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 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

JESUS…shining forth

“A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.” Luke 2:32,33 And WE also marvel the things spoken about him and by Him. And without further ado, we surely must do… this Christmas Story.

I know it has been told, retold, analyzed, and theorized and I write on some aspect of it every single year.

And of all the stories of Christmases of old, time-honored traditions, or new customs, nothing will ever be as profound or as beautiful, holy, and humble as that splendid night that heaven came down and God’s glorious face shone in brilliance through a new-born babe.  

We’ll take a trip through various books of the Bible and let the scriptures recount this blessed event. 

The Promise: Isaiah 42:1-7: ” Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect (chosen), in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him; he shall bring forth judgment (justice) to the Gentiles.

He shall not cry, nor lift up his voice (speak loudly), nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.

A bruised reed he shall not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.

He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment (justice) in the earth; and the isles (coast lands) shall wait for his law.

Thus saith God, the Lord that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath to the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein;

I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from prison, and to them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.

The Proof: Isaiah 7:14: ” Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (God With Us).” 

Picking this passage up after the angel Gabriel had proclaimed John the Baptist’s forthcoming birth to Zacharias, the reference to the sixth month in this first verse is concerning that, basically John was Jesus’ natural cousins and they were six months between their conceptions.

The announcement: Luke 1:26-37:”And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God forth from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth.

To a virgin, espoused (engaged) to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary.

And the angel came in unto her, and said Hail, (REJOICE) that thou art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast (pondered) in her mind what manner of salutation (greeting) this should be.

And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favor with God.

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 (most High). 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 Mary said unto the angel, How can this be, seeing 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 is born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

And behold, thy cousin (relative) Elisabeth hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. 

For with God nothing shall be impossible.”

The fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham, the lineage of King David, and the earthly father, who really needed to know.

Matthew 1:17-25:” So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David to the carrying away in to Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise (as follows): When his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph before they came together,(before marriage or any relations) she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Then Joseph her husband, being a just (upright) man, and not willing to make her a publick example (accuse, humiliate and have her stoned)  was minded to put her away privately (thought of secretly ending it).

But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS (Saviour): for he shall save his people from their sins.

Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet saying, BEHOLD, A VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD, AND SHALL BRING FORTH A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME EMMANUEL, which being interpreted is, God With Us.

Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden (told) him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not (did NOT have relations with her) till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.”

The birth of the King to end all kings:  Luke 2:1-21:”And it came to pass in those days there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was Governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed(registered),every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went into Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, (because he was of the house of David)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth  her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger (feed trough) because there was no room for them at the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

 And lo,the angel of the Lord came upon them (stood before them),and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore 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 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, 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.

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 know abroad (told EVERYONE) the saying which was told them concerning this child.

And all that heard it wondered (MARVELED) 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 the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

And when eight days were accomplished (completed) for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel BEFORE he was conceived in the womb.”

Our God, our hope, our promise, our peace, life and light eternal: Isaiah 9:2-6: “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, UPON THEM HATH THE LIGHT SHINED.

Thou hast multiplied the nations, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.

For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the days of the Midian. For every battle of the warrior is as confused noise, and garments rolled in blood: but this shall be with burning and fuel of (for) fire. 

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

May His beautiful light shine on you and yours and His peace be yours this Christmas and as His Kingdom, may His peace upon you be never-ending.

MERRY  CHRISTMAS!!!     For “Posts of Christmas past” Check out: “STAR”   “GOLDEN”   “Abiding in the field”   “Two Turtledoves”

 

Φλογιζω NBJ 2018

 

OUR Father

“I THEREFORE, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation (calling) wherewith ye are called.

With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling. 

ONE LORD, ONE FAITH, ONE BAPTISM, 

ONE GOD AND FATHER OF ALL, WHO IS ABOVE ALL, AND THROUGH ALL, AND IN YOU ALL.” EPHESIANS 4:1-6

And didn’t Jesus himself state this in John 10:30: “I and the Father ARE one”  I will never forget the moment of truth… MY moment of truth, I had not yet submitted to Christ, but I believed, probably much like many out there, you KNOW the truth but somehow you have bought into the lies that the truth does not apply to you because your too far gone… SUCH A LIE from Satan!

So at any rate, this was years and years and years… you get the point… ago and I was at my sister’s house and this sweet little old man came to the door, who just happened to be a Jehovah’s witness and as I tried my best to politely exit any further discussion he said, “Well, just let me ask you this, what IS God’s name?” and I thought, what on earth kind of question is that? He wants HIS name, I knew I was not easily getting out of the conversation. 

I think the feeling of terror was probably  something kinda like the half excited / half terror Peter felt when Jesus asked him, “But whom say ye that I am?” 

Jesus had ALREADY asked them WHO others said that he was, but he wanted them to say it out of their own mouths and confess their own belief on his identity. 

So I mustered up all my courage, because I had a very legitimate reason to fear… what if I answer this WRONG and OFFENDED God, I KNEW what was in my heart, I KNEW what my soul was screaming out BUT could I actually SAY it out loud? 

So I looked him dead in the eye and as fast as humanly possible I said, JESUS! His name IS Jesus! Of course he explained to me the reason HE felt I and others were completely wrong in that thinking, and that the correct answer is Jehovah, the conversation fortunately soon ended.

I understand the correct answer is Jehovah, the correct answer is also Jesus. God has many, many names but HE IS STILL ONE GOD as the Bible teaches us.

Everything else is just denominational or the lack thereof such as non-denominational. I often wonder if our mixed denominations or non-denominations hold us true to that calling that Paul advised us to “walk worthy of” and I know in the end it will not matter.

I know in the grand realm of things we will all be in for a few surprises, probably some serious surprises but as Paul taught us in that verse when you read between the lines, it may matter HERE more than we think.

We are to walk in love and in UNITY of the Spirit in the bond of peace, that is the forbearing part.

If we argue and dislike each other due to a difference in those beliefs when we ARE saved by the SAME God. We ARE given the gift of the Holy Ghost, again by the SAME and only God then that unity is going right out the door and we are grieving the Holy Spirit through our discord.

So why did Paul tie it so securely to our callings? I believe because we have to have that unity but that in all things we are to be reminded in that unity that we are still individuals.

Matthew 5:13: “Ye are the salt of the earth…”  

Mark 9:49,50: ” For EVERY ONE shall be salted with fire, and EVERY sacrifice salted with salt. Salt is good: but IF the salt has lost his saltiness, wherewith (with what) will ye season it? Have salt IN yourselves, and have peace one with another.”

And if we lose that individuality in not staying true to the calling that we have one hope of then we will become like tasteless salt.

He tells us to have that to be “worth our salt” to have that fire that he “seasoned” us with. It IS our passion to serve him, it is the joy and excitement that we were filled with at the moment of salvation and that desire to spread the word of his love and mercy to the world AS we received it, but if we are not careful, comprising that state of how we received, we fall into his next warning on the subject. 

Luke 14:34,35: “Salt is good: but if the salt have LOST his savour flavor) wherewith (with what)  shall it be seasoned? It is NEITHER fit for the land, NOR yet for the dunghill (rubbish heap) but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” 

Pretty clear there isn’t it? Once we lose our “salt” our “fire” HOW would we ever get back what we have given or comprised away?

And if it’s “flavor” is lost, it is then rendered ABSOLUTELY useless, completely and utterly USELESS. As he told us in the verse from Mark, we should have salt ( keeping our individuality in him) and thereby have that peace with one another.

The peace comes form having peace with God and peace in knowing that we are walking “worthy” of that calling. 

Maybe this accounts for some of the falling away in churches while the “secular candy coat churches” are growing like wild.

If we are dried like “caked up” salt why would anyone want to listen to us? Why would God anoint us?  So you may be wondering what this has to do with Father’s Day?

Well, I had never actually written for Father’s Day because I do tend to try to keep it “multi-denominationally friendly” but I am going to have to quit that.

And seeing that OUR father, IS the FATHER OF US ALL, regardless of whether you believe that the Trinity consists of the Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, as separate (and that IS absolutely true) or if you take the scripture “These THREE ARE ONE” literally (they are and I do)  and that “Jesus IS Lord” and “The Lord IS God”, you know we ARE all correct, that is why in that DAY his NAME SHALL BE ONE. 

And believe me I know there are people on “both sides” of the fence that would like to string me up for that statement BUT it is true!

I also know there are those who think I worry too much about it BUT Jesus told us to have “salt” in ourselves, if we don’t trust what we feel in our hearts as he deals with us then we are already salt less.

We are warned in the Bible to take heed when we THINK we stand, lest we fall.

Because we can become a little to sure that OUR interpretation of scriptures IS the ONLY interpretation, which again, is WRONG.

Jesus NEVER left us to tell other believers what denomination or his “sheep fold” they belong to.

Only he has that authority as he said John 10:16: ” 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, and ONE shepherd.” 

But now for us to all walk in those calling, walking with passion and purpose as we celebrate Father’s day for our earthly  Father’s, remembering to give honor and praise to our heavenly Father, who truly is the Father of us all! 

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ what a more appropriate time could there be?

John 14:5-21: “Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whiter thou 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. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also; and from henceforth ye know him , and have seen him. 

Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew (show) us the Father, and it sufficeth us (will satisfy us). Jesus saith unto him, Have I  been so long time with you, and YET thou hast not know me, Philip?  he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou, then she us the Father?

Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?  the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself BUT the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. 

Believe me that I am IN the Father, and the Father is IN me; OR else believe me for the very works sake.

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 unto my Father.

And whatsoever ye  shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father might be glorified in the Son. If ye shall 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, that he may abide with you FOR EVER.

Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world CAN NOT receive, BECAUSE it seeth him not, NEITHER knoweth him; FOR HE DWELLETH WITH YOU, AND SHALL BE IN YOU. 

I WILL NOT LEAVE YOU COMFORTLESS; I WILL COME TO YOU. 

Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; BUT YE SEE ME: BECAUSE I LIVE, YE SHALL LIVE ALSO. 

AT THAT DAY YE SHALL KNOW THAT I AM IN MY FATHER, AND YE IN ME, AND I IN YOU.

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father. and I will love him, and WILL MANIFEST (reveal) myself to him.”

Φλογίζω Σαλπίζω NB 2018 

 

 

“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

Other posts in this series:

Prepared Part #2 Oxygen to Fire

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

PREPARED Part #4

 

“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

The voice of Simon

“And one of the Pharisee desired (asked) him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisees house, and set down to meat (dinner). And behold, a woman a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisees house, brought an alabaster box (jar) of ointment. And stood at his feet, behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with her tears, and did wipe them away with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment (oil).

Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake WITHIN himself, saying This man, IF he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman THIS IS that toucheth  him; For SHE IS A SINNER.

And JESUS answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee, and he said, Master (Teacher) say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed him five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both, Tell me therefore, which will love him most?

Simon answered  and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most, and he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.

Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven: for she loved much; but to whom little is forgiven, THE SAME LOVETH LITTLE.” LUKE 7:36-47

The courage it took for Mary to walk into that room, she knew exactly what they all thought and Pharisees, oh what we could say about Simon, what if Jesus had taken him to school and told him every single sin he had committed? But Jesus does not work that way, but Pharisees do.

He really nailed them when he referred to them as white washed tombs FULL of dead men’s bones, they will gag at a gnat and SWALLOW a camel. These are they who openly thank God that they are “not like that tax collector” over there.

These are they who claim they know Him and their smug religious superiority allows them to look down on and constantly backbite and trash talk others, because after all how could HE SAVE such sinners as they know people to have been or be?

They are “raging waves foaming out of their OWN SHAME” and whether you are a new Christian or have been on the frontlines for the Lord for a while, you have, or will, or are experiencing the voice of Simon.

Male or female, religious snobbery and arrogance knows no gender or social status and if they can’t see to their standards what the Lord has done in you, then obviously IN THEIR OPINION, it has not been done, AND THEY WANT TO MAKE BLOODY SURE THAT YOU KNOW THAT AND THAT YOU ARE NEVER UNDER THE IMPRESSION THAT YOU WILL EVER OUT RUN YOUR PAST!

That is what Simon wanted and his voice must be silenced in all of our ears, because when you know Jesus, you KNOW His voice! “But he that entereth in by the door IS the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice; and he CALLETH HIS OWN SHEEP BY NAME, AND HE 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 THEY WILL NOT FOLLOW, BUT WILL FLEE FROM HIM; FOR THEY KNOW NOT THE VOICE OF THE STRANGER.” JOHN 10:2-5

Jesus is giving us comfort that yes, others voices may call, other voices will try to persuade us to follow, but WE know HIS voice, His voice is Gentle, encouraging, and always, always leading us AWAY from our past. The voices of the strangers want to lead you back into a life of lies, and bondage, a life of misery, and hopelessness, just like Simon, he didn’t care if Mary was saved, as far as he cared she could split hell wide open, in HIS EYES he was pure as fallen snow and her.. well, not so much. 

Now with the courage it took her to seek Jesus WHERE he may be found, cry at His feet with an audience of haters staring her down, she had it rough, and if you want to be saved and this is what it is going to require, openly acknowledging and worshipping the Lord in an atmosphere of contempt, may I encourage you to do it!

Just as He shut Simon up, He will shut up those who discourage you. Sometimes the Pharisees will try to hunt us down in on our own turf, barge their way into your personal worship space with the Lord, as the devil is the “accuser of the brethren, (God’s children) and ACCUSES them night and day before the Lord”, it is so imperative to not let it get to you, go right on with the Lord and that puts the ball in HIS court and I guarantee you, when He gets through with them it will be as when the Egyptian’s were GLAD to see the Hebrews go because the plagues of God and His hand had been so strong against them.

We can not change any situation but God will, IF we stay out of it, and do not try to fix it ourselves or speak on our own behalf, if you notice with that, Mary never said a word, not one word, JESUS spoke on her behalf, HE IS our lawgiver, our judge, our refuge, and our strength and HE WILL DEFEND HIS CHOSEN.

And I know that can be hard when your being hassled and your flesh really wants to cut loose, go completely off, and all kinds of crazy on the “Simons”, but once we have made that mistake, we have extracted our own vengeance, when we should have chosen God’s because His vengeance is perfection.

We’ve covered them there, and here, but what about when you are desperately seeking God and trying to find your way? Most dangerous place of all and a hotbed of “Simons” the place that after salvation, we can get a little lax in “opening up” to Him and His will, and waiting too long to answer “His call” growing cold and lukewarm, realizing the mistake, dying to yourself, and start your “search”.

” I rose up to open to my beloved; and my hands dropped (dripped) with myrrh, and my fingers with sweet smelling myrrh, upon the handles of the lock. I opened up to my beloved; but he had withdrawn himself, and was gone; my soul failed when he spake (heart went out in longing); I sought for him; but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.

The watchmen that went about the city found me, and they smote (struck) me, and they WOUNDED me; the keepers of the walls TOOK AWAY my veil from me.” SONG OF SOLOMON 4:5-7

Now that is some damage, the kind of damages, “Simons” can cause, if you listen to them and do not stay close to God and KNOW who you are in Him, no matter how hard they try to convince you otherwise, even while taking “your veil”, like Simon tried, by arguing who you are or were. Little harder to bounce back from that, but it this story, she bounces back with a new determination to show the world His love.

So now we know what we don’t want to listen too, please let me give you a couple of sharp swords of the word to help in your battle:

#1. HIS VOICE, HIS VOICE, HIS VOICE! “FEAR NOT; for thou shalt NOT be ashamed: Neither be thou confounded (disgraced); for thou shalt NOT be put to shame: for thou shalt FORGET the shame of thy youth… ISAIAH 54:4

#2. “In righteousness thou shalt be ESTABLISHED; thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt NOT fear: and from terror; for it shalt NOT come near thee. Behold, THEY shall surely gather together (come against you) but NOT BY ME (God does NOT send them) WHOSOEVER SHALL GATHER AGAINST THEE SHALL FALL FOR THY SAKE. ISAIAH 54:14,15

#3. NO weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and EVERY tongue that SHALL RISE AGAINST THEE IN JUDGMENT (bad mouthing you) THOU SHALT CONDEMN. THIS IS THE HERITAGE OF THE SERVANTS OF THE LORD, AND THEIR RIGHTEOUSNESS IS OF ME.” ISAIAH 54:17 

Great comfort because Jesus casts all our sins and transgression into the “sea of forgetfulness” and NEVER remembers them again, and “as far as the east is to the west” those sins are from his mind and that is how far they should be from your mind also. I know days are just days, but with the new year we can consider it the perfect time to tell all the old “Simons” to be forgot and listen NO MORE to their voices.

But challenge ourselves in the new year to listen to the voice of our Shepherd, who will tell you that you ARE new, you ARE clean, and those filthy rags that were your righteousness have now been exchanged for the glorious garment of HIS righteousness which covers you completely in HIs love, His protection, and under the shadow of His mighty wings!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

If you have been hurt by words and people who just keep trying to remind you of your past, and keep trying to convince you that you have no future, PLEASE, PLEASE listen to this song, I STILL can not hear this song without crying because it has been so perfect for my heart and my walk and many, many trips with the “Simons” that have tried to make me doubt Jesus, but I KNOW Jesus, and I know from “miles and miles away LOVE saw (me)there and stretched out His hand to save (me) across the lonely ocean of (my) tears and he’ll walk upon the waves to save (me) if that’s what it takes” If you’ve been going through this, Please just listen to the voice of Jesus, because no one else died for you and no one else can save you and love you as He does! Simons looking for me can find me at the feet of the only one whose thoughts matter to me.

 

 

“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 filled with His love, mercy, grace and that His peace will be with you and yours!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Related posts: Two turtledoves     Abiding in the fields     Hope        Golden      Mothers Love

My all time favorite Christmas song, it is not just the nativity story, it also details his RETURN!

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