An Open Letter to Our Granddaughter

Dear Ansley,

When you were a child, you asked me, “Gramama, what is beauty?”

I did not have an answer then and twenty years later, I am still learning.

I grew up hearing that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

“Beauty is only skin deep.”

“Beauty is where you find it.”

“Beauty is all around us, but the blind cannot see.”

There is no answer to describe what may be beautiful to every person.

The only true beauty is in holiness, beauty in God that He reveals to the clean heart; for the eyes reserved for Him to receive what He chooses to give.

Beauty is found in His Word ~ written and Living in Christ.

Beauty in the Heart

“But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart
with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit,
which in God’s sight is very precious.”
1 Peter 3:4

God sees the beauty of His own work in the hearts and lives of His children.

True beauty is seen by the soul; reserved for the humble heart.

There is beauty in the thoughts of those who know that God loves them.

Beauty is seen by the light (the light of Grace) that shines into the heart. The light that reveals the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ.

True beauty is hidden from the world because it is heaven-oriented, God-inspired, Spirit-breathed, and Christ-centered in His children.

True beauty, as God reveals it, is seen in His Son, Jesus Christ. Through His eyes, we see what He wants us to see, beyond the boundaries of our own little world.

Beauty is in the cross of the One who died, in Him who with open arms rejoices in those who come to Him.

Beauty is in the Shepherd that carries one of His sheep until he is able to walk on his own.

Beauty is following Jesus and sitting at His feet.

Beauty is the moment a person knows that He is God’s child, born of His Spirit for eternity.

It is His kingdom within us, making us aware of the beauty around us that others cannot see.

Beauty is in the heart that loves what God loves.

Beauty is seen in patiently waiting for the Master.

Beauty is accepting all that the Lord wills for our lives, in disappointments, trials, and suffering.

Beauty is the Spirit of Christ within the human heart speaking wherever we are, in our times of need, or prompting us to minister to someone else’s need.

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

Beauty is in the hands of those who serve Him, and beauty in the work that we do for Him.

Beauty is in the peace of mind that only He gives.

Beauty is in the quietness of a moment, when the world around us is in chaos.

Beauty in Relationships

Beauty is living in humility to serve God and others.

Beauty is God’s love in action.

Beauty is seen in a smile when you least expect it.

Beauty is in gentleness.

Beauty is in an act of compassion.

Beauty is in the generosity of one who cares for others,

Beauty is responding to a need on a spur of the moment.

Beauty is in the sincere words, “I love you.”

Beauty is in a spontaneous hug for someone you don’t know.

Beauty in Nature

Beauty is seeing a butterfly light on a delicate flower petal, or a bee receiving the nectar of God’s provision.

Beauty is seen in the opening of a single flower that receives the rays of the sun after a gentle rain.

Beauty is seeing a flowing leaf find its resting place on the ground.

We have yet to see the beauty of His holiness. It is more than we can endure, now.

We will see His full beauty when He returns for His people, and the beauty of His world which He promises to us. 

I could not answer your question when you first asked. We have both been learning.   I can witness of the true meaning of beauty that is revealed by God to His children. You could add what you have learned since then.

If our eyes are opened to Him, we see His beauty around us and within us. We have the remainder of this life for Him to prepare our eyes to behold Him ~ and eternity to experience the beauty of His holiness and majesty.

As we wait, I am seeing His beauty in you.

In the love of our heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, a love that transcends all time and space ~ for His glory and our joy ~
Gramama

Images: Google

The Pit and the Wilderness (Part 2)

In this last part of The Pit and the Wilderness, we look at Discovering the Promises, The Hidden Blessings, and The Sustaining Power of His Spirit.

    Discovering the Promises     

 I am a stranger in the earth:
hide not thy commandments from me.”
Psalm 119:19

When we look at the words that John wrote to those who followed Christ, we see the promises that are ours through our pilgrimage here.  In the same sentence before “the whole world lieth in wickededness,” he said, “And we know that we are of God.” 1 John 5:19

In the previous verse, he said,

We know that everyone who has been born of God
does not keep on sinning,
but he who was born of God
protects him
, and the evil one does not touch him.”

He has brought us out of the pit. We can travel the remainder of our journey with this assurance.

Paul knew and experienced the promises.

He has delivered us from the domain of darkness
and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,
in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

Colossians 1:13-14

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins
to deliver us from the present evil age,
according to the will of our God and Father,
to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Galatians 1:3-5

Simon Peter shared these promises.

“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.“ 2 Peter 1:3-4

Hidden Blessings

Many say that we fail to obtain these blessings because they are hidden from us in our disobedience.  Our heavenly Father does not waste anything ~ just as Jesus did not give His life to suffer and die in vain but to effectively save all His people (Matthew 1:21).

How can God’s blessings be refused?

He is able ~ exceeding abundantly able ~ to bring His own children to receive what He has prepared for us (Ephesians 3:20; 1 Corinthians 2:9) He is God. He is the Father. He is not disappointed ~ rather He rejoices over us because of His own work (Zephaniah 3:17). He prepared before the foundation of the world what He brings to pass according to the power of His Holy will.

We can pray to God the prayer of Isaiah 64:1

Rend the heavens and come down, as the melting fire burneth,
to make known your name among the adversaries
.”

But we also, as His people, praise Him with Paul’s words in Ephesians 4:1.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who 
in Christ, has blessed us with every spiritual blessing
in heavenly places.

These blessings are for His children who live daily in the wilderness, through His Word and Spirit, enduring with faith and persevering to the goal.

God does not hide the blessings from us ~ we find them as we continue on our way. They are seemingly hidden in our circumstances. They turn up where we might least expect them. This is the experience of living faith that He works through us.  Through every trial, He is waiting to bless us.

Sustaining Power of His Spirit

 Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counselors.
My soul cleaveth unto the dust:
quicken thou me according to thy word.

Psalm 119:24-25

His Spirit is every moment sustaining us. These thoughts of hope and assurance have remained with me since that vision of the pit. There have been moments of trial in which my paths have taken me through valleys, sometimes to the mountaintop for a special time with Him but these were temporary.

As I continued on my way, the pit was revealed again and again, sometimes on each side with only room to walk, as over a narrow bridge, so that I could almost feel a hand on my leg; other times as if on a tightrope extended above the openings.

Other times I have had to cross great streams that would have carried me away except that He was holding on to me and carrying me across, or holding me as I was carried downstream.

There have been paths through tunnels,  blackness surrounding me ~ at times having little more than a faint light ahead ~ but as I continued, the light became brighter.

There have been days so dark that it seemed as if I was in a dungeon with no light at all, with only the hope that He would bring me out in His timing.

It is during these times that I remember ~ this darkness is nothing compared to the darkness of the pit from which God has brought us, and of even greater darkness that is yet to come for those who are not His.

And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness:
there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth
.”
Matthew 25:30

His grace is truly sufficient for all times and for all trials (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

As we continue through this wilderness, we who are in Christ will encounter the enemy at every turn, but we are assured that we are not alone. God is always with us.

And I saw an angel come down from heaven,
having the key of the bottomless pit
and a great chain in his hand.

Revelation 20:1

Thank you, Lord, for the wilderness.
In Jesus’ precious name. Amen.

Fran

Suggested reading: God is Our Goal

Image: Pixabay

The Pit and the Wilderness

“Oh, Lord, how long will you leave me helpless in a weary land.”
The Lord is good and has blessed me, but I was again feeling low and downtrodden.

This scene years ago was one of my days of wandering in this wilderness.  The feeling was unexplainable and very real.  Prayer and God’s Word are very real also, but feelings sometimes seem to have the upper hand.

“O Lord, hear.  O Lord, forgive.  O Lord, hearken and do.
Defer not, for thy own sake, O my God.”
  (Daniel 9:18)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

At the time of His choosing, He answered my prayer.

When life seemed so bleak, the Lord heard my cries and spoke as He often does by His Spirit. In the middle of my distress was the assurance of His presence.

Yes, this world is a wilderness; but
I have brought you out of the pit.”

The vision I had was of a desert with nothing living; no people; no trees; no vegetation, only dead weeds; and only a lonely existence with cloudy skies.  I was there to endure this barrenness, and to experience His grace in the middle of it.

The Pit

In the distance was a wide black cavern.  It appeared wider, deeper and darker as He led me closer.  Around the cavern was a tall fence, and He led me to look through the slats into the pit below.

Leaning against the sides of this black hole were ladders. On these ladders were people trying to get out.  The ladders were too short and the people could not climb over the fence.

Even though there was a stench, I was drawn to see the depth of the blackness and, by His light, to see the people.  Those in the bottom of the pit were watching with amusement the wickedness being committed in the darkness.

The cries of others were mixed with the sounds of corruption.

I was reminded of the words in 1 John 5:19  the whole world lieth in wickedness.”
The ESV translates, “The whole world lies in the power of the evil one.”

It was in this vision that my view of the wilderness changed.  It became a reminder for the remainder of my pilgrimage that the wilderness is the place God provided for our first parents when they were ejected from the Garden; this wilderness through which He would bring me to Himself for eternity.  Here is where the Glad Rule was established for Jerry and me.

The Psalmist’s words became mine as I was reminded of the miry clay and the rock.

He brought me up also out of an horrible pit,
out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock,
and established my goings.
Psalm 40:2

As I watched, there were some being airlifted by His Holy Spirit.
It is God who brings us out and leads us to rejoice in this wilderness.

  My soul melteth for heaviness:
strengthen thou me according unto thy word.
Psalm 119:28

“In the pits” is a common expression to describe the feelings of depression.  “Down in the dumps” is another means when things are not going well for us, or when some physical malady brings us down.  We sometimes stay there without trying to get out ~ unless God works through our circumstances to bring us out.

Other times we look for help, either by sharing our feelings with someone; or we use alcohol, drugs, or some other method.  The world offers many kinds of therapy for this condition.

Many times, even from childhood, this malady was part of my life.  As with other children who grew up with parents who have lived through the Great Depression of the 1920s, our environment was not always a happy one. Not taught the principles of the promises of God, we were prone to look for the worst in everything.

God was gracious in my childhood to introduce me to His Word, though it was not what I relied on as a child. During the 1940s, public schools were free to pray and speak of God, but He was not the main theme. God was not the principal but men promoted what the world set forth for their own benefit.

In addition to the Depression, my parents grew up with the superstitions of their day ~  black cats, ladders, bad luck, etc. Then my generation added Mother Goose Rhymes, Pop Goes the Weasel, and such songs that have no reference to God and His promises. I saw my generation as the lost generation.

Even though a war had ended, we were left with only the ashes of hope. For most families, God was not known, even to those who attended houses of worship. The church was only a place to congregate and share each other’s woes.

According to the preaching of hellfire and brimstone, all our troubles were the results of our own doing. If only we would turn from our sins, God would be gracious to us and make life better. But, even those who had believed, been baptized and joined the church had no better hope than those who did not believe. They did not live by faith in God’s provisions, but by sight, according to the circumstances of the day.

“The pit” is a horrible place to be and sometimes this is the only place some people know. Their whole life is a pit and they have no control over their circumstances. Until a person comes to faith in God, through the redeeming work of Christ, life on this earth is but a pit, a preface to the eternal pit that is prepared for the devil and his angels.

Things may seem to go well at times ~ when we have accomplished something on our own ~ or someone has been good to us. But these are only temporary. We cannot place any hope in other people or these things.

Our only hope is in God our Father through His Son and His Holy Spirit ~ knowing Him, His promises, His presence, and power for our deliverance and guidance through this life.

(This post in two parts is an excerpt from The Pit and the Wilderness and Other Visions of God’s Grace. Visions and poems are few and far between for me. They are never spectacular but simple and usually to the point of a special truth He wants to reveal. Part Two explains more of the Lord’s plans for us as we live in the wilderness, trusting Him and waiting for the new heavens and new earth.)

Dear Father, thank you for your truths by which you minister to us in this wilderness; for your Word of Life in Christ and the power of your Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Images: Pixabay

Words of Life ~ BELIEVE

The word BELIEVE is first found in Genesis 15 in reference to Abraham’s response to the word of the Lord, but if we look back to the beginning of creation, when God spoke to Adam and Eve, they did not believe Him. Disobedience is the result of unbelief. Had they believed God, they would not have eaten the forbidden fruit. They forfeited the paradise prepared for them.

We see a difference between Adam and Abraham who is the “father of our faith.”

 And he believed in the Lord;
and he (the Lord) counted it to him for righteousness.”
Genesis 15:6

He proved he believed by acting in obedience to the word of the Lord.

Belief occurs one time and BELIEVE occurs 143 times in 131 verses in the KJV. All references can be found through the two links below. We will let the Lord speak through His own Word in the following verses.

Old Testament H539
Strong’s Concordance defines BELIEVE; ‘aman ä·man
to support, confirm, be faithful;to stand firm, to trust, to be certain, to believe in

New Testament G4100
Strong’s Concordance defines BELIEVE; pisteuō pē-styü’-ō
to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in

How and why do we believe?

Mark 1:15
and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.
John 6:29
Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”
 Acts 13:12
Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had been done, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord.
Acts 15:11
But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.”
Acts 18:27
And when he desired to cross to Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him; and when he arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace;
Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
Romans 4:5
But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness,
Romans 4:1718; 24
(as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;
who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.”
but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead,
1 Corinthians 1:21
For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
Ephesians 1:19
and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believeaccording to the working of His mighty power
Philippians 1:29
For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,
2 Thessalonians 2:13
…..God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

What is the result of believing?

Exodus 4:31
So the people believed; and when they heard that the Lord had visited the children of Israel and that He had looked on their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshiped.
Psalm 106:12
Then they believed His words; They sang His praise.
Daniel 6:23
So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no injury whatever was found on him, because he believed in his God.
Psalm 27:13
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed That I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living.
Jonah 3:5
So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them.
Mark 16:16
He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
John 1:12
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:
John 3:18
“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
John 3:36He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
John 6:35
And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.
John 6:47
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.
John 7:38
He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
John 8:31
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
John 9:38
Then he said, “Lord, I believe!” And he worshiped Him.
John 11:40
Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”
Acts 2:44
Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common,
Acts 8:12
But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized.
Acts 10:43
To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.”
Acts 11:21
And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.
Acts 13:39
and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.
Acts 13:48
Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.
Acts 19:18
And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds
Romans 10:4
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
Romans 10:9
that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
Romans 10:10
For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
1 Thessalonians 2:13
For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.
Titus 3:8
This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.
Hebrews 10:39
But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.
Hebrews 11:6
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him
1 Peter 2:7
Therefore, to you who believeHe is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,”
1 John 5:1
Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him.
1 John 5:5
Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
1 John 5:10
He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son.
1 John 5:13
These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.
1 John 3:23
And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.

Why do some not believe?

John 10:26
But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you.
Romans 10:14
How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?

What happens to those who do not believe?

Luke 8:13
But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.
Jude 1:5
But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.

If we study these passages and other references, we find that all belief is not believing unto salvation. Belief is grounded in God’s Word and the power of His Holy Spirit and will produce the fruit of His working in us.

Gracious Father, thank you for your Spirit that brings those whom you have chosen to salvation in the power of your Word. Sanctify us in your truth. Enable us to continue in your Word assured of our salvation in Christ. In Jesus’ name, I pray and praise you. Amen.
Fran

Image: Pixabay

 

What Do You Seek?

Our granddaughter, Olivia graduated from high school last week. She is the fourth of our six grandchildren to reach this goal. She expressed that she was “overwhelmed.”

I am taken back sixty-two years knowing that at that time, I had no idea of who I was or where I was going. A Sheep’s View reveals the immaturity of my aspirations that changed several times over the decades.

This season of the year unloads into the world millions of young hearts that are unaware of what life is meant to be. The best wishes most will get is “Follow your heart” or “Follow your dreams.”

If most understand this, they will be looking for the next step toward personal success or finding a job that will enable them to be independent.

<<<<<>>>>>

At this time, I am in daily meditation on Jesus’ words in John’s gospel.

John, the Baptist, after baptizing and while speaking of the coming Messiah, sees and identifies Jesus.

“Behold! The Lamb of God
who takes away the sin of the world
!

Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples.
And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said,
“Behold the Lamb of God!”
John 1:28; 35-36

Then the two disciples who were with John (one of them was Andrew) followed Jesus. Jesus knew what they were seeking (John 2:24-45). Perhaps they were following out of curiosity or sheer excitement. John’s identification is with exclamation ~ the word behold was imperative ~ for them to see what he saw.

“Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following,
said to them, “What do you seek?”
John 1:37

John’s disciples had been taught by him. Though they were unaware, John, as the voice crying in the wilderness, was preparing the way for them to follow Jesus.  

He must increase, but I must decrease.
John 3:30

They asked, “Where are you staying?” He said, “Come and see.” They followed Jesus. They stayed with Him that day, then Andrew brought his brother, Simon Peter to Jesus (John 1:41). And we know the rest of the story.

Jesus asks us the same question, today. “What do you seek?”   Do we see what John the Baptist saw? Why are we interested in Jesus? Is it because we have heard about Him? Are we just curious?

Has someone else pointed us to Him? What is it about Jesus that keeps us seeking Him? Do we know Him personally? Are we excited enough to ask and know where He is staying and spend time with Him?

What does Jesus teach us about seeking? As our teacher, He brings us as a graduate from student to disciple, to friend. More than this ~ He becomes our brother and our Life.

Now that would be another book: but just for now, what should be the main emphasis for life at all ages?

What should we wish for the new graduate in this generation?

~ the same thing Jesus wished for His disciples.

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or
‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘
What shall we wear?
For after all these things the Gentiles seek.
For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,
and all these things shall be added to you.

Matthew 6:31-33

See and Seek ~ Seek and See
His kingdom, His righteousness and eternal life in Jesus Christ.

Dear Father in heaven, you created us knowing our hearts and our needs. As you are preparing us for eternity with you, continue to teach us through your Word and the power of your Holy Spirit to see and to seek, knowing that we will find your kingdom and your righteousness in your Son, our Lord, and Savior Jesus Christ, to whom be glory, forever. In His holy name, I pray and praise you. Amen.
Fran

Suggested Reading: First Things That Last Forever
GOD is Our Goal

Jesus ~ Wrapped for our Glory

Still, in the wonderful process of searching the truths of God’s Word for Filled with Grace and Wrapped in Glory, I am finding more to do with the Lord’s work around us than within us ~ at least a hundred references.~ much of which we are probably not aware.

It is the gleaning of His Word and His promises that bring us to understand His total and complete work on our behalf while we live in this wilderness. His Word reveals His constant presence with us but because we are so inundated by the thoughts, words, and behavior of the multitudes, we have not known and practiced these precious truths of the kingdom.

I had not understood why the term Wrapped in Glory was given in this title. Now, I am delighting in what He is showing me. The first pertains to being Wrapped. (We will share thoughts on His Glory later.) There are three references in the New Testament to Jesus’ being wrapped.

  1. “And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger;” Luke 2:7

Jesus came from His glory into this world, was wrapped in human garb so that He could wrap us in the swaddling clothes of His glory.

How low the King of glory stoops, and how gloriously he uplifts the lowly to share his glory! Charles Spurgeon

  1. “And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,” Matthew 27:59

Jesus was wrapped twice in His human helplessness ~ first, as a baby and last, as the sacrificial Lamb.

  1. “And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.” John 20:7

They were lying there in their regular folds as if the body of Jesus had simply evaporated out of them. Matthew Henry

Plainly the effect of thought, care, and composure; and clearly showed, that the body was not taken away in a hurry, or by thieves, since everything lay in such order and decency; and which was done, either by our Lord himself, or by the angels. John Gill

His resurrection reveals His finished work. The last of His earthly wrappings set aside, He would prove His resurrection to His disciples, then ascend to be robed in His heavenly glory.

From the right hand of His Father, He sent His Holy Spirit, as He promised to His disciples before His death (John 14 -16; Acts 1) The Holy Spirit is now revealing and fulfilling all the promises for His people. Even as we are now learning what it means that we are made to sit in heavenly places in Christ, He will finish His work in and through us, in preparation to bring us home to the glory of the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.

 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

Gracious Father, how are we to understand these things, except you give us your Holy Spirit to work them in us ~ to bring us by your power into the arms of our Lord and wrap us in your glory. Thank you for the promises that are ours in Christ as revealed in your Word. In Jesus’ name, I praise you. Amen.

Overwhelmed

As I continue to talk about our newest project ~ Filled with Grace and Wrapped in Glory ~ responses are varied. From those who never heard of Christ living in us, to not understanding the power of the Holy Spirit in human life, I sense the great need for this work and ask you to please pray for the wisdom to assimilate the great store of God’s Word that speaks to the truths of our relationship to God the Father through His Son and our Lord Jesus Christ, in the power of His Word and His Holy Spirit.

“And hope does not put us to shame,
because God’s love has been poured into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”  
Romans 5:5

God the Father is the main source of Life, giving us His Life through His Son Jesus Christ, by the power of His Holy Spirit. The power to think spiritually was lost in the beginning with our first parent’s disobedience to His Word. The spiritual (supernatural) Life our Creator intended for His creatures was rejected. Except for a few who were given faith to believe the promise of a Messiah, the world lived in rebellion. In the Father’s timing, Jesus came to earth, conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit to be born of a virgin and live in full obedience to the will of the Father. In so doing, we are given the same power of the Holy Spirit for Christ to be born in us.

Christ in you ~ Filled with Grace ~and you in Christ ~ Wrapped in Glory~ is the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit, the mystery of the heavenly Life working in the physical lives of God’s children. It requires a change in our way of thinking ~ from a fleshly, earthly mindset to a transformed, heavenly, spiritual Life of words, thoughts, and actions. Such a Life in God’s children brings Light into the darkness of this world ~ proves the difference in good and evil, truth and deception, and draws others to Him and His kingdom. Truth has been buried for centuries. The world would rather keep Jesus buried but He lives victoriously at the right hand of the Father with the power of the Holy Spirit directing all things according to His will. It is time for truth and goodness to descend and penetrate the wilderness in which we live. We must pray for the Holy Spirit’s work in our own lives and the lives of our families and churches. In faith, we must anticipate the power of His Life consuming us by His grace as we have never before experienced. He wants to overwhelm us with His Word, His Spirit, and His glory.

Dear Father, from whom all creation receives its true name and true life, hear our prayer for you to descend in power. By your Holy Spirit bring the two-edged sword to our own hearts, divide asunder between heaven and earth, between the spiritual and the flesh. Make new in your image new creatures in Christ for your glory and our joy. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

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