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It Might Be Time to Change the Channel!

27 Aug

God tells us flat out in the book of Jeremiah that we will begin to look like the things we pursue. The things we exalt and make the goal of life move from being the thing we desire to possess, to the thing that possesses us. That makes such sense because the things that we love, that we chase after, and I’ll be so bold as to say lust after, control us.

                         This is what the Lord says:

“What fault did your ancestors find in me,
    that they strayed so far from me?
They followed worthless idols
    and became worthless themselves. . . . Jeremiah 2:5

Our pursuit shapes the way we use our time, where we invest our resources, and even our friend circle. Not one area of life goes unscathed or escapes the tentacles of our pursuit.

Do not run until your feet are bare
    and your throat is dry.
But you said, ‘It’s no use!
    I love foreign gods,
    and I must go after them. . . . Jeremiah 2:25

Rolling all of this over in my mind and asking myself what I pursue with everything I am and praying in the back of my brain that my pursuit is of the Who and not a what, made me remember a Shel Silverstein poem I used to read to my Sweet Girl when she was little . . . Jimmy Jet and the TV Set.

I’ll tell you the story of Jimmy Jet–
    And you know what I tell you is true.
He loved to watch his TV set
    Almost as much as you.

He watched all day, he watched all night
    Till he grew pale and lean,
From ‘The Early Show’ to ‘The Late Show’
    And all the shows in between.

He watched till his eyes were frozen wide,
     And his bottom grew into his chair.
And his chin turned into a tuning dial,
    And antennae grew out of his hair.

And his brains turned into TV tubes,
    And his face to a TV screen.
And two knobs saying ‘vert.’ and ‘horiz.’
    Grew where his ears had been.

And he grew a plug that looked like a tail
    So we plugged in little Jim.
And now instead of him watching TV
    We all sit around and watch him.

   Shel Silverstein

Quite the cautionary tale! Full of wisdom if we’re willing to take it in. I can’t expect to be consumed with the temporal things of this world and not look like I belong here.  Like this is my country and my home.

Sister, we will be changed by what we run after and where we fix our eyes. We will resemble what we pursue and our pursuit will shape who we become.

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Lord,
     Let me fix my eyes on Jesus.
     Let me pursue you with everything I am.
     Give me the desire to look like you.
     To be holy because you are holy.

     Influence who I am in the here and now.
     Shape me to be who you want me to be.
     In Jesus Name Amen.

Let the Jar be Broken! Go Forth Mighty Warrior!!!

6 May

Oh how I love God’s timing and His desire to encourage our hearts. He is the One who created spurring one and another on toward love and good deeds . . . why does it is surprise me so that He practices it so well?

Just a short thought for this day . . . We are drawing near to the National Day of Prayer and as I asked God this morning to prepare my heart for sharing His word at a local gathering I prayed – “Lord, move this cracked pot out of the way so that only Your Light shines.”

See, I feel too nervous. I feel too small. And I feel too weak to speak about the Mighty God we serve with the reverence and the awe He so deserves. I want so badly to communicate in such a way that people are roused to follow hard after Him knowing that He will be found.  It’s my desire that hearts will be awakened and that we will join arms in the faith to influence our communities and our nation. But I know all of that is beyond me – and there’s the root of my prayer – “Move this cracked pot out of the way – let your light shine.”

And His answer to me was immediate . . .Gideon. The runt of the litter in the smallest tribe. Called to stand with only a few in the Name of the Lord to defeat the enemy. The weapons God placed in their hands?

16 Dividing the three hundred men into three companies, he placed trumpets and empty jars in the hands of all of them, with torches inside. Judges 7:16

A Trumpet

A Jar

A Torch

Oh Lord you are the delight of my soul! He has given you and I the same weapons each and every day –

  • The Trumpet . . .The message of God and the announcement of the good news. Let those God has placed in our sphere of influences KNOW that God is in the house! Let us announce that He lives within us by word and by deed all for His glory.
  • The Jar . . . Lord, break this jar of clay—bust away our insecurities, take the idols we’ve surrounded ourselves with, strip us of our penchants to be self-absorbed and remove any ounce of pride that may rear its ugly head – smash our broken pots to reveal the treasure that we hold on the inside of us .
  • The Light . . .Shine Jesus Shine! Let Your Light shine through us and radiate Love to everyone we come in contact with! Lord, You cannot be contained and the darkness flees in Your Presence. The Light has dawned, defeated death and lives inside of every believer!

Jesus light

The trumpet, the jar and the torch are all we need to stand firm and He will scatter the enemy . . .

Gideon and the hundred men with him reached the edge of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, just after they had changed the guard. They blew their trumpets and broke the jars that were in their hands. 20 The three companies blew the trumpets and smashed the jars. Grasping the torches in their left hands and holding in their right hands the trumpets they were to blow, they shouted, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!” 21 While each man held his position around the camp, all the Midianites ran, crying out as they fled. Judge 7:19-21

How beautiful is He Sister? How can our hearts be anymore encouraged than to have the whole thing be shown to us in vivid color through Gideon and then walk into the New Testament to see it in our applied to own lives?

Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”a]”>[a] made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”b]”>[b] Since we have that same spirit ofc]”>[c] faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4

He never leaves us guessing about His Presence in our lives or His Presence in our battles. And hear me when I say, He does not simply provide the victory . . . . HE IS THE VICTORY! To have the God of the Angel Armies, the Creator of the Universe, the Messiah who died and rose again, The Spirit who is the Lord – Shine forth from us. What other kind of prize could compare? What greater reward or spoils from the war would we possess? What other plunder might we desire?

Girlfriend, we have it all!  Do not lose heart! Go forth Mighty Warrior your God is with you . . .

creation swap sparkler 9573_Sparkler gideon

Lessons from Lent: Day 39

3 Apr

creation swap lessons from lent coffee cup Kelly Sikkema 22940

An Explanation of Lessons from Lent

In the next 40 days (2 now because you have already accomplished thirty-eight), the weeks leading up to Easter, the posts on Glimpsed Glory will be different. I am reading through the New Testament during this time and I am hoping the Holy Spirit will lead me to a fresh revelation each and every day. I’m going into it with a prayerful heart and an expectant spirit but I will fully confess to you that my soul feels sluggish.

I have been in a place of exhaustion over these last months. My mind has been clouded, my body has ached and insomnia has been my companion since late December. The enemy has been and is still whispering in my ear that my Jesus has forgotten me . . . that He has finally tired of my imperfections and left me behind.

I’m not giving in to it! I am going to fight the good fight of faith and follow the example of my Nehemiah Man. I am going to stand firm in my faith because if I do not, I will not stand at all. I’m praising God for bringing me to a place of emptiness so that I can look to Him to fill my cup.

I’m coming before the Lord and I’m asking Him to do a new thing in me. To rouse my heart to His side and to draw me near in real and tangible ways. To plow through the fog that has settled over me in the form of health issues, physical stress, and emotional upheaval and lay a level path before me. I’m entering the throne room and I’m humbly reminding Him that He has invited me to come in my time of need. O Lord – be near to me. Love me where I am. Take me where I need to be.

creation swap love me one flower 206081_Flower_Background

That’s the cry of my heart Sweet Sister and I’m thinking that if I am in this place that perhaps you are too. It might be that different life situations have brought us here but here we are. If that’s the case, I want you to know that you are not alone and that you have a faith sister to walk through it with. We can do this together – you and I. It’s why God gave us to one another. We can join our hearts and we can offer up the next 40 days to the Beautiful One and trust Him to do the beautiful thing in us.

So here’s what I’ll do. I’ll post the daily reading on the blog (except for Sundays) and if you read the Scriptures not only will you have read through the entire New Testament by Easter but God promises that He’ll show you deep and unsearchable things you do not know. He promises that His word is alive and active and will transform your heart. I could use some transformation. What about you?

At the end of the daily passage, I’m going to share my “Lesson from Lent” – nothing long or drawn out just something that God uses to speak straight to my heart from the Scripture that day. I’m putting it at the end because if your time runs short on a particular day – I want you to skip reading my words, not His.

I’m hoping that you’ll start your own running record of what God is showing you. Maybe you’ll even be moved to leave a comment so your Sisters can glean from what you’re learning. No matter how you choose to keep track of all He shares with you . . . treasure it up in your heart Sweet One, meditate on it, mull it over, consider the whisper of the Lover of your soul. The God of the Universe is the only Voice we need to revive our tired souls. So, let’s you and I lean in close, pray for ears to hear and hearts to respond. Let’s dig in to the riches He has given us and prepare to be amazed by what He will reveal to our expectant hearts. O Sister, let’s boldly ask Him for a lesson from Lent and then brace ourselves for a glimpse of Glory!

Day Thirty-nine

April 3, 2015 ~~ Revelation 8-16

Amplified Bible

Footnotes: I’ve left the footnotes in place if you would like to track down sources in word study and language. Please follow the link to each chapter and scroll to the bottom of the passage.

Revelation 8

When He [the Lamb] broke open the seventh seal, there was silence for about half an hour in heaven.

Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets.

And another angel came and stood over the altar. He had a golden censer, and he was given very much incense (fragrant spices and gums which exhale perfume when burned), that he might mingle it with the prayers of all the people of God (the saints) upon the golden altar before the throne. And the smoke of the incense (the perfume) arose in the presence of God, with the prayers of the people of God (the saints), from the hand of the angel. So the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and cast it upon the earth. Then there followed peals of thunder and loud rumblings and blasts and noises, and flashes of lightning and an earthquake.

Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them.

The first angel blew [his] trumpet, and there was a storm of hail and fire mingled with blood cast upon the earth. And a third part of the earth was burned up and a third of the trees was burned up and all the green grass was burned up.

The second angel blew [his] trumpet, and something resembling a great mountain, blazing with fire, was hurled into the sea.

And a third of the sea was turned to blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea perished, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

10 The third angel blew [his] trumpet, and a huge star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it dropped on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water— 11 And the name of the star is Wormwood. A third part of the waters was changed into wormwood, and many people died from using the water, because it had become bitter.

12 Then the fourth angel blew [his] trumpet, and a third of the sun was smitten, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that [the light of] a third of them was darkened, and a third of the daylight [itself] was withdrawn, and likewise a third [of the light] of the night was kept from shining.

13 Then I [looked and I] saw a solitary eagle flying in midheaven, and as it flew I heard it crying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe to those who dwell on the earth, because of the rest of the trumpet blasts which the three angels are about to sound!

Revelation 9

Then the fifth angel blew [his] trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth; and to the angel was given the key [a]of the shaft of the Abyss (the bottomless pit). He opened the [b]long shaft of the Abyss (the bottomless pit), and smoke like the smoke of a huge furnace puffed out of the [c]long shaft, so that the sun and the atmosphere were darkened by the smoke from the long shaft. Then out of the smoke locusts came forth on the earth, and such power was granted them as the power the earth’s scorpions have. They were told not to injure the herbage of the earth nor any green thing nor any tree, but only [to attack] such human beings as do not have the seal (mark) of God on their foreheads. They were not permitted to kill them, but to torment (distress, vex) them for five months; and the pain caused them was like the torture of a scorpion when it stings a person. And in those days people will seek death and will not find it; and they will yearn to die, but death evades and flees from them.

The locusts resembled horses equipped for battle. On their heads was something like golden crowns. Their faces resembled the faces of people. They had hair like the hair of women, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. Their breastplates (scales) resembled breastplates made of iron, and the [whirring] noise made by their wings was like the roar of a vast number of horse-drawn chariots going at full speed into battle. 10 They have tails like scorpions, and they have stings, and in their tails lies their ability to hurt men for [the] five months. 11 Over them as king they have the angel of the Abyss (of the bottomless pit). In Hebrew his name is Abaddon [destruction], but in Greek he is called Apollyon [destroyer].

12 The first woe (calamity) has passed; behold, two others are yet to follow.

13 Then the sixth angel blew [his] trumpet, and from the four horns of the golden altar which stands before God I heard a solitary voice, 14 Saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, Liberate the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates. 15 So the four angels who had been in readiness for that hour in the appointed day, month, and year were liberated to destroy a third of mankind. 16 The number of their troops of cavalry was twice ten thousand times ten thousand (200,000,000); I heard what their number was.

17 And in [my] vision the horses and their riders appeared to me like this: the riders wore breastplates the color of fiery red and sapphire blue and sulphur (brimstone) yellow. The heads of the horses looked like lions’ heads, and from their mouths there poured fire and smoke and sulphur (brimstone). 18 A third of mankind was killed by these three plagues—by the fire and the smoke and the sulphur (brimstone) that poured from the mouths of the horses. 19 For the power of the horses to do harm is in their mouths and also in their tails. Their tails are like serpents, for they have heads, and it is by means of them that they wound people.

20 And the rest of humanity who were not killed by these plagues even then did not repent of [the worship of] the works of their [own] hands, so as to cease paying homage to the demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor move. 21 And they did not repent of their murders or their practice of magic (sorceries) or their sexual vice or their thefts.

Revelation 10

Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, robed in a cloud, with a [halo like a] rainbow over his head; his face was like the sun, and his feet (legs) were like columns of fire. He had a little book (scroll) open in his hand. He set his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, And he shouted with a loud voice like the roaring of a lion; and when he had shouted, the seven thunders gave voice and uttered their message in distinct words. And when the seven thunders had spoken (sounded), I was going to write [it down], but I heard a voice from heaven saying, Seal up what the seven thunders have said! Do not write it down!

Then the [mighty] angel whom I had seen stationed on sea and land raised his right hand to heaven (the [a]sky), And swore in the name of (by) Him Who lives forever and ever, Who created the heavens ([b]sky) and all they contain, and the earth and all that it contains, and the sea and all that it contains. [He swore] that no more time should intervene and there should be no more waiting or delay, But that when the days come when the trumpet call of the seventh angel is about to be sounded, then God’s mystery (His secret design, His hidden purpose), as He had announced the glad tidings to His servants the prophets, should be fulfilled (accomplished, completed).

Then the voice that I heard from heaven spoke again to me, saying, Go and take the little book (scroll) which is open on the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.

So I went up to the angel and asked him to give me the little book. And he said to me, Take it and eat it. It will embitter your stomach, though in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey. 10 So I took the little book from the angel’s hand and ate and swallowed it; it was as sweet as honey in my mouth, but once I had swallowed it, my stomach was embittered. 11 Then they said to me, You are to make a fresh prophecy concerning many peoples and races and nations and languages and kings.

Revelation 11

A reed [as a measuring rod] was then given to me, [shaped] like a staff, and I was told: Rise up and measure the sanctuary of God and the altar [of incense], and [number] those who worship there. But leave out of your measuring the court outside the sanctuary of God; omit that, for it is given over to the Gentiles (the nations), and they will trample the holy city underfoot for 42 months (three and one-half years). And I will grant the power of prophecy to My two witnesses for 1,260 (42 months; three and one-half years), dressed in sackcloth. These [witnesses] are the two olive trees and the two lampstands which stand before the Lord of the earth. And if anyone attempts to injure them, fire pours from their mouth and consumes their enemies; if anyone should attempt to harm them, thus he is doomed to be slain. These [two witnesses] have power to shut up the sky, so that no rain may fall during the days of their prophesying (their [a]prediction of events relating to Christ’s kingdom and its speedy triumph); and they also have power to turn the waters into blood and to smite and scourge the earth with all manner of plagues as often as they choose.

But when they have finished their testimony and their evidence is all in, the beast (monster) that comes up out of the Abyss (bottomless pit) will wage war on them, and conquer them and kill them. And their dead bodies [will lie exposed] in the open street ([b]a public square) of the great city which is in a spiritual sense called [by the mystical and allegorical names of] Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. For three and a half days men from the races and tribes and languages and nations will gaze at their dead bodies and will not allow them to be put in a tomb. 10 And those who dwell on the earth will gloat and exult over them and rejoice exceedingly, taking their ease and sending presents [in congratulation] to one another, because these two prophets had been such a vexation and trouble and torment to all the dwellers on the earth.

11 But after three and a half days, by God’s gift the breath of life again entered into them, and they rose up on their feet, and great dread and terror fell on those who watched them. 12 Then [the two witnesses] heard a strong voice from heaven calling to them, Come up here! And before the very eyes of their enemies they ascended into heaven in a cloud.

13 And at that [very] hour there was a tremendous earthquake and one tenth of the city was destroyed (fell); seven thousand people perished in the earthquake, and those who remained were filled with dread and terror and were awe-struck, and they glorified the God of heaven.

14 The second woe (calamity) has passed; now the third woe is speedily to come.

15 The seventh angel then blew [his] trumpet, and there were mighty voices in heaven, shouting, The dominion (kingdom, sovereignty, rule) of the world has now come into the possession and become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ (the Messiah), and He shall reign forever and ever (for the eternities of the eternities)!

16 Then the twenty-four elders [of [c]the heavenly Sanhedrin], who sit on their thrones before God, prostrated themselves before Him and worshiped,

17 Exclaiming, To You we give thanks, Lord God Omnipotent, [the One] Who is and [ever] was, for assuming the high sovereignty and the great power that are Yours and for beginning to reign.

18 And the heathen (the nations) raged, but Your wrath (retribution, indignation) came, the time when the dead will be judged and Your servants the prophets and saints rewarded—and those who revere (fear) Your name, both low and high and small and great—and [the time] for destroying the corrupters of the earth.

19 Then the sanctuary of God in heaven was thrown open, and the ark of His covenant was seen standing inside in His sanctuary; and there were flashes of lightning, loud rumblings (blasts, mutterings), peals of thunder, an earthquake, and a terrific hailstorm.

Revelation 12

And a great sign (wonder)—[warning of future events of ominous significance] appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and with a crownlike garland (tiara) of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and she cried out in her birth pangs, in the anguish of her delivery. Then another ominous sign (wonder) was seen in heaven: Behold, a huge, fiery-red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven kingly crowns (diadems) upon his heads. His tail swept [across the sky] and dragged down a third of the stars and flung them to the earth. And the dragon stationed himself in front of the woman who was about to be delivered, so that he might devour her child as soon as she brought it forth. And she brought forth a male Child, One Who is destined to shepherd (rule) all the nations with an iron staff (scepter), and her Child was caught up to God and to His throne. And the woman [herself] fled into the desert (wilderness), where she has a retreat prepared [for her] by God, in which she is to be fed and kept safe for 1,260 days (42 months; three and one-half years).

Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels went forth to battle with the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought. But they were defeated, and there was no room found for them in heaven any longer. And the huge dragon was cast down and out—that age-old serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, he who is the seducer (deceiver) of all humanity the world over; he was forced out and down to the earth, and his angels were flung out along with him. 10 Then I heard a strong (loud) voice in heaven, saying, Now it has come—the salvation and the power and the kingdom (the dominion, the reign) of our God, and the power (the sovereignty, the authority) of His Christ (the Messiah); for the accuser of our brethren, he who keeps bringing before our God charges against them day and night, has been cast out! 11 And they have overcome (conquered) him by means of the blood of the Lamb and by the utterance of their testimony, for they did not love and cling to life even when faced with death [holding their lives cheap till they had to die for their witnessing]. +12 Therefore be glad (exult), O heavens and you that dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in fierce anger (fury), because he knows that he has [only] a short time [left]!

13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast down to the earth, he went in pursuit of the woman who had given birth to the male Child. 14 But the woman was supplied with the two wings of a giant eagle, so that she might fly from the presence of the serpent into the desert (wilderness), to the retreat where she is to be kept safe and fed for a time, and times, and half a time (three and one-half years, or 1,260 days). 15 Then out of his mouth the serpent spouted forth water like a flood after the woman, that she might be carried off with the torrent. 16 But the earth came to the rescue of the woman, and the ground opened its mouth and swallowed up the stream of water which the dragon had spouted from his mouth. 17 So then the dragon was furious (enraged) at the woman, and he went away to wage war on the remainder of her descendants—[on those] who obey God’s commandments and who have the testimony of Jesus Christ [and adhere to it and [a]bear witness to Him].

Revelation 13

[As] [a]I stood on the sandy beach, I saw a beast coming up out of the sea with ten horns and seven heads. On his horns he had ten royal crowns (diadems) and blasphemous titles (names) on his heads. And the beast that I saw resembled a leopard, but his feet were like those of a bear and his mouth was like that of a lion. And to him the dragon gave his [own] might and power and his [own] throne and great dominion. And one of his heads seemed to have a deadly wound. But his death stroke was healed; and the whole earth went after the beast in amazement and admiration. They fell down and paid homage to the dragon, because he had bestowed on the beast all his dominion and authority; they also praised and worshiped the beast, exclaiming, Who is a match for the beast, and, Who can make war against him?

And the beast was given the power of speech, uttering boastful and blasphemous words, and he was given freedom to exert his authority and to exercise his will during forty-two months (three and a half years). And he opened his mouth to speak slanders against God, blaspheming His name and His abode, [even vilifying] those who live in heaven. He was further permitted to wage war on God’s holy people (the saints) and to overcome them. And power was given him to extend his authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation, And all the inhabitants of the earth will fall down in adoration and pay him homage, everyone whose name has not been recorded in the Book of Life of the Lamb that was slain [in sacrifice] [b]from the foundation of the world.

If anyone is able to hear, let him listen:

10 Whoever leads into captivity will himself go into captivity; if anyone slays with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Herein is [the call for] the patience and the faith and fidelity of the saints (God’s people).

11 Then I saw another beast rising up out of the land [itself]; he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke (roared) like a dragon. 12 He exerts all the power and right of control of the former beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell upon it to exalt and deify the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed, and to worship him. 13 He performs great signs (startling miracles), even making fire fall from the sky to the earth in men’s sight. 14 And because of the signs (miracles) which he is allowed to perform in the presence of the [first] beast, he deceives those who inhabit the earth, commanding them to erect a statue (an image) in the likeness of the beast who was wounded by the [small] sword and still lived. 15 And he is permitted [also] to impart the breath of life into the beast’s image, so that the statue of the beast could actually talk and cause to be put to death those who would not bow down and worship the image of the beast. 16 Also he compels all [alike], both small and great, both the rich and the poor, both free and slave, to be marked with an inscription [[c]stamped] on their right hands or on their foreheads, 17 So that no one will have power to buy or sell unless he bears the stamp (mark, inscription), [that is] the name of the beast or the number of his name.

18 Here is [room for] discernment [a call for the wisdom [d]of interpretation]. Let anyone who has intelligence (penetration and insight enough) calculate the number of the beast, for it is a human number [the number of a certain man]; his number is 666.

Revelation 14

Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb stood on Mount Zion, and with Him 144,000 [men] who had His name and His Father’s name inscribed on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven like the sound of great waters and like the rumbling of mighty thunder; the voice I heard [seemed like the music] of harpists [a]accompanying themselves on their harps. And they sang a new song before the throne [of God] and before the four living creatures and before the elders [of [b]the heavenly Sanhedrin]. No one could learn [to sing] that song except the 144,000 who had been ransomed (purchased, redeemed) from the earth. These are they who have not defiled themselves by relations with women, for they are [[c]pure as] virgins. These are they who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These are they who have been ransomed (purchased, redeemed) from among men as the firstfruits for God and the Lamb. No lie was found to be upon their lips, for they are blameless (spotless, untainted, without blemish) before the throne of God.

Then I saw another angel flying in midair, with an eternal Gospel (good news) to tell to the inhabitants of the earth, to every race and tribe and language and people. And he cried with a mighty voice, Revere God and give Him glory (honor and praise in worship), for the hour of His judgment has arrived. Fall down before Him; pay Him homage and adoration and worship Him Who created heaven and earth, the sea and the springs (fountains) of water.

Then another angel, a second, followed, declaring, Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She who made all nations drink of the [maddening] wine of her passionate unchastity [[d]idolatry].

Then another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a mighty voice, Whoever pays homage to the beast and his statue and permits the [beast’s] stamp (mark, inscription) to be put on his forehead or on his hand, 10 He too shall [have to] drink of the wine of God’s indignation and wrath, poured undiluted into the cup of His anger; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no respite (no pause, no intermission, no rest, no peace) day or night—these who pay homage to the beast and to his image and whoever receives the stamp of his name upon him. 12 Here [comes in a call for] the steadfastness of the saints [the patience, the endurance of the people of God], those who [habitually] keep God’s commandments and [their] faith in Jesus.

13 Then I heard further [[e]perceiving the distinct words of] a voice from heaven, saying, Write this: Blessed (happy, [f]to be envied) are the dead from now on who die in the Lord! Yes, blessed (happy, [g]to be envied indeed), says the Spirit, [in] that they may rest from their labors, for their works (deeds) do follow (attend, accompany) them!

14 Again I looked, and behold, [I saw] a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud [h]One resembling a Son of Man, with a crown of gold on His head and a sharp scythe (sickle) in His hand. 15 And another angel came out of the temple sanctuary, calling with a mighty voice to Him Who was sitting upon the cloud, Put in Your scythe and reap, for the hour has arrived to gather the harvest, for the earth’s crop is fully ripened. 16 So He Who was sitting upon the cloud swung His scythe (sickle) on the earth, and the earth’s crop was harvested.

17 Then another angel came out of the temple [sanctuary] in heaven, and he also carried a sharp scythe (sickle). 18 And another angel came forth from the altar, [the angel] who has authority and power over fire, and he called with a loud cry to him who had the sharp scythe (sickle), Put forth your scythe and reap the fruitage of the vine of the earth, for its grapes are entirely ripe. 19 So the angel swung his scythe on the earth and stripped the grapes and gathered the vintage from the vines of the earth and cast it into the huge winepress of God’s indignation and wrath. 20 And [the grapes in] the winepress were trodden outside the city, and blood poured from the winepress, [reaching] as high as horses’ bridles, for a distance of 1,600 stadia (about 200 miles).

Revelation 15

Then I saw another wonder (sign, token, symbol) in heaven, great and marvelous [warning of events of ominous significance]: There were seven angels bringing seven plagues (afflictions, calamities), which are the last, for with them God’s wrath (indignation) is completely expressed [reaches its climax and is ended]. Then I saw what seemed to be a glassy sea blended with fire, and those who had come off victorious from the beast and from his statue and from the number corresponding to his name were standing beside the glassy sea, with harps of God in their hands. And they sang the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb, saying, Mighty and marvelous are Your works, O Lord God the Omnipotent! Righteous (just) and true are Your ways, O Sovereign of the ages (King of the [a]nations)! Who shall not reverence and glorify Your name, O Lord [giving You honor and praise in worship]? For You only are holy. All the nations shall come and pay homage and adoration to You, for Your just judgments (Your righteous sentences and deeds) have been made known and displayed.

After this I looked and the sanctuary of the tent of the testimony in heaven was thrown open, And there came out of the temple sanctuary the seven angels bringing the seven plagues (afflictions, calamities). They were arrayed in pure gleaming linen, and around their breasts they wore golden girdles. And one of the four living creatures [then] gave the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath and indignation of God, Who lives forever and ever (in the eternities of the eternities). And the sanctuary was filled with smoke from the glory (the radiance, the splendor) of God and from His might and power, and no one was able to go into the sanctuary until the seven plagues (afflictions, calamities) of the seven angels were ended.

Revelation 16

Then I heard a mighty voice from the temple sanctuary saying to the seven angels, Go and empty out on the earth the seven bowls of God’s wrath and indignation.

So the first [angel] went and emptied his bowl on the earth, and foul and painful ulcers (sores) came on the people who were marked with the stamp of the beast and who did homage to his image.

The second [angel] emptied his bowl into the sea, and it turned into blood like that of a corpse [thick, corrupt, ill-smelling, and disgusting], and every living thing that was in the sea perished.

Then the third [angel] emptied out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of water, and they turned into (became) blood.

And I also heard the angel of the waters say, Righteous (just) are You in these Your decisions and judgments, You Who are and were, O Holy One! Because they have poured out the blood of Your people (the saints) and the prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. Such is their due [they deserve it]!

And [from] the altar I heard [the] cry, Yes, Lord God the Omnipotent, Your judgments (sentences, decisions) are true and just and righteous!

Then the fourth [angel] emptied out his bowl upon the sun, and it was permitted to burn (scorch) humanity with [fierce, glowing] heat (fire). People were severely burned (scorched) by the fiery heat, and they reviled and blasphemed the name of God, Who has control of these plagues, and they did not repent of their sins [felt no regret, contrition, and compunction for their waywardness, refusing to amend their ways] to give Him glory.

10 Then the fifth [angel] emptied his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was [plunged] in darkness; and people gnawed their tongues for the torment [of their excruciating distress and severe pain] 11 And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their anguish and their ulcers (sores), and they did not deplore their wicked deeds or repent [for what they had done].

12 Then the sixth [angel] emptied his bowl on the mighty river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to make ready a road for [the coming of] the kings of the east (from the rising sun). 13 And I saw three loathsome spirits like frogs, [leaping] from the mouth of the dragon and from the mouth of the beast and from the mouth of the false prophet. 14 For really they are the spirits of demons that perform signs (wonders, miracles). And they go forth to the rulers and leaders all over the world, to gather them together for war on the great day of God the Almighty. 15 Behold, I am going to come like a thief! Blessed (happy, [a]to be envied) is he who stays awake (alert) and who guards his clothes, so that he may not be naked and [have the shame of being] seen exposed! 16 And they gathered them together at the place which in Hebrew is called Armageddon.

17 Then the seventh [angel] emptied out his bowl into the air, and a mighty voice came out of the sanctuary of heaven from the throne [of God], saying, It is done! [It is all over, it is all accomplished, it has come!] 18 And there followed lightning flashes, loud rumblings, peals of thunder, and a tremendous earthquake; nothing like it has ever occurred since men dwelt on the earth, so severe and far-reaching was that earthquake. 19 The mighty city was broken into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And God kept in mind mighty Babylon, to make her drain the cup of His furious wrath and indignation. 20 And every island fled and no mountains could be found. 21 And great (excessively oppressive) hailstones, as heavy as a talent [between fifty and sixty pounds], of immense size, fell from the sky on the people; and men blasphemed God for the plague of the hail, so very great was [the torture] of that plague.

And the Amen rises to the Throne

#lessonsfromlent

Here’s what I am hoping for you . . .you did not come here looking for a symbolic interpretation or a definitive word on the events described in Revelation. Scholars debate the perspective of the Book—is it historicist, is it idealist, is it preterist, is it futurist—and we’re going to leave all that debating to them.

More than anything else what the Book of Revelation resonates with in my brain is that God always finishes what He starts. We see so many parallels between these chapters that describe the final deliverance of God’s people and the first time He ushered them out of the hands of their oppressors in the Book of Exodus. We see the elements of the tabernacle in our mind’s eye as we peek inside the Throne Room and God’s Glory fills the temple. I’m left in awe that we’re given a glimpse of the Ark of the Covenant . . .the Law on the bottom, covered by the Mercy Seat, leading straight to the Presence of God . . . just as He introduced it in the wilderness.  See God being God?  Remaining Himself?  Creating a platform for the future that features that same Holy One present since before time began.

We see the dragon waiting for the woman to give birth so he can devour her child here in Revelation and the very first announcement of the Messiah coming forth in Genesis 3:15 rings in our ears. Adam and Eve weren’t the only ones who heard the curse as it came from God’s mouth . . .the serpent heard every word.

15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her [a]Offspring; He will bruise and tread your head underfoot, and you will lie in wait and bruise His heel.  Genesis 3:15 AMP

This first prophecy of Jesus could not have more clearly stated that the Savior would be a “He” and from that moment forward the serpent’s agenda had to include trying to destroy the “Offspring.” We see the evidence of it in the opening chapters of the Book of Exodus as Pharaoh is killing the Hebrew baby boys. It just seems to me that that had to be the work of the enemy, who even then, knew his time was short. And just like the woman Revelation records being cared for in the desert, God cared for His chosen people as they wandered for 40 years.

We see the Ancient Serpent, the Devil, still trying to destroy the Child through Herod at the birth of Christ and we travel with Joseph and Mary as they flee to Egypt in response to the angel’s warning.  And how will the final fulfillment of the Revelation come to pass at the end of the age? I have no idea but I do know, and so do you Sister, that in every age God faithfully preserves His people.

I know it’s a very simplistic view but the idea of Revelation being our final deliverance, our final emergence from the constraints of this world . . .our final Exodus, well, that fits for me no matter where the scholars come down on the thing. Doesn’t it seem an exercise in futility to try and define the activity of God and make Him fit neatly into a box our finite minds have created?  Our Infinite God, our Elohim, has been planning to deliver His children home since before time began and it seems that Revelation speaks a combination of flashbacks and flash forwards that concludes with God being God.   The final Book, the conclusion of the redemption story where we see God be who He says He is and do what He says He will do is the culmination of it all.

The culmination of a God who does not change. The culmination of a God whose purposes cannot be thwarted. The culmination of a God who is, who was, and who is to come. There are many things left open to interpretation in the Book of Revelation but the constancy, the commitment, and the consistency of God is not one of them.

From the opening verse in Genesis to the concluding discourse in Revelation. . . . God remains God. The same God who cultivated the beauty of creation and spoke life into existence has authored life in you. The same God who met His people in their captivity and led them out under the banner of freedom has met us in our bondage, unshackled our hearts, and set us free. The same God who was faithful when His children were faithless is faithful to this very day.

We can’t get so immersed in looking behind the Holy Writ for the “what’s really being said” that we miss the clear message . . . He has saved us. He has delivered us. He has set us free. And Girlfriend, He will make certain that we make it home.

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The way home has not changed . . . #lessonsfromlent

Lessons from Lent: Day 38

2 Apr

creation swap lessons from lent coffee cup Kelly Sikkema 22940

An Explanation of Lessons from Lent

In the next 40 days (3 now because you have already accomplished thirty-seven), the weeks leading up to Easter, the posts on Glimpsed Glory will be different. I am reading through the New Testament during this time and I am hoping the Holy Spirit will lead me to a fresh revelation each and every day. I’m going into it with a prayerful heart and an expectant spirit but I will fully confess to you that my soul feels sluggish.

I have been in a place of exhaustion over these last months. My mind has been clouded, my body has ached and insomnia has been my companion since late December. The enemy has been and is still whispering in my ear that my Jesus has forgotten me . . . that He has finally tired of my imperfections and left me behind.

I’m not giving in to it! I am going to fight the good fight of faith and follow the example of my Nehemiah Man. I am going to stand firm in my faith because if I do not, I will not stand at all. I’m praising God for bringing me to a place of emptiness so that I can look to Him to fill my cup.

I’m coming before the Lord and I’m asking Him to do a new thing in me. To rouse my heart to His side and to draw me near in real and tangible ways. To plow through the fog that has settled over me in the form of health issues, physical stress, and emotional upheaval and lay a level path before me. I’m entering the throne room and I’m humbly reminding Him that He has invited me to come in my time of need. O Lord – be near to me. Love me where I am. Take me where I need to be.

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That’s the cry of my heart Sweet Sister and I’m thinking that if I am in this place that perhaps you are too. It might be that different life situations have brought us here but here we are. If that’s the case, I want you to know that you are not alone and that you have a faith sister to walk through it with. We can do this together – you and I. It’s why God gave us to one another. We can join our hearts and we can offer up the next 40 days to the Beautiful One and trust Him to do the beautiful thing in us.

So here’s what I’ll do. I’ll post the daily reading on the blog (except for Sundays) and if you read the Scriptures not only will you have read through the entire New Testament by Easter but God promises that He’ll show you deep and unsearchable things you do not know. He promises that His word is alive and active and will transform your heart. I could use some transformation. What about you?

At the end of the daily passage, I’m going to share my “Lesson from Lent” – nothing long or drawn out just something that God uses to speak straight to my heart from the Scripture that day. I’m putting it at the end because if your time runs short on a particular day – I want you to skip reading my words, not His.

I’m hoping that you’ll start your own running record of what God is showing you. Maybe you’ll even be moved to leave a comment so your Sisters can glean from what you’re learning. No matter how you choose to keep track of all He shares with you . . . treasure it up in your heart Sweet One, meditate on it, mull it over, consider the whisper of the Lover of your soul. The God of the Universe is the only Voice we need to revive our tired souls. So, let’s you and I lean in close, pray for ears to hear and hearts to respond. Let’s dig in to the riches He has given us and prepare to be amazed by what He will reveal to our expectant hearts. O Sister, let’s boldly ask Him for a lesson from Lent and then brace ourselves for a glimpse of Glory!

Day Thirty-eight

April 2, 2015 ~~ Revelation 1-7

Amplified Bible

Footnotes: I’ve left the footnotes in place if you would like to track down sources in word study and language. Please follow the link to each chapter and scroll to the bottom of the passage.

Revelation 1

[This is] the revelation of Jesus Christ [His unveiling of the divine mysteries]. God gave it to Him to disclose and make known to His bond servants certain things which must shortly and speedily come to pass [a]in their entirety. And He sent and communicated it through His angel (messenger) to His bond servant John, Who has testified to and vouched for all that he saw [[b]in his visions], the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. Blessed (happy, [c]to be envied) is the man who reads aloud [in the assemblies] the word of this prophecy; and blessed (happy, [d]to be envied) are those who hear [it read] and who keep themselves true to the things which are written in it [heeding them and laying them to heart], for the time [for them to be fulfilled] is near.

John to the seven assemblies (churches) that are in Asia: May grace (God’s unmerited favor) be granted to you and spiritual peace ([e]the peace of Christ’s kingdom) from Him Who is and Who was and Who is to come, and from the seven Spirits [[f]the sevenfold Holy Spirit] before His throne, And from Jesus Christ the faithful and trustworthy Witness, the Firstborn of the dead [first to be brought back to life] and the Prince (Ruler) of the kings of the earth. To Him Who [g]ever loves us and has [h]once [for all] loosed and freed us from our sins by His own blood, And formed us into a kingdom (a royal race), priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the power and the majesty and the dominion throughout the ages and forever and ever. Amen (so be it).

Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth shall gaze upon Him and beat their breasts and mourn and lament over Him. Even so [must it be]. Amen (so be it).

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, says the Lord God, He Who is and Who was and Who is to come, the Almighty (the Ruler of all).

I, John, your brother and companion (sharer and participator) with you in the tribulation and kingdom and patient endurance [which are] in Jesus Christ, was on the isle called Patmos, [banished] on account of [my witnessing to] the Word of God and the testimony (the proof, the evidence) for Jesus Christ. 10 I was in the Spirit [rapt in His power] on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a great voice like the calling of a [i]war trumpet, 11 Saying, I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last. Write promptly what you see (your vision) in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia—to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.

12 Then I turned to see [whose was] the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 And in the midst of the lampstands [One] like a Son of Man, clothed with a robe which reached to His feet and with a girdle of gold about His breast. 14 His head and His hair were white like white wool, [as white] as snow, and His eyes [flashed] like a flame of fire. 15 His feet glowed like burnished (bright) bronze as it is refined in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. 16 In His right hand He held seven stars, and from His mouth there came forth a sharp two-edged sword, and His face was like the sun shining in full power at midday.

17 When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as if dead. But He laid His right hand on me and said, Do not be afraid! I am the First and the Last, 18 And the Ever-living One [I am living in the eternity of the eternities]. I died, but see, I am alive forevermore; and I possess the keys of death and Hades (the realm of the dead).

19 Write therefore the things you see, what they are [and signify] and what is to take place hereafter. 20 As to the hidden meaning (the mystery) of the seven stars which you saw on My right hand and the seven lampstands of gold: the seven stars are the seven angels (messengers) of the seven assemblies (churches) and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

Revelation 2

To the angel (messenger) of the assembly (church) in Ephesus write: These are the words of Him Who holds the seven stars [which are the messengers of the seven churches] in His right hand, Who goes about among the seven golden lampstands [which are the seven churches]:

I know your industry and activities, laborious toil and trouble, and your patient endurance, and how you cannot tolerate wicked [men] and have tested and critically appraised those who call [themselves] apostles (special messengers of Christ) and yet are not, and have found them to be impostors and liars. I know you are enduring patiently and are bearing up for My name’s sake, and you have not fainted or become exhausted or grown weary.

But I have this [one charge to make] against you: that you have left (abandoned) the love that you had at first [you have deserted Me, your first love]. Remember then from what heights you have fallen. Repent (change the inner man to meet God’s will) and do the works you did previously [when first you knew the Lord], or else I will visit you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you change your mind and repent. Yet you have this [in your favor and to your credit]: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans [what they are doing as corrupters of the people], which I Myself also detest.

He who is able to hear, let him listen to and give heed to what the Spirit says to the assemblies (churches). To him who overcomes (is victorious), I will grant to eat [of the fruit] of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.

And to the angel (messenger) of the assembly (church) in Smyrna write: These are the words of the First and the Last, Who died and came to life again:

I know your affliction and distress and pressing trouble and your poverty—but you are rich! and how you are abused and reviled and slandered by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Fear nothing that you are about to suffer. [Dismiss your dread and your fears!] Behold, the devil is indeed about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested and proved and critically appraised, and for ten days you will have affliction. Be loyally faithful unto death [even if you must die for it], and I will give you the crown of life.

11 He who is able to hear, let him listen to and heed what the Spirit says to the assemblies (churches). He who overcomes (is victorious) shall in no way be injured by the second death.

12 Then to the angel (messenger) of the assembly (church) in Pergamum write: These are the words of Him Who has and wields the sharp two-edged sword:

13 I know where you live—a place where Satan sits enthroned. [Yet] you are clinging to and holding fast My name, and you did not deny My faith, even in the days of Antipas, My witness, My faithful one, who was killed (martyred) in your midst—where Satan dwells.

14 Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: you have some people there who are clinging to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to set a trap and a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, [to entice them] to eat food that had been sacrificed to idols and to practice lewdness [giving themselves up to sexual vice]. 15 You also have some who in a similar way are clinging to the teaching of the Nicolaitans [those corrupters of the people] which thing I hate. 16 Repent [then]! Or else I will come to you quickly and fight against them with the sword of My mouth.

17 He who is able to hear, let him listen to and heed what the Spirit says to the assemblies (churches). To him who overcomes (conquers), I will give to eat of the manna that is hidden, and I will give him a white stone with a new name engraved on the stone, which no one knows or understands except he who receives it.

18 And to the angel (messenger) of the assembly (church) in Thyatira write: These are the words of the Son of God, Who has eyes that flash like a flame of fire, and Whose feet glow like bright and burnished and white-hot bronze: 19 I know your record and what you are doing, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your recent works are more numerous and greater than your first ones.

20 But I have this against you: that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess [claiming to be inspired], and who is teaching and leading astray my servants and beguiling them into practicing sexual vice and eating food sacrificed to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, but she has no desire to repent of her immorality [symbolic of idolatry] and refuses to do so. 22 Take note: I will throw her on a bed [[a]of anguish], and those who commit adultery with her [her paramours] I will bring down to [b]pressing distress and severe affliction, unless they turn away their minds from conduct [such as] hers and repent of [c]their doings. 23 And I will strike her children (her proper followers) dead [thoroughly exterminating them]. And all the assemblies (churches) shall recognize and understand that I am He Who searches minds (the thoughts, feelings, and purposes) and the [inmost] hearts, and I will give to each of you [the reward for what you have done] as your work deserves. 24 But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not explored and known the depths of Satan, as they say—I tell you that I do not lay upon you any other [fresh] burden: 25 Only hold fast to what you have until I come.

26 And he who overcomes (is victorious) and who obeys My commands to the [very] end [doing the works that please Me], I will give him authority and power over the nations;

27 And he shall rule them with a sceptre (rod) of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, and [his power over them shall be] like that which I Myself have received from My Father; 28 And I will give him the Morning Star. 29 He who is able to hear, let him listen to and heed what the [Holy] Spirit says to the assemblies (churches).

Revelation 3

And to the angel (messenger) of the assembly (church) in Sardis write: These are the words of Him Who has the seven Spirits of God [[a]the sevenfold Holy Spirit] and the seven stars: I know your record and what you are doing; you are supposed to be alive, but [in reality] you are dead.

Rouse yourselves and keep awake, and strengthen and invigorate what remains and is on the point of dying; for I have not found a thing that you have done [any work of yours] meeting the requirements of My God or perfect in His sight. So call to mind the lessons you received and heard; continually lay them to heart and obey them, and repent. In case you will not rouse yourselves and keep awake and watch, I will come upon you like a thief, and you will not know or suspect at what hour I will come.

Yet you still have a few [persons’] names in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes, and they shall walk with Me in white, because they are worthy and deserving. Thus shall he who conquers (is victorious) be clad in white garments, and I will not erase or blot out his name from the Book of Life; I will acknowledge him [as Mine] and I will confess his name openly before My Father and before His angels. He who is able to hear, let him listen to and heed what the [Holy] Spirit says to the assemblies (churches).

And to the angel (messenger) of the assembly (church) in Philadelphia write: These are the words of the Holy One, the True One, He Who has the key of David, Who opens and no one shall shut, Who shuts and no one shall open:

I know your [record of] works and what you are doing. See! I have set before you a door wide open which no one is able to shut; I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept My Word and guarded My message and have not renounced or denied My name. Take note! I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet and learn and acknowledge that I have loved you. 10 Because you have guarded and kept My word of patient endurance [have held fast the [b]lesson of My patience with the [c]expectant endurance that I give you], I also will keep you [safe] from the hour of trial (testing) which is coming on the whole world to try those who dwell upon the earth.

11 I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one may rob you and deprive you of your crown. 12 He who overcomes (is victorious), I will make him a pillar in the sanctuary of My God; he shall never be put out of it or go out of it, and I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which descends from My God out of heaven, and My own new name. 13 He who can hear, let him listen to and heed what the Spirit says to the assemblies (churches).

14 And to the angel (messenger) of the assembly (church) in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the trusty and faithful and true Witness, the Origin and Beginning and Author of God’s creation:

15 I know your [record of] works and what you are doing; you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth! 17 For you say, I am rich; I have prospered and grown wealthy, and I am in need of nothing; and you do not realize and understand that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 Therefore I counsel you to purchase from Me gold refined and tested by fire, that you may be [truly] wealthy, and white clothes to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nudity from being seen, and salve to put on your eyes, that you may see.

19 Those whom I [dearly and tenderly] love, I tell their faults and convict and convince and reprove and chasten [I discipline and instruct them]. So be enthusiastic and in earnest and burning with zeal and repent [changing your mind and attitude]. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears and listens to and heeds My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will eat with him, and he [will eat] with Me.

21 He who overcomes (is victorious), I will grant him to sit beside Me on My throne, as I Myself overcame (was victorious) and sat down beside My Father on His throne. 22 He who is able to hear, let him listen to and heed what the [Holy] Spirit says to the assemblies (churches).

Revelation 4

After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice which I had heard addressing me like [the calling of] a [a]war trumpet said, Come up here, and I will show you what must take place in the future. At once I came under the [Holy] Spirit’s power, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with One seated on the throne! And He Who sat there appeared like [the crystalline brightness of] jasper and [the fiery] sardius, and encircling the throne there was a halo that looked like [a rainbow of] emerald. Twenty-four other thrones surrounded the throne, and seated on these thrones were twenty-four elders ([b]the members of the heavenly Sanhedrin), arrayed in white clothing, with crowns of gold upon their heads.

Out from the throne came flashes of lightning and rumblings and peals of thunder, and in front of the throne seven blazing torches burned, which are the seven Spirits of God [[c]the sevenfold Holy Spirit]; And in front of the throne there was also what looked like a transparent glassy sea, as if of crystal. And around the throne, in the center at each side of the throne, were four living creatures (beings) who were full of eyes in front and behind [with intelligence as to what is before and at the rear of them]. The first living creature (being) was like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature had the face of a man, and the fourth living creature [was] like a flying eagle. And the four living creatures, individually having six wings, were full of eyes all over and within [underneath their wings]; and day and night they never stop saying, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty (Omnipotent), Who was and Who is and Who is to come.

And whenever the living creatures offer glory and honor and thanksgiving to Him Who sits on the throne, Who lives forever and ever (through the eternities of the eternities), 10 The twenty-four elders ([d]the members of the heavenly Sanhedrin) fall prostrate before Him Who is sitting on the throne, and they worship Him Who lives forever and ever; and they throw down their crowns before the throne, crying out, 11 Worthy are You, our Lord and God, to receive the glory and the honor and dominion, for You created all things; by Your will they were [brought into being] and were created.

Revelation 5

And I saw lying on the [a]open hand of Him Who was seated on the throne a scroll (book) written within and on the back, closed and sealed with seven seals; And I saw a strong angel announcing in a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the scroll? And [who is entitled and deserves and is morally fit] to break its seals? And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth [in the realm of the dead, Hades] was able to open the scroll or to take a [single] look at its contents. And I wept audibly and bitterly because no one was found fit to open the scroll or to inspect it. Then one of the elders [[b]of the heavenly Sanhedrin] said to me, Stop weeping! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root (Source) of David, has won (has overcome and conquered)! He can open the scroll and break its seven seals!

And there between the throne and the four living creatures (beings) and among the elders [[c]of the heavenly Sanhedrin] I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God [[d]the sevenfold Holy Spirit] Who have been sent [on duty far and wide] into all the earth. He then went and took the scroll from the right hand of Him Who sat on the throne. And when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders [[e]of the heavenly Sanhedrin] prostrated themselves before the Lamb. Each was holding a harp (lute or guitar), and they had golden bowls full of incense (fragrant spices and gums for burning), which are the prayers of God’s people (the saints). And [now] they sing a new song, saying, You are worthy to take the scroll and to break the seals that are on it, for You were slain (sacrificed), and with Your blood You purchased men unto God from every tribe and language and people and nation. 10 And You have made them a kingdom (royal race) and priests to our God, and they shall reign [as kings] over the earth!

11 Then I looked, and I heard the voices of many angels on every side of the throne and of the living creatures and the elders [[f]of the heavenly Sanhedrin], and they numbered ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands,

12 Saying in a loud voice, Deserving is the Lamb, Who was sacrificed, to receive all the power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and majesty (glory, splendor) and blessing!

13 And I heard every created thing in heaven and on earth and under the earth [in Hades, the place of departed spirits] and on the sea and all that is in it, crying out together, To Him Who is seated on the throne and to the Lamb be ascribed the blessing and the honor and the majesty (glory, splendor) and the power (might and dominion) forever and ever (through the eternities of the eternities)!

14 Then the four living creatures (beings) said, Amen (so be it)! And the elders [[g]of the heavenly Sanhedrin] prostrated themselves and worshiped Him Who lives forever and ever.

Revelation 6

Then I saw as the Lamb broke open one of the seven seals, and as if in a voice of thunder I heard one of the four living creatures call out, Come! And I looked, and saw there a white horse whose rider carried a bow. And a crown was given him, and he rode forth conquering and to conquer.

And when He broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature call out, Come! And another horse came out, flaming red. And its rider was empowered to take the peace from the earth, so that men slaughtered one another; and he was given a huge sword.

When He broke open the third seal, I heard the third living creature call out, Come and look! And I saw, and behold, a black horse, and in his hand the rider had a pair of scales (a balance). And I heard what seemed to be a voice from the midst of the four living creatures, saying, A quart of wheat for a denarius [a whole day’s wages], and three quarts of barley for a denarius; but do not harm the oil and the wine!

When the Lamb broke open the fourth seal, I heard the fourth living creature call out, Come! So I looked, and behold, an ashy pale horse [[a]black and blue as if made so by bruising], and its rider’s name was Death, and Hades (the realm of the dead) followed him closely. And they were given authority and power over a fourth part of the earth to kill with the sword and with famine and with plague (pestilence, disease) and with wild beasts of the earth.

When the Lamb broke open the fifth seal, I saw at the foot of the altar the souls of those whose lives had been sacrificed for [adhering to] the Word of God and for the testimony they had borne. 10 They cried in a loud voice, O [Sovereign] Lord, holy and true, how long now before You will sit in judgment and avenge our blood upon those who dwell on the earth? 11 Then they were each given a [b]long and flowing and festive white robe and told to rest and wait patiently a little while longer, until the number should be complete of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed as they themselves had been.

12 When He [the Lamb] broke open the sixth seal, I looked, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun grew black as sackcloth of hair, [the full disc of] the moon became like blood. 13 And the stars of the sky dropped to the earth like a fig tree shedding its unripe fruit out of season when shaken by a strong wind. 14 And the [c]sky rolled up like a scroll and vanished, and every mountain and island was dislodged from its place. 15 Then the kings of the earth and their noblemen and their magnates and their military chiefs and the wealthy and the strong and [everyone, whether] slave or free hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, 16 And they called to the mountains and the rocks, Fall on (before) us and hide us from the face of Him Who sits on the throne and from the [d]deep-seated indignation and wrath of the Lamb. 17 For the great day of His wrath (vengeance, retribution, indignation) has come, and who is able to stand before it?

Revelation 7

After this I saw four angels stationed at the four corners of the earth, [a]firmly holding back the four winds of the earth so that no wind should blow on the earth or sea or upon any tree. Then I saw a second angel coming up from the east (the rising of the sun) and carrying the seal of the living God. And with a loud voice he called out to the four angels who had been given authority and power to injure earth and sea, Saying, Harm neither the earth nor the sea nor the trees, until we have sealed the bond servants of our God upon their foreheads. And [then] I heard how many were sealed (marked) out of every tribe of the sons of Israel: there were 144,000.

Twelve thousand were sealed (marked) out of the tribe of Judah, 12,000 of the tribe of Reuben, 12,000 of the tribe of Gad,

Twelve thousand of the tribe of Asher, 12,000 of the tribe of Naphtali, 12,000 of the tribe of Manasseh,

Twelve thousand of the tribe of Simeon, 12,000 of the tribe of Levi, 12,000 of the tribe of Issachar,

Twelve thousand of the tribe of Zebulun, 12,000 of the tribe of Joseph, 12,000 of the tribe of Benjamin.

After this I looked and a vast host appeared which no one could count, [gathered out] of every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages. These stood before the throne and before the Lamb; they were attired in white robes, with palm branches in their hands. 10 In loud voice they cried, saying, [Our] salvation is due to our God, Who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb [to Them we owe our deliverance]!

11 And all the angels were standing round the throne and round the elders [[b]of the heavenly Sanhedrin] and the four living creatures, and they fell prostrate before the throne and worshiped God. 12 Amen! (So be it!) they cried. Blessing and glory and majesty and splendor and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and might [be ascribed] to our God to the ages and ages (forever and ever, throughout the eternities of the eternities)! Amen! (So be it!)

13 Then, addressing me, one of the elders [[c]of the heavenly Sanhedrin] said, Who are these [people] clothed in the long white robes? And from where have they come?

14 I replied, Sir, you know. And he said to me, These are they who have come out of the great tribulation (persecution), and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

15 For this reason they are [now] before the [very] throne of God and serve Him day and night in His sanctuary (temple); and He Who is sitting upon the throne will protect and spread His tabernacle over and shelter them with His presence.

16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun smite them, nor any [d]scorching heat.

17 For the Lamb Who is in the midst of the throne will be their Shepherd, and He will guide them to the springs of the waters of life; and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

Amen and so be it!

#lessonsfromlent

A favorite Bible teacher of mine introduced her study on the Book of Revelation with the following statement, “The Book of Revelation is intended to leave you bug-eyed!” Well, I have to say that for me, the words of John the Revelator have done exactly that and apart from the Words of it the idea that God would reveal such magnificence to a mere man and allow it to be passed through the ages . . . that gives me a slacked-jaw to go with my bugged-eyes.

God has always been about the business of revealing secret mysteries to and for His people . . .

47 The king answered Daniel, Of a truth your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a Revealer of secret mysteries, seeing that you could reveal this secret mystery! Daniel 2:47 AMP

but this Book stands apart and announce itself to be the Revelation of Jesus Christ, His personal unveiling and disclosure of the divine . . .

[This is] the revelation of Jesus Christ [His unveiling of the divine mysteries]. God gave it to Him to disclose and make known to His bond servants certain things which must shortly and speedily come to pass [a]in their entirety. And He sent and communicated it through His angel (messenger) to His bond servant John,  Revelation 1:1

so the beauty, the awe, and the untouchableness of it all drips from the pages. And isn’t it amazing, that even as the Lamb of God peels back the curtain from the other side of Glory, He is still speaking only what the Father has given Him permission to say . . .

49 This is because I have never spoken on My own authority or of My own accord or as self-appointed, but the Father Who sent Me has Himself given Me orders [concerning] what to say and what to tell. John 12:49 AMP

The Father placed this treasure before Him and Christ, in full obedience, makes it known to us –in all of our mortality and imperfection–He still reveals the majesty of it all. . .to His friends.

15 I do not call you servants (slaves) any longer, for the servant does not know what his master is doing (working out). But I have called you My friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from My Father. [I have revealed to you everything that I have learned from Him.] John 15:15

Even in Glory Sweet One, Jesus will be Jesus. Perfectly submitting to the Father. Leaning in close and hearing every Word He speaks. Going about the business of revealing Him to His children.

And God will be God . . . The One who is, the One who was, and the One who is to come.  He will always be perfect in His will, always speak love, and always show Himself faithful.

John to the seven assemblies (churches) that are in Asia: May grace (God’s unmerited favor) be granted to you and spiritual peace ([a]the peace of Christ’s kingdom) from Him Who is and Who was and Who is to come, and from the seven Spirits [[b]the sevenfold Holy Spirit] before His throne, And from Jesus Christ the faithful and trustworthy Witness, the Firstborn of the dead [first to be brought back to life] and the Prince (Ruler) of the kings of the earth. Revelation 1:4-5 AMP

And the finale the Holy Spirit empowers us to pull our chair up close to in this concluding Book of the 66, is the final tie of the redemption account – the unchanging relentless love story written by the Author of Life. The ageless, timeless chronicle of our God purposefully and unflinchingly bringing His children into Glory to live out the eternity He set in their hearts.

Oh Girlfriend, what a life it will be! Our faith will become sight and our Jesus will be our flesh and blood reality! The Faithful Witness who pledged His love for us on the Cross. The Firstborn from the Dead who rose to give us life. And the Ruler of the Kings who chose us to be daughters drenched in the royalty of Himself. O How our souls must shout the Amen and to Him be the glory and power forever!

And from Jesus Christ the faithful and trustworthy Witness, the Firstborn of the dead [first to be brought back to life] and the Prince (Ruler) of the kings of the earth. To Him Who [a]ever loves us and has [b]once [for all] loosed and freed us from our sins by His own blood, And formed us into a kingdom (a royal race), priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the power and the majesty and the dominion throughout the ages and forever and ever. Amen (so be it). Revelation 1:5-6 AMP

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My soul must shout the Amen. . . #lessonsfromlent

Lessons from Lent: Day 37

1 Apr

creation swap lessons from lent coffee cup Kelly Sikkema 22940

An Explanation of Lessons from Lent

In the next 40 days (4 now because you have already accomplished thirty-six), the weeks leading up to Easter, the posts on Glimpsed Glory will be different. I am reading through the New Testament during this time and I am hoping the Holy Spirit will lead me to a fresh revelation each and every day. I’m going into it with a prayerful heart and an expectant spirit but I will fully confess to you that my soul feels sluggish.

I have been in a place of exhaustion over these last months. My mind has been clouded, my body has ached and insomnia has been my companion since late December. The enemy has been and is still whispering in my ear that my Jesus has forgotten me . . . that He has finally tired of my imperfections and left me behind.

I’m not giving in to it! I am going to fight the good fight of faith and follow the example of my Nehemiah Man. I am going to stand firm in my faith because if I do not, I will not stand at all. I’m praising God for bringing me to a place of emptiness so that I can look to Him to fill my cup.

I’m coming before the Lord and I’m asking Him to do a new thing in me. To rouse my heart to His side and to draw me near in real and tangible ways. To plow through the fog that has settled over me in the form of health issues, physical stress, and emotional upheaval and lay a level path before me. I’m entering the throne room and I’m humbly reminding Him that He has invited me to come in my time of need. O Lord – be near to me. Love me where I am. Take me where I need to be.

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That’s the cry of my heart Sweet Sister and I’m thinking that if I am in this place that perhaps you are too. It might be that different life situations have brought us here but here we are. If that’s the case, I want you to know that you are not alone and that you have a faith sister to walk through it with. We can do this together – you and I. It’s why God gave us to one another. We can join our hearts and we can offer up the next 40 days to the Beautiful One and trust Him to do the beautiful thing in us.

So here’s what I’ll do. I’ll post the daily reading on the blog (except for Sundays) and if you read the Scriptures not only will you have read through the entire New Testament by Easter but God promises that He’ll show you deep and unsearchable things you do not know. He promises that His word is alive and active and will transform your heart. I could use some transformation. What about you?

At the end of the daily passage, I’m going to share my “Lesson from Lent” – nothing long or drawn out just something that God uses to speak straight to my heart from the Scripture that day. I’m putting it at the end because if your time runs short on a particular day – I want you to skip reading my words, not His.

I’m hoping that you’ll start your own running record of what God is showing you. Maybe you’ll even be moved to leave a comment so your Sisters can glean from what you’re learning. No matter how you choose to keep track of all He shares with you . . . treasure it up in your heart Sweet One, meditate on it, mull it over, consider the whisper of the Lover of your soul. The God of the Universe is the only Voice we need to revive our tired souls. So, let’s you and I lean in close, pray for ears to hear and hearts to respond. Let’s dig in to the riches He has given us and prepare to be amazed by what He will reveal to our expectant hearts. O Sister, let’s boldly ask Him for a lesson from Lent and then brace ourselves for a glimpse of Glory!

Day Thirty-seven

April 1, 2015 ~~ 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude

Amplified Bible

Footnotes: I’ve left the footnotes in place if you would like to track down sources in word study and language. Please follow the link to each chapter and scroll to the bottom of the passage.

1 John 1

[We are writing] about the Word of Life [[a]in] Him Who existed from the beginning, Whom we have heard, Whom we have seen with our [own] eyes, Whom we have gazed upon [for ourselves] and have touched with our [own] hands. And the Life [[b]an aspect of His being] was revealed (made manifest, demonstrated), and we saw [as eyewitnesses] and are testifying to and declare to you the Life, the eternal Life [[c]in Him] Who already existed with the Father and Who [actually] was made visible (was revealed) to us [His followers]. What we have seen and [ourselves] heard, we are also telling you, so that you too may [d]realize and enjoy fellowship as partners and partakers with us. And [this] fellowship that we have [which is a [e]distinguishing mark of Christians] is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ (the Messiah). And we are now writing these things to you so that our joy [in seeing you included] may be full [and [f]your joy may be complete].

And this is the message [the message of [g]promise] which we have heard from Him and now are reporting to you: God is Light, and there is no darkness in Him at all [[h]no, not in any way]. [So] if we say we are partakers together and enjoy fellowship with Him when we live and move and are walking about in darkness, we are [both] speaking falsely and do not live and practice the Truth [which the Gospel presents]. But if we [really] are living and walking in the Light, as He [Himself] is in the Light, we have [true, unbroken] fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses (removes) us from all sin and guilt [keeps us cleansed from sin in all its forms and manifestations].

If we say we have no sin [refusing to admit that we are sinners], we delude and lead ourselves astray, and the Truth [which the Gospel presents] is not in us [does not dwell in our hearts]. If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action]. 10 If we say (claim) we have not sinned, we contradict His Word and make Him out to be false and a liar, and His Word is not in us [the divine message of the Gospel is not in our hearts].

1 John 2

My little children, I write you these things so that you may not violate God’s law and sin. But if anyone should sin, we have an Advocate (One Who will intercede for us) with the Father—[it is] Jesus Christ [the all] righteous [upright, just, Who conforms to the Father’s will in every purpose, thought, and action]. And He [[a]that same Jesus Himself] is the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins, and not for ours alone but also for [the sins of] the whole world.

And this is how we may discern [[b]daily, by experience] that we are coming to know Him [to perceive, recognize, understand, and become better acquainted with Him]: if we keep (bear in mind, observe, practice) His teachings (precepts, commandments). Whoever says, I know Him [I perceive, recognize, understand, and am acquainted with Him] but fails to keep and obey His commandments (teachings) is a liar, and the Truth [[c]of the Gospel] is not in him. But he who keeps (treasures) His Word [who bears in mind His precepts, who observes His message in its entirety], truly in him has the love of and for God been perfected (completed, reached maturity). By this we may perceive (know, recognize, and be sure) that we are in Him: Whoever says he abides in Him ought [as [d]a personal debt] to walk and conduct himself in the same way in which He walked and conducted Himself.

Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the message which you have heard [the [e]doctrine of salvation through Christ]. Yet I am writing you a new commandment, which is true (is realized) in Him and in you, because the darkness ([f]moral blindness) is clearing away and the true Light ([g]the revelation of God in Christ) is already shining.

Whoever says he is in the Light and [yet] hates his brother [Christian, [h]born-again child of God his Father] is in darkness even until now. 10 Whoever loves his brother [believer] abides (lives) in the Light, and in It or in him there is no occasion for stumbling or cause for error or sin. 11 But he who hates (detests, despises) his brother [[i]in Christ] is in darkness and walking (living) in the dark; he is straying and does not perceive or know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

12 I am writing to you, little children, because for His name’s sake your sins are forgiven [pardoned through His name and on account of confessing His name].

13 I am writing to you, fathers, because you have come to know (recognize, be aware of, and understand) Him Who [has existed] from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have been victorious over the wicked [one]. I write to you, [j]boys (lads), because you have come to know (recognize and be aware) of the Father.

14 I write to you, fathers, because you have come to know (recognize, be conscious of, and understand) Him Who [has existed] from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong and vigorous, and the Word of God is [always] abiding in you (in your hearts), and you have been victorious over the wicked one.

15 Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one’s own resources or in the stability of earthly things]—these do not come from the Father but are from the world [itself]. 17 And the world passes away and disappears, and with it the forbidden cravings (the passionate desires, the lust) of it; but he who does the will of God and carries out His purposes in his life abides (remains) forever.

18 [k]Boys (lads), it is the last time (hour, the end of this age). And as you have heard that the antichrist [he who will oppose Christ in the guise of Christ] is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen, which confirms our belief that it is the final (the end) time. 19 They went out from our number, but they did not [really] belong to us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us. But [they withdrew] that it might be plain that they all are not of us.

20 But you have been anointed by [you hold a sacred appointment from, you have been given an unction from] the Holy One, and you all know [the Truth] or you know all things. 21 I write to you not because you are ignorant and do not perceive and know the Truth, but because you do perceive and know it, and [know positively] that nothing false (no deception, no lie) is of the Truth. 22 Who is [such a] liar as he who denies that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah)? He is the antichrist (the antagonist of Christ), who [[l]habitually] denies and refuses to acknowledge the Father and the Son. 23 No one who [[m]habitually] denies (disowns) the Son [n]even has the Father. Whoever confesses (acknowledges and has) the Son has the Father also.

24 As for you, keep in your hearts what you have heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the first dwells and remains in you, then you will dwell in the Son and in the Father [always]. 25 And this is what He Himself has promised us—the life, the eternal [life].

26 I write this to you with reference to those who would deceive you [seduce and lead you astray]. 27 But as for you, the anointing (the sacred appointment, the unction) which you received from Him abides [[o]permanently] in you; [so] then you have no need that anyone should instruct you. But just as His anointing teaches you concerning everything and is true and is no falsehood, so you must abide in (live in, never depart from) Him [being [p]rooted in Him, knit to Him], just as [His anointing] has taught you [to do].

28 And now, little children, abide (live, remain [q]permanently) in Him, so that when He is made visible, we may have and enjoy perfect confidence (boldness, assurance) and not be ashamed and shrink from Him at His coming.

29 If you know (perceive and are sure) that He [Christ] is [absolutely] righteous [conforming to the Father’s will in purpose, thought, and action], you may also know (be sure) that everyone who does righteously [and is therefore in like manner conformed to the divine will] is born (begotten) of Him [[r]God].

1 John 3

See what [[a]an incredible] quality of love the Father has given (shown, bestowed on) us, that we should [be permitted to] be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are! The reason that the world does not know (recognize, acknowledge) us is that it does not know (recognize, acknowledge) Him. Beloved, we are [even here and] now God’s children; it is not yet disclosed (made clear) what we shall be [hereafter], but we know that when He comes and is manifested, we shall [[b]as God’s children] resemble and be like Him, for we shall see Him [c]just as He [really] is. And everyone who has this hope [resting] on Him cleanses (purifies) himself just as He is pure (chaste, undefiled, guiltless).

Everyone who commits (practices) sin is guilty of lawlessness; for [that is what] sin is, lawlessness (the breaking, violating of God’s law by transgression or neglect—being unrestrained and unregulated by His commands and His will). You know that He appeared in visible form and became Man to take away [upon Himself] sins, and in Him there is no sin [[d]essentially and forever]. No one who abides in Him [who lives and remains [e]in communion with and in obedience to Him—deliberately, knowingly, and [f]habitually] commits (practices) sin. No one who [habitually] sins has either seen or known Him [recognized, perceived, or understood Him, or has had an experiential acquaintance with Him].

7 [g]Boys (lads), let no one deceive and lead you astray. He who practices righteousness [who is upright, conforming to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action, living a consistently conscientious life] is righteous, even as He is righteous. [But] he who commits sin [who practices evildoing] is of the devil [takes his character from the evil one], for the devil has sinned (violated the divine law) from the beginning. The reason the Son of God was made manifest (visible) was to undo (destroy, loosen, and dissolve) the works the devil [has done]. No one born (begotten) of God [deliberately, knowingly, and [h]habitually] practices sin, for God’s nature abides in him [His principle of life, the divine sperm, remains permanently within him]; and he cannot practice sinning because he is born (begotten) of God. 10 By this it is made clear who take their nature from God and are His children and who take their nature from the devil and are his children: no one who does not practice righteousness [who does not conform to God’s will in purpose, thought, and action] is of God; neither is anyone who does not love his brother (his fellow [i]believer in Christ).

11 For this is the message (the announcement) which you have heard from the first, that we should love one another, 12 [And] not be like Cain who [took his nature and got his motivation] from the evil one and slew his brother. And why did he slay him? Because his deeds (activities, works) were wicked and malicious and his brother’s were righteous (virtuous). 13 Do not be surprised and wonder, brethren, that the world detests and pursues you with hatred. 14 We know that we have passed over out of death into Life by the fact that we love the brethren (our fellow Christians). He who does not love abides (remains, is [j]held and kept continually) in [spiritual] death. 15 Anyone who hates (abominates, detests) his brother [in Christ] is [at heart] a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding ([k]persevering) within him.

16 By this we come to know (progressively to recognize, to perceive, to understand) the [essential] love: that He laid down His [own] life for us; and we ought to lay [our] lives down for [those who are our] brothers [[l]in Him]. 17 But if anyone has this world’s goods (resources for sustaining life) and sees his brother and [m]fellow believer in need, yet closes his heart of compassion against him, how can the love of God live and remain in him? 18 Little children, let us not love [merely] in theory or in speech but in deed and in truth (in practice and in sincerity). 19 By this we shall come to know (perceive, recognize, and understand) that we are of the Truth, and can reassure (quiet, conciliate, and pacify) our hearts in His presence, 20 Whenever our hearts in [[n]tormenting] self-accusation make us feel guilty and condemn us. [For [o]we are in God’s hands.] For He is above and greater than our consciences (our hearts), and He knows (perceives and understands) everything [nothing is hidden from Him].

21 And, beloved, if our consciences (our hearts) do not accuse us [if they do not make us feel guilty and condemn us], we have confidence (complete assurance and boldness) before God, 22 And we receive from Him whatever we ask, because we [[p]watchfully] obey His orders [observe His suggestions and injunctions, follow His plan for us] and [[q]habitually] practice what is pleasing to Him. 23 And this is His order (His command, His injunction): that we should believe in (put our faith and trust in and adhere to and rely on) the name of His Son Jesus Christ (the Messiah), and that we should love one another, just as He has commanded us. 24 All who keep His commandments [who obey His orders and follow His plan, live and continue to live, to stay and] abide in Him, and He in them. [[r]They let Christ be a home to them and they are the home of Christ.] And by this we know and understand and have the proof that He [really] lives and makes His home in us: by the [Holy] Spirit Whom He has given us.

1 John 4

Beloved, do not put faith in every spirit, but prove (test) the spirits to discover whether they proceed from God; for many false prophets have gone forth into the world. By this you may know (perceive and recognize) the Spirit of God: every spirit which acknowledges and confesses [the fact] that Jesus Christ (the Messiah) [actually] has become man and has come in the flesh is of God [has God for its source]; And every spirit which does not acknowledge and confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh [but would [a]annul, destroy, [b]sever, disunite Him] is not of God [does not proceed from Him]. This [[c]nonconfession] is the [spirit] of the antichrist, [of] which you heard that it was coming, and now it is already in the world.

Little children, you are of God [you belong to Him] and have [already] defeated and overcome them [the agents of the antichrist], because He Who lives in you is greater (mightier) than he who is in the world. They proceed from the world and are of the world; therefore it is out of the world [its [d]whole economy morally considered] that they speak, and the world listens (pays attention) to them. We are [children] of God. Whoever is learning to know God [progressively to perceive, recognize, and understand God by observation and experience, and to [e]get an ever-clearer knowledge of Him] listens to us; and he who is not of God does not listen or pay attention to us. By this we know (recognize) the Spirit of Truth and the spirit of error.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is (springs) from God; and he who loves [his fellowmen] is begotten (born) of God and is coming [progressively] to know and understand God [to perceive and recognize and get a better and clearer knowledge of Him]. He who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest (displayed) where we are concerned: in that God sent His Son, the only begotten or [f]unique [Son], into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God loved us so [very much], we also ought to love one another. 12 No man has at any time [yet] seen God. But if we love one another, God abides (lives and remains) in us and His love (that love which is essentially His) is brought to completion (to its full maturity, runs its full course, is perfected) in us!

13 By this we come to know (perceive, recognize, and understand) that we abide (live and remain) in Him and He in us: because He has given (imparted) to us of His [Holy] Spirit. 14 And [besides] we ourselves have seen (have deliberately and steadfastly contemplated) and bear witness that the Father has sent the Son [as the] Savior of the world. 15 Anyone who confesses (acknowledges, owns) that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides (lives, makes His home) in him and he [abides, lives, makes his home] in God. 16 And we know (understand, recognize, are conscious of, by observation and by experience) and believe (adhere to and put faith in and rely on) the love God cherishes for us. God is love, and he who dwells and continues in love dwells and continues in God, and God dwells and continues in him.

17 In this [union and communion with Him] love is brought to completion and attains perfection with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment [with assurance and boldness to face Him], because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love [g]turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear [h]brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection].

19 We love Him, because He first loved us. 20 If anyone says, I love God, and hates (detests, abominates) his brother [[i]in Christ], he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, Whom he has not seen. 21 And this command (charge, order, injunction) we have from Him: that he who loves God shall love his brother [[j]believer] also.

1 John 5

Everyone who believes (adheres to, trusts, and relies on the fact) that Jesus is the Christ (the Messiah) is a born-again child of God; and everyone who loves the Father also loves the one born of Him (His offspring). By this we come to know (recognize and understand) that we love the children of God: when we love God and obey His commands (orders, charges)—[when we keep His ordinances and are mindful of His precepts and His teaching]. For the [true] love of God is this: that we do His commands [keep His ordinances and are mindful of His precepts and teaching]. And these orders of His are not irksome (burdensome, oppressive, or grievous). For whatever is born of God is victorious over the world; and this is the victory that conquers the world, even our faith. Who is it that is victorious over [that conquers] the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on that fact]?

This is He Who came by (with) water and blood [[a]His baptism and His death], Jesus Christ (the Messiah)—not by (in) the water only, but by (in) the water and the blood. And it is the [Holy] Spirit Who bears witness, because the [Holy] Spirit is the Truth. So there are three witnesses [b]in heaven: the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit, and these three are One; and there are three witnesses on the earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree [are in unison; their testimony coincides]. If we accept [as we do] the testimony of men [if we are willing to take human authority], the testimony of God is greater (of stronger authority), for this is the testimony of God, even the witness which He has borne regarding His Son. 10 He who believes in the Son of God [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him] has the testimony [possesses this divine attestation] within himself. He who does not believe God [in this way] has made Him out to be and represented Him as a liar, because he has not believed (put his faith in, adhered to, and relied on) the evidence (the testimony) that God has borne regarding His Son. 11 And this is that testimony (that evidence): God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who possesses the Son has that life; he who does not possess the Son of God does not have that life.

13 I write this to you who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) the name of the Son of God [in [c]the peculiar services and blessings conferred by Him on men], so that you may know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that you [already] have life, [d]yes, eternal life. 14 And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him: [we are sure] that if we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us. 15 And if (since) we [positively] know that He listens to us in whatever we ask, we also know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted us as our present possessions] the requests made of Him.

16 If anyone sees his brother [believer] committing a sin that does not [lead to] death (the extinguishing of life), he will pray and [God] will give him life [yes, He will grant life to all those whose sin is not one leading to death]. There is a sin [that leads] to death; I do not say that one should pray for that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin which does not [involve] death [that may be repented of and forgiven].

18 We know [absolutely] that anyone born of God does not [deliberately and knowingly] practice committing sin, but the One Who was begotten of God carefully watches over and protects him [Christ’s divine presence within him preserves him against the evil], and the wicked one does not lay hold (get a grip) on him or touch [him]. 19 We know [positively] that we are of God, and the whole world [around us] is under the power of the evil one. 20 And we [have seen and] know [positively] that the Son of God has [actually] come to this world and has given us understanding and insight [progressively] to perceive (recognize) and come to know better and more clearly Him Who is true; and we are in Him Who is true—in His Son Jesus Christ (the Messiah). This [Man] is the true God and Life eternal.

21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols (false gods)—[from anything and everything that would occupy the place in your heart due to God, from any sort of substitute for Him that would take first place in your life]. Amen (so let it be).

2 John 1

The elderly elder [of the church addresses this letter] to the elect (chosen) lady (Cyria) and her children, whom I truly love—and not only I but also all who are [progressively] learning to recognize and know and understand the Truth— Because of the Truth which lives and stays on in our hearts and will be with us forever:

Grace (spiritual blessing), mercy, and [soul] peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ (the Messiah), the Father’s Son, in all sincerity (truth) and love.

I was greatly delighted to find some of your children walking (living) in [the] Truth, just as we have been commanded by the Father [Himself]. And now I beg you, lady (Cyria), not as if I were issuing a new charge (injunction or command), but [simply recalling to your mind] the one we have had from the beginning, that we love one another. And what this love consists in is this: that we live and walk in accordance with and guided by His commandments (His orders, ordinances, precepts, teaching). This is the commandment, as you have heard from the beginning, that you continue to walk in love [guided by it and following it].

For many imposters (seducers, deceivers, and false leaders) have gone out into the world, men who will not acknowledge (confess, admit) the coming of Jesus Christ (the Messiah) in bodily form. Such a one is the imposter (the seducer, the deceiver, the false leader, the antagonist of Christ) and the antichrist. Look to yourselves (take care) that you may not lose (throw away or destroy) all that we and you have labored for, but that you may [persevere until you] win and receive back a perfect reward [in full]. Anyone who runs on ahead [of God] and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ [who is not content with what He taught] does not have God; but he who continues to live in the doctrine (teaching) of Christ [does have God], he has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine [is disloyal to what Jesus Christ taught], do not receive him [do not accept him, do not welcome or admit him] into [your] house or bid him Godspeed or give him any encouragement. 11 For he who wishes him success [who encourages him, wishing him Godspeed] is a partaker in his evil doings.

12 I have many things to write to you, but I prefer not to do so with paper and ink; I hope to come to see you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.

13 The children of your elect (chosen) sister wish to be remembered to you. Amen (so be it).

3 John 1

The elderly elder [of the church addresses this letter] to the beloved (esteemed) Gaius, whom I truly love.

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in every way and [that your body] may keep well, even as [I know] your soul keeps well and prospers. In fact, I greatly rejoiced when [some of] the brethren from time to time arrived and spoke [so highly] of the sincerity and fidelity of your life, as indeed you do live in the Truth [the whole Gospel presents]. I have no greater joy than this, to hear that my [spiritual] children are living their lives in the Truth.

Beloved, it is a fine and faithful work that you are doing when you give any service to the [Christian] brethren, and [especially when they are] strangers. They have testified before the church of your love and friendship. You will do well to forward them on their journey [and you will please do so] in a way worthy of God’s [service]. For these [traveling missionaries] have gone out for the Name’s sake (for His sake) and are accepting nothing from the Gentiles (the heathen, the non-Israelites). So we ourselves ought to support such people [to welcome and provide for them], in order that we may be fellow workers in the Truth (the whole Gospel) and cooperate with its teachers.

I have written briefly to the church; but Diotrephes, who likes to take the lead among them and put himself first, does not acknowledge my authority and refuses to accept my suggestions or to listen to me. 10 So when I arrive, I will call attention to what he is doing, his boiling over and casting malicious reflections upon us with insinuating language. And not satisfied with that, he refuses to receive and welcome the [missionary] brethren himself, and also interferes with and forbids those who would welcome them, and tries to expel (excommunicate) them from the church.

11 Beloved, do not imitate evil, but imitate good. He who does good is of God; he who does evil has not seen (discerned or experienced) God [has enjoyed no vision of Him and does not know Him at all]. 12 Demetrius has warm commendation from everyone—and from the Truth itself; we add our testimony also, and you know that our testimony is true.

13 I had much [to say to you when I began] to write, but I prefer not to put it down with pen (a reed) and ink; 14 I hope to see you soon, and we will talk together face to face.

15 Peace be to you! (Good-bye!) The friends here send you greetings. Remember me to the friends there [to every one of them personally] by name.

Jude 1

Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ (the Messiah), and brother of James, [writes this letter] to those who are called (chosen), dearly loved by God the Father and separated (set apart) and kept for Jesus Christ:

May mercy, [soul] peace, and love be multiplied to you.

Beloved, my whole concern was to write to you in regard to our common salvation. [But] I found it necessary and was impelled to write you and urgently appeal to and exhort [you] to contend for the faith which was once for all [a]handed down to the saints [the faith which is that sum of Christian belief which was delivered [b]verbally to the holy people of God]. For certain men have crept in stealthily [[c]gaining entrance secretly by a side door]. Their doom was predicted long ago, ungodly (impious, profane) persons who pervert the grace (the spiritual blessing and favor) of our God into lawlessness and wantonness and immorality, and disown and deny our sole Master and Lord, Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

Now I want to remind you, though you were fully informed once for all, that though the Lord [at one time] delivered a people out of the land of Egypt, He subsequently destroyed those [of them] who did not believe [who refused to adhere to, trust in, and rely upon Him]. And angels who did not keep (care for, guard, and hold to) their own first place of power but abandoned their proper dwelling place—these He has reserved in custody in eternal chains (bonds) under the thick gloom of utter darkness until the judgment and doom of the great day. [The wicked are sentenced to suffer] just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the adjacent towns—which likewise gave themselves over to impurity and indulged in unnatural vice and sensual perversity—are laid out [in plain sight] as an exhibit of perpetual punishment [to warn] of everlasting fire.

Nevertheless in like manner, these dreamers also corrupt the body, scorn and reject authority and government, and revile and libel and scoff at [heavenly] glories (the glorious ones). But when [even] the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, judicially argued (disputed) about the body of Moses, he dared not [presume to] bring an abusive condemnation against him, but [simply] said, The Lord rebuke you!10 But these men revile (scoff and sneer at) anything they do not happen to be acquainted with and do not understand; and whatever they do understand physically [that which they know by mere instinct], like irrational beasts—by these they corrupt themselves and are destroyed (perish).

11 Woe to them! For they have run riotously in the way of Cain, and have abandoned themselves for the sake of gain [it offers them, following] the error of Balaam, and have perished in rebellion [like that] of Korah!

12 These are hidden reefs (elements of danger) in your love feasts, where they boldly feast sumptuously [carousing together in your midst], without scruples providing for themselves [alone]. They are clouds without water, swept along by the winds; trees, without fruit at the late autumn gathering time—twice (doubly) dead, [lifeless and] plucked up by the roots; 13 Wild waves of the sea, flinging up the foam of their own shame and disgrace; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of eternal darkness has been reserved forever.

14 It was of these people, moreover, that Enoch in the seventh [generation] from Adam prophesied when he said, Behold, the Lord comes with His myriads of holy ones (ten thousands of His saints) 15 To execute judgment upon all and to convict all the impious (unholy ones) of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed [in such an] ungodly [way], and of all the severe (abusive, jarring) things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him. 16 These are inveterate murmurers (grumblers) who complain [of their lot in life], going after their own desires [controlled by their passions]; their talk is boastful and arrogant, [and they claim to] admire men’s persons and pay people flattering compliments to gain advantage.

17 But you must remember, beloved, the predictions which were made by the apostles (the special messengers) of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). 18 They told you beforehand, In the last days (in the end time) there will be scoffers [who seek to gratify their own unholy desires], following after their own ungodly passions. 19 It is these who are [agitators] setting up distinctions and causing divisions—merely sensual [creatures, carnal, worldly-minded people], devoid of the [Holy] Spirit and destitute of any higher spiritual life.

20 But you, beloved, build yourselves up [founded] on your most holy faith [[d]make progress, rise like an edifice higher and higher], praying in the Holy Spirit; 21 Guard and keep yourselves in the love of God; expect and patiently wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah)—[which will bring you] unto life eternal.

22 And refute [so as to] convict some who dispute with you, and on some have mercy who waver and doubt. 23 [Strive to] save others, snatching [them] out of [the] fire; on others take pity [but] with fear, loathing even the garment spotted by the flesh and polluted by their sensuality.

24 Now to Him Who is able to keep you without stumbling or slipping or falling, and to present [you] unblemished (blameless and faultless) before the presence of His glory in triumphant joy and exultation [with unspeakable, ecstatic delight]— 25 To the one only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory (splendor), majesty, might and dominion, and power and authority, before all time and now and forever (unto all the ages of eternity). Amen (so be it).

Amen

#lessonsfromlent

I heard a message several years ago and the teacher suggested that sometimes when you’re in a bad spot, when your circumstances seem to overwhelm you, when your own heart condemns you . . . you have to “know what you know.” I think the book of 1 John says that more clearly and straight out than any other book in the Bible. There are over 25 instances of “know what you know” written down by the pen of John and I’ve been very blessed by God clearly telling me, over and over again, that if He’s going to say it that often, I need to live by it. And I’ve had a test or two to be certain I would know how to apply it.

When I am feeling overwhelmed by circumstances of my own making, weighed down in the knowledge that I still have to be on guard against things I should’ve been done with long ago . . . I know that my Jesus has drawn me out of the deep pit and rescued me. He’s brought me to the surface, led me to a spacious place and said “Breathe, child breathe.” And the part that always thrills me beyond belief is that He did this simply because . . . He delighted in me.

16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
    he drew me out of deep waters.
17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
    from my foes, who were too strong for me.
18 They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
    but the Lord was my support.
19 He brought me out into a spacious place;
    he rescued me because he delighted in me.  Psalm 18:16-19 (NIV)

When I am wondering if I can stand firm in my faith and not yield to the temptations that rage inside my heart, I know that in my struggle against sin I am sharing in the sufferings of my Messiah. That He has not now nor will He ever leave me to fend for myself in the hands of the tempter or at the mercy of my own flesh because He Himself has made the way out from under whatever compulsion or desire that may try and seize me. I know . . . He is faithful.

Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.  Hebrews 2:8 (NIV)

13 No temptation[a] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted[b] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,[c] he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.  1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

When I’m absolutely certain that I cannot do what needs to be done in a day, I look to Him and I know that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I know that I head into the battle of that moment under the Lord’s Banner and I know there is no fight He will lead me to that Jesus has not already won. I know . . . He has made me more than a conqueror.

I can do all this through him who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:13 (NIV)

Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner.  Exodus 17:15 (NIV)

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  1 Corinthians 15:57 (NIV)

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  Romans 8:37 (NIV)

When my heart has convinced me that I am alone, forgotten, and unimportant, I know He has summoned me by name and declared for all the heavenlies to hear that I am His. I know the Lion of Judah, my Mighty Warrior, has roared love over me and that the Lord Himself sings over me with rejoicing.  I am firmly planted in the heart of my Savior, secure in His Holy Hand, and Sweet One . . . He calls me friend.

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. Isaiah 43:1

The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”  Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)

I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all[a]; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.  John 10:28-29 (NIV)

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.  John 15:15 (NIV)

Girlfriend, His Word is chocked full of His declarations regarding us. But we don’t have a prayer of having His love letter on the tip of our tongues unless we’ve read it. Felt the edge of the pages. Searched it over, time and time again. Spoken it aloud. Heard the cadence of it and grabbed onto it with all our hearts. He woos us with His words and strengthens us with every verse but . . . none of this benefits or changes Him. He didn’t make sure the Holy Writ was preserved through the generations for Himself. . . God already knows God, inside and out.

Our overwhelming self-made circumstances do not take Him by surprise. He’s got some Scripture for that. Our struggling nature does not catch Him off guard. He’s given us a Passage for that. The demands of our days are not a revelation to Him and He’s given us verse after verse for that. He’s written it all down for us. He knew exactly how to meet our every need, cut through every circumstance, and answer every prayer. He has always known.

Nothing dumbfounds, takes aback, or renders our God speechless . . .He always has a Word for that. . .whatever that may be. He knew that you and I would waver without His Holy Voice to spur us on. He knew our knees would buckle if our heart couldn’t hear Him. He knew and it seems He put John’s pen to the paper to make sure we knew . . . that Sister, we need to know what we know.

creation swap couch15831_Outside_Couch ribbet

I need to know what I know . . . #lessonsfromlent

Lessons from Lent: Day 36

31 Mar

creation swap lessons from lent coffee cup Kelly Sikkema 22940

An Explanation of Lessons from Lent

In the next 40 days (5 now because you have already accomplished thirty-five), the weeks leading up to Easter, the posts on Glimpsed Glory will be different. I am reading through the New Testament during this time and I am hoping the Holy Spirit will lead me to a fresh revelation each and every day. I’m going into it with a prayerful heart and an expectant spirit but I will fully confess to you that my soul feels sluggish.

I have been in a place of exhaustion over these last months. My mind has been clouded, my body has ached and insomnia has been my companion since late December. The enemy has been and is still whispering in my ear that my Jesus has forgotten me . . . that He has finally tired of my imperfections and left me behind.

I’m not giving in to it! I am going to fight the good fight of faith and follow the example of my Nehemiah Man. I am going to stand firm in my faith because if I do not, I will not stand at all. I’m praising God for bringing me to a place of emptiness so that I can look to Him to fill my cup.

I’m coming before the Lord and I’m asking Him to do a new thing in me. To rouse my heart to His side and to draw me near in real and tangible ways. To plow through the fog that has settled over me in the form of health issues, physical stress, and emotional upheaval and lay a level path before me. I’m entering the throne room and I’m humbly reminding Him that He has invited me to come in my time of need. O Lord – be near to me. Love me where I am. Take me where I need to be.

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That’s the cry of my heart Sweet Sister and I’m thinking that if I am in this place that perhaps you are too. It might be that different life situations have brought us here but here we are. If that’s the case, I want you to know that you are not alone and that you have a faith sister to walk through it with. We can do this together – you and I. It’s why God gave us to one another. We can join our hearts and we can offer up the next 40 days to the Beautiful One and trust Him to do the beautiful thing in us.

So here’s what I’ll do. I’ll post the daily reading on the blog (except for Sundays) and if you read the Scriptures not only will you have read through the entire New Testament by Easter but God promises that He’ll show you deep and unsearchable things you do not know. He promises that His word is alive and active and will transform your heart. I could use some transformation. What about you?

At the end of the daily passage, I’m going to share my “Lesson from Lent” – nothing long or drawn out just something that God uses to speak straight to my heart from the Scripture that day. I’m putting it at the end because if your time runs short on a particular day – I want you to skip reading my words, not His.

I’m hoping that you’ll start your own running record of what God is showing you. Maybe you’ll even be moved to leave a comment so your Sisters can glean from what you’re learning. No matter how you choose to keep track of all He shares with you . . . treasure it up in your heart Sweet One, meditate on it, mull it over, consider the whisper of the Lover of your soul. The God of the Universe is the only Voice we need to revive our tired souls. So, let’s you and I lean in close, pray for ears to hear and hearts to respond. Let’s dig in to the riches He has given us and prepare to be amazed by what He will reveal to our expectant hearts. O Sister, let’s boldly ask Him for a lesson from Lent and then brace ourselves for a glimpse of Glory!

Day Thirty-six

March 31, 2015 ~~ 1 Peter-2 Peter

Amplified Bible

Footnotes: I’ve left the footnotes in place if you would like to track down sources in word study and language. Please follow the link to each chapter and scroll to the bottom of the passage.

1 Peter 1

Peter, an apostle (a special messenger) of Jesus Christ, [writing] to the elect exiles of the dispersion scattered (sowed) abroad in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, Who were chosen and foreknown by God the Father and consecrated (sanctified, made holy) by the Spirit to be obedient to Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and to be sprinkled with [His] blood: May grace (spiritual blessing) and peace be given you in increasing abundance [that spiritual peace to be [a]realized in and through Christ, [b]freedom from fears, agitating passions, and moral conflicts].

Praised (honored, blessed) be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah)! By His boundless mercy we have been born again to an ever-living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, [Born anew] into an inheritance which is beyond the reach of change and decay [imperishable], unsullied and unfading, reserved in heaven for you, Who are being guarded (garrisoned) by God’s power through [your] faith [till you fully inherit that [c]final] salvation that is ready to be revealed [for you] in the last time. [You should] be exceedingly glad on this account, though now for a little while you may be distressed by trials and suffer temptations, So that [the genuineness] of your faith may be tested, [your faith] which is infinitely more precious than the perishable gold which is tested and purified by fire. [This proving of your faith is intended] to redound to [your] praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) is revealed. Without having seen Him, you love Him; though you do not [even] now see Him, you believe in Him and exult and thrill with inexpressible and glorious (triumphant, heavenly) joy. [At the same time] you receive the result (outcome, consummation) of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

10 The prophets, who prophesied of the grace (divine blessing) which was intended for you, searched and inquired earnestly about this salvation. 11 They sought [to find out] to whom or when this was to come which the Spirit of Christ working within them was indicating when He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that should follow [them]. 12 It was then disclosed to them that the services they were rendering were not meant for themselves and their period of time, but for you. [It is these very] things which have now already been made known plainly to you by those who preached the good news (the Gospel) to you by the [same] Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Into these things [the very] angels long to look!

13 So brace up your minds; be sober (circumspect, morally alert); set your hope wholly and unchangeably on the grace (divine favor) that is coming to you when Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is revealed. 14 [Live] as children of obedience [to God]; do not conform yourselves to the evil desires [that governed you] in your former ignorance [when you did not know the requirements of the Gospel]. 15 But as the One Who called you is holy, you yourselves also be holy in all your conduct and manner of living. 16 For it is written, You shall be holy, for I am holy. 17 And if you call upon Him as [your] Father Who judges each one impartially according to what he does, [then] you should conduct yourselves with true reverence throughout the time of your temporary residence [on the earth, whether long or short]. 18 You must know (recognize) that you were redeemed (ransomed) from the useless (fruitless) way of living inherited by tradition from [your] forefathers, not with corruptible things [such as] silver and gold, 19 But [you were purchased] with the precious blood of Christ (the Messiah), like that of a [sacrificial] lamb without blemish or spot. 20 It is true that He was chosen and foreordained (destined and foreknown for it) before the foundation of the world, but He was brought out to public view (made manifest) in these last days (at the end of the times) for the sake of you. 21 Through Him you believe in (adhere to, rely on) God, Who raised Him up from the dead and gave Him honor and glory, so that your faith and hope are [centered and rest] in God.

22 Since by your obedience to the Truth through the [Holy] Spirit you have purified your hearts for the sincere affection of the brethren, [see that you] love one another fervently from a pure heart. 23 You have been regenerated (born again), not from a mortal [d]origin ([e]seed, sperm), but from one that is immortal by the ever living and lasting Word of God. 24 For all flesh (mankind) is like grass, and all its glory (honor) like [the] flower of grass. The grass withers and the flower drops off, 25 But the Word of the Lord ([f]divine instruction, the Gospel) endures forever. And this Word is the good news which was preached to you.

1 Peter 2

So be done with every trace of wickedness (depravity, malignity) and all deceit and insincerity (pretense, hypocrisy) and grudges (envy, jealousy) and slander and evil speaking of every kind. Like newborn babies you should crave (thirst for, earnestly desire) the pure (unadulterated) spiritual milk, that by it you may be nurtured and grow unto [completed] salvation, Since you have [already] tasted the goodness and kindness of the Lord.

Come to Him [then, to that] Living Stone which men [a]tried and threw away, but which is chosen [and] precious in God’s sight. [Come] and, like living stones, be yourselves built [into] a spiritual house, for a holy (dedicated, consecrated) priesthood, to offer up [those] spiritual sacrifices [that are] acceptable and pleasing to God through Jesus Christ. For thus it stands in Scripture: Behold, I am laying in Zion a chosen ([b]honored), precious chief Cornerstone, and he who believes in Him [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him] shall never be [c]disappointed or put to shame. To you then who believe (who adhere to, trust in, and rely on Him) is the preciousness; but for those who disbelieve [it is true], The [very] Stone which the builders rejected has become the main Cornerstone, And, A Stone that will cause stumbling and a Rock that will give [men] offense; they stumble because they disobey and disbelieve [God’s] Word, as those [who reject Him] were destined (appointed) to do.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, [God’s] own [d]purchased, special people, that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people [at all], but now you are God’s people; once you were unpitied, but now you are pitied and have received mercy.

11 Beloved, I implore you as aliens and strangers and exiles [in this world] to abstain from the sensual urges (the evil desires, the passions of the flesh, your lower nature) that wage war against the soul. 12 Conduct yourselves properly (honorably, righteously) among the Gentiles, so that, although they may slander you as evildoers, [yet] they may by witnessing your good deeds [come to] glorify God in the day of inspection [[e]when God shall look upon you wanderers as a pastor or shepherd looks over his flock].

13 Be submissive to every human institution and authority for the sake of the Lord, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, 14 Or to governors as sent by him to bring vengeance (punishment, justice) to those who do wrong and to encourage those who do good service. 15 For it is God’s will and intention that by doing right [your good and honest lives] should silence (muzzle, gag) the ignorant charges and ill-informed criticisms of foolish persons. 16 [Live] as free people, [yet] without employing your freedom as a pretext for wickedness; but [live at all times] as servants of God. 17 Show respect for all men [treat them honorably]. Love the brotherhood (the Christian fraternity of which Christ is the Head). Reverence God. Honor the emperor.

18 [You who are] household servants, be submissive to your masters with all [proper] respect, not only to those who are kind and considerate and reasonable, but also to those who are surly (overbearing, unjust, and crooked). 19 For one is regarded favorably (is approved, acceptable, and thankworthy) if, as in the sight of God, he endures the pain of unjust suffering. 20 [After all] what [f]kind of glory [is there in it] if, when you do wrong and are punished for it, you take it patiently? But if you bear patiently with suffering [which results] when you do right and that is undeserved, it is acceptable and pleasing to God. 21 For even to this were you called [it is inseparable from your vocation]. For Christ also suffered for you, leaving you [His personal] example, so that you should follow in His footsteps. 22 He was guilty of no sin, neither was deceit (guile) ever found on His lips. 23 When He was reviled and insulted, He did not revile or offer insult in return; [when] He was abused and suffered, He made no threats [of vengeance]; but he trusted [Himself and everything] to Him Who judges fairly. 24 He personally bore our sins in His [own] body on the tree [g][as on an altar and offered Himself on it], that we might die (cease to exist) to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were going astray like [so many] sheep, but now you have come back to the Shepherd and Guardian ([h]the Bishop) of your souls.

1 Peter 3

In like manner, you married women, be submissive to your own husbands [subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependent on them, and adapt yourselves to them], so that even if any do not obey the Word [of God], they may be won over not by discussion but by the [godly] lives of their wives, When they observe the pure and modest way in which you conduct yourselves, together with your [a]reverence [for your husband; you are to feel for him all that reverence includes: to respect, defer to, revere him—to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and, in the human sense, to adore him, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy your husband]. Let not yours be the [merely] external adorning with [elaborate] [b]interweaving and knotting of the hair, the wearing of jewelry, or changes of clothes; But let it be the inward adorning and beauty of the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, which [is not anxious or wrought up, but] is very precious in the sight of God. For it was thus that the pious women of old who hoped in God were [accustomed] to beautify themselves and were submissive to their husbands [adapting themselves to them as themselves secondary and dependent upon them]. It was thus that Sarah obeyed Abraham [following his guidance and acknowledging his headship over her by] calling him lord (master, leader, authority). And you are now her true daughters if you do right and let nothing terrify you [not giving way to hysterical fears or letting anxieties unnerve you].

In the same way you married men should live considerately with [your wives], with an [c]intelligent recognition [of the marriage relation], honoring the woman as [physically] the weaker, but [realizing that you] are joint heirs of the grace (God’s unmerited favor) of life, in order that your prayers may not be hindered and cut off. [Otherwise you cannot pray effectively.]

Finally, all [of you] should be of one and the same mind (united in spirit), sympathizing [with one another], loving [each other] as brethren [of one household], compassionate and courteous (tenderhearted and humble). Never return evil for evil or insult for insult (scolding, tongue-lashing, berating), but on the contrary blessing [praying for their welfare, happiness, and protection, and truly pitying and loving them]. For know that to this you have been called, that you may yourselves inherit a blessing [from God—that you may obtain a blessing as heirs, bringing welfare and happiness and protection]. 10 For let him who wants to enjoy life and see good days [good—whether apparent or not] keep his tongue free from evil and his lips from guile (treachery, deceit). 11 Let him turn away from wickedness and shun it, and let him do right. Let him search for peace (harmony; undisturbedness from fears, agitating passions, and moral conflicts) and seek it eagerly. [Do not merely desire peaceful relations with God, with your fellowmen, and with yourself, but pursue, go after them!] 12 For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with God), and His ears are attentive to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who practice evil [to oppose them, to frustrate, and defeat them].

13 Now who is there to hurt you if you are [d]zealous followers of that which is good? 14 But even in case you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, [you are] blessed (happy, to be envied). Do not dread or be afraid of their threats, nor be disturbed [by their opposition]. 15 But in your hearts set Christ apart as holy [and acknowledge Him] as Lord. Always be ready to give a logical defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope that is in you, but do it courteously and respectfully. 16 [And see to it that] your conscience is entirely clear ([e]unimpaired), so that, when you are falsely accused as evildoers, those who threaten you abusively and revile your right behavior in Christ may come to be ashamed [of slandering your good lives]. 17 For [it is] better to suffer [unjustly] for doing right, if that should be God’s will, than to suffer [justly] for doing wrong.

18 For Christ [the Messiah Himself] died for sins once [f]for all, the Righteous for the unrighteous (the Just for the unjust, the Innocent for the guilty), that He might bring us to God. In His human body He was put to death, but He was made alive in the spirit, 19 In which He went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20 [The souls of those] who long before in the days of Noah had been disobedient, when God’s patience waited during the building of the ark in which a few [people], actually eight in number, were saved through water. 21 And baptism, which is a figure [of their deliverance], does now also save you [from inward questionings and fears], not by the removing of outward body filth [bathing], but by [providing you with] the answer of a good and clear conscience (inward cleanness and peace) before God [because you are demonstrating what you believe to be yours] through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 22 [And He] has now entered into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with [all] angels and authorities and powers made subservient to Him.

1 Peter 4

So, since Christ suffered in the flesh [a]for us, for you, arm yourselves with the same thought and [b]purpose [patiently to suffer rather than fail to please God]. For whoever has suffered in the flesh [having [c]the mind of Christ] is done with [intentional] sin [has stopped pleasing himself and the world, and pleases God], So that he can no longer spend the rest of his natural life living by [his] human appetites and desires, but [he lives] for what God wills. For the time that is past already suffices for doing what the Gentiles like to do—living [as you have done] in shameless, insolent wantonness, in lustful desires, drunkenness, reveling, drinking bouts and abominable, lawless idolatries. They are astonished and think it very queer that you do not now run hand in hand with them in the same excesses of dissipation, and they abuse [you]. But they will have to give an account to Him Who is ready to judge and pass sentence on the living and the dead. For this is why the good news (the Gospel) was preached [[d]in their lifetime] even to the dead, that though judged in fleshly bodies as men are, they might live in the spirit as God does.

But the end and culmination of all things has now come near; keep sound minded and self-restrained and alert therefore for [the practice of] prayer. Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and [e]disregards the offenses of others]. Practice hospitality to one another (those of the household of faith). [Be hospitable, be a lover of strangers, with brotherly affection for the unknown guests, the foreigners, the poor, and all others who come your way who are of Christ’s body.] And [in each instance] do it ungrudgingly (cordially and graciously, without complaining but as representing Him). 10 As each of you has received a gift (a particular spiritual talent, a gracious divine endowment), employ it for one another as [befits] good trustees of God’s many-sided grace [faithful stewards of the [f]extremely diverse powers and gifts granted to Christians by unmerited favor]. 11 Whoever speaks, [let him do it as one who utters] oracles of God; whoever renders service, [let him do it] as with the strength which God furnishes [g]abundantly, so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ (the Messiah). To Him be the glory and dominion forever and ever (through endless ages). Amen (so be it).

12 Beloved, do not be amazed and bewildered at the fiery ordeal which is taking place to test your quality, as though something strange (unusual and alien to you and your position) were befalling you. 13 But insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, rejoice, so that when His glory [full of radiance and splendor] is revealed, you may also rejoice with triumph [exultantly]. 14 If you are censured and suffer abuse [because you bear] the name of Christ, blessed [are you—happy, fortunate, [h]to be envied, [i]with life-joy, and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of your outward condition], because the Spirit of glory, the Spirit of God, is resting upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or any sort of criminal, or as a mischief-maker (a meddler) in the affairs of others [infringing on their rights]. 16 But if [one is ill-treated and suffers] as a Christian [which he is contemptuously called], let him not be ashamed, but give glory to God that he is [deemed worthy to suffer] in this name. 17 For the time [has arrived] for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will [be] the end of those who do not respect or believe or obey the good news (the Gospel) of God? 18 And if the righteous are barely saved, what will become of the godless and wicked? 19 Therefore, those who are ill-treated and suffer in accordance with God’s will must do right and commit their souls [in charge as a deposit] to the One Who created [them] and will never fail [them].

1 Peter 5

I warn and counsel the elders among you (the pastors and spiritual guides of the church) as a fellow elder and as an eyewitness [called to testify] of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a sharer in the glory (the honor and splendor) that is to be revealed (disclosed, unfolded): Tend (nurture, guard, guide, and fold) the flock of God that is [your responsibility], not by coercion or constraint, but willingly; not dishonorably motivated by the advantages and profits [belonging to the office], but eagerly and cheerfully; Not domineering [as arrogant, dictatorial, and overbearing persons] over those in your charge, but being examples (patterns and models of Christian living) to the flock (the congregation). And [then] when the Chief Shepherd is revealed, you will win the [a]conqueror’s crown of glory. Likewise, you who are younger and of lesser rank, be subject to the elders (the ministers and spiritual guides of the church)—[giving them due respect and yielding to their counsel]. Clothe (apron) yourselves, all of you, with humility [as the garb of a servant, [b]so that its covering cannot possibly be stripped from you, with freedom from pride and arrogance] toward one another. For God sets Himself against the proud (the insolent, the overbearing, the disdainful, the presumptuous, the boastful)—[and He opposes, frustrates, and defeats them], but gives grace (favor, blessing) to the humble.

Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you, Casting the [c]whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, [d]once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you [e]watchfully. Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [[f]in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour. Withstand him; be firm in faith [against his onset—rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined], knowing that the same ([g]identical) sufferings are appointed to your brotherhood (the whole body of Christians) throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace [Who imparts all blessing and favor], Who has called you to His [own] eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will Himself complete and make you what you ought to be, establish and ground you securely, and strengthen, and settle you. 11 To Him be the dominion (power, authority, rule) forever and ever. Amen (so be it).

12 By Silvanus, a true (loyal, consistent, incorruptible) brother, as I consider him, I have written briefly to you, to counsel and urge and stimulate [you] and to declare [to you] that this is the true [account of the] grace (the undeserved favor) of God. Be steadfast and persevere in it. 13 She [your sister church here] in Babylon, [who is] elect (chosen) with [yourselves], sends you greetings, and [so does] my son (disciple) Mark. 14 Salute one another with a kiss of love [the symbol of mutual affection]. To all of you that are in Christ Jesus (the Messiah), may there be peace ([h]every kind of peace and blessing, especially peace with God, and [i] freedom from fears, agitating passions, and moral conflicts). Amen (so be it).

2 Peter 1

Simon Peter, a servant and apostle (special messenger) of Jesus Christ, to those who have received (obtained an equal privilege of) like precious faith with ourselves in and through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: May grace (God’s favor) and peace (which is [a]perfect well-being, all necessary good, all spiritual prosperity, and [b]freedom from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts) be multiplied to you in [the full, personal, [c]precise, and correct] knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

For His divine power has bestowed upon us all things that [are requisite and suited] to life and godliness, through the [[d]full, personal] knowledge of Him Who called us by and to His own glory and excellence (virtue). By means of these He has bestowed on us His precious and exceedingly great promises, so that through them you may escape [by flight] from the moral decay (rottenness and corruption) that is in the world because of covetousness (lust and greed), and become sharers (partakers) of the divine nature. For this very reason, [e]adding your diligence [to the divine promises], employ every effort in [f]exercising your faith to develop virtue (excellence, resolution, Christian energy), and in [exercising] virtue [develop] knowledge (intelligence), And in [exercising] knowledge [develop] self-control, and in [exercising] self-control [develop] steadfastness (patience, endurance), and in [exercising] steadfastness [develop] godliness (piety), And in [exercising] godliness [develop] brotherly affection, and in [exercising] brotherly affection [develop] Christian love. For as these qualities are yours and increasingly abound in you, they will keep [you] from being idle or unfruitful unto the [[g]full personal] knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). For whoever lacks these qualities is blind, [[h]spiritually] shortsighted, [i]seeing only what is near to him, and has become oblivious [to the fact] that he was cleansed from his old sins. 10 Because of this, brethren, be all the more solicitous and eager to make sure (to ratify, to strengthen, to make steadfast) your calling and election; for if you do this, you will never stumble or fall. 11 Thus there will be richly and abundantly provided for you entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

12 So I intend always to remind you about these things, although indeed you know them and are firm in the truth that [you] now [hold]. 13 I think it right, as long as I am in this tabernacle (tent, body), to stir you up by way of remembrance, 14 Since I know that the laying aside of this body of mine will come speedily, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. 15 Moreover, I will diligently endeavor [to see to it] that [even] after my departure (decease) you may be able at all times to call these things to mind.

16 For we were not following cleverly devised stories when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah), but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty (grandeur, authority of sovereign power). 17 For when He was invested with honor and glory from God the Father and a voice was borne to Him by the [splendid] Majestic Glory [in the bright cloud that overshadowed Him, saying], This is My beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased and delight, 18 We [actually] heard this voice borne out of heaven, for we were together with Him on the holy mountain. 19 And we have the prophetic word [made] firmer still. You will do well to pay close attention to it as to a lamp shining in a dismal (squalid and dark) place, until the day breaks through [the gloom] and the Morning Star rises ([j]comes into being) in your hearts. 20 [Yet] first [you must] understand this, that no prophecy of Scripture is [a matter] of any personal or private or special interpretation (loosening, solving). 21 For no prophecy ever originated because some man willed it [to do so—it never came by human impulse], but men spoke from God who were borne along (moved and impelled) by the Holy Spirit.

2 Peter 2

But also [in those days] there arose false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among yourselves, who will subtly and stealthily introduce heretical doctrines (destructive heresies), even denying and disowning the Master Who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their immoral ways and lascivious doings; because of them the true Way will be maligned and defamed. And in their covetousness (lust, greed) they will exploit you with false (cunning) arguments. From of old the sentence [of condemnation] for them has not been idle; their destruction (eternal misery) has not been asleep.

For God did not [even] spare angels that sinned, but cast them into hell, delivering them to be kept there in pits of gloom till the judgment and their doom. And He spared not the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven other persons, when He brought a flood upon the world of ungodly [people]. And He condemned to ruin and extinction the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, reducing them to ashes [and thus] set them forth as an example to those who would be ungodly; And He rescued righteous Lot, greatly worn out and distressed by the wanton ways of the ungodly and lawless— For that just man, living [there] among them, tortured his righteous soul every day with what he saw and heard of [their] unlawful and wicked deeds— Now if [all these things are true, then be sure] the Lord knows how to rescue the godly out of temptations and trials, and how to keep the ungodly under chastisement until the day of judgment and doom,

10 And particularly those who walk after the flesh and indulge in the lust of polluting passion and scorn and despise authority. Presumptuous [and] daring [self-willed and self-loving creatures]! They scoff at and revile dignitaries (glorious ones) without trembling, 11 Whereas [even] angels, though superior in might and power, do not bring a defaming charge against them before the Lord. 12 But these [people]! Like unreasoning beasts, mere creatures of instinct, born [only] to be captured and destroyed, railing at things of which they are ignorant, they shall utterly perish in their [own] corruption [in their destroying they shall surely be destroyed], 13 Being destined to receive [punishment as] the reward of [their] unrighteousness [suffering wrong as the hire for their wrongdoing]. They count it a delight to revel in the daytime [living luxuriously and delicately]. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their [a]deceptions and carousing together [even] as they feast with you. 14 They have eyes full of harlotry, insatiable for sin. They beguile and bait and lure away unstable souls. Their hearts are trained in covetousness (lust, greed), [they are] children of a curse [[b]exposed to cursing]! 15 Forsaking the straight road they have gone astray; they have followed the way of Balaam [the son] of Beor, who loved the reward of wickedness. 16 But he was rebuked for his own transgression when a dumb beast of burden spoke with human voice and checked the prophet’s madness.

17 These are springs without water and mists driven along before a tempest, for whom is reserved forever the gloom of darkness. 18 For uttering loud boasts of folly, they beguile and lure with lustful desires of the flesh those who are barely escaping from them who are wrongdoers. 19 They promise them liberty, when they themselves are the slaves of depravity and defilement—for by whatever anyone is made inferior or worse or is overcome, to that [person or thing] he is enslaved. 20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through [the full, personal] knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they again become entangled in them and are overcome, their last condition is worse [for them] than the first. 21 For never to have obtained a [full, personal] knowledge of the way of righteousness would have been better for them than, having obtained [such knowledge], to turn back from the holy commandment which was [verbally] delivered to them. 22 There has befallen them the thing spoken of in the true proverb, The dog turns back to his own vomit, and, The sow is washed only to wallow again in the mire.

2 Peter 3

Beloved, I am now writing you this second letter. In [both of] them I have stirred up your unsullied (sincere) mind by way of remembrance, That you should recall the predictions of the holy (consecrated, dedicated) prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior [given] through your apostles (His special messengers). To begin with, you must know and understand this, that scoffers (mockers) will come in the last days with scoffing, [people who] walk after their own fleshly desires And say, Where is the promise of His coming? For since the forefathers fell asleep, all things have continued exactly as they did from the beginning of creation. For they willfully overlook and forget this [fact], that the heavens [came into] existence long ago by the word of God, and the earth also which was formed out of water and by means of water, Through which the world that then [existed] was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the present heavens and earth have been stored up (reserved) for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly people.

Nevertheless, do not let this one fact escape you, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. The Lord does not delay and is not tardy or slow about what He promises, according to some people’s conception of slowness, but He is long-suffering (extraordinarily patient) toward you, not desiring that any should perish, but that all should turn to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will vanish (pass away) with a thunderous crash, and the [[a]material] elements [of the universe] will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up.

11 Since all these things are thus [b]in the process of being dissolved, what kind of person ought [each of] you to be [in the meanwhile] in consecrated and holy behavior and devout and godly qualities, 12 While you wait and earnestly long for (expect and hasten) the coming of the day of God by reason of which the flaming heavens will be dissolved, and the [[c]material] elements [of the universe] will flare and melt with fire? 13 But we look for new heavens and a new earth according to His promise, in which righteousness (uprightness, freedom from sin, and right standing with God) is to abide.

14 So, beloved, since you are expecting these things, be eager to be found by Him [at His coming] without spot or blemish and at peace [in serene confidence, [d]free from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts]. 15 And consider that the long-suffering of our Lord [[e]His slowness in avenging wrongs and judging the world] is salvation ([f]that which is conducive to the soul’s safety), even as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the spiritual insight given him, 16 Speaking of this as he does in all of his letters. There are some things in those [epistles of Paul] that are difficult to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist and misconstrue to their own [g]utter destruction, just as [they distort and misinterpret] the rest of the Scriptures. 17 Let me warn you therefore, beloved, that knowing these things beforehand, you should be on your guard, lest you be carried away by the error of lawless and wicked [persons and] fall from your own [present] firm condition [your own steadfastness of mind]. 18 But grow in grace (undeserved favor, spiritual strength) and [h]recognition and knowledge and understanding of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (the Messiah). To Him [be] glory (honor, majesty, and splendor) both now and to the day of eternity. Amen (so be it)!

Amen and so be it!

#lessonsfromlent

I am wondering as I conclude first and second Peter, if you and I might share the penchant for what I am going to call “passive separation.” Passive separation, as I have put the definition together in my head, comes from not purposefully remaining together. What I mean is this . . . might it be that you and I passively live two different lives because we don’t intentionally live one.

It seems to me that in both letters Peter is exhorting and admonishing Christians to live well by living Christ in every arena of life. He covers them all and there isn’t one instance that he cordons off and says “except for here . . . you don’t need to live Christ well here”–there are no asterisks.

So that makes me look over my own activities and my life. Am I consciously taking Jesus wherever I go? If I’m not choosing to always be aware of His Presence—because Sister He is there rather we choose to acknowledge it or not—then, am I choosing to leave Him behind? And if that is the case then, is this not reflective of the double-minded man James describes? Or the house divided against itself that cannot stand? Is it not true that by not choosing we have made a choice?

1 Peter 1 really encapsulates the entirety of both letters in its quote of Leviticus 11 . . . Be holy because I am holy. Not part of the time but all the time and not in just a be-conscious-of-your actions kind of way but in a go-after-it-pursuit-it-with-zeal this is my priority kind of way. If I’m reading Peter’s letters right, understanding the admonitions to be sober-minded, to be alert, to be on the ready, he’s exhorting us to make a point to live as the chosen people, the royal priesthood of God.

And I love that Peter, whose name comes from Petros which means part of a bigger Rock, wrote about the Living Stone—rejected by men. Don’t you think that would have been so personal for him? Maybe the echo of “Peter, do you love me?” would have been finally laid to rest by “Peter, I am the quarry from which you were hewn, I will always be with you.”  Maybe that’s where the passion in 1 Peter 2 comes from when he puts the pen to page and encourages we who are “little s” stones to come to the “Capital S” Living Stone – not on a single occasion but as a practice, a personal habit.

Come to Him [then, to that] Living Stone which men [a]tried and threw away, but which is chosen [and] precious in God’s sight. [Come] and, like living stones, be yourselves built [into] a spiritual house, for a holy (dedicated, consecrated) priesthood, to offer up [those] spiritual sacrifices [that are] acceptable and pleasing to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:4-5

We don’t want to confuse these verses with a preacher hopeful to have see unbelievers repent and have their eyes opened to salvation. Peter is talking to believers – those who have tasted that the Lord is good. Beloved, that’s you and I. We’ve made our confession, we know that the Lord is good, and now with the tense of the participle “come” Peter is telling us that the only way to live our lives like the Rock from which we were hewn, the Living Stone, is to come to Him on a regular, habitual basis. To have personal, intimate fellowship with Him. To be aware that He is ever-present in us.

And Peter moves right from this powerful call to live with the Rock into our lives as a“chosen people, a royal priesthood” and it strikes me so that in that same Book where God directs His people to “Be holy because I am holy” He establishes in detail all the things that will set the priests apart.

The priests were never meant to blend in. They were called to stand out because of who they were serving. They were given the privilege of meeting with God every day and performing the tasks He had set aside for them. They were called to “Come to Him” the source of their life, the source of their position, to serve at the physical temple and offer acceptable sacrifices . . . . every day.

12 The fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must not go out. Every morning the priest is to add firewood and arrange the burnt offering on the fire and burn the fat of the fellowship offerings on it. 13 The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out. Leviticus 6:12-13

See the intentionality of it all? God Himself lit the fire on the altar, consuming the sacrifice, showing it be acceptable. The priests were called to tend the fire that fell from heaven every morning. To intentionally come to the altar and purposefully add fuel to the fire, fan it to flame, and arrange the sacrifice for the fellowship offering.   It was not to go out but to be diligently tended and the sacrifice made . . .every day.

We are called to come to Him, our source of life and position, to be built into a spiritual house and offer spiritual sacrifices made acceptable by Jesus Christ. Have we not been ignited with same Holy Flame from heaven by God Himself? Does not the fire of the Holy Spirit dwell within us? O Sweet One, does He not call us to be purposeful in arranging our sacrifices before Him? Is there any other way to burn away the unholiness that may linger within us? Is not our fellowship offering to be made every morning and will it not be our constant communion with the Living Stone that fans the flame of the Holy Spirit?

You, Sister loved by God, are a member of the royal priesthood called personally to “come to Him” your Great High Priest daily . . . habitually. To fan to flame the Holy Spirit placed within you and to be ever mindful of His ever presence. You are blessed Dear One. You have tasted that the Lord is good. You are set apart as His and you, Daughter of God, were not called to blend in!

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Daughters of God do not blend in . . . #lessonsfromlent

Lessons from Lent: Day 35

29 Mar

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An Explanation of Lessons from Lent

In the next 40 days (6 now because you have already accomplished thirty-four), the weeks leading up to Easter, the posts on Glimpsed Glory will be different. I am reading through the New Testament during this time and I am hoping the Holy Spirit will lead me to a fresh revelation each and every day. I’m going into it with a prayerful heart and an expectant spirit but I will fully confess to you that my soul feels sluggish.

I have been in a place of exhaustion over these last months. My mind has been clouded, my body has ached and insomnia has been my companion since late December. The enemy has been and is still whispering in my ear that my Jesus has forgotten me . . . that He has finally tired of my imperfections and left me behind.

I’m not giving in to it! I am going to fight the good fight of faith and follow the example of my Nehemiah Man. I am going to stand firm in my faith because if I do not, I will not stand at all. I’m praising God for bringing me to a place of emptiness so that I can look to Him to fill my cup.

I’m coming before the Lord and I’m asking Him to do a new thing in me. To rouse my heart to His side and to draw me near in real and tangible ways. To plow through the fog that has settled over me in the form of health issues, physical stress, and emotional upheaval and lay a level path before me. I’m entering the throne room and I’m humbly reminding Him that He has invited me to come in my time of need. O Lord – be near to me. Love me where I am. Take me where I need to be.

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That’s the cry of my heart Sweet Sister and I’m thinking that if I am in this place that perhaps you are too. It might be that different life situations have brought us here but here we are. If that’s the case, I want you to know that you are not alone and that you have a faith sister to walk through it with. We can do this together – you and I. It’s why God gave us to one another. We can join our hearts and we can offer up the next 40 days to the Beautiful One and trust Him to do the beautiful thing in us.

So here’s what I’ll do. I’ll post the daily reading on the blog (except for Sundays) and if you read the Scriptures not only will you have read through the entire New Testament by Easter but God promises that He’ll show you deep and unsearchable things you do not know. He promises that His word is alive and active and will transform your heart. I could use some transformation. What about you?

At the end of the daily passage, I’m going to share my “Lesson from Lent” – nothing long or drawn out just something that God uses to speak straight to my heart from the Scripture that day. I’m putting it at the end because if your time runs short on a particular day – I want you to skip reading my words, not His.

I’m hoping that you’ll start your own running record of what God is showing you. Maybe you’ll even be moved to leave a comment so your Sisters can glean from what you’re learning. No matter how you choose to keep track of all He shares with you . . . treasure it up in your heart Sweet One, meditate on it, mull it over, consider the whisper of the Lover of your soul. The God of the Universe is the only Voice we need to revive our tired souls. So, let’s you and I lean in close, pray for ears to hear and hearts to respond. Let’s dig in to the riches He has given us and prepare to be amazed by what He will reveal to our expectant hearts. O Sister, let’s boldly ask Him for a lesson from Lent and then brace ourselves for a glimpse of Glory!

Day Thirty-four

March 30, 2015 ~~ James

Amplified Bible

Footnotes: I’ve left the footnotes in place if you would like to track down sources in word study and language. Please follow the link to each chapter and scroll to the bottom of the passage.

James 1

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes scattered abroad [among the Gentiles in the dispersion]: Greetings ([a]rejoice)!

Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing. If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of [b]the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him. Only it must be in faith that he asks with no wavering (no hesitating, no doubting). For the one who wavers (hesitates, doubts) is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind. For truly, let not such a person imagine that he will receive anything [he asks for] from the Lord, [For being as he is] a man of two minds (hesitating, dubious, irresolute), [he is] unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything [he thinks, feels, decides].

Let the brother in humble circumstances glory in his elevation [as a Christian, called to the true riches and to be an heir of God], 10 And the rich [person ought to glory] in being humbled [by being shown his human frailty], because like the flower of the grass he will pass away. 11 For the sun comes up with a scorching heat and parches the grass; its flower falls off and its beauty fades away. Even so will the rich man wither and die in the midst of his pursuits.

12 Blessed (happy, [c]to be envied) is the man who is patient under trial and stands up under temptation, for when he has stood the test and been approved, he will receive [the victor’s] crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him.

13 Let no one say when he is tempted, I am tempted from God; for God is incapable of being tempted by [what is] evil and He Himself tempts no one. 14 But every person is tempted when he is drawn away, enticed and baited by his own evil desire (lust, passions). 15 Then the evil desire, when it has conceived, gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is fully matured, brings forth death.

16 Do not be misled, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect ([d]free, large, full) gift is from above; it comes down from the Father of all [that gives] light, in [the shining of] Whom there can be no variation [rising or setting] or shadow cast by His turning [as in an eclipse]. 18 And it was of His own [free] will that He gave us birth [as sons] by [His] Word of Truth, so that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures [a sample of what He created to be consecrated to Himself].

19 Understand [this], my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener], slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry. 20 For man’s anger does not promote the righteousness God [wishes and requires]. 21 So get rid of all uncleanness and the rampant outgrowth of wickedness, and in a humble (gentle, modest) spirit receive and welcome the Word which implanted and rooted [in your hearts] contains the power to save your souls.

22 But be doers of the Word [obey the message], and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves [into deception by reasoning contrary to the Truth]. 23 For if anyone only listens to the Word without obeying it and being a doer of it, he is like a man who looks carefully at his [own] natural face in a mirror; 24 For he thoughtfully observes himself, and then goes off and promptly forgets what he was like. 25 But he who looks carefully into the faultless law, the [law] of liberty, and is faithful to it and perseveres in looking into it, being not a heedless listener who forgets but an active doer [who obeys], he shall be blessed in his doing (his life of obedience).

26 If anyone thinks himself to be religious (piously observant of the external duties of his faith) and does not bridle his tongue but deludes his own heart, this person’s religious service is worthless (futile, barren). 27 External [e]religious worship [[f]religion as it is expressed in outward acts] that is pure and unblemished in the sight of God the Father is this: to visit and help and care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and need, and to keep oneself unspotted and uncontaminated from the world.

James 2

My brethren, pay no servile regard to people [show no prejudice, no partiality]. Do not [attempt to] hold and practice the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ [the Lord] of glory [together with snobbery]! For if a person comes into your congregation whose hands are adorned with gold rings and who is wearing splendid apparel, and also a poor [man] in shabby clothes comes in, And you pay special attention to the one who wears the splendid clothes and say to him, Sit here in this preferable seat! while you tell the poor [man], Stand there! or, Sit there on the floor at my feet! Are you not discriminating among your own and becoming critics and judges with wrong motives?

Listen, my beloved brethren: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and in their position as believers and to inherit the kingdom which He has promised to those who love Him? But you [in contrast] have insulted (humiliated, dishonored, and shown your contempt for) the poor. Is it not the rich who domineer over you? Is it not they who drag you into the law courts? Is it not they who slander and blaspheme that precious name by which you are distinguished and called [the name of Christ invoked in baptism]?

If indeed you [really] fulfill the royal Law in accordance with the Scripture, You shall love your neighbor as [you love] yourself, you do well. But if you show servile regard (prejudice, favoritism) for people, you commit sin and are rebuked and convicted by the Law as violators and offenders. 10 For whosoever keeps the Law [as a] whole but stumbles and offends in one [single instance] has become guilty of [breaking] all of it. 11 For He Who said, You shall not commit adultery, also said, You shall not kill. If you do not commit adultery but do kill, you have become guilty of transgressing the [whole] Law.

12 So speak and so act as [people should] who are to be judged under the law of liberty [the moral instruction given by Christ, especially about love]. 13 For to him who has shown no mercy the judgment [will be] merciless, but mercy [full of glad confidence] exults victoriously over judgment.

14 What is the use (profit), my brethren, for anyone to profess to have faith if he has no [good] works [to show for it]? Can [such] faith save [his soul]? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clad and lacks food for each day, 16 And one of you says to him, Good-bye! Keep [yourself] warm and well fed, without giving him the necessities for the body, what good does that do? 17 So also faith, if it does not have works (deeds and actions of obedience to back it up), by itself is destitute of power (inoperative, dead).

18 But someone will say [to you then], You [say you] have faith, and I have [good] works. Now you show me your [alleged] faith apart from any [good] works [if you can], and I by [good] works [of obedience] will show you my faith. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. So do the demons believe and shudder [in terror and horror such as [a]make a man’s hair stand on end and contract the surface of his skin]!

20 Are you willing to be shown [proof], you foolish (unproductive, spiritually deficient) fellow, that faith apart from [good] works is inactive and ineffective and worthless? 21 Was not our forefather Abraham [shown to be] justified (made acceptable to God) by [his] works when he brought to the altar as an offering his [own] son Isaac? 22 You see that [his] faith was cooperating with his works, and [his] faith was completed and reached its supreme expression [when he implemented it] by [good] works. 23 And [so] the Scripture was fulfilled that says, Abraham believed in (adhered to, trusted in, and relied on) God, and this was accounted to him as righteousness (as conformity to God’s will in thought and deed), and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a man is justified (pronounced righteous before God) through what he does and not alone through faith [through works of obedience as well as by what he believes].

25 So also with Rahab the harlot—was she not shown to be justified (pronounced righteous before God) by [good] deeds when she took in the scouts (spies) and sent them away by a different route? 26 For as the human body apart from the spirit is lifeless, so faith apart from [its] works of obedience is also dead.

James 3

Not many [of you] should become teachers ([a]self-constituted censors and reprovers of others), my brethren, for you know that we [teachers] will be judged by a higher standard and with greater severity [than other people; thus we assume the greater accountability and the more condemnation]. For we all often stumble and fall and offend in many things. And if anyone does not offend in speech [never says the wrong things], he is a fully developed character and a perfect man, able to control his whole body and to curb his entire nature.

If we set bits in the horses’ mouths to make them obey us, we can turn their whole bodies about. Likewise, look at the ships: though they are so great and are driven by rough winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the impulse of the helmsman determines. Even so the tongue is a little member, and it can boast of great things. See how much wood or how great a forest a tiny spark can set ablaze! And the tongue is a fire. [The tongue is a] world of wickedness set among our members, contaminating and depraving the whole body and setting on fire the wheel of birth (the cycle of man’s nature), being itself ignited by hell (Gehenna).

For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea animal, can be tamed and has been tamed by human genius (nature). But the human tongue can be tamed by no man. It is a restless (undisciplined, irreconcilable) evil, full of deadly poison.

With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse men who were made in God’s likeness! 10 Out of the same mouth come forth blessing and cursing. These things, my brethren, ought not to be so. 11 Does a fountain send forth [simultaneously] from the same opening fresh water and bitter? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine figs? Neither can a salt spring furnish fresh water.

13 Who is there among you who is wise and intelligent? Then let him by his noble living show forth his [good] works with the [unobtrusive] humility [which is the proper attribute] of true wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry, selfish ambition) in your hearts, do not pride yourselves on it and thus be in defiance of and false to the Truth. 15 This [superficial] wisdom is not such as comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual (animal), even devilish (demoniacal). 16 For wherever there is jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry and selfish ambition), there will also be confusion (unrest, disharmony, rebellion) and all sorts of evil and vile practices.

17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure (undefiled); then it is peace-loving, courteous (considerate, gentle). [It is willing to] yield to reason, full of compassion and good fruits; it is wholehearted and straightforward, impartial and unfeigned (free from doubts, wavering, and insincerity). 18 And the harvest of righteousness (of conformity to God’s will in thought and deed) is [the fruit of the seed] sown in peace by those who work for and make peace [in themselves and in others, that peace which means concord, agreement, and harmony between individuals, with undisturbedness, in a peaceful mind free from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts].

James 4

What leads to strife (discord and feuds) and how do conflicts (quarrels and fightings) originate among you? Do they not arise from your sensual desires that are ever warring in your bodily members? You are jealous and covet [what others have] and your desires go unfulfilled; [so] you become murderers. [To hate is to murder as far as your hearts are concerned.] You burn with envy and anger and are not able to obtain [the gratification, the contentment, and the happiness that you seek], so you fight and war. You do not have, because you do not ask. [Or] you do ask [God for them] and yet fail to receive, because you ask with wrong purpose and evil, selfish motives. Your intention is [when you get what you desire] to spend it in sensual pleasures.

You [are like] unfaithful wives [having illicit love affairs with the world and breaking your marriage vow to God]! Do you not know that being the world’s friend is being God’s enemy? So whoever chooses to be a friend of the world takes his stand as an enemy of God. Or do you suppose that the Scripture is speaking to no purpose that says, The Spirit Whom He has caused to dwell in us yearns over us and He yearns for the Spirit [to be welcome] with a jealous love? But He gives us more and more grace ([a]power of the Holy Spirit, to meet this evil tendency and all others fully). That is why He says, God sets Himself against the proud and haughty, but gives grace [continually] to the lowly (those who are humble enough to receive it). So be subject to God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from you. Come close to God and He will come close to you. [Recognize that you are] sinners, get your soiled hands clean; [realize that you have been disloyal] wavering individuals with divided interests, and purify your hearts [of your spiritual adultery]. [As you draw near to God] be deeply penitent and grieve, even weep [over your disloyalty]. Let your laughter be turned to grief and your mirth to dejection and heartfelt shame [for your sins]. 10 Humble yourselves [feeling very insignificant] in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you [He will lift you up and make your lives significant].

11 [My] brethren, do not speak evil about or accuse one another. He that maligns a brother or judges his brother is maligning and criticizing the Law and judging the Law. But if you judge the Law, you are not a practicer of the Law but a censor and judge [of it]. 12 One only is the Lawgiver and Judge Who is able to save and to destroy [the One Who has the absolute power of life and death]. [But you] who are you that [you presume to] pass judgment on your neighbor?

13 Come now, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a city and spend a year there and carry on our business and make money. 14 Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen tomorrow. What is the nature of your life? You are [really] but a wisp of vapor (a puff of smoke, a mist) that is visible for a little while and then disappears [into thin air]. 15 You ought instead to say, If the Lord is willing, we shall live and we shall do this or that [thing]. 16 But as it is, you boast [falsely] in your presumption and your self-conceit. All such boasting is wrong. 17 So any person who knows what is right to do but does not do it, to him it is sin.

James 5

Come now, you rich [people], weep aloud and lament over the miseries (the woes) that are surely coming upon you. Your abundant wealth has rotted and is ruined, and your [many] garments have become moth-eaten. Your gold and silver are completely rusted through, and their rust will be testimony against you and it will devour your flesh as if it were fire. You have heaped together treasure for the last days. [But] look! [Here are] the wages that you have withheld by fraud from the laborers who have reaped your fields, crying out [for vengeance]; and the cries of the harvesters have come to the ears of the Lord of hosts. [Here] on earth you have abandoned yourselves to soft (prodigal) living and to [the pleasures of] self-indulgence and self-gratification. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and have murdered the righteous (innocent man), [while] he offers no resistance to you.

So be patient, brethren, [as you wait] till the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits expectantly for the precious harvest from the land. [See how] he keeps up his patient [vigil] over it until it receives the early and late rains. So you also must be patient. Establish your hearts [strengthen and confirm them in the final certainty], for the coming of the Lord is very near. Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you [yourselves] may not be judged. Look! The Judge is [already] standing at the very door.

10 [As] an example of suffering and ill-treatment together with patience, brethren, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord [as His messengers]. 11 You know how we call those blessed (happy) who were steadfast [who endured]. You have heard of the endurance of Job, and you have seen the Lord’s [purpose and how He richly blessed him in the] end, inasmuch as the Lord is full of pity and compassion and tenderness and mercy.

12 But above all [things], my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath; but let your yes be [a simple] yes, and your no be [a simple] no, so that you may not sin and fall under condemnation.

13 Is anyone among you afflicted (ill-treated, suffering evil)? He should pray. Is anyone glad at heart? He should sing praise [to God]. 14 Is anyone among you sick? He should call in the church elders (the spiritual guides). And they should pray over him, anointing him with oil in the Lord’s name. 15 And the prayer [that is] of faith will save him who is sick, and the Lord will restore him; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].

17 Elijah was a human being with a nature such as we have [with feelings, affections, and a constitution like ours]; and he prayed earnestly for it not to rain, and no rain fell on the earth for three years and six months. 18 And [then] he prayed again and the heavens supplied rain and the land produced its crops [as usual].

19 [My] brethren, if anyone among you strays from the Truth and falls into error and another [person] brings him back [to God], 20 Let the [latter] one be sure that whoever turns a sinner from his evil course will save [that one’s] soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins [[a]procure the pardon of the many sins committed by the convert].

Amen to the reading of God’s Word

#lessonsfromlent

May I be so bold as to ask you what you are hoping for when you pray? Are you not hoping that God will act and show His heart toward you just as the Psalmists did?

And call on Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall honor and glorify Me Psalm 50:15

O Lord, You have heard the desire and the longing of the humble and oppressed; You will prepare and strengthen and direct their hearts, You will cause Your ear to hear, Psalm 10:17

Aren’t we desiring God to hear us in our trouble and show Himself to us? To hear the longing and the desire of our petitions and answer us in real and tangible ways?

Certainly not in an arrogant way or as if God is somehow governed by our prayers, but isn’t it true that when we pray we do so with the certainty that God will show the Who of Him, His heart for us–His unchanging nature, by What He does?

The answer to our prayer may or may not look like we think it will, but it’s always a tangible expression of His love for us. He knows best and He reaches out – rather through a “yes”, a “no”, or a “wait”, to show us that He is with us.  We have unswerving assurance from His Word that the What of Him will never contradict the Who of Him.  And the Who of Him . . . is Love.

We know Who He is, but is there anything more beautiful than when He shows us?

His actions toward us will always reflect His faithfulness and unfathomable love for His children. . . and we aren’t the only ones who will see His activity. Other believers will see. Those yet to choose Life will see. It puts His heart for us on display.  Not because He’s forced to, but because He wants to . . . isn’t that wild?  The God of the Universe, wants us to know, and everyone watching to know . . . He loves us!

The same type of relationship – albeit imperfect—exists between me and my Sweet Bride-to-Be. If she asks me for something, I want my response to her to reflect the love I feel for her. Sometimes that means a “yes”, sometimes a “no”, and sometimes, she just has to wait. But it’s my desire to have the “what I do” express the “who I am” to her. Jesus gives us the same comparison in Luke 11 – if we as imperfect as we are can reflect our love to our children by our actions, then how much more so God?

And is it not true that no matter how small or how large the request is from our babies, we will move heaven and earth to act in their best interest. We want our actions to speak love to them. As their Mommas, our hearts are so full where they are concerned that it won’t stay inside. We have to care for them, we have to be concerned, we have to discipline . . . we are compelled to be actively expressing our love for them.

So we return to the Luke 11 question, if we, though we are so imperfect desire to have our actions show our love, how much more so will God pour His heart out on us? How much more will the What of Him express the Who of Him to us? Do you see what I’m saying?

Walk that same concept into the Book of James . . .faith without deeds is dead. You say you have faith, I’ll show you my faith by what I do . . . let that roll around in your head a bit.

When we’re praying are we not asking God to show us Who He is through What He does? Might it be that we indeed depend on God to have deeds that reflect His heart?

Apart from His works do we have faith that He exists, of course we do but the writer of Hebrews seems to address this very thought . . .

But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out]. Hebrews 11:6

Our faith in God being God leads us to believe not only that HE IS (God exists) but that HE DOES (God rewards). See the match up?

So then, when the Book of James urges us to express our faith by what we do, might it be that the Lord’s brother is telling us to imitate God? To express the Who of our hearts by the what of our hands? To show the world Who lives in us by the love that flows through us? Love, if we are to follow the pattern of our God and the footsteps of our Savior, translates to action.

Could it be that faith without deeds is dead because faith cannot be present and not express itself? Isn’t it true that who we are always shows in what we do?  If I am a child of God will I not live like my Father?

I think we’re on to something here because what occurs to me is that James would have seen this up close and personal. He’s exhorting us from what he saw lived out in his own household. He would’ve witnessed the expression of Love from a ringside seat. He would’ve known the power of deeds born from faith in a unique way. The Love he knew, wore skin and laid down steps of faith at every turn never failing to express the Who of Himself by What He did.

That all fits for me and maybe it resonates with you as well. Theologians, people far more learned and studied than I will ever be, have dissected and debated over this verse for years. But in the mind of this simple woman, it seems to me that the words of James on the subject of faith and deeds can be summed up in one single thought . . . Be like my Big Brother.

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I need to live like James’s Big Brother . . . #lessonsfromlent

Lessons from Lent: Day 34

28 Mar

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An Explanation of Lessons from Lent

In the next 40 days (7 now because you have already accomplished thirty-three), the weeks leading up to Easter, the posts on Glimpsed Glory will be different. I am reading through the New Testament during this time and I am hoping the Holy Spirit will lead me to a fresh revelation each and every day. I’m going into it with a prayerful heart and an expectant spirit but I will fully confess to you that my soul feels sluggish.

I have been in a place of exhaustion over these last months. My mind has been clouded, my body has ached and insomnia has been my companion since late December. The enemy has been and is still whispering in my ear that my Jesus has forgotten me . . . that He has finally tired of my imperfections and left me behind.

I’m not giving in to it! I am going to fight the good fight of faith and follow the example of my Nehemiah Man. I am going to stand firm in my faith because if I do not, I will not stand at all. I’m praising God for bringing me to a place of emptiness so that I can look to Him to fill my cup.

I’m coming before the Lord and I’m asking Him to do a new thing in me. To rouse my heart to His side and to draw me near in real and tangible ways. To plow through the fog that has settled over me in the form of health issues, physical stress, and emotional upheaval and lay a level path before me. I’m entering the throne room and I’m humbly reminding Him that He has invited me to come in my time of need. O Lord – be near to me. Love me where I am. Take me where I need to be.

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That’s the cry of my heart Sweet Sister and I’m thinking that if I am in this place that perhaps you are too. It might be that different life situations have brought us here but here we are. If that’s the case, I want you to know that you are not alone and that you have a faith sister to walk through it with. We can do this together – you and I. It’s why God gave us to one another. We can join our hearts and we can offer up the next 40 days to the Beautiful One and trust Him to do the beautiful thing in us.

So here’s what I’ll do. I’ll post the daily reading on the blog (except for Sundays) and if you read the Scriptures not only will you have read through the entire New Testament by Easter but God promises that He’ll show you deep and unsearchable things you do not know. He promises that His word is alive and active and will transform your heart. I could use some transformation. What about you?

At the end of the daily passage, I’m going to share my “Lesson from Lent” – nothing long or drawn out just something that God uses to speak straight to my heart from the Scripture that day. I’m putting it at the end because if your time runs short on a particular day – I want you to skip reading my words, not His.

I’m hoping that you’ll start your own running record of what God is showing you. Maybe you’ll even be moved to leave a comment so your Sisters can glean from what you’re learning. No matter how you choose to keep track of all He shares with you . . . treasure it up in your heart Sweet One, meditate on it, mull it over, consider the whisper of the Lover of your soul. The God of the Universe is the only Voice we need to revive our tired souls. So, let’s you and I lean in close, pray for ears to hear and hearts to respond. Let’s dig in to the riches He has given us and prepare to be amazed by what He will reveal to our expectant hearts. O Sister, let’s boldly ask Him for a lesson from Lent and then brace ourselves for a glimpse of Glory!

Day Thirty-four

March 28, 2015 ~~ Hebrews 8-13

Amplified Bible

Footnotes: I’ve left the footnotes in place if you would like to track down sources in word study and language. Please follow the link to each chapter and scroll to the bottom of the passage.

Hebrews 8

Now the main point of what we have to say is this: We have such a High Priest, One Who is seated at the right hand of the majestic [God] in heaven, As officiating Priest, a Minister in the holy places and in the true tabernacle which is erected not by man but by the Lord. For every high priest is appointed to offer up gifts and sacrifices; so it is essential for this [High Priest] to have some offering to make also. If then He were still living on earth, He would not be a priest at all, for there are [already priests] who offer the gifts in accordance with the Law. [But these offer] service [merely] as a pattern and as a foreshadowing of [what has its true existence and reality in] the heavenly sanctuary. For when Moses was about to erect the tabernacle, he was warned by God, saying, See to it that you make it all [exactly] according to the copy (the model) which was shown to you on the mountain. But as it now is, He [Christ] has acquired a [priestly] ministry which is as much superior and more excellent [than the old] as the covenant (the agreement) of which He is the Mediator (the Arbiter, Agent) is superior and more excellent, [because] it is enacted and rests upon more important (sublimer, higher, and nobler) promises. For if that first covenant had been without defect, there would have been no room for another one or an attempt to institute another one.

However, He finds fault with them [showing its inadequacy] when He says, Behold, the days will come, says the Lord, when I will make and ratify a new covenant or agreement with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their forefathers on the day when I grasped them by the hand to help and relieve them and to lead them out from the land of Egypt, for they did not abide in My agreement with them, and so I withdrew My favor and disregarded them, says the Lord. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will imprint My laws upon their minds, even upon their innermost thoughts and understanding, and engrave them upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 11 And it will nevermore be necessary for each one to teach his neighbor and his fellow citizen or each one his brother, saying, Know (perceive, have knowledge of, and get acquainted by experience with) the Lord, for all will know Me, from the smallest to the greatest of them. 12 For I will be merciful and gracious toward their sins and I will remember their deeds of unrighteousness no more.

13 When God speaks of a new [covenant or agreement], He makes the first one obsolete (out of use). And what is obsolete (out of use and annulled because of age) is ripe for disappearance and to be dispensed with altogether.

Hebrews 9

Now even the first covenant had its own rules and regulations for divine worship, and it had a sanctuary [but one] of this world. For a tabernacle (tent) was erected, in the outer division or compartment of which were the lampstand and the table with [its loaves of] the showbread set forth. [This portion] is called the Holy Place. But [inside] beyond the second curtain or veil, [there stood another] tabernacle [division] known as the Holy of Holies. It had the golden [a]altar of incense and the ark (chest) of the covenant, covered over with wrought gold. This [ark] contained a golden jar which held the manna and the rod of Aaron that sprouted and the [two stone] slabs of the covenant [bearing the Ten Commandments]. Above [the ark] and overshadowing the mercy seat were the representations of the cherubim [winged creatures which were the symbols] of glory. We cannot now go into detail about these things.

These arrangements having thus been made, the priests enter [habitually] into the outer division of the tabernacle in performance of their ritual acts of worship. But into the second [division of the tabernacle] none but the high priest goes, and he only once a year, and never without taking a sacrifice of blood with him, which he offers for himself and for the errors and sins of ignorance and thoughtlessness which the people have committed. By this the Holy Spirit points out that the way into the [true Holy of] Holies is not yet thrown open as long as the former [the outer portion of the] tabernacle remains a recognized institution and is still standing, Seeing that that first [outer portion of the] tabernacle was a parable (a visible symbol or type or picture of the present age). In it gifts and sacrifices are offered, and yet are incapable of perfecting the conscience or of cleansing and renewing the inner man of the worshiper. 10 For [the ceremonies] deal only with clean and unclean meats and drinks and different washings, [mere] external rules and regulations for the body imposed to tide the worshipers over until the time of setting things straight [of reformation, of the complete new order when Christ, the Messiah, shall establish the reality of what these things foreshadow—a better covenant].

11 But [that appointed time came] when Christ (the Messiah) appeared as a High Priest of the better things that have come and are to come. [Then] through the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with [human] hands, that is, not a part of this material creation, 12 He went once for all into the [Holy of] Holies [of heaven], not by virtue of the blood of goats and calves [by which to make reconciliation between God and man], but His own blood, having found and secured a complete redemption (an everlasting release for us). 13 For if [the mere] sprinkling of unholy and defiled persons with blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a burnt heifer is sufficient for the purification of the body, 14 How much more surely shall the blood of Christ, Who [b]by virtue of [His] eternal Spirit [His own preexistent [c]divine personality] has offered Himself as an unblemished sacrifice to God, purify our consciences from dead works and lifeless observances to serve the [ever] living God?

15 [Christ, the Messiah] is therefore the Negotiator and Mediator of an [entirely] new agreement (testament, covenant), so that those who are called and offered it may receive the fulfillment of the promised everlasting inheritance—since a death has taken place which rescues and delivers and redeems them from the transgressions committed under the [old] first agreement. 16 For where there is a [last] will and testament involved, the death of the one who made it must be established, 17 For a will and testament is valid and takes effect only at death, since it has no force or legal power as long as the one who made it is alive. 18 So even the [old] first covenant (God’s will) was not inaugurated and ratified and put in force without the shedding of blood. 19 For when every command of the Law had been read out by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of slain calves and goats, together with water and scarlet wool and with a bunch of hyssop, and sprinkled both the Book (the roll of the Law and covenant) itself and all the people, 20 Saying these words: This is the blood that seals and ratifies the agreement (the testament, the covenant) which God commanded [me to deliver to] you. 21 And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and all the [sacred] vessels and appliances used in [divine] worship. 22 [In fact] under the Law almost everything is purified by means of blood, and without the shedding of blood there is neither release from sin and its guilt nor the remission of the due and merited punishment for sins.

23 By such means, therefore, it was necessary for the [earthly] copies of the heavenly things to be purified, but the actual heavenly things themselves [required far] better and nobler sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ (the Messiah) has not entered into a sanctuary made with [human] hands, only a copy and pattern and type of the true one, but [He has entered] into heaven itself, now to appear in the [very] presence of God on our behalf. 25 Nor did He [enter into the heavenly sanctuary to] offer Himself regularly again and again, as the high priest enters the [Holy of] Holies every year with blood not his own. 26 For then would He often have had to suffer [over and over again] since the foundation of the world. But as it now is, He has once for all at the consummation and close of the ages appeared to put away and abolish sin by His sacrifice [of Himself]. 27 And just as it is appointed for [all] men once to die, and after that the [certain] judgment, 28 Even so it is that Christ, having been offered to take upon Himself and bear as a burden the sins of many once and [d]once for all, will appear a second time, not to carry any burden of sin nor to deal with sin, but to bring to full salvation those who are [eagerly, constantly, and patiently] waiting for and expecting Him.

Hebrews 10

For since the Law has merely a rude outline (foreshadowing) of the good things to come—instead of fully expressing those things—it can never by offering the same sacrifices continually year after year make perfect those who approach [its altars]. For if it were otherwise, would [these sacrifices] not have stopped being offered? Since the worshipers had [a]once for all been cleansed, they would no longer have any guilt or consciousness of sin. But [as it is] these sacrifices annually bring a fresh remembrance of sins [to be atoned for], Because the blood of bulls and goats is powerless to take sins away.

Hence, when He [Christ] entered into the world, He said, Sacrifices and offerings You have not desired, but instead You have made ready a body for Me [to offer]; In burnt offerings and sin offerings You have taken no delight. Then I said, Behold, here I am, coming to do Your will, O God—[to fulfill] what is written of Me in the volume of the Book.

When He said just before, You have neither desired, nor have You taken delight in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings—all of which are offered according to the Law— He then went on to say, Behold, [here] I am, coming to do Your will. Thus He does away with and annuls the first (former) order [as a means of expiating sin] so that He might inaugurate and establish the second (latter) order. 10 And in accordance with this will [of God], we have been made holy (consecrated and sanctified) through the offering made once for all of the body of Jesus Christ (the Anointed One). 11 Furthermore, every [human] priest stands [at his altar of service] ministering daily, offering the same sacrifices over and over again, which never are able to strip [from every side of us] the sins [that envelop us] and take them away— 12 Whereas this One [Christ], after He had offered a single sacrifice for our sins [that shall avail] for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 Then to wait until His enemies should be made a stool beneath His feet. 14 For by a single offering He has forever completely cleansed and perfected those who are consecrated and made holy.

15 And also the Holy Spirit adds His testimony to us [in confirmation of this]. For having said, 16 This is the agreement (testament, covenant) that I will set up and conclude with them after those days, says the Lord: I will imprint My laws upon their hearts, and I will inscribe them on their minds (on their inmost thoughts and understanding), 17 He then goes on to say, And their sins and their lawbreaking I will remember no more. 18 Now where there is absolute remission (forgiveness and cancellation of the penalty) of these [sins and lawbreaking], there is no longer any offering made to atone for sin.

19 Therefore, brethren, since we have full freedom and confidence to enter into the [Holy of] Holies [by the power and virtue] in the blood of Jesus, 20 By this fresh (new) and living way which He initiated and dedicated and opened for us through the separating curtain (veil of the Holy of Holies), that is, through His flesh, 21 And since we have [such] a great and wonderful and noble Priest [Who rules] over the house of God, 22 Let us all come forward and draw near with true (honest and sincere) hearts in unqualified assurance and absolute conviction engendered by faith (by [b]that leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness), having our hearts sprinkled and purified from a guilty (evil) conscience and our bodies cleansed with pure water. 23 So let us seize and hold fast and retain without wavering the [c]hope we cherish and confess and our acknowledgement of it, for He Who promised is reliable (sure) and faithful to His word. 24 And let us consider and give [d]attentive, continuous care to watching over one another, studying how we may stir up (stimulate and incite) to love and helpful deeds and noble activities, 25 Not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together [as believers], as is the habit of some people, but admonishing (warning, urging, and encouraging) one another, and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching.

26 For if we go on deliberately and willingly sinning after once acquiring the knowledge of the Truth, there is no longer any sacrifice left to atone for [our] sins [no further offering to which to look forward]. 27 [There is nothing left for us then] but a kind of awful and fearful prospect and expectation of divine judgment and the fury of burning wrath and indignation which will consume those who put themselves in opposition [to God]. 28 Any person who has violated and [thus] rejected and set at naught the Law of Moses is put to death without pity or mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse (sterner and heavier) punishment do you suppose he will be judged to deserve who has spurned and [thus] trampled underfoot the Son of God, and who has considered the covenant blood by which he was consecrated common and unhallowed, thus profaning it and insulting and outraging the [Holy] Spirit [Who imparts] grace (the unmerited favor and blessing of God)? 30 For we know Him Who said, Vengeance is Mine [retribution and the meting out of full justice rest with Me]; I will repay [I will exact the compensation], says the Lord. And again, The Lord will judge and determine and solve and settle the cause and the cases of His people. 31 It is a fearful (formidable and terrible) thing to incur the divine penalties and be cast into the hands of the living God!

32 But be ever mindful of the days gone by in which, after you were first spiritually enlightened, you endured a great and painful struggle, 33 Sometimes being yourselves a gazingstock, publicly exposed to insults and abuse and distress, and sometimes claiming fellowship and making common cause with others who were so treated. 34 For you did sympathize and suffer along with those who were imprisoned, and you bore cheerfully the plundering of your belongings and the confiscation of your property, in the knowledge and consciousness that you yourselves had a better and lasting possession. 35 Do not, therefore, fling away your fearless confidence, for it carries a great and glorious compensation of reward. 36 For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance, so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God, and thus receive and [e]carry away [and enjoy to the full] what is promised. 37 For still a little while (a very little while), and the Coming One will come and He will not delay. 38 But the just shall live by faith [My righteous servant shall live [f]by his conviction respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, and holy fervor born of faith and conjoined with it]; and if he draws back and shrinks in fear, My soul has no delight or pleasure in him.

39 But our way is not that of those who draw back to eternal misery (perdition) and are utterly destroyed, but we are of those who believe [who cleave to and trust in and rely on God through Jesus Christ, the Messiah] and by faith preserve the soul.

Hebrews 11

Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, [a]the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]. For by [faith—[b]trust and holy fervor born of faith] the men of old had divine testimony borne to them and obtained a good report. By faith we understand that the worlds [during the successive ages] were framed (fashioned, put in order, and equipped for their intended purpose) by the word of God, so that what we see was not made out of things which are visible.

[Prompted, actuated] by faith Abel brought God a better and more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, because of which it was testified of him that he was righteous [that he was upright and in right standing with God], and God bore witness by accepting and acknowledging his gifts. And though he died, yet [through the incident] he is still speaking. Because of faith Enoch was caught up and transferred to heaven, so that he did not have a glimpse of death; and he was not found, because God had translated him. For even before he was taken to heaven, he received testimony [still on record] that he had pleased and been satisfactory to God. But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out]. [Prompted] by faith Noah, being forewarned by God concerning events of which as yet there was no visible sign, took heed and diligently and reverently constructed and prepared an ark for the deliverance of his own family. By this [his faith which relied on God] he passed judgment and sentence on the world’s unbelief and became an heir and possessor of righteousness ([c]that relation of being right into which God puts the person who has faith).

[Urged on] by faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and went forth to a place which he was destined to receive as an inheritance; and he went, although he did not know or trouble his mind about where he was to go. [Prompted] by faith he dwelt as a temporary resident in the land which was designated in the promise [of God, though he was like a stranger] in a strange country, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was [waiting expectantly and confidently] looking forward to the city which has fixed and firm foundations, whose Architect and Builder is God. 11 Because of faith also Sarah herself received physical power to conceive a child, even when she was long past the age for it, because she considered [God] Who had given her the promise to be reliable and trustworthy and true to His word. 12 So from one man, though he was physically as good as dead, there have sprung descendants whose number is as the stars of heaven and as countless as the innumerable sands on the seashore.

13 These people all died controlled and sustained by their faith, but not having received the tangible fulfillment of [God’s] promises, only having seen it and greeted it from a great distance by faith, and all the while acknowledging and confessing that they were strangers and temporary residents and exiles upon the earth. 14 Now those people who talk as they did show plainly that they are in search of a fatherland (their own country). 15 If they had been thinking with [homesick] remembrance of that country from which they were emigrants, they would have found constant opportunity to return to it. 16 But the truth is that they were yearning for and aspiring to a better and more desirable country, that is, a heavenly [one]. For that reason God is not ashamed to be called their God [even to be surnamed their God—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob], for He has prepared a city for them.

17 By faith Abraham, when he was put to the test [while the testing of his faith was [d]still in progress], [e]had already brought Isaac for an offering; he who had gladly received and welcomed [God’s] promises was ready to sacrifice his only son, 18 Of whom it was said, Through Isaac shall your descendants be reckoned. 19 For he reasoned that God was able to raise [him] up even from among the dead. Indeed in the sense that Isaac was figuratively dead [potentially sacrificed], he did [actually] receive him back from the dead. 20 [With eyes of] faith Isaac, looking far into the future, invoked blessings upon Jacob and Esau. 21 [Prompted] by faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons and bowed in prayer over the top of his staff. 22 [Actuated] by faith Joseph, when nearing the end of his life, referred to [the promise of God for] the departure of the Israelites out of Egypt and gave instructions concerning the burial of his own bones.

23 [Prompted] by faith Moses, after his birth, was kept concealed for three months by his parents, because they saw how comely the child was; and they were not overawed and terrified by the king’s decree. 24 [Aroused] by faith Moses, when he had grown to maturity and [f]become great, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 Because he preferred to share the oppression [suffer the hardships] and bear the shame of the people of God rather than to have the fleeting enjoyment of a sinful life. 26 He considered the contempt and abuse and shame [borne for] the Christ (the Messiah Who was to come) to be greater wealth than all the treasures of Egypt, for he looked forward and away to the reward (recompense). 27 [Motivated] by faith he left Egypt behind him, being unawed and undismayed by the wrath of the king; for he never flinched but held staunchly to his purpose and endured steadfastly as one who gazed on Him Who is invisible. 28 By faith (simple trust and confidence in God) he instituted and carried out the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood [on the doorposts], so that the destroyer of the firstborn (the angel) might not touch those [of the children of Israel].

29 [Urged on] by faith the people crossed the Red Sea as [though] on dry land, but when the Egyptians tried to do the same thing they were swallowed up [by the sea]. 30 Because of faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encompassed for seven days [by the Israelites]. 31 [Prompted] by faith Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed along with those who refused to believe and obey, because she had received the spies in peace [without enmity].

32 And what shall I say further? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 Who by [the help of] faith subdued kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promised blessings, closed the mouths of lions, 34 Extinguished the power of raging fire, escaped the devourings of the sword, out of frailty and weakness won strength and became stalwart, even mighty and resistless in battle, routing alien hosts. 35 [Some] women received again their dead by a resurrection. Others were tortured [g]to death with clubs, refusing to accept release [offered on the terms of denying their faith], so that they might be resurrected to a better life. 36 Others had to suffer the trial of mocking and scourging and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned to death; they were lured with tempting offers [to renounce their faith]; they were sawn asunder; they were slaughtered by the sword; [while they were alive] they had to go about wrapped in the skins of sheep and goats, utterly destitute, oppressed, cruelly treated— 38 [Men] of whom the world was not worthy—roaming over the desolate places and the mountains, and [living] in caves and caverns and holes of the earth.

39 And all of these, though they won divine approval by [means of] their faith, did not receive the fulfillment of what was promised, 40 Because God had us in mind and had something better and greater in view for us, so that they [these heroes and heroines of faith] should not come to perfection apart from us [before we could join them].

Hebrews 12

Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself [reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds. You have not yet struggled and fought agonizingly against sin, nor have you yet resisted and withstood to the point of pouring out your [own] blood. And have you [completely] forgotten the divine word of appeal and encouragement in which you are reasoned with and addressed as sons? My son, do not think lightly or scorn to submit to the correction and discipline of the Lord, nor lose courage and give up and faint when you are reproved or corrected by Him; For the Lord corrects and disciplines everyone whom He loves, and He punishes, even scourges, every son whom He accepts and welcomes to His heart and cherishes.

You must submit to and endure [correction] for discipline; God is dealing with you as with sons. For what son is there whom his father does not [thus] train and correct and discipline? Now if you are exempt from correction and left without discipline in which all [of God’s children] share, then you are illegitimate offspring and not true sons [at all]. Moreover, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we yielded [to them] and respected [them for training us]. Shall we not much more cheerfully submit to the Father of spirits and so [truly] live? 10 For [our earthly fathers] disciplined us for only a short period of time and chastised us as seemed proper and good to them; but He disciplines us for our certain good, that we may become sharers in His own holiness. 11 For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it [a harvest of fruit which consists in righteousness—in conformity to God’s will in purpose, thought, and action, resulting in right living and right standing with God].

12 So then, brace up and reinvigorate and set right your slackened and weakened and drooping hands and strengthen your feeble and palsied and tottering knees, 13 And cut through and make firm and plain and smooth, straight paths for your feet [yes, make them safe and upright and happy paths that go in the right direction], so that the lame and halting [limbs] may not be put out of joint, but rather may be cured. 14 Strive to live in peace with everybody and pursue that consecration and holiness without which no one will [ever] see the Lord. 15 Exercise foresight and be on the watch to look [after one another], to see that no one falls back from and fails to secure God’s grace (His unmerited favor and spiritual blessing), in order that no root of resentment (rancor, bitterness, or hatred) shoots forth and causes trouble and bitter torment, and the many become contaminated and defiled by it— 16 That no one may become guilty of sexual vice, or become a profane (godless and sacrilegious) person as Esau did, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. 17 For you understand that later on, when he wanted [to regain title to] his inheritance of the blessing, he was rejected (disqualified and set aside), for he could find no opportunity to repair by repentance [what he had done, no chance to recall the choice he had made], although he sought for it carefully with [bitter] tears.

18 For you have not come [as did the Israelites in the wilderness] to a [material] mountain that can be touched, [a mountain] that is ablaze with fire, and to gloom and darkness and a raging storm, 19 And to the blast of a trumpet and a voice whose words make the listeners beg that nothing more be said to them. 20 For they could not bear the command that was given: If even a wild animal touches the mountain, it shall be stoned to death. 21 In fact, so awful and terrifying was the [phenomenal] sight that Moses said, I am terrified (aghast and trembling with fear). 22 But rather, you have come to Mount Zion, even to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless multitudes of angels in festal gathering, 23 And to the church (assembly) of the Firstborn who are registered [as citizens] in heaven, and to the God Who is Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous (the redeemed in heaven) who have been made perfect, 24 And to Jesus, the Mediator (Go-between, Agent) of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood which speaks [of mercy], a better and nobler and more gracious message than the blood of Abel [which cried out for vengeance].

25 So see to it that you do not reject Him or refuse to listen to and heed Him Who is speaking [to you now]. For if they [the Israelites] did not escape when they refused to listen and heed Him Who warned and divinely instructed them [here] on earth [revealing with heavenly warnings His will], how much less shall we escape if we reject and turn our backs on Him Who cautions and admonishes [us] from heaven? 26 Then [at Mount Sinai] His voice shook the earth, but now He has given a promise: Yet once more I will shake and make tremble not only the earth but also the [starry] heavens. 27 Now this expression, Yet once more, indicates the final removal and transformation of all [that can be] shaken—that is, of that which has been created—in order that what cannot be shaken may remain and continue. 28 Let us therefore, receiving a kingdom that is firm and stable and cannot be shaken, offer to God pleasing service and acceptable worship, with modesty and pious care and godly fear and awe; 29 For our God [is indeed] a consuming fire.

Hebrews 13

Let love for your fellow believers continue and be a fixed practice with you [never let it fail]. Do not forget or neglect or refuse to extend hospitality to strangers [in the brotherhood—being friendly, cordial, and gracious, sharing the comforts of your home and doing your part generously], for through it some have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those who are in prison as if you were their fellow prisoner, and those who are ill-treated, since you also are liable to bodily sufferings. Let marriage be held in honor (esteemed worthy, precious, of great price, and especially dear) in all things. And thus let the marriage bed be undefiled (kept undishonored); for God will judge and punish the unchaste [all guilty of sexual vice] and adulterous. Let your [a]character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] [b]Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor [c]give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [d][I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor [e]let [you] down ([f]relax My hold on you)! [[g]Assuredly not!] So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me?

Remember your leaders and superiors in authority [for it was they] who brought to you the Word of God. Observe attentively and consider their manner of living (the outcome of their well-spent lives) and imitate their faith ([h]their conviction that God exists and is the Creator and Ruler of all things, the Provider and Bestower of eternal salvation through Christ, and their [i]leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness). Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is [always] the same, yesterday, today, [yes] and forever (to the ages). Do not be carried about by different and varied and alien teachings; for it is good for the heart to be established and ennobled and strengthened by means of grace (God’s favor and spiritual blessing) and not [to be devoted to] foods [rules of diet and ritualistic meals], which bring no [spiritual] benefit or profit to those who observe them. 10 We have an altar from which those who serve and [j]worship in the tabernacle have no right to eat. 11 For when the blood of animals is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin, the victims’ bodies are burned outside the limits of the camp. 12 Therefore Jesus also suffered and died outside the [city’s] gate in order that He might purify and consecrate the people through [the shedding of] His own blood and set them apart as holy [for God]. 13 Let us then go forth [from all that would prevent us] to Him outside the camp [at Calvary], bearing the contempt and abuse and shame with Him. 14 For here we have no permanent city, but we are looking for the one which is to come. 15 Through Him, therefore, let us constantly and at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name. 16 Do not forget or neglect to do kindness and good, to be generous and distribute and contribute to the needy [of the church [k]as embodiment and proof of fellowship], for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

17 Obey your spiritual leaders and submit to them [continually recognizing their authority over you], for they are constantly keeping watch over your souls and guarding your spiritual welfare, as men who will have to render an account [of their trust]. [Do your part to] let them do this with gladness and not with sighing and groaning, for that would not be profitable to you [either].

18 Keep praying for us, for we are convinced that we have a good (clear) conscience, that we want to walk uprightly and live a noble life, acting honorably and in complete honesty in all things. 19 And I beg of you [to pray for us] the more earnestly, in order that I may be restored to you the sooner.

20 Now may the God of peace [Who is the Author and the Giver of peace], Who brought again from among the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood [that sealed, ratified] the everlasting agreement (covenant, testament), 21 Strengthen (complete, perfect) and make you what you ought to be and equip you with everything good that you may carry out His will; [while He Himself] works in you and accomplishes that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ (the Messiah); to Whom be the glory forever and ever (to the ages of the ages). Amen (so be it).

22 I call on you, brethren, to listen patiently and bear with this message of exhortation and admonition and encouragement, for I have written to you briefly. 23 Notice that our brother Timothy has been released [from prison]. If he comes here soon, I will see you along with him. 24 Give our greetings to all of your spiritual leaders and to all of the saints (God’s consecrated believers). The Italian Christians send you their greetings [also]. 25 Grace (God’s favor and spiritual blessing) be with you all. Amen (so be it).

With amazement at the All of God we say the Amen

#lessonsfromlent

How do we begin or conclude looking at a passage that makes it so clear that the Author of Life, the Alpha and the Omega, has no beginning or ending? There is no place and no time we can travel that the I AM is not. Not as if He peers into the future from a long corridor, no, He Is There.

The beauty of the Book of Hebrews, threading only small portions of the Glory of God together, tries its best to lay the Divine of Him end-to-end but it simply can’t be done.

He’s too much.

He’s too big.

He’s too beautiful . . . too glorious . . .

too fierce to be fully explained.

Those chapters we just read . . . we could look at them from now until the return of Christ and not come to the bottom of their riches . . .it’s so enormous and beautiful . . . just like He is.

And doesn’t it leave you in awe, that we’re only partway there. What I mean is that we’re only seeing the edges of the reality of it—and it’s astounding! What will it be when our faith becomes sight? How will we feel when we’re blessed with the divine insight to fully grasp these things?

So much of what we read is physically represented in Exodus 19 as the Israelites stand trembling at the foot of the mountain and the Voice of God is too much for them to bear. They tell Moses, “You go and talk to Him, we can’t take it . . . He’s too much.”   They’re afraid to be in His Presence so they send a mediator. And the mediator comes back down the mountain with the Holy Words of God in his hand, with the instruction to construct a holy tabernacle where the Presence of God will rest.

Build the brazen altar – burn the sacrifice until there are only ashes . . .

Construct the Basinmake certain the priests are fully cleansed . . .

Put out the showbreadlet the priests eat for I am with them . . .

Fill the lamps with oildo not let the light go dark . . .

Burn the incensethe sweet aroma of the offering will be your shield. . .

Cover the stone tablets with my Presencethe Glory will dwell behind the veil . . .

Do you see it all take shape so up close and so personal? You nor I could take being near our Holy God either – so He gave us a Mediator—far superior to Moses. Our Mediator not only takes of God and delivers it to us, He takes us and delivers us to God.

Beloved, on our own we would be left to forever gaze at the Presence of God and cover our ears when He spoke . . . just like the Israelites gazed from the foot of the mountain. We would be forever left on the east side of the brazen altar with no way to travel to the Holy of Holies. We would have no hope of entering into the Presence of the Father, our Creator, our Elohim, if the Mediator had not come to take us home.

But rest in this Sister, He has indeed sent us the Great High Priest who walked through the “greater and more perfect tabernacle” to do for us what we could not do for ourselves. Jesus Christ has made the way. He has torn the veil that we may enter into and share in our Master’s happiness.

Picture yourself standing at the east entrance of the Tabernacle courtyard. . . .

You are standing in the very place God assigned as the encampment for the tribe of JUDAH. Imagine seeing the top of the tent God chose to bless with His Presence such a short a distance away and yet, if you dare to get too close, you will die. But as twilight falls, and the time for the evening sacrifice arrives, you hear a gentle voice say, “The Father has sent me to bring you home. I have made the way, follow me.” Stunned by the power of His words, your heart pounding in fear, you quietly ask, “Who are you to make such an invitation? Do you realize that I am just an ordinary woman? I have no right to enter in.”

Cupping your chin in His hand, He lifts your face to meet His, “My child, I fully know you, better than you know yourself and if you will listen, you will recognize my voice for I am the Good Shepherd and I have laid down my life to get you home.”

“Daughter, my bloodstained feet walked through this place before the world began and my Father was well pleased to accept the offering I made for you.”

“I gave my body on the tree and wore your curse so you could pass safely through behind me. No other sacrifice is necessary. My Blood, the Blood of the Lamb, has rescued you from certain death.”

“There is no need for you to be washed at the basin, for in Me you are washed with pure and living water.” The Door to the Holy Place has been opened and I have set before you the bread God sent from heaven to bring you life . Yes, in ages past only Aaron and his sons were allowed to eat at this table, but I say to you now, come and eat, I am the Bread of Life.”

“Do not fear the darkness nor worry about the oil for the lampstand. My Father has provided the oil as well as the flame to light your way.   The darkness will not engulf you for if you follow me, you possess the Light of the world.”

“And you need not burn the incense for I am the fragrant offering and I will shield you until the end of the age.”

“I have provided everything you need to enter the Most Holy Place. I gave up My Spirit. I paid the price and the curtain separating you from the Father was torn from top to bottom. The Old Covenant has been fulfilled and I was raised to life to offer you the Blood of the New Covenant, the new and living way.”

“The Father’s Holy wrath was satisfied once for all when my Holy blood was poured over the mercy seat, drenching the Tablets of the Law that lay beneath in the Ark of the Testimony. On that day, all those seated in the heavenlies saw mercy triumph over judgment!”

“And now, in My Resurrection, I live to offer you mercy for this life and my Father has sent you the Holy Spirit as a deposit guaranteeing what is yet to come when mercy is fulfilled at the end of the age. Open your eyes, child and see that God is still God!”

“Stand firm in Me, Sweet One, I was there when your name was written in the Book of Life, I have made a way for you, and I will be there to welcome you home!”

O Sister, if He can paint that beautiful picture in the mind of this ordinary woman imagine the extraordinary reality we will see!  He’s not left us to cover our ears at the foot of the mountain. He has trumpeted the invitation to join Him and sent His Son to make the way.  He’s not abandoned us to tremble at a distance but has pulled us up close, looked in our eyes, and spoken through the One and Only. Beloved do you hear? The Herald of ages past, the Voice of the here and now, the Announcement of the future – they all speak in love as one and the Holy Message is . . . Welcome Home.

There’s no place like home . . . #lessonsfromlent

creation swap welcome home heart Stephen Ramkissoon 4959

Lessons from Lent: Day 33

27 Mar

creation swap lessons from lent coffee cup Kelly Sikkema 22940

An Explanation of Lessons from Lent

In the next 40 days (8 now because you have already accomplished thirty-two), the weeks leading up to Easter, the posts on Glimpsed Glory will be different. I am reading through the New Testament during this time and I am hoping the Holy Spirit will lead me to a fresh revelation each and every day. I’m going into it with a prayerful heart and an expectant spirit but I will fully confess to you that my soul feels sluggish.

I have been in a place of exhaustion over these last months. My mind has been clouded, my body has ached and insomnia has been my companion since late December. The enemy has been and is still whispering in my ear that my Jesus has forgotten me . . . that He has finally tired of my imperfections and left me behind.

I’m not giving in to it! I am going to fight the good fight of faith and follow the example of my Nehemiah Man. I am going to stand firm in my faith because if I do not, I will not stand at all. I’m praising God for bringing me to a place of emptiness so that I can look to Him to fill my cup.

I’m coming before the Lord and I’m asking Him to do a new thing in me. To rouse my heart to His side and to draw me near in real and tangible ways. To plow through the fog that has settled over me in the form of health issues, physical stress, and emotional upheaval and lay a level path before me. I’m entering the throne room and I’m humbly reminding Him that He has invited me to come in my time of need. O Lord – be near to me. Love me where I am. Take me where I need to be.

creation swap love me one flower 206081_Flower_Background

That’s the cry of my heart Sweet Sister and I’m thinking that if I am in this place that perhaps you are too. It might be that different life situations have brought us here but here we are. If that’s the case, I want you to know that you are not alone and that you have a faith sister to walk through it with. We can do this together – you and I. It’s why God gave us to one another. We can join our hearts and we can offer up the next 40 days to the Beautiful One and trust Him to do the beautiful thing in us.

So here’s what I’ll do. I’ll post the daily reading on the blog (except for Sundays) and if you read the Scriptures not only will you have read through the entire New Testament by Easter but God promises that He’ll show you deep and unsearchable things you do not know. He promises that His word is alive and active and will transform your heart. I could use some transformation. What about you?

At the end of the daily passage, I’m going to share my “Lesson from Lent” – nothing long or drawn out just something that God uses to speak straight to my heart from the Scripture that day. I’m putting it at the end because if your time runs short on a particular day – I want you to skip reading my words, not His.

I’m hoping that you’ll start your own running record of what God is showing you. Maybe you’ll even be moved to leave a comment so your Sisters can glean from what you’re learning. No matter how you choose to keep track of all He shares with you . . . treasure it up in your heart Sweet One, meditate on it, mull it over, consider the whisper of the Lover of your soul. The God of the Universe is the only Voice we need to revive our tired souls. So, let’s you and I lean in close, pray for ears to hear and hearts to respond. Let’s dig in to the riches He has given us and prepare to be amazed by what He will reveal to our expectant hearts. O Sister, let’s boldly ask Him for a lesson from Lent and then brace ourselves for a glimpse of Glory!

Day Thirty-three

March 27, 2015 ~~ Titus, Philemon, Hebrews 1-7

Amplified Bible

Footnotes: I’ve left the footnotes in place if you would like to track down sources in word study and language. Please follow the link to each chapter and scroll to the bottom of the passage.

Titus 1

Paul, a bond servant of God and an apostle (a special messenger) of Jesus Christ (the Messiah) to stimulate and promote the faith of God’s chosen ones and to lead them on to accurate discernment and recognition of and acquaintance with the Truth which belongs to and harmonizes with and tends to godliness, [Resting] in the hope of eternal life, [life] which the ever truthful God Who cannot deceive promised before the world or the ages of time began. And [now] in His own appointed time He has made manifest (made known) His Word and revealed it as His message through the preaching entrusted to me by command of God our Savior;

To Titus, my true child according to a common (general) faith: Grace (favor and spiritual blessing) and [heart] peace from God the Father and the Lord Christ Jesus our Savior.

For this reason I left you [behind] in Crete, that you might set right what was defective and finish what was left undone, and that you might appoint elders and set them over the churches (assemblies) in every city as I directed you. [These elders should be] men who are of unquestionable integrity and are irreproachable, the husband of [but] one wife, whose children are [well trained and are] believers, not open to the accusation of being loose in morals and conduct or unruly and disorderly.

For the bishop (an overseer) as God’s steward must be blameless, not self-willed or arrogant or presumptuous; he must not be quick-tempered or given to drink or pugnacious (brawling, violent); he must not be grasping and greedy for filthy lucre (financial gain); But he must be hospitable (loving and a friend to believers, especially to strangers and foreigners); [he must be] a lover of goodness [of good people and good things], sober-minded (sensible, discreet), upright and fair-minded, a devout man and religiously correct, temperate and keeping himself in hand. He must hold fast to the sure and trustworthy Word of God as he was taught it, so that he may be able both to give stimulating instruction and encouragement in sound (wholesome) doctrine and to refute and convict those who contradict and oppose it [showing the wayward their error].

10 For there are many disorderly and unruly men who are idle (vain, empty) and misleading talkers and self-deceivers and deceivers of others. [This is true] especially of those of the circumcision party [who have come over from Judaism]. 11 Their mouths must be stopped, for they are mentally distressing and subverting whole families by teaching what they ought not to teach, for the purpose of getting base advantage and disreputable gain. 12 One of their [very] number, a prophet of their own, said, Cretans are always liars, hurtful beasts, idle and lazy gluttons. 13 And this account of them is [really] true. Because it is [true], rebuke them sharply [deal sternly, even severely with them], so that they may be sound in the faith and free from error, 14 [And may show their soundness by] ceasing to give attention to Jewish myths and fables or to rules [laid down] by [mere] men who reject and turn their backs on the Truth.

15 To the pure [in heart and conscience] all things are pure, but to the defiled and corrupt and unbelieving nothing is pure; their very minds and consciences are defiled and polluted. 16 They profess to know God [to recognize, perceive, and be acquainted with Him], but deny and disown and renounce Him by what they do; they are detestable and loathsome, unbelieving and disobedient and disloyal and rebellious, and [they are] unfit and worthless for good work (deed or enterprise) of any kind.

Titus 2

But [as for] you, teach what is fitting and becoming to sound (wholesome) doctrine [the character and right living that identify true Christians].

Urge the older men to be temperate, venerable (serious), sensible, self-controlled, and sound in the faith, in the love, and in the steadfastness and patience [of Christ]. Bid the older women similarly to be reverent and devout in their deportment as becomes those engaged in sacred service, not slanderers or slaves to drink. They are to give good counsel and be teachers of what is right and noble, So that they will wisely train the young women to be [a]sane and sober of mind (temperate, disciplined) and to love their husbands and their children, To be self-controlled, chaste, homemakers, good-natured (kindhearted), adapting and subordinating themselves to their husbands, that the word of God may not be exposed to reproach (blasphemed or discredited). In a similar way, urge the younger men to be self-restrained and to behave prudently [taking life seriously].

And show your own self in all respects to be a pattern and a model of good deeds and works, teaching what is unadulterated, showing gravity [having the strictest regard for truth and purity of motive], with dignity and seriousness. And let your instruction be sound and fit and wise and wholesome, vigorous and [b]irrefutable and above censure, so that the opponent may be put to shame, finding nothing discrediting or evil to say about us.

[Tell] bond servants to be submissive to their masters, to be pleasing and give satisfaction in every way. [Warn them] not to talk back or contradict, 10 Nor to steal by taking things of small value, but to prove themselves truly loyal and entirely reliable and faithful throughout, so that in everything they may be an ornament and do credit to the teaching [which is] from and about God our Savior.

11 For the grace of God (His unmerited favor and blessing) has come forward (appeared) for the deliverance from sin and the eternal salvation for all mankind. 12 It has trained us to reject and renounce all ungodliness (irreligion) and worldly (passionate) desires, to live discreet (temperate, self-controlled), upright, devout (spiritually whole) lives in this present world, 13 Awaiting and looking for the [fulfillment, the realization of our] blessed hope, even the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One), 14 Who gave Himself on our behalf that He might redeem us (purchase our freedom) from all iniquity and purify for Himself a people [to be peculiarly His own, people who are] eager and enthusiastic about [living a life that is good and filled with] beneficial deeds. 15 Tell [them all] these things. Urge (advise, encourage, warn) and rebuke with full authority. Let no one despise or disregard or think little of you [conduct yourself and your teaching so as to command respect].

Titus 3

Remind people to be submissive to [their] magistrates and authorities, to be obedient, to be prepared and willing to do any upright and honorable work, To slander or abuse or speak evil of no one, to avoid being contentious, to be forbearing (yielding, gentle, and conciliatory), and to show unqualified courtesy toward everybody.

For we also were once thoughtless and senseless, obstinate and disobedient, deluded and misled; [we too were once] slaves to all sorts of cravings and pleasures, wasting our days in malice and jealousy and envy, hateful (hated, detestable) and hating one another.

But when the goodness and loving-kindness of God our Savior to man [as man] appeared, He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but because of His own pity and mercy, by [the] cleansing [bath] of the new birth (regeneration) and renewing of the Holy Spirit, Which He poured out [so] richly upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. [And He did it in order] that we might be justified by His grace (by His favor, wholly undeserved), [that we might be acknowledged and counted as conformed to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action], and that we might become heirs of eternal life according to [our] hope.

This message is most trustworthy, and concerning these things I want you to insist steadfastly, so that those who have believed in (trusted in, relied on) God may be careful to apply themselves to honorable occupations and to doing good, for such things are [not only] excellent and right [in themselves], but [they are] good and profitable for the people.

But avoid stupid and foolish controversies and genealogies and dissensions and wrangling about the Law, for they are unprofitable and futile. 10 [As for] a man who is factious [a heretical sectarian and cause of divisions], after admonishing him a first and second time, reject [him from your fellowship and have nothing more to do with him], 11 Well aware that such a person has utterly changed (is perverted and corrupted); he goes on sinning [though he] is convicted of guilt and self-condemned.

12 When I send Artemas or [perhaps] Tychicus to you, lose no time but make every effort to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. 13 Do your utmost to speed Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way; see that they want for (lack) nothing.

14 And let our own [people really] learn to apply themselves to good deeds (to honest labor and honorable employment), so that they may be able to meet necessary demands [a]whenever the occasion may require and not be living idle and uncultivated and unfruitful lives.

15 All who are with me wish to be remembered to you. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace (God’s favor and blessing) be with you all. Amen (so be it).

Philemon 1

Paul, a prisoner [for the sake] of Christ Jesus (the Messiah), and our brother Timothy, to Philemon our dearly beloved sharer with us in our work, And to Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier [in the Christian warfare], and to the church [assembly that meets] in your house:

Grace (spiritual blessing and favor) be to all of you and [heart] peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah).

I give thanks to my God for you always when I mention you in my prayers, Because I continue to hear of your love and of your loyal faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and [which you show] toward all the saints (God’s consecrated people).

[And I pray] that the participation in and sharing of your faith may produce and promote full recognition and appreciation and understanding and precise knowledge of every good [thing] that is ours in [our identification with] Christ Jesus [and unto His glory].

For I have derived great joy and comfort and encouragement from your love, because the hearts of the saints [who are your fellow Christians] have been cheered and refreshed through you, [my] brother.

Therefore, though I have abundant boldness in Christ to charge you to do what is fitting and required and your duty to do, Yet for love’s sake I prefer to appeal to you just for what I am—I, Paul, an ambassador [of Christ Jesus] and an old man and now a prisoner for His sake also—10 I appeal to you for my [own spiritual] child, Onesimus [meaning profitable], whom I have begotten [in the faith] while a captive in these chains.

11 Once he was unprofitable to you, but now he is indeed profitable to you as well as to me. 12 I am sending him back to you in [a]his own person, [and it is like sending] my very heart. 13 I would have chosen to keep him with me, in order that he might minister to my needs in your stead during my imprisonment for the Gospel’s sake. 14 But it has been my wish to do nothing about it without first consulting you and getting your consent, in order that your benevolence might not seem to be the result of compulsion or of pressure but might be voluntary [on your part].

15 Perhaps it was for this reason that he was separated [from you] for a while, that you might have him back as yours forever, 16 Not as a slave any longer but as [something] more than a slave, as a brother [Christian], especially dear to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh [as a servant] and in the Lord [as a fellow believer]. 17 If then you consider me a partner and a [b]comrade in fellowship, welcome and receive him as you would [welcome and receive] me.

18 And if he has done you any wrong in any way or owes anything [to you], charge that to my account. 19 I, Paul, write it with my own hand, I promise to repay it [in full]—and that is to say nothing [of the fact] that you owe me your very self! 20 Yes, brother, let me have some profit from you in the Lord. Cheer and refresh my heart in Christ.

21 I write to you [perfectly] confident of your obedient compliance, knowing that you will do even more than I ask. 22 At the same time prepare a guest room [in expectation of extending your hospitality] to me, for I am hoping through your prayers to be granted [the gracious privilege of coming] to you.

23 Greetings to you from Epaphras, my fellow prisoner here in [the cause of] Christ Jesus (the Messiah), 24 And [from] Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers.

25 The grace (blessing and favor) of the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) be with your spirit. Amen (so be it).

Hebrews 1

In many separate revelations [[a]each of which set forth a portion of the Truth] and in different ways God spoke of old to [our] forefathers in and by the prophets, [But] in [b]the last of these days He has spoken to us in [the person of a] Son, Whom He appointed Heir and lawful Owner of all things, also by and through Whom He created the worlds and the reaches of space and the ages of time [He made, produced, built, operated, and arranged them in order]. He is the sole expression of the glory of God [the Light-being, the [c]out-raying or radiance of the divine], and He is the perfect imprint and very image of [God’s] nature, upholding and maintaining and guiding and propelling the universe by His mighty word of power. When He had by offering Himself accomplished our cleansing of sins and riddance of guilt, He sat down at the right hand of the divine Majesty on high, [Taking a place and rank by which] He Himself became as much superior to angels as the glorious Name (title) which He has inherited is different from and more excellent than theirs.

For to which of the angels did [God] ever say, You are My Son, today I have begotten You [established You in an official Sonship relation, with kingly dignity]? And again, I will be to Him a Father, and He will be to Me a Son? Moreover, when He brings the firstborn Son [d]again into the habitable world, He says, Let all the angels of God worship Him. Referring to the angels He says, [God] Who makes His angels winds and His ministering servants flames of fire;

But as to the Son, He says to Him, Your throne, O God, is forever and ever (to the ages of the ages), and the scepter of Your kingdom is a scepter of absolute righteousness (of justice and straightforwardness). You have loved righteousness [You have delighted in integrity, virtue, and uprightness in purpose, thought, and action] and You have hated lawlessness (injustice and iniquity). Therefore God, [even] Your God ([e]Godhead), has anointed You with the oil of exultant joy and gladness above and beyond Your companions.

10 And [further], You, Lord, did lay the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the works of Your hands. 11 They will perish, but You remain and continue permanently; they will all grow old and wear out like a garment. 12 Like a mantle [thrown about one’s self] You will roll them up, and they will be changed and replaced by others. But You remain the same, and Your years will never end nor come to failure.

13 Besides, to which of the angels has He ever said, Sit at My right hand [associated with Me in My royal dignity] till I make your enemies a stool for your feet? 14 Are not the angels all ministering spirits (servants) sent out in the service [of God for the assistance] of those who are to inherit salvation?

Hebrews 2

Since all this is true, we ought to pay much closer attention than ever to the truths that we have heard, lest in any way we drift past [them] and slip away. For if the message given through angels [the Law spoken by them to Moses] was authentic and proved sure, and every violation and disobedience received an appropriate (just and adequate) penalty, How shall we escape [appropriate retribution] if we neglect and refuse to pay attention to such a great salvation [as is now offered to us, letting it drift past us forever]? For it was declared at first by the Lord [Himself], and it was confirmed to us and proved to be real and genuine by those who personally heard [Him speak].

[Besides this evidence] it was also established and plainly endorsed by God, Who showed His approval of it by signs and wonders and various miraculous manifestations of [His] power and by imparting the gifts of the Holy Spirit [to the believers] according to His own will.

For it was not to angels that God subjected the habitable world of the future, of which we are speaking. It has been solemnly and earnestly said in a certain place, What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You graciously and helpfully care for and visit and look after him? For some little time You have ranked him lower than and inferior to the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor and set him over the works of Your hands, For You have put everything in subjection under his feet. Now in putting everything in subjection to man, He left nothing outside [of man’s] control. But at present we do not yet see all things subjected to him [man].

But we are able to see Jesus, Who was ranked lower than the angels for a little while, crowned with glory and honor because of His having suffered death, in order that by the grace (unmerited favor) of God [to us sinners] He might experience death for every individual person.

10 For it was an act worthy [of God] and fitting [to the divine nature] that He, for Whose sake and by Whom all things have their existence, in bringing many sons into glory, should make the Pioneer of their salvation perfect [should bring to maturity the human experience necessary to be perfectly equipped for His office as High Priest] through suffering. 11 For both He Who sanctifies [making men holy] and those who are sanctified all have one [Father]. For this reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren; 12 For He says, I will declare Your [the Father’s] name to My brethren; in the midst of the [worshiping] congregation I will sing hymns of praise to You.13 And again He says, My trust and assured reliance and confident hope shall be fixed in Him. And yet again, Here I am, I and the children whom God has given Me.

14 Since, therefore, [these His] children share in flesh and blood [in the physical nature of human beings], He [Himself] in a similar manner partook of the same [nature], that by [going through] death He might bring to nought and make of no effect him who had the power of death—that is, the devil—15 And also that He might deliver and completely set free all those who through the [haunting] fear of death were held in bondage throughout the whole course of their lives.

16 For, as we all know, He [Christ] did not take hold of angels [[a]the fallen angels, to give them a helping and delivering hand], but He did take hold of [[b]the fallen] descendants of Abraham [to reach out to them a helping and delivering hand]. 17 So it is evident that it was essential that He be made like His brethren in every respect, in order that He might become a merciful (sympathetic) and faithful High Priest in the things related to God, to make atonement and propitiation for the people’s sins. 18 For because He Himself [in His humanity] has suffered in being tempted (tested and tried), He is able [immediately] [c]to run to the cry of (assist, relieve) those who are being tempted and tested and tried [and who therefore are being exposed to suffering].

Hebrews 3

So then, brethren, consecrated and set apart for God, who share in the heavenly calling, [thoughtfully and attentively] consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest Whom we confessed [as ours when we embraced the Christian faith]. [See how] faithful He was to Him Who appointed Him [Apostle and High Priest], as Moses was also faithful in the whole house [of God].

Yet Jesus has been considered worthy of much greater honor and glory than Moses, just as the builder of a house has more honor than the house [itself]. For [of course] every house is built and furnished by someone, but the Builder of all things and the Furnisher [of the entire equipment of all things] is God.

And Moses certainly was faithful in the administration of all God’s house [but it was only] as a ministering servant. [In his entire ministry he was but] a testimony to the things which were to be spoken [the revelations to be given afterward in Christ]. But Christ (the Messiah) was faithful over His [own Father’s] house as a Son [and Master of it]. And it is we who are [now members] of this house, if we hold fast and firm to the end our joyful and exultant confidence and sense of triumph in our hope [in Christ].

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts, as [happened] in the rebellion [of Israel] and their provocation and [a]embitterment [of Me] in the day of testing in the wilderness, Where your fathers tried [My patience] and tested [My forbearance] and [b]found I stood their test, and they saw My works for forty years. 10 And so I was provoked (displeased and sorely grieved) with that generation, and said, They always err and are led astray in their hearts, and they have not perceived or recognized My ways and become progressively better and more experimentally and intimately acquainted with them. 11 Accordingly, I swore in My wrath and indignation, They shall not enter into My rest.

12 [Therefore beware] brethren, take care, lest there be in any one of you a wicked, unbelieving heart [which refuses to cleave to, trust in, and rely on Him], leading you to turn away and desert or stand aloof from the living God.

13 But instead warn (admonish, urge, and encourage) one another every day, as long as it is called Today, that none of you may be hardened [into settled rebellion] by the deceitfulness of sin [by the fraudulence, the stratagem, the trickery which the delusive glamor of his sin may play on him]. 14 For we [c]have become fellows with Christ (the Messiah) and share in all He has for us, if only we hold our first newborn confidence and original assured expectation [in virtue of which we are believers] firm and unshaken to the end.

15 Then while it is [still] called Today, if you would hear His voice and when you hear it, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion [in the desert, when the people provoked and irritated and embittered God against them]. 16 For who were they who heard and yet were rebellious and provoked [Him]? Was it not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses?

17 And with whom was He irritated and provoked and grieved for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose [d]dismembered bodies were strewn and left in the desert?

18 And to whom did He swear that they should not enter His rest, but to those who disobeyed [who had not listened to His word and who refused to be compliant or be persuaded]?

19 So we see that they were not able to enter [into His rest], because of their unwillingness to adhere to and trust in and rely on God [unbelief had shut them out].

Hebrews 4

Therefore, while the promise of entering His rest still holds and is offered [today], let us be afraid [[a]to distrust it], lest any of you should [b]think he has come too late and has come short of [reaching] it. For indeed we have had the glad tidings [Gospel of God] proclaimed to us just as truly as they [the Israelites of old did when the good news of deliverance from bondage came to them]; but the message they heard did not benefit them, because it was not mixed with faith (with [c]the leaning of the entire personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness) by those who heard it; [d]neither were they united in faith with the ones [Joshua and Caleb] who heard (did believe).

For we who have believed (adhered to and trusted in and relied on God) do enter that rest, [e]in accordance with His declaration that those [who did not believe] should not enter when He said, As I swore in My wrath, They shall not enter My rest; and this He said although [His] works had been completed and prepared [and waiting for all who would believe] from the foundation of the world. For in a certain place He has said this about the seventh day: And God rested on the seventh day from all His works. And [they forfeited their part in it, for] in this [passage] He said, They shall not enter My rest.

Seeing then that the promise remains over [from past times] for some to enter that rest, and that those who formerly were given the good news about it and the opportunity, failed to appropriate it and did not enter because of disobedience, Again He sets a definite day, [a new] Today, [and gives another opportunity of securing that rest] saying through David after so long a time in the words already quoted, Today, if you would hear His voice and when you hear it, do not harden your hearts.

[This mention of a rest was not a reference to their entering into Canaan.] For if Joshua had given them rest, He [God] would not speak afterward about another day. So then, there is still awaiting a full and complete Sabbath-rest reserved for the [true] people of God; 10 For he who has once entered [God’s] rest also has ceased from [the weariness and pain] of human labors, just as God rested from those labors [f]peculiarly His own.

11 Let us therefore be zealous and exert ourselves and strive diligently to enter that rest [of God, to know and experience it for ourselves], that no one may fall or perish by the same kind of unbelief and disobedience [into which those in the wilderness fell]. 12 For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the [g]breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart. 13 And not a creature exists that is concealed from His sight, but all things are open and exposed, naked and defenseless to the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do.

14 Inasmuch then as we have a great High Priest Who has [already] ascended and passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession [of faith in Him]. 15 For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning.

16 Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].

Hebrews 5

For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in things relating to God, to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to exercise gentleness and forbearance toward the ignorant and erring, since he himself also is liable to moral weakness and physical infirmity. And because of this he is obliged to offer sacrifice for his own sins, as well as for those of the people.

Besides, one does not appropriate for himself the honor [of being high priest], but he is called by God and receives it of Him, just as Aaron did. So too Christ (the Messiah) did not exalt Himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed and exalted by Him Who said to Him, You are My Son; today I have begotten You; As He says also in another place, You are a Priest [appointed] forever after the order (with [a]the rank) of Melchizedek.

In the days of His flesh [Jesus] offered up definite, special petitions [for that which He not only wanted [b]but needed] and supplications with strong crying and tears to Him Who was [always] able to save Him [out] from death, and He was heard because of His reverence toward God [His godly fear, His piety, [c] in that He shrank from the horrors of separation from the bright presence of the Father].

Although He was a Son, He learned [active, special] obedience through what He suffered And, [His completed experience] making Him perfectly [equipped], He became the Author and Source of eternal salvation to all those who give heed and obey Him, 10 Being [d]designated and recognized and saluted by God as High Priest after the order (with [e]the rank) of Melchizedek.

11 Concerning this we have much to say which is hard to explain, since you have become dull in your [spiritual] hearing and sluggish [even [f]slothful in achieving spiritual insight]. 12 For even though by this time you ought to be teaching others, you actually need someone to teach you over again the very first principles of God’s Word. You have come to need milk, not solid food. 13 For everyone who continues to feed on milk is obviously inexperienced and unskilled in the doctrine of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action), for he is a mere infant [not able to talk yet]! 14 But solid food is for full-grown men, for those whose senses and mental faculties are trained by practice to discriminate and distinguish between what is morally good and noble and what is evil and contrary either to divine or human law.

Hebrews 6

Therefore let us go on and get past the elementary stage in the teachings and doctrine of Christ (the Messiah), advancing steadily toward the completeness and perfection that belong to spiritual maturity. Let us not again be laying the foundation of repentance and abandonment of dead works (dead formalism) and of the faith [by which you turned] to God, With teachings about purifying, the laying on of hands, the resurrection from the dead, and eternal judgment and punishment. [These are all matters of which you should have been fully aware long, long ago.]

If indeed God permits, we will [now] proceed [to advanced teaching]. For it is impossible [to restore and bring again to repentance] those who have been once for all enlightened, who have consciously tasted the heavenly gift and have become sharers of the Holy Spirit, And have felt how good the Word of God is and the mighty powers of the age and world to come, If they then deviate from the faith and turn away from their allegiance—[it is impossible] to bring them back to repentance, for (because, while, as long as) they nail upon the cross the Son of God afresh [as far as they are concerned] and are holding [Him] up to contempt and shame and public disgrace.

For the soil which has drunk the rain that repeatedly falls upon it and produces vegetation useful to those for whose benefit it is cultivated partakes of a blessing from God. But if [that same soil] persistently bears thorns and thistles, it is considered worthless and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned. Even though we speak this way, yet in your case, beloved, we are now firmly convinced of better things that are near to salvation and accompany it.

10 For God is not unrighteous to forget or overlook your labor and the love which you have shown for His name’s sake in ministering to the needs of the saints (His own consecrated people), as you still do. 11 But we do [[a]strongly and earnestly] desire for each of you to show the same diligence and sincerity [all the way through] in realizing and enjoying the full assurance and development of [your] hope until the end,

12 In order that you may not grow disinterested and become [spiritual] sluggards, but imitators, behaving as do those who through faith ([b]by their leaning of the entire personality on God in Christ in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness) and by practice of patient endurance and waiting are [now] inheriting the promises. 13 For when God made [His] promise to Abraham, He swore by Himself, since He had no one greater by whom to swear, 14 Saying, Blessing I certainly will bless you and multiplying I will multiply you. 15 And so it was that he [Abraham], having waited long and endured patiently, realized and obtained [in the birth of Isaac as a pledge of what was to come] what God had promised him.

16 Men indeed swear by a greater [than themselves], and with them in all disputes the oath taken for confirmation is final [ending strife]. 17 Accordingly God also, in His desire to show more convincingly and beyond doubt to those who were to inherit the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose and plan, intervened (mediated) with an oath. 18 This was so that, by two unchangeable things [His promise and His oath] in which it is impossible for God ever to prove false or deceive us, we who have fled [to Him] for refuge might have mighty indwelling strength and strong encouragement to grasp and hold fast the hope appointed for us and set before [us].

19 [Now] we have this [hope] as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot [c]break down under whoever steps out upon it—a hope] that reaches [d]farther and enters into [the very certainty of the Presence] within the veil, 20 Where Jesus has entered in for us [in advance], a Forerunner having become a High Priest forever after the order (with [e]the rank) of Melchizedek.

Hebrews 7

For this Melchizedek, king of Salem [and] priest of the Most High God, met Abraham as he returned from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, And Abraham gave to him a tenth portion of all [the spoil]. He is primarily, as his name when translated indicates, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, which means king of peace. Without [record of] father or mother or ancestral line, neither with beginning of days nor ending of life, but, resembling the Son of God, he continues to be a priest without interruption and without successor.

Now observe and consider how great [a personage] this was to whom even Abraham the patriarch gave a tenth [the topmost or the pick of the heap] of the spoils. And it is true that those descendants of Levi who are charged with the priestly office are commanded in the Law to take tithes from the people—which means, from their brethren—though these have descended from Abraham.

But this person who has not their Levitical ancestry received tithes from Abraham [himself] and blessed him who possessed the promises [of God]. Yet it is beyond all contradiction that it is the lesser person who is blessed by the greater one. Furthermore, here [in the Levitical priesthood] tithes are received by men who are subject to death; while there [in the case of Melchizedek], they are received by one of whom it is testified that he lives [perpetually]. A person might even say that Levi [the father of the priestly tribe] himself, who received tithes (the tenth), paid tithes through Abraham, 10 For he was still in the loins of his forefather [Abraham] when Melchizedek met him [Abraham].

11 Now if perfection (a perfect fellowship between God and the worshiper) had been attainable by the Levitical priesthood—for under it the people were given the Law—why was it further necessary that there should arise another and different kind of Priest, one after the order of Melchizedek, rather than one appointed after the order and rank of Aaron? 12 For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is of necessity an alteration of the law [concerning the priesthood] as well. 13 For the One of Whom these things are said belonged [not to the priestly line but] to another tribe, no member of which has officiated at the altar. 14 For it is obvious that our Lord sprang from the tribe of Judah, and Moses mentioned nothing about priests in connection with that tribe.

15 And this becomes more plainly evident when another Priest arises Who bears the likeness of Melchizedek, 16 Who has been constituted a Priest, not on the basis of a bodily legal requirement [an externally imposed command concerning His physical ancestry], but on the basis of the power of an endless and indestructible Life. 17 For it is witnessed of Him, You are a Priest forever after the order (with the rank) of Melchizedek. 18 So a previous physical regulation and command is cancelled because of its weakness and ineffectiveness and uselessness—19 For the Law never made anything perfect—but instead a better hope is introduced through which we [now] come close to God.

20 And it was not without the taking of an oath [that Christ was made Priest], 21 For those who formerly became priests received their office without its being confirmed by the taking of an oath by God, but this One was designated and addressed and saluted with an oath, The Lord has sworn and will not regret it or change His mind, You are a Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

22 In keeping with [the oath’s greater strength and force], Jesus has become the Guarantee of a better (stronger) agreement [a more excellent and more advantageous covenant]. 23 [Again, the former successive line of priests] was made up of many, because they were each prevented by death from continuing [perpetually in office]; 24 But He holds His priesthood unchangeably, because He lives on forever.

25 Therefore He is able also to save to the uttermost (completely, perfectly, finally, and for all time and eternity) those who come to God through Him, since He is always living to make petition to God and intercede with Him and intervene for them. 26 [Here is] the High Priest [perfectly adapted] to our needs, as was fitting—holy, blameless, unstained by sin, separated from sinners, and exalted higher than the heavens. 27 He has no day by day necessity, as [do each of these other] high priests, to offer sacrifice first of all for his own [personal] sins and then for those of the people, because He [met all the requirements] once for all when He brought Himself [as a sacrifice] which He offered up.

28 For the Law sets up men in their weakness [frail, sinful, dying human beings] as high priests, but the word of [God’s] oath, which [was spoken later] after the institution of the Law, [chooses and appoints as priest One Whose appointment is complete and permanent], a Son Who has been made perfect forever.

And as our minds whirl with the Old Testament flash forwards, we declare the Amen

#lessonsfromlent

I think if someone were to ask me, and maybe you too, if I would always choose the good thing for myself over the bad, I would confidently answer yes. It seems pretty cut and dry, Common Sense 101, but Sister our ancestry, our human heritage, well, it shows that just isn’t the case–that all of mankind must’ve missed that class.  Left to look through the lenses of our humanity and the desires of the flesh, we have no idea and are not capable of seeing the good thing, the beautiful thing, the best thing clearly.

How do you think Eve would’ve responded to that question? Or Adam? I choose them to ponder on not simply because we know how clouded their vision was but also because they didn’t have a bad home life to pin the haziness of their sight on and they didn’t have a twisted family tree to hang their distorted views from. They had their own heart and their own perception. The choice before them was to trust God and obey the boundaries He had set for them or to act apart from His goodness and do what they thought was best. We know the choice and we live the outcome. . .

And when the woman saw that the tree was good (suitable, pleasant) for food and that it was delightful to look at, and a tree to be desired in order to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she gave some also to her husband, and he ate. Genesis 3:6

But I don’t judge Eve at all, because left to myself, I know without a doubt that I would walk right alongside of her and I would lean in just as close as she did to hear the serpent’s every word. And just like it did for Eve, the hiss of Satan would drown out the holiness of God.

The deceiver didn’t flat out ask Eve if God had given her His very best, He led her into looking at it through her own humanity and the desires of her flesh and entertain the notion that God might be holding out on her. At the beginning of the conversation, it doesn’t even seem that Eve knew she was weighing her options. . . that she was sliding on her black robe and exalting herself to be the judge of God. I think that’s most often how the enemy gets to us . . . little by little . . . and pretty soon we have our black robe on and the gavel in our hand, all set to judge the word of God.

1 John 2:16 couldn’t be clearer. The same three areas that faced Adam and Eve in the Garden still face us today . . .

16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one’s own resources or in the stability of earthly things]—these do not come from the Father but are from the world [itself]. 1 John 2:16

See it line up . . .

And when the woman saw that the tree was good (suitable, pleasant) for food—(lust of the flesh)— and that it was delightful to look at—(lust of the eyes)—, and a tree to be desired in order to make one wise—(pride of life)—, she took of its fruit and ate; and she gave some also to her husband, and he ate. Genesis 3:6/1 John 2:16

Satan doesn’t change his game, because we don’t change.  We’re still tempted by what our flesh wants, what our eyes see, and what we think makes us look good.  Beloved, Satan tried all those same tricks with Christ in the desert and Jesus did not bow to a single temptation.

He remained the Sinless One, the Perfect One.  He stared temptation in the face and He chose obedience.

Jesus never sinned, but He became sin and He died as if He was the One who had been lured from the goodness of God to serve Himself.  He never wavered but He paid the price.  He didn’t swerve but it bore the wrath.

Jesus stood firm in His full humanity and overcame every temptation and . . . the Spotless One is alive and well.  He has left the tomb behind, and made His home in each of us.  The Christ living in us, empowers us to stand firm when our hearts are tempted.  And when we cry out to our Savior He is ever-present to strengthen us in the battle.  He does not guess what we need because He knows!  Our Mighty Warrior has fought this battle, He faced the enemy, and He has overcome!

18 For because He Himself [in His humanity] has suffered in being tempted (tested and tried), He is able [immediately] [c]to run to the cry of (assist, relieve) those who are being tempted and tested and tried [and who therefore are being exposed to suffering]. Hebrews 2:18

15 For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning. Hebrews 4:15

Does He know this world conspires against you? Absolutely He does. Is He aware of the powerful pull to the things our eyes see and our flesh wants? Without a doubt He is. And does He understand the difficulty of the battle? Oh Sweet One, He does! Not in a far off, analytical, “life on earth is tough” kind of way. No! Our Savior has fought the good fight up-close and personal.   Oh yes Girlfriend, He knows the war you are fighting and He will never let you fight alone.

creation swap toy soldiers 990_DSC_0274 fight

We never fight alone . . . #lessonsfromlent

Lessons from Lent: Day 32

26 Mar

creation swap lessons from lent coffee cup Kelly Sikkema 22940

An Explanation of Lessons from Lent

In the next 40 days (9 now because you have already accomplished thirty-one), the weeks leading up to Easter, the posts on Glimpsed Glory will be different. I am reading through the New Testament during this time and I am hoping the Holy Spirit will lead me to a fresh revelation each and every day. I’m going into it with a prayerful heart and an expectant spirit but I will fully confess to you that my soul feels sluggish.

I have been in a place of exhaustion over these last months. My mind has been clouded, my body has ached and insomnia has been my companion since late December. The enemy has been and is still whispering in my ear that my Jesus has forgotten me . . . that He has finally tired of my imperfections and left me behind.

I’m not giving in to it! I am going to fight the good fight of faith and follow the example of my Nehemiah Man. I am going to stand firm in my faith because if I do not, I will not stand at all. I’m praising God for bringing me to a place of emptiness so that I can look to Him to fill my cup.

I’m coming before the Lord and I’m asking Him to do a new thing in me. To rouse my heart to His side and to draw me near in real and tangible ways. To plow through the fog that has settled over me in the form of health issues, physical stress, and emotional upheaval and lay a level path before me. I’m entering the throne room and I’m humbly reminding Him that He has invited me to come in my time of need. O Lord – be near to me. Love me where I am. Take me where I need to be.

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That’s the cry of my heart Sweet Sister and I’m thinking that if I am in this place that perhaps you are too. It might be that different life situations have brought us here but here we are. If that’s the case, I want you to know that you are not alone and that you have a faith sister to walk through it with. We can do this together – you and I. It’s why God gave us to one another. We can join our hearts and we can offer up the next 40 days to the Beautiful One and trust Him to do the beautiful thing in us.

So here’s what I’ll do. I’ll post the daily reading on the blog (except for Sundays) and if you read the Scriptures not only will you have read through the entire New Testament by Easter but God promises that He’ll show you deep and unsearchable things you do not know. He promises that His word is alive and active and will transform your heart. I could use some transformation. What about you?

At the end of the daily passage, I’m going to share my “Lesson from Lent” – nothing long or drawn out just something that God uses to speak straight to my heart from the Scripture that day. I’m putting it at the end because if your time runs short on a particular day – I want you to skip reading my words, not His.

I’m hoping that you’ll start your own running record of what God is showing you. Maybe you’ll even be moved to leave a comment so your Sisters can glean from what you’re learning. No matter how you choose to keep track of all He shares with you . . . treasure it up in your heart Sweet One, meditate on it, mull it over, consider the whisper of the Lover of your soul. The God of the Universe is the only Voice we need to revive our tired souls. So, let’s you and I lean in close, pray for ears to hear and hearts to respond. Let’s dig in to the riches He has given us and prepare to be amazed by what He will reveal to our expectant hearts. O Sister, let’s boldly ask Him for a lesson from Lent and then brace ourselves for a glimpse of Glory!

Day Thirty-two

March 26, 2015 ~~ 1 and 2 Timothy

Amplified Bible

Footnotes: I’ve left the footnotes in place if you would like to track down sources in word study and language. Please follow the link to each chapter and scroll to the bottom of the passage.

1 Timothy 1

Paul, an apostle (special messenger) of Christ Jesus by appointment and command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus (the Messiah), our Hope,

To Timothy, my true son in the faith: Grace (spiritual blessing and favor), mercy, and [heart] peace [be yours] from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. As I urged you when I was on my way to Macedonia, stay on where you are at Ephesus in order that you may warn and admonish and charge certain individuals not to teach any different doctrine, Nor to give importance to or occupy themselves with legends (fables, myths) and endless genealogies, which foster and promote useless speculations and questionings rather than acceptance in faith of God’s administration and the divine training that is in faith ([a]in that leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence)—Whereas the object and purpose of our instruction and charge is love, which springs from a pure heart and a good (clear) conscience and sincere (unfeigned) faith.

But certain individuals have missed the mark on this very matter [and] have wandered away into vain arguments and discussions and purposeless talk. They are ambitious to be doctors of the Law (teachers of the Mosaic ritual), but they have no understanding either of the words and terms they use or of the subjects about which they make [such] dogmatic assertions. Now we recognize and know that the Law is good if anyone uses it lawfully [for the purpose for which it was designed], Knowing and understanding this: that the Law is not enacted for the righteous (the upright and just, who are in right standing with God), but for the lawless and unruly, for the ungodly and sinful, for the irreverent and profane, for those who strike and beat and [even] murder fathers and strike and beat and [even] murder mothers, for manslayers, 10 [For] impure and immoral persons, those who abuse themselves with men, kidnapers, liars, perjurers—and whatever else is opposed to wholesome teaching and sound doctrine 11 As laid down by the glorious Gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.

12 I give thanks to Him Who has granted me [the needed] strength and made me able [for this], Christ Jesus our Lord, because He has judged and counted me faithful and trustworthy, appointing me to [this stewardship of] the ministry. 13 Though I formerly blasphemed and persecuted and was shamefully and outrageously and aggressively insulting [to Him], nevertheless, I obtained mercy because I had acted out of ignorance in unbelief. 14 And the grace (unmerited favor and blessing) of our Lord [actually] flowed out superabundantly and beyond measure for me, accompanied by faith and love that are [to be realized] in Christ Jesus.

15 The saying is sure and true and worthy of full and universal acceptance, that Christ Jesus (the Messiah) came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am foremost. 16 But I obtained mercy for the reason that in me, as the foremost [of sinners], Jesus Christ might show forth and display all His perfect long-suffering and patience for an example to [encourage] those who would thereafter believe on Him for [the gaining of] eternal life.

17 Now to the King of eternity, incorruptible and immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever (to the ages of ages). Amen (so be it).

18 This charge and admonition I commit in trust to you, Timothy, my son, [b]in accordance with prophetic intimations which I formerly received concerning you, so that inspired and aided by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 Holding fast to faith ([c]that leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence) and having a good (clear) conscience. By rejecting and thrusting from them [their conscience], some individuals have made shipwreck of their faith. 20 Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have delivered to Satan in order that they may be disciplined [by punishment and learn] not to blaspheme.

1 Timothy 2

First of all, then, I admonish and urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be offered on behalf of all men, For kings and all who are in positions of authority or high responsibility, that [outwardly] we may pass a quiet and undisturbed life [and inwardly] a peaceable one in all godliness and reverence and seriousness in every way. For such [praying] is good and right, and [it is] pleasing and acceptable to God our Savior, Who wishes all men to be saved and [increasingly] to perceive and recognize and discern and know precisely and correctly the [divine] Truth.

For there [is only] one God, and [only] one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, Who gave Himself as a ransom for all [people, a fact that was] attested to at the right and proper time. And of this matter I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (special messenger)—I am speaking the truth in Christ, I do not falsify [when I say this]—a teacher of the Gentiles in [the realm of] faith and truth. I desire therefore that in every place men should pray, without anger or quarreling or resentment or doubt [in their minds], lifting up holy hands.

Also [I desire] that women should adorn themselves modestly and appropriately and sensibly in seemly apparel, not with [elaborate] hair arrangement or gold or pearls or expensive clothing, 10 But by doing good deeds (deeds in themselves good and for the good and advantage of those contacted by them), as befits women who profess reverential fear for and devotion to God. 11 Let a woman learn in quietness, in entire submissiveness. 12 I allow no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to remain in quietness and keep silence [in religious assemblies].

13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve; 14 And it was not Adam who was deceived, but [the] woman who was deceived and deluded and fell into transgression. 15 Nevertheless [the sentence put upon women of pain in motherhood does not hinder their souls’ salvation, and] they will be saved [eternally] if they continue in faith and love and holiness with self-control, [saved indeed] [a]through the Childbearing or by the birth of the divine Child.

1 Timothy 3

The saying is true and irrefutable: If any man [eagerly] seeks the office of bishop (superintendent, overseer), he desires an excellent task (work).

Now a bishop (superintendent, overseer) must give no grounds for accusation but must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, circumspect and temperate and self-controlled; [he must be] sensible and well behaved and dignified and lead an orderly (disciplined) life; [he must be] hospitable [showing love for and being a friend to the believers, especially strangers or foreigners, and be] a capable and qualified teacher, Not given to wine, not combative but gentle and considerate, not quarrelsome but forbearing and peaceable, and not a lover of money [insatiable for wealth and ready to obtain it by questionable means]. He must rule his own household well, keeping his children under control, with true dignity, commanding their respect in every way and keeping them respectful. For if a man does not know how to rule his own household, how is he to take care of the church of God? He must not be a new convert, or he may [develop a beclouded and stupid state of mind] as the result of pride [be blinded by conceit, and] fall into the condemnation that the devil [once] did. Furthermore, he must have a good reputation and be well thought of by those outside [the church], lest he become involved in slander and incur reproach and fall into the devil’s trap.

In like manner the deacons [must be] worthy of respect, not shifty and double-talkers but sincere in what they say, not given to much wine, not greedy for base gain [craving wealth and resorting to ignoble and dishonest methods of getting it]. They must possess the mystic secret of the faith [Christian truth as hidden from ungodly men] with a clear conscience. 10 And let them also be tried and investigated and proved first; then, if they turn out to be above reproach, let them serve [as deacons]. 11 [a][The] women likewise must be worthy of respect and serious, not gossipers, but temperate and self-controlled, [thoroughly] trustworthy in all things. 12 Let deacons be the husbands of but one wife, and let them manage [their] children and their own households well. 13 For those who perform well as deacons acquire a good standing for themselves and also gain much confidence and freedom and boldness in the faith which is [founded on and centers] in Christ Jesus.

14 Although I hope to come to you before long, I am writing these instructions to you so that, 15 If I am detained, you may know how people ought to conduct themselves in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and stay (the prop and support) of the Truth. 16 And great and important and weighty, we confess, is the hidden truth (the mystic secret) of godliness. He [[b]God] was made visible in human flesh, justified and vindicated in the [Holy] Spirit, was seen by angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world, [and] taken up in glory.

1 Timothy 4

But the [Holy] Spirit distinctly and expressly declares that in latter times some will turn away from the faith, giving attention to deluding and seducing spirits and doctrines that demons teach, Through the hypocrisy and pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared (cauterized), Who forbid people to marry and [teach them] to abstain from [certain kinds of] foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and have [an increasingly clear] knowledge of the truth.

For everything God has created is good, and nothing is to be thrown away or refused if it is received with thanksgiving. For it is hallowed and consecrated by the Word of God and by prayer.

If you lay all these instructions before the brethren, you will be a worthy steward and a good minister of Christ Jesus, ever nourishing your own self on the truths of the faith and of the good [Christian] instruction which you have closely followed. But refuse and avoid irreverent legends (profane and impure and godless fictions, mere grandmothers’ tales) and silly myths, and express your disapproval of them. Train yourself toward godliness (piety), [keeping yourself spiritually fit]. For physical training is of some value (useful for a little), but godliness (spiritual training) is useful and of value in everything and in every way, for it holds promise for the present life and also for the life which is to come. This saying is reliable and worthy of complete acceptance by everybody.

10 With a view to this we toil and strive, [yes and] [a]suffer reproach, because we have [fixed our] hope on the living God, Who is the Savior (Preserver, Maintainer, Deliverer) of all men, especially of those who believe (trust in, rely on, and adhere to Him).

11 Continue to command these things and to teach them. 12 Let no one despise or think less of you because of your youth, but be an example (pattern) for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.

13 Till I come, devote yourself to [public and private] reading, to exhortation (preaching and personal appeals), and to teaching and instilling doctrine. 14 Do not neglect the gift which is in you, [that special inward endowment] which was directly imparted to you [by the Holy Spirit] by prophetic utterance when the elders laid their hands upon you [at your ordination]. 15 Practice and cultivate and meditate upon these duties; throw yourself wholly into them [as your ministry], so that your progress may be evident to everybody. 16 Look well to yourself [to your own personality] and to [your] teaching; persevere in these things [hold to them], for by so doing you will save both yourself and those who hear you.

1 Timothy 5

5 Do not sharply censure or rebuke an older man, but entreat and plead with him as [you would with] a father. Treat younger men like brothers; [Treat] older women like mothers [and] younger women like sisters, in all purity.

[Always] treat with great consideration and give aid to those who are truly widowed (solitary and without support). But if a widow has children or grandchildren, see to it that these are first made to understand that it is their religious duty [to defray their natural obligation to those] at home, and make return to their parents or grandparents [for all their care by contributing to their maintenance], for this is acceptable in the sight of God. Now [a woman] who is a real widow and is left entirely alone and desolate has fixed her hope on God and perseveres in supplications and prayers night and day, Whereas she who lives in pleasure and self-gratification [giving herself up to luxury and self-indulgence] is dead even while she [still] lives.

Charge [the people] thus, so that they may be without reproach and blameless. If anyone fails to provide for his relatives, and especially for those of his own family, he has disowned the faith [by failing to accompany it with fruits] and is worse than an unbeliever [who performs his obligation in these matters]. Let no one be put on the roll of widows [who are to receive church support] who is under sixty years of age or who has been the wife of more than one man; 10 And she must have a reputation for good deeds, as one who has brought up children, who has practiced hospitality to strangers [of the brotherhood], washed the feet of the saints, helped to relieve the distressed, [and] devoted herself diligently to doing good in every way.

11 But refuse [to enroll on this list the] younger widows, for when they become restive and their natural desires grow strong, they withdraw themselves against Christ [and] wish to marry [again]. 12 And so they incur condemnation for having set aside and slighted their previous pledge. 13 Moreover, as they go about from house to house, they learn to be idlers, and not only idlers, but gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not say and talking of things they should not mention. 14 So I would have younger [widows] marry, bear children, guide the household, [and] not give opponents of the faith occasion for slander or reproach. 15 For already some [widows] have turned aside after Satan. 16 If any believing woman or believing man has [relatives or persons in the household who are] widows, let him relieve them; let the church not be burdened [with them], so that it may [be free to] assist those who are truly widows (those who are all alone and are dependent).

17 Let the elders who perform the duties of their office well be considered doubly worthy of honor [and of adequate [a]financial support], especially those who labor faithfully in preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, You shall not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain, and again, The laborer is worthy of his hire. 19 Listen to no accusation [presented before a judge] against an elder unless it is confirmed by the testimony of two or three witnesses. 20 As for those who are guilty and persist in sin, rebuke and admonish them in the presence of all, so that the rest may be warned and stand in wholesome awe and fear.

21 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the chosen angels that you guard and keep [these rules] without personal prejudice or favor, doing nothing from partiality. 22 Do not be in a hurry in the laying on of hands [giving the sanction of the church too hastily in reinstating expelled offenders or in ordination in questionable cases], nor share or participate in another man’s sins; keep yourself pure. 23 Drink water no longer exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.

24 The sins of some men are conspicuous (openly evident to all eyes), going before them to the judgment [seat] and proclaiming their sentence in advance; but the sins of others appear later [following the offender to the bar of judgment and coming into view there]. 25 So also, good deeds are evident and conspicuous, and even when they are not, they cannot remain hidden [indefinitely].

1 Timothy 6

Let all who are under the yoke as bond servants esteem their own [personal] masters worthy of honor and fullest respect, so that the name of God and the teaching [about Him] may not be brought into disrepute and blasphemed. Let those who have believing masters not be disrespectful or scornful [to them] on the grounds that they are brothers [in Christ]; rather, they should serve [them all the better] because those who benefit by their kindly service are believers and beloved. Teach and urge these duties. But if anyone teaches otherwise and does not [a]assent to the sound and wholesome messages of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and the teaching which is in agreement with godliness (piety toward God), He is puffed up with pride and stupefied with conceit, [although he is] woefully ignorant. He has a [b]morbid fondness for controversy and disputes and strife about words, which result in (produce) envy and jealousy, quarrels and dissension, abuse and insults and slander, and base suspicions, And protracted wrangling and wearing discussion and perpetual friction among men who are corrupted in mind and bereft of the truth, who imagine that godliness or righteousness is a [c]source of profit [a moneymaking business, a means of livelihood]. From such withdraw.

[And it is, indeed, a source of immense profit, for] godliness accompanied with contentment (that contentment which is a sense of [d]inward sufficiency) is great and abundant gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and obviously we cannot take anything out of the world; But if we have food and clothing, with these we shall be content (satisfied).

But those who crave to be rich fall into temptation and a snare and into many foolish (useless, godless) and hurtful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction and miserable perishing. 10 For the love of money is a root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have been led astray and have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves through with many [e]acute [mental] pangs.

11 But as for you, O man of God, flee from all these things; aim at and pursue righteousness (right standing with God and true goodness), godliness (which is the loving fear of God and being Christlike), faith, love, steadfastness (patience), and gentleness of heart. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith; lay hold of the eternal life to which you were summoned and [for which] you confessed the good confession [of faith] before many witnesses.

13 In the presence of God, Who preserves alive all living things, and of Christ Jesus, Who in His testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I [solemnly] charge you 14 To keep all His precepts unsullied and flawless, irreproachable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Anointed One), 15 Which [appearing] will be shown forth in His own proper time by the blessed, only Sovereign (Ruler), the King of kings and the Lord of lords. 16 Who alone has immortality [in the sense of exemption from every kind of death] and lives in unapproachable light, Whom no man has ever seen or can see. Unto Him be honor and everlasting power and dominion. Amen (so be it).

17 As for the rich in this world, charge them not to be proud and arrogant and contemptuous of others, nor to set their hopes on uncertain riches, but on God, Who richly and ceaselessly provides us with everything for [our] enjoyment. 18 [Charge them] to do good, to be rich in good works, to be liberal and generous of heart, ready to share [with others], 19 In this way laying up for themselves [the riches that endure forever as] a good foundation for the future, so that they may grasp that which is life indeed.

20 O Timothy, guard and keep the deposit entrusted [to you]! Turn away from the irreverent babble and godless chatter, with the vain and empty and worldly phrases, and the subtleties and the contradictions in what is falsely called knowledge and spiritual illumination. 21 [For] by making such profession some have erred (missed the mark) as regards the faith. Grace (divine favor and blessing) be with you all! Amen (so be it).

2 Timothy 1

Paul, an apostle (special messenger) of Christ Jesus by the will of God, according to the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus,

To Timothy, [my] beloved child: Grace (favor and spiritual blessing), mercy, and [heart] peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord! I thank God Whom I worship with a pure conscience, [a]in the spirit of my fathers, when without ceasing I remember you night and day in my prayers, And when, as I recall your tears, I yearn to see you so that I may be filled with joy. I am calling up memories of your sincere and unqualified faith (the [b]leaning of your entire personality on God in Christ in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness), [a faith] that first lived permanently in [the heart of] your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am [fully] persuaded, [dwells] in you also.

That is why I would remind you to stir up (rekindle the embers of, fan the flame of, and keep burning) the [gracious] gift of God, [the inner fire] that is in you by means of the laying on of my hands [[c]with those of the elders at your ordination]. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control. Do not blush or be ashamed then, to testify to and for our Lord, nor of me, a prisoner for His sake, but [[d]with me] take your share of the suffering [to which the preaching] of the Gospel [may expose you, and do it] in the power of God.

[For it is He] Who delivered and saved us and called us with a calling in itself holy and leading to holiness [to a life of consecration, a vocation of holiness]; [He did it] not because of anything of merit that we have done, but because of and to further His own purpose and grace (unmerited favor) which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began [eternal ages ago]. 10 [It is that purpose and grace] which He now has made known and has fully disclosed and made real [to us] through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, Who annulled death and made it of no effect and brought life and immortality (immunity from eternal death) to light through the Gospel.

11 For [the proclaiming of] this [Gospel] I was appointed a herald (preacher) and an apostle (special messenger) and a teacher of the Gentiles. 12 And this is why I am suffering as I do. Still I am not ashamed, for I know (perceive, have knowledge of, and am acquainted with) Him Whom I have believed (adhered to and trusted in and relied on), and I am [positively] persuaded that He is able to guard and keep that which has been entrusted to me and which [e]I have committed [to Him] until that day.

13 Hold fast and follow the pattern of wholesome and sound teaching which you have heard from me, in [all] the faith and love which are [for us] in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard and keep [with the greatest care] the precious and excellently adapted [Truth] which has been entrusted [to you], by the [help of the] Holy Spirit Who makes His home in us.

15 You already know that all who are in Asia turned away and forsook me, Phygelus and Hermogenes among them. 16 May the Lord grant [His] mercy to the family of Onesiphorus, for he often showed me kindness and ministered to my needs [comforting and reviving and bracing me like fresh air]! He was not ashamed of my chains and imprisonment [for Christ’s sake]. 17 No, rather when he reached Rome, he searched diligently and eagerly for me and found me. 18 May the Lord grant to him that he may find mercy from the Lord on that [great] day! And you know how many things he did for me and what a help he was at Ephesus [you know better than I can tell you].

2 Timothy 2

So you, my son, be strong (strengthened inwardly) in the grace (spiritual blessing) that is [to be found only] in Christ Jesus.

And the [instructions] which you have heard from me along with many witnesses, transmit and entrust [as a deposit] to reliable and faithful men who will be competent and qualified to teach others also. Take [with me] your share of the hardships and suffering [which you are called to endure] as a good (first-class) soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier when in service gets entangled in the enterprises of [civilian] life; his aim is to satisfy and please the one who enlisted him. And if anyone enters competitive games, he is not crowned unless he competes lawfully (fairly, according to the rules laid down). [It is] the hard-working farmer [who labors to produce] who must be the first partaker of the fruits.

Think over these things I am saying [understand them and grasp their application], for the Lord will grant you full insight and understanding in everything. Constantly keep in mind Jesus Christ (the Messiah) [as] risen from the dead, [as the prophesied King] descended from David, according to the good news (the Gospel) that I preach. For that [Gospel] I am suffering affliction and even wearing chains like a criminal. But the Word of God is not chained or imprisoned!

10 Therefore I [am ready to] persevere and stand my ground with patience and endure everything for the sake of the elect [God’s chosen], so that they too may obtain [the] salvation which is in Christ Jesus, with [the reward of] eternal glory. 11 The saying is sure and worthy of confidence: If we have died with Him, we shall also live with Him. 12 If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny and disown and reject Him, He will also deny and disown and reject us. 13 If we are faithless [do not believe and are untrue to Him], He remains true (faithful to His Word and His righteous character), for He cannot deny Himself.

14 Remind [the people] of these facts and [solemnly] charge them in the presence of the Lord to avoid petty controversy over words, which does no good but upsets and undermines the faith of the hearers. 15 Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth. 16 But avoid all empty (vain, useless, idle) talk, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness. 17 And their teaching [will devour; it] will eat its way like cancer or spread like gangrene. So it is with Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 Who have missed the mark and swerved from the truth by arguing that the resurrection has already taken place. They are undermining the faith of some.

19 But the firm foundation of (laid by) God stands, sure and unshaken, bearing this seal (inscription): The Lord knows those who are His, and, Let everyone who names [himself by] the name of the Lord give up all iniquity and stand aloof from it.

20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also [utensils] of wood and earthenware, and some for honorable and noble [use] and some for menial and ignoble [use]. 21 So whoever cleanses himself [from what is ignoble and unclean, who separates himself from contact with contaminating and corrupting influences] will [then himself] be a vessel set apart and useful for honorable and noble purposes, consecrated and profitable to the Master, fit and ready for any good work.

22 Shun youthful lusts and flee from them, and aim at and pursue righteousness (all that is virtuous and good, right living, conformity to the will of God in thought, word, and deed); [and aim at and pursue] faith, love, [and] peace (harmony and concord with others) in fellowship with all [Christians], who call upon the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 But refuse (shut your mind against, have nothing to do with) trifling (ill-informed, unedifying, stupid) controversies over ignorant questionings, for you know that they foster strife and breed quarrels. 24 And the servant of the Lord must not be quarrelsome (fighting and contending). Instead, he must be kindly to everyone and mild-tempered [preserving the bond of peace]; he must be a skilled and suitable teacher, patient and forbearing and willing to suffer wrong. 25 He must correct his opponents with courtesy and gentleness, in the hope that God may grant that they will repent and come to know the Truth [that they will perceive and recognize and become accurately acquainted with and acknowledge it], 26 And that they may come to their senses [and] escape out of the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him, [henceforth] to do His [God’s] will.

2 Timothy 3

But understand this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear]. For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane. [They will be] without natural [human] affection (callous and inhuman), relentless (admitting of no truce or appeasement); [they will be] slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good. [They will be] treacherous [betrayers], rash, [and] inflated with self-conceit. [They will be] lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God. For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession]. Avoid [all] such people [turn away from them]. For among them are those who worm their way into homes and captivate silly and weak-natured and spiritually dwarfed women, loaded down with [the burden of their] sins [and easily] swayed and led away by various evil desires and seductive impulses. [These weak women will listen to anybody who will teach them]; they are forever inquiring and getting information, but are never able to arrive at a recognition and knowledge of the Truth.

Now just as [a]Jannes and Jambres were hostile to and resisted Moses, so these men also are hostile to and oppose the Truth. They have depraved and distorted minds, and are reprobate and counterfeit and to be rejected as far as the faith is concerned. But they will not get very far, for their rash folly will become obvious to everybody, as was that of those [magicians mentioned].

10 Now you have closely observed and diligently followed my teaching, conduct, purpose in life, faith, patience, love, steadfastness, 11 Persecutions, sufferings—such as occurred to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra, persecutions I endured, but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

12 Indeed all who delight in piety and are determined to live a devoted and godly life in Christ Jesus will meet with persecution [will be made to suffer because of their religious stand]. 13 But wicked men and imposters will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and leading astray others and being deceived and led astray themselves.

14 But as for you, continue to hold to the things that you have learned and of which you are convinced, knowing from whom you learned [them], 15 And how from your childhood you have had a knowledge of and been acquainted with the sacred Writings, which are able to instruct you and give you the understanding for salvation which comes through faith in Christ Jesus [through the [b]leaning of the entire human personality on God in Christ Jesus in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness]. 16 Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action), 17 So that the man of God may be complete and proficient, well fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 4

I charge [you] in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, Who is to judge the living and the dead, and by (in the light of) His coming and His kingdom: Herald and preach the Word! Keep your sense of urgency [stand by, be at hand and ready], whether the opportunity seems to be favorable or unfavorable. [Whether it is convenient or inconvenient, whether it is welcome or unwelcome, you as preacher of the Word are to show people in what way their lives are wrong.] And convince them, rebuking and correcting, warning and urging and encouraging them, being unflagging and inexhaustible in patience and teaching.

For the time is coming when [people] will not tolerate (endure) sound and wholesome instruction, but, having ears itching [for something pleasing and gratifying], they will gather to themselves one teacher after another to a considerable number, chosen to satisfy their own liking and to foster the errors they hold, And will turn aside from hearing the truth and wander off into myths and man-made fictions. As for you, be calm and cool and steady, accept and suffer unflinchingly every hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fully perform all the duties of your ministry.

For I am already about to be sacrificed [my life is about to be poured out as a drink offering]; the time of my [spirit’s] release [from the body] is at hand and I will soon go free. I have fought the good (worthy, honorable, and noble) fight, I have finished the race, I have kept (firmly held) the faith. [As to what remains] henceforth there is laid up for me the [victor’s] crown of righteousness [for being right with God and doing right], which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me and recompense me on that [great] day—and not to me only, but also to all those who have loved and yearned for and welcomed His appearing (His return).

Make every effort to come to me soon. 10 For Demas has deserted me for love of this present world and has gone to Thessalonica; Crescens [has gone] to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia.

11 Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very helpful to me for the ministry. 12 Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus.

13 [When] you come, bring the cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus, also the books, especially the parchments.

14 Alexander the coppersmith did me great wrongs. The Lord will pay him back for his actions. 15 Beware of him yourself, for he opposed and resisted our message very strongly and exceedingly.

16 At my first trial no one acted in my defense [as my advocate] or took my part or [even] stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them!

17 But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the [Gospel] message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was delivered out of the jaws of the lion. 18 [And indeed] the Lord will certainly deliver and [a]draw me to Himself from every assault of evil. He will preserve and bring me safe unto His heavenly kingdom. To Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen (so be it).

19 Give my greetings to Prisca and Aquila and to the household of Onesiphorus. 20 Erastus stayed on at Corinth, but Trophimus I left ill at Miletus.

21 Do hasten and try your best to come to me before winter. Eubulus wishes to be remembered to you, as do Pudens and Linus and Claudia and all the brethren.

22 The Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Grace (God’s favor and blessing) be with you. Amen (so be it).

And the tear-filled Amen is raised

#lessonsfromlent

Full confession . . . I have for most of my Christian walk had an attitude about Paul. He’s brash and blunt and he seems to belabor things for a long time, hence the gentleman falling out the window. I especially have felt myself bristle at the teachings we find in the writings of Paul on the role of women in the church. But through this reading over Lent, I have absolutely seen him in a different light and I find myself desiring to be like him in gentleness, love, and tender affection. Those are words that I would never have used previously to describe Paul.

I praise God that He has opened up my heart to see the protector in Paul . . . the humility in Paul . . .the love in Paul. Love he exercised at all cost. He suffered rejection for the Truth, he suffered humiliation for the Gospel, he suffered through loneliness, separation, loss of everything. He looked at death through the lenses of freedom and life, but he didn’t flinch in letting us know . . .this was difficult.

For I am already about to be sacrificed [my life is about to be poured out as a drink offering]; the time of my [spirit’s] release [from the body] is at hand and I will soon go free. I have fought the good (worthy, honorable, and noble) fight, I have finished the race, I have kept (firmly held) the faith. 2 Timothy 4:6

There were times reading these letters to his dear son Timothy that I found myself wanting to turn away because it seemed so personal. The tears flowed openly down my face as I let myself imagine how much he desired to look Timothy in the face one more time and how much he would have preferred to give him all this wisdom with a fatherly hand laid across his shoulders. In the last chapter of 2 Timothy, interspersed with the news of who is where and who is doing what, we’re giving little glimpses of Paul’s heart and his human want to see his dear child in the faith one more time . . .

Make every effort to come to me soon. 2 Timothy 4:9

Did your heart not break for him when he wrote about standing alone at trial? Did his loneliness not reach across the page and grab your heart for him?

16 At my first trial no one acted in my defense [as my advocate] or took my part or [even] stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them!

There is something about giving voice to a situation that makes the pain of it so much more real to me. I’m not talking about rash sharing designed to make people choose sides and simply vent my own displeasure. I’m talking about sharing a true offense that has been committed against you after you’ve had some time to process through it. It’s almost as if it increases the intensity of the hurt and it wounds you all over again. Rash sharing and venting isn’t what we see of Paul here either. He doesn’t even name names –and neither should I—he uses the vague “all forsook me.” He’s thought the thing through and as an imitator of Christ Jesus, he wants the offenders to be forgiven.

So Paul’s willingness to put that out there—to be vulnerable that way—speaks volumes to me, and maybe to you, about the desire to hide the difficult situations. I’m not advocating exposing our every scar just for exposure’s sake but maybe the vulnerability and readiness to share the things that have hurt our hearts will give us opportunities to spread the fame of the One who heals them . . .

17 But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the [Gospel] message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was delivered out of the jaws of the lion. 18 [And indeed] the Lord will certainly deliver and [a]draw me to Himself from every assault of evil. He will preserve and bring me safe unto His heavenly kingdom. To Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen (so be it).

Paul’s anchored in his Ever-Present Jesus. He’s certain that the Messiah will draw him near at every turn and will provide for him in every way. His desire to see Timothy is not because he feels God is falling short or not filling him to the full, he just loves him. Plain and simple. He loves him and he wants to say a proper goodbye in person.

21 Do hasten and try your best to come to me before winter. 2 Timothy 4:21

Paul doesn’t get to do that and though we don’t have written record of it, I’m pretty sure, based on his gratefulness for the fruit of his hardships here on earth, that when he got to heaven and God laid out all the ways He was planning to use his farewell letters to Timothy – Paul rejoiced.  And soon after, he rejoiced again . . . with Timothy. Let yourself picture that sweet reunion and the eternal hellos they shared with the impact of their temporal goodbyes as the backdrop. Isn’t God good?

And as I wrote earlier, I am praising God for opening Paul’s life up to me in a new way and even leading me to pray . . .

Lord, I want to live like that—when Paul wrote model yourself after me—let me do that very thing. Let me relate not only to his baggage and the sin he carried into his faith but the life he lived in love after the scales fell—I want that.

But moreover, what I am praising my Father for is the unequivocal reminder that these are not Paul’s words—they are His. See that changes things for me because when I take them from Paul’s pen to God’s heart then I begin to more fully appreciate the authority they have over me and I realize the sin I indulge in when I set myself up to judge rather they are right or wrong.

I don’t understand everything God shares through Paul’s writings and I won’t fully understand them this side of Glory. And here’s the flat out truth:

My understanding of a boundary God has set is not required but my obedience is.

Adam and Eve proved that . . . God set the boundary, they stepped across the line and they left God’s blessing behind. For today, my eyes are open to that deception, and I’m not falling for the serpent’s trick. I’m going to be obedient and boldly proclaim the Gospel and the goodness of my God all throughout the territory He stamped with my name, but I will stay within the boundaries He has given me and I will not leave His blessing behind.

My new friend Paul was called to do a lot of things that may not have made sense to him. He was called to stay put and teach right where he was when he wanted to go and strengthen more believers. He was imprisoned and the borders around his goodbye to Timothy were set by the chains he wore. He may not have understood but he knew the One who did. Paul knew that the One who hemmed him in, the One who put his boundary lines in place . . . he knew He was faithful.

You and I need to follow the example of trust and reliance in all circumstance—in all hardship—that Paul put out there. We need to embrace that obedience flows from faith and that the One who blesses has thoughts far higher than ours. We need to hold fast to the One who laid down our boundary lines and trust Him to do the beautiful thing. We need to know that He who promises is Faithful to Himself and that means our boundaries were set in love. See, Paul might not have understood the why of his boundaries, but he understood the Who of his Blessing – I want that.

CREATIon SWAP FREE vineyard Matt Gruber 5883

Leaving my boundaries behind means leaving my blessing behind . . . #lessonsfromlent

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