Remembering Whose We Are

At different times in this life, we tend to forget things ~ a person’s name, an event, directions, etc. The human mind is not always under our own control. As we age, time can take its toll on our memory.

As I am nearing my eightieth birthday, losing my memory is not what I want to think about. Still vivid in my mind are those years of caring for my mother, who died at the age of 92 after suffering through years of dementia.

This experience left me with many things to consider, which we have published in our books. For this article, one thing is on my mind.

It is to remind and encourage God’s children to spend time with Him ~ quality time ~ every day, getting to know our heavenly Father through His Word, Jesus Christ,  and communion in His Spirit; and to teach your children.

“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

When we are unable to think or speak as we normally do, we naturally go into default mode ~ deferring to the things in which we are rooted and grounded.

“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith;
that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
 may be able to comprehend…” 
Ephesians 3:17

What has been established in our hearts and minds is our one hope that brings us through times of uncertainty. Filled with His truth and grace, we can be assured that we are in His care ~ wrapped in His glory, forever.

My prayer at this stage is that the Lord will keep me filled with His grace, surrounded by His love, caring for me. Even when I forget everyone else and my own mechanisms fail, I pray to remember whose I am as a witness to others of His grace ~ for His glory.

Dear Father, show us who you are,
that we may remember whose we are.
In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Fran

Suggested Reading: First Things That Last Forever;
The Garden of God’s Word
What the Holy Bible Says about The Word of God
Child Keeping: God’s Blessing to Parents

CHILD Keeping ~ GOD’s Blessing to Parents

 Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord:
and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
Psalm 127:3

Why would I want to publish a book on the subject of parenting when there are hundreds out there already?
I wrote the book five years ago before I ever thought of publishing. It was a gift to our granddaughter Ansley and her husband in expectation of their first child, Samantha. Other books have been published in the last two years to establish an online archive for future generations. They are available to anyone who would desire to know how the Lord has worked through eight decades of my life ~ revealing His grace and glory through His Word, His Spirit, and our circumstances. Proceeds from sales are designated for missions and charity.

CHILD Keeping is an EBook and paperback (70 pages) offered as a wee bit of encouragement to Christian parents who want to know what it means to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. In this little book, I share things that I did not know when I was bringing up my own children but learned while keeping four of our granddaughters over a period of fourteen years. I am still learning as the Lord continues to teach me.

The guidance we give our children should lead them to know the heavenly Father. CHILD Keeping ~ GOD’s Blessing to Parents

A free PDF is available to anyone who desires a copy. Leave your request in the comment section.

Here is the link to the book on Amazon.
Fran

Focus, Love, and Rejoice

The words focus, love, and rejoice came clearly from time in prayer, meditation in God’s Word, and in my circumstances. The first word, focus, is included in the title of a book I started a few years ago. Focus, Balance, and Order came during a time when things were difficult to sort through. Still working on this book, my hope is to finish it soon as the Lord continues to show me these three facets of the Christian life. In the meantime, the Lord placed Focus, Love and Rejoice in my heart to experience the outcome of our focus on God our Father, the balance of life through our Lord, Jesus Christ and the order of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

It is the work of a triune God that produces the focus, love, and joy in us as His children. Briefly, let us look at this fruit that shows His work in and through us.

Concentration has never been my nature. The Lord knows my weakness and blesses me to know my need for Him — to seek His presence to accomplish in me what He desires. I would venture to say that we all are distracted by the physical world, with difficulties in training our minds to look to and keep our eyes upward, looking to Him for all things. Focus is not within from birth. Some may say that we are all focused on something.

We, as earthlings, are prone to switch from image to image looking for something new, something different every day. We are easily entertained by whatever comes in view of our senses.

The focus we speak of here is a steady, non-altering gaze that is immovable from its one object.

In the book Focus, Balance, and Order, we survey that on which we focus, the object of our focus. Of course, we will ascertain that it is the Lord God, our heavenly Father who is our focus and why it is must be Him alone on which we set our sight, our desires, our hopes, and our faith. There, the word focus is a noun as is balance and order. Here, focus is a verb, just as love and rejoice. I hope this post will encourage and excite you to pray for me and to look forward to how He will develop this project through me
In the meantime, let’s think of what He wants to work in us as a result of His focus, balance, and order in our lives.

If ye then be risen with Christ,
seek those things which are above,
where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Colossians 3:1

Focus
He wants us to focus — to continually keep our eyes — upon Him. We can love and rejoice as we receive His Words by a direct concentration and meditation on Him and His Word. We receive from Him with open hearts and minds. Imagine a thirsty man holding a cup to receive water without focusing on the source. The stream of water is the life of Christ given to us from our heavenly Father by His Holy Spirit. In prayer and through His Word, we direct our hearts and minds to receive the life He gives. But our eyes are on the Father, the giver of all life. Jesus directs us to the Father in His prayer on the mount.

Love and Rejoice
When He says, focus, love, and rejoice, He teaches us that love is the fruit, the life of Christ poured in and through us as we receive it from Him. Both love and joy are His character traits shared with His children. He gives us His love and His joy— the fruit of His Spirit within us. We, therefore, love as He loves, unselfishly. His joy causes us to rejoice.

Most will say they cannot keep such a focus. None of us can. Like humility and all that He requires of His children, He teaches what He wants to do in us. He gives us the desire of His heart until it becomes our heart’s desire. We pray and wait for Him to do His work in us. As Andrew Murray says in Waiting on God — we can afford to wait. These are parts of our inheritance given to enjoy here on this earth and preparation for eternity with Him.

When we learn to focus upon Him, it will not matter what may be our circumstances. Focus enables us to keep steadfast in the life of Christ, not changing our actions based on what is happening around us. The world cannot change our character when we know who we are in Christ. We continue to love the unlovable and rejoice through the most difficult times of this life when we set our affections on Him and the things above.

Dear Father in heaven, we are most blessed when we keep our eyes heavenward, knowing you lead us through the most difficult places by your Spirit of love and joy. Bring us to desire with all our hearts to focus upon you. Make us a channel of your love and joy, we pray, In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Fran

Images: Google

Living Sacrifices

“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.”
Romans 12:1-2

These verses in Romans 12 cannot be taken out of context but in relation to the whole letter to the Roman Church. Paul gives the means and the reason for His beseeching. Presenting our body (our whole being) is our response to the mercies of God. Afterward, we see the results of the presentation and the commitment of ourselves to Him.

The Reason
Here, Paul brings the believer to consider the truths he has presented in the previous eleven chapters. The key words in this verse are by the mercies of God. Before we do can anything with or for God, there has to be a revelation of Him and the work of His mercy for us.

In Romans 11:29-36 we find the capsule of God’s mercies opened–the door–therefore–for Paul’s beseeching the reader to consider and respond. He calls us as brethren–believers and followers of Christ–to bring to God the Father, the gift of His mercies in earthen vessels for His use. When, by His mercies, He gives us new hearts (Ezekiel 36:26) and lives in Christ, our only reasonable response is to bring ourselves in dedication and commitment to His service and worship

Peter speaks of God’s abundant mercy that has given us new life in Christ.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
which according to his abundant mercy
hath begotten us again unto a lively hope
by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 
1 Peter 1:3

A Covenant Relationship
We are made holy and acceptable unto God through Jesus’ sacrifice for us.

Before the foundation of the world, the covenant of redemption was planned between the Father and the Son. In the power of His Holy Spirit, through the knowledge of His Word, this covenant–the covenant of grace as we know it–is revealed as God’s plan to win us to Christ, His Son.

We are betrothed to Him through His sacrifice for us.
Paul’s teaching in Romans 12:1-2  show how we are to accept and enter into this covenant with Him. As a wife submits to her husband in the covenant of marriage, we submit to His covenant for life here and for eternity.

It is our agreement with Him that we are His temple, His building, His people, His children.

This is His means to accomplish all He desires in and through us.

“For ye are bought with a price:
therefore glorify God in your body,
and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
1 Corinthians 6:20

Paul’s purpose of ministry to the Gentiles was that they might glorify God for his mercy (Romans 15:9).

In Romans 10:3 Paul speaks of those who have not submitted themselves unto Him.

We must be humbled to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice. The proud cannot present themselves; for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5-6).

“Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin:
but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead,
and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.”
Romans 6:13

Living Sacrifices for a Living God
Paul speaks to the Thessalonians of how they turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; 1 Thessalonians 1:9

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? Hebrews 9:14

For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him. Luke 20:38

Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. 2 Corintians 3:3

But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, Hebrews 12:22

 But if I tarry long, that you may know how you ought to behave yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. 1 Timothy 3:15

The Results

“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 12:2

When we read all of Romans 12, we find the results of the whole body of Christ living sacrificially for His glory. Except for the offering of ourselves to Him, the remainder of the chapter would mean nothing to us.

When we understand the love and mercy in the sacrifice of our Lord, we willingly bring all to Him to do what He wills in and through us. He died, sacrificing all in His death for our salvation. We sacrifice all to Him to live and prove His perfect will in us. He performs His covenant in our lives when we enter into His covenant with Him, agreeing to His working to conform us to His image (Romans 8:29).

Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. Romans 7:4 

 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. Jude 21

Dear Father in heaven, Only you, by your Holy Spirit, can draw us to Christ. Only through your Holy Word, do we know who you are and your purpose for us. Do your holy, acceptable and perfect will in our lives for your glory and our joy. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran
Image and Song
Related Article: Radical Mercy

How the Holy Spirit Works

Continuing from our last post The Spirit of Contentment, and using the following diagram, we will explain how the Holy Spirit works in man to produce the fruit of the Spirit. Scripture explains all the Holy Spirit does, so to fully understand how our contentment depends solely on the working of the supernatural power of God’s Spirit, we will need to spend time in these passages. I love the word “passages” as it pertains to the Scriptures of God’s Holy Word, Through this wilderness on our way to eternity with our Lord, we are spending time in the passages that He has given us, so that we know how to get through with the contentment that He has planned and works in us.
While in one sitting you may not get what we have included here. Please, save this segment and refer to it often, as these passages continually speak to us and direct us. We will only get to mid-point in this post. We will continue in our next post to how the Spirit works through the heart to our expressions.holy-spirit

God’s Spirit With Our Spirit

We are born of the Spirit of God
by His will and Word .
(John 1:12-13; John 3:3-8; 1 Peter 1:2-3, 23)
The Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.
(Romans 8:9-11; 14-17; 23-24)
The second Adam (Christ) is a quickening Spirit.
(1 Corinthians 15:45)

Spirt, Soul and Body

Sanctified wholly, spirit, soul and body; preserved until the coming of Christ.
(1 Thessalonians 5:23)
The Word of God, piercing to the division of soul and spirit discerning the intentions of the heart.
(Hebrews 4:12).
A steadfast anchor of the soul (Hebrews 6:19)
The salvation of your souls (1 Peter 1:9).
The body and spirit; faith and works
(James 2:26)

Soul and Body

Now returned to Shepherd and Bishop of our souls (1 Peter 2:25).
The body and soul (Matthew 10:28).
The body, more than clothing (Luke 12:23).
The body and its passions (Romans 6:12).
The Spirit, the body, and life  (Romans 8:12-13).
The body for the Lord, and the Lord for the body (1 Corinthians 6:13).
Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit
(1 Corinthians 6:19).
A natural body, and a spiritual body
(1 Corinthians 15:44).

“Who will transform our lowly body
to be like his glorious body, 

by the power that enables him
even to subject all things to himself.”

Philippians 3;21

Mind
 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;
but of power, and of love,
and of a sound mind.”
2 Timothy 1:7

 “Love the Lord God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength”
Luke 10:27
“received the word with all readiness of mind.”
Acts 17:11
“serving the Lord with humility of mind
Acts 20:19
mind the things of the Spirit” Romans 8:5
“to be spiritually minded is life and peace”
Romans 8:6
“transformed by the renewing of the mind
Romans 12:2
mind not high things” Romans 12:16
“we have the mind of Christ” 1 Corinthians 2:16
“a willing mind” 2 Corinthians 18:12
“renewed in the spirit of your mind
Ephesians 4:12
“keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus”
Philippians 4:7
 “humbleness of mind” Colossians 3:12
“I will my put laws into their minds
and write them in their hearts
Hebrews 8:10
“Gird up the loins of your mind” 1 Peter 1:13
“pure minds” 2 Peter 3:1phil-2-5

Dear Father, it is difficult to stop at this point. It seems we are just getting started, knowing we can never cover all that you are opening to us. I pray that those who read will by your Spirit be given wisdom and understanding into how you work in us as your children. Thank you for trusting me with your Word. By the power of your Spirit, please enable me to carry this over to our next post as we come to the center ~ the heart of the matter ~ how your Spirit works in and through our hearts to bring forth the fruit of your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, temperance; even your holiness, righteousness, truth, grace, humility, godliness, your fulness, the fulness of your Spirit, and the fulness of Christ, who in us is the hope of glory. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

“Seeing ye have purified your souls
in obeying the truth
through the Spirit
unto unfeigned love of the brethren,

see that ye love one another
with a pure heart fervently:”
1 Peter 1:22

How the Holy Spirit Works ~ Part Two

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Contentment in Jesus Christ

Posting at 6:24;
awake since 3:34 with thoughts of all the things that are on my two plates for the week,
in addition to the ordinary work that we have to do:
*doctors’ appointments,
*last minute details for publishing our next book, GOD Is Our Goal ~ GOD’S Plan for His People
*writing this post
*writing a letter for our two-year-old great-granddaughter on the occasion of her dedication next Lord’s Day
*keeping a watch on and dressing the diabetic ulcer on Jerry’s foot, etc.
First and last of all these things is my duty as Jerry’s caregiver.
Yet, God has provided His grace for the other things He has planned for us, all to His glory.

How do we do all that He has planned without bouncing off the walls or ending in a tailspin? Where do we start and end with our list?

God, our Father was content before the foundation of the world with His Son, Jesus Christ.
They were content, together, to plan for Jesus to come to us, to live a perfect life for us, to give His life for us for our salvation.
They are content now with what they have done and what they are doing continually for us and in us.
The Course and the Source

This morning as I look at my two full plates, I see Jesus as the main course for this week and every week. Everything is arranged around Him. He is the physician. He is the reason for writing a letter to my great-granddaughter. He is the source of contentment in the middle of what could be confusion and frustration.

When things seem hectic, the Father says, “Listen to my Son.”
Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden.”

He is the Shepherd, keeping and leading His sheep in the way we are to go. imagesIn time we learn that when we get ahead of Him, He lets us go until our impatient steam runs out. Then, we wait for Him to renew, refresh and restore us in Christ, to continue with joy and contentment in Him. At other times He holds us back, and keeps us close until He leads us out in the right path that He has chosen for the moment and for the day.

Some of God’s children live under the oppressive spirit of this world. It doesn’t have to be this way. The Father has given us His Son. The Son has given us Himself for a life of contentment now and forever.

Much more can be said about the contentment that is ours in Christ; perhaps Part 2, later this week.

Please comment on why our contentment is first and foremost in Christ; to add to Part 2.

Gracious Father in heaven, we thank you for granting us all things that pertain to life and godliness through Jesus Christ, your Son. Draw us today to Him; in and through Him keep us close to you, leading us to fulfill all that you have planned for us. Let our contentment be in Him and Him alone. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
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Contentment With GOD Our FATHER

 As I sit in contemplation, praying how to start this post, the reminder comes that everything we as children of the Kingdom do, starts with GOD. This is a reminder that my thoughts, my words, my actions all play off of this truth that only our heavenly Father can teach us.

This is how I have always taught, especially with my grandchildren for fourteen summers, with the premise, “In the beginning, GOD.” Add to this, the first petition in the Lord’s Prayer, “Our Father …. Hallowed be Thy name,” In these, we learn where to start our thinking. From these, we witness to others who we are, and live what we believe.

What we learn from Him never changes because He never changes. “The world lies in wickedness” (1 John 5:19) “under the power of the evil one” (ESV). And we as His children are all prone to forget that He leads us in “the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” According to His will and the power of His light, He brings every generation through the darkness of this world, each heart, and each person to His designated end. From start to finish, it is and always will be, GOD

“See what kind of love the Father has given to us,
that we should be called children of God;
and so we are.
The reason why the world does not know us
is that it did not know him.”
1 John 3:1

The difference is in how we each relate to Him. GOD, to some people, is nothing; purely speculation. He may pass as a thought through the minds of others. But in His kingdom, we relate to GOD as our Father. There is a huge, magnitudinal difference in the minds, hearts, and lives of those who know Him as FATHER. The key word here is “know.”

“Knowing” in God’s Word denotes intimacy; being close enough to live in assurance, without doubt, with the one we know. A child who lives with a father who takes loving care, promises and fulfills his promises, can live content. We are living “with” God our Father. He is not just a supernatural being that has “set His throne above the heavens…His kingdom ruling over all.” He is transcendent so as to encompass all, but He is also, supernaturally, living in our hearts, our minds and our strength.neverthelessHe is always with us. He is GOD to His children when He is nothing to others. He is caring for us in the smallest detail, and the greater things. While the world lives in despair and hopelessness, He is able to supply every need, whether physical or spiritual. If we fail to know, trust and live in light of these truths, then we must set our minds on Him as GOD, in prayer and in meditation on His Word. He is able, “exceeding abundantly able” to “hold us by the hand and guide us with His counsel” to know Him as Father beyond what we can ask or think of Him by His power working in us (Ephesians 3:20-21).psalm-73GOD Is Our Goal ~ GOD’S Plan For His People is our newest publication (next week). This book is a summary of what I taught my grandchildren and relates to God’s goal for us as His children. He, in His purpose for our creation and redemption before the beginning of time, planned how He would bring us through this wilderness to Himself. He has not, and will not fail, to be GOD and Father to us.

Are we His children? Has He ever failed in His promises? Are we content with Him as our GOD and Father? What more does He need to do for us? Let us draw near to Him; stay close to Him, and we will through all our trials and temptations, learn to be content with Him and all He has planned for us.psalm-73

Gracious Father in heaven, you teach us in your Word what you want us to know about you. By your Spirit of Christ working in us, you bring us to yourself so that you may fill our minds and hearts with your love and grace. You are a Father like no other, who promises all that we need for this life and for eternity. Send out your Holy Spirit today; mark us as your own that we may be witnesses of your promises and the fulfillment in us of all that you have prepared for us. Make us to know you as Father in the middle of a world that does not hold this role sacred; a world that lives in the state of oppression. Thank you for leading us to keep our eyes on you, no matter the circumstances. In Jesus’ name, I pray.