“Now I lay me down….”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

“EXPOSURE”

 ISAIAH 7: 14,15:  “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (God with us). Butter and honey SHALL HE EAT, that HE MAY KNOW TO REFUSE EVIL AND CHOOSE THE GOOD.”                                                                                                                       

As we know these scriptures reference Jesus, whom was given good things and treated gently and kindly so HE WOULD KNOW and NOT choose the wrongs paths.

This is a very good argument against spanking and physically harming children and the more common emotional isolation and emotional abuse with words and shame.

Jesus was given good things so he would REFUSE the bad. I belong to the thought group that the major influence on a person is their environment and that if you can change that environment their life can be completely made new. That is not to say that environment can alter God’s will, it can’t, He is still God and still keeps His divine hand over many lives, EVEN when those lives are in absolute disarray.

But the environment of their circumstances can lead that to being a longer process, with many, many obstacles to be overcame. The enemy reverses all things of God and it becomes offering you the bad choices to make you feel compensated in that it presents itself as the only good out there for you.

As you notice this IS in reference to his childhood, we don’t need a Freud wanna be to enlighten us here, that this the time period where snares are set and where we are enslaved through psychological bondage. It is always accomplished in innocent, fragile minds and souls because the enemy wants to ensure it will last a life time.

You can see this so clearly in gangs and cults, and even often in certain types of prostitution and always, always in cycles of domestic abuse and the repeated problem of “picking the wrong guy”, you can’t PICK that many wrong guys! And it is also true for guys who chose women who belittle and mentally emasculate them, they often have domineering mothers and all in all the exposure produces a picture worth a thousand words, and those words speak volumes in lives.

It is the deceptive homing device planted long ago in vulnerable psyches that attracts the wounded to them and sends an unspoken code to predatory forces that you will be a perfect victim. Anyone really believe the “sixth sense” stalkers and serial killers possess (possessed is more like it) in tracking their victims is an all natural evil attribute that they just happen to have been born with? Research it, if you can’t see the demonic force at play there, you will never see it.

So what about the billions and trillions who WERE not given the good and did not know how to refuse the bad, when they seriously believe that “not as bad as…” is the only option given them? If life had been exposure to  evil after evil after evil?

That life will be like an overexposed photo, the light areas will be blurred and washed out, kinda like light IS there only not clear or well-defined.  What we have been exposed to does have impact on whom we become, the choices we make, and the way we live our lives BUT IT DOES NOT DETERMINE WHO WE ARE in Christ. 

That is the greatest news of the Gospel, there is NO life so dark, so tortured, or so messed up that it can not be redeemed by the one who gave it, but it is ALL in the exposure.

If you are underexposed to the good things, love, gentleness and a caring environment of respect, all the dark images will become darker. When someone has been exposed to violence, abuse and mental terrorism that exposure manifests itself in attempts to fit in and belong, feel love, feel whole and feel accepted and a need to be “normal” it explains how young people can be lured into joining gangs with them being beaten nearly to death as an initiation into that “family” and young women can be lured with attention and a false sense of security by men into a life of prostitution.

For many it will manifest as one big ride on a roller coaster of self-destruction, sick to death, desperately knowing you need to get off, but not ever figuring out how to make it stop.

Seeing it yet?  It all an attempt to feel LOVE, real love, love that will give itself FOR YOU not ask you to sacrifice yourself for it. Acceptance that you are accepted FOR you, not who someone else told you that you were or that you had to be. Belonging to a FAMILY, a family that protects YOU and cares for you and does not require your blood as proof of allegiance.

Jesus said “…and he that loseth his life FOR MY SAKE SHALL FIND IT you know what He is saying is this, LOSE your LIFE.

LOSE the thoughts that tell you are not worth love, your thoughts that nothing good will ever happen for you because you “don’t deserve” to be happy. These ARE NOT GOD’s thoughts toward you, they are programmed lies to keep you miserable and in bondage.

LOSE the friends and family that only weigh you down and constantly reaffirm all the negative views and hate filled words that have already been more than hammered into your soul.

LOSE the users and losers and those who only want you as the whipping boy to curse and run after when they are stoned or drunk.

LOSE everything that hurts, binds, disturbs, and hinders your growth, peace and happiness.

FIND a NEW LIFE that heals, delivers, brings peace and above all a love and an acceptance by one whose love can not even be described.

FIND a God that loves as a father, a REAL father, not the biological person that aided in conception, who was so vicious and vile that he was wished away.

FIND a God that will be closer than any friend, brother, or sister, that will be there through your tears and will never give you “told you so’s” or down you.

FIND a spiritual spouse whose love  is so strong that HE died FOR YOU not want you to risk your life. or kill, or  steal for him.

FIND a God in whose arms your weakness IS made strong, whose GENTLENESS will make you great.

Find a God whose peace, mercy and understanding are unsearchable, who WILL cast your sins, failures and mistakes as far as the east is to the west and wash your crimson sins white as snow and make YOU completely NEW again.

The best part with Jesus is that He loves us JUST FOR US! He does not care what we have done or where we are or how we got there, and He will heal every one of those wounds that lead you to those dark places, He just wants to help you and save you and help you get on with the life HE wants to give you. But as always I really wish He would just come down and take us over BUT He does not work that way, He will not force His will on you, But He IS always there, waiting for YOU to ask Him, as Jesus does stand at the door and knock at our hearts BUT the handle is on our side, He can’t come in if we will not let Him.

And maybe the enemy is bugging you out with well, what does she know, perched on her  religious high horse? Well, actually I am perched on my super groovy swivel stool and I am not religious, I am saved. I am saved from the hardest things to overcome, demonic exposures straight from hell, my own bloodline, and most of all myself. My readers have most of my story weaved throughout enough posts to piece together some things but I had a brother, he was my part-time babysitter when I would be alone with him but I lived in a home with him 24/7. He had issues, and was also quite gifted at drawing pentagrams ( if that gives you a little insight to exposures) I did not even know what they were until I got a lot older, so he had problems and he made sure I did too. Mental terrorism can be quite effective at producing wounds that last twenty-seven years and those wounds can lead a life of living in sin, working in sin and an overwhelming need to fit in, belong, and just be normal. But I harbor no ill will and God has truly taught me that people have problems because they have been exposed to things that have harmed their souls.

The “normal” part is always what gets us all we hide our pain and the shame (which should not be there) in constantly trying to prove  how normal we are. But with me I could never escape  the spiritual chase of it all and my life truly was just one trauma after another and making it past eighteen was a feat in itself, enough pressure, a failed marriage thanks to my refusal to convert to Catholicism and I ended up right where the devil had wanted all the time and it was the ONLY place I fit in.

The thing with wounds that have been untreated for so many years grow deeper and deeper but once we allow God to heal us they become scars, I could never show anyone my wounds and once God started leading me with my writing, I began to understand how important it is to not hide the scars because some times the wounded need to see the scars of those that have been healed. Without those scars I may not have what I have today and that is a relationship with the very one who created me. And EVERYONE has a story and we can always find others who have fared far worse and have made it out.

” And THEY overcame him (satan) BY the BLOOD OF THE LAMB, and BY the WORD of their testimony”….. forget what you have been exposed to, do not allow it to determine your today and your tomorrow. It does not define who you are, reach out and give Him your all and BE who HE created you to be.

If you “lose” life as you know it, what have you lost?  Pain, sorrow, pressure? What will you find? Peace, love, and joy, I may always have a hurdle or two but I also have a peace and a reassurance that I have a God who really does love me, in spite of me and no matter who rejects me, ridicules me or just outright despises me I am still His child and I have a peace in it all that He never fails, if I hold His hand He will not let me fall.

This song was on my heart to go with this and I feel it is for someone, if you have never heard it, please listen and please surrender, it is the most beautiful experience you will ever know.

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω Rev. Nina BrownJohnson 2016

 

Bow Shot

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Hebrews 9:27 Pretty strong statement, one shot, one chance through this life. We go through life with our eyes focused so closely on the task at hand or the current crisis that we fail to see the big picture.

We live, we die and the one shot we have is the time in between, every failure, every mistake but also every accomplishment, and every single victory is all embodied in “ONCE”. 

We will not have works in the grave, we will not have works in New Jerusalem and in hell there will be no chance of salvation ever again.  “Works without faith IS dead”, we can all do something, some type of “work”, we can all give, but when we need to do a work that is not quite so easy, that will require blood, sweat, and lots of tears, when we will set out on a course that is going to cost us something that is when it starts being set apart, and when a sacrifice is required and especially when it is a sacrifice of that work itself. 

Whatever we have been born to accomplish is to be accomplished on this earth. One shot to make a difference and live our lives in complete trust and faith to one so much higher than any earthly happening whether it be good or bad. Learning true trust is not that easy, we all say we TRUST God, we sing about trusting God, and have motivational agreements that we trust, but do we really? 

Trust IS faith and faith IS trust, you can not have one without the other, faith IS trusting God with the most precious of things, EVEN when it looks like we might lose but we have to trust Him enough to surrender even those things that we have fought so hard to nurture and protect, our hopes, our dreams, and sometimes our spiritual “babies” and lay them on the altar.

  Genesis 22 tells of Abrahams grueling test of faith, several days journey to what he thought would be the sacrifice of his son whom he loved more than life itself, the death of  his promised child, a child whose promised birth had been the fulfillment of the purpose of his own life,  the father of nations.

Genesis 22:4: Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off”  he had lots of time to think,  and dread, journeying up that mountain for what he believed would be the death of that child.  

Genesis 21 tells of the story of Hagar and Ismael, Sarai’s servant and the child she bore for Abraham because of Sarai’s  messed up attempt to bring about the fulfillment of God’s promise for Abraham. By this point Sarah wanted them out of her life and God knowing all things told Abraham to go ahead and send them away, now Hagar finds herself in the wilderness with nothing trying to find her way back to Egypt with the son she was demanded to bear for an heir and he is now considered nothing and no longer welcome, but he was her baby and she loved him and could not bear to watch him die:

Genesis 21:16: “And she went, and sat her down over against him (across from) A good way off, as it were a bow shot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child, And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice and wept.” 

Exodus 2  tell that when  Pharaoh had called for the slaughter of the Hebrew baby boys, Jochebed placed her baby Moses in an ark made undoubtedly countless tears and set him adrift with unquenchable faith.

Exodus 2:4 “And his sister stood afar off, to wit (know) what would become of him.” What they all had in common is this, these were their natural children, children whom they loved with every fiber in their being. Each time these things were “afar off’ it was a process of waiting, and watching and knowing that they had to TRUST GOD IN FAITH.

Abraham KNEW what God had promised, Hebrews 11:17: ” BY FAITH Abraham, when he was tried (tested) offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son.” As we know an angel stopped Abraham and God sent a ram as a sacrifice and we all learned that God will provide for us all that we need to be obedient to Him.

Jochebed’s baby was spared from those who given a chance would surely kill him, not only would he not die but she would nurse him and love him and tend his needs and no longer have to hide him and fear for his life. And he would go on to be used of God to lead his people out of bondage, drew from the water one day leading his people to freedom through parted waters.

God had heard Hagar’s cries when she was pregnant and sent an angel to comfort her and she had been obedient to God’s voice returning to Sarai and surrendering her child and now unable to bear watching him die in the wilderness, she had separated herself from him, crying out and now God heard the cries of the child himself and God sent the angel yet again and sprang up a well in their wilderness. They all had to learn faith and trust, to trust God with what was most precious to them, and sometimes we must trust God with all the things that are precious to us and when the enemy is coming after those things or there are those who wish to dash those hopes, smash those dreams,  and outright kill those spiritual babies then we have to just lay them down on the altar and just get a bow shot away and KNOW, and TRUST that HE IS JEHOVAH JIREH, that HE IS FAITHFUL , HE does see our sorrow and hear our cries and that HE WILL DELIVER.

Φλογιζω  NBJ 2015

  

NOT just any port in a storm….

We’re heading back to the spot just before Jesus lead Peter back into the boat.
Last time, we discussed how Peter had battled through a dark tempestuous night out in the middle of the wide open sea, at a time when it was truly man versus nature, without any of the modern nautical equipment around today and at the height of his terror, Jesus came to the rescue, but Peter’s new-found bravery as he walked with the Lord on water, was short-lived thanks to that terrorizing gusting wind.
We also have Jesus by our side in our storms and yet all of us have those moments when that wind blows just a little too hard and that fear of its howl is immobilizing and like Peter we freeze and those waves start dragging us under till we cry “LORD! SAVE ME!” 
So what about the time between those moments?
When the winds blow and howl and scream in our ears so loud that the voice that we had just heard so strong, as Peter did when he heard the Lord say “Come” we now question. Is it really HIS voice we hear over the sound of the storm. 
We are so deafened by the storm by this point that we are not really sure of anything and we just want to freeze in that fear of the unknown and uncertainty, and if allowed to IT WILL drown us right where we are.
We never even realize that we are so close to being back in the safety of that boat and the end of that storm.
Riding out storms can devastate even the strongest of sailors, it will knock the wind out of your sails, shiver your timbers and if you are not paying very close attention it will make you head to “any port in a storm” the nearest, closest spot available to you to dock that boat and get out of that storm.
Once your there you could turn from being an honorable first mate to becoming a scurvy sea dog, because all the “hail” and high water can make people do funny things.
When the going gets rough our flesh wants comfort, we want safety, we want this to end and to know all is accounted for and that our losses are minimal.
As Jesus said the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

We want  to run to the safest spot and into the nearest boat,  BUT the problem with this is that Jesus DID NOT led Peter back to any old boat, it was the boat that he was SUPPOSED to be in
Jesus has ALL POWER, he could have just materialized a different boat, he could have translated them to shore.
HE DIDN’T because Peter had to go through that storm and get back IN the SAME boat he just got out of, BEFORE THE STORM WOULD STOP!
Now you could ask WHY????? But ask yourself, and we really have to speculate on this, but how many times do you think Peter drew courage and renewed faith by remembering that journey?
I love to point out the fact that Peter carried out his commission from Jesus under the brunt of KNOWING HE WOULD BE CRUCIFIED at the end of his mission.
We all know that he, like all the disciples were persecuted, beaten, and tormented all while the power of God poured from them, miracles, healing, and leading the lost to Christ.
COULD Peter have went on to carry this out faithfully had he not took that walk and GOT back in that boat?
Had he not let Jesus help him overcome all that fear and let Jesus lead him back to the boat that you know he would not have wanted to be back in, had he not overcame it through Christ, would he have ever had the faith and courage to know that death would not be the winner in the end?
Could he have had the courage to go to that cross at the end of his life?
I will leave that for you to answer, but Jesus was teaching Peter in that storm.
Jesus does not send storms on us but when we are allowed to continue through one, IT IS because he wants us to have victory, true victory, not a cop-out running from it kind of thing, but true taking the head off a giant victory in that area of our life.
Anyone can run, he will not allow us to run, He created to “having done all to stand” “STAND.”
Our “boats” are no different from Peter’s and sometimes we feel like whoo-hoo I’m finally outta that boat! 
Only to discover we got to get back in it if we are to see the storm end.
So to help us hear the right voice and find the way back to our boat till that storm ends, we’ll use our compass:

Psalm 77:6 I call to remembrance MY SONG IN THE NIGHT: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search”
Now the wonderful thing about the Psalms are that they ARE SONGS!

Such as:  Psalm 69 To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim (set to The Lilies), A Psalm of David.

” SAVE me, O God; for the WATERS are come in unto my soul (neck).
I SINK in the DEEP mire, WHERE THERE IS NO STANDING: I AM come into DEEP WATERS, where the FLOODS OVERFLOW ME.
I am weary (worn out) of my CRYING; my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I WAIT FOR MY GOD.”

“DELIVER ME out of the mire, and LET ME NOT SINK: let me be delivered from them that hate me, and OUT OF THE DEEP WATERS.
Let NOT the WATERFLOOD OVERFLOW ME, neither let the DEEP SWALLOW ME UP, and let not the pit shut up her mouth on me.”
                      Psalm 69:1-3,14,15

Just as Peter answered Jesus, when asked if he to would leave him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the WORDS of eternal life.”
Jesus is the voice and the one port in our storm, get back in the boat, the storm will end and this storm may very well be the catapult to a level of faith you never would have imagined possible or a deeper relationship with the Lord that you can not fathom, but of a surety, one day, remembering this storm, and the quieting of it WILL BE YOUR SONG in another night and this storm will be proof positive that night too will end, the wind will cease and morning will yet again come.
Φλογιζω/ All rights reserved/NBJ 2015

 

DWELLING PLACE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Φλογιζω/ All rights reserved. NBJ 2015
Revisited 2019

ASHES

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Ashes, sometimes all that is all that is left of what once was your life all that was held precious and dear, all that is left of what once was and most importantly what will be never again. Maybe you feel that way today, maybe you have wounds that are so deep, wounds that are […]