Seeing IS Believing

God gave us eyes to see the beauty of His creation. It is easy for us to see physically and to be distracted by the things of this world; to settle for the status quo.  But to see Beyond a Mere Christianity requires three things: light, revelation, and new eyes. And these three come from God through His Son, Jesus Christ by the power of His Holy Spirit.

At the foundation of the world God said, “Let there be light.” Before there was sun or moon, there was light, simply by His Word. Jesus was identified as the Light and the Word from heaven. He opened heaven for us to reveal the Father/Creator and heaven itself in Him.

All this ~ beyond this world ~ is revealed in God’s Word, the Holy Bible.

There was darkness before God said, “Let there be light.” We cannot see in the dark. So, it is with human hearts.
When speaking to Nicodemus, who came to him at night, Jesus knew His real need, and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, ‘Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’” John 3:3

This was a reflection of Ezekiel 36:26 regarding the promise that the Lord would give His people a new heart and a new spirit; taking away the heart of stone and rebellion against Him. With the new heart and spirit come eyes of faith to see what others cannot see; to understand the things of God.

Jesus said to His disciples:

 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.” Matthew 13:17

To the religious leaders and others who heard him:

 “But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.” John 6:36

Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.” John 8:56

 “And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.” John 9:39

 “And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.” John 12:45

“And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:40

“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8

The eyes of faith enable us to endure through the most difficult trials. Stephen spoke of heaven opened to him in his persecution.

“But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.” Acts 7:55-56

“As one looks and discovers that almost everything down here is in confusion, chaos, and ruins, it seems as though Satan were getting the better of the conflict. But as one looks above, instead of around, there is plainly visible to the eye of faith a Throne, a Throne unaffected by the storms of earth, a Throne that is “set,” stable and secure; and upon it is seated One whose name is the Almighty, and who “worketh all things after the counsel of His own will” (Eph. 1:11). This then is our confidence-God is on the Throne.Though God’s governing hand is invisible to the eye of sense it is real to faith, that faith which rests with sure confidence upon His Word, and therefore is assured He cannot fail.” The Sovereignty of God ~ A. W. Pink

We find in Hebrews 11 a list of those who saw Jesus and heaven with eyes of faith; who endured to the end. And as spoken of Moses:

“By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.” Hebrews 11:27

And these are the promises that the world cannot see.

 “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” John 14:17

“But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand.” Romans 15:21

Paul prayed for “the eyes of understanding to be enlightened” (Ephesians 1:18).

“To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” Acts 26:18

How we see determines our joy in this life.
To see Christ is to live joyfully in anticipation of eternity with Him, “even in this vale of sin, for he illumines and gives the beauty of grace, forgiveness, and hope. When the curtain of this life drops, it will rise to the sight of his loving gaze, his exalted splendor, his unending, satisfying presence.” The Lord of Glory ~ Chris Strevel

“Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:” 1 Peter 1:8

“and we shall be like him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2).

Gracious Father in heaven, thank you for sending the Great Physician to be your light in our darkness; for birthing us into your kingdom with a new heart, spirit, eyes, and life in Him. Fill us with your Spirit of truth ~ the Spirit of Christ ~ that we may see you and live in light of your glory. This is our joy. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen

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Where Do We Go From Here?

(We are closing our website, Father and Family Books, and concentrating all our efforts here and on Facebook, as we continue to proclaim the legacy of God’s kingdom. Our first ministry of writing (second to caring for Jerry) will still be through the publishing of our books, but we will maintain this blog as a means of sharing what our heavenly Father gives for the edifying of His people. And so, we will seek the blessing from Him as we post in the future.)

As we wrote in an earlier post A World in Crisis (before the election) we now see the scenes of this reality unfolding in our country. Even as God’s people, we wonder where He is and what He is doing.

In the next few posts, I want to document for our legacy as God’s children things that we need to remember so that we see God’s work unfolding in the middle of the chaos of this world. How can we maintain our faith, hope and joy in such times as these?  We are challenged not only to endure; not only to strive, and to survive, but to thrive through all things, in the power, the love, the wisdom and grace of our God and our Lord Jesus Christ.images

Growing up I was often reminded that when we see the devil’s work, we can be assured that God is doing something greater. We are distracted by the physical elements of the world and how Satan works in and through men. God, our heavenly Father teaches us to look beyond what we can see with the physical eye, to catch a glimpse of His greatness and glory. In this we can see the working of His grace and goodness. The Renaissance and the Protestant Reformation happened at the same time. There were two kingdoms operating from two perspectives, which is the history of this world, since the antithesis began in the Garden with our first parents.

Let us, as God’s children, be about the Father’s business in the only kingdom that will survive all generations, until in the fullness of time, all things are united in Christ, “things in heaven and things on earth.” Ephesians 1:10

Dear Father in heaven, we need you, by the power of your Holy Spirit, to reveal your presence and power to us as your children, as we live in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.  Give us your love, joy, and peace; shine your light through us to draw others to Christ.  Make us an open door to your kingdom.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

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MY CROSS

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There was a cross at Golgotha
Where my Savior bled and died;
Where I meet Him face to face
And look into His eyes.

And when I look I see the love
Our Father has for me.
For through His clear, bright eyes of pain
I see E T E R N I T Y ———-

A home where Love and Joy abound
Within the heart of God;
A place beyond what man can dream,
Where no human feet have trod.

God’s children all are there:
There’s room for every one.
He knows each heart; He knows each name.
To Him He bids me, “Come.”

With outstretched hands He calls my name;
Not one I’ve heard before.
He’s not at all as I had thought;
He’s more, oh, so much more.

So gracious as the Father is
My speech will not allow
To tell in human words
What can be seen, even now.

When first I look at God’s own plan
To bring me to Himself
The cross looms high, but then bro’t low
It forms a human shelf.

From heaven He came, and here He stayed
Until His work was done.
The cross I knew was meant for me;
He suffered for His own.

I knew that He released me there
When He bid me, “Come.”
Jesus gives me joy and peace
For now and later on.

Eternity is God’s own life,
Given for my good.
He gives His love to be my own
Through Spirit, Deed and Word

F.R. 1994

The Glad Rule

A few months ago the Lord gave us this new rule in our house. Since then Jerry and I have looked at every situation from a different perspective. The Glad Rule keeps us looking up, toward the Lord our God in all circumstances.

Instead of dwelling on the difficulties we now look at everything in light of what we have. We can see above the things that we are facing with grateful hearts. In the middle of what seems impossible to deal with we look to the one who has been with us through fifty-four years. In times of disappointment we were sometimes overwhelmed with the difficulties. Now, we are overwhelmed with God’s grace to either bring us through, or to overcome, victoriously.

His love, joy and peace are the ultimate fruits of His working through our difficult times.

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Even those who are not Christians could make their own Glad Rules, but they do not have the promises and assurance that God’s children have.

 For the LORD comforts Zion;
he comforts all her waste places
and makes her wilderness like Eden,
her desert like the garden of the LORD;
joy and gladness will be found in her,
thanksgiving and the voice of song.”
Isaiah 51:3
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“To grant to those who mourn in Zion–

to give them a beautiful headdress
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the LORD,
that he may be glorified.”
Isaiah 61:3images (1)

The LORD your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.”
Zephaniah 3:17
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Thank you Father for your omnipotence, your omniscience and your omnipresence; for proving your care for us as your children. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

Yet I Will Rejoice

Habakkuk 3:17-18 is one of Scripture Tunes recorded years ago.  Recently I added second voice and made the video as part of a project based on the Book of Habakkuk, which will include sermons, and other comments on how God works during times of adversity.

You Can’t Take Away My Joy

Jerry came wheeling into the kitchen last night, asking if I was still cleaning. “Sure,” I said, knowing that he was aware of my nightly schedule after dinner.

Since his amputation eight years ago, he feels badly that most of the work falls on me. Last night was no exception. He thinks that it is a drudgery for me to cook and clean for him. After his comment, I said, “Stop! You can’t take away my joy. The Lord planned years ago that this would be His grace and joy to me.”    He said, “I wouldn’t want to take that away.” 🙂

imagesIn writing Two Full Plates ~ Learning to be a Caregiver I realized that the Lord began preparing me for this role, and the reward of it, when I was only a little girl, trained at an early age to wash the dishes and make the beds everyday. Today these are done as naturally as brushing my teeth, although more rewarding. These are also good times to memorize and practice the hymns and psalms that we will be singing next Lord’s Day.

Jesus washed the feet of His disciples as an example for us, but more than this, died for us, to deliver us from the drudgery of the world, and to know the joy in serving Him and others.

In His presence is fullness of joy, no matter the task. Work can be drudgery or a joy depending on the heart and the spirit.   A task done, as unto the Lord, and to His glory, is not work, but a pleasure. The mind and the heart follow where He leads no matter the place or activity.

 “Your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.”
John 16:22
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Dear Father, thank you for teaching us, and by your Spirit working in us, the joy of each day’s work and pleasure in you and our Lord Jesus Christ. In His name I pray.  Amen.

Filled With Grace, Wrapped in Glory

God’s grace and God’s glory were uppermost in my mind and heart when I started this blog. Yet, the ability to write about this realm was difficult to grasp. Four years later these are still not simple things to write about but they are worthy to be expressed as best as possible, using His words. As, from my experience of the past years, it is good and nourishing to go, filled with grace, into another year, wrapped in His glory. Such of God is unsearchable, and what we find is more than enough for a book. When we look to the source we find this pouring out by His grace and from His glory. Please read and meditate on what God speaks to us as His children. We may take each as a separate part, but to meditate on His words are important to understand the content and the effect of His grace and glory.

We speak of these separately and yet they are both part of the wholeness of God. Both are realized in and through the trinity, especially as they are revealed in Jesus Christ, the Son.

 Filled With Grace
The fullness of grace is at first seen in its source. The apostle Paul to the Colossian church tells us that Christ, being the image of the invisible God, by whom all things were made (to be receptacles of His grace) by whom all things consist; (everything is held together by Him) and it pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell ~ all of which we are in need. (Colossians 1:15, 17, 19)

 In John 1:14, and 16 Jesus was the Word made flesh, to dwell among men, full of grace and truth.  And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.

“As many as received Him to them gave He the power to become sons of God; born not of the will of man but of God.” (John 1:12-13)

Grace births us into His family and His kingdom (a new realm).   This is to be filled with grace, filled with His fullness (Ephesians 3:19). This is the mystery of which Paul spoke.

Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27

 Our justification, our faith, our joy and hope are through the grace that is given in Christ. “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:” (Romans 3:24); and by which we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:1)

Paul speaks extensively of grace and faith, being of Jesus Christ, and planted in us; “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”
2 Corinthians 13:5

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me. Galatians 2:20

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

“so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.” Philippians 1:20

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:”  Philippians 2:5

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom;” Colossians 3:16

God’s grace and glory are accorded with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

“And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.”  1 Timothy 1:14; 2 Timothy 1:13

 

In Christ ~ Wrapped in Glory
Grace is that power that fills us and brings us into God’s glory, which is Christ. He is both the filler of grace and the wrapping of His glory.

 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:”
Colossians 2:6

 Christ is not only the hope of glory, but the manifestation of glory in us and surrounding us. We experience this glory, not only by the power of Christ in us, but bringing us to the reality that we are “IN CHRIST.” The person who is born of the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of God, is brought to dwell in Christ.

 We are “sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints,” 1 Corinthians 1:2  

 The promise of life is in Christ Jesus.  2 Timothy 1:1

“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,”  2 Timothy 1:9

 “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:”  1 Corinthians 1:30

 “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

 Baptism is the sign that Christ is in us and we are in Him.

“For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”  Galatians 3:27

Christ in us, and us “in Christ” is the reality that we are filled and wrapped in Him.

 “In Him we live, and move, and have our being.”  Acts 17:28

In His church,  He fills all its members with all the grace that is needed. (Ephesians 1:23) Paul prayed for this as the power (of the Holy Spirit) working in us exceeding abundantly above all that we could ask or think (Ephesians 3:14, 16, 20).  The fullness of His grace, and the completeness of our being in Christ and His glory are not for our fulness alone. It comes in the unity, as each member comes together as one body of Christ; each one bringing the measure of grace that we receive. (Ephesians 3:18-19) We continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ as we together wait for His coming.

 “For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus:”  1 Thessalonians 2:14

And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:”  Ephesians 2:6

 “teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:”  Colossians 1:28

“Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:”  Ephesians 4:13

His fullness and His wrapping keep us; yet, in this world, His grace and glory in us will be always susceptible to attack by the enemy.  But His grace is sufficient.

 “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
2 Timothy 3:12

“be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”   2 Timothy 2:1

Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ,”  2 Corinthians 2:14

There are promises given in Christ for future glory.

“For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:3

“When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.   Colossians 3:4

“That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:”  Ephesians 1:10

the dead in Christ shall rise first:”  1 Thessalonians 4:16

As we continue in Christ we experience more of His fullness of grace and more of His glory. It is the Spirit’s work of sanctification in and through us.

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 3:18

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Dear Father, all grace and peace are from you, in Christ, and by your Holy Spirit.  We thank you and praise you for a blessed year; and pray your blessings on your people and mercy for all in the coming year  ~ for your glory and our joy.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

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