Tag Archives: Jesus

Lessons from Lent: Day Sixteen

7 Mar

 

creation swap lessons from lent coffee cup Kelly Sikkema 22940

An Explanation of Lessons from Lent

In the next 40 days (25 now because you have already accomplished fifteen), 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 Sixteen

March 7, 2015 ~~ John 10-14

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.

John 10

I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, he who does not enter by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way (elsewhere, from some other quarter) is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. The watchman opens the door for this man, and the sheep listen to his voice and heed it; and he calls his own sheep by name and brings (leads) them out. When he has brought his own sheep outside, he walks on before them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will never [on any account] follow a stranger, but will run away from him because they do not know the voice of strangers or recognize their call. Jesus used this parable (illustration) with them, but they did not understand what He was talking about.

So Jesus said again, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that I Myself am the Door [a]for the sheep. All others who came [as such] before Me are thieves and robbers, but the [true] sheep did not listen to and obey them. I am the Door; anyone who enters in through Me will be saved (will live). He will come in and he will go out [freely], and will find pasture. 10 The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it [b]overflows).

11 I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd risks and lays down His [own] life for the sheep. 12 But the hired servant (he who merely serves for wages) who is neither the shepherd nor the owner of the sheep, when he sees the wolf coming, deserts the flock and runs away. And the wolf chases and snatches them and scatters [the flock]. 13 Now the hireling flees because he merely serves for wages and is not himself concerned about the sheep [cares nothing for them]. 14 I am the Good Shepherd; and I know and recognize My own, and My own know and recognize Me—

15 Even as [truly as] the Father knows Me and I also know the Father—and I am giving My [very own] life and laying it down on behalf of the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep [beside these] that are not of this fold. I must bring and [c]impel those also; and they will listen to My voice and heed My call, and so there will be [they will become] one flock under one Shepherd.

17 For this [reason] the Father loves Me, because I lay down My [own] life—to take it back again. 18 No one takes it away from Me. On the contrary, I lay it down voluntarily. [I put it from Myself.] I am authorized and have power to lay it down (to resign it) and I am authorized and have power to take it back again. These are the instructions (orders) which I have received [as My charge] from My Father.

19 Then a fresh division of opinion arose among the Jews because of His saying these things. 20 And many of them said, He has a demon and He is mad (insane—He raves, He rambles). Why do you listen to Him? 21 Others argued, These are not the thoughts and the language of one possessed. Can a demon-possessed person open blind eyes?

22 After this the Feast of Dedication [of the reconsecration of the temple] was taking place at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 And Jesus was walking in Solomon’s Porch in the temple area. 24 So the Jews surrounded Him and began asking Him, How long are You going to keep us in doubt and suspense? If You are really the Christ (the Messiah), tell us so plainly and openly. 25 Jesus answered them, I have told you so, yet you do not believe Me [you do not trust Me and rely on Me]. The very works that I do by the power of My Father and in My Father’s name bear witness concerning Me [they are My credentials and evidence in support of Me]. 26 But you do not believe and trust and rely on Me because you do not belong to My fold [you are no sheep of Mine]. 27 The sheep that are My own hear and are listening to My voice; and I know them, and they follow Me.

28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never lose it or perish throughout the ages. [To all eternity they shall never by any means be destroyed.] And no one is able to snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, Who has given them to Me, is greater and mightier than all [else]; and no one is able to snatch [them] out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are One.

31 Again the Jews [d]brought up stones to stone Him. 32 Jesus said to them, My Father has enabled Me to do many good deeds. [I have shown many acts of mercy in your presence.] For which of these do you mean to stone Me? 33 The Jews replied, We are not going to stone You for a good act, but for blasphemy, because You, a mere [e]Man, make Yourself [out to be] God. 34 Jesus answered, Is it not written in your Law, I said, You are gods? 35 So men are called gods [by the Law], men to whom God’s message came—and the Scripture cannot be set aside or cancelled or broken or annulled— 36 [If that is true] do you say of the One Whom the Father consecrated and dedicated and set apart for Himself and sent into the world, You are blaspheming, because I said, I am the Son of God? 37 If I am not doing the works [performing the deeds] of My Father, then do not believe Me [do not adhere to Me and trust Me and rely on Me]. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe Me or have faith in Me, [at least] believe the works and have faith in what I do, in order that you may know and understand [clearly] that the Father is in Me, and I am in the Father [One with Him].

39 They sought again to arrest Him, but He escaped from their hands. 40 He went back again across the Jordan to the locality where John was when he first baptized, and there He remained. 41 And many came to Him, and they kept saying, John did not perform a [single] sign or miracle, but everything John said about this Man was true. 42 And many [people] there became believers in Him. [They adhered to and trusted in and relied on Him.]

John 11

Now a certain man named Lazarus was ill. He was of Bethany, the village where Mary and her sister Martha lived. This Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped His feet with her hair. It was her brother Lazarus who was [now] sick. So the sisters sent to Him, saying, Lord, he whom You love [so well] is sick. When Jesus received the message, He said, This sickness is not to end in death; but [on the contrary] it is to honor God and to promote His glory, that the Son of God may be glorified through (by) it. Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. [They were His dear friends, and He held them in loving esteem.] Therefore [even] when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He still stayed two days longer in the same place where He was. Then after that interval He said to His disciples, Let us go back again to Judea. The disciples said to Him, Rabbi, the Jews only recently were intending and trying to stone You, and are You [thinking of] going back there again? Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? Anyone who walks about in the daytime does not stumble, because he sees [by] the light of this world. 10 But if anyone walks about in the night, he does stumble, because there is no light in him [the light is lacking to him].

11 He said these things, and then added, Our friend Lazarus is at rest and sleeping; but I am going there that I may awaken him out of his sleep. 12 The disciples answered, Lord, if he is sleeping, he will recover. 13 However, Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that He referred to falling into a refreshing and natural sleep. 14 So then Jesus told them plainly, Lazarus is dead,

15 And for your sake I am glad that I was not there; it will help you to believe (to trust and rely on Me). However, let us go to him. 16 Then Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, Let us go too, that we may die [be killed] along with Him. 17 So when Jesus arrived, He found that he [Lazarus] had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Bethany was near Jerusalem, only about two miles away,

19 And a considerable number of the Jews had gone out to see Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet Him, while Mary remained sitting in the house. 21 Martha then said to Jesus, Master, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 And even now I know that whatever You ask from God, He will grant it to You. 23 Jesus said to her, Your brother shall rise again. 24 Martha replied, I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day. 25 Jesus said to her, I am [Myself] the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in (adheres to, trusts in, and relies on) Me, although he may die, yet he shall live; 26 And whoever continues to live and believes in (has faith in, cleaves to, and relies on) Me shall never [actually] die at all. Do you believe this? 27 She said to Him, Yes, Lord, I have believed [I do believe] that You are the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One), the Son of God, [even He] Who was to come into the world. [It is for Your coming that the world has waited.] 28 After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, privately whispering to her, The Teacher is close at hand and is asking for you. 29 When she heard this, she sprang up quickly and went to Him.

30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the same spot where Martha had met Him. 31 When the Jews who were sitting with her in the house and consoling her saw how hastily Mary had arisen and gone out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to pour out her grief there. 32 When Mary came to the place where Jesus was and saw Him, she dropped down at His feet, saying to Him, Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 33 When Jesus saw her sobbing, and the Jews who came with her [also] sobbing, He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. [He chafed in spirit and sighed and was disturbed.]

34 And He said, Where have you laid him? They said to Him, Lord, come and see. 35 Jesus wept. 36 The Jews said, See how [tenderly] He loved him! 37 But some of them said, Could not He Who opened a blind man’s eyes have prevented this man from dying? 38 Now Jesus, again sighing repeatedly and deeply disquieted, approached the tomb. It was a cave (a hole in the rock), and a boulder lay against [the entrance to close] it. 39 Jesus said, Take away the stone. Martha, the sister of the dead man, exclaimed, But Lord, by this time he [is decaying and] throws off an offensive odor, for he has been dead four days!

40 Jesus said to her, Did I not tell you and [a]promise you that if you would believe and rely on Me, you would see the glory of God? 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 Yes, I know You always hear and listen to Me, but I have said this on account of and for the benefit of the people standing around, so that they may believe that You did send Me [that You have made Me Your Messenger].

43 When He had said this, He shouted with a loud voice, Lazarus, come out! 44 And out walked the man who had been dead, his hands and feet wrapped in burial cloths (linen strips), and with a [burial] napkin bound around his face. Jesus said to them, Free him of the burial wrappings and let him go.

45 Upon seeing what Jesus had done, many of the Jews who had come with Mary believed in Him. [They trusted in Him and adhered to Him and relied on Him.] 46 But some of them went back to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 So the chief priests and Pharisees called a meeting of the council (the Sanhedrin) and said, What are we to do? For this Man performs many signs (evidences, miracles). 48 If we let Him alone to go on like this, everyone will believe in Him and adhere to Him, and the Romans will come and suppress and destroy and take away our [holy] place and our nation [[b]our temple and city and our civil organization].

49 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was the high priest that year, declared, You know nothing at all! 50 Nor do you understand or reason out that it is expedient and better for your own welfare that one man should die on behalf of the people than that the whole nation should perish (be destroyed, ruined). 51 Now he did not say this simply of his own accord [he was not self-moved]; but being the high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was to die for the nation, 52 And not only for the nation but also for the purpose of uniting into one body the children of God who have been scattered far and wide.

53 So from that day on they took counsel and plotted together how they might put Him to death. 54 For that reason Jesus no longer appeared publicly among the Jews, but left there and retired to the district that borders on the wilderness (the desert), to a village called Ephraim, and there He stayed with the disciples.

55 Now the Jewish Passover was at hand, and many from the country went up to Jerusalem in order that they might purify and consecrate themselves before the Passover. 56 So they kept looking for Jesus and questioned among themselves as they were standing about in the temple [[c]area], What do you think? Will He not come to the Feast at all? 57 Now the chief priests and Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where He was, he should report it to them, so that they might arrest Him.

John 12

So six days before the Passover Feast, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, who had died and whom He had raised from the dead. So they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those at the table with Him. Mary took a pound of ointment of pure liquid nard [a rare perfume] that was very expensive, and she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair. And the whole house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

But Judas Iscariot, the one of His disciples who was about to betray Him, said, Why was this perfume not sold for 300 denarii [a year’s wages for an ordinary workman] and that [money] given to the poor (the destitute)? Now he did not say this because he cared for the poor but because he was a thief; and having the bag (the money box, the purse of the Twelve), he took for himself what was put into it [pilfering the collections].

But Jesus said, Let her alone. It was [intended] that she should keep it for the time of My preparation for burial. [She has kept it that she might have it for the time of My [a]embalming.] You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me.

Now a great crowd of the Jews heard that He was at Bethany, and they came there, not only because of Jesus but that they also might see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death also, 11 Because on account of him many of the Jews were going away [were withdrawing from and leaving the Judeans] and believing in and adhering to Jesus.

12 The next day a vast crowd of those who had come to the Passover Feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him. And as they went, they kept shouting, Hosanna! Blessed is He and praise to Him Who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!

14 And Jesus, having found a young donkey, rode upon it, [just] as it is written in the Scriptures, 15 Do not fear, O Daughter of Zion! Look! Your King is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!

16 His disciples did not understand and could not comprehend the meaning of these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified and exalted, they remembered that these things had been written about Him and had been done to Him.

17 The group that had been with Jesus when He called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from among the dead kept telling it [bearing witness] to others. 18 It was for this reason that the crowd went out to meet Him, because they had heard that He had performed this sign (proof, miracle). 19 Then the Pharisees said among themselves, You see how futile your efforts are and how you accomplish nothing. See! The whole world is running after Him!

20 Now among those who went up to worship at the Feast were some Greeks. 21 These came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and they made this request, Sir, we desire to see Jesus. 22 Philip came and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip together [went] and told Jesus. 23 And Jesus answered them, The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified and exalted. 24 I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains [just one grain; it never becomes more but lives] by itself alone. But if it dies, it produces many others and yields a rich harvest. 25 Anyone who loves his life loses it, but anyone who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. [Whoever has no love for, no concern for, no regard for his life here on earth, but despises it, preserves his life forever and ever.]

26 If anyone serves Me, he must continue to follow Me [[b]to cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying] and wherever I am, there will My servant be also. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. 27 Now My soul is troubled and distressed, and what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour [of trial and agony]? But it was for this very purpose that I have come to this hour [that I might undergo it]. 28 [Rather, I will say,] Father, glorify (honor and extol) Your [own] name! Then there came a voice out of heaven saying, I have already glorified it, and I will glorify it again.

29 The crowd of bystanders heard the sound and said that it had thundered; others said, An angel has spoken to Him! 30 Jesus answered, This voice has not come for My sake, but for your sake.

31 Now the judgment (crisis) of this world is coming on [sentence is now being passed on this world]. Now the ruler (evil genius, prince) of this world shall be cast out (expelled). 32 And I, if and when I am lifted up from the earth [on the cross], will draw and attract all men [Gentiles as well as Jews] to Myself. 33 He said this to signify in what manner He would die.

34 At this the people answered Him, We have learned from the Law that the Christ is to remain forever; how then can You say, The Son of Man must be lifted up [on the cross]? Who is this Son of Man? 35 So Jesus said to them, You will have the Light only a little while longer. Walk while you have the Light [keep on living by it], so that darkness may not overtake and overcome you. He who walks about in the dark does not know where he goes [he is drifting]. 36 While you have the Light, believe in the Light [have faith in it, hold to it, rely on it], that you may become sons of the Light and be filled with Light. Jesus said these things, and then He went away and hid Himself from them [was lost to their view].

37 Even though He had done so many miracles before them (right before their eyes), yet they still did not trust in Him and failed to believe in Him— 38 So that what Isaiah the prophet said was fulfilled: Lord, who has believed our report and our message? And to whom has the arm (the power) of the Lord been shown (unveiled and revealed)? 39 Therefore they could not believe [they were unable to believe]. For Isaiah has also said, 40 He has blinded their eyes and hardened and benumbed their [callous, degenerated] hearts [He has made their minds dull], to keep them from seeing with their eyes and understanding with their hearts and minds and repenting and turning to Me to heal them. 41 Isaiah said this because he saw His glory and spoke of Him.

42 And yet [in spite of all this] many even of the leading men (the authorities and the nobles) believed and trusted in Him. But because of the Pharisees they did not confess it, for fear that [if they should acknowledge Him] they would be expelled from the synagogue; 43 For they loved the approval and the praise and the glory that come from men [instead of and] more than the glory that comes from God. [They valued their credit with men more than their credit with God.]

44 But Jesus loudly declared, The one who believes in Me does not [only] believe in and trust in and rely on Me, but [in believing in Me he believes] in Him Who sent Me. 45 And whoever sees Me sees Him Who sent Me.

46 I have come as a Light into the world, so that whoever believes in Me [whoever cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] may not continue to live in darkness. 47 If anyone hears My teachings and fails to observe them [does not keep them, but disregards them], it is not I who judges him. For I have not come to judge and to condemn and to pass sentence and to inflict penalty on the world, but to save the world. 48 Anyone who rejects Me and persistently sets Me at naught, refusing to accept My teachings, has his judge [however]; for the [very] message that I have spoken will itself judge and convict him at the last day.

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. 50 And I know that His commandment is (means) eternal life. So whatever I speak, I am saying [exactly] what My Father has told Me to say and in accordance with His instructions.

John 13

[Now] before the Passover Feast began, Jesus knew (was fully aware) that the time had come for Him to leave this world and return to the Father. And as He had loved those who were His own in the world, He loved them to the last and [a]to the highest degree. So [it was] during supper, Satan having already put the thought of betraying Jesus in the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son,

[That] Jesus, knowing (fully aware) that the Father had put everything into His hands, and that He had come from God and was [now] returning to God, Got up from supper, took off His garments, and taking a [servant’s] towel, He fastened it around His waist. Then He poured water into the washbasin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the [servant’s] towel with which He was girded.

When He came to Simon Peter, [Peter] said to Him, Lord, are my feet to be washed by You? [Is it for You to wash my feet?] Jesus said to him, You do not understand now what I am doing, but you will understand later on. Peter said to Him, You shall never wash my feet! Jesus answered him, Unless I wash you, you have no part with ([b]in) Me [you have no share in companionship with Me]. Simon Peter said to Him, Lord, [wash] not only my feet, but my hands and my head too!

10 Jesus said to him, Anyone who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is clean all over. And you [My disciples] are clean, but not all of you. 11 For He knew who was going to betray Him; that was the reason He said, Not all of you are clean.

12 So when He had finished washing their feet and had put on His garments and had sat down again, He said to them, Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call Me the Teacher (Master) and the Lord, and you are right in doing so, for that is what I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher (Master), have washed your feet, you ought [it is your duty, you are under obligation, you owe it] to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you this as an example, so that you should do [in your turn] what I have done to you. 16 I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, A servant is not greater than his master, and no one who is sent is superior to the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed and happy and [c]to be envied are you if you practice them [if you act accordingly and really do them].

18 I am not speaking of and I do not mean all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, He who eats [d]My bread with Me has raised up his heel against Me. 19 I tell you this now before it occurs, so that when it does take place you may be persuaded and believe that I am He [Who I say I am—the Christ, the Anointed One, the Messiah]. 20 I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, he who receives and welcomes and takes into his heart any messenger of Mine receives Me [in just that way]; and he who receives and welcomes and takes Me into his heart receives Him Who sent Me [in that same way].

21 After Jesus had said these things, He was troubled (disturbed, agitated) in spirit and said, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, one of you will deliver Me up [one of you will be false to Me and betray Me]! 22 The disciples kept looking at one another, puzzled as to whom He could mean.

23 One of His disciples, whom Jesus loved [whom He esteemed and delighted in], was reclining [next to Him] on Jesus’ bosom. 24 So Simon Peter motioned to him to ask of whom He was speaking. 25 Then leaning back against Jesus’ breast, he asked Him, Lord, who is it? 26 Jesus answered, It is the one to whom I am going to give this morsel (bit) of food after I have dipped it. So when He had dipped the morsel of bread [into the dish], He gave it to Judas, Simon Iscariot’s son.

27 Then after [he had taken] the bit of food, Satan entered into and took possession of [Judas]. Jesus said to him, What you are going to do, do [e]more swiftly than you seem to intend and [f]make quick work of it. 28 But nobody reclining at the table knew why He spoke to him or what He meant by telling him this. 29 Some thought that, since Judas had the money box (the purse), Jesus was telling him, Buy what we need for the Festival, or that he should give something to the poor.

30 So after receiving the bit of bread, he went out immediately. And it was night.

31 When he had left, Jesus said, Now is the Son of Man glorified! [Now He has achieved His glory, His honor, His exaltation!] And God has been glorified through and in Him. 32 And if God is glorified through and in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and He will glorify Him at once and not delay.

33 [Dear] little children, I am to be with you only a little longer. You will look for Me and, as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: you are not able to come where I am going. 34 I give you a new commandment: that you should love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another. 35 By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves].

36 Simon Peter said to Him, Lord, where are You going? Jesus answered, You are not able to follow Me now where I am going, but you shall follow Me afterwards. 37 Peter said to Him, Lord, why cannot I follow You now? I will lay down my life for You. 38 Jesus answered, Will you [really] lay down your life for Me? I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, before a rooster crows, you will deny Me [completely disown Me] three times.

John 14

Do not let your hearts be troubled (distressed, agitated). You believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely on God; believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely also on Me.

In My Father’s house there are many dwelling places (homes). If it were not so, I would have told you; for I am going away to prepare a place for you. And when (if) I go and make ready a place for you, I will come back again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also. And [to the place] where I am going, you know the way.

Thomas said to Him, Lord, we do not know where You are going, so how can we know the way? Jesus said to him, I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me.

If you had known Me [had learned to recognize Me], you would also have known My Father. From now on, you know Him and have seen Him. Philip said to Him, Lord, show us the Father [cause us to see the Father—that is all we ask]; then we shall be satisfied. Jesus replied, Have I been with all of you for so long a time, and do you not recognize and know Me yet, Philip? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say then, Show us the Father? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in Me? What I am telling you I do not say on My own authority and of My own accord; but the Father Who lives continually in Me does the ([a]His) works (His own miracles, deeds of power).

11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me; or else believe Me for the sake of the [very] works themselves. [If you cannot trust Me, at least let these works that I do in My Father’s name convince you.] 12 I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, if anyone steadfastly believes in Me, he will himself be able to do the things that I do; and he will do even greater things than these, because I go to the Father. 13 And I will do [I Myself will grant] whatever you ask in My Name [as [b]presenting all that I Am], so that the Father may be glorified and extolled in (through) the Son. 14 [Yes] I will grant [I Myself will do for you] whatever you shall ask in My Name [as [c]presenting all that I Am].

15 If you [really] love Me, you will keep (obey) My commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever— 17 The Spirit of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive (welcome, take to its heart), because it does not see Him or know and recognize Him. But you know and recognize Him, for He lives with you [constantly] and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans [comfortless, desolate, bereaved, forlorn, helpless]; I will come [back] to you.

19 Just a little while now, and the world will not see Me any more, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. 20 At that time [when that day comes] you will know [for yourselves] that I am in My Father, and you [are] in Me, and I [am] in you. 21 The person who has My commands and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me; and whoever [really] loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I [too] will love him and will show (reveal, manifest) Myself to him. [I will let Myself be clearly seen by him and make Myself real to him.]

22 Judas, not Iscariot, asked Him, Lord, how is it that You will reveal Yourself [make Yourself real] to us and not to the world? 23 Jesus answered, If a person [really] loves Me, he will keep My word [obey My teaching]; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home (abode, special dwelling place) with him. 24 Anyone who does not [really] love Me does not observe and obey My teaching. And the teaching which you hear and heed is not Mine, but [comes] from the Father Who sent Me. 25 I have told you these things while I am still with you.

26 But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.

27 Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]

28 You heard Me tell you, I am going away and I am coming [back] to you. If you [really] loved Me, you would have been glad, because I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater and mightier than I am. 29 And now I have told you [this] before it occurs, so that when it does take place you may believe and have faith in and rely on Me.

30 I will not talk with you much more, for the prince (evil genius, ruler) of the world is coming. And he has no claim on Me. [He has nothing in common with Me; there is nothing in Me that belongs to him, and he has no power over Me.] 31 But [[d]Satan is coming and] I do as the Father has commanded Me, so that the world may know (be convinced) that I love the Father and that I do only what the Father has instructed Me to do. [I act in full agreement with His orders.] Rise, let us go away from here.

And with a mighty voice the people of God say “Amen”

#lessonsfromlent

 

Jesus spends much time telling us that the sheep know and recognize the voice of the Good Shepherd and He emphasizes the safety, the protection, and the no-holds-barred love the flock receives so strongly that we instinctively lean in close to hear His Voice. And that Voice does indeed ring across the page to call His sheep by name despite Martha’s warning that the smell of death will be strong.

The Good Shepherd Himself stands at the tomb and beckons Lazarus to rise. Lazarus, recognizing the Voice of Life emerges dressed in burial clothes—wearing death from head-to-toe. But death linen has no place for one who has been summoned forth by the Messiah and Jesus says to those who are at His side, “Free him of the burial wrappings and let him go.”

Now think of this for a moment. Jesus has just exerted the power to bring Lazarus to life and yet He allows those who are standing nearby to participate in freeing him from the last remnants of death. Doesn’t that speak to the responsibility we have toward one another?

The women of God do not let their sisters, those who have been called forth from the tomb, run around in death clothes—they smell bad! They bind our hands so we can’t reach unencumbered for Jesus. They tangle around our feet so we can’t run the good race. Burial clothes have to be stripped away and Beloved, we are called to help in the process.

Isn’t it ironic that the next time we join Lazarus and Jesus, Mary is anointing Christ with sweet perfume to prepare His body for burial? She is trying in all her humanity to keep the odor of death from settling on the One she believes to be life. And Christ, who believes the Father will not let His Holy One see decay, allows her to anoint Him for the battle He has been called to fight. Mary’s efforts were not necessary for the Messiah to emerge victoriously but how sweet was the fragrance of tangible love as He prepared for the war ahead.

Oh Sisters, can we not come alongside and encourage one another in that same sweet way? Can we not use our resources to extravagantly bless one another with an outpouring of love every bit as lavish as the perfume Mary poured out? Life on this planet is difficult but the battles are easier when we fight them side-by-side. Christ has made certain that we are more than victors but He gives us one another to join hands, to love lavishly, and vanquish the enemy of our souls.

Do we not see in all of this that death smells! Sin decays and eats away at our souls and if Christ was afraid of the stench that rolled from the tomb every time He called someone by name, you and I would have been left to waste away. But that’s not our Jesus. Death does not scare Him . . . He stared the finality of it in the face and rose in victory. The odor of sin is overcome by He who is the Fragrant Offering to the Father. The Holy One, the Good Shepherd, did not see decay and at His Side the sheep are safe, protected, and Sweet One, they live!

We are raised to life and Jesus sends His people to set our hands and our feet free from the burial strips. Our death clothes have been peeled away and we can we reach for Him unencumbered. We are free to love one other with extravagance and pour ourselves out in tangible expressions of sisterhood, standing side by side in the fight. Knowing, believing, and being convinced that all the while, even as the war rages, The Good Shepherd is watching over us. He will not let one sheep be snatched from His holy hand.

Praise Him that just as He summoned Lazarus by name He has called to you and I. And we who have been summoned, fear not for as we stand at the side of the Voice of Life we know The Good Shepherd and He has spoken love over us.

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The Good Shepherd speaks love . . . #lessonsfromlent

Lessons from Lent: Day Eleven

2 Mar

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An Explanation of Lessons from Lent

In the next 40 days (30 now because you have already accomplished ten), 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 Eleven

March 2, 2015 ~~ Luke 9-12

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.

Luke 9

Then Jesus called together the Twelve [apostles] and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases, And He sent them out to announce and preach the kingdom of God and to bring healing. And He said to them, Do not take anything for your journey—neither walking stick, nor [a]wallet [for a collection bag], nor food of any kind, nor money, and do not have two undergarments (tunics). And whatever house you enter, stay there until you go away [from that place]. And wherever they do not receive and accept and welcome you, when you leave that town shake off [even] the dust from your feet, as a testimony against them.

And departing, they went about from village to village, preaching the Gospel and restoring the afflicted to health everywhere.

Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was being done by [Jesus], and he was [thoroughly] perplexed and troubled, because it was said by some that John [the Baptist] had been raised from the dead, And by others that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the prophets of old had come back to life. But Herod said, John I beheaded; but Who is this about Whom I [learn] such things by hearsay? And he sought to see Him.

10 Upon their return, the apostles reported to Jesus all that they had done. And He took them [along with Him] and withdrew into privacy near a town called Bethsaida. 11 But when the crowds learned of it, [they] followed Him; and He welcomed them and talked to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed restoration to health.

12 Now the day began to decline, and the Twelve came and said to Him, Dismiss the crowds and send them away, so that they may go to the neighboring hamlets and villages and the surrounding country and find lodging and get a [b]supply of provisions, for we are here in an uninhabited (barren, solitary) place. 13 But He said to them, You [yourselves] give them [food] to eat. They said, We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we are to go and buy food for all this crowd,

14 For there were about 5,000 men. And [Jesus] said to His disciples, Have them [sit down] reclining in table groups (companies) of about fifty each. 15 And they did so, and made them all recline. 16 And taking the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to heaven and [praising God] gave thanks and asked Him to bless them [to their use]. Then He broke them and gave them to the disciples to place before the multitude. 17 And all the people ate and were satisfied. And they gathered up what remained over—twelve [[c]small hand] baskets of broken pieces.

18 Now it occurred that as Jesus was praying privately, the disciples were with Him, and He asked them, Who do men say that I am? 19 And they answered, John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and others, that one of the ancient prophets has come back to life. 20 And He said to them, But who do you [yourselves] say that I am? And Peter replied, The Christ of God!

21 But He strictly charged and sharply commanded them [[d]under penalty] to tell this to no one [no one, [e]whoever he might be], 22 Saying, The Son of Man must suffer many things and be [[f]deliberately] disapproved and repudiated and rejected on the part of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be put to death and on the third day be raised [again].

23 And He said to all, If any person wills to come after Me, let him deny himself [[g]disown himself, [h]forget, lose sight of himself and his own interests, [i]refuse and give up himself] and take up his cross daily and follow Me [[j]cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying also]. 24 For whoever would preserve his life and save it will lose and destroy it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he will preserve and save it [[k]from the penalty of eternal death]. 25 For what does it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and ruins or forfeits (loses) himself? 26 Because whoever is ashamed of Me and of My teachings, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when He comes in the [[l]threefold] glory (the splendor and majesty) of Himself and of the Father and of the holy angels. 27 However I tell you truly, there are some of those standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.

28 Now about eight days after these teachings, Jesus took with Him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And as He was praying, the appearance of His countenance became altered (different), and His raiment became dazzling white [[m]flashing with the brilliance of lightning]. 30 And behold, two men were conversing with Him—Moses and Elijah, 31 Who appeared in splendor and majesty and brightness and were speaking of His exit [from life], which He was about to bring to realization at Jerusalem.

32 Now Peter and those with him were weighed down with sleep, but when they fully awoke, they saw His glory (splendor and majesty and brightness) and the two men who stood with Him. 33 And it occurred as the men were parting from Him that Peter said to Jesus, Master, it is delightful and good that we are here; and let us construct three booths or huts—one for You and one for Moses and one for Elijah! not noticing or knowing what he was saying. 34 But even as he was saying this, a cloud came and began to overshadow them, and they were seized with alarm and struck with fear as they entered into the cloud. 35 Then there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is My Son, My Chosen One or [n]My Beloved; listen to and yield to and obey Him! 36 And when the voice had died away, Jesus was found there alone. And they kept still, and told no one at that time any of these things that they had seen.

37 Now it occurred the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, that a great multitude met Him. 38 And behold, a man from the crowd shouted out, Master, I implore You to look at my son, for he is my only child; 39 And behold, a spirit seizes him and suddenly he cries out; it convulses him so that he foams at the mouth; and he is sorely shattered, and it will scarcely leave him. 40 And I implored Your disciples to drive it out, but they could not.

41 Jesus answered, O [faithless ones] unbelieving and without trust in God, a perverse ([o]wayward, [p]crooked and [q]warped) generation! Until when and how long am I to be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here [to Me]. 42 And even while he was coming, the demon threw him down and [completely] convulsed him. But Jesus censured and severely rebuked the unclean spirit and healed the child and restored him to his father. 43 And all were astounded at the evidence of God’s mighty power and His majesty and magnificence. But [while] they were all marveling at everything Jesus was doing, He said to His disciples, 44 Let these words sink into your ears: the Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men [[r]whose conduct is opposed to God]. 45 However, they did not comprehend this saying; and it was kept hidden from them, so that they should not grasp it and understand, and they were afraid to ask Him about the statement.

46 But a controversy arose among them as to which of them might be the greatest [surpassing the others in excellence, worth, and authority]. 47 But Jesus, as He perceived the thoughts of their hearts, took a little child and put him at His side 48 And told them, Whoever receives and accepts and welcomes this child in My name and for My sake receives and accepts and welcomes Me; and whoever so receives Me so also receives Him Who sent Me. For he who is least and lowliest among you all—he is [the one who is truly] great.

49 John said, Master, we saw a man driving out demons in Your name and we commanded him to stop it, for he does not follow along with us. 50 But Jesus told him, Do not forbid [such people]; for whoever is not against you is for you.

51 Now when the time was almost come for Jesus to be received up [to heaven], He steadfastly and determinedly set His face to go to Jerusalem. 52 And He sent messengers before Him; and they reached and entered a Samaritan village to make [things] ready for Him; 53 But [the people] would not welcome or receive or accept Him, because His face was [set as if He was] going to Jerusalem.

54 And when His disciples James and John observed this, they said, Lord, do You wish us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, [s]even as Elijah did? 55 But He turned and rebuked and severely censured them. [t]He said, You do not know of what sort of spirit you are, 56 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them [u][from the penalty of eternal death]. And they journeyed on to another village.

57 And it occurred that as they were going along the road, a man said to Him, Lord, I will follow You wherever You go. 58 And Jesus told him, Foxes have lurking holes and the birds of the air have roosts and nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.

59 And He said to another, [v]Become My disciple, side with My party, and accompany Me! But he replied, Lord, permit me first to go and bury ([w]await the death of) my father. 60 But Jesus said to him, Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and publish abroad [x]throughout all regions the kingdom of God.

61 Another also said, I will follow You, Lord, and become Your disciple and side with Your party; but let me first say good-bye to those at my home. 62 Jesus said to him, No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back [to the things behind] is fit for the kingdom of God.

Luke 10

Now after this the Lord chose and appointed seventy others and sent them out ahead of Him, two by two, into every town and place where He Himself was about to come (visit). And He said to them, The harvest indeed is abundant [[a]there is much ripe grain], but the farmhands are few. Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.

Go your way; behold, I send you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no provisions bag, no [change of] sandals; refrain from [retarding your journey by] saluting and wishing anyone well along the way. Whatever house you enter, first say, Peace be to this household! [[b]Freedom from all the distresses that result from sin be with this family]. And if anyone [worthy] of peace and blessedness is there, the peace and blessedness you wish shall come upon him; but if not, it shall come back to you. And stay on in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not keep moving from house to house. Whenever you go into a town and they receive and accept and welcome you, eat what is set before you; And heal the sick in it and say to them, The kingdom of God has come close to you.

10 But whenever you go into a town and they do not receive and accept and welcome you, go out into its streets and say, 11 Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we are wiping off against you; yet know and understand this: the kingdom of God has come near you. 12 I tell you, it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom than for that town.

13 Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty miracles performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14 However, it shall be more tolerable in the judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. 15 And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted unto heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades (the regions of the dead). 16 He who hears and heeds you [disciples] hears and heeds Me; and he who slights and rejects you slights and rejects Me; and he who slights and rejects Me slights and rejects Him who sent Me.

17 The seventy returned with joy, saying, Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name!

18 And He said to them, I saw Satan falling like a lightning [flash] from heaven. 19 Behold! I have given you authority and power to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and [physical and mental strength and ability] over all the power that the enemy [possesses]; and nothing shall in any way harm you. 20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are enrolled in heaven.

21 In that same hour He rejoiced and gloried in the Holy Spirit and said, I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have concealed these things [relating to salvation] from the wise and understanding and learned, and revealed them to babes (the childish, unskilled, and untaught). Yes, Father, for such was Your gracious [c]will and choice and good pleasure.

22 All things have been given over into My power by My Father; and no one knows Who the Son is except the Father, or Who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son may choose to reveal and make Him known.

23 Then turning to His disciples, He said privately, Blessed (happy, [d]to be envied) are those whose eyes see what you see! 24 For I tell you that many prophets and kings longed to see what you see and they did not see it, and to hear what you hear and they did not hear it.

25 And then a certain lawyer arose to try (test, tempt) Him, saying, Teacher, what am I to do to inherit everlasting life [that is, to partake of eternal salvation in the Messiah’s kingdom]? 26 Jesus said to him, What is written in the Law? How do you read it? 27 And he replied, You must love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself. 28 And Jesus said to him, You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live [enjoy active, blessed, endless life in the kingdom of God].

29 And he, [e]determined to acquit himself of reproach, said to Jesus, And who is my neighbor? 30 Jesus, [f]taking him up, replied, A certain man was going from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him of his clothes and belongings and beat him and went their way, [[g]unconcernedly] leaving him half dead, as it happened. 31 Now by [h]coincidence a certain priest was going down along that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 A Levite likewise came down to the place and saw him, and passed by on the other side [of the road]. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he traveled along, came down to where he was; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity and sympathy [for him], 34 And went to him and dressed his wounds, pouring on [them] oil and wine. Then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii [two day’s wages] and gave [them] to the innkeeper, saying, Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I [myself] will repay you when I return.

36 Which of these three do you think proved himself a neighbor to him who fell among the robbers? 37 He answered, The one who showed pity and mercy to him. And Jesus said to him, Go and do likewise.

38 Now while they were on their way, it occurred that Jesus entered a certain village, and a woman named Martha received and welcomed Him into her house. 39 And she had a sister named Mary, who seated herself at the Lord’s feet and was listening to His teaching. 40 But Martha [overly occupied and too busy] was distracted with much serving; and she came up to Him and said, Lord, is it nothing to You that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me [to lend a hand and do her part along with me]! 41 But the Lord replied to her by saying, Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; 42 There is need of only one or but [i]a few things. Mary has chosen the good portion [[j]that which is to her advantage], which shall not be taken away from her.

Luke 11

Then He was praying in a certain place; and when He stopped, one of His disciples said to Him, Lord, teach us to pray, [just] as John taught his disciples. And He said to them, When you pray, say: Our Father Who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come. Your will be done [held holy and revered] on earth as it is in heaven. Give us daily our bread [[a]food for the morrow]. And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us [who has offended us or done us wrong]. And bring us not into temptation but rescue us from evil.

And He said to them, Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and will say to him, Friend, lend me three loaves [of bread], For a friend of mine who is on a journey has just come, and I have nothing to put before him; And he from within will answer, Do not disturb me; the door is now closed, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and supply you [with anything]? I tell you, although he will not get up and supply him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his shameless persistence and insistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs. So I say to you, Ask and [b]keep on asking and it shall be given you; seek and [c]keep on seeking and you shall find; knock and [d]keep on knocking and the door shall be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks and [e]keeps on asking receives; and he who seeks and [f]keeps on seeking finds; and to him who knocks and [g]keeps on knocking, the door shall be opened.

11 What father among you, if his son asks for [h]a loaf of bread, will give him a stone; or if he asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good gifts [gifts [i]that are to their advantage] to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask and [j]continue to ask Him!

14 Now Jesus was driving out a demon that was dumb; and it occurred that when the demon had gone out, the dumb man spoke. And the crowds marveled. 15 But some of them said, He drives out demons [because He is in league with and] by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, 16 While others, to try and test and tempt Him, demanded a sign of Him from heaven. 17 But He, [well] aware of their intent and purpose, said to them, Every kingdom split up against itself is doomed and brought to desolation, and so house falls upon house. [The disunited household will collapse.]

18 And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom last? For you say that I expel demons with the help of and by Beelzebub. 19 Now if I expel demons with the help of and by Beelzebub, with whose help and by whom do your sons drive them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. 20 But if I drive out the demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has [already] come upon you. 21 When the strong man, fully armed, [[k]from his courtyard] guards his own dwelling, his belongings are undisturbed [his property is at peace and is secure]. 22 But when one stronger than he attacks him and conquers him, he robs him of his whole armor on which he had relied and divides up and distributes all his goods as plunder (spoil). 23 He who is not with Me [siding and believing with Me] is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me [engage in My interest], scatters.

24 When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it roams through waterless places in search [of a place] of rest (release, refreshment, ease); and finding none it says, I will go back to my house from which I came. 25 And when it arrives, it finds [the place] swept and put in order and furnished and decorated. 26 And it goes and brings other spirits, seven [of them], more evil than itself, and they enter in, settle down, and dwell there; and the last state of that person is worse than the first.

27 Now it occurred that as He was saying these things, a certain woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, Blessed (happy and [l]to be envied) is the womb that bore You and the breasts that You sucked! 28 But He said, Blessed (happy and [m]to be envied) rather are those who hear the Word of God and obey and practice it!

29 Now as the crowds were [increasingly] thronging Him, He began to say, This present generation is a wicked one; it seeks and demands a sign (miracle), but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah [the prophet]. 30 For [just] as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so will also the Son of Man be [a sign] to this age and generation. 31 The queen of the South will arise in the judgment with the people of this age and generation and condemn them; for she came from the ends of the [inhabited] earth to listen to the wisdom of Solomon, and notice, [n]here is more than Solomon. 32 The men of Nineveh will appear as witnesses at the judgment with this generation and will condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, [o]here is more than Jonah.

33 No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or crypt or under a bushel measure, but on a lampstand, that those who are coming in may see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye ([p]your conscience) is sound and fulfilling its office, your whole body is full of light; but when it is not sound and is not fulfilling its office, your body is full of darkness. 35 Be careful, therefore, that the light that is in you is not darkness. 36 If then your entire body is illuminated, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright [with light], as when a lamp with its bright rays gives you light.

37 Now while Jesus was speaking, a Pharisee invited Him to take dinner with him, so He entered and reclined at table. 38 The Pharisee noticed and was astonished [to see] that Jesus did not first wash before dinner. 39 But the Lord said to him, Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside you yourselves are full of greed and robbery and extortion and malice and wickedness. 40 You senseless (foolish, stupid) ones [acting without reflection or intelligence]! Did not He Who made the outside make the inside also? 41 But [dedicate your inner self and] give as donations to the poor of those things which are within [of inward righteousness] and behold, everything is purified and clean for you.

42 But woe to you, Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every [little] herb, but disregard and neglect justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done without leaving the others undone. 43 Woe to you, Pharisees! For you love the best seats in the synagogues and [you love] to be greeted and bowed down to in the [public] marketplaces. 44 Woe to you! For you are like graves which are not marked or seen, and men walk over them without being aware of it [and are ceremonially defiled].

45 One of the experts in the [Mosaic] Law answered Him, Teacher, in saying this, You reproach and outrage and affront even us! 46 But He said, Woe to you, the lawyers, also! For you load men with oppressive burdens hard to bear, and you do not personally [even [q]gently] touch the burdens with one of your fingers. 47 Woe to you! For you are [r]rebuilding and repairing the tombs of the prophets, whom your fathers killed (destroyed). 48 So you bear witness and give your full approval and consent to the deeds of your fathers; for they actually killed them, and you rebuild and repair monuments to them. 49 For this reason also the wisdom of God said, I will send them prophets and apostles, [some] of whom they will put to death and persecute, 50 So that the blood of all the prophets shed from the foundation of the world may be charged against and required of this age and generation, 51 From the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was slain between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it shall be charged against and required of this age and generation. 52 Woe to you, lawyers (experts in the Mosaic Law)! For you have taken away the key to knowledge; you did not go in yourselves, and you hindered and prevented those who were entering.

53 As He left there, the scribes and the Pharisees [followed Him closely, and they] began [s]to be enraged with and set themselves violently against Him and to draw Him out and provoke Him to speak of many things, 54 Secretly watching and plotting and lying in wait for Him, to seize upon something He might say [that they might accuse Him].

Luke 12

In the meanwhile, when so many thousands of the people had gathered that they were trampling on one another, Jesus commenced by saying primarily to His disciples, Be on your guard against the leaven (ferment) of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy [producing unrest and violent agitation]. Nothing is [so closely] covered up that it will not be revealed, or hidden that it will not be known. Whatever you have spoken in the darkness shall be heard and listened to in the light, and what you have whispered in [people’s] ears and behind closed doors will be proclaimed upon the housetops.

I tell you, My friends, do not dread and be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom you should fear: fear Him Who, after killing, has power to hurl into hell (Gehenna); yes, I say to you, fear Him!

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And [yet] not one of them is forgotten or uncared for in the presence of God. But [even] the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not be struck with fear or seized with alarm; you are of greater worth than many [flocks] of sparrows.

And I tell you, Whoever declares openly [speaking out freely] and confesses that he is My worshiper and acknowledges Me before men, the Son of Man also will declare and confess and acknowledge him before the angels of God. But he who disowns and denies and rejects and refuses to acknowledge Me before men will be disowned and denied and rejected and refused acknowledgement in the presence of the angels of God.

10 And everyone who makes a statement or speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit [that is, whoever [a]intentionally comes short of the reverence due the Holy Spirit], it will not be forgiven him [for him there is no forgiveness].

11 And when they bring you before the synagogues and the magistrates and the authorities, do not be anxious [beforehand] how you shall reply in defense or what you are to say. 12 For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour and [b]moment what [you] ought to say.

13 Someone from the crowd said to Him, Master, order my brother to divide the inheritance and share it with me. 14 But He told him, Man, who has appointed Me a judge or umpire and divider over you? 15 And He said to them, Guard yourselves and keep free from all covetousness (the immoderate desire for wealth, the greedy longing to have more); for a man’s life does not consist in and is not derived from possessing [c]overflowing abundance or that which is [d]over and above his needs.

16 Then He told them a parable, saying, The land of a rich man was fertile and yielded plentifully. 17 And he considered and debated within himself, What shall I do? I have no place [in which] to gather together my harvest. 18 And he said, I will do this: I will pull down my storehouses and build larger ones, and there I will store all [e]my grain or produce and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have many good things laid up, [enough] for many years. Take your ease; eat, drink, and enjoy yourself merrily. 20 But God said to him, You fool! This very night [f] they [the messengers of God] will demand your soul of you; and all the things that you have prepared, whose will they be? 21 So it is with the one who continues to lay up and hoard possessions for himself and is not rich [in his relation] to God [this is how he fares].

22 And [Jesus] said to His disciples, Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious and troubled [with cares] about your life, as to what you will [have to] eat; or about your body, as to what you will [have to] wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body [more] than clothes.

24 Observe and consider the ravens; for they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn; and [yet] God feeds them. Of how much more worth are you than the birds! 25 And which of you by being overly anxious and troubled with cares can add a [g]cubit to his stature or a moment [unit] of time to his [h]age [the length of his life]? 26 If then you are not able to do such a little thing as that, why are you anxious and troubled with cares about the rest?

27 Consider the lilies, how they grow. They neither [wearily] toil nor spin nor [i]weave; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory (his splendor and magnificence) was not arrayed like one of these. 28 But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today, and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you, O you [people] of little faith?

29 And you, do not seek [by meditating and reasoning to inquire into] what you are to eat and what you are to drink; nor be of anxious (troubled) mind [[j]unsettled, excited, worried, and [k]in suspense]; 30 For all the pagan world is [greedily] seeking these things, and your Father knows that you need them.

31 Only aim at and strive for and seek His kingdom, and all these things shall be supplied to you also. 32 Do not be seized with alarm and struck with fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom!

33 Sell what you possess and give donations to the poor; provide yourselves with purses and handbags that do not grow old, an unfailing and inexhaustible treasure in the heavens, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

35 Keep your loins girded and your lamps burning, 36 And be like men who are waiting for their master to return home from the marriage feast, so that when he returns from the wedding and comes and knocks, they may open to him immediately. 37 Blessed (happy, fortunate, and [l]to be envied) are those servants whom the master finds awake and alert and watching when he comes. Truly I say to you, he will gird himself and have them recline at table and will come and serve them! 38 If he comes in the second watch (before midnight) or the third watch (after midnight), and finds them so, blessed (happy, fortunate, and [m]to be envied) are those servants!

39 But of this be assured: if the householder had known at what time the burglar was coming, he would have been awake and alert and watching and would not have permitted his house to be dug through and broken into. 40 You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour and a [n]moment when you do not anticipate it.

41 Peter said, Lord, are You telling this parable for us, or for all alike? 42 And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful steward, the wise man whom his master will set over those in his household service to supply them their allowance of food at the appointed time? 43 Blessed (happy and [o]to be envied) is that servant whom his master finds so doing when he arrives. 44 Truly I tell you, he will set him in charge over all his possessions. 45 But if that servant says in his heart, My master is late in coming, and begins to strike the menservants and the maids and to eat and drink and get drunk, 46 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour of which he does not know, and will punish him and cut him off and assign his lot with [p]the unfaithful.

47 And that servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or act as he would wish him to act shall be beaten with many [lashes]. 48 But he who did not know and did things worthy of a beating shall be beaten with few [lashes]. For everyone to whom much is given, of him shall much be required; and of him to whom men entrust much, they will require and demand all the more.

49 I have come to cast fire upon the earth, and how I wish that it were already kindled! 50 I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and how greatly and sorely I am urged on (impelled, [q]constrained) until it is accomplished! 51 Do you suppose that I have come to give peace upon earth? No, I say to you, but rather division; 52 For from now on in one house there will be five divided [among themselves], three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.

54 He also said to the crowds of people, When you see a cloud rising in the west, at once you say, It is going to rain! And so it does. 55 And when [you see that] a south wind is blowing, you say, There will be severe heat! And it occurs. 56 You playactors (hypocrites)! You know how [intelligently] to discern and interpret and [r]prove the looks of the earth and sky; but how is it that you do not know how to discern and interpret and apply the proof to this present time?

57 And why do you not judge what is just and personally decide what is right? 58 Then as you go with your accuser before a magistrate, on the way make a diligent effort to settle and be quit (free) of him, lest he drag you to the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer put you in prison. 59 I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the very last [fraction of a] cent.

And the Women of God say “Amen”

#lessonsfromlent

28 Now about eight days after these teachings, Jesus took with Him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And as He was praying, the appearance of His countenance became altered (different), and His raiment became dazzling white [[m]flashing with the brilliance of lightning]. 30 And behold, two men were conversing with Him—Moses and Elijah, 31 Who appeared in splendor and majesty and brightness and were speaking of His exit [from life], which He was about to bring to realization at Jerusalem.

32 Now Peter and those with him were weighed down with sleep, but when they fully awoke, they saw His glory (splendor and majesty and brightness) and the two men who stood with Him. 33 And it occurred as the men were parting from Him that Peter said to Jesus, Master, it is delightful and good that we are here; and let us construct three booths or huts—one for You and one for Moses and one for Elijah! not noticing or knowing what he was saying. 34 But even as he was saying this, a cloud came and began to overshadow them, and they were seized with alarm and struck with fear as they entered into the cloud. 35 Then there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is My Son, My Chosen One or [n]My Beloved; listen to and yield to and obey Him.  Luke 9:28-35

Why do you think it might be that God allows us to see with hearts that receive Him? Why might He show us the spectacular of Who He is? Ponder for a minute, what does it do for your spirit when you are aware that you have encountered God Himself? How does it influence your faith when He peels back the veil and gives you just a small peek at His glory?

Doesn’t it change us? Doesn’t an experience with the God of all creation imprint itself so strongly on our hearts and souls that we are different? Doesn’t brushing up against God transform us?

Remember the change that occurred in Moses? He made his way down the holy mountain in Exodus 34:28-33 after being in the Presence of Lord forty days and forty nights. And he was changed! His personal and up close encounter with the Living God radiated from his face so brilliantly that the people at the foot of the mountain feared him. The light of glory on His face was so intense they had to be shielded from it by a veil. As Moses made his way toward them with the word of God in his hands there was no doubt . . . Moses had been changed. He had been visibly transformed by His encounter with the Living God. Can you imagine reflecting God’s glory with such intensity that it scares people?

Sweet One, take this in, Moses had been so close to God that he came back wearing Him! Doesn’t the idea of that give you glory bumps all up and down your arms?

Fast forward in time to the passages in Luke and find yourself on the top of the holy mountain again. This time with Peter, James, and John. You don’t get much more up close and personal than to see the Christ transfigured before your eyes. It can’t get much more intense than hearing the voice of God thunder from the cloud but when they returned to the foot of the mountain there isn’t any record of anyone noticing a visible change in them.

Where was the light of God’s glory? Where was the word from the Lord Moses had returned with? Sister . . . He was with them! The radiance of God, the Light of the World, the Word made flesh . . . was there. The encounter had not ended!

Make no mistake the mountaintop experience the disciples shared with Jesus imprinted itself firmly on the hearts of those men and a few books ahead in our Bibles we find Peter recounting the experience with awe and delight and there is no question . . . Peter has been changed. He is dressed in Jesus from head-to-toe and the radiance, the Light of Glory, lives within Him! There is no veil in place and the unfading glory of God shines from the inside out for all the world to see.  The message that pours forth comes straight from the Word alive and well within.

Beloved, this is you and I. We have the best of both worlds . . . We can get so up close and so personal with the Living God that it shows all over us and the Savior stays by our side so the encounter never ends . . . He is always with us and indeed has made our hearts His home.  We are those who with unveiled faces are transformed from one degree of glory to another.

We wear Him, we are dressed in Jesus, from the inside out! And Girlfriend – we look good! . . .

Transformation

 Fashions provided by the Most High. . . #lessonsfromlent

There are those glory bumps all up and down my arm again!

Lessons from Lent: Day Five

23 Feb

creation swap lessons from lent coffee cup Kelly Sikkema 22940

An Explanation of Lessons from Lent

In the next 40 days (36 now because you have already accomplished 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.

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 Five

February 23, 2015 ~~ Matthew 25-28

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.

Matthew 25

Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish (thoughtless, without forethought) and five were wise (sensible, intelligent, and prudent). For when the foolish took their lamps, they did not take any [extra] oil with them; But the wise took flasks of oil along with them [also] with their lamps.

While the bridegroom lingered and was slow in coming, they all began nodding their heads, and they fell asleep. But at midnight there was a shout, Behold, the bridegroom! Go out to meet him! Then all those virgins got up and put their own lamps in order. And the foolish said to the wise, Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out. But the wise replied, There will not be enough for us and for you; go instead to the dealers and buy for yourselves. 10 But while they were going away to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were prepared went in with him to the marriage feast; and the door was shut.

11 Later the other virgins also came and said, Lord, Lord, open [the door] to us! 12 But He replied, I solemnly declare to you, I do not know you [I am not acquainted with you]. 13 Watch therefore [give strict attention and be cautious and active], for you know neither the day nor the hour when the Son of Man will come.

14 For it is like a man who was about to take a long journey, and he called his servants together and entrusted them with his property. 15 To one he gave five talents [probably about $5,000], to another two, to another one—to each in proportion to his own [a]personal ability. Then he departed and left the country. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he gained five talents more. 17 And likewise he who had received the two talents—he also gained two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

19 Now after a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came and brought him five more, saying, Master, you entrusted to me five talents; see, here I have gained five talents more. 21 His master said to him, Well done, you upright (honorable, [b]admirable) and faithful servant! You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little; I will put you in charge of much. Enter into and share the joy (the delight, the [c]blessedness) which your master enjoys.

22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, Master, you entrusted two talents to me; here I have gained two talents more. 23 His master said to him, Well done, you upright (honorable, [d]admirable) and faithful servant! You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little; I will put you in charge of much. Enter into and share the joy (the delight, the [e]blessedness) which your master enjoys.

24 He who had received one talent also came forward, saying, Master, I knew you to be a harsh and hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you had not winnowed [the grain]. 25 So I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is your own. 26 But his master answered him, You wicked and lazy and idle servant! Did you indeed know that I reap where I have not sowed and gather [grain] where I have not winnowed? 27 Then you should have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent away from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents.

29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will be [f]furnished richly so that he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have will be taken away. 30 And throw the good-for-nothing servant into the outer darkness; there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.

31 When the Son of Man comes in His glory (His majesty and splendor), and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them [the people] from one another as a shepherd separates his sheep from the goats; 33 And He will cause the sheep to stand at His right hand, but the goats at His left.

34 Then the King will say to those at His right hand, Come, you blessed of My Father [you [g]favored of God and appointed to eternal salvation], inherit (receive as your own) the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you [h]brought Me together with yourselves and welcomed and entertained and [i]lodged Me, 36 I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you visited Me [j]with help and ministering care, I was in prison and you came to see Me.

37 Then the just and upright will answer Him, Lord, when did we see You hungry and gave You food, or thirsty and gave You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger and welcomed and entertained You, or naked and clothed You? 39 And when did we see You sick or in prison and came to visit You? 40 And the King will reply to them, Truly I tell you, in so far as you did it for one of the least [[k]in the estimation of men] of these My brethren, you did it for Me.

41 Then He will say to those at His left hand, Begone from Me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels! 42 For I was hungry and you gave Me no food, I was thirsty and you gave Me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome Me and entertain Me, I was naked and you did not clothe Me, I was sick and in prison and you did not visit Me [l]with help and ministering care. 44 Then they also [in their turn] will answer, Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You? 45 And He will reply to them, Solemnly I declare to you, in so far as you failed to do it for the least [[m]in the estimation of men] of these, you failed to do it for Me.

46 Then they will go away into eternal punishment, but those who are just and upright and in right standing with God into eternal life.

Matthew 26

When Jesus had ended this discourse, He said to His disciples, You know that the Passover is in two days—and the Son of Man will be delivered up [a]treacherously to be crucified.

Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the [[b]open] court of the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, And consulted together in order to arrest Jesus by stratagem secretly and put Him to death. But they said, It must not be during the Feast, for fear that there will be a riot among the people.

Now when Jesus came back to Bethany and was in the house of Simon the leper, A woman came up to Him with an alabaster flask of very precious perfume, and she poured it on His head as He reclined at table. And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, For what purpose is all this waste? For this perfume might have been sold for a large sum and the money given to the poor. 10 But Jesus, fully aware of this, said to them, Why do you bother the woman? She has done a noble (praiseworthy and beautiful) thing to Me. 11 For you always have the poor among you, but you will not always have Me. 12 In pouring this perfume on My body she has done something to prepare Me for My burial. 13 Truly I tell you, wherever this good news (the Gospel) is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will be told also, in memory of her.

14 Then one of the Twelve [apostles], who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 And said, What are you willing to give me if I hand Him over to you? And they weighed out for and paid to him thirty pieces of silver [about twenty-one dollars and sixty cents]. 16 And from that moment he sought a fitting opportunity to betray Him.

17 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread [Passover week], the disciples came to Jesus and said to Him, Where do You wish us to prepare for You to eat the Passover supper? 18 He said, Go into the city to a certain man and say to him, The Master says: My time is near; I will keep the Passover at your house with My disciples. 19 And accordingly the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they made ready the Passover supper.

20 When it was evening, He was reclining at table with the twelve disciples. 21 And as they were eating, He said, Solemnly I say to you, one of you will betray Me! 22 They were exceedingly pained and distressed and deeply hurt and sorrowful and began to say to Him one after another, [c]Surely it cannot be I, Lord, can it? 23 He replied, He who has [just] dipped his hand in the same dish with Me will betray Me! 24 The Son of Man is going just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better (more profitable and wholesome) for that man if he had never been born! 25 Judas, the betrayer, said, [d]Surely it is not I, is it, Master? He said to him, You have stated [the fact].

26 Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread and, [e]praising God, gave thanks and asked Him to bless it to their use, and when He had broken it, He gave it to the disciples and said, Take, eat; this is My body. 27 And He took a cup, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, Drink of it, all of you; 28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which [[f]ratifies the agreement and] is [g]being poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I say to you, I shall not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it with you new and [h]of superior quality in My Father’s kingdom.

30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 31 Then Jesus said to them, You will all be offended and stumble and fall away because of Me this night [distrusting and deserting Me], for it is written, I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered. 32 But after I am raised up [to life again], I will go ahead of you to Galilee.

33 Peter declared to Him, Though they all are offended and stumble and fall away because of You [and distrust and desert You], I will never do so. 34 Jesus said to him, Solemnly I declare to you, this very night, before a [i]single rooster crows, you will deny and disown Me three times. 35 Peter said to Him, Even if I must die with You, I will not deny or disown You! And all the disciples said the same thing.

36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and He told His disciples, Sit down here while I go over yonder and pray. 37 And taking with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, He began to [j]show grief and distress of mind and was [k]deeply depressed. 38 Then He said to them, My soul is very sad and deeply grieved, so that [l]I am almost dying of sorrow. Stay here and keep awake and keep watch with Me.

39 And going a little farther, He threw Himself upon the ground on His face and prayed saying, My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will [not what I desire], but as You will and desire.

40 And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and He said to Peter, What! Are you so utterly unable to stay awake and keep watch with Me for one hour? 41 All of you must keep awake (give strict attention, be cautious and active) and watch and pray, that you may not come into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

42 Again a second time He went away and prayed, My Father, if this cannot pass by unless I drink it, Your will be done. 43 And again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were weighed down with sleep. 44 So, leaving them again, He went away and prayed for the third time, using the same words.

45 Then He returned to the disciples and said to them, Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of [m]especially wicked sinners [[n]whose way or nature it is to act in opposition to God]. 46 Get up, let us be going! See, My betrayer is at hand!

47 As He was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve [apostles], came up, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, The One I shall kiss is the Man; seize Him. 49 And he came up to Jesus at once and said, Hail (greetings, good health to You, long life to You), Master! And he [o]embraced Him and kissed Him [p]with [pretended] warmth and devotion. 50 Jesus said to him, Friend, for what are you here? Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and arrested Him.

51 And behold, one of those who were with Jesus reached out his hand and drew his sword and, striking the body servant of the high priest, cut off his ear. 52 Then Jesus said to him, Put your sword back into its place, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.

53 Do you suppose that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will immediately provide Me with more than twelve legions [[q]more than 80,000] of angels? 54 But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must come about this way? 55 At that moment Jesus said to the crowds, Have you come out with swords and clubs as [you would] against a robber to capture Me? Day after day I was [r]accustomed to sit in the [s]porches and courts of the temple teaching, and you did not arrest Me. 56 But all this has taken place in order that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples deserted Him and, fleeing, escaped. 57 But those who had seized Jesus took Him away to Caiaphas, the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had assembled.

58 But Peter followed Him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest’s home; he even went inside and sat with the guards to see the end.

59 Now the chief priests and the whole council (the Sanhedrin) sought to get false witnesses to testify against Jesus, so that they might put Him to death; 60 But they found none, though many witnesses came forward [to testify]. At last two men came forward 61 And testified, This [t]Fellow said, I am able to tear down the [u]sanctuary of the temple of God and to build it up again in three days. 62 And the high priest stood up and said, Have You no answer to make? What about this that these men testify against You? 63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, [v]I call upon you to swear by the living God, and tell us whether you are the Christ, the Son of God.

64 Jesus said to him, [w]You have stated [the fact]. More than that, I tell you: You will in the future see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of [x]the Almighty and coming on the clouds of the sky.

65 Then the high priest tore his clothes and exclaimed, He has uttered blasphemy! What need have we of further evidence? You have now heard His blasphemy. 66 What do you think now? They answered, He deserves to be put to death. 67 Then they spat in His face and struck Him with their fists; and some [y]slapped Him in the face, 68 Saying, Prophesy to us, You Christ (the Messiah)! Who was it that struck You?

69 Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard, and [z]one maid came up to him and said, You were also with Jesus the Galilean! 70 But he denied it [aa]falsely before them all, saying, I do not know what you mean.

71 And when he had gone out to the porch, another maid saw him, and she said to the bystanders, This fellow was with Jesus the Nazarene! 72 And again he denied it and [ab]disowned Him with an oath, saying, I do not know the Man!

73 After a little while, the bystanders came up and said to Peter, You certainly are one of them too, for even your accent betrays you. 74 Then Peter began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, I do not even know the Man! And at that moment a rooster crowed.

75 And Peter remembered Jesus’ words, when He had said, Before a [ac]single rooster crows, you will deny and disown Me three times. And he went outside and wept bitterly.

Matthew 27

When it was morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people held a consultation against Jesus to put Him to death; And they bound Him and led Him away and handed Him over to Pilate the governor.

When Judas, His betrayer, saw that [Jesus] was condemned, [Judas was [a]afflicted in mind and troubled for his former folly; and] with remorse [with little more than a selfish dread of the consequences] he brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, Saying, I have sinned in betraying innocent blood. They replied, What is that to us? See to that yourself. And casting the pieces of silver [forward] into the [Holy Place of the [b]sanctuary of the] temple, he departed; and he went off and hanged himself.

But the chief priests, picking up the pieces of silver, said, It is not legal to put these in the [consecrated] treasury, for it is the price of blood. So after consultation they bought with them [the pieces of silver] the potter’s field [as a place] in which to bury strangers. Therefore that piece of ground has been called the Field of Blood to the present day. Then were fulfilled the words spoken by Jeremiah the prophet when he said, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of Him on Whom a price had been set by some of the sons of Israel, 10 And they gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord directed me.

11 Now Jesus stood before the governor [Pilate], and the governor asked Him, Are you the King of the Jews? Jesus said to him, You have stated [the fact]. 12 But when the charges were made against Him by the chief priests and elders, He made no answer.

13 Then Pilate said to Him, Do You not hear how many and how serious are the things they are testifying against You? 14 But He made no reply to him, not even to a single accusation, so that the governor marveled greatly.

15 Now at the Feast [of the Passover] the governor was in the habit of setting free for the people any one prisoner whom they chose. 16 And at that time they had a notorious prisoner whose name was Barabbas. 17 So when they had assembled for this purpose, Pilate said to them, Whom do you want me to set free for you, Barabbas, or Jesus Who is called Christ? 18 For he knew that it was because of envy that they had handed Him over to him.

19 Also, while he was seated on the judgment bench, his wife sent him a message, saying, Have nothing to do with that just and upright Man, for I have had a painful experience today in a dream because of Him.

20 But the chief priests and the elders prevailed on the people to ask for Barabbas, and put Jesus to death. 21 Again the governor said to them, Which of the two do you wish me to release for you? And they said, Barabbas! 22 Pilate said to them, Then what shall I do with Jesus Who is called Christ? 23 They all replied, Let Him be crucified! And he said, Why? What has He done that is evil? But they shouted all the louder, Let Him be crucified!

24 So when Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but rather that a riot was about to break out, he took water and washed his hands in the presence of the crowd, saying, I am not guilty of nor responsible for this [c]righteous Man’s blood; see to it yourselves. 25 And all the people answered, Let His blood be on us and on our children! 26 So he set free for them Barabbas; and he [had] Jesus whipped, and delivered Him up to be crucified.

27 Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the palace, and they gathered the whole battalion about Him. 28 And they stripped off His clothes and put a scarlet robe ([d]garment of dignity and office worn by Roman officers of rank) upon Him, 29 And, weaving a crown of thorns, they put it on His head and put a reed (staff) in His right hand. And kneeling before Him, they made sport of Him, saying, Hail (greetings, good health to You, long life to You), King of the Jews! 30 And they spat on Him, and took the reed (staff) and struck Him on the head. 31 And when they finished making sport of Him, they stripped Him of the robe and put His own garments on Him and led Him away to be crucified.

32 As they were marching forth, they came upon a man of Cyrene named Simon; this man they forced to carry the cross of Jesus. 33 And when they came to a place called Golgotha [Latin: Calvary], which means The Place of a Skull, 34 They offered Him wine mingled with gall to drink; but when He tasted it, He refused to drink it.

35 And when they had crucified Him, they divided and distributed His garments [among them] by casting lots [e]so that the prophet’s saying was fulfilled, They parted My garments among them and over My apparel they cast lots. 36 Then they sat down there and kept watch over Him.

37 And over His head they put the accusation against Him ([f]the cause of His death), which read, This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.

38 At the same time two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right hand and one on the left. 39 And those who passed by spoke reproachfully and abusively and jeered at Him, wagging their heads, 40 And they said, You Who would tear down the [g]sanctuary of the temple and rebuild it in three days, rescue Yourself [h]from death. If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.

41 In the same way the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, made sport of Him, saying, 42 He rescued others [i]from death; Himself He cannot rescue [j]from death. He is the King of Israel? Let Him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in and [k]acknowledge and cleave to Him. 43 He trusts in God; let God deliver Him now if He cares for Him and will have Him, for He said, I am the Son of God.

44 And the robbers who were crucified with Him also abused and reproached and made sport of Him in the same way.

45 Now from the sixth hour (noon) there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour (three o’clock). 46 And about the ninth hour (three o’clock) Jesus cried with a loud voice, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?—that is, My God, My God, why have You abandoned Me [leaving Me [l]helpless, forsaking and failing Me in My need]?

47 And some of the bystanders, when they heard it, said, This Man is calling for Elijah! 48 And one of them immediately ran and took a sponge, soaked it with vinegar (a sour wine), and put it on a reed (staff), and was [m]about to give it to Him to drink. 49 But the others said, Wait! Let us see whether Elijah will come to save Him [n]from death.

50 And Jesus cried again with a loud voice and gave up His spirit.

51 And at once the curtain of the [o]sanctuary of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; the earth shook and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs were opened and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep [p]in death were raised [to life]; 53 And coming out of the tombs after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

54 When the centurion and those who were with him keeping watch over Jesus observed the earthquake and all that was happening, they were terribly frightened and filled with awe, and said, Truly this was God’s Son!

55 There were also numerous women there, looking on from a distance, who were of those who had accompanied Jesus from Galilee, ministering to Him. 56 Among them were Mary of Magdala, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.

57 When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. 58 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59 And Joseph took the body and [q]rolled it up in a clean linen cloth [r]used for swathing dead bodies 60 And laid it in his own fresh ([s]undefiled) tomb, which he had hewn in the rock; and he rolled a big boulder over the door of the tomb and went away.

61 And Mary of Magdala and the other Mary kept sitting there opposite the tomb.

62 The next day, that is, the day after the day of Preparation [for the Sabbath], the chief priests and the Pharisees assembled before Pilate 63 And said, Sir, we have just remembered how that [t]vagabond Imposter said while He was still alive, After three days I will rise again. 64 Therefore give an order to have the tomb made secure and safeguarded until the third day, for fear that His disciples will come and steal Him away and tell the people that He has risen from the dead, and the last deception and fraud will be worse than the first. 65 Pilate said to them, You have a guard [of soldiers; take them and] go, make it as secure as you can. 66 So they went off and made the tomb secure by sealing the boulder, a guard of soldiers being with them and remaining to watch.

Matthew 28

Now after the Sabbath, near dawn of the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala and the other Mary went to take a look at the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled the boulder back and sat upon it.

His appearance was like lightning, and his garments as white as snow. And those keeping guard were so frightened at the sight of him that they were agitated and they trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, Do not be alarmed and frightened, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, Who was crucified.

He is not here; He has risen, as He said [He would do]. Come, see the place where He lay.

Then go quickly and tell His disciples, He has risen from the dead, and behold, He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you. So they left the tomb hastily with fear and great joy and ran to tell the disciples. And as they went, behold, Jesus met them and said, Hail (greetings)! And they went up to Him and clasped His feet and worshiped Him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, Do not be alarmed and afraid; go and tell My brethren to go into Galilee, and there they will see Me.

11 While they were on their way, behold, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had occurred. 12 And when they [the chief priests] had gathered with the elders and had consulted together, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers, 13 And said, Tell people, His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we were sleeping. 14 And if the governor hears of it, we will appease him and make you safe and free from trouble and care. 15 So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this story has been current among the Jews to the present day.

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed and made appointment with them. 17 And when they saw Him, they fell down and worshiped Him; but some doubted.

18 Jesus approached and, [a]breaking the silence, said to them, All authority (all power of rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. 19 Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them [b]into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 Teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you [c]all the days ([d]perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. [e]Amen (so let it be).

And the Sisters of the faith lift up the “Amen”

#Lessonsfromlent

As I read these familiar Scriptures afresh this morning with the prayer for spirit awakening in my soul I was struck by the questions of the “just and upright” that Jesus is commending for their generosity, for their care, and for their love for the “least of these” . . . Read back over the Scriptures from Matthew 25.

34 Then the King will say to those at His right hand, Come, you blessed of My Father [you [g]favored of God and appointed to eternal salvation], inherit (receive as your own) the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you [h]brought Me together with yourselves and welcomed and entertained and [i]lodged Me, 36 I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you visited Me [j]with help and ministering care, I was in prison and you came to see Me.

37 Then the just and upright will answer Him, Lord, when did we see You hungry and gave You food, or thirsty and gave You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger and welcomed and entertained You, or naked and clothed You? 39 And when did we see You sick or in prison and came to visit You? 40 And the King will reply to them, Truly I tell you, in so far as you did it for one of the least [[k]in the estimation of men] of these My brethren, you did it for Me.  Matthew 25:34-40

Christ begins with the inheritance the faithful servants will receive and He moves on to outline the why of their very great reward. The Scripture tells us that God has prepared more for us in Glory than we can conceive, think, or imagine and I think looking forward to and anticipating what that reward might be is a wondrous thing.

But look at the response of the group Jesus is addressing . . .

“Lord, when did we see You? When did we welcome You? When did clothe You?  When did we visit you?”

O Sister, do you see it?  They were so immersed in the nature of Jesus that it became the natural outflow of their hearts to serve and even more so to Love . . .with no strings attached.  So much had Jesus become the fixation of their hearts that they gave of time, spirit, and resources to those around them without commending themselves.

I learned from a Sweet Sister last night the definition of the word “gave” in John 3:16 . . . it means to “give without expectation of compensation.” Here’s John 3:16. Read through it with the definition in mind . . .

For God so loved the world that He GAVE (without expectation of compensation) His One and Only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Set aside the fact that we could never repay the debt and focus in on the fact that repayment was never expected. Does that not absolutely blow your mind with a gale force of the Spirit? God gave, Christ accomplished, not based on what He would receive but the pure joy of expressing love. . . with no strings.

And that’s what we see in the Matthew passage. They had no expectation of compensation . . .Girlfriend, they were looking, they were imitating, they were following in the steps of their Jesus!!! I want that! I want to love so deeply and to have the Messiah so engrained in me that I love the same way He did . . . with spectacular extravagance and caution thrown to the wind. I want it to run through every fiber of my being until that’s not what I do but that’s who I am. Oh Sweet One, is that not the cry of your heart as well?

Lord, bless me with the ability to love others with no strings attached! Let me feed the hungry, those who need physical food and those who need to hear about the Bread of Heaven. Show me the thirsty so I can bless with a long cool drink of the Living Water. Point out the strangers in need, those feeling exposed, unclothed and vulnerable in a harsh world. Give me the desire to point them toward the warmth and refuge of being clothed from head-to-toe in Jesus Christ while I wrap a coat around them. And Father, lead me to the imprisoned. Those who need to know that freedom has been purchased for them and has nothing to do with physical surroundings. Send me the insecure. The ones in bondage to insignificance and those who are chained by feeling unwelcome and unaccepted. Stir my heart Lord to love like you with NO STRINGS ATTACHED!  In the Name of He Who Blazed the Trail — Amen

CREATION SWAP CROSS SILHOUETTE 26681_silhouette_of_cross_alone ribbet

Love. . . No strings attached. #lessonsfromlent

Beauty Speaks . . .A Sister’s Story

15 Oct

Beauty . . . you are alive and well. The image of the Beautiful One is surrounding us and we are engulfed in its heartbeat. His grace, His love, His steadfastness . . . every single attribute He possesses has been placed inside of His most prized creation. Sister, that most favored status belongs to you.

Your life, if you have accepted Jesus Christ, is being renewed and transformed to reveal more and more of the beauty the Elohim, the “All of God”, created you to possess. And we, with unveiled faces, move about this life going through the trials, the tests, the difficult stuff and we come away with a greater confidence and certainty that He is with us, that He is good and we are precious in His sight.

We confront the questions to be sure . . . Is our God a Giver or a taker? Does the Delightful One truly delight in me? Has He forgotten His promise to work all things together for the good of those who love Him? It’s part of the process. We question, we pray, we cry . . . but we do not withdraw when “good” doesn’t look like we think it will and “beauty” gets messy.

And when He clears our vision, reaching down into the depths, pulling us to the top so we can breathe, opening our eyes to see just a slice of what He is doing . . . Beloved, we scarce can take it in.

That’s the place my Sweet Friend found herself in just a short time ago . . .the place where God peeled back the worries of this world and showed His splendor just for her. She gave me permission to share her story, but no matter how I tried I couldn’t bring the words together in a way that captured her heart and the way His love absolutely flowed over her in those moments. See I think that no matter how up close you have watched someone, walked with someone, or done life with someone – you can’t really tell their story quite like they can.

I so wish you could sit face to face with her, see the tears in the corners of her eyes as she spoke—because the tears would be there believe me—and hear her voice take on the hush of holiness as she poured her heart out and marveled at His goodness, but that’s just not possible.  So instead, she’s allowing me to share her story in her words. She wrote this originally as an encouragement to the Sisters she studies the Word with – a tangible way to put skin on 1 Thessalonians 2:8 sharing of our very selves—not anticipating the invitation to encourage a much larger audience.

creation swap glimpses1 Paul Snyder 10439 ribbetSo, being affectionately desirous of you,

we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God

but also our own selves,

because you had become very dear to us.

 1 Thessalonians 2:8

True to the image she was created in she has answered the call to come alongside us and let us glimpse God’s glory with her. May He bless her one-hundred fold for giving voice to His goodness and testifying to His love. My Sweet Friend, thank you for living and loving out loud in Jesus Name. You are tangible proof to me that beauty thrives in a fallen world. Blessings to you.

creation swap coffee cup painting beauty lori macmath 9079 ribbet

OUR SISTER’S STORY

You all know I was on a long journey with my Mom as she was dying. TammyandherMomma ribbetIt was one of the hardest journeys God has ever taken me on.  I lost her in December of last year.

Facebook Post from her Momma’s bedside–December 4, 2013

Sitting here with my Mom during the last hours of her journey here on earth. It’s strange how they usher us into this life and we get to usher them into eternity. Wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. What a blessing to hold her hand through it all.

tammy'sjacob ribbetSoon after that my son Jacob’s caregiver, (Jacob has Down’s Syndrome) that worked for us around 4 years, was engaged and got married in April.  So she left us too.  She is like a daughter to me so I was so happy for her but it was a big loss.tammymikejosh graduation ribbet

Then Jacob’s twin brother Josh graduated in June and left for college on September 1.  Honestly I wasn’t sure I would make it through all of these losses.

I had a few months where I didn’t leave the house much.  The massive amounts of snow were a good excuse to stay home.  I did pray and read my devotional and even sometimes my Bible during this time.  I had awesome sisters that kept praying, bringing coffee and checking on me.

As spring came and the sun….I felt God so close.  Just as I had in my Mom’s last days.  I slowly started moving again and getting involved in life.  It was a very long process but as I shared with my counselor and my girls, God had told me to be still when my Mom had died.  I was still but the pain was so overwhelming sometimes.

We had to help Josh decide on a college.  This was so hard.  To guide but not insist or pressure.  God gave us such wisdom and patience.  I knew where I felt he should go as soon as we hit the campus but Josh wasn’t sure.  It also cost way more than we could afford.  I kept praying Lord is this the place?  Show us, tell us, we want to obey.  By May, Josh had decided it would be Spring Arbor, my choice too.  Then God provided the money we needed.  It was amazing.  All that he did to show us his answer.

Anyway, as summer ended we packed Josh up.  We arrived on campus and were overwhelmed with God’s goodness. From each person we met to how smoothly things unfolded.  We had never met Josh’s roommate but quickly knew they were a match.  His mother and I stood in the hall listening to the RA and Spiritual advisor for the boys tell us their hearts for these boys and how they wanted to encourage and guide them.  Amazing.

After lunch we went back to the dorm.  Drew, Joshua’s roommate, was talking to someone and I heard him comment

“That can’t be true because I am adopted.”  I looked up and said “Drew, your adopted?”  “Yes”  he said.  I said “Wow, Josh is too.  Did you know that?”  “No, I didn’t”.

When I looked up at his Mom and Dad they were both smiling.  His Dad asked me when we had adopted the boys.  I told him August of 1996 from Christian Cradle.  They smiled bigger….

”I approved your adoption” he said.

“I was on the board of Christian Cradle at that time.”

tammy'sboysbaby ribbet

I couldn’t even speak.  I actually held my hands up to God and started talking.

‘You have planned this since the beginning of time…you knew these two boys would meet today and that we would find out this information.  Unbelievable!!!!”

I said to them “Can I just say thank you…”

What a confirmation!  God told me in no uncertain terms that Josh was supposed to be there at that very moment.

He is more than I can even put into words.  He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Savior of the World, the Lover of the Soul.  Every intricate detail…from greatest to least.  He has filled me with more hope and joy this Fall than I ever thought possible.  PRAISE HIS NAME!!!!

I don’t know about you but I can’t read the words of that Sweet Sister without the tears rolling down my cheeks. Was it easy? Absolutely not. Was it beautiful? It absolutely was. It might not have been our idea of what beauty looks like but when He peeled that curtain back and she got to see His tenderness, love, and care toward her – Beauty was speechless.

In all those years, God was storing up that moment and treasuring it in His heart until the very time she needed it most. That’s Who He is. Regardless of what our eyes see or how messy our lives may be –

the Beautiful One never ceases to work for the good of those who love Him.

What goodness, what treasure, do you suppose, Beautiful Sister, He is storing up for you? Where might you be, what storms might you have endured, when He peels back the curtain and reveals to you His splendor? I don’t know when that moment might come. We have no way of pinpointing the time when He will show His tenderness so plainly . . . the time when we will glimpse His glory and we will be left speechless. But we have heard this testimony and we know He is faithful so we can be certain Girlfriend –the time will come and His Glory will be seen!

tammyjoshcollege1ribbet

And we know that for those who love God

all things work together for good,

for those who are called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28

Passion Week. . . Wednesday Evening and the Decision to Betray

16 Apr

The blog entries this week will be much different. This paragraph will be atop each one in explanation of what follows, but as always my prayers will be with you as you read.  However, other than that I will be silent and let the Scripture speak to you without any commentary to disturb your thoughts. Just you and the Holy Spirit without any distractions.  So if I’m not planning to do any chatting, what will I be doing?  Well, I hope I will be helping you drink in all of Passion Week as I help myself do the same.  Quite often with the parables, I take the accounts offered in each of the Gospels and bring all the details together so I can see the whole thing unfold a little more clearly.  I love doing it and it has taught me much.  This week, beginning with the Anointing at Bethany and finishing up with Easter Day, I’m going to try and do the same for Holy Week using the ESV.  

I’ll use different color texts to denote different Books and I’ll post a color key to go with it. In addition, I’ll provide links to BibleGateway.com so you can go and read not only each Scripture for yourself, but also take a look at the “Holy Week Timeline” available on the site. Bringing these passages together is an intentional step toward immersing myself in Christ through this Easter season and I ‘m certain I will learn much and it will bring me much joy. I hope, as we roll away the stone together on Easter Day, you will find the same is true for you. Be blessed Sister.

BOOK OF MATTHEW = GREEN

BOOK OF MARK = BLUE

BOOK OF LUKE = ORANGE

BOOK OF JOHN = PURPLE

*Black will indicate transition words inserted for ease of reading.

Matthew 25-26; Mark 14; Luke 22

creation swap background Pierce Brantley 5001 pweek

“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lampsand went to meet the bridegroom.Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.

“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents,to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.  He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’  “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

It was now two days before the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread and when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said to his disciples, “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.”

Then the chief priests and the scribes and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and plotted together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people.”

Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he was reclining at table, a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment of pure nard, and she broke the flask and she poured it on his head. And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? For this ointment could have been sold for  more than three hundred denarii, a large sum, and given to the poor.” And they scolded her. But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, Leave her alone. Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them, but you will not always have me.  In pouring this ointment on my body, she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”

Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, one of the twelve and he went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him in the absence of a crowd.

AMEN

 

 

Passion Week . . .The Signs of the End

16 Apr

The blog entries this week will be much different. This paragraph will be atop each one in explanation of what follows, but as always my prayers will be with you as you read.  However, other than that I will be silent and let the Scripture speak to you without any commentary to disturb your thoughts. Just you and the Holy Spirit without any distractions.  So if I’m not planning to do any chatting, what will I be doing?  Well, I hope I will be helping you drink in all of Passion Week as I help myself do the same.  Quite often with the parables, I take the accounts offered in each of the Gospels and bring all the details together so I can see the whole thing unfold a little more clearly.  I love doing it and it has taught me much.  This week, beginning with the Anointing at Bethany and finishing up with Easter Day, I’m going to try and do the same for Holy Week using the ESV.  

I’ll use different color texts to denote different Books and I’ll post a color key to go with it. In addition, I’ll provide links to BibleGateway.com so you can go and read not only each Scripture for yourself, but also take a look at the “Holy Week Timeline” available on the site. Bringing these passages together is an intentional step toward immersing myself in Christ through this Easter season and I ‘m certain I will learn much and it will bring me much joy. I hope, as we roll away the stone together on Easter Day, you will find the same is true for you. Be blessed Sister.

BOOK OF MATTHEW = GREEN

BOOK OF MARK = BLUE

BOOK OF LUKE = ORANGE

BOOK OF JOHN = PURPLE

*Black will indicate transition words inserted for ease of reading.

Matthew 24Mark 13:1Luke 21:5-37

Image

Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple and one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”  And they asked him, “Teacher, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when these things are about to take place?” And he said, “See that you are not led astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is at hand!’ Do not go after them. And when you hear of wars and tumults, do not be terrified, for these things must first take place, but the end will not be at once.”

Then as he sat on the Mount of Olives, opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and great earthquakes and pestilences in various places. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.

“But be on your guard. They will deliver you over to councils and you will be beaten in synagogues, and put to death, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, this will be your opportunity to bear witness before them and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. By your endurance you will gain your lives. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place where he ought not to be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it, for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written. Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house nor enter his house, to take anything out, and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak.  And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress upon the earth and wrath against this people. Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath  For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, no, and never will be. They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. And if the Lord had not cut short those days, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect whom he chose, those days will be cut short. Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. But be on guard; See, I have told you beforehand.  So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.  For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves,  people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with great power and great glory. And then he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

And he told them a parable:From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things taking place, you know that he is near, you know that the kingdom of God is near, at the very gates.  Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.  Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left.  Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. Therefore, Be on guard, stay awake, for you do not know when the time will come or on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed, and begins to beat his fellow servants and eats and drinks with drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know and will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows,or in the morning—lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake, watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

And every day he was teaching in the temple, but at night he went out and lodged on the mount called Olivet. And early in the morning all the people came to him in the temple to hear him.

AMEN

Passion Week — Lessons and Parables

15 Apr

The blog entries this week will be much different. This paragraph will be atop each one in explanation of what follows, but as always my prayers will be with you as you read.  However, other than that I will be silent and let the Scripture speak to you without any commentary to disturb your thoughts. Just you and the Holy Spirit without any distractions.  So if I’m not planning to do any chatting, what will I be doing?  Well, I hope I will be helping you drink in all of Passion Week as I help myself do the same.  Quite often with the parables, I take the accounts offered in each of the Gospels and bring all the details together so I can see the whole thing unfold a little more clearly.  I love doing it and it has taught me much.  This week, beginning with the Anointing at Bethany and finishing up with Easter Day, I’m going to try and do the same for Holy Week using the ESV.  

I’ll use different color texts to denote different Books and I’ll post a color key to go with it. In addition, I’ll provide links to BibleGateway.com so you can go and read not only each Scripture for yourself, but also take a look at the “Holy Week Timeline” available on the site. Bringing these passages together is an intentional step toward immersing myself in Christ through this Easter season and I ‘m certain I will learn much and it will bring me much joy. I hope, as we roll away the stone together on Easter Day, you will find the same is true for you. Be blessed Sister.

BOOK OF MATTHEW = GREEN

BOOK OF MARK = BLUE

BOOK OF LUKE = ORANGE

BOOK OF JOHN = PURPLE

*Black will indicate transition words inserted for ease of reading.

Matthew 21:20-22:46; Mark 11:20-12:44; Luke 20:1-47

creation swap background Pierce Brantley 5001 pweek

Lessons From the Withered Fig Tree (Tuesday)

 As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. And Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours if you have faith. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

 The Temple Debates/Parables (Tuesday)

And they came again to Jerusalem. And as he was walking in the temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching and preaching the gospel, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” Jesus answered them, “I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man? Answer me.” And they discussed it among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From man,’ all the people will stone us to death and we are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was a prophet.” So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.

And he began to speak to them in parables. “What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went. And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him.

“Hear another parable. There was a master of a house who planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a winepress in it and built a tower and leased it to tenants, and went into another country for a long while. When the season for fruit drew near, he sent a servant to the tenants to get from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed.  Again he sent to them another servant, and they struck him on the head and treated him shamefully and sent him away empty-handed. And he sent another, and him they killed. And so with many others: some they beat, and some they killed. He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent him to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.’ And they took him and killed him and threw him out of the vineyard. When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.” Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:

“‘The stone that the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone;
this was the Lord’s doing,
    and it is marvelous in our eyes’?

Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”

When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he had told the parable against them. And although they were seeking to arrest him, they feared the crowds, because they held him to be a prophet. So they left him and went away.

 And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave wedding feast for his son, and sent his servantsto call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.” ’But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests. “But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to entangle him in his words. The scribes and the chief priests sought to lay hands on him at that very hour, for they perceived that he had told this parable against them, but they feared the people. So they watched him and sent spies, who pretended to be sincere, that they might catch him in something he said, so as to deliver him up to the authority and jurisdiction of the governor. They sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians to trap him in his talk, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are true and teach the way of God truthfully, and show no partiality, and you do not care about anyone’s opinion, for you are not swayed by appearances.Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? Should we pay them, or should we not?”  But Jesus, aware of their malice and knowing their hypocrisy, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? Bring me a denariusand let me look at it. Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said to him,, “Caesar’s.” Then Jesus said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were not able in the presence of the people to catch him in what he said, but marveling at his answer they became silent. And they left him and went away.

The same day Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection, and they asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us, ‘If a man dies having no children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother.’ Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died, and having no offspring left his wife to his brother. So too the second and third, down to the seventh. After them all, the woman died. In the resurrection, therefore, of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all had her.” But Jesus answered them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sonsof the resurrection. But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live to him.” Then some of the scribes answered, “Teacher, you have spoken well. And when the crowd heard it, they were astonished at his teaching and they no longer dared to ask him any question.

But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Now while the Pharisees were gathered together and as Jesus taught in the temple, he asked them a question, saying, How can the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David? What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.” He said to them, “How is it then that David, in the Holy Spirit, calls him Lord, saying,

“‘The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at my right hand,
    until I put your enemies under your feet”’?

If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?” And the great throng heard him gladly. And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.

 And in his teaching, in the hearing of all the people he said to his disciples, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces and have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear,and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbiby others. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers.And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.

“Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred? And you say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.’ You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? So whoever swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. And whoever swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it. And whoever swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who sits upon it.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!

 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, saying, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ Thus you witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.

Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town, so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah,[f] whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. Truly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”

AMEN

 

Passion Week — It Was Lived For You

14 Apr

The blog entries this week will be much different. This paragraph will be atop each one in explanation of what follows, but as always my prayers will be with you as you read.  However, other than that I will be silent and let the Scripture speak to you without any commentary to disturb your thoughts. Just you and the Holy Spirit without any distractions.  So if I’m not planning to do any chatting, what will I be doing?  Well, I hope I will be helping you drink in all of Passion Week as I help myself do the same.  Quite often with the parables, I take the accounts offered in each of the Gospels and bring all the details together so I can see the whole thing unfold a little more clearly.  I love doing it and it has taught me much.  This week, beginning with the Anointing at Bethany and finishing up with Easter Day, I’m going to try and do the same for Holy Week using the ESV.  

I’ll use different color texts to denote different Books and I’ll post a color key to go with it. In addition, I’ll provide links to BibleGateway.com so you can go and read not only each Scripture for yourself, but also take a look at the “Holy Week Timeline” available on the site. Bringing these passages together is an intentional step toward immersing myself in Christ through this Easter season and I ‘m certain I will learn much and it will bring me much joy. I hope, as we roll away the stone together on Easter Day, you will find the same is true for you. Be blessed Sister.

BOOK OF MATTHEW = GREEN

BOOK OF MARK = BLUE

BOOK OF LUKE = ORANGE

BOOK OF JOHN = PURPLE

*Black will indicate transition words inserted for ease of reading.

Matthew 21:1-13; 17-19, Mark 11:1-19, Luke 19:29-44, John 12:1-50

creation swap background Pierce Brantley 5001 pweek

Six Days Before the Passover (The Triumphal Entry — Palm Sunday)

Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”

When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesus was there, they came, not only on account of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.

The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately as you enter it you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her on which no one has ever sat. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,

 “Say to the daughter of Zion,

‘Behold, your king is coming to you,

humble, and mounted on a donkey,

on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’”

And they went away and found a colt tied at a door outside in the street, and they untied it. And its owners said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” And they told them what Jesus had said, and they let them go.

They brought the donkey and the colt to Jesus and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, they took branches of palm trees and others cut leafy branches from the trees and spread them on the road. As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen and the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting,

“Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord even the King of Israel!”

“Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!

Hosanna in the highest!”

And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.”  

He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”  His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him.

And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, as the crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness. The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign.  They were saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.” So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.”

Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. And Jesus answered them,

“The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies,

it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am,

there will my servant be also.

If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.

“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die. So the crowd answered him, “We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”

When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them. Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:

“Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”

Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said,

“He has blinded their eyes
    and hardened their heart,
lest they see with their eyes,
    and understand with their heart, and turn,
    and I would heal them.”

Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him. Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.

And Jesus cried out and said,

“Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.”

And he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. And when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out of the city to Bethany and lodged there with the twelve.

Four Days Before the Passover (Monday)

In the morning on the following day, as he was returning to the city, he became hungry. And seeing  in the distance a fig tree by the wayside, he went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves for it was not the season for figs. And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” His disciples heard it and the fig tree withered at once.

 And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.”

And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and were seeking a way to destroy him, for they feared him, because all the crowd was astonished at his teaching.

And when evening came they went out of the city.

 AMEN

 

 

Beautifully Wrapped and Lavishly Loved . . . You are a Gift!

2 Nov

youaregift

The last blog post was about Remembering our Miracles.  Not losing sight of the Gifts that are doing life right in front of us.  Not allowing the stuff “between the numbers” to steal our vision.  I’m certain that as you read, your own precious heart album was laying wide open in your mind’s eye.  And I’m just as certain that as you looked into those eyes, saw their smiles, and considered the depth of your love toward them, you were overwhelmed with thankfulness to the One who gave them to you.  The One who intentionally carved out a place for each and every one of those beautiful faces in your heart.

Have you ever stopped to consider how purposeful God was when He gave you those Gifts?  Those Miracles imprinted on your heart and your mind?  He designed them, precious in His sight, fearfully and wonderfully made and then . . . . . He entrusted them to you.   It wasn’t an accident.  It wasn’t happenstance.  It was choice.  They were given to you–Gifts to watch over and to care for–beautifully wrapped and lavishly loved, heart-picked and hand delivered by Divine choice.

God knew that there would be life stuff come their way that would be more bearable, more joyful, and more doable with you by their side.  See, the blessing of Miracles and Gifts runs both ways.  Your Miracles, well . . . they possess the Gift of YOU.

  • God determined that you were the one to walk beside your husband and to support him even when it’s hard.  Nobody else could fill those shoes.  He made them just for you.
  • He knew that the baby He put in your arms needed to have unconditional love straight from your heart.  No other heart would do.  He chose you.
  • He resolved that specifically you would be entrusted to bless and love those heart children.  Only you were appointed to shower them with unending love and blessings.
  • And those Sisters at your side were given especially to you to comfort and to encourage.  Their lives are richer, fuller, sweeter– because they belong to you.

Now you look at that list and the general terms that I offered –husband, babies, children, sisters—and they all take on names.  Names of the ones you love and maybe, if you’re like me, you think of the immensity of what He has entrusted to you and quickly become convinced that God has short changed those Sweet Ones around you.  You’re not the one to love with no strings attached.  You aren’t the reliable one, the one who will be steadfast no matter the circumstance.  You can’t meet the needs of others that way or offer comfort that really makes a difference.  You surely aren’t the one who showers love on others, may be it trickles – on a good day.  Maybe everything within you right now is shouting—I am no Gift.

Well Girlfriend, if you and I were left to our own devices, abandoned to our own hearts, I would be the first one to stand up and agree with you.  But that’s just not the case for those who believe.  God never intended for us to walk into the precious lives He has surrounded us with on our own.  We were sent there as a Gift by the One to whom we have been entrusted.  He fully desires for us to rely on the Power, the Tenacity, the Endurance, and the Love of the One to whom we have been gifted.

JESUS PRAYS FOR BELIEVERS

And so for their sake and on their behalf I sanctify, dedicate, consecrate Myself that they also may be sanctified, dedicated, consecrated, made holy in the Truth.

Neither for these alone do I pray, it is not for their sake only that I make this request, but also for all those who will ever come to believe in, trust in, cling to, rely on Me through their word and teaching,

That they all may be one, just as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe and be convinced that You have sent Me.

I have given to them the glory and honor which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are one:

I in them and You in Me, in order that they may become one and perfectly united, that the world may know and definitely recognize that You sent Me and that You have loved them even as You have loved Me.

Father, I desire that they also whom You have entrusted to Me, as Your gift to Me, may be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory, which You have given Me Your love gift to Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.

O just and righteous Father, although the world has not known You and has failed to recognize You and has never acknowledged You, I have known You continually; and these men understand and know that You have sent Me.

I have made Your Name known to them and revealed Your character and Your very Self, and I will continue to make You known, that the love which You have bestowed upon Me may be in them–felt in their hearts–and that I, Myself, may be in them.  John 17:19-26

Do you see it?  You are the Gift from THE GIFT.  The richness, the sweetness, the love that you pour into the lives of others is because Christ Jesus—GOD’S GIFT TO THE WORLD–has received you – has received me – as a gift straight from the heart of the Father.  You have been entrusted to, given to, gifted to the Christ of God and He has poured Himself into you so that you might pour Him into the lives of others.

It is the unconditional Love of the One who is Love that flows through us and fills the hearts of our babies.  It’s His reliability, His steadfastness that wells up within us giving us the tenacity to walk strong beside our husbands.  It is Him, the Great Comforter, who reaches out to that Sister with our arms and lets us wear His heart for them.   And it’s Him – the Living Water, which never runs dry – showering our heart children with blessing and unending love.

See, apart from Jesus, apart from the Spirit of Love coursing through us, there is no good thing in us, but with Jesus comes every good thing.  He giftwraps us with tenderheartedness, with mercy, and with patience giving us the power to endure whatever comes and hand delivers us to the those we love and those we are yet to love.

And the world sees it.  They watch us do life.  Enduring trials, encountering suffering, celebrating and grieving with those we have been given.  We are never pulled out of the hard stuff but we’re always gifted with the One who will see us through and because we are imitators of He who loves us we walk strong and steady with those to whom we have been given.

Oh yes, Sweet One, you are the Gift and might it be that to see yourself as less-than is to see the Savior, THE GIFT who lives within you, as less-than as well?  We do not boast in or about ourselves, but we will boast all day long in our Jesus and the work He has done to transform our messy, sin filled hearts into blessings for those around us.  All praise, honor and glory to our Savior –THE GIFT—who for the joy set before Him endured the cross.

Sister, I believe with all my heart that part of the joy the Savior received were the Gifts given to Him by the Father after His work had been completed and He sat down at the right of the Throne.   I picture in my mind the Father handing His Son one Gift after another and the nail-scarred hands joyfully receiving each one.

And don’t you know Beloved, one of those

beautifully wrapped (Colossians 3:12),

lavishly loved (1 John 3:1),

heart-picked (Ephesians 2:4-6),

and hand-delivered (2 Corinthians 1:10)

Gifts –part of the joy set before Him–

is YOU.

gifts

Now thanks be to God for His Gift,

precious beyond telling,

His indescribable, inexpressible, free Gift!

2 Corinthians 9:15

We are Wrapped in His “Thereness”

24 Aug

What if we believed, to our core, that God is always with us?  Not in some abstract way, but in the reach out and touch Him kind of way.  What if His “Thereness” was our reality and we, the ordinary, understood the very real, very tangible Presence of the Extraordinary?   Imagine truly grasping the ever-Presence that is the I AM.

His Word is clear.  He is with us – ALWAYS.  He will not leave us or forsake us.  Just as surely as every person we cross paths with today, God is there.  So what if, rather than having that be a concept we know, it was a reality we lived?  What if?

Part of “what if” for me would probably include keeping a much closer watch over the words that fall out of my mouth.  I’m pretty certain I wouldn’t allow them to just “fall out” but would take great care to fill them with grace so the King at my side would be proud to call me friend.

  • He who loves purity of heart, and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.  Proverbs 22:11

And I probably would use my time more wisely than I normally do.  I can’t imagine frittering away the hours watching HGTV, rooting for the House Hunters to pick the home that stayed in their budget, if I really grabbed a hold of the truth that God is sitting with me on the couch.  I have to wonder if He might be thinking that I was squandering the day He had entrusted to me very foolishly.  Given all He has accomplished, it’s hard for me to picture Him as content just idling away the hours with no purpose.  Yes, part of my “what if” would definitely include a wiser use of my time so His Majesty might delight in me.

  • A king delights in a wise servant, but a shameful servant arouses his fury.  Proverbs 14:35

Those are just a couple of the observable “what if” changes. The real “what ifs” would take place on the inside because I cannot fathom subjecting my HOLY God to some of the thoughts that fly through my mind.  Would I really feel jealous of anyone else in the world and stomp my foot about what they have that I don’t, if I realized the WHO that I am blessed with? What in the world could be of greater value than Him?  Would I honestly usurp His right to judge by silently evaluating the actions of others if I actually believed that the One and Only Lawgiver was there?  I could go on listing the things I struggle with and posing the questions about how they might change, but for me, and maybe for you too, all the questions boil down to just one:

Would we change if we believed in His absolute “Thereness”?

I am convinced that for all of us the answer is absolutely YES!  I have moments when I am acutely aware of His Presence and I’m certain you do too.  Times when the facts and the feelings of our faith converge and our souls fall into a holy hush that whispers, “He is here.”  We don’t try to negotiate the agenda of the day; we follow the still, small, Voice wherever and to whomever He leads.  We stride with confidence knowing that every step is falling inside the well-worn footprints of our Holy Trailblazer.  And we are unafraid because we are certain of His all-encompassing Love surrounding us on every side.  That’s the Truth of Him you know?  The I AM is present.

He leads the way knocking down the obstacles and challenges that rise up before you.

  • I will go before you and will level the mountains – Isaiah 45:2

He stands firmly on your right and on your left setting your feet on solid ground and lifting your eyes toward Him.

  • But you, God, shield me on all sides; You ground my feet, you lift my head high. – Psalm 3:3

And the Lord Himself has promised you Sweet One, that He has your back.

  • Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. – Isaiah 58:8

That is the real-time, real-world truth of it. He goes before us. He is on every side. And His glory is our rear guard.  We are, without a doubt, wrapped in His “Thereness.”  No part of our faith journey escapes His attention or His affection.  And while we may be limited to simply glimpsing glory for now, His vision toward us is totally unobstructed.  His love for us is unconstrained.  And His “Thereness” is unchanging.  Sisters, we may long for the day when see the truth of our circumstances clearly, but in the meantime, I pray we will embrace the reality of our here and now because He is Here and He is Good.

We don’t yet see things clearly.

We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist.

But it won’t be long before the weather clears

and the sun shines bright!

We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us,

knowing him directly just as he knows us!

1 Corinthians 13:12, The MSG

The Message:  The goal of The Message is to engage people in the reading process and help them understand what they read. This is not a study Bible, but rather “”a reading Bible.”” The verse numbers, which are not in the original documents, have been left out of the print version to facilitate easy and enjoyable reading. The original books of the Bible were not written in formal language. The Message tries to recapture the Word in the words we use today.

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