“He’s got ya…”

“Then the eleven disciples went way 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 all things whatsoever I have commanded you; 

And, lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. A-men,”  Matthew 28:16-20  

I am sure that you are very familiar with those verses, and I have used them many times myself over the years.

And when my thoughts for this post were hitting, I had actually thought about a television commercial. And I know how strange that may sound, and it wasn’t about the product or service offered, it was about the support

A trainer is encouraging a person by telling her “I got you” and that has always just reminded me of how Jesus encourages us, that when storms that we had expected to cease somehow still swirl all around us and the battles that we have entered into full of hope, faith, and determination assured that victory will come and we can find ourselves doubting, questioning as that battle seems to go on endlessly in an exhausting dead heat. 

We often wonder and question, much like the disciples that found themselves doubting. just like Thomas when he had doubted that Jesus rose from the dead. And they found themselves in the place that he had destined them to be, the place they were told to go.

That is the deal with the doubt and uncertainty that comes at us when life goes upside down, the first thought the enemy brings to us is, “IF”, IF you were where you should be with the Lord, none of this would be happening.” 

Has that ever went through your mind?

I am sure, if we would be honest, this has went through many minds. Because that is how the enemy uses doubt and it is one of his more powerful weapons, and that is how you have to view, nothing more, nothing less. 

As I have “preached” many times in this little blog, reiterating Romans 8:38,39 NO ONE and NOTHING can ever separate us from God so the enemy uses doubt to cause us to separate ourselves from God through the false belief that somehow we are out of his will when nothing in our lives feels like it could possibly be his will. 

It causes us to THINK…RETHINK… and finally OVERTHINK  everything that we have been taught about the Word of God and about God and make us completely question our relationship with him. So don’t!

Try out a new weapon of your own. Change your battleplan.

Jesus promised us many things but it ultimately up us to believe those promises and sometimes we have to look at things differently, because how we view a situation or an expected outcome is not always how he views it and when those things go a way not of our choosing NEVER means that he does not love and NEVER means that he has suddenly changed his mind and DECIDED to go against his own word and forsake us. He will NEVER do that.

And once we understand that we can see truly step back away from  our battles and see the truth that we can’t fight life and we certainly can not fight death but we can have peace in knowing that he is the ONLY one who holds our tomorrow and the only reason we can get through today.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts.

For as the rain cometh down, and snow from heaven, and returneth not thither (it does not go back up), but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return to me void (empty, without fruit) but it shall ACCOPMLISH that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereunto I send it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace…” Isaiah 55:8-11a 

Trust him, remember his promises and don’t let doubt steal that joy, joy that you need, joy that is your strength, the joy OF the Lord, joy not in this world but the joy in knowing that the God of the universe loves you! 

He’s “got” you and he is NEVER going to let you go and know that it is in that joy in him, joy in soul, not to be confused with being joyous in this world, it is hard to be cheerful when your heart is broken, so no, it is not cheerful joy, it is the joy in salvation and the promise of eternity.

And that is the joy that will bring you out of the wilderness and lead you forth out of that battle in his peace.

“RESTORE unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free (generous) spirit.” Psalm 51:12 

For something to be restored it had to have already be possessed, And when we start our journey with Jesus we are full of that joy, the joy that comes with the realization that his grace and mercy had spared our through our days of darkness and sin.  

Then as we mature in him and life comes as life does we find ourselves in that doubt… forgetting that joy.

He never changes, he accepts and loves us just as much as he did the day we accepted his salvation, the change lies within us. that why he tells us of his thoughts and our thoughts, and I have been very guilty of this myself, we have our thoughts of what should happen on earth but he gave us promises NOT of this earth an dour true hope and salvation are not of this earth.

Being human we want all the promises fulfilled here(and some are) but our hope is supposed to rest in the ETERNAL outcome. And that is your joy, that is your hope, that EVERY single morning while you are in this world, on this earth, HIS mercy is renewed every single morning and His mercy endures FOREVER. NOTHING will ever change that, nothing.  Get in your prayer closet and spend time with him in the Holy Ghost, let heaven bless earth remember those words that will NEVER return to him unfruitful… I AM WITH YOU ALWAY… 

And He’s got ya! He did not create you, love you, and save you, so that he could then just suddenly decide to throw you out to the wolves! Jesus does not work that way!

Have a blessed week! Love and peace till next time…  Praying it’ll be a blessing to you TODAY!!

Rev. Nina Brown Johnson / phlogizo360  2019   REVISITED 07/20/2021, Φλογιζω NBJ/2021

If you have never heard this, please check it out, (from YouTube)

“Killing the messengers”

“For the time will come when they will no longer endure sound doctrine;..” 2 Timothy 4:3,

We will be going back to to that verse in a little bit and above it, under it, and all the way around it, because the time that we were warned would come, has came

“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 in season, out of season (ready at any time); reprove (reprimand, admonish), rebuke (express disapproval of action), exhort (encourage) with all longsuffering and doctrine.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine (will not listen to the truth); but after their own lusts (worldly desires) shall heap unto themselves teachers, having itching ears (“ministers who will tell them what they want to hear)

And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables (refuse to hear the truth but will hear lies),

But WATCH thou in all things, ENDURE afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:1-5

If you are a messenger, that passage, my friend is for you!

We are given these words as comfort and encouragement to continue our work for Christ, no matter how hated, mistreated, rejected, or ostracized you may feel, God is the one that tallies up this score in the end and if you keep at it, keep enduring, seizing every single opportunity that you are given, and you will be rewarded, you may not ever feel it here on this earth, but thank God, this earth isn’t what it’s all about, now is it?

We know that humankind has had an uphill battle separating the truth of God from the poisonous doctrines of ungodly men masquerading as representatives of the Gospel since the serpent seduced Eve with his twisted “interpretation” of the warning God had given Adam and Eve to the consequences for disobedience.

For profit, prestige, and popularity they, as the Bible tells us with their great speeches and articulate reasonings, they will take one scripture and twist that scripture to justify actions and attitudes that God clearly states is in violation of everything He commanded.

Of course as you all know, the most common argument used to condone sinful lifestyles, is “Jesus is love”, and of course, HE IS but do not mistake love for desperation, the “Jesus” these people “teach” is nothing more than a fantasy being that they have dreamed up to fit the image of what the want their “god” to look like, a “god” that they have created in their image and it none of it bears any resembles to the attributes of the quite real, very much alive Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

They have even made it so hip and fun with the memes created from the of the ‘Sacred Heart” image which now have a variety of human add-on’s, and no matter where you go, what you read, you can always find something that is chipping away at the holiness of God and trying to bring him down to nothing more than a “person” with everyone comfortable making likenesses, jokes, and greeting cards and cartoons, you name it, it’s been done.

And this is all very intentional, because people have a very bad habit of following suit and once one person crosses a line everyone else is more than willing to follow and we will go back and take a look at that original sin, again.

“NOW the serpent was more subtil (cunning) than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 

And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst (middle) of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, LEST YE DIE (or you will die).

And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die. For God doth know that in the day that ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods (as God)knowing good and evil.

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes (a DESIRABLE thing), and a tree desired to MAKE ONE WISE, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also to her husband with her; and he did eat.” Genesis 3:1-6 And the rest, as they say, is history, our history as humans.

Satan twisted it all on her, first reaffirming what God had told them, pulling her in and then adding his take on it, that this wouldn’t really happen, imply that God was just keeping them from something “good” and Eve fell for it, looking at it, wanting it because it looked good and it would make her smart and give her some sort of “secretive” wisdom, something new, something mysterious, something she had never even heard of or thought of but now was something she was talked into wanting and felt she must have.

Oh, my doesn’t that sound so much like the culture we live in today? IF you wanna be smart, IF you wanna be accepted by society, IF you wanna fit in you do what everyone else tells you to do and think like everyone else thinks or you are a relic and completely missing out.

Same song, same dance, same satan, just a new generation of dancers, being beguiled out of their very souls and enticed to speak against God and make jokes and have attitudes that border very dangerously to blasphemy.

And you can still “hear” satan whispering today, whispering his distortions into the ears of all who will not resist him or those who are influenced by him in this world, whispering things such as, “Oh that is funny…”Laughter is merry medicine” surely God wouldn’t really be offended  by that as long as it makes you laugh and you should share it to social media, your friends will get a kick out of it too.”  And “Oh that person seems nice… and you and “what’s his face” aren’t really seein’ eye to eye lately anyway, You know “God is love”, so it’s okay if you have that affair with your friend,, God wants you to be happy.” and “Oh, I know He said, “Thou shalt not kill”… but you know that you’re not ready to be a Mom, it’s not really murder, sure, it has a heartbeat but it’s not really been born yet so its not really alive, Go ahead and do yourself a favor, have the abortion.”

THAT is how he works, THAT is how he has ALWAYS worked!

Once upon a time people had enough wisdom about them and enough reverential fear of the Lord, whether they worshipped him or not, they were still smart enough to not speak against Him and would never be so foolish as to take His word and twist it to justify themselves so they could sin and still have their names on a church membership register,  and without true repentance and salvation it will mean nothing for them in the end, still not saved, still eternally lost.

BUT they do not want you to enlighten them to that fact or enlighten them as to how to truly be saved or warn them by mentioning things that God allows you to notice that will do them more harm than good.

“Hear another parable: There was a certain householder (landowner), which  planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out (leased) to husbandmen (TENANT farmers), and went into a far country (far away).

And when time came near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen (tenant farmers), that they might receive the fruits of it.

And the husbandmen took his servants, and BEAT one, and KILLED another, and STONED another. 

AGAIN, he sent OTHER servants more than the first; and they did likewise unto them also.

But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence (respect) my son.

But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.

And they caught him, and cast (threw) him out of the vineyard, and slew (killed) him.

When the lord therefore of the vineyard COMETH, what will he do do unto those husbandmen?” Matthew 21:33-40 

With the fall of Adam, God left his word with man and  allowed “tenants” to care for his “vineyard”, this earth that he created, sending prophets and messengers to teach people his way.

But, they desiring their own way, sought only to kill those messengers because they did not want to hear the messages, finally God sent his own son to collect what was rightly his, goodness mercy, and those who would serve him in truth and in spirit, and keep his word, and as we know they killed him too, rejecting him, the Father, and trying to hold onto an inheritance that does not belong to them, wishing to live it up, trashing that inheritance by destroying  everything that is holy and good, kind and gentle, as they see fit.

Messengers today are being met with more hatred, contempt, and disgust than ever before, while trying to share the truth of the Gospel or warn of the falsehood of candy Christianity, or warn others of pitfalls that they are about to step into.

Those who reject and insult the servants of God never once realizing that it actually takes love to want to see people delivered, saved, and the desire to see them filled with joy, peace, and having a very real fellowship with a very real God.

If you are a messenger, keep at it, one day they will believe one way or another.

And if you happen to be reading this and have a tendency to feel that little kick of self righteous anger when someone is trying their best to witness to you, or your Pastor is just preaching things, that although you KNOW that the word being preached is true, but that you’d rather not hear it,  don’t be so quick to kill the messengers, they answer to God, they look out for you, when they see the wolves coming they warn you because they love you and they are held accountable for you and the messages or warnings that they are to deliver, but what you do once that message is delivered is ON YOU.

It takes a lot of courage to tell people something that you know is going to make them angry and dislike you, Who would want to do that? They do it out of love and the calling that God has given them, they do it for the souls of those who God is sending them to.

“Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, speak to the children of the people (descendants), and say unto them, When I bring the sword (judgment) upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him as a watchman;

IF when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and WARN the people;

Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh NOT warning, IF the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his OWN head. 

He HEARD the sound of the trumpet, and took NOT warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that TAKETH warning shall deliver his soul (save his life).

But IF the watchman see the sword come. and blow NOT the trumpet, and the people be NOT warned; IF the sword come, and take any person from among them, HE IS TAKEN IN HIS INQUITY; BUT HIS BLOOD WILL I REQUIRE AT THINE HAND.” Ezekiel 33:1-6

Now that is some serious responsibly. Here is some more…

Hebrews 13:17: ” Obey (listen to) them that have the rule over you ( spiritually lead you, like your Pastor) , and submit yourselves: for they WATCH for your souls, as they MUST give ACCOUNT, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you..”

God expects that of all us, no one knows everything and all of us need exhortation and encouragement and no one is immune to the enemies schemes, so today please don’t kill the messengers, be gracious and just thank them for the delivery!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2021/ Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

 

 

 

 

“Daddy’s shoes… “

“HEAR, ye little children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give unto you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. 

For I was my father’s son, and only beloved in the sight of my mother.

He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words; keep my commandments and live.

Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline (turn away) from the words of my mouth.

Forsake her (wisdom) not, and she shall preserve thee; love her and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing: therefore get wisdom; and with all thy getting get understanding.

Exalt her (wisdom), and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. she shall give (place on) thine hand an ornament of grace: a crown of glory she shall deliver unto thee.

Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of your life shall be many. I have taught thee in the ways of wisdom; I have lead thee in right paths.

When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened (hindered); and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.

Take fast (firm) hold of instruction; let her not go; keep her, for she is thy life. Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.

AVOID IT, pass not it by (do not travel on it), turn from it and pass away.

For they sleep not, except (unless) they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away unless they cause some to fall.

For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. 

But the path of the just is as a shining light,(bright light)  that shineth more  (even brighter)  and more unto that perfect day. 

The way of the wicked is as darkness; they know not at what they stumble.

My son, attend to my words: incline thine ear unto my sayings.

Let them depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

Put away from the a forward (deceitful) mouth, and perverse lips (a bad mouth) put far from thee.

Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.

Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established, Turn not to the right hand nor to the left, remove thy foot from evil.” Proverbs 4

Now that my dear friends, you could say is a crash course on Godly advice that was intended not only for believers but in my belief, also for parents to give to their own children and we now that the words from the mouths of parents or parental figures are also the words that truly shape us, make us or unfortunately break us.

That is nothing new and the hatred and lack of common concern one for another that has been passed from one generation seems to have only worsens with time.

It’s devastation more known at the moment, thanks to the technology we now possess but still the same evil that has always been and it lives and it spreads.

It lives and it spreads mainly through the bonds, or rather broken bonds between fathers and children.

For years it was taught for fathers to “rule” with an iron fist  and that is still common in many parts of the world and it is sickening.

There is nothing honorable or remotely masculine about any man that teaches hatred, violence, and batters  his family. And this was never God’s plan for any of it. He is kind, tender, and beautiful.

Jesus died for all of us, not once did he ask anyone to take his place on the cross, no one else could have, but this was the ultimate act of the Fathers love.

He loves us all and he loves us enough that he came to this earth and died for us.

How can anyone even try to convince another than anything other than respect and kindness toward others could ever ever be something God had designed?

It is not just teaching hatred and bigotry that has so damaged, it is not just the physical abuse that is destructive, it is also the the words and actions that make children feel rejected and unloved that leads to issues and especially in daughters  life long challenges that must be to overcome.

My daughter, like most children, found is so delightful as a toddler to “wear” her Dad’s shoes, it was the cutest thing, she’d wander over by the door, where the shoes were kept and suddenly, I see this huge grin and look down and both feet were standing in her Daddy’s shoes and then she would very careful try to walk in these “grown up” shoes.

Her tiny little feet having to lift the weight of those shoes in order to take each step and yet it was a joy to her, because we all have that need inside of us, to “walk” in our parents shoes. I am sure those of you who have children know exactly what I mean, the look of sheer joy that comes to the face of a child once they master a few steps in those shoes. And when you think of this spiritually, as fathers, a man’s shoes can be a delight for their little ones to grow into or they can be ill fitting and cause those children to stumble.

And that choice is completely up to the father.

Does a man want to honour God and love his family as God teaches, or does he want to have  a devil may care attitude and think only of himself, or does he leave uncomfortable, awkwardly fitting shoes behind because of indifference toward his family, or is he juts truly at a loss, not knowing how to be a father, maybe having never been taught by his own, so he just  does not know what do so he does nothing.   

Our verses above give perfect instruction on what to do, what to teach including teaching to AVOID the snares and destruction’s that we can easily fall into in life.

So to all of you Fathers on your special day, NEVER think it is too late! It is NEVER too late until you are dead! 

If you have maybe not been a great Dad, talk to you child, even if that child is grown and if they will not listen, write them a letter, and try to make peace and TRY to rebuild that relationship and even if seems there is no hope, keep trying, because LOVE, LOVE conquers all and maybe you won’t see the results of that right off the bat, you may not even see the results before you leave this world BUT there will be results, healing and closure for your child. Knowing that you tried will impact their lives for good even if they NEVER get to the place of forgiveness that they are comfortable sharing those thoughts with you.

And hold your children, love you children, let them see your tears you compassion because if you don’t the weight of trying to grow into your shoes, shoes that are even to big for you, will break them because we are all human and we need to not be afraid to show that, it is much harder to retain your temper and forbearance than it is to burst into an angry rage. I have said this “a hundred times” in these posts and probably will again, but think of Jesus, one of my favorite things about him, he COULD have destroyed the entire world rather than face crucifixion, but in his MERCY, he forgave those who demanded his death.

Rage is easy, swallowing “pride” and responding with mercy and forgiveness not quite as much.

God blesses us in following his word in all areas of our life, and with that stand, STAND for what is right and speak for those who can’t, the Biblical truth concerning violence against women has always been very close to my heart, and I have always believed if men would call out men, concerning it, it would change, just as it is time for the police to police themselves and tear down that code of silence within the brotherhood that has lead to the tragedies we have now, when three stands by while one kills because they are ingrained with the doctrine that there are lines that must not be crossed.

Finally maybe you are reading this and you had a terrible, terrible father rest assured you do not have to mirror him and you do not have to make the same mistakes. You have a heavenly Father who will love you and teach you his ways and help you grow into who he created you to be.

If you are reading this and you are a mother raising your kids alone and there is no way that their father is ever going to be the father they need, you can pray the blessing of God over your children and yourself, you NEED extra help when you are the mother and the father, the breadwinner, homemaker, and every job in between! 

Read this passage, memorize this passage, and PRAY verse five (in bold) over you and your children every day.

Psalm 68:1-5: “Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered, let them also that hate him flee before him. As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so  let the wicked perish before the presence of God.

But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice.  Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens, by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.  

A father of the fatherless, and a judge (DEFENDER) of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.”

Finally, to my Brothers in Christ, HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

May God bless you and your families and keep praying those blessings for your kids and all the kids who do not have a Godly father to ask those blessing of God for them.

Thanks for reading!

Φλογιζω 2020 ΝBJ//Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

REVISTED 06/16/2021  Happy Father’s Day once again my friends! Have a blessed day!

 

“Sparrows”

“In the third year of Darius the king of Persia a thing (message) was revealed to Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar( the name his captor’s gave him); and the thing was true but the time, but the time appointed was long (of a great conflict): and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.

In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks.I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, until the three weeks were fulfilled (fasted for three weeks).

And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel (The Tigris):

Then I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and beheld a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins (waist) was girded with fine gold of Uphaz; His body also was like beryl, and his face the appearance of lightning, and his eyes lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice(sound) of a multitude.

And I Daniel alone saw the vision; for the men that were with me saw not the vision, but a great quaking (terror) fell upon them, so that they fled to hide themselves.

Therefore was I left alone, and saw the great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness (vigour)was turned in me into corruption (frailty),and I retained no strength.

YET heard I the voice (sound) of his words; and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground.

And behold, an hand touched me, which set me (trembling) upon my knees, and upon the palms of my hands (helped him set up).

And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man GREATLY beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: For unto thee am I NOW SENT. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling.

Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel; For from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten (humble) thyself before thy God, thy words WERE heard, and I am come for thy words. ” Daniel 10: 1-12

You may recognize that as being the account of Daniel’s fasting and praying for twenty-one days to understand the end time vision that had been given him, and the next verses explain that even though the answer had been on the way, the forces of hell where doing their best to prevent Daniel from receiving his answer so they literally had to be fought through in order to reach Daniel.

And to really grasp what a battle this was, think about this, it was the Lord and Michael the archangel fighting those powers that did not want Daniel to receive that answer.

And right about now you may be asking, What does all this have to do with sparrows? So glad you asked 🙂 It has everything to do with them!

Daniel was horrified and the vision had left him completely shaken, I have said this before and will probably say it again, but I really can’t imagine what it would have been like for Daniel, not only seeing all the end time destruction but to see the depravity of mankind, that he could not have possibly imagined in his time period.

But this is not about all that, this is about what was told to him,  the conversation starts off with him being lifted up, reassured by name, that he is loved, not just loved, greatly loved, and  to not be afraid, and that he had not been left abandoned alone to understand this vision, but from day one he had been heard.

So why do you think Jesus would care so much to expressly say all of these things to Daniel? Because he loves him, and when you love someone and you know that they are scared and hurting, you want to reassure them and let them know that they are not alone and Jesus feels that same way about all his children, he feels that same way about you. That is just another beautiful aspect to the innumerable beautiful attributes that make Jesus who he is

Sometimes when we go through a dark place and we feel like we have prayed endlessly, it does not mean that he is not there, nor does it mean that he does not care.

Quite the opposite. he loves us enough to have came to this earth and died for us

And then going on to give us this blessed promise after he resurrected, …and, lo, I AM with you alway, even the end of the world.” 

Romans 5:8:”But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

I’m part of the crew that loves to point out the fact that God created everything, and created us and simply because he wanted to, and when the fall came he could have very well decided to destroy us all and even create something completely different, not even put humans back into the equation, but he didn’t do that, and he didn’t do that because he loves us!

He loves us not because of who we are, what we do, or don’t do but because we are his creation, just as parents love their children, but God even more so because humans do not even possess the level of love that Jesus has toward us.

So I wanted to remind you of that today, that your Father loves you, and he loves you more than you could ever, ever imagine and when life or people or circumstance starts kicking you down, think about Daniel, think about the moment he lifted up his head, and lift your head and look up toward your Father and rest in these verses.

Before you read these bear in mind that today a farthing would be one tenth of an american cent.

“Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing (1/16th of a denarius) and one of them shall not fall to the ground without your father. But the very hairs on your head are numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye ARE of more value than many sparrows.”Matthew 10:29-31

Luke words it like this:

“Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs on your head are numbered. Fear ye not therefore: Ye are of more value than many sparrows.” Luke 12:6,7

God knows every single bird on the earth at any given time, every single member of every species on earth and knows the exact moment one falls and never forgets even one of them and that is what he is conveying to us, that in all, how could we ever believe that he could forget one of his children?

He will never forget you, he knows your name, where you have been, where you are right now, and where you are going, He knew your birth before your birth and he knows the moment he will take you home and that is our comfort, he is always there, and I just want you to know that he will not let you fall and will not let you suffer alone.

We’ll end it here, Luke 11:9-13: “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he taht seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Ask him for his presence and his comfort and rest in him and he will see you through!

Love & Peace to you till next time! Thank you for sharing a moment with me and thank you for reading!

Φλογιζω 2021/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

If you have never heard this song check it out, I think it will uplift you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Endued from On High”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And ye are witnesses of these things.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Φλογιζω NBJ 2021/ Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Virtuous”

The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him, What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what the son of my vows?

Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings” Proverbs 31:1-3

Before I get to far into this, how about I tell ya what we are doing here?

One thing that has came from the “social isolation” is families spending time together, reconnecting, and being a part of one another’s lives that they normal would never be exposed to. 

Parents working from home, kids getting a bird’s eye view of just why it is their parents may be tired, sleepy, and even just a little grumpy after a day at the “office” and parents now have to ‘home school” their children are getting a glimpse of just how differently academic standards can change in  a generation and can quickly realize the stressful expectations modern education truly lays on the shoulders of students.

And the beauty in all this bustle is this…  families are also spending time together , doing dinner together, sharing household chores together, fending off boredom by entertaining themselves together, gardening and planting flowers together and all sharing in the responsibilities of protecting the family from the virus by acting very consciously together.

And of course this would in no way be ideal in a dysfunctional family or those who may be temporarily living in an abusive or emotionally controlled home because that is not love and in my belief, God would never want anyone  being treated abusively and God gives us his mercy, his courage to believe for a better day

That is why I say temporarily because He will take care of you but you also must be willing to make those first steps, letting him deal with the ashes and thorns so that you can  free yourself from that relationship or in certain cases that freedom comes as a circumstance has to change.

So now that’s enough links to cover the flip side of this coin, I want to talk about the wonderful opportunity that God has placed right in the middle of all this fear and worry and to do that we are going to hit verse by verse through Proverbs 31.

Thinking  a little about the meaning in each line and the importance of a mother’s  role in not only teaching her children but the express wisdom she imparts to her children and bear in my mind that often theses conversations in the Bible are between mothers and adult offspring. 

It is never too late as this verse begins by informing us that he is relaying the words of his mother, meaning he listened to her and those were kept in his heart and mind. She first gave him confirmation, triple confirmation, of their bond.

Her first warning to him was the dangers of being seduced away, by letting lust lead him into destruction, the cross references to these verses actually take you to the dangers of adultery and the danger of that day, when men had multiple wives, which was NEVER God’s intention, people often think because something is “in” the Bible that it means that whatever those mentioned were doing must have been okay with God, but NO!

The Bible is full of stories of people who were, well just that… people and the stories are in the Bible to let us know that God forgives and we are all kinda messed up but the people in those stories did all kinds of things that were never part of God’s plan, that is why Jesus came to save us.

So the Mama was warning her son to stay away for the traps and snares that would ruin him and in modern society celibacy until marriage is thought comical BUT God’s word is eternal and so are the reasons it was taught then and those reasons and the reasons given against affairs are as valid now.

It ruins lives, ruins families and that grass that was greener will fade and withered brown and once it has there will be no going back to what was once had.

God does repair but people are left with pain and regret that they must allow God to heal. 

Proverbs 31:4-6: “It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor princes to drink strong drink; 

Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert judgment (justice)of any of the afflicted.

Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto him that be of  heavy (biter) heart.

Let him drink and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.”

Now she is warning him to pitfall, that again is viewed almost comedic in modern culture.

But again, just as clearly defined and the reasons that God gives us to avoid alcohol is also clearly defined for our benefit an dour families benefit, and as Mama is explaining to him, as a ruler being intoxicated will cause he to forget what is right and will cause and lead to an absolute miscarriage of justice against those who desperately need help the most.

And that “strong drink” should be reserved for those on bed of death and wine only for those whose heart is full of sorrow, I think as spiritual, new wine, God making all things new, as God gives us spiritual wine, we are no longer poor, maybe materially but not spiritually. Jesus said ye are rich, rich in him and the Kingdom of God which is not of this world, but the next. Making his followers forget the misery that their lives once was.

Now she is ready to dispense her most sage advise for sons, for daughters, for all her children and her children’s children children, advice that would be for the ages… because after all it has survived ages.

“Open thy mouth, for the dumb (speechless)in the cause, of all such as appointed to destruction. Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and PLEAD the cause of the poor and the needy” Proverbs 31:8-9

“She” is speaking her of the need and the responsibility to lift up our voice on behalf of others and following the golden rule and being diligent for all to do our part in speaking out when others can’t and seeing to needs when we see those needs.

And now the beauty and the truly remarkable attributes of being a woman, a wife, a mother and I can never do anything dealing with marriage without pointing out the fact that God loves women, and the old man made thoughts that women are subservient an dare objects to be owned, is just that man made. 

Men were to love and cherish their wives, as Christ loved the church, and he does not harm the church, he loved the church enough to die for us all.

God says in his words that marriage means this, two become one, so marriage is a union, not of one versus one, both of two producing a family unit that was intended to act as one, for the good and love of all.

Proverbs 31:10-12: “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safety trust in her, so that he hath no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.”

Virtuous translates to wife of valor and meaning that her son would do well to find a woman of honesty, integrity and in doing so that her impact in their life would be greater than as if they possessed the world’s greatest riches.

Just as mothers desire that daughters marry men who will be good husbands in treating their wife and family well.

Not always the case, we now have many many virtuous women who have the roles of father, mother, provider, care giver, everything duty of parental guidance solely upon their shoulders as they take on the role of solitary family guide, in not way fair or right but it is now the norm and these ladies should be honored by us and in our society. the next verses are perfect for these leading ladies of life, navigating solely, sacrificing their own needs for their benefit of their children, parents, and communities.

They give so much and are often overlooked and given nothing in return, or so it seems… God sees it all, he sees their hurt, their worry, he sees the abuse they have suffered, he has seen the adultery on the behalf of the spouses that lead them to this solitary path. And these next verse surely apply to those who do it all while feeling that they are alone.

Proverbs 31:13_21:”She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willing with her hands. She is like the merchant’s ships: she bringeth food from afar.

She rises also while it is yet night, and giveth meat (food) unto her household, and a portion unto her maidens.

She considereth a field, and buyeth it: and with the fruit (earnings) of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengthen her arms.

She preceiveth that her merchandise is good; her candle (lamp) goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.

She strectcheth (extends) her hand to the poor, yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

She is not afraid of the snow for her household; for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

She maketh herself coverings of  tapestry; her clothing is silk (fine linen) and purple.”

We’ve got a lot of mirroring going on in these verses.

This lady is a worker, she is seizing every opportunity for the betterment of her household, she is up working, as everyone else sleeps,  her light shines brightly even the dark night.

She is good to everyone, not just her family, she is good to her friends and she is especially good to those in need, even “reaching’ out to them to help them also.

She prepares for tomorrow as she has her family reading for coming season and mirror scarlet to having her family saved clothed under the blood of the Lamb, she herself wearing fine linen, her robe of righteousness given to her from God, and purple as she is the daughter of the King.

The next verses apply to the married ladies and the blessing that they bring to their husbands and family:

It reminds me so much of the wives of pastors, who are often the sweetest, kindest women who give so much of themselves for the church the love and are blessings to all they mingle with and again referencing all their hard work.

Proverbs 31:23-24: “Her husband is known to the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.

She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles (sashes) unto the merchants.” 

And now back to the virtue in virtuous, for all his daughters.

Proverbs 31:25-31: ” Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in the time to come.

She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. 

Her children rise up and call her blessed; and her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously (well) but thou excellest them all. 

Favour  (charm) is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but  a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. 

Give her the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.”

Women, daughters, wives, mothers, grandmothers, pastors, ministers, doctors, lawyers, food workers, factory workers, home school mama’s. librarians, college deans, every job imaginable and all the “domestic engineering” in between, bold, between, kind, and often unseen.

So on this special day, Bless all of you who are mothers as you impart these wisdom’s, as Lemuel mother did as you have this time with your children.

Know that as we ended with her works will praise her, your work time and love will bring multitudes of joy in the days ahead and your children will always remember what you have did for them and they will never forget.

Know this my friends, you may not be a mother yet, but maybe you “mother” those around you, sisters or brothers or maybe you even feel like you have to be a mother to your own parents, or you are a “den” mother caring for every stray that comes your way, no matter what “woman’ you are, maybe life has been hitting you so hard and you feel like no one sees, know one knows but I promise you, one does, His name is Jesus and HE is watching over you, every single step from above!

Φλογιζω/ NBJ 2020 Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

REVISTIED 05/09/2021

This song has nothing to do with being virtuous, it is actually “Virtuoso” the reprise version and it is about the beauty of God and His sovereignty over our lives.

It is just one of my all time favorites and for some reason it had just been in my heart and my head for this post so it you have never heard it, please check it out. 

Sparkin’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now that’s people being made believers!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Φλογιζω NBJ 2021 Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

 

“Nothing to prove”

“The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.

Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.

Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre (going to the tomb).

So they ran both together; and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.

And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying: yet went he not in.

Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie.

And the napkin, that was about his head (the face cloth that had been over Jesus’ face), not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together (folded) in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.

For as yet, they knew (understood) not the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 

Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.

But Mary stood without (outside) at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre.

And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.

And they said unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.

And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing there, but she knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou hast borne him hence (carried him away),tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. 

Jesus saith unto her, Mary, she turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master (teacher). 

Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.

Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

And when he had so said, he shewed (showed) unto them his hands and his side, Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.

Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you; as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost;

Whose soever sins ye remit (forgive), they are remitted (forgiven) unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. 

But, Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was NOT with them with Jesus come. 

The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and out my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

And after eight days again his disciples were within (inside), and Thomas with them; then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 

Then said he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless (unbelieving) but believing. 

And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed. 

And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:

But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through (in) his name.” John 20 1-31

I love that last verse! “But” these are written… so we can have the choice to believe the Bible accounts and that we can have that choice to accept eternal life, simply by choosing to believe for ourselves, that Jesus was indeed born as a man on this earth to a virgin mother, led a completely sinless life, while subjected to all the traps and snares of this world, even more so than us, and yet without committing one sin.

Something no human can do, and Jesus was constantly bombarded by those demanding that he “prove” himself to them, even as he was suffering, dying, on the cross, they still demanded, “IF you are the Son of God, come down” and so many today have quite the same attitude when they chose to not accept salvation, it is often said, “Well, when God calls I will get saved,”

Bad idea, because God already called, the very first time any of heard the name of Jesus and the message of salvation, we were called and every single say he allows us on this earth that we are aware of the teachings of Christ, we are still being extended that invitation to eternal life.

And when we give all the excuses and somehow think he should chase us down and beg us to serve him, we are not interested in serving God out of love and worship of him, we are in reality acting just like the Pharisees and Jews when they demanded proof of who he was and is, and God answers to no one.

Thomas, poor Thomas, even today, his name is still associated with disbelief, as we refer to perpetually skeptical people as “Doubting Thomases” and doubt often comes from the enemy because he does not want you to believe, and mix that up with human rebellion, people often spend their whole life in misery, looking for happiness, peace, and the meaning of life, searching for “something” while refusing to accept the very thing they seek because they want it on their terms.

Jesus also enlightening us to our blessed state, as he told Thomas, we are blessed because even though we have never saw the Lord, was not present at his crucifixion, never walked Jerusalem with him, did not watch him cast out devils, heal the sick, give sight to the blind, or raise the dead, we still believe, we have chosen to believe and  in that we are blessed.

Once we chose to believe, even when we have not seen him or touched his nail scarred hands or saw the marks from the crown of thorns, we know he is there and we know he lives and we know because he lives, that he lives forever and because he lives, as the Bible tells us, so shall we.

Even though we did not see firsthand all his miracles while he walked earth, we can see the miracles he sends today and we can one day see the resurrection, the resurrection of all who have died in him, as those who are “asleep” in God will be gathered together with him in that glorious day.

This scripture was not originally part of this post, but as I write, it is on my heart, to share this, one more time, 1 Thessalonians 4: 16-18:

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first;

Then they which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to MEET the Lord in the air; and so we shall ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”

This is the hope, this is one of those many blessings that we are given, the promise that living on this earth, remaining faithful to the Lord, or dying, being buried, cremated, or even, heaven forbid, something so cataphoric that there isn’t anything even left of our earthly bodies, still God will repair and raise those bodies back up.

And you notice in the accounts of Pharisees’ and those of that day, constantly demanding that “proof” of Jesus, and Jesus had nothing to prove to them, but yet when Mary wept, so distraught that she just answered the angels when they asked why she cried, even though they sat positioned as those that adorned the mercy seat, as this was a complete mirror, and yet, she never questioned any of it, she was so distraught and devastated and someone once asked why did he come to her first, and in my mind, like a kid at school, raising their hand, shouting, “I know! I know!”, I do know and many of you do too, and the person asking knew, they just, I believe, wanted people to really, really think about this, she needed him the most.

They were all traumatized, devastated, and their lives turned upside down, going from walking with the one who walked on water to being in total horror, hiding as they knew those who killed Jesus could come at any moment to take their lives also.

And such a dependence on him, and rightfully so, but where would they turn when the one that they had turned to was, in their grief stricken minds, now gone forever.

And while the others hid, Mary sought, she thought nothing of the soldiers, or nothing of the Priests, or the impending doom and death that could have very easily beset her, all that was going on in her mind is that his body was gone and she loved him, adored him, and was determined to find him.

And he came to her.

As we are promised, we will find him, when we seek him with our whole heart.

But this world, and especially the Great Babylon, that demands “proof” of his existence and “proof” of his return, do not seek him, they only use the need of “proof” to excuse their disbelief, thereby in their thoughts, excusing them from adhering to his commands that were given to all mankind, but as we know, there will be no excuses, either we believe or we don’t.

He will bless belief by revealing himself but he will never “prove” himself to appease unbelief.

He has nothing to prove, he is God and he does as he chooses and if we refuse to accept his death and resurrection as the sacrifice for our sins, then we can certainly not blame anyone other than ourselves.

Believe or not, as the old saying goes, one day he will make “believers” of us all, even those whos refuse to repent will still know and see him with their own eyes, and for many, that day will be too late.

So today, if you love him, seek him all the more, as the world grows colder and more belligerent, let your love and devotion to him grow that much stronger, the greater their denial let your proclamation sound louder, be like Mary, she didn’t care that the disciples thought she was insane and refused to believe her report, she didn’t care who was at the tomb, she didn’t care how far she had to go or how she would get there, all she knew is that she had to find her Lord, and that is all we need to remember in these last days, it wasn’t about him and the disciples, or him and the Pharisees, or what the Priests, Pilate, or anyone else thought, said or did, it was all about her and her relationship with him and she was beyond blessed for that.

Love & Peace till next time, thanks for reading!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2021/ Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

 

 

 

THE LAMB “Pouring of the blood”

“Hear the word of the Lord, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah.

To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord; I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.

When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread (trample) my courts?

Bring no more vain oblations (futile sacrifices); incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away (endure) with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.

Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me, I am weary to bear them.

And when ye spread forth your hands (pray), I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear, your hands are full of blood (bloodshed).

Wash you, make you clean; put away evil from your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;

Learn to do well; seek judgment (justice),relieve the oppressor (reprove, reprimand those who oppress others), judge (DEFEND, vindicate) the fatherless, Plead for the widow.

COME NOW, and let us reason together, saith the Lord; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” Isaiah 1:10-18 

Since the dawn of time humans have had a twisted ideal of what God requires, some have believed falsely that He requires stern severity in our lives and in our relationships with others and this was often due to the hardness of their own hearts, using misinterpreted scriptures as a basis to justify their own evil actions. 

Especially when it comes to mistreating children, ethnic groups not our own, women, and the most vulnerable of the world. And just as he pointed out in this passage, expressly mentioning the rulers of Sodom and people of Gomorrah the bloodshed, just as the blood of the aborted babies have spiritually stained this earth and the sickening irony is that in my state, here in America, the governor decided to do away with the death people but still scream out to be a slaughter state when it comes to murdering the unborn.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not pro death penalty either, I just can’t stomach the hypocritical “mercy” of the leaders we have here in “Sodom”, life is life and all life is created of God and is sacred.

In this passage, God is referring to what Jesus would echo when he said this, quoting prophecy of Isaiah, THIS PEOPLE DRAWETH NIGH UNTO ME WITH THEIR MOUTH, AND HOUNRETH ME WITH THEIR LIPS; BUT THEIR HEARTS ARE FAR FROM ME. BUT IN VAIN DO TEHY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING FOR DOCTRINES THE COMMANDMENTS OF MEN.” Matthew 15:8,9   

Those who profess Christ in word or hide behind the label of Christianity and yet their actions prove otherwise.

The absence of mercy and gentleness, grace, and compassion is proof positive that they are not whom they claim to be just as when the Sanhedrim chose to accuse Jesus of blasphemy and the crowd cried fro his death, they professed to know God to worship God and yet they screamed for the crucifixion of his only Son.

As God sent his word, he sent prophet after prophet, their cries, such as this one from Hosea 6:6: ”

For I have desired mercy (faithfulness), and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.” ringing through the earth and yet falling on deaf ears, because those ears chose their own deafness, for it was much more to their pleasure to refuse to hear the truth as they could continue in their own self righteous vain worship of a God who they did not even know.

If they refuse to know him in truth, but continue in their version of service and worship, choosing their own interpretations of what commandments or teachings they want to follow of they falsely believe that they will not be held accountable to him. 

Jesus came to this earth to end this once and for all, his ultimate purpose to cleanse us from sin and reconcile us back to the father, but he also came to teach us the truth, the truth of what it was and is to be a child of the King, what it means to truly love others, and he gave us example of how we are to live, and most importantly LOVE

and the depths of his love for us a love that was willing to be the ultimate sacrifice for all mankind and by becoming that sacrifice his precious blood covering us making us clean in him.

“Now before the feast of passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And supper being ended, the devil now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simons’s son to betray him.

Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things unto his hands, and that he was from God, and went (was going) to God; he riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.

After that he poured water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.

Then cometh he to Simon Peter; and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet (Are you washing my feet)?

Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.  

Simon Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet, Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part of me.” John 13:1-8

Peter was really apprehensive, the thought of his Lord, subserviently washing his feet was just all kinds of wrong to him, and aren’t we like that sometimes, thinking that we don’t need a savior to clean us up that we’ll clean ourselves us up, in our time when we are “ready” and when we can “live it” then we will accept Jesus’ offer of salvation.

I wonder how many people are in hell today or how many people are chained in misery, choosing to wear those chains of bondage because they buy the lies of Satan or their own misguided thoughts of righteousness, like Peter, stating “Thou shalt NEVER was my feet”, we can never wash our own sins away, there is nothing we could ever do in our human power to scrub away the filth this world covers us in. There is nothing in any other religion, teachings, or pagan deities or the lack thereof, that would ever wash us. Only Jesus, only the blood if the perfect, sinless, spotless Lamb of God and the covering of his blood.

Just as the blood of a spotless lamb applied to the doorposts of the homes of the Hebrews when God visited Egypt with death and that first blessed Passover, that blood signifying to the death angel that those inside were the children of Jehovah God and they were not to be harmed as he went about extinguishing the lives of the firstborn as the judgments against Pharaoh’s enslavement of God’s chosen and his refusal of God’s demand for their release were carried out. And as Jesus kept that earthly passover with his disciples, he instructed them in that from this point forward it would be His blood that would offer cleansing and protection.

“And they went and found as he had said unto them; and made ready the passover.

And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him.

And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer; For I say unto you, I will not eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. 

And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves; For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.

And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you; this do ye in remembrance of me. 

Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the cup of the new testament (covenant) in my blood, which is shed for you.” Luke 22:13-20

Now lets talk about his broken body and his blood that poured out for us all.

Isaiah 52:14 prophecy would read as this: “As many were astonied at thee; his visage (appearance) so marred more than any man, and his form (body) more than the sons of man.”

He was so beaten and his appearance so distorted, had you known him well, you still would not have recognized him, His face and body so savagely beaten unlike anything that would have been seen at any arrest or crucifixions.

And THIS, THIS is the account of his body being broken and his blood poured out, for you, for me, for us.

And as the cup that Jesus told them to take and divide among themselves, this is the truth of Gospel that we should be dividing, giving one to another and sharing, not the politics and drama of this world, but the eternal truth of what Jesus Christ did for us at the cross. Nothing else in this world matters and pales in comparison to greatest display of mercy the world will ever know. I remember encounter with the brutal truth of the cross, it was the night before Easter and I was tiny, probably about 7 or so and I was watching TV, and evidently, I realized later, it was “The Greatest Story Ever Told”, my Mom and Dad were in the kitchen and I had been watching this show it was so wonderful, He was so kind, and then it got to the part when they arrested him and I watched in horror as they , beat him, made fun of him, , shoved a crown of thorns on his head, striped the blood from his back with whips and t then they nailed him to the cross, and Mom had always told me when people died or whatever on a show we were watching for me not to get upset that it was just  a movie and they weren’t really hurt or dead, so I had to know because this movie was different and I had heard about God and Jesus, so I ran crying into the kitchen and I cried ‘Mommy, is this real?” and she followed me back into the living room to see what i was watching, and she looked at Jesus on the cross, and with tears in her eyes, she said, “Yeah, Honey, they really did that to him.” so I cried and cried and kept watching in hopelessness but as the movie went on, at the end of those those three days a wonderous thing happened, He rose!

For sake of “time” in reading this we’ll pick this up after Judas had betrayed Jesus and he had been arrested and the crowd had screamed for the release of Barabbas and the crucifixion of Jesus, and please keep in mind as the Bible uses the word scourged, scourged means that tied him to a whipping post and beat him with cat o nine whips, which is a whip made of multiple leather strips with metal or sometime bone attached to the end of each strip, so with every hit it cut and pulled pieces of actual flesh from his body and remember “By HIS stripes we are healed”, he suffered that for us.

Then released he Barabas unto them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.

Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the WHOLE band of soldiers.

And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.

And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, Saying, Hail, King of the Jews!

And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. And after that they led him away to crucify him.

And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name; him they compelled to bear his cross.

And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, this is to say, a place of a skull.

They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.

And they crucified him, and parted his garments(divided his clothes), casting lots; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, THEY PARTED MY GARMENTS AMONG THEM, AND UPON MY VESTURE THEY DID CAST LOTS.

And sitting down they watched him there. And set up over his head his accusation written, JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.

And they that passed by reviled (blasphemed) him, wagging their heads, and saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest in again in three days, save thyself, if thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.

Likewise the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others, himself he cannot save, if he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross and we will believe him.

He trusted in God ; let him deliver him now, if he will have him; for he said, I am the Son of God.

The thieves also which were with him, cast the same in his teeth (made the same comments)

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli lamasabachthani? that is to say, MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME? 

Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elisas.

And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.

The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.

Jesus, when he had cried with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost (died).” Matthew 27:26-50

You can read more details through studying the accounts of this in the four Gospels, including the salvation of one of the thieves, I encourage that, but as you read, you can see what he suffered and how these people did not fear God in the slightest, not only in crucifing Jesus but in their blasphemous words as he was dying.

We’ll check out the glorious resurrection next time and until then bless you, and if you have not accepted the gift Jesus has offered, what better time than now to accept him and accept the sacrifice of his blood that poured down.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2021/ Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So glad that you asked!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Another secret here:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Φλογιζω NBJ 2021/ Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina BrownJohnson

Happy Thanksgiving

“Sodom, Gomorrah, and the days of Noah”

“For as the lightning, that cometh forth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so SHALL the also the Son of man be in his day.

But first he must suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.

And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be in the days of the Son of man.

They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, UNTIL the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.

LIKEWISE also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the SAME DAY that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.

Thus SHALL it be in the day when the Son of man is REVEALED.” Luke 17:24-30

I do want to start by saying that I have did very similar posts to this thought but I do hope this will be more detailed and allow readers to read the scriptures and decide for themselves the interpretation of the this.

And it is often so hard to do this job, not just for me, but for all of us that minister the true Gospel, for us to relay these teaching without having people offended or upset because they feel it too harsh.

But we have all been sinners, we all sin, all that are believers now are believers because they chose to heed the warnings and repent.

The only difference is those who take those warnings from Jesus, exactly as they are, WARNINGS FROM JESUS, or those who choose to feel offense rather than feel repentance.

Jesus gave us those warnings so that we would know and that we would be on guard to protect ourselves from those things to come by having our lives entrusted to him and our souls already sealed in his Spirit.

And one may argue that they have heard this all their lives and he hasn’t come back yet, well, be grateful you have heard it and be grateful that he has allowed you another day to hear again because we are told in the Bible that”God will not always strive with man” and the reason that he has NOT returned yet, is HIS MERCY, He wants people saved.

2nd Peter 3:1-18: “The second epistle (letter), beloved, I now write unto you; in both which, I STIR UP YOUR PURE MINDS BY WAY OF REMEMBRANCE: That ye be MINDFUL of the WORDS which were spoken by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Saviour.

Knowing THIS first, that there SHALL COME IN THE LAST DAYS scoffers (mockers), walking after their own lusts, (concerned with only their own desires), 

And SAYING,Where is the promise of his coming? for since our fathers fell asleep (ancestors died), all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.

For this they WILLINGLY are ignorant of (forget), that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water, and in the water; Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water perished;

But the heavens and the earth, WHICH ARE NOW, by the same word are kept in store,, RESERVED into fire against (until) the day of judgement and perdition (destruction) of UNGODLY men.

But beloved, BE NOT IGNORANT(not being aware) OF THIS ONE THING, that one day is with the Lord AS a thousand years, and a thousand years AS one day.

THE LORD IS NOT SLACK CONCERNING HIS PROMISE, AS SOME MEN COUNT SLACKNESS; BUT IS LONGSUFFERING TO US-WARD (toward us), NOT WILLING THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH, BUT THAT ALL SHOULD COME TO REPENTANCE.

But the day of the Lord WILL come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works therein shall be burned up.

Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, WHAT MANNER OF PERSONS OUGHT YE TO BE in all holy conversation (conduct) and godliness.

Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being ON FIRE shall be dissolved, and the elements shall MELT with a fervent heat?

Nevertheless, we, ACCORDING TO HIS PROMISE, look for a NEW heavens and a NEW earth, WHEREIN DWELLETH RIGHTEOUSNESS (where right standing with God lives). 

Wherefore beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, BE DILIGENT that ye may be found of him in PEACE, without spot, and blameless.

And account (consider) that the longsuffering (PATIENT forbearing) of the Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to wisdom given unto him has written you;

As also in his epistles , speaking in them of THESE things; in which are some things HARD TO BE UNDERSTOOD, which they that are unlearned (untaught) and unstable wrest (twist), as they do the other scriptures, UNTO THEIR OWN DESTRUCTION.

Ye therefore, beloved seeing ye know these things BEFORE (in advance), BEWARE, LEST YE ALSO, BEING LED AWAY WITH THE ERROR OF THE WICKED, FALL FROM YOUR OWN STEADFASTNESS.

But grow in grace, and in knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, To him be the glory both now and for ever, Amen.”

Peter was reiterating that some would question and laugh at the return of Christ, while others would get so caught up in their thinking that they would twist the scriptures to suit themselves thereby destroying themselves rather that to accept the word as is, including obedience to those words, while we should do our best to live blamelessly and in peace knowing that although God is very, very patient that one day that patience will run out.

And sin has always been, since the fall of man, and there is “nothing new under the sun” as the Bible so eloquently puts it and the sins committed now are no different, the DIFFERENCE is the sheer scale, the MAGNITUDE of those sins and the acceptance, dismissal, and excusal of sin.

That is the difference how can anyone truly, truly believe that Jesus is a loving merciful God and yet he could possibly continue to allow the influence of this world to continue while others cry for his deliverance?  

And we can’t have both, not on the scale that we have it, pull numbers on human trafficking, and brutality faced by millions living in various parts of the world under the rule of evil dictators, and all that are being persecuted for their religious beliefs, and there are those not even of the Christian faith being tormented alongside our brothers and sisters, because those in power want the “faith” to be in their rule over them, viewing themselves to be “gods” and that is horrifying and it is COMMON in many parts of the world.

And as we discussed last post, the babies and another big one, with the destruction of the family unit, alos the absolute disregard for life, many countries now having “euthanasia” laws, check some of these out, ye may be surprised, it is the legal right to kill the elderly, the sick, those with mental or emotional challenges, even young people suffering from depression.

No one even bothering to say, “Hey, hang on life can get better”, No, if a person feels their life is no longer worth living or a family member who has power of attorney feels that person’s life is “no longer worth living” they can CHOOSE to end these lives.

The key word in all these social arguments is CHOICE and God and God alone has the right to make life and death choices.

So you see, it’s not just the sin, it is the amount and again, the conscious ACCEPTANCE of those sins as just part of life in the age of new “enlightened, awareness”, beats me, I never would have guessed murder would be a legal everyday occurrence in a highly evolved society!

Read up on the downfalls of the greatest empires of days long ago and you will see one common theme, they had a blatant disregard for life and thought nothing of leaving the elderly out to die and destroying babies that they felt “inferior”, the Spartans made a counsel event of, and even that is disputed by some, but to attempt to erase history and the ugliness and horror of it only keeps us from learning not to trod the paths that others dared, which is why we are warned to watch in all things and to not be “led away”, as Peter warned us, often words can be smooth and actions argued long enough by a tongue dipped in silk can become quite convincing, which is which we are to BEWARE.

Life, it is the disregard for life, Jesus gave his life to save ours and so many are so quick to throw the lives of others away in their desire to make their own life more convenient, comfortable, or whatever their “logical reason” for that action may be.  IT especially disturbs me that society has for quite awhile now, coined the term “Product of Conception” to replace the word and correct name-baby when referencing abortion.

Change the name, makes it so much easier to swallow, so much easier to deny the truth to themselves, but in the end, of notice importance at all, just as the quote, “A rose is a rose” and a living baby, even in the womb, even lying dying before being dismembered is still a baby.

So I want to give you Biblical insight to what Jesus was referencing in our beginning verses and then I ask that you look around your world, compare any of it to his comparisons in both areas and draw your own conclusion as to how far we have fallen.

And as always,I do apologize for my font changes,  I am NOT “shouting” with this capitalization, it is the only way to draw attention to what the emphasis is being placed on, Hey, it’s hard to preach without a “voice” and  a woman’s gotta do what a woman’s gotta do to get the message to you.

As it was in the days of Noe…” 

And God SAW that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that EVERY imagination (intent) of the thoughts of his heart WAS ONLY EVIL CONTINUALLY (all the day).

And it repented  the Lord that he had made man on the earth, (He was SORRY that he had created humans) and it GRIEVED HIS HEART.

And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me ( I am sorry)  that I have made them.

But Noah found GRACE in the eyes of the Lord. These are the generations of Noah: Noah WAS a just man and perfect (doesn’t mean BEING perfect, mean blameless) in his generations, and NOAH WALKED WITH GOD.

And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

The earth also was corrupt before God, and THE EARTH WAS FILLED WITH VIOLENCE. And GOD LOOKED UPON THE EARTH, AND BEHOLD, IT WAS CORRUPT; FOR ALL FLESH HAD CORRUPTED HIS WAY UPON THE EARTH.

AND GOD SAID UNTO NOAH, THE END OF ALL FLESH IS COME BEFORE ME; FOR THE EARTH IS FILLED WITH VIOLENCE THROUGH THEM; AND BEHOLD I WILL DESTROY THEM WITH THE EARTH.” Genesis 6:5-13

Jesus was referencing this violence, violence on such a scale that even earth itself was made filthy from the bloodshed and every single thought of humans was evil, harmful, and vicious.

And as you know, he destroyed it with water, the great flood, saving only Noah and his family, Noah chose to listen, and as the violence of those that brought destruction on earth itself, the obedience of one saved his family.

LIKEWISE also as it was in the days of Lot…”

Now I got to give you some insight to this, because I can’t give you all these scriptures but to read this story and I do truly encourage reading it in it’s eternity, please read Genesis chapters eighteen and nineteen, KJV.

But I want to bring up to about where will in our scriptures, God and two angels had paid a visit on earth to Abraham and Abraham asked them to stay and eat with him, and at this time God delivered the good news that Sarah would conceive their promised child, BUT God also had  another reason for this earthly visit and had yet more news for Abraham, and I am going to give that conversation because it demonstrates the perfection of the grace and kindness of God as Abraham “bargains” with him.

” And the men rose up from thence, AND LOOKED TOWARD SODOM, and Abraham went with them to bring (send) them on their way.

And the Lord said, SHALL I HIDE FROM ABRAHAM THAT THING WHICH I DO; seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 

For I know him, that he will command (teach) his children, and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, TO DO JUSTICE AND JUDGMENT (righteousness and justice); that the lord may bring upon Abraham that which he had spoken of him.

AND THE LORD SAID, BECAUSE THE CRY OF SODOM AND GOMORRAH IS GREAT, AND BECAUSE THEIR SIN IS VERY GRIEVOUS; I WILL NOW GO DOWN NOW, AND SEE WHETHER THEY HAVE DONE ALTOGETHER ACCORDING TO THE CRY OF IT, WHICH IS COME UNTO ME; AND IF NOT I WILL KNOW. 

And the men turned their faces from thence (there), and went toward Sodom; but Abraham stood yet before the Lord. And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou (Will you) also destroy the righteous with the wicked? 

Peradventure (Suppose) there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou (will you) also destroy and spare not the place for fifty righteous that are therein?

That be far from the to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked; and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee; SHALL NOT THE JUDGE OF THE WHOLE EARTH DO RIGHT? And the Lord said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.

And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes; Peradventure (Suppose) there shall lack five of fifty righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five?

And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will NOT destroy it.

And he spake unto him yet AGAIN and said Peradventure (suppose) there shall be forty found there, and he said I will NOT do it for forty’s sake.

And he said unto him, Oh let the Lord not be angry, and I will speak, Peradventure (Suppose) there shall be thirty found there, and he said, I will NOT do it if I find thirty there.

And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord; Peradventure (Suppose) there be twenty found there, and he said I will NOt destroy it for twenty’s sake.

And he said, Oh let the Lord not be angry, and I will speak yet but this once; Peradventure (Suppose) ten shall be found there, and he said, I WILL NOT DESTROY IT FOR TEN’S SAKE.

And the Lord went his way, and as soon as he had left communing (finished talking) with Abraham; and Abraham went into his place.” Genesis 18:16-33

Now that is just how awesome, kind, and giving the Lord is, he knew exactly what Abraham wanted to ask him, Abraham’s nephew Lot lived in Sodom, but God didn’t chide Abraham, he let Abraham led the conversation, pleading for lives from fifty to ten, if they could only find ten people there who were not wicked…. but they could not… but he still saved Lot because of the pleas of Abraham.

“And there came two ANGELS to Sodom, at even (evening time): and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom, and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;

And he said, Behold ow, my Lords, turn in, I pray you into your servant’s house (come to my house), and tarry (stay) all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise early, and go on your ways, and they said, Nay, (no) but we will abide in the street all night.

And he pressed upon them greatly (urged them); and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.

BUT before they lay down, the MEN OF THE CITY, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round(surrounded the house), both old and young, all the people from every quarter, 

And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? BRING THEM OUT UNTO US, THAT WE MAY KNOW THEM (know them carnally, rape them

And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, and said, I pray you, brethren, DO NOT SO WICKEDLY.

Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man, let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing: for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.

And they said, Stand back, And they said AGAIN, This one fellow came in to sojourn and he will needs be a judge; (saying, Lot had moved to their city and thought he was boss) now we will deal worse with thee than them, And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot,, and came near to break the door. But the men (angels) out forth their hand and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut the door. 

And they smote (struck) the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and greta; so they wearied themselves to find the door.

And the men (angels) said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, BRING THEM OUT OF THIS PLACE; FOR THE CRY OF THEM IS WAXEN GREAT (has grown)  BEFORE THE FACE OF THE LORD; and the Lord hath sent us to destroy it.

And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city. But he was as one that mocked (joked) to his sons in law.

And when the morning arose, the angels hastened (hurried) Lot saying, ARISE, Take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here, LEST THEY BE CONSUMED IN THE INIQUITY (punishment) OF THE CITY. 

And while HE LINGERED, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; and they brought him forth, and set him without (outside) the city.

And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad (outside), that he said, ESCAPE FOR THY LIFE; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; ESCAPE to the mountain, lest thou be consumed (or you will be destroyed).

And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so my Lord: Behold now, they servant hath found grace in thy sight, and THOU HAST MAGNIFIED THY MERCY, WHICH THOU HAST SHEWED ME IN SAVING MY LIFE; and I cannot escape into the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die.

Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one; Oh. let me escape thither (there), (is it not a little one?) and my soul live.

And he (the angel) said, See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for the which thou hast spoken.  Haste thee (hurry, escape thither (there) for I cannot do any thing till thou be be come hither (until you are there).

Therefore the name of that city was called Zoar. The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar. THEN THE LORD RAINED UPON SODOM AND GOMORRAH BRIMSTONE AND FIRE FROM THE LORD OUT OF HEAVEN.” Genesis 119:1-24

It is often argued that the Bible doesn’t actually “say” that Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed because of sexaul immoratality, Oh but it does, not in the account of Sodom and Gomorrah but actually it can be found in the New Testaments in the Book of Jude.

Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about (around) them in like manner, GIVING THEMSELVES OVER TO FORNICATION (sexual immorality), and going after strange flesh, ARE SET FORTH FOR AN EXAMPLE, SUFFERING THE VENGEANCE OF ETERNAL FIRE.

The mercy of God is so great in that account and I know Lot offering his daughters is very disturbing and for more on understanding how God really feels about women read Awakening, because God would have NEVER intended for Lot to offer them his daughters.

But we can so many of the attitudes of Lot reflected TODAY.

Lot trying to get his sons in law to come and they just laughed it off stayed in Sodom and died in Sodom, and the angels trying to get Lot moving, finally had to get all them by the hand to get them out and then Lot, while being DIVINELY REMOVED FROM THE PATH OF DESTRUCTION begs NOT to go to the very place he is told to go in order to be safe!

He wanted to go to another place instead of just being thankful, go figure, sounds familiar doesn’t it?

We want it but we often want it our way. so there you have it, decide for yourself and I do want to leave you with a most wonderful word.

ROMANS 10:13: “FOR WHOSOEVER SHALL CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED.”

Pretty simple, don’tcha think? We’ve read the warnings and we don’t want to chance angels having to get out out… oh, but wait angels WILL be getting us, IF you have trusted Christ as your Savior, don’t delay make that decision today!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020 / Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

“He was tall and that was about all…”

“And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel.

Now the name of his firstborn was Joel (meaning: Jehovah is God) and the name of his second son was Abiah (meaning: The Lord is my Father): they were judges in Beersheba. 

And his sons walked NOT in his ways, but turned aside after lucre (dishonest gains), and took brides, and PERVERTED JUDGMENT (justice). 

Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, And said unto him,Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk NOT in thy ways; and now MAKE US A KING TO JUDGE US LIKE ALL THE OTHER NATIONS. 1 Samuel 8:1-5 

HI! I do hope that you have had a good week. Most pretty much know this story, but what a better time to ponder than now, and this is not attempt in anyway to sway political thoughts one way or another, because all that has been,and all that is, and all that will ever be was decided long ago…before this world was formed.  That is the first thought that I would like to establish for us today.

Ponder with me, if you will,  this passage for a bit, John 18:7-12: “The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.

When Pilate heard that saying,he was the more afraid. And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou (where are you from)? But Jesus gave no answer.

Then saith Pilate unto him, Speaketh thou not unto me (are you not going to answer me)? knowest thou not that I have power (authority)to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? 

Jesus answered, Thou couldest have NO power (authority) AT ALL against me, except it were GIVEN THEE FROM ABOVE: therefore he that delivered me unto you hath the greater sin. 

And from henceforth Pilate sought the release him; but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art NOT Caesar’s friend; whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.”

Pilate in all his brutality did not want to tangle with the crucification of Jesus, and we have all ministered much on that and the same old political games that were used in that day have never changed, first they were telling Pilate, “Well, you know he broke our laws” and then it quickly changed “If you really are Caesar’s friend you put him to death…”

Much like so many have stayed in destruction relationships, all for the sake of avoiding the age old mental manipulation of if you REALLY love me you would do all that I ask, whether it is right, whether it is is wrong, or even if it destroys you or even if goes against everything you believe in. So they were trying to sway his thinking any way possible to get him to do exactly what they wanted which was to kill Jesus.

And as Jesus told him, there is no authority that ever sits that God is not aware of and God creates it all.

And so in our opening verses we see them same tragic events that have been all through the kingdoms and are even more apparent today, those who should be leading God’s people and helping then stay the course, instead are corrupt, either having hearts that were NEVER right to begin with or through the seduction by spirits caved in to the money and  false sense of prestige that came with their popularity.

Either way they as that scripture says, prevert judgment and as deem evil as good and good as evil, and we are giving many warning of this in the Bible, and today you can see this so clearly, we are often ostracized and condemned if we share a view that is not the popular view, but as the children of God our choices MUST be made based on the inflaafiable, eternal Word of Almighty God.

So there the elders were, faced with Samuel’s corrupted sons, that they became so fed up and so desperate for change that they felt their plan for ridding themselves of these two and being in “better hands” would be much greater than waiting for God’s plan to come to fruition.

So they requested to become as the “other” nations, and have a king sat over them, couple of problems with that… God’s people were NEVER intended to be like any other nation, or people on this earth, even though we are made up of ALL people, ALL nations, ALL tribes and languages, we are still meant to be set apart, Holy, consecrated to God and HIS Kingdom and His purposes while on this earth.   

Let’s continue, shall we?

Back to 1 Samuel 8:6-20: “But this thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us  aking to judge us, And Samuel prayed unto God. 

And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken (heed) unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: FOR THEY HAVE NOT REJECTED THEE (you), BUT THEY HAVE REJECTED ME, that I should reign over them. 

According to all the works which they have done since the day that brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee. 

Now, therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit, yet PROTEST SOLEMNLY UNTO THEM (forewarn them) AND SHEW UNTO THEM THE MANNER OF THE KING THAT SHALL RULE OVER THEM. 

And Samuel told all the words of the Lord unto all the people that asked him for a king.  

And he said, THIS will be the manner of the king that shall REIGN OVER YOU: He WILL TAKE your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before (in front of) his chariots.

And he WILL appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and WILL set them to ear (plow) his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and to make his instruments of his chariots. 

And he WILL take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers. And he WILL take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, EVEN the BEST of them, and GIVE THEM TO HIS SERVANTS.And he WILL take a tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and GIVE THEM TO HIS OFFICERS, AND TO HIS SERVANTS.

 And he WILL take you menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.

And he WILL take a tenth if your sheep, and YE SHALL BE HIS SERVANTS. AND YE SHALL CRY OUT IN THAT DAY BECAUSE OF YOUR KING WHICH YE SHALL HAVE CHOSEN OVER YOU; AND THE LORD WILL NOT HEAR YOU IN THAT DAY.

NEVERTHELESS the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and said, NAY (No);BUT WE WILL HAVE  KING OVER US;

That we may also BE LIKE all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.”

So Samuel tells the Lord what they have said and then the Lord tells Samuel, to give them what they want, they have been warned, specifically warned, that EVERYTHING would be taken and given unto their chosen king and all his companions, but still they were thought they knew better than God, who was already their true King, but in their stubborness, they rejected him and  DEMANDED a human king.

Now just “listen” to the description of their “guy” that would seem quite “kingly” and “fit the bill” for what they themselves would desire the image of their “perfect” king to be. 

1 Samuel 9:1,2: “Now there was a man of Benjamin, whose name was Kish, the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bechorathm the son of Aphiah, a Benjaminite, a mighty man of POWER (strenght or wealth). 

And he had a son, whose name was Saul,  achoice young man, and a goodly (HANDSOME): and there was NOT among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he (there was no one more handsome): from his shoulders and upward he was higher (taller) than any of his people.

So there he was, tall, gorgeous, quite similar sounded to the future son of David, but just what people seem to go for, unlike God, humans are always looking o the outside, believing that somehow, despite, logic, wisdom, and in the case, ABSOLUTE  WARNINGS FROM GOD HIMSELF that this person WILL destroy you, the still can have what they want without paying having to pay the price of that desire.

And again this is NOT a sway toward the elections, God knew we He created this earth, who would been winning that one, but this is a thought, a reminder for all the days to come, as I have said before, it is ALL already written and those things that are will be and those things that are to come, will surely come, but timing is everything, what if the people who had asked for this king had instead WAITED upon their true King, who had already been fighting their battles BEFORE He had even delivered them for Pharaoh, what if instead of demanding a king, they had instead demanded accountability from the sons of Samuel?

We often forget that we have simpler options and go into overkill when desiring change, even when those changes are needed, and admirable, and just. 

So don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater, as the saying goes, TRUST King Jesus, and make choices based on him and his word, and if you feel you have no real choice, TRUST him and delay that choice until you do feel confident that it would align with his word and his desire for you. WE can apply this account to almost every decision we make in in life, because things are often presented a good, and beneficial but if that still small voices whispers warning of all the trade offs you will have to make in order to take that deal, that is telling you, don’t take the deal because you may well be making a deal with the devil himself. 

As you may know, once you go to read the rest of that story, this was just as the Lord said a very very BAD ideal for Israel and when all is said and done, Saul and his sons are dead because of his disobedience to God. 

If you notice, this also point out that Samuel had spoken with “those” who asked for a king, so NOT everyone had asked for the changes, but those changes, and the decisions of those in control brought that oppression down on ALL of them. And when you finalize the thought of King saul you can come up with this, He came from a well known family, strong, probably very wealthy, he was obviously seriously handsome and, yea, well, he was tall… but as to do good for is people… tall was about all!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

“Ask him”

Psalm 119:57-64: CHETH: ” Thou art my portion. O Lord: I have said that I would keep thy words. 

entreated thy favor with my whole heart: be merciful to me according to thy word.

I  thought on  my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.

I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments. 

The bands of the wicked have robbed me: but I have not forgotten thy law.

At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgements(justice). I am a companion of all them that fear thee, all of them that keep thy precepts.

The earth, O Lord, is full of thy mercy (lovingkindness); teach me thy statutes.”

There is no great an influence on our lives as the favor of the Living God. Luke 2:52, tells us of Jesus, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in FAVOR with God and man.”

The favor of God is simply bestowed on us from the goodness and kindness of God, just as parent to a child. He gives us favor to bless us, help us, and grow us.

So pray for that favor TODAY, ask for his favor for you, your family and you love and as you study, pray and grow in him expect that favored to be increased in all areas of your life.

And if you have made mistakes, messed up, know we ALL have!

That is part of being the imperfect beings that we are,God wants only that we repent, ask him for forgiveness, ACCEPT that forgiveness and FORGET those sins that he had forgiven us for, just as HE FORGETS them.

Psalm 30:5: “For his anger endureth (lasts) but a moment; IN HIS FAVOR IS LIFE; weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” His favor is life, bringing renewal and revival to all areas of our lives, so ask him for that favor today and see the blessing and provision of God in ways you never thought possible.

Love & Peace till next time! Have a blessed day!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

“Comfort”

Remember thy word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope. 

This is my comfort in my affliction; for thou word hath quickened me (given me life).

The proud have had me greatly in derision; yet have I not declined from thy law.

remember thy judgment of old, O Lord, and have comforted myself. Horror (indignation) hath taken hold upon me because of the wicked that forsake thy law.

Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.

I have remembered thy name,O Lord, in the night, and have kept thy law.  

This had I, because I kept thy precepts.” Psalm 119:49-56 ZAIN

As Jesus had promised us that he would never leave us comfortless but that once we give our lives to Him and trust him as our Savior He is always there, always through the good, the bad, every single day as we go through this life which is full of uncertainties simply because it IS life. The promises that we cling to are promises of the goodness of the next life.

But Jesus wants us to have joy and peace ,and love and rest for our souls as much as possible in this life.

As you go through you day, think of all the wonderful promises and comfort that God has given and that he has promised for the days ahead and

let that word be the hand that holds your hand as you walk through these last days in which we find ourselves.

God’s word of prophecy fulfilling all around us and let that word be that voice encouraging you that in it is all going to be alright in the end.

And a scripture we have all used time after time, myself included but one so powerful, so comforting that we need to remind ourselves of it every day.

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

All these things being, things that come at us, hardship, trials, thirst, hunger, circumstance,grief and not forget the attacks of the enemy and his agents. These “things” in that verse meaning anything and everything but in all these things HE WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU.

Because as others have said in the past, “We have read the Book, we know we do win in the end”!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

“Promised”

“Remember thy word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope.

This is my comfort in my affliction: for thou word hath quickened (revived) me. 

The proud have had me greatly in derision: yet have I not declined from thy law.

I remember thy judgment of old, O Lord; and have comforted myself.

Horror (indignation) hath take hold upon me because of the wicked that forsake thy law.

Thy statutes have been my song in the house of my pilgrimage.

I have remembered thy name, O Lord, in the night, and have kept thy law.

This I had, because I keep thy precepts.” Psalm 119:49-56 ZAIN   Thanks so much for “taking this refresher course” with me, I know for some this may seem tedious and monotonous as we have “discussed” Psalm 119, verse y verse. But I do want you think about this, even if you know these verses inside out, there may be someone else who doesn’t, you may have heard them ministered countless of times but there may be  someone else who hasn’t. And we have to have his word to hold onto for this present time and the times that are coming and the word will be in our lives just want this entire chapter reinteraties, which is the Lord will not only sustain but he will revive, renew, and restore us and remembering  those promises and looking ahead in HOPE.

And as we are taught that Abraham held fast to his hope through the promises he had received of God, and as Abraham believed against hope, meaning that when  everything in the natural LOOKED hopeless and APPEARED hopeless, and if he had asked anyone did they think he and Sarah would conceive a child that would lead to him being the Father of many nations, people would have laughed them to shame, and just think, they were both elderly, many many years BEYOND the human abilities to even produce or conceive children.

Others would have thought they had lost their minds!

Ah, again, the beauty of God and the fact that NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE TO HIM and NOTHING IMPOSSIBLE TO HIM THAT BELIEVES IN HIM IN tHAT THERE IS NOTHING IMPOSSIBLE TO!

We’ll start as Paul used the at the assurance of the promise of God to Abraham. to remind us that we should stand in these promises.

Romans 4:17-21: “(As it is written, I HAVE MADE THEE A FATHER OF MANY NATIONS.) before him whom he believed, even God, WHO QUICKENETH (gives life to) THE DEAD, AND CALLETH THOSE THINGS WHICH BE NOT AS THOSE THEY WERE.

WHO AGAINST (contrary to) HOPE BELIEVED IN HOPE, that he might become the father of many nations, ACCORDING to that which was spoken, SO SHALL THY SEED BE, And being not weak in faith, he considered NOT his own body, now dead (too old to reproduce), when he was about an hundred years old, NEITHER yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb:

He staggered not at did not doubt) the PROMISE of God through unbelief:

But was STRONG IN FAITH, GIVING GLORY TO GOD. And being FULLY PERSUADED THAT, WHAT HE HAD PROMISED, HE WAS ABLE ALSO TO PERFORM.”

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020 / Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

“Thy Mercies”

VAU: Psalm 119:41-48: “Let thy mercies (loving kindness) come also unto me, O Lord, even thy salvation, according to thy word.

So shall I have wherewith to answer to him that reproacheth me; for I trust in they word.

And not take the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; for I have hoped in they judgments (justice).  

So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever. And I will walk at liberty (in  a wide place); for I seek thy precepts.

I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings,and will not be ashamed.

And I delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved.

My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate on thy statutes.”

As God gave us the greatest gift ever given, the gift of his only Son. This was the ultimate display of his mercy toward us, his creation. So many scriptures declare and expound on the wondrous mercies of God.

But you know that mercy was not only in the past, that mercy was not just for yesterday but is is for today and for your tomorrow.

God’s mercy is there so that the enemy can not destroy us before we are saved and then his mercy is there to cover every mistake and shortcoming along the way, and that grace and mercy covers us all the more!

Think about this passage today: 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 (his compassion is always toward us).

They (his mercies)ARE NEW EVERY MORNING.”

So every single day God mercy and grace are brand new and no matter what happened yesterday or how he delivered and helped you that day, TODAY is brand new and he will also again help you, deliver you, and keep you in him!

Let his mercy be your shield knowing that He’s got you in the palm of his hand.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

Shall not perish…

“Then they shall you up to be afflicted and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity (lawlessness) shall abound the love of many shall wax (grow) cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Matthew 24:9-13

That is a passage that I myself have used countless times since beginning my writing ministry in 2013 but there is such a sense of urgency stirring now unlike anything ever before. You don’t need me to point it out but the hate and self centered offended attitude that has taken over the world most recently in America a hate group making the mistake of thinking they were going to take down a cross at a church when met with the pastor and the congregation letting them know they didn’t think so and the cross stands for now.

It has been building it has been since even before the serpent tricked Eve in the garden, the devil has had his sites set on all that God loves and most of all that means his children, humans, all that has been created of God the enemy wishes to destroy and he has decided so many into thinking that they are right, they are moral again the most striking proof of that is when we have political candidate accusing everyone else of being “dark” while they they themselves support the murder of unborn children, and so many so  blinded by their hate that they really believe that they themselves can do no wrong which is sickening.

Anyone having such an arrogant, self willed view of their own importance above anyone else to me is just sickening.

And I really want to ask has anyone not noticed the theme of this all?

Even in America where the politicians are bragging that they are “fighting for the soul of America”?

Remember we are taught to compare natural to natural, spiritual to spiritual, how much truer could a statement be?

But it is not a good statement, the serpent convinced Eve that eating the fruit would change everything  and it did, but not to the end she had believed,it was for what he hoped would be the destruction of humankind.

And it is a battle now and prophets have been sending out gentle warnings for a very long time now as we see persecutions rise the world over and it is now in our own backyard and we fail to believe and be so hard headed that we really think “Oh that can never happen to us:” we are already half there. 

I did bringing it forth in that same gentle reminder vane, and as I have watched news of persecutions and arrests and desecration of places holy to our brothers and sisters the world over I wanted to send forth just such a reminder, for all whom maybe have never heard this word. Have hope, your life your reward is not in this world. True life begins when we are gathered with Christ and His Kingdom will have no end, but it is so important to hold onto his promises until that day.

So to reiterate the things that were to take place, have been taking place and now are escalating at an astonishing pace, just as those contractions during birth, which is why Jesus chose this comparison, once “labor” sets in, it increases in pain and frequency of those contractions and once it has started that process must be endured until that baby is born.

You need only watch the news or read a paper, Earthquakes allover the place, I had been on the phone with a person and suddenly heard all this loud banging in the background and the person soon realized that an earthquake had just happened as we spoke, it was chilling, and they noted that in their area they never have earthquakes and a few weeks later, yet another informed me that they had been awakened by an earthquake at 3:00 am, a few days later I would also experience this, and I live in an area that never has earthquakes and on a Sunday morning a few weeks back I was sitting drinking coffee and felt everything under me shake, and then felt it again if someone hit the earth itself with a bulldozer for lack of better words and it was confirmed we had indeed had an earthquake.

Earthquakes, tornadoes, raging forest fires, heat waves,  temperatures recording at highest in known history.Crops being destroyed by floods and locust swarms. A new double header threat approaching as two tropical storms threaten to unite very shortly.

Covid having created a world whose faces are now hidden behind masks, fear of disease, fear of death,, fear of the unknown helping to fulfill the prophecy soon coming, Men’s hearts failing them for fear.

Covid along with all the natural disasters now bringing starvation and isolation, while millions riot, scream, and hate, wanting to destroy all that is good, kind, or holy, persecuting the children of God the world over, nothing new, the hatred of the Jews, God’s chosen and the country Israel as powers now form alliances against her, the country that God himself has chosen for his future dwelling site of New Jerusalem.

As Jesus told us, and I have used the many times so if you are  a regular reader, please do not take it as repetitive, not everyone may have heard this and if you have, get your Bible and you tell others, help those who will hear, let them know what time it is that we live in, because God has sent forth watchmen and I believe in the last days it would be many, many watchmen, to share the Gospel with anyone who will hear and share the HOPE that these things that are coming to pass are not forever and that if they trust Christ, these things will only lead to the beginning, not the end because Jesus told us that when we see these things come to pass, our redemption draweth nigh, meaning his return.

If you are faced with that perception and hatred today, please keep these words in your your heart, learn them inside and out because they are the promises of God himself to you as he gave comfort concerning these terrible times.

Matthew 21:14-19: “Settle it therefore in your hearts, NOT to mediate on what ye shall answer; For I WILL give you a mouth and wisdom, which ALL of your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.

And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you they will cause to be put to death. And ye shall be HATED of all men for MY NAME’S SAKE. BUT THERE SHALL NOT AN HAIR ON YOUR HEAD PERISH.

In your patience possess ye your souls.” 

He left us these words as assurance to not think of how we will answer, what will we say when faced with persecution, as he said hated by all nations, hated by all who do not know him, and that we are to not think about any of it and rest assured that he will give us words from him that can not be disputed, but he is also saying in this that there will be those who die, just as those who have already, for the word of God, but in this he gives the most amazing promise, that even death can not kill your soul and that even having died to this earth, not one hair on your head will perish, change, or be lost because that is the foundation of the Gospel, Jesus RESURRECTED from the dead, everything they did to him in killing him changed NOTHING. He resurrected, he visited his friends, he ate, he comforted, he dried Mary’s tears and the Bible even says that books could not even be written to hold the account of the things he did AFTER the resurrection before he ascended back to heaven, (John 21:25) and that is what he wants his children to rest in and be assured of, if you are in Christ, the bodies only die once, that’s it, this is why Jesus said that NOT A HAIR ON YOUR HEAD WILL PERISH.

“Listen” to what he tell us in Revelation 2:10,11: ” Fear NONE of those things which thou shalt suffer; behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days; be thou faithful unto death, and I will give the a crown of life. HE THAT HATH AN EAR, LET HIM HEAR WHAT THE SPIRIT SAITH UNTO THE CHURCHES; HE THAT OVERCOMETH SHALL NOT BE HURT IN THE SECOND DEATH.”

Also for more on end time subjects please check out the live links in post and for more on these subjects, visit: BLESSED / THE BETROTHED AND THE BEHEADED PART 1   and BLESSED/ THE BETROTHED, AND THE BEHEADED / PART 2

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/Reverend Nina Brown Johnson 

 

“Protecting the Vines”

“And it came to pass, that on one of those days, as he taught in the temple, and preached the gospel, the chief priest and the scribes came upon him with the elders. And spake unto him, saying, Tell us, by what authority doest thou these things? or who is he that gavest thee this authority?

And he answered and said unto them, I will also ask you one thing; and answer me: The baptism of John, was it from heaven or men? 

And they reasoned among themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then believed ye him not? But if we say, Of men; all the people will stone us; for they be persuaded that John was a prophet.

And they answered, that they could not tell where it was hence (where the authority came from). 

And Jesus said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.

Then began he to speak to the people this parable; A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth (leased it out) to husbandmen, (tenant farmers) and went in a far country for a long time.

And at the season (vintage time) he sent a servant to the husbandmen, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard; but the husbandmen beat him, and sent him away empty (empty-handed)

And again he sent another servant: and they beat him also, and entratedhim shamefully, and sent him away empty. And again he sent a third: and they wounded him also, and cast him out. 

Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be they will reverence him when they see him.

But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the HEIR: come, let us kill him, THAT THE INHERITANCE MAY BE OURS.

So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him, What therefore shall the lord (owner) of the vineyard do unto them?

He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others. And when they heard it, they said, God forbid.

And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED,THE SAME IS BECOME THE HEAD OF THE CORNER? Whosoever shall fall on that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. 

And the chief priests and scribes the same hour sought to lay hands on him; and (but) they feared the people: for they perceived (knew) that he had spoken this against them. 

And they watched him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves as just men (pretend to be righteous men of God) that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor.” Luke 20: 1-20

A lot going there, of course we know Jesus was referencing the fact that God had leased out earth, if you will, and even the term husbandmen- literally, tenants, farmers living there and owing the owner a portion of those crops.

And as he sent the servants, we know these are the prophets, and instead of heeding the words of the prophets, they chose to beat and ostracize them, and what I really love about this passage is this, when the owner sent his son, they KNEW he was the son, never once says anything otherwise, they knew exactly who he was, they wanted him dead for one reason only, so that they could take his inheritance. 

And we also know that Jesus was also speaking to the fact that his own people had rejected him and in their doing so the vineyard would be given to others.

The priests and scribes who were supposed to be in service to him wanted not him, only the power and prestige that their positions brought them and they wanted that so much so that they will kill the very heir to ensure they kept that statue. And we also know that in their rejection of him, that vineyard was given to “others”, we know also that that means “us”, us being those as Jesus said “whosoever will-come”.

That rejection by his own people opening the door for all nations, all kindreds, and all tongues, as it is written, everyone, anywhere the world over now being offered that beautiful vineyard because those who were to keep only wanted to keep it for themselves. 

But we can also see so much more in this.  as the Bible tells us, “nothing new under the sun”, one of my go to scriptures, and there’s not. 

Is there really that much difference from those of  that day beating the servants and killing the son in order to hold on a little longer to what was nevers theirs to hold on to, and those of today that will try to destroy the servants of that same vineyard in order to keep power and prestige of this day? 

Those who will deny the very existence of God, sanction and even enforce the slaughter of the unborn, euthanize the elderly and those they consider “broken beyond repair” all the while pretending it is all for “the greater good” spreading hatred and division, inflaming others to pledge allegiance to them, being worked into such a frenzy that they never stop to investigate a little farther exactly what and who they are pledging that allegiance to. 

Same vineyard, different keepers and they will so anything, anything to try to keep an inheritance that is not theirs.

We know Jesus was talking about this earth and we know that just as they persecuted him, even sending out pretenders to spy on him, to listen to him, to try to trap him and we know he has children the world over under the same persecution today.

Same vineyard, same owner and same old devil working through those who want to take what belongs to a kingdom that shall never be taken.

So think about it today, and see it for what it really is, all the politics, all the power struggles and those who would sell their souls to the devil himself to feed the power hungry beast inside of them, who only want recognition and power and control over others and in gaining that control they will do everything in their power to keep that control, so choose your allies carefully and if it does not adhere absolutely to the word of God, don’t align yourself with it.

And if those “husbandmen” that are like those before that beat the servants, killed the son, are now persecuting you, know this wonderful thought, they did indeed kill the Son but he ROSE and that the next visitor to the vineyard will be the one who created it and he will protect and he is coming back to defend it.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

Having confidence in this…

“Of these things put them in remembrance, charging (urging) them before the Lord that they strive (argue) not about words to no profit, but to the subverting (ruin) of the hearers. Study (be diligent) to shew (present) thyself as approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the truth of God. But shun profane and vain babblings (worthless talk): for they will increase unto more ungodliness.” 2 Timothy 2:14-16

Now that is quite a warning there, perfect for that day and precise perfection for this day. Now more than ever we need to seek God and we need to seek his word and we have to be so careful when we are dependent on others for our spiritual food, and so often we can take the teachings of others while neglecting what God may want to reveal to us by not having those moments in private study of his word. And that is is NO WAY saying not to listen to your preacher or your pastor, God put those people in your life to help you and help you grow, but it is so vital that you know the word for yourself. As we are warned in that passage we are not to argue the word of God. Since the day that the Serpent TWISTED those words he coerced Eve with causing the fall of mankind, there have been and will be until Jesus returns those who only want to discuss it as a way to try to disprove it, and as we are warned this only leads to more ungodliness, because while they are debating with “us” someone else is always listening and that someone can can be very easily swayed into choosing the wrong path.

“THIS know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous (money lovers), boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy.

Without natural affection, trucebreakers (irreconcilable), false accusers (slanders),incontinent (without self control), fierce, despisers of those things which are good.

Traitors, heady (reckless), highminded (haughty), lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.

Having a form of Godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 

For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away by divers (various) lusts; 

EVER LEARNING, AND NEVER ABLE TO COME TO THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH.” 2 Timothy 3:1-7

Now think of this as in the phrase “old wives tales”, when someone would hear something no matter how far out and repeat that and on and on it would go, but many along they way believing these various superstitions and “teachings”, such as “breaking a mirror will cause seven years bad luck” and one cute on from the south, is that if you look out and see a red bird (cardinal, to the rest of the world) the next man you see  will be your future husband, if this would were true many people would be in for a world of hurt, but I suppose it came along when prime husband material was far and few in between and someone made up to give some young ladies hope on the prairie when many lived in the middle of nowhere and “pickings were slim” (I had to throw that one in there because I am just that kinda chick 😉

My all time favorite that I heard more than once as a child, that if you keep eating spoonfuls of salt your blood will actually dry up, I was very suspicious of that, but it is an interesting way to keep children from early hypertension.

But you get my point, you all, no matter where you are, know some old weird saying, now apply this to those who twist and distort the true teachings of God, and cause those who would serve go to believe things that are just not true concerning actually living for God.

The Bible dictionaries often state that the term there “having a form of godliness” is in reference to having been created in the image of God,and I am not disputing that, but I would like to submit another thought on the usage of that here, if  a person such as the ones he is referring, has the appearance of being godly, you can think Jim Jones or some of the other famous false prophets there, and even apply it those teachers that lead people astray today in allowing them to wallow in unrepentant sin.

Just as that verse states, led away by those lusts, those things that God absolutely says we can not do, it disturbs me to no end how many teach now that it’s okay to drink… no it is not and the Bible gives us very clear reason why because it will destroy us and yes some people may be able to drink wine with dinner and be fine but you can’t tell them there is a one glass limit, that is why we are in the state that we are in, people are seriously confused concerning the teachings of God because there is so much taught that has “moderation”, there is no such “clause” and if people are needing a “clause statement” to serve the Lord, with a list of what sins or borderline sins that are allowed to commit and what their allotted quota is before they tap out and have to refuse their flesh is not serving the Lord anyway and they still need to repent because when you come to God, you give God your all or don’t even waste your time playing games, that is what the form of godliness is referring to, attributes that would lead on an onlooker to assume and even believe that that what they are seeing is of God, but the heart and intent is so far from God that they are denying the very power of God to change and redeem lives.

So now to counter all that information that may just not be quite right it is imperative that you know the word for yourself, and I know that for many of us old English is quite confusing, and I will be glad to tell you that before I knew Christ I could have won the seat as Mayor of Heathen-Ville hands down and I promise if I could be blessed to learn the Bible anyone who has that desire can, I could understand some of Jesus’ teachings but after that it became a completely foreign language and even after I was saved and realized that much of it is accounts of lives and held references of places and terms that I was clueless of, it seemed even more a challenge, and not that I think I know anything now, I do know what God has taught me, but let me give a word from James.

James 1:5: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth it to all men liberally,, and upbraideth not (without reproach); and it shall be given him.”

Meaning that God will never make you feel rejected or inferior in heart, God never chides or belittles us, God wants us to know him and know his word and he wants us to grow and anything concerning his kingdom he will teach you, through his word and the leading of his Holy Spirit as you study that word and then you become a workman that needs “not be ashamed” because you know how to “divide” that word, meaning God gives you the understanding of that word as he has intended and you will have confidence and stronger faith because you have the word of God in your heart and mind for yourself.

When others try to lead you astray or convince you of something that that little voice inside is telling is not quite right, you will know God’s word concerning that, which is for not only your benefit but for those others who hear your response and you will also know just how far to go with that response and at what moment you should end the conversation.

So if you are new to all this, please, please let me suggest you start with the Gospel of Matthew, or the Psalms, and you do need the Old and New Testaments because they are together for a reason contrary to some popular teachings, but as you study do it just as you are comfortable whether it is ten minutes here, or an entire chapter there and take notes as certain passages “come alive” and encouraging words for your own life are found in those blessed pages.

I promise as you ask God to bless you in his word your mind will be blown and don’t be so surprised if that seemingly daunting task of taking on that giant book suddenly ignites into such a fire in your heart that you will find it hard to put it down out of sheer necessity, he can bless you that much that it becomes a love, a passion, and just as Jeremiah stated, “His WORD was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones…”

There is a reason that it is the “Living Word” we are so close, as this world is darker everyday, and God will have his kingdom and he will send his workers into harvest that field but those workers must be trained and that training comes studying his word, so I don’t know who he is raising up but I know that his word will go forth in the last days and it will be preached, all the word, the sugar free version that needs no artificial sweeteners because it is sweetened to perfection, …”as Christ also hath loved us , and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour (aroma).” (Ephesians 5:2)

But no matter where you start, just start, if you don’t have the KJV Bible, get one and if you feel like you need a little extra help, get an audio Bible to listen along as you read, but once you start and give it all you got you will be amazed and you will be amazed when he starts revealing all he has for you and passages you had never noticed will suddenly become profound and don’t be so shocked when you suddenly have to share that word with others, again, He is raising some people up! 

Have a blessed rest of your week, and for a little more of this topic, please check out this post: Psalm 119: A Study Guide

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

 

 

 

 

Lettin’ it ride…

“Perverse disputing of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness (godliness is a means of gain), from such withdraw thyself. 

But godliness with content  is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

And having food and raiment (clothing) let us therefore be content.

But they that be (desire to be) rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many hurtful lusts, which draw men into  destruction and perdition.

For the love of money is the root of all (all kinds of) evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many arrows.

But thou, O man of God, flee these things, and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and meekness.” 1 Timothy 6:5-11 

This is kinda of a hard thought to relay, but you know with everything going on right now, it is  really good time to remember what really matters and if any of us were to think back for just a moment to our pre- Christ days, I am sure we would all agree that no matter where we were, who our friends were, what job we held, the social circles we moved in that without him we were empty, lost and absolutely dead.

And not only speaking of those who have spent life searching for fortune and fame but now also those who have been content, making money and living a little at a time trying to do their best for their families and think now all have fallen victim to our new, never before dreamt of  perils, with the economy crashing and many having now lost their jobs due to the pandemic and many more in danger of it everyday because this virus just is not going away.

But we got to have hope and our hope is God and his goodness and his provision for all our lives and even if one is not having any pandemic related worries sometimes it can be the world and other people making you feel like you have to be “more”, do “more” that you are measured somehow against some invisible standard that says you must accomplish this or that by some magical date or age, or you are just not worth your salt.

Me and my best friend were discussing the “woes of this world” the other day, and we grew up in such a time that was so different, now everyone has someone that they hate and if you don’t hate that person too, than you are a hater, which is quite the oxymoron, kinda like friendly fire, no one is allowed to have their own opinion and we must walk on eggshells and chose every word very carefully because even the slightest word misspoken will put you under that fire and no one cares if it hurts you, your family, whoever, the world is so ready to put you on public display for that perceived infraction, such as the Pastor that lost his lease because someone noticed he had posted a trump meme.

Have we all forgotten where we came from? Especially those of the house of God, we were not ALL sinners washed by the perfect blood of the Lamb Lord Jesus, do we not all have the same blood, especially when that blood is as heirs of Christ?

And even worse for those who have not made that conversion to salvation because oh we know what it is like when that Holy Spirit conviction comes and we are forced to look into that spiritual mirror of how we have judged and misjudged others, God using that often as that catapult to our own repentance.

But for us,  sometimes the wisest decision  made is to just let things ride and let it all work out in it’s own time and remembering the very wise words spoken by one who knew all these varying emotions well.

“Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins, keep thyself pure.” 1 Timothy 5:22,

Paul had written this as he wrapped up his teaching on how to treat one another and expected behaviors of the church.  And I believe, that we are in danger more at this present time, than any time in history of doing just that, of becoming so focused on the moment and choosing the lesser of two evils, that we can easily fall into another sins.  God had so  much written on contentment and contentment with him and in him, this is where we rest.

And in the knowing that this world is but for a moment and you have the awesome promise of eternal reward and eternal fellowship with God, everything pales in comparison to that and if it were our last night on this earth, the only truth that would remain and only thought worth thinking would be thoughts of that glorious day. So I’d like to present you with some scriptures that I pray will keep us will help us all stay focused on what truly makes us free.

“Surely I am more brutish than any man, and have not the understanding of  man. I neither learned wisdom, nor have knowledge of the holy.

Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name? and what is his son’s name? if thou canst tell (know it)? 

Every word of God is pure, he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

Add not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

Two things have I required (requested) of thee; deny me them not before I die; Remove far from me vanity and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient (you prescribe) for me;

Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.” Proverbs 30:2-9 

He is confessing his own humanity and asking for God to take control and let his life be never rich nor poor but content by being divinely governed by the hand of God. 

“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again, I say Rejoice. Let your moderation (gentleness) be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.

Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with  thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

And the peace of God, which passeth  all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report;  if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, now that at the last your last care of me hath flourished again; wherein you were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned with whatsoever state I am, to be content. I know both how to be abased (live humbly) , and I know how to abound (live in prosperity): every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

I can do ALL things through Christ which strengthens me.” Philippians 4:4-13 

He is relaying to us the need to keep our minds focused on those good things and reminding us that God gives us peace that goes so far beyond human comprehension that there are no words to describe it, we are not even capable of understanding the magnitude of that peace.

he is also reiterating the fact that it was needful for him to understand both the concepts of both ends of the spectrum, because in his ability to understand this, he had that contentment through the peace of God and he could also witness that contentment to others, and think of this, he is still witnessing to us with the words about nineteen hundred and fifty some odd years later. 

And finally, Micah 6:8 ” He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”   

And he is asking this as  a rhetorical question, and we need to ask ourselves this now, what does the Lord expect from us?

The same thing he has always wanted, to repeat those words, to love him, to love justice, to do good, and do what is right, not what the world demands as their interpretation of that right, but what God’s words demand.

“Jesus said unto him, THOU SHALT LOVE THE LORD THY GOD WITH ALL THY HEART, AND WITH ALL THY SOUL, AND WITH ALL THY MIND. This is the first and great commandment. And the second like unto it. THOU SHALT LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS THYSELF.” Matthew 22:37-39

Just let it ride, as the world does its thing, just find your peace and rest in Jesus and in knowing that in all things he has you and he has your today and tomorrow in the palm of his hand and you can rest in knowing that he will never let you down.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

Take a minute to remember when he set you free! And if you have not made that decision do it today! You WILL never know what you are missing UNTIL you experience the love and peace  of Jesus for yourself! 

I am of the Holiness persuasion, so I gotta love this song, I hope you enjoy it! God bless you and have a wonderful tomorrow ahead!

“Covered, higher than I…

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

When the wicked, even mine enemies, and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.

Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.

One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord (delightfulness) of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.

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.” Psalm 27:1-5

That is probably a very familiar passage and it is as powerful and as vital for our spiritual survival today as it was for David, when those words were inspired into his heart.

And our world today is truly darker because we are in the last days, the days that have been foretold, days concerning futuristic times that many scholars and theologians  have attempted to determine, the days whose events were once thought to be only symbolic because at that time the details seemed impossible.

Those who once could not fathom the image from Revelation chapter eleven, as the two witnesses of God lie dead in the street, how the entire world could see this image and how the entire world could be filled with glee over those deaths, but as that was impossible for those before us to understand as a literal event, we now know, due to technology that those before us could not even imagine, and we know that now thanks to the internet people the world over seeing images from the world over is nothing extraordinary, but an every day routine, all the events that we as humans have tried for years to rationalize as “symbolic” are just as they are proving to be, quite literal.

So for me, when I think of David, I take those words literal. He had haters, those who would have loved to have put him in the grave and then danced with glee on top it. He had battles, he felt loneliness and isolation, and I am sure there were times he felt misunderstood , even by those closest to him, especially when he chose to show mercy to those others felt were more deserving of being shown vengeance by the edge of a sword.

All the same emotions we experience today, different time, different battles but still the same old enemy, the enemy that had been whispering his lies since the day he had the serpent speak those twisted words into the ears and heart of Eve and that is the voice that still speaks hatred and hopelessness today, and that is his purpose, his plan, and his end goal.

It is not just about the world and how that world will be controlled, it is about you, and me, and ALL that are created in the image of God, which means all of us, it is personal, don’t you think he would have loved to have put an end to David?

How happy would he have been to have David order the execution of his son, the son who was determined to take his kingdom, rather than lament his death as David did. It is all the same old voice and he is not whispering anything new, he whispers the same words that have divided us since the fall of man, the words undoubtedly that he used to convince one third of the host of heaven to rebel against their creator and their God. 

I want to remind us all of the words of Jesus as he expounded on what we could expect as we near the end of days, end of the days of this present world but the beginnings of the blessed world eternal.

“And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and at what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?   

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man  deceive you.

For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that ye not be troubled: For all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Then they shall deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated by all nations for my name’s sake.

And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and hate one another.  

And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.  And because inquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

But he that shall endure unto the end shall be saved.” Matthew 24:3-13

As Jesus warned us and all these things began with the disciples and the persecution of the  early churches and continue with the persecutions of Christians today, but with the spread of false religions and false prophets “preaching” a gospel that is NOT of the one true God, we also see that love, as I have written on many times, the common compassion one for another, as humans is being destroyed due to that hatred and sin that abounds now.

And there are those whose actions give you more than enough reason to feel anything except love toward them but when you think of this spiritually, as I once heard a preacher mention in regard to something someone else had said concerning how they were mistreated, the only “good” these people will ever know is in this world. If they do not repent, what kindness they know, what peace if any that will have, is what they have here, on this side of eternity.

As Jesus taught us love truly conquers all and love must be protected and if the enemy had his way he would steal every ounce of love in your heart today.  David did not write this when he was on “the mountain top”, he did not write this as he felt confident and victorious, he wrote this when he felt what we all feel at times, afraid, weak, discouraged, and alone.

And in those times he learned to look ahead, to look to the end of all things, he learned to ask, and to seek, to pray for the covering shelter of the Lord.

Only God knows what you may be feeling today or why you are feeling that way but I want to encourage you to “turn off” all the noises that trouble you and rest in the assurance that this world and all the trouble of it is nothing in sight of eternity and when there are things here that are beyond our control to ever change we can have hope knowing that those things will one day cease and love and mercy are forever and that wonderful “place” that God so often hid David He will hide you also, and that is your for the asking. 

Think of all the times you have heard the term “cover”, on movies, “Cover me, I’m going in”, Insurances that we are “covered by” someone “covering” a tab, the term has always meant to be taken care of, to be protected from an unknown attack, for someone to help us when we need that help. God is supreme at covering us, he covers us with his love and Jesus covered our souls by purchasing us with his blood. And there is no way that he is going to just leave you stranded, feeling beaten, lonely and afraid.

“The righteous cry and the Lord heareth and delivereth him out of all his troubles.” Psalm 34:17

“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.” Proverbs 18:10

“The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom will I trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower,” Psalm 18:2

We can’t fight these things alone, God never intended us to, so use this as a model for your prayer and always know that no matter how down we get or alone we may feel that Jesus is and always will be the someone, the only one who is “higher than I”.

Psalm 61:1-4 “Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.

From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower  from the enemy.

I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert (shelter) of thy wings.” 

Take him up on that covering shelter today!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

 

“Lest we forget…”

“At that time, Berodachbaladan, the son of Baladan king of Babylon, sent letters, and a present unto Hezekiah; for he had heard that Hezekiah had been sick.

And Hezekiah hearkened unto them, and shewed them all the house of his precious things (treasures), the silver, and the gold, all the spices, and the precious ointment, and all the house of his armour,and all that was found in his treasures, there was NOTHING in his house, NOR in ALL his dominion that Hezekiah shewed them not

Then came Isaiah the prophet unto king Hezekiah, and said unto him, What said these men? and from whence came they unto thee? (what did they say and where are they from) And Hezekiah said, They are come from a far country, even from Babylon.

And he (Isaiah) said, What have they seen in thine house? And Hezekiah answered, All the things that are in mine house have they seen, there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shewed them.

And Isaiah said unto Hezekiah, Hear the word of the lord, Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers laid up in store unto this day, shall be carried away into Babylon, nothing shall be left, saith the Lord.” 2 Kings 20:13-17

That was quite a trap, notice the plural of letter, nothing like his good old friend or more to the point, those whom he was already trying to “play nice” with, the Babylonians checking him out seeing how he was doing because they knew he had not been well.

Quite true, so unwell if fact that God had just extended his life, but now with the attention he craved and desire to impress he had in fact invited in the very enemy that would devastate their nation and not only were they invited they were given the grand tour of everything, everything that was held precious, dear, and above all, even what should have been kept most secret, the armour was made known.

Can you only imagine the glee, the laughter in the hearts of the Babylonians once they knew every treasure, every ounce of substance, and most assuredly every possible defense that Hezekiah had?

And you know maybe he just felt like, well, it’s okay, their not really that dangerous, or maybe, he was like, well they may be ruthless conquers but that won’t be like that with me, after all if we can all be “on the same side” a few differences won’t matter. It DID matter and it has always mattered and it will ALWAYS matter.

Enemies are enemies even while pretending to care about you only to know what is there for the taking.

And honestly, social media has all but destroyed us and if we don’t wake up soon , we will be destroyed. We have become like Hezekiah, we have put our hearts and souls, those “precious things” on display for the entire world to see, people, thousands and in some cases millions of people seeing every area of our lives and what truly horrifies me, is as a nation, we are displaying all the hate, mistrust, indifference fighting against each other, in battles that can only be fought through God and that only God can change those darkened hearts.

Which is why we are so warned by Jesus, Matthew 7:6: Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend (tear) you.”

There are countless scriptures on this, you can not reason with someone who has not been spiritually enlightened and they will only attack us farther, there is no changing minds that are blinded and darkened by the enemy and that does not mean to fail to speak for truth and justice. We also must very careful of the snares of lesser of two evils, there is evil, there is good and two wrongs don’t make a right and ends do not justify means.

We are to weigh every single action on the Word of God, not that we always meet this mark, not many of us do, I try and often fail to hit that mark myself, that is why are we human, but we must try and the reason this is so important is this, we can often while in pain and distress create alliances that will, like in the case of Hezekiah cost us more than we would ever willingly pay

We often forget during times of turmoil and unrest is the simple truth that while we are busy being each others enemies, real or perceived, that we collectively have common enemies, and satan has done such  a job with divide and conquer that even the most innocent word or miscommunication can have every word or action being viewed as an attack, we can not have thoughts, feelings, or opinions that differ without being labeled and individuality completely lost because we are categorized, stereotyping each other with the same typecast that we accuse others of, the names may be different but still the exact same action.

And now for what we are totaling forgetting, just as Hezekiah forgot, sure these guys may seem to support you at the moment and sometimes when you’ve been down that can seem like a welcome comfort but while we are showing the treasures of our house, we as Americans still have some serious enemies, and a little dose of reality right here, they do not care, they do not care that we are black, white, american Indian, Mexican-american, Asian American, Jewish, Christian, any documentation or no denomination or not even believe at all. Rich, poor, old, young, chick, guy, straight, or gay and I will tell you want they do care about, that in the enemies opinion,  whether we act like it or not, believe it or not, we are ALL the same

And to sound a little like an editor once answering a child’s letter addressing the existence of Claus, but our question is of not so whimsical a topic, YES AMERICA, YOU DO HAVE ENEMIES and while you are hating each other those enemies are watching and they do not care what you think, what you feel, they hate you because you are AMERICAN. 

We have all been hurt, wounded, and oppressed in one form or the other and I will never deny that and we still are, that is why we have ashes and thorns. ALL of us, people are just mean and there will be mean people in this world until Jesus Christ comes and cleans house which He soon to do, but in the mean time we need to remember a little something,we still have been blessed to live a nation that we are FREE, we can say whatever we want without the fear of retaliation and that does not mean we need to say everything we feel, because often what is said should have never been said at all.

The freedom we are taking for granted was given us from God and we need to appreciate that freedom and do a little less screaming and take a look around the world at what others endure, I can tell you a lot about the backlash and rejection being a pants clad, makeup wearing female preacher in the South will get ya, but I can be thankful knowing that even with the good ol’ boys wagging me down, that I am still free to do as God leads me and I have blessed sisters the world over that would be executed if they dared mention aloud the name of Jesus.

We are blessed to have our Bibles and our churches when our brothers and sisters risk dying for the choice to follow the Gospel. We are blessed to have water, food, or at least access to it when we are in need and many the world over a literally dying of starvation and the threat now is horrifying.

Wake up and realize who is really at work in our country because some of the truest words a human ever muttered were truly “UNITED we stand DIVIDED we fall” and none of this is going to stop the social media and the forces that would spread but it can stop at us, just stop, our job on this earth is to lead others to Jesus and His Kingdom is not of this world and there will be no peace on this earth until that Kingdom comes, but the peace, love, and light you choose to give to another in the midst of all these things will reflect that Kingdom. 

We are here and being here we need to appreciate what we have now and be mindful of those who would love to see us fall, because we do stand for freedom and we do have rights, rights that others in many countries would love to have and I will leave you with these words, God wants to take us all to that “good land”, God wants us to have peace, joy, and love in Him.

“For the Lord God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of the valleys and hills.

And of the wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates, a land of olive oil,and honey;

A land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass.

When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for the good land which he hath given thee. 

Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statues,which I command thee this day.” Deuteronomy 8:7-11

Well, we know for a surety many, many already have and many others have sold out the Gospel for the candy version and we see the fruits of that and if we don’t get a grip on our current situation I am afraid will we also see those fruits and pray, pray that God will bless our land and that HIS truth will bring the changes that truly need to come.  All the things o this world will fade away and all the heartache and sorrow with that when Jesus wipes every tear away but heaven and hell are eternal, do’t let this world ever make lose sight of that.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

 

 

“Daddy’s shoes… “

“HEAR, ye little children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give unto you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. 

For I was my father’s son, and only beloved in the sight of my mother.

He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words; keep my commandments and live.

Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline (turn away) from the words of my mouth.

Forsake her (wisdom) not, and she shall preserve thee; love her and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing: therefore get wisdom; and with all thy getting get understanding.

Exalt her (wisdom), and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. she shall give (place on) thine hand an ornament of grace: a crown of glory she shall deliver unto thee.

Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of your life shall be many. I have taught thee in the ways of wisdom; I have lead thee in right paths.

When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened (hindered); and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.

Take fast (firm) hold of instruction; let her not go; keep her, for she is thy life. Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.

AVOID IT, pass not it by (do not travel on it), turn from it and pass away.

For they sleep not, except (unless) they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away unless they cause some to fall.

For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence. 

But the path of the just is as a shining light,(bright light)  that shineth more  (even brighter)  and more unto that perfect day. 

The way of the wicked is as darkness; they know not at what they stumble.

My son, attend to my words: incline thine ear unto my sayings.

Let them depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

Put away from the a forward (deceitful) mouth, and perverse lips (a bad mouth) put far from thee.

Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.

Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established, Turn not to the right hand nor to the left, remove thy foot from evil.” Proverbs 4

Now that my dear friends, you could say is a crash course on Godly advice that was intended not only for believers but in my belief, also for parents to give to their own children and we now that the words from the mouths of parents or parental figures are also the words that truly shape us, make us or unfortunately break us.

That is nothing new and the hatred and lack of common concern one for another that has been passed from one generation seems to have only worsens with time.

It’s devastation more known at the moment, thanks to the technology we now possess but still the same evil that has always been and it lives and it spreads.

It lives and it spreads mainly through the bonds, or rather broken bonds between fathers and children.

For years it was taught for fathers to “rule” with an iron fist  and that is still common in many parts of the world and it is sickening.

There is nothing honorable or remotely masculine about any man that teaches hatred, violence, and batters  his family. And this was never God’s plan for any of it. He is kind, tender, and beautiful.

Jesus died for all of us, not once did he ask anyone to take his place on the cross, no one else could have, but this was the ultimate act of the Fathers love.

He loves us all and he loves us enough that he came to this earth and died for us.

How can anyone even try to convince another than anything other than respect and kindness toward others could ever ever be something God had designed?

It is not just teaching hatred and bigotry that has so damaged, it is not just the physical abuse that is destructive, it is also the the words and actions that make children feel rejected and unloved that leads to issues and especially in daughters  life long challenges that must be to overcome.

My daughter, like most children, found is so delightful as a toddler to “wear” her Dad’s shoes, it was the cutest thing, she’d wander over by the door, where the shoes were kept and suddenly, I see this huge grin and look down and both feet were standing in her Daddy’s shoes and then she would very careful try to walk in these “grown up” shoes.

Her tiny little feet having to lift the weight of those shoes in order to take each step and yet it was a joy to her, because we all have that need inside of us, to “walk” in our parents shoes. I am sure those of you who have children know exactly what I mean, the look of sheer joy that comes to the face of a child once they master a few steps in those shoes. And when you think of this spiritually, as fathers, a man’s shoes can be a delight for their little ones to grow into or they can be ill fitting and cause those children to stumble.

And that choice is completely up to the father.

Does a man want to honour God and love his family as God teaches, or does he want to have  a devil may care attitude and think only of himself, or does he leave uncomfortable, awkwardly fitting shoes behind because of indifference toward his family, or is he juts truly at a loss, not knowing how to be a father, maybe having never been taught by his own, so he just  does not know what do so he does nothing.   

Our verses above give perfect instruction on what to do, what to teach including teaching to AVOID the snares and destruction’s that we can easily fall into in life.

So to all of you Fathers on your special day, NEVER think it is too late! It is NEVER too late until you are dead! 

If you have maybe not been a great Dad, talk to you child, even if that child is grown and if they will not listen, write them a letter, and try to make peace and TRY to rebuild that relationship and even if seems there is no hope, keep trying, because LOVE, LOVE conquers all and maybe you won’t see the results of that right off the bat, you may not even see the results before you leave this world BUT there will be results, healing and closure for your child. Knowing that you tried will impact their lives for good even if they NEVER get to the place of forgiveness that they are comfortable sharing those thoughts with you.

And hold your children, love you children, let them see your tears you compassion because if you don’t the weight of trying to grow into your shoes, shoes that are even to big for you, will break them because we are all human and we need to not be afraid to show that, it is much harder to retain your temper and forbearance than it is to burst into an angry rage. I have said this “a hundred times” in these posts and probably will again, but think of Jesus, one of my favorite things about him, he COULD have destroyed the entire world rather than face crucifixion, but in his MERCY, he forgave those who demanded his death.

Rage is easy, swallowing “pride” and responding with mercy and forgiveness not quite as much.

God blesses us in following his word in all areas of our life, and with that stand, STAND for what is right and speak for those who can’t, the Biblical truth concerning violence against women has always been very close to my heart, and I have always believed if men would call out men, concerning it, it would change, just as it is time for the police to police themselves and tear down that code of silence within the brotherhood that has lead to the tragedies we have now, when three stands by while one kills because they are ingrained with the doctrine that there are lines that must not be crossed.

Finally maybe you are reading this and you had a terrible, terrible father rest assured you do not have to mirror him and you do not have to make the same mistakes. You have a heavenly Father who will love you and teach you his ways and help you grow into who he created you to be.

If you are reading this and you are a mother raising your kids alone and there is no way that their father is ever going to be the father they need, you can pray the blessing of God over your children and yourself, you NEED extra help when you are the mother and the father, the breadwinner, homemaker, and every job in between! 

Read this passage, memorize this passage, and PRAY verse five (in bold) over you and your children every day.

Psalm 68:1-5: “Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered, let them also that hate him flee before him. As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so  let the wicked perish before the presence of God.

But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice.  Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens, by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.  

A father of the fatherless, and a judge (DEFENDER) of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.”

Finally, to my Brothers in Christ, HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

May God bless you and your families and keep praying those blessings for your kids and all the kids who do not have a Godly father to ask those blessing of God for them.

Thanks for reading!

Φλογιζω 2020 ΝBJ//Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

REVISTED 06/16/2021  Happy Father’s Day once again mu friends! Have a blessed day!

 

Justifying the end…

“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Proverbs 14:12 

Old, old saying that we are all probably quite familiar with…”The end justify the means.” And we all know that this pretty much is saying that when you have a purpose or achieved goal that nothing, nothing is off limits or out of bounds in achieving that desired end result.

That mentality is quite common in the world and even encouraged and it can be a task for new converts or even old seat warmers to remember when fighting the temptation to steer away from the Word of God and choose “other alternatives” when achieving what they feel is something that must take place or the end result of a situation that they have been faced with and it is very easy to be swayed into believing that whatever it takes God will be okay with because he loves us but when it comes to the Kingdom of Heaven that God has commanded that his people “come out and be separate” and the false doctrine doctrine teaching of that anything and everything is okay with God is an absolute lie.

The world may have changed but God’s standards have not nor will they ever and what He said 2000 years ago is just as true today.

God means what He says and says what He means.

When God saves us, cleanses us and delivers us we are so new, so alive, so clean and there is nothing like the initial feeling of having the sins of a lifetime washed away and being made new  in Christ, but again that is initially.

And as Scripture also teaches us we are babes in Christ, but the time comes for those babes to grow and just as we grow in the natural, growing spiritually involves many ups and downs and the growing process can be at times very painful.

We do not learn to trust God unless we are faced with a situation that seems so hopeless and helpless that our only option is that we must trust God.

We do not learn to walk in faith unless we are suddenly met with a darkened path that can only be walked by faith.

And we will never ever develop the kind of patience that Jesus referred to when he told us that in it we will possess our souls, unless that patience is tried.

Our souls can never understand true peace unless until we have understood true exhaustion.

These are Christian growing pains, because we must grow in Christ and that is a process, day by day, year by year, we grow in Christ and as we grow and the time comes, just a baby bird must learn how to stand up in his nest before he will ever take flight.

We as Christians are allowed to learn “to stand” just as we grow from babies to toddler and before we can ever walk must less run we have to learn how to stand. 

I have noticed more in the recent years than ever, is by convincing Christians that somehow we can still hold fast to the beleif that the end will justify the means.

And that is not saying God leaves us, he never ever leaves us and he is always there to help us and as we start swaying, stumbling, almost falling as we try to stand He is the father who gently takes our hands and steady’s us again.

And this is the place where so many stumble and take hold of the wrong hand and often during these times rather than knowing  that God is there is can be easier to allow the enemy to convince us that if we are to stand we will need to do whatever it takes to stand on our own.

That is NOT God’s idea on how we are to handle anything.

Often through our upbringing and society we can easily fall back into the old mindset and completely forget the truth that we once knew and soon enough struggles will come and then we must decide are we going to revert back to the old way of thinking, listening to the wrong voices of handling life or do we take God at His word.

The best description of this growing process, it’s purpose, and the ease of not quite grasping it can be found in 2 Peter 1:2-9: “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through (in) the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord. According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to (by) glory and virtue:

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature HAVING ESCAPED the corruption that is in the world through lust.

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to you faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

And to knowledge temperance (self-control); and temperance patience (perseverance); and to patience godliness;

And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity (love). 

For if these things be in you (are yours) and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren (useless) nor unfruitful in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off (is short sighted), and hath FORGOTTEN that he was purged (cleansed) from his old sins.”

So you can see this for the process that it is and it is a process, little by little, step by step as God transforms us(as scripture says, by the renewing of our MINDS) to become the en and women he created us to be in Him.

And we must have these attributes. But we are human, we will stumble, we will struggle but again if we accept the fact that this IS part of that process and quit believing the lies of the enemy that tell us that if we were were really “where we should be…” that is the biggest lie of all, we re never where we should be or otherwise we’d be out of here!

This is the same issue that Jesus had with the Pharisees and all the “perfect” people that ostracized those he came to save and he hate it!

And we are often harder on ourselves than the enemy or others could ever be and we have to stop this and accept, really accept Jesus, his forgiveness and get on with our work for the Kingdom while we still have time to work.

Once those doors are shut is is over, once our lives are completed there will be no second chances to come back to earth and complete the job he had given us to do. Remember those treasures you are storing up, remember those crowns that you will be given to lay at the feet of the King?

But above all remember those whose lives you WILL NOT touch and remember the difference that you DID NOT make.

And as harsh as that may sound, it is a very good incentive to us when we think outside of the box of our own head and look at the bigger picture which is why Peter tells us so clearly that we need these attributes, and note that he does not at anytime lay down a number of days, months, years that we should achieve any of these attributes or the total culmination of them all because there is no time frame.

Just that we are to build upon these and we acquire them through the need and dependence upon them to finally reach our true goal- the true “end justification” which is LOVE, love as Christ wants us to love.

It is a process, because even though you may have faith but if you do not have self control what could happen with that faith?

Maybe you have brotherly kindness and can be helpful to those in need and maybe your heart goes out to them and you are lead in someway to reach out to them and perform some sort of act of service but you lack diligence, your heart may reach out but you will not be able to complete the task, without diligence we see nothing through.

And he tells us at the end that IF we lack these things we are SHORT SIGHTED, we cannot see far off. meaning we can not see the end, the ETERNAL outcome and it is then that we are tempted into playing the game of “The end justifies the means” because we are searching for that quick fix.

Another set back to modernism of the church, we can not lie, or avoid the truth or pretend to like those who our hearts are filed with unresolved hurt against, we can not do any of these things out of any agenda because it is still sin and using it as a ‘”Means to an end” is also a sin.

Again part of that growing process, but as we grow in Christ and we CHOOSE to follow a plan that is at the very least questionable in comparison to the Word of God on handling that subject and while that little voice inside is telling us this is not quite right and we reason within ourselves that it is not that big of a deal and reassure ourselves with our own reasoning… it is sin.

Honesty, whether that honesty seems good or bad to others, God requires honesty, and as James 4:17 states “Therefore to him that KNOWETH to do good and doeth it not, to him it IS sin.”

We are not bound by what we do not know,and if we do not understand the things that we should not do and do them, God will let us know in our hearts or by a word of exhortation that we should not do those things, He will ensure we get the message, because He loves us, and that love is unconditional and He wants us to have the life of peace and joy,a life that was purchased by him for us, a life that was paid for in his agony, his blood and his life and when we choose our own path we are devaluing his sacrifice.

If we are to be part of the outpouring of the last days, which we know that we are in, and we truly want to see his Kingdom come we have to get these “little foxes” under control and out of our lives. We all struggle, we all have questions about our identity from time to time, that it normal and God promises are so pure and so perfect, we are PROMISED that he will never leave us, no one loves us like Jesus and no one ever will!

He wants us to succeed and if that means picking us up and dusting us off and giving us a hug every fifteen minutes we are on this earth HE WILL.

He is gentle, kind, and merciful beyond human comprehension and he does not expect us to be anything other than who he created us to be and to keep his commandments, love and honor him and do the best that we personally are capable of doing. 

But in that we also must be willing to choose the correct path and the correct response to the things that life throws our way, it is often said concerning parenting to “choose your battles wisely” and I do believe many fights in battles that were never theirs for the fighting, such as staying in situations out of pride, not wanting to be the “one who gave in” when it would be more wise to walk away

Remember that God wants us to come to him with all that weighs you down, he wants you to bring to him every problem that you can’t solve because in truth we can’t solve anything and we often make things much worse and God will come to our rescue when we ask but often we are left with damages that we should have never had to incur.

Know this, that if you have to pray one hundred times a day that God hears every single pray and he honors humility and truth and when we say God I can’t…. that is exactly when he will let you know that even so, HE CAN and he is not interested in what you can do for yourself he is interested in you trusting him. 

Verses to remember:

1 Corinthians 10:13: “There hath NO temptation taken you but such is COMMON to man; But GOD IS FAITHFUL, who will NEVER suffer (permit) you to be tempted (tested) above that which ye are able;  but will with the temptation ALSO make a way to escape, that ye might be able to bear it.”

It comes to everyone and God will NEVER allow it to destroy you IF you take his way out. But if you choose to follow your own path, you can not blame God because God gives us FREE WILL, the choice is ours.

Romans 6:14: “For sin SHALL NOT ave dominion (rule) over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”

Plead the blood, plead the blood!

Revelation 12:11: “And they OVERCAME him (the enemy) BY THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB, and by the word of their testimony; and that they loved not their lives unto death.”

To wrap up, we must be our guard, sometimes that path will seem  right but it can lead to the ways of death, spiritually speaking, a little this or a little that, “this one time” is only minute in our reasoning and sin leads to more sins, that is why our beginning verse starts singular, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” and becomes plural. 

That WAY leads to those WAYS.

So stay on guard and never con yourself or letting anyone else con you into believing that we will ever justify our own on way, only God can justify us and games… God does not play!

Thanks for reading!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020 Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

Have you heard?

“And it came to pass, that when Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? and they said unto him, WE HAVE NOT SO MUCH AS HEARD WHETHER THERE BE ANY HOLY GHOST.” ACTS 19:1,2

Now this is much like the scriptural fact that “How can you believe upon Him in whom you have not heard?” These men HAD been baptized into John’s baptism, by all rights they WERE saved but yet they were missing a crucial element to there salvation, the Baptism of the Holy Ghost.

And I KNOW all the arguments, I KNOW that there are more than enough that believe that this was only for the disciples and these moments in time. And I will not even go there because I have a better question for their answer. How can you KNOW that for certain, if you have NEVER experienced HIM?

Sure, if you have never  known a fact for yourself, YOU CAN SAY with self assured fervor that this is no longer given and BELIEVE in yourself to be right and yet be so completely wrong. 

The common knowledge is this, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that you are given at the exact breath that you accept Christ as your Savior.

The Holy Spirit leads us,and guides us, gently nudges us in the right direction and will flat out warn us to stumbling blocks or snares that the enemy has set, and will also convict us of our own self righteousness and unsavory behavior.

No disputing that anywhere. But there is so much more, much,much more and it seems that what was once sought after, prayed for, fasted for, has now has been left for the pages of a denominational history book.

That is a major problem. God has not changed. The gifts and callings have not changed. The fruit of the Spirit has not changed. He is the same God that called out Abraham, He is the same God that spoke to Moses, and performed every mighty act recorded from front to back in His Holy word. Ancient of Days, STILL THE SAME. And the Holy Ghost is STILL very much active, alive and quite well.  

The only change that came was to us and our desire of Him and we absolutely have to get back to those old paths from a generation ago because what we are going to lose is irreplaceable. THEY WILL NEVER KNOW IF THEY HAVE NEVER EVEN HEARD OF HIS EXISTENCE and that is a sad state, I have been saved for sixteen years and I could probably count on one hand the times this subject has been addressed that I have heard.

We need more than ever to teach on Him, preach on Him and pray that the gift that He blessed the Disciples with would come again, that at the laying on of the hands others would receive.

So if you have never accepted Jesus as your Savior, don’t hesitate, you will never know the true meaning of love, and the depth of the deepest peace until you know the Master of it all.

If you are saved and have never been filled with the Holy Ghost, Well, Now YOU HAVE HEARD!

Start praying, you pour your heart out to Him and He will do the rest and THEN your walk will be easier, YOU WILL BE RENEWED in ways you never, ever thought possible, and you will KNOW, and I do mean, without a shadow of a doubt the PRESENCE and overshadowing of Jesus, and everything will make sense and struggles that have held you in bondage will cease and you will never ever be the same!

 Φλογιζω

** Original post date: 01/30/2016**

Reverend Nina Brown Johnson / Φλογιζω 2020/NBJ  

A little more food for thought… Love & peace till next time!

PLEASE WAKE UP !!!

If you only knew…

“Change your clothes”

“Designed, Resigned, & Refined”

Have a Blessed Pentecost!

“Virtuous”

The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him, What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what the son of my vows?

Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings” Proverbs 31:1-3

Before I get to far into this, how about I tell ya what we are doing here?

One thing that has came from the “social isolation” is families spending time together, reconnecting, and being a part of one another’s lives that they normal would never be exposed to. 

Parents working from home, kids getting a bird’s eye view of just why it is their parents may be tired, sleepy, and even just a little grumpy after a day at the “office” and parents now have to ‘home school” their children are getting a glimpse of just how differently academic standards can change in  a generation and can quickly realize the stressful expectations modern education truly lays on the shoulders of students.

And the beauty in all this bustle is this…  families are also spending time together , doing dinner together, sharing household chores together, fending off boredom by entertaining themselves together, gardening and planting flowers together and all sharing in the responsibilities of protecting the family from the virus by acting very consciously together.

And of course this would in no way be ideal in a dysfunctional family or those who may be temporarily living in an abusive or emotionally controlled home because that is not love and in my belief, God would never want anyone  being treated abusively and God gives us his mercy, his courage to believe for a better day

That is why I say temporarily because He will take care of you but you also must be willing to make those first steps, letting him deal with the ashes and thorns so that you can  free yourself from that relationship or in certain cases that freedom comes as a circumstance has to change.

So now that’s enough links to cover the flip side of this coin, I want to talk about the wonderful opportunity that God has placed right in the middle of all this fear and worry and to do that we are going to hit verse by verse through Proverbs 31.

Thinking  a little about the meaning in each line and the importance of a mother’s  role in not only teaching her children but the express wisdom she imparts to her children and bear in my mind that often theses conversations in the Bible are between mothers and adult offspring. 

It is never too late as this verse begins by informing us that he is relaying the words of his mother, meaning he listened to her and those were kept in his heart and mind. She first gave him confirmation, triple confirmation, of their bond.

Her first warning to him was the dangers of being seduced away, by letting lust lead him into destruction, the cross references to these verses actually take you to the dangers of adultery and the danger of that day, when men had multiple wives, which was NEVER God’s intention, people often think because something is “in” the Bible that it means that whatever those mentioned were doing must have been okay with God, but NO!

The Bible is full of stories of people who were, well just that… people and the stories are in the Bible to let us know that God forgives and we are all kinda messed up but the people in those stories did all kinds of things that were never part of God’s plan, that is why Jesus came to save us.

So the Mama was warning her son to stay away for the traps and snares that would ruin him and in modern society celibacy until marriage is thought comical BUT God’s word is eternal and so are the reasons it was taught then and those reasons and the reasons given against affairs are as valid now.

It ruins lives, ruins families and that grass that was greener will fade and withered brown and once it has there will be no going back to what was once had.

God does repair but people are left with pain and regret that they must allow God to heal. 

Proverbs 31:4-6: “It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor princes to drink strong drink; 

Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert judgment (justice)of any of the afflicted.

Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto him that be of  heavy (biter) heart.

Let him drink and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.”

Now she is warning him to pitfall, that again is viewed almost comedic in modern culture.

But again, just as clearly defined and the reasons that God gives us to avoid alcohol is also clearly defined for our benefit an dour families benefit, and as Mama is explaining to him, as a ruler being intoxicated will cause he to forget what is right and will cause and lead to an absolute miscarriage of justice against those who desperately need help the most.

And that “strong drink” should be reserved for those on bed of death and wine only for those whose heart is full of sorrow, I think as spiritual, new wine, God making all things new, as God gives us spiritual wine, we are no longer poor, maybe materially but not spiritually. Jesus said ye are rich, rich in him and the Kingdom of God which is not of this world, but the next. Making his followers forget the misery that their lives once was.

Now she is ready to dispense her most sage advise for sons, for daughters, for all her children and her children’s children children, advice that would be for the ages… because after all it has survived ages.

“Open thy mouth, for the dumb (speechless)in the cause, of all such as appointed to destruction. Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and PLEAD the cause of the poor and the needy” Proverbs 31:8-9

“She” is speaking her of the need and the responsibility to lift up our voice on behalf of others and following the golden rule and being diligent for all to do our part in speaking out when others can’t and seeing to needs when we see those needs.

And now the beauty and the truly remarkable attributes of being a woman, a wife, a mother and I can never do anything dealing with marriage without pointing out the fact that God loves women, and the old man made thoughts that women are subservient an dare objects to be owned, is just that man made. 

Men were to love and cherish their wives, as Christ loved the church, and he does not harm the church, he loved the church enough to die for us all.

God says in his words that marriage means this, two become one, so marriage is a union, not of one versus one, both of two producing a family unit that was intended to act as one, for the good and love of all.

Proverbs 31:10-12: “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safety trust in her, so that he hath no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.”

Virtuous translates to wife of valor and meaning that her son would do well to find a woman of honesty, integrity and in doing so that her impact in their life would be greater than as if they possessed the world’s greatest riches.

Just as mothers desire that daughters marry men who will be good husbands in treating their wife and family well.

Not always the case, we now have many many virtuous women who have the roles of father, mother, provider, care giver, everything duty of parental guidance solely upon their shoulders as they take on the role of solitary family guide, in not way fair or right but it is now the norm and these ladies should be honored by us and in our society. the next verses are perfect for these leading ladies of life, navigating solely, sacrificing their own needs for their benefit of their children, parents, and communities.

They give so much and are often overlooked and given nothing in return, or so it seems… God sees it all, he sees their hurt, their worry, he sees the abuse they have suffered, he has seen the adultery on the behalf of the spouses that lead them to this solitary path. And these next verse surely apply to those who do it all while feeling that they are alone.

Proverbs 31:13_21:”She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willing with her hands. She is like the merchant’s ships: she bringeth food from afar.

She rises also while it is yet night, and giveth meat (food) unto her household, and a portion unto her maidens.

She considereth a field, and buyeth it: and with the fruit (earnings) of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengthen her arms.

She preceiveth that her merchandise is good; her candle (lamp) goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.

She strectcheth (extends) her hand to the poor, yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

She is not afraid of the snow for her household; for all her household are clothed with scarlet.

She maketh herself coverings of  tapestry; her clothing is silk (fine linen) and purple.”

We’ve got a lot of mirroring going on in these verses.

This lady is a worker, she is seizing every opportunity for the betterment of her household, she is up working, as everyone else sleeps,  her light shines brightly even the dark night.

She is good to everyone, not just her family, she is good to her friends and she is especially good to those in need, even “reaching’ out to them to help them also.

She prepares for tomorrow as she has her family reading for coming season and mirror scarlet to having her family saved clothed under the blood of the Lamb, she herself wearing fine linen, her robe of righteousness given to her from God, and purple as she is the daughter of the King.

The next verses apply to the married ladies and the blessing that they bring to their husbands and family:

It reminds me so much of the wives of pastors, who are often the sweetest, kindest women who give so much of themselves for the church the love and are blessings to all they mingle with and again referencing all their hard work.

Proverbs 31:23-24: “Her husband is known to the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.

She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles (sashes) unto the merchants.” 

And now back to the virtue in virtuous, for all his daughters.

Proverbs 31:25-31: ” Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in the time to come.

She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. 

Her children rise up and call her blessed; and her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously (well) but thou excellest them all. 

Favour  (charm) is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but  a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. 

Give her the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.”

Women, daughters, wives, mothers, grandmothers, pastors, ministers, doctors, lawyers, food workers, factory workers, home school mama’s. librarians, college deans, every job imaginable and all the “domestic engineering” in between, bold, between, kind, and often unseen.

So on this special day, Bless all of you who are mothers as you impart these wisdom’s, as Lemuel mother did as you have this time with your children.

Know that as we ended with her works will praise her, your work time and love will bring multitudes of joy in the days ahead and your children will always remember what you have did for them and they will never forget.

Know this my friends, you may not be a mother yet, but maybe you “mother” those around you, sisters or brothers or maybe you even feel like you have to be a mother to your own parents, or you are a “den” mother caring for every stray that comes your way, no matter what “woman’ you are, maybe life has been hitting you so hard and you feel like no one sees, know one knows but I promise you, one does, His name is Jesus and HE is watching over you, every single step from above!

Φλογιζω/ NBJ 2020 Reverend Nina Brown Johnson

REVISTIED 05/09/2021

This song has nothing to do with being virtuous, it is actually “Virtuoso” the reprise version and it is about the beauty of God and His sovereignty over our lives.

It is just one of my all time favorites and for some reason it had just been in my heart and my head for this post so it you have never heard it, please check it out. 

Bringing it forth…

“Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me; and, Because I go to my Father? 

They said therefore, What is this that he saith? A little while ? We cannot tell what he saith (understand what he is saying)

Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them, Do you enquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me; and again, a little while, and ye shall see me?

Verily, verily, I say unto you, that ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice; and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. 

A woman when she is in travail (labor) hath sorrow, because her hour is come; But as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man (human being) is born is born into the world.” John 16:17-20 

Now when  Jesus spoke this to them he was referencing his death, that very soon they would no longer see him or be with him but that again, soon, they would surely see him again. 

That they would indeed over the days soon coming face sorrow, and dread being inexplicably confused as to how this could happen to him and not even beginning to be able to understand much less comprehend that this could be not only the will of God for Jesus to suffer and die on the cross but to fathom this is was his actual plan.

As Jesus encouraged them that as surely as those things would come, but again, in a little while, something so much sweeter, would also come, again.

That, again, those sands would slowly but surely sift their ways again through the hourglass of time and all those times of heartache and doubt would turn to unimaginable joy as those moments sifted through all the little whiles to fall perfectly into a single moment in time when He would resurrect leaving death conquered behind and had they known for but a second as He tried to warn them to this and to give them hope that it was again, a little while, would they have have begged him not to go?

Surely, but He would have answered them, No, as scripture tells us of Jesus, “…Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” 

Just as Peter tried to to believe that there had to be another way, that this could not possibly be what was meant to be.

Curious it would be know the mental torment of the others or the one who ran away, not because they should have had regrets and second thoughts but you know that being human that they did.

Peter was going to fight against the arrest of Christ proving this as he cut off the servant of the high priest’s ear.  Jesus’ reprimand to him as he replaced the severed ear letting Peter know this was not the way that Jesus would have him go.

But soon the were scattered, alone, and scared, how often do you suppose over the period of those, what would had to have seemed never ending, three days the thoughts of “We should have hid him” or “We should have stayed” raced through their minds?

As we think about His words as he had tried to prepare them and assure them that this was the will of God. Jesus also encouraged them to the joy that would come after all the pain, he used the comparison of a mother in the process of giving birth.

As a mother I can truly attest to this, as I am sure the ladies reading very well can too.

There is nothing as beautiful, as wholesome, and as pure as when we are expecting, nothing as gentle or as precious.

And as we decorate in expectation with blues, purples, yellows, and greens. Adorning the walls with little boy blue, the cow jumping over the moon, rabbits, rainbows and everything in between, everything bright peaceful and clean, teddy bears, ribbons, and kittens gracing nurseries with cradles prepared for the new arrival as mobiles dance overhead.

The excitement, the joy, and the expectation are soon overshadowed as labor sets in and as the pain comes, thankfully, only a little at a time, but each contraction grower harder and lasting longer than the last.

There is an absolute knowing during the process of giving birth that you are helpless, there is nothing you can do to stop this and that you are either going through this process or you will die.

Only two choices and you have control of neither.

This is why, in my belief, Jesus chose this comparison to give us so that we would understand and that we would understand the differences, just as when Pharaoh demanded the Hebrew boys be killed at birth the midwives informed that him the Hebrew women gave birth fast and we know Jacob’s wife Rachel died giving birth to Benjamin and as we like to say here in the south women have “laid in labor” for days suffering desperately needing to be delivered of that child and yet the baby for whatever reason unable to come. Thank God we do have medical resources today that have saved the lives of countless mothers but still not all and the  birth still have to take place.

Paul in his writing referencing childbirth with the statement that she “shall be saved in childbearing” he is not referring to being saved spiritually he is referring to not dying in the process. 

Birth is painful, there are not words that can even come close to describing it, birth is bloody BUT birth brings about something so beautiful, so pure, innocent, and magnificently renewing that as Jesus said the anguish of that sorrow, the sorrow of needing to be delivered of that child, not the child needing delivered but the mother’s body needing to escape that dreadful travail is forgotten because immediately it is replaced by joy, a joy that mirrors the pain, as the pain is inexplicably indescroble SO IS that joy.

A  joy that completes you, a joy of looking into a tiny little face and as my late mother explained to me, the overwhelming feeling that this tiny little person that you have never met until this day you feel as though somehow you have known forever. 

Jesus referred to unsettling times and events that would take place before his return (painting the baby’s room a cheerful pink with that delicate wording) as the beginning of sorrows, which translates to birth pangs, we are in very, very uncertain times and everyone just wants life to get back to normal, but we are not going to ever experience the “normal” that once was but we can look forward, which requires looking past the pain, look forward to lives that can be even better, as families are reconnecting and many are taking time to actually realize what is truly important and cherishing those things that alone are worthy of being truly cherished and those who maybe have never given God, his existence or the afterlife a second thought may now be seriously pondering those questions.  And as far as churches it is coming down to who’s left standing. People are regaining their compassion for each other again and with compassion comes respect and a chance to love each other again forgoing the senseless hatred

Being in the same boat together now reminding us that we are all human, we all love, we all cry, we all experience the same feelings because we were all created in the same image and that and that was in His image. And that is the good you gotta hold on to,

And of course as He told us long long ago the  labor will be quite unpleasant to put it in the mildest “dreft” scented terms but once the deliverance has come there will be nothing that can even come close to the beauty of that glorious “baby” that will come.   

We are all praying and we have to continue to pray and pray that those”labor pains” those “sorrows” as Jesus warned us would one day come are covered by his mercy, and that what is to be brought forth through that process will birth fast.

God bless you and your loved ones during this season, praying that He will cover you and yours under the shadow of his wings and that through it all you will find a joy and a peace and a renewing of His Spirit with you that knowing that joy will see you through.

Φλογιζω Rev.Nina Brown Johnson / NBJ 2020

 

“Temple”

white and brown house

Photo by Arvid Knutsen on Pexels.com

“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.

I have fed you with milk and not with meat (solid food): for hitherto (until now) ye were not able to bear it, neither yet are ye able.

For as ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you enving, strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

For while one saith, I am of Paul, and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? WHO then is Paul, and WHO is Apollos, but ministers BY whom ye believed even as the Lord gave to every man?  1 Corinthians 3:1-4

GOOD MORNING! and if it is not Morning for you, then may I wish you a wonderful evening and blessed night. We are actually going to finish up with that passage in just a bit, but I wanted to stop and relay a few points, First Paul was expounding to them that it was time for him to speak with those who listened with a little more depth, things that they should be getting on a spiritual level, but they were still not quite ready.

We also deal with those that we are to minister to, sometimes a little too softly, not wanting to “choke” them with truths that can be very hard to swallow. But Paul had to enlighten them to the truths that all the envy and jealousy and one upmanship was just not going to get as behaviours for those in the Kingdom of God.

And I love the fact that he is pointing out so clearly, asking who is Apollos, even asking who, he himself was, as much as we honor them and rightfully so, they were still ministers that God had sent to led his people home.

As the old timers say ” No little “I”s and big “U”‘s and that is one thing I do very much believe is going to come out of this pandemic. Restrictions placed about and that many can no longer attend church because the church is not there to attend (Some serious symbolism in that)

So there will be none of the envy, strife, and divisions spoke of and there will be no favorite pastor, minister, preacher, or singer that helped spark those divisional fires that have helped consume the church from her original state, you can’t have one mind and one accord if there are minds present that are full of discord.

But now, the churches, like most everything else are closed and some are having “Parking Lot” and “Drive by” church which is an awesome ideal, reminiscent of the old tent revivals that we need to get back to.

People are going to be there because they want to be there not out of some weird sense of duty or family commitment but because they want the Word of God.  And Paul is saying that God has many “ministers” that God sends his Word and His offer of salvation through many different workers.

And I want you to think about something, if you are saved, you ARE sent and if you are not saved the moment you repent, you WILL BE sent, your life, your light, and above all your decision to accept Christ and proclaim, especially in this world of unbelief, your faith in God and your belief that not only is His Word true but also the truths of the life after this can, does, and will absolutely change the course of the lives of  those around you.

Back to our verses, shall we? 1 Corinthians 3: 5-16

“I have planted, Apollos watered; but GOD gave the increase.

SO then neither is he that planteth any thing , neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. 

Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward for his labour.

For we are labourers (workers) together with God: Ye are God’s Husbandry (field) ye are God’s builders.

According to the grace of God which is given me as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But every man take heed how he buildeth thereon.

For another foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try (test) every man’s work of what sort it is.

If any man’s work abide (endures) which he hath built thereon, he shall receive a reward.

If any man’s works shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by (through) fire.  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you.”

Now Paul went on to set forth some warnings after that verse, but I want to use it to encourage you today.

You ARE the TEMPLE of God, your body is a CHURCH of God, when you have the Holy Spirit LIVING inside of you you become the church on this earth!

How exciting is that? I know we are faced with a dreadful, dreadful time but during that time if you remember that God has a plan and purpose for you in these days. God does not make mistakes and he does nothing out of “season”  He could have chosen you to have been born hundreds of years, or even thousands of years ago, or He could have chosen to never send your soul to this earth, but He chose this time, this season for you because ye have work to do and only God knows that work that He predestined for you to accomplish for his Kingdom, BEFORE He laid the foundations of this earth.

And I want to give you those scripture also quickly, because this is meant to be heard by someone today. 

In THESE times, in THIS hour and THIS season that God has chosen for you, as bad as it all appears at the moment.

Romans: 8:28-30: ” And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are THE CALLED according to his purpose.

For whom he did foreknow, he also did PREDESTINATE to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also CALLED, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” 

So maybe you can’t get to a church but remember that you are the church.

And remember that God uses it all, all the bad, all that we do not understand, He will use it for the Kingdom. Let your light shine, do whatever God puts on your heart, reach out by card, letter, or phone to whoever he is bidding you to reach out to. Use this season to know Him more and deepen your relationship with him and if he leads you to, share that “meat” of his Word with others around you, we often do not want to hear the rougher stuff but we are coming down to the wire and we have much work to do.

Among all the pain and uncertainty we still have a great promise, the outpouring of God’s Spirit “upon all flesh” this began at Pentecost, but we have the promise of a great outpouring in the last days, so plant that seed, the word of God shown in love and mercy, kindness, water if that is your job, water those seeds that someone has already planted because you are one in  those action and ask God blessing on your “hands” as you work in his field, He will, he never sends us unprepared and He never send us alone.

You are His Temple, and you are His church, be it and just watch what grace, blessings, and miracles unfold!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

Blessed Day

Palm Sunday 2 (2)

“After this I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

And they cried with a loud voice, saying, SALVATION TO OUR GOD WHICH SITTETH UPON THE THRONE, AND UNTO THE LAMB.

And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces and worshipped God.

Saying, AMEN: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. AMEN”  Revelation 7: 9-12 

Just to know that joy that is yet to come! The sadness and terror of this world will one day fade away and those who have trusted the Lord Jesus WILL be in this innumerable number who stand actually before the throne of the living God, in the presence and fellowship with the angels and  the host of heaven.

We will be gathered together, those from every nation ever created upon the earth, every language which has ever been spoken with one common purpose to raise our palm branches in the kingdom of God, the Living God, the Kingdom of Jesus Christ and praise Him Forever and Ever!

And I know what we face and I know the Word of God as to things which are to come but today let this be your hope

God gives us these words of future  so that these times will not overcome our faith because this world is not the end, but what seems like then the end of this world must come to bring in the birth of the world without end, and this is but a glimpse into that glorious world, so stay focused, because Jesus gave us a word to comfort us through all fear. 

“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up , and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. 

And he spake to them a parable;  Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; When they now shoot forth, ye see, and know of your own selves that summer is nigh at hand.

So likewise ye when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.”  Luke 21:38-31 

If you have never accepted Jesu as your Saviour, please do not put it off another moment, what a  better time than today, what a more perfect day to give your heart to Him and to trust Him through these dark days.

We are in the last days and one day that trumpet will sound and those who know Christ will be spared many horrors during the tribulation days, those who are left here can be saved but it will be a very painful, dreadful time on earth and anyone left on earth will wish there were not. 

And I know there are those who refuse to accept God and there are those also who think, “Well I have heard that all of my life.”

Well that is why you have heard it, that is why Jesus and ALL He sent since the fall of man have preached it.

Because God wants people to be saved and you don’t have to change because He changes you, He does it all He just wants you to you be saved so that you will not be afraid and you will not be eternally lost and that’s it, all He asks is that you keep His Word and trust Him, and let Him save you. 

There could  be the thought that we are just all trying to scare people into salvation, no, my ministry has always leaned toward the apocalyptic, does not bring me joy, has brought me many tears knowing the things that will come to pass and that is why Jesus himself gave us those verse above, so that we would know, and be forewarned so that we could have his peace and guidance when all those things he spoke comes to pass.

If you get a moment please go back and read that chapter and also read Luke chapter seventeen or pull it up online and read it for yourself. Jesus only wants the best for you, me, and all of us but we have to accept that best from Him, He will not just come and takeover your life, you have to invite Him into your life.

And people would dare say, “You mean God would just let you be lost, forever?” if we refuse to accept what He is trying to give us, that is not Him letting us do anything, that is us refusing to live as God wants us to live, not willing to give up things that He will not allow for His children, and holding our thoughts, and desires higher than our respect toward God and that is idolatry, we are our own gods at that point and this attitude proves it.

And asking ‘What has he done for me?” same point, What have you did for God? Have you served God? have you even committed to God?

It is that mentality that has spread like wildfire actually convincing people that God should honor them not vice versa, God is Holy  and owes us nothing and yet gave us everything in giving Jesus to DIE for us and we still think we have some sort of right to ask “What has he done for us” that is something that has taken the world by storm and must be repented of.

If you know Him Trust Him, Praise Him and ” look” for Him in the midst of all the uncertainty.

If you don’t know Him, please do not wait another second, don’t throw away what you can not even understand, because we can understand none of this, none of the dynamics of what takes place when we except Jesus. 

And I am not afraid to admit that before I knew Jesus,I didn’t get it either and I did not understand why all these Christians “pick” on people trying to get them saved.

But the moment Jesus saved me, I was completely overwhelmed by just how truly senseless I had been to Him and completely blown away by His presence and completely humbles by the fact that He would save me and heartbroken at just how long I had waited, realizing how much different my life AND the lives of those around me could have been had I accepted Him sooner, so please don’t make that mistake.

Your salvation WILL be a light, a HOPE, and a BLESSING to ALL those around you. It is A  BLESSED DAY, let it be the day that we forever BlESS the Father’s heart for you! 

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

“Hope through a long night”

 

Safely in Jesus

“Who against hope believed in hope…..” Romans 4:18

This verse portion means this, it was in reference to Abraham and Abraham BELIEVING the promise that God had made him and despite everything appearing hopeless in his situation.

He chose to believe God. I know tonight that the world is scary and things do look so very dark and we are surrounded with uncertainty and I felt someone needed to hear this, hope against hope, hope when it seems hopeless, this is the meaning of the scripture. 

Wherever you are finding yourself at this moment, whatever you are going through, do not lose hope. 

Believe in that hope that things will get better, that this is not the end, even when everything is wanting you to believe otherwise.

A wonderful verse to pray for comfort in times of trouble and restlessness caused by the fear of the what ifs and what will’s is this:

“I will both lay me down in peace,and sleep: for thou, Lord, only maketh me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8

Where ever you are the world over tonight, where it could actually be day, either way, I hope you have a blessed night and may God bless you with much brighter days on the way.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

“Stay”

“And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God .

And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but by my Father which is in heaven.

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Then charged (commanded) he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.

From that time forth began Jesus to shew (reveal) unto his disciples, how that he must  go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again on the third day.

Then Peter took him (took him aside), and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, (God be merciful unto you) Lord; this shall not be unto thee.”

But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou art an offense unto me: for thou savorest not (are not mindful of) the things that be of God.” Matthew 16:16-23

Very understandable that Peter would have this reaction once Jesus keyed them on on the fact that not only was he not going into hiding, but quite the opposite, he instead, would in deed stay the course, stay on the path that would lead him into Jerusalem and that he would not only be arrested and tortured by that he would also die and the words that they couldn’t quite “hear” were that he would rise on the third day. Peter couldn’t quite “hear” that victorious ending because the process that would lead to that victory was too dreadful for him hear and to dreadful for his “heart” to understand and Peter loved Jesus and he knew, as he had Jesus affirmed, that Jesus was indeed the promised one, the hope of all mankind sent from heaven itself to save us all and free us all and establish the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven on this earth.

Peter also knew that Jesus was blessed of God and carried a power clearly not of this world and that he was indeed exactly whom he claimed to be, the Son of the only living God.

So Peter could not understand, much less dare to believe that this things would befall Christ.

Also note that Jesus had just reaffirmed to Peter, and even to all of us who now read their exchange, one very important fact, Peter was blessed and yet a few passages down Jesus would have to rebuke, the line out and correct the thoughts of Peter, the one who was truly blessed of God but through his human understanding and love and compassion could express thoughts and ideals that were so contrary to the word and will of God that if Jesus could have (and he could not) have possibly been swayed by his friend into a different path, choosing a different course, it would not only negated and made void his entire ministry work and even his purpose for coming to earth but would have benefited the enemy, which is why Jesus pointed out clearly where this thought originated.

The devil would have loved this, if Jesus had changed paths, if he had “ran” that would have meant that there would have been no going back to Jerusalem, there would have been no arrest, there would have been no torture, no cross, and certainly no death upon that cross but also there would have been no way in the desert for those who are lost, there would have been no freedom for those in prisons of bodies, minds, and demonic bondage, there would be no healing bought by those stripes that he endured, there would be no peace for us all given to us because he hang on that cross, bearing our shame and sin and without his death there would be no salvation and certainly no hope for any of us because without his death which had to come, it had to happen, just as he said because it was the only way we could be restored unto him and his death was the only way to bring resurrection. 

We are experiencing a time in our world like nothing ever seen before, there have since the fall of man times of famine, peril, and plague but nothing that could be seen the world over, we as a people, globally connected as humankind, have found ourselves facing for the past weeks and continue to face with every day bringing uncertainty as numbers fall and rise and those that govern us try their very best to lead us and guide us safely as possible through a maze, that they themselves must also navigate, their own health and the health of their families and loved ones as vulnerable as for us all.

We are truly in this together as the virus has no prejudice, no politics, and it cannot be bought or sold, meaning the rich, the poor, anyone and everyone, it cares nothing of who we are or what we are because it only has one purpose to invade, to infect, and to spread.

And we are all faced with one very real and inevitable truth, ONLY God knows where this will stop or when it will end. And only God has the peace and the comfort that can protect our minds and our hearts and most of all our souls during this.

And only by focusing on what can come of it, even if it does not come for us, to be happy for those that can and will find fruits in the most horrendous, lowest, and darkest valleys. Families that once were the backbone of society and should be this was God’s plan, for families to be just that, a family, to stick together, be together, love one another and be bonded in that love but overtime and the “need” for both parents to work because governments have allowed inflation and prices to rise to the point that multiple incomes are often a necessity for families to survive, and this has came at a great price, the price of parents who really do not know their children and children who are missing out on a deeper relationship with the very people God chose to be the forefront of their lives, to teach them, guide them and love them.

And that is one thing that is going to come form this nightmare. A re connection of families, a re connection of what is truly important and time to get to know and really appreciate one another for who they truly are as a person not just the “title” they have in our lives.

And I want to give a couple of scripture to show just how important the family unit is in the opinion of God and this is one of the many reasons Jesus came to earth, he wants those relationships to built on love, respect, kindness, and above gentleness which are some of his attributes.

He doesn’t want families to built on iron fists, control, belittlement, and fear of retributions for making mistakes or “coming up short” in the view of over zealous parents.

And more than ever it is time to seek the Lord and it is good for people to have hope and encouragement but the only way we can access the promises of God is to serve God, and I mean truly serve God.

I do believe that that is something else that will become clear as we proceed through these times.

The true Gospel has has became so watered down that some really believe that the promises of God are just that, promises and that it requires nothing on our part but that is absolutely not true.

We must repent, we must be saved, and that means a conversion for our “old ways” into  a newness and a real relationship with Christ when also means keeping his commandments and keeping his word, all of that word, and then we are heirs to all his promises and can seek him, his shelter and his peace in these times.

God sent us his word as instruction to want he wanted to take place in the family unit.

Malachi 4:6: “Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statues and judgments.

Behold, I will send Elijah the Prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:  

And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to the fathers, lest I come a smite the with curse.”

This prophecy went down over John the Baptist, as we”listen’ to the words that were spoken to his father Zacharias by the angel Gabriel, as he foretold the conception, and birth and divine calling upon the life of John as John would preach the Lamb of God.

Luke 1:10-17: ” And as the whole multitude of the people were praying without (outside) at the time (hour) of incense.

And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.

And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell on him.

But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.

And thou shalt have great joy and gladness; and many people shall rejoice at his birth.

For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and he shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy ghost from his mother’s womb.

And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.

And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, TO TURN THE HEARTS OF THE FATHERS TO THE CHILDREN, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make a people ready (PREPARED) for the Lord.” 

John preached a revolutionary new (to them) message, He was to introduce them to their God, not as they had perceived him to be, with fury and judgement, but a God that was love, gentleness, and forgiveness a God that they we meet as a Lamb, the perfect sacrifice but also showing humans, himself what exactly it is that he expects us to be and how he wants us to behave with each other. That is why he wanted the hearts of children to parents and parents to children, this is how the family of God works.

If you read this for the beginning you will notice so very important facts, Zacahrias was alone praying and offering incense but there were many, many outside the temple praying at the time he was to offer that incense. God’ s timing is as he, perfect, always perfect, and in the midst of every trail, torment, that comes upon this earth God is there. God knew all of these things would come, God told Noah to build the ark, God told Abraham that his descendants would go into bondage and God told Moses that he would deliver the children.

No one liked any of those circumstances but we can read about the miraculous hand of God in each account.

The only difference is today we have so much, so much to do, so much technology and the ability to know and see through the internet the devastation that has came that it has brought a new level of fear and uncertainty and it is hard to remember when faced with numbers, graphs, and charts one truth that is timeless, ageless,a and will never  ever change, GOD IS STILL THE SAME.

God has always been and God will always be. Thousands of years have came and gone, rulers, kings, powers, and kingdoms , but it is still the same Jehovah God that created it all.

So to get to the title and make an end of this post (you were beginning to wonder, Is it ever going to end? 🙂 weren’t you?) Just kidding, laughter is merry medicine.

But seriously, we will make it, holding on to God, that does not mean that we not suffer losses but it means we will make it, we will make it home.

We will make it by staying the course God has given us through his word. According to the handy dandy Wikipedia, this was probably an old nautical saying, and here it is as copied directly from the internet “encyclopedia”, (better known as Wikipedia), it means this: “Stay the course” is a phrase used in the context of a war or battle meaning to pursue a goal regardless of any obstacles or criticism

And the flip side to staying the course was this, the vessel had the option to “cut and run” meaning to hurry off by cutting the ropes and cutting free of the anchor.

We must stay anchored.

Hebrews 6:10-19: “But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.

For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints and do minister.

And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end.

That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. 

For when God made promises to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself. Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiply I will multiply thee.

And so, after he had endured, he obtained the promise.  for men verily swear by the greater; and an oath for confirmation is to them an an end of all strife. 

Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability (unchangeableness) of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath.

That by two immutable (unchangeable) things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consultation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope THAT IS SET BEFORE US. WHICH HOPE WE HAVE AS AN ANCHOR OF THE SOUL, BOTH SURE AND STEADFAST, AND WITH ENTERETH INTO THAT WITHIN THE VEIL (Presence behind the veil).” 

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

FEAR…

Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”  Luke 12:32

My original thought a week or so ago was that I wanted to write something for St Patrick’s Day and I would name is “Turning Green” and it would be about envy

But My, how things can change in a couple of weeks.

And I am quite sure everyone, everywhere at this moment in time as we are all being quarantined into our own little spots in the world. 

Schools closed, churches advised to close, many working from home, people stocking up food, stocking up supplies and what about all those who can’t?

The President telling us to keep our groups to the number ten. 

Ironically ten is the number of completion and in the end all the face masks and hand sanitizer in the world isn’t going to change the fact that we live on earth and earth is fragile, and we are fragile. 

Whether this was a man-made weapon gone wrong or if it is truly just a mutation of some otherwise harmless virus that somehow manged to evolve itself into a killing machine is completely irrelevant in the end, and yes I did just say that it is completely irrelevant.

In the grand scheme of things, we are human, humans die, no one wants to die but every single day of our lives we face death.

When we get out of bed everyday we face death.Even in the best of health we could die at any second, simply driving down the road we are usually listening to music or planning our day or our thoughts are on pressing things of the moment or future plans but nevertheless, we could potentially die with one wrong move of that vehicle or because of the wrong move of another.

The only difference is that now we are painfully AWARE the danger.

We are extremely aware, the news tells us that we could die, the internet tells that we could die and all that can be heard and seen tells, reaffirming the fact that we could all very well die.

And do know I am not in any way making light of any of it, i have study prophecy for years and there are certain things that are what they are and there are certain things that will be because the Bible has already been written.

Just as Jesus said concerning his own death after His resurrection, from Luke 24:44: “And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were in written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.”

So we know what is written is written and it all has to come to pass just as God said that it would but God has hope and comfort in all things.

So I am not getting into that at the moment but it is good time to really reflect on the reality that there are some very scary, quite horrifying events that will take place on this earth.

The time of all those things are for God and God alone to know and be judge of but Jesus gave us very clear markers to know how far we have came on that path and he gave us those because he does not want us to be terrified and blindsided that those things would come and we would not know what was happening. 

And so we go on into this post, we are now as a people, not a nation, not a race, but all of humankind dealing with this one common enemy- the virus- whose name I have heard so much these past weeks that I don’t even want to use it.

But we now all have a common foe, and that foe is bringing global fear and the fear is the true enemy, not the virus.

Fear destroys, it kills, it steals, it takes your peace and your joy and even though you live, it steals your very life because if we are so terrified, consumed by the though of losing our lives how are really ever going to live?

So I want to “talk” to you about fear, perfectly normal to be afraid, David was very afraid when Saul was trying to kill him,  Peter was horrified and Daniel really did not want to be eaten alive but he knew he had to trust God, he knew this was a very real possibility and he knew that he would be thrown into the lions and he was but God delivered him.   

Jesus telling us to “Fear not, little flock…” is one of my favorite verses, that is God telling YOU, me, all that serve and love Him, the most simple of messages for us to not be afraid, a message we have heard often through lives from childhood as our Mothers, Fathers, and other adults reassured to not be afraid, letting us know that everything would be okay, and we trusted that.

Now think of this. that verse was spoken by the one who holds the universe in his hands and is surely will take care of you.

So please don’t look at this world, like an old friend used to tell me “Just don’t look down” keep your eyes focused on the good things, happy things and think about things that bring you joy and peace, this virus and this time of uncertainty and fear will not be forever but God and his eternal promises are forever.

So read his word and pray and pray for all those whoa re trapped in that  fear because fear is destructive and its affects can last well past the course of those things that bring that fear to us.

And may I please suggest that you read Psalm 91 and quote it and believe it over you, and your loved ones.

I want to also leave you with a though tonight, you know when God brought the plagues upon Eygpt and they were covered in absolute darkness the Hebrews, God’s people still had light in all their dwellings.  SAME GOD and the same God will take care of you and see us all through whatever this world holds and whatever is yet to unfold.

Praying God’s peace and love, blessings and most of all his perfect love, which casts out all fear for you and yours this season of life.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

 

Angels, Roses, & True Love part 3 “Truest Love of All”

“As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you; continue ye in my love.

If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

Ye have not chosen me but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

These things I command you, that ye love one another. 

If the world hate you ye know that it hated me before it hated you.  If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world,but I have CHOSEN you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”  John 15:9-18   

Love is the most misunderstood word in existence, and love in its truest sense is often left undiscovered.

When Jesus gave us these words, which he went on in verse twenty to remind us to, “REMEMBER the word that I have said unto you…” as He went on to warn them that we can never expect to be treated any differently than he was.

We are truly judged by the company we keep and often once you starting keeping company, as our old Southern sayings go, with Jesus, you will find out pretty fast who your real friends are, which in most cases, will then mean were. 

So often all of us at one time or another have been hit with the old routine of  “If you really loved me…” and you know that is the biggest trap the enemy has ever set. People who really love you will NEVER play that game, they will NEVER use the love that they know you have for them as a tool against you, to manipulate and control you or to coerce you into to bending to their will never caring at all about you or your feelings.

So that my friends is the state of the world, and just as Jesus said, the world, referring to those people, people who do not honor God or his teachings and sure do not want you to honor him, they will hate you. 

Being human will all need to feel love and we need acceptance and the enemy plays on those needs because he knows where our greatest weakness lies. That it why it is imperative to cultivate a relationship with Jesus and of course if you have never excepted salvation, that is where you must start.

Think about that, just as he told us, there is NO GREATER LOVE, the love of God, the one who created you, just as He told the Prophet Jeremiah… “BEFORE, I formed thee in the belly  I knew thee”…  and he knew you, me, and ever other person who was or ever will be created.

And His lovemercy, and grace will never fail, and He gives this freely, openly, honestly, no strings attached, no deals to be made.

He just gives and he gives from the moment He brings you into this world through all the ups, downs, of life until your golden years, He gives that hope, that choice, and that offer to open that door as He beckons for you to open your heart and as He also promises that even as time fades from us that He is there.

Isaiah 46:4: “And even to your old age I am he and even to your hoar hairs (gray hairs) will I carry you; I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.”

Now those are the words of God Himself promising us that even to the end of everything, He will carry us, deliver us, and as He also promised in scripture elsewhere, He will never leave us or forsake us. THAT is Love.   

So you see no matter where you are, where you have been, no of it matters, God wants you right where you are, and maybe the enemy has told you that God has called to many times, or you have went to far or that your family, relationship, or circumstance disqualifies you from ever being able to serve God, again one of the biggest lies of all.

Jesus loves you and He died on the cross to save you, and it is  never too late until you take your last breathe, He will save you, all you have to do is ask him into your heart, because He will not just force you  accept him,  or force you to accept the greatest gift of all, His love the only true love, and a love that will never fail.

And as I leave you, I want to leave you with this question why spend life never knowing what you can not know until you have accepted it?

I know that was a tongue twister, meaning this, never dismiss the thought of the existence of God or the relationship that is waiting for you, a relationship of peace and love, and truly knowing God, until you have at least sought Him.

Before I was saved I did not understand that either.

I always thought of God as just out in Heaven, we could pray to him and I believed in Him but never understood what it meant to know His presence and no one can know that or understand that until they are saved.

This is how it works… you believe, you ask and then you know.

He is not in the business of proving Himself to us before we believe, we believe and then He reveals Himself to us. that is the part the world that he referred to is missing, and they do hate him or rather the belief in Him, because their hearts are so darkened and their minds so blinded that they do not believe in anything, they live in the moment, never believing that there is more.

Falsely thinking that this world, this life is all that there is, and as the Bible teaches us, if we only had hope in this life, and our only confidence was in the things of this world we would be miserable.

He proved how much He loves us, enough to die for us, and there is no greater nor will there ever be a greater love than that of Jesus Christ.

Thanks for reading, sorry that I was running so late with this series that was supposed to be for Valentine’s Day, but God knows everything and His timing is perfect so I hope in some way this will bless you TODAY!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

Series posts: Angels, Roses, & True Love/ Intro

Angels, Roses, & True Love : Part 2 “Angels”

Angels,Roses,& True Love/ part 3 “A rose by only one name”

 

Angels,Roses,& True Love/ part 3 “A rose by only one name”

“The wilderness and the solitary (desert) place shall be glad for them: and the desert shall blossom as the rose.

It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice even with joy and signing; the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon,  they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God.

Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm (make firm) the feeble knees. Say unto them that are of a fearful heart (are afraid), Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you.

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.

Then the lame man shall leap as a hart (a deer), and the tongue of the dumb (mute) shall sing; for in the wilderness shall waters break out and streams in the desert.

And the parched ground shall become a pool and thirsty land springs of water; in the habitation of dragons (jackals),where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.

And an highway shall be there, and a way (road), And it shall be called The way of Holiness;  the unclean shall not pass over it: but is shall be for those; the wayfaring men (those who walk the road), though fools, shall not err therein (will not go astray).

No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed of the Lord shall walk there

And the ransomed  of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads; the shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.   Isaiah 35

Well to get started, Happy leap day, Happy leap year, Happy Sadie Hawkins Day! That is a lot for a day that only comes every four years!

It is cold and snowy in my part of the world, looked quite like a post card this morning, absolutely gorgeous with snow covering every branch of every tree and glittering down sparkling as the sun tried to shine through.

And it is a beautiful refreshing change from this time yesterday, as I was feeling a little ” Bob crackit-ish” having just came out of a nineteen hour power outage caused by a fallen tree…ah the joys of electric heat. 

And things can and do change fast sometimes, like the old saying, “What a difference a day can make.”

Like our passage above, I know that seemed excessive, an entire chapter, but it is needed. God often works in our lives the same way, one day is catastrophic, your entire world crashing around you, such as in the first verse, a spiritual wilderness, a barren deserted land in which you feel that you have found yourself helplessness alone.

Then Jesus comes in and lets us know that He is already there, He is in that place with you and for you, and in those places of solitude is the very place that God often uses to bring that gladness and joy of his presence to us.

This is why the desert can be “glad” for us, and why it can be a place, starting out with feelings of lonely abandonment and quickly becoming a beautiful fruited land in where find a renewing and strengthening of your personal relationship with God.

A place in which you learn complete trust and complete surrender while gaining faith and complete confidence in his power over your life and the blessed knowledge that he is doing something wonderful in you despite what everything around you may be saying to the contrary.

And the blooming of that rose, a rose not only blooming but blossoming into perfection out of the parched dry ground.

A rose that would seem doomed to never in bud given the hardness of the soil in which it is planted but once those sweet waters come bringing the glory and joy of the land over that land, everything will change.

Wasn’t Shakespeare’s famous line that told even by any name a rose would smell just as sweet?

Ah, but I do beg to differ…

“I AM the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys. As my lily among the thorns, so is my love among the daughters.” Song of Solomon 2:1,2

And talk about beautiful fragrances…

“Thou lovest righteousness and hatest wickedness; therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows (more than any other), All thy garments smell of myrrh, aloes, and cassia…” Psalm 45: 7, 8 (a) 

No name greater, no fragrance sweeter than our God, the only true rose, the only rose whose love does bloom in us, even in the middle of a desert and who is the lily producing a beautiful sweet fragrance covering and replacing the smell of the awful ash left by what had once consumed our life.

That sweet aroma  of that lily, whose beauty shines forth even from among the painful thorns as we go through the valleys of this world, as all the “dragons”, all that would hurt and hinder are made silent and renewing, as that fresh grass growing starts to take place. So you see, you can’t stop, you can not give up, because where you are today can change in twinkling of an eye. The place of the desert that you may feel will engulf you may very well be the place you look back on one day with a higher knowledge and understanding that if it had not been for that desert you may have never be given the only truly perfect rose.  

“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour (aroma).”  Ephesians 5:1,2

Nothing, absolutely nothing that can be sweeter or any rose more beautiful than Jesus.

Trust him, just TRUST him.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

For series posts, please click links:

Angels, Roses, & True Love/ Intro

Angels, Roses, & True Love : Part 2 “Angels”

Angels, Roses, & True Love : Part 2 “Angels”

 

“The angel of the Lord encampeth round about the that fear him, and delivereth them.” Psalm 34:7

I really had a rough time thinking about this one. There are so many stories in the Bible of the interactions between those of us on earth and the host of heaven, who are sent to us, I believe, more often than we could ever imagine.

And it is truly hard to write for six years dealing in the same subject matter and not get redundant, and redundant I do not wish to be, so this post with be heavy laden with golden links that can be clicked on for more posts concerning heaven meeting earth.

But we have all experienced those moments in life, usually near fatal accidents that somehow, miraculously we were spared and stories upon stories that can have only one explanation divine intervention carried out by servants of the most Divine.

We can get into the mindset of this by recalling the stories of old.

One my personal favorites the angel that visited Hagar not once but TWICE.

Daniel whose life was spared through his faith in God as God sent an angel to “shut the mouths of the lions” which I believe this meant that the lions were calmed and lulled they knew the angel was there as we know from the story of the beaten donkey  , the donkey that kept stopping because she saw what her evil rider could not… the angel whose compassion toward that donkey almost brought an even earlier end to Balaam. 

The angel Gabriel proclaiming blessed news to Mary, and again angels coming to proclaim to simple shepherds that that blessed promise had been fulfilled.

Other births had been foretold as those of the angelic realm paid visits also to Samson’s parents, his mother first and then at the prayer of Manoah, God sent the angel again to clarify how this child should be raised.

Not to mention Zacahrias, the father of John the Baptist was also visited by Gabriel as he performed his duties in the temple. 

There are stories of encounter after encounter with everything from bring prophecy and good news, to warning of danger ahead and assurance that the future will be brighter as in Hagar’s case.

An angel fed Elijah when he was so discouraged he could no longer continue. Jacob wrestled with the angel before becoming Israel, Joshua was given comfort meeting the captain of the host that were for them.

Stories of the Lord sending his angels to fight against those that were to strong for his children to fight and opening the eyes of the servant of Elisha to allow him to see just how many were really there for that fight if needed. Other times he sent them forth in judgment  to destroy those that sought to destroy his chosen or defiled his temple.

They announced his birth, his resurrection, and spoke to the disciples at his ascension assuring them that he would indeed return just as he went away and they will continue to watch over us and do his will until that day. 

So when I think of God and I think of love it is very difficult to not think of the angels and his beauty, grace,and kindness in sending them to watch over us and when I think of all the times in life all of us could have encountered an angel and not have ever even known is even more amazing to me! 

“Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”  Hebrews 13:1-2

Our gentle warning to always respond in love (I fail this one often!) and a bigger warning that we should always be very careful how we treat others because we can actually be talking with an angel.

I want to point out something here, if you were to ever encounter an angel posing as human to check your true usage of the golden rule  you would probably never even know that you had but just know that an angel would never test you on anything contrary to the word of God.

They would never request anything of you that is wrong or illegal or immoral. And they are NEVER to be worshiped. 

“And I John saw these things and heard them, and when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it NOT: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings (words) of this book: WORSHIP GOD.Revelation 22:8,9

I love “angels”. I have angels on almost anything you can imagine and love giving Christmas cards with scriptures of “Glad Tidings” and art work of the same.

When we think of  all the beautiful cards with truly inspirational sayings and thoughts of love and peace with gorgeous illustrations of what we perceive the angels to be, lets always bear in mind one thing.

These thoughts and sentiments that we have came to cherish are actually a reflection of the love God has sent to us, the only difference is his angels ARE real!

So I want to give you some of that good news, the words from God concerning those of the heavenly host that he does in deed give “charge over you” to watch over you, comfort you, protect you, and be there in the loneliest, most barren place of hopelessness .

Much like the place Hagar  found herself in, through no fault of her own and just when she thought EVERYTHING was hopeless and she truly believed that she and much worse her son were going to die in that wilderness, God sent his angel with not only words of comfort, words of hope, and the PROMISE of a future for her son but also he miraculously sent them water so that they could physical continue on that journey.

God know all of our needs emotional, spiritual, and physical and he addressed all these for Hagar, taking care first of the emotional, then the spiritual, by giving her reassurance delivered no less than through an angel, and then her physical need was met.

And he does the same for us, we just have to believe and be open and mindful that even when we feel alone and it looks like there is no one on our side, Jesus is and he sends his angels as proof of that.

John was told to not worship them because they are workers together with us for the kingdom of God. Which is so important to say in a world that wants to worship everything except the one true God and always be careful of media posts and sites that touting messages from angels or connect with your angels.

We don’t connect with them… God sends them to us, they are ever present.

There is always the question that if God is real and angels are real why does bad things happen? 

That is explained quite simply as being on this earth, being human, God never promised this earth would be easy, it is not our eternal home, we are not  in the realm of immortality and the pain and heartache felt by one is surely felt by another.

And the best way to be mindful of that, especially when we are going through particularly painful seasons is remembering a very crucial lesson, Jesus was Mary’s   firstborn son and he was also God in human form and will for ever be and Jesus who was the perfect, sinless, Lamb of God DIED for us so that we could live.

The Bible is also full of stories of heartache and blessings given for the generations by those near the end of their own.

The apostles Peter and Paul both writing of the deaths that were soon to come and yet both of these men spared, miraculously rescued by the angels and not just once.

Peter after having been arrested and chained between two guards had this encounter as recorded in Acts 12:7-10: “And, behold, the angel  of the Lord came upon him (stood by), and a light shined in the prison: and he smote (tapped) Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly, And his chains fell off from his hands.

And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals (get dressed and put on your shoes), so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.

And he went out, and followed him; and wist (knew) not that it was true (real) which was done by the angel; but he thought that he saw a vision.

When they were past the first and second ward (guard posts), they came unto an iron gate that leadeth unto the city, which opened to them on his own accord (meaning the gate miraculously opened): and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him.”

Paul as he was in the midst of the storm while a prisoner on a seemingly doomed ship, had the to speak of his encounter and what they must do to survive:

Acts 27:22-26: “And now I exhort (urge) you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship (the ship would be destroyed).

For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve. Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.

Wherefore sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me. Howbeit we must be cast (run aground) upon a certain island.”

The angel reminding Paul, bringing God’s words and promises over his life back to his mind, assuring him that no matter how dark  it was not quite time.

It was not yet time for them to go to that eternal home but when the time started to come they knew and they never questioned God’s love for them.

The one common thread that weaves it all together is this, it is only temporary and the entire reason for our faith is believing that there is so much better, in the life yet to come.

Lets actually just quickly look at what they both said concerning their inevitable deaths.

Paul wrote this ending his directions to Timothy concerning what he must do to be a successful minister for the Kingdom of Heaven.

2 Timothy 4:6: For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure (death) is at hand.”

And Peter, also giving instructions as his last words before saying this:

2 Peter 1:13-15: “Yea, I think it meet (is right), as long as I am in this tabernacle (body), to stir you up by putting you in remembrance:

Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle (die), even as our Lord Jesus has shown me.

Moreover I will endeavor that ye may be able after my decease (death) to have these things in remembrance always.”

How could they have such comfort and such peace? Because they knew, they had the Lord and they knew had the angelic host and we never alone. 

They are with us from birth, through childhood, just as Jesus said concerning the children when he gave this warning from Matthew 18:10: “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.”

When we have ran amok, wasting our inheritance like the prodigal sons and daughters that we are, hanging out with the wrong people and as messed up.as we are he still loves us.He still watches over us and still his angels watch over us and Jesus said this about the moment that they are observing as we come into the truth.

Luke 15:10: “Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repeneth.”

These are they who cease not to praise the Lord and there are those who are night and day around the throne and the only time we are told they are silent is just before judgment is began against earth. They are with you in life and they will be with us in death as again Jesus relays the story of Lazarus.

Luke 16:22: ” And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: and the rich man died and was buried.”

Quite a contrast the rich man died and was buried (we know that he also lifted up his eyes in hell, never have accepted salvation)  but Lazarus carried by the angels.

Start to finish, God send us his messengers and when we have doubt and fears, loneliness and grief we should always rest in that comfort, as they have been with us silently and invisibly here, one day we will be with them there, we also we be part of that host of heaven but until then rest assured knowing that they are always around!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev Nina Brown Johnson

Posts in series: Angels, Roses, & True Love/ Intro

Angels,Roses,& True Love/ part 3 “A rose by only one name”

Angels, Roses, & True Love/ Intro

“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 whom I will trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome (deadly) pestilence.

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust(take refuge); his truth shall be thy shield and buckler (shield).

Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in the darkness; nor for the destruction that wastesth (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.

Only wit thine eyes shalt thou behold the reward of the wicked.

Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come thy dwelling. 

For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.” Psalm 91:1-11 

Most familiar passage of scripture there, most know it and if you don’t, what a more fabulous time to learn it! And what a better time of the year, i am just a wee late on this but love should be celebrated every single day!

Not just once a year, but every single day. And I am not talking about carnal love, or the romantic love of a married couple, but the true healing balm that softens even the hardest heart and seals even the deepest spiritual wounds.

The love that is best understood by carefully reading and spiritually dividing his Word an this passage is an excellent place to start.

“If ye have heard of the dispensation (stewardship) of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward;

How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in in few words,

Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

That Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel;

Wherefore I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.

Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.

And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.

To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifest wisdom of God.

According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord. In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you which is my glory. For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named.

That he would grant you according to to riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 

That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded IN love, may be able to comprehend (understand) what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height.

And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Ephesians 3:2-19 

Part of the lesson the be learned from this scripture is this, the “mystery” of God, that had perplexed humans since the dawn of time, is not quite a mystery after all. Humans have a need to understand, to know, even to believe in something s much more than ourselves.

Love itself testifies to this because we know that love can not die and God created us with that very desire to know to understand something so much greater, but in that we have through time searched for these answers in so many wrong places.

Never understanding the simplicity of the truth, and being human we want to attribute our human thinking and logic to a divine force that can not be reduced to our human mentality.

This is why Jesus came to earth, everything that thought and everything that attributed to God was quite skewed, He wasn’t all about fire and brimstone, punishment and death, and the ability to hand down the sentence of eternal damnation, which all those have their place, but he came here for one reason and one reason only to save us and save us not with punishment and terror but to save us, and to save us with thew most misunderstood yet greatest attribute of His divinity, His LOVE.

I do hope you will join me for the remainder of this series, lord will, we will look at how that love which does truly surpass anything our mortal minds can comprehend, goes so far beyond and yet touches us every single day and just as our customs of angels, roses, and never ending love stories,but the real love story was written by the greatest author of all and that story has no end and that rose never fades and that love never dies or grows cold but lives forever, eternally in a story yet to be told.

And here is your final verse for our intro,

Romans 5:8: “But God commended(demonstrates) his love toward us, in, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Join me next time! Have a blessed week.

Rev. Nina Brown Johnson / Φλογιζω NBJ 2020

 

 

 

In Good Conscience…

“For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then we have confidence toward God.” 1 John 3:20,21  The heart there speaking of conscience. 

I’ve been wrestling with exactly how to hit this point, I toyed with an elaborate play in my head… something out of a history book, you know an old dude in a wig with the forefathers stomping his foot and throwing his quill pen on the table and profoundly stating, “Gentlemen I can not in good conscience be a party to this senseless farce!’

But then again that may be from history, ah, you never know!

Anyway we are digging a good conscience, that little tugging inside that tells us something about the situation we are in or a direction that someone is trying to lead us in is just not quite right for us.

On the flip side of that you can have someone, even with good intentions,  attempting to herd you into a direction or condemn a decision you have made or are trying to make based on their personal feelings on the matter.

People can often try to lead or condemn us when our true Shepherd the only one who truly has the right to lead and truly the only one with the power to condemn has no plan or purpose for that action in your life.

That is why the verse is so powerful and so extremely important especially when we are in a valley of decision, because God IS greater and he is greater than our heart and if our heart is not condemning us that tells us that surely God being greater than that would let us know beyond any shadow of a doubt the true path we should take or the correct decision even if we chose to make a decision that another may not think is the best one if God gives peace with that then we know we can have that confidence of being in his will.

To give an example of the importance of listening to the “voice” of God we’ll go to one of the scariest stories in the Bible, or at least to me it is one of the scariest because it teaches us how easily a person can sway us away from the will of God,

“And behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the Lord unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense,

And he cried against the altar in the word of the Lord (at the command of the Lord), and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the Lord; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men’s bones shall be burnt upon thee.

And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign the Lord hath spoken: Behold, the altar shall be rent (split apart), and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out.

And it came to pass, When King Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, which had cried against the altar in Bethel, that he put forth his hand from the altar, saying Lay hold upon him. (seize him) and his hand, which he did put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him.

The altar was rent, and the ashed poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the Lord.” 1 Kings 13:1-5

I want to stop right there for a moment because we can establish right there so completely that there was no doubt possible that this man, who is referred to as a man OF God had been sent and purposed of God to do this work and God displayed his power against those who would try to stop him to further prove that this was indeed divinely ordained.

Now for the rest of the story.

“And the king answered and said unto the man of God, Intreat now the face of the Lord thy God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored me again. And the man of God besought the Lord, and the king’s hand  was restored him again, and became as it was before (healed).

And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give the a reward.

And the man of God said unto the king, If thou wilt give me half thine house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place:

For so it was charged me by the word of the Lord, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest .

So he went another way,and returned not by the way that he came to Bethel.

Now there dwelt an old prophet in Bethel, and his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Bethel: the words which he had spoken unto the king, them they told also to their father.

And their father said unto them, What way  went he? For his sons had seen what way the man of God went, which came from Judah.

And he said unto his sons, Saddle me the ass. So they saddled him the ass, and he rode thereon.

And went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak, and he said unto him, Art thou the man of God that camest from Judah? and he said, I am.

Then he said unto him, Come home with me and eat bread.

And he said, I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee: neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place:

For  it was said to me by the word of the Lord, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way thou camest,

He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the Lord, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water, BUT HE LIED UNTO HIM.

So he went back with him an did eat bread in his house, and drink water.” 1 Kings 13:6-19

This story has a horrific ending,  if you have a moment, please finish it on your own, but needless to say the man of God dies because he listened to the wrong voice, he listened to the voice of a man, the voice that assured him that he himself also was a “prophet” and he listened to the “voice’ of an “angel” supposedly heard by the man.

And he listened to all these “voices” when he had already heard from the “voice” the word of God and for whatever reason chose to listen to the wrong voice after having received all the instruction he needed from the right one.

Not faulting him at all, this is why this is such a scary story, because it happened so easy and it is a great warning to us, that there are those for whatever reason would try to lead us completely out of the will of God or even snare and trap us just to try to cause us to stumble and  fall.

The overwhelming thread of this story is that he had had been told every single thing he needed to know about the man of God, including the command that God gave him against eating and drinking in that “place” and the direction in which he had been commanded to travel and he had all he needed to convince him into going “back” with him. So much symbolism going on there.

God is greater than your heart, if you know God and I mean truly know God, that you are a born again, spirit filled Bible believing person, you know what your heart is saying, and God is greater.

So if your heart is telling you a way that you should not go while someone else is saying that is the only way to go, take a note from your heart and know that God through his word has already told you how to go.

As said in 1 Corinthians, God is NOT the author of confusion but of PEACE. The God that saved you is the same God today and anything that takes your joy and your peace and bring confusion and strife into your mind and heart is NOT of him and anything contrary to his word and his teachings will never be his will for your life.

Thanks for reading! have a blessed week!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2020/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

 

“2020 Constant in continuance”

“As he spoke these words, many believed in him,  If ye continue in my word, then ye are my disciples indeed: and ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”  John 8:31,32   

Going to be going back to those passages in just a bit, but I wanted to stop there and talk about that truth, His truth, the truth that this entire season is supposed to celebrate. Jesus arriving on earth as a perfectly innocent babe, just as Jesus always was and still is and will forever be.

That is the truth that He brought to us, his beauty, his humility, and most of His grace.

A grace to so compassionate and so extensive that instead of destroying us in judgment against our sins, He chose to save us, save us from sin, save us from the devil, and most of all save us from ourselves. 

That is what I have always found so astounding and so amazing, not that everything about God and His majesty isn’t astounding, it is because He is supernatural while we are just barely natural!

But how a being who could speak everything that we know as the universe into existence, could separate the heaven from the earth and the heavens from the heavens and fling the starts, planets, sun, and moon into an endless space.

Created innumerable species on such a scale from the largest of beasts to the tiny little daphnia, who being only 0.01-0.20 inches in size has a beautiful little features including a perfect little heart that can be seen beating through its translucent body under a microscope, so tiny that this does not hurt them in anyway.

The SAME God who created the mammoths, the whales, also created the tiny little humming birds, the incredible assortment of color changing and electrically charge sea creatures and right down to the microscopic communities of absolute GOD GIVEN life.

And every single one with hundreds of types and varieties within their species, all intelligent, beautiful, and with uniquely their own social orders.

The birds who are especially brilliant with their dances of courtship and the bower-birds, the males building beautifully designed masterpieces of found art to impress potential mates, while other males seriously stake out his joint waiting for a chance to destroy it so that he can take out his competition for those potential mates.

And the male red birds who sing sweet songs as their “lady” birds set patiently on the eggs that will be their new family.

And all these much better parents and partners than their human counter parts on any given day.

And we could go on forever with example after example across the board of God’s creation.

And in all the splendor, all of the magnificent display of His creations, He came to save but one of all the kinds he created. the only species that ever questioned his existence, the only species that ever dared think itself quite so high, the only species that needed  a Saviour!

You can “see” this uniquely human attitude as we return to our scriptures, now bear in mind that these guys are actually saying this to God, the very one who created them!

And yet they question him.

John 8:33-43:”They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, (descendants), and we were NEVER in bondage to any man: HOW sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? 

Jesus answered them,  Verily, verily, I say unto you, whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever (forever). If the Son shall therefore make ye free, ye shall be free indeed.

I know that ye are Abraham’s seed: but ye seek to kill me, because my WORD has no place in you.

I speak that which I have seen with my Father; and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.  

They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father, Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.

Ye do the deeds of your father.  Then said they unto him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.

Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.

Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.”  

They couldn’t hear, even though they probably had perfect hearing they still could not hear the word, even with the Living Word standing right in front of them.

And in our world today it is so easy to get side tracked to get out of focus with the truth of God’s word, as Jesus so simply stated as this, John 8:47: “He that is of God heareth God’s words…” 

And that is not even about hearing the literal voice of God (which I am not disputing that some do) He means His written word, his commandments, his teachings and all that he had others write to us when giving us the Bible as our handbook to survival of this world.

2 Corinthians 3:1-17: “Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you?

Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:

Forasmuch as ye manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God: not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart. 

And such trust we have through Christ to God-ward: 

Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God. 

Who also hath made us ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:

How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather (more) glorious?

For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.

For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.

For if that which was done (passing) away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.  

Seeing then that we have such hope we use great plainness of speech:

And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of that which is abolished.

But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.

Nevertheless when it (one) shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. NOW the Lord IS that Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord IS, there IS Liberty.”

So basically what he was saying with much of that is this, as Moses face actually shone from being in the presence of God, and that glory was there even though the Mosaic law called for strict punishment and when the law of Christ comes into our heart how much more is that glory because the glory of that is the promise and hope of ETERNAL freedom!

And if you have Jesus and have his word and keep his word as he told us multiple, multiple times then we will have that promise.

Not much for him to ask, is it? And why doers he ask? For the same reason he warns and advises on any other subject… it is for us, for our GOOD. 

Psalm 119:11: “THY WORD HAVE I HID IN MINE HEART, THAT I MIGHT NOT SIN AGAINST THEE.” 

Lack of his word leads to sin and as his word tells us “sin leads to death” and death without him leads to an eternity no one wants to think of. 

So continue in him, in his word, and take him for his word and enjoy the goodness, mercy, and grace that he came to this earth to give us. 

What better way to start our new year in him, a fresh commitment to staying in his word and true to the simplicity of his word, not mega ministers not theories or thoughts but JESUS, and his word at face value, just as he intended, one of the many reasons he came, prophet after prophet he sent, but then he came and he told us HIMSELF!

Think of that as we go into 2020…

Φλογιζω NBJ 2019/ REV. Nina BrownJohnson

 

 

“A heart to hear the Hope…”

“And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. 

He shall be great, and he shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

And he shall reign over  the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing that I know not a man (am a virgin)?

And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing (one) which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:31-35

Nothing, nothing like the story of the conception and birth of Jesus Christ! Nothing like reading how the angels appeared and praised God as the proclaimed the greatest message ever delivered on this earth!

Remember that message? Luke 2:8-15: ” And there were shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night.

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

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

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

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

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, and good will toward men.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone AWAY from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us NOW GO even unto Bethlehem, and SEE this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath MADE KNOWN UNTO US.”

I know we go over that and over that but we should! It is worth remembering every single day! Especially on those days when you may not feel like there is anyone  knows your heart or what you may be going through! God sent his best, his SON, Himself to this earth and he came in the sweetest, most humble way because that is who he is.

As Herod sought to have all the baby boys slaughtered in hope of destroying this one child, a child that could not be destroyed because his time “had not yet come” and hell knew, the devil knew what that child meant to this world, which is exactly why they wanted him killed. It wasn’t Herod’s insane jealously over what he felt was a threat to his throne, that may have been the seed that satan planted in his mind to have him go to such atrocious and heart breaking lengths, but it was the greater plan to destroy one of the greatest gifts (among the innumerable) that Christ brought to this earth.

So what was really born on that night as the world carried on, all gathered to be taxed, all having a place to stay with warmth and as Mary gave birth and laid her baby in of all places a manger, the world did not notice and had they known who this child was there would have been those that would have gladly given her their room and their bed, bed like so many of us now no one had a clue as to what was really being born that night.

We can sometime fail to GO and to SEE what God wants us to too, once the “angels” have gone away, meaning, it can be so easy when we are new, fresh, and just washed in the blood of the Lamb, but time and life being life can make us jaded and we can quickly forget the very truths that we were once so grateful to find.

Hope, hope was born that day into this world, hope, not like the world had knew but living, breathing, and crying in the still of the night. Hope whose hand,if we will faithfully hold,  and give it the proper place and respect in our lives can never be truly stolen away because the hope that came into this world with the Birth of Christ is hope, as himself,  is not of this world,  as is not subject to any thing in this world.

Not emotion, not death, not powers, politics, not anyone “hating on ya” nothing can steal that, if you don’t let it!

Christ came to save us through his teachings, his example, his miraculous, birth, his horrific death, and above all his magnificent, glorious resurrection from that death. He lived out his very teaching that we “are in the world but not of the world” and that for his believers that not a hair on our head would perish EVEN through death and that was the hope he gave us.

Hope that this life is not it, it is nothing, this mortal bodies are nothing compared to the glorious resurrection to come, a resurrection into the world without end, a world where he will be fully known as who he is and he will reign forever.

FOREVER. PERIOD. He gives us hope in this life but the hope his birth brought was a much greater hope, it is the hope in him for eternity, this is one of the ways the Bible puts it:

1 Corinthians 15:17-22 “And if Christ be not raised, your faith is in vain; ye are yet in your sins.Then they which are fallen asleep in Christ (have died believing salvation) are perished.  If in THIS life ONLY we have hope in Christ, we of all men are most miserable (pitiable). But now Christ IS risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept (have died). For since by man came death, by man also came the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made ALIVE.”

Is there any greater hope? I think not!

Have a blessed holiday, full of love to him, mercy and truth and the hope that he brought and that hope is not in this world, it is not in yesterday, tomorrow, or even today, that hope is IN him and him alone and in the promise of the world after this world, the world which is yet to come and all the yesterday and tomorrows and today’s it will bring.

That is your hope, just as Paul said, if we have hope in Christ just in our present time, we are pitiful, and would be truly hopeless! Our hope is to be in him now and for the future, so far into that future that we may be among those resurrected from the graves and that changes the perspective about the true importance of today or any day.

Don’t get me wrong with that our days are important to God and how we live is very important to him, but don’t let your hope “rest” in these temporal days, let your hope SHINE, let the hope of eternity which Jesus let your life be as that star was for us and for the wise men, shine for him, there are yet greater things to come!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!  Thanks for reading!  Reverend Nina Brown Johnson/Φλογιζω NBJ 2019

 

“Designed, Resigned, & Refined”

“And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the living moving creature that hath life (abound with an abundance of living creatures), and fowl that may fly above the earth (let birds fly) in the open firmament of heaven (across the expanse of heaven).

And God created great whales (sea creatures), and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind; and God saw that it was good.

And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day. And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast after his kind; and God saw that it was good.

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness :and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, an dover every creeping thing that creepth upon the earth.

So God CREATED man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Genesis 1:19-27

And according to our computer brain friend “Cortana” the absolute definition of DESIGNED, goes a little something like this: Planned OR conceived in detail for a SPECIFIC purpose.” 

I always like to add the correct definitions so that there is no confusion as to the interpretations of meanings, so this is not just my personal understandings of these words. 

So we know God created it all, He created heaven and earth, all living beings, he created and he then created us in his own image, in his likeness, and then he gave us earth so that we could also have a space to  tend, cultivate, and express our own creativity that he had given us.

ALL that he required of humans was to take care of the earth and all of the creations he had given us charge over in kindness, love, and mercy.

And we also know how that story went when the serpent tempted Eve and with thought what had been created in perfection became polluted through sin and would require being refined and made pure once again.

That purification process painful and sure but the only way to to open our hearts to the truth that life is a process and only he knows the path that we should take and the way in which we should go.

RESIGNED: “Having ACCEPTED something unpleasant that one cannot do anything about.”   This world, this life, and things that are just that of that, which has always been the main focus of my ministry, trying my best to encourage anyone who will listen that through God you can and  will overcome.

As David so profoundly stated…”Thou I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.” the ever present snares and dangers that may lurk unseen in the shadows of the most human of fears, the fear of death and the fear of the unknown and his allowing his light to shine into that darkness and erase those fears.

Psalm 27:1-3,5: “The Lord IS my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord IS the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

When the wicked even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up (devour) my flesh, they stumbled and fell.

Though an host should encamp against me (surrounded by enemies), my heart shall not fear; though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.”

What was that confidence that David had? ” 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.” 

Resigned to the will of God, to trust him even when you don’t understand. 

Isaiah 43:1,2: “But now thus saith, the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee O Israel, Fear not, for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name: thou art mine (you belong to me).

When thou passest through the waters I WILL be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall NOT overflow thee; when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt NOT be burned; neither shall the flame kindle (ignite) upon thee.”

Trust, when we become aware that we can’t get ourselves out of those caves and the we have no control over our enemies, and we can’t stop the flood, that is when God’s promises are remembered in our hearts.

Reassuring us that process of refinement is underway, and how we see this process…

Psalm 66:8-12:”O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise be heard: Which  holdeth our soul  in life (among the living), and suffereth not our feet to be moved (keeps us from falling).

For thou, O God, hast proved (tested) us: thou hast tried (refined), as silver is tried. Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins.

Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through the fire and through the water : BUT THOU BROUGHTEST US OUT into a wealthy (abundant) place.”

Finally, REFINED:  “with impurities OR unwanted elements having been REMOVED.”

Deuteronomy 4:20: “But the Lord hath TAKEN you, and brought you forth OUT of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt, to be unto him a people of inheritance, as ye are this day.” 

What the Lord says about it: Isaiah 48:10: “Behold, I have REFINED thee, but NOT (as) with silver; I have CHOSEN  thee in a furnace OF affliction.”

Embrace the three fold process.

1 Peter 1:3-9: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

For an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth NOT away, reserved in heaven for you

Who ARE KEPT BY THE POWER OF GOD THROUGH FAITH unto salvation ready to be REVEALED in the last day.

Wherein ye greatly rejoice, THOUGH now  for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness(distresses) through manifold temptations (various trials) 

That the trial (genuineness) of your faith being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried (tested) with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing (revelation) of Jesus Christ.

Whom having NOT seen, ye love, in whom, though ye see him NOT, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory, Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.”

This has been said thousands and thousands of times, but I am going to say it again, Jesus will never ever lead you anywhere that he has not already been.

Leaving you with Job 23:10: “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried (refined) me, I shall come forth as gold.”

 Love & peace to you and yours till next time, Thanks for reading and have a wonderful week!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2019/ REV. Nina BrownJohnson

 

 

BEACON

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And God loved and still LOVES us that much!

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

The Word is STILL life to those who hear it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Φλογιζω/ NBJ 2019/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson

I love this song

 

 

“Patient reminder”

“But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire (complete), wanting (lacking) nothing.” James 1:4

All the things that could be said of the need of patience, the most notable of all, “patience is a virtue”, and it truly is but there is so much more to such a simple thought.

And to get to that thought, we’ll back up on this passage a little bit.

“Listen” to his greeting carefully, as we go to James 1:1-3: “James, a servant of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trails):  Knowing THIS, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience.”

And that patience that comes from those “tests” and  that trying and stretching of your faith, think of the saying “…would try the patience of a saint.” 

Jesus stressed this to us many times, even telling us “In your patience possess ye your souls.”  

James was in a sense telling us that those tough breaks, rocky roads, and crooked paths that we navigate in life, those “tests” are to be all counted as joy, and all that comes with being human, being alive, and are often simply “part of life” all those things are to be not so much as viewed as still images, each shot overwhelming in sight but more to be considered into the big picture of growing, developing, and becoming the men and women that God created us to be. And that is that perfection that will come from all that “trying”. 

The definition of perfection in Christ does NOT mean our definition of perfection, to be one hundred percent, to have absolutely no need of improvement.

From far from it, the spiritual  definition of perfection is to allow ourselves to be conformed to the will of God, to be “blameless”, meaning keeping a level head and clear thoughts even in the midst of times that are anything but peaceful. And notice that it is the “perfect” work that brings that “perfection” about.

Our true hope, as believers is not even IN this world, it is not in this life, it is in the eternal, a thought that seems silly to those who do not believe, but as a child of God, you know the truth, but during “trying” times it is so easy to lose sight of those things we can not see, that blessed assurance that there is so much more to our beings than living and dying.

And we can’t lose that hope, Hebrews 11: 34(c)-36: “…knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance (possession). Cast not away (Don’t throw it away) therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.”

So whatever you are “waiting” for, whatever you are believing for in your life and in your walk with Christ, keep waiting and keep believing.

And if does not turn out exactly as you had envisioned, never think that somehow means that God does not love you or that you are completely off base, life does indeed have  away of working out completely different that we would have ever imagined but nothing is ever surprising to God.

Don’t give up on your hopes, dreams, and desires of your ministerial heart.

Puzzles are nothing more than oddly shaped pieces scattered about until it is patiently and carefully put together to reveal a beautiful complex image and life is much the same and the reason some of those “pieces” are so oddly cut will remain a mystery on this earth and we will not have those answers until the day they are revealed by Jesus himself when he wipes every tear away.

But I will tell you this, the definition of patience is this:”the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.”

That my friends speaks for itself. I’ll leave you with the words of our favorite David. Psalm 25:13-14: ” I had fainted, (I would have given up) unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living

Wait (wait in faith) on the Lord: be of good courage (try you best to be positive), and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

May the Lord bless and keep you this week.

Rev. Nina Brown Johnson/Φλογιζω/ NBJ 2019

 

“Iron Mask”

“O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get the up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid: say unto the cities of Judah, Behold, your God!

Behold the Lord God will come with strong hand (strength), and his arm shall rule for  him: behold his reward is with him, and his work (wage) before him.

He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead  those that are with young.” Isaiah 40:9-11

I love Dumas, I love the Musketeers, I love the sword fights , I love the Chivalry, justice, honor, and especially mercy in mercy out policies that were a must for his heroes and use them a lot in my writing.

But my all time favorite is “The Man in the Iron Mask”, and the intrigue behind the actual person behind that legend. But my thought with it comes from a line from the movie version, my total favorite version of the movie is the one from the seventies starring Richard Chamberlain, I was ten and thought he was the most handsome man on earth, whom I was totally going to marry one day when I grew up 🙂

But anyway in the newer version after the foiled coup the good guy is captured again and as he makes his pleas to his sadistic psychotic brother to just kill him instead of putting him back in that mask and to which his evil twin rants and screams with no mercy.

And as strange a comparison that this may be it just reminds me of how the enemy and even ourselves can try to put us back into the iron mask that that God has delivered us from.

The mask that we either were fitted when we were bound by the shackles of that are sometimes just part of being born into this world, just as Jesus always taught us, and this world is full of evil and only through accepting his salvation , and his peace, can we allow his grace to guide our lives and above resting in the assurance that through him we can overcome and live for him so that we will with  him.

The mask that we sometimes find ourselves in when we are faced with difficulties so far beyond our control and pain that we just can’t deal with so we try our best to hide the hurt, the grief and function through life, at work at home or sometimes even at church. When we try our best to smile and “go on” when secretly inside, behind that mask we really just want to lay down and cry.

But God and life has a way of bringing us out of that because we tend to see “hiding” our emotions, “working past the pain” somehow as “protecting” ourselves, our hearts, when it truth it is the opposite of that, it is not about being “courageous” it is actually about fear and not so much as being brave but rather our human fear of being broken.

Jesus specializes in broken, in fact we have to be broken, broken from our thinking and our false sense of self reliance so that we can accept him and him he desires for us, which is to live a life authored and finished by him.

Trusting him in everything and trusting him in our pain and trials and being who he has created us to be and that can require moments and times of revealing our vulnerabilities to others around us and most of us are not ever entirely comfortable with that. And that uncomfortableness leads to fear and fear makes us want to hide.

2nd Timothy 1:7,8: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be thou not ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me, his prisoner; but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the Gospel with me according to the power of God.”

God gave us liberty through his salvation, because as Jesus told us, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

And that truth is knowing in his word and knowing in him that this world and the suffering, pain, and sorrows is just a little while as Paul had described a “thorn in his flesh”, that the messenger of Satan had come to buffet (beat) him, as Paul went on to explain what translates to this, if he never went through troubles or faced difficulties or things he could not handle he would have became cold and exalted, and he would have never been effective as a representative of Christ.

 But because Paul did not hid from us (his future readers) or from those around him, his troubles and his pain, and most of all his vulnerabilities, he effectively allowed the power of God to manifest in his life and that power to effect others.

I want to remind us all again with 2 Corinthians 12:8-10: “For this thing I besought (PLEADED with) the Lord thrice (on three separate occasions) that it might depart form me.

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

Most gladly therefore will glory in my infirmities (weaknesses) that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distress for Christ’s sake: for When I am weak, then I am strong.” 

Of course was by no means saying he loved trouble or going through all the turmoil that he did, but he is saying, to us, that by embracing the things he had no control over and seeing them in a different light and doing as we were commanded and “counting it all joy” that he discovered the true meaning of Christ with him and he and all around him saw the evidence of God’s power on his life.

And he wrote these words, and Jesus had him record these words to give hope and encouragement to those of the time, those who came before us and us now.

When God stripped away the “mask” of Saul, as Saul persecuted Christians and sought to destroy the church through violence, hatred, and self righteous, he became Paul and the power of God gave him the ability to show the vulnerability of his true face, the man God had created him to be and God removing that hard, unyielding, “iron” covering  allowed him to effectively minister to others through the revealing of his own struggles.

This was the “pleasure” he took in that, he knew God would prove strong and he knew that this would encourage others to embrace who they were and embrace the Gospel for the truth that it is.

Jesus brought us out of darkness into his glorious light so that we could be light and once that light has broken those “iron masks” that use we hid behind, we must be very careful to not allow the devil, the world, and most of all, our own flesh to cover us again with that unyielding iron.

Embrace who you are, embrace all the struggles of life that have made you who you are, don’t ever feel like you have to be “strong” and don’t ever let anyone make you feel “weak” for being vulnerable, because we you are at your breaking point or if you have already broke that it when you are shielded, covered, and surrounded by the absolute glory and absolute power of the only, living, Holy God and this is why scripture refers to God making our face to shine, in doing so you will shine his light to others giving them hope and courage to embrace the freedom to take off their own masks.

John 8:36: “IF the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” And your freedom will inspire others.

2 Corinthians 3:17: “Now the Lord is  that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

But we all, with open face (uncovered, bare face) beholding as in a glass (as looking in a mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed (being transformed) into the same image from glory to glory, even, as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

You can see from these verses that God is telling us that as we are saved we are changed through his Spirit giving us freedom as we are being processed, changed, through the process of life, and all the difficulties that come with that are actually being used for our good to transforms us as God desires. 

We have to consciously remember his word and  keep that word on our mind and apply that word to our hearts, for example when Jesus said that He would never forsake us, that means  he will never forsake us.

When the Bible promises that no weapon formed against will prosper, that means that no scheme or plot has power to destroy you, it may feel like you are going to be, but you will not be, because God sees  with the eyes of eternity. And we must apply his promises to our lives every single day.

If we fail to do that, we can easily get off course and forget what we once knew.

We go to James 1:23-25: “For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass (looking in a mirror).

For he beholdeth himself and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was (glances in the mirror, leaves and forgets what kind of man he even is).

But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty (freedom), and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man is blessed in his deed.”

God gave us two views of  the same issue, we can look honestly or we can give it a quick glance  a note that we are after all, “just human” and go our way and completely forgetting who God called us to be and forgetting his promises and just give up and be quickly lead into the temptation of not particularly liking “what” we see staring back at us and putting ourselves back into a mask that God  had already removed. And that is not his desire or his purpose for any of us.

So today I want to encourage you to BE who God says you are. And LIVE how he told you to live, and this one is a hard one, when everyone around you is fitting in and hiding their faces behind the masks they feel comfortable in, let Jesus shine through you and let the pain, the scars, be visible because someone else NEEDS to see them.

Let them see his gentleness lead you in his paths!

Rev. Nina Brown Johnson  2019 / Φλογιζω NBJ 2019

If you have never heard this please do, I believe it will bless you, probably make you cry but those tears are precious to God!

 

 

 

 

“He’s got ya…”

“Then the eleven disciples went way 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 all things whatsoever I have commanded you; 

And, lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. A-men,”  Matthew 28:16-20  

I am sure that you are very familiar with those verses, and I have used them many times myself over the years.

And when my thoughts for this post were hitting, I had actually thought about a television commercial. And I know how strange that may sound, and it wasn’t about the product or service offered, it was about the support

A trainer is encouraging a person by telling her “I got you” and that has always just reminded me of how Jesus encourages us, that when storms that we had expected to cease somehow still swirl all around us and the battles that we have entered into full of hope, faith, and determination assured that victory will come and we can find ourselves doubting, questioning as that battle seems to go on endlessly in an exhausting dead heat. 

We often wonder and question, much like the disciples that found themselves doubting. just like Thomas when he had doubted that Jesus rose from the dead. And they found themselves in the place that he had destined them to be, the place they were told to go.

That is the deal with the doubt and uncertainty that comes at us when life goes upside down, the first thought the enemy brings to us is, “IF”, IF you were where you should be with the Lord, none of this would be happening.” 

Has that ever went through your mind?

I am sure, if we would be honest, this has went through many minds. Because that is how the enemy uses doubt and it is one of his more powerful weapons, and that is how you have to view, nothing more, nothing less. 

As I have “preached” many times in this little blog, reiterating Romans 8:38,39 NO ONE and NOTHING can ever separate us from God so the enemy uses doubt to cause us to separate ourselves from God through the false belief that somehow we are out of his will when nothing in our lives feels like it could possibly be his will. 

It causes us to THINK…RETHINK… and finally OVERTHINK  everything that we have been taught about the Word of God and about God and make us completely question our relationship with him. So don’t!

Try out a new weapon of your own. Change your battleplan.

Jesus promised us many things but it ultimately up us to believe those promises and sometimes we have to look at things differently, because how we view a situation or an expected outcome is not always how he views it and when those things go a way not of our choosing NEVER means that he does not love and NEVER means that he has suddenly changed his mind and DECIDED to go against his own word and forsake us. He will NEVER do that.

And once we understand that we can see truly step back away from  our battles and see the truth that we can’t fight life and we certainly can not fight death but we can have peace in knowing that he is the ONLY one who holds our tomorrow and the only reason we can get through today.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts.

For as the rain cometh down, and snow from heaven, and returneth not thither (it does not go back up), but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return to me void (empty, without fruit) but it shall ACCOPMLISH that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereunto I send it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace…” Isaiah 55:8-11a 

Trust him, remember his promises and don’t let doubt steal that joy, joy that you need, joy that is your strength, the joy OF the Lord, joy not in this world but the joy in knowing that the God of the universe loves you! 

He’s “got” you and he is NEVER going to let you go and know that it is in that joy in him, joy in soul, not to be confused with being joyous in this world, it is hard to be cheerful when your heart is broken, so no, it is not cheerful joy, it is the joy in salvation and the promise of eternity.

And that is the joy that will bring you out of the wilderness and lead you forth out of that battle in his peace.

“RESTORE unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free (generous) spirit.” Psalm 51:12 

For something to be restored it had to have already be possessed, And when we start our journey with Jesus we are full of that joy, the joy that comes with the realization that his grace and mercy had spared our through our days of darkness and sin.  

Then as we mature in him and life comes as life does we find ourselves in that doubt… forgetting that joy.

He never changes, he accepts and loves us just as much as he did the day we accepted his salvation, the change lies within us. that why he tells us of his thoughts and our thoughts, and I have been very guilty of this myself, we have our thoughts of what should happen on earth but he gave us promises NOT of this earth an dour true hope and salvation are not of this earth.

Being human we want all the promises fulfilled here(and some are) but our hope is supposed to rest in the ETERNAL outcome. And that is your joy, that is your hope, that EVERY single morning while you are in this world, on this earth, HIS mercy is renewed every single morning and His mercy endures FOREVER. NOTHING will ever change that, nothing.  Get in your prayer closet and spend time with him in the Holy Ghost, let heaven bless earth remember those words that will NEVER return to him unfruitful… I AM WITH YOU ALWAY… 

And He’s got ya! He did not create you, love you, so that he could then just suddenly decide to you out to the wolves! Jesus does not work that way!

Have a blessed week! Love and peace till next time…  Praying it’ll be a blessing to you TODAY!!

Rev. Nina Brown Johnson / phlogizo360  2019   REVISITED 07/20/2021, Φλογιζω NBJ/2021

If you have never heard this, please check it out, (from YouTube)

“Keeping it Holy”

“And the glory of the Lord came into the house (the temple) by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward (which faces) the east. So the Spirit took (lifted) me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house.” Ezekiel 43:4,5

I want to stop there for a second, most of this post will be from the Book of Ezekiel and it will be kinda dealing with the glory of the Lord but it will be mainly dealing with what stands BETWEEN us the “church” as a whole, NOT one particular church or group or denomination, but the entire innumerable group of believers who will make up the Bride of Christ.

So please don’t take it as attacking anyone or ANY church. I think sometimes people take my writing the wrong way and mistakenly believe it is referring to their church or them but that is NOT the case. It is in reference to the “Bride of Christ” and what must be done as she is prepared to meet her King. Now that that is out of the way, Onward shall we?

The reason I wanted to stop there is to point out a couple of things before we get into the  what God told Ezekiel. If you notice the gate, and this is truly a gate but also keep in mind the spiritual “gate” for Isaiah 60:18a: “…thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.”

And when we notice that the translators of the Bible capitalized Praise, that tells us that this is a special usage, it is the name that what is to be used to get you through that gate. That is the moment when the Spirit took him, lifted him, up and revealed the manifested Glory of God to him, and we are no different.

We are never just going to walk into that glory, we are never going to just find ourselves in the midst of the Holy presence of the living God without acknowledging who He is and what he requires, Which now gets us to the flip side of the post and as you read it, remember we compare Israel to us, the church is but an ingrafted branch and Israel is our spiritual “motherland”, so what applied to her does indeed apply to us.

Picking it back up, Ezekiel 43:6-10:”And I heard him speaking unto me out of the house (temple); and the man stood by me.

And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, the place where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom (spiritual idolatry), nor by the carcases of their kings in  their high places.

In the setting of their threshold by thresholds and their post by posts, and (with only) the wall between me and them, they have even defiled my holy name by their abominations that they have committed: wherefore I have consumed them in mine anger.

Now let them put away (STOP IT) their whoredom (idolatry), and the carcases of their kings, far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of the for ever

Thou son of man, shew the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern.”

Basically what he is saying is that humans have intermingled their own “temples” setting up “houses” built of the wicked carnal imaginations of their own hearts and minds and self-will and the spiritual idolatry of their kings and they have purposely “set” these abominations next to the holy “buildings” of the Lord as he said, which only a wall separating the truth from the lie and the true holiest from detestable sacrilege.

This was ancient Israel’s problem among the many warnings that God sent down to them, And this is now “our” problem and as we continue to ignore warnings and more warnings and continue to let the devil set up his counterfeit teachings beside the true teachings of God and even falsely under the name of God, just as God said that they not of him. This is what he told Ezekiel to show them.

Ezekiel 43:11: ” And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, shew (make known to them) the form of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in therefore, and all the forms thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof: and write it in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them.”  What God is saying here is that once Ezekiel puts all these things out to them that IF they will repent and consider all the issues that he points out and stop it, then his ways will be revealed to them. But not as long as they are allowing paganism and false doctrine to “set up” housekeeping next to his house.

Remember as believers we are temples of the Lord, so this can apply allowing thoughts, attitudes, and sins, inside of us and still expect God to dwell with us.

And for the bigger picture – the church, and what is going on now and has been and unfortunately will be until the reign of Christ on earth is THIS as God described it for Ezekiel, and he is referring to allowing sin and unholiness into his house and even more so allowing those who have never even committed to Jesus or even repented (referred to an uncircumcised in heart) to hold office and do service in the house of God.

God expects holiness, he expects sanctification, and everyone is and should be welcome at his house BUT to work in his house, perform in house, and especially stand behind his pulpit requires consecration to the Lord because those areas ARE holy ground and by allowing  what should not be, those “posts’ that God referenced earlier get set up in the house, side by side with his true teaching and the purpose of it is to confuse those whom God wishes to save.

It is hard to convince a person that they need to repent when others are teaching that there is no such thing, that “we just go to heaven when we die” and that is just no so. You have to have the Son.

Ezekiel 44:5-8 :”And the Lord said unto me, Son of man, mark well (take note) and behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears( pay attention to) all that I say unto thee concerning all the ordinances of the house of the Lord, and all the laws thereof and mark well the entering in of the house (who may enter the temple), with every going forth of the sanctuary (and all who go out).

And thou shalt say to the rebellious, even to the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; O ye house of Israel, let it suffice you of all (let us have NO MORE of) your abominations.

In that ye have BROUGHT into my sanctuary strangers (foreign to God), uncircumcised in heart (unrepentant), and uncircumcised in flesh (spiritually this would be still living carnally), to be in my sanctuary, to pollute it, even my house, where ye offer my bread, the fat and the blood, and they broken my covenant BECAUSE of YOUR abominations.

And ye have NOT kept the charge of mine holy things: but ye have SET keepers of my charge in my sanctuary for YOURSELVES.”  

And this is clearly what he is referring to, those things and people that are set up as his ministers and servants in his house that are not even dedicated much less consecrated to him. His word tells us that he sets up the church as he desires and gives charge, the job, as he wills and he is telling us here that his wishes are being completely ignored so man can set up his own agenda with his own workers.

And God will NOT give his glory unto another and he will not bless what is not his and he will not allow his house to be profaned and this is why his glory will depart from those houses.

So be very careful and do as the Bible says, which is to KNOW them that labour among you, KNOW them, know their life and more importantly their relationship with God and the foundation of that relationship with him before you trust them with your flock and vice versa, KNOW who you are listening to, KNOW what they believe and know how they live before trusting them with your soul.

Believe it or not when you are guided by another and you listen to them and their preaching and take their advice you are trusting them with your soul, which is why you have to have your own relationship with God and know his word for yourself because if it sounds too good to be true it is. And right now society can’t leave well enough alone.

They don’t want to just say that they do not belong to God, instead they want to lay claim to the promise but yet not repent or follow his rules because yes, there are rules to live for God and as he said without holiness no man shall see him. And that is that, that is his requirement and he loves us and he does make it easy and he does welcome everyone but NO ONE will insult or make light of or profane his Holiness without facing the consequence.

So keep it in mind, and keep it real, and above do everything in your power to keep making sure that those that influence you and your life and those who you may even have to answer for (such as those in ministry) are the real deal and they are keepin’ it holy, you may become less popular and be hated and called intolerant but when it all comes down in the end we all still only answer for us and we still will ultimately only answer to him.

Love & peace till next time!

Phlogizo/ Rev. Nina Brown Johnson 2019

I love this song and yesterday I happened up on this performance and if you have never saw this please take a moment to watch it. Incredibly anointed!

 

 

Just a quick thought..

“Unless the Lord had been on my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence.

When I said, My foot slippeth; they mercy, O Lord, held me up.

In the multitude of my thoughts within me they comforts delight my soul.” Psalm 94:17-19

If this post is a little out of whack from my usual groove, bear with me. My desktop is still DOA with BSOD and this thought hit me so deep that I knew I had to write it…so we are “tablet-ing” it my friends, and it keeps trying to correct my words and feel I have the right to add “ing” as I please, whether it is grammatically correct or not🐱

So here we go! When we go through so many changing seasons in life it is so easy and so human to feel overwhelmed and often alone.

Not really alone as in being alone, but alone in our thoughts, what path to choose, what step to take, and sometimes even in the midst of truly life altering events, we can even find ourselves asking ourselves who we even are, now that changes have assured that we will never be quiet who we once were.

That’s the power of this verse.

My “thoughts” used in the verse translates to “anxious thoughts”, and the greatest revelation in this is that Jehovah God KNOWS our thoughts before we EVEN think them!

He knows every worry, every hurt, and every single time that we feel overwhelmed. He knew before the foundation of the world and before time on earth even ever began, He knew what we would feel TODAY.

And He knew what we were going to feel yesterday and tomorrow.

“For his eyes are are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings.” Job 34:21

Also, Job 31:4: “Doth he not see my ways, and count all my steps.”

Which is not asking in exasperation, “Doesn’t God see what I’m going through?” It is a proclamation that God does see and he is very aware of our pain and walks every step with us.

So remember in the multitude of your thoughts that you are in his thoughts and this is who’s thoughts you are in….

Psalm 145: 8-10,18,19

“The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion;slow to anger, and of great mercy.

The Lord is good to all;and his tender mercies are over all his works.

All they works shall praise thee,O Lord; and they saints shall bless thee.”

“The Lord is nigh unto all that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.

He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him; he will also hear their cry, and he will save them.”

That is some serious comfort! This world is only for a short time but we are eternal and our God is forever and our peace is only found is resting in the knowledge of his sovereignty, so I leave you with this:

Psalm 144:15:“Happy is that people that is in such a case (state): yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.”  

Have a blessed week!

Rev. Nina Brown Johnson Phlogizo360/2019

Love. this song!

 

 

“Gazingstock”

1 CORINTHIANS 4:9-13: “For I think that God hath set forth (displayed) us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death; for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to the angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake ( the world opinion) but ye are wise in Christ; we ARE weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we ARE despised.

Even unto the present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked (poorly clothed), and ARE buffeted (beaten) and have no certain dwelling place; and labour, working with our own hands: BEING reviled, we bless; BEING persecuted, we suffer (endure) it. BEING defamed (slandered) we entreat (encourage): we ARE made the filth of this world, and ARE the offscouring of all things unto this day. ”

We often think of the Apostles as almost super human, almost as if, had they needed to, they could have run through stone buildings.

We are half right, considering that they, with the exception of Paul hung out with Jesus and SAW Him ascend into heaven and combined they were FREED by angels, SAW demons cast out and SAW the dead resurrected back to life.

BUT the super part belonged to the LORD the other is just human!
As we read the verse above, nothing about that sounds glamorous, or remotely desirable as a life style and these are the things we often forget.

I truly believe that this is what causes so many “new” Christians to slip and some seasoned ones to misplace their robes and end up wearing a coat made of jade 

For the most part it is preventable.

Once we accept Christ, and especially if we have been given the gift of the Holy Ghost, we have that wonderful newness.

Everything IS brand new, WE ARE New but then life, emotions, and the enemy come and often no one has ever told the “new” person that what they are going through is NORMAL for the course and no one helps them through that maze and they end up lost in it and give up even trying to find their way home.

The second group comes into play, as often having a fight with hell all the way to the altar and sometimes passed the altar and into the water because they have a call on their life.

And once they do make it “in” that fight only intensifies and I really, really wish I could give a “one word will make it all go away” answer right here.

BUT it does not exist.
Once this particular spiritual warfare has been engaged, it can not be disengaged because:
#1. The calling of God on lives is determined before birth and “they do not expire until we do.”
#2. Giving up is not an option, you will lose your salvation, and everything you have ALREADY fought through will have been for nothing.
#3. Outside of the will of God and without His protection, satan will chew you up and spit you out.
#4 Your fall will affect every single person you love and all those whom you were to minister to.
#5 THE most important reason is that JESUS died for you and saved you and He will NEVER let you be tested beyond what you can handle and a servant can not be above His Master, to reign with Christ we must suffer with Christ.
“Think It not strange…” sometimes battles are so fierce and dark that you can not even see daylight but you must remember you war against principalities and powers of the air.

I don’t know how I would have ever made it had God not blessed me with the people he did in my life and ministers that would share their own personal battle stories and some so hard to fathom, that my problems would pale in comparison.

Without the knowledge that these things happened to people whom I knew were Godly and doing their best in their walk, I could have never kept my head above water, I held onto every single word and would remember their stories and how they got through it and that they were still standing and that I serve the same God.

HEBREWS 10:32,33: “But call to remembrance the former days, in which after ye were illuminated (enlightened), ye ENDURED a GREAT FIGHT OF AFFLICTIONS (struggle with sufferings); partly, (in part) whilst ye were made a GAZINGSTOCK (SPECTACLE) BOTH BY REPROACHES AND AFFLICTIONS (tribulations) and partly (in part) whilst YE BECAME COMPANIONS OF THEM THAT WERE SO USED (treated).

What can we say there?

The days after your salvation, such a GREAT FIGHT with sufferings and troubles. You were as one that the world would look at and stare upon, as one in medieval stocks for the entire village to mock and ridicule.
Reproaches of those who laugh at your salvation and the enemy who questions “Where is your God now?”

But it is due in part so that YOU CAN become who you are to become in Christ.

1 PETER 1;4-8,10: “Whereby are given unto us exceeding GREAT and PRECIOUS promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

And beside (along with) this, giving ALL DILIGENCE, ADD to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge: AND to knowledge temperance ( self-control); AND to temperance patience; AND to patience godliness; AND to godliness brotherly kindness; AND to brotherly kindness CHARITY ( love).
FOR if these thing be in you (are yours) and abound, they make you that YE SHALL NEITHER BE BARREN NOR UNFRUITFUL IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. Wherefore the rather brethren, GIVE DILIGENCE TO MAKE YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE: FOR IF YOU DO THESE THINGS YE SHALL NEVER FAIL.”

So you have heard it from Paul and you have heard it from Peter, now they are some pretty reliable sources!!!

All these things WILL work to your good and all these things WILL produce every quality needed to be productive in the Kingdom of God.
If you are “new” please stay close and active in a good Bible believing church, read along with them, find ministers that you enjoy hearing and enjoy the word, don’t pressure yourself or let anyone else pressure you, the only opinion of you that should matter is God’s and He is awesome and will teach you all things.

Find a good prayer partner that you can trust, that can pray with you when life comes at you or temptation comes calling and if you fall of the boat, repent and get back on the boat!

And keep trying, IT WILL GET BETTER and IT WILL GET EASIER.
If you are in group two, seek the old paths and surround yourself with prayer warriors and try to spend time with older ones who have been there and done that and they WILL encourage you and give you godly advice that is imperative to stay on track in your calling.

And the best news is this, once you successfully war against an attack of the enemy, he will no more use that same weapon, because it is no longer effective.

Once you make it through a tough battle you will soon find that the battle made you stronger and you will be able to stand against attacks that would have put you out earlier in your ministry.

You will also be better at seeing attacks coming and be prepared more easily, not to say there will never be blind sides, but when it is said and done, you will be glad you stayed the course, because medals are not just given, they must be won.
Φλογιζω NB/2016

! Original post 02/2016.  Still battling blue screen, Please check out this blast from posts past!🐦

 

 

 

 

Desensitized…much?

By Rev. Nina BrownJohnson

“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

Put away from thee a forward (deceitful) mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. 

Ponder the path of thy feet and let thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left; remove thy foot from evil.” Proverbs 4:23-27

I heard something on the radio, it was just chitter chatter asking listeners their feelings on “automated” restaurant pick ups. The thought being to place their orders on line and then just come to an awaiting box and pick up their order, never having to interact in any way with an actual human, and so many were excited, expres