Warding off the unworthiness

1 John 1:29: “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, BEHOLD, THE LAMB OF GOD, WHICH TAKETH AWAY THE SIN OF THE WORLD.”

Why is it we can BELIEVE that Jesus Christ IS exactly who he claimed to be when he walked on earth, we can BELIEVE that he did indeed die in our place as the sacrifice for our sins and better yet, as John said, the SIN OF THE WHOLE WORLD, and BELEIVE that he rose victorious from that death defeating even hell itself in that resurrection, but YET we can NOT seem to BELIEVE that those forgiven sins ALSO INCLUDE OURS? Why it that?

It is then enemy? Well, maybe a little, but he normally doesn’t have to prompt us into self-loathing because we all to often do it for him!

And I truly with everything in me feel like someone or maybe several are going through this torment right now and that is why I felt lead to do this. Once you ask Jesus for forgiveness and to save you, you ARE saved. And maybe you have messed up, but please be VERY reassured EVERY ONE messes up!

We will never be perfect, NEVER, he does not ask that we be perfect, he asks us to walk in his commandments and be quick to ask for that forgiveness when we do stumble.

The only perfect he requires is blamelessness, meaning do everything to the best of our ability, and getting back up and trying it again when we don’t quite make that grade.

But there is such a mind-set of “unworthiness” choosing to FORSAKE and WILLFULLY NOT ACCEPT forgiveness choosing rather to punish ourselves, when Jesus DIED for our punishment! WHY do that?

Just as Jesus used the debt parable, can you HONESTLY tell me that if you owed someone a million dollars and NO WAY to pay that back and that person suddenly OFFERED to write off that entire debt, that you would refuse?

So why suffer every single in emotional and spiritual torment when God is NOT asking you to do that? He will give peace and only he can and once we surrender to him that peace WILL come.

He is NOT putting you in remembrance of every wrong you have ever done, He is BECKONING you to COME to him and give him all that pain and regret so he can COMPLETELY destroy it.

That is what he does, he literally REMOVES all of that and it NO LONGER EXISTS. Just as tomorrow IS already dead, those past sin ARE already dead, you just have the guilt and regret that also must DIE in him.

Think about the explanation of baptism:

Romans 6: 3-11: ” Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

Therefore we are BURIED with him by baptism into death: that like Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, EVEN SO SHALL WE WALK IN NEWNESS OF LIFE.

For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this that our old man (past sins) IS crucified with him, that the body of SIN might be DESTROYED that henceforth we SHOULD NOT SERVE SIN.

For he that is dead IS free from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we BELIEVE that we shall also LIVE with him: 

Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; KNOWING THAT DEATH HATH NO MORE DOMINION (power) OVER HIM, FOR HE DIED UNTO SIN ONCE:

BUT IN THAT HE LIVETH, HE LIVETH UNTO GOD. Likewise reckon (consider) YE ALSO YOURSELVES TO BE DEAD INDEED UNTO SIN, BUT ALIVE UNTO GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.”

See that is the deal, NO ONE EXCEPT JESUS could die in our place for that forgives and in him our forgiven sin ARE dead, but in him the “new” us LIVES.

That is the mystery that CAN NOT be understood UNTIL you accept him, and I do not mean the “world” church that has NO repentance, I mean truly repent and truly accepting forgiveness.

And if you were not under real conviction and feeling true repentance you would not be wrestling with this issue, so that is also a blessed state (although it probably doesn’t feel that way right now.. one day it will) we can not save ourselves, we can never be “good enough”, we can never “live up to it” and we can never ever be concerned with the non sense of “waiting until we can live it” as the saying goes, you see from our verses WE CAN’T LIVE IT!

We were never asked to live it! We were told to allow Jesus to take away our sins and DIE to our old life and LIVE IN HIM, because ONLY he can live it! And as far as feeling unworthy, churches are full of people who have felt the SAME feeling you are feeling, we have all wrestled it because we are all UNWORTHY, that is why we are told He ALONE is worthy!

We have to take our eyes of our OWN inadequacies and FOCUS on gratefulness for that the fact that He is far above adequate, His forgives goes beyond any word that could be used.

Think about Peter, after it hit him when Jesus had blessed them with a catch of fish so bountiful it was on the verge of sinking their ships.

Luke 5:8: “When Simon Peter SAW it, he FELL DOWN at Jesus’ knees, saying, DEPART FROM ME; FOR I AM A SINFUL MAN.” 

Does Peter really  sound like he FELT worthy to be in the presence of the Lord? NO, He is literally asking Jesus to LEAVE because of his own feeling of UNWORTHINESS!

And today if you are going through this, you are also, SERIOUSLY ASKING JESUS TO LEAVE WHEN HE HAS CAME TO YOU BECAUSE HE WANTS TO BE THERE FOR YOU!

Jesus went on to tell him, FEAR NOT and that has always been his message to all of us who seek him.

So remember today, we don’t have to worry about being worthy because there is only one who IS or will ever be WORTHY that is what he took the place for you and me.

And don’t worry about other people, there are always going to be “people” and there were plenty of people that hated Jesus, and refused to believe he was who he said he was.

And he taught us that “a servant can’t be above his master” so we can expect that, but you know, you are not setting out to please them or care if they believe you are NOT who you once were,

the only opinion WORTH caring about and the ONLY one who matters is the same one who alone is WORTHY!

Revelation 5:12a tells us this: “…WORTHY IS THE LAMB THAT WAS SLAIN TO RECEIVE POWER, AND RICHES, AND WISDOM, AND STRENGHT , AND HONOUR, AND GLORY, AND BLESSING.”   KNOW that those sins ARE gone, forever and PLEASE know you are not alone, HE LOVES YOU and He will give you peace once you just let go.

Φλογίζω Σαλπίζω NB 2018 

This is such a great song and it lets us know we ALL struggle, and it has been an encouragement to me, MANY times while I felt the old pain of unworthiness  but as this song says HE WILL COME TO YOU… LET HIM.

And the second song on this video is “Through the Fire” so please maybe listen to it also, because there is such healing in music and it prompts us to pour out our hearts.

 

“In the den”

“Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion (reason to accuse) against this Daniel, except (unless) we find it against him concerning the law of his God. Then these presidents (overseers) and princes assembled together to the king, and said unto him, King Darius, live for ever. All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statue, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save (except) of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.

Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it not be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not (does not change). Wherefore king Darius signed the writing (written decree) and the decree. Now when Daniel knew the writing had been signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber (room) toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime ( as he had been doing before this). Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.

Then they came near and spake before (spoke to) the king concerning the king’s decree. Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee (except you), O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?  

The king answered and said, This thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth (changes) not.

Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day.

Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore (greatly) displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured (strived) till the going down of the sun to deliver him.

Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statue which the king established may be changed.

Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast (tossed) him into the den of lions, Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou serve continually, HE WILL DELIVER THEE.

And a stone was brought and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet (signet ring), and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel (that they could not accuse the king of changing the order).

Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting; neither were instruments of  musick (musical instruments) brought before him: and his sleep went (fled) from him. 

Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable (pained) voice unto Daniel: and the king spake, and said unto Daniel, O Daniel, O Daniel, SERVANT OF THE LIVING GOD, IS THY GOD whom thou servest continually, ABLE TO DELIVER THEE FROM THE LIONS?

Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever.  My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency (innocence) was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt (wrong).

Then the king exceedingly glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up OUT of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him (he was completely unharmed)  BECAUSE HE BELIEVED IN HIS GOD.

And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them (overpowered them) and brake all their bones in pieces, or ever they came at the bottom of the den (before they ever hit the bottom of the den).

Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. I make a decree. That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for HE IS THE LIVING GOD, AND STEADFAST FOR EVER, AND HIS KINGDOM THAT WHICH SHALL NOT BE DESTROYED, AND HIS DOMINION SHALL BE EVEN UNTO THE END. HE DELIVERETH (delivers) AND RESCUETH (rescues), AND HE WORKETH SIGNS AND WONDERS IN HEAVEN AND IN EARTH, who hath DELIVERED Daniel FROM THE POWER OF THE LIONS.” Daniel 6:5-27

Love this story, how could anyone not? I especially love the terms of his enemies referring to him as “this” Daniel and “that” Daniel. We are all at some point a “this” Daniel or a “that” Daniel. The this that the enemy desperately wants out of the way and the that that the enemy thinks he has out of the way.

We are all faced with those lions of life and we are all faced with circumstances we just really do not want to be in. And those roaring lions which Jesus so described the devil as are quite intimidating sometimes as they seek to devour us because those roars that we hear in the distance proves to warn us of impending doom and certain destruction can be more horrifying than the final bone crushing bite.

 Those are the times that we need a friend to be outside that den, Darius could NOT go back on his own decree and he could NOT find any way of getting around the fact that Daniel had no choice other than go into that den, He could NOT actually go inside the den and face the lions with Daniel but what he COULD do is SPEAK and REASSURE Daniel that His God WOULD DELIVER HIM.

He COULD fast and pray all night on behalf of Daniel. Everyone needs a friend but we all especially need a friend when you are in a lion’s den and you know that even though you must hear those roars and face the fear of them head on, face to face, knowing someone else is outside the den having faith and keeping vigil can give courage and hope even in the most hopeless of circumstances.

I snagged a verse from the sermon at church Sunday night to carry my family through a little something…. it is just part of the verse but so powerful when you let it sink in…  and I want to share it for anyone who is facing uncertainty:

Romans 4:18: ” Who AGAINST HOPE (contrary to) BELIEVED IN HOPE…..”

That is even the face of hopelessness, with absolutely NO REASON to hope, to STILL BELIEVE IN HOPE. And Daniel BELIEVED in that hope, even though he was already slated for slaughter, HE BELIEVED IN THE HOPE OF DELIVERANCE BY HIS GOD.

Daniel believed God would deliver him and his friend king Darius believed God would deliver him and we need to also to BELIEVE that today more than ever.

Know that if you are in the den God has someone ALREADY positioned outside on your behalf having faith on your behalf, keeping vigil through that night and if you are outside don’t forget to keep vigil for another whose faith my be wavering for fear that those lions could devour at a moments notice.  Darius made the new decree that ALL should tremble before the LIVING GOD. 

Darius also twice referred to Daniel as having served the Lord continually, continually striving to that standard of God, as we lift our lives up into the hands of God and into His care and the standard He has established, He will in turn lift up a defense, his war banner, on our behalf against our enemies, whether spiritual, physical sickness, or emotional or financial burdens, that we are His and He does fight on our behalf, as in that verse, He will work wonders in heaven and in earth.

Isaiah 59:19: “So shall they FEAR the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun, WHEN THE ENEMY SHALL COME IN LIKE A FLOOD, THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD SHALL LIFT UP A STANDARD (banner) AGAINST HIM.

 Peace and love till next time! Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017 

This song is really too peppy for this post.. but I do love it and it is really upbeat and I don’t know what the deal is with the name but the lyrics say it all!

EAGLE #3 “Gathering”

As Eagle lie on the ground twisted and snared by the colorful flowing material, his ears attentive to the soft, gentle, distant strains of “Glory, glory, Hallelujah ..” waving through the dark night air, all of his strength draining as he gasped his last bit of air and as the song grew closer and closer becoming louder as his ears strained to hear that soothing melody, he caught a glimpse of the fire glow growing brighter and a strange thing began to happen to him.

His heart started to beat a little faster and words came flooding to his mind, words he had heard as the old timers had gathered around those campfires long ago, he remembered that Abraham had looked for a country whose maker and builder was God.

As this thought rushed through his mind, he felt strength start to stir deep inside him, he felt the will to live, the will to go on, the will to fight for what he had long known.

As his breath began to return and he found his second wind he struggled against what held him captive, his sharp beak pulling and shredding the thin, cheap material to bits as he struggled to freedom. He had fought too hard and had lived too long, and seen much too much to die conquered on the ground.

“His truth is marching on….” continued to fill the night sky as the camp lanterns grew brighter and brighter as those who watch in the night went on their journey. Soon he was free from that tangled snare and he sat for a bit, regaining more of his massive strength, the new-found joy in his heart, that it was not the end, there was yet a place, a country, a nation of nations where the Fathers true rainbow shone of His glory.

But where? Where was that place? As he brought back to his thought all the words quoted by those of long ago, who quoted the true words not words that man wanted to hear but the word of the Father of lights, the Father who created and controlled the entire universe.

He remembered how they warned, they preached with fire and conviction “that the days would surely come that men would no longer endure sound doctrine” that the days would surely come “that men would be lovers of themselves more than of God” that the days would come that “they would call evil good and good evil” and that “the way of truth would be evil spoken of” and Eagle knew those days had truly come.

He soon remembered the word spoken with power and authority that bellowed out in the night as the preacher quoted from the book of Revelation, “COME  OF HER, MY PEOPLE, THAT YE BE NOT PARTAKERS OF HER SINS, AND THAT YE RECEIVE NOT OF HER PLAGUES. FOR HER SINS HAVE REACHED UNTO HEAVEN, AND GOD HATH REMEMBERED HER INIQUITIES.”

Eagle knew that day as the days warned of long ago had now came to pass, that day also soon approached. Eagle knew he had to seek that new country, that country that is fashioned and formed and built of God himself. But how would he find it? How could he navigate there with his body still weakened form all he had endured. He thought, he thought about something they had preached that the Son had said, ” Wheresoever the body is, thither shall the eagles gather together.” His body, His physical body that would be offered as a sacrifice for all, but also the symbolic meaning that where His body, His followers would be gathered unto Him. 

Eagle mustered enough strength to start his flight, he flew and he flew trying to fly through the darkness, through the night, becoming stronger and stronger as his determination grew that he would go to that country, he would see that land. He thought what would it be like when all the eagles, all those who through strength only given from God had “fought the good fight” who had run their race with courage and boldness and would be given crowns for doing so.

He thought of a country where love, joy, and true peace would be the norm. A country so full of the love and light of the Lamb of God, that there would never be another night. He thought of a country where the lion would lay down by a lamb, the serpents food would be dust, and no one or no creatures would ever hurt one another again. There would be no more cruelty, no more starvation, no more pain, and “God himself shall wipes all tears away”  As he flew these words rang out through the now turning dawn night, he heard the description of that country to be sought, as one quoted the words written by John in Revelation 21:1-3,9-27:

“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, NEW JERUSALEM coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 

And I heard a great voice out of heaven, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and HE WILL DWELL WITH THEM, AND THEY SHALL BE HIS PEOPLE,AND GOD HIMSELF SHALL BE WITH THEM, AND BE THEIR GOD. 

 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew the thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.

And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. Having the glory of God, and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.

And had a wall great and high, and has twelve gates, and at the gates were twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs, the length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.

And the building of the wall of it was as jasper; and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones The first foundation was jasper, the second, sapphire, the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eight, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.

And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: FOR THE GLORY OF GOD DID LIGHTEN IT, AND THE LAMB IS THE LIGHT THEREOF. AND THE NATIONS OF THEM WHICH ARE SAVED SHALL WALK IN THE LIGHT OF IT: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.

And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” 

Eagle is freedom, Eagle is truth and justice, and liberty and as those who truly seek these things must now “set their affections on things on high” and seek that heavenly country and remember the truth that is as old as time itself, we truly are strangers and pilgrims in this world and we are to leave the things of the world behind and be as eagles and soar above these troubles resting in the spirit of God and of the eternal hope that we are not quite home yet and as we strive to reach that heavenly shore, it is well on its way, New Jerusalem coming down to meet those who wait.

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

 

With the eyes of Iris….

The title sounds like I got a little confused there, doesn’t it? But no, I don’t mean through the iris of the eye. I mean trying to see through the eyes of Iris.

Iris is my little friend, she is a tiny little bird dog mix who is not very much bigger than my cat. She is, well, was a stray. I had never seen a cat or a dog in my life with such trust issues, usually you can feed them a couple of times and they know your okay, but not Iris. I got into the habit of keeping dog food on my back stoop (it is so not a real porch, it is tiny and step size) because we had a huge black lab that never wanted to share treats and bullied the other two so one day one of the others decide to get really smart and come to the back door and bark, hence therefore his nick name “Captain Barky” it was the cutest thing ever and he did this so often (my husband said that he had me very well-trained) that I finally started putting dog food out there hoping he would think it was special and appease his barking for treats syndrome.

One day I heard rustling at the back door and looked out the window and here is this tiny little dog eating as fast as it could and every rib, backbone, and little hip bone was visible and it just broke my heart and once she had been noticed, she quickly fled. Soon she starting coming pretty much every day, she would eat and run and if I tried to go out there or had to put out more food she would run away. I finally learned to not make eye contact with her and just try to get the food down wherever and as quietly as possible, try to get back into the house and sometimes she would run and then come back after I was inside. It soon became obvious that she had puppies and would often try to carry away the food container with her and this entire process went on for about six months and we at no point could touch this dog.

As I said I have never seen this kind of distrust and we could only imagine what she had been through. But soon another little friend starting coming by, I kinda of believe it is her puppy but this little thing was not scared in the least and adored my daughter and suddenly one day out of the blue after all this time, Iris let my daughter pet her. We could not believe it and my daughter joked about her being a different dog or something was wrong with her because it was like a complete 360 and suddenly she is jumping up on us, trying to lick our faces and honestly she looks like she smiles. The change was just mind-blowing. It was like when she did decide to trust us, it was a complete, no questions asked, give it your all kinda thing.

Sometimes that is how we are when we have trust issues in our walk with God, we want to trust him, we want to have faith, but we are so scared of being hurt again or so wounded that we are afraid to trust anyone or anything. We often are fine trusting God with part of our lives but maybe not so much with all of our problems,our failures and fears, and sometimes we can trust him for eternal salvation and still be unable to allow him to get close to our wounded hearts to heal us, so we can have peace in this life while we are waiting for the eternal.

God wants us to trust Him unconditionally with every thing. trust can be a hard thing, what does trust even truly mean? To know that no matter what, your life IS IN the hands of one so much higher, that life, death, sickness, financial worries, any imaginable woe can never ever change the fact that your soul is in the arms of the everlasting God.

We all fall prey to the “I am trying to live right, why is this happening to me?”, moments, and dark times when the enemy tries to convince you that if were right this things would NOT happen. He is such a liar! Things happen, it rains on the just and the unjust. Christians suffer but SO DO those who are not saved, they have lost loved ones, they have problems, they lose jobs and the get sick BUT they do not have the blessed assurance that these things are but for a moment and they do not have the comfort  that only comes THROUGH TRUST IN GOD.

We all know the story of Job, we all know that it was a great contest between the forces of the universe and that satan contended that job only worshiped God because he had been blessed with a good life and Satan thought he could turn Job against God by tearing his life all to Hades. Now we all may have problems but when we are tempted to complain we should just read the beginning of Job, no one has had problems like he had!

While one messenger was still speaking to give him terrible tidings, another came waiting to tell him more! He lost ALL of his children, his wealth, his livestock. HE LOST EVERYTHING including his health (by being covered from head to foot with boils) his friends turned on, as often happens when the chips are down, he was surrounded by all those who could not wait to tell him how bad he was to try to force a confession of evil out of him and the part of the story that always ripped my heart out is when he thought God terrified him in dreams. Satan did ALL of this to him and he MISTAKENLY believed that it was God doing it, right down to the demonic nightmares. The only thing the enemy was not allowed to do to him was kill him. He had free control to torment him at will and yet the entire time Job thought he had angered God, BUT Job never lost his trust in God or in God’s faithfulness and the most profound verse is this:                                                                                                                        

“Though he slay (kill) me, YET, WILL I TRUST IN HIM…..” Job 13:15 (a)                                                                                

As the story winds up and the truth is revealed, Job is blessed beyond measure for what he had endured, he was given more than what had been taken and those who were too quick to judge him were required to honor him, no one would ever want to imagine what would have happened had he failed this test, the one who had sent it all on him would now also have his eternal soul to torment but GOD KNEW that Job would NOT FAIL THE TEST! Job TRUSTED God even when he did not understand until it was over.                                                                                                                                          

Maybe today, you are having trust issues, maybe there is something you just can’t let go of, worry pitting your stomach, thoughts from the enemy of what if, I ask you what if not? We hear so many voices and often those voices are against faith, they are against trust in God, that is one of the many ports you don’t want to take refuge in during your storm.  

 Jesus asked in Matthew 6:27 “which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?”                                                         

We worry and stress over things we have no control over and circumstances that we will never have control over, only God can change things and only God can give us peace of mind even in the midst of trails but we have to trust him and give him all our troubles and trust his sovereignty in ALL situations.                                                                                                        

The sufferings of the disciples are without question, and their attitude toward it all was unwavering, they focused on “that” day: “For the which cause (the Gospel) I also suffer these things; NEVERTHELESS I am not ashamed:   For I KNOW IN WHOM I HAVE BELIEVED, AND AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE TO KEEP THOSE THINGS WHICH I HAVE COMMITTED UNTO HIM AGAINST (UNTIL) THAT DAY.” 2 Timothy 1:12, you know written by Paul, who was beaten on multiple occasions, wrote most of the New Testament while imprisoned, suffered many, many afflictions and was beheaded for the Gospel of Christ.                                                                                                                                                                        

“That day” is different for all of us, whatever our struggles, fears, and worst case scenarios may be, but rest in the comfort of Paul’s example, KNOW in WHOM you believe, KNOW and BE PERSUADED that HE IS more than able to keep ALL things that we COMMIT to him. All the hurt, all the fears and all the what ifs and even the why’s. WE HAVE TO TRUST HIM with it all and once you just get under the shadow of his wings knowing that he has you, all of you, in his care and that when and if “that day” comes, HE IS there and HIS PEACE will see you through.                                                                               Φλογιζω NBJ 2015.

  

           

Making it through the night……

“But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, TOSSED with waves: for the WIND was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night (the blackest, darkest hour)  JESUS WENT UNTO THEM, WALKING ON THE SEA.”
And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they CRIED OUT FOR (because of) FEAR.
But STRAIGHTWAY (Immediately) JESUS SPAKE unto them, saying, BE OF GOOD CHEER (have courage) IT IS I ( I AM ); BE NOT AFRAID.” Matthew 14:25-27
Through the journey of this life many times we find that we are that ship, the waves crashing and tossing us about, unable to catch balance tossed with that horrible great wind that is blowing down on us in the worst possible hour.
The fourth watch, when we have been tossed by the raging waves of trails of life and circumstances that we have no control over.
Trails and troubles that comes just as a part of this life for us and for all others.
But when you add that horrid wind, that cold, fierce blowing of the fury of the enemy, because he loves to kick you when your down and it is always during last stretch of the night.
He thinks of it as this, you are already weak, tired, and completely exhausted, just worn out from the hours you have already battled through the dark and he knows if he can get you to lose focus that this night is never going to end, he will destroy your faith in God.
Notice Jesus came in that hour, Jesus knew where they were, he knew what they were battling and he knew at what point they would break IF he did not step in.
Being in an exhaustive state it is hard to see whose hand is whose and this was Jesus coming to their rescue but they were so mentally drained that they were afraid that he too was more trouble headed their way.
When they cried out (as we cry out to Him) it was then that he said IT IS I, and encouraged their faith.
Peter was so distraught, he needed reassurance, just as we too sometimes need to know that He is aware of what we are going through, that He really is there, and that He really is going to take us through the night.
“And Peter answered and him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me to come to thee on the water.
And he said, Come, And when Peter was down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
BUT when he SAW THE WIND boisterous (violent) HE WAS AFRAID, he cried, saying 
Lord, SAVE ME.” Matthew 14:28-30

Jesus had given him that reassurance that he was aware and was completely on the scene, and at 
the comforting voice of his Lord he began to walk on those horrible waves that had held him as their terrorized prisoner only moments earlier. 
In life, we sometimes feel like we can’t catch a break.
We think we see the shimmer of the morning starting to break through and then the darkness
only returns with even more blackness and wind howling.
We feel like as soon as things are finally looking up something happens and it all crashes in on us.

“And IMMEDIATELY JESUS STRETCHED FORTH HIS HAND, AND CAUGHT HIM, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, Wherefore didst thou ( why did you) doubt?
And when they were come into the ship, THE WIND CEASED.” Matthew 14:28-30

So many troubled waters, waves of sickness, waves of financial woes, waves of worry about our children and their futures, waves of family issues, the winds of past hurts and unresolved heartaches and the stone cold blow of lack of closure to doors of the past. It all rocks, it tosses, and that wind will blow. 
But Jesus came through in that darkest most tempestuous hour,  even though they thought they couldn’t make it, HE KNEW when they couldn’t and by allowing Peter to walk on those waves, he was really showing him something.
People are so mean about Peter, they are always pointing out the fact that he temporarily slipped, but how many of them have ever been in Peter’s sandals?
We can look at others and think well, this or that, but until we have truly, truly been in their shoes we don’t know how we would react, but Jesus does and he knows what we can handle has nothing to do with what we FEEL like we can handle.
Storms to weather, giants to fight, crosses to bear, and no one likes it. I have yet to meet a Christian who jumps up in Church and shouts “Woo, hoo bring on the storm!”
I have fought some hellacious giants, there are battles that I am not sure that I will win in this earth but I know if I hold on and keep the faith, that even if it is at the feet of the Lord in New Jerusalem that the battle will have been won.
There have been times when warnings to church has come that storms were brewing and I’d be like, please, please no, no more storms.
We all go through it and some are worse than others and there is always someone else whose storm makes ours look like a sunny morn.
I never will forget the testimony of a certain preacher, I love to hear him, he straight shoots, preaches hell, fire, brimstone, mingled with love and compassion and all with a comedic edge that can make you dig where he is coming from without making you want to hide under the pew.
He often made remarks about his childhood that confused me, because his Mom is an awesome woman and I couldn’t figure out how all this happened to him. 
One night he told us what God had brought him from, he had been born to stoned parents who had a house full of kids, and kept having kids, he told us about watching his baby sibling die, believing the baby may have frozen to death because there was a hole in the ceiling with snow actually falling in, and he kept a crew cut all the time and had a very visible scar on his head, he went on to tell us that he received that after opening a can of food without permission and being hit with the still attached to the can, jagged top.
When he and his siblings rescue came, he was eleven and his Mom later told me that he was barely dressed and wearing a ladies top.
And to know him now and to know that God stepped in and changed this child’s life and fulfilled HIS PURPOSE for him, placing him with a good family that would teach him of a God that loved him despite what that horrible storm he had lived in for eleven years had tried to convince him of.
Don’t try to wait out the storm to pursue the things of God for your life.
The young man who asked Jesus if he could “bury his father” before following him was answered by “Let the dead bury their dead; but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.”
It will not always easy, but sometimes we have to stop fighting with things that are dead, and trying to change things that will never be changed, and accept them as such, and go on in our walk with the Lord. 
Sometimes we have to take what we have and work with it, even if we think we are lacking what we “need” to get the job done.
In the story of Elisha, we are introduced to him as he is plowing a field having only eleven oxen, now we know that can’t be done and that is why we are told that HE HIMSELF IS THE TWELFTH OXEN!
Field needed plowed, he needed an ox, so he did what had to be done.
He could have said well, whenever we get another ox, I’ll take care of that field, but he didn’t.
So the giant you face is monstrous, the cross is growing might heavy, and that wind is threatening to smash your ship to smithereens, BUT JESUS IS RIGHT THERE.
He will slay that giant, He will give you His strength to make that cross lighter to bear, and He will lead you BACK TO SAFETY AND THAT STORM WILL CEASE.
Morning will come breaking through and at the end of it all, that little ship will be stronger, having weathered that dreaded storm, it will now be a proven sea worthy vessel, those giants won’t look quite so tall when you know the hand that is stretching out to catch you is the hand that controls it all.
Just so someone out there will know, this is NOT what I had planned for today, and He showed me things in this I had never noticed and I feel his presence with it, I will never pretend to know your pain or tell you life will be great, but one day the storm will pass and maybe sooner than you know!
I want to leave you with this, quote it, memorize and keep it to your heart:
Psalm 56:3 : “WHAT TIME I AM AFRAID, I WILL TRUST IN THEE.”

May God bless you and keep you, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Φλογιζω/ all rights reserved. NBJ/2015

Awesome song, hope it will encourage you Shared from YouTube

 

EAGLE/ PART 2 SONG OF HOPE

Teasing someone about them tripping out and I might just be trapped in a Stephen King novel when they mentioned last week that they were waiting to read the second part to “Eagle”.
Kinda confused, I replied, “There is no second part”.
“There needs to be and it needs to be about hope” they replied.
I soon saw the sheer comedy in this situation and was reminded of the psycho character from the novel “Misery” (in the best possible way) as she demanded the lead character to re-write his novel because he had killed off  the heroine and she was not having it!
“Eagle died and I DID NOT KILL EAGLE! that flag killed EAGLE” I protested.
There is no way to write him back into existence.
I cried when all those words flooded my soul. I cried when the ending came to me.
I cried when his last song came into my spirit.
 And I cried when I had to sit and write it.
NO ONE wanted Eagle to live more than I did but I could only write what I was to write.
Eagle IS about hope! He did not die in vain, nor was his death the ending.
Eagle IS symbolic of what is good, what is strong, what is brave.
He IS symbolic of FREEDOM that can never, ever be taken because it is freedom that lives inside.
It IS freedom that not even death can take away.
His death IS symbolic of even while living in a dying culture and the spiritual death of a nation that the true life, the true hope, and the true beliefs that nation was founded upon will NEVER DIE.
The HOPE of the freedom that he carried upon his wings is eternal.
The campfire and the light that shines from it CAN NEVER be extinguished.
The glimmering hope of that light, even in this dark night will still burn as the fire in the hearts of those who still believe burns.
The song that rang out through the darkened night that had come over the great nation, being sung in unison by countless voices proclaiming that HIS TRUTH, THE TRUTH OF GOD, the truth that our nation had been founded on, WOULD FOREVER march on!
I challenge everyone that, just try a note, “Glory, Glory, Hallelujah,” and you will know, his truth does march on.
AND nothing, nothing will ever change that truth, not laws, not government, not agendas.
THAT IS OUR HOPE.
 Just as Israel of old had been scattered and peeled, still the remnant remained and prevailed.
We can not change what has been done BUT we can be the voice of hope and to share that hope during the time of darkness with others who feel that they are without hope.


“And I said, My strength and my hope is perished from the Lord:
Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall (bitterness)
My soul still has them in remembrance, and it is humbled (bowed down) in me.


THIS I recall to my mind, THEREFORE HAVE I HOPE,
IT IS OF THE LORD’S MERCIES THAT WE ARE NOT CONSUMED, because his compassion fail not (never fail).
They are new every morning; GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS.
The Lord IS my portion, saith my soul; therefore WILL I HAVE HOPE IN HIM.
The Lord IS good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.
It IS good that a man (human) should both HOPE and quietly wait ( patiently trust) FOR THE SALVATION OF THE LORD.”       Lamentations 3:18-26


THAT IS our hope and our faith and just as Abraham searched “for a city whose maker and builder is God” so do we.
In hopefulness we search out that which we do not see as faith leads us forward, marching on as that army.


ROMANS 8:24,25
“For we are saved by hope; but hope that is seen IS NOT hope: For what a man seeth , WHY DOES HE YET HOPE FOR IT?
But IF WE HOPE FOR THAT WHICH WE SEE NOT, THEN WE DO WITH PATIENCE WAIT FOR IT.”


As Eagle was that symbol and he embodied all the expectations, hopes, and dreams of those who chose him, we have also been chosen of God to carry on, even though his wings were broken in that terrible wind, tangled in that dreadful snare, we look with shock, horror, and discouragement at the condition of our world today but we are to realize that this is only the beginning as we are being taught to fly.
“Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard?
that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary?
 THERE IS NO SEARCHING HIS UNDERSTANDING.
He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
BUT they that WAIT upon the Lord SHALL RENEW their strength; they shall mount up WITH WINGS AS EAGLES; they SHALL run, and not be weary; they SHALL walk, and not faint.” ISAIAH 40:28-31
Φλογιζω/ N. BrownJohnson. Rights reserved


For the record, I don’t read horror novels, I had bought that as a gift for someone years ago and so I guess now, it’ll be okay to be stranded in a snowstorm! Thanks for the suggestion!









KINGDOM COME

Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision ( prophetic vision or revelation), the people perish (cast off restraint): but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”
Candy coating and watering down has led us to this state and we have truly seen the lack of any restraint among people.
For all who do continue to hold on and strive for the prize, I thought I would send out a little reminder:
“And I John, saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he shall dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are all passed away.” Revelation 21:1-4


“And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and THE LAMB IS the light thereof.
And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.
And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.
and they shall bring the glory and honour of nations into it.
And there in no wise (no way) enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh (causes) abomination, or maketh a lie: but (only) they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” Revelation 21:22-27


“And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:
And THEY SHALL SEE HIS FACE; and his name shall be in the foreheads.
And there shall be no more night there; and they need no candle (lamp), neither the light of the sun: for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
And he said unto me, These sayings ARE faithful and true; and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which shortly must be done (take place).
Behold, I come quickly: BLESSED is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.”    Revelation 22:3-7


The revelations to John, now that is a vision to hold onto, peace, joy, love unspeakable and rest, rest, rest from all our cares and tears.
So when the darkness tries to sway your thoughts hold onto that.
Malachi 4:1-4 “For, Behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, SAITH the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
BUT UNTO YOU that fear (respect) my name shall the Sun of righteousness ARISE with healing in HIS wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
And ye shall tread down the wicked: for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet IN THE DAY THAT I SHALL DO THIS, saith the Lord of hosts.
Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statues and judgments.”
Keep looking up and holding on!
Φλογιζω/ all rights reserved. nbj/2015