“Absorbed in Prayer and Praise”

Everyone is absorbed in something. It may only be “self.”

It is no secret that our minds and hearts soak in what we see, read, hear, and think. Without a desire for what is good and the means to attain it, we are continually saturated with the things of the world. These are our gods ~ second to self ~ and rule our lives. This lifestyle is one of oppression that suppresses all that is good and true and leads to depression and destruction.

But, life does not have to be this way.

God, our Creator, planned a beautiful life for fellowship with Him. Though our first parents rejected Him choosing a life of sin and rebellion, we have a new life provided for us in His Son, Jesus Christ.

He gives us His Spirit and His Word whereby we can know Him and receive all He planned for us. He promises to share his bountiful kingdom with us (Luke 12:32).

Through our study of His Word, we are led by His Holy Spirit to communicate with him in prayer and supplication. He continues to pour out His blessings upon us as we acknowledge Him as our Father and Redeemer.

We Do Not Know How to Pray
Romans 8:26-27  teaches us that though we do not know how to pray, His Holy Spirit intercedes through us. Prayer is a matter of commitment and discipline of time with our heavenly Father, seeking His Spirit, His presence, and His will. He calls us to fellowship with Him in His Word so as to know what we should ask.

We ask, believing what He has promised, thanking Him as we wait for Him to fulfill His promise. When we come to Him, in humility and gratitude for who He is, speaking His Word, and interceding for others, we know He hears us. In the process, our faithful and fervent prayers turn to praise.

“But you are holy,
Enthroned in the praises of Israel.”

Psalm 22:3

 We cannot but praise Him when we live in fellowship with Him. The more we pray in the Spirit and with understanding of His Word, the more we will praise Him.

Our praise is a witness of Him to others. We can share the joy we have in Him even and especially, through adversity.

The phrase, “absorbed in prayer and praise” is found within the lyrics of the hymn Crown Him with Many Crowns by Matthew Bridges 1851.

Crown him the Lord of peace!
Whose power a scepter sways,
From pole to pole,–that wars may cease,
Absorbed in prayer and praise:
His reign shall know no end,
And round his pierced feet
Fair flowers of paradise extend
Their fragrance ever sweet.

At times, His presence may be overwhelming ~ it may seem as if heaven is opened to reveal a glimpse of His glory. This is a taste of heaven ~ a precious and joyful communion with Him.

More time in prayer and praise leads to a habitual lifestyle of obedience, continual trust, and dependence on Him. It may take years before we experience the depth and height of this life in Christ, but it is worth the practice and the wait.

Gracious Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Make us know your presence and power as we daily seek your kingdom and your righteousness. Let us not miss anything you have prepared for us. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Images: Google

Where Jesus Is

We are excited to publish our granddaughter’s first art book Where Jesus Is.

Today through Friday, you can download and share the kindle version free.
Next week it will be listed for $5.99.
It will be available soon in paperback and hardbound.
We hope to do versions for men and children and audio.

Used as a means for memorization and meditation, we trust the Holy Spirit to use God’s Word in and through us to conform us to His image.

Daily doses serve to prepare us for the rule of Christ within us.

One volume is not enough to express all Christ is and does in us ~ this is only a beginning. Volumes II and III will be available later, Lord willing.

Please pray that we, as God’s children and followers of Christ, will use this little book personally, and with our families, to arm ourselves against temptation and the powers and principalities of this world. He lives forever ruling in heaven ~ and by His Holy Spirit and Word within us, we are His kings and priests in this world. 

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Why I Need the Church

Praying this morning on the eve of another Lord’s Day, praising God, my Father, desiring His name to be hallowed, seeking His kingdom and His righteousness, and His will to be done here on earth, it was with worship in mind.

Tomorrow He will meet with us who are gathered in the name of our Lord on the day of our Lord, January 10, 2021. This Eve has become a day of preparation for me, remembering that every day is the day of our Lord for over two thousand years. But, specifically, the first day of the week belongs to Him. According to His atoning work, we, who are His by grace, plan for this day to honor Him. He is the beginning of eternal life for us through His death and resurrection.

So, what difference does it make if I honor Him on His day? And what happens in this celebration of His atoning work of grace? New thoughts came to mind as I prayed for Chris, our pastor. He has specifically asked for prayer that He may preach more faithfully, more pointedly, and more Christ-centeredly. Daily praying for the Holy Spirit to work in Him in His preparation to preach the word in power, we pray more fervently the day before for the sword of God’s Word that will pierce our hearts. We pray for the Holy Spirit to prepare our hearts to receive the truth of His Word and that it will find its resting place to root and grow and produce its fruit in and through us as His children.

 This means more than just saying “Amen” to what we hear. A prepared heart comes to listen to what our Father has given His servant for us. If we “have an ear to hear,” we will take in what He intends to reveal of Himself. The truth in the power of His Word will change our minds and hearts and conform them to His.

So, why do I need to be in church? The church is the place for gathering God’s people to honor His Son and receive the eternal life He came to give. It is the place of His worship and His Word. I need to know and hear from heaven the Father/Creator and Redeemer of my soul. The church was His plan, not man’s. We need under-shepherds who know Christ and the life He came to give His people, who are filled with the Holy Spirit, and who feed His sheep with the manna from heaven.

I need the cutting edge of the sword of His Word, not to desire what makes me feel good about myself, nor to be entertained, but to have all sense of pride and deception stripped from my being. I need to be cleansed of thoughts of, and plans for, myself.

Individual reading and study are good, but these are not all we need. We need the “body of Christ” listening collectively to how He plans to shape us into His image.

Christ died and rose again to give us His life, that we may live through Him (1 Jn. 4:9). The more we know of Him as revealed through the preaching of His Word, the more we become like Him, understanding the reality of His dwelling in us and our dwelling in Him (1 Jn. 4:13; Jn. 14:17, 23), Filled with Grace ~ Wrapped in Glory.)

The supernatural, spiritual work in His incarnation, His resurrection, and His ascension is the same divine power working in us through the sword of His Spirit ~ the Holy Spirit working His Word in our hearts and lives.

His sanctifies us individually and collectively.

We must submit ourselves to the weekly preaching of God’s Word to know His transforming power in the days ahead, lest we lose ourselves in the overwhelming chaos and uncertainty of the world. His Word defines who we are in Christ. We must plan, prepare, and anticipate a newness of life in Christ we have hardly known.

Dear Father, we ask for the unction of your Holy Spirit for the preaching of your Word tomorrow. Prepare our hearts to receive what you have given your ministers. Enable us to receive the truth of your Word for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness. Let us willingly accept what your Word reveals of the intentions of our hearts, deliver us from our sins, and conform us to the image of Christ. In His name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Images: Google

One Life Given for Many

It has been four months since the initial post, An Excavation of John 17 ~ Unearthing the Truths of the Atonement.

Memorization and meditation on the first three verses of John 17 revealed more than we expected to find. In each of the first three verses, we had to stop and wonder what we had uncovered. 

We have been telling others what we found and bid all come to see this truth of “eternal life” and how this has come to be.

From the first verse of John 17, we see a three-way relationship. Jesus is the central figure and the mediator in this relationship between the Father and us. 

Jesus spoke these words, lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son that your Son also may glorify you.’” 

Jesus has finished his three-year ministry of teaching His disciples who He is and why He was here. He turns from the world to look toward heaven, to His Father, His former home, His glory which He had with His Father and to which He will soon return. He acknowledges the preset time, “the hour,” that He will die and give His life (eternal life) as a ransom for those who belong to Him.

as you have given him authority over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as you have given him.”

A fundamental truth discovered in verse 2 is to be considered most important in two ways. 

The Father/Creator has given His Son “authority over all flesh.” His life was prepared before the foundation of the world, to be sacrificed and given as “eternal life to as many as the Father has given Him.” Jesus’ authority over all flesh is a distinct rule over all people. This authority relates to the Father’s desires for those who are to receive the eternal life Jesus is soon to give. We find an explanation of “eternal life” in verse 3 but there is more to be understood.

And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

We find many references for the words “eternal life” and the word “know.” Eternal life in Jesus Christ is given only through an intimate relationship with the Father and the Son at the Father’s initiation. The Father gives a new heart and a new spirit (Ezekiel 36:26) to those He has given to His Son. Eternal life is a different life, making us new creatures in Him and He in us ~ a life that has no end ~ portrayed here by the life of Christ in and through His people. It is the “new birth” ~ the life of the Spirit preparing us for eternity with Him.

Other references speak of those whom the Father will give to Him. (Matthew 1:21John 6:44-45John 6:65; 2 Timothy 1:9)

As we have discovered new facets of His glory, we understand that eternal life is through the revelation and the power of His Word. The disciples received the words Jesus had spoken to them. As we continue digging for the truths of eternal life, we will learn more of the nature and details of this treasure of the powerful life brought to earth in Christ.  

Simon Peter later, when asked if they would leave Him as the others had, replied, “To whom shall we go. You have the words of eternal life.” John 6:68

Jesus said in John 6:63, “My words are spirit, and they are life.”It is good that we have come to this remarkable discovery ~ more than we could ask or imagine. We shall report as often as we can of new findings.

Father in heaven, you continue to bring us to our knees in awe and reverence of you and Christ whom you sent. We praise you for giving us to your Son to reveal your grace and glory and the power of your written word and your living Word, Jesus, in whose name, we pray. Amen.

Exercising the Mind of Christ

Who controls you? It is either Christ or His enemy. The god of this world rules the majority of the minds of men. “But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Cor. 2:16   

How can we have the mind of Christ?

“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.” Eph. 2:1-3

“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.” 1 Cor. 2:10

Both Christ and His enemy (Matt. 4:8-10) claim power in this world.

“Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him.” Jn. 17:1-2

Jesus told His disciples, “All authority (power KJV) has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” Matt: 28:18 (See also Hebrews 1:3)

Scripture clearly describes those who are controlled by the spirit of this world and those who are led by God’s Spirit through Jesus Christ, His Son. 

“And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight.” Col. 1:21-22

The Bible teaches that believers in Christ are born of His Spirit, and willingly submit to Him for the transforming of their minds.

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Roms. 12:2

“Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power.” Ps. 110:3

“Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Cor. 3:17-18.

In the transforming of our minds through His Spirit and His Word, we have wisdom and knowledge as weapons against the strongholds of our minds ~ to exercise the mind of Christ daily and ready to use this power against the enemy of our souls.

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the [wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:10-13

Our strength and power are from the Lord to withstand the assaults of the enemy.

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

The power by which He was raised from the dead is the same power that raises us to new life, filling us with His grace while the world lives in fear and confusion. 

Gracious Father, we need your almighty power to overcome the deception and lies of the enemy. Keep us in communion with you and teach us your Word. Let us memorize, meditate on, and know how to speak your truths in this world of evil and darkness. We praise you for transforming us by renewing our minds. Let us exercise daily the mind of Christ, always ready to use the Sword of the Spirit to defend your truth. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

“On the First Day of the Week”

“Now on the first day of the week ….. they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared.” Luke 24:1

Where we go the first day of the week will determine how our whole week will go.

Mary came prepared to anoint a dead body. She found instead, a living Savior. Did she expect to leave the spices on the outside of the tomb? Had she even imagined she would not have access to her Lord. She came with all she had to worship Him and found exceedingly abundantly more than she could have asked. He found her seeking Him. She left an empty tomb to tell her brethren He was alive.

If we meet with the Lord of lords on His day, we will want to bring Him home with us for the whole day and be back in His house at the end of the day. We will want to bring others to encounter the living Lord and Savior on His day.

He will be with us the remainder of the week.

And we prepare our spices during the week for the next Lord’s Day. What we take to our worship is harvested from His Word and prayer from one week to the next.

We do not bring our praises and adoration to a tomb. The stone from our heart has been rolled away by the power of the gospel and He lives forever in the new heart and spirit He has given us (Ezekiel 36:26). We gather with other blood-bought souls who desire to spend the day with Him.

If you had not already planned today to be with the Lord and His family, find a church that preaches and lives the truths of the atoning work of Christ. Worship Him in the beauty of holiness, in spirit and truth. If you do not yet know Him, ask the Father for His Holy Spirit to reveal Christ to you in His Word. Worship Him today with His people and look for Him to be with you this week. (If you do not have such a church, send me a message on my CONTACT page and I will help you find one close to you. This may be difficult but I am willing to give you pointers on where to look.)

How we spend the Lord’s Day is a precursor to how we will spend eternity. How precious is the Lord Jesus to you on this day?

Glorious Father, where can we go, but to Christ, for the abundant life you and He prepared for your children before the foundation of the world. By the power of your Spirit, draw your people to your houses of worship today. Speak to us through your Word. Fill us, send us, and spend us for your glory and our joy. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Image: Google

4: The Essentiality of God as FATHER

Where are the fathers of those rioting in the streets?
Who are the fathers who sired aborted babies?
Why do fathers desert their children?
How does the world describe a father?
When will fathers come to understand who they are?
Is the father’s relationship with his child essential?
What is a father?

These are questions difficult to answer by common man ~ by common, I mean those who do not know God as their heavenly Father.

 “There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.” Proverbs 30:11

The ordinary understanding of the word “father” is of one who sires a child by progeneration.

“The begetting of offspring; procreation, reproduction.” Lexico

Without a Biblical worldview, we cannot get past this definition to understand the true purpose of a father and his relationship with his offspring.

We must search the Scriptures to discover what it truly means to be a father.

In this fourth chapter of The Essentiality of God, we hope to show how God is our heavenly Father and His example for His people. We will consider the difference in a father as the world portrays it and how God, our heavenly Father reveals the true example.

“Thy first father hath sinned, and thy teachers have transgressed against me.” Isaiah 43:27

In Isaiah, we have this statement from the LORD of the first man’s disobedience to Him.

God, who created Adam, was his father and since then because of his sin, men do not know who they are. He was the representative of fallen men and in him we see the propensity, the proneness to sin and disobedience. Man continues to live outside the parameters of His boundaries, doing whatever comes naturally without considering the consequences.

We have only a few references in the Old Testament relating to God as father.

“A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.” Psalm 68:5

“He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.” Psalm 89:26

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

“But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.” Isaiah 64:8

“For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.” Proverbs 3:12

“When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.” Psalm 27:10

  New Testament references to our heavenly Father

“Our Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:48
“Not a sparrow falls on the ground without our Father.” Matthew 10:29
“There is but one God, the Father.” 1 Corinthians 8:6
“The Father gives the Comforter.” John 14:16
“He is the Father of mercies.” 2 Corinthians 1:3
“He is the Father of glory,” Ephesians 1:17
“He is the Father of spirits.” Hebrews 12:9
“He is the Father of lights.” James 1:17

  The relationship between the Father and Jesus, His Son.

“The Father reveals the Son.” Matthew 16:17
“No man knows who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.” Luke 10:22
“The only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, has declared him.” John 1:18
“The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand.” John 3:35
“The Father has life in himself; and gives life to the Son.” John 5:26
The works which the Father hath given the Son are the witness that the Father sent Him.” John 5:36
“I am come in my Father‘s name” John 5:43
Jesus said, ‘I must be about my Father‘s business?” Luke 2:49
“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me” John 6:37
“No man can come to Jesus except the Father draw him.” John 6:
“my Father hath taught me. John 8:28
“my Father honoureth me John 8:54

“Therefore doth my Father love me,
because I lay down my life,
that I might take it again.”
John 10:17

“I and my Father are one.” John 10:30
“the Father is in me, and I in him.” John 10:38
“if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.” John 12:26
“Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”John 14:6
“he that hath seen me hath seen the Father” John 14:9
“The Father is glorified in the Son” John 14:13
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.” John 15:1
“the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, testifies of the Son:” John 15:26
“I am not alone, because the Father is with me.” John 16:32z
“The Father, keeps those He has given to the Son that we may be as one, as they are.” John 17:11
“I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” John 20:17
“as our Father sent Him, even so He sends us.” John 20:21
“the seasons, the Father has put in Jesus’ power.” Acts 1:7
“Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father.” Romans 6:4
“He is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:31
“For through Christ we have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” Ephesians 2:18
“His disciples waited for the promise of the Father,” Acts 1:4
“the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world”. 1 John 4:14
“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” 1 John 5:7
“Those who overcome will rule with Him as He is “set down with his Father in his throne.” Revelation 3:21
“The Son shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels;”   Matthew 16:27
“Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.” 1 Corinthians 15:24

The Father’s relationship to us as His children.

Behold, what manner of love
the Father hath bestowed upon us,

that we should be called the sons of God.”
1 John 3:1

“We are children of our Father which is in heaven:”  Matthew 5:45
“He is a Father to us and we are His sons and daughters.” 2 Corinthians 6:18
“And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” Galatians 4:6
“We pray to the Father which is in secret.”  Matthew 6:6
“Our Father knows what we need before we ask him.” Matthew 6:8
We are to pray, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.” Matthew 6:9
“We forgive as our heavenly Father forgives us.  Matthew 6:14
“We are to be merciful even as our Father is merciful”. Luke 6:36
“Those who enter into the kingdom of heaven are those who do the will of the Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21
“Grace and peace are according to the will of our Father.” Galatians 1:3

“Let your light so shine before men,
that they may see your good works,

and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
Matthew 5:16

“And call no man your father upon the earth:
for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
Matthew 23:9

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings
in heavenly places in Christ:”
Ephesians 1:3

“It is our Father‘s good pleasure to give us the kingdom.” Luke 12:32
“The Father gives the Holy Spirit to them that ask him.” Luke 11:13
“having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost,” Acts 2:33
“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15
“True worshippers worship the Father in spirit and in truth:”John 4:23
“With one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 15:6
“The Father is glorified when we bear much fruit.” John 15:8
“he that acknowledges the Son hath the Father also.” 1 John 2:23
“We are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ Jude 1:1
“our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” 1 John 1:3
“We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ.” 1 John 2:1
“He has made us kings and priests unto God and his Father.” Revelation 1:6

O, Father in heaven, it is all so wonderful to share what you give us as your children ~ that we may know you, and our Lord and Savior whom you sent to bring us to yourself by the power of your Holy Spirit. That we may call you Abba, Father as we know your love for us is more than we can understand. Continue to overwhelm us with the greatness of your redeeming love. Keep us humble so you can reveal yourself in us as your children. Bring others to yourself through us. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Image: Pixabay

 

An Excavation of John 17 ~ Unearthing the Truths of the Atonement

As I have read through the Bible every year for years on end, grace has abounded to me in wisdom and understanding. With the aid of the Holy Spirit, the finger of God pointed out certain truths. Light was shone on the things that seemed to matter each year as I read.

In the Old Testament, the chapter I could not get through without lingering and memorizing was Isaiah 53.

In these last days, even as I meditate on other parts of God’s Word, I have not been able to get past John 17.

Memorization and meditation have required me to stop so as to know that I am standing on solid ground. That is not enough. This hard surface needs to be broken up. There are layers here, a covering over of the truth hidden for centuries. The atoning work of Christ has been trampled underfoot. Buried deep within the world’s way of education are the nuggets of truth we now have to dig for.

John 17 is a source of one of these truths, but without this main one, revealed in Jesus’ open prayer to the Father in heaven, none of the others are explainable. And now, at this point, I am not able to speak of what is hidden here. I just know at this time in my life, in this new age and stage, I cannot go anywhere, be anywhere ~ even alone ~ without having my Father’s revelation in the twenty-six verses of this chapter of John’s gospel.

I have for weeks been eating, drinking, sleeping with these words recorded the last night of Jesus’ life before His crucifixion. I sense here the means of finishing my course with joy ~ the treasures hidden here are worth every moment of my thought and time, meditation, memorization and documenting.

I invite you to pray, to join me in reading, studying, meditation and memorization. Lend me not only your ear but share whatever you uncover of this lost treasure so that I can record our findings. I have read commentaries, but so far, these do not speak of the deeper truths I am looking for. Sometimes, we are the few our Father puts to the task.

As I venture to be a part of a small prayer group in our church and to perhaps begin a ministry for Christian widows, I believe this project of John 17 will be a major source of wisdom and knowledge and also, for our other series and books. I will post again on this subject as the Lord leads. Thank you for your prayers and comments.

Gracious Father, as you woke me this morning, you reminded me how we begin each week. “Now upon the first day of the week, ….. they came to the sepulcher, bringing the spices they had prepared, and others with them. And they found the stone rolled away.” I come from the empty tomb having worshipped my risen Lord and Savior yesterday. I come to this day with pick and shovel, to be “about my Father’s business.” I desire to find in this day those truths needful for faith and obedience and, as those who are taught, “to speak a word to the weary.” I pray we all seek to discover the truths of life you have given us through your written Word and your precious Living Word, Jesus Christ, in whose name I pray. Amen.

2. The Essentiality of God as Creator

In the beginning

I have never before been aware of my need to return to my roots.  I was almost twenty-two years in my father’s house. Now, there is a void after fifty-nine years with my husband, Jerry. But my heart is still full of the life my Heavenly Father gave me twenty-eight years ago. This is my reason for living and reaffirming “the rock from which I have been hewn” (Isaiah 51:1).

There are few who can discern the times and live in accordance with the foundation that was set in the beginning. As I continue to consult the one true source of life, I am being brought back to the basics.

As I contemplate going back, I am overwhelmed even with the words themselves. And as with other projects that concern my relationship with God, this one seems more than I can handle. But I will begin and see where He takes me.

In the beginning GOD

My dad taught me much about foundations. He had no more than an eighth-grade education, yet he was a faithful son, husband, father, brother, employee, manager of a retail store, and owner of an auto-parts store. During those times, he was also building single-family houses and built a small church. He retired in his seventies as a swimming pool contractor.

He had no formal training for construction, but following a blueprint, he physically dug the ground, poured a concrete foundation, laid concrete blocks, sawed (he did not have an electric skill saw) and nailed wood plates, joists, flooring, walls, rafters, roofing, etc.to provide a secure habitation for a family.

God, Himself, is our blueprint, revealed through His written Word. Without Him, we have no blueprint ~ no foundation ~ no concrete plans. All is left to chance and circumstances which only lead to chaos.

Those who have no blueprint for their lives only destroy what others have built and, in the end, destroy themselves and each other.

At this point, I want to share an acrostic that has helped me keep GOD in His highest habitation.

Glory ~ Himself all glorious in His person and place.

 Order ~ His constant attendance within His kingdom.

Dominion ~ His authority over all things.

In the beginning God created

I will never fully understand God. I can only read, listen to others who know Him, and pray for Him to continue to reveal Himself to me through His Word, through others, and my circumstances. I cannot comprehend His ability to create. I simply accept the words, ask Him to write them on my heart and in my mind to believe He is the Creator, “who rewards those who diligently seek Him” (Heb. 11:6).

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

The first ten words of the Holy Bible are the most basic words in a human vocabulary. We can talk about everything in the world. We can talk about God and all we know about Him. We can say we believe in God, but what will that mean if we do not start with the first statement of God’s Word?

These ten words are the first words and the foundation of our knowledge of Him. These words form the basis of truth for the Christian. We cannot skip to the middle or to the end for a foundation of our faith and our hope.

God, as Creator, sets Himself first and above all else. Before anything was, He was. Reading and listening to other opinions only serve to confuse and unsettle us.

There are many references added at the end of this chapter that speak and verify the truth of these ten words. But here we want to direct our attention to the importance, the necessity, the essentiality of writing these ten words on our hearts and minds, and the minds of our children.

Without this basis ~ this foundation ~ any structure we try to build will fall or be destroyed by others. This basis will eventually lead us to the spiritual foundation ~ the Spiritual rock of our salvation and eternal life, Jesus Christ (Luke 6:46-49; 1 Corinthians 3:11).

Mentally ~ if not literally ~ print these words on each of your fingers and the fingers of your children. Print them on heavy paper and set them on your table. And if ever we needed this tattoo on our hearts, it is now (Heb. 10:16).

A few days ago, from our backyard neighbors, I heard their young son chanting the words, “I will….” over and over. I could not understand the words after the word “will” but it reminded me of the world’s chanting for what it wants. There is no mutual chant. Each person or group has its own desires which change even as the wind. While others are shaking their fists, we can show a difference with outstretched hands with the truth of God’s Word.

Now is a good time to begin to catechize your children. From the Shorter Catechism, the first question is, “Who made you?” The answer, “GOD.”

The second question is, “What else did God make?” The answer, “God made all things.”
The third question is, “Why did God make you and all things?” The answer, “For His own glory.”

“Everyone who is called by My name, Whom I have created for My glory;
I have formed him, yes, I have made him.”
Isaiah 43:7

From this foundation, we go on to build our houses in His kingdom, to live according to His blueprint, and to show others the difference in His kingdom and the world, in life and death, truth and deception, light and darkness, construction and destruction.

“He created them male and female, and blessed them
and called them Mankind in the day they were created.”
Genesis 5:2

“Thus says God the Lord, Who created the heavens and stretched them out,
Who spread forth the earth and that which comes from it,
Who gives breath to the people on it, And spirit to those who walk on it:”
Isaiah 42:5

“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth;
And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.”
Isaiah 65:17

Genesis 1:27; Genesis 2:3; Genesis 2:4; Genesis 5:1; Genesis 5:2;  Psalm 148:5: Isaiah 40:26; Isaiah 45:7;Isaiah 45:8; Isaiah 45:12; Isaiah 45:18; Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:16; Revelation 4:11

References to what God MADE

 “So the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth?
Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind?
Have not I, the Lord?”
Exodus 4:11

Genesis 1:7; Genesis 1:16; Genesis 1:25; Genesis 1:31; Genesis 2:3; Genesis 2:4; Genesis 2:9  Genesis 2:22

Gracious Father, our Creator and Sustainer, providing all things you have prepared for us before the foundation of the world, I thank you and praise you for your order and dominion which redounds to your glory and our joy. Thank you for creating all man would need before you created him. Grant us your Spirit to know you, keep us in your Word, and through us, speak your Word to others. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
© 2020 Fran Rogers

Images: Google

 

The Essentiality of God

When this title came to my mind, I assumed someone else had written it. Surprisingly, in my search, I found no one had. So, in this first part of a series that may end in another book, I have claimed the copyright. In this first post, I will make a few comments with an introduction and a partial Table of Contents. I welcome anyone’s input as to any part of God’s essentiality we may need to include. And quotes are encouraged if relative to the subject matter.

Introduction
It seems 2020 has become a year for deciding what is essential to humankind.

What may be considered essential to one person may not be essential to another. It depends on how we define “essential.” At first, we may think the term to mean “what is necessary to sustain life.” Then we are brought back to the same reasoning. What is necessary for one person may not be thought of as necessary for all.

And a problem surfaces when more than one authority wants to decide for everybody.

And in all this ~ from the beginning of time ~ the only real authority has been usurped. We need a revelation from ~ and a return to ~ the authority that began and continues to sustain human life. This statement will be refuted by any who do not recognize and acknowledge the only True God and ruler of the universe.

But for the sake of those who do, we will attempt to show how the Creator of heaven and earth is the first and greatest need for all men and the only answer for the ills of humankind.

Table of Contents

as Creator
as Redeemer
as Father
as the living God
as only true God
as Provider
as Lord
as Savior
as Life and the sustainer of life
as power
as ruler over all things
as protector
as shepherd
as strength
as healer
as counselor
as comforter
as King
as deliverer
as judge
as Almighty
as refuge
as salvation
as wisdom
as truth
as our only hope
as love
as peace
in His mercy and grace
in His glory

Please pray for me. Your comments are always an encouragement.

Gracious Father, again I take upon myself a work of which I am not worthy. At a time when I might feel more like settling down in my loss and loneliness, I desire for you to use me. Fill me with your Spirit to search and share the blessings we have from you as our God, Lord, and Savior. In Jesus’  name, I pray. Amen.
Fran
© 2020 Fran Rogers

Image: Google