“How do I love thee?”

“Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord; And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words,which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart.” Deuteronomy 6:4-6

Old school groove, “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways” that one has been around for ages! But it is  wonderful question, once Jesus gives us those new hearts and leads us in His paths, we are met with that question, once the true realization of His presence and love is known to you, as He said, He will give you a heart to KNOW him, then we are faced with the humanly overwhelming question of how do you relay your love back to the God of the universe, who created heaven and earth , and who can hold time, space, and eternity in the palm of His hand and if He wanted, He could speak one word and completely destroy every single thing that now exists?

Obviously, as mere mortals, it would seem that we have nothing, nothing to offer as a token of our love in return, our love to Him for creating us, caring for us, and most of all dying on a cross for us so that we could be saved, and never giving up on us.

So how do we love Him and what exactly is it that He wants? Well, we are created in His image and He wants the same thing we want from Him, He wants our love and our heart, and He does not want a little portion of our hearts, you know a spot that remains empty while the main space is taken by other people, other things that we cling too while He gets whatever love is left. He will not go for that, not now, not ever.

No He wants ALL our heart or none of our heart, that is why he said to seek Him with our WHOLE heart. he wants a real relationship and not to be a God in the distance in our lives, He wants fellowship with us and this has become so messed up in the world thinking. He is love BUT He also tells us if we love Him, we WILL keep His commandments and when you think about it, there is nothing on that list that is unreasonable and every single command He has ever handed down is FOR OUR GOOD.

So we have to get into that thinking that He IS love and He IS our friend but we are also required by that love to do as He asks. Our world has major rebellion problems on this one, it is taught as well He loves us, we can do what makes us happy, No, that is NOT loving Him, that is trying to compare His goodness toward us with some sort of fairy godfather who grants your every whim. And that is in no way loving Him or respecting Him, that is loving our flesh and being so arrogant as to think our DESIRES are of a higher value than His Holiness, and that kinda thinking will get a person a quick trip to the grave.

“But the hour cometh, and now IS, when true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship him. GOD IS A SPIRIT: and they that worship him must worship him in SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH.” John 4:23,24

So we know with Jesus arrival on earth, all things were changed and no longer were prayers and sacrifice made by a priest needed and all who truly believe could be allowed entry into the Holy of Holies through his presence with the gift of the Holy Ghost.

This is where we must worship in TRUTH, truth to who He is, truth of His commands, truth of His word, and keeping our lives and actions subjected into and under that TRUTH. We worship Him in Spirit, in His presence  in the “places” of salvation:

“But thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise” Isaiah 60:18(a)

Believers are surrounded by those walls of salvation in your worship time and praise is the gate by which we enter and there you worship in fellowship, love, and adoration and there you know Him and receive joy, peace, and assurance and rest from your troubles. 

So here is a scriptural checklist:

Deuteronomy 10:12 : “And now Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee? But (only) to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God WITH ALL THY HEART and ALL THY SOUL.” 

Deuteronomy 11:13-14:  “And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, and the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather  in thy corn, thy wine, and thine oil.”

That is His promises to us of all good things, and the word of God, the bread of life, his blessings, His anointing. So now we answer the question.. “My Dear Lord HOW do I love thee?  We enter into your presence with thanksgiving and praise, and in the safety of your pavilion surrounded by those walls of your salvation we will allow ourselves to be taught, loved, and led!

This is the how you count the ways! Seek Him, Love Him, Honor Him, and get to know Him, and let His blessings and His mercy transform you!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

Revisited 02/07/2020 

 

Thanksgiving

Psalm 136:16-26: TO HIM which led his people THROUGH THE WILDERNESS: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER.

TO HIM which smote great kings: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER: And slew famous kings: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER :  Sihon king of the Amorites: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER: And Og the king of Bashan: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER: And gave their land for an heritage  (the land of the wicked kings to the children of God): FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER: Even an heritage unto Israel his servant: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER. Who remembered us in our low estate: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER: AND HATH REDEEMED US FROM OUR ENEMIES: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER. WHO GIVETH FOOD TO ALL FLESH: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER. O GIVE THANKS UNTO THE GOD OF HEAVEN: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER! 

11/26/2015 revisited 11/24/2019

DWELLING PLACE

“Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them upon the face of the earth.” Amos 5:8

We know what could be said, I personally can never say it enough.
He is omnipotent and omnipresent, no matter where you are, He is with you. 
He is holy, beautiful, full and glory and majesty and yet having a gentleness and humility unlike anything of this world.

 He is the Lord and beside Him, there is no savior.
Jeremiah 23:23″Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off ? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.”

When he revealed himself to Saul, who was on his way to arrest all the Christians that he could round-up, Jesus told him it was useless to resist him, my question would be who could?

He then transformed Saul to his chosen vessel Paul, who would go preach the very gospel he had so adamantly fought against! With thirteen books of the New Testament having been authored by him.

Now that is a true transformation of mind and soul!
So many atrocities are committed in the name of God, but he is nowhere near of any it.
Jesus is gentle and merciful and does not condone beating children, animals or anyone.

He himself, suffered a horrific beating before His crucifixion, in our place, so why would He want us to beat others or be subjected to it?
Evil always pretends that it is for the cause of good, because Satan is a liar and the father of lies.

The Bible recalling work after work of the Lord  with the heavens, the earth, and the seas, and all of creation declaring His glory.
His will and purpose for us equating into that plan when we should be so small, so insignificant, but the God of the universe has called His followers, His friends!
The nations are as but a drop of water in a bucket to Him and yet He has called us his peculiar treasure.

Maybe that is why we are a peculiar treasure, that He would think of us and walk with Adam and Eve in the garden, and speak with Moses, first from a burning bush and then face to face, visit with Abraham and spend time with the disciples before returning to heaven and cry when we cry and hear us when we call and heaven comes down to visit earth.

No matter how we profess our love for Him, the truth of the matter and the secret to it all, is HIS love toward us!

A love so far beyond our human comprehension and defying all our human logic. And the best part is His word and His word will not return void, it will do what He sent it to do.
So no matter where you are on this earth, what persecution and ridicule that you may be suffering today, I want you to know He does love you and He sees all that you endure.
Hold onto to Him, don’t try to figure anything out on your own, give it all to Him and He will guide you in the way you need to go.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”   Proverbs 3:5-6

“The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.
The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth him out of all their troubles.
The Lord is nigh (near) unto them that are of a broken spirit and saveth such as be of a contrite (crushed) spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.”       Psalm 34:15, 17-19

“He that dwelleth  in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, HE IS my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust:  his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
Thou shalt not be afraid for (of) the terror by night; nor the arrow that flieth by day;
Nor for the pestilence (trouble) that walketh in darkness; nor the destruction that wasteth
( lays waste) at noonday.
A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. For he shall give his angels charge over thee.”  Psalm 91:1-6,11

“Because thou hath made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation (dwelling place);” Psalm 91:9
The Lord’s answer follows:
“Because he has set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will deliver him:
I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honour him.”

Again him, being a generic term for all humans.  Literally living, breathing, being kept hidden from the adversary under the protective presence of all-powerful, all-knowing God.

“For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me: he shall set me upon a rock. And now mine head shall be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle (presence) sacrifices of joy: I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord. Hear, O, Lord when I cry with my voice: have mercy upon me and answer me.  When thou saidst Seek ye my face: my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.”   Psalm 27:5-8

Life is never fair. Things happen, it rains on the just and the unjust.

Trails and heartache come, but there is a presence of God, a place of safety, a place that assures you peace even in the midst of a storm raging all around you.
A reassurance that can only be found in  His everlasting arms, under the shadow of his wings.

If you need this today, all you have to do is ask Him, He does understand, He created you in the palm of His hand and yet those wings spread so far that He can cover the entire world with them.

That is who HE IS and that is one of the many reasons we love Him and worship Him and He never forces us to do any of it.

And ye will seek me and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”   Jeremiah 29:13

My sincerest prayer for you today is that the Lord keep you, bless you and make his face shine upon you and give you peace, in the name above every name, Jesus of Nazareth.  AMEN

Φλογιζω/ All rights reserved. NBJ 2015
Revisited 2019

AND YOU ARE?

Don’t you just love it when you voice an opinion in mixed company only to have the person with the opposing view look at you and say in that smug tone laced with sarcasm and disgust at the mere thought that you could possibly question their obviously superior intelligence, and they say “And you are???
I for one love it! Sometimes we need to remind ourselves of exactly who we are in God.
Elijah the prophet of God, who was allowed to pray that it not rain, pray the rain would return and pray that fire would come down from heaven in the presence of his enemies.
Elijah started those prayers with this statement “If I be a man of God..”

Paul, in his writings dubbed himself “The prisoner of the Lord”.

James refers to himself as “Servant of Jesus Christ”.

John the “Beloved”. 

And Mary who never gave herself a title but at his feet she knew exactly who she was and she fell absolutely, helplessly in love with him, a love born from being touched by love itself in it’s purest form, a love so gentle, humble so powerful that it had restored her soul.

She knew to be separated from Him would be a fate far worse than hell.
They and so many more throughout the Bible have a very common denominator, they knew who they were in God and never let anyone convince them otherwise.

Today we hear so many voices telling us what to think what to eat, what to buy, what we should wear, and who would should be, our minds can become so clouded that we don’t even know who were are and we become too quick to forget who were are in Him.
To achieve our purpose in these blessed last days God has chosen us to be born into, please give up a little you time, or TV time, just make a little time to get in that prayer closet, your personal secret place that is just and God, pray and fast, and remember this does not have to be food, you can fast anything.

Salvation and grace are completely free gifts, but to get in position for the last day outpouring of the spirit and great harvest of souls, and to allow him to stir the gifts and the calling he has placed in you, well it requires diligence on your part.
2 Thessalonians 2:3, tells of the great falling away of the church, we’ve been seeing that come to pass over the last few years.
It is a time to weed out those who serve one day a week or for some reason other than a relationship with Christ and they will fall away.

 Those who are willing to make any sacrifice necessary to see His Kingdom come will be those left standing, the approved of God .
The ones before us who held on, no matter what suffering, ridicule and persecution they had to endure. and when they fell they sought God to lift them up again.
David was human just as human as we are, yet he made tragic mistakes but he sought forgiveness.
God said David was a man after his own heart, I know the common thought on it, but I really take it as David sought the very heart of God, to know Him and be part of the very heart of God.
His praise was constant and he continually sought to have his heart searched, cleansed, restored and anything that may stand between them to be removed.
God wants to help us and there is nothing inside of us that He doesn’t already know.

He is a supreme gentlemen, he will never embarrass you, or tell the whole world all of your secrets. 

He wants us to bring everything to Him and  admit that we have problems so he can help us.
Everyone needs trusted prayer partners but you also need that one on one with God, seek purification, seek out the calling and gifts and seek confirmation of them at church.
We can feel led in certain areas, but I tell you ,whatever area of ministry that stirs your heart is usually where your calling will be found BUT always study God’s word and if seems like a foreign language in the King James, get the New King James, it’s more easily understood, there several of versions of the Bible out there but I personally stop here, but no matter what you are called to do, you must have a good foundation of the word of God. It protects you from false doctrine especially when you are seeking.

“Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which is given thee by the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.” 1 Timothy 4:14

I feel this is another shortcoming of modern churches today, we are to seek these gifts because they are not for us, they are needed to accomplish the work in the Kingdom.

“Meditate upon these things, give thyself wholly unto them; thy   profiting may appear to all. TAKE HEED UNTO THYSELF, AND UNTO THE DOCTRINE; CONTINUE IN THEM: FOR IN DOING THIS THOU SHALT SAVE THYSELF AND ALL THAT HEAR THEE.” 1 Timothy 4:14,15

The time has come to seek and stir up those gifts of God, as he said if you will do these things you will see the lost saved.
And while seeking, the enemy will rear his head to attempt to discourage you, and he will ask “And you are?” 

Take your answer from Paul, 1 Corinthians 15:10 (a)”But by the grace of God I am what I am; and his grace which was bestowed on me was not in vain:..”

We are the generation chosen to seek His face, now it is up to us to believe that!


Original Post Date: 02/15/14  Φλογίζω/  All Rights Reserved.  Nina BrownJohnson/ 2015 Revisited 06/19/2019  

 

 

Personal best

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Even people with good intentions can have the wrong idea.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Φλογιζω  NBJ 2017

From archives because sometimes we all need to be reminded.

The Immeasurable Magnitude of Mercy…

“Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.”  Luke 6:36 Mercy, the greatest gift one can show another and none could ever come close to the kind of mercy Jesus shows and has shown and no mercy will ever compare to the mercy shown us when He took our place on the cross and took all the punishment, pain, and torture for the wrong of all mankind.

The age-old term of “mercy me” literally meaning “have mercy on me” and the dictionary meanings are many a splendid thing :), words such as “benevolence”, “compassion”, “kindness”, “forgiveness”, and the mac daddy of them all is “forbearance” Which means to tolerate beyond any reasonable expectation the behavior of another, and can be equated also to what Jesus spoke of when He said, “And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.” 

Which means in Old English means two, but for the record Jesus didn’t speak Old English, of course being God He certainly can speak any language He wants, but I point that out also in this mercy post, because they are some who get really upset if you leave out a “thee” or “thou” when trying to relay messages from the word.

Dealing with that teaches the double edge of mercy. Being merciful in not brow beating another for an innocent infraction and flip it over and forbear when we are browbeaten for that misquote. 

We seem to be running a little crazy in society right now, we have mercy only in the areas that mean something to us.

I am so thankful that so many have joined the causes of animal rights and believe wholeheartedly in that and believe that God’s word is very clear on HIS thoughts on it, if you’d like you can read more about that in OF A DUDE, A DONKEY, AND A VERY ANGRY ANGEL so I certainly do not want to dismiss mercy shown by ANYONE to ANYTHING because the world needs help in ALL areas.

But I do not understand how people can feel that strongly and protective of the others of God’s creation and how they can literally fight for the environment, I firmly believe in and support that also, I have never written on it but think about these words from Revelation 11:18, it deals with the wrath of God and the ends goes like this “…and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.”

It was all gift ed to us from God and we have destroyed it and ourselves through wickedness.

But I fail to understand how one can love the trees, the wilderness, flowers, and butterflies and yet have no problem whatsoever with the slaughter of millions of babies, our OWN species, a year.

And I can’t understand how anyone in the name of science can say they want to cure diseases and save lives and find cures and yet can be so evil and unmerciful to torture animals in researching those cures and even worse the cosmetic industry, like, “Oh, I love your long lashes, wonder how many animals were blinded in the process of coming up with that lengthening formula?

Certainly can’t understand the concept, which can be pretty predominant in certain crowds, of  “don’t kill those babies, but string that murderer up”  folks, we can’t have both.

And I will show you why in just a bit.   

As a society these lines are becoming more and more blurred and the fight for  perceived mercy and acceptance toward some is causing absolute mercilessness and hatred spewed at others that have different thoughts on the subject at hand.

What is this leading up to? Well, often the thought is the ends justify the means and people can become absolutely obsessed with their “cause” so much so, that cause becomes more of a militant mission and what can start off as a heart in the right place can turn very dark when met with anger and intolerance from the opposition, Regardless of what those disagreements pertain to.

Because right and wrong can only be truly measured by the Word Of God and His standards of behavior and justice, everything else is OUR human opinions and PERSONAL standards. 

Often the wrong teachings of Him as hostile, and wanting to torch everyone has left many wide open to the tricks and snares of the devil and they run AWAY from God because they have seen things from those who profess Christ, that are in NO WAY true representations of Jesus Christ, as my favorite saying goes, “All that glitters is not gold” and just because someone says that are a “Christian” does in no way mean that they are following Christ.

Jesus told us that we would know them by “their fruit” a good tree can not bear bad fruit nor a bad one good, so we KNOW by their actions, which truly speak louder that words, where they really stand with God.

The devil can quote Bible scripture, he tried to use them against Jesus when Jesus was in the wilderness for forty days, he knows more about the word, probably than many of us, because he has been around since creation.

And the Bible gives us warning after warning about “false preachers'” and “false teachers” and those who are “wolves in sheep clothing” the devil himself, we are told, “can transform into an angel of light” and that “IF it were possible”, the very elect, God’s CHOSEN “would EVEN be deceived” but God will not allow that.

So when people fall to the wrong beliefs and TURN on God this is what FILLS that place in their heart and soul that should be filled by Him.

Romans 1:22, 28-32: “Professing THEMSELVES to be wise, they became fools.

And even as they did NOT like to retain God in their knowledge, God GAVE them over to a reprobate MIND, to do those things which are NOT convenient (fitting);  

BEING FILLED WITH ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; FULL of envy, murder, debate (strife), deceit, malignity (evil-mindedness),whisperers,

Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful (violent), proud, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents. 

WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING, covenantbreakers, WITHOUT natural affection, implacable (unforgiving), UNMERCIFUL;

Who KNOWING the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”

Sound familiar? If not, try turning on the television sometimes and check out the news and you will see plenty of it.

Mercy is OUR choice and once we lose sight of just what mercy entails will are in for a world of hurt. 

Mercy and truth co-exist and you can not truly have one without the other.

Psalm 85:9-13: “Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land. 

Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven. 

Yea, the Lord shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase.

Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set US in the way of his steps.” 

Hopefully you can see by the bold and underlined where this is going,  once mercy comes into play it brings forth truth because in order to show mercy we must look at our own actions and based on the GOLDEN RULE X2 we realize many truths.

Especially the endless mercies that God has shown us in our lifetimes. Mercy and truth help produce righteousness (right-standing with God) and peace, that peace that also allows for that forbearing mercy.

Then we can be blessed of God and he will direct our paths in Him.

So whether it is resisting the temptation to spread some juicy gossip, or the need to take ten and calm down that last nerve someone is getting on, or being proactive in choices that represent your conviction of mercy, or even as a far greater act of mercy, when it is in your power, one form or another to destroy another person, be it their reputation, their job security, or whatever it may be and you choose NOT to, because THAT is the kind of mercy Jesus has shown us,.

He could have destroyed this entire universe and simply spoke another into existence. He could have left us all to die in our sins, He could have chosen NOT to cast those forgiven sins “into the sea of forgetfulness” and He could have reminded us every single day of what we had done wrong.

But He doesn’t, and our sins, once forgiven are “as far as the east is to the west”.

And mercy is what He expects us to show if we EXPECT mercy from Him.

He is just and absolutely fair in His judgments toward us and we truly are returned what we are willing to give another, with no room for self-righteous condemnations of others.

Just as the story of the Pharisee  and the tax collector  Luke 18:10-14, the Pharisee was all up on himself TELLING God how fabulous he had been and how much better he was than “THAT tax collector” and tax collector confessed his sins and ASKED for mercy and Jesus commended Him in His Word, that he was the one that actually was right with God that day. 

What counts with God is the things that NO ONE sees, that is just as important, being diligent when no one else even knows, because someone DOES KNOW and that someone is God. So go that extra mile even when you don’t feel like it, look over thoughts and actions that you may not necessarily agree with when there is nothing to be harmed by looking over that.

Be merciful at every opportunity, to give love, kindness, and show mercy, even in the little things, don’t get mad at the dog,don’t squish that bug just because it is there, don’t throw out the cat, don’t punish your child out of simple anger, the things we put so much stock in is not even going to matter in the end.

All that is going to matter is the choices you have made, not that society made for you, but you made for yourself.

I told you I’d show you why, Psalm 18:24-26: “Therefore the Lord hath recompensed me  according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight. 

With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright:

With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; with the froward (devious) thou wilt shew thyself froward (shrewd).” 

He WILL mirror back to use our own image in these things and sometimes that is not very pretty, we NEED all the mercy we can get.

James 2:12,13:” So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. 

For he shall have JUDGEMENT WITHOUT MERCY, THAT HATH SHEWED NO MERCY; AND MERCY REJOICETH AGAINST JUDGEMENT..” Which means mercy is gentle, kind, and forgiving and does NOT seek retaliation or to harm simply because it is socially acceptable to do so.

Such as, in my state, it was perfectly legal  for a man to beat his spouse until the nineteen eighties, but do you think this made it okay?

Do you think that God is going to look over that if they do not repent?

No, He is not, just because we “can” do something does NOT make it right.

But how many guys do you think probably took full advantage of that “right” to abuse spouses, run roughshod over families, destroy lives, and be cock of the roost.

My point. and will end it right here:

Hosea 6:6: “ For I DESIRED mercy (faithfulness) , and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

Thanks for reading! Thanks for your patience with me and thank you to my followers, I appreciate every single person who takes time out of their life to read this blog. God bless you till next time! Love & Peace! Φλογιζω NBJ 2019

Personal best

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Even people with good intentions can have the wrong idea.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Φλογιζω  NBJ 2017

Reaching the river

“As the hart panteth after the water brooks, So panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God; When shall I come and appear before God?

My tears have been my meat (food) day and night, While they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me:

For I HAD gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, With the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.  WHY are thou cast down (bowed down), O my soul?  and why are thou disquieted (worried, nervous, anxious) in me? 

HOPE THOU IN GOD: for I shall YET praise him (give thanks) for the help of his countenance (His presence).

O my God, my soul is cast down within me; therefore I WILL REMEMBER THEE from the land of Jordan, and the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.

Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: ALL thy waves and thy billows ARE GONE OVER ME. Yet the Lord WILL command his lovingkindness  in the DAYTIME, and in the NIGHT his SONG shall be with me, And MY PRAYER unto the GOD OF MY LIFE.

I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? Why go I mourning because of the oppression of my enemy? 

As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; While they say daily unto me, Where is thy God? WHY art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me?

HOPE THOU IN GOD: FOR I WILL YET PRAISE HIM, Who IS the health of my countenance and MY GOD.” Psalm 42:1-11

Every single one of us experience these seasons in life and sometimes we feel like they will never end. When you feel like you can almost hear your circumstances echoing “WHERE is your God?”

You KNOW that you HAVE served the Lord, you HAVE went into His house with joy and praise and yet… you know feel your soul bowed down, nervous, anxious and confused as those “enemies” of your peace still vehemently whisper in your ears… WHY are you going through THIS?

Where is your peace, your joy, and healing? Now to completely seem to jump topic.. I know there are those who have suffered and suffered with the same afflictions for what seems like forever and often we see a televised service or even go to  a revival service that is so charged that YOU KNOW healing and deliverance ARE there… but kinda like the man at the pool who needed a little help getting in the water… it seems something else happens before you get your turn in the prayer line and before you even got started the service ended.

Want to talk to you about that before we finish our verses. The reason those services ARE charged is NOT where the services are held (although I do believe in “Holy” grounds) or even WHO is preaching them or who is singing.

The “charge” is the fact that these services are packed with people who have an EXPECTATION.. their FAITH dial is set to wide open flow and as we know “where two or three are GATHERED together” there HE IS in the midst, so when you have hundreds gathered BELIEVING and EXPECTING of course good things are going to take place. But again it is NOT person nor place, IT IS level of faith and belief in the fact that HE IS there.

But some things I believe happen in “different” settings, such as our personal prayer closets. That secret meeting place that is just between YOU and JESUS. that place of pouring your heart out, such as the verse above, pouring out your tears, your suffering, your fear and your insecurity and allowing His presence to wash over you and flood you in the billows and waves of His Holy Spirit.

As the verse above. he REASSURED HIMSELF that this fight was not over, THIS was NOT the end! His soul would STILL rejoice in the Lord and in His presence even though it looked quite hopeless at the moment.

Sometimes we are discouraged, sad, and troubled and WE DON’T EVEN KNOW WHY. I believe this happens sometimes.. not always.. so don’t get me wrong.. but when we feel like that longing and nothing major is going wrong in our lives.. I think it can be a longing to draw closer to the Lord.

But in either case, once he started to remember all the marvelous works that the Lord had already preformed, THOUGHTS changed, because PERCEPTION CAN BE A POWERFUL THING.

He remembered and he had HOPE. Hope because he knew the Lord would send His love and His goodness to him each day, because God’s mercy toward us is “renewed each day” and he knew that God would send the songs of Zion, the songs of hope and encouragement, faith, and peace to comfort him in even the darkest time.

And he learned the power of praying, and praying “without ceasing” to the God of LIFE, God who would give him new life and restore and repair all that had been broken and lead him to those crystal waters and refresh his parched soul.

In our verses, he asked “why” several times and we do not always understand why, but we must hold to that hope and to hold on to that prayer and pray and pray in the “secret place of the Most High” until we are restored, renewed, and refreshed in the times of trouble and doubt.

Seasons pass, troubles fade, and circumstances change so don’t give up your fight and don’t ever give up on God. Troubles come and troubles go, days get brighter and the sun will once again shine but if you give up in that dry, parched land, you will never feel joy and peace until you reach that river and allow Him to refresh you again.

Psalm 46:1-11 “God IS our REFUGE and STRENGTH, a VERY PRESENT HELP IN TIME OF TROUBLE.

Therefore WE WILL NOT FEAR, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah 

THERE IS A RIVER, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God. The holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.

God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her and that right early. The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved.

The Lord of hosts IS with us; The God of Jacob IS our refuge. Selah

Come, behold the works of the Lord, What desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; He breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear asunder (in half); He burneth the chariots in the fire.

BE STILL, and know that I AM God; I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

The Lord of hosts IS with us; The God of Jacob IS our refuge.”

Hope that jogged your memory! RUN into your prayer closet and don’t come out until you have been drenched! He does not need an audience, or a preacher, or the congregation to touch and heal you and often the most earth-shaking blessing come completely one on one, you just have to BELIEVE that He does hear you and BELIEVE that He will answer you and EXPECT Him to rock your world! Run, walk, or if you have to crawl but reach that river and let NOTHING hold you back!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

 

Relinquishing Regret

Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; according to thy mercy remember me for thy goodness’ sake O Lord. Good and upright IS the Lord: therefore he will teach sinners in the way. The meek (humble) will he guide in judgment(justice): and the meek he will teach his way.

ALL the paths of the Lord are MERCY and TRUTH unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies. For thy name’s sake, O, Lord, pardon mine iniquity, for it is great.” Psalm 25: 7-11

Nothing can eat away our life, our health, and our soul quite like guilt. The most self destructive of all human emotions and the biggest of all burdens that are to be brought and LEFT AT THE FOOT OF THE CROSS. 

It is often the binding tie that satan uses to hold his prisoners captive, convincing them in themselves that they DO NOT deserve to be free from the chains of actions taken yesterday whose consequences are forever now written.

He uses it on Christians, who even though they have come to the cross, they have failed to lay down that burden and continue to beat and badger themselves over and over again, not accepting the truth of forgiveness and allowing that guilt and regret to taint and rob the joy and peace that Jesus provided at the cross.

When we are constantly emotionally punishing ourselves over and over, the enemy has little to fear because we are doing his job for him. Why does he need to accuse the brethren when the brethren accuse themselves?

Regret WIIL make you sick, it WILL make you miserable, and it can very well lead you to hell, IF you allow guilt and regret to prevent you from accepting God’s salvation.

We can think we are not worth but Jesus thought we were VERY MUCH WORTH IT and He gave His life for ALL our sins. ALL of our mistakes, shortcomings, and failures and to hold the guilt rather than accepting forgiveness is making our guilt our god.

Regret is just guilt’s enabler, a life spent pondering things we could have and should have done is again a life, precious, given of God, completed wasted in endless analytical thoughts of how things could have been different.

Guilt and regret have no place in your life, they are past tense only and to bring them with you in the present is only sabotaging your future and the well-being and futures of all you interact with and have influence with.

As we know I am BIG on preaching influence because WE all have influence, even if you live alone, you have the POWER to impact others, someway, somehow, or maybe due to your availability, there is a ministry of service and outreach with “your name written all over it”, just waiting in the background, until you are ready to shed guilt and regret, send them packing, and spread your spiritual wings and let God lead you where HE ALREADY PREDESTINED FOR YOU TO GO!

But if your holding guilt and regret, He is NOT going to just reach down and jerk them out of your hands, YOU HAVE TO BE WILLING TO LET THEM GO! Then He can give you all the good things of His mercy and His Truth that HE WANTS TO GIVE YOU.

The verses above, for me is the absolute guide to repentance, quoted them many, many times myself and when I was first saved it was reading these verses over and over through floods and rivers of tears.

We have ALL messed up, we have ALL sinned, we have ALL been best friends with guilt and regret, but Jesus is faithful and HE wants us to let them go and TRUST in Him and forget all those things and press on, IN HIM.

And the ONLY way to true freedom IS found in Him and His blood and the washing by that blood, we can’t drink them away, can’t snort them away, and your sure not going to wish them away, all the methods people use in attempt to dull their inner pain always ends the same, once your down and the crash comes your only more messed up and deeper and deeper in that sinking pit and NOTHING is going away, more regret is just being added.

Continuing in Psalm 25:12-22: ” What man (human) is he that feareth the Lord? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose. HIS SOUL SHALL DWELL AT EASE (in goodness) and his seed (descendants) shall inherit the earth.

The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will shew (cause them to know) his covenant. Mine (my) eyes are ever toward the Lord; FOR HE SHALL PLUCK MY FEET OUT OF THE NET. Turn thee unto me, (please come to me) have mercy upon me; for I am desolate (lonely) and afflicted.

THE TROUBLES OF MY HEART ARE ENLARGED (burdened with worry, guilt, regret) ;O BRING THOU ME OUT OF MY DISTRESSES. LOOK UPON MINE AFFLICATION AND MY PAIN; AND FORGIVE MY SINS. Consider mine enemies (negative emotions and even ourselves ARE enemies); for they hate me with a cruel hatred.

O keep my soul, and DELIVER ME: let me not be ashamed; for I put my TRUST IN THEE. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I WAIT ON THEE (wait IN FAITH on thee). Redeem Israel, O, God, out of ALL his troubles.”

Jesus is more than willing to heal us in these places, if we only ask. So many are trapped in prisons of heartache, regret, and remorse but PLEASE, PLEASE, as a minister of HIS GRACE, I am pleading with you, DON’T STAY THERE.

We ALL have those spans of time we dearly wish would could go back and change.. but we can’t. What we CAN change is how those times can be used to propel you into your destiny and in to the kingdom where you can maybe one day use those lessons learned to help another NOT make the same choices.

As my very wise sister always says, it really is like burying something dead and going back and digging up rotten old bones.Take them to the cross and leave them there and never think about them again.

God gives us beauty for ashes, to produce ashes something has had to burn. Don’t wait another moment, You can talk to God anywhere,  you don’t have to be in a church house, HE WILL MEET YOU WHEREVER YOU ARE.

STOP being your own enemy and unwittingly sabotaging your own life, lay guilt and regret, and all that hurts you today, on HIS altar and let it all be burned away. Let a NEW day unfold because you will never EVER know freedom until you are FREE in Him. Blessing and Peace to you in Jesus’ name.

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

 

 

“How do I love thee?”

“Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord; And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words,which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart.” Deuteronomy 6:4-6

Old school groove, “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways” that one has been around for ages! But it is  wonderful question, once Jesus gives us those new hearts and leads us in His paths, we are met with that question, once the true realization of His presence and love is known to you, as He said, He will give you a heart to KNOW him, then we are faced with the humanly overwhelming question of how do you relay your love back to the God of the universe, who created heaven and earth , and who can hold time, space, and eternity in the palm of His hand and if He wanted, He could speak one word and completely destroy every single thing that now exists?

Obviously, as mere mortals, it would seem that we have nothing, nothing to offer as a token of our love in return, our love to Him for creating us, caring for us, and most of all dying on a cross for us so that we could be saved, and never giving up on us.

So how do we love Him and what exactly is it that He wants? Well, we are created in His image and He wants the same thing we want from Him, He wants our love and our heart, and He does not want a little portion of our hearts, you know a spot that remains empty while the main space is taken by other people, other things that we cling too while He gets whatever love is left. He will not go for that, not now, not ever.

No He wants ALL our heart or none of our heart, that is why he said to seek Him with our WHOLE heart. he wants a real relationship and not to be a God in the distance in our lives, He wants fellowship with us and this has become so messed up in the world thinking. He is love BUT He also tells us if we love Him, we WILL keep His commandments and when you think about it, there is nothing on that list that is unreasonable and every single command He has ever handed down is FOR OUR GOOD.

So we have to get into that thinking that He IS love and He IS our friend but we are also required by that love to do as He asks. Our world has major rebellion problems on this one, it is taught as well He loves us, we can do what makes us happy, No, that is NOT loving Him, that is trying to compare His goodness toward us with some sort of fairy godfather who grants your every whim. And that is in no way loving Him or respecting Him, that is loving our flesh and being so arrogant as to think our DESIRES are of a higher value than His Holiness, and that kinda thinking will get a person a quick trip to the grave.

“But the hour cometh, and now IS, when true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship him. GOD IS A SPIRIT: and they that worship him must worship him in SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH.” John 4:23,24

So we know with Jesus arrival on earth, all things were changed and no longer were prayers and sacrifice made by a priest needed and all who truly believe could be allowed entry into the Holy of Holies through his presence with the gift of the Holy Ghost.

This is where we must worship in TRUTH, truth to who He is, truth of His commands, truth of His word, and keeping our lives and actions subjected into and under that TRUTH. We worship Him in Spirit, in His presence  in the “places” of salvation:

“But thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise” Isaiah 60:18(a)

Believers are surrounded by those walls of salvation in your worship time and praise is the gate by which we enter and there you worship in fellowship, love, and adoration and there you know Him and receive joy, peace, and assurance and rest from your troubles. 

So here is a scriptural checklist:

Deuteronomy 10:12 : “And now Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee? But (only) to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God WITH ALL THY HEART and ALL THY SOUL.” 

Deuteronomy 11:13-14:  “And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, and the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather  in thy corn, thy wine, and thine oil.”

That is His promises to us of all good things, and the word of God, the bread of life, his blessings, His anointing. So now we answer the question.. “My Dear Lord HOW do I love thee?  We enter into your presence with thanksgiving and praise, and in the safety of your pavilion surrounded by those walls of your salvation we will allow ourselves to be taught, loved, and led!

This is the how you count the ways! Seek Him, Love Him, Honor Him, and get to know Him, and let His blessings and His mercy transform you!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

Revisited 02/07/2020 

 

“Now I lay me down….”

Very familiar children’s prayer there, “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, and If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen”

Classic, many versions of it but still the same meaning. Even as children we are often painfully aware of the frailty of this life. And we seek that assurance from God, really more like NEED that assurance that even, heaven forbid death should come to call unbeknownst to us that even then we are covered by Jesus love and care.

As I always say, I was not raised in church, but God made sure I knew that prayer and knowing Jesus as I do now, I can never think back to those nights of laying there reciting that prayer, without a warmness in my heart and an awe of how sweet Jesus is toward us. We go through the same thing every night, I’d say it and then I’d start to list all my family, in order, and my pets, and then I’d get all hung up naming everyone else, and finally reach the conclusion of “could He please just Bless everybody, ALL the people and ALL the animals all over the WHOLE world.

This memory, along with many others, which unknown to me at the time of occurrences had actually been “divine appointments” along my path, came flooding back to mind after I was saved and I thought what an awesome God, to listen.. and listen.. and listen… as I was on and on, ever adding to my list of “and Bless.”

If anyone ever needs a character reveal concerning God and His willingness to listen and care about what we care about, just backtrack through the conversation between Him and Abraham, GENESIS 18:20-32 When God came and spoke to Abraham about the judgment coming upon Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham picked a number that if God could find such and such number would he spare them. Abraham kept lowering the numbers in hopes hat God would not destroy Sodom, his nephew Lot lived there and Abraham knew how bad it was but he still had to plead for Lot’s life, so God KNOWING the real question Abraham had, still patiently let Lot ask Him until he had the assurance he needed.

As with our prayer and the pleas of Abraham, we ALL need that assurance that somehow, no matter what our eyes see, or our ears hear, no matter the terror of the report and even if we are slain in the night, our reassurance rests in the eternal hands of a sovereign King, who still reigns and has victory over all we face or all we will ever face. 

And it is funny for me, not in the funny ha ha way, but funny in the oh how ironic way, that I could still have that same prayer and yet have the call to forewarn to repentance or face the unquestionably horrific judgment from that SAME God, that will one day cover the earth. How do you shine light in pitch darkness, how do you speak judgment tempered with unmerited, unwavering mercy? How do you proclaim that this way is rough but it will lead you home, because there is ONLY one way, out of the shadow of death in this life. There it is, our fear, our cause to stumble, the one thing, we as humans, get so hung up on, death. It is assured, as you are born, certainly you shall die, unless of course you are in the number who will be raptured, but to be effective and to be in those places of peace God wants us to walk in we must be willing to just embrace the walk on that path and know it really will be well in the end.

So I wanted to do this to maybe get you thinking about some of these things, as the “divine appointments” times I believe God steps in peoples lives, into their paths when they are lost, circumstances that once you are saved you will look back and KNOW that He was always there, always waiting and watching over your soul until the day that realization comes and you give your life to Him.

Tearing down the fear of death, breaking down the strongholds of the what-ifs, and the terror of the unknown is needed now more than ever because we live in a scary, scary world and I am so sorry to say, it is only going to get scarier and the only, ONLY peace we truly have is the peace of the Lord and it is imperative for this generation to find that peace, to embrace that peace.

We are praying and waiting for that last great harvest, but the reality is this, with much wisdom comes great sorrow, out of severe persecution comes signs, wonders, miracles and that great revival.

As we seek the last great harvest spoken of by the Prophet Joel, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all flesh, we may need to also consider under what circumstances this will come and I’ll leave it at that for a moment.

Jesus said we must come to Him as a “little child”, I believe this means in the FAITH and ASSURANCE we have as childlike in Him, KNOWING as that little bedtime prayer states “if” we die before we “awake”, so our peace is knowing that either through the grave or through the rapture, we are covered. 

The world is scary but Jesus said that we are His, we are not of the world, He has kept us. So here is some food for thought. God has kept us; LAMENTATIONS 3:21-23: “THIS I recall to my mind, therefore have I HOPE, it is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”

Facing real or perceived dangers, sickness, or persecutions, take comfort from the words of our “go to” guys Peter and Paul, who are examples of Christians sufferings and faith that moved mountains and the thoughts they left us with as their times approached, thoughts to persuade to fight for our calling in the Lord and run after those things God set before us in the knowledge that this life is temporal, just a vapor, to fight for our life eternal but to not fear and to have confidence in God through all things, even when that requires the laying down of this life.

2 PETER 10-16: “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fail (stumble):

For so an entrance shall be ministered (supplied) unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you in remembrance of THESE THINGS, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. Yea, I think it meet (fitting) as long as I am in this tabernacle (his body) to stir you up by putting you in remembrance:

Knowing that shortly I put off this my tabernacle ( that he would soon be executed) even as our Lord Jesus Christ has shewed me. Moreover I will endeavor that  ye may be able AFTER my decease to have these things ALWAYS in remembrance.

For we have NOT followed cunningly devised fables, when we made know unto you the POWER and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses to his majesty.” 

His last desire was that we all remain in remembrance and go forth for the kingdom, even in his writing, that us, AFTER his death, centuries later, WOULD be stirred by his words. We ARE stirred by his words.

Apostle Paul when his time drew near left us with astounding words for OUR day, 2 TIMOTHY 4:1-8 :

I CHARGE thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick (living) and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom.

PREACH THE WORD, BE INSTANT (ready) IN SEASON, OUT OF SEASON; REPROVE, REBUKE, EXHORT WTH ALL LONGSUFFERING AND DOCTRINE.

For the TIME WILL COME WHEN THE WILL NO LONGER ENDURE SOUND DOCTRINE (Gospel truth): but after their own lusts will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears ( chase after those who will tell them whatever they want to hear); And shall TURN THEIR EARS AWAY FROM THE TRUTH, and shall be turned unto fables (follow after lies and false doctrine).

But WATCH thou in all things, ENDURE AFFLICTIONS, do the work of an evangelist, MAKE FULL PROOF OF THY MINISTRY. For I AM NOW READY TO BE OFFERED, (his execution drew nigh) and THE TIME OF MY DEPARTURE (death) IS AT HAND.

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I HAVE KEPT THE FAITH. Henceforth there IS laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: AND NOT TO ME ONLY, BUT UNTO ALL THEM THAT LOVE HIS APPEARING.

As they took courage and boldness in laying themselves down, it is time for us to lay ourselves down, lay down the fear, lay down the rejections, and take that courage and childlike faith and lay down everything that hinders us in these last days.

 ISAIAH 33:15-20: ” UNTIL the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest. Then judgment (justice) shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field.

And the WORK of righteousness SHALL BE PEACE; and THE EFFECT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS QUIETNESS AND ASSURANCE FOR EVER. And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure (safe) dwellings, and in quite resting places; When it shall hail, coming down on the forest; nd the city shall be low (brought low in humiliation) in a low place.

BLESSED ARE YE THAT SOW BESIDE ALL WATERS, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass” 

That is our hope, even though the world will fall by judgment God gives us reassurance that all will be well, and our commission to sow His seed and sow every opportunity we have, in all areas, beside all waters and send those feet forward. 

So today, rest in that reassurance, lay down in His peace, knowing the ultimate promise of His reassurance, come what may, death, grave, or caught away, that trumpet will surely sound and these words throughout eternity WILL resound: 

REVELATION 11:15: “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, THE KINGDOMS OF THIS WORLD ARE BECOME THE KINGDOMS OF OUR LORD, AND OF HIS CHRIST; AND HE SHALL REIGN FOR EVER AND EVER.”       AMEN

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

Thanksgiving

Psalm 136:16-26: TO HIM which led his people THROUGH THE WILDERNESS: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER.

TO HIM which smote great kings: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER: And slew famous kings: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER :  Sihon king of the Amorites: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER: And Og the king of Bashan: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER: And gave their land for an heritage  (the land of the wicked kings to the children of God): FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER: Even an heritage unto Israel his servant: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER. Who remembered us in our low estate: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER: AND HATH REDEEMED US FROM OUR ENEMIES: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER. WHO GIVETH FOOD TO ALL FLESH: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER. O GIVE THANKS UNTO THE GOD OF HEAVEN: FOR HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER! 

11/26/2015 revisited 11/24/2019

Sticks and Stones #3 “Blood Transfusion”

Family night at Ye Olde Drama Ville Theater is never a one-act play and no one wants tickets to that dreadful show anyway. The script is just too predictable, the outcome a certainty, someone is always gonna go away hurt while another revels in their glory of being alpha male, while everyone stands by as helpless “extras” with nothing they can do, nothing they can say, just waiting it out until the dramatic star chooses to go away.

 Angry at the aggressor and too sympathetic in wanting to tend the wounds of the victim, sometimes it only feeds the persons feelings of helplessness and personal anger for what they feel as personal weakness in “not standing up for themselves”, I said FEEL because reacting on the aggressors level IS NEVER WHAT YOU SHOULD DO.

But in reality the reason most don’t argue back is because they FEAR what they, themselves may be capable of if they allow those pent-up emotions to burst out in a blinding fury and it is one step across that invisible line to becoming the very thing that has tormented them.  

But if you have in times past, fell  into that trap, don’t beat yourself up, the Bible says for us to “live peaceably with all men, as much as LIETH WITHIN YOU“, keeping peace as best as we can, but sometimes we don’t quite hit the mark when we are under attack. 

Proverbs 18:14: “The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity: but A WOUNDED SPIRIT WHO CAN BEAR?”                  

Proverbs 17:22: “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”                                  

Proverbs 12:18: “There is that ( one whospeaketh LIKE THE PIERCING OF A SWORD.”                                        

Proverbs 15:13: “A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance but by SORROW of THE HEART THE SPIRIT IS BROKEN.”  

This repetitive play will without a doubt leave someones heart pierced and their very spirit broken. The good news is you are not required of the Lord to continue to play the starring role, as the enemy and sometimes other family members would try to sway you into believing. The bad news, because it is the truth that is more hard to hear is this, IT IS UP TO YOU TO QUIT THE TROOP AND FIRE THE DIRECTOR.

 In “Blood Brothers” we discussed some biblical brothers and how a couple of them, in my opinion, did not even realize that the others really did hate them. We all want family approval, it is inborn need to belong and be accepted by our siblings and the most painful enlightenment that we will ever go through is coming to terms with the fact that they truly do not like us as a person and that there is nothing within our mortal grasp that will change that.                                                                

Often we do not understand why the Lord doesn’t just change these things on our behalf, but the truth in that is again God ONLY deals in FREE WILL and he will not go above what a person asks of him and even though we want them to change so that we can have a good, healthy, loving relationship with them, as God intended, if they don’t see a problem and have no remorse or repentance and no desire to change, then that is their free will and God will not go above that.     

Jesus said that they hated him without a cause and a servant cannot be above his master, if they hated him they will hate you.                                       The secret is in emulating his behavior, when you bless those that curse and pray for them, they have no accusation against you, as you have only been kind to them, when the Holy Spirit begins to deal with their heart and their actions start coming back to mind, they can find no justification through your behavior toward them to explain to God their own actions. God then uses this to bring about repentance, true remorse for their actions so they then may be saved and that is our goal.                                                                                                                                                                                          

Now digging the blood transfusion, when we have accepted Christ as our Savior, we are covered by his blood, we are made partakers with his blood and become new creatures, adopted through that blood into the household of God himself.

WE BECOME HEIRS AND JOINT HEIRS WITH CHRIST and even though we still have an earthy family, our main family is heavenly and the only dinner we have to be sure to make an appearance at is the wedding supper of the Lamb!                  

Just as Abram had to leave his family in order to fulfill God’s purpose, sometimes we also have to “forget those things which are behind and press toward the mark of that high calling”. When we must “leave” (emotionally) our families or friends it is then, that the word of God promises us that God will pick us up, Jesus said he will be our mother, brother, sister, whatever family position that is broken and empty, JESUS HIMSELF WILL FILL THAT VOID, HE IS a friend that will stick closer than a brother.                                      

So accept that transfusion freely, be diligent, when you find your mind running through the past, replace those thoughts with scripture and things of God, And lean on your church family for support.                                                                        

Before I had even be called I had been in  a battle, a fierce unbelievable battle and I went to church and heard words that I still cling to today, a brother had been singing and he stopped, this guy is on the quite side as far as speaking and I think that made it hit home even more, but he said that we should always remember no matter what we are going through or how alone we feel that someone else is either going through the same thing or has already been through it.                                              

We often look at others as “perfect” people who haven’t a care in the world and that freak show stuff just happens to us but you will never find a Christian who does not have a testimony that will nine times out of ten leave you in tears, it is part of the overcoming we all must endure, the very reason your church family is a major factor in walking away from relationships you just don’t need in your life and being accepted by Christ is the only acceptance we need.                                              

But NEVER give up on them, pray for them, and as I said before once you give that gentle answer back when they are attacking you, just walk away, you have to, and when you have been in a very terrible argument and maybe threats have been made or your feelings are just really hurt, here are some scriptures that I believe will help, but again lean on your church family, talk to your Pastor or trusted prayer partners, pray together, there is strength in that but please don’t jeopardize your personal safety by continuing in it.

Psalm 56:3,4: “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. IN GOD will I praise his word, IN GOD I HAVE PUT MY TRUST; I WILL NOT FEAR WHAT FLESH (people) CAN DO UNTO ME.”                                                                            

Psalm 118:6 :”The Lord IS ON MY SIDE; I WILL NOT FEAR: What can man do unto me.”                                          

 Psalm 56:9 : “WHEN I CRY UNTO THEE, then shall my enemies turn back: This I know, FOR GOD IS WITH ME.”        

Romans 8:31:”What shall we then say to these things? IF GOD BE FOR US, WHO CAN BE AGAINST US?”                    

Psalm 56:8 :”Thou tellest ( you know) my wanderings; Put thou my tears unto thy bottle: are they not written in thy book?”   God sees and keeps record of our pain, one day all the tears that we have shed, that He is very aware of will be returned to us in PURE JOY !  

 James 1:2,3:”MY BRETHREN (brothers and sisters of Apostle Paul through Christ) COUNT IT ALL JOY when ye fall into divers temptations (various trails) KNOWING this, that the trying of ( relying on) your faith worketh (produces) patience.”                                                                                                                                                                                  

Just say no, just walk away, don’t play the game and don’ star in that role!                                

“Proverbs 23:24,25: “MAKE NO FRIENDSHIP WITH AN ANGRY MAN; AND WITH A FURIOUS MAN THOU SHALT NOT GO (STAY AWAY FROM THEM) LEST THOU LEARN HIS WAYS AND GET A SNARE TO THY SOUL.”                          

Anger will “jump” and it is like an infectious disease and it is contagious and you do not want to catch it.                                

2 Samuel 22:47,49:“The Lord liveth, and blessed be MY ROCK; and exalted be the God of THE ROCK OF MY SALVATION.  And that bringeth me forth from mine enemies: thou also hast lifted me up on high above them that rose up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man.”                                                                                                

 Psalm 140:1,4: “DELIVER ME O LORD, from the evil man: Preserve me from the violent man: KEEP ME from the hands of the wicked; Preserve me from the violent man, WHO HAS PURPOSED TO OVERTHROW MY GOINGS (SETS STUMBLING BLOCKS BEFORE US).”                                                                                                         

Isaiah 12:2:”BEHOLD, GOD IS MY SALVATION; I WILL TRUST, AND NOT BE AFRAID: for the LORD JEHOVAH IS MY STRENGTH AND MY SONG: HE ALSO IS BECOME MY SALVATION.”                                                                                 

It is my sincerest prayer that for all who may be in holiday dread because of theses things will find comfort in God’s word, remember as you study these for yourself, use a reference Bible that will lead you to other scriptures dealing with the same subject.

God often uses this to lead us to other scripture, which will be perfect for whatever our battle is at that present time and it is in the quite times that God will speak to you through his word and send you comfort and peace.                              

Remember Jesus said for us to be of good cheer, because he had overcome the world and sometimes for us, we must overcome those we actually hold dear. May God bless you and keep you and give you true peace this season.                    

Φλογιζω NBJ 2015                  For more in this series, please check out the following posts: Bad BloodBlood BrothersAnger DangerStrangle Hold   

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

                                                                                                                                                                         

                                                                                            

With the eyes of Iris….

The title sounds like I got a little confused there, doesn’t it? But no, I don’t mean through the iris of the eye. I mean trying to see through the eyes of Iris.

Iris is my little friend, she is a tiny little bird dog mix who is not very much bigger than my cat. She is, well, was a stray. I had never seen a cat or a dog in my life with such trust issues, usually you can feed them a couple of times and they know your okay, but not Iris. I got into the habit of keeping dog food on my back stoop (it is so not a real porch, it is tiny and step size) because we had a huge black lab that never wanted to share treats and bullied the other two so one day one of the others decide to get really smart and come to the back door and bark, hence therefore his nick name “Captain Barky” it was the cutest thing ever and he did this so often (my husband said that he had me very well-trained) that I finally started putting dog food out there hoping he would think it was special and appease his barking for treats syndrome.

One day I heard rustling at the back door and looked out the window and here is this tiny little dog eating as fast as it could and every rib, backbone, and little hip bone was visible and it just broke my heart and once she had been noticed, she quickly fled. Soon she starting coming pretty much every day, she would eat and run and if I tried to go out there or had to put out more food she would run away. I finally learned to not make eye contact with her and just try to get the food down wherever and as quietly as possible, try to get back into the house and sometimes she would run and then come back after I was inside. It soon became obvious that she had puppies and would often try to carry away the food container with her and this entire process went on for about six months and we at no point could touch this dog.

As I said I have never seen this kind of distrust and we could only imagine what she had been through. But soon another little friend starting coming by, I kinda of believe it is her puppy but this little thing was not scared in the least and adored my daughter and suddenly one day out of the blue after all this time, Iris let my daughter pet her. We could not believe it and my daughter joked about her being a different dog or something was wrong with her because it was like a complete 360 and suddenly she is jumping up on us, trying to lick our faces and honestly she looks like she smiles. The change was just mind-blowing. It was like when she did decide to trust us, it was a complete, no questions asked, give it your all kinda thing.

Sometimes that is how we are when we have trust issues in our walk with God, we want to trust him, we want to have faith, but we are so scared of being hurt again or so wounded that we are afraid to trust anyone or anything. We often are fine trusting God with part of our lives but maybe not so much with all of our problems,our failures and fears, and sometimes we can trust him for eternal salvation and still be unable to allow him to get close to our wounded hearts to heal us, so we can have peace in this life while we are waiting for the eternal.

God wants us to trust Him unconditionally with every thing. trust can be a hard thing, what does trust even truly mean? To know that no matter what, your life IS IN the hands of one so much higher, that life, death, sickness, financial worries, any imaginable woe can never ever change the fact that your soul is in the arms of the everlasting God.

We all fall prey to the “I am trying to live right, why is this happening to me?”, moments, and dark times when the enemy tries to convince you that if were right this things would NOT happen. He is such a liar! Things happen, it rains on the just and the unjust. Christians suffer but SO DO those who are not saved, they have lost loved ones, they have problems, they lose jobs and the get sick BUT they do not have the blessed assurance that these things are but for a moment and they do not have the comfort  that only comes THROUGH TRUST IN GOD.

We all know the story of Job, we all know that it was a great contest between the forces of the universe and that satan contended that job only worshiped God because he had been blessed with a good life and Satan thought he could turn Job against God by tearing his life all to Hades. Now we all may have problems but when we are tempted to complain we should just read the beginning of Job, no one has had problems like he had!

While one messenger was still speaking to give him terrible tidings, another came waiting to tell him more! He lost ALL of his children, his wealth, his livestock. HE LOST EVERYTHING including his health (by being covered from head to foot with boils) his friends turned on, as often happens when the chips are down, he was surrounded by all those who could not wait to tell him how bad he was to try to force a confession of evil out of him and the part of the story that always ripped my heart out is when he thought God terrified him in dreams. Satan did ALL of this to him and he MISTAKENLY believed that it was God doing it, right down to the demonic nightmares. The only thing the enemy was not allowed to do to him was kill him. He had free control to torment him at will and yet the entire time Job thought he had angered God, BUT Job never lost his trust in God or in God’s faithfulness and the most profound verse is this:                                                                                                                        

“Though he slay (kill) me, YET, WILL I TRUST IN HIM…..” Job 13:15 (a)                                                                                

As the story winds up and the truth is revealed, Job is blessed beyond measure for what he had endured, he was given more than what had been taken and those who were too quick to judge him were required to honor him, no one would ever want to imagine what would have happened had he failed this test, the one who had sent it all on him would now also have his eternal soul to torment but GOD KNEW that Job would NOT FAIL THE TEST! Job TRUSTED God even when he did not understand until it was over.                                                                                                                                          

Maybe today, you are having trust issues, maybe there is something you just can’t let go of, worry pitting your stomach, thoughts from the enemy of what if, I ask you what if not? We hear so many voices and often those voices are against faith, they are against trust in God, that is one of the many ports you don’t want to take refuge in during your storm.  

 Jesus asked in Matthew 6:27 “which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?”                                                         

We worry and stress over things we have no control over and circumstances that we will never have control over, only God can change things and only God can give us peace of mind even in the midst of trails but we have to trust him and give him all our troubles and trust his sovereignty in ALL situations.                                                                                                        

The sufferings of the disciples are without question, and their attitude toward it all was unwavering, they focused on “that” day: “For the which cause (the Gospel) I also suffer these things; NEVERTHELESS I am not ashamed:   For I KNOW IN WHOM I HAVE BELIEVED, AND AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE TO KEEP THOSE THINGS WHICH I HAVE COMMITTED UNTO HIM AGAINST (UNTIL) THAT DAY.” 2 Timothy 1:12, you know written by Paul, who was beaten on multiple occasions, wrote most of the New Testament while imprisoned, suffered many, many afflictions and was beheaded for the Gospel of Christ.                                                                                                                                                                        

“That day” is different for all of us, whatever our struggles, fears, and worst case scenarios may be, but rest in the comfort of Paul’s example, KNOW in WHOM you believe, KNOW and BE PERSUADED that HE IS more than able to keep ALL things that we COMMIT to him. All the hurt, all the fears and all the what ifs and even the why’s. WE HAVE TO TRUST HIM with it all and once you just get under the shadow of his wings knowing that he has you, all of you, in his care and that when and if “that day” comes, HE IS there and HIS PEACE will see you through.                                                                               Φλογιζω NBJ 2015.

  

           

Making it through the night……

“But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, TOSSED with waves: for the WIND was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night (the blackest, darkest hour)  JESUS WENT UNTO THEM, WALKING ON THE SEA.”
And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they CRIED OUT FOR (because of) FEAR.
But STRAIGHTWAY (Immediately) JESUS SPAKE unto them, saying, BE OF GOOD CHEER (have courage) IT IS I ( I AM ); BE NOT AFRAID.” Matthew 14:25-27
Through the journey of this life many times we find that we are that ship, the waves crashing and tossing us about, unable to catch balance tossed with that horrible great wind that is blowing down on us in the worst possible hour.
The fourth watch, when we have been tossed by the raging waves of trails of life and circumstances that we have no control over.
Trails and troubles that comes just as a part of this life for us and for all others.
But when you add that horrid wind, that cold, fierce blowing of the fury of the enemy, because he loves to kick you when your down and it is always during last stretch of the night.
He thinks of it as this, you are already weak, tired, and completely exhausted, just worn out from the hours you have already battled through the dark and he knows if he can get you to lose focus that this night is never going to end, he will destroy your faith in God.
Notice Jesus came in that hour, Jesus knew where they were, he knew what they were battling and he knew at what point they would break IF he did not step in.
Being in an exhaustive state it is hard to see whose hand is whose and this was Jesus coming to their rescue but they were so mentally drained that they were afraid that he too was more trouble headed their way.
When they cried out (as we cry out to Him) it was then that he said IT IS I, and encouraged their faith.
Peter was so distraught, he needed reassurance, just as we too sometimes need to know that He is aware of what we are going through, that He really is there, and that He really is going to take us through the night.
“And Peter answered and him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me to come to thee on the water.
And he said, Come, And when Peter was down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
BUT when he SAW THE WIND boisterous (violent) HE WAS AFRAID, he cried, saying 
Lord, SAVE ME.” Matthew 14:28-30

Jesus had given him that reassurance that he was aware and was completely on the scene, and at 
the comforting voice of his Lord he began to walk on those horrible waves that had held him as their terrorized prisoner only moments earlier. 
In life, we sometimes feel like we can’t catch a break.
We think we see the shimmer of the morning starting to break through and then the darkness
only returns with even more blackness and wind howling.
We feel like as soon as things are finally looking up something happens and it all crashes in on us.

“And IMMEDIATELY JESUS STRETCHED FORTH HIS HAND, AND CAUGHT HIM, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, Wherefore didst thou ( why did you) doubt?
And when they were come into the ship, THE WIND CEASED.” Matthew 14:28-30

So many troubled waters, waves of sickness, waves of financial woes, waves of worry about our children and their futures, waves of family issues, the winds of past hurts and unresolved heartaches and the stone cold blow of lack of closure to doors of the past. It all rocks, it tosses, and that wind will blow. 
But Jesus came through in that darkest most tempestuous hour,  even though they thought they couldn’t make it, HE KNEW when they couldn’t and by allowing Peter to walk on those waves, he was really showing him something.
People are so mean about Peter, they are always pointing out the fact that he temporarily slipped, but how many of them have ever been in Peter’s sandals?
We can look at others and think well, this or that, but until we have truly, truly been in their shoes we don’t know how we would react, but Jesus does and he knows what we can handle has nothing to do with what we FEEL like we can handle.
Storms to weather, giants to fight, crosses to bear, and no one likes it. I have yet to meet a Christian who jumps up in Church and shouts “Woo, hoo bring on the storm!”
I have fought some hellacious giants, there are battles that I am not sure that I will win in this earth but I know if I hold on and keep the faith, that even if it is at the feet of the Lord in New Jerusalem that the battle will have been won.
There have been times when warnings to church has come that storms were brewing and I’d be like, please, please no, no more storms.
We all go through it and some are worse than others and there is always someone else whose storm makes ours look like a sunny morn.
I never will forget the testimony of a certain preacher, I love to hear him, he straight shoots, preaches hell, fire, brimstone, mingled with love and compassion and all with a comedic edge that can make you dig where he is coming from without making you want to hide under the pew.
He often made remarks about his childhood that confused me, because his Mom is an awesome woman and I couldn’t figure out how all this happened to him. 
One night he told us what God had brought him from, he had been born to stoned parents who had a house full of kids, and kept having kids, he told us about watching his baby sibling die, believing the baby may have frozen to death because there was a hole in the ceiling with snow actually falling in, and he kept a crew cut all the time and had a very visible scar on his head, he went on to tell us that he received that after opening a can of food without permission and being hit with the still attached to the can, jagged top.
When he and his siblings rescue came, he was eleven and his Mom later told me that he was barely dressed and wearing a ladies top.
And to know him now and to know that God stepped in and changed this child’s life and fulfilled HIS PURPOSE for him, placing him with a good family that would teach him of a God that loved him despite what that horrible storm he had lived in for eleven years had tried to convince him of.
Don’t try to wait out the storm to pursue the things of God for your life.
The young man who asked Jesus if he could “bury his father” before following him was answered by “Let the dead bury their dead; but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.”
It will not always easy, but sometimes we have to stop fighting with things that are dead, and trying to change things that will never be changed, and accept them as such, and go on in our walk with the Lord. 
Sometimes we have to take what we have and work with it, even if we think we are lacking what we “need” to get the job done.
In the story of Elisha, we are introduced to him as he is plowing a field having only eleven oxen, now we know that can’t be done and that is why we are told that HE HIMSELF IS THE TWELFTH OXEN!
Field needed plowed, he needed an ox, so he did what had to be done.
He could have said well, whenever we get another ox, I’ll take care of that field, but he didn’t.
So the giant you face is monstrous, the cross is growing might heavy, and that wind is threatening to smash your ship to smithereens, BUT JESUS IS RIGHT THERE.
He will slay that giant, He will give you His strength to make that cross lighter to bear, and He will lead you BACK TO SAFETY AND THAT STORM WILL CEASE.
Morning will come breaking through and at the end of it all, that little ship will be stronger, having weathered that dreaded storm, it will now be a proven sea worthy vessel, those giants won’t look quite so tall when you know the hand that is stretching out to catch you is the hand that controls it all.
Just so someone out there will know, this is NOT what I had planned for today, and He showed me things in this I had never noticed and I feel his presence with it, I will never pretend to know your pain or tell you life will be great, but one day the storm will pass and maybe sooner than you know!
I want to leave you with this, quote it, memorize and keep it to your heart:
Psalm 56:3 : “WHAT TIME I AM AFRAID, I WILL TRUST IN THEE.”

May God bless you and keep you, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Φλογιζω/ all rights reserved. NBJ/2015

Awesome song, hope it will encourage you Shared from YouTube

 

DWELLING PLACE

“Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them upon the face of the earth.” Amos 5:8

We know what could be said, I personally can never say it enough.
He is omnipotent and omnipresent, no matter where you are, He is with you. 
He is holy, beautiful, full and glory and majesty and yet having a gentleness and humility unlike anything of this world.

 He is the Lord and beside Him, there is no savior.
Jeremiah 23:23″Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off ? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.”

When he revealed himself to Saul, who was on his way to arrest all the Christians that he could round-up, Jesus told him it was useless to resist him, my question would be who could?

He then transformed Saul to his chosen vessel Paul, who would go preach the very gospel he had so adamantly fought against! With thirteen books of the New Testament having been authored by him.

Now that is a true transformation of mind and soul!
So many atrocities are committed in the name of God, but he is nowhere near of any it.
Jesus is gentle and merciful and does not condone beating children, animals or anyone.

He himself, suffered a horrific beating before His crucifixion, in our place, so why would He want us to beat others or be subjected to it?
Evil always pretends that it is for the cause of good, because Satan is a liar and the father of lies.

The Bible recalling work after work of the Lord  with the heavens, the earth, and the seas, and all of creation declaring His glory.
His will and purpose for us equating into that plan when we should be so small, so insignificant, but the God of the universe has called His followers, His friends!
The nations are as but a drop of water in a bucket to Him and yet He has called us his peculiar treasure.

Maybe that is why we are a peculiar treasure, that He would think of us and walk with Adam and Eve in the garden, and speak with Moses, first from a burning bush and then face to face, visit with Abraham and spend time with the disciples before returning to heaven and cry when we cry and hear us when we call and heaven comes down to visit earth.

No matter how we profess our love for Him, the truth of the matter and the secret to it all, is HIS love toward us!

A love so far beyond our human comprehension and defying all our human logic. And the best part is His word and His word will not return void, it will do what He sent it to do.
So no matter where you are on this earth, what persecution and ridicule that you may be suffering today, I want you to know He does love you and He sees all that you endure.
Hold onto to Him, don’t try to figure anything out on your own, give it all to Him and He will guide you in the way you need to go.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”   Proverbs 3:5-6

“The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.
The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth him out of all their troubles.
The Lord is nigh (near) unto them that are of a broken spirit and saveth such as be of a contrite (crushed) spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.”       Psalm 34:15, 17-19

“He that dwelleth  in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, HE IS my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust:  his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
Thou shalt not be afraid for (of) the terror by night; nor the arrow that flieth by day;
Nor for the pestilence (trouble) that walketh in darkness; nor the destruction that wasteth
( lays waste) at noonday.
A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. For he shall give his angels charge over thee.”  Psalm 91:1-6,11

“Because thou hath made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation (dwelling place);” Psalm 91:9
The Lord’s answer follows:
“Because he has set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will deliver him:
I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honour him.”

Again him, being a generic term for all humans.  Literally living, breathing, being kept hidden from the adversary under the protective presence of all-powerful, all-knowing God.

“For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me: he shall set me upon a rock. And now mine head shall be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle (presence) sacrifices of joy: I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord. Hear, O, Lord when I cry with my voice: have mercy upon me and answer me.  When thou saidst Seek ye my face: my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.”   Psalm 27:5-8

Life is never fair. Things happen, it rains on the just and the unjust. Trails and heartache come, but there is a presence of God, a place of safety, a place that assures you peace even in the midst of a storm raging all around you.
A reassurance that can only be found in  His everlasting arms, under the shadow of his wings.

If you need this today, all you have to do is ask Him, He does understand, He created you in the palm of His hand and yet those wings spread so far that He can cover the entire world with them.

That is who HE IS and that is one of the many reasons we love Him and worship Him and He never forces us to do any of it.

And ye will seek me and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”   Jeremiah 29:13

My sincerest prayer for you today is that the Lord keep you, bless you and make his face shine upon you and give you peace, in the name above every name, Jesus of Nazareth.  AMEN

Φλογιζω/ All rights reserved. NBJ 2015
Revisited 2019

REST IN THE RECKONING

I can’t seem to get the image of James Foley out of my head, and it’s not just him… it is all of them.
Abducted, unmercifully tortured, and paraded off to be savagely executed by demonic, twisted sadistic butchers to gain media attention for their truly hopeless cause.
Hiding their faces behind their masks of death black reminiscent of the dunce hat wearing, cross burnin’ boys of the south, But you know at least the Nazi’s would show their faces.
What does it all mean? John the Baptists head severed and served on a platter as an appreciative token for the undoubtedly sleazy dance of a pagan princess.
Apostle Paul practically writing his last will and testament to all believers as his beheading approached.
Peter carried out the brunt of his ministry under complete awareness that not only would he die, he would die by crucifixion, Jesus himself telling Peter that this would happen and Peter deciding that it was a price he would be willing to pay to see the Kingdom of God come.
It is as if they believe by taking the heads of God’s servants the are in some way, taking the head from the body of Christ, which will never happen.
The Prophet Isaiah was sawn in half. Steven’s face became as an angel as the anointed words straight from the heart of God proceeded from his mouth hammering the hearts of his enemies with unwanted conviction, and even as they stoned him, Steven did not stop, even praying that they not be held accountable for his death.
Polycarp, the eighty-six year old martyr, whose boldness and courage given from the Lord allowed him to meet his fate with the same acceptance, God had  shown him in a dream what was to come and he met it head on, because he knew that they could only kill him once and after that he would be resurrected by the Lord eternally.
Hebrews 11:36,39: “They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented, (OF WHOM THE WORLD WAS NOT WORTHY)
they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise.” 
                                    
The most outstanding words in that passage point to the fact, that this world was not good enough for their presence!
And they were successful in doing the work of the Lord and yet they died before seeing the final result of the what would now be their accomplished  life’s work.
The world was not worthy, nor is it now. How do we survive these last days, when all we hear is terror upon terror in every given report?
As Jesus forewarned us that the days would come that those who killed his followers would think  that they were doing the service of God.
But in all these things we are to keep our souls focused on him and in his rest, and as scary as this is,  NOT FEAR THEM.
Matthew 10:26,28: Fear them NOT therefore; for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that ye speak in the light; and what ye hear in the ear, that preach upon the housetops. And FEAR NOT them which are able to kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather FEAR HIM which is ABLE TO DESTROY BOTH SOUL AND BODY IN HELL.”
                                     
In our patient wait for him, we are to rest in the blessed reassurance that our “redemption draweth nigh” he will make his enemies his footstool and in his blessed reckoning.
He will not hide his face they will know exactly who He is!
Psalm 45:3-5: “Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty ride prosperously because of thy truth and thy meekness and righteousness;  and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things. Thine arrows are sharp in the hearts of the king’s enemies; whereby the people fall under thee.”
                                      
Revelation 19: 11-16:  “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. AND HE WAS CLOTHED WITH A VESTURE DIPPED IN BLOOD: AND HIS NAME IS CALLED THE WORD OF GOD. AND THE ARMIES WHICH WERE IN HEAVEN FOLLOWED HIM UPON WHITE HORSES, CLOTHED IN FINE LINEN, WHITE AND CLEAN. AND OUT OF HIS MOUTH GOETH A SHARP SWORD, THAT WITH IT HE SHOULD SMITE THE NATIONS: HE SHALL RULE THEM WITH A ROD OF IRON: AND HE TREADHETH THE
WINEPRESS (BLOODBATH) OF THE FIERCENESS AND WRATH OF ALMIGHTY GOD. AND HE HAD ON HIS VESTURE (ROBE) AND ON HIS THIGH (SWORD SHEATH) A NAME WRITTEN, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
                                 
So amidst all the Hades breaking loose on earth, keep your eyes focused on the heavens, let your soul rest in the arms of a beautiful, merciful, gentle creator and pray for deliverance for all from evil and when reckoning comes, all bets will be off and they will find there is no fighting him.
Regardless of news broadcasts, or constant worldwide threats, I will tell you how this story shall end:
Romans 14:11:  “For it is written: AS I LIVE SAITH THE LORD, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME, AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL CONFESS TO GOD.”
                                  
Maybe hiding behind and pleading the names of the pagans gods they worship will help them, ah, no I don’t think so…
Philippians 2:9-11: “WHEREFORE GOD HATH ALSO EXALTED HIM AND GIVEN HIM A NAME WHICH IS ABOVE EVERY NAME:
THAT AT THE NAME OF JESUS EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW OF THINGS IN HEAVEN, AND THINGS IN EARTH, AND THINGS UNDER THE EARTH. AND THAT EVERY TONGUE SHOULD (WILL) CONFESS THAT JESUS CHRIST IS LORD, TO THE GLORY OF GOD THE FATHER.”
                                 

All rights reserved. Rev. Nina BrownJohnson 2015 Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω

Video shared from You Tube

 

AND YOU ARE?

Don’t you just love it when you voice an opinion in mixed company only to have the person with the opposing view look at you and say in that smug tone laced with sarcasm and disgust at the mere thought that you could possibly question their obviously superior intelligence, and they say “And you are???
I for one love it! Sometimes we need to remind ourselves of exactly who we are in God.
Elijah the prophet of God, who was allowed to pray that it not rain, pray the rain would return and pray that fire would come down from heaven in the presence of his enemies.
Elijah started those prayers with this statement “If I be a man of God..” Paul, in his writings dubbed himself “The prisoner of the Lord”, James refers to himself as “Servant of Jesus Christ”, John the “Beloved”  and Mary who never gave herself a title but at his feet she knew exactly who she was and she fell absolutely, helplessly in love with him, a love born from being touched by love itself in the most pure form, a love so gentle, humble so powerful that it had restored her soul. She knew to be separated from Him would be a fate far worse than hell.
They and so many more throughout the Bible have a very common denominator, they knew who they were in God and never let anyone convince them otherwise.

Today we hear so many voices telling us what to think what to eat, what to buy, what we should wear, and who would should be, our minds can become so clouded that we don’t even know who were are and we become too quick to forget who were are in Him.
To achieve our purpose in these blessed last days God has chosen us to be born into, please give up a little you time, or TV time, just make a little time to get in that prayer closet, your personal secret place that is just and God, pray and fast, and remember this does not have to be food, you can fast anything.

Salvation and grace are completely free gifts, but to get in position for the last day outpouring of the spirit and great harvest of souls, and to allow him to stir the gifts and the calling he has placed in you, well it requires diligence on your part.
2 Thessalonians 2:3, tells of the great falling away of the church, we’ve been seeing that come to pass over the last few years.
It is a time to weed out those who serve one day a week or for some reason other than a relationship with Christ and they will fall away.

 Those who are willing to make any sacrifice necessary to see His Kingdom come will be those left standing, the approved of God .
The ones before us who held on, no matter what suffering, ridicule and persecution they had to endure. and when they fell they sought God to lift them up again.
David was human just as human as we are, yet he made tragic mistakes but he sought forgiveness.
God said David was a man after his own heart, I know the common thought on it, but I really take it as David sought the very heart of God, to know Him and be part of the very heart of God.
His praise was constant and he continually sought to have his heart searched, cleansed, restored and anything that may stand between them to be removed.
God wants to help us and there is nothing inside of us that He doesn’t already know. He is a supreme gentlemen, he will never embarrass you ,or tell the whole world all of your secrets. He wants us to bring everything to Him and  admit that we have problems so he can help us.
Everyone needs trusted prayer partners but you also need that one on one with God, seek purification, seek out the calling and gifts and seek confirmation of them at church.
We can feel lead in certain areas, but I tell you ,whatever area of ministry that stirs your heart is usually where your calling will be found BUT always study God’s word and if seems like a foreign language in the King James , get the New King James, it’s more easily understood, there several of versions of the Bible out there but I personally stop here, but no matter what you are called to do, you must have a good foundation of the word of God. It protects you from false doctrine especially when you are seeking.

“Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which is given thee by the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.” 1 Timothy 4:14

I feel this is another shortcoming of modern churches today, we are to seek these gifts because they are not for us, they are needed to accomplish the work in the Kingdom.

“Meditate upon these things, give thyself wholly unto them; thy   profiting may appear to all. TAKE HEED UNTO THYSELF, AND UNTO THE DOCTRINE; CONTINUE IN THEM: FOR IN DOING THIS THOU SHALT SAVE THYSELF AND ALL THAT HEAR THEE.” 1 Timothy 4:14,15

The time has come to seek and stir up those gifts of God, as he said if you will do these things you will see the lost saved.
And while seeking, the enemy will rear his head to attempt to discourage you, and he will ask “And you are?” 

Take your answer from Paul, 1 Corinthians 15:10 (a)”But by the grace of God I am what I am; and his grace which was bestowed on me was not in vain:..”

We are the generation chosen to seek His face, now it is up to us to believe that!


Original Post Date: 02/15/14  Φλογίζω/  All Rights Reserved.  Nina BrownJohnson/ 2015