“Patient reminder”

“But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing.” James 1:4

All the things that could be said of the need of patience, the most notable of all, “patience is a virtue”, and it truly is but there is so much more to such a simple thought.

And to get to that thought, we’ll back up on this passage a little bit.

“Listen” to his greeting carefully, as we go to James 1:1-3: “James, a servant of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trails):  Knowing THIS, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience.”

And that patience that comes from those “tests” and  that trying and stretching of your faith, think of the saying “…would try the patience of a saint.” 

Jesus stressed this to us many times, even telling us “In your patience possess ye your souls.”  

James was in a sense telling us that those tough breaks, rocky roads, and crooked paths that we navigate in life, those “tests” are to be all counted as joy, and all that comes with being human, being alive, and are often simply “part of life” all those things are to be not so much as viewed as still images, each shot overwhelming in sight but more to be considered into the big picture of growing, developing, and becoming the men and women that God created us to be. And that is that perfection that will come from all that “trying”. 

The definition of perfection in Christ does NOT mean our definition of perfection, to be one hundred percent, to have absolutely no need of improvement.

From far from it, the spiritual  definition of perfection is to allow ourselves to be conformed to the will of God, to be “blameless”, meaning keeping a level head and clear thoughts even in the midst of times that are anything but peaceful. And notice that it is the “perfect” work that brings that “perfection” about.

Our true hope, as believers is not even IN this world, it is not in this life, it is in the eternal, a thought that seems silly to those who do not believe, but as a child of God, you know the truth, but during “trying” times it is so easy to lose sight of those things we can not see, that blessed assurance that there is so much more to our beings than living and dying.

And we can’t lose that hope, Hebrews 11: 34(c)-36: “…knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance (possession). Cast not away (Don’t throw it away) therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.”

So whatever you are “waiting” for, whatever you are believing for in your life and in your walk with Christ, keep waiting and keep believing.

And if does not turn out exactly as you had envisioned, never think that somehow means that God does not love you or that you are completely off base, life does indeed have  away of working out completely different that we would have ever imagined but nothing is ever surprising to God.

Don’t give up on your hopes, dreams, and desires of your ministerial heart.

Puzzles are nothing more than oddly shaped pieces scattered about until it is patiently and carefully put together to reveal a beautiful complex image and life is much the same and the reason some of those “pieces” are so oddly cut will remain a mystery on this earth and we will not have those answers until the day they are revealed by Jesus himself when he wipes every tear away.

But I will tell you this, the definition of patience is this:”the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.”

That my friends speaks for itself. I’ll leave you with the words of our favorite David. Psalm 25:13-14: ” I had fainted, (I would have given up) unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living

Wait (wait in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage (try you best to be positive), and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

May the Lord bless and keep you this week.

Rev. Nina Brown Johnson/Φλογιζω/ NBJ 2019

 

“Iron Mask”

“O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get the up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid: say unto the cities of Judah, Behold, your God!

Behold the Lord God will come with strong hand (strength), and his arm shall rule for  him: behold his reward is with him, and his work (wage) before him.

He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead  those that are with young.” Isaiah 40:9-11

I love Dumas, I love the Musketeers, I love the sword fights , I love the Chivalry, justice, honor, and especially mercy in mercy out policies that were a must for his heroes and use them a lot in my writing.

But my all time favorite is “The Man in the Iron Mask”, and the intrigue behind the actual person behind that legend. But my thought with it comes from a line from the movie version, my total favorite version of the movie is the one from the seventies starring Richard Chamberlain, I was ten and thought he was the most handsome man on earth, whom I was totally going to marry one day when I grew up 🙂

But anyway in the newer version after the foiled coup the good guy is captured again and as he makes his pleas to his sadistic psychotic brother to just kill him instead of putting him back in that mask and to which his evil twin rants and screams with no mercy.

And as strange a comparison that this may be it just reminds me of how the enemy and even ourselves can try to put us back into the iron mask that that God has delivered us from.

The mask that we either were fitted when we were bound by the shackles of that are sometimes just part of being born into this world, just as Jesus always taught us, and this world is full of evil and only through accepting his salvation , and his peace, can we allow his grace to guide our lives and above resting in the assurance that through him we can overcome and live for him so that we will with  him.

The mask that we sometimes find ourselves in when we are faced with difficulties so far beyond our control and pain that we just can’t deal with so we try our best to hide the hurt, the grief and function through life, at work at home or sometimes even at church. When we try our best to smile and “go on” when secretly inside, behind that mask we really just want to lay down and cry.

But God and life has a way of bringing us out of that because we tend to see “hiding” our emotions, “working past the pain” somehow as “protecting” ourselves, our hearts, when it truth it is the opposite of that, it is not about being “courageous” it is actually about fear and not so much as being brave but rather our human fear of being broken.

Jesus specializes in broken, in fact we have to be broken, broken from our thinking and our false sense of self reliance so that we can accept him and him he desires for us, which is to live a life authored and finished by him.

Trusting him in everything and trusting him in our pain and trials and being who he has created us to be and that can require moments and times of revealing our vulnerabilities to others around us and most of us are not ever entirely comfortable with that. And that uncomfortableness leads to fear and fear makes us want to hide.

2nd Timothy 1:7,8: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be thou not ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me, his prisoner; but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the Gospel with me according to the power of God.”

God gave us liberty through his salvation, because as Jesus told us, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

And that truth is knowing in his word and knowing in him that this world and the suffering, pain, and sorrows is just a little while as Paul had described a “thorn in his flesh”, that the messenger of Satan had come to buffet (beat) him, as Paul went on to explain what translates to this, if he never went through troubles or faced difficulties or things he could not handle he would have became cold and exalted, and he would have never been effective as a representative of Christ.

 But because Paul did not hid from us (his future readers) or from those around him, his troubles and his pain, and most of all his vulnerabilities, he effectively allowed the power of God to manifest in his life and that power to effect others.

I want to remind us all again with 2 Corinthians 12:8-10: “For this thing I besought (PLEADED with) the Lord thrice (on three separate occasions) that it might depart form me.

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

Most gladly therefore will glory in my infirmities (weaknesses) that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distress for Christ’s sake: for When I am weak, then I am strong.” 

Of course was by no means saying he loved trouble or going through all the turmoil that he did, but he is saying, to us, that by embracing the things he had no control over and seeing them in a different light and doing as we were commanded and “counting it all joy” that he discovered the true meaning of Christ with him and he and all around him saw the evidence of God’s power on his life.

And he wrote these words, and Jesus had him record these words to give hope and encouragement to those of the time, those who came before us and us now.

When God stripped away the “mask” of Saul, as Saul persecuted Christians and sought to destroy the church through violence, hatred, and self righteous, he became Paul and the power of God gave him the ability to show the vulnerability of his true face, the man God had created him to be and God removing that hard, unyielding, “iron” covering  allowed him to effectively minister to others through the revealing of his own struggles.

This was the “pleasure” he took in that, he knew God would prove strong and he knew that this would encourage others to embrace who they were and embrace the Gospel for the truth that it is.

Jesus brought us out of darkness into his glorious light so that we could be light and once that light has broken those “iron masks” that use we hid behind, we must be very careful to not allow the devil, the world, and most of all, our own flesh to cover us again with that unyielding iron.

Embrace who you are, embrace all the struggles of life that have made you who you are, don’t ever feel like you have to be “strong” and don’t ever let anyone make you feel “weak” for being vulnerable, because we you are at your breaking point or if you have already broke that it when you are shielded, covered, and surrounded by the absolute glory and absolute power of the only, living, Holy God and this is why scripture refers to God making our face to shine, in doing so you will shine his light to others giving them hope and courage to embrace the freedom to take off their own masks.

John 8:36: “IF the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” And your freedom will inspire others.

2 Corinthians 3:17: “Now the Lord is  that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

But we all, with open face (uncovered, bare face) beholding as in a glass (as looking in a mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed (being transformed) into the same image from glory to glory, even, as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

You can see from these verses that God is telling us that as we are saved we are changed through his Spirit giving us freedom as we are being processed, changed, through the process of life, and all the difficulties that come with that are actually being used for our good to transforms us as God desires. 

We have to consciously remember his word and  keep that word on our mind and apply that word to our hearts, for example when Jesus said that He would never forsake us, that means  he will never forsake us.

When the Bible promises that no weapon formed against will prosper, that means that no scheme or plot has power to destroy you, it may feel like you are going to be, but you will not be, because God sees  with the eyes of eternity. And we must apply his promises to our lives every single day.

If we fail to do that, we can easily get off course and forget what we once knew.

We go to James 1:23-25: “For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass (looking in a mirror).

For he beholdeth himself and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was (glances in the mirror, leaves and forgets what kind of man he even is).

But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty (freedom), and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man is blessed in his deed.”

God gave us two views of  the same issue, we can look honestly or we can give it a quick glance  a note that we are after all, “just human” and go our way and completely forgetting who God called us to be and forgetting his promises and just give up and be quickly lead into the temptation of not particularly liking “what” we see staring back at us and putting ourselves back into a mask that God  had already removed. And that is not his desire or his purpose for any of us.

So today I want to encourage you to BE who God says you are. And LIVE how he told you to live, and this one is a hard one, when everyone around you is fitting in and hiding their faces behind the masks they feel comfortable in, let Jesus shine through you and let the pain, the scars, be visible because someone else NEEDS to see them.

Let them see his gentleness lead you in his paths!

Rev. Nina Brown Johnson  2019 / Φλογιζω NBJ 2019

If you have never heard this please do, I believe it will bless you, probably make you cry but those tears are precious to God!

 

 

 

 

“Gazingstock”

1 CORINTHIANS 4:9-13: “For I think that God hath set forth (displayed) us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death; for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to the angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake ( the world opinion) but ye are wise in Christ; we ARE weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we ARE despised.

Even unto the present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked (poorly clothed), and ARE buffeted (beaten) and have no certain dwelling place; and labour, working with our own hands: BEING reviled, we bless; BEING persecuted, we suffer (endure) it. BEING defamed (slandered) we entreat (encourage): we ARE made the filth of this world, and ARE the offscouring of all things unto this day. ”

We often think of the Apostles as almost super human, almost as if, had they needed to, they could have run through stone buildings.

We are half right, considering that they, with the exception of Paul hung out with Jesus and SAW Him ascend into heaven and combined they were FREED by angels, SAW demons cast out and SAW the dead resurrected back to life.

BUT the super part belonged to the LORD the other is just human!
As we read the verse above, nothing about that sounds glamorous, or remotely desirable as a life style and these are the things we often forget.

I truly believe that this is what causes so many “new” Christians to slip and some seasoned ones to misplace their robes and end up wearing a coat made of jade 

For the most part it is preventable.

Once we accept Christ, and especially if we have been given the gift of the Holy Ghost, we have that wonderful newness.

Everything IS brand new, WE ARE New but then life, emotions, and the enemy come and often no one has ever told the “new” person that what they are going through is NORMAL for the course and no one helps them through that maze and they end up lost in it and give up even trying to find their way home.

The second group comes into play, as often having a fight with hell all the way to the altar and sometimes passed the altar and into the water because they have a call on their life.

And once they do make it “in” that fight only intensifies and I really, really wish I could give a “one word will make it all go away” answer right here.

BUT it does not exist.
Once this particular spiritual warfare has been engaged, it can not be disengaged because:
#1. The calling of God on lives is determined before birth and “they do not expire until we do.”
#2. Giving up is not an option, you will lose your salvation, and everything you have ALREADY fought through will have been for nothing.
#3. Outside of the will of God and without His protection, satan will chew you up and spit you out.
#4 Your fall will affect every single person you love and all those whom you were to minister to.
#5 THE most important reason is that JESUS died for you and saved you and He will NEVER let you be tested beyond what you can handle and a servant can not be above His Master, to reign with Christ we must suffer with Christ.
“Think It not strange…” sometimes battles are so fierce and dark that you can not even see daylight but you must remember you war against principalities and powers of the air.

I don’t know how I would have ever made it had God not blessed me with the people he did in my life and ministers that would share their own personal battle stories and some so hard to fathom, that my problems would pale in comparison.

Without the knowledge that these things happened to people whom I knew were Godly and doing their best in their walk, I could have never kept my head above water, I held onto every single word and would remember their stories and how they got through it and that they were still standing and that I serve the same God.

HEBREWS 10:32,33: “But call to remembrance the former days, in which after ye were illuminated (enlightened), ye ENDURED a GREAT FIGHT OF AFFLICTIONS (struggle with sufferings); partly, (in part) whilst ye were made a GAZINGSTOCK (SPECTACLE) BOTH BY REPROACHES AND AFFLICTIONS (tribulations) and partly (in part) whilst YE BECAME COMPANIONS OF THEM THAT WERE SO USED (treated).

What can we say there?

The days after your salvation, such a GREAT FIGHT with sufferings and troubles. You were as one that the world would look at and stare upon, as one in medieval stocks for the entire village to mock and ridicule.
Reproaches of those who laugh at your salvation and the enemy who questions “Where is your God now?”

But it is due in part so that YOU CAN become who you are to become in Christ.

1 PETER 1;4-8,10: “Whereby are given unto us exceeding GREAT and PRECIOUS promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

And beside (along with) this, giving ALL DILIGENCE, ADD to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge: AND to knowledge temperance ( self-control); AND to temperance patience; AND to patience godliness; AND to godliness brotherly kindness; AND to brotherly kindness CHARITY ( love).
FOR if these thing be in you (are yours) and abound, they make you that YE SHALL NEITHER BE BARREN NOR UNFRUITFUL IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. Wherefore the rather brethren, GIVE DILIGENCE TO MAKE YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE: FOR IF YOU DO THESE THINGS YE SHALL NEVER FAIL.”

So you have heard it from Paul and you have heard it from Peter, now they are some pretty reliable sources!!!

All these things WILL work to your good and all these things WILL produce every quality needed to be productive in the Kingdom of God.
If you are “new” please stay close and active in a good Bible believing church, read along with them, find ministers that you enjoy hearing and enjoy the word, don’t pressure yourself or let anyone else pressure you, the only opinion of you that should matter is God’s and He is awesome and will teach you all things.

Find a good prayer partner that you can trust, that can pray with you when life comes at you or temptation comes calling and if you fall of the boat, repent and get back on the boat!

And keep trying, IT WILL GET BETTER and IT WILL GET EASIER.
If you are in group two, seek the old paths and surround yourself with prayer warriors and try to spend time with older ones who have been there and done that and they WILL encourage you and give you godly advice that is imperative to stay on track in your calling.

And the best news is this, once you successfully war against an attack of the enemy, he will no more use that same weapon, because it is no longer effective.

Once you make it through a tough battle you will soon find that the battle made you stronger and you will be able to stand against attacks that would have put you out earlier in your ministry.

You will also be better at seeing attacks coming and be prepared more easily, not to say there will never be blind sides, but when it is said and done, you will be glad you stayed the course, because medals are not just given, they must be won.
Φλογιζω NB/2016

! Original post 02/2016.  Still battling blue screen, Please check out this blast from posts past!🐦

 

 

 

 

“CAVES” Part 2 “Cavin’ with Dave”

“He that is our God IS the God of salvation; and unto God the Lord belong the issues (escapes) from death.” Psalm68:20

As the Lord asked Elijah what he was doing, and Elijah answered, the Lord called him out of the cave, where He then showed a magnificent display of His power, I believe to try to snap Elijah out of it with the remembrance of WHO was truly on his side. He spoke to Elijah in a quite soft voice asking him again (1 Kings 19:13) ” What are you doing here?” Elijah again word for word gave him his reason and it is so clear the main reason he became discouraged was the solitude. He became so distraught and discouraged that he could no longer see the majesty, the power that would slay his enemy.

He KNEW  it he just lost his ability to continue the fight. You will notice with these passages that God asked TWICE and after that he gave Elijah instruction for turning over his assignment to Elisha. God will not override our wills, it was not his idea for Elijah’s work to come to this end and He showed extreme mercy in how He dealt with him.

This can be proven through the account of Jonah, who just bucked on God and decided he just was not doing what God had commanded him to do and after he found himself in the belly of as he put it “hell”. He found it to be in his best interest to do as he had been asked and even by the end of the book he was still all mad at God and I have never found anything else on what finally became of him.

So you can see there was a complete difference in what was going on in these guys by the difference of how God dealt with them.  As we all know Elijah did not die, he was taken and in my personal opinion, just a little rest, a little reprieve until time to come back to this earth as one of the two witnesses described in Revelation. His work has not been completed. It does prove mercy toward our messed up worn out human minds and half broken spirits. and that we can make OWN ON DECISION to “die” in the cave.

David also did some caving, like Elijah he felt mortal fear. the very real threat of King Saul trying to kill him. Whereas I think Elijah just didn’t want to deal with Jezebel, I think he was tired of fighting the whole bunch. {Complete unrelated side note here, I do love what Jesus said about Jezebel in the book of Revelation, He refers to her as “That woman, Jezebel” and notes that He gave even her a chance to repent, she just evidently did not accept it. Worth thinking about when the devil tries to tell people that they have been too “bad” to be saved.}

Back to David, here he is, he has already BEEN anointed to be King over Israel but as it looks now, if he dares show his face, he will never be King because Saul is very intent on “making a memory outta him.”  Now the funny thing about caves is that sometimes what your hiding from can end up in that cave with you!

 1 Samuel24:3 : ” And he (King Saul) came to the sheepcotes by the way, where was a CAVE; and Saul went in to cover his feet ( attend his needs): and DAVID AND HIS MEN REMAINED IN THE SIDES OF THE CAVE.” Now David’s men were ecstatic and told him this was a divine appointment to take out his enemy but David saw it an a chance to sow some mercy and trust the Lord and would not kill Saul. Instead he cut off a piece of his clothing to prove to Saul just how close he had been and that if he wished him harm he could have nailed him right there. But even in doing that he felt guilty, because vengeance IS God’s and sometimes that is hard for us to remember but David passed this one.

  Now, how he got through his cave experience, he REMEMBERED what God tried to make Elijah see and he thought upon these things and this was his daily bread. This is some of what he actually wrote while in the cave.

Psalm 57: 1-3  “BE MERCIFUL UNTO ME, O GOD, BE MERCIFUL UNTO ME:  for MY SOUL TRUSTETH IN THEE:  yea, IN THE SHADOW OF THY WINGS WILL I MAKE MY REFUGE, UNTIL these calamities be overpast (passed by). I WILL cry unto God most high: unto God that performeth all things for me. HE SHALL SEND FROM HEAVEN, AND SAVE ME FROM THE REPROACH OF HIM THAT WOULD SWALLOW ME UP. SELAH. GOD SHALL SEND FORTH HIS MERCY AND TRUTH.” 

His strongest assets were that he KNEW the power of prayer and praise. Even though we view him as someone who was so close to God (and he was) who could kill lions and bears (and he did) and someone who could hit a giant head on and take that head, someone who walked in the anointing and presence of God, but still he was exactly what we are, HUMAN and he also became afraid, troubled, and discouraged but here is his cry, let it be ours:

Psalm 55:1-8: “Give ear to my prayer, O God, and hide not thyself from my supplication. attend unto me, and hear me: I mourn (wander) in my complaint, and make a noise; BECAUSE of the VOICE OF MY ENEMY, BECAUSE of THE OPPRESSION OF THE WICKED: for thy cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me. MY HEART IS SORE PAINED WITHIN ME: AND THE TERRORS OF DEATH ARE FALLEN UPON ME, FEARFULNESS AND TREMBLING ARE COME UPON ME, AND HORROR HATH OVERWHELMED ME. And I said, oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I FLY AWAY AND BE AT REST. LO, THEN WOULD I WANDER FAR OFF, AND REMAIN IN THE WILDERNESS. SELAH. I WOULD HASTEN (SPEED UP) MY ESCAPE FROM THE WINDY STORM AND THE TEMPEST.”

Yeah, KING DAVID, the mighty warrior to end all warriors, who throne IS established FOREVER, whose words written in his place of anguish still shine as a mighty light THOUSANDS of years later.

He was scared, he was tired, and he very much wanted to run away to escape all these things and NEVER return again. Sometimes so do we. Next time we will listen closely and try to hear the words of the KING OF KINGS as HIS voice resonates into our own caves, as He calls us out, our souls feeding on the bread of life, His word and His promises. 

Φλογίζω NBJ 2016

Original post date: 01/16/2016 *Revisited 06/27/2019*

 

CRAWLING OUT OF THE CAVE #1

“But he answered and said, It is written MAN SHALL NOT LIVE BY BREAD ALONE BUT BY EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDETH OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.” Matthew 4:4

Not only as Christians but just as humans we go through many seasons in life and all these seasonal changes can often leave us  disillusioned, drained, despondent and the most dreaded and deadly of the “D” words, discouraged. It rains on the just and the unjust and that is THE “go to” scripture for all who are weary and when winds blow and the devil wants to convince us that if we were right we wouldn’t be going through this.

But again we all know that he IS the liar of all liars and everyone born upon this earth will suffer heartache whether they choose to follow Jesus or not. As a watchman who no longer has a tower and now sits perched upon a precariously wobbly wall only hoping that the shouts reach the ears of those for which they are intended, I can more than ever relate to all of the above. 

January 2015 my Dad was hospitalized and it really did not look like he was going to make it, before going to visit him one morning I got prayer and I had never before nor have I since received a word at that particular church. Of course my nerves were a whole new level of shot and after the service a man came back and told me that when they had been praying he had received a word for me, and it was that 2015 WOULD BE a good year for me, I knew by the delivery of the message and the eyes of the messenger, that it translated to this, there would be NO time during the coming year that it would FEEL good and that NO MATTER what IT looked like or how trying it became that somehow in the spiritual realm it would be working for a greater purpose and all in all in the book that God keeps of all our lives that it would be recorded as a positive.

I think we tend to look at prophecy sometimes as we wish to see it and not so much as what GOD IS TRYING TO TELL US!

It is often something we may not want to hear but had we not known it we have lost hope and the dreaded “D” word would lead us straight back out into the world under bondage to the other “D” word.

I thank God for the word he sent me, it kept my eyes focused through an extremely painful year. My Dad had also received a word at the worst of his illness that his work was not quite finished and had he not received that, he may have not had the will to go on.

But still sometimes enough wind, enough rain, and just enough cold from feelings of disconnection can turn us to cave dwellers. We like to believe it is a place of shelter, a place of rest, and most of all a surrounding to block out all those nasty attacks and the only way they can get us is head on and we will be able to see that coming.

Right? Well, no, Not quite, caves are very dark, isolated, and filled with bones of whatever had made it a prior shelter and never made it back out, and your not going to get much rest if you have to always keep watch for fear of what is going to come through that “door”.

Elijah tried it, 1st Kings 19, God had already done mighty, mighty works through Elijah, really think about seeing this with your own eyes, FIRE FALLING FROM HEAVEN, PROVISIONS THAT WOULD NOT FAIL, A HUMAN FED BY  RAVENS,THE DEAD RAISED TO LIFE. And yet even he, who had absolutely NO DOUBT anywhere in him concerning the power of God. He ran for his life, he had became so weary that he just wanted it all over and just wanted to go home.

God always patient and merciful sent an angel to feed him and strengthen him, showing us as always God knows right where we are, even when he did not send us in that direction and even though he continued on his emotionally self propelled journey God provided for him. Once he made it through the forty day journey and found the refuge of his cave the Lord asked very point blank “WHAT DOEST THOU HERE ELIJAH?”  After Elijah gave his reasoning to the Lord GOD CALLED HIM OUT OF THE CAVE.

Now God gave a rather majestic display of His power and might over all the universe, and sometimes we also could use a refresher course.   ALL POWER IN HEAVEN AND EARTH.

Psalm 97:1-6 “The Lord reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of the isles be glad thereof. Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation (FOUNDATION) of his throne. A fire goeth before him, and burneth up his enemies round about. HIS lightnings enlightened the world: THE EARTH SAW, AND TREMBLED. THE HILLS MELTED LIKE WAX AT THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD, AT THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD OF THE WHOLE EARTH. THE HEAVENS DECLARE HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, AND ALL THE PEOPLE SEE HIS GLORY.”

 

ISAIAH 45-5-7 “ 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, 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 THESE THINGS.” 

ISAIAH 54:16  “Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument (weapon) for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.” 

This is the power that created the universe. The voice that spoke everything into existence. The one who named the stars and flung the into existence. The sun and moon will cower in His presence and the very mountains will flee from before Him. Heaven is His throne and earth is but His footstool.

And all nations and people will bow before Him and the same small voice who spoke to Elijah is still that same voice that speaks to us today. He is calling us out of the caves and His word is the way.

Please join me next time, Lord’s will, and we’ll look at David’s caving and follow up with that voice and the word of his promises that will help us see a brighter day OUTSIDE of the cave.

Φλογιζω/ NBJ 2016

Original post date: 01/14/2016 to read the remainder of this series, please check out: “CAVES” Part 2 “Cavin’ with Dave”

“RESONATE”Crawling out of the cave #3

Personal best

“..And let us run WITH patience the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1(d)

There is nothing like the feeling we have when we first come to Christ and we have been forgiven of our sins and washed and everything is made new. I want to say one thing… keep that feeling!

The enemy has a funny little way of trying to come in and whisper things in our ears the moment we get saved and we often feel pressure from within ourselves asking “Now what?”

Salvation should not be a chore or performance based, the feeling like one wrong move and you’re going to hell.

It should be JOY, and JOY evermore. But as I said the enemy lies and when Jesus saves us,we ARE saved and we are NOT required to do anything other than keep God’s commandments and do OUR personal best in all things. We are all created differently and we all have different gifts, talents, and convictions.

The biggest trap of the enemy (and he will work this through people) is telling you that you should do this and you can’t do that and once that pressure start it will have you even second guessing if you are even saved. So do let it even start! And if you have not committed to Christ just yet, this maybe can answer a few questions to help you make that commitment.

Notice we are all called to run OUR own race, as Paul said he had finished his course (race) I can not run your race and you can’t run mine.  NO ONE will ever be able to complete the course God ordained for you.

It is one of a kind and that is why you have to be so careful AGAINST listening to the wrong voices, especially when you are “new” to the kingdom or “in the valley of decision” so I want to hit a couple of “stumbling blocks” and hopefully push them out of the way before you even happen up on them.

#1. God LOVES us, simply because HE DOES, nothing we have done, nothing we could ever do, nothing we could buy, nothing we could ever earn. He created us and He loves us. He WANTS us FOREVER with Him and once you have accepted Him and are saved He will not let anything separate you from Him, the ONLY way you can be separated is if you WANT TO BE.

Read Romans 8:28-39 for wonderful insight on just how strong the bond between us and God truly is. God said this:

Isaiah 49:15: ” Can a woman forget her sucking (nursing) child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb?  yea, they may forget, YET I WILL NEVER FORGET THEE (you).”

Isaiah 46:4: “And EVEN to your old age I am he: and EVEN to hoar hairs (grey hair) WILL I CARRY YOU: I HAVE MADE, AND I WILL BEAR; EVEN WILL I CARRY, AND WILL DELIVER YOU.”

And Jesus said this: John 16:27: ” For the Father himself loveth you,because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.” 

#2. Not a competition. The only person you “need” to be is YOURSELF!

Mark 10:38-40: “And John answered him, saying, Master, (teacher) we saw one casting out devils IN THY NAME, and he followed NOT us, and we forbad him BECAUSE he followed us not (told him that he could not do that because he was not with them).

And Jesus said, Forbid him NOT: for there is no man that can do a miracle in my name, that can lightly (soon afterward) speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is on our part (side).” 

Even people with good intentions can have the wrong idea.

Luke 9:52-56: “And sent messengers before his face (Jesus sent), and they went, and entered into a village of Samaritans, to make ready for him. And they did not receive him (they would not allow him to stay there), because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.

And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, even as Elias did? 

But he turned and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives BUT TO SAVE THEM. 

And they went to another village.” Doubt that James and John were good guys? Of course they were! But even good guys can unintentionally steer you wrong! The Samaritans hated the Jews and these people thought Jesus was going to Jerusalem for “religious” reasons, so they would not help him, if they only knew who they had refused!

But anyway, angry and offended, James and John ASKED him to GIVE THEM the power to torch these people, which is interesting too, He hadn’t given them that and they didn’t ask Him to do it himself, THEY wanted Him to allow them to do the job !

So maybe it wasn’t all about them “insulting” Jesus but maybe a little about the human response of “How dare they?” And you will find sometimes when people are pushing you in a way you don’t feel you should go, it could be that it’s not about you, or the kingdom, it can sometimes be good old-fashioned control.

Just as they didn’t want anyone using Jesus name without being one of them and you see each time Jesus sets it straight. So remember your relationship is between you and God, no one else. as we are told in Philippians 2:12, to “work out our OWN salvation with fear and trembling” that means for us to be serious and knowing that it is only between us and God. 

#3 Relax IN grace. Know that no one knows everything nor will we ever. God does not require of us the things we do not know. When we are saved,we are saved by grace and His grace covers us as we grow.

The more we grow, the more we are taught, then the more we are held responsible for, but God is kind, loving, and merciful and knows exactly what you are aware of, capable of, and most of all ready for.

To fight CONDEMNATION, that either someone else tries to make you feel or the enemy tries to bring, use this verse, because after you’re saved GOD WILL LET YOU KNOW IF SOMETHING IS WRONG, you will feel it.

1 John 3:20,21: ” For IF OUR HEART CONDEMN US; GOD IS GREATER THAN OUR HEART, AND KNOWETH ALL THINGS. Beloved, IF OUR HEART CONDEMNS US NOT, THEN HAVE WE CONFIDENCE TOWARD GOD.”

Of course for that one to apply, you must be saved. But basically what he is saying, is this, God lives in you and if your heart is not convicting you then you are not condemned BECAUSE God is greater than your heart and you would certainly be aware of His will. 

Once you have been saved, those SINS are washed away FOREVER, they no longer exist according to God.

Romans 8:1: “There is therefore NO NEW CONDEMNATION to them which are IN Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Which means, once saved, we are FREE, FREE, FREE! And God wants us to ENJOY that!

Be happy and joyous in knowing that you are saved, that you can go boldly before the throne of grace to ask for help whenever you need it, and to know that the King of the universe has now called you not only His friend, but His child and heir to all that heaven holds! 

Keeping His commandments and loving and honoring Him, He doesn’t ask us for much because He takes care of everything for us, so enjoy your run and know it’s not about placement, it is only about your personal best.

Love, Peace, & wishing you a great week! Till we meet again!

Φλογιζω  NBJ 2017

From archives because sometimes we all need to be reminded.

PREPARED Part 4… what you are really being prepared FOR

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

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

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

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

There is NO righteousness outside the righteousness of God. It is not possible for any human, or any other pagan belief system to offer righteousness to us.  Our righteousness will only be found through the acceptance of Jesus Christ and in the washing of our souls in His blood. This verse tells us that bearing ALL that, if we do the VERY BEST we can do, we will still SCARECLY be saved, which means just barely making it in.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All that Jesus had said of himself. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Φλογίζω Σαλπίζω NB 2018

Posts in this series: PREPARED Part #1

PREPARED Part#2

PREPARED Part #3

More of the deception of hell: RESERVATIONS FOR HELL