“Get it on the table of your heart”

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me,hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

Verily verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live. for as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;

And hath given him authority to execute judgement also, because he is the Son of Man.

Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming, in which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice. and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of of damnation.

I can of mine own self do nothing; as I hear, I judge: and my judgement is just: because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which  hath sent me. If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true (void to testimony) 

There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness he witnesseth of me is true. ye sent unto John, and he beareth witness unto the truth.

But I receive not testimony from man; but these things I say that ye might be saved.

He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in that light.

But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.

And the Father himself which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.

And ye have not his word abiding in you; for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.

Search the scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me.

And (But) ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” John 5:24-40

Oh, Dear God, Help us! We have such a train wreck going on due to our absolute spiritual wickedness in high places, remember that verse, how about a refresher?

Ephesians 6:10-18: ” Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

Put on the whole armour of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (schemes) of the devil.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand.

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with the truth and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And having your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace;

Above all taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God; Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” 

I couldn’t quite help thinking about Jesus’ words, when they had once rejoiced in his truth and then thinking that they should know better than God what the Messiah’s appearance should be once he came to earth, they rejected him and with that rejected the truth that they professed to believe.

And he called them out on it, to search those scriptures again and read the truth for themselves and yet they still refused to believe because the truth did not look like what they had determined in themselves the truth to be.

Hasn’t America effectively done this? God has sent watchman after watchman pleading for change, proclaiming that disobenice will  truly bring judgement.

The Gospel which our country was founded on and embraced fro generations and embraced by much of the world has now been watered down to fit into the religious fantasy of those who wish to appear “holy” but yet in no way abide by the actual words’ of Christ or any of those he sent to record his word.

And as has been warned, we are now seeing just what it looks like when a nation or  a people are so foolish to think that they can stand,that they can prosper without the blessing of the one who sets all things into being, who set up kings and brings down kingdoms and who fights our battles and keeps us free.

When Revelation commands us seven times to Hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches and for years the cry has been “If my people which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 

But did they? No, we just proceeded deeper and deeper into sin, high stepping, stripping off our beautiful God given glory as we forgot ourselves as America the Great, the greatness being our love of the Lord, our country founded on his statues, our systems being forged in the belief of his word, his commandments and his justice and his mercy, in willfully forgetting who we were created to be, we found our new identity, in our legalized sin, in drunkness, depravity, legalized drugs, and subverting children from the innocence God had created for them and with no regard for their intellectual age concepts we have changed their genders at the whim of ones who could want to be a boy one day, a girl the next day, or a dinosaur or a mermaid, this is why they are children!

And we have just kept running with it, so much so now that we have aborted so many babies that the elderly outnumber the children, talk about self destruction and all you have to do is what the news, after twenty years in Afghanistan, going in as women and girls were brutalized and oppressed and bringing hope that the future could be better and giving them reason to believe that the freedom we enjoy in this country could also be theirs and now we have left, left them in more severe bondage than what we found them in, now leaving them more hopeless because they had tasted a kind of freedom and now have had even that taken away and all our leaders can do is is hee haw and laugh it off.

That laughter now ending as those who are our enemies are now giving America the ultimatum by voicing that is is their way or else.

Never is history… and still no repentance from the wickedness in high places, the confused, sin laden Babylon the Great, just how long can that greatness last?

Without Jesus Christ and God’s blessing on us, and we keep that blessing by honoring him and his statues, we will be nothing, we have natural disaster after natural disaster, the economy is in shambles and our enemies are laughing, what more do we need before we wake up.

I am truly afraid, my heart broke as I watched the news as a soldier lifted a baby to safety over razor wire while a young girl begged in the background to be rescued because she feared she would be taken. This is not better,we have went backwards and we have went backwards because of our refusal as a nation to repent and there is only so far we can go before we fall.

God help them and God help us, if you are a Christian, put on that armour, don’t just put on a piece of it, put it all on, notice it says to stand, and do all to stand, and pray and if you are not completely surrendered to Jesus, I urge you to do it and do it today. We have to get serious and stay at the foot of the cross as never before because we are in a time as never before. As God gave the blessings of obedience and the curses of disobedience, he said this, Deuteronomy 28: 47-48: ” Because thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things; Therefore shall thou serve thine enemies which the Lord shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst,, and in nakedness, and in want of all things; and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee”

Because in abundance, having all things, prospering, and fairing beyond well, instead of being thankful to him, they rejected him and he gave them over to their enemies.

So please, you may not be able to change the world, but you can speak and pray for you and your house, hold on to God as never before and get in his word and get that word on the tables of your heart.

Proverbs 7:1-3: “My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee. Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye. Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.”

Because when you need that word, that sword of the Spirit, it will be brought back to your mind, in the very  moment of need, a word for that specific need, but you have to get that word in you.

As Jesus promised, John 14:25,26: ” These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father wills end in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let your heart not be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Luke 21:36: “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

Φλογιζω NBJ 2021/ Rev. N. Brown Johnson

“Endued from On High”

“In those days came John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, and saying, Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

 For this is he, that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias (Isaiah),saying, THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING (PROCLAIMING) IN THE WILDERNESS, PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT. 

And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins (belt around his waist); and his meat (food) was locusts and wild honey.

Then went out to him, Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan. And were baptized of him in the Jordan.confessing their sins.

But when he saw many of the Pharisees, and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet (worthy of) repentance:

And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father; for I say unto, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

And now also the ax laid unto the root of the trees; therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance BUT he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire

Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the graner (barn); but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.

But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? (you should be baptizing me, not me baptizing you)

And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer (allow) it to be so now: for thus it becometh us (is fitting for us)  to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered (allowed) him. 

And Jesus, when he was baptized went up straightway out of the water; and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:1-17

You know, without a doubt, most would have thought John was a sight to behold, he had to have been, dressed in a camel hair tunic, wearing a leather belt, living in the wild, eating from the land, while the priests and Pharisees wanted the best of the best and to be treated as royalty, while John on the other hand had royalty living inside of him.

So there he was preaching, rather fervently, I would think, especially since we were told this concerning John, “For he shall be great (favored) in the sight of the Lord, and he shall drink NEITHER wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost even from his mother’s womb.” Luke 1:15

So as the births of Jesus and John had been foretold by the angel, he was filled with the Holy Ghost before even being born.

And as Mary witnessed to John’s mother, Elisabeth, sharing her own miraculous news to her cousin, we are told that the babe leaped for joy in her womb.

And by adulthood, he was unlike anyone that had ever encountered, He was very different from the priests, the people,and most of the Pharisees and all that claimed to have the only tickets to heaven at that time.

God created us to be different and different is what we need right now, as the world is playing footsies with the devil himself and that clock is inching closer to striking Midnight with each threat and act carried against Israel, as we have witnessed this past week, as the media cries on behalf of those who hope to destroy her, but oh my, if they only knew that God himself will come and fight for Jerusalem and that it is only a matter of time and no amount of money, politics, earthly power, or prestige will in any way have influence over those things which are to come.

The only hope is the only hope that has ever truly been, and that hope is Jesus, and we have to get on fire sharing the Gospel, our talents, and whatever God is bidding us to do, as time draws near, praying they will listen but you have to have God grant the favor so taht they will.

People could not help but to listen to John, as the calling of God on him drew people for that very reason, maybe in their carnal flesh, they came out of curiosity, to see and to hear, as Jesus even asked, but in coming, they heard and they were changed, they believed and they repented, and they were baptized.

John was sent here for a very specific purpose,and we all are, whether we ever realize that or , God to fulfil that destiny, nevertheless,we are all born for a divine purpose on this earth.

Fast forward a bit, through the arrest and crucifixion and resurrectionJesus gives them these words ashe appears supernaturally again to his disciples as the time draws nigh for him to ascend back into heaven.

“And as they thus spoke, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified  and affrighted (frightened), and supposed that they had seen a spirit.

And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts (doubts) arise in your heart? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself, handle (touch) me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. 

And when he had thus spoken , he shewed them his hands and his feet. and while they yet believed no ( for joy, and wondered (marvelled),he said unto them, Have ye here any meat (food)

And they gave him a piece of broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them.

And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 

Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, and he said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved (was necessary) Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead on the third day; And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among the nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

And ye are witnesses of these things.

And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye (wait) in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with the power from on high.”  Luke 24:36-49

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord (purpose) in one placeAnd SUDDENLY there came a sound FROM heaven as of a mighty rushing wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto then cloven (divided) tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues (languages),as the Spirit gave them utterance.

And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

Now when this was noised abroad (sound occurred),the multitude came together, and was confounded (confused), because every man heard them speak in his own language.

And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans?

And how hear we every man in his own tongue (language), wherein he was born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and dwellers of Mesopotamia, and Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia. Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers (visitors) of Rome, Jews and Proselytes. Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our own tongues the wonderful works of God. 

And they were all amazed, and were in doubt (were perplexed), saying, one to another, What meaneth this?

Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.

But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken unto my words. For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the the third hour of the day.

But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS IN THE LAST DAYS, SAITH GOD, I WILL POUR OUT OF MY SPIRIT UPON ALL FLESH: AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS:

AND ON MY SERVANTS AND ON MY HANDMAIDENS I WILL POUR OUT IN THOSE DAYS OF MY SPIRIT; AND THEY SHALL PROPHESY;

AND I WILL SHEW WONDERS IN HEAVEN ABOVE, AND SIGNS IN THE EARTH BENEATH, BLOOD, AND FIRE, AND VAPOUR OF SMOKE: AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS, THAT WHOSOEVER SHALL CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED.” Acts 2:1-21 

That blessed promise is still for us today, we just having to be a willing vessel and pray and seek God with our whole heart, as we seek, remember that this  happened to the disciples, suddenly.

To be endued, which literally means: “endow or provide with a quality or ability”

We can do nothing in ourselves but once we are indwelt with the presence of God, all things are possible, because it is no longer us.

God does what he wants, when he wants, and all things are in his time.and keep John in mind, people are never going to understand what they can not possibly understand until they experience it for themselves, and to experience it for themselves their hearts must be surrendered to God,

Many have mocked, especially those in the entertainment industry,not having a clue as to just how real God is, nor a clue as to just how serious an offense that is. Much like the Pharisees of the day always wanting something proven to them, God is not in the business of having to prove anything to anyone, because one day there will be no question of his existence or his power.

The Holy Ghost is a precious, precious gift, that can only be given from God.

And as we see all the turmoil of this world grow worse each day and all the things Jesus warned us of coming to pass, we need more than ever to be mindful of this precious promise and seek God and all of his fullness and allow that indwelling to guide us to be a light to those in darkness.

And to allow his presence to work through our mortal bodies as he sees fit, so they, as the men at the day of Pentecost can hear witness that they can understand and that the signs and wonders, healing and miracles, deliverances from drugs, alcohol, and bondage can come to those enslaved.

Have a blessed Pentecost, not just on the calendar day but pentecost, EVERYDAY!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2021/ Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sparkin’

“And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubelth Israel?

And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim (pagan deity).

Now therefore send, and gather unto me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel’s table.

So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets unto mount Carmel.

And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow him; if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. 

Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only remain a prophet of the Lord; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men.

Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under; and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under;

And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God.

And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.

And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under.

And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal FROM morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was NO voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped (danced) upon the altar that was made.

And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud (cry louder); for he is a god, either he is talking, or he is pursuing (busy), or he is in a journey, or peradventure (perhaps)he sleepeth, and must be awaked.

And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner (their pagan custom) with knives and lancets (swords), till the blood gushed out upon them.

And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any answer, nor any that regarded. 

And Elijah said unto the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down. 

And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the Lord came, saying, Israel shall be they name.

And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord; and he made a trench about (around) the altar, as great as would contain two measure of seed.

And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, AND on the wood.

And he said, Do it a second time. And they did it a second time. And he said, Do it a third time. And they did it a third time.

And the water ran about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water.

And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.

Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.

THEN the fire of the Lord fell, AND consumed the burnt sacrifice, AND the wood, AND the stones, AND the dust, AND licked up the water that was in the trench.

And when the people SAW it, they fell on their faces; and they said, The Lord, He is God; the Lord, he is the God.” 1 Kings 18: 17-39

Now that’s people being made believers!

Doesn’t the opening conversation sound much like the rants spewed toward believers today? Ahab accusing Elijah as being the cause of the troubles of Israel, when in reality, it was his wickedness, the wickedness of his house, and those who had been seduced by them into following and worshipping pagan demons.

And as such hatred and intolerance today is directed toward followers of Christ, it all sounds very familiar, I got the biggest kick last week when I saw on the news a quick interview with this a very young lady who was explaining her groups need to protest, and she explained to the reporter, “Intolerance will Not be tolerated!”…Huh?

That does not even make sense, if you say that you will not tolerate an action, thought, or attitude than that makes you intolerant, that’s kinda what it means…

So now that we have came to that lovely destination in our societal journey where no one is allowed to have thoughts, opinions, or attitudes for that matter, we are all to be carbon copies of whatever society tells us we are ALLOWED to be at that particular moment, and you know the more those  socialist demands are given into the greater the ropes tighten on those who are willing to empty out their brains and ask only how high when told to jump, in a false hope of securing a fabled societal harmony that is anything but.

God never tells us anywhere in his word to appease sin, he tells us quite the opposite, he even told us that we WOULD BE hated.

And while it’s considered cool to hate on us, even officials referring to Christian beliefs that are directly taught by the Bible, now referring to those teachings as “hateful views” and a completely new surge in mysticism as there is a new increase in those seeking “knowledge” in the use of crystals for the relief of Covid symptoms,  yeah, the rocks, semi precious or not do NOT have power to heal anyone, they have NO power at all, did remind of two things though.

The first thought was when Jesus was told to make his followers shush as they cried HOSSANNA, at to which he replied, “I tell you that, if these should hold their peace (keep silent),the stones would immediately cry out.” 

And the second was something else his said as he was so wounded and battered that he struggled in carrying the cross, Simon of Cyrene was made to carry it on to Golgotha, and the women cried for him, and he turned and said to them, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For behold, the days ARE coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave gave suck (breasts that were never nursed), Then shall they begin TO SAY TO THE MOUNTAINS, FALL ON US; AND TO THE HILLS, COVER US.”

So I can’t even fathom why on earth anyone would be deceived into believing that a rock, stone, crystal, any object could have any power, much less power to heal, but that is where we are, and people would rather pray to a rock, whether they call it meditating or not, it’s still prayer, when you concentrate on something, giving your mind, yourself over to that, it is worship, and they would rather put their “trust” and health, and ultimately their soul into a rock than to submit to a very living very real God who does have the power to heal.

And the argument for why so many refuse to believe in the existence of Jesus is that they say they are too SMART…yeah… go ask that rock what the true names that were given to the stars and get back to me when it verbally speaks you the answer.

Mention of being smart, the prophets of Baal, here they were crying out, pleading, dancing, and finally going to the extreme to get answered by again, something that can not possibly answer, they decide to cut themselves, injuring themselves, pouring their own blood out to a pagan deity in show of worship, in a show of crazed devotion with the hope of having their petition granted.

Our God did not ask us to pour out our blood for him, He poured out his blood to save us.

This is a very poignant picture of the price demanded in idol worship, it is always demonic in nature, even if it is something as inert as a rock, or in this case a named pagan deity, if it is not based in Jehovah God, well, than it’s not based in Jehovah, and the opposite of good is evil, so regardless of what the “religion”, “practice”, or “philosophy” it is, if it is not rooted in God, the true God, it is an entry point for demonic influence that wants nothing more than to see people eternally lost and they will do everything possible to facilitate those false beliefs.

And it spreads, this self-mutilation that can be seen in our society today, known as “cutting” is a direct result of demonic influence over those lives compelling them to destroy and harm what God has created and you can prove that out, not only with this story, but also in the story of Jesus healing the man who was possessed by Legion, one aspect of his behavior BEFORE being healed by Jesus was that the man cut himself with sharp rocks, this was a direct action of the demons, again to hurt, destroy, and shed the precious blood of God’s creations.

You know, when you think about the blood, there’s a lot to that, think about the things we “bleed”, things just being poured out, like the old term, used when a business is going under, it is said to be “hemorrhaging money” and much like that when we don’t have Christ, we “bleed” sin, and then we “bleed” out anything good in our lives, we “bleed” out our hopes and dreams, hemorrhaging spiritually, all in waste without God.

No matter what they did or how much they bled the “prophets” of Baal, without the desired fire falling, had no hope of proving anything.

Which now gets us to the fire, that is one of the most awesome displays of his power, which that was nothing to the Lord, as far as his power goes, but can you imaginehaving been there, or even being ONE of those people whose souls were literally being fought for in this contest?

Watching with anticipation as the pagans danced, cried, and bled as they begged for the proof of fire from a “god” that they had beguiled, and demanded, and in some cases maybe even threatened the people into fearing, serving, and worshipping, and then to see nothing, not a puff of smoke, not a glimmer, not even one spark.

Then as Elijah prayed, prayed on their behalf, so that they would know the truth, he already knew God, he knew he was real, but so that they would know the truth, he prayed and God sent that fire, his holy fire, straight down from heaven itself, touching earth, burning up everything, the bullock, the wood, and YES, even the ROCKS, the dust, and everything was soaking wet, but the water didn’t phase it, didn’t slow it down, and sure didn’t stop the burn, God’s fire even took out all the water in the water filled trench that had surrounded it all.

God didn’t need it to be wet or dry, didn’t matter, He is God, he does what he wants, the water was to drive that point home to those who watched and as the people looked on, they knew the truth.

There was no earthly explanation, even in anything the pagan “prophets” could have tried to come up with in an attempt to dispute or explain away what happened, God gave them something so brilliant in display that there could be no other explanation than the truth, which was that this was the hand of God at work. And as God answered by fire the people cried out, The LORD is God!

We need that fire, we need to stop trying to do backbends accommodating the world in hopes of making believers out of them because in reality ONLY God can make believers.

We need to repair that altar as Elijah did. Remembering it is to be Holy and consecrated and removing anything contrary to that and demanding it to be kept Holy by refusing to allow others or the world to profane it.

We just need to stay out of his way and pray for that fire to fall. We are not ever going to get anywhere as long as we allow the truth of God’s word to be watered down and refuse to preach true repentance and hell for fear of being accused of being “intolerant”.

Fire to sparks, dim to light, LET IT IGNITE!

I do use the word LET it, meaning to allow it, God will not do anything in our lives that we do not surrender to, he does not work that way, this is why we must be willing vessels, we are created by him for his purpose on this earth, and we are chosen by him to fulfill that purpose but we must surrender to his will and then the souls that hang in the balance, just as in our text, as Elijah asked them how long would they sway between two opinions, can’t serve both, with God you are either in or out, he’s not going to make anyone serve him, but we can’t have both, we can’t kiss the world’s tears away because they are offended and by doing so offend God by completely disregarding his commandments and choosing to only teach what will keep them pacified.

We need some sparks, and maybe sparks is all you got left, don’t forsake that, if you only have a smoldering ember, please get in your prayer closet, take communion, fast from this world, no television, no news, no surfing the web, no social media, for a time, only you and God, and let his presence blow on those smoldering embers and ignite you and your life to do something so amazing, so powerful, and life changing in these LAST days.

No one, No one gets to sit this out, God gives all of his children talents and gifts, after you have allowed his fire to touch you and those sparks are flying, get into your calling.

If you are unsure of yours, do this, think about what is closet to your heart, where you would like to see change and go from there, pray and seek, seek as if you have one day left on this earth, what would you want to do for the kingdom? If you have social media, you can post scriptures, you can encourage friends, family, there are so many things you can do in word and deed, but make sure you are doing something, be a prayer warrior, but start somewhere.

And if you already know in your heart of hearts your calling… just do it, give yourself and the devil NOT one reason why you can’t because NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE TO GOD. 

You have to step out in that faith, the SAME faith every single minister and kingdom worker has stepped out in, you are not alone and God blesses unbridled faith, just like Elijah knew that fire would fall.

Psalm 68:11: The Lord GAVE the word; great was the company (host) of those who published (PROCLAIMED) it.”

Meaning, many, many innumerable people whose job it is to share the truth of the blessed word and the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

So please, start getting that fire stoked TODAY and let it ignite someone’s heart through the mighty power working in your life in obedience to Jesus Christ!

God bless you till next time! Thank you for reading, Love & Peace!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2021 Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

 

“Stoned…so you’ll be sure to miss it…”

“Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about SEEKING WHOM HE MAY DEVOUR:

Whom RESIST steadfast in the faith. KNOWING that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that ARE in the world.

BUT the God of all grace, WHO HATH CALLED YOU UNTO HIS ETERNAL GLORY BY JESUS CHRIST, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect (blameless before God) , stablish (establish), strengthen, settle you.

To him be the glory and dominion for ever and ever . Amen” 1 Peter 5:6-10

Familiar verse there again, but the word is the word and sometimes we NEED to hear it more than once. I want to expound on this passage just a little bit. Peter was giving his fellow companions instructions on how to survive in their terrible time, a time when the church was being persecuted and believers rejected, hated, and martyred.

He encouraged them to look past the sufferings and injustices of this world and place their trust in Jesus knowing and resting in the assurance that he would, when the time was perfectly right, according to His perfect will uphold them and present them above their enemies,a s He will prepare that feasting table for you in their very presence. He warned them also, as that same warning has been for every single believers since Peter penned it, even to us NOW that we are to be SOBER, serious minded CONCERNING our salvation, our walk with the Lord, and SERIOUS in KNOWING and respecting the fraility of our own human condition, that we can if not constantly monitoring our own hearts and intentions, can be destroyed by the enemy while our attentions that should be focused on God and things concerning the kingdom, are instead focused on things of this world.

And we are told to RESIST the devil by standing in the faith of God and have comfort in the fact that none of us are ever alone, and if you must fight against a temptation, or a mindset, that you should know and have assurance in the knowledge that you are not alone and that your brothers and sisters in Christ have many fought that same battle that you fight. And we are given the promise that holding onto to that faith and that reassurance that God himself, who has CALLED us to himself, to be his children, his heirs, and citizens of his holy kingdom, will indeed help us by settling all the turmoil, internal and eternal, strengthen us through the building of that faith in him, and he will give you peace in all things.

So by this point, you may be asking yourself, Well, there now woman, what’s up with that title?

So glad that you asked!

Anyone who was not raised on church music or has any lyrical association with all thing nineteen seventies would recognize that as a play on an old standard, absolutely no copyright infringement intended, well now that I have written my dutiful disclaimer, I shall tell you.

Most know that I am located in the states and live in the South, not terribly South but south enough to be “accented” with the Bell lingo, quite a conversation point at time, and while I do try to hit across the globe when I write, painfully aware of what my international brothers and sisters suffer, this post is aimed at my own countrymen.

While watching the news I had to sit back in wonder as it was reported the new “changes” that would be taking place in my state, just as all the “changes” that will be taking place in the nation as a whole, as while the details of new way to fight Corona, and all about how people who were “hurting” from the economy and all the woes Corona has brought would not be forgotten, along with mentions of other most mediocre legislations that would come,of course, for the betterment of us all and one point just astounded me, the legalization of marijuana for “RECREATIONAL” use.

Yeah those are six words that should NEVER be linked together in a single sentence.

Especially considering that the area I live in is one of the highest in opioid addiction,overdoses not only through opioid but other substances, not to mention alcohol abuse, meth, and the poverty, and absolute destruction of families and lives that go along with those trappings.

So when I heard those words delivered with what appeared sheer glee, as the state will reap the rewards of that “harvest with a niffy tax, I could not help but wonder what are our lives even worth to our “leaders’, I can answer that for you also, NOT MUCH.

Just enough to endanger those who are not on guard against the dangers of ANY drug use or those who are already battling hell against addiction because that is a battle, and a hard fought battle that never really ends, those who have recovered from alcohol or drug addiction must ALWAYS fight against that lure to try to pull them back into that pit of destruction and despair.

So for the powers that be to decide that during the pandemic, while people ARE feeling isolated and alone, which by the way, isolation is one of the biggest threats to a recovering person, that the time has come to make it pot perfectly legal, and not just legal for medical use, but adding the word “recreational”.

Think about the very meaning of”Recreational” : “relating to or denoting activity done for enjoyment when one is not working.” and think about “Recreational drug use” :”relating to or denoting drugs taken on an occasional basis for enjoyment.”

KNOWING full well that it does induce effects, why else do we call it “Being fried”, pot is not just some sort of “Herbal supplement”. it has very real effects and those effects are addictive.

So in my thinking, I’m like, okay, we have people who are hurting and we are in a pandemic and economy crash, we already have people dying everyday from overdoses, so sure, why NOT give the one more obstacle to overcome and why NOT make it so easy to obtain and so PERFECTLY legal, so that they will have no problem whatsoever obtaining it or run the risk of getting caught with and being charged with possession.

Why NOT even let be said that it is solely for the purpose of their enjoyment, to use ta their discretion.

It is simply this, they do NOT care if you become addicted, they DO NOT CARE if it ruins you, your family, your life.

They only care that it will further their agendas of popularity and revenue increase and people this is just the iceberg tipping, and Satan has always used entrapment as one of the biggest tricks in his bag of many.

The enemy has always played the game of making it easy, putting all those temptations laid out nicely before you to choose as you will but never telling you the price you will pay in the long run, when your life, your health, and nine times out of ten, your family is destroyed and then, the damage is so great that God and God alone is the only one capable of cleaning up the mess that addictions leave of a life.

So on we go on with these new changes, and believe me there will be many more coming, please, for the love of God, do not make the mistake of truly believing that because it IS legal, and because everyone else is doing it, that you should also.

We are responsible for our own lives and the choices we ourselves make and we are warned against “Spiritual wickedness in high places” and a true leader will do what is in the best interest for the health and safety of those they are alleged to be in service to, not to legastite laws that will in fact become a burden to be born on the backs of those who partake of those new “freedoms”.

People often refuse to follow Christ and detest the Gospel based on their beliefs that they are “hindered”, prevented from doing things that they desire to do, but in reality, God gives us his words and his commandment to PROTECT us from those things that while they may be pleasurable, for  a season, they will lead to our destruction.

Remember these words? Hebrews 11: 24,25: “By faith, Moses, when he was come to years (reached adulthood), refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;  Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season (short time);

We often forget when we think of those from Bible times, they WERE human, with the same feelings, emotions, and temptations of us all, and Moses could have been the ruler of ALL of Egypt and at that time Egypt was one of the greatest powers on earth, if not the greatest.

Moses had it all laid at his feet, to do with whatsoever he chose, but what he chose was to WALK AWAY from that sinful nation that had in fact ENSLAVED his people and went on to hear the voice of the Lord CALLING him to lead those same people out of that terrible bondage with the mighty hand of God.

We make those choices and so many today are in bonadage an with new snares and trap set daily to ensnare them even farther, and why? What could be a possible motive?

Dependance, my dear friends, dependance, just as the story when Moses was leading the Hebrews, and they begin to complain that he was leading the out to die in the desert and then they actually complained,complained about the food that GOD HIMSELF WAS FEEDING THEM and complained of missing the foods that they had when they were enslaved?

Numbers 11:4-8:” And the mixt multitude that was AMONG them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel ALSO wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?

We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick: But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this MANNA, before our eyes. 

And the manna was as coriander seed, and the colour thereof as the colour of bdellium.

And the people went about, and gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it: and the taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil.”

Had they so easily forgotten being worked mercilessly, dawn to night, had they forgotten being beaten, had they forgotten the sight of the backs and bodies of their loved ones marred by striped raw flesh from those beatings?

Had they forgotten the heartache and helplessness of being able to come to the defense of others as they witness those atrocities?

Had they forgotten that they were under the absolute control of Egyptians to do with what they would, including, thinking back to the degree to slaughter all the Hebrew baby boys, a decree that without the intervention of God would have annihilated Moses at birth.

How they had forgotten all these things at the simple thought of cucumbers, fish, and melons that had been eaten, without a doubt, in haste and fear, as they would need to hurry to continue their toil, an absurd thought, a ludicrous trade,a whispering of Satan, convincing them just how “good” they had it in Egypt!

Notice how this complaint actually got started with the “mixt multitude” those who had came out of Egypt with the Hebrews, not necessarily Hebrews, think of the weeds that the enemy plants along side the “wheat” that has been planted by the Lord. Basically these people start to murmur and complain, soon God’s children hear and then they start to cry and complain ALSO.

Why? Because it is so easy to follow the crowd and do what everyone else is doing  and the enemy knows that and that’s what he is banking on, that we will rather run with the crowd that risk rejection by that crowd.

So they forgot all about the food God was giving them, the sheer MIRACLE of eating food from heaven itself, food that actually tasted of FRESH OIL,fresh oil symbolically fresh oil, that they needed to become new, in their new freedom.

But they chose to listen to the crowd and forgot God’s goodness and they forgot the terrors of Egypt, and if we forget where we have been, and if we forget just how awful and bad that place was, and if we forget how we had prayed to NEVER have to be in that place again, we will

Another secret here:

Psalm 9:17: ” The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.”

Comparing apples and oranges, you can see how easily Satan tried to twist the minds of the freed Hebrews, to turn them against God’s call and against Moses, trying to lure them back into captivity with the mere promises of leeks and garlic, HOW MUCH MORE CAN HE LEAD PEOPLE BACK INTO BONGAGE OR WORSE BONDAGE WITH THE PROMISE OF DRUGS?

Do you see what the design is now? If every desire is attainable, if every ounce of the flesh is catered to, Where is your eternal salvation in this? Where is your quality of life?

That life will lead you into bondage and into dependance on the very powers that offer you that “luxury of living” and that is the ultimate goal.

Realize today that if you are in Christ, or even if you are not in Christ, but realize that you do not want enslaved to a substance that WILL control and DESTROY you, don’t fall for it, you are not being offered freedom you are being offered bonaged in a pretty package and if we play with fire we will be burned.

The enemy wants you to be “stoned” so that you will completely “miss it”, that you will miss the gentle sound of conviction God speaks to your heart, that you will completely miss the call he has on your life, and that you will miss the hope, peace, and joy that you could have as you trade it for his broken promises  and in effect trade your promises of eternal life for eternal destruction if you do not escape his clutches in time.

Love and peace to you till next time, keep on praying and keep on believing that your tomorrow can be so much better than your today!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2021/ Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

“To be delivered”

“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out  decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed (registered). (And the taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day, in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2: 1-14

I so started to drop that off at my title verse, “to be delivered”, but who could possibly drop off the Christmas story, no matter how many times you may have heard it or read it, so beautiful, the GREATEST event in human history, the GREATEST gift ever to be given, the story of the heralding of the angels to proclaim to the humblest of men, to go forth to welcome their true King.

No greater moment, even in the resurrection, as I had often felt was the greatest, but no, had we not been blessed with his miraculous birth, born to a young virgin peasant girl there would NEVER have been a resurrection lest he be born, as we do, coming into this earth as a precious infant.

The account of his birth is the very crux of our belief.

And I suppose that many would probably wonder why, why did God want to have His Son , His only Son born into this world to die?

And being God why could he have just not saved us all some other way, well, man fell, when Adam and Eve disobeyed in the garden and sin was unleashed, all of mankind fell, we then were born into sin, actually brought into the world, a world of sin, and of course babies and children ARE pure, they are perfectly pure and absolutely blameless before God.

But as we grow and mature and are surrounded by the influences  of this world of sin we, just by nature, fall to that sin.

Sin had to be accounted for, to be atoned, as blood for blood, but even with the sacrifices of the Old Testament and all the laws, people never could quite “get God”, they could never wrap their heads around what exactly is was that he desired, so they often let that same old human nature dictate how they should interpret what was expected of them, often resulting in harshness and attitudes that were nothing at all that he desired for us or nothing at all as he expected us to treat one another.

“Listen” what God said concerning our “confusion” at what he desired for his people:

Hosea 6:6: “For I have desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.” 

And now, “listen” as He expounds on this while He was on earth:

Matthew 9: 10-13: “And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat (the table) in the house, behold, many publicans (tax collectors) and sinners CAME AND SAT DOWN WITH HIM and his disciples.

And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with Publicans and sinners (How can your teacher eat with these undesirables?)

BUT when Jesus heard THAT, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.

But go ye and LEARN what that meaneth, I WILL HAVE MERCY, AND NOT SACRIFICE: For I am NOT come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

He came out of sheer love and mercy, and SO many other reasons, He came sinless, spotless, and perfect, partly to teach us that sowing love and mercy one toward another IS his desire for us but the main objective was to save us and reconcile us to the Father by offering us through him rebirth, because  by the simple, uncontrollable on our part, act of just being born, we were born into sin and the only escape, the only way to be who he created us to be, was to be born spiritually in Him and as He died on the cross, the other aspect of our human condition was overcame, he by his birth as a “human” while yet being God, he could offer us that spiritual birth and with his horrific death he gave us through him the ability to overcome death as he had and by his Holy resurrection, we were given the tremendous honor of having His Spirit actually COME AND LIVE INSIDE OF US while we one day we will also be resurrected from our deaths.

What once was only to visited by one priest, now the actual presence of God Himself would live inside mortal bodies, with the temple now, as it was declared by the Apostles.

The temple of God is inside of His believers and we are the church, each one of us, no matter where on this earth we are, we all together His church and one day all the troubles and sorrows of this world will, just as He promised,pass away and all thing will become new and we are promised things so marvelous that as it is written.

1 Corinthians 2:7-9″: “But now we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained (predetermined)BEFORE the world unto our glory.

Which none of the princes (rulers) of this world (age) knew;  for had they known it, they would NOT have crucified  the Lord of glory.

But as it is written, EYE HATH NOT SEEN, NOR EAR HEARD, NEITHER HAVE ENTERED INTO THE HEART OF MAN, THE THINGS WHICH GOD HATH PREPARED FOR THEM THAT LOVE HIM.”

And while we could discuss all the reasons he came, I want to give you one thought for this holiday, for this life, and for your everyday, HE CAME.

And even as Mary was to be delivered, delivered of her child, that is often so overlooked in life, we always refer it to as “delivering the baby” but the baby is not delivered, WE ARE delivered of the baby and it, like life, it is quite the same as heartaches, grief, hurt and wounds caused by family or friends, setbacks, and disappointments, so many things that, especially now, in our new upheaval of modern life of solitude and uncertainty, we NEED delivered from, we need delivered from all that pain and all that anxiety that eats away at our peace and leaves us feeling hopeless that anything will ever be the same again.

And as much as I wish, even in my own life, that I had a “reset” button and no matter how much I wish I had that same button for friends that I know are hurting so bad and so deep, that we could reset to times past that were brighter, happier, I know that we can’t.

This is the deliverance that Jesus came to give us, He wants to deliver you from all that hurts you, scares you, or causes you pain and tears and truly as it is written in the Book of Revelation, in that great day He will wipe away every tear, but I know that He also wants to wipe away those tears today.

He wants to give you peace, peace in that knowing sometimes everything will not be okay but peace in that He is with us in everything and He can overshadow you with His Holy presence and bring calm to the most troubled heart , soul, or mind.

THIS is why He came, He came because He loves you and He loves you so much in fact that even before your born into this world, He knew you would need Him and He left heaven, can you imagine, leaving the most glorious existence to come to a place where the majority will hate you, trouble you, accuse you, and ultimately torture and crucify you?

Oh How much love, we could never, ever deserve such a love, we don’t deserve it, could never be worthy of it but He does not do it because we deserve it or will ever, so why did He does it? You want the truth?

He does it simply because He loves YOU that much, whether you love Him back or not, whether you never even accept Him, He still LOVES you and He still would have came here and died for you.

And this world, this world is not the end, this world is not even worth your thoughts because the next world is where all treasures are stored and where goodness lies and it will be forever, please don’t lose sight of that.

I have used this passage many times, but I felt impressed that it needed to be in this post today.

Please read it slowly, ponder every line, and ponder how it has applied to your life and applies to your life today and give him all of your troubles, all of your words, it doesn’t have to be a prayer read straight from the Book, nor does it need to be another’s words.

He created you, He knows your thoughts and all that your heart NEEDS to say to Him, but He is not going to make you say it, He just doesn’t force Himself on us.

Just talk to Him, just as if you could see Him right there next to you, as he promised he will be our mother, sister, brother, anything we need He is and when we can’t understand, and know that we may never, it is perfectly okay to tell him that too, but as we talk to him, one on one, we soon learn that that things will change as he delivers us from all those things and we begin to feel his peace in the midst of it all.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-11: “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.

A time to be born, and a time to die, a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted. 

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up.

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and  a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend (tear apart), and  a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 

A time to love, a time to hate; a time of war, and  a time of peace;

What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth? I have seen the travail (task) which God hath given the sons of men to be exercised in it (to be occupied with). 

He hath made everything beautiful in HIS time…

Let him bless you and allow His  deliverance to come today!

May I be the first to wish you a beautiful Christmas, in Him and a brighter year ahead!

“Eleventh Hour…working till it’s too dark to work”

“And, behold,one came and said unto him, Good Master (Teacher), what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?

And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt (want to) enter into eternal life, keep the commandments. 

He (the young man) saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, THOU SHALT DO NO MURDER, THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, THOU SHALT NOT STEAL, THOU SHALT NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS,

HONOUR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER: and, THOU SHALT LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS THYSELF. 

The young man saith unto him, ALL these things I have kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?

Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be (want to be) perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

But when the the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly (it is hard for a”rich” person to) enter into the kingdom of heaven.

And again I say unto you, it is easier for a camel to enter to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Then said Jesus to the disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who can be saved? 

But Jesus beheld them, and said unto the, With men this IS impossible; but with God ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE. 

Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore (what do we get?)

And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye shall also sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

And EVERY ONE that hath forsaken houses, or brethren (family),or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands (fields) for MY NAME’S SAKE, shall receive an hundredfold, AND shall have everlasting life.

But they that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.” Matthew 19: 16-30

Hi! I hope that you and your families are well today and to my Brothers and Sisters the world over that are being troubled for the faith, God Bless you and know that you are never forgotten in prayers and that those rewards that the Lord had spoken of will be heaped in unimaginable treasures at your feet when the kingdom comes and never forget your promise that is given in Revelation 3:9, when the Lord says of your enemies,…behold, I WILL make them to come worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.” And I just felt impressed to let you know that today before going on with the thought and teaching of this particular post.

As we read our passages for today, I wanted to stop just a tad shy of where I am ultimately headed with it so that we could “talk” a bit about what all is going on here and more importantly why. 

The young man in this story is such a mirror to many of us, he knows that there is “something else” that is needed in his relationship with God, he had to know, to feel that something was still “missing” as he wanted to ask Jesus, himself, what was missing, and as you notice, he was quick to confirm that he had keep all these commands since his childhood, he assured the Lord (who already knew) that he hadn’t violated any of those teachings but yet thought he may be missing some good deed, or some act of service that would ensure his entrance into that coming Kingdom.

Jesus knew what the issue was, it wasn’t what he was missing, it was what he could not give up and in my personal belief on this, I don’t think it had anything to do with the wealth, God wants to bless us, but it was that the wealth actually stood between him and God in the fact that he could not “give up” what he saw as a necessity, and “riches” can be many things and we can be “rich” in an area, such as friends, professions, we can be rich in an area that turning to Christ could actually cause a loss in that area, and often that is what we don’t want to give up.

And often we hear people give that, especially in the area of money, people who know that changes are needed to  serve God in Spirit and Truth and yet, the will settle for what they see in the present rather than believe Jesus for some much more, if they will only surrender whatever it is that stands in the way of the relationship that he wants to have with them.

And why would he bless that? Why would he approve of anything that keeps us away from him?

And if you notice in this story, the young man took it upon himself, to “go away, sorrowfully”, filled with sadness and grief because he himself was unwilling to follow Jesus with all he had, and this was not about money it was about faith, Jesus wanted him to trust in him, not in what he could see. And if you notice at no point did Jesus send him away, he sent himself away.

It is hard for our flesh to give up anything that we hold onto as security, never realizing that nothing, nothing is ever one hundred percent and the only, only thing in this universe that we can be completely secure in, the one thing that will never change is that security that Jesus was offering that young man and the security he offers us an dall we have to do is accept it as the completely free gift that it is and then give our life, one day at a time, to him, learning to trust in him each and every day.

This is why it is so impossible for man but so possible with God, it doesn’t matter about the “needle” or the camel, we can see what a great comparison that is, but God who is supernatural and works in the supernatural can bless us so that the scattered pieces of the puzzle that is our life without Jesus, pieces that should never logically fit together, will come together and create the most amazing beautiful picture that we have ever seen.

As we go on in our story we notice that Peter, after hearing that the young man being promised that all that money and wealth he was to give away to those who have nothing would then be transferred to store as riches waiting for him in the kingdom of heaven, wants to be assured that those who had already up those things would also be rewarded, and as Jesus answered him, notice some of the things, and people, and even “places” in life, represented as those lands, those “fields”that would need to be surrendered in order to allow room in our hearts and lives for such greater blessings.

But it has to be one hundred percent surrender to God, turning away from anything the separates us from him. Now to get on with our point I have again, as in post pasts dealt  a little with this before but I really, really want to drive this home. For this we’ll hop back to our passage and pick up on why Jesus was saying that the first would be last and last first. 

“For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder (landowner) which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.

And when he had agreed with the laborers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went about the THIRD hour, and saw other standing idle in the marketplace.

And said unto them, GO ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right, I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went out about the SIXTH hour and the NINTH hour, and did likewise.

And about the ELEVENTH hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and said unto them, Why stand ye here all the idle (not doing anything)?

They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.

So when even (evening) was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward. Call the labourers, and give them their hire (wages)beginning with the last unto the first.

And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny (denarius), But when the first was came, they supposed that they should have received more; and the likewise received every man a penny.

And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house (grumbled against the landowner), Saying, These that have wrought (worked) but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and the heat of the day.

But he answered one of them and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong; didst thou not agree with me for a penny? 

Take that that is thine (take what is yours) and go thy way; I WILL GIVE UNTO THIS LAST, EVEN AS UNTO THEE. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good (are you mad because I am good to all)?

SO THE LAST SHALL BE FIRST, AND THE FIRST LAST; FOR MANY ARE CALLED BUT FEW ARE CHOSEN.” Matthew 20:1-16

I want to elaborate on this last statement a little bit first, just as it was elaborated on to me once upon a time, by my late first Pastor, this does not mean that those who are called are not saved, they are,many are saved, it means that there are also those that are specifically chosen vessels for the purposes of the Lord.

And as I feel God has impressed me to understand and I feel impressed that he wants you to understand that just as the landowner went out and internationally found these chosen workers, and right about there you should be getting a reminder of the parable of Jesus as the Good Shepherd that He is, going out to find that ninety-ninth lamb.

If you will  notice, it was very specific times the landowner went out to find those workers that were chosen at that particular hour and now, at this moment, we are in the eleventh hour, probably pushing closer to just before midnight, and there is still much work to be done and in fact, the closer we get to Midnight the more strenuous and taxing that work will become because for one it is so dark, dark like never before in the field of this world and that enemy, the same who planted all those tares with the wheat has used every device available to him to booby trap the field and set in place his own workers to try to prevent that work from being done, but it will be done.

God is looking for those eleventh hour workers, he is intentionally seeking you out and whether or not you choose to stand idle in the marketplace or choose to do as he has commanded and go into that vineyard, and don’t be as the young man who couldn’t quite wrap his head around a life different than what he has been accustomed to decided that it would be better to just stay with what he knew and the “security” he had in those things.

But heed that voice because we need the workers, we need them and we need them NOW, not next month, next year, whatever date you re waiting for, we have no promises of another day, but we have the promise of a “payday” and you can decide that yourself, do you want to barely make it in through the gate of heaven or do you want to make a DIFFERENCE on this earth and even if you do one thing that the Lord has put in your heart to do, and if it is only one task he has chosen you for in these last days, you will receive the same “reward” that is given to a person that may have dedicated their entire life to that same task. It is all about the obedience and answering the call, while he is calling, the landowner did NOT stay in that marketplace all day choosing people, they had to go while he offered the job.

I want to leave you with one last verse, it is the cross reference for these words, …”For many are called, but few are chosen.”

“And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord WORKING with them, and CONFIRMING the word with signs following. A-men” 

The work will be done, make no mistake of that but lose out on your all into the vineyard of God, don’t lose out on the opportunity to take your predestined place as an eleventh hour worker, called into the field for the greatest time in human history, the opportunity to minister in whatever it is He has for you to do in his vineyard, some of the job are to preach His Word, lay hands on the sick (yes, I realize Covid still exists), flow in the gifts of miracles and healings, through the gift of faith pray down strongholds by intercession to God on behalf of those who can’t just yet, feed those who are hungry, clothe those who go bare, love those who cry, comfort those who grieve, so many jobs, so little time.

He has something, something unique for everyone one of us.

So I urge you today, don’t let either of these calls go unanswered, listen to that still small voice and confirm what that voice is saying through His Word and you will one day, maybe not here, but when “payday” comes, you will be so glad you did and you may not ever know what difference your obedience has made on this earth, but one day, that same “payday” you will and you will be so rich, so rick in joy, and peace that will be eternal, NEVER to be taken away from you, how could you possibly say no to that?

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina BrownJohnson

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