Soul Food for Sunday

“My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord:
my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.”
Psalm 84:2

 I am addicted to the Word of God.  In it is the power of the life of Jesus Christ, our Lord. The power of the gospel to save (Romans 1:16) is the same power that raised Christ from the death, so that His life would be a continual flow of power in and through His people.  Feeding on His word daily is coupled with the Lord’s Day proclamation in the preaching of His word.  His word goes forth in power to those whose hearts and souls feed on Him.  How can we fast on the Lord’s Day when He has prepared a feast for us from His word?

Sword-Word-God-118735“For the word of God is quick, and powerful,
and sharper than any twoedged sword,
piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit,
and of the joints and marrow,
and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Hebrews 4:12

By His Word and Spirit, He searches and knows my heart; He tries me and knows my thoughts, sees any wicked way in me; and leads me in the paths of righteousness (Psalm 138:23-24; 23:3).

 “Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
Matthew 4:4

I need His word ~ the same word that penetrated my being ~ to permeate, and perpetuate the life of Christ in and through me; for His sanctification by the “washing of the water by the word” (Ephesians 5:26).

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing:
the words that I speak unto you,
they are spirit, and they are life.”

John 6:63

Through His Word are all God’s promises made and fulfilled in Christ, the living Word.

For he satisfieth the longing soul,
and filleth the hungry soul with goodness
.”
Psalm 107:9

“I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.”
Psalm 130:5

“Whom have I in heaven but thee?
and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.
My flesh and my heart faileth:
but God is the strength of my heart, 
and my portion for ever.”
Psalm 73:25:26

sarasota-tropical-garden-design“And the Lord shall guide thee continually,
and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones:
and thou shalt be like a watered garden,
and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

Isaiah 58:11

Dear Father, as you bring us this day into your gates with thanksgiving and your courts with praise, open our hearts to your word, that our souls may be fed, nourished, and receiving the bread of life in Christ, your Son, and your Spirit, knowing the abundance of His life within us. Let us this week, in the obedience of faith, be about our Father’s business of life, doing all your will ~ to your glory and our joy.  In Jesus’ name, I pray.  Amen.
Fran

Images: Google

Words of Life ~ AWAKE

God’s Word teaches us that we are dead in trespasses and sin until we are by His grace quickened (made alive) together in Christ (Ephesians 2:1-6) by His resurrection (1 Peter 1:3).

It is fitting that our last word beginning with the letter A in our Words of Life A to Z ~ the Ordinary Vocabulary of a Christian has to do with new life ~ awaking to the light of Christ, whose life is the light of men. (John 1:4).

Old Testament
H5782 AWAKE;`uwr ür (rather identical with through the idea of opening the eyes); to wake(literally or figuratively):—(a-) wake(-n, up), lift up (self), to rouse oneself; incite; to be excited
The same word is used for stir up and lift up

The following relate to the request for the Lord to awake.

Psalm 7:6
“Arise, O Lord, in thine anger, lift up thyself because of the rage of mine enemies: and awake for me to the judgment that thou hast commanded.”

Psalm 59:4
“They run and prepare themselves without my fault: awake to help me, and behold.”

Isaiah 51:9
“Awake
awakeput on strength, O arm of the Lord; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon?”

From Isaiah, we find the call for Jerusalem to awake.

Isaiah 51:17
“Awake
awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the hand of the Lord the cup of his fury; thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling, and wrung them out.”

 Isaiah 52:1
“Awakeawakeput on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.

Psalm 108:2
“Awake
, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early.”

H3364  yaqats yä·kats’ to awake, awaken, become active
The same word is used for awoke and awaked.

Psalm 78:65
“Then the Lord awaked as one out of sleep, and like a mighty man that shouteth by reason of wine.”

H6974 Quwts küts;  through the idea of abruptness in starting up from sleep (compare H3364)); to awake (literally or figuratively):—arise, (be) (a-) wake, watch.

Psalm 3:5
“I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me.”

Jeremiah 31:26
“Upon this I awaked, and beheld; and my sleep was sweet unto me.”

“As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.” Psalm 17:15

Proverbs 6:22 speaks of wisdom.

“When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.”

Isaiah 26:19
“Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.”

Daniel 12:2|
“And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”

New Testament
There are three Greek references in the New Testament, each a different word.

 G1326 AWAKE; iegeirōdē-e-gā’-rō to wake up, awaken, arouse(from sleep) of the sea, which begins to be agitated, to rise
the same word is used for raised, arose, to stir

Mark 4:38
“And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?”

The word iegeirō relates to Jesus’ waking and also to the arousing of the sea. From His calmness in sleeping, He arose and calmed the sea.

G1594 eknēphō ek-nā’-fō from G1537 and G3525; (figuratively) to rouse (oneself) out of stupor:—awake.


“Awake
 to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.” 1 Corinthians 15:34

G1453 egeírō, eg-i’-ro probably akin to the base of G58 (through the idea of collecting one’s faculties); to waken (transitively or intransitively), i.e. rouse (literally, from sleep, from sitting or lying, from disease, from death; or figuratively, from obscurity, inactivity, ruins, nonexistence)
to arouse from the sleep of death, to recall the dead to life; to raise up i.e. cause to be born

We would benefit from meditation on this meaning as it applies to new birth ~ to awake from death, from obscurity, ruins, nonexistence.

Ephesians 5:14
“Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.”

Dear Father in heaven, awake as in the ancient days to the needs of your people. Let us awake to your voice for service in your kingdom. Let us by your Spirit awake to life in Christ who gives us light ~ that you may by His light through us waken others to life in Him ~ for your glory. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Images: Google

Passion and Compassion

 

Sharing another thought in the process of our newest book Filled with Grace ~ Wrapped in Glory.

What is the result of “Christ in you ~ the hope of glory?” Colossians 1:27

When we understand the dynamics of a supernatural relationship with Jesus Christ, we live with a passion for Him. That heavenly, spiritual relationship has an effect on our earthly relationships with others.

His passion for us and our passion for Him ~ Filled with His Grace ~ causes an overflow. Passion turns to compassion for others. It is all initiated by the Lord ~ from our head to our heart and through our hands, others know of Him.

It is the power of His Spirit and Word through us that draws others to HIm.

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts:
and be ready always to give an answer to every man
that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you
with meekness and fear:”

1 Peter 3:15

“As every man hath received the gift,
even so minister the same one to another,
as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” 
1 Peter 4:10

Dear Father, whose name is to be hallowed, whose kingdom is continually coming and your will being done in us as your children ~ pour out the Spirit of Christ upon your people; draw us to Him through your Word and speak to others through us. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Image: Depositphotos

A Passion for Christ

The apostle Paul had a passion for Christ.
Martyrs die in their passion for Christ.
His disciples live their passion for Christ.

To have a passion for Christ, we must know Him. To know Him, we must read, study, and hear Christ preached. We must have His Spirit within us.

Our Pastor, Chris Strevel, is preaching through the Gospel of Luke ~ with a passion for Christ that shows in his sermons. Yesterday’s was another one that touches the heart of those who love the Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ.

(Chris’ father and mother’s passion for Christ was passed down to him. His father lived fifteen years with an injury as a Vietnam veteran. In and out of hospitals, he preached Christ with amazing results ~ hopefully, to be shared as his mother is in the process of documenting their story.)

Jesus Christ the Mighty Savior ~Sermon Outline:
I. His Words Come with Power (vv. 31-32)
II. He Delivers from Demons and Disease (vv. 33-39)
III. He Preaches the Kingdom of God (vv. 40-44)
IV. Is Jesus Christ Your Mighty Savior?

 

Remembering Whose We Are

At different times in this life, we tend to forget things ~ a person’s name, an event, directions, etc. The human mind is not always under our own control. As we age, time can take its toll on our memory.

As I am nearing my eightieth birthday, losing my memory is not what I want to think about. Still vivid in my mind are those years of caring for my mother, who died at the age of 92 after suffering through years of dementia.

This experience left me with many things to consider, which we have published in our books. For this article, one thing is on my mind.

It is to remind and encourage God’s children to spend time with Him ~ quality time ~ every day, getting to know our heavenly Father through His Word, Jesus Christ,  and communion in His Spirit; and to teach your children.

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful,
and sharper than any twoedged sword,
piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit,
and of the joints and marrow,
and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Hebrews 4:12

When we are unable to think or speak as we normally do, we naturally go into default mode ~ deferring to the things in which we are rooted and grounded.

“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith;
that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
 may be able to comprehend…” 
Ephesians 3:17

What has been established in our hearts and minds is our one hope that brings us through times of uncertainty. Filled with His truth and grace, we can be assured that we are in His care ~ wrapped in His glory, forever.

My prayer at this stage is that the Lord will keep me filled with His grace, surrounded by His love, caring for me. Even when I forget everyone else and my own mechanisms fail, I pray to remember whose I am as a witness to others of His grace ~ for His glory.

Dear Father, show us who you are,
that we may remember whose we are.
In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Fran

Suggested Reading: First Things That Last Forever;
The Garden of God’s Word
What the Holy Bible Says about The Word of God
Child Keeping: God’s Blessing to Parents

Just When We Thought

We were beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel……

It was mid-2006. Mother had continued to decline in the four years she lived with us. Her physical condition was adding its toll to her dementia. We had done all we could since my dad died of cancer several years before.  While caring for her, we kept two of our granddaughters two days a week ~ a joy and a respite for us and Mother.

But, something had to give.

Her month in a nursing home before she died did not make life any easier. Even so, we hoped this would end our adventures with adversity. No so. Five weeks through the settling of her small estate, Jerry had emergency by-pass surgery on his left leg.

A month later, his leg had to be amputated. After three years of not healing, he had a third surgery to remove the graft inserted for the by-pass.  The stump finally healed seven months later and for a short while he used a prosthesis with a walker. But it is still painful.

For the last two years, he has not driven a car, walked, or worn a shoe because of issues with wounds that would not heal. His heart disease and diabetes are not our best friends.

Why am I rehashing these affairs? One reason is to witness of the fulness of God’s grace during trials in this life and to compare the lives of God’s children to the children of Israel as He delivers us from our bondage to self and sin and brings us through this wilderness to His promised land for us.

A Worse Scenario
God’s people had been in bondage four hundred years when the Lord sent Moses and Aaron to Egypt. Their case before Pharoah to deliver Israel only made their condition worse. Not only were they still required to make bricks, but they had to find their own straw. They could not understand how the Lord was working for their freedom.

“Then, as they came out from Pharaoh, they met Moses and Aaron who stood there to meet them. And they said to them, “Let the Lord look on you and judge, because you have made us abhorrent in the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to kill us.” Exodus 5:20-21

Like the people of Israel, we cannot see how the Lord is working on our behalf until we get past a breaking point. Adversity is His means of proving His presence and power in the lives of His children, enabling us to live in the assurance He gives and to praise Him every day.

“My brethren, count it all joy
when ye fall into divers temptations; 
Knowing this,
that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
But let patience have her perfect work,
that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
James 1:2-4

More and more, we are learning what Paul meant when he said, “I have learned to be content.” Jesus becomes more precious with each trial, endears us to Him and excites our hope for eternal life with Him.

It is in the “something has to give” times that He fills us with His grace and shows His mercy ~ growing us in the process to understand the truth and reality of His promises. Christ in you ~ the hope of glory is experienced in every turn of this life, bringing us closer and closer to Him, His glory and His joy.

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time
are not worthy to be compared with the glory
which shall be revealed in us.
Romans 8:18

Dear Father, as we are still learning what it means to grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, we pray your Holy Spirit to prove us to be yours. Fill us with your grace and make us know your goodness and mercy that follows us all the days of our lives; that we shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Fran
Suggested Reading: TWO FULL PLATES ~ Learning to be a Caregiver

Image: Pixabay

Delight in the Sabbath

If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath,
    from doing your pleasure  on my holy day,
and call the Sabbath a delight
    and the holy day of the Lord honorable;
if you honor it, not going your own ways,
    or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly; 
  then you shall take delight in the Lord,
    and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; 
I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,
    for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
Isaiah 58:13-14

Image: Pixabay/David Mark