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

Image: Pixabay

Words of Life ~ AWAKE

God’s Word teaches us that we are dead in trespasses and sin until we are by His grace quickened (made alive) together in Christ (Ephesians 2:1-6) by His resurrection (1 Peter 1:3).

It is fitting that our last word beginning with the letter A in our Words of Life A to Z ~ the Ordinary Vocabulary of a Christian has to do with new life ~ awaking to the light of Christ, whose life is the light of men. (John 1:4).

Old Testament
H5782 AWAKE;`uwr ür (rather identical with through the idea of opening the eyes); to wake(literally or figuratively):—(a-) wake(-n, up), lift up (self), to rouse oneself; incite; to be excited
The same word is used for stir up and lift up

The following relate to the request for the Lord to awake.

Psalm 7:6
“Arise, O Lord, in thine anger, lift up thyself because of the rage of mine enemies: and awake for me to the judgment that thou hast commanded.”

Psalm 59:4
“They run and prepare themselves without my fault: awake to help me, and behold.”

Isaiah 51:9
“Awake
awakeput on strength, O arm of the Lord; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon?”

From Isaiah, we find the call for Jerusalem to awake.

Isaiah 51:17
“Awake
awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the hand of the Lord the cup of his fury; thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling, and wrung them out.”

 Isaiah 52:1
“Awakeawakeput on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.

Psalm 108:2
“Awake
, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early.”

H3364  yaqats yä·kats’ to awake, awaken, become active
The same word is used for awoke and awaked.

Psalm 78:65
“Then the Lord awaked as one out of sleep, and like a mighty man that shouteth by reason of wine.”

H6974 Quwts küts;  through the idea of abruptness in starting up from sleep (compare H3364)); to awake (literally or figuratively):—arise, (be) (a-) wake, watch.

Psalm 3:5
“I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord sustained me.”

Jeremiah 31:26
“Upon this I awaked, and beheld; and my sleep was sweet unto me.”

“As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.” Psalm 17:15

Proverbs 6:22 speaks of wisdom.

“When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.”

Isaiah 26:19
“Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.”

Daniel 12:2|
“And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”

New Testament
There are three Greek references in the New Testament, each a different word.

 G1326 AWAKE; iegeirōdē-e-gā’-rō to wake up, awaken, arouse(from sleep) of the sea, which begins to be agitated, to rise
the same word is used for raised, arose, to stir

Mark 4:38
“And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?”

The word iegeirō relates to Jesus’ waking and also to the arousing of the sea. From His calmness in sleeping, He arose and calmed the sea.

G1594 eknēphō ek-nā’-fō from G1537 and G3525; (figuratively) to rouse (oneself) out of stupor:—awake.


“Awake
 to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.” 1 Corinthians 15:34

G1453 egeírō, eg-i’-ro probably akin to the base of G58 (through the idea of collecting one’s faculties); to waken (transitively or intransitively), i.e. rouse (literally, from sleep, from sitting or lying, from disease, from death; or figuratively, from obscurity, inactivity, ruins, nonexistence)
to arouse from the sleep of death, to recall the dead to life; to raise up i.e. cause to be born

We would benefit from meditation on this meaning as it applies to new birth ~ to awake from death, from obscurity, ruins, nonexistence.

Ephesians 5:14
“Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.”

Dear Father in heaven, awake as in the ancient days to the needs of your people. Let us awake to your voice for service in your kingdom. Let us by your Spirit awake to life in Christ who gives us light ~ that you may by His light through us waken others to life in Him ~ for your glory. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran

Images: Google

What Day is Today?

Jerry and I have our “senior moments,” sometimes asking, “What’s today?”  Since we no longer observe a five-day workweek, we often forget what day it is — except today.

TODAY IS THE DAY THE LORD PLANNED FOR US TO BE WITH HIM;

A DAY He set aside to be different from other days;

A DAY for the gathering together of His people,

A DAY for His glory, and His worship;

A DAY for His Word to be proclaimed, and received, in power.

A DAY OF SALVATION.

I praise the Lord for every day, but especially for this day, of all days.  It keeps me centered and focused on Him, and remembering the reason we are here.  Everything starts, revolves around, and progresses from this first day of the week. Imagine the central force of God’s power in this day through Jesus Christ, His Son, the impact that it has on the whole week, and all time.

Today is the day He prepares us to go into the following work week, refreshed, and renewed in His Spirit and truth, projecting us to the next Lord’s Day, and to that final rest in Him.

It is the Christian Sabbath, established in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.  As Lord of the Sabbath, He brought the beginning of new life for His people and a day of celebration on the first day of the week.

Today is the day we are brought to, and receive, the Lord’s Supper, which is a time of the renewing of the Spirit, and the continuation of our salvation.

According to a quote from an unknown source—our forefathers called today “The Lord’s Day.”  Our great-grandfathers called it “The Sabbath.”  Our fathers and most of the world now call it “Sunday.” The first given evidence for a differentiation, between traditional Jewish “Shabbat” observance and the religious observance of the first day of the week, appears in Acts 20:7 where the disciples met and “broke bread” together.  The Apostle John also refers to the “Lord’s Day” (“kuriake hemera”) in Rev. 1:10. “Kuriake,” meaning “Lord’s,” later became the Greek word for Sunday. Wikipedia)

Let the world have this day as a Greek Sunday for its own pleasure. But, we set this day apart from all others and all things for His name’s sake.

TODAY IS THE LORD’S DAY

A DAY OF GRACE FOR HIS PEOPLE ~ FOR HIS GLORY

LET US REJOICE IN HIM.

“In thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right are pleasures evermore.”

Psalm 16:11

Gracious Father, pour out your Holy Spirit in the hearts and lives of those you have drawn to your Son. Fill us with your Spirit of grace to know you through our Lord Jesus Christ. Draw us closer to Him and you, today, through worship and your Word. Continue to grow us in grace and knowledge of Him as we begin this week in celebration of our eternal life in Him. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Words of Life ~ ALIVE

How fitting that the word ALIVE would be one of our Words of Life. Let us spend a few minutes in God’s Word so as to understand who makes us ALIVE

Old Testament
H2416, 2417, 2418 
are derivatives of H2421
Strong’s ALIVE 
chayah khä·yä’to live, whether literally or figuratively; causatively, to revive:–keep (leave, make) alive, X certainly, give (promise) life, (let, suffer to) live, nourish up, preserve (alive), quicken, recover, repair, restore (to life), revive, (X God) save (alive, life, lives), X surely, be whole.

Before the Lord destroyed all creatures, Noah was instructed to bring two of every living thing, male and female into the ark to keep them alive (Genesis 6:19-20).

“And every living substance was destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained aliveand they that were with him in the ark.” Genesis 7:23

In the following references, we understand that only the Lord makes us ALIVE.

“The Lord killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up.” 1 Samuel 2:6

“All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.” Psalm 22:29

“O Lord, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.” Psalm 30:3

Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.” Psalm 33:18-19

New Testament G2198
Strongs’s defines ALIVE záō, dzah’-o to live (literally or figuratively):—life(-time), (a-)live(-ly), quick.

The same Greek word is used for life, living and quick.

Luke 24:23 uses the word alive in reference to Jesus’ resurrection.

“And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.”

The Book of the Acts of the Apostles begins with the account of Jesus’ resurrected life before His ascension, showing “Himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.” Acts 1:3

 In relationship to Jesus’ death and resurrection, the apostle Paul refers to our being “dead to sin but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:11

“Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” Romans 6:13

 Jesus speaks of His own death and eternal life in Revelation 1:18

“I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” Revelation 1:18

1 Corinthians 15:22 uses G2227 zoopoieo dzo-op-oy-eh’-o from the same as 2226 and 4160; to (re-)vitalize (literally or figuratively):–make alive, give life, quicken.

“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

It is the same as used for quickening in other passages, meaning to restore to life; of the spirit, quickening as respects the spirit, endued with new and greater powers of life.

Gracious Father, who makes us alive through your Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we thank you and praise you for not leaving us dead in our trespasses and sin, but that you make us alive in Him for evermore. Make us alive in Christ today and every day in the power of your Holy Spirit, to witness of your presence with us always. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Fran

Photo:Pixabay

Expect Great Things

As I was getting out of bed yesterday morning I was given the words “Expect Great Things.” This kind of leading is not unusual, but this one seemed profound, so I hit the floor running. When the Lord speaks, we don’t always receive clarification, just direction. We are reminded of Abraham’s story and his obedience to God’s calling. He did not know where he was going but trusted the Lord’s direction.

Three such words as these ~ “Expect Great Things” ~ carry a lot of weight when we consider the source. No one could have given these words except God, the Father, through the presence and power of His Holy Spirit in me.

Upon first hearing these words, the temptation was to think that God had something special in store for me. But then, the same Spirit brought correction to my first and fleshly inclination. The next thought was for me to focus on the source of the words; not the words, but on God, Himself.

Consulting the concordance for the word “great” we find that God created “two great lights” (Genesis 1:16).

His work of Creation was just the beginning of the revelation of His “greatness.”

He promised to make of Abraham a “great nation” and to make his name “great” (Genesis 12:28).

He did a “great work” upon the Egyptians (Exodus 14:31).

(Every time I go to the concordance, I find more than I intended for one article; enough for another book. So, for sake of time and space, I encourage you to search other references for yourself.)

How do we then, understand these three words? If not for me, then who are they for?

In the end, I was led to realize that God is the great One, doing great things even before the beginning of the world. He will always be doing great things beyond my knowing. Where ever He has chosen, He reveals these great things; to whomever He desires. It is just for me to believe who He is, as God, Creator and sustainer of all things, and Redeemer, accomplishing all things He has planned for His own glory and our good.

In the process of realization, His greatness, through His power of creation, came to mind, His awesome deeds of deliverance for His people, His miracles of incarnation, resurrection and ascension, His redemption for us to whom He reveals His greatness, the new birth by His Holy Spirit and new life through Jesus Christ, His Son, and the continual leading of His Holy Spirit in the lives of HIs people. His greatness is revealed through HIs Holy Word. We read and believe though we cannot always understand.

Is He doing “great things” today? Do we need to ask? Or do we trust His revelation to us as the Great One who does “great things” every day, even though we cannot know or see them. And wherever He is working, His greatness has a ripple effect throughout humanity.

Dear Father in heaven, “The Great I Am,” whose “great love” is beyond our understanding, we praise you for your greatness, for the greatness of your grace and your glory. We are not always the direct recipients of what we would consider “great things,” but knowing you, we believe you are everywhere present and powerful every moment of everyday. Let us forever live in this joy and expectation, desiring to hear where you are now working; knowing this in our own hearts and lives as you are continuing to “conform us to the image of your dear Son” ~ in whose name we pray. Amen.

Image:Google

Holding On and Letting Go

Since August 29, 1992, the Lord has led me in a different path than the former years ~ with a new heart, new spirit and new life.

We have together chronicled this path, leaving traces, patterns, and clues on the way. We have filled notebooks and file boxes, written letters, emails, blog posts and books with what He has been teaching me.

Celebrating these last twenty-five years has been a joyful experience as we continue through this wilderness in the power of His promises; in faith and the strength of His will to reach that eternal destiny to which He has called us.

At the age of seventy-eight I am near the riverside, having seen and tasted the glory of the Lord through His gift of grace. Through this pilgrimage, we come to a point where we no longer look back but toward the horizon to where He waits for us.

The Lord has these years in His service, been holding me and teaching me to hold to Him and all that He has given. He has shown me His plans for me, and with it the direction and wisdom in which to go, with the assurance to be with me all the way.

These last six months it seems that we have not gone forward but waiting for His instructions. During this time, we have been able to write sparingly through these blog posts. We have enjoyed being a part of the WordPress Christian Community, caught up with reading and commenting on other blog posts.

As Jerry’s appointments have lessened, though his foot is still not healed, we are now formatting and getting PRAYERS That Brought the House Down ready for publication. Thriving Under Oppression is the next project to finish ~ a continual work for the last three years. Our major work is not to promote and sell but to write and publish what we have already written, and finish others that we have started.

All are witness to God’s grace and His Glory in proclamation of the legacy of His kingdom. Under the name of Father and Family Books, these are the testimony of “laying hold of eternal life” to which He calls us. To continue on we must let go some of the things we have been doing these last six months. We cannot keep up the pace of reading and responding to other blog posts if we are to hold on and continue the work God has for us. I have read more blogs than I have written. We will visit as often as we can, but not on a daily basis as we have been this year.

Holding on means with both hands, eyes and face forward to the upward call. Letting go means not spending as much time where we have been.

We will still post occasionally and we are committed to finish our series on Contentment as the Lord leads.

My main role is as Jerry’s full-time caregiver. The Lord provides the time between our duties for writing and publishing. Please pray for the Lord’s leading and His holy will for all that we do in the service of His kingdom. Our books are Christian non-fiction, except for one book of short stories. They are for encouragement for Christian living and spiritual growth as we look to the hope that is set before us. We will post updates as often as possible.

If you are interested in any of our books on Amazon (one is free), remember that profits are designated for missions and charity. The Lord has provided for all our needs so that all our work is for His kingdom and glory.

Gracious Father, thank you for the precious friends you have given us here. I pray for your guidance for us all to continue holding to what you have given us; to let go the things of this world that would hinder our growth and continued progress in the way of your kingdom and eternal life. Show us your ways , O Lord, teach us your paths. Lead us in your truth and teach us. For you are the God of our salvation. On you do we wait all the day. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.  

Related article: Laying Hold of Eternal Life

Hidden Treasure

“As a child I had a recurring dream of walking a dirt path, and seeing the reflection of the sun on something in the dirt. Reaching down I discovered a penny. (When I was a child we picked up lost pennies.) As I picked it up, I found other pennies. Picking up the pennies, I found nickels underneath, and then dimes, and quarters and half-dollars in the dirt. The more I picked up the more I found buried in the dirt.

I could not understand this dream until,  as an adult, the Lord brought me into His Word. Then, I began to understand the treasures that are hidden there. The more we take, the more we see and desire and receive. As we continue to look to the path and take what He gives, more of the riches of God’s covenant and kingdom are revealed.

Jesus said, “It is the Father’s pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). It is His pleasure to open these treasures through His Word, that we may know the heritage that is ours.

In 1993 a year after my new birth, I began writing what our heavenly Father was teaching me of our inheritance through Jesus Christ. (1Peter 1: 3-4) I began writing a little book called The Legacy. It speaks of a will written by an ancestor who wanted to bequeath His fortune to future descendants. The Legacy speaks of itself through me of how God was revealing His love and kingdom to His children who would be born of His Spirit.

God’s Word is such as a father would write in His own written will to pass on all the wealth that he has to his children. Those who read and study, meditate, and take to heart in faith what is written, will discover that this wealth is indeed meant for them individually and corporately with other members of the household of faith ~ those whom God births into His own family. He desires us and sires us according to His own will and His timing, in different generations. He brings us through His Word and Spirit to know Him, to be born of Him, to believe and repent, turning in faith to receive all the promises of His inheritance, and to live the abundant life that is ours through His Son, Jesus Christ. There is no life that can compare to this life. It fulfills God’s purpose for our creation and redemption and becomes a delight for us as His children.“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). As we come to this garden that He has prepared for His children we find all our delight in Him. This is His ultimate purpose. God is our goal. His purpose is to satisfy us to the fullest in Himself. His desires become our desires.” The Garden of GOD’S WORD ~ The Purpose and Delight of BIBLE STUDY

Dear Father in heaven, how can we know you, your promises of the life that is ours in Christ, your Son, without your calling, and giving us a new heart and spirit to hear and respond? We praise you for your power to give us physical life and spiritual life through your Holy Word, making us your own children. Thank you for the delight we have in you. Nothing compares to the treasure of your Word and the power of your Holy Spirit to activate your Word in us. In Jesus’ name we thank you and praise you. Amen.

Fran

image: Google