There Is Hope

#350  In Perfect Faithfulness   Isaiah 25.1

It is a beautiful spring day out today, the sun is shining and there is blue sky and a few clouds.  I was admiring the new green buds on our lilac bushes in our yard this morning, and I thought about how God has embedded HOPE in the seasons.

Our God is a God of HOPE!

After every winter, there is spring.

Life breaks through every winter!  This is true in our experiences individually.

It is also true for the whole human family.

“The creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to decay into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.”  Romans 8:21

“O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago.”  Isaiah 25:1

Isaiah 25:2-5 describes the power of God and Christ that will triumph of over every nation beginning with the deliverance of Israel and their acceptance of Messiah.

“Therefore a strong people will glorify Thee; Cities of ruthless nations will revere Thee.”

Then Isaiah describes the blessing of the Kingdom on earth for Israel and all the nations.  Isaiah 25:6-9

From long ago He planned this joyous outcome to result from the darkest night of sin and death.

Life breaks through every Winter!  And Light breaks through every Night!

Regardless of the obstacle or the ‘ruthless city’ in your life,  His Providence is at work. In perfect faithfulness He is overruling our present experience to produce marvelous results.

What is happening now in the process of our refining, and the final result of ultimate blessing is the result of great Divine foresight, “things planned long ago.”

The imperfect circumstance is overruled and shaped in perfect faithfulness.

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The Space to Choose James 1:19

#349  The Space to Choose  James 1:19

“Between stimulus and response there is a space… in that space is our power to choose our response. In our response, lies our growth and our freedom.” -Viktor Frankl, Auschwitz Survivor

I prayed about what to fill this space with, especially in our family company business meetings when I so often react and it seems like there is no space between the stimulus and the response.

The LORD answered me with James 1:19:  “…let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger.”  Quick to hear.  We need to LISTEN in this space.  And other words the LORD led me to:  curiosity and validation.  It is much easier to LISTEN if we are curious to understand what is being said, or curious to consider the valid points in this view or idea that I tend to react to.  Validation or rephrasing the person’s view is also a way to give the person we are speaking with the sense that we are LISTENING.  This also slows down the decision making process.  I can choose to go avoid snap judgments and immediate emotional reactions.  By the spirit of power, love and a sound mind.  (2 Timothy 1:7) I can choose to exercise deliberate reasoning in Christ.

“He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.  A tranquil heart is life to the body, but passion is rottenness to the bones.” Proverbs 14:29, 30

Slow to anger:  this is the space between the stimulus and the response.  To make sound decisions we must fill this space with the mind of God and Christ.  Quick reactions are responses without exercising deliberate choice;  they are a form of ‘sloppy choice.’  These rash responses tend to lack good sense and have destructive outcomes.  A tranquil heart and mind that can listen to the Voice of God is beneficial, but unbridled emotion leads to decay (Strong’s #7538) of our strength.

“A hot tempered man stirs up strife, but the slow to anger pacifies contention.”

Fill the space with the mind of God and Christ, and there is possibility of resolution of conflict.  Proverbs 15:18

“He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.” Proverbs 16:32

It is a form of discipline when we master the power of choice in the space between the stimulus and the response.  This is the mighty work of the Holy spirit, the sign of a true spiritual triumph.  We conquer our own shortsighted emotions in the power of Christ.

“He who restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool (#7119) spirit is a man of understanding.”  Proverbs 17:27

Part of mastering this space between stimulus and response is mastering the art of restraint in our words, using ‘spiritual duct tape!’   (Strong’s #7119:  to chill, cool; fig quiet)  When we restrain our words it gives us time to “chill out,” time to think and create the possibility of understanding.

“The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, but everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.”  Proverbs 21:5

 

Discipline, Not Condemnation

#348  Discipline, Not Condemnation  Hebrews 12:6

In this process of dealing with intense emotional reaction, I received a strong reminder from the LORD:

There is no condemnation.  Romans 8:1  There is discipline.  Hebrews 12:6

There is no reason for living in a state of guilt.

There is every reason for living in the state of Grace in order to be trained.

Hebrews 12:5  When we take the discipline too lightly (perhaps by minimizing the situation) and we don’t get the lesson.

When we take the discipline too seriously (perhaps by over-analyzing) and we can become immobilized by guilt.

We need to pray for the balance, realizing our accountability and realizing His compassion.

Discipline from the Father is a sign of His love, and a sign of our sonship.  Hebrews 12:6-7

His discipline is for eternal good, driven by eternal wisdom.  Hebrews 12:9-10

We need to remember that the first phases of discipline are challenging.  It is normal to be challenged and grieved at first.  Give God time to work.  “…it afterwards yields to those who have passed through its training the peace of a righteous life.”  Hebrews 12:11 Weymouth

“Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble.”

Strengthen #461 (Vines:  to set upright; a word used of setting up a building, and restoring ruins Acts 15:16) the hands that hang down (#3935 Vines:  to relax, loosen, hang down in weakness)

Revitalize our weak spiritual hands/actions by lifting them up and using them according to the leading of the Father.

Feeble knees:  Vines:  to weaken, enfeeble; in the passive voice, to be enfeebled, as by a paralytic stroke

We need to guard against the weakness that may come from “a spiritual stroke.”

We are called to revitalize the weakness in our knees, our going forward in life in the direction guided by our Loving Heavenly Father.  We are called to overcome immobilization through use.  Lift up those feeble knees; set them upright.  Don’t just sit there, Stand up and walk in the strength and direction of the Father!

“And make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.”  Hebrews 12:13

Make #4160 implies action:  to make or to do.

Straight:  3717:  perpendicularly erect, (fig. honest) or horizontally level or direct.

We all have a lameness of character to deal with.  Take action to make our walk upright and honest.  What is best to choose?  What is best to avoid?  Take action to make our walk level and direct, aware of choices that would exasperate the whatever the character lameness we deal with. 

There is no condemnation.  There is discipline.

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him…”  Psalm 103:12-13

 

The Voice of our Risen Lord John 20.16

#347  The Voice of our Risen Lord  John 20.16

Stooping, she looked yet again into the tomb. Now she was startled by the appearance of figures sitting there within, even where the body of Jesus had lain. “Why are you crying?” they ask, to which Mary pours out her grief. Her words reveal the state of her mind, and lack of comprehension. “They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him…”

Then she heard that voice…the same question echoed, this time from the lips of a stranger standing there behind her. “Why are you crying? Who are you seeking?” It has to be one of the most poignant moments in sacred history.

She turns to see, her first thought that this may be the keeper of the garden. He may have the answer to her distress. Was it you? Did you move the body? Tell me where, that I might bear it away. She was standing, looking at, but not recognizing, the answer to all her fears and all her grief. It required one familiar sound for the scales to fall from her eyes. The sound of her name, spoken in the way that only her Lord used. “Mary!”   (John 20:11-16)

Let us think too of the holy emotion of that Master, Who knows all that is in the heart in that moment of great closeness, in which He awaits recognition.  Donald Holliday

He is so close to us in our experience, but we do not see him.

At times we weep, and our senses say that we cannot find him, and he still “awaits recognition.”

 If we do not listen for his voice in the midst of our emotion we will not hear or recognize him. 

If we do not ask in the moment of grief and confusion we will not hear his answer. 

As part of his flock, we know his voice.  John 10:4; Song of Songs 2:8

“I was asleep, but my heart was awake.

A voice!  My beloved was knocking;

‘Open to me, my sister, my darling, my dove, my perfect one!

For my head is drenched with dew,

My locks with the damp of the night.’  Song of Songs 5:2-3

O teach us to know your voice, the voice of our Risen Lord!

O teach us to respond quickly, empowered to do whatever you bid, in the power of your resurrection power.

As a Gardner, as one who comes in the midst of shattered dreams and raw emotion, or in whatever form he may come to us—in untoward experience and in the greatest of joys, may we recognize him, hear his voice and respond.  For he stands for us as our Risen Lord—our Savior, High Priest and King, with all power in heaven and in earth.

The Voice of our Risen Lord John 20 verse16

#347  The Voice of our Risen Lord  John 20:16

Stooping, she looked yet again into the tomb. Now she was startled by the appearance of figures sitting there within, even where the body of Jesus had lain. “Why are you crying?” they ask, to which Mary pours out her grief. Her words reveal the state of her mind, and lack of comprehension. “They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him…”

Then she heard that voice…the same question echoed, this time from the lips of a stranger standing there behind her. “Why are you crying? Who are you seeking?” It has to be one of the most poignant moments in sacred history.

She turns to see, her first thought that this may be the keeper of the garden. He may have the answer to her distress. Was it you? Did you move the body? Tell me where, that I might bear it away. She was standing, looking at, but not recognizing, the answer to all her fears and all her grief. It required one familiar sound for the scales to fall from her eyes. The sound of her name, spoken in the way that only her Lord used. “Mary!”   (John 20:11-16)

Let us think too of the holy emotion of that Master, Who knows all that is in the heart in that moment of great closeness, in which He awaits recognition.  Donald Holliday

He is so close to us in our experience, but we do not see him.

At times we weep, and our senses say that we cannot find him, and he still “awaits recognition.”;

 If we do not listen for his voice in the midst of our emotion we will not hear or recognize him. 

If we do not ask in the moment of grief and confusion we will not hear his answer. 

As part of his flock, we know his voice.  John 10:4; Song of Songs 2:8

“I was asleep, but my heart was awake.

A voice!  My beloved was knocking;

‘Open to me, my sister, my darling, my dove, my perfect one!

For my head is drenched with dew,

My locks with the damp of the night.’  Song of Songs 5:2-3

 

O teach us to know your voice, the voice of our Risen Lord!  O teach us to respond quickly, empowered to do whatever you bid, in the power of your resurrection power.

As a Gardner, as one who comes in the midst of shattered dreams and raw emotion, or in whatever form he may come to us—in untoward experience and in the greatest of joys, may we recognize him, hear his voice and respond.  For he stands for us as our Risen Lord—our Savior, High Priest and King, with all power in heaven and in earth.

The Right Place and the Right Time

Finding the Right Place

The following is the taken from an article in Herald Magazine.

“Sometimes we may fear that we are not in the right place to be used of God. Some brethren find themselves in situations of isolation. Lydia was in such a position. Originally from Thyatira in Asia Minor, Lydia had become a prosperous business woman in the city of Philippi. Yet she made time on the Sabbath to go out of the city and gather where “prayer was wont to be made” (Acts 16:13).

Paul and Silas were prevented from witnessing the Gospel in Asia Minor. Instead, they were given a vision of a Macedonian man who begged them to come and help. Paul and Silas went straight to Philippi, a chief city of Macedonia. There were evidently no synagogues in Philippi, possibly because Philippi was controlled by Rome. On the Sabbath, Paul and Silas went outside the city to a place where they “supposed there was a place of prayer” (Acts 16:13 ASV). Though the vision had been of a man from Macedonia, they only found women gathered there to pray. They sat down and talked with the women who had gathered there. Since Lydia had chosen to spend her Sabbath in worship and prayer, she was at the right place when Apostle Paul began to speak. The Lord opened her heart and she listened and accepted Paul’s words. She and her household were then immersed, and she begged Paul saying, “If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and abide there” (Acts 16:15). It is evident from Acts 16:40 that her hospitality toward Paul and Silas was offered to the other brethren too.

Here, we see the character of our sister Lydia. Circumstances had brought her far from home, but she still sought to obey the Sabbath and to worship and pray. Her heart attitude was right, and so God changed Paul’s itineary to visit her home in Philippi instead of her home in Thyatira. What a tremendous lesson for all of us. If our hearts are in the right attitude, God will work miracles to make sure we are in the right place at the right time.

There is much to learn from our sisters of the New Testament times. They lived in a different time and a different culture than we do. Yet they shared similar experiences, experiences with disappointment, grief, and the pressures and routines of everyday life. Martha, Mary Magdalene, and Lydia rose above their circumstances by seeking to be close to the Lord. They received the Lord’s approval and blessing.

Lessons For Us

In our lives we are frequently confronted by some of these same issues. We can learn some valuable lessons by seeing how God dealt with these women who walked before us.

Criticism — Martha must have suffered pain and shame as the Lord gently rebuked her in Luke 10:38‑42. She accepted the criticism and changed her life in order to obey Jesus. What greater respect and trust can we show for God than to change our lives when His Word shows us a better way? (Proverbs 3:11‑12). Martha learned to stay close to Jesus.

Disappointment — Sometimes God disappoints us. More precisely, sometimes ourexpectations of God disappoint us. It is ok to ask “Why?,” as David did (Psalm 10, 13, 22, 88). God already knows how we feel, just as Jesus already knew how Martha felt. Martha asked Jesus her question, and then expressed her continued trust in him. When we voice our disappointment, we should also express our faith that God’s ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:9), and that his promises are true. (Joshua  23:14).

Grief — In our greatest sorrow, God is our strongest comfort (Psalms 56:8). He is the comforter of the depressed
(2 Corinthians 7:6). In her grief, Mary stayed as close as possible to Jesus and received comfort. By her example of trust in God and belief in His son, she surely became a pillar in the Lord’s growing ministry.

Loneliness — If our circumstances take us far from those we love, or if we find ourselves alone in a cold cruel world, gather together with those of like precious faith, as Lydia did (Hebrews  10:25).

Pressures and Responsibilities  of daily life — As we rush through our daily lives, we need to take “sabbaths” of rest in which to draw close to God. Lydia sought out time for worship and prayer. In our daily lives, we also need to take the time to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.

Even if we are not in the right place at the right time, if our hearts are in the right attitude, God will arrange the circumstances so that we are blessed.

As we see how Jesus gently sounded the hearts of these beautiful New Testament sisters, we have a better idea of what our Heavenly Father wants from us, and the possibilities for our own encouragement and blessing. We see the varied patterns of faith in their experiences. We see their desperation and their trust even when they could not see Him. If we put ourselves in the right place at the right time with the right attitude of heart, Jesus will use us in his service also.”

To read the complete article…more

Jesus’ Last Days- April 2 sundown to Friday, April 3 sundown

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Anointed, the son of the living God.” then he ordered his students to tell nobody that he himself was the Anointed. After that Jesus began to show his students how he had to go off to Jerusalem, and have many things done to him by the elders and chief priests and canon-lawyers, and be killed, and rise up the third day.—Matthew 16:16, 20, 21.

By Leonard Griehs

Nisan 14 Thursday, April 2 sundown to Friday, April 3 sundown

Jesus sat down at the table. “I wanted with all my heart to eat the seder with you before my suffering begins, because I’m telling you, I’ll never eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Jesus spoke to them of brotherhood and service. Judas was getting restless. Jesus looked at him. “Do what you’re doing and be quick about it,” he said. Judas picked up a piece of bread and made his way to the door. Despite their protests, Jesus washed their feet and sat back down. After sharing bread and wine with them and asking them to remember him by doing this, Jesus took his disciples out to Mount Olive.

“All of you will let me down tonight—just like the scripture says, `I will strike at the shepherd, and the sheep in his herd will scatter.’ But after rising up I will go on ahead of you into Galilee.”

Peter protested, “Even if everyone lets you down, I will never let you down.”

Jesus gazed into Peter’s eyes, .”I promise you, in the night ahead, from now till cockcrow, you will say you don’t know me three times.”

Again Peter protested, “Even if I had to die with you, I would never say I didn’t know you.” All echoed Peter’s response.

Jesus led them across the side of the mountain to Gethsemane.

“Sit here till I’ve finished praying,” he told them.

Twice Jesus came back to find them sleeping and rebuked them. Finally, he heard a commotion in the garden. “Up now!” he said. “Come on! Here he comes, my betrayer!” The disciples couldn’t believe it! There was Judas with a group of soldiers. He stepped up to Jesus.

“Good evening, master,” he said as he kissed Jesus.

“Judas, are you going to betray the son of humanity with a kiss?” Jesus stepped around to confront the group behind Judas. “Who are you looking for?” he asked.

“Jesus of Nazareth.”

“Here I am.”

The men drew back so quickly that some tripped and fell. Jesus asked them again, “Who are you looking for?”

“Jesus of Nazareth.”

“I told you, here I am, so if you’re looking for me, let these people go.” The group came slowly forward.

Peter jumped in front of Jesus. He drew his sword and cut off the ear of the fellow about to grab Jesus.

Jesus stopped him, “Let’s stop short of that.” He picked up the ear and healed the man. “Put your sword back where it belongs,” he told Peter, “those who fight swords with swords are lost. You think I can’t call on my Father and have him supply me even now with more than twelve legions of his messengers? But how will scriptures be fulfilled that say this must happen?” Jesus turned back to the mob surrounding him.

“As if in pursuit of a robber you came out to get me with swords and clubs? I used to sit in the daytime in the temple when I was teaching and you didn’t take me then. This has happened to fulfill all the prophet’s writings.” As the mob descended on Jesus, the disciples turned and fled. They tried to grab a young boy who was in the garden with them but he got away.

The mob took Jesus to the house of Annas. Peter followed at a distance behind and lingered outside as the priest questioned Jesus. A maid at the door spotted him. “You aren’t one of that fellow’s students too, are you?” Peter replied quickly, “No, I’m not.”

Inside Jesus responded to the inquiries of the former high priest. “I have publicly spoken to the world. I constantly taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews gather, and I said nothing in secret. What are you asking me? Ask the ones who heard me what I said to them. See these people? They know what I said.”

One of the servants slapped Jesus, “Is that how you answer the high priest?”

Jesus showed no fear. “If I said something bad, testify about the evil. If I spoke well, why are you beating me up?”

Eager now to punish Jesus, they rustled him about and took him to the house of Caiaphas. There the priests tried to find some who would talk against Jesus, but no two could give the same testimony. Jesus refused to answer the false accusations. Caiaphas was frustrated and finally decided he had had enough. He would take matters into his own hands Caiaphas moved face to face with Jesus. “Are you the Anointed, the Son of the most blessed?” he asked Jesus.

Jesus’ eyes did not move from Caiaphas’ eyes. “Yes I am, and you will see the son of humanity sitting on the right hand of power and trailing the clouds of the sky.”

“What do we need witnesses for any more?” shouted Caiaphas as he turned to the others. “You heard that blasphemy! How does it look to you?” They all judged that he should be killed.

They began spitting on Jesus, and covering his face while they punched him and said, “Prophesy! Who just hit you?” They hit him again and again.

Peter stood outside in the courtyard, warm now from the fire. “You were with the Nazarene too —you know: Jesus,” those around him said.

“I don’t know or understand what you’re talking about.” Peter ran the other way. The girl at the door saw him again.

“This guy is one of them.” she said. Others said “Of course you’re one of them. After all, you are a Galilean.”

“Fellow, I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Peter shouted. Suddenly, he heard a rooster crow. Peter looked inside the house and saw Jesus, bound and bleeding from the beating, turn and look at him. Peter ran away and wept more bitterly than he had wept in his whole life. Caiaphas ordered his men to put Jesus in the cellar for the night.

Early Friday morning, they took Jesus to Pilate’s mansion. Meanwhile Judas went back to the elders at the temple.

“I was wrong to betray innocent blood,” he protested.

“What’s that to us? That’s your problem.” They were happy now.

Judas threw down the silver at their feet, turned and ran outside. Later they found him hanging from a tree outside the temple.

“What charge are you bringing against this person?” asked Pilate.

“If he wasn’t doing something wrong, we wouldn’t have handed him over to you,” they protested.

Pilate hated dealing with these Jews. “Take him yourself and try him by your own law.”

“We’re not allowed to kill anybody. We caught this guy undermining our society and keeping people from paying taxes to Caesar and saying he had been anointed the king.” Pilate summoned Jesus in front of him. “You’re the king of the Jews?” he asked.

Jesus looked at him. “Are you saying this on your own, or did others tell you about me?”

“Do I look like a Jew?” Pilate was annoyed. “Your people and your high priests handed you over to me. What did you do?”

“My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom was of this world, my servants would fight to the death for me not to be handed over to the Jews; but in fact, my kingdom isn’t here.”

Pilate kept up the inquiry. “So you are a king?”

“You say I am a king. What I was born for and what I came into the world for was to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth responds to my voice.”

“What is truth?” asked Pilate, without expecting a reply. He went back out to the Jews. “I don’t see any charge against him.”

The priests protested, “He’s inciting the populace, teaching all through Judea, starting with Galilee and ending here.”

Pilate saw his opportunity to get rid of this once and for all. He sent Jesus, a Galilean, to Herod, the governor of that region, who happened to be in Jerusalem during the festival. Herod was excited. He had heard about Jesus but had never seen him. Jesus refused to talk. As Herod listened to the accusations he grew disappointed that Jesus wouldn’t do or say anything. Finally Herod ended it. He put Jesus in a robe and sent him back to Pilate. Pilate smiled at Herod’s joke.but Pilate was done dealing with the Jews’ stupidity.

“You brought me this person on the grounds that he was undermining society and you see how I examined him in front of you and found no charge against the fellow of the kind you accused him of. Nor could Herod. That’s why he sent him back to us. He just hasn’t done anything worthy of death. So we’ll whip him to teach him a lesson and let him go.”

The crowd would have none of it. “Keep him and release Barabbas,” they shouted. “Crucify him, crucify him.”

Pilate couldn’t understand it. “But what did he do wrong? I couldn’t find any capital charge against him. So I’ll whip him soundly and let him go.” But the Jews still protested for Pilate to order Jesus’ execution.

Pilate’s wife sent word to him. “Have nothing to do with that innocent man,” she said. “I dreamt last night that I suffered horribly because of him.” Finally, Pilate tried one last gesture. He washed his hands in front of the crowd and said, “I am innocent of this man’s blood, see to it yourselves.”

The crowd cried in unison, “Let his blood be on us and our children.” Pilate’s soldiers dressed Jesus in a crown of thorns and cloak of purple. They spit on him and hit him over the head with a cane. Pilate led Jesus out on the arch that stood above the city.

“See, I’m bringing him out here to let you know that I see no charge whatever against him. Here’s the fellow.”

“Crucify, crucify,” the crowd shouted.

Pilate was at the end of his wits. “Take him yourselves and crucify him. I don’t see any charge against him.”

“We have our law and by that law he deserves to die because he made himself out to be the son of God.”

Pilate’s face showed a blush of sudden fear. He knew stories of Roman gods visiting the earth to test human compassion. He took Jesus back inside.

“Where are you from?” he asked. Jesus did not answer.

“You won’t talk to me? Don’t you know I have the power to let you go and also the power to crucify you?”

Finally Jesus spoke,.”You would have no power at all over me if it wasn’t given you from above. So that the one who handed me over to you has the greater fault.”

That was it. Pilate told the Jews he had made a judgment to let Jesus go.

“If you let this guy go you’re no friend of Caesar’s. Anyone who makes himself out to be a king is speaking against Caesar.”

Pilate was shattered. He could not let Caesar think he was disloyal. After all, this man was just another Jew. He gave orders for the execution. The crowd cheered.

As Jesus was led through the streets, they grabbed a man named Simon to carry his cross. Women wept as they watched Jesus pass by. He turned to them, “Daughters of jerusalem, don’t cry for me, cry for yourselves and your children, because watch, there will come days when they will say, ‘Lucky for those who were sterile, for the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed.’ Than they will start saying to the mountains, ‘fall upon us’ and to the hills, ‘cover us up’ and if they do that when the wood is still green, what will they do by the time it dries?”

They reached Golgotha outside the city, nailed Jesus to the cross and hung him between two criminals. The crowds passed by on their way into the city and mocked Jesus as he hung there. One of the criminals hanging with him joined in the jeering, “Aren’t you the Anointed? Save yourself and us.” The other interrupted, “Do you have no fear of God, just because your sentence is the same? We’re rightly getting what’s coming to us for what we did, but he did nothing unlawful.” He turned his eyes toward Jesus. “Jesus, remember me when you get to your kingdom.”

Jesus looked at him.”I promise you today you will be with me in Paradise.”

Jesus looked down at his mother standing by John. “Madam, here is your son.” He looked at John. “Here is your mother.”

As the afternoon wore on, the light began to dim. By three o’clock came it was dark all over the land. Jesus looked up and cried out, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?”

Those around wondered why he was calling Elijah.. Finally, Jesus cried out again. “It is finished. Father, I put my spirit in your hands”. As Jesus dropped his head, the Jews all over Israel killed their lamb for the Passover feast which would start at sundown.


All quotes are as translated by The Unvarnished New Testament, translated by Andy Gaus. The order of scriptures is designated by comparative studies of the four gospels, and citations are available on request

PRECIOUS PROMISES – Memorial Reflections

“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature.” – 1 Peter 1:4

We might think of them as tools to help fix a problem in our thinking.

We might think of them as incentives in times of discouragement when we grow weary in the fight in our minds.

We might think of them as messengers when we are confused as a double-mindedness is neigh.

We might think of them as a life preserver when we are overwhelmed with the fight.

We might think of them as a balm for the heart when we feel despaired of life.

We might think of them as a drink of cool water when we are spiritually dry.

We might think of them as a staff of support along our weary way.

We might think of them as a phone call to a parent.

We might think of them a light of hope when we are in a dark place at night.

We might think of them as a medicine when spiritually sick.

We might think of them as gifts from our loving Father above who desires that we use them in our every time of need. He really only asks that we believe – that we trust and that we believe in Him and in Jesus and that we try to do our best even after the times of repeated daily failures. That if we are still trusting in the blood and holding the head, we might partake with the deepest gratitude of the simple glorious feast saying in our heart of hearts glory to the lamb that was slain, worthy to receive power and riches, wisdom and strength, honor and glory.

Br. Rick Cunningham, Detroit Convention March 29, 2015

Passover Perspectives Exodus 12: A Night of Watching

#346  Passover Perspectives  Exodus 12:  A Night of Watching

A night of watching   Exodus 12:42  “It was a night of watching unto the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt; this same night is a night of watching unto the LORD for all the children of Israel throughout their generations.”  (Masoretic Text)

This is the call for our Gospel Age experience, to watch and pray.

The present is represented in the Scriptures to be “the hour of temptation” or testing at the close of this age.  It is the Gethsemane hour, in this sense of the word, to all who are the Lord’s people, fully consecrated to him.  It is the hour, therefore in which we, like our Lord, should be seeking the Father’s face to receive the full assurance that we are his, and that he is ours; and that we may rely confidently on his strength to carry us through this time…

We are to watch, and to be on our guard against the encroachments of the world, the flesh and the devil.  We are to watch for all the encouragements of the Lord’s Word, the evidence of their fulfillment, the signs that betoken his presence and the great changes of dispensation just at hand.  We are to watch for everything that will strengthen us in faith and hope and loyalty and love; and while watching we are to pray without ceasing.  We are to pray together as the Lord’s people; we are to pray in our homes, as families; we are to pray in secret, in private.  We are to have the spirit of prayer in all that we say and do: that is to say, our hearts should be going out continually to the Lord for guidance in all of life’s affairs, that we may do with our might what our hands find to do, in a manner that will be acceptable to him, and that we may be shielded by him from temptation that would otherwise be beyond our endurance, and that we be ultimately delivered from the evil one, and have a place in our Lord’s kingdom.”  R2775

Let us watch the Word of God and pray for insight and inspiration.

Let us watch to be aware and pray to be ready for the next step of deliverance.

Let us be aware of the waves, but watch and pray to not get over focused on them, eyes riveted on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.

Let us watch to be aware of our patterns of weakness, and pray to be regulated by the spirit of love, power and of a sound mind.

Let us watch and pray in gratitude for so great a deliverance on our behalf, and soon for Israel and all the families of the earth.

Let us honor him by watching and praying with him, and with one another.

 


 

Jesus stood and returned to his disciples.  He found them sleeping.

“Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep?”

Three sets of heavy eyes strained to focus their attention on the one who spoke.

“Were you not able to watch with me one hour?

Watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation:

the spirit is ready but the flesh is weak.”  Matthew 26:41


Let us honor our Precious Savior by watching and praying and remembering him and the cost of his sacrifice,

to the praise of The Father through the Son,

a night of watching unto the LORD,

a LIFE of watching unto the LORD during this dark night of sin and death.