“Heavenly visions of New Jerusalem leading us home”

“For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they but we ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit (meaning), the redemption of our body.” Romans 8:22,23

The redemption of our moral bodies, that is the “prize”, the crown to be won, that was so often spoken of by Paul and the words of encouragement used in innumerable sermons to keep the children of God’s eyes on that prize and not on the troubles of this present world. And if I ever I could leave the world with ONE message, this would be that message.

But to get to that message in these modern days, we must first address the requirements that make us eligible for that adoption. REPENTANCE is not negotiable.

We all must repent and God’s Word IS God’s Word and ALL the sins Jesus states AS sin is still sin and no matter what lies false preachers and demonic deceivers feed people, that sin WILL NOT inherit the kingdom of heaven and those in the world who back stab, wallow in sin and then post “prayer requests” and “praying for people” trash on social media are so deceived that they believe their own lies and just as the Bible states concerning reprobates, they ARE “past feeling” and have had their “consciences seared with an hot iron” and just as scripture also states “the dog returns to his vomit and the sow to her wallowing” they ARE what they are and they will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

So the “prize” will only be awarded to those who are truly adopted of Christ, those who have repented, have asked God to help them overcome, who have kept themselves separated and unspotted, as much as possible from the filth of this world.

So why do we have this hope and what is the substance of that hope? When we accept Christ, we are made new, we are given his Holy Spirit, and He dwells inside of us, the actual Spirit of God lives on the inside of His true children.

Just as Jesus promised us “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 cannot receive, because it seeth him not, NEITHER knoweth him: but you know him; FOR HE DWELLETH WITH YOU, and SHALL BE IN YOU.

I WILL NOT LEAVE YOU COMFORTLESS: I WILL COME TO YOU.”  John 14:16-18

And with that comes the promises, the promises that CANNOT be received by the world, or those unrepentant. And the greatest of these promises concern the passing from this world to the next, for the lost, to die in those sins, they die to an eternal condemnation and an eternity lost separated from God and in hell which was intended for satan and his demons.

But for those who are the children of God, the process starts with this verse,Ephesians 4:30: “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are SEALED unto the day of redemption.”

That is also a clear reference that repentance and holy living because we can offend, hurt, and grieve Him when we do otherwise and do not quickly repent and mend our ways.

But here we are talking about hope and the process of those who do KNOW Him, so I’ll get back to that. The day of that redemption, the day when our bodies go to the Father as He already  our souls sealed in Him. 

No one wants to die and no one wants to lose those they love but death is part of life and we can’t be angry at God for what comes to all, saved or unsaved but we have His word as we are to comfort one another  and the greatest of that comfort is that Jesus fulfills this verse: Hosea:13:14 “ I WILL ransom them from the power of the grave: I WILL redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues (Where is your punishment?), O grave, I will be thy destruction (Where is your sting?)…”  

Jesus take the sting out of death, so many verses for that and he loves His people and has mercy and compassion, Psalm 116:15: “PRECIOUS in the sight of God IS the death of his saints.” 

The perfect picture of that caring, mercy, and compassion is displayed in the story of the death and resurrection of Lazarus, as Jesus tells us in Luke 16:22: “And it came to pass, that the beggar died, AND WAS CARRIED BY THE ANGELS into Abraham’s bosom..”  And as Paul comforted us, even comforted himself in the face of his impending beheading, 2 Corinthians 5:8: “We ARE confident, I say, and willing to be ABSENT FROM THE BODY, AND TO BE PRESENT WITH THE LORD.” 

And as we know the beautiful moment when that trumpet sounds and the dead in Christ rise and those that are alive WILL BE joined together with them and the Lord. As the cold winter of this earthly realm comes to an eternal end.

Song of Solomon 2:10-13: “My beloved spake, and SAID unto me, RISE UP, my love, my fair one, and come away. For, lo, the winter IS past, the rain IS over and gone; The flowers do appear on earth; the time of singing of the birds IS come, and the voice of the turtle (turtle-dove) IS heard in our land; The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with their tender grape give a good smell. ARISE, MY LOVE, MY FAIR ONE, AND COME AWAY.” 

I dedicate this to my beautiful sister, Ruby, who has been such a love and light, and actually bought me my Bible as a Valentines Day gift, February 14, 2000 I was saved and filled with the Holy Ghost one month later.

Φλογιζω would have never existed without her words of encouragement, faith, prayers and her prophetic words from the Lord. She has fought a glorious fight, in the face of heartache, false accusations, and she kept her faith, she loved in the face of hate, and she has shown mercy and kindness in every area of her life and as her name sake, she IS our jewel and she is forever a beautiful jewel for the King.

 

Building your “Hope Chest”

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt (ruin), and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up your for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:19-21 

During Christmas my family visited a local museum, we were there for the “festival of trees” which can only be described as tree extravaganza which local churches, various groups, and I think maybe some individuals decorating over eighty trees.

And every single one of them was truly magnificent,each with a theme or message, or both. And although a small “museum” it does hold a few treasures, one in particular was a sixteenth century (if memory recalls correctly) Italian “hope chest” that  had belonged to some of the former “mansion” owners whose family home of yesteryear has now became a historical landmark. 

The tradition of “hope chests” is quite the Victorian lure. The custom of young women collecting special treasures neatly stored away in the “hope” that one day all their romantic dreams and aspirations will come true.

This has been a custom in many areas the world over, many different names for these vessels of hope, but still in THE same hope.

And of course this isn’t so much a custom now in America as it once was, and a custom whose purity and beauty has been tarnished in many parts of the world due to the violence associated with the “dowry” concept, when those dowries haven’t been considered quite enough.

That is truly a disturbing and sickening thought that I did want to address, just to be clear that I am NOT would I ever condone this treatment of women, because these are two VERY different concepts.

A “hope chest” is WILLINGLY kept by the lady and a DOWRY is forcibly demanded by a groom.

But we do want to talk about hope! Anyone been needing a little hope? Or how about A LOT of hope? I will admit that my “hope chest” had been growing a wee sparse over the last year or so, more to the so… you know?

I write a lot about discouragement, battles, and storms and the ONLY way we learn about these things is by experiencing them. That is never fun and especially when we are so aware of the Lord, His goodness, mercy, and presence and YET we find ourselves in a “battle-royale” chest deep in water fearing every moment will be our last before we finally just become so tired and worn out and lose the strength to keep our heads above that water and in doing so… we would drown.

Ah, but hope… when hope finally does come shining through there is the new found expectation that soon everything will change.

Jesus told us about storing up our treasures, treasures not kept on this earth but in our “hope chests” which are located in the heavenly realms and safety kept for us there awaiting our arrival for that beautiful and glorious day when we as the Bride of Christ will open those precious chests and enjoy those treasures with the King Eternal. 

The things of this life and all the worry and strife are but for a moment and our true hope, as the Bible so often comforts our concerns about IS eternal.

The things we “store” up on this earth can often unknowing be nothing more than negative rags and the ruined garments of hurt, envy, resentment, while a true hope chest should contain at least one beautiful new dress, as in our case.. that beautiful wedding garment provided by Christ.

But when our chests are filled to brim from the storing of the wrong items of this world, we have no more room to store those beautiful treasures that should be stored there.

And that is when junk has to be removed from that trunk and GOOD things put it.

Knowing that there IS nothing on this earth or of this world that can separate you from God as we are told in Romans 8.

Knowing that no matter what life, the devil, or all of hell tries to set in your path as a roadblock or hindrance, that God will USE that very thing as a catapult for YOUR good, also Romans 8.

Knowing that your sins are covered by the blood of the Lamb and will NEVER be remembered of God EVER and that your name is in the Lambs Book of Life and the TRUTH of your future and your eternal destiny can NOT  be controlled by the enemy, people, or circumstance, that it can ONLY be affected by how YOU choose to proceed.

As the old saying goes… “No one can take us out of the Lamb’s Book EXCEPT us” and we can only do that but choosing to give up and surrender, turn back and go back and stay there.

Because if we do slip (and WE all do), when we do stumble, which is par for the course, (you ain’t gonna run a race without falling a couple of times) God IS faithful to pick us back up ,we repent and GO ON.

These thoughts and mindsets ARE the materials, the wood, if you will, that builds our wonderful heavenly storage “chests” and all the pieces are held together and fastened by hope.

The greatest of all hope, the hope and assurance that we are saved!

We start this mindset by REMEMBERING these things and MEDITATING on the truth of the promises given us through the Word of God, which IS our guide through this life. 

Philippians 4: 4-8: REJOICE in the Lord alway: and AGAIN I say, REJOICE. Let your moderation (gentleness) be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. 

Be careful for nothing (try to NOT be anxious or uneasy about ANYTHING); but in every thing BY PRAYER AND SUPPLICATION WITH THANKSGIVING LET YOUR REQUESTS BE KNOWN UNTO GOD

And the PEACE of God, which passeth all understanding (goes beyond anything we can imagine), SHALL KEEP YOUR MINDS THROUGH JESUS CHRIST.

Finally brethren, whatsoever things ARE true, whatsoever things ARE honest, whatsoever things ARE just, whatsoever things ARE pure, whatsoever things ARE lovely, whatsoever things ARE of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, THINK ON THESE THINGS.” 

Keeping our minds on the good things, lovely and pure that are worthwhile bringing praise and honor to our Father.

And keeping our hearts and thoughts ( and I promise I KNOW how hard this can be) steadfast where they should be, but this is the effect will be peace in your heart and soul.

Colossians 3:1-4: “If ye then be risen with Christ, SEEK those things with ARE above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. SET YOUR AFFECTION ON THINGS ABOVE, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, (to the world) and your life is hid with Christ in God. WHEN CHRIST WHO IS OUR LIFE, SHALL APPEAR, THEN SHALL YE ALSO APPEAR WITH HIM IN GLORY.”

Now that IS exciting! And that IS hope!

So if your going through a rough patch or many rough patches,take comfort knowing that you are not alone, and the strength you gain by overcoming this bad season in your own life while continuing the work storing your own treasures will be a comforting story and testimony that you will share to give someone else courage to keep building their own hope chest.

But know that we are never alone, God IS always with us and you can guarantee that other brothers and sisters in Christ are having their battles also, so you are not alone, start “rearranging” your hope chest, I started rearranging my own.

And if you are in a good season and your storms have passed use this fresh peaceful season to decorate your treasure box with the beauty of praise and worship, the lilies and roses thrown at the feet of the King!

Thanks for reading! Love & Peace till next time!

May God bless you and all you set your heart to do for His mighty Kingdom. I pray your HOPE in Jesus Christ builds your faith into a masterpiece.

Φλογιζω NLB 2018

If you need a little stirring to REMEMBER that hope, close your eyes and listen to this song!  (shared from Youtube)