The Fruit of my Trials


“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1: 1-2

pearl

1 Peter 1: 3-9, 1 Peter 4: 12-19 Matthew 13:46

heart-turquoise-howlite“If you have placed your faith in God’s grace for salvation through Jesus Christ be Encouraged.”

(1 Thessalonians 3:2-3)

heart-turquoise-howlite“The Lord, He is Good. His dealings towards you are always Purposeful , Compassionate, Producing Eternal Fruit.”

 (Romans 8:28, Hebrews 12: 5-6, Jeremiah 29:11)

heart-turquoise-howlite“In all of your trials and in all of your circumstances you will come full circle with this knowledge; God is Good, Merciful, Trustworthy and Faithful to
“Complete your Salvation.

(Romans 8:1, Hebrews 12:2, Philippians 1:6)

heart-turquoise-howlite“The One who has made Salvation possible not by your works but only through His Work at the Cross is Worthy of your Trust.”

 (Ephesians 2:8-9)

 heart-turquoise-howlite“He will keep you in faith until the Day of His Coming.”

 (1 Peter 1:7, Ephesians 1:13, Ephesians 4:30)

 heart-turquoise-howlite“You are Sealed through His blood covenant and are Made ready by His Holy Spirit.

(Ephesians 4:30, Ephesians 1:13, 2 Corinthians 1: 21-22, Hebrews 9: 14)

heart-turquoise-howlite“He is the Good Shepherd who looks after his sheep with meticulous inspections, cleansing you with His Sanctification while Restoring you to Himself.”

(Psalm 51: 12-13, John 17,19, 1 Thessalonians 4:3, 1Corinthians 6:11, James 5:19,
Galatians 6:1, 1 John 1:9)

heart-turquoise-howlite“No one can snatch you away from the Good Shepherd who has laid down his life for your soul.  You are in His Sheepfold and All his Gates lead to New and Green Pastures.”
                                          (John 10: 28-29, Psalm 119: 67, Psalm 100:3-4, Psalm 23:2)

heart-turquoise-howlite“Every trial is filtered through His Love and Accomplishes His Will for You.

 (Genesis 50:20, Romans 8:28, Jeremiah 29:11)

heart-turquoise-howlite“Every trial works towards the goal of Renewal and Transformation.”

(Romans 12:2, 2 Corinthians 5:17)

heart-turquoise-howlite“In every circumstance it is His desire that you “Know Him as He Really Is.”

 (Job 42:1-6, 1 John 5:20, John 17:3, John 4:23-24, 1 John 2:3)

heart-turquoise-howlite“Trust in His Goodness and be patient in your trial, allowing the Lord to accomplish his Perfect Will, Establishing your Faith in Him.”

(Colossians 1:23)

heart-turquoise-howlite“God will bring you to the “Cross”- road of decision where you choose to Decide in Whom you will Follow.

(James 1: 2-5)

heart-turquoise-howlite“When He has finished the work, in the fullness of time, He will deliver you.”

(Romans 8:34, Luke 22:32, 1 Peter 5:6)

heart-turquoise-howlite“You will not be put to shame as you Focus on Him.”

(Psalm 34:5)

heart-turquoise-howlite“Your face will shine like the sun (Son) Reflecting His Love.”

(Psalm 34:5)

heart-turquoise-howlite“And you will know that the Lord, “Yes” the Lord, He is Good; He is always Good!”
(Psalm 86:5)

                Doula Faith

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What’s Behind the Motivation


Tower of Babel

  “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Psalm 139:23-24

Personally, in writing this blog, I was in need of an honest inspection behind the motivation for sharing this biblical truth. Is it because I wish to make a name for myself? Do I believe I possess knowledge no one else has privy (Romans 12: 3-5)?  Or do I sincerely desire to shed light on a subject which may help both you and me. It still may benefit you, if it is the truth, but if my motivation is for the sake of appearance or making a good impression, I will suffer losing my reward found in Christ.
Philippians 1: 15-18

Examples of Wrong Motives
There are two examples the Word gives concerning someone doing what they think is right but with wrong motives. One example is how an unrepentant nonbeliever may do good works and even evoke the name of Christ, but has never come to faith in God’s salvation and Christ’s sacrifice ( Matthew 7:22-23 ). They know about Him, but have never come into a personal relationship with Him. The other is the believer, who testifies of Christ with wrong motives, through self-effort and vain-glory. (Philippians 1:15-19)

Scriptural Examples
Scriptural examples of this are found in both the old and new testament. In 1 Samuel, King Saul tried to battle the Philistines by making his own sacrifice and through self-effort, instead of  trusting and waiting on the Lord. 
The other, is found in Genesis 11; how a people attempted to reach heaven by building a tower, for self- glory, and for the purpose of making a name for themselves. In 1 Corinthians 11 in the new testament, there were Christians who were misrepresenting Christ by continuing to sin, refusing His discipline and unrepentant.
Genesis 111 Corinthians 11: 23-34 ,   1 Samuel 13

 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or empty pride, but in humility consider others more important than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4

Examining Our Self-Motive
Examining our motivation is very important .  In everything there can be a hidden element of vain glory.  I need to allow the Lord to examine my heart to determine my motive, whether it be praying (Matthew 6:6), teaching , or even doing a good deed. It would be prudent of me to first ask myself the question, “who is this really benefiting,  or how is this honoring and serving the Lord?”
(Psalm 127:1 Corinthians 3:11-15, Jeremiah 17: 9-10)

One scripture ascertains to this concept; whereby, even if I were to give everything up and even sacrifice myself in the process, it is in vain, if God’s love and purpose is not the motivating factor.
(1 Corinthians 13:3).

Christ’s Righteousness or Our Own
Our righteousness is nothing compared to the righteousness required to approach a Holy God. But Praise God, we look to Christ’s righteousness alone, who has given us entrance into the presence of God through His sacrifice. All our righteousness are like filthy rags, and I can only be made whole through faith in Christ’s righteousness.
Isaiah 64:6( Proverbs 2:6-9)

Personal Testimony
When I was young I sought to do what was right in my own eyes. In the beginning I just wanted to serve the Lord, content for Him to receive all the glory. Then, little by little pride crept in and God’s purpose paled in comparison to my own. It’s possible to be at times, ignorant of our own desire to serve Christ. The Lord was merciful by allowing all my work to go up in flames, while restoring me back to Himself, once again, cleansing my motivation and purpose.
I would like to say, I never again got off track, but I have, again and again. I realize, I cannot trust my own heart, but try earnestly, to be cognizant of every word and action,bringing all under the Holy Spirit’s scrutiny and examination.
( 2 Corinthians 10:5)
1 John 1:9, Romans 8:1-2  James 7: 13-20
(Isaiah 55:9, Jeremiah 17:9, Proverbs 3: 5-6, Ephesians 2:10, Jeremiah 29:11,
Genesis 11:1-9, 1 Peter 4:18, 1 Corinthians 3: 10-15, Deuteronomy 30

Representatives of Christ Jesus
As never before, as believers and servants of Christ, we need to be in check as to how we are representing our Lord. The best preparation is by reading the Word, Listening to His Voice, and bringing everything to Him in prayer. As believers, we are first accountable to Christ, then ourselves, then the Body, and also to those who do not yet believe.
(2 Corinthians 10:17, 1 Peter 5:5 James 5:16)

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Appealing to the Throne of Grace


Luke 18:1-8

court

“And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?”

Today, It is the worse of times and the best of times with a present spiritual revolution in overthrowing the strongholds of principalities and powers on high.
(Ephesians 6:12)

Our Nation’s Strongholds

For a long time, governmental policies, corrupt leadership and power hungry politicians have held an upper hand in dismantling our constitution and perverting justice. But now we are eyewitnesses that in the fullness of time God is hearing our prayers, exposing the darkness as we turn back towards the light.

For many years, God’s people have prayerfully interceded, concerning the false indoctrination in our schools, the lost of innocent human life in abortion mills, the attack on free speech and religious liberty and the perversion of justice in our legislative branch and judicial system. Roles have reversed. Legislators are misrepresenting the constitution and rendering judgments while the Judiciary seeks to legislate law.

The enemy has occupied these high places of authority too long and in the fullness of time God has ordained to act on behalf of our prayers.

A Call to Prayer

Many times, I have heard the call to prayer in the scripture,  2 Chronicles 7: 14 recited with one important phrase left out. Here is the scripture in its entirety:

 “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

To Seek God’s face is to seek His presence. In this verse God promises if we turn back to Him by desiring His presence and repent of our sinful ways, He will hear our petitions and restore us again to live righteously and restore our land.    Where we live is the place where we are to occupy for His purpose and glory. What usually is left out as part of this conditional promise is this phrase:

                   “ turn from our wicked ways”.

How can we begin to intercede for the injustices and sins of our nation when we refuse to acknowledge our own?

Representing Christ

It is a serious matter to say we believe in Jesus and represent Christ and continue sinning. When we accept Jesus Christ as Savior we also except Him as Lord. God cannot hear our prayers when we refuse to hear him. (Psalm 66:18-20)

Many of us in the body of Christ are presently resembling the world. Yet, we are called out of the world’s standards to embrace God’s Kingdom principles:
(2 Corinthians 6:14-18)

“The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Galatians 5:19-21

Not of this World

We are in this world but not of this world and are admonished to come out. We are not to blend in and compromise nor be politically correct in order to save ourselves.  We are to stand firm in our faith representing our Lord by practicing His righteousness. The world is looking for genuineness. If we blend in with the world then we obscure His light and the Truth.  (John 17:15-21)

                                                            His Word is Truth
Many in the body do not read the Word of God and are led astray.
(Hosea 4:6, 1 Peter 2: 2-3).  We need to return to our first love and place Christ first above all ambitions and desires (Revelation 2:4).

God Judges His People

Judgment first begins with the household of God. When we recognize our own sin and repent, we then can see how to intercede for the sin we see in our nation and others.
(1 Peter 4:17, Matthew 7:5)

My Testimony of God’s Grace and Mercy

Almost 40 years ago I was ensnared by the devil by changing my ambitions to serve Christ to serving myself.  It was a subtle process. My heart was to follow Him but along the way I became enamored with building a ministry where I was also tempted to share in His glory. It soon developed into making a name for myself. Like those who began building a tower to heaven, I became confused and my works were burned up while I escaped through the trial of fire and God’s discipline and judgment
( James 5:9, 1 Corinthians 3: 12-15). God had my attention and through His mercy and grace I saw my sins and repented.

“Before I was afflicted, I went astray, but now I obey your word. You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees.” Psalm 119:67-68

No Condemnation is Christ Jesus

Ephesians 1: 13-14

I believed at the time I could lose my salvation and when the devil began to accuse me, I accepted his accusations. I didn’t understand until much later there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus, and when we confess our sins God is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (Romans 8:1-2, 1 John 1:9) In my trial I experienced God’s judgment and discipline but also His forgiveness and restoration. If we are to be effective witnesses, representing His righteousness, we must respond to His discipline and turn from our wicked ways.  (Hebrews 15: 5-6)

How are we any different from the world when we allow circumstances to shape our faith. Do we doubt and fear? Do we wink at sexual immoralities and excuse it by practicing it ourselves?

This is the time, we, the body of Jesus Christ need to get serious and surrender all for His sake.  We need to truly represent Him and receive the power from on high as witnesses and instruments of Christ to shine as lights to a generation and a world who are seeking to know the Truth.

 

Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

Where there is hypocrisy, let there be straightforwardness. Where there is fear, let there be courage. Where there is dishonesty in presenting the gospel, in any way, let there be integrity and your Truth, without compromise.  Lord bring us to the place where it is done not by might, nor by power but through your Holy Spirit. Lord, revive your Body today, in the precious name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, waiting for the Power from on High. to accomplish your will, this hour, this day.

 

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Accepting God’s Perfect Gift is Accepting His Love


Valentinepresent

“But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” Romans 5:8

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”. John 3:16

I once thought it’s how I love others that determines whether or not God accepts me at any given time. But I have discovered it has nothing to do with how I love but rather how He loves and He loves me unconditionally. He loved me by sending His Son, Jesus Christ to pay the penalty for all my sins, yesterday, today and tomorrow. Now that I am confident of this truth, knowing there is nothing that can separate me from His love, ever, I feel free to love others. Romans 8: 38-39

I can not add anything to what Christ accomplished on the cross by what I do or don’t do. After He suffered the consequence for every sin, He proclaimed that the work He came to do was Finished. His love was so perfect; His Work so complete that there is nothing I can do to add to His Perfect Salvation. To do so, is to not believe in His work but my own. But all my righteous acts are filthy in comparison to His pure love which has nothing selfish attached. If it required any good works of my own, then it was in vain that Christ died, and therefore the work He came to do in reconciling me to the Father is incomplete.

So what is perfect love. Perfect love is unconditional, complete,lacking nothing. He first loved me. When I accept His unconditional love, by faith in His salvation through Jesus Christ, then I also accept His gift of eternal life. 1 John 4: 18-19

What person after given a perfect gift of love, says, I cannot accept it as it is, it’s not good enough, let me add something to it to make it more acceptable?

But we have not been given an inferior gift, but one which was taken right from the bosom and heart of God – His Beloved Son.

Now I know why the Apostle John referred to himself as the one in whom the Lord loved. He discovered His unconditional love and was content to simply accept it, and was confident in it  lest he forget. “Jesus loves me, this I know.”
John 13:23

There have been occasions while receiving a gift I’ve felt guilty or because of my pride I could not accept it unless I could give something in return. To simply receive a gift and enjoy it is hard for me. I have no problem giving gifts. In fact I delight in it.

God has given His very best through sending His Son, Jesus Christ to die for my sins, and then sending me the gift of His Holy Spirit to guide and direct me in all my ways.
John 14: 16-17

How could I say to Him, no, I can’t accept your gift unless I can give you something in return. What could I possibly give Him to equal what He has given?

What could I possibly give back to God in exchange for His Great Salvation? How could I possibly match His Love?

In all  I do or don’t do, God can’t love me any less or more because His Love is not determined by who “I am” but WHO HE IS. John 8:58, Exodus 3:14

And as I allow His Love each and every day take hold of all I say and do I pray I can express His Great Love to others. John 14: 15-17

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,”
Ephesians 3: 14-17

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Spiritual Conception


“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” Romans 1:20

Spiritual HeartGod’s Word + Faith = New Birth

 “Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3: 3

“He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him, He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,  Children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1: 10-14

     When the angel, Gabriel appeared to Mary, he came with God’s “Word”.  She was to become the dwelling place for God’s only begotten Son- Jesus Christ. Mary was a virgin and did not know how this could be possible.  All the prophets born had an earthly father.   What the angel was telling Mary was that God Himself would be the Father. This was beyond Mary’s comprehension, but she believed and accepted “His Word”.  The moment she believed, God’s Son- Jesus Christ was conceived not only in her womb but in her heart.  If she had not believed she would not have been the dwelling place of the “One” who had left heaven to dwell with mankind. But because God knows all things, He knew she would.

     Jesus is the seed that left heaven to penetrate our heart with the “Truth”. The soil or the heart that receives the seed is the dwelling place for its development.   Every seed contains its own predestination purposed by God (Ephesians 1:11, Romans 8:29).  A seed that comes from a fig tree can only develop into a fig tree and produce fruit.  So it was with the seed that was sown in Mary’s womb – predestined to develop into the “Son of God”. 

Just as Mary received God’s Son and saw the evidence of her faith through His birth, we also, are called to be the dwelling place for God’s Son. As He abides with us and we with Him, He manifests Himself in our life (John 15:4 1:27). Our flawed nature (dna) changes into God’s divine nature (DNA) which is predisposed and predestined to develop into His image (Genesis 1:27).  God’s divine nature begins to mesh with our sinful nature until our sinful nature is less recognized as we yield to Him (Ephesians 5:18). Just as every seed that God has created is predestined to become what He has purposed, so has He predestined everyone who “Believes” to become His child.

      Our part is to believe and receive.  His part is to transform us through the work of His Holy Spirit. The soil that is cultivated by a repentant, receptive and believing heart is the heart that is covered by Christ’s blood. Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin (Hebrews 9:22).  When we receive God’s plan (Word) for reconciliation to Himself a “Holy” God, the “Seed of Truth” will not lay dormant but grow up reaching into heaven and into eternal life.  Just as the womb must be covered with blood in order to receive the implant of the father’s seed meshed with the mother’s seed, thus does it occur, spiritually.

So how does one become born again? How does one leave the dominion of this world and enter God’s Kingdom?

It is “only” through faith in God’s “Only” begotten Son who shed His blood and paid the penalty for our sins. There is only one path to birth, and one birth canal that leads to eternal life – “Jesus is that path ++++++++++++ and the father waits eagerly to “Deliver”. (John 3:16)

“The TRUTH which is conceived in the heart through faith will develop into a “new understanding” of the divine perception, transforming into the very nature of God. DF

 

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16

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What’s Behind the Hoarding?


Fear or Trust?

“And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.  For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.
But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.” Luke 12: 29-31

Scripture Meditations:
Luke 12:13-34 (Rich man hoarding), Luke 6:38 (Giving),
Matthew 10:39 (Losing or Saving), Habakkuk 3: 17-18 (Want)

Our country has been blessed with an abundance of food and material things, much of which is essential, some beneficial, and with a lot, not even necessary. As you enter any market place in most cities, you are met with an overwhelming sense, there is much to be thankful.  However, for those of us who have never known hunger or poverty, we go pass the cornucopia of amply stocked shelves day after day, never imagining it could all go away.

The crisis of the coronavirus pandemic has presented many with this stark reality; there is no definite, sustaining guarantee medical science will find absolute treatments and cures, the government will financially support everyone, there will always be enough food, and law-enforcement will always be there to protect us.

There is only one thing we can depend on:

“Our God remains absolutely sovereign over everything!
Psalm 103:19

So how does the sense of God’s sovereignty work for us in this time of crisis and does it work for everyone? It’s the blessed assurance He is in charge of every circumstance in our life, and there is absolutely not a thing that can force His Hand in the opposite direction of His Divine and Perfect Will. His Word is full of comfort and promises for all who trust and believe in His Goodness and Provision. He has given us His love letter, written in the script of His Son’s own blood, and in His Word, we are sustained, assured and nourished on the bread of life.
John 6: 43-51
Matthew 4:1-4

Hoarding our Fears

There seems to be a run on a number of things at this time, and it depends on each one’s preference and values. That is why it’s puzzling concerning why there is a fear of running out of toilet paper. But fear begets fear, and even if something is not really needed, the fact that it is in demand and may disappear makes it a precious item. That brings me to where I want to make my point that when it comes to God’s sovereignty and provision, toilet paper doesn’t even escape His notice.

I recall, watching IFA’s ( Intercessors for America ) prayer call last week when Jeremy Story of Campus Renewal was giving an example of God’s wonderful sense of humor and ability to meet all of our needs anytime, and anywhere. It seems, Jeremy has a big family with seven children, and as he went out to the stores, not knowing what he would find, he was confident of one thing, the Lord knew His needs. As he looked for the coveted paper, there were none on the shelves and the store was overrun by many seeking the same thing. When, suddenly, the store clerk holding a package in tow, asked if he needed toilet paper, which he replied,  a bit startled, “well yes”. And as he placed it in a cart and headed for the register, there were those asking, “Where did you get that?”

As he searched for over the counter medications for his children, he ran into the same uncertainty as to where he would find them. He was batting zero and did not know where to go. So, he got in his car and just started driving. It was at that moment the Lord spoke to his heart to turn into a shopping center he was not at all familiar. Right there in front of him was a drug store. So he went in and noticed the shelves stocked with all kinds of medicines, and noticed no other customers were in the store. What serendipity of God’s blessings to meet his needs all in one day! Proverbs 3: 5-6

Our family had a similar thing occur when we tried to find the meats we were accustomed to buying. There were none left. When we decided to shop at another store, we found only one package of each. As we gleaned from what was left, we were grateful to have exactly what we needed, no more and no less.
Scripture Reference: “Manna from Heaven”- Exodus 16: 17-18

The Word so beautifully demonstrates this. God shows us how to trust and give, instead of hoarding in fear. When Ruth and Naomi returned to the land of God’s people, they did not know how they were to get food. But God had made provision, by teaching His people not to glean their wheat fields, completely, but to always leave enough sheaves, behind, for those who were poor.

Scripture Reference:” Enough for the Poor”- Ruth 2:2

As I reflect, I can remember many times God came through for me, everything from finding something lost to arriving at the airport on time.

What does God’s Word say about His provisions in great things and small?  There are so many promises, I could write books on them all.

“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:32:

God held nothing back but gave us His Best, His Only-begotten Son, who came in the flesh and died for our sins.   Jesus is acquainted with all our grief and all our needs and has made provision for all we lack in the best of times and in the worse of times.

Scripture Reference: Matthew 6:24-34    John 3

If only we would believe and trust in His salvation and provision through faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and receive the Peace that passes all understanding, not the peace that the world gives or favorable circumstances, but God’s peace that is within us and assuring us, “ALL is Well”.

Finally, the Apostle Paul knew how to trust in the Lord in all circumstances, through sickness, persecution, imprisonment, rejection, shipwrecks and in all he was able to say:

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:12-13

 

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In Christ We Rest


“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of Truth, the gospel of salvation.  When you believed you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.” Ephesians 1:13

Genesis 8: 8-12   Mark 1:10-11

I want to share something amazing. When I was reading how Noah sent out the dove from the ark, the second time, and how it did not return, I suddenly had a spiritual picture of where that dove found his rest. As soon as Jesus stood up from the water baptism, the sky opened up and a dove descended upon His shoulder. It was as though, there was a transit in time from the time Noah released the dove to the exact moment God opened the heavens and the dove appeared, finding his rest on Jesus.

The dove’s salvation was finding land. Our salvation is receiving Jesus. Noah and his family were saved by God’s grace through faith. We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (His blood shed for us), and when cleansed (the cleansing through the Word) through repentance (acknowledging our sins) and faith (In His Salvation), we receive the hope of our salvation (His Holy Spirit).

Our rest is not found in a place nor our works, nor in escaping our circumstances (even the Coronavirus), but only through trusting Jesus Christ, as our Savior. Through accepting Jesus Christ, repenting of our sins, we receive the assurance of His Holy Spirit – “manifested in hearing the voice of the Father say, “you are my beloved child, in whom I am pleased, I will be with you, even to the ends of the earth.”

How do we enter God’s Rest and are saved?

  • When we hear the message of Truth of our salvation: (John 3:16, Romans 10:8-11)
  • When we Believe the Message of Salvation in Jesus Christ.
  • When we receive the “seal” (promise) of His Holy Spirit.
  • When we continue to Trust God in all of our circumstances.

 

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The Serendipity is in the Waiting


Brandi Ramirez

Luke 24: 13-34

“Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived,
no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.” Isaiah 64:4

In working with my great-granddaughter, I discovered an easy, experiential method of incorporating many of the academic skills required for preschool.  It started with the idea of going through the alphabet and with each letter discovering everything in our environment that relates.  I was able to use the resources available and even some which were easy to access online.

Now that school is closed, because of the Coronavirus, I have decided to use this method again to complete her year in pre-k. Since I just bought a waffle iron, I decided to start with the “W”.  It was amazing, how together, we kept discovering things that relate.

That morning, together, we made the batter for the waffles. While we ate them, I asked, her if she could think of other words with the “W” sound. She did. Then we moved into her playroom where she had a cart with books. I said, let’s find a book with a “W” word in the title. As I glanced at the cart. “Lo and behold”, stood the book titled, “Welcome to Kindergarten”.  That led to a discussion on the meaning of the word, “welcome”. As we read, I told her to find other words beginning with that letter. There were many. One word we found was the word “wood”. That reminded me of how we used a “wooden” spoon to stir the batter, which led to the discovery of other things made of wood in her room. And, of course, you guessed it, that led to the discussion of where wood actually, originates.  As I am writing this, the wooden cross where Jesus died on the cross, just popped into my mind, and how it represents the Tree of Life- the promise made sure as He shed His blood.

When I opened her bible to find a story, I allowed her to choose which one she wanted to read. She chose the story of Jesus’ baptism. We learned what baptism means, and why Jesus asked John to baptize Him. And of course, how He was baptized, in the water! I asked her what big animal swims in the ocean beginning with “w”, and we discovered the word, “whale”.  If I had so inclined, we could have watched a YouTube video and learned facts about whales.  We’ve done this previously when I was teaching her preschool skills before she officially started school. Again, as I continue to write this little episode, I am thinking how Jonah remained in the whale three days, and then came out to preach repentance.  All of these mini-lessons are what teachers call the “teachable moment” whereby, what you are presently experiencing or discussing, transforms into a perfect object lesson.

“A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver”. Proverbs 25:11

Since my little darling, likes to whine instead of wait, it just came to my mind to use these “w” words to demonstrate “opposites”. I told her when she whines, its because she can’t “wait”, and that makes the person (her mother) not want to give her what she’s whining about. As I was teaching this moral lesson, it suddenly dawned on me how the Israelites were whining through the desert with their murmuring and complaints. God had been faithful on numerous occasions, like bringing forth water from the Rock and raining down manna from heaven. But, because, they couldn’t wait, they demonstrated their unbelief. God gave them eventually what they wanted, but their journey was made so much longer by their wanderings and unbelief.

As I recall the story, God’s people never lacked a thing, even their shoes remained the same.

There are so many opportunities to hear His voice, now, while the many distractions and busyness have temporarily gone away. He has so many wonderful things to show us about Himself, and opportunities to share those golden nuggets, “waiting” to be discovered, as we learn to “wait” and praise.

“As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them.  Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared!  They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24:30-32 NLT

 

 

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