“Unto good”

“And when Joseph’s brethren saw that their father was dead, they said Joseph will peradventure (perhaps) hate us, and will certainly requite (repay) us all the evil which we did unto him.

And they sent a messenger unto Joseph saying, Thy father did command us before he died, saying, So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil; and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him.

And his brethren also went and fell before his face; and they said, Behold we be thy servants. And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?

But as for you, ye thought (intended) evil against me; BUT GOD MEANT IT UNTO GOOD, TO BRING TO PASS, AS IT IS THIS DAY, TO SAVE MUCH PEOPLE ALIVE.” Genesis 50:15-20

Most are familiar with the story of how Joseph’s brothers became jealous and hated him so much so that they plotted to kill and through him into a pit, but then instead he ending up being taken out of the pit as sold into slavery.

And God had his hand on Joseph, even though he was captive, being held against his will not only through slavery but through the lies of an angry vindictivative woman who falsely accused him of rape because he rejected her advances toward him.

And can you even imagine how wounded and hurt his heart had to have been because he had did absolutely nothing, nothing to them but yet the hated him. Just as that mirror of Jesus, as Jesus said in the Book of John, 15:25, concerning himself and the fulfilling of the prophecy of him…“THEY HATED ME WITHOUT A CAUSE.” 

God does not cause bad things to happen to us, God loves us, but God does USE all things.

Psalm 119:65-72: TETH: “Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O, Lord, according to thy word.

Teach me good judgment and knowledge; for I have believed thy commandments. 

Before I was afflicted, I went astray; but now have I kept thy word. 

Thou art good, and doest good, teach me thy statutes.

The proud have forged a lie against me; but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart.

Their heart is as fat as grease (insensible);but I will delight in thy law.

It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.

The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands in silver and gold.”

Just as Joseph and so many in the Bible and so many of OUR brothers and sisters in the past and even TODAY suffer for the testimony of Christ physically, emotionally and financially to serve the kingdom of God and have overcame through their faith in God and believing for something so much greater than what can be seen.

And there is so much greater,and today hold on to that.

Love & Peace!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020

“Ask him”

Psalm 119:57-64: CHETH: ” Thou art my portion. O Lord: I have said that I would keep thy words. 

entreated thy favor with my whole heart: be merciful to me according to thy word.

I  thought on  my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.

I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments. 

The bands of the wicked have robbed me: but I have not forgotten thy law.

At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgements(justice). I am a companion of all them that fear thee, all of them that keep thy precepts.

The earth, O Lord, is full of thy mercy (lovingkindness); teach me thy statutes.”

There is no great an influence on our lives as the favor of the Living God. Luke 2:52, tells us of Jesus, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in FAVOR with God and man.”

The favor of God is simply bestowed on us from the goodness and kindness of God, just as parent to a child. He gives us favor to bless us, help us, and grow us.

So pray for that favor TODAY, ask for his favor for you, your family and you love and as you study, pray and grow in him expect that favored to be increased in all areas of your life.

And if you have made mistakes, messed up, know we ALL have!

That is part of being the imperfect beings that we are,God wants only that we repent, ask him for forgiveness, ACCEPT that forgiveness and FORGET those sins that he had forgiven us for, just as HE FORGETS them.

Psalm 30:5: “For his anger endureth (lasts) but a moment; IN HIS FAVOR IS LIFE; weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” His favor is life, bringing renewal and revival to all areas of our lives, so ask him for that favor today and see the blessing and provision of God in ways you never thought possible.

Love & Peace till next time! Have a blessed day!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

“Comfort”

Remember thy word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope. 

This is my comfort in my affliction; for thou word hath quickened me (given me life).

The proud have had me greatly in derision; yet have I not declined from thy law.

remember thy judgment of old, O Lord, and have comforted myself. Horror (indignation) hath taken hold upon me because of the wicked that forsake thy law.

Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.

I have remembered thy name,O Lord, in the night, and have kept thy law.  

This had I, because I kept thy precepts.” Psalm 119:49-56 ZAIN

As Jesus had promised us that he would never leave us comfortless but that once we give our lives to Him and trust him as our Savior He is always there, always through the good, the bad, every single day as we go through this life which is full of uncertainties simply because it IS life. The promises that we cling to are promises of the goodness of the next life.

But Jesus wants us to have joy and peace ,and love and rest for our souls as much as possible in this life.

As you go through you day, think of all the wonderful promises and comfort that God has given and that he has promised for the days ahead and

let that word be the hand that holds your hand as you walk through these last days in which we find ourselves.

God’s word of prophecy fulfilling all around us and let that word be that voice encouraging you that in it is all going to be alright in the end.

And a scripture we have all used time after time, myself included but one so powerful, so comforting that we need to remind ourselves of it every day.

Romans 8:31: “What shall we then say to these things? IF GOD BE FOR US, WHO CAN BE AGAINST US?”

All these things being, things that come at us, hardship, trials, thirst, hunger, circumstance,grief and not forget the attacks of the enemy and his agents. These “things” in that verse meaning anything and everything but in all these things HE WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU.

Because as others have said in the past, “We have read the Book, we know we do win in the end”!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

“Promised”

“Remember thy word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope.

This is my comfort in my affliction: for thou word hath quickened (revived) me. 

The proud have had me greatly in derision: yet have I not declined from thy law.

I remember thy judgment of old, O Lord; and have comforted myself.

Horror (indignation) hath take hold upon me because of the wicked that forsake thy law.

Thy statutes have been my song in the house of my pilgrimage.

I have remembered thy name, O Lord, in the night, and have kept thy law.

This I had, because I keep thy precepts.” Psalm 119:49-56 ZAIN   Thanks so much for “taking this refresher course” with me, I know for some this may seem tedious and monotonous as we have “discussed” Psalm 119, verse y verse. But I do want you think about this, even if you know these verses inside out, there may be someone else who doesn’t, you may have heard them ministered countless of times but there may be  someone else who hasn’t. And we have to have his word to hold onto for this present time and the times that are coming and the word will be in our lives just want this entire chapter reinteraties, which is the Lord will not only sustain but he will revive, renew, and restore us and remembering  those promises and looking ahead in HOPE.

And as we are taught that Abraham held fast to his hope through the promises he had received of God, and as Abraham believed against hope, meaning that when  everything in the natural LOOKED hopeless and APPEARED hopeless, and if he had asked anyone did they think he and Sarah would conceive a child that would lead to him being the Father of many nations, people would have laughed them to shame, and just think, they were both elderly, many many years BEYOND the human abilities to even produce or conceive children.

Others would have thought they had lost their minds!

Ah, again, the beauty of God and the fact that NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE TO HIM and NOTHING IMPOSSIBLE TO HIM THAT BELIEVES IN HIM IN tHAT THERE IS NOTHING IMPOSSIBLE TO!

We’ll start as Paul used the at the assurance of the promise of God to Abraham. to remind us that we should stand in these promises.

Romans 4:17-21: “(As it is written, I HAVE MADE THEE A FATHER OF MANY NATIONS.) before him whom he believed, even God, WHO QUICKENETH (gives life to) THE DEAD, AND CALLETH THOSE THINGS WHICH BE NOT AS THOSE THEY WERE.

WHO AGAINST (contrary to) HOPE BELIEVED IN HOPE, that he might become the father of many nations, ACCORDING to that which was spoken, SO SHALL THY SEED BE, And being not weak in faith, he considered NOT his own body, now dead (too old to reproduce), when he was about an hundred years old, NEITHER yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb:

He staggered not at did not doubt) the PROMISE of God through unbelief:

But was STRONG IN FAITH, GIVING GLORY TO GOD. And being FULLY PERSUADED THAT, WHAT HE HAD PROMISED, HE WAS ABLE ALSO TO PERFORM.”

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020 / Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

“Thy Mercies”

VAU: Psalm 119:41-48: “Let thy mercies (loving kindness) come also unto me, O Lord, even thy salvation, according to thy word.

So shall I have wherewith to answer to him that reproacheth me; for I trust in they word.

And not take the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; for I have hoped in they judgments (justice).  

So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever. And I will walk at liberty (in  a wide place); for I seek thy precepts.

I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings,and will not be ashamed.

And I delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved.

My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate on thy statutes.”

As God gave us the greatest gift ever given, the gift of his only Son. This was the ultimate display of his mercy toward us, his creation. So many scriptures declare and expound on the wondrous mercies of God.

But you know that mercy was not only in the past, that mercy was not just for yesterday but is is for today and for your tomorrow.

God’s mercy is there so that the enemy can not destroy us before we are saved and then his mercy is there to cover every mistake and shortcoming along the way, and that grace and mercy covers us all the more!

Think about this passage today: Lamentations: 3:21-23: “THIS I recall to my mind, therefore HAVE I HOPE. 

It is of the Lord’s mercies THAT WE ARE NOT CONSUMED, BECAUSE HIS COMPASSIONS FAIL NOT (his compassion is always toward us).

They (his mercies)ARE NEW EVERY MORNING.”

So every single day God mercy and grace are brand new and no matter what happened yesterday or how he delivered and helped you that day, TODAY is brand new and he will also again help you, deliver you, and keep you in him!

Let his mercy be your shield knowing that He’s got you in the palm of his hand.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

“The way”

HE: Psalm 119:33-40: “Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes, and I shall keep it unto the end.

Give me understanding; and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.

Make me go in the path of thy commandments; for therein Io delight. Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.

Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity (looking at worthless things); and quicken (revive) me in the way.

Stablish (establish) thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear.

Turn away my reproach which I fear: for thy judgments are good. Behold, I have long after thy precepts: quicken (revive) me according to thy righteousness.

The world has reached such a level of wickedness now that is reaching the limits like those that Sodom and Gomorrah and the violence of the days of Noah  Please are so self willed and refuse to believe in the true God and believe that there is “more than one way to heaven” THERE IS NOT.

These are false teachers and liars that only want people to follow them and their pagan demons for the love and love of money and those who claim that mediums, psychics, and the occult  are just “gifted” but that is is an absolute lie and it is EVIL.

More than ever we must be on guard and do not listen to the lies of this world, God has NEVER nor will he ever change his word and he does love his people and his creation and he will forgive those who ask and but so many don’t want forgiveness or Jesus they serve the god of themselves but that is not changing Jesus, or His word or his return to this earth and he delivers his people.

There is one way and one way only.

John 14:5.6: “Thomas saith unto him,Lord, we know not whIther goest; and how can we know the way?  Jesus saith unto him, I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE; NO MAN COMETH UNTO THE FATHER BUT BY ME.”

He is and will forever be THE ONLY one and the ONLY way!

Have a blessed day!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

“REVIVED”

DALETH Psalm 119:25-32: “My soul cleaveth unto (clings to) the dust; quicken (revive) thou me according to thy word.

I have declared my ways, and thou heardest (answered) me; teach me thy statutes.

Make me to understand thy precepts; so shall I talk of (meditate on)  thy wondrous works.

My soul melteth (weeps) for heaviness (grief); strengthen thou me according to thy word.

Remove from me the way of lying; and grant me thy law graciously.

I have chosen the way of truth; thy judgments have I laid before me. I have stuck unto (cling to) they testimonies; O lord, put me not to shame.

I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.”

I want to tell you something today, you may feel hopeless, lost, not lost without Jesus, but lost as in alone not knowing which way to turn because so many things have came against you.

I want to assure you that God always sees, he always knows and when you are at your weakest point that is when the POWER of God rests on the strongest! This is the gleanings and the heart cries that open the ears of heaven to send forth miracles in answer to your prayers. Jesus is so close to us in those sorrows, those tears, and I want to give you a passage of scripture from Apostle Paul as he came to this realization himself.

2 Corinthians 12: 7-10: “And I lest I be exalted above measure through the abundance of revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet (beat) me, lest I be exalted above measure. 

For this thing I besought (pleaded with) the Lord thrice (three times), that it might depart from me.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength (power) is made perfect in weakness. 

Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my infirmities (weaknesses) THAT THE POWER OF CHRIST MAY REST UPON ME.

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches,in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: FOR WHEN I AM WEAK, THEN AM I STRONG.”  

He came to understand that if he never suffered, never struggled that he would take for granted all the gifts God had given him, because God had called Paul to a tremendous task for the kingdom and with that call he had been gifted with tongues, prophecy, healing, and miracles, he had even prayed for resurrection of the young man that had fallen from the window and died, God answered Paul’s prayer by sending life into the man again.

So it would have seemed a bit strange to him, I am sure, that when he has God to deliver him from that that was a torment and God did not, buta after the third prayer when Jesus SPOKE to him, assuring him that HIS GRACE was all Paul needed, BECAUSE the more Paul needed the more POWER Jesus shined on him. He knew the more life, or the devil, or circumstance “threw at him” the closer Jesus would be.

And that “quickening” from God, as we are also given this verse describing the work that God does in us, the same Spirit, that resurrection Power that raised Jesus from the dead.

Romans 8:11: “But if the Spirit of him that raised Jesus from the dead dwell in you, HE THAT RAISED UP JESUS FROM THE DEAD SHALL ALSO QUICKEN YOUR MORTAL BODIES BY HIS SPIRIT THAT DWELLETH IN YOU.”

Pray the verse above over yourself, your circumstance, “Quicken thou me according to thy word.”

Which is simply praying for God’s revival in us as he has already promised in his word.

Mention of promises, I want to leave you with this, from our beautiful, Holy Lord and very soon coming King, who left us these words, so we would have HOPE during dark days and know that the darkness will not last forever but will one day be replaced with his glorious light, and in New Jerusalem, God’s holy city, where his children will dwell with him, there will be no night, no darkness, just forever in His holy presence and his glorious light, no tears, no hunger, no pain.

Never again the struggles of this earth. And this IS Jesus’ promise to you.

John 14:12-18: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to my Father.

And whatsoever ye ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

If ye love me, keep my commandments. 

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter (helper) that he may abide with you for ever.

Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, AND SHALL BE IN YOU.

I WILL NOT LEAVE YOU COMFORTLESS.”

Blessing and Peace until next time.

Also for a little more encouragement please check out:

“In the pits?”        “In the den”

Making it through the night……          “The patience of Job”

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

“Bountiful Benefits”

Psalm 119:17-24 GIMEL:  “Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word.

Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.

I am a stranger in the earth; hide not thy commandments from me.

My soul breaketh for (is crushed with) the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times.

Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from thy commandments.

Remove from me reproach and contempt; for I have kept thy testimonies.

Princes also did sit and speak against me; but thy servant did mediate in thy statutes. 

Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counselors.”   

The joys of serving the Lord are beyond measure, but often in the midst of persecution or a season of lack we may not also feel blessed or feel like the chosen that we are. Which is why this verse reminds us that his testimonies are our delight and they are our “counselors”, helping us and giving us direction especially in the face of our enemies who ridicule and accuse us and God wants us to focus on Him, not on their actions especially when it seems like that have it “made” in life and it appears that they just run on forever being cruel, wicked, and unkind but God tells us often in his word that he sees all of this and even though it may appear that they are somehow rewarded, in reality if they do not change this life will be only life they have because they will be condemned to an eternal hell and in that thought you will actually feel sorry for them and here is his word on how to deal with that.

Psalm 37:1-18: “Fret not (do not be concerned with) thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.

For they shall soon be cut down like grass, and wither as the green herb.

TRUST IN THE LORD, and do good; so shall thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

DELIGHT THYSELF ALSO IN THE LORD; AND HE SHALL GIVE THEE THE DESIRES OF THINE HEART. 

Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. 

And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment (justice) as noonday.

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him; fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices (schemes) to pass.

Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; fret not thyself in any wise (way) to do evil.

For evildoers shall be cut off (destroyed); but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth .

For yet a little while, and the wicked shall NOT be; yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.

But the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

The wicked plotteh against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.

The Lord shall laugh at him; for he seeth that his day is coming.

The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and the needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation (conduct).

Their sword shall enter their own heart, and their bows shall be broken. A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked. 

For the arms (forces of control) of the wicked shall be broken; but the Lord UPHOLDETH the righteous.

THE LORD KNOWETH THE DAYS OF THE UPRIGHT; AND THEIR INHERITANCE SHALL BE FOR EVER.”

 

Φλογιζω  NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

“Hidden”

Psalm 119:9-16: BETH “Wherewithal (how) shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.

With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.

Thy word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against thee. Blessed art thou, O Lord teach me thy statutes.

With my lips have I declared all thy judgments of thy mouth I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches.

I will mediate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways. I will delight myself in they statues; I will not forget thy word.”

The cleansing power of the Word of God, we are saved through faith in Jesus and confession of salvation and he forgives ALL our sins, never to be remembered again.

He washed us in his own blood, changing the filthy rags of our own righteousness to a covering of his perfect righteousness, all for the asking, all we must do is believe and ask him! As we study his word, he speaks to us through that word, he speaks of his love for us, his mercy toward us, and the promises of those words, he also fills our hearts with that word, as this scripture reminds us:

“But this man ( Jesus), after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

From henceforth (now on) expecting (waiting) till his enemies be made his footstool. for by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. 

Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before. 

THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THEM AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAITH THE LORD, I WILL PUT MY LAWS INTO THEIR HEARTS AND IN THEIR MINDS WILL I WRITE THEM; AND THEIR SINS AND INIQUITIES (lawless deeds) WILL I REMEMBER NO MORE.  

Now where there remission (forgiveness) of these is, there is no more offering for sin. 

Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiness by the blood of Jesus.

By a NEW and LIVING way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh.

And having an high priest over the house of God.

Let us draw near (to God) with a true heart in FULL ASSURANCE of faith of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

Let us hold fast the profession (confession) of our faith without wavering;(FOR HE IS FAITHFUL THAT PROMISED)” Hebrews 10:12-23

As we had been encouraged to let the mind of Christ be in us, we understand in these passages why that is us needful for us, as God is even telling us that he will put his word in our hearts and his laws in our minds when we are saved so that we can understand his will for our lives and so that through his word we can resist this word, the devil, and all the pit falls and make our way homeward to New  Jerusalem. And this is his promise concerning what will happen for you when you get those words in in your heart and in your mind, he will bring those back at the very moment you need them!

He will supernaturally “drop” that verse in your thoughts or a particular Bible story will come to ind to let you know how to proceed, what to read or how to pray for someone else.

Whatever you need it will be there. 

John 14:26: “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I said unto you.”

Have a blessed day! and hide his word in your heart, hold onto those promises and rest in His peace! We will soon His glory like never before!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

“Road map”

Psalm 119:1-8:  Aleph:

Blessed are the undefiled (blameless) in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.

Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.

They also do no iniquity; they walk in his ways.

Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.

O that my ways were directed to keep thy statues!

Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.

I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I have learned to keep the judgments. I will keep thy statues: O forsake me not utterly.” 

Happy Sunday, I hope that you have a blessed day. Before I get into this, I wanted to say that Psalm 119 has always been  a very special chapter. Of course  every word of the Bible is special because it is our instructions, or creed to live by and the “road map’ as it is often called that will lead us home.

I had did a little break down on Psalm 119 years ago, called a study guide that highlighted the fact that this particular chapter is based on the Hebraic alphabet, which can you be viewed as “learning your A,B,C,”s” as we say here. So please join me daily for a bit as we do the actual verses in order, which Lord willing will take several weeks but this is His word and His word is our hope, our life and our bread. As we start this one I do want to point out something that I always love to point out, it used to be very confusing thinking about the word “blameless”, because we know we are not perfect NOR does God expect us to be.

So please remember that undefiled-blameless simple means “doing your best to keep God’s word”. Jesus is kind, and merciful, he does not expect us to be “perfect” because only He is perfect, we strive to keep his Word and do our best, our “reasonable service” as the Bible says. The Gospel is pure and easy to keep and simple to understand so don’t let anyone put undo pressure on you, God’s grace is forever.

Once you commit to serving him, you are His, He is yours and no one you can you away from Him, the only thing that can separate us from God is if we DECIDE we no longer want a relationship with him, it is complete free choice and Jesus loves us and no one is one our side more than He is. As we begin this, notice that it tells us that we are BLESSED, when we seek him and seek to know Him and his ways, and that as we learn those ways we are changed, little by little and as we learn more, we become anchored in His word and part of our praise to Him is the condition of our spiritual heart. The more you know Him the more you love him, the more you love him the more that love will flow out of you to others. The most important thing to remember in the days is the power of the name of Jesus, and the power of the blood of the Lamb and his love for you. i love the fact that this chapter start us with the assurance and confirmation that you are blessed!

And the blessing of God can NOT be overruled or taken away from you by anyone!

As a reminder of this, I want to point to the story of Balaam trying to have God’s children cursed, “listen” to God’s response as he would NOT allow them to be cursed.

“And GOD said unto Balaam, Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt NOT curse the people: for they ARE blessed.” Numbers 22:12 

Study theses scriptures and hide these verses that confirm your blessing in the Lord, hide them in your heart and in your mind because they are powerful, they are your promises from God.

And I want to take our thought for today and mirror it to the words of our beautiful, Holy Savior, as he gave us comfort with His words and pay special attention to the ending verses, this is why he gave us these words, so we would have hope, and comfort to finish our out our journey home, times when we are “poor” in spirit, when we feel we can’t go another “step”, times when we are discouraged, downtrodden, and beaten. Jesus reminded us that in it all and through it all we are BLESSED.

“And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set (seated), his disciples came unto him:

And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

BLESSED are the poor in spirit: for their’s IS the kingdom of heaven.

BLESSED are they that mourn: for they SHALL be comforted.

BLESSED are the meek: for they SHALL inherit the earth.

BLESSED are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they SHALL be filled.

BLESSED are the merciful: for they SHALL obtain mercy.

BLESSED are the pure in heart: For they SHALL see God.

BLESSED are the peacemakers: for they SHALL be called the children of God.

BLESSED are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for their’s IS the kingdom of God.

BLESSED are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

REJOICE AND BE EXCEEDING GLAD; FOR GREAT IS YOUR REWARD IN HEAVEN; FOR SO PERSECUTED THEY THE PROPHETS WHICH WERE BEFORE YOU.”  

Matthew 5:1-12 And he assures you that when these things happen to you, it is NOT because you are not right, or that God doesn’t love you, it is BECAUSE YOU ARE RIGHT and they hated him so they will hate us.

John 15-18: “IF THE WORLD HATE YOU, YE KNOW THAT IT HATED ME BEFORE IT HATED YOU.

If you were of the world, the world would love his own; BUT BECAUSE YE ARE NOT OF THE WORLD, BUT I HAVE CHOSEN YOU OUT OF THE WORLD, THEREFORE THE WORLD HATETH YOU.

REMEMBER THE WORD THAT I SAID UNTO YOU, THE SERVANT IS NOT GREATER THAN HIS LORD, IF THEY HAVE PERSECUTED ME, THEY WILL ALSO PERSECUTE YOU; IF THEY HAVE KEPT MY SAYING, THEY WILL KEEP YOUR’S ALSO.” 

And mention of the world, I want to you leave you with HIS word’s of comfort concerning all these things : 

John 16:33:  This things I have spoken unto you, that IN ME YE MIGHT HAVE PEACE, in the world ye shall have tribulation; BUT BE OF GOOD CHEER (hope) ; FOR I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD.”

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

“Assurance…Guaranteed”

“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, HE THAT HATH THE KEY OF DAVID, HE THAT OPENETH, AND NO MAN  SHUTTETH; AND SHUTTETH, AND NO MAN OPENETH;

I know thy works; behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it; for thou hast little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience (my command to PERSEVERE) , I also will keep the from the hour of temptation (trial), which shall come upon ALL THE WORLD, to try (test) them that dwell upon the earth.

Behold, I come quickly; hold fast that which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” Revelation 3:8-11

Jesus gave us these words as comfort and assurance, Jesus as he taught us in the Gospel Luke 21;19: “In your patience possess ye your souls.” And what is patience? It means perseverance, it means to hold on and to look not at this world or what is around you.

But to look ahead, forward, so much so in fact that you are looking toward heaven and the life that ONLY begins when this earthly life ends.

For those who have been with loved ones who were afflicted with terminal illness, you may understand this well, often those in Christ are prepared for their journey to meet Jesus, while us the family are distraught and heart broken,never desiring to be separated form those we love, but God in his blessed compassion gives them peace, peace that allows them to look ahead and not see it as the death of this life but as the rebirth of an eternal life with no sorrow, no pain, no suffering, no want, no lack, no hunger, and no thirst.

But a life that will be FOREVER in the presence of Jehovah God, Jesus, the host of heavenly angels and loved ones that have already arrived in that heavenly location.

He gives peace to make that crossing as he himself prayed from the cross, Luke 23:46: “And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, INTO THY HANDS I COMMEND MY SPIRIT; and having said this, he gave up the ghost (he breathed his last).

Stephen, the martyr, echoed those words as he was stoned because the truth he proclaimed convicted and angered the evil crowd, they felt is easier to kill him that to admit their own evil trespasses.

Acts 7:54-69: ” When they heard these things, they were cut (furious) to the heart, and they gnashed on (at) him with their teeth. 

But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and SAW the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.

And he said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man, standing at the right hand of God. And they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord (attacked him as one mob). 

And cast him out of the city, and stoned him; and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul.

And they stoned Stephen, calling (as Stephen called on God), and saying, LORD JESUS, RECEIVE MY SPIRIT. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge (please don’t hold this them).

And when he had said this, he fell asleep (died). 

As Jesus referenced the church in Philadelphia, it is noteworthy to mention to key facts, this church would have been at Turkey during Bible times but the name literally means “brotherly love” and in my belief, it can be even as with denominations, we can belong to a”church” meaning that sheepfold, and not necessarily be in that exact geological location, just as we are brothers and sisters in Christ the world over, even though we may NEVER meet each other in this life, we will in the next, because the Kingdom of God is comprised of his children from “all nations, and kindreds (tribes), and people, and tongues, (languages)”

Jesus also gave us that blessed hope in knowing that perseverance is the key, and perseverance means “do not give up, no matter what, do not give up” and as he also warned to let anyone take your “crown’, just as he also promised to keep you from all the terrible,terrible things that are coming to this world, he did not at any time say how he would keep you. It could be through the rapture, of the saints, or it could be as with Stephen, and so many others, who have died in Christ and for the Word of Christ.

His promise is all that even matters, and his promise is that you will be protected and preserved, and what I feel is one of the most awesome promises,a promise that will be fulfilled not only to those who have already suffered persecution and death through the ages, but for a blessed promise to those who are suffering now for the word of Christ and their choice to serve the one true God, the maker of heaven and earth, who will NEVER leave you or forsake you, I want to remind you of this, what will one day happen as Christ is REINTRODUCED to this earth. 

Revelation 6:9-17: “And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain (murdered) for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held.

And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and AVENGE our blood on them that dwell on earth?

And white robes were given unto every one of them, and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season (while), UNTIL their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be (will be) killed as they were, should be fulfilled (happens).

And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and lo,  there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;

And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs (drops it’s late fruit) when she is shaken of a mighty wind.

And THE HEAVEN DEPARTED AS A SCROLL WHEN IT IS ROLLED TOGETHER (the sky split apart); and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens (caves) and in the rocks of the mountains;

And said to the mountains and rocks, FALL ON US, AND HIDE US FROM THE FACE OF HIM THAT SITTETH ON THE THRONE, AND FROM THE WRATH OF THE LAMB. For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to abide (stand) in it?” 

This is what Jesus referenced when he said this in Luke 21:27: “And then shall THEY see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” 

This is not just those who believe or just a wake up call for those who don’t, this will be the entire earth beholding their creator, and those who rejoice at his return, his children who know him as he is, lovely, beautiful, holy, and kind, gentle, and forgiving and mercy divine.

Those who have prayed for deliverance shouting for joy that that deliverance has come, mirrored to those who have hated him, hated the good, and fought and martyred the faithful, hated his chosen Israel and tried to take and destroy his chosen city of Jerusalem, either way we shall all see him and see him in his glory.

Revelation 1:7: “Behold, he cometh with clouds,  and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him; and ALL the kindreds of the earth shall wail (mourn) because of him. Even so, Amen.”

Which fulfills the promise in Philippians that even those who pierced him will see him, this is because ALL, those in heaven, those in erath, and those under earth.

ALL from ALL time will see him.

And all who have hated him, his word, and all who have hated you because you are his child and you bear his word, will suddenly be faced with him and his return, and the beauty is this, they can hate us, they can kill us but they will NEVER kill Jesus again, they will NEVER stop the Gospel, and once they are faced with the horrifying realization that He is indeed real, as they watch the sky itself LITERALLY open up to reveal Jesus and the host of heaven that none of us can even begin to fathom and I believe many will repent at that moment but those who have hated and made their threats and their claims and tormented and killed his people will know assuredly one thing, there is nothing, absolutely nothing in their power that will stop Him or His will and all those with their great threats of annihilation will now be begging to die rather than face Almighty God.

It’s easy to oppress other humans but not quite going to get it when trying to oppress the one WHO CREATED HUMANS including them.

As God had promised by his word that this will take place, Romans 14:11: For it IS written, AS I LIVE, SAITH THE LORD, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME, AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL CONFESS TO GOD.” 

I don’t even propose to know what you face today but I do believe that God wants you to rest in him and just hold on, hold on to the PROMISE that he has given you and that the God who will strike terror in their hearts at his return is the same God who will also hold you close comfort you, and dry every tear and he will, in that day, make your enemies to know that you are loved by him, the very beloved of him.

Finally keep your mind on this and this hope, REMEMBERING in your own mind the hope Jesus kept in his, as this passage encourages us to think as Jesus thought as his Father’s promises allowed him to keep focused on the joy ahead.

Philippians 2:5-11: “Let THIS MIND be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.

Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.

But made himself no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men;

And being found in fashion (appearance), he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 

THAT AT THE NAME OF JESUS EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW, OF THINGS (those) IN HEAVEN, AND THINGS (those) IN EARTH, AND THINGS (those) UNDER THE EARTH;

AND THAT EVERY TONGUE SHOULD CONFESS (admit and acknowledge)THAT JESUS CHRIST IS  LORD, TO THE GLORY OF THE FATHER.”  

God bless you today and just keeping looking up, help is on His way.

Also please take a moment to listen to this song posted below,  I believe it will bless you today.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

Shall not perish…

“Then they shall you up to be afflicted and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity (lawlessness) shall abound the love of many shall wax (grow) cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Matthew 24:9-13

That is a passage that I myself have used countless times since beginning my writing ministry in 2013 but there is such a sense of urgency stirring now unlike anything ever before. You don’t need me to point it out but the hate and self centered offended attitude that has taken over the world most recently in America a hate group making the mistake of thinking they were going to take down a cross at a church when met with the pastor and the congregation letting them know they didn’t think so and the cross stands for now.

It has been building it has been since even before the serpent tricked Eve in the garden, the devil has had his sites set on all that God loves and most of all that means his children, humans, all that has been created of God the enemy wishes to destroy and he has decided so many into thinking that they are right, they are moral again the most striking proof of that is when we have political candidate accusing everyone else of being “dark” while they they themselves support the murder of unborn children, and so many so  blinded by their hate that they really believe that they themselves can do no wrong which is sickening.

Anyone having such an arrogant, self willed view of their own importance above anyone else to me is just sickening.

And I really want to ask has anyone not noticed the theme of this all?

Even in America where the politicians are bragging that they are “fighting for the soul of America”?

Remember we are taught to compare natural to natural, spiritual to spiritual, how much truer could a statement be?

But it is not a good statement, the serpent convinced Eve that eating the fruit would change everything  and it did, but not to the end she had believed,it was for what he hoped would be the destruction of humankind.

And it is a battle now and prophets have been sending out gentle warnings for a very long time now as we see persecutions rise the world over and it is now in our own backyard and we fail to believe and be so hard headed that we really think “Oh that can never happen to us:” we are already half there. 

I did bringing it forth in that same gentle reminder vane, and as I have watched news of persecutions and arrests and desecration of places holy to our brothers and sisters the world over I wanted to send forth just such a reminder, for all whom maybe have never heard this word. Have hope, your life your reward is not in this world. True life begins when we are gathered with Christ and His Kingdom will have no end, but it is so important to hold onto his promises until that day.

So to reiterate the things that were to take place, have been taking place and now are escalating at an astonishing pace, just as those contractions during birth, which is why Jesus chose this comparison, once “labor” sets in, it increases in pain and frequency of those contractions and once it has started that process must be endured until that baby is born.

You need only watch the news or read a paper, Earthquakes allover the place, I had been on the phone with a person and suddenly heard all this loud banging in the background and the person soon realized that an earthquake had just happened as we spoke, it was chilling, and they noted that in their area they never have earthquakes and a few weeks later, yet another informed me that they had been awakened by an earthquake at 3:00 am, a few days later I would also experience this, and I live in an area that never has earthquakes and on a Sunday morning a few weeks back I was sitting drinking coffee and felt everything under me shake, and then felt it again if someone hit the earth itself with a bulldozer for lack of better words and it was confirmed we had indeed had an earthquake.

Earthquakes, tornadoes, raging forest fires, heat waves,  temperatures recording at highest in known history.Crops being destroyed by floods and locust swarms. A new double header threat approaching as two tropical storms threaten to unite very shortly.

Covid having created a world whose faces are now hidden behind masks, fear of disease, fear of death,, fear of the unknown helping to fulfill the prophecy soon coming, Men’s hearts failing them for fear.

Covid along with all the natural disasters now bringing starvation and isolation, while millions riot, scream, and hate, wanting to destroy all that is good, kind, or holy, persecuting the children of God the world over, nothing new, the hatred of the Jews, God’s chosen and the country Israel as powers now form alliances against her, the country that God himself has chosen for his future dwelling site of New Jerusalem.

As Jesus told us, and I have used the many times so if you are  a regular reader, please do not take it as repetitive, not everyone may have heard this and if you have, get your Bible and you tell others, help those who will hear, let them know what time it is that we live in, because God has sent forth watchmen and I believe in the last days it would be many, many watchmen, to share the Gospel with anyone who will hear and share the HOPE that these things that are coming to pass are not forever and that if they trust Christ, these things will only lead to the beginning, not the end because Jesus told us that when we see these things come to pass, our redemption draweth nigh, meaning his return.

If you are faced with that perception and hatred today, please keep these words in your your heart, learn them inside and out because they are the promises of God himself to you as he gave comfort concerning these terrible times.

Matthew 21:14-19: “Settle it therefore in your hearts, NOT to mediate on what ye shall answer; For I WILL give you a mouth and wisdom, which ALL of your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.

And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you they will cause to be put to death. And ye shall be HATED of all men for MY NAME’S SAKE. BUT THERE SHALL NOT AN HAIR ON YOUR HEAD PERISH.

In your patience possess ye your souls.” 

He left us these words as assurance to not think of how we will answer, what will we say when faced with persecution, as he said hated by all nations, hated by all who do not know him, and that we are to not think about any of it and rest assured that he will give us words from him that can not be disputed, but he is also saying in this that there will be those who die, just as those who have already, for the word of God, but in this he gives the most amazing promise, that even death can not kill your soul and that even having died to this earth, not one hair on your head will perish, change, or be lost because that is the foundation of the Gospel, Jesus RESURRECTED from the dead, everything they did to him in killing him changed NOTHING. He resurrected, he visited his friends, he ate, he comforted, he dried Mary’s tears and the Bible even says that books could not even be written to hold the account of the things he did AFTER the resurrection before he ascended back to heaven, (John 21:25) and that is what he wants his children to rest in and be assured of, if you are in Christ, the bodies only die once, that’s it, this is why Jesus said that NOT A HAIR ON YOUR HEAD WILL PERISH.

“Listen” to what he tell us in Revelation 2:10,11: ” Fear NONE of those things which thou shalt suffer; behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days; be thou faithful unto death, and I will give the a crown of life. HE THAT HATH AN EAR, LET HIM HEAR WHAT THE SPIRIT SAITH UNTO THE CHURCHES; HE THAT OVERCOMETH SHALL NOT BE HURT IN THE SECOND DEATH.”

Also for more on end time subjects please check out the live links in post and for more on these subjects, visit: BLESSED / THE BETROTHED AND THE BEHEADED PART 1   and BLESSED/ THE BETROTHED, AND THE BEHEADED / PART 2

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/Reverend Nina Brown Johnson 

 

Jehovah God IS THERE

“These be the names of the mighty men whom David had: The Tachmonite that sat in the seat, chief among the captains; the same was Adino the Eznite: he lift up HIS spear against eight hundred, whom he slew at one time.

And AFTER him was Eleazar the son of Dodo the Ahohite, one of three mighty with David, when they defied the army of the Philistines that were gathered together to battle, and the men of Israel were gone away: He arose, and smote the Philistines until his was weary, and his hand clave (STUCK) unto the sword: and THE LORD WROUGHT A GREAT VICTORY THAT DAY; and the people returned after him only to spoil (plunder).

And AFTER  him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. And the Philistines were gathered together into a troop, WHERE WAS A PIECE OF GROUND full of lentiles: And THE PEOPLE FLED FROM THE PHILISTINES. But HE STOOD IN THE MIDST OF THE GROUND, AND DEFENDED IT, AND SLEW THE PHILISTINES; AND THE LORD WROUGHT A GREAT VICTORY. 2 Samuel 23:8-12

 This was a rather impromptu writing and it was born of a conversation I had with my beautiful friend after church Wednesday night, we had been praying and she said that something said and reminded her of Shammah, and then I said and yeah, isn’t there Jehovah Shammah and told her I’d look it up for us, because year after year it is hard to always remember what we have studied, but Jesus promised that He would “bring all things back to our remembrance” So He does remind us of His word EXACTLY when we need it.

This was not the first time this had been brought up in our church, another Sister a couple of months back mentioned it one night from the pew and after I had researched it, I think it is well worth ALL of us in this time to remember this story. We ARE in a battle, we all know that, it is the battle royal for souls and for the TRUE WORD OF GOD, and FOR THE HARVEST OF OUR FIELD that will proceed the coming of our King.

And what I want you to notice in these verses that time after time the enemy encamped, and time after time a warrior was raised up to fight against them and time after time GOD GAVE VICTORY.

BUT  they WERE required to protect that ground THEMSELVES, and if you look at Eleazar, he fought until the sword actually stuck to his hand, he had held it so long and use it so much that his hand had actually, in pain and tiredness, wrapped to it and he WAS weary. I know we get weary, we get tired, and I know the people “have fled” from the house because of the pressure, threats, and attacks of “spiritual” Philistines, pressuring the just could not endure any longer, and then they only came back when blessings were to be had “dividing the spoil” so that should cues us in on the fact, that not everyone is gonna be around for the fight, but someone has got to do it.

And when the Philistines came after the very land itself (view this SPIRITUALLY, your churches, your promises, your God Given destinies) Shammah STOOD in the middle of it, he did not hide, he did not run, but he STOOD and he DEFENDED IT.

God DOES protect, God DOES go before us, and God ALWAYS has our backs, BUT sometimes we are required to stand and defend what God has GIVEN us or it will be taken.

God GAVE Shammah the victory, BUT Shammah first had to be WILLING to STAND AND FIGHT FOR THAT VICTORY. We have to let our voices be heard concerning the TRUE Gospel, we have to let the TRUTH of sin be known and we have to GENTLY admonish and warn people to the truth or otherwise we HAVE given our field to the “Philistines” already.

And why SHOULD God do anything for us as the “body” of Christ will allow any thing to be done to lessen His Word, or candy-coat His truth, or coddle sins and behaviors that we KNOW will send people to hell?

And AGAIN this is NOT About the particular church that I attend, This is about the “Church” as a whole, all of us, all believers that this something I felt as I study it that we need to be on guard and ready to STAND for the particular field God has GIVEN us, as His children. Your field, my field, we all have been GIVEN different fields but we MUST be willing to fight for them and NOT just give them away because the enemy tells us to!

WAIT ON GOD for the victory!!!! BECAUSE GOD IS THERE!

 Ezekiel 48:35: ” It was round about eighteen thousand measures: And THE NAME OF THAT CITY FROM THAT DAY SHALL BE THE LORD (YHWH {JEHOVAH} SHAMMAH) IS THERE.”

So the LORD IS THERE, HE IS JEHOVAH SHAMMAH and He will fight for you IF you stand and DO NOT BACK DOWN FROM THE ENEMY. And Fight with HIS WORD which IS the SWORD of the SPIRIT,

“For though we walk in the flesh (natural human state) we DO NOT war after the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare ARE NOT carnal (earthly), but MIGHTY THROUGH GOD TO THE PULLING DOWN OF STRONG HOLDS;) CASTING DOWN IMAGINATIONS (arguments) AND EVERY HIGH THING THAT EXALTETH ITSELF AGAINST THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD, AND BRINGING INTO CAPTIVITY EVERY THOUGHT TO THE OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

  If we ALL stand together in whatever field God has chosen for us, WE WILL SEE the goodness of the Lord, USING HIS SWORD, HIS WORD:

 “And ye shall CHASE your enemies, and they shall FALL before you by the sword. And five of you shall chase a hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies SHALL FALL before you BY THE SWORD.” 

Again you see the UNITY that we must have in these last days and it that field for this harvest!

Love and Peace, have a blessed week!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017         

Re-posted 5/15/2019 from 2017 Archive

Revisited 08/21/2020 Thought someone may need to be reminded of this today, no matter where you are or how alone you may feel, HE IS THERE

“Protecting the Vines”

“And it came to pass, that on one of those days, as he taught in the temple, and preached the gospel, the chief priest and the scribes came upon him with the elders. And spake unto him, saying, Tell us, by what authority doest thou these things? or who is he that gavest thee this authority?

And he answered and said unto them, I will also ask you one thing; and answer me: The baptism of John, was it from heaven or men? 

And they reasoned among themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then believed ye him not? But if we say, Of men; all the people will stone us; for they be persuaded that John was a prophet.

And they answered, that they could not tell where it was hence (where the authority came from). 

And Jesus said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.

Then began he to speak to the people this parable; A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth (leased it out) to husbandmen, (tenant farmers) and went in a far country for a long time.

And at the season (vintage time) he sent a servant to the husbandmen, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard; but the husbandmen beat him, and sent him away empty (empty-handed)

And again he sent another servant: and they beat him also, and entratedhim shamefully, and sent him away empty. And again he sent a third: and they wounded him also, and cast him out. 

Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be they will reverence him when they see him.

But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the HEIR: come, let us kill him, THAT THE INHERITANCE MAY BE OURS.

So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him, What therefore shall the lord (owner) of the vineyard do unto them?

He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others. And when they heard it, they said, God forbid.

And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED,THE SAME IS BECOME THE HEAD OF THE CORNER? Whosoever shall fall on that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. 

And the chief priests and scribes the same hour sought to lay hands on him; and (but) they feared the people: for they perceived (knew) that he had spoken this against them. 

And they watched him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves as just men (pretend to be righteous men of God) that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor.” Luke 20: 1-20

A lot going there, of course we know Jesus was referencing the fact that God had leased out earth, if you will, and even the term husbandmen- literally, tenants, farmers living there and owing the owner a portion of those crops.

And as he sent the servants, we know these are the prophets, and instead of heeding the words of the prophets, they chose to beat and ostracize them, and what I really love about this passage is this, when the owner sent his son, they KNEW he was the son, never once says anything otherwise, they knew exactly who he was, they wanted him dead for one reason only, so that they could take his inheritance. 

And we also know that Jesus was also speaking to the fact that his own people had rejected him and in their doing so the vineyard would be given to others.

The priests and scribes who were supposed to be in service to him wanted not him, only the power and prestige that their positions brought them and they wanted that so much so that they will kill the very heir to ensure they kept that statue. And we also know that in their rejection of him, that vineyard was given to “others”, we know also that that means “us”, us being those as Jesus said “whosoever will-come”.

That rejection by his own people opening the door for all nations, all kindreds, and all tongues, as it is written, everyone, anywhere the world over now being offered that beautiful vineyard because those who were to keep only wanted to keep it for themselves. 

But we can also see so much more in this.  as the Bible tells us, “nothing new under the sun”, one of my go to scriptures, and there’s not. 

Is there really that much difference from those of  that day beating the servants and killing the son in order to hold on a little longer to what was nevers theirs to hold on to, and those of today that will try to destroy the servants of that same vineyard in order to keep power and prestige of this day? 

Those who will deny the very existence of God, sanction and even enforce the slaughter of the unborn, euthanize the elderly and those they consider “broken beyond repair” all the while pretending it is all for “the greater good” spreading hatred and division, inflaming others to pledge allegiance to them, being worked into such a frenzy that they never stop to investigate a little farther exactly what and who they are pledging that allegiance to. 

Same vineyard, different keepers and they will so anything, anything to try to keep an inheritance that is not theirs.

We know Jesus was talking about this earth and we know that just as they persecuted him, even sending out pretenders to spy on him, to listen to him, to try to trap him and we know he has children the world over under the same persecution today.

Same vineyard, same owner and same old devil working through those who want to take what belongs to a kingdom that shall never be taken.

So think about it today, and see it for what it really is, all the politics, all the power struggles and those who would sell their souls to the devil himself to feed the power hungry beast inside of them, who only want recognition and power and control over others and in gaining that control they will do everything in their power to keep that control, so choose your allies carefully and if it does not adhere absolutely to the word of God, don’t align yourself with it.

And if those “husbandmen” that are like those before that beat the servants, killed the son, are now persecuting you, know this wonderful thought, they did indeed kill the Son but he ROSE and that the next visitor to the vineyard will be the one who created it and he will protect and he is coming back to defend it.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

PREPARED Part 4… what you are really being prepared FOR

“And IF THE RIGHTEOUS SCARCELY BE SAVED, WHERE SHALL THE UNGODLY AND THE SINNER APPEAR?” 1 Peter 4:18

This verse should be the sound of the alarm bells ringing on that ticking clock of the return of Christ that should be a wake up call to all.

“Sinners or saints, young or old, black or white, meaning your views are dead set and you see no other “colors” in between.  Even green or grey,  just trying your best to find the way, meaning, whether we are newbies, “green” in the Gospel or have the “grey head” of wisdom from years in His service, we all should hear the terrifying WARNING of that verse. 

My sister and I have discussed this in great detail over the years. If you really dissect this verse, it really ASKS us to think long and hard about the very simple truth that IF the righteous, those who have exchanged the “filthy rags of their own righteousness” for the PERFECT covering of the righteousness of God himself stated  Isaiah 54:17(b) “…And their righteousness IS of me, saith the Lord.”

There is NO righteousness outside the righteousness of God. It is not possible for any human, or any other pagan belief system to offer righteousness to us. 

Our righteousness will only be found through the acceptance of Jesus Christ and in the washing of our souls in His blood. This verse tells us that bearing ALL that, if we do the VERY BEST we can do, we will still SCARCELY be saved, which means just barely making it in.

And yes, I do realize there is a whole doctrine of once in grace, always in grace. I realize even more painfully the current movement is “Repentance? What repentance?” 

What I personally believe this line to mean is this, even though we ARE saved and our salvation is ASSURED (Romans 8:35-39) BUT being human and subject to all things human, all the snares of trying to live “holy” in an incredibly unholy world.

A world that not only encourages every kind of imaginable sin, but CELEBRATES those sins and even alienates others for NOT participating in those sins. The deception IS so strong, just as Jesus warned us of the false Christs, and false prophets.

Matthew 24:24: “For there SHALL arise false Christs, and FALSE PROPHETS, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that IF IT WERE POSSIBLE, they shall deceive the very elect.”

False teachers and false prophets that lie and deceive those who want a “commandment free” RELIGION and choose deception over true SALVATION. And he is warning us that this deception is so meticulously convincing that IF IT WERE NOT FOR HIS DIVINE INTERVENTION, HIS VERY CHOSEN WOULD BE DECEIVED! HE WILL NOT ALLOW US TO BE DECEIVED… UNLESS WE ALLOW OURSELVES TO BE.

Which also brings in two more verses. Matthew 16:24: ” Then said Jesus unto his disciples, IF any man will come after me, LET HIM DENY HIMSELF, and take up his cross, and follow me.”

Notice the denial, denial of all the desires and whims of the flesh and of this world. Taking up that cross, having “crucified our flesh DAILY” through the renewing of our minds in his word, and following in HIS footsteps and HIS teachings and CHOOSE to be led by God, who does truly KNOW everything rather than a world who likes to think they KNOW more than even God, who CREATED it all, including them!

Forsaking ALL their high browed arguments against God, and against the very laws and commandments he himself designed FOR OUR OWN GOOD, and against the truth of his existence, trusting in their genetic frailty and decay because they simply REFUSE to acknowledge that their pompous minds could be wrong and that their souls could actually be subject unto a higher being, and that there could be a standard that they will be measured against.

And it is just easier for them to DENY his existence rather than to ADMIT their guilt.

Even though there is no “escape clause” in the Bible excusing us from the penalty of eternal hell and damnation because of our unbelief, quite the opposite, gotta have FAITH in him and in his existence. 

Hebrews 11:5: “But without faith it is impossible to please him;  for he that cometh to God MUST BELIEVE THAT HE IS, and that HE IS a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

These pressures and these forces that make it so hard for US, that we SCARCELY slide by their traps, the traps of the temptations to sin, the traps of false doctrines whispered in our ears and bombarding us by television and media.

I, for one, think we need to stay away from even listening to these lies, I know others may “study” other “religions” but in doing so, they are opening themselves up to the “doctrine of devils” and allowing those polluted thoughts inside their minds, we are told specifically that all these teachings are AGAINST God and this will get you on the wrong side of the boat, fast.

James 4:4: ” Ye adulterers, and adulteresses, know ye not that THE FRIENDSHIP OF (with) THE WORLD IS ENMITY WITH GOD? WHOSOEVER THEREFORE WILL (wants to) BE A FRIEND OF THE WORLD IS THE ENEMY OF GOD (makes himself the enemy of God).”

All the nonsense of learning each other and fellowship of “tolerance” is just more of Satan’s deceptions. God never said to hate others or mistreat them because of differences BUT his word tells us to STAY AWAY from all of it.

NONE of us EVER grow so much or climb so high that we are above temptation, snares and traps, as long as we are human and on this earth we can, do and will stumble, that is why we are told SCARCELY, but we repent, get up, go on and TRY it again!

One of the innumerable beauties of Christ is that HE IS faithful to forgive us, over and over, and over, when our hearts are sincere, his grace is endless. 

But for those who do err and teach sin and absolute contempt for his commandments and yet proclaim salvation to all whether they repent or accept Christ or not that somehow they are under a magical umbrella, teaching the complete OPPOSITE of repentance and salvation.

Matthew 15:8,9: “THIS PEOPLE DRAWETH NIGH UNTO ME WITH THEIR MOUTH, AND HONOURETH ME WITH THEIR LIPS; BUT THEIR HEARTS IS FAR FROM ME. BUT IN VAIN THEY DO WORSHIP ME, TEACHING FOR DOCTRINES THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN.” 

He warned us right there! We are warned many times of the deception, that they WILL use his name, they WILL shout to the whole world that he is great, all this comes from their lips but in their heart, remember, “as a man thinketh in his heart, so IS he”, so their HEART, the truth of their belief is far, far from God or the things of his kingdom.

I believe that the false teachers DO NOT even believe in his existence.

I truly do not think anyone could believe in him and not fear teaching the things they teach. They teach the things people want to hear, to give them a false sense of eternal security never converting them to that actual security, in order to gain financially and in popularity. 

Sometimes it is hard to win people to the Lord, but truthfully, I think some of the greatest words we will ever hear in doing so, is these “I don’t want to be a hypocrite”, when someone acknowledges that they are not interested in serving the Lord, and that they FEAR the Lord and do not want to allow others to believe that they are while still unrepentant, that PROVES that there is HOPE for that person!

As long as they BELIEVE that HE IS, there is hope, as Jesus also told us, John 3:18-20“He that believeth on him is NOT condemned, BUT he that BELIEVETH NOT IS CONDEMNED ALREADY, BECAUSE HE HATH NOT BELIEVED IN THE NAME OF THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD.

And THIS IS THE CONDEMNATION, that light is come into the world, and MEN LOVED THE DARKNESS RATHER THAN THE LIGHT, because their deeds were evil. For everyone that DOETH EVIL HATETH THE LIGHT, NEITHER COMETH TO THE LIGHT, lest his deeds should be reproved (exposed).” 

This ANSWERS Peter’s question, WHERE will they stand at his coming? WHERE will the ungodly, those who deny, ridicule, and scoff at God, his statues, and his very existence?

WHERE will the sinners, I know everyone hates that word now, used to make people THINK, now just makes them angry, HOW dare anyone CALL THEM A SINNER?

That is a big one right there! Self-willed and prideful, lust of life, refusal to acknowledge that we could POSSIBLY do wrong!

We do not need to beat people over the head but when they are running the “reprobate risk” we need to give the a wake up call.

Sin is sin, and well, certain things ARE sin, you do those things, guess what, makes you a sinner! We have ALL been sinners! We ALL STRUGGLE AGAINST SIN!

That is part of SCARCELY! ME, you, EVERYONE fights sin! 

Again JESUS CHRIST OF NAZARETH, THE MESSIAH, said THIS, point-blank, period, no ifs, no ands, and no buts. THIS is THE LIST of those who will NOT be allowed in his kingdom.

Revelation 21:5-8: “And HE THAT SAT UPON THE THRONE said, Behold, I make ALL things new, and he said unto me, Write: FOR THESE WORDS ARE TRUE AND FAITHFUL.

And HE said unto me, It is done, I AM ALPHA AND OMEGA, THE BEGINNING AND THE END. I will give unto him that is athirst of the  fountain of the water of life FREELY. 

He that OVERCOMETH shall inherit all things: I WILL BE HIS GOD, and he shall be my son.

BUT THE FEARFUL (cowards), AND THE UNBELIEVING, AND THE ABOMINABLE (despicable, obnoxious, etc.), AND MURDERERS, AND WHOREMONGERS (sexually immoral), AND SORCERERS, (psychics, witchcraft, etc.), AND IDOLATERS (putting EVERYTHING before God), AND ALL LIARS, SHALL HAVE THEIR PART IN THE LAKE WITH BURNETH WITH FIRE AND BRIMSTONE: WHICH IS THE SECOND DEATH.”

These are the words of Jesus, It is NOT written in red because John was writing to us what Jesus spoke to him, and we KNOW this is indeed Christ by His reference of Alpha and Omega.

Just to be so clear of WHOSE words these are, and the words of Christ are written in red, so Revelation 1:8: ” I AM ALPHA AND OMEGA, the beginning and the ending, SAITH THE LORD, which IS, and which WAS, and which IS TO COME, THE ALMIGHTY.” 

He reveals his complete identity in this verse, HE IS the beginning of all things, HE IS the end of all things, HE IS everything in between.

He WAS, John:1-17In the beginning WAS the Word, the Word WAS with God, and THE WORD WAS GOD. 

The same was in the beginning with God. ALL things were MADE by him: and without him was not any thing made that was made.

IN HIM WAS LIFE; And the life WAS the light of men. AND THE LIGHT SHINETH INTO DARKNESS; AND THE DARKNESS COMPREHENDED IT NOT.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light. 

THAT WAS THE TRUE LIGHT, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

He WAS in the world, and the world WAS made by him, and the world knew him not.

He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, EVEN TO THEM THAT BELIEVE ON HIS NAME;

WHICH WERE BORN, NOT OF BLOOD, NOR OF THE WILL OF THE FLESH, NOR OF THE WILL OF MAN, BUT OF GOD.

AND THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH, AND DWELT AMONG US, (and we beheld his glory, the glory, as the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This WAS he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me IS preferred BEFORE me; FOR HE WAS BEFORE ME.” 

All that Jesus had said of himself. 

Humans can not look on the face of God, when Jesus came here, he came AS the Son of God, HE IS the Son of God, HE IS the Word, which did truly dwell among us and at his resurrection we were given the gift of that resurrection power which allowed the death of our flesh and spiritual birth in him because he actually DWELLS in us through the Holy Ghost.

But HE IS also God, which is why he referred to himself as IS and IS YET TO COME, meaning his return to earth and his kingdom that will be very much ON earth, precisely in what is now Jerusalem, soon to be NEW Jerusalem.

And as far as his Word, which HE IS, he left us all we need to know in the pages of his Holy Word, The Bible.

STUDY it for yourself, or get the audio version of the King James and listen to it. DO NOT take others words as his word, we are in such a time of deception and there IS only one way to heaven and the return to New Jerusalem and assurance of eternal life, and that IS through Jesus Christ.

1 john 2:22-23: “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is an anti-Christ that denieth the Father and the Son.

Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath NOT the Father: [but] HE THAT HATH ACKNOWLEDETH THE SON HATH THE FATHER ALSO.”

We have to have Jesus and we have to have his salvation and his forgiveness, and we will not have to ask ourselves WHERE shall we appear, when this world hears something similar to those spoken by the Lord in the Book of Amos, when they are told to “prepare to meet thy God”.

He’s coming back, ready or not, and we better be prepared to meet him.

Love & peace to ya, till next time! Thanks for reading!

Φλογίζω Σαλπίζω NB 2018

Posts in this series: PREPARED Part #1

PREPARED Part#2

PREPARED Part #3

More of the deceptions being taught about hell: RESERVATIONS FOR HELL

Original post series 2018/ Revisited 08/14/2020

“PREPARED” part#3 “Would-be wedding crashers washed inside out”

WHOSOEVER believeth that Jesus IS  the Christ IS BORN OF GOD:  and every one that loveth him also that is begotten of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.

For this IS the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are NOT grievous (burdensome).

For WHOSOEVER IS BORN OF GOD OVERCOMETH THE WORLD:

And THIS is the VICTORY that OVERCOMETH the world, EVEN OUR FAITH.  

WHO is he that overcometh the world, but (except) he that believeth that Jesus IS the Son of God?

This IS he that came by WATER and BLOOD, even, JESUS CHRIST; NOT BY WATER ONLY, BUT BY WATER AND BLOOD.

AND IT IS THE SPIRIT THAT BEARETH WITNESS (proves in agreement), BECAUSE THE SPIRIT IS TRUTH.

FOR THERE ARE THREE THAT BEAR RECORD IN HEAVEN, THE FATHER, THE WORD, AND THE HOLY GHOST: AND THESE THREE ARE ONE. 

AND ARE THREE THAT BEAR WITNESS IN EARTH, THE SPIRIT, AND THE WATER, AND THE BLOOD: AND THESE THREE AGREE IN ONE (as one)1 John 5:8

As strange a comparison that it may be, our human natures are not that different from delicate clothing that comes with a laundry label stating, “Turn garment INSIDE OUT before washing” and for most of us, we seek salvation when our lives have been “turned inside out”, when everything falls apart just like those improperly washed garments. 

This was once the first and foremost thought of the Gospel, the cleansing power of Jesus Christ and the fact that it is vital and non-negotiable. WE MUST BE WASHED and we don’t need me “preaching” over and over to know that the “common” societal view of “the church” and the leniency concerning sin and acceptable service to the true God is truly in need of a good scrubbing!

I UNDERSTAND the thought process of it, I UNDERSTAND not wanting to push people or make others feel “judged” but seriously, if you are saved, didn’t you at one time feel the CONVICTION of the Holy Spirit LEADING you to that water to be washed and cleansed by the blood from all your SINS?  There is NO middle ground concerning this. 

In the Book of Matthew, chapter twenty-four, Jesus tells us the parable of the Wedding feast, He is telling us that the Kingdom of heaven is like a great wedding feast and those who were invited (the Jews of that day) just blew off the invitation, they MADE THEIR EXCUSES as to why they could not come, and he even said this, But they MADE LIGHT of it, and WENT THEIR WAYS… Does that sound familiar?

Have you talked with someone and witnessed to them about Jesus? Gently warning them about all the changes of the world events and that no one know WHEN he will return but that he surely will, and have them “make light of it”, just blow it off, like nothing, like time is under their command? “Nothing new under the sun”…same rotten attitude.

He goes on in the parable to tell of the anger and wrath of the King who had invited them to the wedding of his Son, because not only had they scoffed at his invitation they attacked and murdered his servants that he had sent to them delivering “those invitations” on his behalf.

And as those who scoffed and made light, there were also those who tried to “crash” the wedding, ones who, even though they WERE invited, THEY REFUSED HIS INVITATION and decided at the last possible moment to attend, NOT bathed and not appropriately dressed, when HAVE to be clothed in “HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS” that has always been one of my favorites verses, because it is such a  comfort “OUR righteousness IS as FILTHY RAGS”, that is the BEST we can do as humans!

That is WHY it is so COMFORTING! We can never “clean ourselves up” but GOD gives us his cleansing water and the robe of HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, and NO ONE is getting into the wedding without that.

Back to our scriptures, so those who were originally invited REFUSED, the servants were sent back out.

Matthew 22:8-14” Then saith he to his servants, the wedding IS ready, but they which were bidden (invited) were NOT worthy.

GO ye therefore into the highways, and AS MANY AS YE SHALL FIND, BID (invite) TO THE MARRIAGE. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together ALL as many as they found, BOTH BAD AND GOOD: and the wedding was furnished (filled) with guests.

And when the king CAME in to see the guests, he saw there a man WHICH HAD NOT ON A WEDDING GARMENT:

And he saith unto him, FRIEND, HOW CAMEST THOU IN HITHER NOT HAVING A WEDDING GARMENT? AND HE WAS SPEECHLESS.

Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and TAKE HIM AWAY, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called but few are chosen.”  

I have read this and used this passage numerous times but one thing kinda jumped out a me today, his servants just kinda GATHERED, good and bad, which of course ALL were bidden but I am not so sure that the servants really “prepared” those the found, I think they were more interested in just rounding them up.

When the man was asked HOW did he get in without the REQUIRED “garment”, he was SPEECHLESS. Not knowing how to answer, what to answer, so he just did not answer.

Did he even KNOW that there were requirements? It really seems that he didn’t have a CLUE as to what was EXPECTED of him or what should be EXPECTED by him if  he chose “crashing” over his invitation.

And for the king to ask him HOW he came to even be there UNPREPARED, does seem like some of that falls on the servants failure to explain “the fine print” on those invitations.  Nicodemus could have been close to an almost wedding crasher, he WAS NOT but he first came to Jesus by night, in secret, he BELIEVED but he wasn’t PREPARED to admit that at that particular moment, and that is our other battle, you must CONFESS him as your Lord.

Romans 10:10: “For with the heart man BELIEVETH unto righteousness; and with the mouth COFFESSION is made unto salvation.” That is the wedding crasher mentality, they secretly think the marriage is a great idea, that the groom is an awesome guy, they just ddon’t want ANYONE else to know how they really feel.

Which is WHY Jesus said this, Luke 9:26“For WHOSOEVER shall be ASHAMED of me and of my words, OF HIM SHALL THE SON OF MAN BE ASHAMED, WHEN HE SHALL COME IN HIS OWN GLORY, AND IN HIS  FATHER’S, AND OF THE HOLY ANGELS.”  

It is not negotiable, back to his answer to Nicodemus, John 3:3-8: “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I SAY UNTO THEE, EXCEPT (unless) A MAN BE BORN AGAIN (from above) HE CANNOT SEE THE KINGDOM OF GOD. 

Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I SAY UNTO THEE, EXCEPT (unless) A MAN (human)BE BORN OF WATER AND OF THE SPIRIT, HE CANNOT ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

That which IS born of the flesh IS flesh; and that which IS born of the Spirit IS spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN.

The wind bloweth where it listeth (wishes), and thou heareth the SOUND thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and wither it goeth (can’t tell its direction either way) SO IS EVERY ONE THAT IS BORN OF THE SPIRIT.” 

That is THE message, that IS the most pressing task before any of us in this moment, they must be prepared and they MUST be born again! We MUST be washed by him!  Remember when he washed the disciples feet?

John 13:5-7: “After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash his disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet (are you washing my feet)? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest NOT now; but thou shalt know hereafter (do not understand now but will later) Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt NEVER wash my feet, Jesus answered him, IF I WASH THEE NOT, THOU HAST NO PART WITH ME.” 

We go back again to WHOSOEVER will, WHOSOEVER will COME and take that water, but we have to let these invited guests know that they have to TAKE the water, they HAVE to be WASHED and they have to be WASHED INSIDE OUT!

Love and peace till next time and join me for part#4

For series posts:Prepared Part #1 Preparing for the wedding of a King

Prepared Part#2 Oxygen to Fire

 

Φλογίζω Σαλπίζω  NB 2018

Original post 2018 revisited 08/12/2020 Rev.Nina Brown Johnson

 

 

“PREPARED” Part#2 oxygen to fire

And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused (questioned) in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not; John answered, saying unto them all, I INDEED BAPTIZE YOU WITH WATER;

BUT ONE MIGHTER THAN I COMETH, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: HE SHALL BAPTIZE YOU WITH THE HOLY GHOST AND FIRE:

Whose fan(winnowing fan) is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor (threshing floor), and will gather the wheat into his garner (barn); but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.” Luke 3:15-17  

I want to remind of you of a little of John’s own journey to the Kingdom, he had been filled with the Holy Ghost while still inside his mother’s womb, he had also spent his life up to the point of his ministry in preparation for that ministry and everything he did was unheard of in his time.

He was so different and taught so differently that those who heard him wondered who he could possibly be.

And also those of the enemy who HOPED that he was not who they were afraid he might be. (Now that was almost a tongue twister!)

We are told that the people were expecting, they were in that mind-set, no one knew exactly what to expect but they knew something major was on the horizon. 

Imagine what thoughts were going through their minds when John answered them that he was NOT even worthy to touch the shoes of the one that they should be expecting and imagine the confusion and fear they must have surely felt when he informed them that they would receive a holy baptisma baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire.

Do you think they understood any of this? Maybe some, the Lord certainly could have quickened hearts to that understanding, but most would have been a little fearful, at the very least by these statements.

The Holy Ghost is who takes us from death into life, it is God changing us by truly giving us HIS Spirit, that is why we should never get caught up in the “waiting until we can live it” deception that prevents so many from accepting Jesus.

We CAN’T change and we CAN’T live it, that is why He gives us His Spirit because he strengthens us from the inside out, so that we can overcome all those things that are impossible for humans, and thankfully, that includes overcoming death and hell, as HE OVERCAME THEM for us.

And it is as that water that the Spirit and bride are urging “whosoever will” to come, to take that water freely. We must have that, we must have the Spirit of God or we will not enter into his kingdom.

Romans 8:8-11:”So they that ARE in the flesh CAN NOT please God. But ye are NOT in the flesh, BUT in the SPIRIT, IF SO BE THATTHE SPIRIT OF GOD DWELLS (lives) IN YOU.

NOW IF ANY MAN HAVE NOT THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST, HE IS NONE OF HIS.

AND IF CHRIST BE IN YOU, THE BODY IS DEAD BECAUSE OF SIN; BUT THE SPIRIT IS LIFE BECAUSE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.

BUT IF THE SPIRIT OF HIM THAT RAISED UP JESUS FROM THE DEAD DWELL IN YOU, HE THAT RAISED UP CHRIST FROM THE DEAD SHALL ALSO QUICKEN (give life to) YOUR MORTAL BODIES BY THE SPIRIT THAT DWELLTH IN YOU.”

It is as that “fan” John spoke of, that winnowing fan that IS used to blow the chaff away from the wheat, it frees the wheat from the dirt and useless particles that get stuck to it in the growing process (again, some serious symbolism in that also).

Now think about the day of Pentecost recorded in Acts 2:1-4: ” And the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were ALL with ONE ACCORD (purpose of mind)  IN ONE PLACE. AND SUDDENDLY THERE CAME A SOUND FROM HEAVEN AS OF A MIGHTY RUSHING WIND, AND IT FILLED ALL THE HOUSE WHERE THEY WERE SITTING. 

AND THERE APPEARED UNTO THEM CLOVEN (divided) TONGUES LIKE AS OF FIRE, AND IT SAT UPON EACH OF THEM. AND THEY WERE ALL FILLED WITH THE HOLY GHOST, AND BEGAN TO SPEAK WITH OTHER TONGUES (languages) AS THE SPIRIT GAVE THEM UTTERANCE.”

Once again we are seeing the need for that unity, but more for the point of this subject, we see that the Spirit came SUDDENLY and a sound as rushing wind and the fire sitting upon them, them being filled with His Holy Ghost and His fire.

As his blood washes us as we are forgiven for our sins, all these work as part of the process that cleans the “wheat “from all the things of the world and purifies us for the kingdom. 

Fire is usually associated with pain and destruction but with God, who IS a consuming fire, it is part of our hearts being purified, “as gold in a furnace” and as fire consumed the offerings that had been accepted. And think about the very life force that God breathed into us, perfect temperature but once that life is over we grow stone cold and we also need that spiritual fire in our souls to be fully “alive” in Him. 

All believers are given the Holy Spirit to lead them and guide them once they accept Christ but the Baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost in so essential and such a completely different experience, just as that experience was described in the Book of Acts.

ALL these WERE saved, but God endued them with this power, HIS power to bring forth those miracles and signs that birthed the early church. I do truly understand that the teachings that this was only for that period of time, but I promise you, that teaching is quite mistaken and we NEED a revival of the fire baptism and the Holy Ghost NOW more than we ever have in history.

HIS anointing is what will break those yokes of bondage and it is what allows believers to “live” out their faith, they have assurance, assurance that they have FELT that there truly is so much more than this world.

But I am sure it sounded scary for them when John preached it but as John was sent to prepare hearts of that time, and maybe it still sounds scary to those who have never surrendered to Him. But it is not painful but certainly can be felt, it is beautiful as God would never harm his children. 

I am sure all this and the apocalypse and earthy reign are all terrifying also to those we are being sent to this day. Never think it doesn’t scare me, something would be truly messed up if a person did not fear it but if you serve Christ, he doesn’t want you to be afraid, only READY. 

But refusing to tell them or to even acknowledge that all these events will and must come to pass is really not accomplishing anything.

And this is why Jesus warned us to pay close attention and not let these things come “upon us aware”

They are not getting saved, they are not being prepared, any ever question why so many repented under John?

Maybe because he actually DID preach things yet to come. We let so many things interfere with our responsibilities to Christ and to the kingdom.

So many mega churches packed with thousands and thousands of people and yet content NOT knowing whether or not these people have truly accepted Christ. Content that just by being there “it will sink in” and they will be saved, but what is it doesn’t just “sink in”.

What if they are taking for granted that since no one is saying otherwise they MUST be okay. Because if their souls was in danger, surely someone would say something, wouldn’t they? The Bible asks us a very good question, “HOW can they hear without a preacher?”

But our problem now is How can they repent if the preachers refuse to preach?

This REFUSAL to preach hell, brimstone, and repentance is what has brought us to the era of  “pagan palaces” that are calling themselves true churches of God and allowing absolute abominations to God in condoning, allowing, and outright celebrating practices that are anything but Godly.

We always want “the other guy” to say something, do something, stand for something and in the end NO ONE IS STANDING FOR ANYTHING. 

So with the LAST commission of the Gospel the Bible gives, we are ALL being told EXACTLY what we are to do.

Because just as he sent those before to lessen that fear and encourage them and warn them to salvation, as the bride of Christ we also are sent with a very clear message.

Let’s review it one more time, Revelation 22:17: “The Spirit AND the bride, say, COME. And LET him THAT HEARETH, say, COME. And LET him that is athirst (seeking), COME. And WHOSOEVER will LET him TAKE OF THE WATER OF LIFE FREELY.”

As far back as the fall of Adam, God has said “COME”, the Bible even says of Jesus, “the Lamb who was slain before  the foundations of the world”  deliverance and salvation are a constant thread through the Old Testament, in preparing the world for that reconciliation back to God in its truest sense.

Jesus encouraged ALL to come to him, The comforter was sent, so we KNOW the Spirit wants people saved. As the body of Christ, the bride of Christ, we had better want people saved.

Our voice individually and as a collective church body the world over, should be in unison with the Spirit, in our prayers and in beckoning COME. Notice also, it is not just one denomination, or group, or nationality.

To the best of my ability and understanding, in the Book of Revelation chapters two and three combined, seven times  in his message to the seven churches, Jesus tells us this, He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

This explains why often we hear a message and then hear a similar message somewhere else or on television, because we are ALL one church and it is ONE Spirit over us.

So with our verse, the Spirit is the first voice and joined with the bride have both given the invitation.

The second  group is those who have heard what the Spirit has said and they are also to “send out that wedding invitation” to tell them simply, COME. 

The third group is those who are seeking, maybe they have been “on the fence off the fence”, unsure as to what they really believe, but thirsty, desiring something that will give them refreshing relief, they are told to COME. Meaning seek no more, come will you may.

And the fourth group is a net that spans all of the earth, WHOSOEVER will, rich, poor, young, old, former pagan cult member, former atheist, WHOSOEVER

Anyone! Anyone who has chosen to believe and accept Christ and the water of life FREELY as the wedding bells begin to toll.

It is salvation, free and clear, point-blank. 

Next time, Lord will, part #3, we’ll look a little closer at that water, we’ll discuss the behavior expected form those invited and most importantly the wardrobe the King has  provided and commanded the guests to wear!

For complete series: Prepared Part #1 Preparing for the wedding of a King

Prepared Part #3 Would be wedding crashers washed inside out

Φλογίζω Σαλπίζω NB 2018 

Original post 2018/ Revisited 08/11/2020

 

“PREPARED” Part #1, Preparing for the wedding of a King

And the Spirit and the bride say, COME. And LET him that HEARETH say, COME. And LET him that is athirst COME and take of the WATER OF LIFE freely.” Revelation 22:17 

This is quite an invitation and what I love about this verse, it that it IS an invitation.

This is a wedding that had not happened because although they ARE speaking as one they are named SEPERATELY so what am I even talking about? So glad you asked:)!

We all know that marriage in all cultures is considered a covenanted  process, a beautiful celebration with the families giving their very best to provide for that wedding, depending on your location and beliefs, either the grooms family or the brides family but either way, ALL cultures hold marriage with the same honor, reverence, and life long commitment. 

No shock that the enemy has chosen marriage, TRUE marriage as God intended between a male and a female as his hottest battle ground. If he can pervert the very DEFINITION of marriage, he can attempt to confuse and twist one of the MAJOR end time teachings of the New Testament.

As Paul said, the great MYSTERY that IS Christ, His bride, which IS the church and the great Marriage Supper of the Lamb, which the absolute culmination of ALL things that have ever been since He spoke everything into creation, ALL that has been and ALL that will EVER be will be merged into oneness at that wedding.

Just as he came to the garden and walked and talked with Adam, just as he came down and spoke with Abram, as he let Moses just glimpse his glory, just as he spoke through the prophets, giving each a little insight into his WORLD, his beauty and his majesty, that they could NEVER effectively put into words.

He came down as a baby and even in that humble beginning, His great glory and majesty could not be concealed. The angels HAD to worship, they had to ANNOUNCE the arrival. 

Offerings in the form of gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh HAD to be brought before him because ALL kings and ALL nations WILL bow before him. People of ALL nations, languages, and tribes WILL bring their offerings of praise before him in that day. In that day our WORLDS will become ONE.

Prophecy had been given since the dawn of time to ease humans into this, all the prophecies as they eagerly awaited his arrival on earth as Messiah. Thousands of years, with prophets FULFILLING the words of OTHER prophets, which tells us a little of what level of preparation was needed. Think of John the Baptist, who fulfilled the words of the prophet Isaiah and Malachi.

John 1:15-23:   “John bare witness of him and cried, saying, THIS IS HE OF WHOM I SPAKE, He that cometh after me is preferred before me. And of his fullness have ALL received, and grace FOR grace.

For the law was given by Moses, but GRACE AND TRUTH CAME BY JESUS CHRIST.

No man hath seen God at any time: the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath DECLARED him.

And THIS is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask, Who art thou? And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am NOT the Christ.

And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elisas? {they knew the prophecy but Jesus said that John WAS the foretold voice fulfilling this prophecy} And he said, I am NOT. Art thou that prophet? And he answered and said, No. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? THAT WE MAY GIVE AN ANSWER TO THEM THAT SENT US, What sayest thou of thyself?

He said, I AM THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, MAKE STRAIGHT THE WAY OF THE LORD, as SAID the prophet Esaias (Isaiah).” 

They could HEAR “the voice” that just did not want to “hear” they did not want to acknowledge the time they were entering, just as those today have “sent” their messengers in attempt to tear down the Gospel of Christ, hoping to silence THE VOICE that WILL NOT SILENCED, that VOICE shall bellow from the very mountain tops.

So just what DID Isaiah say? Isaiah 40:3-5:”  The VOICE of him that crieth in the wilderness, PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE STRAIGHT IN THE DESERT A HIGHWAY FOR OUR GOD.

EVERY VALLEY SHALL BE EXALTED (lifted up)  AND EVERY MOUNTAIN AND HILL SHALL BE MADE LOW : AND THE CROOKED PLACES SHALL BE MADE STRAIGHT, AND THE ROUGH PLACES PLAIN  (smoothed out): 

AND THE GLORY OF THE LORD SHALL BE REVEALED, AND ALL FLESH SHALL SEE IT TOGETHER: FOR THE MOUTH OF THE LORD HATH SPOKEN IT.

WHY? Why WAS and IS a preparation needed?

Well, think about those verses, this was to prepare people for an encounter with God.

In preparing for this preparation, EVEN the angel Gabriel was SENT to Zacharias, to proclaim that he and his aged wife would have a child, a chosen child and even that there were to name him John, which literally means “grace” and given John’s commission BEFORE he was even conceived in Elisabeth’s womb. 

And this was that commission, the words of the angel Gabriel as recorded in Luke 1:17:AND HE SHALL GO FORTH IN THE SPIRIT AND POWER OF ELIAS, TO TURN THE HEARTS OF THE FATHERS TO THE CHILDREN, AND THE DISOBEDIENT TO THE WISDOM OF THE JUST; TO MAKE READY A PEOPLE PREPARED FOR THE LORD.”

How do you prepare people to the fact that their worlds are about to be rocked by the arrival of one, who will have the ability to miraculously heal the sick, restore sight to the blind, cause those bound by paralysis to rise and not only walk, but run and leap because of the joy he also placed in their recovered souls.

One who will SPEAK to the storms and command them to cease. SPEAK to demons and they should fall at his feet and  tremble in terror of him.

That he would have the ability to look through us, into our very souls and perceive EVERY single thought of not only our conscious mind but also our soul and heart.

One who would have such a gentleness and absolute tenderness that he would verbally defend women against the spoken and unspoken hatred and judgment of others, healing them not with touch of his hand but with his LOVE, giving them access to his very heart.

One who cried in sorrow with those who grieved. One who would walk on water and be transfigured into his glorious light before the very eyes of a select few, as he spoke with Moses and Elijah.

That he would not only raise the dead but that his own dead body would raise up (some symbolism in that, the resurrection his church NOW desperately needs).

HOW do you prepare people for that? Just as the Hebrews were  SCARED absolutely to death of him at Mount Sinai, they did not want to talk to him, they pleaded with Moses to be a go between.

As scared as they were, even SEEING his mercy, glory, and protection. How much more terrified would people have been had they NOT been prepared by these prophecies of what they should expect.

Now, as our scripture from Revelation tells us, those VOICES are to be heard and the first voice mentioned IS the voices speaking TOGETHER the SPIRIT and the bride speaking in complete unison.

God dealt with me several years ago, about the need for that surrender by his church a submission that would truly allow that merging, it is an old post, from 2014 and revised in 2015, but if you have a moment, please read it and it will help in understanding this one: Click here> merge,

I really believe that we have come into that unison, those who have sought have found and I also believe that the “invitations” are already being delivered.

I believe it is that close.

So I want you to look at a couple of things in that verse, okay, they are technically still separate, BUT they are speaking as ONE so that separation is merely location.

Remember with the Jewish grooms of the Old Testament, the groom RETURNS for his bride, there is NO question about their relationship ONLY the FINAL PREPARATIONS to be made so that she can join him.

So next time, I’ll get into our starter verse and we’ll look at that “wedding invitation” a little closer and decipher our “duties” in getting other PREPARED for the reign of Jesus Christ on this earth.

And no longer is it just an “invitation”, it is that they should be WASHED, clean,”clothed” and ready to enter into the doors.

And NOTHING will EVER fully prepare THIS WORLD to meet its maker, who will not be visiting for walks in the cool of the evening or teaching chosen disciples but WILL take his place AMONG his people and for that I am not sure they could ever be completely prepared.

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω  NB 2018

Original post 2018 but more than ever we need to remember and be encouraged that there is so much greater ahead!

Other posts in this series:

Prepared Part #2 Oxygen to Fire

Prepared Part #3 Would-be wedding crashers washed inside out

PREPARED Part #4

 

Having confidence in this…

“Of these things put them in remembrance, charging (urging) them before the Lord that they strive (argue) not about words to no profit, but to the subverting (ruin) of the hearers. Study (be diligent) to shew (present) thyself as approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the truth of God. But shun profane and vain babblings (worthless talk): for they will increase unto more ungodliness.” 2 Timothy 2:14-16

Now that is quite a warning there, perfect for that day and precise perfection for this day. Now more than ever we need to seek God and we need to seek his word and we have to be so careful when we are dependent on others for our spiritual food, and so often we can take the teachings of others while neglecting what God may want to reveal to us by not having those moments in private study of his word. And that is is NO WAY saying not to listen to your preacher or your pastor, God put those people in your life to help you and help you grow, but it is so vital that you know the word for yourself. As we are warned in that passage we are not to argue the word of God. Since the day that the Serpent TWISTED those words he coerced Eve with causing the fall of mankind, there have been and will be until Jesus returns those who only want to discuss it as a way to try to disprove it, and as we are warned this only leads to more ungodliness, because while they are debating with “us” someone else is always listening and that someone can can be very easily swayed into choosing the wrong path.

“THIS know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous (money lovers), boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy.

Without natural affection, trucebreakers (irreconcilable), false accusers (slanders),incontinent (without self control), fierce, despisers of those things which are good.

Traitors, heady (reckless), highminded (haughty), lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.

Having a form of Godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 

For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away by divers (various) lusts; 

EVER LEARNING, AND NEVER ABLE TO COME TO THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH.” 2 Timothy 3:1-7

Now think of this as in the phrase “old wives tales”, when someone would hear something no matter how far out and repeat that and on and on it would go, but many along they way believing these various superstitions and “teachings”, such as “breaking a mirror will cause seven years bad luck” and one cute on from the south, is that if you look out and see a red bird (cardinal, to the rest of the world) the next man you see  will be your future husband, if this would were true many people would be in for a world of hurt, but I suppose it came along when prime husband material was far and few in between and someone made up to give some young ladies hope on the prairie when many lived in the middle of nowhere and “pickings were slim” (I had to throw that one in there because I am just that kinda chick 😉

My all time favorite that I heard more than once as a child, that if you keep eating spoonfuls of salt your blood will actually dry up, I was very suspicious of that, but it is an interesting way to keep children from early hypertension.

But you get my point, you all, no matter where you are, know some old weird saying, now apply this to those who twist and distort the true teachings of God, and cause those who would serve go to believe things that are just not true concerning actually living for God.

The Bible dictionaries often state that the term there “having a form of godliness” is in reference to having been created in the image of God,and I am not disputing that, but I would like to submit another thought on the usage of that here, if  a person such as the ones he is referring, has the appearance of being godly, you can think Jim Jones or some of the other famous false prophets there, and even apply it those teachers that lead people astray today in allowing them to wallow in unrepentant sin.

Just as that verse states, led away by those lusts, those things that God absolutely says we can not do, it disturbs me to no end how many teach now that it’s okay to drink… no it is not and the Bible gives us very clear reason why because it will destroy us and yes some people may be able to drink wine with dinner and be fine but you can’t tell them there is a one glass limit, that is why we are in the state that we are in, people are seriously confused concerning the teachings of God because there is so much taught that has “moderation”, there is no such “clause” and if people are needing a “clause statement” to serve the Lord, with a list of what sins or borderline sins that are allowed to commit and what their allotted quota is before they tap out and have to refuse their flesh is not serving the Lord anyway and they still need to repent because when you come to God, you give God your all or don’t even waste your time playing games, that is what the form of godliness is referring to, attributes that would lead on an onlooker to assume and even believe that that what they are seeing is of God, but the heart and intent is so far from God that they are denying the very power of God to change and redeem lives.

So now to counter all that information that may just not be quite right it is imperative that you know the word for yourself, and I know that for many of us old English is quite confusing, and I will be glad to tell you that before I knew Christ I could have won the seat as Mayor of Heathen-Ville hands down and I promise if I could be blessed to learn the Bible anyone who has that desire can, I could understand some of Jesus’ teachings but after that it became a completely foreign language and even after I was saved and realized that much of it is accounts of lives and held references of places and terms that I was clueless of, it seemed even more a challenge, and not that I think I know anything now, I do know what God has taught me, but let me give a word from James.

James 1:5: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth it to all men liberally,, and upbraideth not (without reproach); and it shall be given him.”

Meaning that God will never make you feel rejected or inferior in heart, God never chides or belittles us, God wants us to know him and know his word and he wants us to grow and anything concerning his kingdom he will teach you, through his word and the leading of his Holy Spirit as you study that word and then you become a workman that needs “not be ashamed” because you know how to “divide” that word, meaning God gives you the understanding of that word as he has intended and you will have confidence and stronger faith because you have the word of God in your heart and mind for yourself.

When others try to lead you astray or convince you of something that that little voice inside is telling is not quite right, you will know God’s word concerning that, which is for not only your benefit but for those others who hear your response and you will also know just how far to go with that response and at what moment you should end the conversation.

So if you are new to all this, please, please let me suggest you start with the Gospel of Matthew, or the Psalms, and you do need the Old and New Testaments because they are together for a reason contrary to some popular teachings, but as you study do it just as you are comfortable whether it is ten minutes here, or an entire chapter there and take notes as certain passages “come alive” and encouraging words for your own life are found in those blessed pages.

I promise as you ask God to bless you in his word your mind will be blown and don’t be so surprised if that seemingly daunting task of taking on that giant book suddenly ignites into such a fire in your heart that you will find it hard to put it down out of sheer necessity, he can bless you that much that it becomes a love, a passion, and just as Jeremiah stated, “His WORD was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones…”

There is a reason that it is the “Living Word” we are so close, as this world is darker everyday, and God will have his kingdom and he will send his workers into harvest that field but those workers must be trained and that training comes studying his word, so I don’t know who he is raising up but I know that his word will go forth in the last days and it will be preached, all the word, the sugar free version that needs no artificial sweeteners because it is sweetened to perfection, …”as Christ also hath loved us , and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour (aroma).” (Ephesians 5:2)

But no matter where you start, just start, if you don’t have the KJV Bible, get one and if you feel like you need a little extra help, get an audio Bible to listen along as you read, but once you start and give it all you got you will be amazed and you will be amazed when he starts revealing all he has for you and passages you had never noticed will suddenly become profound and don’t be so shocked when you suddenly have to share that word with others, again, He is raising some people up! 

Have a blessed rest of your week, and for a little more of this topic, please check out this post: Psalm 119: A Study Guide

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

 

 

 

 

“Listen… don’t listen”

selective photography of white lamb on hay

Photo by Paul Seling on Pexels.com

“VERILY, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is but a thief and a robber.

But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

To him the porter  (doorkeeper) openeth and the sheep hear his voice; and he calleth his own sheep by name and leadeth them out.

And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him for they know his voice.

And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of the stranger.  

This parable spake Jesus unto them; but they understood not what things they were that he spake unto them.

Then said Jesus unto them again,  Verily, verily, I say unto you, I AM the door of the sheep,  

All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, to kill, and to destroy; I am come that ye might have life, and that ye might have it more abundantly.

I am the good shepherd, the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.   

But he that is an hireling (hired hand) and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth; and the wolf catcheth them and scattereth the sheep.

The hireling fleeth. because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

As the Father knoweth me even so know I the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.

And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice: and there shall be one fold (flock) and one shepherd.” 

John 10:1-16

I love when Jesus reinterites to us, so fulfilling the message of Psalm 62:11: God hath spoken once, twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God.” 

Have you ever noticed that often if you are going through something unusual or you are praying praying for an answer or for guidance, nine times out ten you will hear the “same” message or same passage of scripture twice, it can even be a sermon and a friend both relying the same word or thought. The Good Shepherd is a parable that many are very familiar with, even if you may not have been “churched”, it is just one of Jesus most famous titles and rightfully so. 

He wanted to warn us against those who would promise “spiritual enlightenment”,  those who promise “another way” those who argue that there are many ways, not true, Jesus is the ONLY way. 

As he pointed out to us, the thief, satan and his workers are thieves, there are those who want to give you some false religion for their own vanity as having some mystical insight into things that can not be seen.

I truly believe people fall snare to this often due to the false belief that God could not possibly speak to them or that they somehow need a “mediator”, Listen to me, JESUS CHRIST IS THAT MEDIATOR, you can approach him with ANY question you have, He died for us, why on earth would he forbid us to come to him? Especially when he himself said, “Come unto me, ALL that labour and are heavy laden, and I WILL give you rest.”

He did not say to go ask others the “way”, HE IS THE WAY. Physics, mediums, and all other forms of “spiritualism” are demonic and that is why we are giving this warning and these are but a few of those voices that will whisper to you falsely that there is some other way, Listen to this description.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15: “For such ARE  false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

And no marvel (not surprisingly); for Satan himself is transformed (transforms himself) into an angel of light. 

Therefore it is no great thing if HIS MINSTERS also be transformed AS ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works.”  address your questions, and thought to Jesus and to him only and he will answer you through his word or by sending ou a word but that word will come through a sermon or even an anointed song at the right moment, or a true child of God with a word of knowledge for you, but either way know this, that no true answer will be found in any voice other than that of the true shepherd and the instruction he sends as he says FOLLOW.

So please LISTEN to Jesus, listen to that “still small voice” Listen as He leads but do NOT listen to all the other voices that claim to know a better or another way!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

Lettin’ it ride…

“Perverse disputing of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness (godliness is a means of gain), from such withdraw thyself. 

But godliness with content  is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

And having food and raiment (clothing) let us therefore be content.

But they that be (desire to be) rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many hurtful lusts, which draw men into  destruction and perdition.

For the love of money is the root of all (all kinds of) evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many arrows.

But thou, O man of God, flee these things, and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and meekness.” 1 Timothy 6:5-11 

This is kinda of a hard thought to relay, but you know with everything going on right now, it is  really good time to remember what really matters and if any of us were to think back for just a moment to our pre- Christ days, I am sure we would all agree that no matter where we were, who our friends were, what job we held, the social circles we moved in that without him we were empty, lost and absolutely dead.

And not only speaking of those who have spent life searching for fortune and fame but now also those who have been content, making money and living a little at a time trying to do their best for their families and think now all have fallen victim to our new, never before dreamt of  perils, with the economy crashing and many having now lost their jobs due to the pandemic and many more in danger of it everyday because this virus just is not going away.

But we got to have hope and our hope is God and his goodness and his provision for all our lives and even if one is not having any pandemic related worries sometimes it can be the world and other people making you feel like you have to be “more”, do “more” that you are measured somehow against some invisible standard that says you must accomplish this or that by some magical date or age, or you are just not worth your salt.

Me and my best friend were discussing the “woes of this world” the other day, and we grew up in such a time that was so different, now everyone has someone that they hate and if you don’t hate that person too, than you are a hater, which is quite the oxymoron, kinda like friendly fire, no one is allowed to have their own opinion and we must walk on eggshells and chose every word very carefully because even the slightest word misspoken will put you under that fire and no one cares if it hurts you, your family, whoever, the world is so ready to put you on public display for that perceived infraction, such as the Pastor that lost his lease because someone noticed he had posted a trump meme.

Have we all forgotten where we came from? Especially those of the house of God, we were not ALL sinners washed by the perfect blood of the Lamb Lord Jesus, do we not all have the same blood, especially when that blood is as heirs of Christ?

And even worse for those who have not made that conversion to salvation because oh we know what it is like when that Holy Spirit conviction comes and we are forced to look into that spiritual mirror of how we have judged and misjudged others, God using that often as that catapult to our own repentance.

But for us,  sometimes the wisest decision  made is to just let things ride and let it all work out in it’s own time and remembering the very wise words spoken by one who knew all these varying emotions well.

“Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins, keep thyself pure.” 1 Timothy 5:22,

Paul had written this as he wrapped up his teaching on how to treat one another and expected behaviors of the church.  And I believe, that we are in danger more at this present time, than any time in history of doing just that, of becoming so focused on the moment and choosing the lesser of two evils, that we can easily fall into another sins.  God had so  much written on contentment and contentment with him and in him, this is where we rest.

And in the knowing that this world is but for a moment and you have the awesome promise of eternal reward and eternal fellowship with God, everything pales in comparison to that and if it were our last night on this earth, the only truth that would remain and only thought worth thinking would be thoughts of that glorious day. So I’d like to present you with some scriptures that I pray will keep us will help us all stay focused on what truly makes us free.

“Surely I am more brutish than any man, and have not the understanding of  man. I neither learned wisdom, nor have knowledge of the holy.

Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name? and what is his son’s name? if thou canst tell (know it)? 

Every word of God is pure, he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

Add not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

Two things have I required (requested) of thee; deny me them not before I die; Remove far from me vanity and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient (you prescribe) for me;

Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.” Proverbs 30:2-9 

He is confessing his own humanity and asking for God to take control and let his life be never rich nor poor but content by being divinely governed by the hand of God. 

“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again, I say Rejoice. Let your moderation (gentleness) be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.

Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with  thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

And the peace of God, which passeth  all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report;  if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, now that at the last your last care of me hath flourished again; wherein you were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned with whatsoever state I am, to be content. I know both how to be abased (live humbly) , and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

I can do ALL things through Christ which strengthens me.” Philippians 4:4-13 

He is relaying to us the need to keep our minds focused on those good things and reminding us that God gives us peace that goes so far beyond human comprehension that there are no words to describe it, we are not even capable of understanding the magnitude of that peace.

he is also reiterating the fact that it was needful for him to understand both the concepts of both ends of the spectrum, because in his ability to understand this, he had that contentment through the peace of God and he could also witness that contentment to others, and think of this, he is still witnessing to us with the words about nineteen hundred and fifty some odd years later. 

And finally, Micah 6:8 ” He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”   

And he is asking this as  a rhetorical question, and we need to ask ourselves this now, what does the Lord expect from us?

The same thing he has always wanted, to repeat those words, to love him, to love justice, to do good, and do what is right, not what the world demands as their interpretation of that right, but what God’s words demand.

“Jesus said unto him, THOU SHALT LOVE THE LORD THY GOD WITH ALL THY HEART, AND WITH ALL THY SOUL, AND WITH ALL THY MIND. This is the first and great commandment. And the second like unto it. THOU SHALT LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS THYSELF.” Matthew 22:37-39

Just let it ride, as the world does its thing, just find your peace and rest in Jesus and in knowing that in all things he has you and he has your today and tomorrow in the palm of his hand and you can rest in knowing that he will never let you down.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

Take a minute to remember when he set you free! And if you have not made that decision do it today! You WILL never know what you are missing UNTIL you experience the love and peace  of Jesus for yourself! 

I am of the Holiness persuasion, so I gotta love this song, I hope you enjoy it! God bless you and have a wonderful tomorrow ahead!

“Covered, higher than I…

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

When the wicked, even mine enemies, and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.

Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.

One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord (delightfulness) of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.

For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me upon a rock.” Psalm 27:1-5

That is probably a very familiar passage and it is as powerful and as vital for our spiritual survival today as it was for David, when those words were inspired into his heart.

And our world today is truly darker because we are in the last days, the days that have been foretold, days concerning futuristic times that many scholars and theologians  have attempted to determine, the days whose events were once thought to be only symbolic because at that time the details seemed impossible.

Those who once could not fathom the image from Revelation chapter eleven, as the two witnesses of God lie dead in the street, how the entire world could see this image and how the entire world could be filled with glee over those deaths, but as that was impossible for those before us to understand as a literal event, we now know, due to technology that those before us could not even imagine, and we know that now thanks to the internet people the world over seeing images from the world over is nothing extraordinary, but an every day routine, all the events that we as humans have tried for years to rationalize as “symbolic” are just as they are proving to be, quite literal.

So for me, when I think of David, I take those words literal. He had haters, those who would have loved to have put him in the grave and then danced with glee on top it. He had battles, he felt loneliness and isolation, and I am sure there were times he felt misunderstood , even by those closest to him, especially when he chose to show mercy to those others felt were more deserving of being shown vengeance by the edge of a sword.

All the same emotions we experience today, different time, different battles but still the same old enemy, the enemy that had been whispering his lies since the day he had the serpent speak those twisted words into the ears and heart of Eve and that is the voice that still speaks hatred and hopelessness today, and that is his purpose, his plan, and his end goal.

It is not just about the world and how that world will be controlled, it is about you, and me, and ALL that are created in the image of God, which means all of us, it is personal, don’t you think he would have loved to have put an end to David?

How happy would he have been to have David order the execution of his son, the son who was determined to take his kingdom, rather than lament his death as David did. It is all the same old voice and he is not whispering anything new, he whispers the same words that have divided us since the fall of man, the words undoubtedly that he used to convince one third of the host of heaven to rebel against their creator and their God. 

I want to remind us all of the words of Jesus as he expounded on what we could expect as we near the end of days, end of the days of this present world but the beginnings of the blessed world eternal.

“And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and at what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?   

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man  deceive you.

For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that ye not be troubled: For all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Then they shall deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated by all nations for my name’s sake.

And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and hate one another.  

And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.  And because inquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

But he that shall endure unto the end shall be saved.” Matthew 24:3-13

As Jesus warned us and all these things began with the disciples and the persecution of the  early churches and continue with the persecutions of Christians today, but with the spread of false religions and false prophets “preaching” a gospel that is NOT of the one true God, we also see that love, as I have written on many times, the common compassion one for another, as humans is being destroyed due to that hatred and sin that abounds now.

And there are those whose actions give you more than enough reason to feel anything except love toward them but when you think of this spiritually, as I once heard a preacher mention in regard to something someone else had said concerning how they were mistreated, the only “good” these people will ever know is in this world. If they do not repent, what kindness they know, what peace if any that will have, is what they have here, on this side of eternity.

As Jesus taught us love truly conquers all and love must be protected and if the enemy had his way he would steal every ounce of love in your heart today.  David did not write this when he was on “the mountain top”, he did not write this as he felt confident and victorious, he wrote this when he felt what we all feel at times, afraid, weak, discouraged, and alone.

And in those times he learned to look ahead, to look to the end of all things, he learned to ask, and to seek, to pray for the covering shelter of the Lord.

Only God knows what you may be feeling today or why you are feeling that way but I want to encourage you to “turn off” all the noises that trouble you and rest in the assurance that this world and all the trouble of it is nothing in sight of eternity and when there are things here that are beyond our control to ever change we can have hope knowing that those things will one day cease and love and mercy are forever and that wonderful “place” that God so often hid David He will hide you also, and that is your for the asking. 

Think of all the times you have heard the term “cover”, on movies, “Cover me, I’m going in”, Insurances that we are “covered by” someone “covering” a tab, the term has always meant to be taken care of, to be protected from an unknown attack, for someone to help us when we need that help. God is supreme at covering us, he covers us with his love and Jesus covered our souls by purchasing us with his blood. And there is no way that he is going to just leave you stranded, feeling beaten, lonely and afraid.

“The righteous cry and the Lord heareth and delivereth him out of all his troubles.” Psalm 34:17

“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.” Proverbs 18:10

“The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom will I trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower,” Psalm 18:2

We can’t fight these things alone, God never intended us to, so use this as a model for your prayer and always know that no matter how down we get or alone we may feel that Jesus is and always will be the someone, the only one who is “higher than I”.

Psalm 61:1-4 “Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.

From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower  from the enemy.

I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert (shelter) of thy wings.” 

Take him up on that covering shelter today!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

 

“Lest we forget…”

“At that time, Berodachbaladan, the son of Baladan king of Babylon, sent letters, and a present unto Hezekiah; for he had heard that Hezekiah had been sick.

And Hezekiah hearkened unto them, and shewed them all the house of his precious things (treasures), the silver, and the gold, all the spices, and the precious ointment, and all the house of his armour,and all that was found in his treasures, there was NOTHING in his house, NOR in ALL his dominion that Hezekiah shewed them not

Then came Isaiah the prophet unto king Hezekiah, and said unto him, What said these men? and from whence came they unto thee? (what did they say and where are they from) And Hezekiah said, They are come from a far country, even from Babylon.

And he (Isaiah) said, What have they seen in thine house? And Hezekiah answered, All the things that are in mine house have they seen, there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shewed them.

And Isaiah said unto Hezekiah, Hear the word of the lord, Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers laid up in store unto this day, shall be carried away into Babylon, nothing shall be left, saith the Lord.” 2 Kings 20:13-17

That was quite a trap, notice the plural of letter, nothing like his good old friend or more to the point, those whom he was already trying to “play nice” with, the Babylonians checking him out seeing how he was doing because they knew he had not been well.

Quite true, so unwell if fact that God had just extended his life, but now with the attention he craved and desire to impress he had in fact invited in the very enemy that would devastate their nation and not only were they invited they were given the grand tour of everything, everything that was held precious, dear, and above all, even what should have been kept most secret, the armour was made known.

Can you only imagine the glee, the laughter in the hearts of the Babylonians once they knew every treasure, every ounce of substance, and most assuredly every possible defense that Hezekiah had?

And you know maybe he just felt like, well, it’s okay, their not really that dangerous, or maybe, he was like, well they may be ruthless conquers but that won’t be like that with me, after all if we can all be “on the same side” a few differences won’t matter. It DID matter and it has always mattered and it will ALWAYS matter.

Enemies are enemies even while pretending to care about you only to know what is there for the taking.

And honestly, social media has all but destroyed us and if we don’t wake up soon , we will be destroyed. We have become like Hezekiah, we have put our hearts and souls, those “precious things” on display for the entire world to see, people, thousands and in some cases millions of people seeing every area of our lives and what truly horrifies me, is as a nation, we are displaying all the hate, mistrust, indifference fighting against each other, in battles that can only be fought through God and that only God can change those darkened hearts.

Which is why we are so warned by Jesus, Matthew 7:6: Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend (tear) you.”

There are countless scriptures on this, you can not reason with someone who has not been spiritually enlightened and they will only attack us farther, there is no changing minds that are blinded and darkened by the enemy and that does not mean to fail to speak for truth and justice. We also must very careful of the snares of lesser of two evils, there is evil, there is good and two wrongs don’t make a right and ends do not justify means.

We are to weigh every single action on the Word of God, not that we always meet this mark, not many of us do, I try and often fail to hit that mark myself, that is why are we human, but we must try and the reason this is so important is this, we can often while in pain and distress create alliances that will, like in the case of Hezekiah cost us more than we would ever willingly pay

We often forget during times of turmoil and unrest is the simple truth that while we are busy being each others enemies, real or perceived, that we collectively have common enemies, and satan has done such  a job with divide and conquer that even the most innocent word or miscommunication can have every word or action being viewed as an attack, we can not have thoughts, feelings, or opinions that differ without being labeled and individuality completely lost because we are categorized, stereotyping each other with the same typecast that we accuse others of, the names may be different but still the exact same action.

And now for what we are totaling forgetting, just as Hezekiah forgot, sure these guys may seem to support you at the moment and sometimes when you’ve been down that can seem like a welcome comfort but while we are showing the treasures of our house, we as Americans still have some serious enemies, and a little dose of reality right here, they do not care, they do not care that we are black, white, american Indian, Mexican-american, Asian American, Jewish, Christian, any documentation or no denomination or not even believe at all. Rich, poor, old, young, chick, guy, straight, or gay and I will tell you want they do care about, that in the enemies opinion,  whether we act like it or not, believe it or not, we are ALL the same

And to sound a little like an editor once answering a child’s letter addressing the existence of Claus, but our question is of not so whimsical a topic, YES AMERICA, YOU DO HAVE ENEMIES and while you are hating each other those enemies are watching and they do not care what you think, what you feel, they hate you because you are AMERICAN. 

We have all been hurt, wounded, and oppressed in one form or the other and I will never deny that and we still are, that is why we have ashes and thorns. ALL of us, people are just mean and there will be mean people in this world until Jesus Christ comes and cleans house which He soon to do, but in the mean time we need to remember a little something,we still have been blessed to live a nation that we are FREE, we can say whatever we want without the fear of retaliation and that does not mean we need to say everything we feel, because often what is said should have never been said at all.

The freedom we are taking for granted was given us from God and we need to appreciate that freedom and do a little less screaming and take a look around the world at what others endure, I can tell you a lot about the backlash and rejection being a pants clad, makeup wearing female preacher in the South will get ya, but I can be thankful knowing that even with the good ol’ boys wagging me down, that I am still free to do as God leads me and I have blessed sisters the world over that would be executed if they dared mention aloud the name of Jesus.

We are blessed to have our Bibles and our churches when our brothers and sisters risk dying for the choice to follow the Gospel. We are blessed to have water, food, or at least access to it when we are in need and many the world over a literally dying of starvation and the threat now is horrifying.

Wake up and realize who is really at work in our country because some of the truest words a human ever muttered were truly “UNITED we stand DIVIDED we fall” and none of this is going to stop the social media and the forces that would spread but it can stop at us, just stop, our job on this earth is to lead others to Jesus and His Kingdom is not of this world and there will be no peace on this earth until that Kingdom comes, but the peace, love, and light you choose to give to another in the midst of all these things will reflect that Kingdom. 

We are here and being here we need to appreciate what we have now and be mindful of those who would love to see us fall, because we do stand for freedom and we do have rights, rights that others in many countries would love to have and I will leave you with these words, God wants to take us all to that “good land”, God wants us to have peace, joy, and love in Him.

“For the Lord God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of the valleys and hills.

And of the wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates, a land of olive oil,and honey;

A land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass.

When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for the good land which he hath given thee. 

Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statues,which I command thee this day.” Deuteronomy 8:7-11

Well, we know for a surety many, many already have and many others have sold out the Gospel for the candy version and we see the fruits of that and if we don’t get a grip on our current situation I am afraid will we also see those fruits and pray, pray that God will bless our land and that HIS truth will bring the changes that truly need to come.  All the things o this world will fade away and all the heartache and sorrow with that when Jesus wipes every tear away but heaven and hell are eternal, do’t let this world ever make lose sight of that.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

 

 

Groovin’ the Gauntlet

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” Romans 8:18

The Gauntlet, the reality of the answer of the age old question, what is the meaning of life. That is the answer, not quite what you would think is it?

We are all souls with God, who is eternal, no beginning, no ending, self -existing and ever existent  until we are born to this earth.

As God told Jeremiah, first chapter- fifth verse: “BEFORE I formed thee in the BELLY, I KNEW THEE; and BEFORE thou camest forth out of the womb I SANCTIFIED (set apart) THEE, AND I ORDAINED (appointed)THEE A PROPHET UNTO NATIONS.

As with the names that were written BEFORE the earth was formed. Our souls just as they are eternal, were with Him until time for whatever the reason, to be born onto the gauntlet field of this world.

1st Ephesians 1:4: “According as He hath chosen us in Him BEFORE the FOUNDATIONS OF THE WORLD, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.”

So we are born, hit the ground and IT IS ON.

 The gauntlet is formed against us BEFORE we can even hit the ground running, because the enemy knows more about you than you do!

The gauntlet of the “tares”, the weeds the devil planted among the children, on one side and facing you on the other side the demonic forces of hell, so you start your run between the tongue wagging finger pointers running themselves, trying to set those stumbling blocks before you, every imaginable scheme will be hatched for their use as a weapon against you, just trying to knock you down with everything they’ve got.

So you are running as fast as you can trying to keep one eye on the course in front of you and one eye on the weapons coming after you but then you see on the other side of your course the demonic forces armed and ready with snares and traps set every step of the way and many, many archers with their bows poised and the fiery darts ready to rain down, the farther you make it the more they are gonna hit from both sides, the “holier than thous” just dying to see you fall so they can tell all their buddies they were right about you the whole time, the devil starts bringing out bigger and bigger giants, more and more archers and sends the storms chasing you.

Sound pretty unbelievable?  Ah, Jesus said “for this cause” He was born into the world.  His cause being to DIE on a cross, not only die but to be tortured, humiliated, and rejected, his gauntlet beginning with his forty days in the wilderness, which HE MADE IT THROUGH HIS FORTY DAYS, he remained completely spotless and sinless and us being human CAN never achieve that, BUT we are to strive and stay on that course.

Now add in just the reality of living, grief, sorrow, heartache, because it rains on the just and the unjust, EVERYONE WILL RUN THE GAUNTLET.

But those with Christ have an expected end to this course.

This is the reason we are commanded to NOT look to the right or to the left, and NEVER EVER LOOK BACK, only forward, if we don’t look to either side we can’t lose focus worrying about what is getting ready to hit us and WE ARE COMMANDED more than once to not look back, if you do you will see what is gaining on you and you will stumble over those blocks that has been placed before you.

Your entire reason for living is to bring glory to the Father and to help as many as you can run the gauntlet that has been set before them by the god of this world  (2nd Corinthians  4:4).

Paul was very apt in describing his gauntlet and we often feel that our burdens are heavy but I know for me, I gain so much encouragement from reading what they suffered and being blessed to read the end of their stories and how God used all those things to enlarge the Kingdom.

2 Corinthians 11:23-30 ” Of the Jews five times I received forty stripes save one (they thought it merciful to give 39 lashes as opposed to the 40 you were sentenced to, so at the time he wrote this Paul HAD RECEIVED A TOTAL OF 195 lashes) . 

Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; journeys often, in perils of waters, IN PERILS BY THE BRETHREN, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, IN PERILS AMONG FALSE BRETHREN ( notice both groups listed, the ones who ARE your brethren that set those stumbling blocks and the FALSE brethren sent by the enemy). 

In weariness and painfulness, in watchings (sleeplessness) often, in hunger, in thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.

BESIDES THOSE THINGS (other things) WHICH COME UPON ME DAILY, the care of all the churches.

Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is offended (MADE TO STUMBLE), and I burn ( BURN WITH INDIGNATION) not?

IF I must needs glory, I WILL GLORY OF THE THINGS WHICH CONCERN MINE INFIRMITIES.”

 What he was saying if he survived all these things and yet glorified God in all them through showing love to others, how could ANYONE complain of their own sufferings?

He learned the groove of the gauntlet,  he learned to accept it for what it is and go with it.    

 He knew that is had to be ran, to fight it just held him up and there was people whose lives would be changed, there were others to help.

His purpose was NOT to fight in retaliation those who manned his gauntlet but to show the love listed above, to grab onto those who had fallen or were wounded by fiery darts and pull them with him to the finish line.

Acts 16 tells us of the arrest of Paul and Silas for doing just that, praying for a possessed girl to be delivered, this enraging those who were using her possession to make money through fortune telling, they were beaten and thrown in prison.

Paul had learned to be content in ALL situations and learned to REJOICE in affliction because the more he suffered for the Gospel, the GREATER the POWER OF GOD rested upon him, so with excruciating lash wounds on their backs they STILL sang and praised God, this pleasing God who sent an earthquake and opened every cell, now they could have left, completely free and thought “Ha, Ha the jerks get what they deserve for beating us.”  

BUT when Paul saw that the jailer was going to commit suicide because they had all escaped, Paul called to him NOT TO harm himself that they were all there.

That is that love and the jailer and his entire family was saved because Paul knew how to play the gauntlet and HE DID EXACTLY what GOD WANTED HIM TOO.

Just as Jesus “who for the joy SET BEFORE HIM ENDURED THE CROSS, DESPISING THE SHAME, and is sat down at the right hand of the Father.”

Those of Hebrews 11, who should give anyone hope and courage to press on.

Learn to groove that gauntlet, play it smoother than any jazz tune ever played.

The prize we seek is NOT in this world.

It is in the next and the true secret is what they knew, press on, press on, press on.

Pick yourself up, let the tears fly as you run, but RUN, RUN with everything you got and grab on to all you see who have fallen in their own race against the gauntlet, pull them, drag them whatever you have to do to help them to that finish line, but never ever look at those opposing you just look to the Author and Finisher of your faith.

He made it through His forty days and Forty nights and then He ran that gauntlet that hell itself had prepared and he died running it BUT HE ROSE and FOREVER SHALL REIGN!

Φλογιζω/ NBJ 2015 

Original post date 12/04/15 revisited 07/01/2020 As you go through your day and your week, please remember that this world and the troubles of this world are temporary, just as our first verse assures us and in these awful days in which we live set yourself with one purpose and one goal and that goal is this, a reminder of what Jesus told us,NEVER LET THEM STEAL YOUR CROWN.

“Daddy’s shoes… “

“HEAR, ye little children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give unto you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. 

For I was my father’s son, and only beloved in the sight of my mother.

He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words; keep my commandments and live.

Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline (turn away) from the words of my mouth.

Forsake her (wisdom) not, and she shall preserve thee; love her and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing: therefore get wisdom; and with all thy getting get understanding.

Exalt her (wisdom), and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. he shall give (place on) thine hand an ornament of grace: a crown of glory she shall deliver unto thee.

Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of your life shall be many. I have taught thee in the ways of wisdom; I have lead thee in right paths.

When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened (hindered); and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.

Take fast (firm) hold of instruction; let her not go; keep her, for she is thy life. Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.

AVOID IT, pass not it by (do not travel on it), turn from it and pass away.

For they sleep not, except (unless) they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away unless they cause some to fall.

For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. 

But the path of the just is as a shining light,(bright light)  that shineth more(even brighter)  and more unto that perfect day. 

The way of the wicked is as darkness; they know not at what they stumble.

My son, attend to my words: incline thine ear unto my sayings.

Let them depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

Put away from the a froward (deceitful) mouth,and perverse lips (a bad mouth) put far from thee.

Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.

Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established, Turn not to the right hand nor to the left, remove thy foot from evil.” Proverbs 4

Now that my dear friends, you could say is a crash course on Godly advice that was intended not only for believers but in my belief, also for parents to give to their own children and we now that the words from the mouths of parents or parental figures are also the words that truly shape us, make us or unfortunately break us.

That is nothing new and the hatred and lack of common concern one for another that has been passed from one generation seems to have only worsens with time.

It’s devastation more known at the moment, thanks to the technology we now possess but still the same evil that has always been and it lives and it spreads, and it lives and it spreads mainly impart to the bonds, rather broken bonds between fathers and children. For years it was taught for fathers to “rule” with an iron fist  and that is still common in many parts of the world and it is sickening.

There is nothing honorable or remotely masculine about any man that teaches hatred, violence, and batters  his family. And this was never God’s plan for any of it. He is kind, tender, and beautiful.

Jesus died for all of us, not once did he ask anyone to take his place on the cross, no one else could have, but this was the ultimate act of the Fathers love.

He loves us all and he loves us enough that he came to this earth and died for us.

How can anyone even try to convince another than anything other than respect and kindness toward others could ever ever be something God had designed?

It is not just teaching hatred and bigotry that has so damaged, it is not just the physical abuse that is destructive, it is also the the words and actions that make children feel rejected and unloved that leads to issues and especially in daughters  life long challenges that must be to overcome.

My daughter, like most children, found is so delightful as a toddler to “wear” her Dad’s shoes, it was the cutest thing, she’d wander over by the door, where the shoes were kept and suddenly, I see this huge grin and look down and both feet were standing in her Daddy’s shoes and then she would very careful try to walk in these “grown up” shoes.

Her tiny little feet having to lift the weight of those shoes in order to take each step and yet it was a joy to her, because we all have that need inside of us, to “walk” in our parents shoes. I am sure those of you who have children know exactly what I mean, the look of sheer joy that comes to the face of a child once they master a few steps in those shoes. And when you think of this spiritually, as fathers, a man’s shoes can be a delight for their little ones to grow into or they can be ill fitting and cause those children to stumble.

And that choice is completely up to the father.

Does a man want to honour God and love his family as God teaches, or does he want to have  a devil may care attitude and think only of himself, or does he leave uncomfortable, awkwardly fitting shoes behind because he is indifferent and just does not know what  do so he does nothing.   

Our verses above give perfect instruction on what to do, what to teach including teaching to AVOID the snares and destruction’s that we can easily fall into in life.

So to all of you Fathers on your special day, NEVER think it is too late! It is NEVER too late until you are dead! 

If you have maybe not been a great dad, talk to you child, even if that child is grown and if they will not listen, write them a letter, and try to make peace and TRY to rebuild that relationship and even if seems there is no hope, keep trying, because LOVE, LOVE conquers all and maybe you won’t see the results of that right off the bat, you may not even see the results before you leave this world BUT there will be results, healing and closure for your child. Knowing that you tried will impact their lives for good even if they NEVER get to the place of forgiveness that they are comfortable sharing those thoughts with you.

And hold your children, love you children, let them see your tears you compassion because if you don’t the weight of trying to grow into your shoes, shoes that are even to big for you, will break them because we are all human and we need to not be afraid to show that, it is much harder to retain your temper and forbearance than it is to burst into an angry rage, rage is easy, swallowing “pride” not quite as much.

God blesses us in following his word in all areas of our life, and with that stand, STAND for what is right and speak for those who can’t, the Biblical truth concerning violence against women has always been very close to my heart, and I have always believed if men would call out men, concerning it, it would change, just as it is time for the police to police themselves and tear down that code of silence within the brotherhood that has lead to the tragedies we have now, when three stands by while one kills because they are ingrained with the doctrine that there are lines that must not be crossed.

Finally maybe you are reading this and you had a terrible,terrible father rest assured you do not have to mirror him and you do not have to make the same mistakes, you have a heavenly Father who will love you and teach you his ways and help you grow into who he created you to be.

If you are reading this and you are a mother raising your kids alone and there is no way that their father is ever going to be the father they need, you can pray the blessing of God over your children and yourself, you NEED extra help when you are the mother and the father, the breadwinner, homemaker, and every job in between! 

Read this passage, memorize this passage, and PRAY verse five (in bold) over you and your children every day.

Psalm 68:1-5: “Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered, let them also that hate him flee before him. As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so  let the wicked perish before the presence of God.

But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice.  Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens, by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.  

A father of the fatherless, and a judge (DEFENDER) of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.”

Finally, to my Brothers in Christ, HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

May God bless you and your families and keep praying those blessings for your kids and all the kids who do not have a Godly father to ask those blessing of God for them.

Thanks for reading!

Φλογιζω 2020 ΝBJ//Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

 

VALOR VICTORIOUS

 

The truest test of bravery comes not by being the strongest,the most well-trained, or sharpest shooter on the field.
The results of the true test of bravery comes through what would appear the weakest and least prepared of soldiers.

And we know all about judging books by covers or rather the warning not too, all know the story of Samuel being sent to Jesse, to complete the task of anointing a new king, and we know that in the family opinion, David’s kingly attribute’s were so, how shall we say… um, lacking, nada, zilch, not even gonna happen, that they didn’t even bother to call him in.

BUT it was this boy, who had that little something extra, tucked away so deep on the inside that NO ONE could even see it, but he would be chosen, because GOD saw it, because God had placed it there.

Gideon, another who FEARFULLY HID from his enemies to get food for his family, and even when he was angelically informed that the enemies demise was gonna be his job, he NEEDED reassurance that this was GOD’S ideal not his, (I had actually heard Gideon referred to as a “sissy” by a Bible teacher once, I’m like, bite your tongue!)
Gideon was WISE, he could have died by the hand of his enemies and been fine, but to fall into the hands of  the Living God is a very different, very terrifying fate!

Mary, the consummate story of having a table prepared in the presence of your enemies!
She KNEW what these guys thought of her, BUT she had to go into the HOUSE OF HER ENEMY and pour out her soul, (IN THEIR PRESENCE) and wash Jesus’ feet with her tears and dry them with her hair, which at this time, hair was considered a lady’s glory and to use it is in such a display of absolute humility (NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH HUMILIATION!) was unheard of, but oh, what had been laid out on that table!

There are so many today, who just do not know YET, the full power of what is living right there inside of you, that courage to pour yourself out, the courage to share your pain and sorrows and lay down at the master’s feet for all the world to see.
Sometimes our spiritual battles could be best compared to wounded creatures, when they are hurt and so desperately need treatment and those who try to intervene are met with growls and a display of teeth. Sometimes those wounds are so painful that we don’t want anyone seeing them or “touching” them, BUT it is in those wounds and allowing the healing of them that true valor and courage are shown to others.

Sometimes in the church world there can be a lack of empathy, I once heard a man years and years ago say something, and I am not bashing him, I actually like him and I know this was based on sheer lack of empathy, it in was in context of joy, and he made the reference of giving the devil too much credit and that a lady had said he just didn’t know what the devil had put her through, his answer was don’t give credit to the devil.

He had no idea what she may have been through, people have often suffered abuses that they are just not comfortable telling a roomful of people and it could have been something that he could not have possibly understood.

Standing in faith with her and praying for her when she was too weak to stand alone would have served much better than reprimanding her for feeling.

And this guaranteed no one else who was listening would ever chance showing their pain for fear of being rejected as “weak”.
I also love another oldie, really prevalent with the old school crew (And yes, I love them too, just using examples here), about people “coming in looking like they’ve been sucking on lemons” and “How can God’s people lack joy?”

And I know that I have looked like “Lemon girl”one more than one occasion during my walk with Christ, but God knows when we are hurt and in my personal opinion pretending is lying and of course I do NOT mean like pretending to be superheros or whatever when we are children but I mean pretending we are fine when we are not knowing that God knows we are not fine is an unfair request that no one should ever make of us.
It is not that they lack joy, obviously if they have survived thus far, they have a better foundation with God, then some would think.

There are snares, traps, and schemes from then enemy BUT sometimes people have problems and wounds that TAKE TIME TO HEAL!

I heard a minister say the coolest thing ever once, I am quoting him, because I do not have his name or otherwise I would give it, but he said when you ask someone how they are and they reply “fine” this usually means “Fractured, Injured, Neurotic, and Empty”!
But that pressure to be whole, groovy, problem free Christians doesn’t really send out a safety beacon to those who don’t necessarily feel that  same way!
I am sincerely happy for the ones who have it together and have reached that place we strive to, the place of perfect love, blessing your enemies, joying in persecutions and WE TRULY MUST attempt to reach that, but for those who haven’t and those in the world, struggling to keep their heads up out of the water, another warrior is sometimes needed to stand with them in that battle.
Broken, broken people will have no connection to others who profess to never, ever have a care in the world, or have never made a mistake and treat others tears with disgust.
True courage and true valor are found in the honesty of someone admitting they are not perfect, that they struggle but that they never surrender in that battle and THAT is what acts as that beacon of hope, the love and light of Jesus, shining through that once broken vessel, for the world to see, his light reflecting through as rays of hope on the black, deathly violent waging sea of this world.

David, through the NAME of the Lord (which was HIS high tower) defeated a GIANT that EVERYONE ELSE dared not tangle with, what is often forgotten about this story, THEY PLANNED TO TAKE ALL ISRAEL AS SLAVES!
So this wasn’t just a victory for David, it was God using him to prevent the enslavement of them all!

Gideon’ sword backed by the SWORD of the Lord defeated the enemies that had held them virtual prisoners in their own land, God even subtracting the army numbers down to three hundred to ensure to ALL who fought this battle!

Mary, who was quite accustomed to being treated like an object was completely vindicated when Jesus HEARD THE THOUGHTS in Simon’s head concerning her and lined him out at Simon’s own dinner, in front of all his guests, that HE KNEW WHO SHE WAS!

And Mary never would have been invited to the dinner table of a Pharisee but blessed she never left the table of the Lord, she went on to follow him and she was the first he appeared to after his resurrection.  

Simon was half right, only out of context with his judgmental thinking, JESUS DID KNOW exactly who it was touching Him, it was his messed up, wounded daughter who came to be healed, He knew Mary’s soul, something none of us can ever know about another.
So be strong, be of good courage, don’t be afraid to show others all your scars from the wounds Jesus has healed, let them see and then they won’t be so afraid to let Him see theirs because HE WANTS TO HEAL THEM but they have to be willing to let Him look at all those bloody places in their souls.

Revelation 2:7: “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.”

Revelation 2:11: “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.”

Revelation 2:17: “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.”

Revelation 2:26: “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations.”

Revelation 3:5: “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.”

Revelation 3:12: “Him that overcometh, I will make a pillar in the temple of my God, and the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.”

Revelation 3:21: “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.”

These are HIS promises to you!

All things made new, all the labels gone, new names, and forever be in the presence of Him!
He also told us to “Let NO MAN take your crown” (scriptural meaning humans, male or female) that let’s you know you gotta fight!
So how do you do that?
You fight with courage, and valor, and vigor just like Mary and the others and NOT care who sees, or what they think and you worship your God!

And as others try to give you a hard time, remember this verse, this is who is really attacking you:

Revelation 12:10 “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and of  the power of his Christ: FOR THE ACCUSER of our brethren is cast down, WHICH ACCUSED THEM BEFORE OUR GOD DAY AND NIGHT.”

When someone tries to remind you of your past, you remind yourself  who they are really speaking for, they are accusing you because they are filled with him and do you best to just let God fight that battle for you.
Take this sword, keep it and your mind sharp to the power of it:

Revelation 12:11
“And THEY OVERCAME HIM (devil) BY THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB, and THE WORD OF THEIR TESTIMONY; AND THAT THEY LOVED NOT THEIR LIVES UNTO THE DEATH.”

The union between heaven and earth, first the surrendering into His blood and then your own testimony of what the blood of the Lamb has changed in your life and not loving your “friends” or lifestyle, or worldly image more!
Ponder it today and so many of you, are here for this time on earth, to be THAT light on behalf of Jesus. 

Let NO ONE stop you, and never lose your crown or your guts!
Φλογιζω/ all rights reserved. nbj 2015 ***Archive post, original post date 08/05/2015*** Revisited 05/13/19 & 06/14/20

 

Justifying the end…

“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Proverbs 14:12 

Old, old saying that we are all probably quite familiar with…”The end justify the means.” And we all know that this pretty much is saying that when you have a purpose or achieved goal that nothing, nothing is off limits or out of bounds in achieving that desired end result.

That mentality is quite common in the world and even encouraged and it can be a task for new converts or even old seat warmers to remember when fighting the temptation to steer away from the Word of God and choose “other alternatives” when achieving what they feel is something that must take place or the end result of a situation that they have been faced with and it is very easy to be swayed into believing that whatever it takes God will be okay with because he loves us but when it comes to the Kingdom of Heaven that God has commanded that his people “come out and be separate” and the false doctrine doctrine teaching of that anything and everything is okay with God is an absolute lie.

The world may have changed but God’s standards have not nor will they ever and what He said 2000 years ago is just as true today.

God means what He says and says what He means.

When God saves us, cleanses us and delivers us we are so new, so alive, so clean and there is nothing like the initial feeling of having the sins of a lifetime washed away and being made new  in Christ, but again that is initially.

And as Scripture also teaches us we are babes in Christ, but the time comes for those babes to grow and just as we grow in the natural, growing spiritually involves many ups and downs and the growing process can be at times very painful.

We do not learn to trust God unless we are faced with a situation that seems so hopeless and helpless that our only option is that we must trust God.

We do not learn to walk in faith unless we are suddenly met with a darkened path that can only be walked by faith.

And we will never ever develop the kind of patience that Jesus referred to when he told us that in it we will possess our souls, unless that patience is tried.

Our souls can never understand true peace unless until we have understood true exhaustion.

These are Christian growing pains, because we must grow in Christ and that is a process, day by day, year by year, we grow in Christ and as we grow and the time comes, just a baby bird must learn how to stand up in his nest before he will ever take flight.

We as Christians are allowed to learn “to stand” just as we grow from babies to toddler and before we can ever walk must less run we have to learn how to stand. 

I have noticed more in the recent years than ever, is by convincing Christians that somehow we can still hold fast to the beleif that the end will justify the means.

And that is not saying God leaves us, he never ever leaves us and he is always there to help us and as we start swaying, stumbling, almost falling as we try to stand He is the father who gently takes our hands and steady’s us again.

And this is the place where so many stumble and take hold of the wrong hand and often during these times rather than knowing  that God is there is can be easier to allow the enemy to convince us that if we are to stand we will need to do whatever it takes to stand on our own.

That is NOT God’s idea on how we are to handle anything.

Often through our upbringing and society we can easily fall back into the old mindset and completely forget the truth that we once knew and soon enough struggles will come and then we must decide are we going to revert back to the old way of thinking, listening to the wrong voices of handling life or do we take God at His word.

The best description of this growing process, it’s purpose, and the ease of not quite grasping it can be found in 2 Peter 1:2-9: “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through (in) the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord. According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to (by) glory and virtue:

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature HAVING ESCAPED the corruption that is in the world through lust.

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to you faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

And to knowledge temperance (self-control); and temperance patience (perseverance); and to patience godliness;

And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity (love). 

For if these things be in you (are yours) and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren (useless) nor unfruitful in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off (is short sighted), and hath FORGOTTEN that he was purged (cleansed) from his old sins.”

So you can see this for the process that it is and it is a process, little by little, step by step as God transforms us(as scripture says, by the renewing of our MINDS) to become the en and women he created us to be in Him.

And we must have these attributes. But we are human, we will stumble, we will struggle but again if we accept the fact that this IS part of that process and quit believing the lies of the enemy that tell us that if we were were really “where we should be…” that is the biggest lie of all, we re never where we should be or otherwise we’d be out of here!

This is the same issue that Jesus had with the Pharisees and all the “perfect” people that ostracized those he came to save and he hate it!

And we are often harder on ourselves than the enemy or others could ever be and we have to stop this and accept, really accept Jesus, his forgiveness and get on with our work for the Kingdom while we still have time to work.

Once those doors are shut is is over, once our lives are completed there will be no second chances to come back to earth and complete the job he had given us to do. Remember those treasures you are storing up, remember those crowns that you will be given to lay at the feet of the King?

But above all remember those whose lives you WILL NOT touch and remember the difference that you DID NOT make.

And as harsh as that may sound, it is a very good incentive to us when we think outside of the box of our own head and look at the bigger picture which is why Peter tells us so clearly that we need these attributes, and note that he does not at anytime lay down a number of days, months, years that we should achieve any of these attributes or the total culmination of them all because there is no time frame.

Just that we are to build upon these and we acquire them through the need and dependence upon them to finally reach our true goal- the true “end justification” which is LOVE, love as Christ wants us to love.

It is a process, because even though you may have faith but if you do not have self control what could happen with that faith?

Maybe you have brotherly kindness and can be helpful to those in need and maybe your heart goes out to them and you are lead in someway to reach out to them and perform some sort of act of service but you lack diligence, your heart may reach out but you will not be able to complete the task, without diligence we see nothing through.

And he tells us at the end that IF we lack these things we are SHORT SIGHTED, we cannot see far off. meaning we can not see the end, the ETERNAL outcome and it is then that we are tempted into playing the game of “The end justifies the means” because we are searching for that quick fix.

Another set back to modernism of the church, we can not lie, or avoid the truth or pretend to like those who our hearts are filed with unresolved hurt against, we can not do any of these things out of any agenda because it is still sin and using it as a ‘”Means to an end” is also a sin.

Again part of that growing process, but as we grow in Christ and we CHOOSE to follow a plan that is at the very least questionable in comparison to the Word of God on handling that subject and while that little voice inside is telling us this is not quite right and we reason within ourselves that it is not that big of a deal and reassure ourselves with our own reasoning… it is sin.

Honesty, whether that honesty seems good or bad to others, God requires honesty, and as James 4:17 states “Therefore to him that KNOWETH to do good and doeth it not, to him it IS sin.”

We are not bound by what we do not know,and if we do not understand the things that we should not do and do them, God will let us know in our hearts or by a word of exhortation that we should not do those things, He will ensure we get the message, because He loves us, and that love is unconditional and He wants us to have the life of peace and joy,a life that was purchased by him for us, a life that was paid for in his agony, his blood and his life and when we choose our own path we are devaluing his sacrifice.

If we are to be part of the outpouring of the last days, which we know that we are in, and we truly want to see his Kingdom come we have to get these “little foxes” under control and out of our lives. We all struggle, we all have questions about our identity from time to time, that it normal and God promises are so pure and so perfect, we are PROMISED that he will never leave us, no one loves us like Jesus and no one ever will!

He wants us to succeed and if that means picking us up and dusting us off and giving us a hug every fifteen minutes we are on this earth HE WILL.

He is gentle, kind, and merciful beyond human comprehension and he does not expect us to be anything other than who he created us to be and to keep his commandments, love and honor him and do the best that we personally are capable of doing. 

But in that we also must be willing to choose the correct path and the correct response to the things that life throws our way, it is often said concerning parenting to “choose your battles wisely” and I do believe many fights in battles that were never theirs for the fighting, such as staying in situations out of pride, not wanting to be the “one who gave in” when it would be more wise to walk away

Remember that God wants us to come to him with all that weighs you down, he wants you to bring to him every problem that you can’t solve because in truth we can’t solve anything and we often make things much worse and God will come to our rescue when we ask but often we are left with damages that we should have never had to incur.

Know this, that if you have to pray one hundred times a day that God hears every single pray and he honors humility and truth and when we say God I can’t…. that is exactly when he will let you know that even so, HE CAN and he is not interested in what you can do for yourself he is interested in you trusting him. 

Verses to remember:

1 Corinthians 10:13: “There hath NO temptation taken you but such is COMMON to man; But GOD IS FAITHFUL, who will NEVER suffer (permit) you to be tempted (tested) above that which ye are able;  but will with the temptation ALSO make a way to escape, that ye might be able to bear it.”

It comes to everyone and God will NEVER allow it to destroy you IF you take his way out. But if you choose to follow your own path, you can not blame God because God gives us FREE WILL, the choice is ours.

Romans 6:14: “For sin SHALL NOT ave dominion (rule) over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”

Plead the blood, plead the blood!

Revelation 12:11: “And they OVERCAME him (the enemy) BY THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB, and by the word of their testimony; and that they loved not their lives unto death.”

To wrap up, we must be our guard, sometimes that path will seem  right but it can lead to the ways of death, spiritually speaking, a little this or a little that, “this one time” is only minute in our reasoning and sin leads to more sins, that is why our beginning verse starts singular, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” and becomes plural. 

That WAY leads to those WAYS.

So stay on guard and never con yourself or letting anyone else con you into believing that we will ever justify our own on way, only God can justify us and games… God does not play!

Thanks for reading!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020 Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

Have you heard?

“And it came to pass, that when Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? and they said unto him, WE HAVE NOT SO MUCH AS HEARD WHETHER THERE BE ANY HOLY GHOST.” ACTS 19:1,2

Now this is much like the scriptural fact that “How can you believe upon Him in whom you have not heard?” These men HAD been baptized into John’s baptism, by all rights they WERE saved but yet they were missing a crucial element to there salvation, the Baptism of the Holy Ghost.

And I KNOW all the arguments, I KNOW that there are more than enough that believe that this was only for the disciples and these moments in time. And I will not even go there because I have a better question for their answer. How can you KNOW that for certain, if you have NEVER experienced HIM?

Sure, if you have never  known a fact for yourself, YOU CAN SAY with self assured fervor that this is no longer given and BELIEVE in yourself to be right and yet be so completely wrong. 

The common knowledge is this, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that you are given at the exact breath that you accept Christ as your Savior.

The Holy Spirit leads us,and guides us, gently nudges us in the right direction and will flat out warn us to stumbling blocks or snares that the enemy has set, and will also convict us of our own self righteousness and unsavory behavior.

No disputing that anywhere. But there is so much more, much,much more and it seems that what was once sought after, prayed for, fasted for, has now has been left for the pages of a denominational history book.

That is a major problem. God has not changed. The gifts and callings have not changed. The fruit of the Spirit has not changed. He is the same God that called out Abraham, He is the same God that spoke to Moses, and performed every mighty act recorded from front to back in His Holy word. Ancient of Days, STILL THE SAME. And the Holy Ghost is STILL very much active, alive and quite well.  

The only change that came was to us and our desire of Him and we absolutely have to get back to those old paths from a generation ago because what we are going to lose is irreplaceable. THEY WILL NEVER KNOW IF THEY HAVE NEVER EVEN HEARD OF HIS EXISTENCE and that is a sad state, I have been saved for sixteen years and I could probably count on one hand the times this subject has been addressed that I have heard.

We need more than ever to teach on Him, preach on Him and pray that the gift that He blessed the Disciples with would come again, that at the laying on of the hands others would receive.

So if you have never accepted Jesus as your Savior, don’t hesitate, you will never know the true meaning of love, and the depth of the deepest peace until you know the Master of it all.

If you are saved and have never been filled with the Holy Ghost, Well, Now YOU HAVE HEARD!

Start praying, you pour your heart out to Him and He will do the rest and THEN your walk will be easier, YOU WILL BE RENEWED in ways you never, ever thought possible, and you will KNOW, and I do mean, without a shadow of a doubt the PRESENCE and overshadowing of Jesus, and everything will make sense and struggles that have held you in bondage will cease and you will never ever be the same!

 Φλογιζω

** Original post date: 01/30/2016**

Reverend Nina Brown Johnson / Φλογιζω 2020/NBJ  

A little more food for thought… Love & peace till next time!

PLEASE WAKE UP !!!

If you only knew…

“Change your clothes”

“Designed, Resigned, & Refined”

Have a Blessed Pentecost!

“Virtuous”

The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him, What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what the son of my vows?

Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings” Proverbs 31:1-3

Before I get to far into this, how about I tell ya what we are doing here?

One thing that has came from the “social isolation” is families spending time together, reconnecting, and being a part of one another’s lives that they normal would never be exposed to. 

Parents working from home, kids getting a bird’s eye view of just why it is their parents may be tired, sleepy, and even just a little grumpy after a day at the “office” and parents now have to ‘home school” their children are getting a glimpse of just how differently academic standards can change in  a generation and can quickly realize the stressful expectations modern education truly lays on the shoulders of students.

And the beauty in all this bustle is this…  families are also spending time together , doing dinner together, sharing household chores together, fending off boredom by entertaining themselves together, gardening and planting flowers together and all sharing in the responsibilities of protecting the family from the virus by acting very consciously together.

And of course this would in no way be ideal in a dysfunctional family or those who may be temporarily living in an abusive or emotionally controlled home because that is not love and in my belief, God would never want anyone  being treated abusively and God gives us his mercy, his courage to believe for a better day

That is why I say temporarily because He will take care of you but you also must be willing to make those first steps, letting him deal with the ashes and thorns so that you can  free yourself from that relationship or in certain cases that freedom comes as a circumstance has to change.

So now that’s enough links to cover the flip side of this coin, I want to talk about the wonderful opportunity that God has placed right in the middle of all this fear and worry and to do that we are going to hit verse by verse through Proverbs 31.

Thinking  a little about the meaning in each line and the importance of a mother’s  role in not only teaching her children but the express wisdom she imparts to her children and bear in my mind that often theses conversations in the Bible are between mothers and adult offspring. 

It is never too late as this verse begins by informing us that he is relaying the words of his mother, meaning he listened to her and those were kept in his heart and mind. She first gave him confirmation, triple confirmation, of their bond.

Her first warning to him was the dangers of being seduced away, by letting lust lead him into destruction, the cross references to these verses actually take you to the dangers of adultery and the danger of that day, when men had multiple wives, which was NEVER God’s intention, people often think because something is “in” the Bible that it means that whatever those mentioned were doing must have been okay with God, but NO!

The Bible is full of stories of people who were, well just that… people and the stories are in the Bible to let us know that God forgives and we are all kinda messed up but the people in those stories did all kinds of things that were never part of God’s plan, that is why Jesus came to save us.

So the Mama was warning her son to stay away for the traps and snares that would ruin him and in modern society celibacy until marriage is thought comical BUT God’s word is eternal and so are the reasons it was taught then and those reasons and the reasons given against affairs are as valid now.

It ruins lives, ruins families and that grass that was greener will fade and withered brown and once it has there will be no going back to what was once had.

God does repair but people are left with pain and regret that they must allow God to heal. 

Proverbs 31:4-6: “It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor princes to drink strong drink; 

Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert judgment (justice)of any of the afflicted.

Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto him that be of  heavy (biter) heart.

Let him drink and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.”

Now she is warning him to pitfall, that again is viewed almost comedic in modern culture.

But again, just as clearly defined and the reasons that God gives us to avoid alcohol is also clearly defined for our benefit an dour families benefit, and as Mama is explaining to him, as a ruler being intoxicated will cause he to forget what is right and will cause and lead to an absolute miscarriage of justice against those who desperately need help the most.

And that “strong drink” should be reserved for those on bed of death and wine only for those whose heart is full of sorrow, I think as spiritual, new wine, God making all things new, as God gives us spiritual wine, we are no longer poor, maybe materially but not spiritually. Jesus said ye are rich, rich in him and the Kingdom of God which is not of this world, but the next. Making his followers forget the misery that their lives once was.

Now she is ready to dispense her most sage advise for sons, for daughters, for all her children and her children’s children children, advice that would be for the ages… because after all it has survived ages.

“Open thy mouth, for the dumb (speechless)in the cause, of all such as appointed to destruction. Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and PLEAD the cause of the poor and the needy” Proverbs 31:8-9

“She” is speaking her of the need and the responsibility to lift up our voice on behalf of others and following the golden rule and being diligent for all to do our part in speaking out when others can’t and seeing to needs when we see those needs.

And now the beauty and the truly remarkable attributes of being a woman, a wife, a mother and I can never do anything dealing with marriage without pointing out the fact that God loves women, and the old man made thoughts that women are subservient an dare objects to be owned, is just that man made. 

Men were to love and cherish their wives, as Christ loved the church, and he does not harm the church, he loved the church enough to die for us all.

God says in his words that marriage means this, two become one, so marriage is a union, not of one versus one, both of two producing a family unit that was intended to act as one, for the good and love of all.

Proverbs 31:10-12: “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safety trust in her, so that he hath no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.”

Virtuous translates to wife of valor and meaning that her son would do well to find a woman of honesty, integrity and in doing so that her impact in their life would be greater than as if they possessed the world’s greatest riches.

Just as mothers desire that daughters marry men who will be good husbands in treating their wife and family well.

Not always the case, we now have many many virtuous women who have the roles of father, mother, provider, care giver, everything duty of parental guidance solely upon their shoulders as they take on the role of solitary family guide, in not way fair or right but it is now the norm and these ladies should be honored by us and in our society. the next verses are perfect for these leading ladies of life, navigating solely, sacrificing their own needs for their benefit of their children, parents, and communities.

They give so much and are often overlooked and given nothing in return, or so it seems… God sees it all, he sees their hurt, their worry, he sees the abuse they have suffered, he has seen the adultery on the behalf of the spouses that lead them to this solitary path. And these next verse surely apply to those who do it all while feeling that they are alone.

Proverbs 31:13_21:”She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willing with her hands. She is like the merchant’s ships: she bringeth food from afar.

She rises also while it is yet night, and giveth meat (food) unto her household, and a portion unto her maidens.

She considereth a field, and buyeth it: and with the fruit (earnings) of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengthen her arms.

She preceiveth that her merchandise is good; her candle (lamp) goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.

She strectcheth (extends) her hand to the poor, yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

She is not afraid of the snow for her household; for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

She maketh herself coverings of  tapestry; her clothing is silk (fine linen) and purple.”

We’ve got a lot of mirroring going on in these verses.

This lady is a worker, she is seizing every opportunity for the betterment of her household, she is up working, as everyone else sleeps,  her light shines brightly even the dark night.

She is good to everyone, not just her family, she is good to her friends and she is especially good to those in need, even “reaching’ out to them to help them also.

She prepares for tomorrow as she has her family reading for coming season and mirror scarlet to having her family saved clothed under the blood of the Lamb, she herself wearing fine linen, her robe of righteousness given to her from God, and purple as she is the daughter of the King.

The next verses apply to the married ladies and the blessing that they bring to their husbands and family:

It reminds me so much of the wives of pastors, who are often the sweetest, kindest women who give so much of themselves for the church the love and are blessings to all they mingle with and again referencing all their hard work.

Proverbs 31:23-24: “Her husband is known to the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.

She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles (sashes) unto the merchants.” 

And now back to the virtue in virtuous, for all his daughters.

Proverbs 31:25-31: ” Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in the time to come.

She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. 

Her children rise up and call her blessed; and her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously (well) but thou excellest them all. 

Favour  (charm) is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but  a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. 

Give her the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.”

Women, daughters, wives, mothers, grandmothers, pastors, ministers, doctors, lawyers, food workers, factory workers, home school mama’s. librarians, college deans, every job imaginable and all the “domestic engineering” in between, bold, between, kind, and often unseen.

So on this special day,Bless all of you who are mothers as you impart these wisdom’s, as Lemuel mother did as you have this time with your children.

Know that as we ended with her works will praise her, your work time and love will bring multitudes of joy in the days ahead and your children will always remember what you have did for them and they will never forget.

Know this my friends, you may not be a mother yet, but maybe you “mother” those around you, sisters or brothers or maybe you even feel like you have to be a mother to your own parents, or you are a “den” mother caring for every stray that comes your way, no matter what “woman’ you are, maybe life has been hitting you so hard and you feel like no one sees, know one knows but I promise you, one does, His name is Jesus and HE is watching over you, every single step from above!

Φλογιζω/ NBJ 2020 Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

This song has nothing to do with being virtuous, it is actually “Virtuoso” the reprise version and it is about the beauty of God and His sovereignty over our lives.

It is just one of my all time favorites and for some reason it had just been in my heart and my head for this post so it you have never heard it, please check it out. 

 

 

“Temporarily out of service”

“But thou when thou prayest. enter into thine closet (inner room)and when thou hast shut the door pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” Matthew 6:6   

Ah, life in our new found “social distancing” state, isolation can be a terrible terrible thing, causing people to feel trapped, isolated, and hopelessly, helplessly alone.

And especially those who count on the house of God for their renewal, and the joy of fellowship in worshipping and praising God together as the spiritual family He intended us to be.

It can be quite reminiscent of the recorded message often given when calling a telephone number that is in current state of dysfunct…”The number you have reached is temporarily out of service, please try your call again later.” sound familiar?

We have all heard this message in one version or another but all having same meaning we can’t connect to person that we are trying to call because of some issue with their phone, line, or connection. 

Sometimes it is a problem in our service, sometimes it is a problem with theirs but either way that call is not going through. 

With the current state of the world at the moment, with social distancing and churches still closed many feel that they are “temporarily out of service” again due to the inability to visit their place of worship and the inability to connect to their fellow believers. 

But you know it is just like Jesus said we are to pray in secret and we will be rewarded openly and there is nothing like being with fellow believers, your church family, those who have known you and walked the rough roads of life beside you, encouraging you and holding up in faith.

But God also desires a very personal relationship with him, one on one and this is in no way saying that you can’t have both, the wonderful fellowship of regular church service, we need that but at the moment with churches still closed due to the virus there is no group fellowship to be part of.

Now you could let this discourage you, depress you, and maybe even if you are not careful and diligent, it could cause you to get lukewarm and wishy washy once we are given the green light to safely gathering again.

But if you see this for what it is and what it could be for you spiritually, it also could be a wonderful time to make the best of a bad situation by spending some serious one on one time with Jesus, and He truly desires that for us.

So that is temporarily being out of service due to failure to connect for reasons beyond our control.

But there is also those who were “temporarily out of service” long before Corona slammed the doors shut, but for this group, I do pray that it is a wake up call, God does not give us the Holy Ghost and His gifts for us, again, let me say that again, if God has anointed you and given you a gift (and we are all given a gift, some multiple) and you have flowed in that gift and that calling, and you worked for the Kingdom in that calling that God has given, you are responsible to God for the fruit that should have been produced through those gifts and that calling and you will be held responsible for the lack of that production also.

This is reference to those who have worked in the kingdom and for whatever reason have just decided to “quit work” which is NOT an option in the Kingdom of God. So if you are new or not quite saved yet, please know that

I want to point out a little something Jesus said, should sound very, very familiar.

John 15:1,2: “I AM the true vine, and my father is the husbandman (vinedresser) Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it bring forth more fruit.”

Another very specific example of “temporarily being out of service” can be found in this parable. Luke 14:42-48: “And the Lord said,  Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?

Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.

But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and be drunken;

The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him asunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.

And that servant which knew the lord’s will and prepared not himself, neither did according to the his will shall be beaten with many stripes. 

But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. 

For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be REQUIRED: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” 

This you have to take as  stripes in the spiritual sense, He is commending those whom have to the best of their ability been faithful to the work He has entrusted them with.

Secondly He is referring to those who don’t really believe or don’t really believe that He truly will return and use His name and His house for their profit, living it up while the others of that house suffer and are ostracized, criticized, and spiritually battered by the very one that has been made overseer of that house.

He is speaking to those who know the will of God and fail to prepare themselves, meaning living life as they desire rather than life as God commands, choosing to do it their way, when his is the ONLY way, and trading their calling and their gift for whatever Satan or they themselves have deemed more valuable.

Failure to  prepare means just that, it is completely self willed, not wanting to allow God to be Lord over everything and making the necessary adjustments in our life as God leads us onto the path he has chosen.

And finally with this passage He tells us with absolute crystal clarification that the ones who did things worthy of punishments, not knowing his will are spared the severity, while those who knew his will face the greatest consequence.

Again, because they have been given so much, meaning, the calling on their life and the gifts they were to use in the service of the Kingdom, to touch lives, bless others, and share His love, mercy, forgiveness, and grace. 

Others that are not forced to be out of service are those who already were out of service, they know they need to be in church but “just aren’t feeling it” or have some other reason for not being in church, as this verse describes simply as the “manner of some” as we are warned to stay in church.

 Hebrews 10:25: “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”   

Different issues all causing us to be “temporarily out of service”.

Cell phones not so bad… dropped calls, no signals, out of data.

Landlines, a whole other world, with buzzing, clicking, echos, unable to make calls, unable to receive calls, and dig this, picking up interference from other peoples lines, all leading to the inability to make that connection.

Sometimes you don’t even realize just how bad that connection had been or just how much “noise” was bleeding into that line until that connection has been repaired.

So use this time, no matter the reason that you are “temporarily disconnected” from the world or from the church and connect to God through prayer, fasting, and praise and I always like to point out you can fast anything, it does not have to be food, you can give up anything for a period of time that you choose and dedicate that as a fast.

Pray to God, talk to him, one on one, tell him all that weighs on your heart and your mind and all that keeps you awake at night or robs the peace from your days, open your heart, mind, and above all your soul to him and as he touches you and refreshes you let that praise flow and it will cover you and it will lift the sorrows of this world.

Also if you have never accepted Jesus as your Saviour, I would like to strongly encourage you to do so, if he has been dealing with your heart and leading you to him, please do not postpone the most important decision of your immortal life. God created us in his image, we will live forever.

Where we spend eternity is our decision, Jesus came as a sinless, spotless, sacrifice for ALL of us.

He does NOT ask where have you been, what have you done, all he says is COME, Come and rest your soul in him, lose the guilt, the shame, the hurt and find a brand new you, a you that even you will not recognize, and it is that simple.

If you feel that tug in your heart, please repeat this prayer:

Dear Jesus, I believe that you are the Son of God, the spotless Lamb who came to take the sins of all the world and Jesus, I believe that you were born of a virgin, I believe you led a completely sinless life and died crucified to cover the sins of all mankind and you rose victorious from death on the third day and you will reign forever. Jesus I confess my sins to you, come into my heart, make me new, cleanse me in your precious blood, and fill me with your Holy Spirit, your love, your grace. In Jesus’ name. Amen

It is very important, if prayed that prayer to share your faith with someone.

We are taught this, Hebrews 10:10: “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

And please, please remember this, Jesus will NEVER remind you of your past, once you are saved, the MOMENT you ask, your sins are gone and they are gone FOREVER.

Jesus LOVES you and it is a love you can not understand UNTIL you have connected with him and I promise you will never be the same and you will never want to be the same!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

Bringing it forth…

“Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me; and, Because I go to my Father? 

They said therefore, What is this that he saith? A little while ? We cannot tell what he saith (understand what he is saying)

Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them, Do you enquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me; and again, a little while, and ye shall see me?

Verily, verily, I say unto you, that ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice; and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. 

A woman when she is in travail (labor) hath sorrow, because her hour is come; But as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man (human being) is born is born into the world.” John 16:17-20 

Now when  Jesus spoke this to them he was referencing his death, that very soon they would no longer see him or be with him but that again, soon, they would surely see him again. 

That they would indeed over the days soon coming face sorrow, and dread being inexplicably confused as to how this could happen to him and not even beginning to be able to understand much less comprehend that this could be not only the will of God for Jesus to suffer and die on the cross but to fathom this is was his actual plan.

As Jesus encouraged them that as surely as those things would come, but again, in a little while, something so much sweeter, would also come, again.

That, again, those sands would slowly but surely sift their ways again through the hourglass of time and all those times of heartache and doubt would turn to unimaginable joy as those moments sifted through all the little whiles to fall perfectly into a single moment in time when He would resurrect leaving death conquered behind and had they known for but a second as He tried to warn them to this and to give them hope that it was again, a little while, would they have have begged him not to go?

Surely, but He would have answered them, No, as scripture tells us of Jesus, “…Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” 

Just as Peter tried to to believe that there had to be another way, that this could not possibly be what was meant to be.

Curious it would be know the mental torment of the others or the one who ran away, not because they should have had regrets and second thoughts but you know that being human that they did.

Peter was going to fight against the arrest of Christ proving this as he cut off the servant of the high priest’s ear.  Jesus’ reprimand to him as he replaced the severed ear letting Peter know this was not the way that Jesus would have him go.

But soon the were scattered, alone, and scared, how often do you suppose over the period of those, what would had to have seemed never ending, three days the thoughts of “We should have hid him” or “We should have stayed” raced through their minds?

As we think about His words as he had tried to prepare them and assure them that this was the will of God. Jesus also encouraged them to the joy that would come after all the pain, he used the comparison of a mother in the process of giving birth.

As a mother I can truly attest to this, as I am sure the ladies reading very well can too.

There is nothing as beautiful, as wholesome, and as pure as when we are expecting, nothing as gentle or as precious.

And as we decorate in expectation with blues, purples, yellows, and greens. Adorning the walls with little boy blue, the cow jumping over the moon, rabbits, rainbows and everything in between, everything bright peaceful and clean, teddy bears, ribbons, and kittens gracing nurseries with cradles prepared for the new arrival as mobiles dance overhead.

The excitement, the joy, and the expectation are soon overshadowed as labor sets in and as the pain comes, thankfully, only a little at a time, but each contraction grower harder and lasting longer than the last.

There is an absolute knowing during the process of giving birth that you are helpless, there is nothing you can do to stop this and that you are either going through this process or you will die.

Only two choices and you have control of neither.

This is why, in my belief, Jesus chose this comparison to give us so that we would understand and that we would understand the differences, just as when Pharaoh demanded the Hebrew boys be killed at birth the midwives informed that him the Hebrew women gave birth fast and we know Jacob’s wife Rachel died giving birth to Benjamin and as we like to say here in the south women have “laid in labor” for days suffering desperately needing to be delivered of that child and yet the baby for whatever reason unable to come. Thank God we do have medical resources today that have saved the lives of countless mothers but still not all and the  birth still have to take place.

Paul in his writing referencing childbirth with the statement that she “shall be saved in childbearing” he is not referring to being saved spiritually he is referring to not dying in the process. 

Birth is painful, there are not words that can even come close to describing it, birth is bloody BUT birth brings about something so beautiful, so pure, innocent, and magnificently renewing that as Jesus said the anguish of that sorrow, the sorrow of needing to be delivered of that child, not the child needing delivered but the mother’s body needing to escape that dreadful travail is forgotten because immediately it is replaced by joy, a joy that mirrors the pain, as the pain is inexplicably indescroble SO IS that joy.

A  joy that completes you, a joy of looking into a tiny little face and as my late mother explained to me, the overwhelming feeling that this tiny little person that you have never met until this day you feel as though somehow you have known forever. 

Jesus referred to unsettling times and events that would take place before his return (painting the baby’s room a cheerful pink with that delicate wording) as the beginning of sorrows, which translates to birth pangs, we are in very, very uncertain times and everyone just wants life to get back to normal, but we are not going to ever experience the “normal” that once was but we can look forward, which requires looking past the pain, look forward to lives that can be even better, as families are reconnecting and many are taking time to actually realize what is truly important and cherishing those things that alone are worthy of being truly cherished and those who maybe have never given God, his existence or the afterlife a second thought may now be seriously pondering those questions.  And as far as churches it is coming down to who’s left standing. People are regaining their compassion for each other again and with compassion comes respect and a chance to love each other again forgoing the senseless hatred

Being in the same boat together now reminding us that we are all human, we all love, we all cry, we all experience the same feelings because we were all created in the same image and that and that was in His image. And that is the good you gotta hold on to,

And of course as He told us long long ago the  labor will be quite unpleasant to put it in the mildest “dreft” scented terms but once the deliverance has come there will be nothing that can even come close to the beauty of that glorious “baby” that will come.   

We are all praying and we have to continue to pray and pray that those”labor pains” those “sorrows” as Jesus warned us would one day come are covered by his mercy, and that what is to be brought forth through that process will birth fast.

God bless you and your loved ones during this season, praying that He will cover you and yours under the shadow of his wings and that through it all you will find a joy and a peace and a renewing of His Spirit with you that knowing that joy will see you through.

Φλογιζω Rev.Nina Brown Johnson / NBJ 2020

 

“Temple”

white and brown house

Photo by Arvid Knutsen on Pexels.com

“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

I have fed you with milk and not with meat (solid food): for hitherto (until now) ye were not able to bear it, neither yet are ye able.

For as ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you enving, strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

For while one saith, I am of Paul, and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? WHO then is Paul, and WHO is Apollos, but ministers BY whom ye believed even as the Lord gave to every man?  1 Corinthians 3:1-4

GOOD MORNING! and if it is not Morning for you, then may I wish you a wonderful evening and blessed night. We are actually going to finish up with that passage in just a bit, but I wanted to stop and relay a few points, First Paul was expounding to them that it was time for him to speak with those who listened with a little more depth, things that they should be getting on a spiritual level, but they were still not quite ready.

We also deal with those that we are to minister to, sometimes a little too softly, not wanting to “choke” them with truths that can be very hard to swallow. But Paul had to enlighten them to the truths that all the envy and jealousy and one upmanship was just not going to get as behaviours for those in the Kingdom of God.

And I love the fact that he is pointing out so clearly, asking who is Apollos, even asking who, he himself was, as much as we honor them and rightfully so, they were still ministers that God had sent to led his people home.

As the old timers say ” No little “I”s and big “U”‘s and that is one thing I do very much believe is going to come out of this pandemic. Restrictions placed about and that many can no longer attend church because the church is not there to attend (Some serious symbolism in that)

So there will be none of the envy, strife, and divisions spoke of and there will be no favorite pastor, minister, preacher, or singer that helped spark those divisional fires that have helped consume the church from her original state, you can’t have one mind and one accord if there are minds present that are full of discord.

But now, the churches, like most everything else are closed and some are having “Parking Lot” and “Drive by” church which is an awesome ideal, reminiscent of the old tent revivals that we need to get back to.

People are going to be there because they want to be there not out of some weird sense of duty or family commitment but because they want the Word of God.  And Paul is saying that God has many “ministers” that God sends his Word and His offer of salvation through many different workers.

And I want you to think about something, if you are saved, you ARE sent and if you are not saved the moment you repent, you WILL BE sent, your life, your light, and above all your decision to accept Christ and proclaim, especially in this world of unbelief, your faith in God and your belief that not only is His Word true but also the truths of the life after this can, does, and will absolutely change the course of the lives of  those around you.

Back to our verses, shall we? 1 Corinthians 3: 5-16

“I have planted, Apollos watered; but GOD gave the increase.

SO then neither is he that planteth any thing , neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. 

Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward for his labour.

For we are labourers (workers) together with God: Ye are God’s Husbandry (field) ye are God’s builders.

According to the grace of God which is given me as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But every man take heed how he buildeth thereon.

For another foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try (test) every man’s work of what sort it is.

If any man’s work abide (endures) which he hath built thereon, he shall receive a reward.

If any man’s works shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by (through) fire.  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you.”

Now Paul went on to set forth some warnings after that verse, but I want to use it to encourage you today.

You ARE the TEMPLE of God, your body is a CHURCH of God, when you have the Holy Spirit LIVING inside of you you become the church on this earth!

How exciting is that? I know we are faced with a dreadful, dreadful time but during that time if you remember that God has a plan and purpose for you in these days. God does not make mistakes and he does nothing out of “season”  He could have chosen you to have been born hundreds of years, or even thousands of years ago, or He could have chosen to never send your soul to this earth, but He chose this time, this season for you because ye have work to do and only God knows that work that He predestined for you to accomplish for his Kingdom, BEFORE He laid the foundations of this earth.

And I want to give you those scripture also quickly, because this is meant to be heard by someone today. 

In THESE times, in THIS hour and THIS season that God has chosen for you, as bad as it all appears at the moment.

Romans: 8:28-30: ” And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are THE CALLED according to his purpose.

For whom he did foreknow, he also did PREDESTINATE to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also CALLED, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” 

So maybe you can’t get to a church but remember that you are the church.

And remember that God uses it all, all the bad, all that we do not understand, He will use it for the Kingdom. Let your light shine, do whatever God puts on your heart, reach out by card, letter, or phone to whoever he is bidding you to reach out to. Use this season to know Him more and deepen your relationship with him and if he leads you to, share that “meat” of his Word with others around you, we often do not want to hear the rougher stuff but we are coming down to the wire and we have much work to do.

Among all the pain and uncertainty we still have a great promise, the outpouring of God’s Spirit “upon all flesh” this began at Pentecost, but we have the promise of a great outpouring in the last days, so plant that seed, the word of God shown in love and mercy, kindness, water if that is your job, water those seeds that someone has already planted because you are one in  those action and ask God blessing on your “hands” as you work in his field, He will, he never sends us unprepared and He never send us alone.

You are His Temple, and you are His church, be it and just watch what grace, blessings, and miracles unfold!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

Blessed Day

Palm Sunday 2 (2)

“After this I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

And they cried with a loud voice, saying, SALVATION TO OUR GOD WHICH SITTETH UPON THE THRONE, AND UNTO THE LAMB.

And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces and worshipped God.

Saying, AMEN: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. AMEN”  Revelation 7: 9-12 

Just to know that joy that is yet to come! The sadness and terror of this world will one day fade away and those who have trusted the Lord Jesus WILL be in this innumerable number who stand actually before the throne of the living God, in the presence and fellowship with the angels and  the host of heaven.

We will be gathered together, those from every nation ever created upon the earth, every language which has ever been spoken with one common purpose to raise our palm branches in the kingdom of God, the Living God, the Kingdom of Jesus Christ and praise Him Forever and Ever!

And I know what we face and I know the Word of God as to things which are to come but today let this be your hope

God gives us these words of future  so that these times will not overcome our faith because this world is not the end, but what seems like then the end of this world must come to bring in the birth of the world without end, and this is but a glimpse into that glorious world, so stay focused, because Jesus gave us a word to comfort us through all fear. 

“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up , and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. 

And he spake to them a parable;  Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; When they now shoot forth, ye see, and know of your own selves that summer is nigh at hand.

So likewise ye when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.”  Luke 21:38-31 

If you have never accepted Jesu as your Saviour, please do not put it off another moment, what a  better time than today, what a more perfect day to give your heart to Him and to trust Him through these dark days.

We are in the last days and one day that trumpet will sound and those who know Christ will be spared many horrors during the tribulation days, those who are left here can be saved but it will be a very painful, dreadful time on earth and anyone left on earth will wish there were not. 

And I know there are those who refuse to accept God and there are those also who think, “Well I have heard that all of my life.”

Well that is why you have heard it, that is why Jesus and ALL He sent since the fall of man have preached it.

Because God wants people to be saved and you don’t have to change because He changes you, He does it all He just wants you to you be saved so that you will not be afraid and you will not be eternally lost and that’s it, all He asks is that you keep His Word and trust Him, and let Him save you. 

There could  be the thought that we are just all trying to scare people into salvation, no, my ministry has always leaned toward the apocalyptic, does not bring me joy, has brought me many tears knowing the things that will come to pass and that is why Jesus himself gave us those verse above, so that we would know, and be forewarned so that we could have his peace and guidance when all those things he spoke comes to pass.

If you get a moment please go back and read that chapter and also read Luke chapter seventeen or pull it up online and read it for yourself. Jesus only wants the best for you, me, and all of us but we have to accept that best from Him, He will not just come and takeover your life, you have to invite Him into your life.

And people would dare say, “You mean God would just let you be lost, forever?” if we refuse to accept what He is trying to give us, that is not Him letting us do anything, that is us refusing to live as God wants us to live, not willing to give up things that He will not allow for His children, and holding our thoughts, and desires higher than our respect toward God and that is idolatry, we are our own gods at that point and this attitude proves it.

And asking ‘What has he done for me?” same point, What have you did for God? Have you served God? have you even committed to God?

It is that mentality that has spread like wildfire actually convincing people that God should honor them not vice versa, God is Holy  and owes us nothing and yet gave us everything in giving Jesus to DIE for us and we still think we have some sort of right to ask “What has he done for us” that is something that has taken the world by storm and must be repented of.

If you know Him Trust Him, Praise Him and ” look” for Him in the midst of all the uncertainty.

If you don’t know Him, please do not wait another second, don’t throw away what you can not even understand, because we can understand none of this, none of the dynamics of what takes place when we except Jesus. 

And I am not afraid to admit that before I knew Jesus,I didn’t get it either and I did not understand why all these Christians “pick” on people trying to get them saved.

But the moment Jesus saved me, I was completely overwhelmed by just how truly senseless I had been to Him and completely blown away by His presence and completely humbles by the fact that He would save me and heartbroken at just how long I had waited, realizing how much different my life AND the lives of those around me could have been had I accepted Him sooner, so please don’t make that mistake.

Your salvation WILL be a light, a HOPE, and a BLESSING to ALL those around you. It is A  BLESSED DAY, let it be the day that we forever BlESS the Father’s heart for you! 

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

“Hope through a long night”

 

Safely in Jesus

“Who against hope believed in hope…..” Romans 4:18

This verse portion means this, it was in reference to Abraham and Abraham BELIEVING the promise that God had made him and despite everything appearing hopeless in his situation.

He chose to believe God. I know tonight that the world is scary and things do look so very dark and we are surrounded with uncertainty and I felt someone needed to hear this, hope against hope, hope when it seems hopeless, this is the meaning of the scripture. 

Wherever you are finding yourself at this moment, whatever you are going through, do not lose hope. 

Believe in that hope that things will get better, that this is not the end, even when everything is wanting you to believe otherwise.

A wonderful verse to pray for comfort in times of trouble and restlessness caused by the fear of the what ifs and what will’s is this:

“I will both lay me down in peace,and sleep: for thou, Lord, only maketh me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8

Where ever you are the world over tonight, where it could actually be day, either way, I hope you have a blessed night and may God bless you with much brighter days on the way.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

“Stay”

“And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God .

And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but by my Father which is in heaven.

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Then charged (commanded) he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.

From that time forth began Jesus to shew (reveal) unto his disciples, how that he must  go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again on the third day.

Then Peter took him (took him aside), and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, (God be merciful unto you) Lord; this shall not be unto thee.”

But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou art an offense unto me: for thou savorest not (are not mindful of) the things that be of God.” Matthew 16:16-23

Very understandable that Peter would have this reaction once Jesus keyed them on on the fact that not only was he not going into hiding, but quite the opposite, he instead, would in deed stay the course, stay on the path that would lead him into Jerusalem and that he would not only be arrested and tortured by that he would also die and the words that they couldn’t quite “hear” were that he would rise on the third day. Peter couldn’t quite “hear” that victorious ending because the process that would lead to that victory was too dreadful for him hear and to dreadful for his “heart” to understand and Peter loved Jesus and he knew, as he had Jesus affirmed, that Jesus was indeed the promised one, the hope of all mankind sent from heaven itself to save us all and free us all and establish the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven on this earth.

Peter also knew that Jesus was blessed of God and carried a power clearly not of this world and that he was indeed exactly whom he claimed to be, the Son of the only living God.

So Peter could not understand, much less dare to believe that this things would befall Christ.

Also note that Jesus had just reaffirmed to Peter, and even to all of us who now read their exchange, one very important fact, Peter was blessed and yet a few passages down Jesus would have to rebuke, the line out and correct the thoughts of Peter, the one who was truly blessed of God but through his human understanding and love and compassion could express thoughts and ideals that were so contrary to the word and will of God that if Jesus could have (and he could not) have possibly been swayed by his friend into a different path, choosing a different course, it would not only negated and made void his entire ministry work and even his purpose for coming to earth but would have benefited the enemy, which is why Jesus pointed out clearly where this thought originated.

The devil would have loved this, if Jesus had changed paths, if he had “ran” that would have meant that there would have been no going back to Jerusalem, there would have been no arrest, there would have been no torture, no cross, and certainly no death upon that cross but also there would have been no way in the desert for those who are lost, there would have been no freedom for those in prisons of bodies, minds, and demonic bondage, there would be no healing bought by those stripes that he endured, there would be no peace for us all given to us because he hang on that cross, bearing our shame and sin and without his death there would be no salvation and certainly no hope for any of us because without his death which had to come, it had to happen, just as he said because it was the only way we could be restored unto him and his death was the only way to bring resurrection. 

We are experiencing a time in our world like nothing ever seen before, there have since the fall of man times of famine, peril, and plague but nothing that could be seen the world over, we as a people, globally connected as humankind, have found ourselves facing for the past weeks and continue to face with every day bringing uncertainty as numbers fall and rise and those that govern us try their very best to lead us and guide us safely as possible through a maze, that they themselves must also navigate, their own health and the health of their families and loved ones as vulnerable as for us all.

We are truly in this together as the virus has no prejudice, no politics, and it cannot be bought or sold, meaning the rich, the poor, anyone and everyone, it cares nothing of who we are or what we are because it only has one purpose to invade, to infect, and to spread.

And we are all faced with one very real and inevitable truth, ONLY God knows where this will stop or when it will end. And only God has the peace and the comfort that can protect our minds and our hearts and most of all our souls during this.

And only by focusing on what can come of it, even if it does not come for us, to be happy for those that can and will find fruits in the most horrendous, lowest, and darkest valleys. Families that once were the backbone of society and should be this was God’s plan, for families to be just that, a family, to stick together, be together, love one another and be bonded in that love but overtime and the “need” for both parents to work because governments have allowed inflation and prices to rise to the point that multiple incomes are often a necessity for families to survive, and this has came at a great price, the price of parents who really do not know their children and children who are missing out on a deeper relationship with the very people God chose to be the forefront of their lives, to teach them, guide them and love them.

And that is one thing that is going to come form this nightmare. A re connection of families, a re connection of what is truly important and time to get to know and really appreciate one another for who they truly are as a person not just the “title” they have in our lives.

And I want to give a couple of scripture to show just how important the family unit is in the opinion of God and this is one of the many reasons Jesus came to earth, he wants those relationships to built on love, respect, kindness, and above gentleness which are some of his attributes.

He doesn’t want families to built on iron fists, control, belittlement, and fear of retributions for making mistakes or “coming up short” in the view of over zealous parents.

And more than ever it is time to seek the Lord and it is good for people to have hope and encouragement but the only way we can access the promises of God is to serve God, and I mean truly serve God.

I do believe that that is something else that will become clear as we proceed through these times.

The true Gospel has has became so watered down that some really believe that the promises of God are just that, promises and that it requires nothing on our part but that is absolutely not true.

We must repent, we must be saved, and that means a conversion for our “old ways” into  a newness and a real relationship with Christ when also means keeping his commandments and keeping his word, all of that word, and then we are heirs to all his promises and can seek him, his shelter and his peace in these times.

God sent us his word as instruction to want he wanted to take place in the family unit.

Malachi 4:6: “Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statues and judgments.

Behold, I will send Elijah the Prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:  

And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to the fathers, lest I come a smite the with curse.”

This prophecy went down over John the Baptist, as we”listen’ to the words that were spoken to his father Zacharias by the angel Gabriel, as he foretold the conception, and birth and divine calling upon the life of John as John would preach the Lamb of God.

Luke 1:10-17: ” And as the whole multitude of the people were praying without (outside) at the time (hour) of incense.

And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.

And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell on him.

But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.

And thou shalt have great joy and gladness; and many people shall rejoice at his birth.

For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and he shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy ghost from his mother’s womb.

And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.

And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, TO TURN THE HEARTS OF THE FATHERS TO THE CHILDREN, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make a people ready (PREPARED) for the Lord.” 

John preached a revolutionary new (to them) message, He was to introduce them to their God, not as they had perceived him to be, with fury and judgement, but a God that was love, gentleness, and forgiveness a God that they we meet as a Lamb, the perfect sacrifice but also showing humans, himself what exactly it is that he expects us to be and how he wants us to behave with each other. That is why he wanted the hearts of children to parents and parents to children, this is how the family of God works.

If you read this for the beginning you will notice so very important facts, Zacahrias was alone praying and offering incense but there were many, many outside the temple praying at the time he was to offer that incense. God’ s timing is as he, perfect, always perfect, and in the midst of every trail, torment, that comes upon this earth God is there. God knew all of these things would come, God told Noah to build the ark, God told Abraham that his descendants would go into bondage and God told Moses that he would deliver the children.

No one liked any of those circumstances but we can read about the miraculous hand of God in each account.

The only difference is today we have so much, so much to do, so much technology and the ability to know and see through the internet the devastation that has came that it has brought a new level of fear and uncertainty and it is hard to remember when faced with numbers, graphs, and charts one truth that is timeless, ageless,a and will never  ever change, GOD IS STILL THE SAME.

God has always been and God will always be. Thousands of years have came and gone, rulers, kings, powers, and kingdoms , but it is still the same Jehovah God that created it all.

So to get to the title and make an end of this post (you were beginning to wonder, Is it ever going to end? 🙂 weren’t you?) Just kidding, laughter is merry medicine.

But seriously, we will make it, holding on to God, that does not mean that we not suffer losses but it means we will make it, we will make it home.

We will make it by staying the course God has given us through his word. According to the handy dandy Wikipedia, this was probably an old nautical saying, and here it is as copied directly from the internet “encyclopedia”, (better known as Wikipedia), it means this: “Stay the course” is a phrase used in the context of a war or battle meaning to pursue a goal regardless of any obstacles or criticism

And the flip side to staying the course was this, the vessel had the option to “cut and run” meaning to hurry off by cutting the ropes and cutting free of the anchor.

We must stay anchored.

Hebrews 6:10-19: “But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.

For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints and do minister.

And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end.

That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. 

For when God made promises to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself. Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiply I will multiply thee.

And so, after he had endured, he obtained the promise.  for men verily swear by the greater; and an oath for confirmation is to them an an end of all strife. 

Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability (unchangeableness) of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath.

That by two immutable (unchangeable) things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consultation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope THAT IS SET BEFORE US. WHICH HOPE WE HAVE AS AN ANCHOR OF THE SOUL, BOTH SURE AND STEADFAST, AND WITH ENTERETH INTO THAT WITHIN THE VEIL (Presence behind the veil).” 

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

FEAR…

Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”  Luke 12:32

My original thought a week or so ago was that I wanted to write something for St Patrick’s Day and I would name is “Turning Green” and it would be about envy

But My, how things can change in a couple of weeks.

And I am quite sure everyone, everywhere at this moment in time as we are all being quarantined into our own little spots in the world. 

Schools closed, churches advised to close, many working from home, people stocking up food, stocking up supplies and what about all those who can’t?

The President telling us to keep our groups to the number ten. 

Ironically ten is the number of completion and in the end all the face masks and hand sanitizer in the world isn’t going to change the fact that we live on earth and earth is fragile, and we are fragile. 

Whether this was a man-made weapon gone wrong or if it is truly just a mutation of some otherwise harmless virus that somehow manged to evolve itself into a killing machine is completely irrelevant in the end, and yes I did just say that it is completely irrelevant.

In the grand scheme of things, we are human, humans die, no one wants to die but every single day of our lives we face death.

When we get out of bed everyday we face death.Even in the best of health we could die at any second, simply driving down the road we are usually listening to music or planning our day or our thoughts are on pressing things of the moment or future plans but nevertheless, we could potentially die with one wrong move of that vehicle or because of the wrong move of another.

The only difference is that now we are painfully AWARE the danger.

We are extremely aware, the news tells us that we could die, the internet tells that we could die and all that can be heard and seen tells, reaffirming the fact that we could all very well die.

And do know I am not in any way making light of any of it, i have study prophecy for years and there are certain things that are what they are and there are certain things that will be because the Bible has already been written.

Just as Jesus said concerning his own death after His resurrection, from Luke 24:44: “And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were in written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.”

So we know what is written is written and it all has to come to pass just as God said that it would but God has hope and comfort in all things.

So I am not getting into that at the moment but it is good time to really reflect on the reality that there are some very scary, quite horrifying events that will take place on this earth.

The time of all those things are for God and God alone to know and be judge of but Jesus gave us very clear markers to know how far we have came on that path and he gave us those because he does not want us to be terrified and blindsided that those things would come and we would not know what was happening. 

And so we go on into this post, we are now as a people, not a nation, not a race, but all of humankind dealing with this one common enemy- the virus- whose name I have heard so much these past weeks that I don’t even want to use it.

But we now all have a common foe, and that foe is bringing global fear and the fear is the true enemy, not the virus.

Fear destroys, it kills, it steals, it takes your peace and your joy and even though you live, it steals your very life because if we are so terrified, consumed by the though of losing our lives how are really ever going to live?

So I want to “talk” to you about fear, perfectly normal to be afraid, David was very afraid when Saul was trying to kill him,  Peter was horrified and Daniel really did not want to be eaten alive but he knew he had to trust God, he knew this was a very real possibility and he knew that he would be thrown into the lions and he was but God delivered him.   

Jesus telling us to “Fear not, little flock…” is one of my favorite verses, that is God telling YOU, me, all that serve and love Him, the most simple of messages for us to not be afraid, a message we have heard often through lives from childhood as our Mothers, Fathers, and other adults reassured to not be afraid, letting us know that everything would be okay, and we trusted that.

Now think of this. that verse was spoken by the one who holds the universe in his hands and is surely will take care of you.

So please don’t look at this world, like an old friend used to tell me “Just don’t look down” keep your eyes focused on the good things, happy things and think about things that bring you joy and peace, this virus and this time of uncertainty and fear will not be forever but God and his eternal promises are forever.

So read his word and pray and pray for all those whoa re trapped in that  fear because fear is destructive and its affects can last well past the course of those things that bring that fear to us.

And may I please suggest that you read Psalm 91 and quote it and believe it over you, and your loved ones.

I want to also leave you with a though tonight, you know when God brought the plagues upon Eygpt and they were covered in absolute darkness the Hebrews, God’s people still had light in all their dwellings.  SAME GOD and the same God will take care of you and see us all through whatever this world holds and whatever is yet to unfold.

Praying God’s peace and love, blessings and most of all his perfect love, which casts out all fear for you and yours this season of life.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

 

Angels, Roses, & True Love part 3 “Truest Love of All”

“As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you; continue ye in my love.

If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

Ye have not chosen me but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

These things I command you, that ye love one another. 

If the world hate you ye know that it hated me before it hated you.  If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world,but I have CHOSEN you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”  John 15:9-18   

Love is the most misunderstood word in existence, and love in its truest sense is often left undiscovered.

When Jesus gave us these words, which he went on in verse twenty to remind us to, “REMEMBER the word that I have said unto you…” as He went on to warn them that we can never expect to be treated any differently than he was.

We are truly judged by the company we keep and often once you starting keeping company, as our old Southern sayings go, with Jesus, you will find out pretty fast who your real friends are, which in most cases, will then mean were. 

So often all of us at one time or another have been hit with the old routine of  “If you really loved me…” and you know that is the biggest trap the enemy has ever set. People who really love you will NEVER play that game, they will NEVER use the love that they know you have for them as a tool against you, to manipulate and control you or to coerce you into to bending to their will never caring at all about you or your feelings.

So that my friends is the state of the world, and just as Jesus said, the world, referring to those people, people who do not honor God or his teachings and sure do not want you to honor him, they will hate you. 

Being human will all need to feel love and we need acceptance and the enemy plays on those needs because he knows where our greatest weakness lies. That it why it is imperative to cultivate a relationship with Jesus and of course if you have never excepted salvation, that is where you must start.

Think about that, just as he told us, there is NO GREATER LOVE, the love of God, the one who created you, just as He told the Prophet Jeremiah… “BEFORE, I formed thee in the belly  I knew thee”…  and he knew you, me, and ever other person who was or ever will be created.

And His lovemercy, and grace will never fail, and He gives this freely, openly, honestly, no strings attached, no deals to be made.

He just gives and he gives from the moment He brings you into this world through all the ups, downs, of life until your golden years, He gives that hope, that choice, and that offer to open that door as He beckons for you to open your heart and as He also promises that even as time fades from us that He is there.

Isaiah 46:4: “And even to your old age I am he and even to your hoar hairs (gray hairs) will I carry you; I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.”

Now those are the words of God Himself promising us that even to the end of everything, He will carry us, deliver us, and as He also promised in scripture elsewhere, He will never leave us or forsake us. THAT is Love.   

So you see no matter where you are, where you have been, no of it matters, God wants you right where you are, and maybe the enemy has told you that God has called to many times, or you have went to far or that your family, relationship, or circumstance disqualifies you from ever being able to serve God, again one of the biggest lies of all.

Jesus loves you and He died on the cross to save you, and it is  never too late until you take your last breathe, He will save you, all you have to do is ask him into your heart, because He will not just force you  accept him,  or force you to accept the greatest gift of all, His love the only true love, and a love that will never fail.

And as I leave you, I want to leave you with this question why spend life never knowing what you can not know until you have accepted it?

I know that was a tongue twister, meaning this, never dismiss the thought of the existence of God or the relationship that is waiting for you, a relationship of peace and love, and truly knowing God, until you have at least sought Him.

Before I was saved I did not understand that either.

I always thought of God as just out in Heaven, we could pray to him and I believed in Him but never understood what it meant to know His presence and no one can know that or understand that until they are saved.

This is how it works… you believe, you ask and then you know.

He is not in the business of proving Himself to us before we believe, we believe and then He reveals Himself to us. that is the part the world that he referred to is missing, and they do hate him or rather the belief in Him, because their hearts are so darkened and their minds so blinded that they do not believe in anything, they live in the moment, never believing that there is more.

Falsely thinking that this world, this life is all that there is, and as the Bible teaches us, if we only had hope in this life, and our only confidence was in the things of this world we would be miserable.

He proved how much He loves us, enough to die for us, and there is no greater nor will there ever be a greater love than that of Jesus Christ.

Thanks for reading, sorry that I was running so late with this series that was supposed to be for Valentine’s Day, but God knows everything and His timing is perfect so I hope in some way this will bless you TODAY!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

Series posts: Angels, Roses, & True Love/ Intro

Angels, Roses, & True Love : Part 2 “Angels”

Angels,Roses,& True Love/ part 3 “A rose by only one name”

 

Angels,Roses,& True Love/ part 3 “A rose by only one name”

“The wilderness and the solitary (desert) place shall be glad for them: and the desert shall blossom as the rose.

It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice even with joy and signing; the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon,  they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God.

Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm (make firm) the feeble knees. Say unto them that are of a fearful heart (are afraid), Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you.

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.

Then the lame man shall leap as a hart (a deer), and the tongue of the dumb (mute) shall sing; for in the wilderness shall waters break out and streams in the desert.

And the parched ground shall become a pool and thirsty land springs of water; in the habitation of dragons (jackals),where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.

And an highway shall be there, and a way (road), And it shall be called The way of Holiness;  the unclean shall not pass over it: but is shall be for those; the wayfaring men (those who walk the road), though fools, shall not err therein (will not go astray).

No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed of the Lord shall walk there

And the ransomed  of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads; the shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.   Isaiah 35

Well to get started, Happy leap day, Happy leap year, Happy Sadie Hawkins Day! That is a lot for a day that only comes every four years!

It is cold and snowy in my part of the world, looked quite like a post card this morning, absolutely gorgeous with snow covering every branch of every tree and glittering down sparkling as the sun tried to shine through.

And it is a beautiful refreshing change from this time yesterday, as I was feeling a little ” Bob crackit-ish” having just came out of a nineteen hour power outage caused by a fallen tree…ah the joys of electric heat. 

And things can and do change fast sometimes, like the old saying, “What a difference a day can make.”

Like our passage above, I know that seemed excessive, an entire chapter, but it is needed. God often works in our lives the same way, one day is catastrophic, your entire world crashing around you, such as in the first verse, a spiritual wilderness, a barren deserted land in which you feel that you have found yourself helplessness alone.

Then Jesus comes in and lets us know that He is already there, He is in that place with you and for you, and in those places of solitude is the very place that God often uses to bring that gladness and joy of his presence to us.

This is why the desert can be “glad” for us, and why it can be a place, starting out with feelings of lonely abandonment and quickly becoming a beautiful fruited land in where find a renewing and strengthening of your personal relationship with God.

A place in which you learn complete trust and complete surrender while gaining faith and complete confidence in his power over your life and the blessed knowledge that he is doing something wonderful in you despite what everything around you may be saying to the contrary.

And the blooming of that rose, a rose not only blooming but blossoming into perfection out of the parched dry ground.

A rose that would seem doomed to never in bud given the hardness of the soil in which it is planted but once those sweet waters come bringing the glory and joy of the land over that land, everything will change.

Wasn’t Shakespeare’s famous line that told even by any name a rose would smell just as sweet?

Ah, but I do beg to differ…

“I AM the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys. As my lily among the thorns, so is my love among the daughters.” Song of Solomon 2:1,2

And talk about beautiful fragrances…

“Thou lovest righteousness and hatest wickedness; therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows (more than any other), All thy garments smell of myrrh, aloes, and cassia…” Psalm 45: 7, 8 (a) 

No name greater, no fragrance sweeter than our God, the only true rose, the only rose whose love does bloom in us, even in the middle of a desert and who is the lily producing a beautiful sweet fragrance covering and replacing the smell of the awful ash left by what had once consumed our life.

That sweet aroma  of that lily, whose beauty shines forth even from among the painful thorns as we go through the valleys of this world, as all the “dragons”, all that would hurt and hinder are made silent and renewing, as that fresh grass growing starts to take place. So you see, you can’t stop, you can not give up, because where you are today can change in twinkling of an eye. The place of the desert that you may feel will engulf you may very well be the place you look back on one day with a higher knowledge and understanding that if it had not been for that desert you may have never be given the only truly perfect rose.  

“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour (aroma).”  Ephesians 5:1,2

Nothing, absolutely nothing that can be sweeter or any rose more beautiful than Jesus.

Trust him, just TRUST him.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

For series posts, please click links:

Angels, Roses, & True Love/ Intro

Angels, Roses, & True Love : Part 2 “Angels”

Angels, Roses, & True Love : Part 2 “Angels”

 

“The angel of the Lord encampeth round about the that fear him, and delivereth them.” Psalm 34:7

I really had a rough time thinking about this one. There are so many stories in the Bible of the interactions between those of us on earth and the host of heaven, who are sent to us, I believe, more often than we could ever imagine.

And it is truly hard to write for six years dealing in the same subject matter and not get redundant, and redundant I do not wish to be, so this post with be heavy laden with golden links that can be clicked on for more posts concerning heaven meeting earth.

But we have all experienced those moments in life, usually near fatal accidents that somehow, miraculously we were spared and stories upon stories that can have only one explanation divine intervention carried out by servants of the most Divine.

We can get into the mindset of this by recalling the stories of old.

One my personal favorites the angel that visited Hagar not once but TWICE.

Daniel whose life was spared through his faith in God as God sent an angel to “shut the mouths of the lions” which I believe this meant that the lions were calmed and lulled they knew the angel was there as we know from the story of the beaten donkey  , the donkey that kept stopping because she saw what her evil rider could not… the angel whose compassion toward that donkey almost brought an even earlier end to Balaam. 

The angel Gabriel proclaiming blessed news to Mary, and again angels coming to proclaim to simple shepherds that that blessed promise had been fulfilled.

Other births had been foretold as those of the angelic realm paid visits also to Samson’s parents, his mother first and then at the prayer of Manoah, God sent the angel again to clarify how this child should be raised.

Not to mention Zacahrias, the father of John the Baptist was also visited by Gabriel as he performed his duties in the temple. 

There are stories of encounter after encounter with everything from bring prophecy and good news, to warning of danger ahead and assurance that the future will be brighter as in Hagar’s case.

An angel fed Elijah when he was so discouraged he could no longer continue. Jacob wrestled with the angel before becoming Israel, Joshua was given comfort meeting the captain of the host that were for them.

Stories of the Lord sending his angels to fight against those that were to strong for his children to fight and opening the eyes of the servant of Elisha to allow him to see just how many were really there for that fight if needed. Other times he sent them forth in judgment  to destroy those that sought to destroy his chosen or defiled his temple.

They announced his birth, his resurrection, and spoke to the disciples at his ascension assuring them that he would indeed return just as he went away and they will continue to watch over us and do his will until that day. 

So when I think of God and I think of love it is very difficult to not think of the angels and his beauty, grace,and kindness in sending them to watch over us and when I think of all the times in life all of us could have encountered an angel and not have ever even known is even more amazing to me! 

“Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”  Hebrews 13:1-2

Our gentle warning to always respond in love (I fail this one often!) and a bigger warning that we should always be very careful how we treat others because we can actually be talking with an angel.

I want to point out something here, if you were to ever encounter an angel posing as human to check your true usage of the golden rule  you would probably never even know that you had but just know that an angel would never test you on anything contrary to the word of God.

They would never request anything of you that is wrong or illegal or immoral. And they are NEVER to be worshiped. 

“And I John saw these things and heard them, and when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it NOT: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings (words) of this book: WORSHIP GOD.Revelation 22:8,9

I love “angels”. I have angels on almost anything you can imagine and love giving Christmas cards with scriptures of “Glad Tidings” and art work of the same.

When we think of  all the beautiful cards with truly inspirational sayings and thoughts of love and peace with gorgeous illustrations of what we perceive the angels to be, lets always bear in mind one thing.

These thoughts and sentiments that we have came to cherish are actually a reflection of the love God has sent to us, the only difference is his angels ARE real!

So I want to give you some of that good news, the words from God concerning those of the heavenly host that he does in deed give “charge over you” to watch over you, comfort you, protect you, and be there in the loneliest, most barren place of hopelessness .

Much like the place Hagar  found herself in, through no fault of her own and just when she thought EVERYTHING was hopeless and she truly believed that she and much worse her son were going to die in that wilderness, God sent his angel with not only words of comfort, words of hope, and the PROMISE of a future for her son but also he miraculously sent them water so that they could physical continue on that journey.

God know all of our needs emotional, spiritual, and physical and he addressed all these for Hagar, taking care first of the emotional, then the spiritual, by giving her reassurance delivered no less than through an angel, and then her physical need was met.

And he does the same for us, we just have to believe and be open and mindful that even when we feel alone and it looks like there is no one on our side, Jesus is and he sends his angels as proof of that.

John was told to not worship them because they are workers together with us for the kingdom of God. Which is so important to say in a world that wants to worship everything except the one true God and always be careful of media posts and sites that touting messages from angels or connect with your angels.

We don’t connect with them… God sends them to us, they are ever present.

There is always the question that if God is real and angels are real why does bad things happen? 

That is explained quite simply as being on this earth, being human, God never promised this earth would be easy, it is not our eternal home, we are not  in the realm of immortality and the pain and heartache felt by one is surely felt by another.

And the best way to be mindful of that, especially when we are going through particularly painful seasons is remembering a very crucial lesson, Jesus was Mary’s   firstborn son and he was also God in human form and will for ever be and Jesus who was the perfect, sinless, Lamb of God DIED for us so that we could live.

The Bible is also full of stories of heartache and blessings given for the generations by those near the end of their own.

The apostles Peter and Paul both writing of the deaths that were soon to come and yet both of these men spared, miraculously rescued by the angels and not just once.

Peter after having been arrested and chained between two guards had this encounter as recorded in Acts 12:7-10: “And, behold, the angel  of the Lord came upon him (stood by), and a light shined in the prison: and he smote (tapped) Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly, And his chains fell off from his hands.

And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals (get dressed and put on your shoes), so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.

And he went out, and followed him; and wist (knew) not that it was true (real) which was done by the angel; but he thought that he saw a vision.

When they were past the first and second ward (guard posts), they came unto an iron gate that leadeth unto the city, which opened to them on his own accord (meaning the gate miraculously opened): and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him.”

Paul as he was in the midst of the storm while a prisoner on a seemingly doomed ship, had the to speak of his encounter and what they must do to survive:

Acts 27:22-26: “And now I exhort (urge) you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship (the ship would be destroyed).

For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve. Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.

Wherefore sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me. Howbeit we must be cast (run aground) upon a certain island.”

The angel reminding Paul, bringing God’s words and promises over his life back to his mind, assuring him that no matter how dark  it was not quite time.

It was not yet time for them to go to that eternal home but when the time started to come they knew and they never questioned God’s love for them.

The one common thread that weaves it all together is this, it is only temporary and the entire reason for our faith is believing that there is so much better, in the life yet to come.

Lets actually just quickly look at what they both said concerning their inevitable deaths.

Paul wrote this ending his directions to Timothy concerning what he must do to be a successful minister for the Kingdom of Heaven.

2 Timothy 4:6: For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure (death) is at hand.”

And Peter, also giving instructions as his last words before saying this:

2 Peter 1:13-15: “Yea, I think it meet (is right), as long as I am in this tabernacle (body), to stir you up by putting you in remembrance:

Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle (die), even as our Lord Jesus has shown me.

Moreover I will endeavor that ye may be able after my decease (death) to have these things in remembrance always.”

How could they have such comfort and such peace? Because they knew, they had the Lord and they knew had the angelic host and we never alone. 

They are with us from birth, through childhood, just as Jesus said concerning the children when he gave this warning from Matthew 18:10: “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.”

When we have ran amok, wasting our inheritance like the prodigal sons and daughters that we are, hanging out with the wrong people and as messed up.as we are he still loves us.He still watches over us and still his angels watch over us and Jesus said this about the moment that they are observing as we come into the truth.

Luke 15:10: “Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repeneth.”

These are they who cease not to praise the Lord and there are those who are night and day around the throne and the only time we are told they are silent is just before judgment is began against earth. They are with you in life and they will be with us in death as again Jesus relays the story of Lazarus.

Luke 16:22: ” And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: and the rich man died and was buried.”

Quite a contrast the rich man died and was buried (we know that he also lifted up his eyes in hell, never have accepted salvation)  but Lazarus carried by the angels.

Start to finish, God send us his messengers and when we have doubt and fears, loneliness and grief we should always rest in that comfort, as they have been with us silently and invisibly here, one day we will be with them there, we also we be part of that host of heaven but until then rest assured knowing that they are always around!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev Nina Brown Johnson

Posts in series: Angels, Roses, & True Love/ Intro

Angels,Roses,& True Love/ part 3 “A rose by only one name”

Angels, Roses, & True Love/ Intro

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the  most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, He is  my refuge and my fortress: my God in whom I will trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome (deadly) pestilence.

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust(take refuge); his truth shall be thy shield and buckler (shield).

Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in the darkness; nor for the destruction that wastesth (lays waste) at noonday.

A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

Only wit thine eyes shalt thou behold the reward of the wicked.

Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come thy dwelling. 

For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.” Psalm 91:1-11 

Most familiar passage of scripture there, most know it and if you don’t, what a more fabulous time to learn it! And what a better time of the year, i am just a wee late on this but love should be celebrated every single day!

Not just once a year, but every single day. And I am not talking about carnal love, or the romantic love of a married couple, but the true healing balm that softens even the hardest heart and seals even the deepest spiritual wounds.

The love that is best understood by carefully reading and spiritually dividing his Word an this passage is an excellent place to start.

“If ye have heard of the dispensation (stewardship) of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward;

How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in in few words,

Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

That Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel;

Wherefore I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.

Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.

And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.

To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifest wisdom of God.

According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord. In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you which is my glory. For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.

That he would grant you according to to riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 

That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded IN love, may be able to comprehend (understand) what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height.

And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Ephesians 3:2-19 

Part of the lesson the be learned from this scripture is this, the “mystery” of God, that had perplexed humans since the dawn of time, is not quite a mystery after all. Humans have a need to understand, to know, even to believe in something s much more than ourselves.

Love itself testifies to this because we know that love can not die and God created us with that very desire to know to understand something so much greater, but in that we have through time searched for these answers in so many wrong places.

Never understanding the simplicity of the truth, and being human we want to attribute our human thinking and logic to a divine force that can not be reduced to our human mentality.

This is why Jesus came to earth, everything that thought and everything that attributed to God was quite skewed, He wasn’t all about fire and brimstone, punishment and death, and the ability to hand down the sentence of eternal damnation, which all those have their place, but he came here for one reason and one reason only to save us and save us not with punishment and terror but to save us, and to save us with thew most misunderstood yet greatest attribute of His divinity, His LOVE.

I do hope you will join me for the remainder of this series, lord will, we will look at how that love which does truly surpass anything our mortal minds can comprehend, goes so far beyond and yet touches us every single day and just as our customs of angels, roses, and never ending love stories,but the real love story was written by the greatest author of all and that story has no end and that rose never fades and that love never dies or grows cold but lives forever, eternally in a story yet to be told.

And here is your final verse for our intro,

Romans 5:8: “But God commended(demonstrates) his love toward us, in, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Join me next time! Have a blessed week.

Rev. Nina Brown Johnson / Φλογιζω NBJ 2020

 

 

 

Precious Valentines

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through him might be saved.

He that believeth on him is not condemned but he that believeth not is condemned already because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

And this is the condemnation that light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil.

For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

But he that doeth truth cometh to the light,that his deeds may be manifest, that they are wrought in God.” John 3:16-21

That passage of scripture I do believe, contains the most popular verse in all of human history “For God so loved the world…

Love.

Love is the “secret” to it all.

God created us out of that love, the same love that allowed Jesus to be tortured and die an excruciating death on the cross for us and the same love that will one day raise us up eternally to rest forever in that love.

I can’t let Valentines’ Day come yet once again without thanking God for that love. Romans 5:8: “But God commenedeth (demonstrates) his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”

It is and always has been my absolute favorite holiday, I love all the legends and folk lore associated with it, martyrdom and self sacrifice in the name of Christian love.

I know Christmas and Easter should be and they are the most Holy of days BUT think of this, the day that celebrates the greatest and most cherished of all emotions, the one day set aside to celebrate love itself should be also be set aside to celebrate love HIMSELF.

And of course I am not talking about the worldly take on it either, I am talking about celebrating in him and sharing his love with all that you can on one very special day.

Take time out from the chocolate hearts you may buy, the flowers you may send, and the enamored love songs that you may dedicate to the love of your life.

Visit someone, call someone, or just do something for someone else who is hurting or widowed to bring a smile to their face and the touch of God to their heart.

Of all the paper hearts and valentines greetings passed as school children, all the boxes of candy given and received over a lifetime, every gift that we may have received, even ever so carefully planned and thought out to glorious perfection would still one day in retrospect concerning what is truly precious, what is truly eternal and all will pale in comparison to the true gift of the love God.

And that love, HIS love, shared from one heart to another, one word spoken in due season to cheer and encourage a heart that may completely breaking.

As Jesus described those who come to the light, their desire is to do the will of God and show forth HIS love, and kindness.

So give those cards, send those flowers, cook that dinner, and eat the chocolates and be those happy guys and gals but don’t forget to thank and send your love to the truest heart, the most precious of all, the one who loved enough to die and who in the greatest demonstration of the eternity of that love rose.

And in honour of him be willing to give of yourself, give your heart the most precious valentine that you could ever give to someone else.

From my heart to yours… HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!

Φλογιζω360 NBJ 2019

Revisited 02/09/2020

 

“How do I love thee?”

“Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord; And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words,which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart.” Deuteronomy 6:4-6

Old school groove, “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways” that one has been around for ages! But it is  wonderful question, once Jesus gives us those new hearts and leads us in His paths, we are met with that question, once the true realization of His presence and love is known to you, as He said, He will give you a heart to KNOW him, then we are faced with the humanly overwhelming question of how do you relay your love back to the God of the universe, who created heaven and earth , and who can hold time, space, and eternity in the palm of His hand and if He wanted, He could speak one word and completely destroy every single thing that now exists?

Obviously, as mere mortals, it would seem that we have nothing, nothing to offer as a token of our love in return, our love to Him for creating us, caring for us, and most of all dying on a cross for us so that we could be saved, and never giving up on us.

So how do we love Him and what exactly is it that He wants? Well, we are created in His image and He wants the same thing we want from Him, He wants our love and our heart, and He does not want a little portion of our hearts, you know a spot that remains empty while the main space is taken by other people, other things that we cling too while He gets whatever love is left. He will not go for that, not now, not ever.

No He wants ALL our heart or none of our heart, that is why he said to seek Him with our WHOLE heart. he wants a real relationship and not to be a God in the distance in our lives, He wants fellowship with us and this has become so messed up in the world thinking. He is love BUT He also tells us if we love Him, we WILL keep His commandments and when you think about it, there is nothing on that list that is unreasonable and every single command He has ever handed down is FOR OUR GOOD.

So we have to get into that thinking that He IS love and He IS our friend but we are also required by that love to do as He asks. Our world has major rebellion problems on this one, it is taught as well He loves us, we can do what makes us happy, No, that is NOT loving Him, that is trying to compare His goodness toward us with some sort of fairy godfather who grants your every whim. And that is in no way loving Him or respecting Him, that is loving our flesh and being so arrogant as to think our DESIRES are of a higher value than His Holiness, and that kinda thinking will get a person a quick trip to the grave.

“But the hour cometh, and now IS, when true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship him. GOD IS A SPIRIT: and they that worship him must worship him in SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH.” John 4:23,24

So we know with Jesus arrival on earth, all things were changed and no longer were prayers and sacrifice made by a priest needed and all who truly believe could be allowed entry into the Holy of Holies through his presence with the gift of the Holy Ghost.

This is where we must worship in TRUTH, truth to who He is, truth of His commands, truth of His word, and keeping our lives and actions subjected into and under that TRUTH. We worship Him in Spirit, in His presence  in the “places” of salvation:

“But thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise” Isaiah 60:18(a)

Believers are surrounded by those walls of salvation in your worship time and praise is the gate by which we enter and there you worship in fellowship, love, and adoration and there you know Him and receive joy, peace, and assurance and rest from your troubles. 

So here is a scriptural checklist:

Deuteronomy 10:12 : “And now Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee? But (only) to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God WITH ALL THY HEART and ALL THY SOUL.” 

Deuteronomy 11:13-14:  “And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, and the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather  in thy corn, thy wine, and thine oil.”

That is His promises to us of all good things, and the word of God, the bread of life, his blessings, His anointing. So now we answer the question.. “My Dear Lord HOW do I love thee?  We enter into your presence with thanksgiving and praise, and in the safety of your pavilion surrounded by those walls of your salvation we will allow ourselves to be taught, loved, and led!

This is the how you count the ways! Seek Him, Love Him, Honor Him, and get to know Him, and let His blessings and His mercy transform you!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

Revisited 02/07/2020 

 

A change of heart….

“And I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God; for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.” JEREMIAH 24:7 

A few days and it will be Valentines Day, always, always has been one of my favorites, I was born a helpless romance junkie and think it should be a crime for anyone to not celebrate the one day set aside to celebrate the greatest of all gifts… LOVE.

And I do NOT mean it in the context of the world standards with their absolutely perverse notion of what love even means, although this time of the year it is hard to escape, especially this year with all the hype about the new even more twisted sequel to a certain movie.. but enough of that

Funny how we humans can dress up the devil and sell him as your best friend.

Know a little something about dressed up  “old friends” lately too, you know the ones who keep coming and coming to torment you, yet according to them they are your FRIEND. 

But it does prove a point..

Satan will try, he doesn’t care if it has been twenty years, thirty years, whatever, he never gives up and that is why we have to always be on guard and the biggest threat to your salvation is always gonna be your “old friends” and maybe that little throw in there will help someone who may be having “a blast from the past” that the enemy has sent to knock the wind out of your sails.

Remember what Jesus said “Let the dead bury the dead” go on with your life.

Back to love.. real love… the best part of any good romance movie is when the love question comes and one says to the other “If you could only look into my heart…” and we know the correct mushy Hallmark ending to that sentence is “you would KNOW just how much I love you” and all the other mushy love stuff.

So I want you in honor of true spirit of Valentines Day to answer me a question.. well actually you will be answering it to you, since I am obviously pretty far outta earshot… If someone were to look deep into your HEART, what would they see?

Would they see tattered, torn, broken, and left feeling forsaken by friends, and family? 

Would they see all the damage, stress, and strain of the trails you have been through in your life and all the rips and shreds left by lost loves and lost loved ones?

Would they see regret,and remorse,and guilt so severe over things you can not change that have left you with the inability to forgive YOURSELF?

Would they see wounds and scars from a life time of deceptions and many bad decisions?

Would they see sorrow, grief, and pain and  the worry over the tragedies of others?

The true beauty in having a “damaged” heart is that only a heart that has known true agony can fully give itself to others and most of all to God because only He can revive, renew, and repair all that we think is eternally lost and only he can take a heart too afraid to be loved or show love and make it overflow with the purest of love, to flow out so strong that it can even flow onto those you think are incapable of love and convert them. 

That is why He tells us that He will GIVE us a heart to KNOW Him, but we must come to Him with our whole heart.

And in doing this we have to admit what we see and be willing to trade in our hearts of stone, hardened through life, hardened against faith, hardened in unbelief because of the things we have suffered, and we have the argument that our wounds are too deep, too much water under the bridge and we can’t give our lives to Christ because we just “can’t live it” right now, but that is such self-deception! 

We only have to give Him those stone hearts and let Him tell us what He sees. 

Ezekiel 36:26,27: “A NEW HEART also WILL I GIVE YOU, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I WILL TAKE AWAY THE STONY HEART out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.

And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statues, and ye shall keep judgments, and do them.”

He does the work! He gives US the new heart and once He gives us His spirit, HE leads us, guides us, and CAUSES us to walk in His paths!

There is NOTHING that we can do for ourselves! And I for one thank God for that, I personally could have never “fixed” myself, no one or not the greatest team of any super brains on earth could have “fixed” me and you know what?

They can’t fix anyone else either!

Only Jesus, because we have to have a heart transplant that only ONE physician in the universe knows how to perform!

So if you are looking and not liking what you see, and be honest, that is the groovy thing with this blog, NO ONE knows you while you are reading it!

I don’t know it, your friends don’t know it and NO ONE sees you, so you can be honest, right there where you are, LOOK… what do you see?

Joel 2:12,13: “Therefore also now, saith the Lord, TURN ye even TO ME with ALL YOUR HEART, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning; And rend (tear open) your heart, and not your garments.

And TURN unto the Lord your God; For HE IS GRACIOUS AND MERCIFUL, SLOW TO ANGER, AND OF GREAT KINDNESS…..

I promise you, you can trust Him with ALL your heart and I also promise you, if you could only look into the Father’s heart, you would truly see just how much He ALREADY LOVES YOU!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

Original post date 02/10/2017 

 

In Good Conscience…

“For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then we have confidence toward God.” 1 John 3:20,21  The heart there speaking of conscience. 

I’ve been wrestling with exactly how to hit this point, I toyed with an elaborate play in my head… something out of a history book, you know an old dude in a wig with the forefathers stomping his foot and throwing his quill pen on the table and profoundly stating, “Gentlemen I can not in good conscience be a party to this senseless farce!’

But then again that may be from history, ah, you never know!

Anyway we are digging a good conscience, that little tugging inside that tells us something about the situation we are in or a direction that someone is trying to lead us in is just not quite right for us.

On the flip side of that you can have someone, even with good intentions,  attempting to herd you into a direction or condemn a decision you have made or are trying to make based on their personal feelings on the matter.

People can often try to lead or condemn us when our true Shepherd the only one who truly has the right to lead and truly the only one with the power to condemn has no plan or purpose for that action in your life.

That is why the verse is so powerful and so extremely important especially when we are in a valley of decision, because God IS greater and he is greater than our heart and if our heart is not condemning us that tells us that surely God being greater than that would let us know beyond any shadow of a doubt the true path we should take or the correct decision even if we chose to make a decision that another may not think is the best one if God gives peace with that then we know we can have that confidence of being in his will.

To give an example of the importance of listening to the “voice” of God we’ll go to one of the scariest stories in the Bible, or at least to me it is one of the scariest because it teaches us how easily a person can sway us away from the will of God,

“And behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the Lord unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense,

And he cried against the altar in the word of the Lord (at the command of the Lord), and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the Lord; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men’s bones shall be burnt upon thee.

And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign the Lord hath spoken: Behold, the altar shall be rent (split apart), and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out.

And it came to pass, When King Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, which had cried against the altar in Bethel, that he put forth his hand from the altar, saying Lay hold upon him. (seize him) and his hand, which he did put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him.

The altar was rent, and the ashed poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the Lord.” 1 Kings 13:1-5

I want to stop right there for a moment because we can establish right there so completely that there was no doubt possible that this man, who is referred to as a man OF God had been sent and purposed of God to do this work and God displayed his power against those who would try to stop him to further prove that this was indeed divinely ordained.

Now for the rest of the story.

“And the king answered and said unto the man of God, Intreat now the face of the Lord thy God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored me again. And the man of God besought the Lord, and the king’s hand  was restored him again, and became as it was before (healed).

And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give the a reward.

And the man of God said unto the king, If thou wilt give me half thine house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place:

For so it was charged me by the word of the Lord, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest .

So he went another way,and returned not by the way that he came to Bethel.

Now there dwelt an old prophet in Bethel, and his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Bethel: the words which he had spoken unto the king, them they told also to their father.

And their father said unto them, What way  went he? For his sons had seen what way the man of God went, which came from Judah.

And he said unto his sons, Saddle me the ass. So they saddled him the ass, and he rode thereon.

And went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak, and he said unto him, Art thou the man of God that camest from Judah? and he said, I am.

Then he said unto him, Come home with me and eat bread.

And he said, I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee: neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place:

For  it was said to me by the word of the Lord, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way thou camest,

He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the Lord, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water, BUT HE LIED UNTO HIM.

So he went back with him an did eat bread in his house, and drink water.” 1 Kings 13:6-19

This story has a horrific ending,  if you have a moment, please finish it on your own, but needless to say the man of God dies because he listened to the wrong voice, he listened to the voice of a man, the voice that assured him that he himself also was a “prophet” and he listened to the “voice’ of an “angel” supposedly heard by the man.

And he listened to all these “voices” when he had already heard from the “voice” the word of God and for whatever reason chose to listen to the wrong voice after having received all the instruction he needed from the right one.

Not faulting him at all, this is why this is such a scary story, because it happened so easy and it is a great warning to us, that there are those for whatever reason would try to lead us completely out of the will of God or even snare and trap us just to try to cause us to stumble and  fall.

The overwhelming thread of this story is that he had had been told every single thing he needed to know about the man of God, including the command that God gave him against eating and drinking in that “place” and the direction in which he had been commanded to travel and he had all he needed to convince him into going “back” with him. So much symbolism going on there.

God is greater than your heart, if you know God and I mean truly know God, that you are a born again, spirit filled Bible believing person, you know what your heart is saying, and God is greater.

So if your heart is telling you a way that you should not go while someone else is saying that is the only way to go, take a note from your heart and know that God through his word has already told you how to go.

As said in 1 Corinthians, God is NOT the author of confusion but of PEACE. The God that saved you is the same God today and anything that takes your joy and your peace and bring confusion and strife into your mind and heart is NOT of him and anything contrary to his word and his teachings will never be his will for your life.

Thanks for reading! have a blessed week!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

“2020 Constant in continuance”

“As he spoke these words, many believed in him,  If ye continue in my word, then ye are my disciples indeed: and ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”  John 8:31,32   

Going to be going back to those passages in just a bit, but I wanted to stop there and talk about that truth, His truth, the truth that this entire season is supposed to celebrate. Jesus arriving on earth as a perfectly innocent babe, just as Jesus always was and still is and will forever be.

That is the truth that He brought to us, his beauty, his humility, and most of His grace.

A grace to so compassionate and so extensive that instead of destroying us in judgment against our sins, He chose to save us, save us from sin, save us from the devil, and most of all save us from ourselves. 

That is what I have always found so astounding and so amazing, not that everything about God and His majesty isn’t astounding, it is because He is supernatural while we are just barely natural!

But how a being who could speak everything that we know as the universe into existence, could separate the heaven from the earth and the heavens from the heavens and fling the starts, planets, sun, and moon into an endless space.

Created innumerable species on such a scale from the largest of beasts to the tiny little daphnia, who being only 0.01-0.20 inches in size has a beautiful little features including a perfect little heart that can be seen beating through its translucent body under a microscope, so tiny that this does not hurt them in anyway.

The SAME God who created the mammoths, the whales, also created the tiny little humming birds, the incredible assortment of color changing and electrically charge sea creatures and right down to the microscopic communities of absolute GOD GIVEN life.

And every single one with hundreds of types and varieties within their species, all intelligent, beautiful, and with uniquely their own social orders.

The birds who are especially brilliant with their dances of courtship and the bower-birds, the males building beautifully designed masterpieces of found art to impress potential mates, while other males seriously stake out his joint waiting for a chance to destroy it so that he can take out his competition for those potential mates.

And the male red birds who sing sweet songs as their “lady” birds set patiently on the eggs that will be their new family.

And all these much better parents and partners than their human counter parts on any given day.

And we could go on forever with example after example across the board of God’s creation.

And in all the splendor, all of the magnificent display of His creations, He came to save but one of all the kinds he created. the only species that ever questioned his existence, the only species that ever dared think itself quite so high, the only species that needed  a Saviour!

You can “see” this uniquely human attitude as we return to our scriptures, now bear in mind that these guys are actually saying this to God, the very one who created them!

And yet they question him.

John 8:33-43:”They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, (descendants), and we were NEVER in bondage to any man: HOW sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? 

Jesus answered them,  Verily, verily, I say unto you, whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever (forever). If the Son shall therefore make ye free, ye shall be free indeed.

I know that ye are Abraham’s seed: but ye seek to kill me, because my WORD has no place in you.

I speak that which I have seen with my Father; and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.  

They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father, Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.

Ye do the deeds of your father.  Then said they unto him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.

Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.

Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.”  

They couldn’t hear, even though they probably had perfect hearing they still could not hear the word, even with the Living Word standing right in front of them.

And in our world today it is so easy to get side tracked to get out of focus with the truth of God’s word, as Jesus so simply stated as this, John 8:47: “He that is of God heareth God’s words…” 

And that is not even about hearing the literal voice of God (which I am not disputing that some do) He means His written word, his commandments, his teachings and all that he had others write to us when giving us the Bible as our handbook to survival of this world.

2 Corinthians 3:1-17: “Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you?

Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:

Forasmuch as ye manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God: not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart. 

And such trust we have through Christ to God-ward: 

Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God. 

Who also hath made us ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:

How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather (more) glorious?

For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.

For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.

For if that which was done (passing) away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.  

Seeing then that we have such hope we use great plainness of speech:

And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of that which is abolished.

But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.

Nevertheless when it (one) shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. NOW the Lord IS that Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord IS, there IS Liberty.”

So basically what he was saying with much of that is this, as Moses face actually shone from being in the presence of God, and that glory was there even though the Mosaic law called for strict punishment and when the law of Christ comes into our heart how much more is that glory because the glory of that is the promise and hope of ETERNAL freedom!

And if you have Jesus and have his word and keep his word as he told us multiple, multiple times then we will have that promise.

Not much for him to ask, is it? And why doers he ask? For the same reason he warns and advises on any other subject… it is for us, for our GOOD. 

Psalm 119:11: “THY WORD HAVE I HID IN MINE HEART, THAT I MIGHT NOT SIN AGAINST THEE.” 

Lack of his word leads to sin and as his word tells us “sin leads to death” and death without him leads to an eternity no one wants to think of. 

So continue in him, in his word, and take him for his word and enjoy the goodness, mercy, and grace that he came to this earth to give us. 

What better way to start our new year in him, a fresh commitment to staying in his word and true to the simplicity of his word, not mega ministers not theories or thoughts but JESUS, and his word at face value, just as he intended, one of the many reasons he came, prophet after prophet he sent, but then he came and he told us HIMSELF!

Think of that as we go into 2020…

Φλογιζω NBJ 2019/ REV. Nina BrownJohnson

 

 

“A heart to hear the Hope…”

“And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. 

He shall be great, and he shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

And he shall reign over  the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing that I know not a man (am a virgin)?

And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing (one) which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:31-35

Nothing, nothing like the story of the conception and birth of Jesus Christ! Nothing like reading how the angels appeared and praised God as the proclaimed the greatest message ever delivered on this earth!

Remember that message? Luke 2:8-15: ” And there were shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were so afraid (terrified).

And the angel said unto them, Fear not, for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, and good will toward men.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone AWAY from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us NOW GO even unto Bethlehem, and SEE this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath MADE KNOWN UNTO US.”

I know we go over that and over that but we should! It is worth remembering every single day! Especially on those days when you may not feel like there is anyone  knows your heart or what you may be going through! God sent his best, his SON, Himself to this earth and he came in the sweetest, most humble way because that is who he is.

As Herod sought to have all the baby boys slaughtered in hope of destroying this one child, a child that could not be destroyed because his time “had not yet come” and hell knew, the devil knew what that child meant to this world, which is exactly why they wanted him killed. It wasn’t Herod’s insane jealously over what he felt was a threat to his throne, that may have been the seed that satan planted in his mind to have him go to such atrocious and heart breaking lengths, but it was the greater plan to destroy one of the greatest gifts (among the innumerable) that Christ brought to this earth.

So what was really born on that night as the world carried on, all gathered to be taxed, all having a place to stay with warmth and as Mary gave birth and laid her baby in of all places a manger, the world did not notice and had they known who this child was there would have been those that would have gladly given her their room and their bed, bed like so many of us now no one had a clue as to what was really being born that night.

We can sometime fail to GO and to SEE what God wants us to too, once the “angels” have gone away, meaning, it can be so easy when we are new, fresh, and just washed in the blood of the Lamb, but time and life being life can make us jaded and we can quickly forget the very truths that we were once so grateful to find.

Hope, hope was born that day into this world, hope, not like the world had knew but living, breathing, and crying in the still of the night. Hope whose hand,if we will faithfully hold,  and give it the proper place and respect in our lives can never be truly stolen away because the hope that came into this world with the Birth of Christ is hope, as himself,  is not of this world,  as is not subject to any thing in this world.

Not emotion, not death, not powers, politics, not anyone “hating on ya” nothing can steal that, if you don’t let it!

Christ came to save us through his teachings, his example, his miraculous, birth, his horrific death, and above all his magnificent, glorious resurrection from that death. He lived out his very teaching that we “are in the world but not of the world” and that for his believers that not a hair on our head would perish EVEN through death and that was the hope he gave us.

Hope that this life is not it, it is nothing, this mortal bodies are nothing compared to the glorious resurrection to come, a resurrection into the world without end, a world where he will be fully known as who he is and he will reign forever.

FOREVER. PERIOD. He gives us hope in this life but the hope his birth brought was a much greater hope, it is the hope in him for eternity, this is one of the ways the Bible puts it:

1 Corinthians 15:17-22 “And if Christ be not raised, your faith is in vain; ye are yet in your sins.Then they which are fallen asleep in Christ (have died believing salvation) are perished.  If in THIS life ONLY we have hope in Christ, we of all men are most miserable (pitiable). But now Christ IS risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept (have died). For since by man came death, by man also came the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made ALIVE.”

Is there any greater hope? I think not!

Have a blessed holiday, full of love to him, mercy and truth and the hope that he brought and that hope is not in this world, it is not in yesterday, tomorrow, or even today, that hope is IN him and him alone and in the promise of the world after this world, the world which is yet to come and all the yesterday and tomorrows and today’s it will bring.

That is your hope, just as Paul said, if we have hope in Christ just in our present time, we are pitiful, and would be truly hopeless! Our hope is to be in him now and for the future, so far into that future that we may be among those resurrected from the graves and that changes the perspective about the true importance of today or any day.

Don’t get me wrong with that our days are important to God and how we live is very important to him, but don’t let your hope “rest” in these temporal days, let your hope SHINE, let the hope of eternity which Jesus let your life be as that star was for us and for the wise men, shine for him, there are yet greater things to come!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!  Thanks for reading!  Reverend Nina Brown Johnson/Φλογιζω NBJ 2019

 

Golden

Golden apples, golden pomegranates, figs, nuts and not to be forgotten the beautiful gilded roses and sprigs of heather that since the Victorian era have added their lovely soft holiday glow to many Christmas trees.

I myself, a die hard Victorian trapped in a modern world with a strong opinion base and more than willing to verbally express those opinions would have no doubt been confined to the solitude of a servants quarter someplace.

So I am thankful I can now have the best of both worlds, but that does bring back a few school memories, now looking back, maybe that strong opinion and big mouth could explain more than one solitary confinement detention, but that is neither here nor there.

Golden apples, can’t make it through the holiday without a least a couple and every time I see one I am reminded of one of my favorite verses: Proverbs 25:11″A word fitly spoken (SPOKEN AT THE RIGHT TIME) is like APPLES OF GOLD in pictures (settings) of silver.”

Think of how beautiful that would truly be, the little snapshot above of my golden apple on my little Victorian tree can give a glimpse of just how the light reflects from that gold, it captures each twinkle and presents a warm, soft glow. Imagine the light reflected from a true golden apple glided by the process of the fire of the word of God. The tradition of Christmas apples can be kinda shaky depending on your research but we know that the only research we need is the symbolism found in the word of God. God refers to his children as the apple of his eye, (meaning pupil, but yet something extremely precious and of irreplaceable value.)

Song of Solomon has countless references to this ,when Jesus announces “I AM the rose of Sharon, AND the lily of the valley” describing his great love and calls her into his presence and she replies Song of Solomon 2:3:

“As the apple tree among the trees of wood, SO IS my beloved among the sons, I sat down UNDER HIS SHADOW with great delight and his fruit was sweet to my taste.” The apple tree bearing nourishing, beautiful, sweet fruit that no other tree could compare too. She goes on to plead to be comforted with apples, as she now had fallen completely in love wishing only to be refreshed and fed in His Presence, his very breath being as the fragrance of apples. Need we say more about apples?

Now for the gold, pure, valuable, beautiful, and reflective and adds worth to anything it touches. Through his fire He will refine his servants” as silver is refined” and try his servants “as gold is tried” his saints are processed as gold, with all the impurities being fired away until all that remains is pure and fire tested, purity tested to prove that they are tried and true.

His word as the setting of those refreshing, encouraging, nourishing “apples”.

Psalm 12:6:”The WORDS of the Lord ARE PURE WORDS; AS SILVER TRIED IN THE FURNACE OF EARTH, purified seven times.” Jesus will send a word in season to those who are weary, we need refreshing, we need encouragement and we live in a world where everyone wants to kick you when your down and people seem to have issues with being loyal friends to more than one person at a time. Sometimes these golden apples, words of encouragement or gentle warning words of wisdom are never delivered by the messengers but they are needed:

Proverbs 25:12,13:”As an earring of gold, and an ornament (adornment) of fine gold, so is a wise reprover  upon an obedient ear. As the cold of SNOW in TIME OF HARVEST, So IS a faithful messenger to them that send him: For he refreshest  the soul of his masters.”

We may not always hear the words that we necessarily want to hear but it refreshes us to the Lord and refreshes us to our path and to that process of our spirits being refined and tried to the purification of God’s golden standard.

Apples in due season, season of if we faint not, seasons of sorrow, seasons of loss, season of discouragement there is nothing finer than apples of gold and the refreshment  brought to weary souls is truly golden.

If you have a scripture or thought that just keeps burning in your soul about someone else, don’t sit on that, pray about it and share it.

Unless it is revealed by the Lord we never know what is going on inside of another soul, they may be so weary that they are in danger of falling, they may be so hurt and wounded that they don’t know where to turn or they could be in danger of heading down the wrong path or have something going on inside that they need to get in check to finish that purification process, you never know but if God continues to stir you heart you need to heed that and don’t keep all the pretty golden apples to yourself, they were meant to be shared!

Φλογίζω για παντα  / NBJ 2015/ original post date: 12/02/2015/ repost 12/20/2019 Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

 

TWO TURTLEDOVES

“And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so commanded of the angel BEFORE HE WAS CONCEIVED IN THE WOMB and when the eight days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; (As it is written in the law of the Lord, EVERY MALE THAT OPENETH THE WOMB SHALL BE HOLY UNTO THE LORD;) And to OFFER a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A PAIR OF TURTLEDOVES OR TWO YOUNG PIGEONS.” Luke 2:21-24

 The book of Leviticus, chapter 12 deals with the laws after childbirth and the required offering of a lamb, but verse 8 says this: ” And if she NOT be able to bring a lamb, the she shall bring two turtles (doves), or two young pigeons; the one for a burnt offering, the other for a sin offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for her, and she shall be clean.”

I always love to point out the fact that the offerings and giving of the first fruits helped support the priests, whose job WAS to care for the temple and the things of God, they and their families depended solely upon God for everything. But many things are twisted by the money preachers of today and Apostle Paul actually WORKED to earn his living.

This pressure is felt stronger during the Holiday season than any time of the year. We are bombarded with commercials telling us what our loved ones simply must have to have and if we are short on cash, we can always charge it, of course with a nice healthy interest rate given to those who offer this little extra holiday cheer.

A hard battle to fight. Jesus who left all of heaven, left his throne surrounded by his host of heavenly followers, the angels who came to the shepherds that fateful, divine night surrounded by the glow of heaven itself still could not resist proclaiming his glory for all the world to hear.

He chose parents who were poor, who were unable to offer a lamb on his behalf  because he would be THE LAMB.

The two turtle-dove would be as HIS atonement and as HIS being offered as a sacrifice for OUR sins.

The dove forever being symbolic of peace and the presence of the Holy spirit and in the humbleness of the meekest of offerings, the King of the absolute universe whose kingdom will be paved with streets of pure gold, gates of precious pearl, walls of jasper and stones of unfathomable worth and again the meekest offering of the poorest of the poor. Not much to do with super centers and gift wrap there, is there?

Don’t let your joy this season be measured by an invisible force of marketing, don’t stress about the perfect gifts, meager budget, planning the perfect party.

The Bible commands us to not despise the times of small things and the smallest gift of all, a tiny newborn baby WAS and IS the ONLY PERFECT GIFT!

Original post: 12/2015

Φλογιζω NBJ/ Reverend Nina Brown Johnson 12/14/2019

“Abiding in the field….”

Beautiful fields, prairie fields at the peak of the season flowing with wildflowers and butterflies.

Mown fields, lush green pastures as far as the eye can see just begging to be used as the ultimate reunion of love as two run toward each other to embrace.

Peaceful fields bordered by crystal clear flowing streams as sheep happily graze without a care in the world as their shepherd watches over them.

But there are other fields….  Fields of dry, brown grass withered by the scorch of the sun, patches of soil left exposed and cracked lacking the relief of gentle expected rains that did not come. Fallow field that require the tedious backbreaking work of removing all the stone and working that ground until it can produce once again.

With the changing seasons of this life WE ARE THOSE SHEEP and those laborers. And we find ourselves in many different fields.  The Prophet Jeremiah bought a filed for an inheritance, even though EVERYTHING was going to fall apart, this was the purchase of the FUTURE.

Jeremiah 32:14 : “Thus SAITH  the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Take the evidences (deeds), this evidence (deed) of the purchase, BOTH WHICH IS SEALED, and THIS EVIDENCE WHICH IS OPEN; and put them in an EARTHEN VESSEL, that they may continue (last) many days. For thus SAITH the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; HOUSES AND VINEYARDS SHALL BE POSSESSED AGAIN IN THIS LAND.”

Ruth whose compassion and love for her grieving, widowed  Mother in Law who was now also childless would not allow her to abandon her and run back to Moab in search of a new husband, soon found herself in an unknown foreign field, being advised as to what she must do in order for them to survive. As she gleaned that field, working to take what had been left to feed those who were hungry, she unknowing caught the eye of the one who owned the field! 

Ruth 2:8,9: ” Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter?

GO NOT to glean in another field, NEITHER go from hence ( do not leave from here) BUT ABIDE HERE fast (close) by my maidens: LET THINE EYES BE ON THE FIELD THAT THEY DO REAP and go thou after them (follow them) : and have I not charged the young me that THEY SHOULD NOT TOUCH THEE? (they had been told to leave her alone and let her work )  and when thou art athirst (thirsty) GO UNTO THE VESSELS, and DRINK THAT WHICH THE YOUNG MEN HAVE DRAWN ( they were SUPPOSED to SHARE with her their water and allow her access to THEIR water jugs). 

Luke 2:8-20 ” And there were in the same country SHEPHERDS ABIDING IN THE FIELD, KEEPING WATCH OVER THEIR FLOCKS BY NIGHT. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the GLORY OF THE LORD SHONE ROUND ABOUT THEM: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not, for I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all people. FOR UNTO YOU IS BORN THIS DAY IN THE CITY OF DAVID A SAVIOUR, WHICH IS CHRIST THE LORD.  And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And SUDDENLY there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host PRAISING GOD, and saying, GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST, AND ON EARTH PEACE, GOD WILL TOWARD MEN.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them INTO HEAVEN, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and SEE this thing which is come to pass, which the LORD HATH MADE KNOWN UNTO US.  and they came WITH HASTE, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

And when THEY HAD SEEN IT, THEY MADE IT KNOWN abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. BUT Mary kept all these things, and PONDERED THEM IN HER HEART. And the SHEPHERDS RETURNED, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.”

So that promised redemption, those open deeds, the things made known and crystal clear and those deeds that had been sealed, the birth of a King coming in a way no one could see, born in poverty to parents whose offering would be two turtle doves, the offering given by the poorest of the poor, those deeds to the inheritance of all of eternity had been kept in that earthen vessel which would be born of a virgin and in the lineage of another who obeyed the field command.

As God allowed love to blossom in that field between Ruth and Boaz, a love whose embrace led to the birth of their great-grandson  who would be King David whose bloodline would be honored in the ultimate fulfillment of those deeds, those promises of OWNERSHIP of a nation and the world that would come in that earthen vessel born in that humble manger in the body of Jesus Christ.

The shepherds who were doing their job watching over their sheep AT NIGHT (I’m not even getting it to that YET, oh, but it is coming) were rewarded by the proclamation of the news to ends all news given straight BY THE VOICES OUT OF HEAVEN ITSELF!

So about those fields, had Jeremiah took it upon himself to ignore the voice of the Lord and think well, why buy a place that will be toast?

What if Ruth had decided that another field with kinder maidens would be more enjoyable?

What if the young men tried to run Ruth away and hoarded all the water that she was dependent on to strengthen her during gleaning?

What if the shepherds had not abided by their flock? They would have NEVER heard from heaven!

Mary kept it and pondered it, she knew who her baby was and that was enough for her.

Whatever field you find yourself in today, please stay there, if it is beautiful and fertile, let the Lord lead you and bless that beautiful place and season in your life, don’t doubt it, run through that field and embrace!

If you find yourself being urged to “purchase” what appears dead or hopeless, heed the voice of the Lord, only He knows His plans and He alone will bring life back to what APPEARS hopeless.

If your field is stone and you have worked until your back breaks and your hands bleed and you have cried so many tears that you can’t even remember the last time you smiled, DON’T GIVE UP!

I promise when that last stone is ripped from the ground and that soil is soft and  God sends those refreshing rains of spring, what you have sown also watered by all those tears is going to spring up into a harvest so plentiful and beautiful that you will rejoice and thank Him for giving you the strength to not give up.

Shepherds take heed that stay by your sheep DURING THIS NIGHT, and don’t let the water boys hoard that which is meant to be shared with those God has sent to glean the leftovers FROM YOUR FIELD and never cease to hear the voice of that heavenly host praising God, they beheld His glory but I promise you, we who are faithful will also behold Him and it will be a glory unlike any that has been as of yet but we have to be listening in our field.

HE IS THE I AM THAT IS and me and my little fire baby Φλογιζω will stay in our field and you stay in yours, you will never regret it!

Φλογίζω / NBJ 2015 Original post date: 12/12/2015

Revisited 12/07/2019

 

 

 

“STAR”

 

“When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshiped him: and when they opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”

That wondrous star that led the kings to the Messiah. Think how many times they were probably discouraged by those around them as they sought out the most ancient of signs from the most ancient of prophecies.

But they were being drawn by the divinely magnetic force of the universe, the same divine force that placed that heavenly light in the sky for all to see, but only these three understood the significance of it all, but the “pay off” for them, in the form of all the hopes, dreams, and diligence being rewarded as they were among the first allowed to worship the King.

How could they help but rejoice? And they rejoice they did, and that joy would have truly been beyond comprehension.  I am sure many go through that process of seeking, as Abram sought for a city whose builder and maker is God, many others sought out the path predestined and purposed deep inside their hearts long before birth, even placed there BEFORE the foundations of the world. The longing of their souls driving them to seek deeper and deeper into the knowledge and treasures of God as the world around breathes “delusional” and “brainwashed by religion.”

And as the “Christ” in Christmas grows harder to recognize in this world, even in churches with many now no longer holding “traditional” services, but these days were always honored for very good reason.  They are referred to as THE HOLIDAYS in reference to celebrating the HOLY DAYS. With all that goes on around us and all who try their best to discourage us that we are seeking pipe dreams and fairy tales, it is ever pressing to remember what the wise men sought.

I know it can be argued and argued as to the origins of the holiday season, but a couple of things remain true, the day was adopted as the celebration of the birth of Christ, the greatest event spanning time, universe, and all that is or ever will be.

When God overshadowed Mary with His glory, majesty, and everything that He is and placed in her the seed of Himself because humans had been tainted at the fall of Adam and even though we had been created in His image. The health, longevity, peace that God had intended they enjoy would now  through two people, at the badgering, beguiling voice of the serpent had now become tainted and polluted with sickness, sin, and death and the beautiful mercy and grace that should have been in us turned to wickedness and violence as the seed of the enemy was introduced into the human equation.

So on this beautiful, blessed night that heaven would kiss the earth and angels would proclaim the lullaby to end all lullabies mingled with humans HEARING the songs of heaven itself as they sang “GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST”, the breach was repaired by the same means by which it had been destroyed when the absolute Holy of Holiest came through a vessel of purity and would allow the spiritual birth of a new kind, first fruits of the Father and of the Son, and those to be of the Kingdom yet to come.

Secular shows with their ideal of “comedic” nods to the nativity that actually are blasphemous, songs written in churches long ago as praise and glory now have parodied lyrics and among the parties, gifts, and feasting of our present day, the shepherds who stood in awe, the  angels whose heavenly appearance and song would have melted even the hardest heart, the obedient but ever rewarded wise men, and the glorious star who shone with incredible splendor are being quickly forgotten and are no longer welcomed in our popular society.

So as Christmas approaches think about that star, think about what has been seeded inside of YOU as a believer, think about what YOU can bring to the King in adoration and worship to Him when He has opened YOUR treasures, (secret there, HE IS the one who has given you the gifts that you give back to the Kingdom) His Royal gold, pure, tried and true word of God. His Myrrh, purification for our souls and His dying that IN HIM we live. His frankincense in intercession for all the world and all those created by Him and for Him.

And that glorious star that burns ever so brightly STILL today if you will only choose to see it. His glory that still visits earth, His glory that will ONE day be revealed to all. “ARISE, shine; for thy light IS come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” ISAIAH 60:1

Let HIS light SHINE on you and through you this season and all year. Remember it is about LOVE, COMPASSION, MERCY, and CHARITY to our fellow-man, not necessarily fellow family members.

“But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more (brighter and brighter) unto the perfect day.” PROVERBS 4:18

As we KNOW HE IS that light that leads us as it led the others over two thousand years ago. And it will lead us into the ways of the Lord and it will lead us into that truly perfect day.

REVELATION 21:22-25: “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.”

Don’t let the world steal your Christmas cheer with all the materialism that Christmas should cost a fortune, and if you can not afford the latest this or that, your family will be disappointed. Remember gifts are from the heart and the true price for Christmas was not paid for until Calvary and that was a gift none of us could have afforded to purchase.

Reports show that depression is at its height and the greatest numbers of suicides occur during the holidays, why? Because we have bought the lies of a Norman Rockwell family Christmas and lost sight of the TRUE meaning, we have made it a celebration for US and completely forgot about HIM. And I am not talking about people who have recently lost loved ones or been through some other horrific event, this is in reference to seasonal depression because we allow commercials and story books to convince us of the illusion of a holiday that nothing could ever measure up to.

No celebration in this world will ever live up to the true JOY and the true MEANING of REJOICING EXCEEDING, they were REJOICING in finding HIM! Shouldn’t we also? Once you have experienced the glory of the Lord in person and beheld the King in all HIS Majesty, and stood in His presence, (well, for the period that you are ABLE to stand) there WILL NEVER BE any event or reason to seek anything other than HIM.

So keep your head up, your ears deaf to the whispers of the merchants, your eyes turned away from all the “must have” gifts of the season and please, by all means FOLLOW THAT STAR!

May the Lord Bless you with a wonderful Christmas season filled with His love, mercy, grace and that His peace will be with you and yours!

Φλογιζω NBJ original post date 2016, revisited 12/01/2019

 

Related posts: Two turtledoves     Abiding in the fields     Hope        Golden      Mothers Love

 

Thanksgiving

Psalm 136:16-26: TO HIM which led his people THROUGH THE WILDERNESS: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER.

TO HIM which smote great kings: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER: And slew famous kings: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER :  Sihon king of the Amorites: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER: And Og the king of Bashan: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER: And gave their land for an heritage  (the land of the wicked kings to the children of God): FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER: Even an heritage unto Israel his servant: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER. Who remembered us in our low estate: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER: AND HATH REDEEMED US FROM OUR ENEMIES: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER. WHO GIVETH FOOD TO ALL FLESH: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER. O GIVE THANKS UNTO THE GOD OF HEAVEN: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER! 

11/26/2015 revisited 11/24/2019