Words of Life ~ ANSWER

“Call to Me, and I will answer you,
and show you great and mighty things,
which you do not know.”
Jeremiah 33:3

This verse from Jeremiah was brought to my attention over fifteen years ago and became a part of my prayers every day. The Lord has not failed to answer me; to continually show me new things from His Word, new revelations of His grace and glory, wisdom for living in obedience to Him and the working of His Holy Spirit in my own life and in the lives of others.

In this study of the word ANSWERwe find the focus upon how God will ANSWER, and how we are to ANSWER.

The difference in the two is quite remarkable. We tend to react in the same spirit of a question or comment. God does not react from our level, but He responds from a higher level of understanding. When He answers, it is with wisdom and knowledge of our real needs. As we look at the Biblical use of this word, we will gain knowledge of how we should answer as His children.

Old Testament H6030
Strong’s Concordance defines ANSWER:`anah ä·nä’; respond to, testify
The word is used for speak, cry, witness; sing, utter tunefully.

Jacob made a reference to a time when God answered him.

“And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.” Genesis 35:3

The Way God Answers

And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.
Exodus 19:19

Twice the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind; Job 38:1; Job 40:6
 the God that answers by fire; 1 Kings 18:24; 1 Chronicles 21:26
by terrible things in righteousness; Psalm 65:5
in the secret place of thunder; Psalm 81:7
in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness; Psalm 143:1

For he shall not much remember the days of his life; because God answers him in the joy of his heart. Ecclesiastes 5:20

In the day when I cried you answered me, and strengthened me with strength in my soul. Psalm 138:3

His Promise to Answer

 “He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.” Psalm 91:15

very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry Isaiah 30:19
while they are yet speaking, I will hear. Isaiah 65:24

How We are to Answer

That the Lord called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I. 1 Samuel 3:5

A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Proverbs 15:1 

A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it! Proverbs 15:23

The heart of the righteous studieth to answer. Proverbs 15:28

The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord. Proverbs 16:1

Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. Proverbs 26:4

So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word. Psalm 119:41

That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee? Proverbs 22:21

Then Job answered the Lord, and said, I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes. Job 42:1-6

New Testament G611
Strong’s Concordance defines ANSWER: apokrinomai ä-po-krē’-no-mī; to give an answer to a question proposed; to begin to speak, but always where something has preceded (either said or done) to which the remarks refer.

Jesus’ responses to Satan were from the Old Testament Scriptures.

But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4

When Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. Matthew 16:16

There were times Jesus did not react or respond, but answered nothing:

when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, Matthew 27:12
when questioned by Pilate Mark 15:5

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts:
and be ready always to give an answer
to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope
that is in you with meekness and fear:”
1 Peter 3:15

Dear Father in heaven, thank you that you answer us in grace and mercy. We pray for your Holy Spirit to teach us through your Word how we are to respond to others in the same grace that you have shown to us. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran
Image: Google

All Things New

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:
old things are passed away; behold, all things
are become new
.
2 Corinthians 5:17

In awe for the last decade, I have been given another new year to express the all-glorious presence and blessings of our Almighty God. Ten years ago, I was thinking how close I might be to leaving this planet to be with our Lord. Now in my eighth decade, I sense more and more my weakness and dependence on my Creator and Redeemer as He continues to prepare me for eternity with Him. It is a second childhood I heard about in my first childhood, but, oh so much more than I had imagined. And, I am loving it!

Learning to leave behind those things I thought were so precious years ago, I have been blessed for the Lord to reveal His kingdom of grace in me enabling me to experience a taste of that which is to come.

Trust in the One Who Gives Life
Did I say that these years have been comfortable and pleasant? Not by any stretch of the imagination; they are being spent in trust and leaning upon the One who gave me life twice ~ as Creator and Redeemer ~ a new life that will never end.

Giving me the responsibility as a full-time caregiver for Jerry has been the Father’s way of grooming me as His servant. And there is no greater joy than this. Having served in many roles (too many to list) the role of a servant tops the list for joy and fulfillment in His kingdom.

With one of my favorite verses of His Word, I end my first prayer each day before getting out of bed.

“And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us; and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.” Psalm 90:17

There is always new work to do. With this expectation, we know this new year of our Lord, 2019 will be filled with newness of life. With every day and every trial in the last several years, we have experienced a greater sense of His presence and His goodness.

Lovecraft ~ A New Look
After eight years of blogging, we are using a new format. In searching, I chose a fitting theme Lovecraft~ not knowing the name of the theme until afterward. We will be tweaking it until we decide on the final look. One difference in this theme is the overlay of the area for the text. Images are good, but we want to focus on the truths of God’s Word and His kingdom. A physical image cannot aptly portray the spiritual truths of His love and grace.

We have also just published a new book which we will review the end of this week; What the Holy Bible Says about The Word of GOD, second in the series What the Holy Bible Says.

Our God is the Living God, the God of wonders, the God who never leaves us. He desired us before the world began and sired us in His timing ~ to bring us to Himself through His Son’s redemptive work and the power of His Holy Spirit. He continues to show us great and mighty things we have not known (Jeremiah 33:3) ~ to us, in us and through us. All this; all that He does is for His glory and our joy.

Dear Father in heaven, you have called us unto your eternal glory through Jesus Christ, your Son. We thank you for your mercy and grace, by your Holy Spirit, to accomplish all that you have planned for us in this new year. Whether to keep us here to proclaim the legacy of your kingdom or to bring us home with you, we praise you now. Continue to fill us all with the outpouring of your Spirit to speak and write the truth of your Word that others may know you and grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. In His name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Image is from Christian Poetry by Deborah Ann. 
You would be blessed to visit her blog.

The “Right” Man for the Job

Last year we were blessed to find an air-conditioning contractor who knew how our 21-year-old unit works. When we built our house in this small neighborhood, Jackson EMC was doing a joint project for the geo-thermal system and paid all but $3000. Expecting more than we knew was possible for a unit with an average life of 18 years, we tried one more contractor after the last one did all he could.

Joe from North Hall Heating and Air (I have to give him a plug for those who live in our area) answered our online request for someone who knows this system.

He charged us $45 for a service call, with guarantee to repair. He came a second time with an expert he had known for over twenty years, a friend who was retired after working in the field of geo-thermal systems in huge projects. He sat down with Jerry and me to explain how the system works and why we should be thinking of replacing the unit. While he was talking, Joe was working in the basement. We gently stopped his presentation (thinking of what this was costing us) and asked him to get to the chase. What was his advice at this point? Even if there was a short-term solution, we would eventually need a new unit.

The expert left; Joe came upstairs, saying he had changed a couple of connections. He left with no assurance of what he had done, but with no extra charge. We asked for an estimate for a new unit, expecting the inevitable.

We are aware that in the next year or two, we may be down-sizing again, and we will have to replace the system before we sell our home.

But, since Joe was here the last time, we have had heat for the winter and cool for the summer. This past month’s bill was $118.00, almost unheard of, even for a 2000 sq. ft. all-electric house.

In the middle of our adversities this, as well as other physical blessings, help us know the Lord’s continual care for us. We still need other contractors, including a technician to rid our house of ants and roaches (the one we were using failed after trying for two years).

Where is all this leading; where does this chapter fit to get us Beyond a Mere Christianity?

Our Spiritual House
How far do we go to find the man that has the knowledge and equipment to control the temperature in our physical house? We continue to search until we find the right man for the job.

Who has the expertise to fix what is needed in our spiritual house ~ the outdated workings of the human soul?

There is only one “right” man who knows the heart and the soul; who is qualified to come in to the basement of our lives, to examine, evaluate and estimate the cost of replacement.

The system that provides the air conditioning for our lives is an eternal system, and the continual connection is His own life and Spirit to the Father above.

“but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,” (Romans 8:14-17)

The Cost
This continual comfort comes by His own cost: a holy life in humility and submission to the whole law of God, His “righteousness” as ours, His life given as a sacrifice, His blood shed for the final price. Our final cost ~ our whole life given in exchange for His. This is the life of a true Christian. This is no mere Christianity. Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior went beyond anything man could have imagined, even what was prophesied, to bring us beyond what we could ask or think of life.

What should we ask ourselves? Is our desire for comfort in this world based on our physical needs, or do we desire something more, based on what God is able and promises to do?

 Call To Me
We make the calls for our physical needs. He bids us to call Him for all of life.

 “Call to me and I will answer you,
and will tell you great and hidden things
that you have not known.”

Jeremiah 33:3

He knows that we will call when we come to the end of our own resources.

“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will
give you the desires of your heart.”

Psalm 37:4

We delight ourselves in the Lord when we come to the end of ourselves. And when we find our delight in Him, we desire to desire what He desires, even to the point of suffering for Him.

His eternal comfort and delight is ours when He makes the right connection for us.

There is only one “right” man. No other religion promises what Jehovah, the Lord our God promises. No other has the power to do what the Lord does, for, in and through His people.

“For there is one God,
and one mediator between God and men,
the man Jesus Christ.”
1 Timothy 2:15

Our Father in heaven, Father of lights, Father of glory, having sent your Son, the Lord of glory, we praise you; for your Holy Spirit we thank you; for your wisdom and knowledge hidden in Christ and revealed to us in your Word and by the power of your Holy Spirit which we could never afford. We praise you that you planned before Creation to provide all that we would need here and for eternity through your Son, our Lord and Savior ~ all for your glory and our joy. In His precious and powerful name, we pray. Amen.
Fran

Image: Christ the Mediator

“What Do You Want Me To Do For You?”

Mark 20:46-52 is the record of a blind man who called, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.”
Having Bartimaeus brought to Him, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?”

“Lord, that I might receive my sight.”

This question has been resurfacing in my heart for a while. If Jesus were here today, and I could be blessed for Him to physically pass my way, what would I want from Him?

Considering that, of all who approached Him, Jesus asked this question only to a blind man, my answer would apply to my sight.

“jesus, have mercy on me. Open my eyes to see you as you truly are.”

“Show me the beauty of your holiness and the work that you have done for us, so that we may love you more and diligently follow you as did Bartimaeus.”

‘”I ask this not just for me but for your people everywhere. Let us see you as our refuge at all times.”

“Open the eyes and hearts of men and women who have been in the destruction of this recent storm to look to you for all they need.

“Open our eyes to see their need. Unite our hearts in this time of disaster.
Give us hearts of compassion, that we trust in you for our own needs and that we would even sacrifice for food and shelter for others in need.”

“Shine your light into our hearts for new life and joy, even in the middle of adversity. I ask to see your work in hearts and hands, for your glory and for the sake of others. Turn hearts to you during this time.”

“Dear Father, send your Holy Spirit, open our eyes to see Jesus, to know Him, to love Him and obey Him. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.”Jesus may pass our way only one time in our lives. Cry out to Him. He will hear and answer. He promised to show Jeremiah great and might things not known. Jesus still hears and answers. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Image: Google

Crying Out Loud

imagesHow often have you as an adult wanted to cry aloud, but could not? Either you were too reserved, too prideful, or not desperate enough. At a certain time in our lives we pass the stage of childhood and forget what it was like to cry. We don’t know how to cry, nor to whom.

What good does crying do? Nobody wants to hear it, not on this earth anyway. It is not the proper thing for a sane person to do. If this is your thinking I pray that you will reconsider what it means to be a child of God. He knows our needs, our weaknesses, our failures, and our helplessness. He has saved us in Christ and brought us to Himself to hear from us ~ not just our praises, but also our cries.

A baby doesn’t know why he is crying. A child of God doesn’t always know why he needs to cry. We find much weeping, as well as joy, in God’s Word. This wilderness is not the happiest place in the universe; and He expects us to cry to Him in times of distress.

 “From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed:
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

Psalm 61:2

We should not cry all the time; but in those times when we are overwhelmed He wants to hear from us. His heart is moved, and His Spirit responds to our needs, even when we don’t know what we need. He is able to lead us out of the temptation and danger.

“Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him:
God is a refuge for us.”
Psalm 62:8

When we hold everything inside, or when we turn to some other source, we will not receive what He has prepared for us. Crying and calling to Him are proofs that we trust Him in all our circumstances. More than this, it is during these times of dire need that He reveals more of Himself and His blessings to us. It is through these times that He brings us to know His joy.

0002z5Heavenly Father, draw us to you today.  Enable us to open our hearts to you, to cry to you, and receive what you have for us as your children.  Turn our weeping to joy as you hold us and feed us with the truth of your word.  In Jesus’ name I pray.   Amen.