Now this is eternal life

John 17.3

 And this is eternal life, that they know You, the only true God,
and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. John 17:3

We are studying John in Bible study and this week’s lesson includes the verse above. Jesus prayed this verse before He was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. God is using the verse to help prepare my heart for the Resurrection Celebration that is coming!

Only twenty words but enough to bring tears. As I read the verse, my heart and mind respond by saying, “this is why He came…that man [I] would know the Father and the Son [and the Holy Spirit].” Jesus desired that we would know the only True God and this is why When the days drew near for Him [Jesus] to be taken up, He set his face to go to Jerusalem (Luke 9:61).”

Jesus knew what lie ahead for Him in Jerusalem – the rejection, mocking, spitting, false trials, scourging,  nails hammered, separation from the Father, a borrowed tomb…and yet He knew what lie ahead for man and resolutely, He set His face to go, to finish the work the Father had given Him.

Why? That we would know the only true and living God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Not just know about Him, not a second-handed relationship, but know Him intimately and personally. The Amplified translates it like this:

“And this is eternal life: [it means] to know (to perceive, recognize, become acquainted with, and understand) You, the only true and real God, and [likewise] to know Him, Jesus [as the] Christ (the Anointed One, the Messiah), Whom You have sent.”  John 17:3

And we [have seen and] know [by personal experience] that the Son of God has [actually] come [to this world], and has given us understanding and insight so that we may [progressively and personally] know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true—in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

I pray that you are included with me in 1 Peter 2:10, “Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” My heart is fixed and my mind made up…the Lord is worthy of all praise, honor, glory, majesty, and honor! I bow at His feet in worship and cry holy, glory to the Son of God!

See what an incredible quality of love the Father has shown to us, that we would [be permitted to] be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are!”
1 John 3:1

Lavished Love from the heart of the Father!

1 John 3.1

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Images: Pinterest

Fear God…do not be afraid

6b1be86c12fa4d4d07e05322ea6e0dae

18 When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke,they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance 19 and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.” 20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.” 21 The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was. Exodus 20:18-20

Moses has completed the giving of The Ten Commandments to the Israelites and they respond with awe, reverence, and trembling and they remained at a distance.  I can only imagine the thunder, lightning, and trumpet sound  but know that I would have been there trembling as well.

The people are standing at a distance so fearful that they tell Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.” Moses assures the people that all of God has spoken and that they are experiencing has purpose. It is a test so that the FEAR of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.  

It is good to fear the Lord. The Lord, He is God and worthy of our reverential fear. He is to be treated with honor, respect and reverential trust. God is holy and righteous, so completely other and unique, and we are not to treat Him as though He was mere man.

As Moses stated, God had come them keep us from sinning by helping them to understand the importance of maintaining a healthy fear of the Lord. Moses assured the people that they did not need to be afraid of God. To be afraid is to be worried, anxious, even terrified that something undesirable might happen. But rather they (and we) are to love and obey the Lord.

The Lord wants His children to know that we have no reason to be afraid of Him but we are to fear Him, have a deep and abiding respect, honor, and reverential trust in Him as we walk in faith, being sure and certain that He is Who He says He is and He does everything He says – “Now faith is being sue of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1).”

Proverbs 1:7 – The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Matthew 10:28 – And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Ecclesiastes 12:13 – Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole [duty] of man.

Proverbs 14:27 – The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.

Psalms 111:10 – The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do [His commandments]: His praise endureth for ever.

Luke 1:50 – And His mercy is on them that fear Him from generation to generation.

1 John 4:18 – There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

I am reminded of God’s perfect love that sent His precious, special, unique Son to earth to make atonement for our sin. The earth quaked that day as well. It was not that we would be afraid but know in an intimate and personal relationship the perfect love that drives out our being afraid.

50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. … 54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!” Matthew 27:50-52,54

The earth quaked not so we would be afraid but that the curtain would be torn and we come enter boldly into the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16), not that we would run from God but draw near to God (James 4:8), not that we would be afraid but experience joy (Psalm 116:11, Romans 14:17)!

Surely, I thank God for Jesus, our resurrected Savior on this day! It is my privilege to love and fear Him!

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
    of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1

1 John 418

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Images: Pinterest

Honor human life

 

exodus-20-13“You shall not murder.
Exodus 20:13 NIV

In this command, God speaks to the sacredness of life and our responsibility to be mindful that every man is an image bearer of God. 

“Whoever sheds the blood of man,
    by man shall his blood be shed,
for God made man in His own image.” Genesis 9:6

In early years, this text was translated to say “Thy shall not kill.” Most modern translators agree that the correct translation is murder. It is important because The Jews were allowed to defend themselves (Exodus 22:2) and accidental death was addressed separately as well (Exodus 21:12-14).

The Word of God:

 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. 

Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 1 John 3:15

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:8-10

So I expect that some are you are expecting a great discourse on abortion or the senseless violence that we see in our nation every day…and rightfully so, BUT if you are expecting this, you already know truth. Sssooo…let me ask another question. Have you ever murdered someone with your mouth (gossip)? Or in your heart (anger, hate, jealousy)? 

“After I strayed, I repented; after I came to understand, I beat my breast. I was ashamed and humiliated because I bore the disgrace of my youth.” Jeremiah 31:19

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” James 4:7-10

romans-13-8

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Images: Pinterest

Honor your dad and mom

exodus-20-parents

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Exodus 20:12

Remember, one of the Pharisee tested Jesus by asking:

36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment.”
We have looked discussed the first and greatest command. Today, we begin to look at the second greatest command. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40

The Lord begins with the foundation of loving our parents and authority. God expects His children to love others and that it be proven out in how we respect and treat one another. My, my, my…as God has granted knowledge and the life expectancy to extend, it seems that as a society as we have become so self-centered and focused that for some this commandment has been put to the side.

Isn’t it something how we know the application of this verse so well when we are the parents and we relate it to our children…”children are to honor their parents.” But as our parents age and have greater needs, for some, it slips by us that God has commanded that children are to honor and respect our parents.

My granddad use to say as he aged – “once a man, twice a child.” He was speaking of his own recognition that he was aging and his need for help. My aunt loved, honored, and respected him so much that she brought him into her home and cared for him until the age of 96. She was able to do this in his old age because she loved, honored, and respected him in the early years and all the years between. We can’t all bring our parents home but we can all love, honor, respect and watch over their care and spend time in fellowship with them no matter where they reside.  It should be a lifetime of love, honor, and respect demonstrated with action.

It is one of those times that we will let the Scriptures speak to show us how seriously God took this command in the Old Testament:

Exodus 21:15, 17, “Anyone who attacks their father or mother is to be put to death. “Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.”

Leviticus 19:3, 32, “‘Each of you must respect your mother and father, and you must observe my Sabbaths. I am the Lord your God….“‘Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord.

Deuterontomy 27:16, “Cursed is anyone who dishonors their father or mother.” Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”

Proverbs 1:8, “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.”

Proverbs 16:31, “Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness.

Proverbs 20:20, “If someone curses their father or mother, their lamp will be snuffed out in pitch darkness.”

Proverbs 23:22, “Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.”

Proverbs 30:17, “The eye that mocks a father and despises a mother’s instructions
will be plucked out by ravens of the valley and eaten by vultures.”

From the lips of Jesus:

For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:

“‘These people honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
    their teachings are merely human rules.’” Matthew 15:4-9

“You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ 11 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is Corban (that is, devoted to God)— 12 then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother. 13 Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.” Mark 7:9-12

And Paul:

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”  Ephesians 6:1-3

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. Whatever a man sows, he will reap in return.”
Galatians 6:7

ephesians-6-20

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Images: Pinterest

The Sabbath and the need for rest

matthew-11-28“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Before continuing, I feel compelled to once again declare this truth, For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).”


While we do not see  the commandment to “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” given in the New Testament, I do believe the principle of REST is taught in the New Testament. REST not so much FROM physical labor but a RESTING in the Lord, a withdrawing from the cares of life to spend time in worship and fellowship with the Lord.

It is so easy to become busy, busy, busy even about the work of the Kingdom and forget the God of the Kingdom. No one was or ever will be more focused on the work the Father had sent him to do than Jesus and yet, we see that there were times He chose to withdraw and led the disciples to do the same.

  • Luke 5:16, “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”
  • Matthew 14:23, “After He had sent them away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone,”
  • Luke 6:12, “In those days, Jesus went out to the mountain to pray, and He spent the night in prayer to God.
  • And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.) Mark 6:31
  • “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Mark 11:28-30

The principle of rest takes me to Hebrews 4:16, “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” This is rest, sweet rest in the presence and fellowship of the One who is our Savior. I believe that our Creator knows that we need the down moments of worship, away from the cares, noise, and throws of life to be with Him…to rest in His presence, to hear His voice alone, without the noise, to be revived, restored and renewed…ready to press on!

That’s why, to me, the OT Commandment 4 goes with the Greatest Commandment to love. and worship God, it’s not about ritual or law but about true worship of the One True and Living God in Spirit and in Truth.

I am reminded of Psalm 62:

Truly my soul finds rest in God;
    my salvation comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
    he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

 …
Yes, my soul, find rest in God;

    my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
    he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
    he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, you people;
    pour out your hearts to him,
    for God is our refuge.

May God ever protect us from becoming so busy that we forget to “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while” in His presence, in communion, fellowship and worship that yields an intimate and personal relationship with the God who loves us so much that He gave His special and unique Son, gave Himself, that we would be His children. 

May we be faithful to “come alone and rest.”

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, to proclaim the virtues of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2:9-10

1-peter2-9

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Images: Pinterest

 

 

 

 

Loving God with ALL

exodus20-3

20 And God spoke all these words, saying, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me.
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. Exodus 20:1-7

37 And He [Jesus] said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. Matthew 22:37-38

The Lord begins the Ten Commandments by reminding the people that He is God and that He has the authority to give these commandments. In fact, He repeats “the Lord your God” five times (vs. 3, 5, 7, 10, 12). These commandments were to help the Israelites know and understand how they were to love God with ALL…just some thoughts:

  • There are to be no other “g”ods…that would be no one or nothing loved, treasured or valued greater that the Lord whether it was a hand-carved idol or the image of creation or something on earth. No false gods, period. There is an entire listing that is appropriate for today…possessions, money, intellect, self, status, etc. the list of what is treasured more than the One True and Living God is far greater than I could list here.
  • The Israelites were not to bow down to them or serve them, nor are we. In 1 John 5:21, the Lord speaks, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” I believe this important to understand in this day and time when the enemy has sown the lie that we can love and worship Jesus and an idol. The enemy really doesn’t care which idol we choose as long as it is one that keeps us from loving the Lord with ALL. The Lord speaks to say, No other gods for I Am the Lord your God and I am jealous for you (Exodus 34:14). Please note, not “of you” but “for you.” I love you so much that I will not share you with an idol who cannot be compared to Me and can do nothing for you. God is our Creator, Deliverer, Rescuer, Redeemer and Savior! Surely, He deserves an exclusive relationship!
  • In verse 5b, the Lord is not saying that the children will punished for their parents sins (Ezekiel 18:4) but that the sins of the parents will impact the lives of their children. This will cause the children to sin and be punished. On the other hand, the right relationship with God, serving no other god, loving God with ALL will lead the children into blessings (John 14:23; John 3:36; 1 Timothy 4:8). Choices have consequences…we should make choices with the view of blessing our children instead of passing on the spirit of disobedience and rebellion.
  • The Lord is Great and greatly to be praised (Psalm 145:3). God is Great and greatly to be honored. We are to honor the Name of the Lord in all we say and do. The Name of the Lord encompasses His total being, His character and nature. The Israelites were to bring honor to His Name rather than throwing His Name around loosely in any kind of way: cursing, swearing, absent-minded invoking of this Name, promises made in His Name and then not kept. Jesus taught the disciples to begin prayer by hallowing the Name of the Lord (Matthew 6:9). Philippians tells us the honor that is due:  Philippians 2:9-11, “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 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.” 

philippians2-9

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Images: Pinterest

 

The commandment of love

matthew-22

36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40

As we read the Words above, the veil is opened and we see the Old Testament being fulfilled in the New Testament. We gain further understanding of the principle, “the Old Testament is the New Testament prophesied and the New Testament is the Old Testament fulfilled.”

Now, please…no one take offense or get upset…but just in case, I thought this graphic which places the Ten Commandments in such simplicity would help us.

gods-big-ten

  1. 37 And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment.
    Commandments 1 -4.
  2. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Commandments 5-10.

We were created for right relationship with God and man…it is a relationship of love that puts God’s glory on display! Right relationship with God will always bear the fruit of right relationship with others.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 1 John 4:7-12

16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 1 John 3:16

Romans 13:8-10
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

1-john-4-7

 

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Images: Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

Wisdom Wednesday

john-14-15

Blessings today! It is Wisdom Wednesday and the Lord continues to speak in regards to His commands. I pray you will be blessed and encouraged by the following Scriptures and quotes. Blessed is the Name of the Lord!

the-commandments-1 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 1 John 5:2-4the-commandments-2

Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. Ecclesiastes 12:13the-commandments-4Your statutes are wonderful; therefore I obey them. Psalm 119:129
the-commandments-5

And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the very commandment you have heard from the beginning, that you must walk in love. 2 John 1:6

the-commandments-6I delight to do your will, O my God;
    Your law is within my heart.” Psalm 40:8the-commandments-7“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” Matthew 5:17the-commandments-9“For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:18-19

the-commmandments-8

isaiah-40-8

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Images: Pinterest

The Lord that brought us out

The God Who

And God spoke all these words, saying, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me. Exodus 20:1-3

As I read the above verses, a post from nine months ago came to my mind and heart. The Lord brought us out of the bondage of sin for Himself, not that we would be enslaved to anyone or anything else.

“But he brought us out from there to bring us in and
give us the land he promised on oath to our ancestors.”
Deuteronomy 6:23

Moses and the Israelites’ Exodus from Egyptian bondage is such a rich garden from which to feed. I believe the Lord is leading me to write from the Book of Exodus and am excited as it is one of my favorites places to read and meditate. I am blessed by your faithfulness to this site and that you will coming along with me. I am praying that the Lord would open His Word to us and then open our hearts to His Word that transformation would take place. 🙂

First of all, the word “Exodus” means “exit” or “going out” and as we eat we will see that it is the story of Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian bondage. As we look into this book, we will find God’s character including that He is a Promise Keeper who loves and keeps His children.

God will teach us that whenever He moves in our lives to bring about an exit, we also “enter” or “come in”.  His bringing out is always to bring us into a new realm or season as we will see with the Israelites. Deuteronomy 6:23, “But he brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land he promised on oath to our ancestors. The Lord does not change as this was truth for the Israelites so it is true for all His children.

This principle is worth holding in our hearts. No matter how hard life becomes, the issues we face, the obstacles in our way, the things we so desperately want to hold on to and God is us urging us to let go, no matter strongholds and yokes, traditions and SELF…God is never desiring to harm us BUT to prosper us and give us hope and a future. All His plans and ways are perfect, it is okay…more than okay, it is safe to let go and follow. He brings us out to bring us into His great and glorious land and promises.

Exodus 3:8 records the plan the Lord had for Israel, So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey.” We will look at this is greater detail later but the place God has for us is ALWAYS the place of promise. It is to our blessing and benefit to follow Him all the way!

1 Peter 2:9 is the perfect example of God’s redeeming love and perfect plan and ways, But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

What place is God calling you to exit in order to enter or come into the new? Remember that His plan is not to harm but to bring prosperity, hope and a  future!

Beauty for ashes
The place of prosperity, hope, and a future!

Psalm_18:30

As we look back to the Exodus 20:3 verse, we see the Lord declare that the God who brings you out is the God you should worship. He is not only Savior and Deliverer but He is Lord! From there, He begins to give them the terms of the covenant. Remember from Exodus 19:8, All the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.”

exodus-20-3

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Scriptures: Bible Gateway

Images: Pinterest


A heart check…

jeremiah-2-10-13

10 For cross over to the coasts of Cyprus [to the west] and see, send also to Kedar [to the east] and carefully consider; and see whether there has been such a thing as this:

11 Has a nation [ever] changed its gods, even though they are not gods? But My people have changed their Glory [God] for that which does not profit.

12 Be astonished and appalled, O heavens, at this; be shocked and shrivel up with horror, says the Lord [at the behavior of the people].

13 For My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the Fountain of living waters, and they have hewn for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns which cannot hold water.
Jeremiah 2:10-13 AMPC

It’s heart month and many of us take this as an opportunity to test our physical hearts for any sign of disease or danger. This is wise for a good heart check and proper treatment of any revealed problems can bring us back to health, healing, and wholeness.

Perhaps, we should take the opportunity to check our spiritual hearts as well for the Scriptures do teach us that “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it (Proverbs 4:23).” One of the reasons that this is so necessary is that God has also told us that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it (Jeremiah 17:9)?” The Lord has also counseled us to “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test (2 Corinthians 13:5)!”

Since we have an enemy who has come to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10), a flesh which rises up to take control, and a world system that allures us to sin, it would be wise to test our hearts. We will use the above text from Jeremiah as our testing tool asking the Holy Spirit to guide us in all truth (John 16:13). I have placed the NLT translation below as well.

“Go west and look in the land of Cyprus; go east and search through the land of Kedar.
Has anyone ever heard of anything as strange as this?
11 Has any nation ever traded its gods for new ones, even though they are not gods at all? Yet My people have exchanged their glorious God for worthless idols!
12 The heavens are shocked at such a thing and shrink back in horror and dismay,” says the Lord.
13 “For My people have done two evil things:
They have abandoned Me—the Fountain of Living Water.
And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all!
Jeremiah 2:10-13 NLT

Jesus is the Fountain of Living Water. He promises that “whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life (John 4:14) and in Isaiah 12:3, With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. In these verses, we see the promise of life, joy, and satisfaction. Praise God. 

The Jeremiah verses speak of exchanging our Glorious Fountain of Living Water for worthless idols. God calls it abandonment, such a horrible exchange that even the heavens are astonished and appalled…in shock, shrinking back in horror and dismay. My, my, my…if this is how creation responds, how it must wound the heart of our Creator!  We do know that God sees it as evil (vs. 13). 

The devil will never tell us that God sees it this way, neither will our flesh or the world system. If fact, they will all chime in at the same time and sing the Whopper song, “Have it your way.” God says it is abandonment to choose the worthless idol instead of Him.

Most of us would quickly say, “I have no idols.” It is heart month and I believe the Lord is typing these keys to say, put it to the test by the Word and the Spirit. After all, those who worship Him must do so in Spirit and in Truth. You may say, what idols could I possibly have and the answer is shown in the text, anything we love, value more than God Himself is an idol. Perhaps it’s the love/practice of money, sex, power, prestige, intellect, wisdom of man, emotions…things like bitterness, not willing to forgive, greed, deceit, pornography, etc. These all speak of self-indulgence and self-exaltation.

God declares it all to be broken cisterns that have no possibility of holding water…cracked pots that are incapable of holding the Living Water that gives life, joy, and satisfaction. Not only does a broken cistern not hold water but it separates from the Fountain of Living Water which means death. Now, since we are God’s people, saved by grace through faith this blog is not about losing our salvation because the Lord has said that we can not be plucked out of His hand (John 10:28-30). Rather, it about the separation from the abundant, life to the full, intimate and soul satisfying relationship with our Creator, the Glorious Fountain of Living Water who so freely gives life, joy, and satisfaction. It is about valuing someone or something other than Jesus as our great Supreme Treasure which usually begins as little cracks along the way. So thankful that God had prompted this little heart check!

O Heavenly Father, Blessed is Your Name! We desire no other God but You. Please help us to examine our hearts and help us to know if we are chasing other ‘gods’ that separate us from a full, God-exalting, Christ honoring, intimate and personal relationship with You. We are mindful of Your Word, “Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that He has made to dwell in us”? But He gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you (James 4:8-10).” Bring us back to you as a person, people, and nation.”
In Jesus Name, we pray. Amen!

james-4-10

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Images: Pinterest