“Hidden”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And having an high priest over the house of God.

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

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

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

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

Whatever you need it will be there. 

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

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

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

Angels, Roses, & True Love : Part 2 “Angels”

 

“The angel of the Lord encampeth round about the that fear him, and delivereth them.” Psalm 34:7

I really had a rough time thinking about this one. There are so many stories in the Bible of the interactions between those of us on earth and the host of heaven, who are sent to us, I believe, more often than we could ever imagine.

And it is truly hard to write for six years dealing in the same subject matter and not get redundant, and redundant I do not wish to be, so this post with be heavy laden with golden links that can be clicked on for more posts concerning heaven meeting earth.

But we have all experienced those moments in life, usually near fatal accidents that somehow, miraculously we were spared and stories upon stories that can have only one explanation divine intervention carried out by servants of the most Divine.

We can get into the mindset of this by recalling the stories of old.

One my personal favorites the angel that visited Hagar not once but TWICE.

Daniel whose life was spared through his faith in God as God sent an angel to “shut the mouths of the lions” which I believe this meant that the lions were calmed and lulled they knew the angel was there as we know from the story of the beaten donkey  , the donkey that kept stopping because she saw what her evil rider could not… the angel whose compassion toward that donkey almost brought an even earlier end to Balaam. 

The angel Gabriel proclaiming blessed news to Mary, and again angels coming to proclaim to simple shepherds that that blessed promise had been fulfilled.

Other births had been foretold as those of the angelic realm paid visits also to Samson’s parents, his mother first and then at the prayer of Manoah, God sent the angel again to clarify how this child should be raised.

Not to mention Zacahrias, the father of John the Baptist was also visited by Gabriel as he performed his duties in the temple. 

There are stories of encounter after encounter with everything from bring prophecy and good news, to warning of danger ahead and assurance that the future will be brighter as in Hagar’s case.

An angel fed Elijah when he was so discouraged he could no longer continue. Jacob wrestled with the angel before becoming Israel, Joshua was given comfort meeting the captain of the host that were for them.

Stories of the Lord sending his angels to fight against those that were to strong for his children to fight and opening the eyes of the servant of Elisha to allow him to see just how many were really there for that fight if needed. Other times he sent them forth in judgment  to destroy those that sought to destroy his chosen or defiled his temple.

They announced his birth, his resurrection, and spoke to the disciples at his ascension assuring them that he would indeed return just as he went away and they will continue to watch over us and do his will until that day. 

So when I think of God and I think of love it is very difficult to not think of the angels and his beauty, grace,and kindness in sending them to watch over us and when I think of all the times in life all of us could have encountered an angel and not have ever even known is even more amazing to me! 

“Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”  Hebrews 13:1-2

Our gentle warning to always respond in love (I fail this one often!) and a bigger warning that we should always be very careful how we treat others because we can actually be talking with an angel.

I want to point out something here, if you were to ever encounter an angel posing as human to check your true usage of the golden rule  you would probably never even know that you had but just know that an angel would never test you on anything contrary to the word of God.

They would never request anything of you that is wrong or illegal or immoral. And they are NEVER to be worshiped. 

“And I John saw these things and heard them, and when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it NOT: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings (words) of this book: WORSHIP GOD.Revelation 22:8,9

I love “angels”. I have angels on almost anything you can imagine and love giving Christmas cards with scriptures of “Glad Tidings” and art work of the same.

When we think of  all the beautiful cards with truly inspirational sayings and thoughts of love and peace with gorgeous illustrations of what we perceive the angels to be, lets always bear in mind one thing.

These thoughts and sentiments that we have came to cherish are actually a reflection of the love God has sent to us, the only difference is his angels ARE real!

So I want to give you some of that good news, the words from God concerning those of the heavenly host that he does in deed give “charge over you” to watch over you, comfort you, protect you, and be there in the loneliest, most barren place of hopelessness .

Much like the place Hagar  found herself in, through no fault of her own and just when she thought EVERYTHING was hopeless and she truly believed that she and much worse her son were going to die in that wilderness, God sent his angel with not only words of comfort, words of hope, and the PROMISE of a future for her son but also he miraculously sent them water so that they could physical continue on that journey.

God know all of our needs emotional, spiritual, and physical and he addressed all these for Hagar, taking care first of the emotional, then the spiritual, by giving her reassurance delivered no less than through an angel, and then her physical need was met.

And he does the same for us, we just have to believe and be open and mindful that even when we feel alone and it looks like there is no one on our side, Jesus is and he sends his angels as proof of that.

John was told to not worship them because they are workers together with us for the kingdom of God. Which is so important to say in a world that wants to worship everything except the one true God and always be careful of media posts and sites that touting messages from angels or connect with your angels.

We don’t connect with them… God sends them to us, they are ever present.

There is always the question that if God is real and angels are real why does bad things happen? 

That is explained quite simply as being on this earth, being human, God never promised this earth would be easy, it is not our eternal home, we are not  in the realm of immortality and the pain and heartache felt by one is surely felt by another.

And the best way to be mindful of that, especially when we are going through particularly painful seasons is remembering a very crucial lesson, Jesus was Mary’s   firstborn son and he was also God in human form and will for ever be and Jesus who was the perfect, sinless, Lamb of God DIED for us so that we could live.

The Bible is also full of stories of heartache and blessings given for the generations by those near the end of their own.

The apostles Peter and Paul both writing of the deaths that were soon to come and yet both of these men spared, miraculously rescued by the angels and not just once.

Peter after having been arrested and chained between two guards had this encounter as recorded in Acts 12:7-10: “And, behold, the angel  of the Lord came upon him (stood by), and a light shined in the prison: and he smote (tapped) Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly, And his chains fell off from his hands.

And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals (get dressed and put on your shoes), so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.

And he went out, and followed him; and wist (knew) not that it was true (real) which was done by the angel; but he thought that he saw a vision.

When they were past the first and second ward (guard posts), they came unto an iron gate that leadeth unto the city, which opened to them on his own accord (meaning the gate miraculously opened): and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him.”

Paul as he was in the midst of the storm while a prisoner on a seemingly doomed ship, had the to speak of his encounter and what they must do to survive:

Acts 27:22-26: “And now I exhort (urge) you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship (the ship would be destroyed).

For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve. Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.

Wherefore sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me. Howbeit we must be cast (run aground) upon a certain island.”

The angel reminding Paul, bringing God’s words and promises over his life back to his mind, assuring him that no matter how dark  it was not quite time.

It was not yet time for them to go to that eternal home but when the time started to come they knew and they never questioned God’s love for them.

The one common thread that weaves it all together is this, it is only temporary and the entire reason for our faith is believing that there is so much better, in the life yet to come.

Lets actually just quickly look at what they both said concerning their inevitable deaths.

Paul wrote this ending his directions to Timothy concerning what he must do to be a successful minister for the Kingdom of Heaven.

2 Timothy 4:6: For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure (death) is at hand.”

And Peter, also giving instructions as his last words before saying this:

2 Peter 1:13-15: “Yea, I think it meet (is right), as long as I am in this tabernacle (body), to stir you up by putting you in remembrance:

Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle (die), even as our Lord Jesus has shown me.

Moreover I will endeavor that ye may be able after my decease (death) to have these things in remembrance always.”

How could they have such comfort and such peace? Because they knew, they had the Lord and they knew had the angelic host and we never alone. 

They are with us from birth, through childhood, just as Jesus said concerning the children when he gave this warning from Matthew 18:10: “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.”

When we have ran amok, wasting our inheritance like the prodigal sons and daughters that we are, hanging out with the wrong people and as messed up.as we are he still loves us.He still watches over us and still his angels watch over us and Jesus said this about the moment that they are observing as we come into the truth.

Luke 15:10: “Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repeneth.”

These are they who cease not to praise the Lord and there are those who are night and day around the throne and the only time we are told they are silent is just before judgment is began against earth. They are with you in life and they will be with us in death as again Jesus relays the story of Lazarus.

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

Quite a contrast the rich man died and was buried (we know that he also lifted up his eyes in hell, never have accepted salvation)  but Lazarus carried by the angels.

Start to finish, God send us his messengers and when we have doubt and fears, loneliness and grief we should always rest in that comfort, as they have been with us silently and invisibly here, one day we will be with them there, we also we be part of that host of heaven but until then rest assured knowing that they are always around!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev Nina Brown Johnson

Posts in series: Angels, Roses, & True Love/ Intro

Angels,Roses,& True Love/ part 3 “A rose by only one name”

“In the den”

“Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion (reason to accuse) against this Daniel, except (unless) we find it against him concerning the law of his God. Then these presidents (overseers) and princes assembled together to the king, and said unto him, King Darius, live for ever. All the presidents of the kingdom, the governors, and the princes, the counsellors, and the captains, have consulted together to establish a royal statue, and to make a firm decree, that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save (except) of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.

Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it not be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not (does not change). Wherefore king Darius signed the writing (written decree) and the decree. Now when Daniel knew the writing had been signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber (room) toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime ( as he had been doing before this). Then these men assembled, and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God.

Then they came near and spake before (spoke to) the king concerning the king’s decree. Hast thou not signed a decree, that every man that shall ask a petition of any God or man within thirty days, save of thee (except you), O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?  

The king answered and said, This thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth (changes) not.

Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, which is of the children of the captivity of Judah, regardeth not thee, O king, nor the decree that thou hast signed, but maketh his petition three times a day.

Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore (greatly) displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured (strived) till the going down of the sun to deliver him.

Then these men assembled unto the king, and said unto the king, Know, O king, that the law of the Medes and Persians is, That no decree nor statue which the king established may be changed.

Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast (tossed) him into the den of lions, Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou serve continually, HE WILL DELIVER THEE.

And a stone was brought and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet (signet ring), and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel (that they could not accuse the king of changing the order).

Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting; neither were instruments of  musick (musical instruments) brought before him: and his sleep went (fled) from him. 

Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable (pained) voice unto Daniel: and the king spake, and said unto Daniel, O Daniel, O Daniel, SERVANT OF THE LIVING GOD, IS THY GOD whom thou servest continually, ABLE TO DELIVER THEE FROM THE LIONS?

Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever.  My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency (innocence) was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt (wrong).

Then the king exceedingly glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up OUT of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him (he was completely unharmed)  BECAUSE HE BELIEVED IN HIS GOD.

And the king commanded, and they brought those men which had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them (overpowered them) and brake all their bones in pieces, or ever they came at the bottom of the den (before they ever hit the bottom of the den).

Then king Darius wrote unto all people, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth; Peace be multiplied unto you. I make a decree. That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for HE IS THE LIVING GOD, AND STEADFAST FOR EVER, AND HIS KINGDOM THAT WHICH SHALL NOT BE DESTROYED, AND HIS DOMINION SHALL BE EVEN UNTO THE END. HE DELIVERETH (delivers) AND RESCUETH (rescues), AND HE WORKETH SIGNS AND WONDERS IN HEAVEN AND IN EARTH, who hath DELIVERED Daniel FROM THE POWER OF THE LIONS.” Daniel 6:5-27

Love this story, how could anyone not? I especially love the terms of his enemies referring to him as “this” Daniel and “that” Daniel. We are all at some point a “this” Daniel or a “that” Daniel. The this that the enemy desperately wants out of the way and the that that the enemy thinks he has out of the way.

We are all faced with those lions of life and we are all faced with circumstances we just really do not want to be in. And those roaring lions which Jesus so described the devil as are quite intimidating sometimes as they seek to devour us because those roars that we hear in the distance proves to warn us of impending doom and certain destruction can be more horrifying than the final bone crushing bite.

 Those are the times that we need a friend to be outside that den, Darius could NOT go back on his own decree and he could NOT find any way of getting around the fact that Daniel had no choice other than go into that den, He could NOT actually go inside the den and face the lions with Daniel but what he COULD do is SPEAK and REASSURE Daniel that His God WOULD DELIVER HIM.

He COULD fast and pray all night on behalf of Daniel. Everyone needs a friend but we all especially need a friend when you are in a lion’s den and you know that even though you must hear those roars and face the fear of them head on, face to face, knowing someone else is outside the den having faith and keeping vigil can give courage and hope even in the most hopeless of circumstances.

I snagged a verse from the sermon at church Sunday night to carry my family through a little something…. it is just part of the verse but so powerful when you let it sink in…  and I want to share it for anyone who is facing uncertainty:

Romans 4:18: ” Who AGAINST HOPE (contrary to) BELIEVED IN HOPE…..”

That is even the face of hopelessness, with absolutely NO REASON to hope, to STILL BELIEVE IN HOPE. And Daniel BELIEVED in that hope, even though he was already slated for slaughter, HE BELIEVED IN THE HOPE OF DELIVERANCE BY HIS GOD.

Daniel believed God would deliver him and his friend king Darius believed God would deliver him and we need to also to BELIEVE that today more than ever.

Know that if you are in the den God has someone ALREADY positioned outside on your behalf having faith on your behalf, keeping vigil through that night and if you are outside don’t forget to keep vigil for another whose faith my be wavering for fear that those lions could devour at a moments notice.  Darius made the new decree that ALL should tremble before the LIVING GOD. 

Darius also twice referred to Daniel as having served the Lord continually, continually striving to that standard of God, as we lift our lives up into the hands of God and into His care and the standard He has established, He will in turn lift up a defense, his war banner, on our behalf against our enemies, whether spiritual, physical sickness, or emotional or financial burdens, that we are His and He does fight on our behalf, as in that verse, He will work wonders in heaven and in earth.

Isaiah 59:19: “So shall they FEAR the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun, WHEN THE ENEMY SHALL COME IN LIKE A FLOOD, THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD SHALL LIFT UP A STANDARD (banner) AGAINST HIM.

 Peace and love till next time! Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017 

This song is really too peppy for this post.. but I do love it and it is really upbeat and I don’t know what the deal is with the name but the lyrics say it all!