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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.

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Saturday, October 24, 2020


10-24-2020         The Gift


Matt. 2:9-11                Magi bring gifts

Gal. 5:22-23                Fruit of the Spirit

Rom. 11:29                  Gifts are given without repentance

Rom. 12:5-9                Gifts of the Spirit

1 Corinth. 12:1-12       More gifts

1 Peter 4:7-11             How to minister


Understand that when the magi came to the young child Jesus, they brought Him gifts, gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Gold is a gift fit for a king, but it also provides for the family of the king so that they would not have to worry about where they would live or what they would eat.  They would have enough.  Yet, don’t forget, Joseph was a carpenter (Mat. 13:55) so he did not live lavishly on what the magi brought but he also worked for a living.

Frankincense is an oil with a wood, spicy aroma.  It may have medicinal qualities which aid in arthritis, the digestive tract, asthma, oral health and even some cancers. 

Myrrh is a gummy resin used in perfumes, medicines and incense.  It has been used as an antiseptic, healing salves and has analgesic properties (eases pain).  It has also been used as an ingredient in anointing oil.  The ancient Romans also used myrrh to mask odors from burning flesh (in executions).  When Jesus came into Bethany, Martha declared that Lazarus had been dead for four days and surely his body was stinking (John 11:39-44) and yet Jesus called Lazarus forth, alive and whole.  Myrrh may also have been used to cover the odor from decaying bodies.  This may have been part of the spices the women mixed to anoint Jesus’ body with, after His burial, when they returned after the Sabbath (Matt. 23:52-24:3).

So, through the gifts of the magi, Jesus’ family had financial support and health, healing and, possibly anointing for burial.

Don’t forget that the greatest gift we have from our heavenly Father is the ‘breath of life’ and man has been giving gifts of thanksgiving, back to Lord. That is for what He does for us since Adam.

However, I’m not talking about us giving, but what Father has and continues to give us.  God’s first gift to us is the ‘breath’ of life.  He breathed life into Adam and He continues to give us more gifts to operate in this world around us.  Let’s take a quick look at some of them.

When we read Galatians, one might say “Wait a minute, that’s fruit, not gifts!” 

Look at the world around us and ask yourself, in the world, how much true love is there?  What has happened to joy?  Peace? Who puts up with their neighbor’s antics for long?  I’m not talking about ‘joking around’ but putting up with stuff that really grates our nerves.  How many good and gentle people are in the world today?  Yes, we can find some (PTL), but how many?  Where has goodness gone?  Who truly trusts God in ‘ALL’ things?  How many of us insist on being dominant in any situation, instead of approaching others in humility and respect, looking for common ground?  Do we always exhibit self-control – instead of always wanting to strangle the *?! out of somebody, do we look for an appropriate solution?  These qualities come from God and are enhanced by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  So, aren’t these gifts, as well?  These ‘gifts’ are increased within us as we walk with the Lord.  They are ‘gifts’ from God which exhibit the inner man, our relationship with our Lord.

Paul tells us, in the book of Romans, that the gifts of God are given without repentance.  This helps us to understand why it is that people who don’t know Jesus still can sing really good, others can teach, give awesome speeches, care about others, etc., but when Father inhabits those gifts in His children He can carry them to a much higher level, especially when we glorify Him.  

God gives us gifts according to His will, as also listed in the book of Romans.  Gifts He wants us, as individuals, to have.  Does everybody have the same gift?  Does only one person have all the gifts?  We are mentioning only a few gifts here yet the United Nations estimates over 7.8 billion people worldwide.  The need for gifts? 

Even Jethro (father-in-law of Moses) realized that Moses needed help in ministering to the people and encouraged Moses to appoint help (Exod.18:12-26).  God knows that only one person cannot minister to the world.   Now, we all can serve in any of these gifts, but only to the degree which Father has given each one of us.  God gives us, whom He loves, a level faith to prophecy (give direction), minister (serve needs), teach, exhort, rule (govern or be in charge) and mercy.  Now, all of these qualities are good to have, but God gives special portions to those whom He calls and/or anoints to special situations. 

Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians that we are the body of Christ and the body has many gifts flowing within it to help the whole body grow strong and do our Father’s will.

If we wonder if our gift is flowing in God’s will, ask yourself one question ‘do I consider Jesus a curse (to man), that is, does He go against religious beliefs?  Or should I say contrary to what scriptures say?  If I do, I’m not motivated by the Holy Spirit, for He doesn’t nor will He call Jesus accursed.  Jesus IS the Word of God and the Word was made flesh and they called His name Jesus.  If Jesus is going against scripture, He’s going against Himself!  Can’t happen!  If He should, He would be denying Himself as well as our Father (John 17:19-21, Matt. 3:16-17)!

Now, understand that there are different gifts but they are given by the same Spirit.  They may be manifested in different ways but have the same Lord and they are given to edify the whole body of Christ.  These Spiritual gifts are: wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, tongues (heavenly language for prophecy) and the interpretation of those tongues. [Note that ‘tongues is also for edifying the individual (1 Corinth. 14:4).] 

God gives these gifts to whomsoever He will, whenever He will to accomplish His work in the body, even in the world.  Again, Father can take individuals to whatever level He has intended for them.  The church should be one body though it has many members.  I’m not talking about just a single fellowship, but the entire body of Christ.  Yes, individual fellowships need these gifts in operation but every Christian denomination should also be working together, as well,  to accomplish God’s will in this world.  Is this happening?  I’m not talking about a megachurch here.  As individuals work together to help a fellowship, all those fellowships should work together for the growth of the whole body, the church!

Peter gives us some further insight as to how these gifts should operate. 

Peter first tells us to take our relationship with the Lord seriously.  After all, our eternity, and for those whom we influence, is at stake.  He tells us to watch to see what is going on around us so we can know and pray for what’s happening with people and situations.  He encourages us to express love within our own ranks because love covers a multitude of sins.  Therefore we should confess our sins, one to another.  At least between individuals.  Once we’ve realized that we’ve wronged someone, we need to go ask forgiveness.  Should we be the one wronged, we give that forgiveness from our heart.  As that love overflows, help others because we want to, not because we have to.  As the good stewards returned to their Lord with more than what he originally left them in charge of (Matt. 24:14-30).  Share the gift which God has given us with those around us.  Father will reward us.

When we speak, we should remember to ask Father to guide our speech.  When we minister, minister with the ability God has given us.  All done for the glory of God, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, because the Holy Ghost is alive and well within us.

Remember, the gifts are nothing without love and love comes from our heavenly Father through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Who has taken residence within our hearts via the Holy Ghost.

This entry is not to explain how all the gifts function, but to help you become aware of what they are and the purpose of these gifts – to edify the church!  To minister to the needs of the entire body.  To help people, by listening to the Holy Ghost, discover the way into the kingdom of God.  Then, grow strong in the Lord!

Father will give each of us a special gift in which only we (as individuals) can minister in the way God has given us.   Five unique gifts (not the only gifts) are the apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher (Eph. 4:11-16).  That gift may intended to minister to only one soul or it may be destined for 100’s, 1000’s or even 1,000,000’s.  The greater the responsibility, the greater the anointing.  We won’t know where we stand until we get started. 

The gifts are not to show other people ‘how great’ we are, but point them into a closer walk with our Lord.  We do know that Father desires us to always operate under His guidance (via the Holy Spirit within us) so His will, will be done.  How are we ‘fitting in?


Saturday, October 10, 2020

9-29-2020        Remembering Malachi?


Malachi is the last book of the Old Testament.  There is discussion as to whether this was the prophet’s name or a title, “the messenger’.  Nonetheless, he was most likely a contemporary of Ezra and Nehemiah in the 5th century BC (that is the 400’s).

Because the book is short, four chapters long (our count, the bible wasn’t divided into chapter and verses until the 13th and 16th centuries (respectively)), so it was not considered a major prophetic book.

And I have to admit it, I never really paid much attention to Malachi until recently.  Probably, like many, I was familiar with Malachi 3:8-10 but I never realized how powerful this book is in the other 85% of this and the other 3 chapters.   Nor how relevant it is for today, beyond tithes and offerings.

The author points to the coming of our Lord Jesus and His return.

He speaks of coming judgment and the sparing of Israel.

He speaks of being cleansed and purified.

Malachi goes on to describe the blessings and benefits of getting back on track (should we stray).  Father also has our backs so we don’t lose what He has given us.

But, hold on!  Malachi doesn’t stop here. 

Like Israel, have we spoken ‘against’ God?  Have we declared it useless to serve God?  Where is God when we need Him?  What do we gain by being obedient to His word?  Where is our joy?  Do we exalt the proud or esteem those who do wickedly against the Lord?

God takes note of those who truly serve Him and spares them.  Just as Abraham spared his son Isaac.  As we seek the Lord,  there will be no doubt who is with the Lord and who is not.  Remember the sheep and the goats?

We’re looking specifically at chapter three, so read on!

1          Behold, I will send my messenger and he shall prepare the way for Me and the Lord whom you seek shall suddenly come to His temple.  Even the messenger in whom you delight shall come says the Lord of hosts.

2          But who may abide in the day of His coming?  Who shall stand when He appears?  He is like the refiner’s fire and the washer’s soap.

3          And He shall sit as the refiner and purifier of silver and He shall purify the sons of Levi, purge them as gold or silver that they may offer their offerings to the Lord in righteousness.

4          Then shall the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant to the Lord as in the days of old, the former years.

5          And I will come near to you to judgment and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, the adulterers, the false swearers,  those who oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, the fatherless and those who turn strangers away and don’t respect me says the Lord of hosts.

6          For I am the Lord and I do not change.  Therefore sons of Jacob are not consumed.

7          Even from the days of your fathers, you have strayed from My ordinances and have not kept them.  Return to Me and I will return to you says the Lord of hosts.  But you said how shall we return.

8          Will a man rob God?  Yet, you have robbed Me.  You say how have we robbed you?  In tithes and offerings.

9          You are cursed with a curse because you have robbed me, even this whole nation.

10        Bring all the tithes into the storehouse that there may be meat in My house and in so doing, prove Me says the Lord of hosts and see if I will not open the windows of heaven to you and pour out more than enough blessing to you. 

11        I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground (endeavors) neither will your vine cast her fruit before it’s time in the field, says the Lord of hosts.

12        All nations shall call you blessed for you shall be a delightful land says the Lord of hosts.

13        Your word has been strong against Me says the Lord.  Yet you say how have we spoken against You?

14        You have said that it is vain to serve God and how do we profit by keeping His ordinances?  And we have walked as if in mourning before the Lord of hosts.

15        And now we call the proud happy, yes, we even lift up those who work wickedness, even those who tempt God are delivered (escape –judgment by our hand).

16        Then those who respected the Lord spoke to one another and the Lord took notice and heard and a book of remembrance was written before him (those) who respected the Lord and thought upon His name.

17        They shall be mine said the Lord of hosts.  In the day when I make up My treasures, I will spare him as a man who spares his son who serves him.

18        Then you shall return and discern between righteous and wicked, between he who serves God and he who does not.

I started this presentation with a bunch of questions.  Now I’m going to raise some more!

I’m only presenting a synopsis of what Malachi says here in chapter three.  To take this passage concept for concept would take a lot of space because there is so much that could be said.  So -

Who is our Lord going to cleanse?  Of course, Malachi is speaking to Israel, the church of the Old Testament.  We are of the New Testament, covered by grace right?  Supposedly, we have picked up the banner of our Lord and ae carrying it forward.  Not bound by the ‘old’.  Now, wait a minute.  Jesus came to fulfill the law, not do away with it.  Israel did works to assure salvation, we are saved (by grace) so we do he works because our faith has brought us unto salvation.  Faith without works is dead.  Right?  How will people know that we are saved if we don’t do the works of God?  Actions speak louder than words?  The apostle Paul gives us several lists of those who will not enter into eternity, substantiating some of what Malachi says in these verses.  Sooo …

How many in today’s church have fallen away from God’s ordinances, laws and statutes?  How many have decided they do better in the world than under God’s wing?  How many in today’s church attend a fellowship simply because they think they should and not because they truly love the Lord?  I heard, in my youth, “you have to go to church in order to be a well-rounded person.”  Observe then and think about it.  God told the prophet Jeremiah (in part) to tell Israel that He’s going to deliver judgment because of their wickedness.  Why?  Because there were those who had forsaken Him, offered their incense (praise) to other gods and decided to worship the works of their own hands.  This was the church in Jeremiah’s day.  Today, Christianity is the church, but the church surely isn’t guilty any of these things.  Right? 

Jesus told His disciples that there would first be falling away, before He comes back for us.  Today’s church hasn’t fallen away, has it? 

Jesus also reminded His disciples to do what God told Israel “love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength!”  What was that first word?  Heart!  Jesus berated the scribes and Pharisees because, even though, the said and did the right things their hearts were far from Him.  They were merely performing rituals. 

When our heart is right, we will do those things that please the Lord.  Husbands, don’t you endeavor to do those things which please your wives?  Wives, don’t you try to please your husbands? Get the picture?

The world has continually drifted away from God since man was booted out of the garden in
Eden.  The church has been up and down ever since, whether trying to live by what God told man in the beginning, following the Ten Commandments as given through Moses or the adjustment into true love through Jesus Christ.

The church has done the same thing Israel has done – despite grace.  Just remember, again, Jesus didn’t do away with the Law, He reinforced it through love land grace.  In the Old Testament, as long as the church didn’t do evil they were OK.  Jesus says that should we consider doing it even without any action, we are still guilty.

Israel knew that when they truly repented the evil they did, God would forgive them.  That hasn’t changed.  When we truly repent, God forgives us, as well.  We just leave that which was broken behind.  It should no longer be a part of our lives.  Then press forward in our walk with the Lord.

Do you see any parallels between 4000 BC & 2000 AD?  (OK, for nitpickers – BCE & ACE, I choose to acknowledge the “year of our Lord – ‘Anno Diem’ and not the ‘common era’)

God is always the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow.  He never changes.  However, man is constantly changing, through the ages, through the generations, even within a single life.  Man is with God, strays, repents and comes back.  Reading about Israel in the Old Testament implies that this could happen even multiple times.  With true repentance come true forgiveness.  When we are honest in repenting, God is faithful to forgive and forget. 

We need to focus on the Lord and should we slip, get back on track and keep pushing forward.  Go back and read the chapter again and ask Father “Where do I fit into all this?”  Listen and examine yourself.  Be honest then refocus on the One who desires us to be in eternity with Himself.  In the gospel of John, to paraphrase Jesus’ words ‘Father, I would that they (the believers) would be one with Me as I am with You’.  We become one by living, not just with Him, but in Him.



Erdman’s Handbook to the Bible, 1937