe.
I know I mentioned even before about how paganized the industry is. Within my platforms on social media I have run across countless posts on how to use them for spirituality, new ageism, witchcraft. It’s horrid.
I found myself time and time again feeling so withdrawn from them (which doesn’t give me any help when it comes to trying to advocate for them) and disgusted. I compare it to homosexuals using the rainbow to serve as their icon when it was God’s precious promise that He won’t flood the earth again. As a Christian, it makes me want to avoid a rainbow t-shirt for example. Or a cell phone case, what have you. Because of what it now represents. However, it wasn’t supposed to be that way. Man took something pure from God and distorted it. The same goes for essential oils. God made the plant, they are good for all kinds of things. I’m a huge believer in lavender oil on the bottom of the foot to help aid in sleeping. It works. For me, anyway. And man took this God-given gift and distorted it. Use such and such and put it on your chakra. Don’t know what that means, don’t care to know what it means.
I recall a verse that Paul said that he would like them innocent when it came to ungodliness and evil. And so I am. Or strive to be. It’s made me go from gung-ho about these essential oils to wanting to pull out entirely for the sake of wickedness of mankind. The Bible does say to flee from every appearance of evil. Confused more then I care to admit I still struggle on this. I think the idea is that it’s not evil to use these oils. It’s not evil to enjoy something God created. The oils are not evil. It’s the heart of man.
The heart of man is so desperately wicked.
The rainbow is a clear example, I refer to it so often I’ve lost count, but today as I read 2 Kings I found a new example. I don’t remember ever reading that verse before and I was blown completely away.
2 Kings 18: 4 He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.
Can you believe it? Did you catch it?
The wicked heart of man stooped so low as to worship the brasen serpent God instructed Moses to make for the healing of the people when the snakes were poisoning them for their disobedience and rebellion in the wilderness.
Oh the depravity of man.
Over and over it seems that man will do anything because their foolish hearts are darkened. I pray God will open eyes.
I can only imagine the hurt on God’s face, the measure of wrath for the unrepentant sins of mankind increasing.
Man truly will worship anything. Man would rather worship the creation then the Creator. That’s terribly sad.
Another thing that came to me about essential oils was the obsession over them. Don’t get me wrong. They work. They’re great. They soothe. The relieve muscle pain, toothaches, sore throats… but it’s temporary fixes. We have those who will forgo going to get medical help from the doctor because they’re so caught up on natural essential oils. There are those who talk non-stop about them… and this is where I faced my conviction… slowly, slowly, I was heading to a place where God would surely take second place as my conversation slowly switched from speaking about Him constantly to speaking about oils constantly. “Have you heard? Did you know?” Conversation after conversation.
I’m not a works based Christian. I don’t believe that you have to spend every hour on your knees. But to be consumed with the creation, there’s something terribly wrong. I pray for quicker sensitivity to God’s voice when He calls.
I mentioned a while back that God does speak… but it IS still, it is soft, it IS easily drowned out. I often wished that God would simply make my decisions for me, but that’s not how it works. God is not a tyrant. God gave us free will that we may choose to love and serve Him. That’s why if men goes to hell, it’s of their own doing. God gave us the choice. Pray you make the right one.
Utter reliance. That’s how a lot of people view things. Mini “Saviours” in a bottle of 5, 10 or 15 ML.
It’s rather disturbing.
I focused out more and looked up blends for diffuser or roller bottles and found one. Don’t get me wrong. It’s simply a title. But what a title it is!
“It is well with my soul.”
This is what I’m saying. Your soul is at peace because of a concocted oil blend? Even if it were one pure solo? No! Your soul has no peace if you are outside of Christ. I look upon others. “Cheer.”
I own that one. I love it. It smells so beautiful I cant describe how much I love it. Bring me cheer? Oh no. “Peace.” Bring me peace? No. The fact is, there is no fix outside of Christ. Everything that this world offers is temporary. Counterfeits of what is true and eternal in Christ. There is no peace outside of Christ. No joy outside of Christ. You may feel temporary joy. You could be happy all your life, but there is NO true, lasting joy outside of Christ.
I am a naturally pessimistic person. I try not to be. I have help not to be. I can use this, try that, do this, and still… I am not much different. Slightly improved at best. I just got finished refilling my prescription medication I’ve been on for a year now. They upped the dosage. Why? Because while it helped, it did not “cure”, for lack of a better term.
In life, it’s forever searching and searching.
I’m convinced that is why you have affairs, gambling, drunkards… all in the search of finding joy, happiness, excitement… goodness knows. It’s not found. On to the next thing. It’s not found. Why? There is nothing lasting outside of Christ!
Use your oils. Look into them. They are wonderful for natural cleaning, and some healthcare… But if you are looking at them to be your “all in all” you are going to be sorely disappointed. They are not the Answer. They are not the Savior. Only One is… Jesus Christ. His glory He won’t share with another.