Gleaning from the Psalms
2-18-18
Not much has been written about the 6th Psalm in Biblical history.
But from its opening words, we see David in a place where we have not yet seen him;
for here we find it written, O Lord, Deliver My Life!
Psalm 6:1 O (YAHWEH) יהוה, do not rebuke me in Your displeasure, Nor discipline me in Your wrath.
 
Whatever David is facing, he is praying for mercy in correction or discipline.
In the next verse, David asks his GOD to restore favor,
for” I am fading away; O יהוה, heal me, for my bones have been troubled”.
 
I think we all have found ourselves in David’s state of mind at least once in our Christian walk.
We may have messed up so badly, done something so against what we KNEW God wanted,
then felt so very far away from His Holy Presence.
Many Christians see our Heavenly Father much like our earthly parents were,
whether they were harsh in discipline,
 
or away all the time,
maybe even passed away,
leaving us feeling much like a boat without a rudder in a violent storm.
May be  we are facing a life-threatening illness,
or we fear for our very lives because of something beyond our control.
OUR  HEARTS AND  PRAYERS GO OUT  TO THE FAMILIES AND FRIENDS OF THE VICTIMS
OF THIS SCHOOL  SHOOTING IN FLORIDA RIGHT NOW.
 
 
David shows us that we can, just like him, take all these human issues before our GOD,
especially when we feel far from Him,
even at death’s door.
4 Return, O YAHWEH, return; deliver my soul; save me for Your mercy’s sake.
:5 For in death there is no memory of You; in the grave who shall give You thanks?
 
We may be consumed with vexatious anger, grief and sorrow, or spiteful wrath,
but when we come before our Heavenly Father honestly,
telling Him how we truly feel, He is not shocked.
He knows us! And what better place to pour out our soul than in His unchanging love for us.
David did.
And this psalm shows us that he got through and his GOD did deliver him from whatever brought this on!
David is not left in deepest despair, and neither will we , for our LORD hears our cry!
 
8 Depart from me, all you workers of evil, for the LORD has heard the sound of my weeping.
9The LORD has heard my plea; the LORD accepts my prayer.
10 All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled; they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment.
 
Take hope today, Disciple of Christ!
He will NEVER leave you nor forsake you!
For “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread” (Ps. 37:25).
 
 
 
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Lead Me in Your Righteousness
2-11-18
Psalms 5:1 To the Chief Musician, for flutes. A Psalm of David. Give ear to my words, O Jehovah; consider my meditation.
2 Listen to the voice of my cry, my King and my God; for to You I will pray.
:3 My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Jehovah; in the morning I will direct my prayer to You, and I will look up.
 
To whom is this Psalm written, and for what purpose? ________________________________________________________________________________________
 
:4 For You are not a God that enjoys wickedness; nor shall evil dwell with You.
:5 The foolish shall not stand in Your sight. You hate all doers of iniquity.
:6 You shall destroy those who speak lies; Jehovah will despise the bloody and deceitful man.
:7 But I, in the abundance of Your grace, I will come into Your house; I will worship in Your fear toward Your holy temple.
 
What kind of disciple is GOD looking for? ________________________________________________________________________________________
:8 Lead me, O Jehovah, in Your righteousness, because of my enemies; make Your way straight before my face.
:9 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is wickedness; their throat is an open grave;
they flatter with their tongue.
:10 Hold them guilty, O God; let them fall by their own counsels;
cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions, for they have rebelled against You.
 
What happens to those who rebel against GOD?_____________________________________________________________________________________
:11 But let all who put their trust in You rejoice; let them always shout for joy, because You defend them.
And let those who love Your name be joyful in You.
:12 For You; O Jehovah, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield.
 
What is the reward for those who put their trust in GOD?
_________________ _________________________
 
What does Jesus tell us to do when someone lies about you?
 
Love Your Enemies
Mat 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
 
Hate your enemy was “said,” not “written.”
 
Lev 19:16 ‘Do not go slandering among your people. Do not stand against the blood of your neighbor. I am יהוה. YAHWEH
17 ‘Do not hate your brother in your heart. Reprove your neighbor, for certain, and bear no sin because of him.
:18 ‘Do not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the children of your people. And you shall love your neighbor as yourself.
I am   יהוה.  YAHWEH
 
This was a note for a dispute between neighbors. It says nothing about enemies, does it?
Back to the words of Jesus . . . 
 
Matt 5 :44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
:45 so that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
Because He makes His sun rise on the wicked and on the good,
and sends rain on the crops of both the righteous and on the unrighteous.
 
Both  sunshine and rain are blessings. See Luke_6:35, Acts_14:16-17
 
:46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Even the tax collectors do the same, don’t they?
:47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than anyone else? Even the pagans do that, don’t they?
:48 Therefore be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
 
The Greek word for ‘perfect’ = compassionate, merciful, of tender mercy.
Luke tells it like this:
Luke 6:31 And according as you desire that men should do to you, you also do the same to them.
:32 And if you love those who love you, what thanks is there to you? For even sinners love those who love them.
:33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what thanks is there to you? For even the sinners do the same.
 
Today many Christians have the same attitude as David when wronged by family, even other Christians.
Under the Law, such was expected.
But how many of us have come to know Christ, received His atonement for our transgressions and sins,
yet hold our persecutors in their sins, asking GOD to cast them out?
 
Remember the parable Jesus told of the servant who wed his master a great debt, who begged his master for forgiveness, and was forgiven his entire debt?  That very same man put his fellow servant in prison for owing him just a small amount. 
When the master heard how unforgiving he had been, he immediately had him thrown into prison.
 
Mat 18:32-33 ETR “Then the master called his servant in and said, ‘You evil servant. You begged me to forgive your debt, and I said you did not have to pay anything! :33 So you should have given that other man who serves with you the same mercy I gave you.’
 
Back to our Psalm 5, let us fully examine David’s conclusion to his dilemma.
Psalm 5:11-12 BBE But let all those who put their faith in you be glad with cries of joy at all times,
and let all the lovers of your name be glad in you.
:12 For you, Lord, will send a blessing on the upright man; your grace will be round him, and you will be his strength.
 
From David’s treatment of King Saul who tried to kill him, and his choice to leave the fate of his rebellious son, Absalom,
in the hands of a merciful GOD, what can we then take away from the ending verses in Psalm 5? 
Even though all he had to go by was the Law,  David was led in the righteousness of GOD.
 
Abba Father, lead me in paths of righteousness for Your name’s sake!  I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amein.
 
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Answer Me When I Call
February 4, 2018
 
Psalm 4:1 To the chief Musician on Neginoth (H5058) , A Psalm of David.
 
First of all. What is Neginoth?
H5058 נגינת negı̂ynath
BDB Definition:
1) music, song, taunt song
1a) music (of stringed instrument)
1b) song
1b1) taunting or mocking song
Hebrew Root Word – Strong’s Number: H5059 נָגַן naw-gan’
A primitive root; It means to thrum, that is, beat a tune with the fingers; especially to play on a stringed instrument;
hence (generally) to make music: – player on instruments, sing to the stringed instruments, melody, minstrel.
And the song goes like this:
Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness:
thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress-(H6862 )
have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.
 
Last week we saw David’s unwavering faith, even in the midst of devastating personal heartbreak.
Here, we find David putting his prayer to music, in a specific way.
HE IS IN DISTRESS.
In Psalm 4 we now see another battle David waged in his mind.
This time it was with his own fellow Israelites.
You know, the ones who followed Absalom?
The kingdom David worked so hard to unite is now divided again!
 
The Hebrew word for ‘distress’ is צַר tsar, meaning a narrow tight place (usually figuratively, that is, trouble);
(transitively) an opponent – adversary, in affliction, anguish, close distress, sorrow, strait, tribulation, trouble.
Again, David brings his dilemma to the LORD, reminding us that his successes in the past were from his GOD.
 
:2 O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame?
how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah.
 
The word ‘glory’ used in verse 2, in Hebrew, also means honor.
David was telling GOD his countrymen were politically portraying the victories he had won for the nation as something evil, dishonorable, even shameful.
Does this sound familiar today?
But, David knew a universal and unchanging truth: that if GOD be for him, who could be against him!
That one little 3 letter word, ‘for’, is more than what it seems!
The Greek word Paul used in Romans 8:31 is G5228 ὑπέρ.
Pronounced ‘hoop-er,’ it  means “over”, that is, above, beyond, across; with the accusative case superior to, more than.
In compounds it retains many of the listed applications: – (+ exceeding abundantly) above, in (on) behalf of, beyond, by, + very chiefest, concerning, exceeding (above, -ly), for, + very highly, more (than), of, over, on the part of, for sake of, in stead, than, to (-ward), very.
David knew his GOD was ‘over’ him, beyond him, and exceedingly abundantly more than enough for any situation he faced in life.
 
:3 But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself:
the LORD will hear when I call unto him.
 
He also knew that those who had a personal relationship with YAHWEH had His ear anytime, anywhere.
The Easy To Read version translates v. 3 this way:
You can be sure that anyone who serves the LORD faithfully is special to him. The LORD listens when I pray to him.
 
David determined at an early age that he was going to be faithful to YAHWEH, his God,
and by hiding God’s word in his heart, he strove to stay that way.
So David was advising all his countrymen who were dishonoring him as their king that they were putting themselves in a precarious place with the One who made him their king!
(Good advice for our country today, too!)
 
:4 Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.
:5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.
 
Sometimes, in life, the people who should support us, sin against us.
What was David’s advice?
The phrase translated as ‘stand in awe’ in the KJV is one Hebrew word. H7264 רָגַז raw-gaz’.
A primitive root, it means to quiver (with any violent emotion, especially anger or fear):
– be afraid, stand in awe, disquiet, fall out, fret, move, provoke, quake, rage, shake, tremble, trouble, be wroth.
So what David was really saying is, it’s understandable, even okay, to acknowledge he was angry, just don’t sin in anger.
Do what he did.
Tell GOD how you feel, then
just
be
still.
 
Continue doing what’s pleasing to YAHWEH, for He can be trusted to work it all out for your good!
 
:6 There be many that say, Who will shew us any good?
LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.
 
The key to verse six is the word ‘shew’. The Hebrew root is רָאָה (raw-aw’).
A primitive root which can mean to see, it also means approve, behold, consider, discern, take heed, look (on, one another, one on another, one upon another, out, up, upon), mark, meet, perceive, regard, (have) respect, cause to see (one another), shew (self), X sight of others, (e-) spy, stare, think, visions.
With the full definition in mind, we could translate it this way:
There are many that say, “who can discern, look on us, have respect and see good”?
YAHWEH, lift up the light of how You look upon us.
If we look on this verse this way, then verse 7 makes perfect sense!
When the disciple of Christ realizes that the Father sees us through the veil of His Son,
He sees His righteousness and floods our relationship with Him in joy!
We again have shalom, peace with our Father GOD!
 
:7 Thou hast put gladness in my heart,
more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased.
:8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep:
for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.
 
Abba Father, may we trust Your hand is working all things out for our good.
Thank You for shining your light, Your word, showing us how to best live as Your sons and daughters. Amein.
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Psalm 3 blows my mind.
Sunday 1-28-18  
Consider what has taken place in David’s life already.

 

Psalm 3:1  A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son. LORD, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me. :2  Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah. 

 

He was counted unworthy by his father to stand with him as the prophet, Samuel, honored the rest of the family.

 

1Sa 16:1  TLV Now Adonai said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go. I am sending you to Jesse the Beth-lehemite, for I have selected for Myself a king among his sons.” 

 

Sa 16:4  So Samuel did what Adonai said and went to Beth-lehem. The elders of the town came out to meet him trembling, and asked, “Do you come in shalom?” :5  “In shalom,” he said. “I have come to sacrifice to Adonai. Consecrate yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” He also consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. 1Sa 16:6  Upon their arrival, he saw Eliab and thought, “Surely, Adonai’s anointed one is before Him.” :7  But Adonai said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or his stature, because I have already refused him. For He does not see a man as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but Adonai looks into the heart.” 

 

1Sa 16:10 TS2009 And Yishai (Jesse) made seven of his sons pass before Shemu’ěl (Samuel). And Shemu’ěl said to Yishai, “יהוה has not chosen these.”  :11  And Shemu’ěl said to Yishai, “Are these all the young men?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, and see, he is tending the sheep.” And Shemu’ěl said to Yishai, “Send and bring him, for we do not turn round till he comes here.” 

:12  And he sent and brought him in. And he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and handsome. And יהוה (YAHWEH) said, “Arise, anoint him, for this is the one!” :13  And Shemu’ěl took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of יהוה came upon David from that day and onwards . .  .

Despised by his family as just a young upstart, not worthy of being honored with them, GOD anointed him as their future king, 

 

He bore the ridicule of his very own brothers, yet David fought the very enemy they feared, and won the victory for GOD, and for them.

 

1Sa 17:20   David got up early the next morning, left someone else in charge of the sheep, took the food, and went as Jesse had told him to. He arrived at the camp just as the Israelites were going out to their battle line, shouting the war cry. :21   The Philistine and the Israelite armies took positions for battle, facing each other.

:22   David left the food with the officer in charge of the supplies, ran to the battle line, went to his brothers, and asked how they were getting along.:23   As he was talking with them, Goliath came forward and challenged the Israelites as he had done before. And David heard him.

:24   When the Israelites saw Goliath, they ran away in terror.

:25   “Look at him!” they said to each other. “Listen to his challenge! King Saul has promised to give a big reward to the man who kills him; the king will also give him his daughter to marry and will not require his father’s family to pay taxes.” :26   David asked the men who were near him, “What will the man get who kills this Philistine and frees Israel from this disgrace? After all, who is this heathen Philistine to defy the army of the living God?” :27   They told him what would be done for the man who killed Goliath.

:28   Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard David talking to the men. He became angry with David and said, “What are you doing here? Who is taking care of those sheep of yours out there in the wilderness? You smart aleck, you! You just came to watch the fighting!”:29   “Now what have I done?” David asked. “Can’t I even ask a question?”

 

As king, he has proved himself as fair, just. and a man after God’s own heart, but now has to flee for his life from a usurper of his throne.  2Sa 15:2  He would get up early and go and stand by the road at the city gate. Whenever someone came there with a dispute that he wanted the king to settle, Absalom would call him over and ask him where he was from. And after the man had told him what tribe he was from,

2Sa 15:3  Absalom would say, “Look, the law is on your side, but there is no representative of the king to hear your case.”

2Sa 15:4  And he would add, “How I wish I were a judge! Then anyone who had a dispute or a claim could come to me, and I would give him justice.”

2Sa 15:5  When the man would approach Absalom to bow down before him, Absalom would reach out, take hold of him, and kiss him.

:6  Absalom did this with every Israelite who came to the king for judgment, and so he won their loyalty. :7  After four years Absalom said to King David, “Sir, let me go to Hebron and keep a promise I made to the LORD. :8  While I was living in Geshur in Syria, I promised the LORD that if he would take me back to Jerusalem, I would worship him in Hebron.”

:9  “Go in peace,” the king said. So Absalom went to Hebron. :10  But he sent messengers to all the tribes of Israel to say, “When you hear the sound of trumpets, shout, ‘Absalom has become king at Hebron!”

:11  There were two hundred men who at Absalom’s invitation had gone from Jerusalem with him; they knew nothing of the plot and went in all good faith. :12  And while he was offering sacrifices, Absalom also sent to the town of Gilo for Ahithophel, who was one of King David’s advisers. The plot against the king gained strength, and Absalom’s followers grew in number.

David Flees Jerusalem

2Sa 15:13  A messenger reported to David, “The Israelites are pledging their loyalty to Absalom.” :14  So David said to all his officials who were with him in Jerusalem, “We must get away at once if we want to escape from Absalom! Hurry! Or else he will soon be here and defeat us and kill everyone in the city!” :15  “Yes, Your Majesty,” they answered. “We are ready to do whatever you say.”

:16  So the king left, accompanied by all his family and officials, except for ten concubines, whom he left behind to take care of the palace.

Why did he flee instead of fighting?  After all, this enemy who wanted his throne was no Goliath. O, but this cut to the very heart of King David. The one who led the rebellion against his kingship was his own son, Absalom!

 

Talk about personal heartbreak!

 

2Sa 15:24  Then behold, Zadok also came and all the Levites with him, carrying the ark of the covenant of God. They set down the ark of God, then Abiathar came up, until all the people had passed by, out of the city. :25  But the king said to Zadok, “Return the ark of God to the city. If I find favor in Adonai’s eyes, He will bring me back, and let me see it and His dwelling.:26  But if He says thus, ‘I have no delight in you,’ here I am, let Him do to me as seems good in His eyes.” 

 

2Sa 15:29  Therefore Zadok and Abiathar carried the ark of God back to Jerusalem, and they remained there. :30  Then David continued to go up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, weeping as he ascended. He had his head covered and was walking barefoot. So all the people with him each covered his head as they went up, weeping as they ascended

 

2 Sa 16:15  Meanwhile Absalom and all the people of the men of Israel arrived in Jerusalem. Ahithophel was with him. :16  Now when David’s friend Hushai the Archite came to Absalom, Hushai said to Absalom, “Long live the king! Long live the king!” :17  But Absalom said to Hushai, “Is this your loyalty to your friend? Why did you not go with your friend?” 

 

How did David handle this? By reordering his friend back to Jerusalem, Hushai was the one who gave Absalom the council that brought about the end of his rebellion.  2 Samuel 18 :5 tells us David requested that in the battle which ensued that his men not harm his son Absalom, as a personal favor to him. He did not want, in any way, to be held responsible for the blood of his own son, even though his own son wanted him dead.  The Bible tells us what happened.

 

 

2Sa 18:9  Suddenly Absalom met some of David’s men. Absalom was riding a mule, and as it went under a large oak tree, Absalom’s head got caught in the branches. The mule ran on and Absalom was left hanging in midair. :10  One of David’s men saw him and reported to Joab, “Sir, I saw Absalom hanging in an oak tree!” :11  Joab answered, “If you saw him, why didn’t you kill him on the spot? I myself would have given you ten pieces of silver and a belt.”

 

As commander of the army of Israel, Joab ordered the death of the usurper to David’s throne.  The threat was over, but at great cost to the people who had supported Absalom.

2Sa 18:7  The Israelites were defeated by David’s men; it was a terrible defeat, with twenty thousand men killed that day.

 

Through it all, David clung to GOD.  He trusted in the judgement of the Almighty and thus wrote Psalm 3

 

Psalm 3:3  But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. :4  I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah. 

 

GOD granted him peace that passes all understanding.

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

 

David knew his GOD was with him. He knew he need not fear anyone coming against him, but just as he would not harm King Saul, he did not harm his own son. He placed the outcome of this battle in the hand of the LORD.

 

Psalm 3:6  I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about. :7  Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly. 

 

David’s faith in his GOD an example for us all.  Absalom was killed as a result of a freak accident, on his way to battle against his father (2 Sam. 18 and 19).  David mourned for his son, yet realized his death was a result of the choices his son made. Even in this, in the end, David gave GOD glory.

 

Psalm 3:8  Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah. 

 

What lessons can we learn from this Psalm?

  1. As a disciple of Christ, many may not support us, even may turn against us, even say GOD is against us. How should we respond? (Matthew 5:44)
  2. Unwavering personal covenant faith in our GOD will keep us strong. (Luke 18:8)
  3. In that covenant, when we ask for help, GOD answers our plea. (1 John 5:15)
  4. We can have peace even in the worst circumstances. Jesus is our peace. (Eph. 2:14)
  5. We do not need to fear our enemies. Perfect love casts out all fear! (1 John 4:18 )
  6. Our victories, whether over habits or enemies, all come from GOD, not our own abilities. (1 Corinthians 15:57)
  7. Blessings are for the people of GOD. (Ephesians 1:3)
 
 
 

                       Gleaning from the Psalms– Chapter 15                                

1-21-2018
A Psalm of David  
 

 LORD, who can live in your Holy Tent? Who can live on your holy mountain? 

  Only those who live pure lives, do what is right, and speak the truth from their hearts. 

  Such people don’t say bad things about others. They don’t do things to hurt their neighbors.
 
They don’t tell shameful things about those close to them. 
 
They hate the actions of those who fail to please God.
They honor those people who respect the LORD.
 
If they make a promise to their neighbor, they do what they promised., even when it costs them. 
 
  If they loan money to someone, they do not charge them interest.
 
And they refuse to testify against an innocent person, even if someone offers them a bribe to do it.
 
Whoever lives like this will always stand strong. 

 

Abba Father, help me follow Your Spirit today! 
Write this word on my heart that I may dwell in Your Presence forever! 
  I pray this in the name of my Messiah, Jesus Christ,
Amein.
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The Reign of the Lord’s Anointed
Sunday 1-14-18
Did you know the Millennial Reign of Christ is described from the viewpoint of Father GOD in Psalms?
Psalm 2:1-12 MKJV
Why do the nations rage, and the peoples meditate on a vain thing? :2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers plot together, against Jehovah and against His anointed, saying, :3 Let us break their bands in two and cast away their cords from us.
 
Verses 1-3 sets the stage for what will come to pass at the end of the Tribulation.
The psalmist was given a prophetic glimpse into the future and what is at stake for the rulers of this earth
as our heavenly Father declares He will set up the 1000 year reign of His Son.
 
:4 He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; Jehovah shall mock at them.
:5 Then He shall speak to them in His anger, and trouble them in His wrath.
:6 Yea, I have set My king on My holy hill, on Zion. :7 I will declare the decree of Jehovah.
He has said to Me, You are My Son; today I have begotten You.
:8 Ask of Me, and I shall give the nations for Your inheritance;
and the uttermost parts of the earth for Your possession.
:9 You shall break them with a rod of iron;
You shall dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.
(See Daniel 7:13-14; Rev. 2:27; Rev.19:15)
 
Father GOD ends this prophetic vision with words of wisdom for the earthly rulers who survive Armageddon
and witness the beginning of the reign of Jesus Christ.
 
:10 And now be wise, O kings; be instructed, O judges of the earth.
:11 Serve Jehovah with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
:12 Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish from the way,
when His wrath is kindled in but a little time.
Blessed are all who put their trust in Him.
 

This psalm ends with a declared blessing. The Literal Translation states it this way.
Oh the blessings of all those who flee to Him for refuge!

The Hebrew word for blessings in verse 12 is  the same word we looked at last week which means ‘how happy!- blessed and happy! From this one Hebrew word, we can conclude that the greatest happiness for a disciple of Christ is found in Him!!!!

Let us choose to follow the Son NOW!
 
 
 
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Here it is 2018!

Let us journey through the book of Psalms, to glean some timeless wisdom as followers of Christ Jesus.    

This Old Testament book holds a wealth of wisdom to apply in our daily walk with the LORD.

 

Psalms 1:1 

Blessed * is the man who has not walked in the counsel of the ungodly,

and has not stood in the way of sinners,

and has not sat in the seat of the scornful.

What a powerful introduction to the way of the WORD! 

Everyone, if we are honest, would love to be called the blessed of the LORD. 

But this verse denotes a condition for ‘the blessing!’  A certain way to walk, to stand, and even where not to sit! 

Wow!  Sounds daunting to a new follower of Christ? But it is simple. 

You see, this word in the Hebrew translated here as ‘blessed’ is the word. אֶשֶׁר. 

The literal meaning of this word, ‘eh-sher’ , means happiness;

in masculine plural form, as interjection, how happy!: – blessed, happy.

When we apply this knowledge to this verse it puts a slightly different slant on this, from a condition to meet if we want to be blessed,

to the understanding that the blessing of happiness is the state of mind for those who choose this lifestyle!  

 

Here is something to think about as we begin this new year.

Many people are blessed, but are they happy?  

Let’s look at this verse based on the GOOD NEWS Bible translation.

Happy are those who reject the advice of evil people,

who do not follow the example of sinners

or join those who have no use for God.

:2 Instead, they find joy in obeying the law (Torah teachings) of the LORD,

and they study it day and night.

:3 They are like trees that grow beside a stream, that bear fruit at the right time,

and whose leaves do not dry up.

They succeed in everything they do. 
 
The rest of the chapter reveals this isn’t true of everyone.
 
Psalms 1:4  The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. 
:5  Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 
:6  For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish. 
 

Those who reject Christ won’t have an excuse on the day of judgment, and they won’t have an eternal place with the people of God.

Our LORD Jesus protects everyone who believes in Him and follows His word,

but the unbelievers follow a road that leads to eternal ruin (Matt. 7:13)

 

Abba Father, at the end of days, may You find us among those who found joy in understanding and obeying Your WORD! 
We need Your instruction, direction, and leading in this new year!  
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for revealing our Father’s heart
and  filling us with the Holy Spirit!
May each one  who seeks Your face be happy and blessed this year! 
 
The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: 
 The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: 
  The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
Numbers 6:24-26
 

______________________________

Sunday, December 31, 2017

A man named Howard Thurman once wrote,

“When the song of the angels is stilled, when the star is the sky is gone,

When the kings and the princes are home, and the shepherds are back with their flocks,

The work of Christmas begins.

To find the lost, to heal the broken, to feed the hungry, to release the prisoner,

Rebuild the nations, to bring peace among people, and make music in the heart.”

Jesus told us in Luke 4:18-20The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. 20  And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down.

Christmas 2017 is past.  The Baton has been passed to you and me! The work of that first Christmas is still before the disciple of Christ, until that final day. 

Mat 25:34  Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: :35  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: :36  Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. :37  Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? :38  When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? :39  Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? :40  And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Father, may we minister Your love in tangible ways, showing our world the Kingdom of GOD is near!

 
++++++++++++++Sunday December 24, 2017++++++++++++++
 
+++++++Sunday December 10, 2017+++++++

Immanuel

 

Isaiah 7:14  So, The Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold!

The virgin will conceive and will bring forth a son; and she shall call His name Immanuel. 
 

Immanuel in Hebrew is עמנו אל   

which means ‘with us (is) God

 

This holiday season,

and every day,

what a difference we, the disciples of Christ could make in our world if we acted like we

truly

believed

this! 

 

He is with me on the job. . . .

He is with me at home . . .

He is with me at school . . .

He is with me at the grocery store . . .

 

When someone comes against one of HIS, they are really coming against the KING of Kings!
 

Isaiah 8:10  Take counsel together, but it will amount to nothing.

Speak a word, but it will not stand. For God is with us! 

 

Let us truly live out the victory of  CHRIST IN ME!

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 
 Sunday December 3, 2017
 
IRONING BOARD VISION
 

                The call left me almost without words. 

Distressed beyond belief, all I could think to do was to busy my hands with a familiar task,

and cast this huge burden which was far beyond my capability, upon GOD.

As the iron heated up, I began to fervently pray for the situation. 

“LORD, I don’t know what to do! I need Your wisdom now more than ever”.

“Father, what is happening here?”, I cried out in my heart as I began to press the wrinkled garment.
 
Suddenly,

in my mind,

I saw a big stack of rolled up garments,

all clean,

perfectly sewn,

with every seam and button intact. 

They were good garments. 
 

Some had been stuffed in a too small closet.

Others had been jammed up in a dresser drawer.

Still others were wadded up a small basket. 

Every garment was badly wrinkled.
 

                In awe, I watched as a large, mighty hand reached down and shook out one of those garments

and placed it on the ironing board.

But there was no man-made iron!

I realized it was the hand of GOD which was pressing out the wrinkles in long, sure strokes.

 

In just a moment, garment after garment was pressed and hung, ready for wear.

Some garments seemed to squirm out from under that mighty hand, which made the pressing take longer.

A few of the garments wrenched themselves so violently under that ironing process

that the hand eventually let them slide off the board, where they stayed in a wrinkled heap on the floor.
 

                Instantly, I knew the vision was my answer to what was happening in our little church.

We were the garments, all washed, all clean, with every garment complete.

All we required was a good pressing!

Those that stayed on the ironing board were quickly pressed, beautiful to behold.
 

                Ironing, in the natural must be performed with the iron’s temperature set for each differing fabric.

Heat and pressure is required to remove the wrinkles. 

Just like some of those garments tried to escape the pressure of that hand,

many of GOD’s chosen misunderstand HIS purpose,

and fight His hand at work in our lives. 

 

Sometimes, His hand can feel so hot,

and the pressure is SOOO intense,

but His word tells us,

“though you go through the fire, you shall not be burned”! 

“Submit yourself therefore under the mighty hand of GOD and He will exalt you in good time”.
 

                What was so disturbing was those garments that had removed themselves from under His hand. 

I did not see any of them get picked back up to be ironed! 

Have we not known some people who are like that? 

“LORD, I know You say to forgive, but, I’m just so mad. Maybe tomorrow, coz right now I just want to be mad!”

 

 I paid for the garment.

I may even have made it,

yet I will never wear it if its environment left it too wrinkled to wear!   

Neither can the LORD ‘wear’ me if I do not put on ‘Christ’ through yielding to His mighty hand on my life.
 
                Father, once we have given our hearts and lives to You,
who are we to tell You how to prepare us for the coming of the Bridegroom? 
Lord, thank You for the vision at the ironing board.
I choose to trust Your mighty hand, for “He who has begun a good work in me shall complete it”! 
 
+++==_______
 
 
Sunday, November 26, 2017
 
ISRAEL’S PSALM OF THANKSGIVING
Psalm 136:1-26  Give thanks to יהוה, for He is good! For His loving-commitment of mercy is everlasting. 
 Give thanks to the Elohim of mighty ones! For His loving-commitment of mercy is everlasting. 
Give thanks to the Master of masters! For His loving-commitment of mercy is everlasting:  
 
To Him who alone does great wonders . . .
To Him who by wisdom made the heavens. . . To Him who spread the earth on the waters, . .
To Him who made great lights, . . . The sun to rule by day, . . . The moon and stars to rule by night . . . 
(FOR CREATION)
To Him who struck Mitsrayim (Egypt) in their first-born, . . . and brought out Isra’ěl from their midst. . .
With a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm, . . .
To Him who split apart the Sea of Reeds, . . . And made Isra’ěl pass through the midst of it . . .  
But shook off Pharaoh and his army in the Sea,
(FOR DELIVERANCE FROM BONDAGE OF MAN)
To Him who led His people through the wilderness, . . .
To Him who struck great sovereigns. . . And killed mighty sovereigns, . . .   Even the sovereign of the Amorites, . . .  
And Oḡ sovereign of Bashan, . . .   And gave their land as an inheritance, . . . An inheritance to Isra’ěl His servant, . . .
Who remembered us in our humiliation, . . .   And rescued us from our adversaries . . .   Who gives food to all flesh, . . .
(FOR DIVINE PURPOSE, PROMISE, PROVISION, PROTECTION, AND PORTION)
 
Give thanks to the Ěl (GOD) of the heavens! For His loving-commitment pf mercy is everlasting. 
 
In this beautiful psalm, we see GOD’S HAND in Israel’s history and rejoice in our LORD’s faithfulness.  
In correlation, let us examine some New Testament word and see just how the hand of GOD has been at work in our lives.
We, too,  have much to be thankful for!
 
The Disciple of CHRIST’s Prayer of Thanksgiving
(Mark 14:23 TS2009)  And taking the cup, giving thanks, He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. Luke 22:19 TS2009) 
And taking bread, giving thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you, do this in remembrance of Me.”
“FATHER, WE GIVE YOU THANKS FOR YOUR PLAN OF REDEMPTION,
FOR CHRIST’S BLOOD WHICH WAS SHED  AS OUR ATONING SACRIFICE. 
LORD JESUS, YOUR BODY WAS BEATEN AND BROKEN THAT WE COULD RECEIVE HEALING.
WE GIVE YOU THANKS FROM GREATFUL HEARTS.
 
(Ephesians 1:16 TS2009) I do not cease giving thanks for you,
FATHER GOD, WE GIVE THANKS FOR NEW BELIEVERS IN YOUR KINGDOM. THANK YOU FOR SENDING YOUR BEAUTIFUL HOLY SPIRIT WHO DRAWS THE ONES WHO HUNGER FOR YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS TO YOU ,
WHO EMPOWERS US TO SPEAK OF YOUR MIGHTY LOVE FOR THE NATIONS OF THIS WORLD. 
 
(Ephesians 5:20 TS2009)  giving thanks always for all to the Father, in the Name of יהושע (JESUS) Messiah,
ABBA FATHER, YOUR WORD SAYS ALL THINGS WORK FOR OUR GOOD AS WE LOVE YOU
AND ARE CALLED ACCORDING TO YOUR PURPOSE.
THEREFORE, WE GIVE YOU THANKS FOR EVERY ASPECT OF OUR LIVES,
KNOWING YOU WILL BRING GOOD OUT OF IT ALL .
 
Colossians 1:12 TS2009)  giving thanks to the Father who has made us fit
to share in the inheritance of the set-apart ones in the light
WE GIVE THANKSFOR BEING RESTORED BACK INTO RELATIONSHIP WITH YOU, HEAVENLY FATHER
AND BEING MADE JOINT HEIR WITH CHRIST.
 
Colossians 3:17 TS2009)  And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the Name of the Master יהושע,
giving thanks to Elohim the Father through Him.
THANK YOU, FATHER GOD, FOR YOU FIND US WORTHY IN CHRIST,
AND HAVE EQUIPPED US FOR YOUR SERVICE
.
(Hebrews 13:15 TS2009)  Through Him then, let us continually offer up a slaughter offering of praise to Elohim,
that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His Name.
+++++++++++ 
PSALMS 17 from David’s Perspective
  ++++++++++
November 19. 2017  `
The   Old Testament Hebrew  entitles this psalm, “In the Shadow of Your Wings”.
If you think like I do, your first thought goes to Psalms 91, right?
But here, in the 17th chapter, he teaches us much about תפלה, prayer.
The western mindset says prayer is seeking GOD, imploring, asking earnestly, pleading,
even begging Him for what we think is best.
But to David, his tephillah (prayer time) was a special time to bond with his heavenly Father,
a time spent in His Divine presence,
a time he spent in supplication,
asking His Father to look upon his heart,
to see who he was, as the Father revealed who HE was to David!

David knew many of his own countrymen did not know him,
did not understand why he did what he did,
did not know his motives,
but he knew His Father knew him inside and out.
Therefore, he prayed,
Psalms 17:2-3 (LIT) 
Let my judgment go out from Your face; Your eyes see uprightly.
:3  You will test my heart;
You will visit in the night;
You will refine me;
You will find nothing;
my thoughts do not pass beyond my mouth. 

David then went on to say when his enemies try to trip him up,
the advice he received from His heavenly Father during those bonding times kept him from being destroyed by his adversaries!

In verse 7, David prayed that others would come to know the lovingkindness of the LORD
as they trust His care when they came under attack.
Then in verse 8, we find his famous prayer, “keep me as the apple of your eye . . .”
I love what the Hebrew reveals about this request,
for it states the apple of His eye will be protected just like a father watches over,
regards,
and protects a beloved daughter!
(For Hebrew students , בת עין).

But David does not end there.
He asks Father GOD to “hide me under the shadow of your wings.”
There are times in every disciple’s life when the battle is not yours, but belongs fully to GOD.
We, too,
like David of old,
can find true rest and shelter
hidden in CHRIST.
++++++++++++++++++++++++
For our Disciple’s Devotional this week, I am sharing in its entirety an article sent out by the author of
THE PASSION TRANSLATION, Brian Simmons.  He has put into words what has been in my heart for years. Be blessed!
November 5, 2017
 
 
It  Only Takes a Spark
It was 500 years ago, October 31st, 1517.
The fires of the Protestant Reformation exploded onto the scene and began to grow throughout the world.
It was an epic re-alignment of Christian theology, as believers began to read the Bible for themselves
and discovering that we don’t come through a priest or a church to come to God—
we come to Him by faith through Jesus Christ.
 
Imagine that, how powerful truth from the Word of God can be!
The Protestant Reformation of the 16th century shook the world!
The religious, political, and cultural upheaval that took place splintered Catholic Europe
through the teachings of reformers like John Calvin and Martin Luther.
 
But many today don’t realize that the spark of the reformation was a Bible translation.
It was the first translation of the Bible into English by John Wycliffe, in 1382.
John Wycliffe was the most famous priest of his day.
His brilliant intellect made him a leading scholar at Oxford and a chaplain to the King of England.
He fearlessly spoke out against
the errors of the popes,
the organizational hierarchy of the Roman Church,
and the corruption of the clergy in his day.
 
He criticized not only the organization of the medieval church but its theology as well and argued for a return to the Scriptures. Passion for the Word of God burned in his heart.
He knew that if the people in England were to know the truth, they would be set free from religious shackles.
Even the Bible itself needed to be liberated, for in the days of John Wycliffe the Scriptures were chained to the pulpit,
read only by the educated clergy.
 
Wycliffe reasoned that they must have the Word of God in their own language.
Under his direction, the Bible was translated into English for the first time,
although the job was not completed by his associates until 1395, eleven years after his death.
This was the era of wonderful inventions, perhaps the most significant of which was the printing press.
This enabled the Wycliffe translation to spread.
Repeatedly condemned and burned by church authorities, copies of Wycliffe’s Bible continued in use for over a century,
until printed Bibles took their place.
This work greatly influenced William Tyndale who made the first printed translation of the New Testament in English.
 
Afterwards, it was the Czech priest by the name of Jan Hus who became the “torch” of the Reformation.
He sparked a war known as “the Hussite war” because of his teaching that only faith in Jesus Christ could set men free!
He took the truths of God’s undiluted Word and shook the world.
Hus was eventually burned at the stake as a heretic
for daring to believe that everyone should read the Bible
and believe all that it contained,
even when it goes against the doctrines of men.
 
About a hundred years after the death of Hus, came the theologian and reformer Martin Luther.
Many view him as the father of the reformation,
when in fact, he simply took the fire lit by Wycliffe, fueled by Hus, until it became a bonfire that is still burning today!
 
How we need a more complete and glorious reformation today in the blood bought church of Jesus Christ.
What began with a Bible translation ended up with a fire that swept over the planet.
May it be that our God, the God of endless glory, will once again rekindle in our hearts the fire of reformation!
Could it be that another “reformation” is taking place in our generation—
moving us closer to the heart of God and the meaning of His words?
 
Our generation needs to come home to the Father,
our loving King,
and find His touch of tender love and wash in the fountain of His mercy.
 
May every bondage be broken from off the bride of Jesus Christ until we look like Him and live like Him and love like Him!
And may the fear that grips many in the nations today be cast out of our hearts by perfect love!
Yes, it only takes a spark to get a fire going.
May your Bible reading
(study) light that fire within, until the world around us is changed.  
For the hope of the gospel,
Brian Simmons
The Passion Translation Project 
 
 
 
 
 
 
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 

A close-up of a key moving towards the key hole.

October 22, 2017
THE KEY OF DAVID
The first mention of the key of David is found in Isaiah Chapter 22.
In this chapter, YAHWEH is speaking to the city of Jerusalem, which, at that time, was joyous, noisy, and full of revelry.
No one had died there in battle for a long time.
THEN GOD OPENED ISAIAH’S EYES TO JERUSALEM’S FUTURE.
He cried, “Look away from me! Let me weep bitterly—don’t try to comfort me about the ruin of the daughter of my people.” 
 
He saw that Persia and Assyria were going to fill the valleys around her with their mighty war machine.
Jerusalem’s walls would be breached.
The inhabitants of the city had no military defense or weaponry.
Isaiah saw them breaking apart houses to fortify the city walls.
He saw them arming themselves with tree branches and sticks.
He saw their efforts to protect a source of water.
But not once did they turn to YAHWEH, seek His face, or think to ask for His help!
Instead of spending the night before the battle in fasting and prayer, they chose to have one final party,
for in the morning they expected to die.
GOD judged the governor of Jerusalem in this prophecy by saying,
Okay, you have built your tomb, but you will not die in it, for you and my people shall be captives and taken to a foreign land.
There you will die. And I will place My authority on another who shall govern Jerusalem as a father . . .
Isaiah 22:22  I will set the key of the house of David upon his shoulder—what he opens, no one can shut; what he shuts, and no one can open.
 
The second mention of the key of David is also a prophecy for a city.
Rev 3:7  “And to the messenger of the assembly in Philadelphia write, ‘He who is set-apart, He who is true, He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens, says this: 
The risen, glorified Messiah introduces Himself to the spiritual leader of the Messianic, Jewish, and Turkish city of Philadelphia
by referencing the prophecy in the scroll of Isaiah!
He told him this.
Rev 3:8 (LITV) I know your works. Behold, I have given a door being opened before you, and no one is able to shut it, for you have a little power and have kept My Word, and have not denied My name.
 
In John 10:1-2 Jesus said, . . . the one not entering through the door into the sheepfold, but going up another way,
that one is a thief and a plunderer. The one entering through the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
 
Then, in verse 9 He said,
I am the door . . .
 
LORD, may we all seek Your face, and enter Your presence daily through Christ!
 
_________________________
Sunday, October 15, 2017
JUDGE NOT
Mama’s favorite saying was, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”
Our LORD knows human nature very well.
We have a tendency to look at another’s life and determine their actions to be either good or bad by our own experiences.
He gave us these divine instructions.
Luke 6:37-42  Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Pardon, and you will be pardoned.  38  Give, and it will be given to you—a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, overflowing, will be given into your lap. For whatever measure you measure out will be measured back to you.” 
Luke 6:39  He also spoke this parable to them: “The blind cannot show the way to the blind, can he? Won’t they both fall into a pit? 
40  A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher. 
41  “Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the beam in your own eye? 
42  How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck in your eye,’
when you yourself do not see the beam in your own eye?
You hypocrite!
First take the beam out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly the speck in your brother’s eye, to take it out.” 
 
When tempted to jump to a conclusion about another person, we can ask ourselves three questions.
1. What does GOD know about this person that I do not?
This will often lead us to a time of prayer and we find ourselves praying for that individual as the Holy Spirit leads.
 
2. Why does this person’s actions bother me so much?
It may just be they are modeling a trait we despise in ourselves!!!!
Again, we take our revelation to the LORD in , ask His forgiveness, and choose to forgive ourselves!
 
3. How do You, LORD of the universe, see this person?
Be open to the Spirit’s leading and you my just find how very dear this one is to GOD.
+++++++++++++++
 
 
 Sunday, October 8, 2017
 
“My Child, thank you for seeking Me,
for waiting in My Presence,
absorbing My anointing
and for listening.
Thank you for being My voice,
My hands,
and for revealing My heart to those around you in this last of days.
So few of My children treasure time alone with Me.
I have so much to give and I long to share My heart with all My children.
If only they knew the priceless gifts still left unopened because My children think their priorities are right,
or have yielded to the pressures and responsibilities of this world.
My ways are so much higher . . .above earthly wisdom.
The burden I lay upon your shoulders is light.
It is easy when I carry the brunt of the load.
 
I seek one thing of you; that you set apart time daily to commune with Me.
‘I speak to the spirit of My people!’
 
Come and partake of My anointing cup,
commune with Me.
Let us sup together and taste and see that time spent alone with Me is a priceless treasure.
My child. My son, my daughter!
What could be more precious, more desired, more valuable than our communion together, you and Me?”
 
From the heart of your Father

______________________________

Sunday October 1, 2017

 

1Samuel 7:12  Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen,

and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us. 

I heard a devotional this week which resonated in my spirit that was written about this verse. The author was saying, Samuel built an altar unto YAHWEH and called it Ebenezer because the LORD helped Israel defeat their enemies.
 
In Hebrew, this is the word phrase, eh’-ben haw-e’-zer, with the article inserted is literally translated as ‘stone of the help’.
אֶבֶן eh’-ben meaning, to build; a stone: – + carbuncle, + mason, + plummet, chalk-, hail-, bead-, sling- stone.
 
E’zer comes from עָזַר aw-zar’ which is a primitive root meaning to surround, that is, protect or aid: – help, succour.
 
In this verse, the prophet, Samuel, placed his memorial altar between two places; where they had been, and where they were going. This memorial stone was to remind all that YAHWEH had helped them in their past. Seeing that stone, it was also showing them that whatever came their way, it would not be impossible, for GOD was with them.
 
We, as disciples of Christ, can also learn to make little remembrance altars of what our LORD has brought us through. We must not live in the past, but we need to celebrate what GOD has done! Without Him, we can do nothing, but I have strength to do all, through Messiah who empowers me. Phil. 4:13  (TS2009) Footnote: a Joh_15:5, 2Co_3:5-6, 2Co_12:9, Eph_3:20, Php_2:13, Heb_13:20-21, 1Jn_4:4. 
 
What He took them to, He took them through!
 
Human nature, being what it is, we all need these little reminders now and then.
How wonderful it would be, if we, like Samuel, would surround ourselves with reminder stones of what GOD has done for us and how He has brought us out in the past.
Know that Christ is our plumb line and, if we are built upon the Rock,
we are surrounded, protected and aided by HIM for whatever comes our way in life!
 
So, remember, even if you have to write yourself notes and place them everywhere,
WHAT HE TAKES ME TO, HE WILL TAKE ME THROUGH!

 

 ___________________________________________
______________________
Sunday, September 23, 2017 
_______________________
 
THE KINGDOM of GOD
 
 
In the book of Matthew, Christ made five important statements about the kingdom of GOD.
The first recorded statement was Christ’s cure for anxiety about what we will eat, or drink or wear.
 
Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;
and all these things shall be added unto you.  Matthew 6:33 (KJV)

Next, we find Christ told the Jews if He cast out devils by the Spirit of GOD, . . .
then the kingdom of God is come unto you. (Matthew 12:28 KJV)
The rich young ruler went away full of sorrow because Christ discerned he valued his possessions
more than the kingdom of GOD and He left us with these words.
 
And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle,
than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.  (Matthew 19:24 KJV)

Christ told the parable of two sons,
one obedient,
and the other who said he would obey his father, but did not do so.
Then he asked them the following question.
Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him,
The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you,
That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.  Matthew 21:31 KJV
Again, Christ let these Jewish Pharisees know they were like the disobedient son in His parable,
and let them know that those they considered ‘sinners’ would enter into GOD’s kingdom before they would!

Why did Christ say this to the Jewish nation?
Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you,
and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.  Matthew 21:43 KJV
The answer is found in the Book of Acts!
But when they (the people from Samaria) believed what Philip was saying about God’s kingdom and about the name of Jesus Christ, they were all baptized. Acts 8:12 

It is true, the kingdom of GOD is for anyone who believes  Jesus Christ is the Son of GOD, who died and rose again,
and accepts Him at His word!
 
Abba Father, may we be found faithful and obedient, and believing Your Holy WORD. 
Show us any areas of unbelief in our minds, hearts, and  souls, and give us that “Child-like” spirit which so pleases You.
We believe Your kingdom is found in Christ who lives within us. 
May YPOUR kingdom come even as Your word has declared,
  And I heard a great voice saying in Heaven, Now has come the salvation and power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ, because the accuser of our brothers is thrown down, the one accusing them before our God
day and night.  Revelation 12:10
 
 
 
 
 
Miracle  in Widow’s House
Sunday  September 17, 2017
As we continue to study the life of Elijah,  we look today  at when he was commanded by GOD to prophesy a drought in Israel.
Later he traveled to the northern kingdom of Judah to the home of a widow with a young son.
When he arrived, he asked for water and something to eat.
Did you ever wonder why she told him she was gathering only two sticks?
I always thought it was because the meal was so small, she only needed two sticks for the fire to cook it!
 
  And she said, As Jehovah your God lives, I do not have a cake,
but only a handful of meal in a pitcher and a little oil in a jar.
And behold, I am gathering two sticks, so that I may go in
and dress it (bring forth as sacrifice) for me and my son,
so that we may eat it and die. 
1 Kings 17:12
 
The inhabitants of the northern kingdom had no access to the temple at Jerusalem.
It was the custom for the devout in Judah to take two sticks, tie a cloth between them to form a small hammock,
and place a food offering on it.
The husband and wife would carry their food offering to their altar to Jehovah,
and eat it before Him as a thank offering for His provision.
The widow ‘s son would have to help her carry their last meal to eat before the LORD in worship.
Just as she was about to prepare the small hammock for their final meal offering, Elijah shows up.
 
What the disciple of Christ can learn from this Judaic tradition comes from the final word she spoke, which was the word, ‘die’.
In Hebrew this is the word,
מות
(mooth),
which can mean, to die.
However, it has been taught that   its root word could be the word, natan,
which means ‘to receive so you can give again’.
 
With this root word in mind,
and the Hebrew definition of the word translated as ‘dress it’,
her  actions are  clearly understood!
 
This woman of faith was saying to Elijah,
“We are eating our final meal before your GOD as an offering.
May He show mercy and return the meal again so we can live, for if He does not, we will die.”
 
Her faith had reached its limits.
In a final act of trust, just as she went to look for the two sticks she and her son would use to carry her last bread to the altar,
who should GOD send, but the very miracle she needed in the form of Elijah!
 
Elijah had a covenant relationship with GOD.
When he obeyed and went to her house,
GOD miraculously provided the never ending oil and meal that fed all three of them for the duration of the famine!
 
Have you ever felt like your faith was exhausted and you could go no further?
Most people in her village probably cursed GOD and died,
but she was about to worship GOD  even when her circumstances seemed hopeless, and lived.
 
We may come to the end of everything we can do in the natural,
yet hold on to His promises, and trust HE IS GOOD ALL THE TIME.
Then all will see it was GOD who delivered you, and not your own actions, and give Him all the glory!
 
Psalms 37:3 
Trust in the LORD, and do good;
so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
 
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Consider Elijah
Most Christians remember Elijah as the one who called down fire from heaven, then ran  when Queen Jezebel threatened his life. But here are a few facts we, as disciples of Christ, can take to heart about the man, Elijah.
 
1. When GOD spoke to him after he ran from Jezebel, he replied in reverence.
He had defended GOD’s honor with all his strength and energy.
 
1Ki 19:10  And he said, I have been very zealous for Jehovah the God of Hosts.
 
2. He was utterly loyal to GOD.
How about us? Are we willing to stand and be counted for GOD?
 
1Ki 18:21  And Elijah came to all the people and said,
How long are you limping over two opinions?
If Jehovah is God, follow Him. But if Baal is God, then follow him.
And the people did not answer him a word. 
 
3. He was patiently obedient. Do we always heed the voice of GOD when He speaks to us?
 
1Ki 17:5  So he went and did according to the Word of Jehovah.
For he went and lived by the torrent Cherith, before Jordan. 
 
4. He was confident in GOD’s word.
 
1Ki 18:43  And he said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up and looked and said, Nothing. And he said, Go again seven times. 
 
Seven is the number of completion.
We also, like Elijah, can be completely steadfast, and not shaken in our belief in GOD and His truthfulness.
 
Heavenly Father, we thank you for the example of Elijah in scripture.
Your word tells us that everything that happened in Biblical history is for us to learn from,
so, LORD, may we take this example to heart and believe YOU and Your word.
Holy Spirit, empower us to be faithful and obedient to the will of OUR HEAVENLY FATHER.
In Jesus’ name, Amen!
 
 
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Sunday, September 3, 2017
 
Have you ever been in a place or situation where you had no clue what to do?
Have you ever felt like GOD in heaven was silent?
David, a man after GOD’s own heart, had his moments too.
How long, Adonai?
Will You forget me forever?
How long will You hide Your face from me? 
How long must I have cares in my soul and daily sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me? 
(Psalms 13:2-3 TLV)
 
Yet in just three separate thoughts made in prayer to his GOD, David encouraged himself enough to go
from deepest despair
to singing praises to GOD once again.
 
First he expressed his desperation.
Next, he addressed GOD and reasoned with Him.
 
 
Look at me and answer, Adonai my God. Light up my eyes, or I will sleep in death. :5  Or else my enemy will say: “I have overcome him!”
and my foes will rejoice because I am shaken. 
Psalm 13:4
 
Finally, David ended his psalm with his personal statement of faith.
 
But I trust in Your loving kindness, my heart rejoices in Your salvation.
I will sing to Adonai,
because He has been good to me. 
Psalm 13:6 
 
We have no biblical account of why David wrote this particular chorus.
But we, as disciples of Christ, can learn from his example, and put his biblical principle to work for our own faith walk.
 
We all go through trials in this life,
but as long as we are honest with GOD,
express our disappointments, heartbreaks and personal pain in His faithful Presence,
and trust that HE knows His plans for us are GOOD plans,
we, too can rehearse how good GOD has been to us in the past, and come through the storm praising His Holy Name!
 
Another song comes to mind.
Blessed be Your name
when the sun’s shining down on me,
when the world’s ‘all as it should be’
Blessed be Your name.
 
Blessed be Your name
on the road marked with suffering,
though there’s pain in the offering,
Blessed be Your name.
Every blessing You pour out I’ll turn back to praise.
When the darkness closes in, Lord, still I will say
Blessed be the name of the Lord Blessed be Your name . . .
You give and take away
You give and take away.
My heart will choose to say,
Lord, blessed be Your name.
Excerpt from, Blessed be Your Name written by BETH REDMAN, MATT REDMAN
 
 
With so many suffering devastating loss at this time, our love and prayers are with you.
 
 
 
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As we continue on our journey to intimacy with God,
we become more aware of Scriptures where God speaks with man.
 
In 1 Kings 18: 1, we read the phrase “the word of the Lord came to Elijah.”
In 1 Kings 19, we read not only that “the word of the Lord came to Elijah” (verse 9)
but also that God spoke to Elijah in “a still small voice” (verse 12).
The first two verses are rendered as “the word of the Lord came to….”
In both of these verses, the Hebrew term translated “word” is debar (דבר).
Hebrew scholars say that debar refers to words spoken from the heart.
So, the “word” that was being spoken to Elijah came from the heart of GOD.
 
The first two verses read the same in our English version—“ the word of the Lord came to…”
— but they are quite different in the Hebrew.
In 1 Kings 18: 1, the word translated as “came” is hayah (היה), and in 1 Kings 19: 9, the word “came” is not even in the original text. Although hayah (היה) can be translated as “came,” in its root meant “to be,” “to become,” or “to exist.”
This is important, because God was telling Elijah that he must present himself to King Ahab, who had a price on the prophet’s head. Yet Elijah went immediately to the palace, even though logic said he was headed for certain death!
 
In most of our daily decisions, seeking God’s guidance through an inner feeling works just fine.
But suppose you were witness to a robbery and someone starts shooting, and GOD said to you, “Walk in front of the bullets”?
It would take more than just an inner feeling for us to obey those words!
 
That is why we need to use a different word for hayah (היה) than “came.”
Using one of the secondary meanings for this word—“ to exist”— would render this verse as,
“Elijah became a part of the word of the Lord.”
The word of the Lord was such a truth to Elijah that he could do nothing else but go to Ahab.
 
Now look at 1 Kings 19: 9, where we read the same words, “The word of the Lord came to…,”
but the word hayah   (היה) is not in the original Hebrew text.
The literal rendering of this verse is “The word of the Lord for him.”
God spoke differently each time. In the first instance, the word was very clear— so clear that Elijah became a “part” of it.
In the second case, the word was a personal instruction just for Elijah.
 
Finally, we read in 1 Kings 19 that God spoke to Elijah in a “still small voice” (v. 12);
and right after that, He spoke to him in a “voice” (v. 13).
 
Just like you and I, God has levels of communication that depend upon the circumstances.
 
Sometimes, His word must be hayah (היה), becoming such a “part” of us, that His will is perfectly clear in those instances
even when the consequences could be extremely bad.
Other times, when He wants to share something intimate with us, He may speak in a still, small voice.
 
 
For example, suppose a husband is driving his wife to the store,
and the wife sees a child dart out into the road in front of her, so she yells, “Look out!”
He reacts in time, avoiding a probable fatality.
But later that evening, when they are alone, the wife may playfully embrace her husband, and whisper in his ear, “Look out….”
 
The first “Look out” is like devar hayah (היה רבד), and the second is like that still, small voice.
 
 
Sometimes, God does not shout in a whirlwind, earthquake or a fire.
Sometimes, His heart speaks to us in a gentle, intimate way. 
 
May we be ready to hear, no matter how He speaks!
 
 
 
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Sunday, August 20, 2017
 
In our Discipleship Devotional today,
consider Philip, one of the original twelve disciples of Christ.
He was sought and found by Yeshua (Jesus) as Christ began His ministry.
Right away, Philip shows he is a soul winner, for he searches out Nathaniel and tells him he has met the Messiah.
“Come and see”, he told his friend ( John 1:43).
Philip was commissioned by Christ (along with the other disciples) to cast out evil spirits and heal every disease
and weakness of body, which he did with great success.
After Stephen’s death, the original disciples were scattered throughout the land due to persecution and Philip went to Samaria.
And going down to a city of Samaria, Philip proclaimed Christ to them.  :6  And with one passion the crowds heeded that being said by Philip when they heard and saw the many miraculous signs which he did. :7  For many of the ones having unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, they came out. And many who had been paralyzed and lame were healed. 
Acts 8:5  (LITV)
 
It was also Philip who was directed by an angel to go down a certain deserted road,
where he encountered a devout man from Ethiopia  who was pondering a passage of Scripture.
Always ready to preach Christ, Philip baptized a new believer that day,
and was immediately caught up in the Spirit and found elsewhere, where he continued to fulfil the great commission
(Acts 8:26-40).
 
The last glimpse of Philip in the New Testament is in Paul’s journey to Jerusalem.
It was to his house that Paul and his companions went for shelter.
Philip had four daughters, who possessed the gift of prophetic utterance,
and who apparently gave themselves to the work of teaching (Acts_21:8-9).
 
So we see this disciple of Christ not only reached others for the LORD, but he also deeply impacted his family with his faith.
 
“Abba Father, as we look at the life of Philip, may we also serve Your kingdom with the same zeal.
May we win souls for You,
follow Your Spirit’s leading, 
cast out unclean spirits and heal the sick.
May we also impart our love for You to our families as well.
In the name of Your Son, Yeshua, we pray.
Amen”.
 
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Song of Songs 1:4 
Draw me, we will run after You.
The King has brought me into his chambers;
we will be glad and rejoice in You, we will remember Your love more than wine;
the upright love You. 
 
It is the disciple’s goal to love Jesus, and our Father with a deeper affection then they dare to give to any other being.
In devotions this week, consider those first disciples Jesus called to follow Him.
The first disciples of Christ would sooner have lost father and mother then part with their Master.
They held all earthly comforts with a loose hand, but they carried His words fast locked in their hearts.
They voluntarily denied themselves for His sake, and, after the baptism of the Holy Spirit, they could not be driven to deny Him.
How do we measure up today?
“It is scant love which the fire of persecution can dry up. the true disciple’s love is a deeper stream than this.
Neither crowns of honor, nor frowns of anger, have untied this holy knot.
This is no every-day attachment which the world’s power may dissolve.
Neither man nor devil has a key which opens this lock.
It is written, and nothing can blot out the sentence, “The upright love You.”
 
The intensity of the love of the upright, however, is not judged by what it accomplishes,
as by what the upright long for.
It is our daily lament that we cannot love enough.
Our affection is but a drop in a bucket compared with his endless agape love for us.
 
Are we counted among the upright?
In the Hebrew, this word is mey-shar’ which means evenness, uprightness, straightness and equity.
 
The best analogy is that of construction.
If a building’s foundation is properly even,
the studs which frame the building itself must be equally straight on all four sides for the walls to be true.
There is a bubble on my husband’s level which will be in the exact center if what he is building is perfectly upright.
Christ Jesus is the cornerstone of our foundation.
When we are rooted and grounded in His love, what the Spirit builds in you and I will be level and upright, just and honorable!
 
2Timothy 2:19  (TS2009)
However, the solid foundation of Elohim stands firm, having this seal,
“יהוה (YAHWEH) knows those who are His,”
 
(see Numbers 16:5)
and, let everyone who names the Name of Messiah turn away from unrighteousness. 
 
 
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FIRE FROM HEAVEN
Sunday, August 6, 2017
 
 
At the dedication of Solomon’s temple, GOD revealed His great pleasure by sending fire from heaven.
Can you imagine what it must have been like?
 
2Ch 7:1-3 (WEB) Now when Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven
and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices;
and Yahweh’s glory filled the house. 
:2  The priests could not enter into Yahweh’s house, because Yahweh’s glory filled Yahweh’s house. 
:3  All the children of Israel looked on, when the fire came down, and Yahweh’s glory was on the house. They bowed themselves with their faces to the ground on the pavement,
worshiped, and gave thanks to Yahweh, saying,
“For He is good; for His loving kindness endures forever.” 
 
As a disciple of Christ, we also have the opportunity to experience fire from heaven, in the form of the Holy Spirit!
But what amazes me most is that the temple the Spirit fills with the glory of GOD is you and I!
 
Acts 2:1-4  (LITV) And in the fulfilling of the day of Pentecost,
they were all with one mind in the same place. 
:2  And suddenly a sound came out of the heaven, as being borne along by a violent wind!
And it filled all the house where they were sitting. 
:3  And tongues as of fire appeared to them, being distributed, and it sat on each one of them. 
:4  And they were all filled of the Holy Spirit, and began to speak in other languages,
as the Spirit gave ability to them to speak. 
 
and again . . . Acts 4:31  And they having prayed, the place in which they were gathered was shaken,
and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the Word of God with boldness. 
and again, even when facing persecution . . . Acts 13:52  And the disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit. 
 
Abba Father, we long for Your fresh fire to fall on us again, and again!
With one accord, we seek Your face and ask for a refilling of Your Holy Spirit!
 
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Sunday, July 30, 2017
YAHWEH ROI (The LORD is my shepherd): I shall lack nothing. 
 
In David’s Israel, the pastures were not enclosed planted fields,
but it was a challenge to find good pasture in that dry, rocky hill country.
Much of the year, the flocks were on the move, often through dangerous terrain, where thieves and predators might strike.
The lives of the sheep depended upon the watchful care of their shepherd.
 
Most of us are familiar with the 23rd Psalm and can quote it by heart.
The Shepherd depicted in this Psalm loves His often fearful, (even foolish at times), sheep, and is totally committed to their care.
To embrace this truth about our GOD, we must also face the truth about ourselves.
We ARE the sheep of His pasture according to Psalms 100:3. 
 
I can imagine David as he tended his father’s flock, sitting in a time of ease
with a scroll in his hand,
being instructed by it,
and how he was inspired to pen this most famous, comforting passage of scripture
as he read this promise of YAHWEH ROHI.
 
” I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will cause them to lie down,” says the Lord Yahweh. 
:16  “I will seek that which was lost, and will bring back that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick  . . .”
Ezekiel 34:15-16 (WEB)
 
He fulfilled this promise by sending His Son who laid down His life for us, His sheep. (John 10:14-16).
 
As we pray in the Name of YAHWEH ROI ( My LORD GOD, my Shepherd),
we can rejoice that He is never surprised by our weaknesses,
and that He is the One who has promised to fill our lack with Himself!
 
YAHWEH ROI (My LORD GOD, my Shepherd),
thank you for patiently leading me in spite of my stubborn will,
and for keeping me safe even when I made wrong choices in life.
You protect me.
You keep me from straying.
When I am afraid, I rest in Your grace to follow Your lead and trust in Your care.
 
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THE IMPORTANCE OF ONE LOST SOUL TO THE MASTER
Sunday July 23, 2017
 
Have you ever considered how important your neighbor or co-worker is to Almighty GOD?
 
We know we are to love our neighbor as we love our own selves (Gal. 5:14).
Sometimes, in the business of daily life, as a disciple of Christ, we need a gentle reminder of just how important
that one person is to our heavenly Father.
 
Just before Yeshua (Jesus) taught this fact three different
in the parables of the lost sheep, lost coin, and prodigal son, he said this.
Luke 14:34  Salt is good, but if the salt has become tasteless, with what shall it be seasoned?
 
We must not forget we have a commission to reach others with the Good News, so how salty have we been this week?
Have we added His flavor to those with whom we came into contact?
Lets be diligent to seek out those who need His love and show them He loves them by letting CHRIST love through us!
Yeshua (Jesus) told this parable to them, touching the hearts of
animal lovers,
the prudent investors,
and those who value family ties:
 
Luke 15:4  “Which man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and loses one of them, will not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until he finds it? 
 
Luke 15:8  “Or which woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin,
does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search thoroughly until she finds it? 
 
Luke 15:23  Bring the fattened calf and kill it! Let’s celebrate with a feast! 
:24  For this son of mine was dead and has come back to life—he was lost and is found!’
 
Each of these parables show forth
the faith,
effort
and diligence
it took to find what was lost.
 
Can we, as disciples of the Master, apply that same faith, effort and diligence to the souls He came seeking to save?
 
“Father GOD, thank you for the example Your Son set for us,
and for Your word which teaches and shapes us more into Your character.
My request this week is that Your Spirit season us with grace to love others as You love them.
In the mighty name of Yeshua, we pray, Amen!”
 
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The Holy Spirit dropped this into my spirit while I was praying about this week’s devotional.
Sunday, July 16, 2017
 
 
Imagine if you will
that while you are busy with your daily tasks, your child calls out from the kitchen,
“How do I cook hamburger”? You cannot stop what you are doing so you ask him what he is wanting to make.
 When he wants to make tacos, you tell him to just put it in a skillet and cook it until it browns.
 
Not thinking anything of it, you continue working.
Suddenly, you smell something odd.
Dropping what you’re doing you discover your budding chef has put a tube of frozen ground beef into the skillet
and turned on the stove,
but the hamburger is still in its wrapping from the store!
You have a great laugh as you pull out the melting plastic wrapped ground beef roll.
 
Taking some time, you walk him through the entire proper cooking process,
by example,
 step by  step.
 
 
Using this as an illustration in discipleship,
what is hamburger but cuts of beef ground up to make it easier to digest.
The Bible translated into our language is like that ground beef,
in that it makes the word understandable to us,
therefore we can benefit from partaking of it.
But just like the beginning ‘chef’ did not know to unwrap the hamburger before cooking it for consumption,
the disciple of Christ often unknowingly ‘eats’ or takes as gospel truth some manmade doctrine,
before ‘unwrapping’ the word in study!
 
For instance,
if NEW disciple had no Biblical background
and was unfamiliar with John Chapter 1 where we are told
‘In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God,
and,
later in the same chapter, we are told,
And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us,
that new believer might assume Jesus was talking about cannibalism when He told His followers in John 6:53 
. . .Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, you do not have life in yourselves. 
 
Studying to show oneself approved unto GOD
means to ‘remove the wrapper of your biblical translation,
and discover for yourself what you are eating by going to the original language using a good Bible Concordance or dictionary.
By studying this way, the disciple of Christ learns what that scripture meant back when it was written.
We can now apply the original concept to our own lives.
 
So, lets take off the wrapper and EA T THE WORD!
 
How sweet is Your word to my taste—
yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth! 
From Your precepts I get discernment,
therefore I hate every false way. 
  Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. 
 
Psalms 119:103-105
Tree of Life Version
 
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Have you ever pondered how Yeshua loved us?
 
Sunday, July 9, 2017
 

Love one another as I have loved you . . .

His love is unending.

 
Now it was just before the feast of Passover.
Yeshua knew that His hour had come to depart from this world to the Father.
Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them until the end.
John 13:1  (TLV)
 
 
He loves us with the same everlasting love as His Father bestowed upon Him.
 
  “Just as the Father has loved Me, I also have loved you.
Abide in My love (see Jeremiah 31:3)!
John 15:9  (TLV)
 
 
His love is sacrificial.
 
and it is no longer I who live, but Messiah lives in me.
And the life I now live in the body, I live by trusting in Ben-Elohim—who loved me and gave Himself up for me. 
Galatians 2:20 (TLV)
 
His love is inseparable.
Romans 8:35-39 (TLV)  Who shall separate us from the love of Messiah?
Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
:36  As it is written, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.”
:37  But in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 
:38  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities,
nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 
:39  nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing
will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Messiah Yeshua our Lord. 
 
Abba Father , thank You for sending Your Son to model a love for me that is infinitely
unending,
everlasting,
sacrificial,
and inseparable.
Forgive me for loving so far below Your standard of love for others.
Please purify my heart so that I can love  more like You.
 
I want to go higher and higher in you, my Jesus. My soul is not, not satisfied, not satisfied to stay here below.
Help me to love others, yes, to love them as You  have loved me, in heart purity!
 
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CHOICES IN ADVERSITY
Sunday, July 2,2017
Have you ever had times in life when one bad thing after another happened?
Your boss cuts your hours.
A friend spews critical words at you.
Your child’s teacher schedules a meeting over behavior issues.
It becomes so easy to develop that ‘victim’ mentality.
When we begin to feel sorry for ourselves, what we are really thinking is, “I don’t deserve this!”
This frame of mind can steal our joy faster than you can say, “poor me”!
 
Remember when our Savior told his disciples that he would have to suffer and die,
and Peter began to rebuke him, saying, this should never happen to Jesus?
What if our LORD’s response was like ours at times.
What if Jesus had said, “You’re right, Peter. I don’t deserve to die. After all, I’m a good person. As a matter of fact,
I’ve lived a perfect life. I deserve better than this!”
 
I know I would have been tempted to react more like that.
But not our Master.
He never identified Himself as a victim or was seen feeling sorry for Himself.
Instead, He identified the source of this kind of thinking, and stayed true to His purpose.
 
When we start wallowing in self pity, we still have a choice.
We can choose to think like a victim. or take responsibility for our reaction, confess it to the Father,
and follow the example of the Victorious One.
 
What about you? Have you been thinking like a victim?
 
 
I have spoken these things to you so that you might have peace in Me.
In the world you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world. 
John 16:33
 
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IDENTITY THEFT
Sunday, June 25, 2017
 
Have you ever felt inadequate or unable to love like Christ loves?
You have been a victim of identity theft!
Our identity in Christ is what He says about us, not what we, or others believe about us!
Here are a few truths we all need to be reminded of from time to time.
Look these scriptures up in your Bible or better yet, memorize them!!!!
 
As disciples of Christ we are:
CHOSEN BY GOD -Ephesians 1:4
ADOPTED BY GOD-Ephesians 1:5
FORGIVEN BY GOD OF ALL MY SINS- 1 John 3:1
SEALED BY GOD’S HOLY SPIRIT – Eph. 1:13
SEEN BY GOD AS HOLY, BLAMELESS, AND ABOVE REPROACH – Col. 1:21.22
CALLED BY GOD TO ACCOMPLISH HIS PURPOSE – Rom. 8:28,30
HOLD FULL CITIZENSHIP WITH ALL GOD’S PEOPLE – Eph. 2;19
JUSTIFIED- DECLARED RIGHT IN GOD’S SIGHT – Rom. 5:1
SANCTIFIED-SET APART BY GOD – 1 Cor. 6:11
REDEEMED BY CHRIST’S BLOOD – Eph. 1:7
CLEANSED BY CHRIST’S BLOOD OF ALL SINS 1 John 1:7
HEIRS OF GOD AND JOINT HEIRS WITH CHRIST – Rom. 8:16,17
AMBASSADORS FOR CHRIST – 2 Cor. 5:20
BEING CONFORMED TO THE CHARACTER OF CHRIST – Rom. 8:29
COMPLETE IN CHRIST – Colossians 2:10
 
“Abba Father, thank you for giving me worth, and letting me see I have purpose.
Help me to see myself through Your word and be transformed by Your truth”.
 
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Happy Father’s Day to all our fathers!
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Sunday June 18, 2017
 
Commitment, Communication and Constancy,
the Three “C’s” of Discipleship
 
A commitment is a pledge or a promise, and is also is the state of mind of being committed.  
 
Communication, since the tower of Babel, has been an issue for all of mankind.  
The dictionary defines this as the act or process of communicating with another. 
It can also be a specific message.
 
What about constancy? 
This is the quality of being true and faithful, of remaining unchanging in faithfulness, loyalty, steadiness, honesty and integrity. This faithfulness is rooted in the conviction that its object is trustworthy
and it is  usually the mark of a warm and intimate relationship. 
One of the synonyms of constancy is fidelity. 
But fidelity stresses the obligation to faithfulness,
thus putting more emphasis on acts, duties, and requirements to fulfil that obligation. 
Fidelity does not imply the same warm attachment as does faithful constancy. 
Instead it majors in observing the letter of the law, while constancy is a faithfulness which never wavers.
 
What importance do these three “words” hold to those who follow after Christ?
These three words define the only begotten Son of GOD.
 
The commitment of our Savior was unto His death, and even beyond, for He has gone past death,
into resurrection life, to fulfil His complete commitment to His Father’s plan of redemption.
 
Christ’s communication was completely true to the Word of His Father.
Although often misunderstood, He ONLY SPOKE WHAT HE HEARD FROM HIS FATHER.
His message was specific – to reveal who GOD was, what GOD was like, and how to live with GOD!
 
Only Christ Jesus never wavered in constancy.
HE knew His Heavenly Father could not lie.
He knew His word was truth.
Christ based His whole being on those facts.
While hanging on an undeserved cross, Christ proved His unwavering faith in His Father’s plan.
 
 
 
Here is a perfect example from the easy to read version of the Bible
of Christ’s communication,
constancy,
and  commitment
to His Father’s purpose.
 
(
Communication
)
John 17:6-10  “You gave me some people from the world. I have shown them what you are like.
They belonged to you, and you gave them to me.
They have obeyed your teaching. 
Now they know that everything I have came from you.  
I told them the words you gave me, and they accepted them.
They realized the fact that I came from you and believed that you sent me. 
I pray for them now. I am not praying for the people in the world.
But I am praying for these people you gave me, because they are yours.  
All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And my glory is seen in them. 
 
(
Commitment
)
John 17:11-19  “Now I am coming to you.
I will not stay in the world, but these followers of mine are still in the world.
Holy Father, keep them safe by the power of your name—the name you gave me.
Then they will be one, just as you and I are one.  
While I was with them, I kept them safe by the power of your name—the name you gave me.
I protected them. And only one of them was lost—the one who was sure to be lost.
This was to show the truth of what the Scriptures said would happen.  
“I am coming to you now. But I pray these things while I am still in the world.
I say all this so that these followers can have the true happiness that I have. I want them to be completely happy. 
I have given them your teaching.
And the world has hated them, because they don’t belong to the world, just as I don’t belong to the world.  
“I am not asking you to take them out of the world. But I am asking that you keep them safe from  evil. 
They don’t belong to the world, just as I don’t belong to the world.  
Make them ready for your service through your truth. Your teaching is truth. 
I have sent them into the world, just as you sent me into the world.  
I am making myself completely ready to serve you.
I do this for them, so that they also might be fully qualified for your service. 
 
(Constancy)
John 17:20-26  “I pray not only for these followers but also for those who will believe in me because of their teaching.  
Father, I pray that all who believe in me can be one. You are in me and I am in you. I pray that they can also be one in us.
Then the world will believe that you sent me. 
I have given them the glory that you gave me. I gave them this glory so that they can be one, just as you and I are one. 
I will be in them, and you will be in me. So they will be completely one.
Then the world will know that you sent me and that you loved them just as you loved me. 
“Father, I want these people you have given me to be with me in every place I am.
I want them to see my glory—the glory you gave me because you loved me before the world was made.
Father, you are the one who always does what is right.
I showed them what you are like, and I will show them again.
Then they will have the same love that you have for me, and I will live in them.” 
 
Abba Father, You are my
PERFECT HEAVENLY FATHER.
YOU are Holy and perfect in all Your ways.
Today I renew my commitment to a relationship with You,
with my Savior,
and with You,
Holy Spirit.
May the words of my mouth communicate Your message in all I do. 
May my heart be totally grounded in Your trustworthiness,
because my Savior has  revealed who You are,
and  that Your word  is true.”
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Sunday, June 11, 2017
 
 Man with a Withered Hand
Mark 3:1-6  (CEV) The next time that Jesus went into the synagogue,
a man with a crippled hand was there.
:2  The Pharisees wanted to accuse Jesus of doing something wrong,
and they kept watching to see if Jesus would heal him on the Sabbath.
:3  Jesus told the man to stand up where everyone could see him. 
:4  Then he asked, “On the Sabbath should we do good deeds or evil deeds?
Should we save someone’s life or destroy it?” But no one said a word. 
:5  Jesus was angry as he looked around at the people. Yet he felt sorry for them
because they were so stubborn.
Then he told the man, “Stretch out your hand.”
He did, and his bad hand was healed. 
:6  The Pharisees left. And right away they started making plans with Herod’s followers to kill Jesus.
 
What?
There was a man in attendance who had a crippled hand.
In the synagogue!!!
“So”?, you may ask. 
 
IT WAS AGAINST THE LAW FOR HIM TO BE THERE THAT DAY!
Lev 21:18-19  For no man in whom there is a blemish shall draw near,
a blind man, or a lame man, or disfigured, or deformed, or a man that is broken-footed, or broken-handed,  . . .
 
So here is this man who should not have been there in the first place,
yet the Pharisees only wanted to discredit Christ. 
Would He heal on the Sabbath?
 
And what did Jesus do? 
He calls out the man to come stand right up front,
where everyone can see his infirmity.
In the synagogue!
 
But, instead of kicking the man  out of their midst as being unfit for attendance,
for breaking the “law”, 
Jesus asked everyone else there that day one question. 
Ok, guys, does our law forbid doing good on the Sabbath? 
Not one soul could answer His question.
Jesus got angry. 
His own people did not even realize what the “law” was all about,
or what the Father heart of GOD truly desired of them. 
Can you almost hear the scriptures  He could have quoted right then  (Ps 100:5, Hos. 6:6;  Isa. 63:7,9)?  
 
But our Great Redeemer did not act on His anger
for scripture tells us he felt sorry for them,
realizing their hearts were hardened by stubbornness.
(Gulp
)
 
The Pharisees were just waiting to see what the Galilean would do. 
They EXPECTED Him to heal the man on the Sabbath!
 
Maybe they had even invited this man with the withered hand to be there that day,
just so they could accuse Jesus of working on the Sabbath!
 
But they hardly expected the Christ to tell this poor infirm soul to “stretch out your own withered hand”.   
 
It is impossible to stretch , to straighten out something withered and gnarled just because someone tells you to do it! 
Right?
 
Imagine, if you will the most advanced case of rheumatoid arthritis ever seen, 
the joints  deformed, and the fingers  painfully twisted. 
What if the doctor tells the patient  to straighten out your own arthritic hand!  
Why, that is impossible!
Surgery would be required,
and, even then, the results are not guaranteed. 
 
Yet that is exactly what Jesus told this man to do. 
YOU  stretch out your withered hand. 
Not “I am going to heal your hand”.  
 
As he obeyed the word of the LORD, his hand became whole! 
No longer was he blemished, disfigured, and deformed! 
And no longer was he banned from synagogue attendance!
 
What was the result of this amazing miracle? 
The way his hand was healed, no one could say Jesus worked on the Sabbath. 
The man stretched out his hand himself
BECAUSE JESUS TOLD HIM TO
 and it was healed, miraculously! 
 
The religious leaders,
from that day on,
aligned themselves with the world,
and determined to kill the Son of GOD!
 
 
We too, often want our GOD to remove the “unclean” from our midst,
and forget,
Jesus came to seek out, and save those who need Him the most! 
 
Infirm??? Unclean?? Deformed by life?
  YOU ARE WELCOME HERE. 
 
Jesus! We stretch out our withered areas in faith, believing YOU ARE THE GOD THAT HEALS US!
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 
 
 
 
MY JOY
Sunday June 4, 2017
 
In my daily devotional time today, I came across this  very moving story.
 
There were four old Jewish men who traveled in secret to Jerusalem.
Reaching the site of the temple mount, they saw a fox running out of what once was  the Holy of Holies.
Not one stone was left standing as they carefully made their way through the ruins.
Three of the four began to weep and tear their garments, but the fourth man, astonishingly, began to laugh .
The three weeping men were astonished and cried,
” Akiva, why do you laugh? ” to which he answered,  “Why do you cry?”
“We cry because we are seeing the place where it is written,
‘the stranger that approaches it shall die’,
and now foxes make their way through the Holy of Holies. 
And we should not weep?
But you, Akiva, why do you not weep also?”
 
Akiva made a profound statement, for his answer takes us beyond what his eyes beheld into the realm of faith.
 
“That is precisely why I laugh,
for it is also written, ‘ I shall have bear witness for me faithful witnesses . . . Uriah the priest, and Zechariah, son of Berechiah”
(Isaiah 8:2).
 
His friends did not understand the connection between Uriah, Zechariah, and the ruins in which they were standing,
so  Akiva  explained.
“Uriah was of the time of the first temple, yet saw this. 
Zechariah lived in the time of the second, yet spoke of a time of another temple.
But Torah makes Zechariah’s prophecy dependent upon Uriah’s prophecy.
 
With Uriah, it is written, ‘Zion for your sake shall be plowed as a field’ (Micah 3:12)
 
and here it is plowed as a field . The mountain of the house of G-d has become as the forest!
 
With Zechariah it is written, ‘I Am returned unto Zion, and the mountain of the LORD of Hosts the holy mountain. 
Old men and women shall dwell in the streets of Jerusalem and in those streets her children play’.
(Zechariah 8:3-5)
 
The  old rabbi continued, “As long as Uriah’s prophecy  remained unfulfilled,
Zechariah’s prophecy could not take place, but now?
It is certain Zechariah’s prophecy shall also be fulfilled!”
 
His friends finally understood as they cried,
 “Akiva, you have consoled us! Truly you have consoled us!”
 
The temple mount laid around them in ruins,
all Jews in subjection to a heathen nation,
the followers of Christ exiled,
and Roman oppression was unbelievable.
To make things appear even worse, their Master was no longer with them. 
 
But to Akiva (Peter), what lay before him was already transient,
a secondary reality, for he saw what was,
but he also discerned’ what was to come.
 
As he and his friends stood in the midst of chaotic desolation
in faith,
he ‘saw’ a pathway to the fulfillment of G-d’s great promise,
the final exodus,
the ultimate of all times for all people!
In the midst of desecration and exile,
with his friends martyred one by one,
he had reason to laugh,
for he remembered the words of the Master,
 
 
 
“I have spoken these things to you that My joy may abide in you,
and your joy may be full”.
 
(John 15:11)
 
 
Abba Father, may we all, like Peter in this story, find our joy in YOUR WORD and, by faith in Jesus Christ,
Your begotten Son, see the path of Your provision into our destiny and Your perfect will for our lives.
May Your kingdom come!
 Let it begin in me!
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 
Sunday May 29, 2017
FROM FEAR TO FAITH
 
Consider the account of the freed Israelites from 1 Corinthians 10.
Our God does not want us to be ignorant of the fact that they all were immersed into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 
They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink,
for they drank from the spiritual rock that went with them – their Christ, their Messiah. 
But God wasn’t pleased with most of those people, and so they never entered the promised land.
 
Sometimes it is hard for the disciple of Christ to relate to this scripture passage. 
We don’t worship golden calves. 
We don’t eat something called ‘ what is it” every day. 
But their experiences were recorded as examples for us so that we won’t set our hearts on evil as they did.
But just as they did not recognize their needs were being met by their Messiah,
because they could not see Him there, so are we in our faith walk. 
Our Lord Jesus has gone from our sight to prepare a place for us, but He has left us with His word.
 
It is amazing how we can, like the children of Israel, ignore the reality of Christ in our daily lives! 
We are inspired by His word when we hear it preached,
however, applying that word daily is the goal, not just agreeing with it as we hear it .
We must do it to receive its benefit!
 
Do we still get upset at that gnawing feeling that, no matter what we do, it is never enough? 
Do we fret over our children’s futures,
or our bank account balance,
or the glitches in our human character?
We may find ourselves distraught over something which we have no control.
Do we not still wring our hands and murmur to ourselves, “What am I going to do now?”
 
Guess what!  Jesus knew we would face times like this and He prepared for this.
 
Jesus answered and said to him, If a man loves Me, he will keep My Word.
And My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. 
  He who does not love Me does not keep My Words,
and the Word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me. 
I have spoken these things to you, being present with you. 
But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name,
He shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance,
whatever I have said to you.
 
John 14:23-26 
 
If you recognize yourself in today’s devotional, why not pray with me?
 
“Father God, Forgive my lack of faith in the work Jesus did for me.
Thank you for the amazing parting gift of the Holy Spirit
who continually teaches me of You and brings Your word back to my memory. 
Holy Spirit, I ask you to reveal every area in my heart that holds a seed of fear,
and bring to my memory the word  of GOD for each situation.
Today I choose to speak Your word into my circumstance,
“Let not yourself be troubled, or be afraid for my God loves me.
In the name of Your son, Jesus, I move from fear, to faith!
Amen.”
 
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 
WHEN TOO LITTLE BECOMES MORE THAN ENOUGH
Sunday, May 21, 2017
 
“Eema,  Eema,  Avi is going to see Yeshua.  May I go with him?  He said to ask you. Please?????”
 
The busy woman had just finished her baking for the day. 
She had made a batch of those small barley loaves her boy loved so much. 
Her heart rejoiced as she thought of her family hearing Yeshua speak firsthand.
Blessed be the Lord, maybe they would witness a miracle!
 
Grabbing a clean cloth, she filled it with several of the small loaves, and
as a treat, added two of the dried fish her husband and son loved to snack on. 
Tying the bundle together, she handed it to her excited son.
“Take this with you, and go! Go, now.  Don’t make your avi wait for you!”
 
John, the Baptist, was dead.
When Yeshua heard this,
he and his disciples traveled privately by boat to an isolated place on the other side of the Sea of Galilee.
But when the crowds heard He had left, they followed Him on foot,
coming from all the surrounding towns.
 
 As Yeshua came ashore, He saw the large crowd  of over 5,000,
felt compassion for them and began healing their sick. The healing continued on until the evening.
His disciples finally came to Him and said,
“This place is isolated, and the hour is late. 
Send these people away so they can go into the nearby countryside and the villages and buy themselves something to eat.” 
 
But Yeshua had another plan. He told them they were to feed the people.
BUT HOW?
 
“Avi,” asked the lad, “did you hear Yeshua say he wanted to feed all these people, but they have no bread.” 
He thought a moment, then asked his father, “Do you think I could give Yeshua my loaves and fishes?”
 
His father smiled sadly at his son, and said, ” My son, you have a generous heart.
But the little food you have is not enough for all these people.” 
 
He saw the disappointment on his boy’s face, and he added,
“But I will tell one of Yeshua’s disciples that you want to share what little you have.” 
He caught one man’s attention who was near the Healer.
“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are these among so many?” 
 
Yeshua smiled, and beckoned the boy to him.
As he approached, the boy held out the little lunch his eema had packed that morning. 
“I have this, but my Avi says its not enough for everyone.
I thought maybe you . . . may I give it to you?”
 
When he smiled at the boy, the lad suddenly had a profound thought-
“Too little becomes more than enough in the hands of God”.
 
Yeshua nodded.
Taking the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to Heaven,
He blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to His disciples to set before them.
And He divided the two fish to all.
 (Mark 6:41 MKJV)
 
“Eema,  Eema,  guess what!”, cried the boy as he ran into his mother’s arms. 
“I gave Yeshua my lunch, and He fed everybody with it!
He blessed it and broke it, and kept breaking off pieces, and when everybody had eaten,
there were twelve baskets of leftovers!”
 
“Your bread?  Your little barley loaves?
Yeshua fed all those people with our loaves and fishes?” 
His eema fell to her knees and blessed the LORD for using the work of her hands to perform a miracle,
and knew her son would always be remembered for his little gift.
 
Has the LORD asked you to do something you know you cannot do with your own resources?
You may feel that the little you have is insignificant when you look at the needs around you.
Be encouraged! 
When we give the little we have to the LORD, He makes it more than enough.
 
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++=
 
“Honor your father and your mother,
so that your days can be long on the land that
Yah’weh your God (Elohim’)  is giving you”. 
Exodus 20:12 
 
Sunday, May 14, 2017
 
The Hebrew word  for ‘honor’ is
כָּבֵד  (kaw-bade’)
and means to make weighty –  boast, be chargeable, glorify,  bring to honor, promote to honor, be rich.
What does it mean to make something or someone weighty but to deem them important and of great significance. 
How often have you boasted about your mother?
Or let her wisdom direct and instruct you?
Have you told her how much you value her?
 
We not only glorify our mothers by our words,
but in an even greater way,
by our actions,
how we treat others- how we live our lives.
This promise from YAHWEH makes perfect sense if you have a godly mother. 
We, here at Restoration Church have had the godly example of Granny Findley Jones.
We see the honor bestowed upon her by our pastorate and rejoice!
But what if you had a dysfunctional childhood, or not the best relationship with your mother? 
This command from the LORD still stands.
We can honor the fact that she gave us life. 
We can overcome the mistakes of the past and promote her to honor!
In this, we also make weighty this command of the Lord.
It is also a New Testament word.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right
:2  Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), 
:3  so that it may be well with you, . . .
Ephesians 6:1 -3
Right in the Greek is
τιμάω
, pronounced tim-ah’-o
meaning to prize, put valuation upon;  to revere: – honor, value.
Today, let us put the word into practice and
value all our mothers,  thus, honoring our Lord!
 
To all our mothers,
We love and value you more than you know.
We think of you daily,
and thank you for helping us be the person(s) we are today. 
Happy Mother’s Day!
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 
 
 
Walking in the Shadow of Your Wings Through Psalms 17
Sunday , May 7, 2017
 
Psalms 17:1-3 (Prayer of David). O YAHWEH, hear righteousness; listen to my cry;
give ear to my prayer, for it is not in lips of deceit.  2  Let my judgment go out from Your face;
Your eyes see uprightly. 3  You will test my heart; You will visit in the night; You will refine me;
You will find nothing; my thoughts do not pass beyond my mouth. 
 
Pastor has been preaching about guarding our hearts and brought out this very important fact;
that we, like David, must take control over our emotions. 
 
Too many times, we find that we speak before thinking out the consequences of our words.
 
David was determined to follow his God.
By listening and obeying the word of God, he had avoided going down many paths of self destruction. This young shepherd-king grew up in a mountainous, hilly region,
and learned that, to keep from harm, it was important to stay on paths others had already walked.
Look closely at the wording of the Literal Translation of Psalms 17:5. 
 
My steps have kept in Your tracks so that my strides have not slipped. 
 
What a beautiful word picture! 
It is almost as if David followed God so closely that, as YAHWEH stepped,
David placed his foot in the footprint of GOD!
He was sure of his footing, and stepped out in confidence!
 
:6 (WEB) I have called on you, for you will answer me, God. Turn your ear to me.
 
If we accompanied our God that closely, we wouldn’t doubt for a second that,
as we spoke to Him, we would get His answer back!
David knew the gracious love of his Lord,
who saves all who take refuge in Him
from those who rebel against the sovereign will of
YAHWEH ELOHIM.
 
:8 Protect me like the pupil of the eye. Hide me in the shadow of Your wings. 
 
David had enemies all around him when he penned this psalm. 
Sometimes, we too, may find ourselves surrounded by those who have no love for the Lord. 
You may have spent so much time in His holy presence that His fragrance is all around you,
which the ungodly cannot stand. 
They try their best to cause us to react, to fight back with a  prideful spirit,
to speak out of our emotions.
Don’t be surprised if the people of this world hate you. 
But here is a truth- our anger never leads anyone to repent.
 
Jas 1:19  You have knowledge of this, dear brothers.
But let every man be quick in hearing,
slow in words,
slow to get angry; 
:20  For the righteousness of God does not come about by the wrath of man.
 
We cannot change calloused hearts.
We can  cry out to Him who is our refuge.
Underneath His shadow, n His perfect peace,
we can pray for our enemies to come to know Him, too.
 
David knew the ungodly man’s reward is in this life;
that they cannot receive what the disciple of the LORD will receive at the end of days, for he concluded Psalms 17 with . . . I—in righteousness, today, I perceive Thy face; I am satisfied,
in awaking (resurrection from death)
with Thy form! 
 
  Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us,
that we should be called the sons of God:
therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
Beloved, now are we the sons of God,
and it doth not yet appear what we shall be:
but we know that, when he shall appear,
we shall be like him;
for we shall see him as he is. 
1John 3:1-2
 
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++=
 
 
 
An Appointed Time
4-30-17
 
Ecclesiastes 3:1  For every matter there is a season, an appointed time, even a time for every pursuit under the heavens: 
 
This verse reminds me of what someone once said,
that the life of every disciple of Christ mirrors three books of the Bible:
Ecclesiastes, Job, and Song of Solomon.
 
We take up our walk with Christ in Ecclesiastes, ever searching for what is meaningful, striving, seeking for more.
Our lives are spent in this appointed time relentlessly reaching for that next goal or dream.
Each day seems busier than the next, and we are ever in a hurry to accomplish  today’s task
so we can get to the next on our agenda. 
But, like the writer of this book,
we eventually come to understand that all our striving is, at best, vanity.
We also come to agree that our whole duty is to respect God and do His will.
 
The next season in the disciple’s life is found in the book of Job. 
Thank God we have not experienced everything Job did,
but all of us will go through a time of seemingly unrelenting testing and trials. 
In this season, we discover we cannot control events, or outcomes, and rediscover our vulnerability, and  helplessness.
It is here that we come to a deeper understanding of our heavenly Father’s sovereignty in all of this life!
Like Peter, we acknowledge, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, we must also arm ourselves  with the same attitude;
for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin. 
Therefore, we no longer want to live the rest of our time in the flesh serving the lusts of mankind,
but we live to accomplish the will of God. 
And Job answered Jehovah and said: I know that You can do all, and no purpose is withheld from You.
Who is this hiding counsel without knowledge? So I declared, but did not understand things too wonderful for me;
yea, I did not know. 
Job 42:2-3 
 
The third, and final season in the life of Christ’s disciple is best portrayed in the Song of Solomon. 
In this stage, we find we are praying less and less for God’s help,
and, find we what we long for, and pray for most is to be in the presence of GOD, Himself. 
We now know that the only true satisfaction is found as we rest in Him.
We stop seeking things from Him, and spend our most precious time getting to know Him. 
We learn to walk with Him moment by moment.
And we finally discover that loving Him is the ultimate purpose, and lifelong achievement of our lives!
Draw me after you, let us run!
The king has brought me into his chambers.
Let us rejoice and be glad in you; let us extol your love more than wine.
Rightly do they love you! 
Song of Songs 1:4
 
 For every matter there is a season, an appointed time, even a time for every pursuit under the heavens.
Which season are you in?  Christ is right there with you, in it!
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 
The Key of Relinquishment
4-23-17
 
While waiting in the doctor’s office this week, I thumbed through a very well read old magazine
with an article written by Catherine Marshall, an author most well known for her book, “Christy.”  
But what held my attention in this article was what she entitled Jesus’ prayer in the garden of Gethsemane.
 
  And taking along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee,
He began to grieve and to be deeply troubled.
:38  Then He said to them, My soul is deeply grieved,
even unto death. Stay here and watch with Me.
:39  And going forward a little, He fell on His face, praying, and saying, My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me;
yet not as I will, but as You will.
 
Matthew 26:37-39
 
Three times Christ Jesus prayed that if possible, the cup of suffering be passed over,
and each time our LORD ended by saying, but You know best, Father,
therefore let Your will be done, not mine.
 
Catherine Marshall called this Jesus’ prayer of relinquishing.
She then gave examples of the prayers of two Christians, who were specifically praying to Our Father, as they had been taught.
Yet their prayers went seemingly unanswered. 
One was praying and believing for healing, and another for a restored relationship. 
Both were standing on the word and calling things as though they were already accomplished,
yet there came no complete healing, no full restoration.
Both Christians were getting discouraged, and felt like they just didn’t have enough faith.
 
Both had the same thought in their journey with GOD, that maybe,
just maybe,
they were missing something the Father wanted them to see. 
Both were led to study Jesus’ prayer in the garden on the night He was betrayed. 
Both prayer warriors came to the same conclusion,
that Jesus knew His Father was good, and gave perfect gifts to His children.
Yet Jesus understood that there are times in our faith walk where we,
like Him,
need to relinquish our will to the will of our Heavenly Father.
 
The one who needed healing finally prayed, relinquishing her demand for healing,
and prayed a simple prayer of trust, saying,
‘Lord, You know what I need more that I do, so I am simply trusting You, Father, to take care of me the way You want to.
I relinquish my will and accept Your perfect will’. 
 
She felt immediate peace come over her and went to sleep that night in perfect peace. 
She woke up the next morning in perfect health!
 
The prayer warrior who was wanting her relationship with her boyfriend restored also prayed a similar way,
relinquishing her desire, and asked for God’s will be done.  She also received instant peace. 
In her case, GOD had another plan, for she later met and married the one GOD had chosen for her,
and they embarked on a life in ministry together.
 
Both stated to Catherine Marshall that the key was relinquishing their will
and trusting their good Heavenly Father to bring about His perfect will in their lives.
 
Is there something you have been asking of the Father that just hasn’t happened?
Have you tried using the key of relinquishing your will in the matter,
and trusting your GOOD, GOOD Father to bring about His perfect will?
 
 
James 4:3  (CEV)  Yet even when you do pray, your prayers are not answered, because you pray just for selfish reasons.
 
I came to the conclusion that what I wanted was for me. 
What I need is my Heavenly Father’s perfect will, not my idea of what His will should be.
Does this speak to you, too? 
If it does, will you join me as I pray?
 
 
Today, Father, I relinquish my will for Your perfect will.
 
Isaiah 26:3  (MKJV) You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You; because he trusts in You. 
 
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The Resurrection
4-16-17
 
 
The Sabbath was over.
It  was almost daybreak on Sunday when Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James,
and Salome were on their way to Jesus’ tomb. 
 
Suddenly a strong earthquake struck, and the Lord’s angel came down from heaven to roll away the stone.
His appearance was as bright as lightning! The men guarding the tomb passed out from fear and fell down,
as though they were dead. 
 
As the women arrived, they could see into the empty tomb,
where the angel said, “Don’t be afraid! I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.
 He isn’t here! God has raised him to life, just as Jesus said he would.
Come, see the place where his body was lying. I say to you, tell his disciples that Jesus is on his way  . . . ” 
 
 
 
Image result for empty tomb
 
Ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: Isa 11:10
Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 1 John 2:1
Save His people from their sins. Matthew 1:21
Transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Psalms 32:1
E
ternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23
R
esurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he    were dead, yet shall he live:  John 11:25
 
 
 
 
 
 
“Father God,  I believe You sent Your Son as an ensign to be lifted up
that all nations may seek You through Him!
I believe Jesus Christ is my advocate before You,
                                 and I am clothed in His righteousness, not my own.
I believe that He died on that cross, and rose again,
and that  I am now one of His  own. 
I receive forgive my sins!
How blessed are all whose transgressions are blotted out, covered by His blood!
I confess that Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, is my resurrection and life.
By Your grace, I shall have eternal life in Christ, my Lord!”
 
He is alive!
He is coming again!
Spread the word.
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Sunday, April 9, 2017
 
Christ’s Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem
As Jesus and His disciples approached Jerusalem, they came the town of Bethphage.
Jesus sent two disciples into the village to find a donkey tied, along with her colt. Once found,  they brought the ass,
and the colt, and put their clothes on them, which  He rode into Jerusalem.
 
A large crowd come to celebrate the Passover heard Jesus was coming. 
When they saw him riding on the colt of a donkey, they reacted with great joy!
 
John 12:12-13  (TS2009) On the next day a great crowd who had come to the festival,
when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, :13  took the branches of palm 
trees and went out to meet Him, and were crying out, “Hoshia-na! Blessed is He who is coming in the Name of  YAHWEH (יהוה), the Sovereign of Isra’ěl!”
 
Hosanna (pronounced hoshia-na) in Hebrew means oh save!, and is an exclamation of adoration.
This word, hōsanna, is found in the New Testament just six times: twice in Matthew 21:9, Matthew 21:15, 
twice in Mark 11:9-18 and here in John 12:13. 
 
It is also found in the Hebrew scriptures in Psalms 118:25.
 
Psalms 118:25-26 (TS2009)
I pray, O (יהוה) YAHWEH, please save us now*; I pray, O (יהוה) YAHWEH,
please send prosperity. :26  Blessed is He who is coming in the Name of  (יהוה) YAHWEH! 
Footnote: * In Hebrew, the phrase, “please save us now” is Hoshianah. 
 
The crowd observing Jesus’ entry on the colt of a donkey were excited because they were interpreting this scripture out of context. Yes, He came that day to fulfill scripture, but the one he was fulfilling that day contained one word they ignored . . .
Behold, your King comes to you,
meek
, and sitting on an ass, even a colt . . .
 
The crowd that day did not want a meek king.
They wanted Jesus to BRING PROSPERITY NOW!
 
In a way, Christianity today is like that crowd, caught up in the aspect of blessing and prosperity. 
 
But how many of us are willing to be Christ-like, with the spirit of meekness? 
 
Meekness is not weakness!
Jesus cleansed the temple,
told the truth,
rebuked the Pharisees,
was betrayed by one in His inner circle,
endured false accusations,
inhumane cruelty,
and the shame of death on a cross He did not deserve.
 
We also hear His broken heart of compassion for His people.
 
Matthew 23:37-39  (TS2009)
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to her!
How often I wished to gather your children together,
the way a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, but you would not! 
:38  “See! Your house is left to you laid waste,
:39  for I say to you, from now on you shall by no means see Me, until you say,
‘Blessed is He who is coming in the Name of (יהוה) YAHWEH!’
 
Abba Father, may we also follow this example of Christ in the spirit of meekness.
 
(TS2009 is The Scriptures 2009  version of the Bible – a great tool for those who are learning to read the Hebrew Old Testament).
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4-2-17
 
THE BLOOD SPEAKS
 
The first time the Hebrew word for blood (דם ) occurs in Scriptures is when Cain murdered his brother. 
After Abel’s blood was shed, the LORD confronted Cain, saying, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood
is crying out to Me from the ground (Gen 4:10).” 
We know from Scripture that the energy of all life is in the blood  (Lev 17:11),
and from God’s statement to Cain, we also see that “blood” has a voice the LORD can hear.
 
It is no different with the shed blood of Jesus Christ. 
His blood also speaks to the Father.
Unlike the blood of Abel which cried out to GOD for justice,
the blood of the Lamb of GOD cries out for life and mercy on our behalf!
When we put our trust in God’s provisional sacrifice for our failures and sins,
His righteous judgement “passes  over” us exchanging death wages for eternal life and the blessing of sonship! 
This is the good news of the gospel!
 
We have atonement through the sacrificial shedding of blood,
the death,
burial,
and the triumphant resurrection
of our Savior, Jesus Christ, the Lamb of GOD!
 
Jesus gave us insight into the depth of His redemptive work as he reproved the religious “pretenders”
who continually followed His ministry just looking for ways to entrap Him.
 
from the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zachariah,
who perished between the altar and the sanctuary:
yea, I say unto you, it shall be required of this generation
 Luke 11:51
Yet Jesus still passionately decreed the desires of His Father’s heart.
 
John 5:24 (TLV)
“Amen, amen I tell you, whoever hears My word
and trusts the One who sent Me has eternal life.
He does not come into judgment,
but has passed over from death into life.”
 
 
Do you know the joy of trusting in the promises of Christ? 
His blood is speaking for all who believe in Him! 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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March 26,2017
 
PERFUME POURED OUT
 
Song of Songs 1:3-4  Thine ointments have a goodly fragrance;
thy name is as ointment poured forth;
therefore do the maidens love thee. 
4  Draw me, we will run after thee; the king hath brought me into his chambers; we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will find thy love more fragrant than wine! sincerely do they love thee.
 
 One version of GOD’s word translates part of verse 3 as. . .the fragrance of your perfume is intoxicating;  your name is perfume poured out . . . .
 
 
     What is a perfume, but a fragrant elixir of extracted, combined ingredients rendered into a precious liquid compound.  It is made by master perfumers who often create “signature” scents which may be purchased by those who pay the price.   The essence of beauty, and often an expression of passion, perfume has been used throughout the centuries for many purposes . . .
⦁  to mask foul  odors
⦁  to allure a beloved one
⦁  to individualize one’s personal beauty
⦁  to commemorate a special event
 
       Is it possible to extract a scent from a memory, an unforgettable event, or a deep feeling? No, but just a whiff, a mere hint of a vapor can result in instant recall of memory, events and feelings.
 
      Just a few days before Jesus was crucified,  he traveled to the home of Simon, a man with a serious skin(flesh) disease, where his three friends, Lazarus, Martha and Mary hosted a dinner for him.  Yes, this is the same Lazarus he had raised from the dead.  With all three siblings in attendance, we find Martha serving the guests, and Lazarus reclining at the table with Jesus. But Mary had something deep in her heart. She had saved to purchase a costly perfume,  a pure and expensive nard, which she kept in an alabaster box.  As the men reclined at the table after the meal, she set to her task.  It was time.
      She approached the guest of honor carrying her precious perfume, and as she reached his presence, she broke the jar, and, shocked all those reclining at the table with him. She poured out the fragrant oil upon his head, to his feet! In her act of deep devotion, she began to dry his feet with that which was her glory, her hair. The fragrance of her worship filled the room.
       The disciples of Jesus were shocked, even angry!  Why this extravagance? This costly perfume could have been sold for a man’s whole year’s wages! Do you know how many of the poor could be helped by that amount of money?  They began to rebuke Mary for wasting such a costly item, but the words of Jesus  stopped them all in their tracks!
 “It’s a noble thing which she has done for me.  The poor will always be with you, but as for me, what she has truly done in this act, this crazy act, of pouring out of this fragrance upon my body was  to prepare me (my flesh) for burial . . .”
 As his words flooded their minds, the fragrance filled the whole house,  settling upon everyone in his presence.  It wasn’t the words he spoke that held their attention.  It was that odor!
 
 But was it a perfume, or a stench?
 
2Corinthians 2:14-16a  Now thanks be to God, who always causes us to triumph in Christ, and He revealing through us the odor of the knowledge of Him in every place. 15  For we are to God a sweet savor of Christ, in those being saved, and in those being lost;  16  to the one we are the savor of death to death, and to the other we are the savor of life to life.
 
     Immediately following Mary’s act of anointing of Jesus, Judas Iscariot left the room!
 
Matthew 26:14-15  Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests.  15  And he said
to them, What will you give me, and I will betray Him to you?  
 
Mary’s perfume was a pleasing fragrance to her, and to God. but, in his carnal mind,
Judas Iscariot could not stand its stench!
 
      Do we truly understand, that as our walk with the LORD becomes a pleasant savor unto Him,
our very same acts which please Him will become increasingly “stinky” to carnally minded believers
who refuse to “die daily to their flesh”, as Paul so aptly wrote? 
 
 Which will it be for you?  Perfume,  . . .  or stench?  
 
There is a cost . . .
 
 
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3-19-17
Disciple’s  Devotional

How often is it that you run across a scripture passage that reminds you of something in your past, something you have said or done that you now look back on with regret or shame?  What is your first reaction?  Is it to immediately begin to berate yourself?  How could I have done such a thing?  That road only leads to discouragement and depression!

 

                The Bible tells us if we ask for forgiveness, He is faithful to not only forgive, but to cleanse us from all  unrighteousness! The truth is that we have an advocate with the FATHER, One who knows our frame, who was tempted as we are tempted, yet did not sin.  An advocate is one who speaks up in defense of another.

 

                Imagine, if you will, a fruit orchard, with many fruit trees of all shapes and sizes.  Some of those trees are new plantings.  They are tender, green twigs with no branches to bear fruit . . .yet.  Still they are necessary for the future of that orchard. 

 

                Some of the older trees are gnarled and tough barked,  It may be that there is some need for pruning out of unnecessary growth in order to produce fruit for this season.  These older trees provide protection for the small saplings as they receive the brunt of the winds and storms that hit that orchard.  But their roots are deep and they stand strong.

 

                Some fruit trees bear so much fruit that their branches crack and break if not supported!

 

                We are like those trees and Christ Jesus is our defense from the storms. Rooted and grounded in Him, we can survive the storm.  He is also our support when we feel like cracking and breaking from the load. 

Ever since the Garden of Eden, mankind has felt shame, discouragement, and yes, conviction.  But, in Christ, we are a new creation!  In Christ, there is no condemnation for those who walk or seek to follow the Spirit of GOD and no longer yield daily to their fleshly desires!

 

                As His disciples, we are all  becoming more and more Christ-like. Some are further along in the process than others.  So when tempted to look back on where you once were, or compare yourself to another, CHOOSE to look instead to the author and finisher of your faith!

 

JESUS, Founder and Finisher of Our Faith

 

Hebrews 12:1-2  (TLV)  Therefore, since we have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also get rid of every weight and entangling sin. Let us run with endurance the race set before us, :2  focusing on Jesus, the initiator and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame; and He has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of God. 

 

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3-12-2017 

 

 The Lent season is traditionally a time when Christians focus on fasting,

repentance,

and

re-dedication to Christ.
 

The purpose is to set aside time for reflection on the life, death, suffering,

sacrifice, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
 

Observed approximately 40 days before Easter, it is a time when we can re-engage

in our relationship with Christ and “build ourselves up in our most holy faith” (Jude 1:20).

This Week’s Prayer Focus

This week set aside time regularly to reflect and pray.

Ask Jesus to give you the courage to face those things in your life that are standing in the way of your next steps towards Him.

Perhaps you need to stop doing something. Or maybe you need to start doing something.

Maybe you need courage to forgive someone or to seek forgiveness.

Is there something you know He is asking you to do, but you haven’t had the courage to do it?

Take the time to open your heart up to Him, talk through your fears,

and ask Him for the courage to step into a new level of faith and faithfulness.

Read and reflect

on the following: Josh. 1:7; Deut. 5:32; 2 Tim. 1:7; Heb. 10:39.

The Lent season is

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Redemption By Our Kinsman Redeemer
3-5-17
In Deuteronomy 25:7-10  we find the law of the kinsman redeemer from the standpoint of the one who wishes to not become the kinsman redeemer.   The wife of the deceased brother was to take off his sandal before the elders at the gate, spit in his face and say, “So shall it be done to the man who will not build up the house of his brother.  From then on, in Israel, his name became “The house of him whose shoe was taken off.”
 
In the case of Boaz and Ruth, the widow of Naomi’s son, Elimelech, since he had no living brother, Boaz approached the closest male relative on behalf of Ruth.  But the near kinsman took off his own sandal before the elders and gave it to Boaz, giving up his right of near-kinsmanship.
 
Ruth 4:9  And Boaz said to the elders, and all the people, You are witnesses today that I have bought all that belonged to Elimelech, and all that was to Chilion and Mahlon, from the hand of Naomi. :10  And also Ruth of Moab, the wife of Mahlon, I have bought for myself for a wife, to raise up the name of him who died over his inheritance. And the name of him who died shall not be cut off from among his brothers, and from the gate of his place. You are witnesses today. 
 
In both cases, the removal the sandal before the elders was, in essence, the signing of a legal contract. This makes a great statement before all of Israel, and us as followers of Christ when John the Baptist said the followiing concerning Jesus.
 
Matthew 3:11  (LITV)  I indeed baptize you in water to repentance; but He who is coming after me is stronger than me, of whom I am not able to lift The sandals. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire, :12  whose fan is in His hand, and He will cleanse His floor and will gather His wheat into the storehouse. But He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. 
John recognized the necessity of redemption by a greater kinsman redeemer!
 
Hebrews 9:15  (LITV)  And because of (the blood of Christ), He is Mediator of a new covenant, so that, death having occurred for redemption of transgressions under the first covenant, those being called might receive the promise of the everlasting inheritance.
 
In the same manner Christ also was offered in sacrifice once to take away the sins of many.
He will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are waiting for him.
 
REDEEMED!  YES, REDEEMED! Hallelujah!
 
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2-26-2017
 
ANOINTED FOR SERVICE
         Remember, when Saul sought to kill David, yet when the opportunity arose for David to rid himself of the man who meant to take his life, this man David, chose another path? Why?
 
  And he said unto his men, The LORD forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the LORD’S anointed,
to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the LORD.
1 Samuel 24:6
 
 What does it mean to be the anointed of the LORD?
 
 Anointed, in Hebrew, is the word  ( משׁיח)  maw-shee’-akh. 
It stems from the word (משׁח )  maw-shakh’ which is a primitive root word meaning to rub with oil,
that is, to anoint; by implication to consecrate. 
Thus the anointed is usually a consecrated person (as a king, priest, or saint); specifically the Messiah.
 
      Not always do we understand the ways of the LORD, for He has also anointed the most unlikely of people,
 for a task that He, alone, knows needs to take place, in His perfect timing. 
 
Isaiah spoke of an anointed one, a maw-shee’-akh, or messiah, – Cyrus,  pagan king of Persia,
whom the LORD chose for a specific task.
 
Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him;
and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;
:2  I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass,
and cut in sunder the bars of iron:  :3  And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places,
that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.  :4  For Jacob my servant’s sake,
and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.
Isaiah 45:1-4 
 
  What was the task GOD set before His unlikely anointed one?
 
I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways:
he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward,
saith the LORD of hosts.
Isaiah 45:13 
 
           This prophetic  event begins during the first year of the rule of the Persian King Cyrus over Babylon in 538 B.C.  It is astounding to realize this pagan king was named by GOD 200 years before he was ever born! 
And to further flummox man’s theology, this man was not  a follower of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
yet Jehovah GOD anointed him, spoke to him, and commissioned him to
release His people,
rebuild His city
and His temple.
 
 Ezra, the scribe, gave us the words of Cyrus, himself.
 
Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.  :3  Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem . . .
:7  Also Cyrus the king brought forth the vessels of the house of the LORD, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth
out of Jerusalem, and had put them in the house of his gods;
Ezra 1:2-7 
 
        GOD can, and will, anoint even the most unlikely of us to accomplish His word,  including you!
 
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2-19-2017
 
The root word for “GIVING” in Hebrew is
NATAN,
a palindrome, which means it reads the same backwards or forward.
The very essence of this word is that what we give will,
in some way, be given back to us.
 
As we internalize this biblical truth,  it helps to remember the words of Christ from His sermon on the mount.
What He said echoes back the true depth of this premise.
 
  Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure,
pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom.
For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. 
 
Luke 6:38
 
 
Now, think of what Father GOD gave to us . . . “For GOD so loved the world that He gave . . .”
 
 
What HE gave
SHALL BE GIVEN BACK TO HIS BOSOM!
 
What the FATHER wants  is SONS and DAUGHTERS!
HALLELUJAH!
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2-12-17

 Roman emperor, Claudias II believed that his difficulty recruiting soldiers for his military was because the men were too attached to their wives and families, so he banned all marriages.  Valentine thought this was  unjust, and for performing marriages in secret, he was jailed and eventually, beheaded.

 In the 60’s, the hippie generation deemed marriage obsolete.  Now, marriage is under attack by those who want to broaden its definition to include members of the same sex.

 Our Creator laid out His marriage blueprint in the beginning.

 Gen. 2:24 . . . cleave unto his wife : and they shall be one flesh.   This is so clear in Hebrew, for it states “they exist  (always emphatic, and not a mere auxiliary ) as one person in flesh”.

 Jesus had His Bride in mind when He prayed, “I pray . . . for those who believe in Me . . . I in them and You in Me- that they may be perfected  in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me and loved them as You love Me.  John 17:21-23 (TLV).

 
Sunday February 5, 2017
Grace: An Attribute of GOD
 
Grace shows forth goodwill, kindness and benefit.
It evokes a word picture of a superior granting favors to an undeserving one. 
The adulterous woman (from
John Chapter 8
) received grace from Christ,
not because she deserved it, but because GOD is gracious! 
 
Actually, all of us were like her,  living according to our fleshly desires,
doing whatever suited the wishes of our own minds.
In our natural condition, like everyone else, we were destined to suffer God’s anger.
But God’s mercy is so abundant, and His love for us is so great, that,
even while we were spiritually disobedient, He brought us to life with Christ.
It is by God’s grace that we have been saved.
 
When we cry out to Abba Father in Jesus’ name, we receive of His infinite love. 
We receive what we do not deserve for His mercy endures forever! 
 
You won’t ever receive a returned check  stamped “insufficient grace”!
 
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Ephesians 2:8 
 
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Sunday January 29, 2017

TOTAL DEPENDENCE ON GOD
 
In the late 1800’s, Charles Spurgeon was holding meetings at London’s Metropolitan Tabernacle. Five young people decided to go hear him speak, but when they arrived, the Tabernacle doors were locked. Undeterred, they sat on the steps to wait. Soon a man walked up and asked what they were doing. When they explained, he invited them to see the heating system of the church.
Thinking he was the janitor, and with nothing better to do, they agreed. Down some stairs beneath the building, at the end of a long hall, they followed him into a room filled with hundreds of people, all of them praying.
 
“This,” Charles Spurgeon said to his very surprised tour guests, “is the heating apparatus of this church.”
 
 
Spurgeon stated his absolute dependency on God. He knew these meetings were touching the world,
not because of him or anything he preached, but because God was answering prayer.
 
Jude 1:20 (LITV)
But you, beloved, build yourselves up by your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit . . .
 
 
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Disciple’s  Devotional

Sunday January 22, 2017

The Value of Patience

 
One can read Acts Chapter 9 and think Saul went straight from his conversion into a successful ministry right away.
 
After all,
missionary,
church planter,
mentor of whole congregations, and
profound individual discipleship
are found on his resume.
But before he could do all that, God had to do a work in him.
Saul had to become Paul.
 
Christian author of “Bible Men of Faith,” J. Oswald Sanders, wrote,
 
“God is anxious that His children get a good education . . . a course in the university of Arabia;
a wilderness training.
 
Joseph, Moses, Elijah, John the Herald, Paul, even the divine Son Himself . . .
are a few of the distinguished graduates.
 
The marked results are broad perspective, steady nerves, keen eyesight and insight.
 
There come utter dependence on God. . . childlike simplicity, warm sympathy and deep humility.
But the highest degree goes to patience,
the rarest trait of all,
most God-like,
hardest and longest to acquire.”
 
 
May their examples encourage you to exercise patience as God prepares you for your destiny in Christ.
 
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God’s Requirements for “kingship”

 
 
 
God’s Requirements for Kingship
January 15, 2017
 
Once established in their promised land, the children of Israel desired a king to rule over them.
So God set some parameters for His kind of king in Deuteronomy 17:14-20.
 
Their king was to be one of their own.  They must not select a foreigner as king.
 
He was not to use his political position to better himself, or to manipulate the kingdom to make himself wealthy.
 
In the day of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt, owning many horses was a sign of military strength,
and a symbol of a powerful monarchy.  Israel’s strength was to be in their God, not their military might.
 
The king was to rule in such a way that he, or ‘his’ kingdom, would not become well renowned at the expense of the people. 
None of his subjects were to be sold out in exchange for Egypt’s military expertise. 
God’s people would never be influenced by Egypt again.
 
He was not to become morally compromised.
 
The king was to write his own copy of the word of God from the original manuscripts kept by the Levitical priesthood.
That copy was to be his instruction manual for a godly reign, from which he was to pronounce and publish daily.
This word would cause him to revere the Lord, keep him, and the nation obedient to God.
The word would keep him humble before his constituents. 
 
 
 
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January 8, 2017

A DISCIPLE’S HEART

“The measure of a man is not how many servants he has, but how many men he serves.” 
Dwight L. Moody

 A group of European pastors attending one of D.L. Moody’s Bible Conferences in the late 1800’s,
and as the custom in Europe, set their shoes outside their room door to be cleaned by the hall servants overnight. 
But this was America and there were no hall servants at the Bible College.

 Moody saw those shoes as he walked the dormitory halls that night, and,
determining not to embarrass his guests, mentioned the need to some of the ministerial students. 
Met only with silence and excuses, the famous evangelist cleaned and polished those shoes himself. 
No one would have ever known except for the unexpected arrival of a friend in the midst of his secret task.
 The next morning, the foreign  visitors found their shoes cleaned and polished outside their doors.
They never knew who cleaned them. 
Moody never told anyone, but his friend mentioned it to a few people. 
For the rest of the conference, different men volunteered each night to shine the shoes anonymously.
 

 May we also have that same servant’s heart.

Matthew 20:25b-26 
Jesus said,  . . . You know that the rulers of the nations exercise lordship
over them, and the great ones exercise authority over them. 
But it will not be so among you.
But whoever desires to become great among you,
let him be your servant. 
 
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capture6vinepruning
NEW BEGINNINGS
January 1, 2017
Winter is amazing.
All that exuberant growth in the yard is cut back.
Views change as mighty oaks shed their leaves.
As winter deepens, once hidden higher elevations glisten with snow.
Under the soil, roots absorb needed nutrients for the next season of growth.
What seems dead, is dormant,  privately preparing for a new beginning.
Our lives are similar.
Fruitfulness, followed by pruning, prepares us for the future season.
Jesus told us Father GOD clears out all dead growth, giving fruitful branches more room.
  With great care, he shapes us.
Cutting away the excess and the old,
He invites us into a winter of fellowship with Him,
for in close fellowship, we hear Him speak. We get to know Him. 
We eat at His table. We partake of His “flesh,” and bear the Fruit of the Spirit!
A rose bush only bears flowers on stems still growing on the root stock.
Once cut off, it cannot produce any more roses!
The same is true for the disciple of Christ.
 
So, this New Year, rejoice, for there is fruit, new growth, and new beginnings in Christ!
May His words abide in you in 2017.
 
You have not chosen Me, but I chose you out and planted you,
that you should go and should bear fruit,
and your fruit remain,
that whatever you should ask the Father in My name,
He may give you. 
 
John 15:16  (LITV)
 
 
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Christmas Eve, 2016
The Christmas Gift
I love you so much I formed my world all around you. 
Yet do you know I exist?
I have given you life.
I have given you my peace. 
Even in your most agonizing moments it is there to surround you in infinite comfort.
I have given you manna from heaven and water in the desert. 
I have given you healing in sickness. 
I have  provided for your need, guided your footsteps and watched over you as you slept.
Yet you still doubt me. 
 
Then I gave you the ultimate gift  which would reveal me as I am. 
One which you could touch, handle, and become intimately involved with. 
Can you now acknowledge I am the one who knows you best, and loves you most?
 
John 3:16-17  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
   For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world;
but that the world through him might be saved. 
 
John 1:14   And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us.
And we beheld His glory, glory as of an only begotten from the Father, full of grace and of truth. 
 
Your heavenly Father
 
 
 
 
 
 
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 
20161201_195717
 December 18, 2016
Christmas Tree or No Christmas Tree?
by Debora Brewer 
 
Last year, I questioned the tradition of the Christmas tree.
You see, a scripture I read that evening sent me to my knees in prayer. 
That night I could not sleep. 
 I thought of all the wonderful memories we had shared with children and grandchildren
around  Christmas trees of years gone past. 
 
In ignorance, had I failed GOD?  
 
Then
I heard
the Spirit say, 
“Get  the rest of the story.”
 
Jeremiah 10:2-4  So says Jehovah, Do not learn the way of the nations, and do not be terrified at the signs of the heavens;
for the nations are terrified at them. 3  For the customs of the people are vain; for one cuts a tree out of the forest with the axe,
the work of the hands of the workman. 4  They adorn it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and hammers,
so that it will not wobble.  (MKJV)
 
Sounds like a Christmas tree, doesn’t it? But let’s look at it closely.
 
This was a message to God’s chosen people to not become like the nations surrounding them. 
The Canaanites customarily cut down trees, stripped off their branches, and carved the poles into likenesses.  
Similar to  totem poles, they were dressed in elaborate costumes and carried  throughout the streets during pagan festivals.
These Ashtaroth poles  were placed in new businesses, childless homes, even temples.
Jeremiah 10:5  tells us they were like scarecrows in a  garden,  idols that cannot walk or even speak.
There is only one true GOD and no idol can compare to Him!
 
The rest of the 10th chapter of Jeremiah tells us these  images with molten faces were frauds.
 
There was no breath in them.  
 
After studying this out, what joy to realize I had not gone against the word  of my LORD! 
 
Yes, I have a Christmas tree in my home this year. 
I do not worship it. 
It reminds me of the One whom I DO worship! 
 
May you have a blessed Christ-filled Christmas!
 
 
 
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 
 
Faith Unfeigned

Faith Unfeigned

 
 
 
December 11, 2016 
 
 
                This second Sunday in December, hearts are turned to the miracle of Christ’s birth.  
A word was given to Ahaz, king of Judah, by Jehovah God Himself.

 

Isaiah 7:14  Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign;
Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. 

 

                Wow!  Many disciples of Christ stop right there, and go directly to the account of this coming to pass in the
New Testament.  But do you know what prompted GOD to speak these words? What about the events which took place
after it was spoken?
 
                It all started when the  king of Syria and the king of Israel made a pact to take down the kingdom of Judah.
The news had come to the royal court of Judah: “Syria is allied with Israel against us!” So the hearts of King Ahaz and his
people trembled with fear, like trees shaking in a storm.
 
                But GOD had something to say. ADONAI gave His prophet, Isaiah, words to speak to King Ahaz.
He even told him where to find the king.

 

                From the Good News Bible, Isaiah 7:3-7  tells us, The LORD said to Isaiah,
” . . . 4  Tell (King Ahaz) to keep alert, to stay calm, and not to be frightened or disturbed. The anger of King Rezin and his
Syrians and of King Pekah (of Israel) is no more dangerous than the smoke from two smoldering sticks of wood.
:5  Syria, together with Israel and its king, has made a plot.
:6  They intend to invade Judah, terrify the people into joining their side, and then put Tabeel’s son on the throne.
:7  “But I, the LORD, declare that this will never happen.”

 

                The GOD of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had something profound  to say,
for He told the king of Judah a principle which still holds true today. 
 
GOD said,
“If your faith is not enduring, you will not endure”
(Isaiah 7:9).
 
                After awhile, The LORD sent another message to Ahaz. 
 
Isaiah 7:11-12  “Ask the LORD your God to give you a sign.
It can be from deep in the world of the dead or from high up in heaven.”
 
                But King Ahaz refused to ask for a sign.
 
  To that Isaiah replied, “Listen, now, descendants of King David. It’s bad enough for you to wear out the patience of people
—do you have to wear out God’s patience too?
Isa 7:13 
 
                The kingdom of Judah did not fall to Syria and Israel,
but because Ahaz did not stand in faith that GOD was for him,
years later, the kingdom fell into the hands of Assyria, and eventually, Roman rule.
 
                Finally it was time for the promise.
 

 

 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, having come into being out of a woman,
having come under Law, 5  that He might redeem the ones under Law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
6  And because you are sons, God sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba! Father!
Galatians 4:4-6  
 
 

 And the angel said to them, Do not fear. For, behold, I proclaim good news to you, a great joy, which will be to all people, :11  because today a Savior, who is Christ the Lord, was born to you in the city of David. :12  And this is a sign to you: You will find a babe having been wrapped, lying in the manger.

Luke 2:10-12  
 
 
                How does this relate to you and I today?  Are you pregnant with a promise from GOD? 
If your faith endures, you will endure.  Wait patiently for your promise! 
If  GOD said it, He will perform it!
 
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 
 
December 1, 2016
In Mama’s old family Bible there was an old story about a little boy and his mother who were guests in a home. The young lad was fascinated with a framed, stitched sampler which hung on the dining room wall in their host’s home. It read,
Jesus is the Head of this House.”
His mother explained the meaning of the saying in the presence of their hostess.
I loved this part of the story, for her son immediately asked,

” then why haven’t they set a place for Jesus at the table?”

As a child, I found this not only amusing, but it made me think.
As a disciple of Jesus Christ, do I think of my LORD as an unseen guest in my home,
or have I given Him His rightful place as Head of Household?

 

 

God is a Spirit:

they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
John 4:24

As we remember, Jesus is the reason for the season, let us also remember,

He is not only Head of the Church, but Head of our homes as well.

In many homes, it is no longer traditional to all gather around the supper table, so setting a place for Jesus as a reminder of His headship may not be as effective as it once was. The eye is still the most effective means in reaching the heart.

If some token of God’s presence can be seen,

it will make His presence even more real.

May we start a new tradition this season by making Christ the true head of our homes!

 

20161129_160036-1_resized12
 
Mama’s favorite saying was, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”
? Be open to the Spirit’s leading and you my just find how very dear this one is to GOD.
Answer Me When I Call
Psalm 4:1 To the chief Musician on NeginothH5058 ,, A Psalm of David.
First of all. What is Neginoth?
H5058 נגינת negı̂ynath
BDB Definition:
1) music, song, taunt song
1a) music (of stringed instrument)
1b) song
1b1) taunting or mocking song
Root Word – Strong’s Number: H5059 נָגַן naw-gan’
A primitive root; prop to thrum, that is, beat a tune with the fingers; especially to play on a stringed instrument; hence (generally) to make music: – player on instruments, sing to the stringed instruments, melody, ministrel, play (-er. -ing).
Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress;H6862 ; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.
Last week we saw David’s unwavering faith, even in the midst of devastating personal heartbreak. Here, we find David putting his prayer to music, in a specific way. HE IS IN DISTRESS.
In Psalm 4 we now see another battle David waged in his mind. This time it was with his own fellow Israelites.
The Hebrew word for ‘distress’ isI צַר tsar, meaning a narrow tight place (usually figuratively, that is, trouble); (transitively) an opponent – adversary, in affliction, anguish, close distress, sorrow, strait, tribulation, trouble. Again, David brings his dilemma to the LORD, reminding us that his successes in the past were from his GOD.
:2 O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah.
The word ‘glory’ used in verse 2, in Hebrew, also means honor. David was telling GOD his countrymen were politically portraying the victories he had won for the nation as something evil, dishonorable, even shameful. Does this sound familiar today? But, David knew a universal and unchanging truth: that if GOD be for him, who could be against him!
That one little 3 letter word, ‘for’, is more than what it seems! The Greek word Paul used in Romans 8:31 is G5228 ὑπέρ. Pronounced ‘hoop-er,’ it is a primary preposition meaning “over”, that is, above, beyond, across; with the accusative case superior to, more than. In compounds it retains many of the listed applications: – (+ exceeding abundantly) above, in (on) behalf of, beyond, by, + very chiefest, concerning, exceeding (above, -ly), for, + very highly, more (than), of, over, on the part of, for sake of, in stead, than, to (-ward), very.
David knew his GOD was ‘over’ him, beyond him, and exceedingly abundantly more than enough for any situation he faced in life.
Psa 4:3 But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him.
He also knew that those who had a personal relationship with YAHWEH had His ear anytime, anywhere. The ETR version translates v. 3 this way: You can be sure that anyone who serves the LORD faithfully is special to him. The LORD listens when I pray to him.
David determined at an early age that he was going to be faithful to YAHWEH, his God, and by hiding God’s word in his heart, he strove to stay that way. So David was advising all his countrymen who were dishonoring him as their king that they were putting themselves in a precarious place with the One who made him their king! (Good advice for our country today, too!)
Psa 4:4 Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. :5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.
Sometimes, in life, the people who should support us, sin against us. What was David’s advice? The phrase translated as ‘stand in awe’ in the KJV is one Hebrew word. H7264 רָגַז raw-gaz’. A primitive root, it means to quiver (with any violent emotion, especially anger or fear): – be afraid, stand in awe, disquiet, fall out, fret, move, provoke, quake, rage, shake, tremble, trouble, be wroth.
So what David was really saying is, it’s understandable, even okay, to acknowledge he was angry, just don’t sin in anger. Do what he did. Tell GOD how you feel, then just be still. Continue doing what’s pleasing to YAHWEH, for He can be trusted to work it all out for your good!
Psa 4:6 There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.
The key to verse six is the word ‘shew’. The Hebrew root is רָאָה (raw-aw’). A primitive root which can mean to see, it also means approve, behold, consider, discern, take heed, look (on, one another, one on another, one upon another, out, up, upon), mark, meet, perceive, regard, (have) respect, cause to see (one another), shew (self), X sight of others, (e-) spy, stare, think, visions.
With the full definition in mind, we could translate it this way: There are many that say, “who can discern, look on us, have respect and see good”? YAHWEH, lift up the light of how You look upon us. If we look on this verse this way, then verse 7 makes perfect sense! When the disciple of Christ realizes that the Father sees us through the veil of His Son, He sees His righteousness and floods our relationship with Him in joy! We again have shalom, peace with our Father GOD!
Psa 4:7 Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased. :8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.
Abba Father, may we trust Your hand is working all things out for our good. Thank You for shining your light, Your word, showing us how to best live as Your sons and daughters. Amein.
Answer Me When I Call
Psalm 4:1 To the chief Musician on NeginothH5058 ,, A Psalm of David.
First of all. What is Neginoth?
H5058 נגינת negı̂ynath
BDB Definition:
1) music, song, taunt song
1a) music (of stringed instrument)
1b) song
1b1) taunting or mocking song
Root Word – Strong’s Number: H5059 נָגַן naw-gan’
A primitive root; prop to thrum, that is, beat a tune with the fingers; especially to play on a stringed instrument; hence (generally) to make music: – player on instruments, sing to the stringed instruments, melody, ministrel, play (-er. -ing).
Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress;H6862 ; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.
Last week we saw David’s unwavering faith, even in the midst of devastating personal heartbreak. Here, we find David putting his prayer to music, in a specific way. HE IS IN DISTRESS.
In Psalm 4 we now see another battle David waged in his mind. This time it was with his own fellow Israelites.
The Hebrew word for ‘distress’ isI צַר tsar, meaning a narrow tight place (usually figuratively, that is, trouble); (transitively) an opponent – adversary, in affliction, anguish, close distress, sorrow, strait, tribulation, trouble. Again, David brings his dilemma to the LORD, reminding us that his successes in the past were from his GOD.
:2 O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah.
The word ‘glory’ used in verse 2, in Hebrew, also means honor. David was telling GOD his countrymen were politically portraying the victories he had won for the nation as something evil, dishonorable, even shameful. Does this sound familiar today? But, David knew a universal and unchanging truth: that if GOD be for him, who could be against him!
That one little 3 letter word, ‘for’, is more than what it seems! The Greek word Paul used in Romans 8:31 is G5228 ὑπέρ. Pronounced ‘hoop-er,’ it is a primary preposition meaning “over”, that is, above, beyond, across; with the accusative case superior to, more than. In compounds it retains many of the listed applications: – (+ exceeding abundantly) above, in (on) behalf of, beyond, by, + very chiefest, concerning, exceeding (above, -ly), for, + very highly, more (than), of, over, on the part of, for sake of, in stead, than, to (-ward), very.
David knew his GOD was ‘over’ him, beyond him, and exceedingly abundantly more than enough for any situation he faced in life.
Psa 4:3 But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him.
He also knew that those who had a personal relationship with YAHWEH had His ear anytime, anywhere. The ETR version translates v. 3 this way: You can be sure that anyone who serves the LORD faithfully is special to him. The LORD listens when I pray to him.
David determined at an early age that he was going to be faithful to YAHWEH, his God, and by hiding God’s word in his heart, he strove to stay that way. So David was advising all his countrymen who were dishonoring him as their king that they were putting themselves in a precarious place with the One who made him their king! (Good advice for our country today, too!)
Psa 4:4 Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. :5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.
Sometimes, in life, the people who should support us, sin against us. What was David’s advice? The phrase translated as ‘stand in awe’ in the KJV is one Hebrew word. H7264 רָגַז raw-gaz’. A primitive root, it means to quiver (with any violent emotion, especially anger or fear): – be afraid, stand in awe, disquiet, fall out, fret, move, provoke, quake, rage, shake, tremble, trouble, be wroth.
So what David was really saying is, it’s understandable, even okay, to acknowledge he was angry, just don’t sin in anger. Do what he did. Tell GOD how you feel, then just be still. Continue doing what’s pleasing to YAHWEH, for He can be trusted to work it all out for your good!
Psa 4:6 There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.
The key to verse six is the word ‘shew’. The Hebrew root is רָאָה (raw-aw’). A primitive root which can mean to see, it also means approve, behold, consider, discern, take heed, look (on, one another, one on another, one upon another, out, up, upon), mark, meet, perceive, regard, (have) respect, cause to see (one another), shew (self), X sight of others, (e-) spy, stare, think, visions.
With the full definition in mind, we could translate it this way: There are many that say, “who can discern, look on us, have respect and see good”? YAHWEH, lift up the light of how You look upon us. If we look on this verse this way, then verse 7 makes perfect sense! When the disciple of Christ realizes that the Father sees us through the veil of His Son, He sees His righteousness and floods our relationship with Him in joy! We again have shalom, peace with our Father GOD!
Psa 4:7 Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased. :8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.
Abba Father, may we trust Your hand is working all things out for our good. Thank You for shining your light, Your word, showing us how to best live as Your sons and daughters. Amein.
Gleaning from the Psalms
Not much has been written about the 6th Psalm in Biblical history. But from its opening words, we see David in a place where we have not yet seen him; for here we find it written, O Lord, Deliver My Life!
Psalm 6:1 O (YAHWEH) יהוה, do not rebuke me in Your displeasure, Nor discipline me in Your wrath.
Whatever David is facing, he is praying for mercy in correction or discipline. In the next verse, David asks his GOD to restore favor, for” I am fading away; O יהוה, heal me, for my bones have been troubled”. I think we all have found ourselves in David’s state of mind at least once in our Christian walk. We have messed up so badly, done something so against what we KNEW God wanted, then felt so very far away from His Holy Presence.
Many Christians see our Heavenly Father much like our earthly parents were, whether they were harsh in discipline, or away all the time, maybe even passed away, leaving us feeling much like a boat without a rudder in a violent storm.
May be that we are facing a life-threatening illness, or we fear for our very lives because of something beyond our control. David shows us that we can, just like him, take all these human issues before our GOD, especially when we feel far from Him, even at death’s door.
4 Return, O YAHWEH, return; deliver my soul; save me for Your mercy’s sake.:5 For in death there is no memory of You; in the grave who shall give You thanks?
We may be consumed with vexatious anger, grief and sorrow, or spiteful wrath, but when we come before our Heavenly Father honestly, telling Him how we truly feel, He is not shocked. He knows us! And what better place to pour out our soul than in His unchanging love for us. David did. And this psalm shows us that he got through and his GOD did deliver him from whatever brought this on!
David is not left in deepest despair, and neither will we for our LORD hears our cry!
8 Depart from me, all you workers of evil, for the LORD has heard the sound of my weeping. 9The LORD has heard my plea; the LORD accepts my prayer. 10 All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled; they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment.
Take hope today, Disciple of Christ! He will NEVER leave you nor forsake you! For “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread” (Ps. 37:25).