PRAYERS

Welcome to this site. My prayer is that you take a look at the site and as you do, let the Holy Spirit speak to your heart and reveal what God wants you to discover. (in Jesus' name)

God tells us that if we see a brother (or sister) in need we should do that which is within our means to help. Prayer is always within our means but we never know what doors Father may open through them. Should you desire prayer for anything (healing, direction, etc.) or if you want supportive prayer along with your own please feel free to e-mail that request to sharbu3@gmail.com and be assured that there are others who will be praying with or for you.


In this blog, I share what the Lord shares with me. I reference scripture a lot in support of what is being said. I realize that what is in each entry is NOT a complete 'word' on what is being said, but is rather enough information to stimulate our spirits to dig deeper (remember the Bereans Acts 17:10-11) thereby gaining a fuller understanding for ourselves.

At the end of each post are the options to share, forward or make a comment. Click 'comment' to respond. Let us know if you like, don't like or are helped by what you read. Comments can be made or read by anyone. All you have to do is select the "comment" at he end of the entry.

Saturday, May 4, 2024

 

5-4-2024    Let’s talk Jesus

                        

Jesus!  Is He just a myth?  The Son of God? Father (Himself) come into this world?

Mythicists variously argue that the accounts of Jesus are completely or mostly of a mythical nature, questioning the mainstream paradigm of a historical Jesus in the beginning of the 1st century who was subsequently deified. Most mythicists note that Christianity developed within Hellenistic Judaism, which was influenced by Hellenism, and that early Christianity and the accounts of Jesus are to be understood in this context. Yet, where contemporary New Testament scholarship has introduced several criteria to evaluate the historicity of New Testament passages and sayings, most Christ myth proponents have relied on comparisons of Christian mythemes with contemporary religious traditions, emphasizing the mythological nature of the Bible accounts.

The most radical mythicists hold, in terms given by Price, the "Jesus atheism" viewpoint, that is, there never was a historical Jesus, only a mythological character, and the mytheme of his incarnation, death, and exaltation. They hold that this character developed out of a syncretistic fusion of Jewish, Hellenistic and Middle Eastern religious thought; was put forward by Paul; and historicised in the gospels, which are also syncretistic. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ_myth_theory).  A lot of big word are used by those who think they are smart.  Syncretism is a combination of various beliefs or practices.  It also is the fusion of two or more ‘curved’ or changed forms (Webster’s).  

Mainstream scholarship asserts that there was a historical Jesus.  However scholars differ about the accuracy of the biblical accounts about Jesus, with only two events supported by nearly-universal scholarly consensus: Jesus' baptism, and his crucifixion.  The mainstream scholarly view is that the Pauline epistles and the gospels describe the "Christ of faith", presenting a religious narrative which replaced the historical Jesus who did live in 1st-century Roman Judea.  Martin Kähler made the famous distinction between the "Jesus of history" and the "Christ of faith", arguing that faith is more important than exact historical knowledge.  According to Ehrman, Jesus was a first-century Judean Jew, who was not like the Jesus preached and proclaimed today, and that the most widely held view by critical scholars is that Jesus was an apocalyptic prophet who was subsequently deified. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ_myth_theory).

So, in the world, there is argument whether Jesus existed or not or even if He were a real person or not.

We are people of faith.  It is impossible to please God without faith for we must believe that He is and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him (Heb. 11:6).  So, if we don’t believe Jesus truly existed, do we truly believe that God even exists?  Those who believe God doesn’t exist will never accept Him because He needs to be accepted by faith.  When a heart is truly hardened against God, one might be considered to be a reprobate – one who considers God is unworthy of his attention.  A reprobate would be one who casts away, condemns, despises, refuses, rejects, etc., as in the Hebrew word maac (H3988) or unapproved, rejected or cast away as described in the Greek word adokimos (G96).  In short, a true reprobate has no relationship with God, nor does he want one. God will oblige him (Rom. 1:21-26).

  

 

When we don’t believe God is, how can we accept the reality of Jesus?  Likewise, when we don’t seek God, how can we then seek Jesus, if neither really exist?

 Recently, we’ve talked about what are some important things that are relative for us to accept God and His love.  We also talked about tools Father provides us to help us grow in that love.

Okay.  So now, let’s talk about the personification of Father’s love – Jesus!

In the King James bible, John chapter one, verse one says “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God”.  The New World translation cites John 1:1 the same way except for those last several words – “… the word was a god”.  The gospel of John goes on to explain that the word was a light to man and that light was made flesh and was the only ‘begotten’ son of the Father (John 1:1-16).  Father foretold of Jesus (Psalm 2:6-9).  Take note that the word begotten (yalad, H3205) does relate just to child bearing but also has the connotation of ‘bearing the lineage’, to carry the banner.  Speaking of Jesus, “At any time, to which of My angels did I (Father) say ‘you are My Son, this day I have begotten You.  I will be a Father to him and He a Son to Me’.  When He brings the first begotten into the world, let all the angels worship Him (Heb. 1:5-6).  Jesus is the first of all Christianity. Those who serve Father not just in what they do but in what they think and know in their heart.

Worship Him?  Didn’t Father say “You shall have no other Gods before Me?  No graven images?  Do not bow down to nor serve them (Exod. 20:4-5)?  Father emphasizes this to Israel when He tells them ‘You shall worship no other gods before Me for the Lord is a jealous God’ (Exod 34:14.  Yet, Father says His angels shall bow down before Jesus.  Didn’t Mary (Martha’s sister) anoint Jesus’ feet and wipe them with the hairs of her head (John 12:1-3)?  Isn’t this worship?  What about the men on the boat when Jesus walked on the sea and invited Peter to join Hm.  The men on the boat did what?  They worshipped Jesus (Matt:14:25-33)!  Even the wise men came to Jesus and worshipped Him, when He was yet a child (Matt. 2:1-11).   Are we drawing a connection here?  Worship – God, worship - Jesus!

Prophecy & reality of Jesus’ birth  

A child is born, the government shall be upon his shoulder.  His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace … (Isaiah 9:6).  Genesis speaks of the dominion of Jesus when  Eve was tricked by the serpent, God would put enmity between his seed (the devil) and her seed (Gen. 3:15).  That is to say those who follow Satan and those who follow God would definitely be at odds.  Isaiah says that the Lord shall give a sign as a virgin shall bear a son and His name shall be called Emmanuel (Isa. 7:14-16).  Micah says a ruler shall come out of Bethlehem … (Mic. 5:2) referencing the ‘Chosen One’ (Jesus). 

Of course we have the angel telling Joseph that the child which Mary is carrying shall be called Jesus (Savior), as well as Emmanuel (God is with us) (Matt. 1:20-23).  Let’s pause here for a moment.  The Greek word for Jesus is Iesous (G2424) and is derived from the Hebrew word Yehowhua (H3091) which means ‘Jehovah saved’.  Wow!  Luke also gives us the prophecy and fulfillment of Jesus’ birth (Luke 1:26-38, 2:1-19).  And, of course, Jesus’ birth in the stable, there was no room at the inn (Matt. 1:25, 2:1-11, Luke 2:1-20).  

Prophecy and reality of Jesus’ death

Isaiah explains why Jesus had to travel the road to the cross (Isa. 53:1-12).  Psalm 22:11-18 and describes Jesus on the cross. Jesus did die on the cross (Matt. 27:48-50, Mark 15:33-37, Luke 23:32-46) and what happened at that moment (Matt. 27:51-53,)?  The veil to the Holy of Holies was torn in two and the dead were seen in Jerusalem.  Just what did that torn veil do?  It gave all believers direct access to the Father through Jesus Christ our Lord!

The resurrection

But, praise God, Jesus did not stay ‘dead’!  After the Sabbath, the tomb was found empty and Jesus visited with His disciples for forty days before ascending back unto the Father (Matt. 28:1-17, Mark 16:9-14, Luke 24:1-49, John chptrs. 20 & 21, Acts 1:3).  And, of course the ascension (Mark 16:19, Luke 24:50-51, Acts 1:9-11).  The disciples watched as Jesus was taken up by a cloud (nephele – G3507)

The unity of Father & Son

Moses asked God “whom shall I say sent me?  Father says I Am that I Am, tell them I AM has sent you (Exod. 3:13-14).  The Lord, our redeemer, says I AM, the Lord who has made all things, controls the elements of the world, confirms the word of His servant, etc. (Isa. 44:24-27).  Father also declares that He is the First and the Last (Isa. 44:6).

The Jews commented that Jesus not yet 50 years old.  ‘Are you older than Abraham’?  Jesus replies before ‘Abraham was I AM’ (John 8:53-58) and  and Jesus declared ‘I AM Alpha and Omega’ (Rev. 1:11), the First and the Last (Rev. 22:13). Both Father and Son declare to be ‘IAM’.  David declares the lord Jehovah to strength and salvation (Isa. 12:2, Psalm 18:1-2).  Paul declares Jesus our Savior (Rom.3:23-25, Phil. 3:20). 

The Godhead

Three NT verses describe the ‘Godhead’.  The Godhead is not an idol made of precious stone (Acts 17:29).  We can understand things God does because of His eternal power and Godhead (Rom. 1:20).  The fullness of the Godhead dwells in Jesus so we are complete in Him … (Col. 2:6-10).  So just what is the Godhead?  Like a bright flashing light (theion -G2303), godlike (therios -G2304), theiotese (G2305 – divinity) and/or godlike (theotes – G2320).  In other words, all powerful (bring your sunglasses)!

Jesus declares that He and the Father are one (John 10:30).  As Jesus prays for us, He declares that we be one with Him as He is with Father, abiding in Their love (John 17:1-26). 

Ministry

What can we say about the ministry of Jesus?  He turned water into wine (John 2:1), healed the leper (Mat. 8:1), healed various diseases (Matt. 4:23), the lame (Mark 2:1), the blind (Matt. 9:27), the deaf (Mark 7:31), He fed people (Mark 8:1), raised the dead (John 11:38), and cast out devils (Mark 5:1-13).  And that is just some of what He did .   

There is no greater love than a man lay down His life for his friends (John 15:13).  There is no is greater example of this than Jesus’ life death and resurrection.  Agree?

Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father but by Me (John 14:6). Peter, speaking to the Jews reminds them that there is no other name, under heaven, given to man through other there is salvation except Jesus (Acts 4:12).

The promise

So father gives us the promise of salvation when He tells Eve that her seed shall crush the enemy’s head (Gen. 3:15).  We have the ‘human’ lineage of Jesus, from Jesus through Adam and who does Luke claim Adam to be the son of (Luke 3:23-38)?  Jesus IS the Son of man AND the son of God ().  This is how He draws the first covenant (the Law) into the second covenant (grace).  “I have come not to destroy the Law nor the prophets, but to fulfill them (Matt.5:17). 

As Christians, we accept what we know about Father and Son by faith.  As we said, without faith it is impossible to please God.

In the opening of this entry, we mentioned some ‘human’ arguments against Jesus being who He is.  Yet, we have to remember that God’s foolishness is wiser than any man’s (wisdom) and His weakness is greater than any strong man’ strength. Father has chosen the foolish things of this world to confuse ’smart’ men and the ‘weak’ things of this world to amaze those who consider themselves strong.  The things that this world hates, God likes.  Just as God said that Eve’s seed would be at odds against Satan’s seed.  The kingdom’s of this world will not be in agreement with the kingdom of God. Things that seem impossible, God brings into being (Jesus walked on water – Matt. 14:25-32).  Jesus said that when we truly believe, we can move mountains – spiritual or physical (Mark 11:22-26).  The key here is to believe Father, don’t ask for the wrong reason, don’t doubt that God will provide and believe that we shall receive that Father has for us (Mark 11:23, James 4:3).  

From a personal point.  We can’t survive on just what ‘man’ says.  Father has shown me how many times He has blessed me, even when I didn’t realize it at the time.  He keeps showing me the truth of the written Word (the bible).  He shows me the reality of His Word through my practical experiences in life, the bible (itself) and my personal time with the Lord.  They all line up together.  That is the three come into agreement.  One has to ‘live it’ to truly understand this.  I find myself quoting Job a lot lately.  Job says that he has heard all about the Lord (from other men) but now he has seen Him with own eye (Job 42:4).  That is, Job came to know who God really is.

There’s so much more we can say about Jesus, but this should get the clockworks ticking in our brains.  What do you think?

Amen

 

Saturday, April 20, 2024

 

4-20-2024 Building on the foundation

  

Don’t be conformed  to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you might  prove that which is good, acceptable and perfect – the will of God (Rom. 12:2)

 Last time we talked about having the proper foundation laid out for our lives.  In other words, what is critical to our faith in Jesus Christ?  As we proclaim our Christianity, we learned that God is love.  God is Spirit – how can flesh and bone live in nothingness?  We must worship God in Spirit and in truth – and in love.  Then, as our love grows in Christ Jesus we express that love towards those we encounter by doing what is best for them in our relationship and help them to be all that they can be in Christ Jesus.

Okay. So just how do we build our love?

We profess to be Christians – followers of Jesus Christ.  So our first step in expressing our love was to ask Jesus into our heart: Jesus, I’ve come to realize that I have violated some (if not all) of Father’s rules of life, that is how to love as You have loved me.  Violation of God’s law of love is sin.  I have confessed that I am a sinner and lay my sins before You.  Forgive me.  let Your Holy Ghost abide in my heart and guide me and help me to be obedient to Your leading.  Thank you Father for forgiving me my sins and give me the strength to abide in Your love.

Again, so just how do we abide in God’s love?

Our foundation has been laid so our first task is to learn what God’s love involves and how to apply what we learn into our own lives.

We have many teachers who put into our lives so we want to make sure all our teachers are tuned in, that is that they (themselves) are connected with Father.  So who, or what, are our teachers? 

Our first step is to look at the world around us. Father does speak to us through nature and the natural elements which He has put into this world.  How many of us are truly aware of the natural beauty that surrounds us?  Even so, we need to begin reading the bible.  There’s nothing more tangible than the written word!  The bible is God’s love letter to us.  It shows us the many aspects of God’s love – how He protects us, nurtures, us, gives us food and clothing, comforts us, walks with us, talks with us and even corrects us so we can stay on the right track.  (Hint, hint).  If one really wants to know God’s love – gotta know the bible. 

The bible does give us a written synopsis of God’s love.  When we accept Jesus into our hearts and lives, we know that Jesus loves us but it is very unlikely we understand the depth and breadth of that love.

So, as we read the bible, we will come across things that we don’t quite comprehend or understand.  So we have our pastors, brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, bible/Sunday School teachers and the like.  We have access to multi-media sources, books and publications.  When properly applied, all these help us to understand God’s love, but when we are young, in the Lord, we need to be careful.  We believe the bible to be “God inspired”, that is those who wrote the words into the book were inspired by God to write what they wrote and that includes all the translators, over the centuries.  And, yes, we have to know God’s love so we can weigh what we are taking in to understand and know whether or not it agrees with that love.  That’s why we did “Building a foundation” on 4/6/24.  But, we really don’t know the depth and breadth of God’s love until we learn about.  The more we learn about it, the deeper our love becomes and the deeper our love becomes, the more we want to learn.  It is a continuing cycle. 

Yes, there are many versions of the bible out there.  Some may be a paraphrase, that is a summary, of what the bible says.  Some are translated into language with which we are more familiar (modern day English).  And some may include explanation to help us understand the passage we are reading.  But we have to start reading somewhere.  We may pick up a bible and discover that it may not fulfill our spiritual hunger – something just seems to be lacking.  So ask Father which bible should “I” be reading.   One may start with one bible, then move onto another version to gain better fulfillment.  If you listen, Father will let you know.  The history of bibles is another whole discussion, but not today.

The bible is great – and necessary, but we have to communicate with Father ourselves – one on one, mano e mano, face to face.  I love it in Job where Job says “I knew all about you, but now I’ve seen You face to face” (Job 42:5). Job came to truly know who God is!  Our prayer life is our communication with Father.  Whether we realize it or not, it is our first connection with Him.  It is our initial and foremost indication that we are growing in God’s love.  It is through our heart (prayer) God confirms that we are functioning in His love and are on the right track.  As we said, He also confirms in our heart where and when the world around is consistent with His love.

In prayer, we give Him the praise for who He is as we recognize all that He does for us – praise and thanksgiving are important in our relationship.  We set our petitions before Him – what I need, like to have or even how do I resolve this particular situation.  Or (WHOA!) even just thanking Him for all that He has done for us.  We can even share our feelings or just our thoughts with Him - in prayer. 

As we expect results, our prayer should be spoken.  Father spoke words and created all things (Gen. 1:1-31).  We don’t necessarily have to ‘shout’ it out.  Samuel’s mom, Hannah, quietly spoke her prayer to God for a son.  She prayed in her heart, only her lips moved.  Eli saw her and thought she was drunk [crazy woman] (1 Sam. 1:9-13).  We need to pray (talk) with Father, BUT we also, then have to listen to see what Father has to say to us.  How can we follow His direction and learn if we don’t recognize His voice?  We recognize His voice because we are continuing to grow in His love.  Jesus says that His sheep know His voice and He knows us (John 10:25-29). PTL!

The prophet Samuel, as a young boy, had to learn to hear God’s voice.  Three times, as he lay upon his bed, he thought he heard his mentor Eli call him.  Three times Eli sent him back to bed – he had hadn’t called Him.  But, Eli finally got the message and told Samuel if he hears the voice again say “Speak Lord, for your servant hears” (1Sam. 3:1-10).  The fourth time God spoke to Samuel, the young boy did as he was told and began a wonderful relationship with Father. 

A friend and neighbor of mine, years ago, said “I don’t get it.  I don’t hear God like you say do but every time I have a problem and I go to Him with that problem, I don’t hear anything.  Then I get this crazy urge to get my bible out.  I do and find myself discovering a passage and guess what?  There’s the answer I needed!  Of course, we also have our brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus as well as various counsellors who also can help us.  And yes, we do have to be careful as to inputs into our lives.  What or who must be connected with Father through Jesus.

We said, the last time, God’s love is agape love, that is all giving, all caring, all edifying and all personal – as we share our lives with Him. 

Applying that love is the easiest or the hardest part to do.  How quickly do we yield to Him or how hard do we resist what He says?  As we grow in Christ Jesus, so grows our understanding of the depth and breadth of the love Father has for us.  We don’t get the full package the day we say “Save me Jesus.”  The depth and breadth of Father’s love is so vast, it takes a lifetime to grasp the whole of His love for us. 

If we are quick learners, we can get a big chunk of love early in our walk.  However, if one is slow like myself, it may be the day of rapture or until Father calls us home (natural death) before we fully comprehend God’s great love.  Even if then, but when we are with Him in eternity, we will surely know.  In the meantime, I’ll take all the love He gives me. 

Applying?  Just how bold are we to take a chance and apply what Father shows us?  It’s great that we believe and trust God in His love.  Jesus challenged the Jews that if they didn’t believe Him, at least believe the works which He did (John 10:38).  God created all that exists through His works (Gen 1:1-31), Jesus did many good works and miracles during His ministry.  So we may conclude that faith without works is dead (meaningless).  We show our trust in Father, our faith, by doing the works He gives us to do in this world (James 2:14-20). And Jesus reminds us that as we believe in Him, we can do the same works He did.  Just ask (John 14:1-14).  Our works will be tried by fire.  When good, we receive a reward, when bad, loss is suffered yet the man himself will be saved (1 Corinth. 3:11-15).

Saul (the apostle Paul) was a Christian’s biggest nightmare in his early days (Acts 9:1-2).  Paul was a Pharisee.  Pharisees were members of the sect that believed in resurrection and in following legal traditions that were ascribed, not necessarily by the Bible, but through “the traditions of the fathers.” Like the scribes, they were also well-known legal experts (Britannica.com) in the bible.  Paul declared himself a Pharisee among Pharisees (Acts 23:6).  In other words, Paul was a Pharisee ‘to the bone’, lock, stock and barrel, completely.  But look what happened to him through the love of Jesus.  Not only did Paul ‘get saved’ but immediately, he went out and preached Jesus (Acts 9:17-20).  A 180 degree turn around. Paul already had the knowledge from the scriptures.  Jesus converted his heart!  Now, He understood them.  If you will, the love of God took over Paul’s heart and life.  Paul was a quick learner, he also had a strong foundation in the Torah (the Law), prophets and Psalm and he put his faith to work immediately.  But, how many are like me?  It may take us a little longer to get the ball rolling, but in the end, as with Paul, let our results glorify Father!

I’ve shared with you that we need to receive God’s love, abide in that love and grow in that love.  Of course, we start with Jesus, add prayer, reading and learning the bible, seeking additional help through nature around us, the people Father puts into our lives and then by doing what Father has shown us.  We show our love, trust and obedience to Father by doing ‘works’ to further His kingdom.  And through those works is how we express our love to those around us.

I’ve shared some tools to help identify resources available to help us grow in Father’s love.

My prayer is that we all take advantage of what Father has set before us.

Amen


Saturday, April 6, 2024

4-6-2024    Building a Foundation

For the past several years now, I have been following and (occasionally) posting responses to posts by Henryp Jonson.  I’m still confused if the ‘p’ is actually part of his first name or his middle initial (oh well).  Henryp is a pastor in the Philippines.  I started following him as he was posting photos of the building of his church.  And I do mean – literally – building his church.  He laid the physical foundation for the building, brought in the timbers for the framework, walls, etc.  He and his congregation built the church from the ground up.  Since then, also on Facebook, he has shown the activities and growth of his fellowship.  He’s even brought in special speakers to help his fellowship grow.  Now I didn’t come in as Henryp was building his ‘flock’, but it was indeed, the church members who built the church.

I mention Henryp because before any church can succeed, it has to have a foundation in, of and for the people.  The actual church consists of the body of people who are in attendance but, it is also nice to have a place where we can come and gather together, living in and sharing what Father has done for us – in person.  There’s just something special about being, in unity, with other Christians.     

But first, let’s consider erecting a building.  Any builder knows that before a house can be constructed, it needs a solid foundation.  Before construction can even start, the ground must be settled, solid as a rock, so the building won’t sink into the ground and collapse (Matt. 7:24-27).  He assures that his building surface is level and can support the building he intends to erect.  As example, growing up, my mom decided to covert our front porch into an extension of our living room.  It looked great, inside and out.  But after several years, the ground upon which the extension was situated, began to settle.  It was livable but a crack emerged where the new edition connected to the original.  By the grace of God, it wasn’t a separation of the two sections, yet it was noticeable what had happened.  The house I’m living in now has no such problems, but the house is not level.  Shortly after I moved in, I noticed that if I placed a round 0bject on the floor at one end of my living room, all by itself, the object would start rolling towards the other side of the room until it hit something to stop it.  The foundation may have been sure but it certainly was not level.  When something is placed on the floor, that something should stay put.

Once the cornerstone is laid and the foundation is ‘squared away’, the building can be erected safely and effectively.  That is the house will be square and level, side to side, top to bottom and the floor will be level to gravity.

Now let’s look at how to build a spiritual foundation.  There are many bodies (churches) within the body of Christ so there are many different places where the body gathers.  According to the National Congregational Study Survey, there are an estimated 380,000 churches in the U.S.  There are more than 45,000 Christian denominations globally and more than 200 denominations in the U.S., according to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity. Most of the denominations came to be after the Protestant Reformation in 1517.  Again, there are over 200 denominations in the U.S.,  which includes, Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, other ‘main stream’ (traditional) churches, Pentecostal, Full Gospel, Apostolic plus assorted variations and ‘Independent’ fellowships. 

Not all denominations and/or congregations believe exactly the same so foundation becomes very important.  No, we’re not going to discuss the differences between the 200 denominations, much less the 380,000 congregations (churches) in the U.S.  But consider, on an average, there are 7600 churches in each state of various denominations or non-affiliated churches.  As of June 2023 and according to http://statista.com/statics/, 31% of Americans claim to never attend a church while only 20% claim weekly attendance. That leaves about half our nation somewhere in between.  How many churches exist in your town or city?  According to https://www.churchfinder.com/, there are 97 churches in my hometown which has a population of 43,700+.  That means, on average in my town, 91 people attend a church service on a weekly basis.  Yes, some churches are larger and some smaller so this doesn’t mean every church in my town has ninety members.  Getting the picture?

The body of Christ should be in unity.   

So, with so many ‘fellowships’ in the nation or even locally, basic foundation becomes very important.  And that’s what we’re going to talk about – what foundation really is important to us? 

As Christians, we believe that God is (period), end of discussion.  If this isn’t true, then what do we believe in?  The Big Bang?  Evolution?  What do we expect after this life is over.  Anything? 

In the beginning God!  God created the heaven and the earth (Gen. 1:1). 

There was nothing before Him (Isa. 43:10-11) and He has created all things (Gen. 1:1).

God is Spirit so we worship Him in Spirit and in truth (John 4:24).  That is our spirit must connect with His and it does through the Holy Ghost (1 Corinth. 2:13-16). 

And God is love and we know this as His Spirit (the Holy Ghost) abides in us (1 John 4:6-13).  Now, love in 1 John is the Greek word agapao (G25), to love in a social or moral sense.  Which would include agape (G260) which is benevolent affection,  to hold dear, or charity.  God explains to Jeremiah that His love is everlasting (Jer. 31:3).  Here, the Hebrew word used is ahba (H160) which is love between friends, within the family, loyalty to and could include romantic.  Nonetheless, God is love!

We also know that God sent His only begotten Son into this world to redeem us back unto Himself because we departed from Him through disobedience (John 3:16, Gen. 3:1-24).

There is no greater love than a man lay down his life for his friend (John 15:13).  Agape is used in this passage.  ‘Lay’, in laying one’s life down, is the Greek word tithemi (G5087) which is effectively taking the place of.  Through Jesus, God took our place on the cross (1 Peter 2:21-25).  And yes, literally over the centuries, many Christians have (literally) died for their faith, but there is another connotation here.  Jesus tells us we must deny (die to) ourselves (Luke 9:23-26).  That is to reject the ways of the world and abide (live in/for) the love of Jesus. 

So, what do we mean by abiding in His love?

Throughout the whole bible, Father explains His love towards us AND how we can return our love to Him.  Practically speaking we show our love towards Father by seeking His will (Matt. 6:33), then applying His will into our lives (James 2:14-26).  We believe.  Praise the Lord!  But Father also wants us to show what we believe by ‘loving’ others.  Doing something good for someone else.

We’ll mention the ten commandments here: love the Lord above else, no statues, don’t use God’s name flippantly (loosely), honor the Sabbath, give mom and dad their due respect and, of course, don’t kill, steal, commit adultery, lie or desire that which belongs to our neighbor (Exod. 20:3-17).  Go back and read all of James 2 and draw a deeper connection.  Jesus summed up love in a single statement which has two parts: Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and then love your neighbor as yourself  (Mark 12:28-31, Matt. 22:36-40).  Surpsrise!  Even the Jews knew this (Luke 10:25-27).

Jesus gives us many examples on how to love our neighbor.  The man who had been beaten and robbed and another man (a Samaritan) took the wounded man to an inn, paid for the room and told the innkeeper that, upon his return, he would cover any additional costs (Luke 10:30-37).  Peter and John, at the beautiful Gate at the temple, had no money to give the lame man, so they offered him what they had – “stand up and walk”, and the man did (Acts 3:1-8).  Paul tells Timothy to flee evil things but follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, patience, meekness, don’t ever give up but cling to our eternal promise.  Be willing to share your faith and be accountable to God (1 Tim. 6:11-14).  Some doable suggestions.  We all don’t have to literally ‘die for Jesus’, but in turning away from worldly things and living for Jesus is death to the ‘old man’ and life to the new man in Christ Jesus (Col. 3:1-4, 2 Corinth. 5:14-21).  Keep in mind that we don't do 'works' to get saved.  We do them because we are saved.  Let the new man live in us through the Holy Ghost,

Helping other people helps them to become all that they can be.  Paul tells us that everything we do should be done to edify the body (Eph. 4:15-16 ).  He also tells us to excel in edifying the church (1 Corinth. 14:12, 14:26, read all verses 1-40).

We can go on and on with examples, but I pray that we are getting the picture. 

The Holy Ghost will comfort us because He dwells within us (John 14:16-17). He will lead us into all truth (John 16:13-14) and understanding (1 Corinth. 2:5-16).  He is our teacher (John 14:26). He is our strength to live this life (Eph. 3:16).  He gives us authority (G1849 exousia)  over sickness, disease and over the power (G1411 dynamis) of devils (Matt. 10:1, Luke 9:1).  He will l protect us (Rom. 8:26-28).  To receive the full benefit of the Holy Ghost working in us and through us, we have to give Him free reign in our lives, that is don’t quench the Spirit (1 Thess. 5:19).And Father gives us that direct connection with Him through the Holy Ghost.  He edifies me and yet has His a place in the church (1 Corinth. 14:1-19).

 Our foundation is built on more than just the belief that Jesus has saved us.  We do have an obligation on our part.  And we do have help to accomplish our tasks - the Holy Ghost - and our brothers in Christ.

So what is our foundation built upon? It should be to love our heavenly Father with every ounce of energy we have and then showing that love that through our actions.  We should help others in need.  We should endeavor to help others to be all that they can be.   And knowing the Holy Ghost is in us and will guide us, teach us and protect us and be our strength to accomplish all that Father has laid before us.

We can go into greater detail, but I pray this is enough to get the ball rolling, if it isn’t already on the move in our lives.  

Once the foundation is laid, we have the hope and promise that Jesus will be with us always (Matt. 28:20).  He will help us to become all we can be.

So again, I ask “Upon what is our foundation built?

Amen

 

Saturday, March 23, 2024

3-24-2024 Spring into New Changes

                            

It’s spring and Father is bringing changes, not just for this month, not just for this year but for the next several years as He delves deeper into this season of Spiritual Explosion.

Let’s look at our own lives.  How much have “I” grown over the past year?  I don’t mean in getting more words from the bible into our mind (memorizing), but how much more has the bible been ‘becoming alive’ for ‘me’?  Seeing scriptures in a new light.  A deeper light.  A deeper understanding of what Father has truly been saying?

Father has been using our pastor (Loretta) over the past few years honing our Spiritual ears, eyes and heart for this ‘season’ in which we are now. 

Think!  Father has been growing our heart and our Spiritual thinking as He prepares us for what is now quickly approaching for some, for others even now is and for others yet to come.  How many of us actually know what gifts are Father has given us within which we can successfully operate?  Has one of those gifts been reaching out, slapping us in the face (so to speak) to get our attention?

Understand, the gift(s) Father has given us is to equip us to do the work for which He is calling us.  As we understand our gifts (talents, and abilities), we should be asking ourselves ‘Why has God equipped me like this?”  If we haven’t been asking, we should be. 

Father has equipped us so we can fulfill the ‘calling’ He has placed upon us.  That is edifying and the growth of the church, His body, as a whole (Eph. 4:11-15).  Just as there are many parts of the body, there are many tasks within that body which need fulfilling.  And the body of Chris is located (physically) in more than one place.

So, just what are our gifts, talents and/or abilities?

Gifts

Every man receives the gift to minister one to another as good stewards of the manifold graces of God.  Let him minister with the ability God has given him that everything might be glorified through Jesus Christ … (1 Peter 4:10-11).  The Greek word used for gift in 1Peter is charisma (G5486), which is to be delivered from danger, an endowment (spiritual), a qualification (religious) or something miraculous (being able to do something unique).  We consider charisma to be something as that which sets us apart from the crowd.  We usually associate charisma with ‘that magnetic personality’ which draws us to an actor, singer or some other person, famous or not.  If you will, charisma is what makes ‘us‘ special. 

            Talents

A talent is a natural endowment or a special creative or artistic aptitude.   A talent is something which we can do very well.  It separates us from others.  We generally think of singing, acting, painting, managing a business or even wiggling one’s ears as a talent.  It is an ‘inborn’, natural way through which we are able to do something.  And it is God-given.  We can grow our talent, honing it to a finer ‘tune’, but it is something, still, which we are born with.

            Abilities

This is having the competence to be able to ‘do’ something.  That is having an aptitude or proficiency in doing something (whatever) reasonably well.  I know how to make things out of wood but when my son makes things out of wood (shelving, cabinet, whatever), his creation looks pretty good.  When I do it, it looks like a bunch of wood nailed together.  It may serve its purpose, but my ‘grass hut’ is nothing compared to my son’s ‘Buckingham palace’.  Get the drift?    

Calling

And, then, there is a calling.  That is, having a strong inner impulse towards a certain vocation, profession, etc. which can be (or should be) influenced by ‘divine intervention (God).  For us, it would be that to which Father has been (or is) calling ‘us’ (me)?  It is that ‘something’ that we are fascinated with or seem to be always drawn to, or continually drawn back to.   

How do I know what God is calling me to do?

Gifts are given without repentance (Rom. 11:29), that is whether we know Jesus or not, but knowing him sure helps.  These are the things which we may not have any ‘special’ training for but we seem to have that ‘natural’ knack for doing.   What are the things we ‘enjoy’ doing, or even, perhaps, would like to try (with or without proficiency)?  This is not just our inner desires (not that tutti fruiti ice cream cone), but this something we just can’t seem to shake and it will require some ‘real’ work (ability & talent) so we can implement it into our own lives.

            What’s in a name?

Most of us assume mom and dad just picked our names ‘out of the blue’ or perhaps we are carrying on the tradition of being named after a relative (dad, mom, grandpa, grandma, uncle, aunt, etc.).  But, in fact it is our heavenly Father who has influenced our parent’s choices (believe it or not).  He says “Before I formed you in the belly (your mother’s womb), I knew you. Before you were born, I sanctified you … (Jer. 1:5).  Father does have specific intentions (or plans) for each one of us.  Father says “I know the thoughts I think towards you …” (Jer. 29:11).  In case you missed it, Father’s knows us before we are conceived. He gives us gifts, talents and/or abilities before we are born. All designed for us because He has intents for each one of us!  A plan!  A task! 

Using myself as an example:

            What’s in a name

William Carter (Buck) Ledford (Buck is a nickname)

 William                Helmet, a desire to protect

Carter                   Transporter of materials

Ledford                                Noisy stream crossing

Buck                      Stag, male deer (spirited young man)

To get a deeper understanding, I looked up the root words for each name and checked its ethnic origins.  Sometimes, the name may have multiple implications, if so, ask Father which one fits best.  Which one is really me?  Ask and receive, He will tell us (John 14:13-14).  Sometimes names have both a positive and a negative indication.  As we grow we have a choice as to which indication we follow.

                What about birthdays?

Now, have you ever wondered why some babies are born close to their ‘due dates’ , while some are born ‘early’ (according to due date) and others come later?  I was born (I’ve been told) about a month before my due date (sorry, I can’t remember that far back), nonetheless making me a December baby.  My son was born about a month late, not quite making it into December but becoming a November baby.  Think about it.  I was born on 12/3, my youngest grandson on 12/4, my son on 11/29, my middle grandson on 11/27 and my eldest grandson wanted to be different so he arrived on 2/9.  The dates do have meaning and there are Christian based charts which can help us.

As with our name, our birthdays also play a role in our basic make-up.  The numbers - the day, month and year - on which we are born all have unique ‘Christian’ meanings.  They give us further clues as to the gifts, talents and abilities God has given us from birth.  In our walk with the Lord, Father tells us that the work we do, do as unto Him (we work for God, not man Col. 3:23-24).  He will perform the task He has given us until He calls us home (Phil. 1:6).  And He will equip us to do that work (Luke 10:17-20, Heb. 13:20-21).   Again, our gifts, talents and abilities equip us to accomplish the work to which Father has intended for us. 

Now, let’s look my birthday as an example:

Dec 3, 1945

December , the 12th month 

12   (Luke 9:1 - He (Jesus) called the 12 & gave them power & authority over all devils and to cure diseases). This number represents Governmental perfection. The authority to go out in His (God’s) power.

3      The third (3) day

 (Col. 2:9-10 – In Him, the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily.  You are compete in Him who is the head of all principality and power – Jesus).  3 represents Divine completeness, Faith or Perfection.  Maturing and seeing things to the end, completion.  Father is the Godhead which is three – Father, Son and Holy Ghost, yet one.  Complete means fully equipped, lacking nothing.  In Christ Jesus, in whom we are complete.  Maybe not matured yet, but complete.

The year, 1945

There is no ‘Christian designation’  specifically for 1945 so Father had me split it into two segments.

19   (1 Corinth. 13:9-13 – … now, things are hazy when I look through the glass, but later I shall see face to face) 19 is ivine is completeness or fullness, perfection, faith (10 + 9 - Testimony; Law & responsibility, Divine Order).  Now, are we starting to get an idea as to what is being completed?

45   (Psalm 121:7, Exod. 20:20) 45 is preservation, (40 + 5 - Trials; Probation; Testing & Grace; Favor; God's goodness; Pentateuch (first five books, the law).  Again, more depth into our calling.

If one is adventurous, the year can be broken down even further to discover deeper meanings, but Father had me break mine down as shown here.

Now, I do want you to understand something about the numbers.  Numbers do not dictate the qualities, rather the qualities dictate the numbers.  That is God gives us the qualities, then the numbers reflect our God-given qualities.

The Calling

What has Father, specifically, been calling ‘me’ to do?

Father gave me two scriptures in which He identified as the calling He has placed upon my life.   Jeremiah 1:1-10, the calling of Jeremiah & Ezekiel 37:1-14, the valley of the dry bones, the task presented before Ezekiel (rebuilding of the church, that is in part, which He has entrusted to me).

Interestingly, Father showed me Ezekiel first, the task which He has laid before me, then in Jeremiah, the fact that He has placed ‘this’ calling upon my life.

For me, part of my calling is being accomplished in the blog, ‘www:homecoming-a-spiritual-re-awkening.net’. 

It took me about six months to get the blog up and running (9/2014 – 3/2015) and another six years to bring it into today’s perspective (Okay, I’m slow).  That is to make it relevant to the season we are currently in.  He has been preparing me to do His work, waiting for me to be best prepared so I might  be fully effective.   And Father keeps telling me that there is yet, more to come (beyond where He has me today).

I’ve shared how Father declared the calling He has placed upon me through the scriptures.  Understand that gifts, talents and abilities reflect how Father enables us to do His work.  The calling defines that task to which He has called us. 

So, how do I know my calling? 

A pastor, prophet, or some other prophetic person may speak a Word from God into our ear.  If so, God will confirm it through scripture (or speaking to us personally).  Or as with me, He may show us the scripture first, then confirm through a prophetic person or even things (the world) round us.  Do we have the ears to hear and eyes to see (Prov. 20:12, Matt. 16:13) when Father speaks?  Understand, the point is not which comes first, prophecy from the scriptures or prophecy through a prophetic person, or even into our own heart, but the fact will be that all will be in agreement.  Things are established by two or more witnesses (Matt. 18:19).  A prophetic word through another person and/or scripture and through our heart,  (Father speaking to us through the Holy Ghost) make three witnesses, thereby establishing our calling. 

So, Father knows us from before we are conceived.  Before we are born into this world, He has already given us gifts, talents and abilities to accomplish the plans He has designed for our lives.  As we grow, naturally, we should notice different things which attract our attention.  Things we like.  We should discover some things we like to do over doing other things.  We need to be listening to our heavenly Father, as well as our parents, those around us as and well as observing and being aware of the world around us.  Father speaks through His Word, people around us and even nature, itself.  What do we see?  What are we hearing?  To what is our focus drawn?

In short, Father has called me to be a part of the reconstruction of His body so we can learn to truly live in His love and abide in His safety.

I’ve attached a copy of the “Watchman” so you can get a better look at how Father developed that with me.  We are all different and unique so Father does not always deal with everyone the exact same way but the components should still be there.

My prayer is that this will help us all to come to an understanding of the task  which Father has given each of us and that He is guiding us and protecting us as we discover, mature and abide in His love and His will (John 14:10-21).  He will reveal His will for us!  AND He will never leave us on our own (Heb. 13:5).  Father is on our side.  Let’s be bold and press forward.

Let it be so!

 

The prophecy for the Church – The Watchman

Dates are significant

September         Is the ninth month and represents completeness from the Father.  It has been decreed in heaven, we now just wait for the manifestation or the accomplishment of it.

24th                         Priesthood.  We are a royal priesthood before God Almighty, designated to bring God’s redemption to the world, in His timing through creative works.  We will experience a break with tradition and Father will provide new methods of reaching the ‘lost’.

26th                         Redemption.  In God’s perfect timing and even through, and maybe because of man’s weakness, the Gospel of Jesus Christ will bring redemption not just to the lost but the church as well.

30th                         Commitment.  There is a new responsibility to God’s Law.  Not just the 10 Commandments (as such) but His Law of Love.  Those who are truly washed in the blood of Jesus Christ will find a new dedication in serving God.  We need to push forward and not falter.

The prophecy

24th The watchman stands watch.  For what does he watch?  For danger that approaches the city to cry out to the people so they can prepare for battle.

                Up on the ramparts we look out over the land.  What do you see?  The enemy encamped all around and about.  What do you feel?  We are lost.  There are too many.  Look again beyond the enemy and what do you see?  I see a host far greater than the enemy poised to do battle.  And what do you feel?  Encouraged because we now far outnumber our foe.  (2 Kings 6:15-17).

                My children.  Did I not send Gideon with just a handful to set the enemy to flight?  Did I not send Elijah alone against the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:20-40)?  Gideon with his candles and Elijah by fire all overcame seemingly impossible obstacles yet by My hand did I not give them victory?  Put your complete trust in Me and as with the walls of Jericho, watch the wall crumble (Josh. 6”1-27).  Watch the enemy become confused and flee.  Watch My glory humble those who resist Me (Judges 7:7-8, 16-21).

                I make a way where there seems to be nothing.  I overcome many with a few.  Those who glorify My Name will taste the fullness of victory.  Put your hand to the plow and begin to plow and hang on as I work My work for My glory (Phil. 1:6).  The season is nigh, even at the door for many things to be manifested.  My children are you ready?  Prepare your hearts.  Prepare your souls.  Don My armor and prepare to step out.                               

                The Lord spoke to my heart and said that his is not just for Wellspring.  He has been preparing many children for this time and the time is near, nearer than we might think.  In case you’re confused this doesn’t mean the ‘rapture’.  It does mean taking a deliberate stand for and in Jesus with our very beings.  It is time to walk the walk, talk the talk and put up the ‘good’ fight.  To do all that God has been telling us to do, individually and collectively.  Don’t fear the closed doors.  Take the knob and turn it, the door will open for our Father has ordained it.                               

26th As I was praying (in the morning)

                I have more to share.

                OK, Father.

                Remember the watchman?

                Yes, Father.

                Look out there.  What do you see? (I looked out my front window at the sky darkened with storm clouds).

                I see a world in turmoil.

                And so it is.  What else do you see?

                I see that you have shown us rays of sunshine in the midst of all that darkness.

                Remember Elijah and his loneliness?

                Yes, Lord.

                And what did I say to My servant?

                7000 had not bowed their knees to other gods.

                I have My number.  I always have My  number of those who truly love Me and serve me and who will not turn their hearts away from Me towards the world so man will still have his beacon, his lighthouse. 

                Consider, My son, the gifts I have given man are merely tools to comfort and guide him until I return.  They are tools to help man come back into My fellowship.  They are tools to learn how to live in My love.  Seek My Holy Spirit within.  Use those tools well.  Don’t quench the Spirit (1 Thess. 5:19) but rather yield to Him so He (the Spirit) can work My work through you.

                I have an army.  I’ve always had an army but I want My children to live in My love so they can truly be the offspring of their Father.  I want the world to see My love so that their hearts might be convicted.  I want the world to see My love that their hearts might be ashamed.  I want the world to see My love and even though many will wax colder some might come into My Kingdom because their hearts have melted.  The gifts are good but yet they are only tools to express My love to the world.  Live in My love.

30th I AM the Lord God who created the heavens and the earth.  I have set all things in their respective places at My good pleasure.  I know the beginning and I know the end.  I have established the beginning yet I have given man a choice.  Man can choose to follow Me or go his own way.  To choose to go his own way, man opens himself up to the promptings and temptations of the Evil One, to fall into his snares, the end of which is man’s own destruction. 

                What is destruction, My children?  Separation from Me and My love – forever.  Have you considered forever?  Consider pain and torment.  Consider lusting after something and never being able to attain it or never to be satisfied or fulfilled.  All to which there is no end.

                What is eternal life, My children?  Living in Me and in My love.  Being always satisfied, never wanting.  And because you abide in My will, freedom – to do what you will because you abide in My will, which is My love. 

                As you consider the well-being of others, I will lift you up before them (in this world and in Mine).

                I AM – all that you ever need, all that you should truly desire.  I know your hearts and I will open My storehouses of blessings unto you, My children because of your obedience.

                Let My angels guide you.  Let My angels serve you.  I have set them about you, let them perform their appointed tasks.