Soul Food for Sunday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John 6:63

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

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

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

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

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

Isaiah 58:11

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

Images: Google

Celebration of a Resurrection

Many people come to this particular Lord’s Day to honor or celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. A lot of time and money are spent on this day to present a grand performance.

For some, it is simply a season called Easter. Even as for the Christmas season, people who have no thoughts of God join their families or friends for a meal.

Those of a different faith came through our neighborhood this past week, handing out invitations for their once-a-year presentation. It sounded like a spectacular event ~ even to surpass the resurrection, itself.

It was a joy for me to tell them that we plan and celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ every Lord’s Day.

They continued to tell me how great their event would be.  I continued to tell them how great ours is every week. They left, after asking what church I attended.

Once a year cannot compare to the planning and celebration of Christ’s resurrection every week; as a taste of, and planning toward that final gathering.

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

Faith in a man who actually “rose from the dead” brings us head-on, face-to-face with this man who claimed to be God; died for the “sins of His people;” and was raised in victory over death. His resurrection was the final presentation planned to deliver us once-for-all from death to eternal life (Hebrews 9:24-28).

This man is the center of all of life, for every day and everything.

I will declare thy name unto my brethren,
in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.

Behold I and the children which God hath given me.
Hebrews 2:12-13

Faith brings us daily to worship at Jesus’ feet and ~ at least ~ weekly, to worship and celebrate His resurrection and our salvation, with His people. We, at Covenant Presbyterian Church, OPC (Reformed) also “remember His death” every week, in the observance of the Lord’s Supper.

We bear no judgment upon those who worship differently; we rejoice greatly in what we have.  If they have something we don’t have, we don’t miss or need it. We have Christ, His Word, and Spirit ~ we have everything.

Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.
 Philippians 4:4

Father, we thank you for another Lord’s Day; for this day of worship with your people. Thank you for each week, remembering what we have heard and learned from your Word; the truth that is transforming us by the renewing of our minds, and conforming us to His image. Thank you for pastors that lead and feed your flock; for your Word and Spirit that continually prepare us for the next Lord’s Day, and for the glory that you have planned for us in that final gathering in Christ. In Jesus’ name, we praise you. Amen.
Fran

Image: Google

Words of Life ~ ALMIGHTY

Our search for Words of Life is becoming more and more interesting and exciting. We find the first reference of ALMIGHTY in Genesis 17:1 when the LORD appeared to Abram and said unto him, “I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.”
He is in this one verse identified by three names, “the LORD” “Almighty” and “God.”

 Old Testament H7703
Strong’s defines Shadday shad·dah’·ē; almighty, most powerful. Shaddai, the Almighty (of God) a masculine noun with reference to diety.

Some may say that God can be male or female. However you want to conceive Him to be, there is no doubt, no confusion that the authority and power of Almighty God is masculine in these references from the Holy Bible.

The second use is in Isaac’s blessing to Jacob.

And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful , and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people;” Genesis 28:3

In Genesis 35:11, Jacob receives the blessing and instructions for the plans God has for him and the nation of Israel.

“And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply ; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins;

Jacob in the last stages of his life submits to the sovereignty of God when he sends his sons back to Egypt with his beloved son, Benjamin (Genesis 43:14).

As God Almighty had blessed Jacob, Jacob blesses Joseph and his sons (Genesis 48:3).

In Jacob’s gathering of his sons before his death, he spoke these words to Joseph.

“Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb.” Genesis 49:25

God spoke to Moses of His covenant to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Exodus 6:3). 

Naomi speaks that the Almighty dealt bitterly with her and afflicted her (Ruth 1:20) (Ruth 1:21) .

We find the reference to ALMIGHTY ten times in the Book of Job.

Job speaks of the chastening of the ALMIGHTY.

“Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth : therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:” Job 5:17

“For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof drinketh up my spirit: the terrors of God do set themselves in array against me.” Job 6:4

Job 6:14  speaks of “the fear of the Almighty.”

Job 8:3   asks “doth the Almightpervert justice?”

Job 8:5    speaks of “supplication to the Almighty;”

“Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?” Job 11:7

Job speaks of the ALMIGHTY and God in the same sentence.

“Surely I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to reason with God.” Job 13:3

“What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray unto him?” Job 21:15

“Touching the Almighty, we cannot find him out: he is excellent in power, and in judgment, and in plenty of justice: he will not afflict.” Job 37:23

Who can contend with, instruct or reprove the Almighty?  (Job 40:2).

“the Almighty scattered kings.” (Psalm 68:14).

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1

Isaiah (Isaiah 13:6) and Joel (Joel 1:15) speak of “the day of the LORD as a destruction from the Almighty.

When the word of the LORD came to Ezekiel in the land of the Chaldeans, he describes the creatures and the noise of their wings, like the noise of great waters,and the sound of the cherubims; wings as the voice of the Almighty (Ezekiel 1:24 Ezekiel 10:5).

New Testament G3841 
Strong’s defines pantokrator pan-tok-rat’-ore from 3956 and 2904; the all-ruling, i.e. God (as absolute and universal sovereign):–Almighty, Omnipotent. This also is a masculine pronoun.

In the beginning of the Old Testament, we see the LORD’S revelation to Moses as the ALMIGHTY. We end in the New Testament with eight references in the Book of Revelation.

But before we get to those, let’s look at Paul’s use of a quote from 2 Samuel 7:14 to the church at Corinth as he relates to the ALMIGHTY as Lord and Father. His promise is to those who are separate from the world of unbelievers.

“And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:18

We will look at the references from Revelation in their entirety.

“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come , the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8

 “And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.” Revelation 4:8

“Saying , We give thee thanks , O Lord God Almighty, which art , and wast , and art to come ; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. Revelation 11:17

“And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying , Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.” Revelation 15:3

“And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.” Revelation 16:7

“For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” Revelation 16:14

“And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” Revelation 19:15

“And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.” Revelation 21:22

What a glorious and ALMIGHTY God is our heavenly Father!

Gracious Father, how blessed we are to know you as LORD, GOD, ALMIGHTY, FATHER. Thank you for the Lamb that was slain so that we will never know your fierceness and wrath, or come under your destruction. By your Holy Spirit, continue to teach us from your Word your true and righteous judgments, your great and marvelous works, your just and true ways. We praise you as the Alpha and Omega, reigning in power now and forever. In Jesus’ name, we thank you and praise you. Amen.
Fran

Image:Google

What Matters?

Two days ago, Jerry set a record as we celebrated his eighty-first birthday. He has lived longer than any of the Rogers in his family. His brother died at the age of eighty, and all his dad’s brothers died in their seventies.

During this time, we are preparing for surgery to repair an aneurysm in his only leg, praying for blood flow and healing for the wound on his foot, and considering other things at this age and stage of our lives. Yesterday we were questioning if we should be delving into something we did not understand (while I try to remember what that was, I am watching the wind and rain assault the beautiful dogwood that we have enjoyed the last few days blooming outside the window. How easily our thoughts can change. I can’t remember the thing we were considering two days ago. It must not have mattered.) 🙂

After discussing whether or not, we asked if knowing would matter. That progressed to the question: “What matters?” We have never really asked that question before, so as to discuss and document the answers.

After talking about what we though mattered, I decided to pose this question to our readers. Before stating our answers in this blog, I would like you to share your responses to this question. If you need some time, think about it and come back later to comment. At different ages we may consider one thing that matters more than others. What matters and makes us content when we are young may not matter when we get older.

Let’s leave off the answer “love” for the time being. Love would probably be the first answer for a lot of people; it might also mean something different to each of us.

Please join me in this conversation, to which we will add, after your comments are made.

Oh ~ and please include your age; that matters in our answers. 🙂

Dear Father, I pray that you will give us insight for our answers to this question of what matters in this life. In Jesus’ name I pray. amen.

A Child’s Plea for God

A Child's Plea

  Give me not a god,
a god that I control.
Don’t give me a god
that I can mold.

 Give me GOD, THE LIVING GOD,
who’s free to come and go.
I need GOD, the REAL GOD,
who knows more than I know.

   GOD, Himself, who created Life,
and all living things—
GOD, who lives, and to my life
His own LIFE He brings.

   I  want  GOD, the HOLY GOD,
who has a master plan.
GOD, the GOD who acts in grace,
though I can’t understand.

 Where is GOD, the GOD OF TRUTH,
who tells it like it is;
Though painful it may seem to me,
shapes my heart like His? 

   I see GOD, the MIGHTY GOD,
when I look at the cross,
Who gave His life that I might live,
removing all the dross.

This GOD, THE GOD I’m looking for,
is greater than the world;
Able to do anything,
simply by His Word.

I will wait for GOD, THE LOVING GOD,
THE GOD OF POWER, still,
Who can, in JESUS, fill my heart,
and conform me to His will.
F.R. 1996

 (Poem was written for our oldest grandchild, Ansley, for her fourth birthday. She is now twenty-five, married, and has a three-year-old daughter.)

No Strings Attached

Many will say that if God is sovereign and that He has predestined everything then we are no more than robots or puppets. We may use this description for those who live by the dictates of our world’s culture, but never to describe those whom God calls His own people. Robots and puppets have no mind and no heart for God or others.

When God created man it was so as to be close to him, and to give to him all of His love, joy, and peace. This relationship all depended on the creature’s faith and obedience to the word of God. When God breathed into man His own Spirit He gave all of us His life, to be passed down from generation to generation. That power of His Spirit and life for us was annulled when the first man and woman disobeyed, proving that man needs, and cannot live without, the presence and power of our Creator.

Until Christ came man was destined to live on his own, under the curse of the law of God, without any power for us to obey. Christ was the Son who obeyed and then gave His life as a substitute for us, so that we would receive God’s Spirit again and be reconciled to Him. It is His Spirit that gives us a new heart that willingly seeks and obeys God’s Word.
1014069_orig

There are no strings attached, but only the sweet Spirit of Christ, His Son, who lives in our hearts, enabling us to grow in the grace and knowledge of Him.

We willingly give ourselves to whatever draws us, whether to the things of this world, or to the things of God. God, our heavenly Father, draws us by His Spirit and His written word to Himself, and to all that is eternal. Those who know Him, desire to desire what He desires for us, and willingly give ourselves to Him. He woes us, and continues to draw us by His overwhelming love and grace.   He needs no physical attachments, only a humble heart and spirit, which from His own heart and Spirit, He works in us.

Jehovah appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Jeremiah 31:3

Gracious Father in heaven, we praise you for your eternal plan for us to live with you now and forever.  Thank you that you did not leave us alone in our sin; but that as a God of mercy, who loved us before the foundation of the world, now through your Word and Spirit, in your timing and in your way bring us to yourself through Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord and Savior.  In His name we pray.  Amen.