“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

 

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”

 

“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

 

 

TWO TURTLEDOVES

“And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so commanded of the angel BEFORE HE WAS CONCEIVED IN THE WOMB and when the eight days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; (As it is written in the law of the Lord, EVERY MALE THAT OPENETH THE WOMB SHALL BE HOLY UNTO THE LORD;) And to OFFER a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A PAIR OF TURTLEDOVES OR TWO YOUNG PIGEONS.” Luke 2:21-24

 The book of Leviticus, chapter 12 deals with the laws after childbirth and the required offering of a lamb, but verse 8 says this: ” And if she NOT be able to bring a lamb, the she shall bring two turtles (doves), or two young pigeons; the one for a burnt offering, the other for a sin offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for her, and she shall be clean.”

I always love to point out the fact that the offerings and giving of the first fruits helped support the priests, whose job WAS to care for the temple and the things of God, they and their families depended solely upon God for everything. But many things are twisted by the money preachers of today and Apostle Paul actually WORKED to earn his living.

This pressure is felt stronger during the Holiday season than any time of the year. We are bombarded with commercials telling us what our loved ones simply must have to have and if we are short on cash, we can always charge it, of course with a nice healthy interest rate given to those who offer this little extra holiday cheer.

A hard battle to fight. Jesus who left all of heaven, left his throne surrounded by his host of heavenly followers, the angels who came to the shepherds that fateful, divine night surrounded by the glow of heaven itself still could not resist proclaiming his glory for all the world to hear.

He chose parents who were poor, who were unable to offer a lamb on his behalf  because he would be THE LAMB.

The two turtle-dove would be as HIS atonement and as HIS being offered as a sacrifice for OUR sins.

The dove forever being symbolic of peace and the presence of the Holy spirit and in the humbleness of the meekest of offerings, the King of the absolute universe whose kingdom will be paved with streets of pure gold, gates of precious pearl, walls of jasper and stones of unfathomable worth and again the meekest offering of the poorest of the poor. Not much to do with super centers and gift wrap there, is there?

Don’t let your joy this season be measured by an invisible force of marketing, don’t stress about the perfect gifts, meager budget, planning the perfect party.

The Bible commands us to not despise the times of small things and the smallest gift of all, a tiny newborn baby WAS and IS the ONLY PERFECT GIFT!

Original post: 12/2015

Φλογιζω NBJ/ Reverend Nina Brown Johnson 12/14/2019

Letting grace reign…

“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, 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 (hidden truth); (as I wrote afore time (before) 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 the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel;

Whereof I was made a minister, according to the grace of God given unto me by the effectual (effective) 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 manifold (many-sided) wisdom of God. 

According to the eternal purpose, which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we boldness and access with confidence by the faith in him.

Wherefore I desire that you faint not (do not lose heart) at my tribulations for you, which is for your glory.

For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Of whom the whole family of earth is named.

That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man. 

That Christ might dwell in your hearts BY faith; that ye being ROOTED and GROUNDED in love

May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 

And to know the love of Christ, which passeth (surpasses) knowledge that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. 

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above ALL that we ask OR think, according to the POWER that WORKETH IN US,

Unto him be the glory in the church by Jesus Christ throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” Ephesians 3

You know so many words and thoughts can come to mind when we think the word “grace” and one that always comes to my mind is the title, “His Grace” and as our King eternal, Jesus is the very essence of grace.

I would even dare go so far as to say, He IS grace, as HE IS love, HE IS mercy, HE IS humility, beauty, and gentleness and rightfully so because HE IS divine. Which is why He is capable of showering us with a love that goes beyond our realm of human understanding.

A love that we do not even possess the knowledge to fathom, BUT we can certainly rest in that love and He invites us to do so.

The title “His Grace” alludes to goodwill, compassion, elegance, and the display of mercy to all that will approach His throne and ask for that mercy.

Our human understanding of grace versus the reality of grace is what often becomes the problem for us.

For many it is so hard to simply accept the salvation and forgiveness of sin that mercy and grace offers FREELY, because we with human thoughts think there must be some “kind of catch” something to MAKE US WORTHY.

When truly we are NEVER worthy, never will be worthy, it is simply HE IS WORTHY and His mercy provides that blood covering for us.

Romans 5 speaks of the fall of man, you know, the basics, the serpent tempted Eve, Eve tempted Adam, and all three were punished and ALL of mankind from that point forward was BORN into sin.

Now, I know it is often asked, why did the actions of those three fall on us all, or why didn’t God just make a new earth, think about this, ALL who are and were, and will be were created BEFORE the foundations of the earth.

We were already set in motion, to be in existence and as far as the new earth, it will be, when it comes down in the fulfillment of the prophecy of John.  

And these things must be taken on faith and he could have destroyed ALL of them in the garden, but nothing would exist as we know and I personally believe that also includes us.

I want to give a few verses that explain that mystery of that through the fall of Adam, humans were condemned but by the grace through Jesus, all who will, can be forgiven through the acceptance of that grace.

Romans 5:17-21: ” For if by one man’s offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one,Jesus Christ. 

Therefore as by the offense of one (false step)  judgment came upon ALL to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one (one righteous act) the free gift came upon all men justified into life.

Moreover the law entered that the offence (sin) might abound, But WHERE sinned abounded, GRACE did much more abound.

That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might GRACE reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Christ Jesus our Lord.” 

There is also your proof of that “legal mentality” that either through others, or the devil, or even our own minds, tries so hard to discourage us from excepting His Grace.

But grace always goes above and beyond all level that sin has attained.

Just as in all things God goes above and beyond all we could ever even think, His mercy and grace to forgive our sins is absolutely no exception to His rule. And the flip side to the thoughts of grace is this, as we need to always be mindful of that grace, accept that grace, and don’t be telling the Lord “Oh, I don’t deserve forgiveness”, or “I haven’t been that bad.”

It is NEVER about deserving anything and it is also NEVER about being good enough, it is all about His free gift and the truth of this, by not accepting His free gift, we are essentially telling Him that we are our own salvation and there is no such thing, we can not save ourselves and all our refusal and rejection of Him really says is that we are so prideful and self-willed  that we would rather chance being lost eternally and forever condemned because of those sins, as to humble ourselves into the hands of God.

More good advice from Galatians 2:21: ” I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain (died for nothing).”

And that is what we are saying when refuse that grace. 

Now equally as big a problem, those who take that grace and then use it as a “pass” to do whatever they wish. James 4:17: “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it IS sin.” When we “know better”, when we know that actions are wrong, we will be guilty of that wrong. One of the most disturbing things I have heard people say, that they would do something in anger, that they knew was wrong, “And ask God to forgive” them “for it later.”

HE does NOT work that way, if we sin, we must ask forgiveness but we can’t willfully sin and then expect Him to forgive us.

These attitudes jump, one says it another says and then it sounds like a good ideal and we have so many false teachings in our world today,  the Groovy Gurus, and the Old Goat & candy coats  spreading so much false doctrine of  Gumdrops, Lollipops, & Candy-Coated Christianity that we now have a major case of Sugar Decay to try to repair.

Think about it today, think about what grace means to you and remember these words from Ephesians 2:8: “For BY grace, are ye saved through faith…”

It is not my grace. It is not your grace. It is His grace and for that we should always be mindful, thankful, and most of all, GRATEFUL.

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

Φλογιζω NBJ 2019

“Waning under the weight of waiting”

Now that title is quite a mouthful, try saying it fast three times, could be a pretty good tongue twister 🙂 but I am hoping it’ll make for a much better thought provoker!

Hebrews 12:1a: “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us…”

Used this scripture before, we all have I am sure, but for the moment I want to concentrate on what a weight waiting can be.

Ever think about it? When people or even our own selves come up with every known imaginable reason why we can not serve God or why we can’t accomplish his will or why we can’t live for him… just now, maybe in the future but now we can’t because we are waiting, waiting on some magical, mystical desire to take place or we are waiting on someone else to “come in” then we’ll “get right” with the Lord.

How could ANYTHING of this world be more important than your soul?

How? Never mind the demons, and the spiritual world that surrounds our natural world every single day and if it were not for God’s divine protection do you think you would be so safe from all the traps and snare that are laid for your feet?

Never mind the lack of peace, never mind the constant struggles inside your mind because “to him that knoweth to do good and do it not, it is a sin” completely IGNORING all those things for a moment, how does anyone take the comfort that their eternal soul is secure out of the daily equation, in seemingly “never-minding” that we are never once promised that we have all the time in the world to WAIT while allowing the weight of all those earthly hindrances to steal day after day while we have no promise of the next day. 

It is ALL of the world, the world that scripture warns us and warns us to stay out of. The world can mean many different struggles for different people.

It is not always about money, but it all equates the same. ANYTHING we place above God or the service and ANYTHING that prevents us from following him with our whole hearts and lives completely surrendered to him.

That is why we are told that WE must LAY ASIDE all these weights.

God does not place that weight on us… the world does and we have to be willing to refuse to carry it and we can’t blame that one on God. 

This is one Jesus’ warnings on the subject.

Luke 12:15-20: ” And he said unto them, Take heed, and BEWARE of covetousness: for a man’s life consiseth not in the abundance of things he possesseth. 

And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?”

And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow (store) all my fruits and my goods. and I will say unto my soul,  Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 

But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?”  

He went on to encourage us to lay up those treasures in heaven because the concerns and desires of this world that became as weights will drag us down. And this is also so clear in his parable of the sower and the seed, AGAIN warning us about this world and getting caught up in it rather that the things of God.

Matthew 13:3-9: “And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;

And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured  them up;

Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth; and forthwith they sprang up, because they had no deepness of earth: and when the sun was up, they were scorched: and because they had no root, they withered away.

And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up and choked them:

But others fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”  

Do you recognize all the different human conditions going on here?

Think about it, the way side, just going through life, not caring one way or another and those are absolutely devoured because no one is caring if they make it or not.

The stony places in hardened hearts and unrepentant, unyielding, stubborn, and prideful.

Too “shallow” to make the long haul, all for it until the going gets tough and then they gotta get going… their own way, AWAY from God. 

And the thorns of this world, the pain, the sorrow, the hurt, and injustice, all those things that prick, mar, and scar.

BUT Jesus told us this in his word, Song of Solomon 2:1,2: “I AM the rose of Sharon, and  the lily of the valleys. 

As the lily AMONG the thorns SO IS my love among the daughters.”

 For every single human condition there is a relief and cure in God’s word, IF we will seek it and have faith to believe it.

That faith and assurance, NOT in ourselves or our abilities but faith that He is and He will fulfil all his promises to us IF we do what his word tells us to do.

That is that good ground that he cultivates for his seed and to bring forth HIS fruit. And as he told us to “hear if we have ears to hear” meaning if our heart is set on him and our thoughts on things eternal to HEAR him.  

Continuing, Matthew 13:18-23: Hear  ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one hearth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it  not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth (snatches) away that which WAS sown in his heart. This is which received seed by the way side. 

But he that received the seed into stony places,  the same is he that heareth the word, and anon (immediately) with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth (endures) for a while:  for when tribulation OR persecution ariseth BECAUSE of the word, by and by he is offended. 

He also that received seed among thorns is he that heareth the word : And the CARE OF THIS WORLD, and the deceitfulness of riches, CHOKE THE WORD,  and he becometh unfruitful. 

But he that received seed in the good ground IS he that heareth the word, and understandeth it;  which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”  Those “places” those weights. those are the things that prevent our growth, prevent us from bearing fruit and will certainly crush that precious seed planted by the Lord himself and eventually even crush us under them.

God never told us to wait on this world or to wait for things in this world to change.

We are to FOLLOW HIM and WAIT for him, not this world and we can never carry that weight. We were never meant to.

The only one who can is the only one who already holds it ALL in the middle of his nail scarred hand.

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω  NB 2018

 

“Today and the tomorrow that may never be”

“But exhort one another daily, while IT IS called TO day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.  While it is said, TODAY IF YE WILL HEAR HIS VOICE, HARDEN NOT YOUR HEARTS, AS IN THE PROVACATION (rebellion).” Hebrews 3:13,14 

Wouldn’t we all love to have a blank calendar or a calendar from the past that we could go back and “x” off certain days, days of hurt, sorrow, or days that we made tragic mistakes and maybe not make those mistakes again?

And wouldn’t we all love to have God’s calendar? You know that is why He tells us some much in His word, TODAY, TODAY, TODAY and even saying, in Matthew 6:34: Take therefore no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself, sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

What He is warning us against here, is our human habit of worrying about tomorrow, while not realizing that we may not even be able to handle today and EACH day comes with its own set of either joys, or heartaches, victories, or trails, but either way LET TOMORROW WORRY ABOUT TOMORROW and just be concerned with YOUR TODAY.

The REAL problem with the TOMORROW mentality is when people apply it to their spiritual health and salvation. Got to give my beautiful big Sis credit on this, I had called her for prayer about something I was going through and we got off on the subject of so many people that the enemy sells the same old line to, that THEY SHOULD WAIT UNTIL THEY FEEL LED TO GO TO GOD.

What kind of thinking is that? You know that is NOT from God, God said COME unto me and even in the end at Revelation AGAIN, the SPIRIT and the BRIDE TOGETHER are URGING ALL WHO WILL to COME!

I hope to give more than enough scriptural proof with this post that there should no longer be any doubt as to whether or not the Lord has sent out those invitations to ALL who will, ALL who will come to Him, His household, and His Kingdom.

So I want to go back to our starting verse to establish just what goes on here, with that deceived thinking, notice that is says “lest ANY of you be HARDENED THROUGH the DECEITFULNESS of sin” and what that means is that you are to call on the Lord TODAY, because sin will hardened your heart and LIE to you and have you “put off” salvation, “put off” the call of God, as sin tells you must wait on a formal invitation.

An invitation that has ALREADY been sent in the form of the virgin birth of Jesus Christ on earth, an invitation that has already been sealed by the blood of His Son bearing the approval of His signet, and invitation that was DELIVERED when His dead body rose victorious.

And the words “WHOSOEVER SHALL CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD, SHALL BE SAVED” recorded in His word for the ENTIRE world to receive.

So it is not that they have no invitation, they are simply REFUSING to open it!

We always use the thief on the cross to prove this out, the man WAS slowly dying, he had NO time, and he KNEW he had NO tomorrow and he KNEW that it was then, there, TODAY or never.

And as we all know Jesus response, pure gold and blessed with assurance so that not even one doubt could have entered the mans mind, Verily I say unto thee, to day thou shalt be with me in paradise

No going down to the altar, no church introduction, no baptism, no time to do “ministries”, not even time to tell any person that he was sorry for any wrong he had done them.

But time, that day, that was his last TODAY on this earth, and his first TODAY in glory with Jesus Christ!

We are all given ONE life, and we have ONE day, yesterday is gone, gone forever and ever and will never, ever come again, and tomorrow is NOT guaranteed,

James 4:13-14: ” Go to now (come, listen) ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain (make money) WHEREAS (because) YE KNOW NOT WHAT SHALL BE ON THE MORROW (you do not know what tomorrow holds); for WHAT IS YOUR LIFE? IT IS EVEN A VAPOUR, THAT APPEARETH FOR A LITTLE TIME, AND THEN VANISHETH AWAY. FOR THAT (for this reason) YE OUGHT TO SAY, IF THE LORD WILL, WE SHALL LIVE, AND DO THIS, OR THAT.”

So you have TODAY, TODAY is YOUR responsibility and TODAY we have the responsibility to DAILY exhort those who may not have to tomorrow, that they should consider TO DAY, so for any who “lost” the invitation, that they failed to open, consider this:

Isaiah 55:6-7: ” Seek ye the Lord WHILE he may be found, CALL ye upon him WHILE he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and LET HIM RETURN unto the Lord, and HE WILL HAVE MERCY UPON HIM; AND TO OUR GOD, FOR HE WILL ABUNDANTLY PARDON.”

Simply put, SEEK God, give up your ways that are leading to destruction, return to God and He will take care of the rest!  2 Corinthians 6:2: “( For he saith, I HAVE HEARD THEE IN A TIME ACCEPTED AND IN THE DAY OF SALVATION HAVE I SUCCOURED (helped) THEE:  behold (pay very close attention) NOW IS THE ACCEPTED TIME; BEHOLD, NOW IS THE DAY OF SALVATION.) 

So as you see, above there is a completely blank calendar, you did not know your beginning, you certainly do not know your ending, but YOU do know your TODAY, and Lamentations 3:22,23 : “ IT IS of the LORD’S MERCIES THAT WE ARE NOT CONSUMED, BECAUSE HIS COMPASSIONS FAIL NOT it is only because of  his mercy that we have not been destroyed). They (His mercy) ARE NEW EVERY MORNING, great is thy faithfulness.”

Chose, chose today and let that calendar represent a new life, a new hope, and a new future eternal, count every day, and count every day as the precious opportunity a gift that it is.  Help us understand the full POWER of TODAY.

Psalm 90:12: “So teach us to NUMBER our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”

Hope you have a blessed today, tomorrow, and always! Love & Peace

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

TWO TURTLEDOVES

“And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so commanded of the angel BEFORE HE WAS CONCEIVED IN THE WOMB. and when the eight days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; (As it is written in the law of the Lord, EVERY MALE THAT OPENETH THE WOMB SHALL BE HOLY UNTO THE LORD;) And to OFFER a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A PAIR OF TURTLEDOVES OR TWO YOUNG PIGEONS.” Luke 2:21-24

 The book of Leviticus, chapter 12 deals with the laws after childbirth and the required offering of a lamb, but verse 8 says this: ” And if she NOT be able to bring a lamb, the she shall bring two turtles (doves), or two young pigeons; the one for a burnt offering, the other for a sin offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for her, and she shall be clean.”

I always love to point out the fact that the offerings and giving of the first fruits helped support the priests, whose job WAS to care for the temple and the things of God, they and their families depended solely upon God for everything. But many things are twisted by the money preachers of today and Apostle Paul actually WORKED to earn his living. This pressure is felt stronger during the Holiday season than any time of the year. We are bombarded with commercials telling us what our loved ones simply must have to have and if we are short on cash, we can always charge it, of course with a nice healthy interest rate given to those who offer this little extra holiday cheer.

A hard battle to fight. Jesus who left all of heaven, left his throne surrounded by his host of heavenly followers, the angels who came to the shepherds that fateful, divine night surrounded by the glow of heaven itself still could not resist proclaiming his glory for all the world to hear. He chose parents who were poor, who were unable to offer a lamb on his behalf  because he would be THE LAMB.

The two turtle-dove would be as HIS atonement and as HIS being offered as a sacrifice for OUR sins. The dove forever being symbolic of peace and the presence of the Holy spirit and in the humbleness of the meekest of offerings, the King of the absolute universe whose kingdom will be paved with streets of pure gold, gates of precious pearl, walls of jasper and stones of unfathomable worth and again the meekest offering of the poorest of the poor. Not much to do with super centers and gift wrap there, is there?

Don’t let your joy this season be measured by an invisible force of marketing, don’t stress about the perfect gifts, meager budget, planning the perfect party. The Bible commands us to not despise the times of small things and the smallest gift of all, a tiny newborn baby WAS and IS the ONLY PERFECT GIFT!

Original post: 12/2015

Φλογιζω NBJ/ Reverend Nina Brown Johnson 12/14/2019