Blessings in Intercession

A short note today in relation to last Saturday’s post Advocates for Bill and Terri:

I had thought to reference this during the week but did not have time.
Much of the week has been spent in intercession for Bill and Terri.
Too, I have spent a considerable amount of time reading Terri’s blog ~ having only known her a few months, I have kept up with Bill’s blog for years.

One thing I want to mention here is in reference to those who have been interceding. Have you been blessed by your intercession for them? I certainly have, and in the process been brought closer to the throne of grace.

As our great High Priest, he Lord waits for our petitions.

Do You Sense Your Prayers are Being Heard?
Does it ever seem that your prayers are not getting through? I was reminded of this possibility this week. When there is something between us and the Lord that has not been settled, our petitions are not heard.

Search me, O God, and know my heart:
try me, and know my thoughts:
And see if there be any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139:23-24

When there is hidden sin in our lives, the way is closed to His presence.
Confession of our sins, repentance, and faith open the door to His heart.

Intercession is not just for others but it is a means of grace to strengthen our relationship with the Lord. He willingly accepts our requests and grants them when our hearts are clean before Him.

Be Blessed by Reading Their Blogs
Another thing I suggest, if you are not acquainted with Bill and Terri, is to peruse their blog sites. Their posts will be a blessing and minister to you. Whatever your state in this world, their witness of God’s grace will change your perspective of your own life. They testify of the fulfillment of God’s promises to us as His children.

Bill’s blog: Unshakable Hope

Terri’s blog: Diary of a Quadraplegic

Please continue to intercede for them and for all God’s people. Continue to pray to experience the power of the Holy Spirit in your life and the lives of others.

Gracious Father, thank you for a Spirit-filled week and for the preparation for our worship tomorrow. Fill us with your Spirit and teach us how to pray continuously and fervently. Search our hearts, try our thoughts and see if there be anything in us that is keeping us from you. Forgive, and lead us onward and upward in pursuit of your blessings for us and others. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Image: Google

Advocates for Bill and Terri ~ A Spiritual Exercise

This follow-up to a previous post, Words of Life ~ ADVOCATE, is a means to share how the Lord has been working in my heart the last few days, and to ask you to join me for a life-changing experience.

The Lord brought Bill and Terri into my life several months ago. Bill lives in the southwestern part of the USA and Terri in the eastern region. They have become advocates for each other.

As they have shared how God is working in their lives, I have become an advocate for them before the throne of grace.

If you know Bill and Terri, you can skip this part and go to the exercise. But it may be a good thing to review who and where they are.

Bill and Terri each live in a physical state of paralysis. Their conditions are similar but different in how they operate in that state. They are mindful of their circumstances and have learned to function and communicate with others in a gift of clarity most of us do not have. They are each a special gift to us who know them.

Bill
Bill, diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) over twenty years ago, has been preserved long past the average two-to-five year expectancy. The Lord has done a miraculous work in Bill for a witness of the Unshakable Hope he has in Christ. With Mary, his wife and principal advocate, Bill lives at home, functioning with modern equipment that moves him from and into his bed and chair. He writes with his eyes with a computer designed for this purpose. For his blog and book project, Bill is filled with the Spirit of God, influencing and encouraging people throughout the world to know and trust their lives to Christ. His hope is not in himself or anything of this world but only in the promises of eternity when he will have full use of his body and faculties to praise and serve the Lord.

Even though ALS has drastically changed my life and that of my wife and our two daughters, I don’t believe anyone should allow a disease or any life-challenge to define who we are.

To do so is to give that challenge more credit than it deserves and is the first step on a dead-end road of hopelessness.

This trial has taught us that the only way to experience genuine and consistent hope, peace, and joy in the middle of a trial is to view our lives and situations through God’s eyes. For me, learning this was a long and difficult process—but a rewarding one; an ongoing process that will continue until the day I go to be with the Lord.

Terri
Terri, from a fall in her kitchen, has been a quadriplegic since 2013, She is single and dependent on medical staff in a nursing facility. She, too, is a witness for Christ, and attends her church for worship. Terri has siblings and church family who are advocates in the capacity of which they are able. She uses some of the same equipment as Bill and by her voice, communicates through her computer. In these six years, dealing with other medical issues, she has spent time in ICU and been moved to other facilities which upset any rhythm in her life, causing depression and anxiety. From one of her blog posts, I quote the following.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5

No matter how frustrated, disgusted, or depressed, I get about being a quadriplegic, I know I’m where I am meant to be. I don’t have to understand why this happened. I only need to acknowledge that God is sovereign, loving, and good. And he doesn’t make mistakes.

Bill and Terri’s readers continue to encourage and support them. The greatest encouragement comes from Bill and Terri to us when we read what the Lord is doing in them.

A SPIRITUAL EXERCISE AS AN ADVOCATE

We cannot, as advocates for Bill and Terri, appeal with the strength of the medical equipment they need. Those things are already provided for them. The idea and the means for advocacy on their part is for the spiritual strength and grace they need to endure and triumph as witnesses for Christ as they are bound, imprisoned in their bodies.

They are teaching us what the world is like ~ paralyzed ~ and in need of a heavenly outpouring of the Spirit to move in His people.

Here is where we can be a part of an awakening in the body of Christ.

For the last few days, the Lord has uniquely led me to pray and intercede. At first, the thought was only for Bill and Terri. Then the blessings came for me, my family, my church, and the whole church worldwide.

Three things will come as a result of this exercise.

1. Bill and Terri will be strengthened in their witness of Christ.
2. We and other Christians will be strengthened in our witness for Christ.
3. God, our Father and our Lord, Jesus Christ will be glorified.

This exercise began when I awoke. I lay still as if paralyzed like Bill and Terri. Quietly I waited, arms at my sides, imagining their immovability; then, remembering Psalm 46:10 ~

Be still, and know that I am God,

I again waited ~ motionless.

Stillness is not easy in a world that is spiritually paralyzed. The body does not want this stillness and will not succumb to it except by His Spirit.

“I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”

This exercise is an excellent means to realize that every breath is by His Spirit and through Christ alone.

The Spirit then moved me to the first petition of the Lord’s Prayer.

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

Our whole of living moment by moment, day by day, is for this purpose. He wants us to know Him as our Father. Through us, He is exalted, honored, and His name hallowed in this world.

This prayer and this thought of His overall sovereignty and exaltation led me to ask for an outpouring of His Holy Spirit from His throne of grace to fill me and enable me to pray in the Spirit for power as an advocate for Bill and Terri.

From the Holy Spirit’s leading, then came the request for the Spirit’s filling for them. I prayed for the continual work in their lives to overcome in the battle against weariness, discouragement, uncertainty, depression, and anxiety. Among other requests, I prayed for the Lord’s filling and leading for Bill to finish his book.

There was a third request for the filling of the Spirit for His people everywhere. (You need facial tissue for this exercise.)

I went to the next petition, which the paralyzed body of Christ needs ~ asking for His kingdom to come in power by His Spirit, and His will to be done in the hearts and lives of His people everywhere.

“God hath made with me an everlasting covenant |
ordered in all things and sure,
this is all my salvation and all my desire.”
2 Samuel 23:5

Even as with David, this everlasting covenant revealed and fulfilled in Jesus Christ, is God’s means to establish His kingdom’s rule here on earth and His will to be operative in the hearts and lives of His people.

It is by His divine power that we destroy strongholds, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and bring every thought captive in obedience to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

Before getting up to start my day, I finished petitions for which I usually ask. I asked for the Spirit to raise me and His people everywhere for the work He has for us to do ~ to be the moving witnesses Bill and Terri encourage us to be.

These are only the beginnings of what I have experienced in this new intercession.

During the day, this exercise can be done anywhere and anytime you can lie down, or even sit quietly and still ~ as you desire the Holy Spirit’s filling and moving in your heart and spirit for you, Bill, Terri, all who are ill or physically handicapped, and especially for the moving of God’s Spirit.

Teach your children and do this as a family exercise. Let this exercise displace some of the time you usually spend with your devices. Set your timers and stop and pray throughout the day.

If possible and you feel led, continue this exercise for a week. We may post some of the responses and address any concerns next week.

Advocates for Bill and Terri could become a movement in this world to bring an awareness of the need for God’s Spirit for all people. Let us share this need and call others to join this exercise of intercession for His glory.

Since getting to know Bill, and Terri, through her blog, emails, and my phone conversation with her, Jerry appreciates his wheelchair, and the use of his one leg though he has not been able to walk for over two years. It is amazing how your life can change when you are aware of the more significant needs of others.

Please share this with your Christian friends even as you become an advocate for Christ’s sake.

Gracious Father in heaven, Whom have we in heaven but thee and there is none on earth we desire beside thee. Draw your people to this intercession with understanding and the Spirit. Fill us and enable us to pray in the power and intercession of the Holy Spirit and Christ, our High Priest, who sits at your right hand calling us to Him, for thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, forever. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Words of Life ~ ADVOCATE

Everyone needs a personal advocate. Do you have at least one person who has your interests at heart, one who knows your needs? Do you have someone who can step in, stand up, and speak for you?

We may have many “fair-weather friends” who cheer us on. But how many are actually close enough to know who we are, committed and able to offer a hand when we need it? Who will sacrifice their own agenda, when push comes to shove in our lives?

The word ADVOCATE was not in our original list of Words of Life ~ A to Z ~ the Ordinary Vocabulary of the Christian, but various circumstances in the last few days have brought this word to my mind and heart.

The Lord has been revealing how many advocates He has given Jerry and me. I am Jerry’s closest advocate. We have a son and daughter, our pastor and his wife and family and other members of our church family who know us well and when we have a need. We also have others who intercede for us and would respond if we needed them.

And the Lord has brought other people into our lives who need an advocate. Besides knowing our family and our church family, there are some who cannot fend for themselves. (I will write about these in our next post.)

We know an attorney who is an advocate to secure reimbursement for tragic personal injuries and loss caused by the neglect of others.  His clients are paralyzed or traumatized to the point of needing continued care from medical staff or a close family member. Their cases have settlements in the millions.

Because these usually have no knowledge of how to manage the money that they have received to support them for the remainder of their lives, the attorney, without charge, also counsels the client in how to manage his money.

Such is the advocate we have in Christ, who knows our dire circumstances. We have sustained the nature and sinful life our first parents brought us into by the seduction and deception of the enemy. Without an ADVOCATE, we have no hope of life in this world or the next.

There is only one reference to the word ADVOCATE in the Bible, which is found in the New Testament.

“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not.
And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father,
Jesus Christ the righteous:”
1 John 2:1

The word ADVOCATE in Greek means paráklētos, par-ak’-lay-tos; which means intercessor, consoler: the same word is used for advocate and comforter.

Paráklētos is the word used for the Comforter in John 14:26

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost,
whom the Father will send in my name,
he shall teach you all things,
and bring all things to your remembrance,
whatsoever I have said unto you.”

The word intercessor is found only one time, and that, in the Old Testament.

“And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.” Isaiah 59:16

“Man’s extremity was Christ’s opportunity. There was no one left to save poor fallen manhood, no one who could lift a hand or a finger for our rescue; therefore, Jesus came, and fought, and bled, and died, and conquered on our behalf.” Charles Spurgeon

Before His crucifixion, Jesus promised to send another Comforter to abide with us forever (John 14:16) who would “proceed from the Father and testify” of Jesus (John 15:26).

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth;
It is expedient for you that I go away:

for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you;
but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”
John 16:7

The Holy Spirit is the Comforter, the Spirit of Christ, our ADVOCATE. The Holy Spirit is the power of conviction in our hearts and lives. He intercedes through us to Christ our High Priest who sits at the right hand of God. He pleads our case by the blood of the everlasting covenant on our behalf. Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to comfort us in our times of need and enables us to know the needs of others and to comfort and intercede for them.

As the Holy Spirit reveals the Father’s will for His people, we become ADVOCATES for our brothers and sister in Christ. This is the point of this article. We will elaborate on this last statement in our next post. Please look for it, as it will make a huge difference in your life, bringing you to understand more of what it means to be an ADVOCATE for the family of God.

Dear Father, we praise you that you are the Father of all comfort. We thank you that you sent your Son, the only one capable as an advocate for your people. We are blessed to have the indwelling of your Holy Spirit as our eternal advocate, knowing us better than we know ourselves, able to intercede and to intervene for us. By your Spirit, continue to guide us by the truth of your Word and to be advocates for each other, both physically and spiritually. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Image: Google

 

 

 

Love Your Enemies


“O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see.”
2 Kings 6:17

The king of Syria is perplexed as to how the king of Israel is evading him and his army. When he learns that the prophet Elisha is foiling his attacks, he sends his horses, a great army, and chariots at night to surround the city of Dothan, where he plans to capture Elisha.

The next morning, when Elisha’s servant saw what was happening, he said to Elisha, “Alas, my master, what shall we do?”

Elisha is not bothered at all by the situation and answers his servant with assurance, “Fear not; for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.” 2 Kings 6:15-16

Elisha then prayed the prayer that revealed God’s presence and power. He said, “Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see.”

The Lord answered Elisha’s prayer and opened the servant’s eyes so that he saw a “mountain full of horses and chariots of fire” around them.

Elisha prayed again, but this time for the Lord to blind the army. When the Lord answered this prayer, Elisha led them to Samaria.

Again, Elisha prays – this time for their eyes to be opened. When this happens, they see that Elisha has brought them to the king of Israel, who could have killed them; but Elisha tells the king to give them food and water.

“So he prepared for them a great feast, and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. And the Syrians did not come again on raids into the land of Israel.”
2 Kings 6:23

This story reminds me of three references in the New Testament. The first is of Paul’s words in Romans 12:20.

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”

Then the words of John come to mind, “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

But, more than these, we have an example of Jesus’ teachings in the Sermon on the Mount, from Matthew 5 and Luke 6 to “love your enemies.” (See related article and sermon links below.)

We do not have prophets like Elisha in the world today. The prayers he prayed were for a different time. Now we have the Spirit of Christ to assure us of His love, His protection, and His wisdom. We don’t see the supernatural work of our heavenly Father with human eyes, but our eyes are opened spiritually to see and to know that He is always with us and how He works through us to respond to our enemies.

Before leaving His disciples, Jesus said to them:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:18-20

Throughout the Old and the New Testaments, God promises to be with us. Elisha’s first words to his servant are, “Fear not.” Many of the books of the Bible quote these words from the Lord. In Isaiah 41:10, KJV, we read,

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”

Dear Father in heaven, thank you for the prayer you gave Elisha so that his servant could see your marvelous work on their behalf. Give us faith to believe, and not fear what man may do to us. Thank you for bringing us into your presence, and opening our eyes to see the King of kings – not to receive your wrath upon us, but heavenly food and drink, and eternal blessings. Keep our eyes focused on the wonders of your great salvation in and through your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  And enable us to love our enemies as you  have loved us. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Fran (Excerpt from PRAYERS That Bring the House Down)

Related article and sermons: From Daily Thankful Tough Love
Love Your Enemies Matthew 5:25 ~ Ryan McKee ~ Northern Ireland
Love Your Enemies Luke 6:27 ~  Chris Strevel ~ Georgia, USA

Results of Word Survey

From the survey last week, seven responses netted forty-nine words, including three of my own that were different than your lists.

I asked for words from a Christian view that are important to our relationship with God and others.

Over the weekend I wondered and prayed about the connection of these words to each other and to us.

First the tally from eight lists, including mine:

Jesus appeared on seven lists.
Forgive (forgiven) appeared on seven.
Love appeared on six.
Grace on five.
Truth and Mercy on four.
God and Salvation on three.

Father, Kindness, Peace, Free, Life, Faith, Know (known), Sin (sinner) on two lists.

Each of the following were listed once on different lists.
Lord
Spirit
Sacrifice
Praise
Glory
Scriptures
Prayer
Encourage
Joy
Patience
Humility
Holy
Accepted
Eternity
Heaven
Hell
Family
Presence
Comfort
Sorry
Repentance
Obedience
Help
Death
Guilt
Welcome
Thank you

In a former post, we wrote of how names leave impressions and bring to mind the character of the person. This can be seen in this survey.

Let’s take the one formal name many of us listed.

Jesus is relative to God, Father, Lord, Spirit.
Forgiveness is through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Love and Grace are revealed in Jesus’ Sacrifice
Mercy, Truth, and Glory came through Jesus.

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

Jesus means Salvation. Salvation comes only through Faith in Jesus.

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

A Sinner has remission of Sin through the Sacrifice and blood of Jesus Christ.
We Know God and are Known as Jesus is revealed to us and in us.
Life is given through Jesus, both physically and spiritually.
We are Free from Guilt in Jesus.
He is our Peace.
In JesusKindness, we are brought to Repentance to be Sorry for our sins and to live in Obedience.
Jesus in us, by His Spirit yields the fruit of Kindness, Joy, Patience and Humility.
We are Holy and Accepted in Jesus.
In Jesus, we have the promise of Eternity in Heaven and escape from Hell.
We experience JesusPresence through the Scriptures and Prayer.
In Jesus, we are delivered from the law of sin and Death
We say, “Thank you” and in Jesus, we live to His Praise and Glory.
We Encourage, Comfort, and Help others as we receive these in Jesus.
We are Welcome to the Family of God through Jesus

What do we learn from this survey?
In Jesus is hid all the important words we need to know. They are Words of Life. We could never list them all. He is all we need for this life and the next. The more we know Him the more we are amazed and grow in His wisdom and grace.
The words Light, Wisdom, Power came to mind while I was writing this post.

Please share scripture references to the ones that were on your list. We did not have time or room for these in this post.

Meanings of Names Who Contributed to our Survey
In case you do not know the meaning of your name, I am posting these for you who participated in our survey.

Tom, Thank you,
From the nameThomas:
Derived from the Aramaic tē’ōma (a twin). The name is borne in the Bible by an apostle who doubted the resurrection of Christ.
Tom, Praise the Lord for bringing you to faith, not by seeing but by the work of the Holy Spirit in your life. I like to think of Jesus’ image in you, making you a twin.
I pray blessings for your ministry to our Lord as you make known the name of Jesus, His work of Grace, Truth, and Love, through Scripture and Prayer, to help others to be Sorry and to know the Lord who will Forgive, and through His Kindness to you and through you, Encourage others not to doubt.

Jim, Thank you, 
Medieval diminutive of the name James meaning “supplanter”
The name has its root in ya’aquob (supplanting, seizing by the heel).
supplanter takes over or takes the place of someone else, usually on purpose.
Jim, You are living up to your name.
I pray you continue to wield the sword of truth as you address the Sinner and his Guilt, in the name of Jesus, the God of our Salvation, Grace, Faith, Mercy, and Forgiveness.

Bruce, Thank you,
The name Bruce arrived in Scotland with the Normans, from the place name Brix, Manche in Normandy, France, meaning “the willowlands”.
Robert de Bruce, a knight from Normandy, followed William the Conqueror to England.
There is no Hebrew meaning; though it’s not unlike the Hebrew name Baruch, which means “blessed.”
According to someone from Taiwan, the name Bruce is of Unknown origin and means “Happy warrior”.
Whether the meaning is the willowlandsblessed, or Happy Warrior, take heart in who you are following, how you are blessed in Jesus, and the warrior He has called you to be.
Bruce, I pray you Know the Presence of the Father; that you are Forgiven, Welcome and Holy through Jesus, His Love, Mercy, and Grace,  

Heidi, Thank you,
A pet form of Adalheid (noble one) and Hildegard (battle protector), Heidi is also bestowed as an independent given name. It became well known internationally from Johanna Spyri”s famous story “Heidi” (1880).
Heidi, your name fits you well. In Jesus, you are a noble one ~ a daughter of Zion ~ and a battle protector for His name’s sake. I pray that in Jesus. you Know you are Loved, Accepted, Forgiven and delivered from Death, Sin, and Hell, have an abundant Life in Him nd the promise of Heaven.

Amy, Thank you,
Your name was derived from the Middle English Amye, which is from the Old France Aimee (beloved), a name derived from the verb aimer (to love). It is not surprising that you included Love in your list.
Amy, I pray that knowing you are beloved in our Lord Jesus you are able to Love in Truth, Peace, Joy, Patience and Freedom. And because God is in you, you are a help and comfort to your God’s family and others.

Bonnie,Thank you,
Your name is derived from the Lowland Scotch bonnie (beautiful, good-natured and cheerful; this was derived from Middle French bon(good). Tour name fits you as one of Jesus’ followers.
Bonnie, I pray we all will remember to say, “Thank you” and continue to Praise our Lord Jesus Christ for His Glory, Love, Joy, and Peace, and show His Forgiveness and Kindness to others.

Pat, Thank you,
Patricia is derived from Latin meaning “noble”
I could not find more information on the meaning of your name but this one word is enough to describe one who is born of the Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Pat, I pray that you continue in your ministry as a noble one ~ a daughter of Zion ~ one who knows GodJesus, and the blessings that ours through His Salvation; that you are Free to Love, and Forgive, through Faith in the Truth of His Grace and Mercy.  

Dear God and Father of our Lord Jesus, I praise you for revealing yourself to us by your Spirit. May all the glory be yours for your mercy, grace, and forgiveness. Bring forth in us the fruit of our Lord Jesus Christ~ love, joy, peace, kindness, patience, and humility. We thank you for delivering us from death and hell to the abundant Life, accepted and free by the salvation that is ours in Christ. Thank you for the gift of faith to be sorry for our sin; in repentance to live in obedience and sacrifice for your name’s sake. We praise you that one day you will welcome us to eternity in heaven as holy in Him. Keep us in Scripture, truth, and prayer that we may encourage, help and comfort our family and others. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Image: Google

The Christian Sabbath ~ A Sheep’s View

I approach this subject as I do all others concerning the kingdom of God. I am as a sheep led by that great shepherd of the sheep, the Lord Jesus Christ; and also a servant of the one who has saved me from the slaughter. No longer one who leads and teaches, now I see only Him and His teaching; if perhaps documenting for a legacy what I have seen and continue to see of His kingdom here on earth ~ a prelude of that which is promised for eternity.

We refer to the Christian Sabbath as the Lord’s Day since through Christ’s death and His resurrection is the sure hope of a new life and eternity with Him. He established a new day of rest in Himself. He is our Sabbath; He is our eternal rest. He is Lord of the Sabbath; and He established His own day when He rose in victory over sin and death and ascended to the throne with all power in heaven and earth. (Matthew 28:18)

The Lord’s Day and Worship
The Christian Sabbath ~ the Lord’s Day ~ was established for a different worship than the seventh day. The seventh was established under the law, for a day of rest (not for public worship) that was limited until the law of grace was brought to us in Christ. We no longer observe the Sabbath in the letter of the law in fear of the Lord’s wrath, bringing sacrifices of dead animals for atonement. We worship with the law written on our hearts and minds.

How we worship on this day depends on how we view the Lord’s Day. As sheep, recipients of the life of Christ and delivered from the former sabbath we bring our praises and thanksgiving to Him. We see worship on this day as an integral part of private and family worship on other days; a bringing together what we have experienced during the week of His presence and His power of salvation.

The Bridge to Eternal Rest
To know Him, His love for me in His suffering and sacrifice is to love Him. To love Him is to love His day. To understand this day and to see it from His perspective we have to know Him personally, as Lord and Savior; to follow Him through the week to what we know as the eighth day and the first day. The end of the week flows into the Lord’s Day, ending in a perpetual praise and worship; beginning a new week in obedience of faith to Him and His word; and preparing for the next Lord’s Day.

It is His day as He has become our bridge to the eternal sabbath.  “The word Sabbath seems to have derived from the verb sabat, meaning to stop, to cease, or to keep. Its theological meaning is rooted in God’s rest following the six days of creation (Genesis 2:2-3).”  (The Bible Dictionary)

The fourth commandment means more to the Christian than it did to the Israelites because we see it as the forerunner of the Christian sabbath. It was observed in remembrance of  God’s work in creation and His salvation for the Israelites.

They were required to offer bloody sacrifices through the priests offerings for atonement for their sins. Those sacrifices were abolished when Jesus, the Lamb of God was sacrificed once and for all time, for all His people in every generation from every nation.

This is the new day, through His sacrifice, that we remember and keep holy unto Him. God, the Father rested from His work of creation. Jesus Christ, the Son has rested from His work of redemption; and now sits in victory as our merciful and faithful High Priest interceding for us at the right hand of the Father until we are there at rest with them.

We rest in Him and His work now, as the Holy Spirit leads us in a continual worship in preparation for that eternal rest and worship.

“In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn
toward the first day of the week,
came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
 And, behold, there was a great earthquake:
for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven,
and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
And the angel answered and said unto the women,
Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
He is not here: for he is risen, as he said.
Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
Matthew 28:1-6

Dear Father, open our eyes to see the living Christ. Let us by your Spirit know you; in obedience of faith worship you in spirit and truth today, and throughout this week know your presence and power. In Jesus name I pray. Amen

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Words of Life ~ BEGOTTEN

 BEGOTTEN is not a word used every day but one that all Christians should know as it speaks of our birth into the kingdom of God.

The Old Testament has only a few references to this word concerning men who have begotten children. One reference in Psalm 2:7 and repeated in Hebrews 1 relates to God and His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Old Testament H3205
Strong’s Concordance defines begotten yâlad, yaw-lad’ to bear, bring forth, beget, gender, travail

 “I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me,
Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.”
Psalm 2:7

New Testament G3439
monogenḗs,
 mon-og-en-ace’; from G3441 and G1096; single of its kind, only used of only sons or daughters (viewed in relation to their parents; used of Christ, denotes the only begotten son of God

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” John 1:18

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:18

The following references are used by Paul, Peter, and John pertaining to the new birth of all God’s children.

G1080  gennáō, ghen-nah’-o; from a variation of G1085; to procreate (properly, of the father, but by extension of the mother); figuratively, to regenerate:

“For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.” 1 Corinthians 4:15

“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

“Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.” 1 John 5:1

“We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.” 1 John 5:18

John speaks of Jesus being the first begotten of the dead—the first to be raised from the dead; the promise and the means of our salvation (see 1 Peter 1:3 above).

“And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness,
and the first begotten of the dead,
and the prince of the kings of the earth.
Unto him that loved us,
and washed us from our sins in his own blood,”
Revelation 1:5

“In this was manifested the love of God toward us,
because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world,
that we might live through him.”
1 John 4:9

Except Jesus died and was raised from the dead, we would not have become children of God but now have hope of eternal life. Because the Father loved us, He desired us and sired us to be His own. He gave His one child ~ one of a kind ~ to birth many children into His family.

Gracious Father, how blessed we are to call you Father and Jesus our Lord and brother. Because, you draw us to Him and birth us by the power of your Holy Spirit, we desire your continual presence and power to conform us to His image. By the same Word and living hope, keep us close and growing in Christ. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

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