Words of Life ~ ABBA and ALPHA

 In this post I am including the word ABBA. It was not in the first list, but appropriate to post here with the word ALPHA. It will be the first word in the revised list. And of interest in this combination is that the meaning of ABBA is Father. A father carries the seed of life. Such was our Father in heaven who created life. He was the first ~ ALPHA ~ the first of all beings and all things. I appreciate that I am able to post this on the first day of the week.

An interesting note from searching the word ABBA is that it is found in the Old Testament sandwiched in the word Sabbath. Let us turn that over in our minds and hearts as we continue our search for the Words of Life.

ABBA G5 
Strong’s defines abba äb-bä  Aramaic for “father”
“father, customary title used of God in prayer. Whenever it occurs in the New Testament it has the Greek interpretation joined to it, that is apparently to be explained by the fact that the Chaldee “ABBA” through frequent use in prayer, gradually acquired the nature of a most sacred proper name, to which the Greek speaking Jews added the name from their own tongue.” This does not indicate that ABBA would be a casual name for Father, as some have thought it to be the word for Daddy which is an informal name. We don’t have to bring Him down to our level to reach Him. He has already condescended to us through His Son and made us His children. Jesus instructs us in the Lord’s Prayer to call Him Father. Abba seems to be an expression used with the name Father with the concept of crying out to Him in special times of need.

ABBA, as Father, is only found in the New Testament, first recorded from Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.

“And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.” Mark 14:36

The apostle Paul associated the word ABBA with the working of the Holy Spirit in our new birth and adoption. We are no longer in bondage to the law and sin, no longer children of wrath and fear, but reconciled through the blood of Christ to know God as our Father.

“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15

As we are born of His Spirit and joint-heirs with Christ and His Spirit dwelling in our hearts we can cry, calling to Him for all our needs. Note that from Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane Paul relates this to all God’s children, the Spirit of his Son that cries through us.

And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” Galatians 4:6

ALPHA G 1
Strong’s defines alpha ä’l-fä, first letter of Greek alphabet
“Christ is the Alpha to indicate that he is the beginning and the end.”

 ALPHA is found four times in the Book of Revelation as quoted from Jesus.

“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come , the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8

“Saying , I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest , write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.” Revelation 1:11

“And he said unto me, It is done . I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.” Revelation 21:6

“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” Revelation 22:13

Gracious Father, we are in awe when we think of how you have arranged your words of life for us. You are Abba to your children. You created us for your own. From the beginning to the end you have planned and are gathering your family to yourself through Jesus Christ your Son. We praise you that by your grace you have made Him to be Life to us, the Alpha and Omega. In His name we thank you and desire to live as your children for your glory and our joy. Amen.
Fran

Photos:Tom Pumford, Unsplash
David Besh, Pixel

 

Words of Life ~ ADORN (ed, ing)

At first glance I thought not to include the word ADORN in our list of Words of Life. There did not seem to be many references, but the more closely I looked, the more I saw the importance of this word in the Christian vocabulary, especially as it relates to women. Nontheless, men and women are together the bride of Christ and this word applies to both. Fathers and husbands can benefit from the references to women as they lead their households.

Old Testament H5709
Strongs Concordance
Defines ADORN 
âdâh (aw-daw’) a primitive root; to advance, i.e. pass on or continue; causatively, to remove; specifically, to bedeck (i.e. bring an ornament upon):—adorn, deck (self), pass by, take away.

Isaiah 61 is a chapter relating the salvation and restoration of the nation of Israel through the prophecy of the coming Messiah. The following is a wonderful verse on which to meditate as we consider our new creation in Christ, our relationship to the whole body of Christ ~ He as the bridegroom decketh (same word H5709) himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” Isaiah 61:10

The following verse from Hosea describes the nation of Israel as an adulteress who “decked herself with her earrings and her jewels” to attract her lovers. We find a similar reference in the New Testament in 1 Peter 3:3-4 that expresses what the adorning of the bride of Christ should be.

“And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forgat me, saith the Lord.Hosea 2:13 

New Testament G4737
Strong’s defines ADORN stephanoo stef-an-o’-o from 4735; to adorn with an honorary wreath (literally or figuratively):–crown.

The writer of Hebrews 2:7 quotes from Psalm 8:6 in reference to man being crowned (same word used here) with honor and glory, but not yet.

“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” Hebrews 2

“In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;” 1 Timothy 2:9

NT G2885
Defines ADORN kosmeo kos-meh’-o from 2889; to put in proper order, i.e. decorate (literally or figuratively); specially, to snuff (a wick):–adorn, garnish, trim.
2889 (kosmei) is used throughout the New Testament for the word “world” as God put all things in proper order when He created the heavens and the earth.

Titus 2:10 refers to fidelity by adorning the doctrine of God in all things.

“Not purloining , but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.”

We can compare the following verses in 1 Peter to Hosea 2:13 above, relating to the inner adorning of the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit.

“Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” 1 Peter 3:3-4
“For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:” 1 Peter 3:5

Our last reverence links to the first one from Isaiah 61 in the Old testament. Take a moment to go back and compare these two; then rejoice that we as His people are the bride of Christ.

“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” Revelation 21:2

It is easy to see how what we wear is related to a heart relationship to Christ. What is the adorning that God desires for His people ~ “in the sight of God of great price?

Dear Father in heaven. We continue to find the wealth of the words of your kingdom as we search your Word ~ Words of Life that change not only our vocabulary, but our minds and hearts; to live in union with you and our Lord Jesus. Continue to work these words and meanings by the adorning of your Holy Spirit ~ for your glory and our joy. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Fran
Holy, Holy, Holy               Covenant Choir

Photo by Min An from Pexels 

Words of Life ~ ACCOMPLISH

The Hebrew word for accomplish appears many times in the form of the word “made.”  When God made the firmament, He accomplished what He had planned before the foundation of the world. The same word is used in Genesis 1:11 for yielding fruit after its kind. The Greek word for accomplish is used only one time in the New Testament but also used for fill, filled, fulfilled, full, fulness and complete.

The Old Testament H6213
Defines accomplish ʻâsâh(aw-saw’)
A primitive root; to do or make, in the broadest sense and widest application:—accomplish, advance, appoint, apt, be at, become, bear, bestow, bring forth, bruise, be busy, X certainly, have the charge of, commit, deal (with),

To see all Hebrew references: blueletterbible.org

The most well known in the Old Testament is Isaiah 55:11.

“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”

Several verses refer to the wrath of God that He would accomplish upon the disobedient and ungodly.
“He that is far off shall die of the pestilence; and he that is near shall fall by the sword; and he that remaineth and is besieged shall die by the famine: thus will I accomplish my fury upon them.” Ezekiel 6:12

Daniel 9:2 speaks of seventy years the Lord would accomplish in the desolations of Jerusalem.

In the New Testament G4137
Defines accomplish plēroō (plā-ro’-ō)
to make replete, that is, (literally) to cram(a net), level up (a hollow), or (figuratively) to furnish (or imbue, diffuse, influence), satisfy, execute
(an office), finish (a period or task), verify (or coincide with a prediction), etc.: — accomplish, X after, (be) complete, end, expire, fill (up), fulfil, (be, make) full (come), fully preach, perfect, supply. Greek references: blueletterbible.org.

The only reference to the word accomplish in the New Testament is from the scene of transfiguration when Moses and Elijah appeared and spoke of Jesus’ finished work on the cross.

“Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.”  (Luke 9:28:31).

When Isaiah recorded 55:11, would he have known that the Lord was speaking not only of His written word, but of His Living word, Jesus Christ, who would accomplish all He would send Him to do?

When God the Father planned His creation, it was with the power to accomplish His sovereign will.
1. God the Father completed His Creation, resting on the seventh day.
2. God the Son fulfilled the means of Redemption and rested on the seventh day; now seated at the right hand of the Father and upholding all things by the word of HIs power.
3. God the Holy Spirit is now revealing and fulfilling the plan and purpose for all things in the fulness of time (Ephesians 1:10).

We need not doubt but His Word and work will accomplish in each of us all His will in every generation until all is fulfilled ~ to His glory and our joy.

Gracious Father in heaven, we praise you that you accomplish all your sovereign will. What you planned before the world began has gradually come to pass according to your timing. Most gratefully do we thank you that when you sent your Son, your Living Word, He accomplished all you sent Him to do. He fulfilled your covenant of redemption for us. When He said, “It is finished” He accomplished fully and completely the means of eternal life for us. Teach us through your Word, and by your Holy Spirit, do your work in each of us. In Jesus’ holy, powerful and precious name we pray, thank you and praise you. Amen.
Fran

Image:Google

 

Sharing our Meds ~ Words of Life

Since turning 82 in April, Jerry has met new doctors and added more meds. He and I have lived much longer than we expected. (His mother died at the age of 59, and his dad, at the age of 71.) Since the wound on his foot has finally healed after eighteen months treatment, he is in physical therapy for strength and conditioning. After not being able to put pressure on his foot, our goal is for him to walk again with a diabetic shoe, an adjusted prosthetic, and a walker. In the meantime, he is being referred to a rheumatologist for further counseling after testing positive for lupus; and to a hematologist for abnormal protein in his blood.

Where does it end? Eventually, we all, excepting for a few, will contract something from this world that will cause our demise.

Jerry is now on twelve different medications that seem to alleviate his symptoms, but it would not be lawful for him to share any of these. He is not sure, at this point, if he will accept any more prescriptions.

In this last age and stage, we want to share different meds, those that are lawful to give others, and eternal; those that do not require a doctor’s prescription.

Medications and Meditations
These words are spelled the same except for one letter; they both are effective, but only one is prescribed by our Great Physician. They are both held in the hand; one to be given to children, continued until death. Both are taken with water; one physically, the other with the Holy Spirit. One is taken by mouth; the other through the spirit, mind and heart.

With every development in Jerry’s physical health, the Lord is here to add meaning to everything, guiding and strengthening with wisdom and grace for every new trial. Beginning this new month of July, and the last half of 2018, we will begin something else new. We will be sharing meditations with medications; a meditation each day as he takes his medications. We cannot and would not want to give anyone the meds Jerry is taking by mouth, but we will share meditations from a source we have in our files.

Words of Life
Several years ago, we began a project titled Words of Life ~ A to Z, The Ordinary Vocabulary of a Christian. Taking from Strong’s Concordance a list of words from the Bible that are common to the Christian faith, we had hoped to publish a simple guidebook (or devotional), unlike the Concordance that includes every word from the Bible.  From abhor to Zion, this would be a highlight of what our heavenly Father would want us to focus on; to meditate and base our lives on. Meditation on His Word is His means of addressing and prescribing His grace and truth to our basic and profound needs; for spiritual strength and conditioning. This would not negate the usual reading and studying the whole Bible, but these are extra blessings for those who meditate on the references that apply to each word.

The first one we share with you today is abhor, with the concept at the start, to use this as a meditation for a week. From this first word to the last, Zion, we find a striking difference in the things of God’s word and His kingdom, and the vocabulary and kingdom of this world. We welcome your comments.

Abhor
In the Old Testament, Concordance H1602 defines the word abhor (ga ‘al) as to detest; by implication to reject.  The word is used in the KJV Bible for abhor, fail, lothe, vilely cast away.  We find this word in the Old Testament relating both to God and man.

God describes His plan for His relationship with the people of Israel in Leviticus 26:11, And I set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you.” 

In Deuteronomy 7:26, they are instructed to detest and abhor the “cursed things.”

“Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing.

Though the references from the Old Testament speak of the history of God’s relationship with the nation of Israel they are an example for His people today.

David in Psalm 119:163 said:   I hate and abhor lying: but thy law do I love.”
Here he speaks of the opposite of the word abhor, which is love.
This is echoed in the New Testament in Romans 12:9,

Abhor in the New Testament  (Strong’s Greek 655, from 575 and the base of G4767) is apostygeo, meaning to detest utterly. Apostasy is turning away from the gospel, the truth of God’s word, the act of despising, rejecting and abhorring it.

Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
Romans 12:9

As children of the heavenly Father we are to abhor (despise and reject) what He despises.
We are to love what He loves.  To know the difference in the two ~ what He loves and what He hates ~ we must search His word; we must receive, read and love His law.

Dear Father, as we begin to share these meditations, make us to know their full meaning, so that we know how to live in accordance with your word and your will.  Work in us to receive your written word ~ your law for our lives ~ even as we receive Christ, the living word, by your Spirit, to live within us and teach us your law of liberty in Him. For your glory, write your law on our hearts and in our minds so that we will love your law even as you teach us to love you. In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

Weighing, Measuring and Filtering Our Words

This is a side note from our last post The Voice of Contentment, as we considered the voices that we hear.

Somewhere in the past, I remember hearing or reading that God gives all people a certain number of words for each life. If this was true, many would have nothing to say in their latter years. 🙂

While this statement is not a Biblical reference, it might be something to think about.

There are Biblical references that speak of our voices and our words. There is much written in the Bible about our tongues, our lips, our mouths and the intentions of the heart in reference to the words we speak. These are all related, but let’s look basically at the words that come from the mind, the heart and the mouth when we speak to others. What is the source of what we, as God’s people, speak?

And what effect do our words have on others?

Joseph spoke to his brothers about his dreams. They “hated him for his dreams and his words.” Genesis 31:8

God gave words to Moses and Aaron to speak to the people. Exodus 10:6-7
Moses spoke the words of the ten commandments to the people. Exodus 24:3;
Moses was instructed to speak words of warning and promises. Deuteronomy 1:1
Joshua spoke to the people “the words of the Lord.” Joshua 3:9

 WEIGHING OUR WORDS

When we speak, let us learn to ask four questions:

  1. Would the words I speak be what I would want to hear?
  2. Would they be a burden on the person to whom I speak?
  3. Are my words necessary?
  4. Would my words be to the glory of God?

Jesus came to speak “the words by which all men will be judged.” (John 12:48) He is the only one who has the authority to judge.

“And he said, “Woe to you lawyers also! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers.” Luke 11:46

“But ‘the burden of the Lord’ you shall mention no more, for the burden is every man’s own word, and you pervert the words of the living God, the Lord of hosts, our God.” Jeremiah 23:36

“His speech was smooth as butter, yet war was in his heart; his words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords.” Psalm 55:2

Words can put a burden on others, even to “torment,” as in Job’s case (Job 19:2)
The Psalmist speaks of “words of trouble and deceit” (Psalm 36:3); “words that devour” (Psalm 52:4); “words of hate (Psalm 109:3) “bitter words like arrows”  (Psalm 64:3); “arrogant words” (Psalm 94:4); “false words” (2 Peter 2:3).

“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:1-2

“Charge them before God not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers.” 2 Timothy 2:14

“There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:18

MEASURING OUR WORDS

“Jesus, whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure.” John 3:34

“But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” Ephesians 4:7

“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” Romans 12:3

“Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few. Ecclesiastes 5:2

“When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.” Proverbs 10:19

“Whoever restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.” Proverb 17:27

“For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:37

FILTERING OUR WORDS

If after weighing what we say, and measuring what we speak, we can know that our words will be edifying to those to whom we speak, and to build up the church as a whole by using God’s Word as a filter. If we listened and read more of His Word we would be less likely to be speaking our own words. We can be sure our words will glorify our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ if we encourage ourselves in His Word. Jerry Bridges in his book, The Discipline of Grace, says that he has to preach the gospel to himself everyday.

“The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times” (Psalm 12:6); gracious words, pure, like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body” (Proverbs 15:26; 16:24).

His words are sweet (Psalm 119:103); they give light (119:130). We stand in awe of his words (119:147); there is “hope in His words” (119:147); “words of insight and words of the wise” (Proverbs 1:2, 6) they are “holy words” (Jeremiah 23:9)

“The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd.” Ecclesiastes 12:11

We are to hold fast His words that are hidden in our heart, that He will put in our mouth (Psalm 119:11, Proverbs 4:4; Isaiah 51:16)

What did Jesus’ disciples say about His words?

The people “marveled at the gracious words that came from His mouth” (Luke 4:22) Peter said He had “the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).

Paul spoke of “the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness in 1 Timothy 6:3; “being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed” (1 Timothy 4:6).

What did Jesus say about His words?

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” Matthew 23:35

“For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” Mark 8:38

“The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.” John 12;48

The early church was encouraged by “the gospel, not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.”
1 Corinthians 1:17
“not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,”
1 Corinthians 2:4
“in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.” 1 Corinthians 2:13

Do we consider our words as governed by the Spirit of Christ? Let us make our words a matter of importance for the Father’s kingdom and the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our words should be filtered through His Word and prayer in the power of the Holy Spirit. When we speak to others of Christ, the Holy Spirit must be working in their hearts for them to understand the words we speak.

In all our conversations our words should be that which encourages and strengthens our brothers and sisters in Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:18).

Let us not waste a moment of His precious time given us here, to share His glory. We can be channels and purveyors “holding forth the word of life” with words that give life, using every opportunity as builders with God of His kingdom on earth. We need not be reticent but with prayer and preparation through His Word anticipate that He will fill up our days with His goodness, His grace and love, laying up treasures in heaven as we spread the joy and contentment that is ours in Christ. We can weigh, measure and filter what our heavenly Father has given us in Christ, and with the abundance share the overflow as he continues to fill us with His fulness.

Dear Father  let these prayers from the Psalmist be our prayers today and everyday.
“Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord God of hosts;
let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel.”
Psalm 69:6
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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