“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

 

“Shall NOT”

PSALM 23:1: “The lord IS my shepherd; I SHALL NOT WANT

 Our world, our messed up, ripped up, tore up from the floor up world that we all must call home, at least for a little while, as those clay feet of the mighty world has began to crack and crumble under the heavy weights of sin that has been hard and unyielding to the oppressed as the bronze and iron it has been forged of.

As we all have witnessed the news of the Orlando nightclub massacre, it is just another reminder of this truth. Those feet are made of clay and these weights they will not withstand and as we are told we will either be built upon the rock that is Jesus Christ or we will be washed away as the sand gives way under the blowing winds and crashing waves.

Even as you watch these things come to pass, as Jesus said that they would, we still can’t help but to be overwhelmed with the sadness and senselessness of the actions of those who are agents of the hate that is as old as the world itself, the hate that tried to even spread itself through the heavens and has not be cast down upon the earth. That hate IS not going to cease, it WILL only grow worse.

REVELATION 12:12(b) “WOE unto the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea!  For the devil is come down upon you, HAVING GREAT WRATH (ANGER) FOR HE KNOWTEH HE HATH BUT A SHORT TIME.

Watching an especially poignant first hand account of a victim who had survived by hiding in a bathroom, tearing flowing and sorrow beyond sorrow as he told of those outside the door that they could not let in, those who died outside that door, the account of one woman who hid under dead bodies and we know that ONLY, ONLY God can heal this kind of hurt, this kind of sorrow and these lives will never be the same.

But it is a wake up call for US ALL that time does truly draw nigh and we are not promised the next breath and every moment of that time should be spent sharing the Gospel, the TRUE Gospel, not watered down candy coated fluff that has no real staying power and no real sustenance when it comes to dealing with tribulation, remember Jesus said that IN THIS WORLD we will have tribulation. 

The only way out for any of us IS the Gospel. The only way to survive these days without being desensitized by all the horror we see, or our human minds trying to process those things which can not be processed leaving us cold, numb, and defeated. As one who was given a divine intervention when death came to call, I do understand and I also understand that in these atrocities God will heal, make new, and free people into Himself and that they will understand the mercy they were given and will show it to others.

But it time to get serious and to really seek the Kingdom of God, LIVE by HIS word, not the candy coats code of conduct which is an abomination to God, but He will save those who are sincere and will show them the true way, and that is His way.

This was something He dropped in my spirit concerning a situation, well, actually a couple of situations, in my own journey and that one long waged battle in the war would be taken care of the very next day, and it was. And the thought became so profound in my spirit that I want to share it.

IT is how we will make it in these days, as Jesus told us that in “Patience possess ye your souls” that is to wait, and wait, and keep waiting in faith and perseverance knowing that ALL things will work together, and as He told us in the book of Revelation, that some WILL DIE but NOT ONE HAIR SHALL PERISH.

He is telling us just how serious we are to be, in all things and it is wonderful to have a good time, free our minds, let loose or whatever but THAT TIME IS OVER for the church, it is now time to watch and pray that not only us but that others, those who are lost and those who are being misguided, that ALL of us may be accounted worthy to stand in that soon coming day.

So if we remember nothing else, remember every day that as His children we shall not want and our prayer should be “we shall not”. “The Lord is my shepherd; I SHALL NOT WANT.” Period. It stops and it stops right there, so what does that mean? It means want or lack any good thing or any thing WE NEED to finish the race before us.

Because HE IS the shepherd and the secret of the joy of the Lord is OUR strength, but what about the joy He HAS when His children act right and His lambs choose to follow His paths and the paths He set before them.

His Joy in “enter in my good and faithful servant” the joy as a Father when his children ARE a reflection of His values and represent His family in honor and integrity, kindness, and mercy. We will be happy and we will be filled with joy when we make bringing joy to Him our first priority.

NEHEMIAH 8:10: “Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions to them for WHOM NOTHING IS PREPARED: for this day is HOLY unto our Lord: NEITHER be ye sorry,for the JOY OF THE LORD is YOUR STRENGTH.

JOHN 16:24: “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ASK, AND YE SHALL RECEIVE, THAT YOUR JOY MAY BE FULL.”

 JOHN 17:13: “And now I come to thee; and these things I speak IN THE WORLD, that THEY MIGHT HAVE MY JOY FULFILLED IN THEMSELVES.” 

Jesus PRAYED this and He prayed it while facing His death, as Hebrews 12:2 tells us it was FOR THE JOY SET BEFORE HIM, joy that WOULD later come, joy that would ONLY come through obedience in the midst of tribulation, terror, and suffering. We SHALL NOT want for that joy.

We live in the “shadow of the VALLEY of death, always, death is always an ever present possibility and times of terror and fear make us painfully aware of that fact.

ISAIAH 9:2: “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: THEY that DWELL in the land of the SHADOW OF DEATH, UPON THEM HATH A GREAT LIGHT SHINED.”  

JOHN:8:12: ” Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I AM the light of the world: he that followeth me SHALL NOT walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” In the blackest of nights we SHALL NOT WANT for the light.  

When fear comes calling, classic PSALM 91:5-7: “Thou SHALT NOT be afraid for the terror by night, nor for the arrows that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday; A thousand shall fall at thy side; and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.”

When the winds blow and the floods rage: ISAIAH 43:2: ” 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 SHALL NOT  be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.”

Notice, there is no if there, it is not a question of whether these things come, it is WHEN they come.

 Looking for those things which are to come, you SHALL NOT lose your hope, your faith and your confidence in the Lord.

PSALM 16:5-9 ” The Lord IS the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup; thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage (inheritance).

I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel: my reins (heart) also instructs me  IN THE NIGHT SEASONS.  I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I SHALL NOT be moved.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh shall also rest (dwell securely) in hope.” Don’t give up the fight, whatever you need you SHALL NOT lack, SIN SHALL NOT reign and my all time favorite, the gates of hell SHALL NOT prevail! Have a blessed week! 

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016