Find Your Blessings

Who knows how many eggs are hidden on any Easter weekend, and perhaps not found. For the toddlers, eggs are hidden in sight so that they are easily found. For older children, the eggs are hidden so that they are more difficult to find.
Our heavenly Father promises blessings to His children. He makes His blessings known to us as newborns and small children without much effort on our part. Our eyes are opened to His blessings through a new birth. He continues to bless us as we age, but we find them in different ways.
Last Wednesday the Lord gave me a direction as Jerry and I journeyed early in the morning before daybreak to the local hospital. We were instructed to “look for a blessing” in the day ahead. Little did we know that we would be there longer than planned and that He would continue to unfold blessings everywhere and everyday for the next six days.
Blessings came in the events of the first day with our daughter, who took time away from her job to be with us, and through the hours of the procedure with nursing staff, doctors, family and church family.
Because we did not come home the same day as we had hoped, Jerry was admitted as an in-patient, for major surgery on Friday. The direction to “look for a blessing” continued. Now I know that I should have journaled these blessings; they were too many to remember.
The experience of those six days, coming home on Monday, looking for the blessing of Jerry’s healing continues to bear fruit and the sharing of this blog.

How do we find these blessings that God has hidden for us?

There are three places in particular that we are “blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessings in heavenly places.”
  1. Blessings are hidden in the knowledge and wisdom of God’s Word. The more we read, study and look for these blessings the more we will find.
  2. Blessings are hidden in everyday circumstances, especially in times of adversity. This is where the Holy Spirit directs us to focus on God, our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. He is there in His promises to be with us always. It is during these times that we are more in need and able to see the blessings He has for us.
  3. Blessings are hidden in relationships, beyond those that seem the most affectionate and amiable. Loving our neighbors, no matter their disposition, is a blessing from our heavenly Father, and will multiply as we relate in the Spirit of Christ to those who are not blessed in Christ. We can be a blessing to them as we share our concerns for them in a way they are not used to.
There is much more we could say about these blessings hidden from us, but revealed by the Holy Spirit. Tired from this last week, needing for both of us to recuperate, I wanted to at least share this experience with you. As soon as possible, I will share The Patience That Leads to Contentment.
In the meantime, look for and find your blessings hidden in Christ, His Word and everyday circumstances. Thank Him and praise Him for all things.
Dear Father, you, indeed, are exceeding abundantly able to do more than we can ask or think by the power that works in and through us. Please continue to open our eyes to the blessings of your kingdom for your children here on earth and let us share them with others. In Jesus’ name, I pray, thank you and praise you. Amen.

The Value of the Lord’s Day

The worth of what we have is proven by how we spend it. The person who values the small amount of money that he has will spend it wisely on what is important to him. He, in understanding his needs, will spend his money on necessities before he buys something trivial.

The same is true with the spiritual blessings that God gives us.   The Lord’s Day is one of those blessings and is needful for His children. If this was not so He would not have placed such a high priority on it and in it. If it is so valuable to Him it should also be to us as His children.

“The kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:
Who, when he had found one pearl of great price,

went and sold all that he had, and bought it.”  
Matthew 13:45-46

oyster-wound-brings-forth-a-pearlWhere do we find in God’s word the value of the Christian Sabbath? I believe that we discover this in the pattern that was given for the first Sabbath. I have read books that are focused on the Lord’s Day, its ordinances set forth by the Jewish Sabbath, and the transition to the first day of the week as the honor given to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of the Sabbath. I have come to my understanding, by way of prayer and study, to peace and commitment in the value of the Lord’s Day. My conclusion can be summed up in the statements and scriptural references found in the Shorter Catechism. Many have found this as a teaching basis for an introduction to the Christian Faith. Presbyterians and Baptists have used it alike, except for the doctrines on baptism.

Orthodoxy and Orthopraxy
Like many other things of Biblical teaching some things are spoken, but not practiced.
There is more written in the Scriptures and in the Shorter Catechism about the fourth commandment than any other commandment. Does this not prove the value God has placed on it? When he set aside the seventh day he blessed it and hallowed it. We understand this to mean that the Lord’s Day is also blessed because it the day of our Lord’s Resurrection, the day of victory over sin and death for His people. This is the value of the Lord’s Day that is placed on the Christian faith and by His grace given to us. Let me share with you what is derived from God’s word and the doctrine that was established and accepted in the early church, based on the first day as the Lord’s Day and the Christian Sabbath.

Q 60: How is the Sabbath to be sanctified?

A: The Sabbath is to be sanctified by a holy resting all that day, even from such worldly employments and recreations as are lawful on other days; and spending the whole time in the public and private exercises of God’s worship, except so much as is to be taken up in the works of necessity and mercy.

 Q 61: What is forbidden in the fourth commandment?

A: The fourth commandment forbiddeth the omission or careless performance of the duties required, and the profaning the day by idleness, or doing that which is in itself sinful, or by unnecessary thoughts, words, or works, about our worldly employments or recreations.

“ If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable: and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words.” Isaiah 58:13

Here was the settling point for me, and how I arrived at the value God has placed on the Lord’s Day, in honor of Christ Jesus, His Son, and our Lord. The same value placed on the Jewish Sabbath after God’s work of creation applies to the day that is honorable to Christ, the second person of the Trinity, after His work of redemption.

Commands and Promises
With His commands come promises. If we spend our time as He desires for us, of which He is worthy, here is the promise that follows in verse 14.

“Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.”

How much more is the importance of sanctifying the Lord’s Day? His purpose for the first day of each week is that we spend our time with Him, in the public and private worship and fellowship of the Father and the Son in Spirit and truth. As He was refreshed after His six-day work of creation (Exodus 31:17) His desire for us is to experience this refreshing after our work week.   This promise was made to the heritage of Jacob. The Israelites were God’s people and so are we, as Abraham’s offspring ~ children of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; and the church and body of Christ.

The Lord’s Day is meant to be a delight for us as we spend the whole day on Him, with Him. This is the practice and the preparation for that eternal day with Him. If you have never experienced a whole day with the Lord on His day, I encourage you to pray and seek His guidance for how He wants you to meet Him, in obedience to His word. You will not be disappointed. Your week will take on a different meaning as He causes you “to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feeds you with the heritage of His dear Son, our Lord Jesus Christ~ the eternal bread of life.

“Unto you therefore which believe he is precious;”
1 Peter 2:7

Dear heavenly Father, as you created and rested; and was refreshed after your labor, teach us how to rest on the Lord’s Day; in you and all that you and your Son and your Holy Spirit have done for us.  Refresh us by your word and your Spirit in all that is holy and valuable to you.  Keep us holy, that we may keep your day holy.  Fill us with your presence and power for the work you have planned for us this week; and bring us to your refreshing in Christ next Lord’s Day.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

elated article: A Summary of John Owen on the Sabbath

The Purpose of the Lord’s Day


green-grass-and-blue-sky-landscape-472-Through time and observations we come to conclusions about this life and what comes after. Such has been my experience; and especially of the Lord’s Day. If I were to write the book it would be titled The Lord’s Day ~ It’s Purpose, Program and Practice. Each Lord’s Day has become a means for me to put into words what the day now means to me. It has not always been as it is now, but through the process of time I believe the Lord has led me to conclusions about His day.

I have been back through the channel of time (in God’s word) to see the Sabbath in the Ten Commandments not just as a law given to the Israelites, but also as a pattern of what was to come. It was not just a program for the Jewish worship day, but a vision set for the church that would be established through His Son, Jesus Christ. It was not for their practice alone, but a future plan for all God’s people through His everlasting covenant.

When the Old Testament prophesied the coming of the Messiah it was the purpose and the promise of something greater than what they already had. The Jews had observed the Sabbath as the seventh day. “From the beginning of the world until the resurrection of Christ, God appointed the seventh day of the week to be the weekly Sabbath; and the first day of the week since then until the end of the world to be the Christian Sabbath.” This quote is from the Shorter Catechism taken from the Westminster Confession of Faith.

When I look back to the quotes of Jesus in the New Testament I see the program that He was establishing. He spoke often of His death in “going up to Jerusalem,” where He will be killed and “shall rise again the third day.” Mark 10:31-34

On the third day He was raised as He said.

What happened in His resurrection? Before anyone else knew He established Himself as Lord of the Sabbath, Lord of His own day ~ a new day, for a new creation, a new assembly of saints who would practice on this day what He established for eternity.  The same power of the Holy Spirit that raised Him from the dead is the power that gives us new life  in Him and brings us to this worship of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

An eternal life and a new day of worship replaced the old. The new wine, the good wine was saved until Christ came and bled, and died and gave us His own life. This day He brings His people, those whom He has saved by His own life and death, in special remembrance of this union with Him and the Father, reconciling us to Him and making us joint heirs in His kingdom. We are joined this day with other saints here and in heaven, in observance of His suffering and sacrifice for our atonement (remembering His death in the Lord’s Supper). We worship through prayer, praise and His Holy Word as we practice for the celebration of this feast that will take place in eternity.

The purpose and the promise, the program and the practice do not end in a weekly worship service. The Lord’s Day is a full day; its purpose is for a whole day, not just an hour in a church service with other saints. This is the hard part and the unusual part of the practice. We will look in subsequent weeks at the preciousness and value of the Lord’s Day ~ the whole day ~ and how it is to be spent with the Lord.

“But the path of the just is as the shining light,
that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”
Proverbs 4:18

Dear Father, let us live in praise and worship to you today.  In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


No Condemnation ~ ~ ~ ~


 In chapter eight of Romans we see the proof of the power of the gospel to deliver us from the condemnation of the old law, which was written on stone, and to bring in the new law which is written on the mind and in the heart by the Holy Spirit. We are no longer under the law of sin and death, living in the state of, and a slave to sin, but lifted by the law of the Spirit of life in Christ to a state of righteousness in Christ. This new law is a new life in Christ, powered by His Holy Spirit, that enables us to turn from walking after the flesh ~ obedience to our own desires and rebellion against God. This new life of the Spirit in Christ gives us His power, in our struggle against the flesh, to desire to please Him and walk as Christ walked in obedience. This new law now governs and enforces, so as to enable us more and more to mortify the deeds of the flesh. This is the obedience of faith that Paul speaks of in chapters one and sixteen.

Romans 8:1-18
This is one of the strongest passages in the New Testament that describes the new, and true life, of the believer. Though not yet perfect we have a relationship to God, as Father, through Jesus Christ ~ no more wrath; all sin is pardoned and we are reconciled to God.   There is now no condemnation ~

1.  To those who are in Christ Jesus
2.  Who walk, not after the flesh, but after the Spirit

There is proof through the power of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, that He has brought us from the depths of our depraved state of sin and death, to be joint heirs of His kingdom. We no longer desire to do our own will; but the indwelling Spirit of Christ leads us more and more in obedience to His revealed will through His word. This is what Peter was speaking of when he said, “Beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But, grow in the grace and knowledge of our our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 3:17-18

We are the sons of God, having received the Spirit of adoption, by which we cry, “Abba, Father,” His Spirit bearing witness with ours that we are His children, born of His Spirit for faith and obedience.

Then he brings us to the crux of the whole matter. The power of the gospel in our obedience of faith will prove itself in our suffering for the sake of Christ and the gospel.


It seems almost ironic that we come into this world under the death penalty, the wrath of God pronounced on the world because of sin.  Then He brings His people, by the power of the gospel, from under His wrath to experience the wrath of the world.  But, there is a difference ~ a great difference!  Those who do not receive the good news of Christ continue under His condemnation here and for eternity.  The power of the gospel, even through our suffering for the gospel, propels us forward and upward, onward and homeward to the glory that awaits us in Christ.

Many have a great testimony of faith until it comes to obedience in times of suffering for Christ. But, for true believers here again we see Paul’s contrasting. As with the power of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ over and above man’s sin, there is the glory that we are promised in Christ over and above what we may suffer for the gospel, for righteousness, and His name’s sake.

How do we describe this suffering? Is this always in persecution or does this include the working of the Holy Spirit in us for our sanctification? Is it easy to give up this life for a life in obedience to our Lord and Savior? How do you interpret this suffering in relation to the gospel and walking and being led by the Spirit?

Abba Father, fill us with your Spirit, to know the power of Christ in us; that we may witness to this new law in our hearts and lives as we strive in obedience of faith, and struggle against any remaining sins. By your goodness, bring us to repentance and joy in Christ; the freedom promised to us in the precious gospel that is proclaimed in this and every generation; until you have gathered all into the fold.   In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


The Glory of the Lord’s Day

0001yPI am writing about the Lord’s Day to document for my own memory what the Lord has shown me about today, which I have learned to call the Lord’s Day. This day has different meanings for different people. Its meaning for me makes it a precious day for it is my Lord’s Day.

For many years I have been convicted of what God not only says, but what He implies in His own word, about this day. With the conviction has come more revelation, more understanding, more commitment, more discipline and more joy. In His word I see a continual pattern of God’s will, His working, and His way established for His kingdom here on earth. As His children and joint-heirs of His kingdom with Christ, His Son, we not only have the privilege of the written law, but we have the law by His Spirit written on our hearts and in our minds. He not only reveals through His written word what He wants us to know about Him and His kingdom, but also by His Spirit works it in our hearts and lives. Remember that what I write is all from “a sheep’s view.”  I want to share more on the subject as the Lord leads.

The Pattern of Rest
The pattern from the beginning of time with His creation is continued through the work of redemption until we are brought to our final destination on what will be an eternal Lord’s Day. The first was a resting from the Father’s labor; the second, the Son resting from His labor; and the third, a resting for His entire kingdom, as the Holy Spirit works in us, preparing us for that eternal rest in glory.

There is much that I could include in this document, but a lot of it would be what Jesus’ apostles, the early church fathers, the Puritans, the Reformers, and theologians have said. Documented in the London Confession, and others published before them are the statements of faith concerning the Sabbath. It is part of studying these, especially in the memorization of the Shorter Catechism with Scriptural proofs, that my convictions have been confirmed. Continuing to review these in prayer I seek to know and obey God’s word and glorify Him in this present day.

I share today a scheduled Bible reading from Luke 23:52-56 for September 20.

“This man (Joseph of Arimathaea) went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus.
And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid.
And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.

And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid.
And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.”

Jesus had finished His work of redemption and His body was laid to rest until the day of His resurrection. It was the day of preparation for the Sabbath. Why was Jesus’ death scheduled for this day? I have not searched this question, nor do I write here of its significance, except that it was God, the Father’s plan; and He established the Lord’s Day in covenant with His Son as the Christian Sabbath, the day in which we would weekly celebrate the risen Lord and Savior.

Those who stayed around after Jesus’ crucifixion was Joseph, one of the counselors, who had not consented to Jesus’ death, and the women who had followed Him from Galilee. The apostles, in fear, had scattered. Joseph asked to take care of Jesus’ body, and the women returned home, and prepared spices and ointments for His burial. But these would never be used; because when they returned, after the Sabbath, the law of a seventh-day had been displaced by a new law of life in Christ’s resurrection. They rested the sabbath day according to the commandment, while Christ was establishing a new covenant for God’s people. He was resting while they were resting, but in a different rest for a different purpose.

Living in Projection of the Eternal Sabbath
Preparation for the Lord’s Day and the practice of it today is in the fulfillment of God’s promises for an eternal sabbath. When we live, projecting from one Lord’s Day to another, we are practicing and preparing for Christ’s glorious return and eternity with Him. We go through each day of the week, in private worship, and making preparation under this projection, look forward to spending the day in the public and private exercises of God’s worship, as He has appointed in His word.

God had appointed Joseph to ask for and prepare Jesus’ body for burial. We are commanded by Him to observe the day in His honor and in celebration of our new life in Him. We are to worship God through Him and the Holy Spirit in spirit and truth each Lord’s Day. We take part in the body of Christ, the church, in communion with His risen body, through the Lord’s Supper each Lord’s Day, remembering His death until He comes again.

Would I have waited to see what or who would have been there for Jesus after His death? How do we now remember His death and resurrection? This is no longer a question for me; but in response to His sacrifice for me, mine is a sincere desire and commitment to spend the Lord’s Day with Him, without any division of time for other things.

Next Lord’s Day, Lord willing, I will share some of the special parts of God’s word in reference to this day, and the Sabbath.

How do you prepare for the Lord’s Day?


Jesus Christ Is The Man

Jesus Christ is no longer a baby lying in a manger;
Nor a man hanging on a cross;
But The Man
Seated at the right hand of God

 “The image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” Colossians 1:15-17

“God has in these last days spoken to us by his Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high: “ Hebrews 1:1-3

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men,
the man Christ Jesus;”
1 Timothy 2:5
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 “Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:
no man comes to the Father, but by me.”
John 14:6

 “I and my Father are one.”
John 10:30

He saves to the uttermost all that come to the Father by Him.”
Hebrews 7:25

 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;” Hebrews 2:14

“There is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

“And this is the record, that God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that has the Son has life; and he that has not the Son of God has not life.” 1 John 5:11-12

Beautiful-Butterfly “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

 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

“That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  Philippians 2:10-11

images “Jesus said, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man
sitting on the right hand of power,
and coming in the clouds of heaven.”
John 26:64
(Lo, He Comes With Clouds Descending)

 “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.” John 21:25

What are your favorite references to our Lord Jesus Christ?

Father, open our eyes that we may see you today, in your word, in your church, in your people, in your creation.  Let your word go forth in power today to reveal your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to us.  Let us behold Him, and be changed into His image, from glory to glory.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

The Man Christ Jesus Charles Spurgeon

Obligated And Eager (Romans 1:1-15)

imagesSo as not to lose the main thoughts of the study begun by our pastor yesterday in the Book of Romans I wanted to note and save these ~ not all, but those that we come away with; that apply to here and now, for us.

Paul, in his letter to the Romans described himself as “called” and “set apart.”

He had “received grace and apostleship” for the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
His purpose for this grace and apostleship; his calling and being set apart for the gospel of God concerning His Son, was to bring about “obedience of faith” in others who were called. (See The Purpose of Paul’s Letter to the Romans)

This book was written by one “called to be an apostle.” Vs. 1
It was written to those “called to belong to Jesus Christ.” Vs. 6
It was written to those in Rome “loved by God and called to be saints.” Vs. 7

Though not all are called to be an apostle, all who are called, then and now, belong to Jesus Christ; all are loved by God and called to be saints. None are called to be nominal Christians, then to go their own way.

It is a holy, high, and heavenly calling, as noted in Paul’s other letters and in the Book of Hebrews. All are called to live out our faith in obedience to Christ wherever He has placed us.

Paul describes his obligation to those he ministers to as an apostle. He has “received grace” and in his calling as an apostle administers this grace to Greeks and barbarians, to the wise and foolish.

And here with the obligation is the proof of his “calling and receiving.” He is “eager to preach the gospel to those in Rome.” Why was he still preaching the gospel to those whose faith was proclaimed to all the world? It was the gospel that had been preached that brought them to believe the gospel. It is the gospel that keeps us receiving and believing. It is the gospel that keeps us encouraged, obligated, eager and obedient to God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

 We can easily forget the debt we owe for the mercy and grace that has saved us through Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection.
To keep us in obedience of faith we need, as Jerry Bridges in his book Discipline of Grace, to preach the gospel to ourselves every day.

It is in hearing the gospel that we receive our calling, and know where our obligations and eagerness are directed. As our pastor spoke of this I was reminded again of where my calling is at this time. My obligation is to my husband as his wife and caregiver. As I am writing this he is still sleeping. I am eager to spend the day with him, realizing that the Lord has planned our time together; and all will be to His glory, and our joy.