Had been…

But if from thence (this point forward)  thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou shalt seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.

When thou art in tribulation (distress),and all these things are come upon thee, EVEN in the latter days, IF thou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice;

(For the Lord thy God is a merciful God;) he will NOT forsake thee, NEITHER, destroy thee, NOR forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them. 

For ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from the one side of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it?

Did ever a people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live? 

Or hath God assayed to go and take him a nation from the midst of another nation, by temptations (trials), by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by  a mighty hand, and by an outstretched arm, and by great terrors (calamities), according to all that the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?

Unto thee it was shewed (revealed) that thou mightest (may) know that the Lord he is God; There is none beside him. 

And because he LOVED thy fathers, therefore he CHOSE their seed (descendants) after them, and brought thee out in his sight with his mighty power OUT of Egypt.

To drive out nations from before thee greater and mightier than thou art, TO BRING THEE IN, to give thee their land for an inheritance, as it is this day.

KNOW THEREFORE THIS DAY, AND CONSIDER IT IN THINE HEART, THAT THE LORD, HE IS GOD IN HEAVEN ABOVE, AND UPON THE EARTH BENEATH: THERE IS NONE ELSE.

Thou shalt KEEP therefore his statues, and his commandments, which I command thee this day, that it may go well with thee (you may prosper), and with they children after thee, and that thou mayest prolong thy days upon the earth (live long in the land), Which the Lord thy God giveth thee, for ever.” Deuteronomy 4:29-40

Just like in marriage, “From this day forward…” and other in business arrangements as “From this point forward…, how often do we use that statement or a phrase quite like it, such as “from here on out”, “from the time, on…” words and phrases used to describe a beginning, often an ordeal, and an end goal, a hope of something so much better than what had been. and that is the promise Jesus gives us with his promise of eternal life.

As the Hebrews had been oppressed and in bondage, the Hebrews had been hurt, wounded, and many, many dead because of those who had enslaved them.

The Hebrews had been doubtful before the plagues came upon their enemies.

The Hebrews that had been hopelessly trapped when God parted the Red Sea.

The Hebrews who had been disobedient complainers until the Lord removed the instigators from among them over the period of 40 years.

The Hebrews who one had been considered outnumbered and defeated by those who oppressed them became the most fierce of armies as David lead by the Lord fought not only the giant but all that rose against Israel.

The Lord God Jehovah himself supernaturally bringing destruction upon their enemies, even in some cases, using their many combined enemies to destroy each other. While bringing Freedom, and prosperity to them as he led them to a land that he himself had chosen for them.

And they had start to start somewhere, it started with the belief that God would deliver them, it started with the belief that even when their work was made harder and Pharaohs demands more harsh and severe,it started as they watched plague after plague be sent down upon their oppressors in Egypt, and it started as they watched, even knowing the relentlessness of Pharaoh that these signs, these wonders could only be explained as the hand of a very real God interceding for their release.

And I am sure for some it started as they saw the Sea literally split in to, and for some it may have been as they walked, in absolute awe at the power of God, perfectly through a departed sea, oh can you imagine what they would have been like to even see?

Or would one dare even look to either side of it, or in our human state would we fear that it would come crashing down upon us, that little voice of doubt maybe whispering, as we often have to force our ‘human” mind out of our spirits way when we do behold miracles and workings of God that are supernatural and so inexplicable that our minds would simply shatter if we tried to comprehend it.

But still we all have to start somewhere and that is what I love about our passage, God is letting them know that the only thing of importance is from the point they are in the story is their beginning and what they do from that point forward is all that matters.

Just as Jesus does not ask you what you have done or why you did it, he only asks that you repent, ask his forgiveness, and turn away from doing those things that of which you are now ashamed, and let him heal you, love you, lead you, and guide you as your Savior, being just that, ONE WHO SAVES YOU, not you trying to save yourself.

And I especially love the reference to latter days, which at the time this was written would have applied to many many different horrors to be faced by those who have determined to follow the Lord.

From the battles and betrayals retold in the Old Testament, to the family dysfunctions of Joseph’s jealous brothers to the David and Absolom, to the sufferings of his people, to the sacrifice Jesus  and the disciples, we know that those things things have been and in the succession of time as we enter the end of days, the latter days, things will worsen because people have grown more evil, worshipping devils and pagan images, others denying God and his existence, hating all that is good.

Those who murder and condone the murder of millions of babies the world over while they themselves taking pride in the own lives..

It is sickening and lets us know that we are indeed in the end of days and the judgments of God are at the door unless repentance comes.

God has always always assured us that he is there through the storms and he will never let those storms overtake us.

So wherever you are today, whatever you life has been or whatever you have wished your life had been, please know this, that TODAY can be the day that God changes all that you have ever known, all the painful, all the bad, all things that had been to what everything should be, CAN BE and all that he has always wanted your life to be!

All you have to do is ask him, seek him and what a more wonderful gift could you ever give those you love, as he promises that those blessings and that salvation would be for your family as often when one comes in, all comes in to the household of God.

Please don’t allow that inheritance to be lost.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev.Brown Johnson

 

“Marching to the right drum”

“As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received,let him be accursed.

For do I now persuade men or please God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should NOT be a servant of Christ.

 I certify you  (make known to you), brethren, that the gospel that was preached of me is NOT after men  (is not according to man).

For I neither received it of (from) man, NEITHER was I taught it , BUT (except) by the revelation of Christ Jesus.

For ye have heard of my past conversation in time past (his past behavior) in the Jew’s religion, how that beyond measure, I persecuted the church of God, and wasted (destroyed) it.

And profited (advanced) in  the Jews religion above many  my equals in my own nation, being more exceeding zealous of the traditions of my fathers.

BUT when it PLEASED God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, AND CALLED ME BY HIS GRACETo reveal his Son in me , that I might preach him among the heathen, immediately I conferred NOT with flesh and blood; NEITHER went I up into Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; BUT I went into Arabia, and returned again  unto Damascus.

Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode (stayed) with him for fifteen days. But other of the apostles I saw NONE< save (except for) James, the brother of the Lord.” Galatians 1:9-19

Sometimes, we feel isolated and we feel that maybe, or maybe there are other voices trying to persuade you into  a”different” gospel, other that that you have received of God, which means, that joy, that grace, and the WORD which you believed by faith and excepted his gift of salvation.

Just like Paul was separated for years, as he studied and learn, he KNEW what he believed, and he KNEW was was true because he did NOT receive these teaching from a man or men, nor had friends convinced him of his beliefs.

He knew the truth because GOD had revealed that truth to him!

So today, if you are feeling, alone, isolated, or persecuted, have hope, have faith because God is doing  a mighty work, right where you are and he know exactly which drum you should march to and sometimes the only drum drumming is the ONE he has GIVEN YOU!

“My soul fainteth for thy salvation; but I hope in the word.

Mine eyes fail for thy  word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me?

For I am become like a bottle of smoke; yet do i not forget thy statutes.

How many are the days of thy servant? When wilt thou execute judgment on them that persecute me?

The proud have digged pits ((dug pits, laid traps) for me, which are not after (according to)  thy law.

All thy commandments are faithful: they persecute me wrongfully; help thou me (God please, help me). They almost consumed me upon the earth (almost made an end of me); but I forsook not thy precepts.

Quicken me after thy lovingkindness (Revive me out of your love and mercy for me); so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth.”

Psalm 119:81-88 CAPH

So as you march forward as as as a good soldier in the army of God, never mind all the other voices and all those whose only desire is to rob you of your relationship with the Lord and destroy your calling  in him.

TRUST GOD!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

“Delight yourself in him”

“Thy hands have made me and fashioned me; give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.

They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in they word.

I know O Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me.

Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to they word unto thy servant.

Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law is my delight.

Let the proud be ashamed; for they have dealt perversely with me without a cause; but I will meditate in thy percepts,

Let those that fear thee turn unto me, and those that have thy testimonies.

Let my heart be sound (blameless) in thy statutes; that I may not be ashamed.” Psalm 119:73-80 JOD

You know as you study Psalm 119, the overwhelming thought of the entire chapter is teaching us about the WORD and the power of that word to renew, restore, and even resurrect what is dead.

And as we are told in John 1:1: “In the Beginning, WAS the Word, and the WORD WAS WITH GOD, AND THE WORD WAS GOD.”

Drop it down to verse 14, and it further explains, “And the WORD WAS MADE FLESH AND DWELT AMONG US, (and we beheld HIS glory, the glory as of the ONLY begotten SON OF GOD.”

We are also given so much comfort in knowing that the WORD is also our powerful our spiritual weapon, as it is the sword of the Spirit, the WORD of God, as we are war against the enemies that seek to destroy our souls. And the more of his word held safe inside of herat, where no one, can take it, the sharper and more effect that sword will be. As God promised us.

Isaiah 55:11: “So shall my WORD be that goeth forth out of my mouth; It shall NOT returned to me void (unfulfilled), BUT IT SHALL ACCOMPLISH THAT WHICH I PLEASE, AND IT SHALL PROSPER IN THAT THING WHERETO I SEND IT.

So if it is one verse that comes to mind, hold onto that one verse, such as “The Lord IS my Shepherd, I shall NOT want.” Psalm 23:1

“The LORD is my rock,and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I WILL TRUST; my buckler (shield), and the horn (strength) of my salvation, and my high tower.”Psalm 18:2

“The Lord IS my strength and my shield; my heart TRUSTETH in him, and I AM HELPED; therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise thee. The Lord is THEIR strength, and he IS the saving strength of his anointed.” Psalm 28:7,8

If you notice in our passage from Psalm 119, that this is also his request to be a light, a help,an encouragement to other believers.

And to do that we need hope ourselves, so that we can share that hope with others that by seeing God’s love shining through you, they will have hope through or their own journey.

The Bible gives us the road map to peace, love, and joy, there will surely be pain, sorrow, and suffering, but always, always remember it is ONLY for a little awhile, and we live because HE LIVES.

And this the reminder we are given, Acts:27,28a: “That they SHOULD seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him (in the HOPE that they grope for), and FIND HIM, though he be NOT far from every one of us. For IN him WE live, and move, and have our being,..”

And what he is saying with, is that God is NEVER as far away as we think, and even to those who have NOT accepted him YET, he is closer that they would ever know.

Because we ONLY exist because HE CREATED US, we only function, breathe, eat or sleep because he has blessed us to do so. And once we understand the simple truth that LOVES US.

Once we understand that he loves us not because of anything we have done or have left undone, he just loves us. That’s it, HE JUST LOVES US! How fabulous is that? We don’t have to earn it, or try to work to keep it, HE JUST DOES BECAUSE THAT IS JUST WHO HE IS.

And he wants us to joy in that, “listen” to Isaiah 58:14: “Then shalt thou DELIGHT thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father; FOR THE MOUTH OF THE LORD HATH SPOKEN IT.

When the Bible reference “high places” to me, it is always symbolic over overcoming and that God will in fact bless you in those areas that you were once caused to stumble by others who have hurt you or by circumstance or attacks by the enemy and those who serve him.

As we “read”earlier God promised that his WORD will do exactly whatever God desires for it to do. And God gives us that confirmation at the end of the last passage, that this is his WORD and he has SPOKEN it.

We have discussed the WORD, the POWER of his Word and that he loves you and WANTS you to be free in him and he WANTS you to allow your heart to DELIGHT itself in the love, companshioship, and grace of the one who knew you BEFORE even your parents knew you.

He wants you to rest in that love!

So I will end it with the verse, this WORD for you!

Psalm 37:4: “DELIGHT thyself also in the Lord; and HE SHALL GIVE THEE THE DESIRES OF THINE HEART.

May God bless you with his love and peace and keep you in his care!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

I have used this song before but if you have never heard please listen, the lyrics are so perfect to describe the price Jesus paid for us at the cross and the love that we can never even begin to understand that he has for us, so much that he gave up his life, so we could live in him, and as he rose, he will one day resurrect us unto him, and until that day, DELIGHT yourself in that love, that love that IS him.

“Unto good”

“And when Joseph’s brethren saw that their father was dead, they said Joseph will peradventure (perhaps) hate us, and will certainly requite (repay) us all the evil which we did unto him.

And they sent a messenger unto Joseph saying, Thy father did command us before he died, saying, So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil; and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him.

And his brethren also went and fell before his face; and they said, Behold we be thy servants. And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?

But as for you, ye thought (intended) evil against me; BUT GOD MEANT IT UNTO GOOD, TO BRING TO PASS, AS IT IS THIS DAY, TO SAVE MUCH PEOPLE ALIVE.” Genesis 50:15-20

Most are familiar with the story of how Joseph’s brothers became jealous and hated him so much so that they plotted to kill and through him into a pit, but then instead he ending up being taken out of the pit as sold into slavery.

And God had his hand on Joseph, even though he was captive, being held against his will not only through slavery but through the lies of an angry vindictivative woman who falsely accused him of rape because he rejected her advances toward him.

And can you even imagine how wounded and hurt his heart had to have been because he had did absolutely nothing, nothing to them but yet the hated him. Just as that mirror of Jesus, as Jesus said in the Book of John, 15:25, concerning himself and the fulfilling of the prophecy of him…“THEY HATED ME WITHOUT A CAUSE.” 

God does not cause bad things to happen to us, God loves us, but God does USE all things.

Psalm 119:65-72: TETH: “Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O, Lord, according to thy word.

Teach me good judgment and knowledge; for I have believed thy commandments. 

Before I was afflicted, I went astray; but now have I kept thy word. 

Thou art good, and doest good, teach me thy statutes.

The proud have forged a lie against me; but I will keep thy precepts with my whole heart.

Their heart is as fat as grease (insensible);but I will delight in thy law.

It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.

The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands in silver and gold.”

Just as Joseph and so many in the Bible and so many of OUR brothers and sisters in the past and even TODAY suffer for the testimony of Christ physically, emotionally and financially to serve the kingdom of God and have overcame through their faith in God and believing for something so much greater than what can be seen.

And there is so much greater,and today hold on to that.

Love & Peace!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020

“REVIVED”

DALETH Psalm 119:25-32: “My soul cleaveth unto (clings to) the dust; quicken (revive) thou me according to thy word.

I have declared my ways, and thou heardest (answered) me; teach me thy statutes.

Make me to understand thy precepts; so shall I talk of (meditate on)  thy wondrous works.

My soul melteth (weeps) for heaviness (grief); strengthen thou me according to thy word.

Remove from me the way of lying; and grant me thy law graciously.

I have chosen the way of truth; thy judgments have I laid before me. I have stuck unto (cling to) they testimonies; O lord, put me not to shame.

I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.”

I want to tell you something today, you may feel hopeless, lost, not lost without Jesus, but lost as in alone not knowing which way to turn because so many things have came against you.

I want to assure you that God always sees, he always knows and when you are at your weakest point that is when the POWER of God rests on the strongest! This is the gleanings and the heart cries that open the ears of heaven to send forth miracles in answer to your prayers. Jesus is so close to us in those sorrows, those tears, and I want to give you a passage of scripture from Apostle Paul as he came to this realization himself.

2 Corinthians 12: 7-10: “And I lest I be exalted above measure through the abundance of revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet (beat) me, lest I be exalted above measure. 

For this thing I besought (pleaded with) the Lord thrice (three times), that it might depart from me.

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

Most gladly therefore I will rather 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 distresses for Christ’s sake: FOR WHEN I AM WEAK, THEN AM I STRONG.”  

He came to understand that if he never suffered, never struggled that he would take for granted all the gifts God had given him, because God had called Paul to a tremendous task for the kingdom and with that call he had been gifted with tongues, prophecy, healing, and miracles, he had even prayed for resurrection of the young man that had fallen from the window and died, God answered Paul’s prayer by sending life into the man again.

So it would have seemed a bit strange to him, I am sure, that when he has God to deliver him from that that was a torment and God did not, buta after the third prayer when Jesus SPOKE to him, assuring him that HIS GRACE was all Paul needed, BECAUSE the more Paul needed the more POWER Jesus shined on him. He knew the more life, or the devil, or circumstance “threw at him” the closer Jesus would be.

And that “quickening” from God, as we are also given this verse describing the work that God does in us, the same Spirit, that resurrection Power that raised Jesus from the dead.

Romans 8:11: “But if the Spirit of him that raised Jesus from the dead dwell in you, HE THAT RAISED UP JESUS FROM THE DEAD SHALL ALSO QUICKEN YOUR MORTAL BODIES BY HIS SPIRIT THAT DWELLETH IN YOU.”

Pray the verse above over yourself, your circumstance, “Quicken thou me according to thy word.”

Which is simply praying for God’s revival in us as he has already promised in his word.

Mention of promises, I want to leave you with this, from our beautiful, Holy Lord and very soon coming King, who left us these words, so we would have HOPE during dark days and know that the darkness will not last forever but will one day be replaced with his glorious light, and in New Jerusalem, God’s holy city, where his children will dwell with him, there will be no night, no darkness, just forever in His holy presence and his glorious light, no tears, no hunger, no pain.

Never again the struggles of this earth. And this IS Jesus’ promise to you.

John 14:12-18: “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 to my Father.

And whatsoever ye ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye 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 (helper) 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 ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, AND SHALL BE IN YOU.

I WILL NOT LEAVE YOU COMFORTLESS.”

Blessing and Peace until next time.

Also for a little more encouragement please check out:

“In the pits?”        “In the den”

Making it through the night……          “The patience of Job”

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

BEACON

“Holding forth the word of life, that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run my race in vain, neither laboured I in vain.” Philippians: 2:16

I was on my way home a few days ago and I passed by a church that I have passed  by probably thousands of times by now and I have often just truly marveled at its presence and beauty. Beauty that everyone NOTICES because this particular church looks likes something from a Hallmark movie.

It kinda meets you at the top of a steep, curvy road and suddenly there it is, absolutely beautiful with the backdrop of nothing but sky, it’s beautiful steeple adorned with the cross that just seems to almost kiss the sky as a beacon for tired and weary travelers as if to say “You are almost there” and once you have “topped” that little hill you then see green fields and gorgeous mountains and valleys in the backdrop and it is spectacular.

I always admire it but for some reason the other day, it just hit me, what a BEACON, what a sign of HOPE that is! The little church in the middle of nowhere, and the beautiful, unassuming, simple little cross speaking the most profound and ageless message of the of all time.

Holding forth in all of its simplistic but profound beauty the simple truth that we all need here on this earth.

The message so simple and that so often gets completely lost in all our debates and our deep philosophical studying of scriptures and theology as we vainly believe we need to understand something so much deeper that has already been revealed and revealed in such perfection that it is said “Even a child can understand” and we can lose sight of all that truly matters.

Jesus Christ. his birth, his life, his death, and his glorious resurrection and his soon coming reign on this earth.

That is the word to be held forth and as we know, “preaching of the cross IS foolishness to them that perish.”

But that scripture never said that by that token we should stop preaching it.

And believe me, I am not downing anyone here or their preaching, thoughts, or ministry.

I have had my share of carefully dotting every “I” and crossing every “T” for fear of ridicule and backlash from  those whom all in ministry suffer, “fruit inspectors” as my brother calls them, and we are to truly “know a tree by the fruit it bears” but there are times  when there are those who just want to core your apple and jerk out your seeds ONLY because they want to find anything possible to accuse you to the Lord and to “prove” to themselves that they were “right about you” and you were never “what you are supposed to be anyway” and you all know this because I know most of you have been through it.

Really doesn’t matter where it comes from as long as we make sure that it goes!

“Foolishness” to the world or not the cross MUST be preached, in the beauty, the simplicity, the pain, the sorrow, and above all the victory that the cross represents.

It also represents the love of the Holiest of beings, the Father of all of creation, who looked down in MERCY at those he had created watching them as they kick, punch, fight, and do every manner of evil and violence one toward another and in his supreme love, which goes so far beyond our human comprehension that we NOT even capable of understanding it he pitied us.

He knew we just did not get it, we just did not understand his plan and as the sin from the garden held hostage us all, Jesus came to this earth, in the most humble  way.

The virgin mother , the star and the shepherds and the host of heaven proclaiming his magnificent majesty as the king came to save his people that the Father had given from before the foundations of this world.

And God loved and still LOVES us that much!

So yeah, The Cross is STILL foolishness to them that perish, but it will STILL save them from perishing.

The Word is STILL life to those who hear it.

The Seed  IS still to be sown into hearts and lives that will one day gladly cultivate it.

He came, He lived as the perfect sinless Son of God and he dies as the spotless Lamb and one day He will return and He will reign for ever and ever as Sovereign King ETERNAL!

So “be” that little church, “be” that beacon a person who has been fighting battles that are all uphill as the troubles of this world so desperately needs to see

As you hold out that word of life, think about the awesomeness of this:

Psalm 89:9,10: “ALL the nations whom thou hast made SHALL come and worship before thee, O Lord; and glorify thy name. For thou art great, and doest wondrous things; thou art God alone.”

That word is already settled in heaven, just hold it forth and share it and wait patiently because it just a moment of time and in that twinkling of an eye that word shall come to pass, that is our hope and our comfort, it will ALWAYS come to pass!

Have a blessed week! Thanks for reading! Love & Peace till next time! Sister Nina

Φλογιζω/ NBJ 2019/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

I love this song