Cleansing the Temple of our Hearts: Making us Ready for His Return

Matthew 23- 24: 1-2
1 Corinthians 3:16

“Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple.  But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” Matthew 24: 1-2

Summary:  Jesus was not impressed with the magnificence of the temple structures, in fact, as His disciples pointed them out, He explained, what they see, will not stay, but be destroyed.

Our  Worldly Aspirations Destroyed

Reflection: It reminded me of the twin towers in New York City which within a period of three hours completely collapsed.  Within the towers, seemingly, important things took place, yet now, the place of its desolation is known as “ground zero”.  And Just as the explosion created an expansive hole on that site, there are aspirations, hopes and confidence shattering today, leaving a tremendous void in many hearts. But God has a way to fill us with His hope, in His own Way, through salvation in none other than His Son, Jesus Christ. ( John 14:6)

After cleansing the Jewish Temple, Jesus told the prestigious religious men who were occupied by it, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”  Of course, he was not referring to their temple, but His Temple, His body in whom the embodiment of God the Father and Holy Spirit occupied and dwelt. Later, His disciples remembered what he said, when they witnessed His resurrection from the tomb, and His victory over death
(John 2: 18-22).”
                                                    The Cleansing of Our Temple

  While meditating on these two scriptures (Matthew 24: 1-2) and the previous events that took place (Matthew 23), I recalled, there were two cleansings of the temple that took place; One at the beginning of Christ’s earthly ministry and again at the end.
(John 2: 13-22, Matthew 21: 12-13).

                                                                       The Last are First

In God’s Kingdom,  the last become first and the first are last. After all, Jesus entered this world in humbleness,  born in a stable, while lowly shepherds heard the proclamation and were the first to hear the news. And towards the end, as Jesus entered Jerusalem on that fateful Passover week, He mounted a donkey instead of a horse, receiving praises not from the wise and learned but from the mouth of babes.
(Matthew 21:31, Matthew 21:16, Psalm 8:2)

                                                                What God will Remove
One morning I awoke to hear the Lord say,“ I am removing everything not of me”.

                                                                Prepared
It reminds me also, how upon receiving salvation, upon hearing the Word, we are made whole, cleansed and renewed, born again,  by the Word  that was spoken to us. And the cleansing continues as the Holy Spirit and His Word dwells within, sanctifying our hearts. For those who are in Christ Jesus are prepared, made ready for the returning of the King ” for such a time as this “ filled with His Spirit, transformed by His Love.
( John 15:3, Ephesians 5: 26-27, Esther 4:14, Revelation 19: 7-8, Matthew 25: 1-13)

Resource:  The Lesson of Esther

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!  See, your house is left to you desolate.  For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” Matthew 23: 37-39

My Response in Prayer: Dear Lord, I am so grateful for the sanctification of Your Holy Spirit and through Your Word. I know, though my flesh be destroyed, You will complete my salvation and raise me up without spot or blemish, to be where you are in your everlasting Kingdom, in the new Heaven and the new Earth.
(Romans 8:13, John 17:17)

Resources: The Destruction of the Temple
Resource: Out of the Mouth of Babes
Resource: What does it Mean?: Out of the Mouth of Babes

 

Abide in His Word and write your own personal Devotional today. 

Posted in Faith Messages | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Remembering His Words

 

                                                                     Luke 24:1-12

“Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee:  The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’
Then they remembered his words.” Luke 24: 6-8

 Jesus told His disciples many things and even told them at one point He had much to say, but they would have to wait.  But after His resurrection, when what He said actually took place, His words became alive and they understood everything.
(John 14: 19-26)

When I got up yesterday, Easter Sunday, I looked out my lake view window to witness  the brilliance of the sun rising from its horizon, magnificently displayed. I then recalled the Lord’s Name, the “Bright and Morning Star”- the beginning of all things, the beginning of a new day. And suddenly, it occurred to me after reading in Luke 24,  in the same way, how His Word rises up in comprehension, illuminating our spiritual perception in a profound and personal way. (2 Peter 1:19)

Jesus gave a promise to all believers about sending His Holy Spirit to live in our hearts. His promise was by His Holy Spirit we would recall all that He says. Have you had the experience, when suddenly you recall just the right scripture that sheds light on your circumstance or thought?
(John 14:26)

Jesus said , “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” John 15:7

 How to Abide in His Word, Today

Posted in Faith Messages, His Abide | Tagged , | 3 Comments

The Savior’s Passion

Luke 19: 41-44

When Jesus drew near Jerusalem after His triumphant entry, after hearing the praises of the people, He wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.”  He further said that their “enemies would surround them and prevent them from escaping, tearing them down, with not one stone standing upon another because they did not know “the time of their “visitation.

Jesus knew that the praises would soon turn into accusations and rejection which would lead to His crucifixion and death. But even with this divine knowledge, He did not think of Himself, but mourned over everyone who could not see because they would rather remain in their sins then to repent.  But to those who believe, His spirit abides,  becoming the very temple built up to eternal life.

Lord, never let me take for granted my salvation, in which you paid the price for my sins, but to work it out in my life so I may glorify you and give you true praise.
In Jesus Name, Amen.  CR- Matthew 24:2, Ephesians 2: 21-22, John 14:27,
John 4:23-24, Philippians 2: 12-13

Posted in Faith Messages, His Abide | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Available for Jesus

 Luke 9:10-11

The disciples told Jesus all they had done and so Jesus slipped quietly away with them toward the town of Bethsaida. But the crowds found out and followed them there, and so He taught them about the Kingdom of God and He healed those who were sick.

Jesus never turned anyone away, no matter how inconvenient it was. Sharing Jesus Christ and helping someone in need is not always convenient for us, but like Jesus, we should just make ourselves available whenever we can. Have it in mind not to hold back when you have the opportunity to do good. “Do for others what you would want them to do for you.” In this we represent Jesus.

Dear Lord, please develop within me the mindset to see a need and meet it whenever it is necessary, and not hold back anything I am able to do in you. In Jesus Name, Amen.

 

You Can Write Your Own Devotional

Posted in Faith Messages, His Abide | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

You Can Write Your Own Daily Devotional

Abide in my Word

Abide
(Remain, Continue, Wait, Trust, Stay)
In Jesus

What is Jesus telling His Church (Body of Believers) to do?

Answer: Jesus (Who) is telling (Who) His disciples to Abide (What) in His Word (What) and to keep His Commandments of love, (Why), to bear His Fruit.

Scriptural Context: John 15: 1-17

During the celebration of the Passover with His disciples, and before His arrest and crucifixion, Jesus tells His disciples what they need to know concerning His relationship to Himself, the Father, the Holy Spirit and with one another. In John 15: 1-17 Jesus describes His relationship with the Father and Himself and those who believe in Him. The allegory He uses to demonstrate their relationship is a vine with branches bearing fruit.

Fruit– Christ’s Character and His Works: Results of abiding in Him

John 15: 1-17 ESV

Scriptural Base: I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser . Every branch  in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, ( airei– lifts up ) and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you . By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love,  just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.  These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full .This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends,  for all that I have heard from my Father  I have made known to you.  You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit  and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.  These things I command you, so that you will love one another.

 

Why do we need to Abide in Jesus?
Scriptures: John 15:4-5
“As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.”
“ I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”

 How do we Abide in Jesus’ Word and His Love and bear His Fruit

Answer: By Meditation of His Word and Prayer

When, Where, and Why should we spend time in God’s Word and Pray?

When should I spend time in God’s Word and Pray? First thing before you start your day.

Mark 1:35Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
Luke 6:1213
One day soon afterward Jesus went up on a mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night. At daybreak he called together all of his disciples and chose twelve of them to be apostles.

My Testimony: Matthew 26:40, Mark 14:37: One morning I heard in my spirit the Lord say, “Can you not spend one hour with me.” I immediately got up and found a quiet, secluded place to pray. Prior to hearing His voice, I was getting up at 6:00 as a commitment to IFA to pray for our nation. But God was calling me to pray earlier, because I was having interruptions as the family started getting up at that time to start their day.  So, I got up at 5:00 and prayed,  then the Lord put it upon my heart to read the scriptures first, before I  prayed, and I began later to write down in my journal “from scripture” what I was hearing Him say. I began to see a pattern in my journaling- I summarized in writing what I had just read, then I would write what I understood the Word to say. As I read, summarized and then reflected upon the scripture, I was receiving the Holy Spirit’s interpretation and soon began to recall scriptures that related. So, I began including the cross references in my written reflection as well. Soon, in response to the reflection, I began responding with a written prayer.

                                                             Why Meditate on the Word

Scriptures:
God has given us His Examples and Warnings to Follow:
1 Corinthians 10:11 – “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come.”

Everything We Need Can be Found in the Word of God- God’s Perfect Resource/Provision
2 Timothy 3: 16-17 – “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,  so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Jesus is Your Master Teacher:
1 John 2: 24-27- “As for you the anointing you received from Him remains in you….
Matthew 23: 8-9- “But you are not to be called, Rabbi…..

Why Write it Down?
Scriptures: Deuteronomy 11: 18-21, Deuteronomy 27: 1-8
Example: S – Summary  R- Reflection  P- Prayer

Summarize – Write in your own words what the Word actually says (Listen)

Reflection/Revelation- Write in your own words what you understand the Word to say.

Prayer- Respond back to God what you would like to say concerning the revelation you receive.

Example:  Scripture: Luke 9: 1011

S- The disciples told Jesus all they had done and so Jesus slipped quietly away with them toward the town of Bethsaida. But the crowds found out and followed them there, and so He taught them about the Kingdom of God and He healed those who were sick.

R- Jesus never turned anyone away, no matter how inconvenient it was. Sharing Jesus Christ and helping someone in need is not always convenient for us, but like Jesus we should just make ourselves available whenever we can. Have it in mind not to hold back when you have the opportunity to do good. “Do for others what you would want them to do for you.” In this we represent Jesus.

Connections: CR – Luke 6:29-31- Give to everyone who asks. CR – Luke 10:33- The Good Samaritan who stopped what he was doing to help a man in need.

 P- Dear Lord, please develop within me the mindset to see a need and meet it whenever it is necessary, and not hold back anything I am able to do in you. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Where should I spend time in God’s Word and Pray?

Go wherever you can find a solitary, private, quiet place to study and pray. Preferably the same place everyday. Find a place where there are few or no distractions
(with only a light, bible, Bible Reference,  notebook and pen).

You Can Write Your Own Daily Devotional

By summarizing the scripture you read within its context, the Holy Spirit imparts revelation to its meaning and your response is your prayer. This is communion and it pleases the Lord for us to approach His Word for the purpose of not only hearing what He says but by doing it, manifesting His Truth to the world.


Available

 4/16/22

Luke 9:10-11

The disciples told Jesus all they had done and so Jesus slipped quietly away with them toward the town of Bethsaida. But the crowds found out and followed them there, and so He taught them about the Kingdom of God and He healed those who were sick.

Jesus never turned anyone away, no matter how inconvenient it was. Sharing Jesus Christ and helping someone in need is not always convenient for us, but like Jesus we should just make ourselves available whenever we can. Have it in mind not to hold back when you have the opportunity to do good. “Do for others what you would want them to do for you.” In this we represent Jesus.

Dear Lord, please develop within me the mindset to see a need and meet it whenever it is necessary, and not hold back anything I am able to do in you. In Jesus Name, Amen.

 

 

 

Go to “His Abide” for further Study

Posted in Faith Messages, His Abide | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

El Shaddai

“So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech.  Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment,  now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.”
1 Peter 2: 1-3

                                                           God’s Image and Character
In the beginning God created mankind in His Image – male and female. Therefore, the characteristics of God are manifested in men and women as one.  Genesis 5: 1-2
We often recognize God’s male characteristics manifested in scripture, but do we also note the feminine? He is both the one who is in absolute authority, while nurturing at the same time.

                                                                             El Shaddai
When you look at the Hebrew meaning of the name of God – El Shaddai, you see that it means “Almighty God” and “Breast”. God is able to make provision for those whom He has spiritually birthed through faith, just as a nursing mother provides her children with the milk that flows from her breast.

Resource: The Meaning of God’s Name – El Shaddai

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! Isaiah 49:15

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!”
Luke 13:34

                                                          Breastmilk vs Formulas
While nursing my infant son, I discovered some amazing characteristics of the relationship between a mother and her nursing child. I also discovered how the constituents of breast-milk is exactly what a newborn needs to become healthy and strong. There are no formulas that men produce that can duplicate what is naturally a part of the milk that naturally flows. I was so grateful to my Lord for His encouragement to use what He had created in me. No wonder, premature and sick infants are saved by receiving this awesome nourishment where formulas fail.
There are so many properties that make up breast-milk that scientists have yet to identify them all. But what they do know is that only breast-milk contains protective elements that protect the baby from invading organisms, has exactly the type of protein that a baby can digest and other nourishing elements that meet the newborn and the growing child’s specific needs.
The first milk, the newborn receives – colostrum, is golden like honey and is power-packed with everything an infant needs in the first few days following birth. This reminds me of how after being” born again in God’s Kingdom” John 3:3, believers feed on the rich nourishment of God’s Word: Psalm 19:9-10.


Resource:
The Composition of Breast-Milk

                                                        God’s Word – Real Food
Only God’s Word will do, not man’s formulas; only the spiritual milk that causes us to discern from what is evil and what is good. 1 Peter 2: 1-3

When Jesus walked this earth He made the radical statement about His blood and body being food and drink.  John 6:53-56.

                                                                    Milk and Honey
After God delivered His people from the land of the Egyptians, he led them to a land flowing with milk and honey which sounds very much like the milk not from cows but from his “Infinite Breast”- straight from His compassionate heart.

Just as He sent His Son, Jesus Christ – His Word- to give us eternal life.

God invites us to feed upon His Word which transitions from milk to meat as we spiritually mature.  And as we continue to be nourished on the Word of God, and digest it with understanding; apply it to our lives, we grow up in our salvation and abide in His infinite Love. 1 Corinthians 3:1-3

 

Taste and See the Lord is Good!

How to Taste the Word for Yourself

 

 

 

Posted in His Abide, Nurturing Faith | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments