“Fearfully, Wonderfully, &… Strategically”

“For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope; for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth  our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us, with groanings which cannot be uttered.

And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is in the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 

And we know that all things work together for the good of them that love God, and are the called according to his purpose.

For whom God did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be firstborn among many brethren.

Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also calledthem he also justified; and whom he justifiedthem he also glorified. What then shall we say to these things?

If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 

Who shall lay any thing to the charge (against) of God’s elect? It is God  that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea, rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

As it is written, FOR THY SAKES, WE ARE KILLED ALL THE DAY LONG; WE ARE ACCOUNTED AS SHEEP FOR THE SLAUGHTER. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through that loved us.

For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, ,nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to seperate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.“Romans 8:24-39

That is probably very familiar scripture, but sometimes we need to be reminded of the basic Gospel. Sermons we hear and then are replaced by thoughts and words of other sermons over time.

My daughter, like most kids, when she was little, loved Pooh Bear,of course she is all grown up now, but being a parent I still have a pretty good memory of lines from her favorite repeatedly watched cartoons, I actually still remember lines from shows that my niece was fascinated with, it just kinda gets stuck in our heads, but anyway of the cutest from Pooh was when they were on a great adventure and Tigger in rambunctious Tigger fashion pipes up and says, “You have to remind your remember-er” and cartoon or not, that is actually quite true.

The distance between the earthly realm and the heavenly realm can sometimes seem so vast that we can “forget” what we once knew so well.

When we are saved and everything is new and beautiful, freshly washed from sin and the newness of Christ shining brightly in our hearts, souls, and minds can over a period of time be overshadowed by the cares and troubles of this world, just as Jesus said in the parable of the seeds.

We can find ourselves questioning everything and I even imagine that when Paul wrote that, he had been through that battle himself, probably more than once, as he was imprisoned more often than he was free, as we know because of his refusal to stop preaching Christ and preach he did.

His life was a testimony of God changing the heart of he who once was the greatest persecutor of the first church to becoming one of the church’s greatest leaders that had ever been or would ever be.

And the fact that everyday, probably innumerable times a day, some of us quote or study, or share the words Paul wrote while in those dark places of his life is such a testament to not only the sovereignty of God over the plans he had for the life of Paul, but the sovereignty over the plans he has for all the lives he has created.

Maybe you feel today, like “Well, that was Paul.”, No, that was Paul, but that was also all Christ’s disciples, that was you, that was me, that is every human being God sends to this earth.

We ALL have a purpose, we all have a divine appointment, an appointment to accept Jesus and to know him in his resurrected glory and power working in us and in our lives, whether or not we keep that appointment is completely up to us.

And if we have not accepted Christ we can’t lay claim to the promises of the Bible because without repentance there is no forgiveness of sins, doesn’t mean that God does not have a beautiful plan for your life, just means that you choose follow your own plan and forgo the blessings and fellowship of your Creator, but you still exist because he created you whether you choose to acknowledge that or not.

And if you have chosen God and life is getting the way of your happiness with sorrow, sadness, or uncertainty, please don’t think for a second that it changes in any way, God sovereignty over your life or his plans for you.

That is why he had us given the beautiful words above, saying, surely these things come, but they will never separate you from him or from the love he has for you.

You were fearfully and wonderfully created, as all things are and were created for him and by him and for his pleasure, scripture tells us this quite clearly and your life is precious to him and your life. even though you may not feel it now, is very important to others and as the called of God, you  may feel that the best of life has passed by or there is nothing left to be had, but our thoughts are not God’s thoughts and his ways are not our ways. you may not have even yet began the journey he sent you here for.

You are here at this time, in this season, by divine will and following him, and surrendering to him, you will be strategically placed exactly where you were created to be for whatever purpose you were created for.

So don’t give up, keep pressing on, remembering that he will work it all for your good and don’t settle for anything less than God’s best for your life.

And if you have been believing for something and it has not come to pass yet or if you have a special promise in your heart from God that you are waiting on and your beginning to feel like if it hasn’t happened by now, it’s never gonna happen, read the stories of Abraham and Noah, and remember how long that the Hebrews waited for deliverance ,time is a condition only us humans have, God forever keeps his promises as long as we keep ourselves in him.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity)to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).” Jeremiah 29:11

That is his promise to his children and that promise is to you!

Have a blessed week! Praying God’s encouragement and peace will be yours!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2021/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

“Sparrows”

“In the third year of Darius the king of Persia a thing (message) was revealed to Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar( the name his captor’s gave him); and the thing was true but the time, but the time appointed was long (of a great conflict): and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.

In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks.I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, until the three weeks were fulfilled (fasted for three weeks).

And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel (The Tigris):

Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and beheld a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins (waist) was girded with fine gold of Uphaz; His body also was like beryl, and his face the appearance of lightning, and his eyes lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice(sound) of a multitude.

And I Daniel alone saw the vision; for the men that were with me saw not the vision, but a great quaking (terror) fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.

Therefore was I left alone, and saw the great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness (vigour)was turned in me into corruption (frailty),and I retained no strength.

YET heard I the voice (sound) of his words; and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground.

And behold, an hand touched me, which set me (trembling) upon my knees, and upon the palms of my hands (helped him set up).

And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man GREATLY beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: For unto thee am I NOW SENT. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling.

Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel; For from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten (humble) thyself before thy God, thy words WERE heard, and I am come for thy words. ” Daniel 10: 1-12

You may recognize that as being the account of Daniel’s fasting and praying for twenty-one days to understand the end time vision that had been given him, and the next verses explain that even though the answer had been on the way, the forces of hell where doing their best to prevent Daniel from receiving his answer so they literally had to be fought through in order to reach Daniel.

And to really grasp what a battle this was, think about this, it was the Lord and Michael the archangel fighting those powers that did not want Daniel to receive that answer.

And right about now you may be asking, What does all this have to do with sparrows? So glad you asked 🙂 It has everything to do with them!

Daniel was horrified and the vision had left him completely shaken, I have said this before and will probably say it again, but I really can’t imagine what it would have been like for Daniel, not only seeing all the end time destruction but to see the depravity of mankind, that he could not have possibly imagined in his time period.

But this is not about all that, this is about what was told to him,  the conversation starts off with him being lifted up, reassured by name, that he is loved, not just loved, greatly loved, and  to not be afraid, and that he had not been left abandoned alone to understand this vision, but from day one he had been heard.

So why do you think Jesus would care so much to expressly say all of these things to Daniel? Because he loves him, and when you love someone and you know that they are scared and hurting, you want to reassure them and let them know that they are not alone and Jesus feels that same way about all his children, he feels that same way about you. That is just another beautiful aspect to the innumerable beautiful attributes that make Jesus who he is

Sometimes when we go through a dark place and we feel like we have prayed endlessly, it does not mean that he is not there, nor does it mean that he does not care.

Quite the opposite. he loves us enough to have came to this earth and died for us

And then going on to give us this blessed promise after he resurrected, …and, lo, I AM with you alway, even the end of the world.” 

Romans 5:8:”But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

I’m part of the crew that loves to point out the fact that God created everything, and created us and simply because he wanted to, and when the fall came he could have very well decided to destroy us all and even create something completely different, not even put humans back into the equation, but he didn’t do that, and he didn’t do that because he loves us!

He loves us not because of who we are, what we do, or don’t do but because we are his creation, just as parents love their children, but God even more so because humans do not even possess the level of love that Jesus has toward us.

So I wanted to remind you of that today, that your Father loves you, and he loves you more than you could ever, ever imagine and when life or people or circumstance starts kicking you down, think about Daniel, think about the moment he lifted up his head, and lift your head and look up toward your Father and rest in these verses.

Before you read these bear in mind that today a farthing would be one tenth of an american cent.

“Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing (1/16th of a denarius) and one of them shall not fall to the ground without your father. But the very hairs on your head are numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye ARE of more value than many sparrows.”Matthew 10:29-31

Luke words it like this:

“Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs on your head are numbered. Fear ye not therefore: Ye are of more value than many sparrows.” Luke 12:6,7

God knows every single bird on the earth at any given time, every single member of every species on earth and knows the exact moment one falls and never forgets even one of them and that is what he is conveying to us, that in all, how could we ever believe that he could forget one of his children?

He will never forget you, he knows your name, where you have been, where you are right now, and where you are going, He knew your birth before your birth and he knows the moment he will take you home and that is our comfort, he is always there, and I just want you to know that he will not let you fall and will not let you suffer alone.

We’ll end it here, Luke 11:9-13: “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he taht seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Ask him for his presence and his comfort and rest in him and he will see you through!

Love & Peace to you till next time! Thank you for sharing a moment with me and thank you for reading!

Φλογιζω 2021/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

If you have never heard this song check it out, I think it will uplift you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Endued from On High”

“In those days came John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, and saying, Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

 For this is he, that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias (Isaiah),saying, THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING (PROCLAIMING) IN THE WILDERNESS, PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT. 

And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins (belt around his waist); and his meat (food) was locusts and wild honey.

Then went out to him, Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan. And were baptized of him in the Jordan.confessing their sins.

But when he saw many of the Pharisees, and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet (worthy of) repentance:

And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father; for I say unto, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

And now also the ax laid unto the root of the trees; therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance BUT he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire

Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the graner (barn); but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.

But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? (you should be baptizing me, not me baptizing you)

And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer (allow) it to be so now: for thus it becometh us (is fitting for us)  to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered (allowed) him. 

And Jesus, when he was baptized went up straightway out of the water; and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:1-17

You know, without a doubt, most would have thought John was a sight to behold, he had to have been, dressed in a camel hair tunic, wearing a leather belt, living in the wild, eating from the land, while the priests and Pharisees wanted the best of the best and to be treated as royalty, while John on the other hand had royalty living inside of him.

So there he was preaching, rather fervently, I would think, especially since we were told this concerning John, “For he shall be great (favored) in the sight of the Lord, and he shall drink NEITHER wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost even from his mother’s womb.” Luke 1:15

So as the births of Jesus and John had been foretold by the angel, he was filled with the Holy Ghost before even being born.

And as Mary witnessed to John’s mother, Elisabeth, sharing her own miraculous news to her cousin, we are told that the babe leaped for joy in her womb.

And by adulthood, he was unlike anyone that had ever encountered, He was very different from the priests, the people,and most of the Pharisees and all that claimed to have the only tickets to heaven at that time.

God created us to be different and different is what we need right now, as the world is playing footsies with the devil himself and that clock is inching closer to striking Midnight with each threat and act carried against Israel, as we have witnessed this past week, as the media cries on behalf of those who hope to destroy her, but oh my, if they only knew that God himself will come and fight for Jerusalem and that it is only a matter of time and no amount of money, politics, earthly power, or prestige will in any way have influence over those things which are to come.

The only hope is the only hope that has ever truly been, and that hope is Jesus, and we have to get on fire sharing the Gospel, our talents, and whatever God is bidding us to do, as time draws near, praying they will listen but you have to have God grant the favor so taht they will.

People could not help but to listen to John, as the calling of God on him drew people for that very reason, maybe in their carnal flesh, they came out of curiosity, to see and to hear, as Jesus even asked, but in coming, they heard and they were changed, they believed and they repented, and they were baptized.

John was sent here for a very specific purpose,and we all are, whether we ever realize that or , God to fulfil that destiny, nevertheless,we are all born for a divine purpose on this earth.

Fast forward a bit, through the arrest and crucifixion and resurrectionJesus gives them these words ashe appears supernaturally again to his disciples as the time draws nigh for him to ascend back into heaven.

“And as they thus spoke, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified  and affrighted (frightened), and supposed that they had seen a spirit.

And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts (doubts) arise in your heart? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself, handle (touch) me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. 

And when he had thus spoken , he shewed them his hands and his feet. and while they yet believed no ( for joy, and wondered (marvelled),he said unto them, Have ye here any meat (food)

And they gave him a piece of broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them.

And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 

Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, and he said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved (was necessary) Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead on the third day; And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among the nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

And ye are witnesses of these things.

And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye (wait) in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with the power from on high.”  Luke 24:36-49

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord (purpose) in one placeAnd SUDDENLY 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 then 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.

And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

Now when this was noised abroad (sound occurred),the multitude came together, and was confounded (confused), because every man heard them speak in his own language.

And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans?

And how hear we every man in his own tongue (language), wherein he was born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and dwellers of Mesopotamia, and Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia. Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers (visitors) of Rome, Jews and Proselytes. Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our own tongues the wonderful works of God. 

And they were all amazed, and were in doubt (were perplexed), saying, one to another, What meaneth this?

Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.

But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken unto my words. For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the the third hour of the day.

But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS IN THE LAST DAYS, SAITH GOD, I WILL POUR OUT OF MY SPIRIT UPON ALL FLESH: AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS:

AND ON MY SERVANTS AND ON MY HANDMAIDENS I WILL POUR OUT IN THOSE DAYS OF MY SPIRIT; AND THEY SHALL PROPHESY;

AND I WILL SHEW WONDERS IN HEAVEN ABOVE, AND SIGNS IN THE EARTH BENEATH, BLOOD, AND FIRE, AND VAPOUR OF SMOKE: AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS, THAT WHOSOEVER SHALL CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED.” Acts 2:1-21 

That blessed promise is still for us today, we just having to be a willing vessel and pray and seek God with our whole heart, as we seek, remember that this  happened to the disciples, suddenly.

To be endued, which literally means: “endow or provide with a quality or ability”

We can do nothing in ourselves but once we are indwelt with the presence of God, all things are possible, because it is no longer us.

God does what he wants, when he wants, and all things are in his time.and keep John in mind, people are never going to understand what they can not possibly understand until they experience it for themselves, and to experience it for themselves their hearts must be surrendered to God,

Many have mocked, especially those in the entertainment industry,not having a clue as to just how real God is, nor a clue as to just how serious an offense that is. Much like the Pharisees of the day always wanting something proven to them, God is not in the business of having to prove anything to anyone, because one day there will be no question of his existence or his power.

The Holy Ghost is a precious, precious gift, that can only be given from God.

And as we see all the turmoil of this world grow worse each day and all the things Jesus warned us of coming to pass, we need more than ever to be mindful of this precious promise and seek God and all of his fullness and allow that indwelling to guide us to be a light to those in darkness.

And to allow his presence to work through our mortal bodies as he sees fit, so they, as the men at the day of Pentecost can hear witness that they can understand and that the signs and wonders, healing and miracles, deliverances from drugs, alcohol, and bondage can come to those enslaved.

Have a blessed Pentecost, not just on the calendar day but pentecost, EVERYDAY!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2021/ Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

 

 

 

 

 

 

“David, Bathsheba, & Putting it behind you”

Romans 3:23.-26:”For all have sinned, and come (fall) short of the glory of God. Being justified freely (without any cost) by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.;

Whom God hath set forth to be a propriation (a mercy seat) through faith in his blood, to declare (demonstrate) his righteousness; for the remission (passing over) of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness; that he might be just, and the JUSTIFIER of of him which believeth in Jesus.”

We all dig Romans 3;23, it is one of the most comforting verses in the Bible, but when you go just a bit farther with it you can really see how we can use that verse to put the enemy and self condemnation to flight.

We all have sinned and sometimes we can fall off that boat as the saying goes but God’s grace is so perfectly described in that passage.

And we never want to be of those who abuse grace or rather their concept of it being a free ticket to sin at will, as often as you will, those people are not saved, they do not know Jesus, and if the refuse to see the truth and repent they will be in for a very sad awakening.

But this post is not about all that, we want to talk about the true covering of grace when we have fallen short, and we are very aware of it, be glad of that, when we feel conviction, when we feel remorse, and we feel repentance, that means we can still feel!

Let me remind you of a passage, Ephesians 4:17-24:”This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth (from this point forward) walk not as other Gentiles walk in the vanity (futility) of their mind. 

Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness (hardening) of their heart.

Who being PAST FEELING have given themselves over to lasciviousness to work all uncleanness with greediness.

But you have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in him.

That ye put off concerning the former converstaion (conduct) the old man, which was corrupt according to deceitful lusts. And be renewed in the spirit of your mind.

And that ye put on a new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”

Lusts can be many things, sin can be many things and satan knows what buttons to push, if he can get us mad and we lose self control and say or do things that we later regret.

He can send temptation in many forms, alcohol, drugssex, or by getting you run with the wrong crowd, or an attraction or an affair with another person, which is what happened to King David, which we will get into in a bit, but it can literally be anything and the fact that we feel that remorse, that regret, that repentance means that our hearts are still toward God.

The devil loves nothing more that sending something your way and then raking you relentlessly over the coals after you have fallen into the trap that he set for that very reason. That is how he causes so many to needlesslessy forfeit their salvation.

A very wise child asked me once what was the difference between Judas, who betrayed Jesus and Peter who denied Jesus, the difference as this child could even see as they pondered their own question, is this, Peter repented.

Judas, who was never right with God and was even stealing from their money bag, and in his greed, allowed the devil to use him and sell Jesus’ very life for thirty pieces of silver and when the devil left him, and his conscience kicked in and kicked hard, he choose to commit suicide instead of asking forgiveness.

That is what I wanted to point out in that passage, the mind that is blinded to truth not only commits sin but does so with “greediness”, meaning they wallow in it, love it, can’t get enough because they can no longer feel conviction.

And that passage was written to remind us that we are to forego the old ways and allow God to make us new and that is by having our minds renewed in him, his love, and his mercy.

Think about this, Jesus told Peter to forgive seventy time seven, so how much more will he forgive us when we are truly sorry for whatever it is that we have done, which gets us to God’s faithfulness, 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

And confession there is to God, you never have to tell your darkest secrets to any human, we are to have trusted prayer partners that we can confide in and talk to about anything we are having trouble with, but we are only required to confess to God, who already knows it anyway.

We have to admit our shortcomings so that we can be forgiven and healed, and with each hurdle we jump in life, the stronger we become and the faster we can run.

God uses everything to make us stronger for the kingdom and there is nothing that ever shocks God, he knows every single trip, stumble, or outright face plant that we will have to get back up from on our journeys but that’s the thing, he is always there and will always pick us back up

As you see it is pointed out in that passage that the new man is created after God and God said that David was a man after his own heart, which is why, I believe, it was on my heart to do this post with this story, David was after God’s heart but David was also human and David like all of us , messed up we all make mistakes and some are more severe than others, it is a good reminder that none are perfect and when we stumble or heaven forbid, even fall, we have to get up and go on.

Most have heard and if you have, please just bare with it, but if you haven’t, “listen” carefully.

“And it came to pass. after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children (people) of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah, But David tarried (stayed) still at Jerusalem.

And it came to pass in at eveningtide (evening) that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house; and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself, and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.

And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?

And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness (had already had her monthly cycle); and she returned unto her own house.

And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child.

And David sent to Joab, saying, Send me Uriah the Hittite, And Joab sent Uriah to David. And when Uriah was come unto him, David demanded (asked) of him how Joab did, and how the people did, and how the war prospered.

And David said to Uriah, Go down to thy house, wash thy feet. And Uriah departed out of the king’s house, and there followed him a mess of meat (gift of food) from the king.

But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and went not down to his house.

And when they had told David, saying, Uriah went not down unto his house, David said unto Uriah, Camest thou not from thy journey? why then didst thou not go down unto thine house (Are you not on leave, why did you not go home)?

And Uriah said unto David, The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in tents; and my lord, Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open fields; shall I then go into mine house to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? as thou livest, and as my soul liveth, I will not do this thing.

And David said unto Uriah. Tarry (stay) here to day also, and to morrow I will let thee depart. So Uriah abode in Jerusalem that day, and the morrow.

And when David had called him, he did eat and drink before him; and he made him drunk (got him drunk): and at even (evening) he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but went not down to his house.

And it came to pass in the morning, David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah.

And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest (fiercest) battle, and retire (retreat) ye from him, that he may be smitten (struck down) and die.

And it came to pass, when Joab observed the city, that he assigned Uriah unto a place where he knew the valiant men were.

And the men of the city went out, and fought with Joab: and there fell some of the people of the servants of David; and Uriah the Hittite died there also

The Joab sent and told David all the things concerning the war; And charged the messenger, saying, When thou hast made an end of telling the matters of the war unto the king, And if it be taht the king’s wrath arise, and he say unto thee,Wherefore approached ye so nigh (why did you go so near) unto the city when ye dd fight? knew ye not that they would shoot from the wall?

Who smote Abimelech the son of Jerubesheth? did not a woman cast a piece of millstone upon him from the wall, that he died in Thebez? why went ye nigh the wall? then say thou, Thy servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.

So the messenger went, and came and shewed (told) David all that Joab had sent him for. And the messenger said unto David, Surely the men prevailed against us, and came out unto us into a field, and we were upon them even unto the entering of the gate.

And the shooters shot from off the wall upon thy servants, and some of the king’s servants be dead, and thy servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.

Then David said unto the messenger, Thus shalt thou say unto Joab, Let not this thing displease thee, for sword devoureth one as well as another; make thy battle more strong against the city, and overthrow it: and encourage thou him.” 2 Samuel 11:1-25

Notice a recurring theme here? It came to pass, sin and progression of sin is often slow and insidious, David could have stopped this at any time, he should have been out in battle, he could have turned and walked back into his house when he saw her nude, He could have gotten the point to back off when he was told this was married and married to one of his own men.

He could have resisted the temptation to have her fetched, which was a bad deal because him being king they all had to do as he said, and the truest telling in it all was once he found out that she was pregnant he had Uriah brought back,making small talk and buttering him up, just hoping he would go home and sleep with his wife, and when that failed he tried the old get him drunk routine, but Uriah was too loyal for any of it.

And David, for all he was, all he had done, all his compassion, and all that he had been and his almost unparalleled devotion to the Lord, had in this season of his life turned but for second and that devotion had now became to himself, at this moment, all he cared about was what he wanted, he did not care about Bathsheba, that was lust, he did not care, at that moment about the baby, because his plan was that Uriah would think he had fathered the child, all David had on his mind was cleaning up the mess

So he sent one of his most loyal soldiers into battle carrying his own death warrant.

And good old Joab, he didn’t quite retreat as he had been told, and not only Uriah, but others also died, gave their lives in simitude of battle, but this battle was only carry out David’s deception.

Battles that God had been allowing them victories in, victories for their kingdom and now that battle was used as a weapon against one of their own, killing others in the process.

Joab even covering David’s back with his message of how the battle had went wrong, that they just got too close, dressing it up with old war stories to prove how things like this can happen, he made it quite the show, knowing in his heart and GOD knowing, that they only did this to get Uriah killed.

And David in reply that equates this sentiment, “Oh well, people die” and  go back and tell Joab it’s okay, don’t feel bad, just be safe next time.

They laid it on thick with this, talk about manipulation and deception…

I apologize that this is lengthy, but it is a complex story and rather than ask you to read the rest of it on your own, or make this a two part post, I’d rather give it to you here all in one post,

“And when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband.

And when her mourning was past, David sent and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.

And the Lord sent Nathan unto David, And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, the other poor,

The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds:

But the poor man had nothing, save (except) one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat (food), and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter.

And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared (refused) to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress (to slaughter) for the wayfaring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man’s lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him,

And David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the Lord liveth, the man that has done this thing shall surely (deserves to) die.

And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.” 2 Samuel 11:26,27 & 2 Samuel 12:1-6

Sometimes we don’t even realize….

“And Nathan said to David, Thou art (You are) the man, thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;

And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things (much more).

Wherefore hast thou (Why have you) despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and taken his wife to be thy wife, and hath slain him with the sword of Ammon.

Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house, because thou hast despised me, and taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.

Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil (adversity) against thee out of thine own house, and I will take wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour. and he shall lie with them in the sight of the sun.

For thou didst it secretly; but  I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.

And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord, and Nathan said unto David, The Lord hath also put away thy sin, thou shalt not die.” 2 samuel 12:7-13

That’s the lesson for us, David did not even realize how far he had gone because he was so caught up in it, but once he was enlightened by the prophet, he repented.

God forgave David, he still faced the consequences of his actions because of the severity in killing Uriah and taking his wife, and those who died with him in that battle.

But David pressed on, so if sin starts coming your way, don’t let it “come to pass”, stop it, right where it is, just stop right there and be quick to repent, turn away from temptations before they have a chance to turn you away from God and if you feeling remorseful, repent, go on, and don’t look back.

You know that baby died, but God blessed David and Bathsheba with another son Solomon, who had everything his heart could have desired, but still he fell into pagan worship, BUT repented and wrote one the most beautiful books in the Bible, Ecclesiastes, all about the lessons he had learned on that journey, and the most predominate is that, is this… God “makes everything beautiful in his time” and he does, So get up and go on,, put yesterday behind you and have joy in a brand new tomorrow!

Love & Peace till next time! thank you for reading!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2021/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

“With these words…”

“But I would not have you to be ignorant (unaware) brethren, concerning them which are asleep (have passed away) that we sorrow NOT, even as others which have no hope.

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, EVEN SO THEM ALSO WHICH SLEEP (have died) IN JESUS WILL GOD BRING WITH HIM.

For this we say unto you BY THE WORD OF THE LORD, that they which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep (the living will NOT make it to heaven before the dead in Christ). 

FOR THE LORD HIMSELF SHALL DESCEND FROM HEAVEN WITH A SHOUT, WITH THE VOICE OF THE ARCHANGEL, AND WITH THE TRUMP OF GOD; AND THE DEAD IN CHRIST SHALL RISE FIRST.

THEN WE WHICH ARE ALIVE AND REMAIN SHALL BE CAUGHT UP TOGETHER WITH THEM IN THE CLOUDS, TO MEET CHRIST IN THE AIR;

AND SO SHALL WE EVER BE WITH THE LORDWHEREFORE COMFORT ONE ANOTHER WITH THESE WORDS.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 

No sorrow on earth can rival the agony that the death of a loved one. Since the fall of Adam which brought the curse of death upon all mankind, it has been our worst fear and greatest enemy.

Psalm 23:4: ” Yea, though I walk THROUGH the shadow of the valley of death….”

This earth, this life, this place IS the valley of the shadow of death.

Death ever looming, its shadow trying to obstruct us from the light, ever stalking, ever to be feared, though God does not want that.

Death at any age is tragedy. Losing a mother or father at eighty years old is just as a devastating loss as it is for the person who lost a parent that had been in the prime of life. We love our parents, we are formed from them and taught by them, and even people who have had “bad” parents still suffer the hurt at the loss of that parent because the parent/child bond is inseverable.

Just as many parents have stated during troubling times with their grown children, “You ALWAYS love your children.” and in turn people stating that even though their parents were not good parents “They are still (my) parents” ( I put that in quotes because I am using examples, I am NOT referring to my own parents, whom I love dearly).

So the loss is tragic no matter the age, for us it is much harder to see children lose a parent but still, even a sixty year old losing a Mom or Dad IS still at that moment a child in their grief.

A loss of a sibling comes with its own agony, as I understand very well. A brother or sister is a friend, a playmate, a companion, a person you can laugh with, be scared, with, and most of all be yourself with, they are made of you and you are made of them, same blood, same DNA, a competitiveness that will sometimes fight one another but a love and bond that would fight someone else over them, and once you have lost them, everything thing your life had been up to that loss will never be the same.

I had been planning on doing this several weeks ago but hadn’t quite made it, So today as I write this it is my brother’s sixth anniversary with Jesus and you can read that story at the link below.

I wrote it not only as a memorial and to deal with my own pain but I felt like my family’s story could help someone else get through times of absolute heartache, and trying to hold onto God in faith as we were having to let go of him.

When I think of grief and think of how much others have suffered through loss, I always think of the story the slaughter of the male babies when Herod had sent his soldiers out in an attempt to kill Jesus as a baby.

Herod ordered the slaughter of EVERY male child under the age of two and here is the scripture that sums it up:

Matthew 2:17,18: “Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy (Jeremiah) the prophet, saying,

IN RAMA WAS THERE A VOICE HEARD, LAMENTATION,(wails of sorrow and mourning) AND WEEPING, AND GREAT MOURNING,

RACHEL (symbolic of the entire city) WEEPING FOR HER CHILDREN, AND WOULD NOT BE COMFORTED, BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT (have been killed).”

I can not even fathom the horror of that loss and that verse that she would not be comforted means she could not. I still can not bear that story because I can not imagine the slaughter of all these babies or the anguish that these mothers suffered.

And again, your child is your child and as we do view it much worse to lose a little child, still to  another that has lost her son in his prime it is just as devastating because again, to her that child will always be her child.

We believe and have faith and we struggle with how and why, when we suffer loss and I will absolutely admit that more than once I reminded the Lord that I loved my brother just as much as Mary and Martha loved Lazarus. But the resurrection of Lazarus was to show the glory of God and God spared my brother’s life when he coded and allowed him more time to be saved and accept salvation.

And imagine Mary as she watched her son beaten beyond  recognition, bloody, hurting, and staggering under the weight of that cross, and being there when they nailed him to that cross and having heard the screams of the people, “Crucify him” and THIS was HER  BABY.

Thirty three years old and even God, but for Mary at that cross, THIS WAS HER BABY and it fulfilled the prophecy that she had been given, Luke 2:35: “(Yea, a sword shall PIERCE thy own soul also) ….” And as that spear pierced through his side into his heart, the piercing of her soul would have been unbearable had all of heaven itself not strengthened her.

Death does pierce our souls and the are no words that will ever take that hurt away but there is comfort through the Word of God.

You must also be careful of this world, there are those who prey on the bereaved. Proclaiming themselves as “mediums” and “psychics” and for fee and the risk of one’s soul if trapped by their deception.

They pretend to speak to loved ones and some through WITCHCRAFT and divination (read Acts:16:16-19 for ONE example, there are many others) they offer to “communicate” with the deceased, but this is a lie.

It is  lie from satan and they are communicating with demonic forces and they can tell you all that you WANT to hear but it is not true and it is not from God.

Others worry and seek an alternative way to heaven, seeking comfort about the eternal fate of that loved one whose salvation they are unsure of, seeking hope, hope from a hopeless source.

Touching that subject I want to say this, find your peace in Jesus Christ and this does require you to be saved.

I want to be careful how I say this, because when God calls we must answer and I never want to encourage anyone to wait until they are on their deathbed to ask for forgiveness.

BUT I personally believe that unless a person has just absolutely turned on God and been turned from God, that in those last moments of life, He does give them a final opportunity to accept him, because He is very merciful and as the Bible says “it is NOT his will that ANY should perish” but they are required to accept him but I do believe He asks, and “Whosoever shall CALL upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved.” and of course the classic, the thief on the cross, TO DAY, that VERY day in paradise with the Lord and Jesus saved him then and there and this man did not have time to do anything other than ask for forgiveness and as we know as Jesus promised him, that he IS with Jesus FOREVER, 

So what I want to do is give some verses that I hope will be of comfort and blessed assurance, because death is a part of life and it will never be any easier but it IS NOT forever. It IS NOT the end and I will start it with my favorite,

2 Corinthians 5:8:” We ARE confident, I say, and willing rather TO BE ABSENT FROM THE BODY, AND TO BE PRESENT WITH THE LORD.”

And as the Lord was telling what happened when Lazarus died:

Luke 16:22: “And it came to pass, that , that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man died, and was buried.” 

One died and was carried by the very angels of heaven and the other died and was simply buried later to open his eyes in hell. But that is not what this one is about but I couldn’t leave that alone because of false teachings that the grave is hell. 

Psalm 116:15: “PRECIOUS in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.”

Jesus takes the pain out of the crossing and He takes control over the grave and it has no more power and those who have died in Him, do LIVE and will LIVE FOREVER.

1 Corinthians 15:55: “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”  

Jesus said, Matthew 5:4: “Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted.” Which takes us to:

Revelation 21:4: “And God shall wipe away ALL tears from their eyes, and there shall be NO MORE DEATH, NEITHER SORROW, NOR CRYING, NEITHER SHALL THERE BE ANY MORE PAIN; for the former things are passed away.”

And let’s take a look at one more that Solomon had written, he had been so blessed, then he fell off the boat by worshipping false gods with his pagan wives, but then HE RETURNED to God and held the most inspired of the wisdom he had been given from God.

As he reflected on his life and the years he had wasted and all the years he could not bring back, as he knew death would someday come because it comes to us all. Not because God doesn’t love us, God loves us very much, but God knows the number of our days on this earth before we even arrive here.

This IS not our home, This IS NOT the end. This IS only for a little while and then we will LIVE again.

All this is about death, it is poetic and it is deep, it is beautifully written and it has what we all need, HOPE.

Ecclesiastes 12: 1-7: “Remember now thy Creator, in thy days of thy youth ( think about God while you are young), while the evil days come not, NOR the years draw nigh (aging sets in), when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.

While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be NOT darkened, NOR the clouds return after the rain.

In the days when the keeper of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, And those that look out of the windows be darkened.

And the doors shall shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low;

Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and DESIRE (will to do anything) SHALL FAIL; BECAUSE MAN GOETH TO HIS LONG (eternal) HOME, AND THE MOURNERS GO ABOUT THE STREETS;

Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. { descriptive of different ages and seasons people die} THEN SHALL THE DUST RETURN TO THE EARTH AS IT WAS: AND THE SPIRIT SHALL RETURN TO GOD WHO GAVE IT.” 

Death comes at many times, many seasons, and in many ways BUT we all suffer the effects the same but we have eternal hope in knowing this that even though those that are gone on can not come, we can go be with them.

King David had fathered a baby with Bathsheba, and he had fasted and prayed WHILE the baby was still alive, and this was backward to what people did in those days and when asked why, this is his answer, PLEASE think about what he is saying:

2 Samuel 12:22,23: ” And he said,  WHILE THE CHILD WAS YET ALIVE, I FASTED AND WEPT; for I said, Who can tell whether God will be gracious to me, that the child may live?

 But now he is dead, wherefore (why) should I fast? CAN I BRING HIM BACK AGAIN? I SHALL GO TO HIM, BUT HE SHALL NOT COME BACK TO ME.”

David knew that he would certainly be with his child.

And that is what we must remember and even if you do not know the state of your loved one’s soul when they passed, please, again don’t let the enemy lie to you.

God is a merciful and just God and you don’t even think anything else. Keep your eyes on heaven and on the hope eternal as our starting scripture stated, the souls which are with Jesus will be reunited with resurrected glorified bodies (and yes, he can make them again if needed) and together with those alive, gathered from earth, will meet in the air and it will be FOREVER. 

Please have peace and comfort in that and as you seek God, He will give you peace and He will give you comfort, and often He gives us answers and THESE are the words, HIS WORD that we will find that comfort in.

Εξυπνιζω NBJ 2017 Original Post date: 10/24/2017, Revisited  05/16/2021, As so many have been lost to the pandemic and I myself faced grief several times since losing my brother, I pray God’s word will bring comfort to someone who is hurting today.

 

 

This is my family’s story: https://baresoulphlogizo.com/2015/05/07/good-bye-roxie-smith

 

“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

REVISTIED 05/09/2021

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. 

Valued Vulnerability

“Thus saith the lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him: and I will loose the loins (armour) of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates (double doors); and the gates shall not be shut

I will go before thee, and make the crooked way straight; I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder (half) the bars of iron;

I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I,the Lord, which call thee by thy name, AM the God of Israel, 

for Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.

I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me:  I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:

That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west (to its setting), that there is none beside me, I am the Lord, and there is none else.

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil (calamity)I the Lord do all these things.

Drop down (rain down),ye heavens, from above, and let the skies POUR down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the Lord hath created it.” Isaiah 45:1-8

Proof positive that God does what he wants, when he wants, and most importantly, through who he wants. Notice it starts by pointing to the fact that Cyrus is his anointed, chosen to be used for a very specific purpose according to will of God. And he goes on to establish the fact that he will open up the “door” to accomplish that purpose, a very wide path,a s it is double doors, and that no would, no one, no power on earth or even, not of earth, would be able to stop the plan that God has laid out. And as he goes before, his wonder, his majesty, his anointing all will now from one end of earth to the other that the God of Israel, Jehovah God is the only true God.

And to make this even more thought  provoking to those who would be witness is this, as he referenced, though they had not known him, though they had certainly not, but yet they certainly would.

He outlines his plan in this, that they will know that it is he that creates light, dark, peace, and calamity, and that does not mean that God brings evil upon innocent people, satan is responsible for that, but God does bring judgment and calamity upon his enemies and those who try to destroy his children.

His purpose is that even though they had not known and had not believed that they would see and they would know and his righteousness would be poured down like rain from heaven itself.

Now for my big question, how much more is God speaking to those who already know him? Time for some vulnerability, mention of vulnerability, we don’t really need me to point this out, but as a refresher, I am totally going to point it out again, because talk about famous last words…

Revelation 18:7:”How much hath she gloried herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I SIT as a queen, am no widow, and shall see no sorrow,” 

We know this is The Great speaking, “Mystery, Babylon the Great” as “she” is referred to by Revelation 17:5, she is a not a woman, :she” is a country, and she is not just any country, she is a country that was founded for the glory of her “husband” but as some point those beautiful bridal veils started to be removed one by one in nothing that can be described other than a spiritual strip tease for all the world to see, as morals, reverence, purity, and above all holiness was auctioned off to the highest bidder, selling herself to the agenda that is willing to pay the most.

The spiritual wickedness in high places polluted even the queen’s sense of decency, love and compassion, as babies, who Babylon, in a sickening justification attempt, has now been renamed as “products of conception, that are an “inconvenience” to those who conceived them are simply disposed,murdered, period, even as they like to say “aborted”, sounds like a mission that one decided to forego, and let’s not forget RU486, the “symbolism” in the name itself is mind blowing, break this down, RU= “Are you”, 4= “for”, 86= To be removed, such as a restaurant item removed from a menu, it is “86ed”. but in this case, RU486 is to 86 the baby’s life.

Can’t make this stuff up, the dictionary is going to need updated every week to contain all the changes that society has made to words in an attempt to  take the stinging truth out of what they don’t want to hear, old cop shows used to end with “The names have been changed to protect the innocent” but now we know in real life the names are being changes to protect the guilty, but God is not going to give any free passes, if repentance does not come, he will call it exactly as it is.

So the Queen had alienated her mind, sold her soul and in her sin ridden sickness had the audacity to brag about her sin and to even laugh at her husband the King, as she praises herself, that she is Queen and boasts that she does not need him or care what he thinks and then goes on to arrogantly boast taht she will see no sorrow. Does this sound familiar? We also know another Queen who is referred to as The Great,  we also know the beautiful beginning, we know the sin,we know the current state  and unfortunately we can read how that story is going to end and Babylon the Great will not be spared BUT there is still a chance for those who will to be saved out of Babylon before the destruction, which you can read about in Revelation 18, It had written on it quite extensively in the past, but had pulled many of those posts while we were in  a season of reprieve and that season is now over and those forces have risen,a nd risen with a vengeance, and a hatred, and a desire to silence true voice of God, as the candy coats  will continue to be welcomed.

We also know that God is very merciful and gracious to forgive, we can be made new anytime, anyplace just for the asking. So you could ask why the destruction, it is one thing to sin, it’s one thing to have inhabitants that sin but the nation itself still honor God, but when the nation becomes polluted, the laws perverted and the prevalent desire is to remove God from the equation, then God will remove himself, and that includes his protection and that nation comes under judgment. It is important to be careful here and remember that God still cares for his people, think of the Hebrews having light while all of Egypt was in utter darkness and the death angel passing over the homes of those who had the blood applied.

God’s mercy and blessing were bestowed on those who humbly, vulnerably came to him, those who had been persecuted in their own land for their desire to worship him, as he gave then a new land, a new beginning, and blessing to become the greatest nation on earth.

Fast forward through time as little by little those veils were danced off until that has become vulnerable again, not to the hope of the mercy of God and his favor, but vulnerable to all the nations she has danced for, and all that have followed her in that dance.

Revelation 18:3:”For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies”

ALL the nations of the earth have made profit exporting to Babylon, the abundance of her delicacies meaning the inhabitants cane never get enough, never have enough , keeping a steady flow of imports coming to her shores.

ALL looked to Babylon as a standard for wealth and power and through that all were tainted, monkey see monkey do, and if your country can’t pay for their abortions, American taxpayers will foot that bill for you.

As she chose to turn “her” back on God and mock him, her vulnerability that once had been shielded under the hands of God has now become bare, for all the world to see, and as those “she” touted as friends watch as those veils fall, they will attack, because they weren’t real friends after all. “that she will realize once it’s too late are actually her enemies and she chose to ridicule and mock God, trusting in “herself”, her power, her strength, God will give her to these enemies but he will save those taht are his before destruction comes.

Revelation 18:4: “Come out of her, my people, be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have REACHED unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.”

A picture of the rapture, and I am sure it could be argued that this would mean to be  “seperated”, act right, to not do as they do, but no, this is when he is going to destroy it.

No one will have time to get saved, if your not committed to Christ when this happens you will not have a chance once it does, the destruction of Babylon is a separate judgment, it is in with the end time events but it’s destruction is sudden, so even though there will be those who are saved out of the end times, the inhabitants of Mystery, Babylon the Great will NOT have that luxury.

We’ll pick this up after the verse when she announced herself Queen.

“Therefore shall he plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she will be utterly burned with fire; for strong is the Lord God who Judgeth her.

And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication (spiritual wickedness) and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her (weep for her),and lament when they see the smoke of of her burning,

Standing afar off for fear of her torment, saying, Alas, that great city Babylon, taht mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.

And the merchants of the earth sha;; weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more.

The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple (dye), and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner of vessels of ivory, and all manner of precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble.

And cinnamon, and odours (incense), and ointments (fragrant oils and frankincenseandwine,and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts (cattle),and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men (human trafficking).

And the fruits that thy soul lusted after (longed for) are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty (are rich) and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.

The merchants of these things, which WERE made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!

For in one hour so great riches is come to nought (nothing). And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off.

And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning,saying, What city is like unto this great city!

And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping, and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness (wealth)! for in one hour is she made desolate (a wasteland).” Revelation 18:8-18

Going over that list you can certainly understand why all the exporters wail and cry, financial devastation but you can also see very clearly why it is said that she lived deliciously, it is said taht they are not crying over any of those who have perished at the destruction only at the loss of their income because the babylonians really like shopping and don’t care how made it, how it was made, they will buy anything and according this verse that includes people.

You know, I have studied this for years and I would always get stuck on taht part, and I’d be like, Lord we don’t do that anymore… boy, was I wrong, just hadn’t seen the horrors that have panned out and on that same note, those who have disputed the Queen’s identity or continue to dispute just had not or have not seen quite enough, but they will, the farther it goes the worse she becomes and don’t kill the messengers, they don’t always like the message but they still have to deliver it.

Mention of messengers, How are people going to be saved out of all this? By God’s messengers realizing the need for their own vulnerability in service to God.

Here’s’ the definition: Vulnerability: “the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.”

No one like to feel vulnerable, no one wants to feel put on the spot, no one wants to be attacked or laughed at or whatever the fear may be, but in these last days we need God’s people to stand up and be willing to tell the whole world taht yes, they do believe and to share the Gospel with all God would allow them to and even more so to allow God to fill them with His spirit and use them in miraculous ways.

I think sometimes we become so self conscious that we can hinder the work God has for us and hinder the development of the gifts he has for us and more so hinder the use of those gifts for the kingdom, and make no mistake, without the Holy Spirit nothing will be effective, we could minster to a thousand people but without the anointing of God, it will fall on deaf ears and I feel that today, that someone, somewhere is wrestling with these things and you know the time and you see the signs and you know you have a call on your life, but you feel really vulnerable, I want to encourage you, be vulnerable, submit to God and all he has for your life and more importantly helping others on that path to salvation, no one knows the hour of Christ return but we have to be ready when he does, and we want everyone possible to be ready to.

So submit to God, submit to the Holy Ghost and do not ponder who will think what allow his POWER to fill you and guide you because it is his power taht changes all things and without it nothing will change.

Φλογιζω 2021 NBJ/ Reverend Nina Brown Johnson