A Day of Separation

Should any day be different from another? Do we need technology to keep us posted and aware of the day, who we are and why we are here?

If we read God’s Word ~ how He began with creation and set a pattern for days ~ we have a means of understanding life for us as He meant it to be.

Separation of Night and Day

We see the purpose of separation when we read of His separation of light and darkness and night and day. Every night we die to the world in sleep. We are raised to a new life each morning.

After His creation of the earth and its inhabitants, He made a difference in the week. Months pass into years, years into decades, decades into centuries, etc.

We plan weeks and months for different activities ~ vacations, education, etc. As creatures, we, like our Creator, create so that our lives are not monotonous, boring, and mundane. We try to make ourselves happy, prosperous, free for whatever we want, and on track with society according to what is available in the physical world.

Separation of Days

If our years and decades seem to lose their significance, we need to go back to the system God created for us ~ specifically the days of the week.

Separation of night and day was necessary for simple survival. Whether we believe in God or not, we all agree on three things: Everybody sleeps. Everybody eats. And at some point, everybody dies (until Jesus’ second return).

When the Lord our God created the heavens and the earth and rested the seventh day, He did not need to rest but He, as our heavenly Father, rested and set a precedent for those who belong to Him. HE planned the time and activity He knew we needed.

Before the Fall, man needed a seventh day for rest, but even more so, since the Fall, when we were separated from Him.

So, what difference does a seventh day make? Why did God provide this day before the Fall? The key is separation.

Separation of People

God created everything we would need ~ before He created man.He created the Sabbath (seventh day) as a separate day for a separate people. He separated the nation of Israel for Himself in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, we understand that He has separated a people for Himself through His Son, Jesus Christ. In Christ, we are a separate people who are called to rest and worship on His Day with Him.

This separation is for now and eternity. Jesus told of the time when His people ~ His sheep ~ will be separated from the goats. Throughout God’s Word, He makes a difference in the righteous and the wicked, in that which is holy and the unholy, in the clean and the unclean, in light and darkness, etc. The ungodly will not stand in the judgment with the righteous (Psalm 1:5).

“Intelligent Separation from Turbulence”

The active observance of the Lord’s Day is what our pastor describes as “intelligent separation from turbulence” ~ the idea of God’s people coming out of the world and its chaos for one day a week. He used this phrase in his sermon last Lord’s Day evening as he has been preaching through the book of Exodus (Exodus 31:12-18).

Rest on the Lord’s Day, including His worship, is like dying to the world and waking the next morning refreshed and alive to face the turbulence with added wisdom, vigor, and grace.

Please listen to this special message on the subject of the fourth commandment as it applies to us as followers of Christ. Why We Need to Keep Sabbath Today.

 “And you shall be holy to Me, for I the Lord am holy,
and have separated you from the peoples,
that you should be Mine.”
Leviticus 20:26 NKJV

The KJV uses the word “severed” in this reference, indicating a total cutting off from those who are not His people. We are His, holy in Christ.

Dear heavenly Father, you are separate from your creation but as you planned to share your kingdom with us through your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, teach us through your Word the difference Jesus makes in our lives. By your Holy Spirit separate us on this holy day in honor of our Lord who was cut off in order to separate us for yourself. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Image: Google

What is Jesus Doing in Your Life?

(Let me tell you!)

This is but a synopsis (though not a short post) of what I know of His presence and power in others and my own life. It is worth meditation on God’s Word to confirm our faith in what the Lord is doing in our lives.
(With this post, I will be concluding in the next two weeks the last chapters of Beyond a Mere Christianity as our next book to publish, Lord willing. I am still working on Filled with Grace and Wrapped in Glory.)

Things we will speak of here:

How Did Jesus Get into Your Life?
What is He Doing in Your Life Now?
Why is He in Your Life ~ to what end?
<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>
How Did Jesus Get into Your Life?


We sometimes make the mistake of thinking that we have chosen Jesus to be our Savior. When we read Jesus’ words, we understand more than what others say about inviting Jesus into our hearts. Follow through with me to find the assurance that He gives.

As I am speaking of the supernatural presence of Jesus in the human body, soul, and spirit, I must say that Jesus did not come into my life by asking Him.

God, our Father revealed Jesus to me by His Holy Spirit through the knowledge of His Word. I knew of Him before I knew Him. In His timing, I understood the meaning of Ezekiel 36:26.

A new heart also will I give you,
and a new spirit will I put within you:
and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh,
and I will give you a heart of flesh.

There were those of His own people who believed Jesus when they saw His miracles and spoke the good news of the kingdom of God, but they left after He told them more of what the kingdom was. So, we see that they did not believe in Christ ~ they did not believe all that He said. There were things He specifically instructed those who heard His message.

“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are my disciples indeed.”John 8:31

This quote begins with a condition and ends with an effect. We do not naturally gravitate to His Word in our natural state. The presence and power of the Holy Spirit draw us to His Word according to the will of the Father (John 6:44-45, 65-66; Galations 1:4). The Holy Spirit that inspired the Word interprets the truths of Jesus Christ so as to bring us to repentance and faith in Him (Romans 2:4; Luke 5:32).

Even as He draws, abiding in His Word is the work of His Spirit. We abide as He continues to lead us to read, that we may seek by the power of the Holy Spirit what He wills for us as His disciples.

The Holy Spirit reveals the Living Word (the logos, John 1) Jesus Christ, who was in the beginning: The Word was with God and was God. He was made flesh to dwell among us (John 1:14) and bring us to Him through the sacrifice of Himself ~ through His death, resurrection, and ascension.

Through God’s Word, the Holy Spirit convicts of sin~ our rebellion against God; of righteousness~ the righteousness of Christ given to us; and judgment ~ the judgment that is upon the world and for eternity for those who do not believe and follow Him. (John 16:8-11)

Jesus told His disciples He had many things to say to them but that they could not bear them while Jesus was with them.

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. John 16:12-14

It is the Holy Spirit that does the supernatural work of bringing us by faith into the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We did not birth ourselves naturally into this world nor do we birth ourselves spiritually into the kingdom of heaven. Any interest in Jesus Christ and the things of God begin with the new birth (John 3:3-8).

The new birth is not by our free will but by the will of God as we spoke earlier of the new heart and spirit.

“Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:13

To fully understand everything God wants for us, we must continually read His Word as the Spirit reveals more and more of Jesus, the Living Word that dwells within us.

“Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive,
because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him:
but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you,
and shall be in you.” John 14:17

He has made us in Christ to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: Colossians 1:12-13
Though we were alienated from God and enemies, yet now hath he reconciled. Colossians 1:21
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Ephesians 1:7-8

What is He Doing in Your Life Now?

For it is God which worketh in you
both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Philippians 2:13

 Jesus’ disciples were sorrowful at the news that He would be returning to the Father and sending His Holy Spirit in His stead (John 16:4-7). They were a privileged few whom Jesus personally lived among and taught ~ those who afterward recorded what He taught and spread the knowledge of Jesus, the Living Word.

The more we know of Jesus, the more we know what He is doing in us.

Continuing (abiding) in His Word convinces us that He is abiding in us, transforming our minds, and conforming us to His image.

 “I am come that they might have life,
and that they might have it more abundantly.”
John 10:10

I have often thought of the difference in Jesus and Superman. Superman, an imaginary character of a man’s creation, changes from a mild-mannered reporter to a super-hero. He flies down into the dire circumstances, scoops up the person in danger, returns them to their original state, and goes back to his newsroom, undetected. He has no personal relationship with those he saves.

Jesus, however, not only knows our need for salvation but reveals Himself as the Savior. He knows each of us by name. He saves us, lives with us by His Spirit and Word  ~ to love, care, and share His kingdom with us forever.

He is preparing us for eternity with Him. As we wait, we grow in grace and knowledge of Him (2 Peter 3:12-18).

Continuing through His Word, we read how He enables us to live in the world, separate and sanctified for His use and to be a light to others of His saving grace.

God the Father has given us His Word through His Son.
The following is only part of Jesus’ high-priestly prayer for His people which we do well to know and meditate on what He purposes to do for us and in us.
He speaks of those who have believed that the Father sent Him (vs. 8) for them~ not for the world (vs. 9).
Believers belong to Him and the Father; Jesus is glorified in them (vs. 10).
His joy would be fulfilled in them (vs.13), He gave them the Father’s word and the world hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
We are kept from the evil, sanctified through His Word; His Word is truth(vs.15-17)
I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. (15)
Jesus sanctified Himself that they also might be sanctified through the truth. John 17:19
Jesus did not pray for them alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; (vs.20).
That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me (vs. 21).
And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them (26).

Paul described the work of Jesus on our behalf.

Who gave himself for our sins,
that he might deliver us from this present evil world,
according to the will of God and our Father:
Galatians 1:4

To be Filled and Fruitful
Paul spoke to the Philippians of being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:11

“Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:” Colossians 1:6

Paul prayed for the Colossian church that they might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Colossians 1:9-11

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:32

 To Be Strengthened and Rooted and Grounded in Love

That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Ephesians 3:16-19

To Be Transformed and Conformed to His Image

We are being transformed from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18; Romans 12:1-2) and conformed to His image (Romans 8:28-29)

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:32

 Why is He in Your Life ~ to What End?

“That he might sanctify and cleanse it (the church ~ His people) with the washing of water by the word,
That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:26-27

To present us holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: Colossians 1:22

 He is working in us what is well-pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ (Hebrews 13:29-21).

“to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,” Jude 24

“That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:” Ephesians 1:10

“Being confident of this very thing,
that he which hath begun a good work in you
will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” 
Philippians 1:6

“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly
above all that we ask or think,
according to the power that worketh in us,”
Ephesians 3:20

We can never in one chapter of a book present a full answer to the questions we have asked. As we pray and continue in His Word, He will reveal more, bringing us closer to Him, beyond anything we have known (Jeremiah 33:3).

Gracious Father in heaven, we do not deserve the life you have given us in Christ. We thank you and praise you for your Word and for sending your Holy Spirit to draw us to Christ. Fill us with your fullness that we may bear the fruit of righteousness for your kingdom and your glory. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Image: Pixabay

 

 

Reclaiming Sunday as the Lord’s Day

How often does history repeat itself? It sometimes takes centuries and new generations to forget the past. We observe the world and the culture and think that we are experiencing something new, when actually we are only replaying the scenarios our forefathers knew.

The Christian community is looking at the world through the same lens and blaming our culture for the current ills. We want to point a finger at everyone outside our personal environment.

If we look to the Word of God, we find much to explain why we are in such straits as we are.

In a country that began as “a nation under God,” at first living as those who belonged to God, we wonder how things took a different turn.  As His people, we find that we are not much different from our ancestors that liked what other nations had. In their covetousness, they wanted a king to rule over them.

He gave them what they wanted and so they served and yielded the fruit of their own doing. Without Him, they became like other nations and suffered the consequences of living without His direction, presence, and power.

Even when they worshipped Him, they made their own laws, going their own way in idolatry.

Years after Israel’s exile and deliverance from Egypt, they rebelled against His precepts. We see in Daniel 9:1-19 the ramifications of their disobedience.

In the first year of his reign, I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.

And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:

And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;

 We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:” Daniel 9:2-5

Prophecy of Jeremiah

“Between the second and the third wave (of their captivity), Jeremiah prophesied that the total time would be 70 years (Jeremiah 29:10). On the one hand this emphasized how serious the sin of Israel was. They would not be saved after a few years, as they expected. On the other hand, it showed God’s grace. For He promised to not forget them, but to save them in the end. And He did. The Persians took over the Babylonian Empire, and released the Jews. As Jeremiah had prophesied, 70 years after the first captivity, the first returnees arrived in Israel. The hard punishment that the Lord gave them for forsaking him, resulted in their repentance.” Biblword

Scripture demonstrates that the Babylonian exile lasted for 70 years and that exile allowed the land to rest for the 70 Sabbath years that the Israelites had failed to observe. (See this link.)

God’s Word for His People

God did not expect the whole world to live by the commandments of His kingdom. He issued His Word to a chosen people for their obedience and dependence upon Him to lead and care for them.

We cannot expect the world to abide by God’s Word but we, as His people, are called to a life separate from the world. When we continue to live as if we are not His people observing the same lifestyle as the world, we are the ones who are in jeopardy. We are the people under His judgment.

“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?” 1 Peter 4:17

What can we do to change the climate of our nation and the world? We cannot change the world. It will continue in rejection of the Lord Jesus Christ until He comes again in victory over all nations.

As His people, we must pray for ourselves to know His rule in our own hearts and lives.

We must fast and pray for His Church in the world; for knowledge of Him, repentance and faith among His people. We must rise up in obedience to Him and His Word ~ to reclaim His kingdom on earth in us.

We can by His power, start by reclaiming and observing the day He gave us for separation from the world, as a prelude and practice for the eternal rest, honoring Him above all else.

We must begin somewhere to make the presence of His kingdom known.

Pray and Prove

We are already in captivity to our own thoughts and desires ~ in exile to the world’s depravity and culture. We must pray and prove that we belong to Him. We must witness of a different state and a different lifestyle as we continue through this wilderness. We must seek His kingdom and His righteousness through the knowledge of His Word and His commandments. We must live by the filling and leading of His Holy Spirit.

Sunday as we know it, is the Lord’s Day, given by the Father to His Son upon completion of His mission to save His people from this world of sin. The Lord’s Day is His Day to gather His people to Himself, to celebrate His victory over sin for us.

For all that He sacrificed for us ~ for His propitiation for our sins ~ we need to show our love and sacrifice for Him. Even if you are the only one who sees the need, be a witness to others of His will for the Lord’s Day. Plan during the week to make the Lord’s Day His day that He shares with you.

How do you spend Sundays?

How would you change how you spend the Lord’s Day so as to honor and glorify Him?

It will change your whole life and make you a testimony of His grace.

Dear Father in heaven, my heart is heavy, burdened for your name’s sake, when I see your people use the Day you planned for your Son’s honor for themselves. Send your Holy Spirit for conviction; by your goodness, bring us to repentance, renewed faith,  devotion, and commitment to our Lord who gave Himself to save us from this present evil age. In His precious name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

What was the Babylonian captivity/exile?

Words of Life ~ BEAUTY

The KJV version only uses the word BEAUTY in the Old Testament Hebrew language. From Strong’s Concordance, we will compare different words in different verses.

H8597 tiphʼârâh, tif-aw-raw beauty, splendourgloryH6286; ornament (abstractly or concretely, literally or figuratively):—beauty(-iful), bravery, comely, fair, glory(-ious), honour, majesty. The same word is used for honorandglory

Psalm 96:6
“Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.”

Isaiah 28:5
“In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people,”

H6643 tseb-ee’; from H6638 in the sense of prominence; splendor (as conspicuous):—beautiful(-ty), glorious (-ry), goodly, pleasant, roe(-buck).

2 Samuel 1:19
“The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen!”

2 Chronicles 3:6
“And he garnished the house with precious stones for beauty: and the gold was gold of Parvaim.”

H1927 hădârâh, had-aw-raw’; feminine of H1926; decoration:—beauty, honour.

 

1 Chronicles 16:29
“Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.”

 

2 Chronicles 20:21
“And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth for ever.”

Job 40:10
“Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty.”

Psalm 96:9
“O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.”

Proverbs 20:29
“The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the grey head.”

H5278 nôʻam, no’-am; from H5276; agreeableness, i.e. delight, suitableness, splendor or grace:—beauty, pleasant, pleasantness.

 

Psalm 27:4 “One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.”

 

Psalm 90:17
“And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.”

H2530 châmad, khaw-mad’; a primitive root; to delight in:—beauty, greatly beloved, covet, delectable thing, (great) delight, desire, goodly, lust, (be) pleasant (thing), precious (thing)

Psalm 39:11
“When thou with rebukes dost correct man for iniquity, thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth: surely every man is vanity. Selah.”

H3308 yŏphîy, yof-ee’; from H3302; beauty:—beauty

Psalm 45:11
“So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him.”

Proverbs 31:30
“Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.”

H6697 tsûwr,tsoor; from H6696; properly, a cliff (or sharp rock, as compressed); generally, a rock or boulder; figuratively, a refuge; also an edge (as precipitous,

Psalm 49:14
“Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling.”

 H4758 marʼeh, mar-eh’; from H7200; a view (the act of seeing); also an appearance

“For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant,
and as a root out of a dry ground:
he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him,
there is no beauty that we should desire him.”
Isaiah 53:2

H6287 pᵉʼêr peh-ayr’; from H6286; an embellishment, i.e. fancy head-dress:—beauty, bonnet, goodly, ornament, tire

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion,
to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning,
the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
that they might be called trees of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified”
Isaiah 61:3

There is one reference in the New Testament NKJV that uses the word beauty.The word used in the KJV is “ornament.” It is translated as if to be an outward reflection of a humble heart ~ mildness of disposition, gentleness of spirit, meekness.

G4239 praÿs,prah-ooce’; apparently a primary word; mild, i.e. (by implication) humble:—meek.mildness of disposition, gentleness of spirit, meekness 

“Do not let your adornment be merely outward—
arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—
rather let it be the hidden person of the heart,
with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit,
which is very precious in the sight of God.”
1 Peter 3:3-4

“Meekness toward God is that disposition of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting. The gentle person is not occupied with self at all. This is a work of the Holy Spirit, not of the human will (Gal 5:23).” Blue Letter Bible

Though there was no beauty in Jesus “that we should desire Him” (Isaiah 53:2) He displayed the true beauty of God and heaven in His nature and disposition. There has been no greater beauty than His in His meekness and sacrifice for us in His crucifixion. Only when He comes again in His majesty and splendor, will we be able with heavenly eyes to see His glorious beauty and to enjoy Him forever. Come, Lord Jesus.

Dear Father, we praise you for the work of your Holy Spirit in us. You have made us your temple to display your meekness ~ your beauty in us as your children. Enable us to worship you in the beauty of your holiness. In Jesus’ precious name, we thank you, Amen.
Fran

Related Article:  An Open Letter to Our Granddaughter ~ What is Beauty?

Images: Google

 

An Open Letter to Our Granddaughter

Dear Ansley,

When you were a child, you asked me, “Gramama, what is beauty?”

I did not have an answer then and twenty years later, I am still learning.

I grew up hearing that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

“Beauty is only skin deep.”

“Beauty is where you find it.”

“Beauty is all around us, but the blind cannot see.”

There is no answer to describe what may be beautiful to every person.

The only true beauty is in holiness, beauty in God that He reveals to the clean heart; for the eyes reserved for Him to receive what He chooses to give.

Beauty is found in His Word ~ written and Living in Christ.

Beauty in the Heart

“But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart
with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit,
which in God’s sight is very precious.”
1 Peter 3:4

God sees the beauty of His own work in the hearts and lives of His children.

True beauty is seen by the soul; reserved for the humble heart.

There is beauty in the thoughts of those who know that God loves them.

Beauty is seen by the light (the light of Grace) that shines into the heart. The light that reveals the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ.

True beauty is hidden from the world because it is heaven-oriented, God-inspired, Spirit-breathed, and Christ-centered in His children.

True beauty, as God reveals it, is seen in His Son, Jesus Christ. Through His eyes, we see what He wants us to see, beyond the boundaries of our own little world.

Beauty is in the cross of the One who died, in Him who with open arms rejoices in those who come to Him.

Beauty is in the Shepherd that carries one of His sheep until he is able to walk on his own.

Beauty is following Jesus and sitting at His feet.

Beauty is the moment a person knows that He is God’s child, born of His Spirit for eternity.

It is His kingdom within us, making us aware of the beauty around us that others cannot see.

Beauty is in the heart that loves what God loves.

Beauty is seen in patiently waiting for the Master.

Beauty is accepting all that the Lord wills for our lives, in disappointments, trials, and suffering.

Beauty is the Spirit of Christ within the human heart speaking wherever we are, in our times of need, or prompting us to minister to someone else’s need.

“And let the beauty of our Lord our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands;
yea, the work of our hands, establish thou it. “
Psalm 90:17

Beauty is in the hands of those who serve Him, and beauty in the work that we do for Him.

Beauty is in the peace of mind that only He gives.

Beauty is in the quietness of a moment, when the world around us is in chaos.

Beauty in Relationships

Beauty is living in humility to serve God and others.

Beauty is God’s love in action.

Beauty is seen in a smile when you least expect it.

Beauty is in gentleness.

Beauty is in an act of compassion.

Beauty is in the generosity of one who cares for others,

Beauty is responding to a need on a spur of the moment.

Beauty is in the sincere words, “I love you.”

Beauty is in a spontaneous hug for someone you don’t know.

Beauty in Nature

Beauty is seeing a butterfly light on a delicate flower petal, or a bee receiving the nectar of God’s provision.

Beauty is seen in the opening of a single flower that receives the rays of the sun after a gentle rain.

Beauty is seeing a flowing leaf find its resting place on the ground.

We have yet to see the beauty of His holiness. It is more than we can endure, now.

We will see His full beauty when He returns for His people, and the beauty of His world which He promises to us. 

I could not answer your question when you first asked. We have both been learning.   I can witness of the true meaning of beauty that is revealed by God to His children. You could add what you have learned since then.

If our eyes are opened to Him, we see His beauty around us and within us. We have the remainder of this life for Him to prepare our eyes to behold Him ~ and eternity to experience the beauty of His holiness and majesty.

As we wait, I am seeing His beauty in you.

In the love of our heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, a love that transcends all time and space ~ for His glory and our joy ~
Gramama

Images: Google

The Pit and the Wilderness (Part 2)

In this last part of The Pit and the Wilderness, we look at Discovering the Promises, The Hidden Blessings, and The Sustaining Power of His Spirit.

    Discovering the Promises     

 I am a stranger in the earth:
hide not thy commandments from me.”
Psalm 119:19

When we look at the words that John wrote to those who followed Christ, we see the promises that are ours through our pilgrimage here.  In the same sentence before “the whole world lieth in wickededness,” he said, “And we know that we are of God.” 1 John 5:19

In the previous verse, he said,

We know that everyone who has been born of God
does not keep on sinning,
but he who was born of God
protects him
, and the evil one does not touch him.”

He has brought us out of the pit. We can travel the remainder of our journey with this assurance.

Paul knew and experienced the promises.

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness
and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,
in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

Colossians 1:13-14

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins
to deliver us from the present evil age,
according to the will of our God and Father,
to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Galatians 1:3-5

Simon Peter shared these promises.

“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.“ 2 Peter 1:3-4

Hidden Blessings

Many say that we fail to obtain these blessings because they are hidden from us in our disobedience.  Our heavenly Father does not waste anything ~ just as Jesus did not give His life to suffer and die in vain but to effectively save all His people (Matthew 1:21).

How can God’s blessings be refused?

He is able ~ exceeding abundantly able ~ to bring His own children to receive what He has prepared for us (Ephesians 3:20; 1 Corinthians 2:9) He is God. He is the Father. He is not disappointed ~ rather He rejoices over us because of His own work (Zephaniah 3:17). He prepared before the foundation of the world what He brings to pass according to the power of His Holy will.

We can pray to God the prayer of Isaiah 64:1

Rend the heavens and come down, as the melting fire burneth,
to make known your name among the adversaries
.”

But we also, as His people, praise Him with Paul’s words in Ephesians 4:1.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who 
in Christ, has blessed us with every spiritual blessing
in heavenly places.

These blessings are for His children who live daily in the wilderness, through His Word and Spirit, enduring with faith and persevering to the goal.

God does not hide the blessings from us ~ we find them as we continue on our way. They are seemingly hidden in our circumstances. They turn up where we might least expect them. This is the experience of living faith that He works through us.  Through every trial, He is waiting to bless us.

Sustaining Power of His Spirit

 Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counselors.
My soul cleaveth unto the dust:
quicken thou me according to thy word.

Psalm 119:24-25

His Spirit is every moment sustaining us. These thoughts of hope and assurance have remained with me since that vision of the pit. There have been moments of trial in which my paths have taken me through valleys, sometimes to the mountaintop for a special time with Him but these were temporary.

As I continued on my way, the pit was revealed again and again, sometimes on each side with only room to walk, as over a narrow bridge, so that I could almost feel a hand on my leg; other times as if on a tightrope extended above the openings.

Other times I have had to cross great streams that would have carried me away except that He was holding on to me and carrying me across, or holding me as I was carried downstream.

There have been paths through tunnels,  blackness surrounding me ~ at times having little more than a faint light ahead ~ but as I continued, the light became brighter.

There have been days so dark that it seemed as if I was in a dungeon with no light at all, with only the hope that He would bring me out in His timing.

It is during these times that I remember ~ this darkness is nothing compared to the darkness of the pit from which God has brought us, and of even greater darkness that is yet to come for those who are not His.

And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness:
there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth
.”
Matthew 25:30

His grace is truly sufficient for all times and for all trials (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

As we continue through this wilderness, we who are in Christ will encounter the enemy at every turn, but we are assured that we are not alone. God is always with us.

And I saw an angel come down from heaven,
having the key of the bottomless pit
and a great chain in his hand.

Revelation 20:1

Thank you, Lord, for the wilderness.
In Jesus’ precious name. Amen.

Fran

Suggested reading: God is Our Goal

Image: Pixabay