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”

“Who then?”

” And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master (teacher), what GOOD thing shall I DO, that  I might 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 enter into eternal life, keep the commandments. 

He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, THOU SHALT DO NO MURDER, THOUS SHALT NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, THOU SHALT NOT STEAL, THOU SHALT NO 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 have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet (what am I missing)?

 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt 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 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 enter into the kingdom of heaven. And AGAIN I say unto you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

When the disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, who then can be saved?

But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them,  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 THEREOF  (what do we get in return)?

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

And EVERYONE that hath FORSAKEN HOUSES, or BRETHREN, or SISTERS, or FATHER, or MOTHER, or WIFE, or CHILDREN, or LANDS, FOR MY NAME’S SAKE, shall RECEIVE an hundredfold, AND shall inherit everlasting life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.” Matthew 19:16-30  

A lot going on here! First off, I know technically I was to do a second part today but that got changed, and this will be nestled in between the  two parts of, “I Am” so please bear with me, gotta do what I am supposed to do.

First off, notice the young man asked what GOOD thing he, HIMSELF, must do. The biggest problem people have to deal with today is the false teachings, and of course there are many, you just have to pick the one that tries to bind your thinking and prevents you from experiencing the freedom and peace Jesus desires you to have.

Two groups that “go against” the true Gospel..

#1. “Candy Coat Christianity”… which asks repentance? What repentance, “you CAN DO NO WRONG in your fathers eyes” well, if we believe THAT, we may have a father but IT IS NOT HIM! So that would be the good ole’ candy coats and this post is NOT about them, (for a change)!

#2.  “Gotta work” … you want it, you EARN it… work your way into the kingdom, VERY FALSE doctrine.

#3. “Never gonna be” when satan or sometimes YOU determines that YOU CAN NEVER BE SAVED, so don’t bother trying.. SUCH A DEMONIC LIE! so notice the first question the young man asked, WHAT GOOD THING must he DO to inherit eternal life. We can NEVER work our way into heaven:

Ephesians 2:8,9: “For by GRACE are ye saved (you have been) THROUGH FAITH; and that IS NOT of yourselves; IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD: NOT of works, lest any man should boast (so no man can brag in the credit for his own salvation).”

And as Jesus cautioned him after calling him “good” teacher that none is good expect God and only God can teach us. Sometimes we do put ‘too” much trust into others.. I want to be careful saying that… I am NOT saying we don’t need leaders or DO NOT trust anyone. NOT saying that at all, but I think we can run the possibility of getting to comfortable and becoming dependent on an “elder” etc. for our spiritual health rather than dependent on God.

Any human can and will make mistakes and others can give us good, Godly advice and WE DO NEED THAT, but ultimately Jesus IS “the author and finisher” of our faith and he is the only one who can truly direct your life in the way it needs to go.

The Biblical meaning of perfect is BLAMELESS, for us to do all we can in clear conscience and do our best for the kingdom. It does NOT mean that we will be “PERFECT” again ONLY God is or ever will be PERFECT!

And that is great once you get the legalistic thought that we have to be “perfect” or this, or that, in order to be saved… NOT SO, reasonable service, as that conversation went on, Jesus reminded him of the commandments and doing good to others. that IS what God requires of us. It is NOT complicated, it is NOT hard.. BUT we have to be willing to “give up” whatever we must in order to follow Christ.

For this young man it was money, he was good with doing it all EXCEPT parting with his money. And you know this is NOT about money.. I am very anti-money and money preachers are a disgrace to the name of the kingdom.

I again am NOT  talking about TRUE evangelists and missionaries, they NEED money to do their jobs and I am all for supporting them. I am talking about ones with million dollar television studios, planes, and multi-million dollars homes whose EVERY show is focused on cryptic “blessings” to “sow into” to produce your miracle.

The Bible states that “God maketh rich and addeth no sorrow with it”, and we DON’T pay Him for miracles and blessings, and He doesn’t “bless” us only on “certain” days on the Jewish calendar!

We are told to  “give as he enables” us and we give to “those who need it” not to finance another twenty-thousand dollar suit for the “Mur” man!

You want to “bless” the heart of God give it to a local food bank or shelter for victims of domestic violence, or animal shelter:

James 1:27: “Pure religion, and undefiled before God and the father IS this, TO VISIT THE FATHERLESS AND WIDOWS IN THEIR AFFLICTION, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”

Back to my point… RICHES, riches can be in many AREAS of life. A person may live humbly, and yet have RICHES of friends, co-workers, and social popularity.

Riches of  employment in a field that does NOT honor God but also the person financial “freedom” and “freedom” of having job security.

Riches of  a non-committal relationship in which both sides get exactly what they want with “no strings attached”, and free to do as they please agreement, with the option to walk away without  a moments notice.

“RICH” is not always a good thing, it is not always a money thing, it is an ABUNDANCE thing and it can be an abundance of anything, doesn’t mean it is good!

I have also noticed that there has been quite a few thoughts on the precise meaning of a “camel through the eye of a needle” and I have wondered why they get hung up on this point… is it because of their own bank accounts and they want to be sure they can keep “rolling in dough” and keep the soul?

EITHER way, whatever a dwelling spot or a real needle.. either way.. he is saying that there will be RICHES for ALL of us that we will have to part with and it means the things, people, places, or whatever IS the most valued aspects of our lives that WE MUST SURRENDER to him.

As the disciples HEARD it, understood it, they were questioning WHO can even be saved.

Jesus answers us that, What IS impossible with man, IS POSSIBLE with God and what we can not let go of for ourselves, He will help us when we are “letting go” for the kingdom and for His name.

Peter started questioning when “payday” was gonna come… Aren’t many of us guilty of that from time to time and sometimes most of the time?!  

Just as the rich man would to have riches IN heaven in exchange for the riches he would give away at the present time, the disciples would be exchanging their lives at the present for future lives of being part of the twenty- four elders that are before the throne.

As they walked on the earth with the Lamb who was rejected by his own. Mirrored into heaven as Rulers over the twelve tribes who had rejected the Lamb as ALL would  know and be known.

And as Jesus listed the “riches” that some would be required to “give up” in order to follow him, houses, friends, family, spouses, ANYTHING that holds a higher position than him and anything that can “steal” you away from him, such as if you had a family member, best friend, boss, or even spouse that mocked and ridiculed your belief and your desire to follow Jesus, you would be required to dissolve that relationship but by doing so you would NOT be losing but actually GAINING and God blesses you a hundredfold ON earth for what you have surrendered, not to mention the blessing you will receive in heaven.

So  WHATEVER it is today, LET IT GO! Let no one, no relationship hold you back from fulfilling God’s purpose for your life and the beginning of fulfilling that purpose is ACCEPTING HIM and SURRENDERING your life to Him.  You OWE no one an explanation and those who fight and mock you today could be the ones who will gladly follow you into the kingdom tomorrow!

Faith is a powerful thing but you gotta be willing to follow and really get the jist of “not of works” deep down into your heart! We don’t save ourselves, we can’t save others, we DON’T do anything…. JUST BELIEVE, IT IS TRULY THAT SIMPLE..

BELIEVE HE WILL SAVE YOU AND YOU WILL BE SAVED.

BELIEVE HE FORGIVES YOU WHEN YOU ASK AND YOU ARE FORGIVEN, 

BELIEVE THAT YOUR SINS ARE WASHED AWAY AT THE MOMENT OF FORGIVENESS, AND THEY ARE WASHED AWAY!

BELIEVE THAT SALVATION THROUGH JESUS CHRIST IS THERE FOR THE ASKING AND IT IS FREE! AND IT WILL BE FREE AND WHERE THE SPIRIT OF GOD IS THERE IS LIBERTY!

I promise ONLY satan, pharisees, agenda “preachers” and OURSELVES make this harder than it has to be! All the thorns that prevent people from coming to Christ are NOT from HIM, If you BELIEVE you are not yet condemned, so DON’T BELIEVE THAT YOU CAN NOT BE SAVED!

 The fact that you DO BELIEVE is PROOF that you can be saved! This is going to contain ‘classic” scripture, but I want you to read “around” the classic” and see something different in these verses:

John 3:3-19 :  “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?

Jesus answered, Verily, verily,I say unto thee, Except a man be born of the water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh IS flesh; and that which IS born of the Spirit is Spirit.

 Marvel NOT that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listesth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whiter it goeth: so IS every one that is born of the Spirit.

Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can theses things be? 

Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a Master of Israel, and knowest not these things?

Verily, verily, I say unto you, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen, and ye receive NOT our witness. IF I have told you earthly things, and YE BELIEVE NOT, HOW SHALL YE BELIEVE, IF I TELL YOU OF HEAVENLY THINGS?

And NO man hath ascended up to heaven, BUT HE THAT CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN, even the Son of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:

That WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH ON HIM SHALL NOT PERISH, but HAVE ETERNAL LIFE.

 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

HE THAT BELIEVETH ON HIM IS NOT CONDEMNED; but him that believeth not is condemned already,because he hath not believed IN THE NAME OF THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD.

And THIS is the condemnation, THAT LIGHT IS COME INTO THE WORLD, AND MEN LOVED THE DARKNESS RATHER THAN THE LIGHT,because their deeds were evil.” 

So, IF you believe, YOU ARE NOT CONDEMNED, satan can tell you that you are, you can tell yourself that you are, but HERE IS THE WORDS of JESUS HIMSELF saying that you are not!

And as so many false teaching try to prevent the belief in the SON of GOD, we see that it IS the belief IN THE NAME of the Son of God.. and as we know that NAME IS JESUS CHRIST OF NAZARETH.

But if you fail to accept that salvation that He offers than YOU HAVE CONDEMNED yourself! PLEASE don’t do that.. don’t think you are going into a relationship with Christ as how you feel, think, or are NOW, HE makes all things NEW but you will never know that newness until YOU accept it and accept Him.

True salvation holds no hidden agendas, no special “chants”, no “special” anything on your part, just accepting that FREE gift and accepting Him totally at face value, think about it today, don’t spend one more second lost and hurting when He is there and He wants to give you freedom, peace, and reassurance of that eternal life.

 Love and Peace till next time! Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017