Words of Life ~ ADVOCATE

Everyone needs a personal advocate. Do you have at least one person who has your interests at heart, one who knows your needs? Do you have someone who can step in, stand up, and speak for you?

We may have many “fair-weather friends” who cheer us on. But how many are actually close enough to know who we are, committed and able to offer a hand when we need it? Who will sacrifice their own agenda, when push comes to shove in our lives?

The word ADVOCATE was not in our original list of Words of Life ~ A to Z ~ the Ordinary Vocabulary of the Christian, but various circumstances in the last few days have brought this word to my mind and heart.

The Lord has been revealing how many advocates He has given Jerry and me. I am Jerry’s closest advocate. We have a son and daughter, our pastor and his wife and family and other members of our church family who know us well and when we have a need. We also have others who intercede for us and would respond if we needed them.

And the Lord has brought other people into our lives who need an advocate. Besides knowing our family and our church family, there are some who cannot fend for themselves. (I will write about these in our next post.)

We know an attorney who is an advocate to secure reimbursement for tragic personal injuries and loss caused by the neglect of others.  His clients are paralyzed or traumatized to the point of needing continued care from medical staff or a close family member. Their cases have settlements in the millions.

Because these usually have no knowledge of how to manage the money that they have received to support them for the remainder of their lives, the attorney, without charge, also counsels the client in how to manage his money.

Such is the advocate we have in Christ, who knows our dire circumstances. We have sustained the nature and sinful life our first parents brought us into by the seduction and deception of the enemy. Without an ADVOCATE, we have no hope of life in this world or the next.

There is only one reference to the word ADVOCATE in the Bible, which is found in the New Testament.

“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not.
And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father,
Jesus Christ the righteous:”
1 John 2:1

The word ADVOCATE in Greek means paráklētos, par-ak’-lay-tos; which means intercessor, consoler: the same word is used for advocate and comforter.

Paráklētos is the word used for the Comforter in John 14:26

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost,
whom the Father will send in my name,
he shall teach you all things,
and bring all things to your remembrance,
whatsoever I have said unto you.”

The word intercessor is found only one time, and that, in the Old Testament.

“And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.” Isaiah 59:16

“Man’s extremity was Christ’s opportunity. There was no one left to save poor fallen manhood, no one who could lift a hand or a finger for our rescue; therefore, Jesus came, and fought, and bled, and died, and conquered on our behalf.” Charles Spurgeon

Before His crucifixion, Jesus promised to send another Comforter to abide with us forever (John 14:16) who would “proceed from the Father and testify” of Jesus (John 15:26).

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth;
It is expedient for you that I go away:

for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you;
but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”
John 16:7

The Holy Spirit is the Comforter, the Spirit of Christ, our ADVOCATE. The Holy Spirit is the power of conviction in our hearts and lives. He intercedes through us to Christ our High Priest who sits at the right hand of God. He pleads our case by the blood of the everlasting covenant on our behalf. Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to comfort us in our times of need and enables us to know the needs of others and to comfort and intercede for them.

As the Holy Spirit reveals the Father’s will for His people, we become ADVOCATES for our brothers and sister in Christ. This is the point of this article. We will elaborate on this last statement in our next post. Please look for it, as it will make a huge difference in your life, bringing you to understand more of what it means to be an ADVOCATE for the family of God.

Dear Father, we praise you that you are the Father of all comfort. We thank you that you sent your Son, the only one capable as an advocate for your people. We are blessed to have the indwelling of your Holy Spirit as our eternal advocate, knowing us better than we know ourselves, able to intercede and to intervene for us. By your Spirit, continue to guide us by the truth of your Word and to be advocates for each other, both physically and spiritually. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

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Jesus’ Feet

After our pastor’s recent sermon from Luke 7:38, my heart was led to think of what it means to be “at Jesus’ feet.”

 “Behold, a woman in the city, who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat dining in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at his feet behind him weeping and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.” Luke 7:38.”

“Gracious tears are wept at Jesus’ feet. Oh, if you would have your heart broken until the rock shall gush with rivers of repentance, stand at Jesus’ feet. Stand there now. If you would have a tender heart, think of the Beloved who died for you! Think of how those feet were pierced. This woman could not see that, for it was not then done; but you can see it, and note where the nail has bored each blessed foot.” At His Feet Charles Spurgeon

The first reference of Jesus’ feet is in Matthew 15:30

In recognition of Jesus’ power to heal, “great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and he healed them:”

There were those who fell at Jesus’ feet to worship Him, and those who sat at His feet.

We come to His feet to pray for loved ones, knowing by experience He is the only one who can save.

Jairus, a rule of the synagogue, whose daughter was ill, ”fell down at Jesus’ feet, and besought him that he would come into his house:” Luke 8:41

In  Mark 7:25 “a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet:

We find in Luke 8:35 the story of the man who had a legion of demons in him who used to cut himself, and who lived among the tombs.

“They went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the demons were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus.”

At Jesus’ feet” is the fitting place for a willing learner.

“She had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word”; Luke 10:39

In the healing of the ten lepers, only one returned to thank Jesus and acknowledge His healing.

“And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.” Luke 17:16

It is at Jesus’ feet that we recognize our place before Him and honor and acknowledge His power and authority over all things.

Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.” John 11:32

After His resurrection “when they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.” Matthew 28:9

When we fall before Him, it is His feet we see and touch. We come to Him in gratitude for His condescension to us, for He walked this dusty earth to proclaim the kingdom of God, our Father; then climbed that hill to Golgatha to have those precious feet pierced for our sake.

His disciples tarried in obedience to the Master and were blessed to see those glorious feet as He ascended back to the Father to rule in power and as our High Priest to intercede for us.

“For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.”
1 Corinthians 15:25

“And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,” Ephesians 1:22

We live under His authority, no longer enemies but friends and family ~ His church. We will not come under His feet in the wrath of God, but we will rule with Him at His feet, forevermore. We bow before Him now or will be brought under His feet in condemnation forever.

When He Reigns
“I think I see the angels and the blood-bought ones beginning one of their celestial chorales. Hear them as they begin the rapturous strain! Their notes how sweet, how seraphic, as they praise the eternal Father and the glorious Lamb of God and worship!

“We hear the song. How it swells! Listen to the soft touches of the harpists playing on their harps! Do you see how the singers and the players of instruments seem caught up in the ecstasy? But notice! as the song rises they begin to bow. As it rises higher they bow lower, and lower, and lower.

Listen!

“The enthusiastic fervour of their love has made them lift their loudest hallelujah; and lo ~ they cast their crowns at his sacred feet. The whole company are still lifting up the song to its utmost glory, but immediately they fall on their faces, prostrate before the throne. “At his feet” is their loftiest position. Let us imitate them, and making the worship more ecstatic than before, bow before him.

Lo, at his feet, with awful joy,
The adoring armies fall!
With joy they shrink to nothing there,
Before the eternal All.

“So let us praise him for all that he has done for us; and, as we praise him, let us sink lower, and lower, and lower, until in ourselves we are nothing and only Christ lives in us. Let no thought of self, nor wish for self, nor dream of self, intrude, but let Jesus be all in all.

“At his feet,” there our heaven shall be found. When our soul is deepest bathed in grateful praise we shall fall down on our faces and worship the Lamb. May the Lord bless you, and keep you at his feet for ever. Amen. At Jesus’ Feet Charles Spurgeon

 “And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever andever.” Revelation 514; Revelation 19:4

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Godly Stability

This post did not make it as a chapter in Beyond a Mere Christianity, but the quotes may fit somewhere in the previous chapter, Surviving and Thriving in Enemy TerritoryLord willing, our last chapter should be ready to post on Monday.
Please pray for Jim as he is preparing our next post on Words of Life.

“And I will make thee unto this people a fenced brazen wall: and they shall fight against thee, but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee to save thee and to deliver thee, saith the LORD”
Jeremiah 15:20

    “Stability in the fear and faith of God will make a man like a wall of brass, which no one can batter down or break. Only the LORD can make such; but we need such men in the church, and in the world, but specially in the pulpit. Against uncompromising men of truth this age of shams will fight tooth and nail. Nothing seems to offend Satan and his seed like decision. They attack holy firmness even as the Assyrians besieged fenced cities.
The joy is that they cannot prevail against those whom God has made strong in His strength. Carried about with every wind of doctrine, others only need to be blown upon and away they go; but those who love the doctrines of grace, because they possess the grace of the doctrines, stand like rocks in the midst of raging seas. Whence this stability? “I am with thee, saith the LORD”: that is the true answer. Jehovah will save and deliver faithful souls from all the assaults of the adversary. Hosts are against us, but the LORD of hosts is with us. We dare not budge an inch; for the LORD Himself holds us in our place, and there we will abide forever.”Spurgeon

May the Lord bless us as His people; that He teach us and prepare us for the battle for His kingdom in this world. We pray His blessings in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Fran

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Words of Life ~ Babe(s)

What a blessing it has been since July of last year to be searching the Scriptures for Words of Life ~ A to Z ~ the Ordinary Vocabulary of a Christian.

How wonderful that our last word AWAKE is a springboard ~ A to B ~ onto our next word BABE. Let us think of waking from the dead in trespasses and sin to new life as babes in the heavenly kingdom.

There are three different words for babe in the Old Testament and two in the New Testament.

From the Old Testament, we find the babe Moses in a basket in the river (Exodus 2:6), and in the New Testament we see Jesus, the babe in a manger (Luke 2:12; Luke 2:16).

Old Testament
H5288 as in Exodus 2:6 (babeMoses)
A masculine noun na`ar nah’·ar meansa; boy, lad, servant, youth, retainer

H5768`owlel ō·lāl’; child, boy
from H5763; a suckling:—babe, (young) child, infant, little one.

“Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings
hast thou ordained strength

because of thine enemies,
that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.” 
Psalm 8:2

 Early church history records many amazing instances of the testimony of children for the truth of God, but perhaps more modern instances will be the most interesting.

Fox tells us, in the Book of Martyrs, that when Mr. Lawrence was burnt in Colchester, he was carried to the fire in a chair, because through the cruelty of the Papists, he could not stand upright, several young children came about the fire, and cried as well as they could speak, “Lord, strengthen thy servant, and keep thy promise.” God answered their prayer, for Mr. Lawrence died as firmly and calmly as anyone could wish to breathe his last.

One more instance is still nearer to our time. In a postscript to one of his letters, in which he details his persecution when first preaching in Moorfields, Whitfield says, “I cannot help adding that several little boys and girls, who were fond of sitting round me on the pulpit while I preached, and handed to me people’s notes–though they were often pelted with eggs, dirt, &c., thrown at me–never once gave way; but on the contrary, every time I was struck, turned up their little weeping eyes, and seemed to wish they could receive the blows for me.

He who delights in the songs of angels is pleased to honour himself in the eyes of his enemies by the praises of little children. What a contrast between the glory above the heavens, and the mouths of babes and sucklings! yet by both the name of God is made excellent. Spurgeon

Psalm 17:14 speaks of men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and who leave the rest of their substance to their babes.

H8586 ta`aluwl tah·al·ül’; wantonness, caprice, vexation
From H5953; caprice (as a fit coming on), i.e. vexation; concretely a tyrant:—babe, delusion.to act severely, deal with severely, make a fool of someone

In their rebellion, Israel would experience fulfillment of the Lord’s promise,

“And I will give children to be their princes, and babeshall rule over them.” Isaiah 3:4

New Testament
G3516 
nēpios nā’-pē-os; an infant, little child;  a minor, not of age, metaphorically, childish, untaught, unskilled.

Jesus quotes Psalm 8:2 when the people are shouting “Hosanna.”

“And (the Pharisees) said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babeand sucklings thou hast perfected praise?” Matthew 21:16

Paul speaks in Romans 2:20 of one who is an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.

Paul and the writer of Hebrews speak of immature Christians

“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babein Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:1

“For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.” Hebrews 5:13

“At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father,
Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things
from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.”
Matthew 11:25 and Luke 10:21

How blessed are those who come in humility to learn of Christ and the things of His kingdom ~ things not revealed to the wise and prudent of this world.  These words Jesus spoke before His invitation, “Come to me.”

G1025 brephos bre’-fos;an unborn child, embryo, a foetus

The same word is used for infants and children, but especially of the unborn child in Luke 1:41 when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe (John) leaped  in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:

“For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation
sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.”
Luke 1:44

As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word,
that ye may grow thereby:
1 Peter 2:2

Dear Father in heaven, whose glory outshines the brightest star, we thank you. For new Life in Christ that satisfies more than any earthly joy, we praise you. How can we express appreciation for your Word and Spirit that enables us to grow in grace and knowledge of you? Work it in us, I pray. In Jesus’ precious and Holy name. Amen.
Fran

A Bloody Crown, a Bloody Cross, a Bloody Sacrifice

After posting Three Crosses, Two Crowns, One Sacrifice I  wanted to do this follow-up. In that article, images depicted everything clean as if the cross of Christ was never used. The crowns were those of earthly kings. The precious sweet lamb was untouched, alive in the green grass.

As the church plans to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ next Lord’s Day, I am reminded that we seldom think about the events that led to this celebration. Too often we skip the crucifixion and the tomb, forgetting the suffering and the sacrifice that made our salvation sure. Some people can look at blood and gore and are insensitive to it. I, like others, avoid it at all costs. Even the sounds of violence from a distance make me cringe.

Still others will not consider their need for a bloody Savior. The rich man of the South who said, “I don’t need anyone to die for me,” didn’t know his own heart.

Understanding how we are reconciled to God through the blood of His own Son is necessary ~ if we are to experience the power of His love and grace working in and through us.

Even as I continue to study the humility of Christ, I desire the Lord to give me a deeper understanding of His sacrificial atonement. I pray that you, the reader, will receive something of what He is showing me; to know the love that was in the blood that was shed for us; to let that love fill us so that we love Him even more.

And as Paul spoke to the Roman church, let us pray that we are so humbled by His mercy that we respond by offering ourselves as “a living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1-2) for our God, “who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us.” Ephesians 2:4

A Bloody Crownimages

Charles Spurgeon said in his sermon The Bloody Crown:

Beloved, I always feel as if my tongue were tied when I come to talk of the sufferings of my Master. I can think of them. I can picture them to myself. I can sit down and weep over them, but I know not how to paint them to others! Did you ever know pen or pencil that could? A Michelangelo or a Raphael might well shrink back from attempting to paint this picture! And the tongue of an archangel might be consumed in the effort to sing the griefs of Him who was loaded with shame because of our shameful transgressions.

“Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. John 19:2

And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium;
and they call together the whole band.
And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns,
and put it about his head,
And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews!
And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him,
and bowing their knees worshipped him.
Mark 15:16-19

Matthew, Mark, and Luke’s Gospels record the scourging and mocking right before Jesus was led away to be crucified. But John’s gospel records (and he was an eye witness) Pilate bringing him before the chief priests, the elders, and the crowd before He was led away.

Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man! John 19:5

What did Pilate mean by doing this? He may have thought that all the blood would discourage the Jewish leaders and the crowd, but no ~ they wanted more. What they saw from Jesus’ beating and the thorns on His head was not enough. They must have his life. They must see Him destroyed; no matter how much blood it took.

They could not know how powerful that blood would be to save His people ~ and to condemn them. The envy, the anger, the hatred, the malice from the enemy was the very reason that Jesus had to endure such suffering.   God knew what was needed to accomplish our redemption ~ an innocent Lamb, a holy man, Himself in human form. He knew that in the presence of sinful men He would be massacred.

At any point, amid the pain and the humiliation from Pilate, the soldiers, and the Jews, Jesus could have shown His power and position as God. Even in His physical weakness He could have spoken the word, or called down heaven and destroyed all or part of Jerusalem. (That would happen later.) But, all that happened was part of the plan for our redemption. Jesus could not turn back now. From the sweat drops of blood in the garden, the betrayal of Judas, the forsaking of the disciples, the mocking of the soldiers, and the crown of shame, He was well into fulfilling the new covenant.

He was revealing the necessity for blood, the reality of atonement through His own blood. To endure all for our sake was the true manner of humility revealed to us.

The pain which He had endured from the scourges caused Him to throb with exquisite anguish—but we read neither of tears nor groans—much less of angry complaints or revengeful threats. He does not seek pity, or make one appeal for leniency. He does not ask why they torture or why they mock. Brave Witness! Courageous Martyr! Suffering exquisitely, You also suffered calmly! Such a perfect frame as His—His body being conceived without sin—He must have been capable of tortures which our bodies, corrupted by sin, cannot feel. Charles Spurgeon

Bloody-Cross-600x450A Bloody Cross

For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. Leviticus 17:11

The beatings and the blood on His head did not faze Jesus. He was the central figure in this greatest event in history. It is His story of redemption. The cross, saturated with His blood, is the main scene ~ the turning point for humanity and the gateway leading to eternal life with Him. In the last decade, I have given up watching mere men do this role in plays and movies. It is but an act. No man but Jesus Christ has done this part. It is better to read and meditate on His word for this reality in our own hearts than to see an imitation.

The cross was the means that God had chosen; that Jesus knew He must bear; it was a revelation of God’s love and grace. It is the symbol for us to remember. We wear crosses around our necks.   Most of them are gold and silver. None are bloody. But we must remember the blood of the cross of Christ; His life that was shed for us.

That blood was the blood of the new covenant. The beatings and the bloody crown were only the preludes to our own lifeline. Without the blood of His hands, His feet, and His side, there would have been no reconciliation and peace between God and us. I use the words ‘God and us,’ instead of ‘us and God,’ because He is the initiator and the fulfillment of the covenant. We must see the blood, even as He had to see the blood, and therefore passed over our sins.

He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Isaiah 53:11

Mark his brow-they have put about it a crown of thorns, and the crimson drops of gore are rushing down his cheeks! . . . But turn aside that purple robe for a moment. His back is bleeding. ..They lift up the thongs, still dripping clots of gore; they scourge and tear his flesh, and make a river of blood to run down his shoulders! This is the shedding of blood without which there is no remission…They fling him to the ground; they nail his hands and feet to the transverse wood, they hoist it in the air…Blood from his head, blood from his hands, blood from his feet. . They pierce his side, and forthwith runneth out blood and water.   Charles Spurgeon

A Bloody Sacrificeimages

                “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin.
1 John 1:7

After that tremendous struggle, the strength of Love mastered the weakness of Manhood—He put that cup to His lips and never shrank—He drank right on till not a drop was left! And now the cup of wrath is empty—no trace of the terrible wine of the wrath of God can be found within it! At one tremendous draught of love, the Lord drank destruction dry, forever, for all His people. Charles Spurgeon

The blood on the crown of thorns and the stain on the cross was the blood of Jesus Christ. The pouring out of His blood on the ground was more than a sprinkling and spoke better things than that of Abel. (Hebrews 13:24) There was life in that blood, the life of the Son of God who lived for one purpose ~ to lay down His life; to shed His blood for us.

“It is finished.” It was done according to His everlasting covenant. He was the bloody sacrifice for His people. We don’t have to look at a bloody cross anymore, but we must remember it. Nor do we need a crucifix with a figure of a man with no bloodstains.

He left us with two ordinances to remember His sacrifice; baptism and the Lord’s Supper. We need but to be baptized into His death once, but His sacrifice is to be remembered when we come together for worship. Blessed are we who celebrate the resurrection and remember His death with the Lord’s Supper every Lord’s Day.

Peace Through His Blood
Jesus is no longer a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger, or a man on a cross, or wrapped in a linen shroud lying in a tomb. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords living today and forever as our merciful and faithful High Priest; sitting at the right hand of God, having offered the oblation of His blood for His people; making reconciliation for us; and now, as our mediator, interceding for us.

We would be blessed today and tomorrow to read and meditate on the crucifixion of our Lord, so as to come to worship and celebrate this Lord’s Day with a deeper sense of His mercy and grace.

Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father,
through sanctification of the Spirit,
unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:
Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
1 Peter 1:2

The blood is one of the strangest, the deepest, the mightiest, and the most heavenly of the thoughts of God. It lies at the very root of both Covenants, but specially of the New Covenant. The difference between the two Covenants is the difference between the blood of beasts, and the blood of the Lamb of God! The power of the New Covenant has no lesser measure than the worth of the blood of the Son of God! Your Christian experience ought to know of no standard of peace with God, and purity from sin, and power over the world, than the blood of Christ can give! If we would enter truly and fully into all the New Covenant is meant to be to us, let us beseech God to reveal to us the worth and the power of the blood of the Covenant, the precious blood of Christ!  The Two Covenants Andrew Murray

Dear heavenly Father, just as we cannot paint the picture of Christ, your Son, for others, neither can we put into words our praise and gratitude for so great a salvation, performed as planned and executed in your timing and place.  Let the blood of Christ, that is efficacious, doing all that you planned it to do, work in us the power over sin.  Cleanse us and keep us always looking to Jesus, the author, and finisher of our faith. In Jesus’ name, I pray.  Amen.
Fran

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Words of Life ~ ATTAIN(ed)

Every search of God’s Word uncovers a treasure. Let us seek to attain to all that He has for us as His people here, now, and forever.
The Old Testament uses the word ATTAIN in many references as it pertains to man’s inability to accomplish ~ always falling short of ~ what is expected of God’s creatures. The New Testament uses the word in reference to attaining the righteousness of Christ. We will look at different meanings of the word.

Old Testament  H7069
Strong’s concordance defines ATTAIN, qanah kä·nä’; to get, acquire, create, buy, possess by extension, to procure.

“A wise man will hear, and will increase learning;
and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:”
Proverbs 1:5

H5381 nasag nä·sag’; to reach, overtake, take hold upon
This word is used in reference to the duties of the priest in offerings.

“And he shall prepare a meat offering, an ephah for a bullock,
and an ephah for a ram, and for the lambs
according as his hand shall attain unto,
and an hin of oil to an ephah.” Ezekiel 46:7

<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>

“Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high,
I cannot attain unto it.” Psalm 139:6

This is a well-known verse in which David speaks of the knowledge of God– whether the truth of God’s knowing him or the wonder of God’s ability to know all things – it is high, beyond his understanding. In search of the meaning of the word attain in this verse, I found a different link from the others.

H3201 yakol yä·kōle’: to prevail, overcome, endure, have power, be able refers to what he cannot do. He is not able to reach high enough, to prevail over his weakness, or to have the power to understand that which is heavenly. In the following quote, we have one of Charles Surgeon’s priceless gems.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me. I cannot grasp it. I can hardly endure to think of it. Such knowledge not only surpasses my comprehension, but even my imagination. It is high, I cannot attain unto it. It seems to be always above me, even when I soar into the loftiest regions of spiritual thought. Is it not so with every attribute of God? Can we attain to any idea of his power, his wisdom, his holiness? We are not surprised that the Most Glorious God should in his knowledge be high above all the knowledge to which we can attain: it must of necessity be so, since we are such poor limited beings; and when we stand a tip-toe we cannot reach to the lowest step of the throne of the Eternal.

New Testament H2658
Strong’s Concordance defines ATTAIN, katantaō kä-tän-tä’-ōto; come to, arrive
In Philippians 3:11, Paul desires that he might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

G5348 phthanō fthä’-nō;  to come before, precede, anticipate, to come to, arrive at, to reach

“But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness,
hath not attained to the law of righteousness.”
Romans 9:31

 Phthano referred to Israel who had not attained to the law of righteousness because they trusted only in their own righteousness. But to the Philippian church, he speaks of those who are like-minded in the righteousness of Christ as coming to the same faith as other believers.

“Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained,
let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.”
Philippians 3:16

G2983 lambanō läm-bä’-nō; to take with the hand, lay hold of, any person or thing in order to use it. to receive (what is given), to gain, get, obtain

“Not as though I had already attained,
either were already perfect: but I follow after,
if that I may apprehend that for which also
I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 3:12

Paul’s purpose was to reach the destination set before him in the gospel. As he continued to preach, teach, and lead others in the way of righteousness, his focus was intentional, not to fall short, but to press on to reach his goal and to train others to follow him until they obtained the promised reward.

G3877 parakoloutheō pä-rä-ko-lü-the’-ō; so to follow one as to be always at his side.

“If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things,
thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ,
nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine,
whereunto thou hast attained.”
1 Timothy 4:6

Paul speaks of Timothy having attained the place of a good minister of Jesus Christ through faith and doctrine, following as to be always at His side and bringing others to walk with him.

Dear Father, what joy to know that we have attained to a like-faith with other believers; that we walk together with Christ in our pilgrimage toward our eternal home, encouraging and supporting, as we, like Timothy, are nourished in the words of faith and of good doctrine. Continue to lead us by the presence of your Holy Spirit and power. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

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Words of Life ~ ACCEPTED (ACCEPTABLE)

Continuing Words of Life A-Z The Ordinary Vocabulary of a Christian, we are encountering the phenomenal connections of all Words to the center of Christianity, which is Christ, Himself. As we look at both Old and New Testaments we learn what is accepted for true life, Life as God our Creator means it to be. As we study we see that God our Father alone can work what is acceptable for the Life of a follower of Christ.

ACCEPTED (ACCEPTABLE) in the Concordance H7521
Defines the word (ratsah rä·tsä’)
A primitive root; to be pleased with; specifically to satisfy a debt:—(be)
accept (-able), accomplish, set affection, approve, consent with, delight (self),
enjoy, (be, have a) favour (-able), like, observe, pardon, (be, have, take) please (-
ure), reconcile self.

ACCEPTABLE is used in two references from Proverbs.

“The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness.” Proverbs 10:32

“To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” Proverbs 21:3

The Lord’s acceptance of His people was based on His own work of bringing them out from the other nations.

“I will accept you…….when I bring you……….and I will be sanctified in you before the heathen. (Ezekiel 20:41).

We see in the New Testament the same means of acceptance through the work of His Son for us on the cross.

In The New Testament
ACCEPTED (ACCEPTABLE) 
in the Concordance G1184
defines the word (dektos dek-tos’)(an adjective derived from 1209 (dexomai) – properly, what is received favorably (acceptable), describing what is welcomed because pleasing.

The most prominent reference is from Ephesians 1:6.

To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” Ephesian 1:6

What a state of privilege! It includes our justification before God, but the term “acceptance” in the Greek means more than that. It signifies that we are the objects of divine complacence, nay, even of divine delight.   But it is only “in the beloved”  ~  accepted in One who never alters, in One who is always the beloved of God, always perfect, always without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing  Rejoice, believer, in this: thou art accepted “in the beloved.” Know by full assurance thy glorious standing. Even glorified souls are not more accepted than thou art. They are only accepted in heaven “in the beloved,” and thou art even now accepted in Christ after the same manner. Charles Spurgeon

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“But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” Acts 10:35

Whereas the Lord brought His people from other nations, now in Christ, He brings people of every nation to “fear Him and work righteousness.”

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:1-2

Accepted as holy in the beloved Christ and by His mercies, we are led to present our bodies a living sacrificeacceptable to God (vs. 1) to prove what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God (vs. 2).

“Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:5

When we suffer for His sake and take it patientlythis is acceptable with God (1 Peter 2:20).

Dear Father, mighty to save, holy and merciful, making us acceptable to you in Christ, we thank you and live in praise to you. Continue to renew our minds and prove your acceptable will in and through us. Fill us, as living stones with your Spirit to offer the sacrificial life and the spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to you. Fill us with the Life of Christ that witnesses of your presence to the world around us. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Fran

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