God’s Hold Saturday, Feb 11 2017 

Sometimes, when my grandson is ill with a cold or flu, I just like to hold on to him. We rock together and I sing or tell him stories. Many times he says, “More stories”. I will tell story after story. Or other times he says, “Rock-a-by-baby” which tells me he wants me to sing another lullaby. All the while he keeps his eyes fixed on my face.

That’s just how it is with God.

Proverbs 4:25-27 25 Let your eyes look straight ahead;
    fix your gaze directly before you.
26 Give careful thought to the[a] paths for your feet
    and be steadfast in all your ways.
27 Do not turn to the right or the left;
    keep your foot from evil.

If we look to God our Father in heaven, we see Jesus with his hand on us gently guiding us on our way toward heaven.

Philippians 3:12-14 12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

If we look to that which is heavenly and dwell on what is pure, high, and of God then our destination is sure.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Today, dwell only on that which leads to heaven, and nothing that doesn’t.

Ephesians 4:1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.

Advertisements

God’s Three Mountains Thursday, Feb 9 2017 

When it came time for Jesus to fulfill the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
    Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
    righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
    on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

He began at the city of Bethphage which means “house of unripe figs.” This is the town at the slope of the Mount of Olives. The Mount of Olives, meaning “olive tree”, where came the “anointing oil”, is the middle peak of a row of three mountains on the east side of Jerusalem, flanking the valley of Jehoshaphat which means “YAHWEH has judged”, which is part of the Kidron valley, which means Very Black, Full of Darkness. The peak to the north was called Scopus which means “lookout.” The peak to the south is Mount Mashkit or “Mount of Corruption.”

So like Jesus on the cross between two thieves, stand today, God’s three mountains as a reminder that he came though we were not ready (unripe) to suffer our judgment. To break through our blackest darkest moments and to lookout for us while we were yet full of corruption.

Matthew 21:1-11

Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

21 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

“Say to Daughter Zion,
    ‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
    and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”[a]

The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna[b] to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”[c]

“Hosanna[d] in the highest heaven!”

10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Galilee means “rejoicing” and “son of circle or age.” Nazareth means “branch or shoot.” Though some believe it means “to scatter or sow”.

Even now, we rejoice at the coming of the LORD, the Anointed One.

 

God’s Harvest Tuesday, Feb 7 2017 

In our side yard, we have a compost bin. In it, we put table scraps, potato peelings, egg shells, and other biodegradables. My husband is a master composter. Early in the spring we use the compost to build up our raised garden boxes before we plant the herbs, strawberries, and vegetables each year. Some of you may already know that there is nothing like home grown herbs and vegetables. Right now there are parsley, chives, and cilantro ready to harvest.

In the spiritual kingdom, we plant righteousness to get a harvest of unfailing love.

Hosea 10:12 Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you.

When you sow something, you add water, sun, and time before you can reap. You have to give up something to get something. You don’t get the harvest right away. You have to wait upon the LORD.

God rains blessings on us so we can give of our fruits to bless others. God loves a cheerful giver.

Breaking up the unplowed ground is confessing our sins to soften our hearts to be able to receive the good God has for our lives. You have to sow before you can harvest. We give God our “garbage” and he turns it into something productive. If you keep planting in the same soil your harvest diminishes. But if you “break new ground” or plow a fallow field your harvest increases. So if there is a part of your life that you have not yet given to God you have the perfect opportunity to open it up to the LORD. Let him have it all.

Jesus said in Matthew 13:23 “But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown.”

There is nothing like the harvest that comes from an act of kindness or goodness or compassion or love.

God’s Redemption Thursday, Feb 2 2017 

My first knowledge of the word redemption came off of the bottom of store coupons which gave the written promise, “redeemable for 1/20th of 1 cent.” Even as a child, I knew that we received coupons every week in our newspaper. So I sat down and cut coupons. After the first twenty my fingers were getting tired. So I turned to redeeming bottles which at that time were five cents for the small ones and ten cents for the big ones. Then I caught on to the idea of going door to door. At one house I would say, “Could you donate an egg for the poor?”  And at the next house I would say, “Would you buy an egg for a quarter for the poor?” Of course, I was the “poor”. That didn’t last too long before one of my neighbors taught me the meaning of the words, “No Soliciting.”

I understood the idea of exchanging.

Imagine my shock and horror when I learned that Jesus had to die to redeem us from our sins. Well, that seemed a bit drastic to me. I just don’t know if I would be willing to give up my life to save someone let alone the whole world. I always imagined the agony of crucifixion and thought, “How cruel!”

It wasn’t very long before my own sins began to weigh heavy on my heart and I began to think, “Maybe it is like the coupons, it’s too hard to redeem yourself.” So, I went forward in church to accept Jesus as my redeemer. You had to say it out loud back then in front of God and everybody so everybody knew you were a sinner. Then they dunked you under water the following Sunday and it was cold. I had to go under twice because my toe popped up the first time.

John 3:16 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

 

 

God’s Feasts Wednesday, Feb 1 2017 

Do any of you remember that Beatles’ song, “Eight Days A Week?”

“Eight days a week, I love you. Eight days a week is not enough to show I care.”

That is how it is with God.

What does that have to do with the bible you ask?

It’s in there.

Come with me to Leviticus 23 where God instructs Moses about his sacred feasts.

Now go down to verses 39-43.

39 “‘So beginning with the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have gathered the crops of the land, celebrate the festival to the Lord for seven days; the first day is a day of sabbath rest, and the eighth day also is a day of sabbath rest. 40 On the first day you are to take branches from luxuriant trees—from palms, willows and other leafy trees—and rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. 41 Celebrate this as a festival to the Lord for seven days each year. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come; celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 Live in temporary shelters for seven days: All native-born Israelites are to live in such shelters 43 so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in temporary shelters when I brought them out of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.’”

God is pretty good at hiding things in plain sight. In these verses he is talking about the Feast of Booths or the Feast of Tabernacles. In verse 39 he says “The first day is a day of Sabbath rest and the eighth day is a day of Sabbath rest.”

These booths or Tabernacles were used to represent our bodies-temporary houses. From the time we are saved until we physically die our bodies become temporary places to live. We already have eternity within us via the deposit of his Spirit. The week long feast represents our lifetime.

We all know that there are only seven days in a week. Then the week ends. There is no eighth day in a week. But if you turn the number 8 on its’ side you get the symbol for infinity. So there you have it. After our lives in these temporary bodies die we get eternity.

Today we call this thinking out of the box. When the eighth day comes you are outside of time.

Isaiah 55:

Let the wicked forsake their ways
    and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them,
    and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Everything God has instituted, His Sabbaths, His Feasts are signs that point to our eternity with Him.

2 Corinthians 5:1-6

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.

God is not only outside of time, he is also outside of space.

Revelation 20:11

The Judgment of the Dead

11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them.