Abiding in Fellowship with God

I am grateful to be able to share our pastor’s recent sermon from 1 John 2. Abiding and holding fast to Christ is not readily understood or experienced in the lives of many Christians today. This 45-minute message will encourage and strengthen your heart and spirit to experience the fellowship we have with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Or, you can download audio here.

Volcanic JOY ~ When TRUTH Erupts

Thirty years ago I was drawn to God’s Word to discover things I had never heard. Through adversity, God began to show me great and mighty things I had never known (Jer. 33:3). After searching different religions, including psychology, I came back to the roots of a poor, meager Christian faith that was never stoked and fed.

We live in a world that brings us to see our need for something beyond our understanding. It stirs up a fire that cries for help. If we come to His Word, God uses it in our adversity to burn away the dross of ourselves. Our anguish either turns us to seek the truth or it destroys us and others in the process. When we turn to Him, He uses our helplessness for His glory and our good.

Through years of study and prayer over God’s Word, I begian my life as a writer by formatting for chosen groups what I was learning. This happened to be for middle school students in our church and for youth discipleship groups. 

In August 1992, what I was writing from head knowledge, became a fire of truth in my very soul. I know what Jesus meant when He said, “You must be born of the Spirit.” Some may say that the ember of faith was rekindled. Perhaps. It does not matter whether from an old faith that was put aside or from a totally new spark from God’s Word and His Spirit, there was a welling up of TRUTH within me that lighted a fire and new life that would feed on His Word and bear fruit to this day. I vividly remember my first writing of TRUTH. It was more than my thoughts could contain.

The whole gist of those years was “TRUTH cannot be contained.” Yet, it seemed then as if buried for many generations. I left those notes to continue in my search for TRUTH believing that it could not stay buried but one day would have to explode. You cannot bury TRUTH, just as you can’t bury LIFE.

The enemy has succeeded in hiding TRUTH from God’s creatures for thousands of years, but the power of God in His TRUTH is beginning to accumulate among His people. Those who continue in His Word know the TRUTH and are being set free.

The world has its volcanoes – the nation of America being one of the most volatile. It seems the emotions of human nature are overflowing with the lava of hell itself. 


The Unseen
The world can only see what men are doing to themselves.  They cannot see what God has planned and is doing at this very moment.

I write this post today as I am led to stir this fire of TRUTH in the hearts of His people who read this.

We as individuals have little power over “the powers that be.” Recent news uncovers things happening in this world that are beyond my imagination – things not worth repeating.

Repetition of the promises of our heavenly Father overpower the words of the enemy.

“He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” – that lies in wickedness.”

God’s kingdom rules in the middle of the turmoil. In and through what we are seeing of man’s exploits and deviations is the working of His power stirring up His church. I know this because my church and I am part of this volcanic explosion of TRUTH.

Deuteronomy 29:29 was one of the truths I discovered in those first years of new life.

“The secrets belong to God but are revealed to us and our children.”

They are revealed as we continue in His Word – “you are truly my disciples”—children of God—1 John 3:1-3.  “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32

Free from what and free for what? 

We are freed from deception and death. We are free to LIVE in light of TRUTH.  TRUTH works the power of God in His people.

So, let us believe beyond what we can ask or think, of His kingdom in the lowest part of this volcanic action happening in our nation bursting through in an explosion of JOY to His glory. 

 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.

Lord willing, I will share how our heavenly Father is working in His church today.

In the meantime, I would share with you the link to our pastor’s present series on Philippians in our morning worship and Raising Godly Children in the evening. You would be blessed to see what the Lord is doing in our midst for humility, unity, and joy to His glory.

Please begin to pray this prayer for His church with us. He is beginning a great and mighty work.

That we may be “FILLED with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that we may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with JOY;” Colossians 1:9-11

Gracious Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done in earth as it is in heaven. You have set your throne in the heavens and your kingdom rules over all. From the rising of the sun to its setting, we praise you. Stir up your Spirit within the hearts of your people, gather us before your throne to praise you. Let our fervent prayers to your throne of mercy bring lightnings, thundering, and earthquakes to this earth, the power of your TRUTH and LIFE in us through Jesus our Lord surge and bring forth your JOY through us to your glory. Let the world know who you are in us. In His name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Image: Pixabay

Sharing our Meds ~ Words of Life

Since turning 82 in April, Jerry has met new doctors and added more meds. He and I have lived much longer than we expected. (His mother died at the age of 59, and his dad, at the age of 71.) Since the wound on his foot has finally healed after eighteen months treatment, he is in physical therapy for strength and conditioning. After not being able to put pressure on his foot, our goal is for him to walk again with a diabetic shoe, an adjusted prosthetic, and a walker. In the meantime, he is being referred to a rheumatologist for further counseling after testing positive for lupus; and to a hematologist for abnormal protein in his blood.

Where does it end? Eventually, we all, excepting for a few, will contract something from this world that will cause our demise.

Jerry is now on twelve different medications that seem to alleviate his symptoms, but it would not be lawful for him to share any of these. He is not sure, at this point, if he will accept any more prescriptions.

In this last age and stage, we want to share different meds, those that are lawful to give others, and eternal; those that do not require a doctor’s prescription.

Medications and Meditations
These words are spelled the same except for one letter; they both are effective, but only one is prescribed by our Great Physician. They are both held in the hand; one to be given to children, continued until death. Both are taken with water; one physically, the other with the Holy Spirit. One is taken by mouth; the other through the spirit, mind and heart.

With every development in Jerry’s physical health, the Lord is here to add meaning to everything, guiding and strengthening with wisdom and grace for every new trial. Beginning this new month of July, and the last half of 2018, we will begin something else new. We will be sharing meditations with medications; a meditation each day as he takes his medications. We cannot and would not want to give anyone the meds Jerry is taking by mouth, but we will share meditations from a source we have in our files.

Words of Life
Several years ago, we began a project titled Words of Life ~ A to Z, The Ordinary Vocabulary of a Christian. Taking from Strong’s Concordance a list of words from the Bible that are common to the Christian faith, we had hoped to publish a simple guidebook (or devotional), unlike the Concordance that includes every word from the Bible.  From abhor to Zion, this would be a highlight of what our heavenly Father would want us to focus on; to meditate and base our lives on. Meditation on His Word is His means of addressing and prescribing His grace and truth to our basic and profound needs; for spiritual strength and conditioning. This would not negate the usual reading and studying the whole Bible, but these are extra blessings for those who meditate on the references that apply to each word.

The first one we share with you today is abhor, with the concept at the start, to use this as a meditation for a week. From this first word to the last, Zion, we find a striking difference in the things of God’s word and His kingdom, and the vocabulary and kingdom of this world. We welcome your comments.

Abhor
In the Old Testament, Concordance H1602 defines the word abhor (ga ‘al) as to detest; by implication to reject.  The word is used in the KJV Bible for abhor, fail, lothe, vilely cast away.  We find this word in the Old Testament relating both to God and man.

God describes His plan for His relationship with the people of Israel in Leviticus 26:11, And I set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you.” 

In Deuteronomy 7:26, they are instructed to detest and abhor the “cursed things.”

“Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing.

Though the references from the Old Testament speak of the history of God’s relationship with the nation of Israel they are an example for His people today.

David in Psalm 119:163 said:   I hate and abhor lying: but thy law do I love.”
Here he speaks of the opposite of the word abhor, which is love.
This is echoed in the New Testament in Romans 12:9,

Abhor in the New Testament  (Strong’s Greek 655, from 575 and the base of G4767) is apostygeo, meaning to detest utterly. Apostasy is turning away from the gospel, the truth of God’s word, the act of despising, rejecting and abhorring it.

Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
Romans 12:9

As children of the heavenly Father we are to abhor (despise and reject) what He despises.
We are to love what He loves.  To know the difference in the two ~ what He loves and what He hates ~ we must search His word; we must receive, read and love His law.

Dear Father, as we begin to share these meditations, make us to know their full meaning, so that we know how to live in accordance with your word and your will.  Work in us to receive your written word ~ your law for our lives ~ even as we receive Christ, the living word, by your Spirit, to live within us and teach us your law of liberty in Him. For your glory, write your law on our hearts and in our minds so that we will love your law even as you teach us to love you. In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

How Could They? (An Ode to the Reformation)

How could they give all?
How could they lay it down?
Was it for crimes that they had done
~~~ or was it for a crown?

How could they die, so firm and sure
~~~ without a shade of doubt?
Was it for show or spectacle?
Was their faith that stout?

How could they stand ~~~ enduring flame?
How could they face the sword?
Were they unfeeling, so reserved?
Were they of another world?

If we but seek to truly know,
If, as they, we see and hear
The Savior, as He died for us ~~~
Is there anything we cannot bear?
Fran ~ 2010

(In praise to God, our Father; and in memory of those who died that we might have the Word of God, His truth, and the great salvation given through Jesus Christ, our Lord.)
The following is an audio sermon on 2 Thessalonians from a church in Northern Ireland about how the Word of God was the most important part in the Reformation.


Be Thou My Vision Ancient Irish poem,  8th Cen. David Evans 1927

Claiming Our Rights

    God, our heavenly Father calls us to lay aside every claim to any rights to ourselves; and to lay claim to all the blessings, imagesand benefits that He promises us in Christ and His Word.

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God , and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” Romans 8:17

We tend to settle with what we want and what we think we need, therefore not receiving what God has prepared for us as His children.  One of the first benefits is having His Word, The Holy Bible. In it we find all the treasures that we may claim in His name. It is last will and testament, revealing all that He wants us to know about Him and what He has bequeathed to us, remembering that we do not deserve anything, but all is of His grace.

            “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.”  Psalm 68:19

            “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits;” Psalm 103:2

Read the whole of Psalm 103 and find these benefits.

             “What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?” Psalm 116:12

We do not deserve, nor can we ever return anything but obedience, praise and thanksgiving for His benefits.

Read His Word daily as if looking for the rights that are given to us in His kingdom. It is an exhaustive search for which we find all that He wants us to. Only a few are listed here, because they are two numerous for an article; and the book has already been written. We need to search diligently for what is given to those who ask, seek and knock at the door of His heart.

His Love

              “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that  love him.”  1 Corinthians 2:9

               “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his  Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”  1 John 4:10

His Mercy:

His Salvation through the forgiveness of sins

His Mind:  “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”  1 Corinthians 2:16

                       “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:5

His Riches: And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

His Kingdom: “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.” Luke 12:32

                        “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Romans 8:32

 Dear Father, We thank you and praise you for every days provision of all that you give us in and through your Son, Jesus Christ.  We deserve nothing but your disapproval and wrath, but by your mercy and grace you have made us your own children, heaping upon us all your love and benefits.  Open the eyes of your children to see the waste of the world in those things that are never satisfying; and give the light of Christ to see eternal life in you and your eternal treasures.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen