“Fearfully, Wonderfully, &… Strategically”

“For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope; for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth  our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us, with groanings which cannot be uttered.

And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is in the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 

And we know that all things work together for the good of them that love God, and are the called according to his purpose.

For whom God did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be firstborn among many brethren.

Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also calledthem he also justified; and whom he justifiedthem he also glorified. What then shall we say to these things?

If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 

Who shall lay any thing to the charge (against) of God’s elect? It is God  that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea, rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

As it is written, FOR THY SAKES, WE ARE KILLED ALL THE DAY LONG; WE ARE ACCOUNTED AS SHEEP FOR THE SLAUGHTER. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through that loved us.

For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, ,nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to seperate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.“Romans 8:24-39

That is probably very familiar scripture, but sometimes we need to be reminded of the basic Gospel. Sermons we hear and then are replaced by thoughts and words of other sermons over time.

My daughter, like most kids, when she was little, loved Pooh Bear,of course she is all grown up now, but being a parent I still have a pretty good memory of lines from her favorite repeatedly watched cartoons, I actually still remember lines from shows that my niece was fascinated with, it just kinda gets stuck in our heads, but anyway of the cutest from Pooh was when they were on a great adventure and Tigger in rambunctious Tigger fashion pipes up and says, “You have to remind your remember-er” and cartoon or not, that is actually quite true.

The distance between the earthly realm and the heavenly realm can sometimes seem so vast that we can “forget” what we once knew so well.

When we are saved and everything is new and beautiful, freshly washed from sin and the newness of Christ shining brightly in our hearts, souls, and minds can over a period of time be overshadowed by the cares and troubles of this world, just as Jesus said in the parable of the seeds.

We can find ourselves questioning everything and I even imagine that when Paul wrote that, he had been through that battle himself, probably more than once, as he was imprisoned more often than he was free, as we know because of his refusal to stop preaching Christ and preach he did.

His life was a testimony of God changing the heart of he who once was the greatest persecutor of the first church to becoming one of the church’s greatest leaders that had ever been or would ever be.

And the fact that everyday, probably innumerable times a day, some of us quote or study, or share the words Paul wrote while in those dark places of his life is such a testament to not only the sovereignty of God over the plans he had for the life of Paul, but the sovereignty over the plans he has for all the lives he has created.

Maybe you feel today, like “Well, that was Paul.”, No, that was Paul, but that was also all Christ’s disciples, that was you, that was me, that is every human being God sends to this earth.

We ALL have a purpose, we all have a divine appointment, an appointment to accept Jesus and to know him in his resurrected glory and power working in us and in our lives, whether or not we keep that appointment is completely up to us.

And if we have not accepted Christ we can’t lay claim to the promises of the Bible because without repentance there is no forgiveness of sins, doesn’t mean that God does not have a beautiful plan for your life, just means that you choose follow your own plan and forgo the blessings and fellowship of your Creator, but you still exist because he created you whether you choose to acknowledge that or not.

And if you have chosen God and life is getting the way of your happiness with sorrow, sadness, or uncertainty, please don’t think for a second that it changes in any way, God sovereignty over your life or his plans for you.

That is why he had us given the beautiful words above, saying, surely these things come, but they will never separate you from him or from the love he has for you.

You were fearfully and wonderfully created, as all things are and were created for him and by him and for his pleasure, scripture tells us this quite clearly and your life is precious to him and your life. even though you may not feel it now, is very important to others and as the called of God, you  may feel that the best of life has passed by or there is nothing left to be had, but our thoughts are not God’s thoughts and his ways are not our ways. you may not have even yet began the journey he sent you here for.

You are here at this time, in this season, by divine will and following him, and surrendering to him, you will be strategically placed exactly where you were created to be for whatever purpose you were created for.

So don’t give up, keep pressing on, remembering that he will work it all for your good and don’t settle for anything less than God’s best for your life.

And if you have been believing for something and it has not come to pass yet or if you have a special promise in your heart from God that you are waiting on and your beginning to feel like if it hasn’t happened by now, it’s never gonna happen, read the stories of Abraham and Noah, and remember how long that the Hebrews waited for deliverance ,time is a condition only us humans have, God forever keeps his promises as long as we keep ourselves in him.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity)to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).” Jeremiah 29:11

That is his promise to his children and that promise is to you!

Have a blessed week! Praying God’s encouragement and peace will be yours!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2021/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

THE LAMB “Hell trembles and Earth quakes”

“Jesus, when he had cried with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost (died).

And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom (torn in half), and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent (split);

And the graves were opened; and many of the bodies of the saints that slept (had died) AROSE.

And came OUT of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

Now when the centurion and they that were with him, watching (guarding) Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things which were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God. 

And many women were there beholding afar off (watching from a distance), which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him: Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s children.

When the even was come (it was evening), there was a rich man of Arimathea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple:

He went to Pilate and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.

And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean line cloth. And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.

And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against (opposite) the sepulchre.

Now the next day, that followed the day of preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,

Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. 

Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure (secure) until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead; so the last error shall be worse than the first.

Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch (guard): go your way, make it as sure (secure) as you can.

So they went, and made the sepulchre sure (secure), sealing the stone, and setting a watch (guard). 

In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre (tomb).

And behold, there was a great earthquake; for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment (clothing) was white as snow:

And FOR FEAR OF HIM. THE KEEPERS (guards) DID SHAKE,AND BECAME AS DEAD MEN (fainted).

And the angel answered and said UNTO the women; FEAR NOT YE; for I know that ye seek Jesus. which was crucified, HE IS NOT HERE: FOR HE IS RISEN, as he said, Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him, lo, I have told you.

And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples his word.

And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail (Rejoice).

And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there they shall see me. 

Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch (guards)  came into the city, and shewed (told) unto the chief priests all the things that were done.

And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel (talked about it), they gave large (much) money unto the soldiers, Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night and stole him away while we slept.

And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him, and secure (protect) you. (it would have been death to them if they had really slept).

So they took the money and did as they were taught; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.

Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.

And when they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, ALL power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost;

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”  Matthew 27:50-66 and Matthew 28:1-20

Wow, can you imagine how awesome it would have been to see that angel come down, roll away that stone, as the guards literally stood there shaking in their boots,  the angel then actually sitting on top of the stone, almost as if to say to the guards, ” Try moving it now, boys” and at this sight they were so horrified that they actually fainted.

And then the angel in display of the gentleness of the one he serves, tells the ladies to Fear not! Please also forgive my capitalization, it is not intended as shouting, it is to highlight, it’s hard to preach in silence.

You may be wondering about other common verses, such as the doubting by Thomas, but I chose to go with the account from Matthew as it had been used in the previous post, but I encourage you to read the accounts of Mark, Luke, and John also as each tells a little more of the story in his own words.

Lord will, we will highlight those accounts also in the next post on the way to Pentecost.

But back to this one, it is so wonderful, the fulfillment of this prophecy, Hosea 13:14:”I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death; O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction; repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.”

Written this way in 1 Corinthians 15:55-57: “O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”

As we read in the last post  those of the day clung to the law but had no mercy, love, and kindness toward any, but Jesus came to teach us the truth of who he is, delivering us, teaching us that faith in him is the way to salvation.

And the picture of the ultimate resurrections, as the saints of old were resurrected on that day as Jesus rose in His power and might and the earth quaking in prelude to the ultimate quake when he returns to earth and Mount Olive will split in two and those of earth who are still rebellious, cruel, and unyielding in accepting salvation will beg those rocks to fall on them and hide them from his face but there will be no hiding from the one who created it all.

Jesus fulfilled every promise God had made that he would again reconcile us back unto him and he did it all with his blood, his love, and his desire to save us.

Jesus is kind, he is merciful and he does not want any one lost or left to the devices of enemy, and satan and his demons  cower in his presence, one descriptive verse written this way, James 2:19: “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well; THE DEVILS ALSO BELIEVE AND TREMBLE.”

Today, REJOICE, REJOICE!

Revelation 1:18: “And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead, and he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last; I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys to hell and death.” 

God bless you and have a wonderful Holy Day!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2021/ Reverend Nina Brown Johnson