Before His arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed for Himself, His disciples, and for all believers in Him. Did you know that? Yes, He spent His last hours of freedom on this earth in prayer.
That shows how important prayer is to God and how much Jesus loves us. He put everything else aside at the end of His life to pray.
First, He prayed to the Father for glorification as God’s Son to finish the work He was sent to do (Read John 17:1-5). He also included that His glory would in turn glorify the Father by Jesus becoming the eternal life that would save all who believe; that people would know both God the Father as the one true God and Jesus, His Son. So, He included all believers in this prayer as well! Jesus also asked the Father to restore Him to the glorious standing He had with the Father prior to the creation of this world. Wow! That confirms the apostle John’s claim in the beginning of this book, Chapter 1:1-5:
1In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He (Jesus) was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5And the light shines in the darkness (the world), and the darkness did not comprehend it.
Next Jesus prayed for His disciples. He declared them as belonging to God the Father, Who in turn gave them to Jesus. He entrusted them into the care of the Father:
15I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. ~John 17:15-18
And by example, Jesus showed how the Gospel was to be spread throughout the world. Even today, each teacher makes disciples to take the Good News further and further to the lost. No one can improve on God’s perfect plan.
Before He headed on over the Brook Kidron to meet up with His accusers in the garden, Jesus prayed one last time for US – all believers! Isn’t that pure love on His part to not leave out one single person who comes to Him? Even facing capture and certain death, Jesus prayed these words:
20I do not pray for these alone but for also those who will believe in Me through their word; 21that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
And Jesus nails it down to endow all believers with even more!
22And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.~John 17:20- 23
It is hard to comprehend, how much Jesus interceded on our behalf! He established our bill of rights, so to speak, with the Father. We are to be as one with God and Jesus, and be glorified as Jesus was from before the world was formed. We shall be made perfect in Jesus, so that the world will see that Jesus was truly sent by God the Father to earth to be the Redeemer of men. And that God loves people just as much as He loves His own Son, Jesus.
What a message! Join me today with joy and thanksgiving to praise our loving God in Heaven for His gift of salvation to all who believe!
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. ~John 16:33
I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. ~John 14:6
Bless you for visiting this blog. May it encourage you with the message of God’s love, joy, and peace, until Jesus returns for His own.
Hello friends – just checking in. Lately I’ve been thinking about God’s goodness toward us. Our Heavenly Father is SO GOOD, it’s a broad subject, but let’s look at just a few verses in His Word:
10For thus says the LORD: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform my good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place. 11For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13And you will seek Me with all your heart. 14I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back from your captivity. ~ Jeremiah 29: 12-14
The LORD was instructing His prophet, Jeremiah, to encourage the disobedient people of Israel by revealing His plan to limit their captivity in Babylon to seventy years. At the end of that judgement period, He promised to forgive their pride, and restore their inheritance and covenant with Him (Jeremiah 12: 14-17).
Thoughts of peace and not of evil – God’s plan is to restore people to their previous status of enjoying a personal relationship with Him forever. Adam and Eve experienced this during their time in the garden called Eden before their fall from grace. Yet God always thinks kindly toward mankind and wants only good for each person.
Call upon Him – Our God is a gentleman. He has gifts, knowledge, and much to share if we ask. 2” Thus says the LORD … 3’Call upon Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’” ~ Jeremiah 33: 3
Isn’t that the desire of most people? Don’t most of us aspire to become greater and learn more about lofty things? Isn’t God offering unimaginable rewards to those who seek Him?
Then go to Him! Seek after Him with your whole heart. He promises that we will find Him. I believe that happens through accepting God’s Son, Jesus, Who sacrificed Himself for our sins so that we can find our way to God, repent, and obtain forgiveness. Paul exhorts us to “Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.” ~II Corinthians 13: 11
This verse is short but deep. Do you notice that our LORD is the God of peace and love? He comforts us and helps us to achieve wholeness. That’s REAL GOODNESS! God is good all the time, but His nature is only shared with us when? – when we agree to come together and co-exist in peaceful harmony. That would exclude wars, lawlessness, human trafficking, and a host of other global human disgraces. Of course, our sinful nature does not condone peace. But with God … He promised to send a Redeemer to Earth that would rescue men from sin. After many centuries His Son, Jesus, arrived on Earth and was rejected by God’s people. Nevertheless, Jesus (who never sinned – as He was God in the flesh) allowed Himself to be crucified in our place which changed everything for those willing to accept eternal life. Following Jesus changes our hearts from darkness to light. We are reborn into a new life filled with the Holy Spirit, Who guides us on how to live a more acceptable life in the eyes of God. Whatever sin has a grip on us, the incorruptible power of Jesus can break the chains of guilt and shame; setting us free to live as God intended from the beginning of Creation.
Through prayer, has God provided for you when hope was lost? Has he rescued you from a dangerous circumstance? Reconciled a broken relationship? Or blessed you with a family that loves you dearly? If so, you have surely experienced the goodness of God. Every day we can praise God for His goodness toward us. So, let’s do that right now … Thank You, LORD, for loving us and showing us nothing but your goodness. We worship You right now for using Your awesome power to bear us up even when we don’t deserve Your mercy. Instead of casting us out, You invite us in! We believe in Jesus because of Your mercy, which is greater than all our sin. HALLELUJAH!! REJOICE!! Blessed be the LORD!!! Blessed be the name of Jesus!! Amen.
Does God hear us? Does He keep His promises? Absolutely He does, according to the verses above and in many other passages of scripture: Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” ~ Exodus 33:19
Many would say that we are living in the latter days. I hope so. Maranatha! Maranatha! Come soon, Lord Jesus:
They shall fear (be in awe of) the LORD and His goodness in the latter days. ~ Hosea 3:5b
Friends, let us not war against God’s Spirit as we see the world do. Galatians chapter 5 describes what it looks like to walk in the Spirit. It looks like love. It feels like kindness, gentleness, and comfort to the soul.
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.24And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. ~ Galatians 5:22-26
That’s not just for Valentine’s Day, folks! It says we are to LIVE that way every day!
Let’s finish today with an admonition from the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Galatians, 5:13-15:
13For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!
I seldom hear verse 15 cited, but God’s Word is true – every word. Now bless you all and thank you for following Importantstuff.Live!
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11But let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread Your protection over them, that all who love Your name may be filled with joy. 12For You bless the godly, O LORD; You surround them with your shield of love. ~Psalm 5:11-12
Happy Spring everyone! Celebrate and shout for joy to the LORD!
And THANK YOU for being so special to God that He sent His only Begotten Son to earth to save us from our sins.
“For the Kingdom of Heaven is like the landowner who went out early one morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay the normal daily wage and sent them out to work.”
Now the payment for a full day’s work during the time of Jesus in the Greek was a denarius. The original value of a denarius was about the same as a U.S. penny today. It was a silver coin used by the Greeks and Romansfor about 400 years. Due to inflation its value changed quite a bit and by the time it fell out of use it was equal to about two dollars U.S. today.
What could one buy with a denarius? If I am not mistaken, roughly 10 asses. A Roman soldier’s annual wage one or two hundred years after Christ could have been a denarius (10 asses); while a Roman officer’s annual wage may have equaled 2400 denarius (24,000 asses!).
So how does all that relate to Jesus’ Parable of the Vineyard Workers, as our topic is commonly referenced? Hop down to verses 12 & 16 for Jesus’ answer to protestors of His reward system for workers:
12 ’Those people worked only one hour, and yet you’ve paid them just as much as you paid us who worked all day in the scorching heat.’
16“So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last.”
The scorching heat reminds me of those workers who harvest the fields of lost souls which Jesus commanded us and of persecution of His followers down through the centuries. Yet Jesus died for all. His gift of salvation is equal to all who believe; whether rich or poor; slave or free; regardless of our accomplishments, gender, race, or AGE. My understanding is that a person who accepts Jesus as a youngster and walks closely with our LORD for an entire lifetime of diligent dedication to sharing His Gospel with others, will be rewarded the same as a person who comes to Jesus later in life – or even at the end of life. Yes, this parable is talking about Jesus comparing His followers’ rewards to His money – that He can spend as He pleases. He mentions it as a demonstration of His kindness to all who will come to Him.
Isn’t that a lot to grasp? There’s more …
And jealousy! Jesus warns against it – in favor of kindness.
Then on the way to Jerusalem, Jesus takes His disciples aside and privately reveals that He will soon face betrayal and false accusations by religious leaders who will sentence Him to death. He will be tortured and crucified by the Romans (Matt. 20:17-18). But Glory to God! He will arise from the grave on the third day. What a powerful victory! But sadly, their recorded reactions are basic questions of who will benefit the most when Jesus rules the Heavenly Kingdom of God. Personal status and reward are foremost in their minds. Nothing is recorded here pertaining to reactions of sorrow or grief about the coming sufferings of their LORD on the part of the disciples.
This Resurrection (Easter) Week may we seek empowerment by the Holy Spirit; to walk as Jesus did by encouraging both the lost folks and faltering believers alike. Receiving a spiritual normal daily wage as reward from our Savior in the future age to come binds us. It doesn’t separate us. It defines us. It marks us as His; for what He suffered for us in order that we might inherit life everlasting. Our works are in His keeping as we trust His promise:
13‘Friend, I haven’t been unfair! Didn’t you agree to work all day for the usual wage? 14Take your money [reward] and go. I wanted to pay this last worker the same as you.’
The message of Jesus never changes. He leaves the 99 sheep to go look for that one lost little lamb. Is that you today? We experience many trials in life, but know that He is always there when we place our trust in Him. We do not walk alone after we commit our life to Jesus. Get this taken care of now, friend! Eternity is long and time is short. Click here for God’s Plan of Salvationand my prayers go with you on your journey to discover just how generous our Landowner Jesus is with His Normal Daily Wage …
God bless you all, and Thank You for following Importantstuff.Live!
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CHURCH AGE – As soon as Christ ascended to Heaven and sat at the right hand of God, His disciples began to testify of their knowledge of Jesus and their convictions that He was, indeed, the promised Messiah. Many people on earth have since become followers of Jesus as well. This period of time is known as the Church Age. This is the current time in which we all live today.
Many more events relating to the promised return of Christ to earth, and an event called The Rapture, occur next on the timeline. Man will be given ample opportunity by God to repent of sin and accept His gift of redemption through confession of sin, repentance, and following Jesus. That is the primary goal of God’s Plan from the beginning. But sometime in the future after that, time runs out. God allows no more time for man’s rebellion against Him. The open doorway to God closes forever. For a downloadable timeline image of God’s plan for mankind on earth, here is the link.
There will be times of Great Tribulation, Millenium Reign of Christ, and White Throne Judgement. God will demolish (burn up) His creation of everything as it is now in order to start over. Everything will NOT be rewound and played over with a different outcome, as possibly Satan would like to see happen (as he has no creative abilities such as our LORD does); and in his delusional thinking would result in a successful takeover of God’s creation, being a counterfeit god. No. God will speak out and by His Word there will be a tremendous reset. Satan and his followers will be judged and sent to a fiery eternal damnation while those who love Jesus and have become followers of Him will reside with God; whether it be here on a transformed earth, or in a new Heaven; or both:
Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also, there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, ”Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” ~Revelation 21:1-5.
Big BIG promises! But notice that time is fixed by God Himself and it does end when God’s Plan is finished. Jesus finished His part of our redemption at the cross. But questions linger in the minds of men still.
“Why am I here?”
“How can I ever know God?”
“Is God real?”
“Is this all there is?”
“Is God dead?” and
“Does He even know I exist?”
There are books and movies made about these sorts of questions; so, if you are still reading or listening by now, know that all humans want to know the answers – not just me, or you. These are the types of unanswered questions that often generate suicidal thoughts, so we should give them the importance they deserve. It is a matter of life and death.
It’s about time that people open God’s Word for the TRUTH.
Jesus said to him, “I AM the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE. No man comes to the Father except through Me” ~John 14:6 (emphasis added).
And Jesus promised to send us another Helper after His resurrection, His Holy Spirit!
“However, when He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth.” ~John 16:13a
So knowing that we are living in the last age of time before God’s terrible judgement comes upon earth, may I encourage anyone who has not before taken that step of faith to believe on Jesus as LORD to please do so now. Time is of the essence! Eventually the opportunity will be taken away by God, or each of us will pass away into the spirit world where there are no more chances to make this decision for Christ.
“I will not always strive with men”.
Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments. ~Deuteronomy 7:9
Praying that all have the opportunity to hear the Gospel and will make that decision to come to Jesus while the time is ripe!
Thank you for following Importantstuff.Live and God bless your heart today!
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Good morning! What a night … I was awakened at 6am by a call from my dear one in the hospital who is doing much better. Thank and praise You, RAPHA, THE LORD – MY HEALER … Prayer works!
So, what about time? The way I understand the subject of time in God’s Word goes thus-way:
God created our universe, with sun, moon, planets and other stars; and made order out of chaos. Then he set things into motion with laws of physics to rule the physical realm with all sorts of mysteries like gravity and time that would keep things moving along. Heavenly bodies revolve around stars (i.e., our sun), and environments favorable to life were established and still function according to His Word today. In other words, God SPOKE everything we know of into existence at creation. Then God said, “Let there be light,”; and there was light. ~Genesis 1:3.
God also maintains His creation according to His plan, simply by His command. Beginning at Genesis this theme is evidenced throughout the Bible, but we will not explore those scriptures here today.
But what about time? God created time for His creations on our physical plane, but at the spiritual level, there is no time. That is called eternity, and God resides and operates there from a realm called Heaven. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. ~John 4:24.
God is not the author of confusion (I Cor. 14:33). He created worlds within a universe because He has a BIG master plan – which has to do with mankind as the central focus. In order to execute any plan in the physical, I believe that time is necessary. A timeline is necessary also. A plan unfolds step by step. Events take place at a certain time and result in a timeline, or chain of events. This is the primary way that God creates and maintains order for us; so that we can understand and follow along with what God is doing as it relates to us. Let’s pause right here and acknowledge that a whole lot more is likely going on in God’s realm that we are not privileged to know, i.e., angelic things, and activities or worlds of other spiritual beings that God has yet to reveal to most of us.
PUSH PLAY – So oversimplified, but my drilled-down introductory version of things I really want to talk about today – which is the subject of time, as it relates to this enormous plan of Almighty God. What is God’s Plan, and where are we on His plan’s timeline? How can we find out?
Of course, God has told us about His Plan in His Word:
“He has saved us and called us to a holy life – not because of anything we have done (works) but because of His own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.” ~2Timothy 1:9
In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. ~John 1:1
So, before the beginning of time, THE PLAN is God’s GOSPEL PLAN – The way of our salvation. It is how we have been created for the glory of God to have a relationship in eternity with Him forever. The Word is Jesus, Who, by the statement of the Apostle John above, was present at creation; Who was there with God the Father, and Who in fact was God. In fact, it says that all things were created through Jesus; and also that Jesus is the Light of the World, which fact was rejected by most people at the time.
Whew! So everything prior to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus is now behind us on the timeline of God’s Plan. God’s promises of sending a Messiah Savior to the world of men, Jesus, has been fulfilled and the Church Age began.
But is it really true that Jesus is the one and only Son of God, Who came to earth in a physical body, lived as we do, and was then sacrificed on a cross in place of us? He who knew no sin became our sin? He, Who defeated death on that cross by resurrecting on the third day after? Let’s shine some light on this with some scripture:
Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” ~Luke 24:44-49
Law of Moses fulfilled in Jesus:
What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; ~Galatians 3:19
What Seed is that?
And the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” So the LORD God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life, And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed (the Messiah); He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” ~Genesis 3:13-15
Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! ~Galatians 3:21a
Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. ~Galatians 3:24-25
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” ~Jesus, in Matthew 5:17
Fulfillment by Jesus of what is written by the Prophets:
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great Light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death. Upon them a Light has shined. ~Isaiah 9:2
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. ~Isaiah 9:6-7
Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. ~1Peter 1:10-11.
Jesus read in the synagogue on the Sabbath day at Nazareth, where He was raised as a child:
And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.” Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”~Luke 4:17-22
All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you, lowly, and sitting on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.'” ~Matthew 21:4-5
And further fulfillment of the promises of a Messiah in Psalms:
1Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? 2The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, 3“Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us.” 4He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The LORD shall hold them in derision. 5Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure: 6“Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion.” 7“I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. 8Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. 9You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.'” 10Now therefore, be wise, O kings; Be instructed, you judges of the earth. 11Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little, Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him. ~Psalm 2
Yes, Jesus became a bit angry at the temple in Jerusalem in Matthew 21:12:
Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves, and He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’“
In You, O LORD, I put my trust; let me never be put to shame. Deliver me in Your righteousness, and cause me to escape; Incline your ear to me and save me. Be my strong refuge, to which I may resort continually; You have given the commandment to save me, for You are my rock and my fortress. ~Psalm 71:1-3
It’s about time that people open God’s Word for the TRUTH!
As I began writing this post, I soon realized that it is going somewhere only God knows. It seems there will be a Part Two | The Church Age; so if you have made it to the end of this first part, thank you for hanging in there! I appreciate you so much. But hey, no need to wait until the next post to accept Christ Jesus as LORD:
Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. ~2Cor 6:2b
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Tonight is not the sort of night that brings restful slumber or peace. The day’s activities went mostly as planned and nothing went sideways like things sometimes do. We got a tiny scrap of snowfall. No big deal for our northern climate. My neighbor shoveled the sidewalk, so I didn’t have to bother.
Only one meeting today and that went well, too. Yes, it was an easy, productive day… until I got that phone call at three pm from the hospital. I have been uneasy ever since. The news is not good concerning my beloved inpatient there. In this case, “there” is over 160 miles away, and it appears that things have deteriorated health-wise since yesterday.
Oh, Dear Father in heaven: prayers for mercy and healing for our loved one who is so, so sick. Help and guide the staff who cares for this one, that all treatments will be for betterment. May his relationship with you be on solid ground so that angels can attend his every need according to Your will. Bring him peaceful slumber tonight and may he breathe easily in comfort on room air. Bring him through this time of illness; ease the painful suffering and renew his bones and flesh to a physical strength of his former good health. Restore him to home and family, according to Your perfect will, in the Holy Name of our LORD JESUS! Thank you, Father. Amen
What about you and yours tonight? Do you have anyone who needs prayer for healing and comfort? Do you have a prayer partner to sit with you and intercede for those on your prayer list? I am honored to pray with you if you ask in a comment below, for James 5:14-18 teaches us to lift each other up in prayer.
14Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the LORD. 15And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the LORD will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. 17Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. 18And he prayed again, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.
I am one of the most blessed persons on earth as my stepsister is a real prayer warrior who jumps right into spiritual prayer battle if any of our family has a need. I am so proud of her faithful walk with our LORD. I will only know when I graduate to heaven how many of her intercessions have saved me from the fiery trials of life. You know, it is a special blessing to pray for someone, so please never refuse if anyone offers to pray for you. That would be like stealing their opportunity for great reward! We each have a calling for the LORD, and He brings opportunities for fulfillment.
Being on the independent side, I usually try to go it alone in most of my pursuits. Often, I think thoughts like, “I have Jesus with me – who else do I need?” Or, I stay up with thoughts in the night that somehow my tired crazy mind can solve problems instead of simply praying to my Father in heaven for the answers. One would think that spending a lifetime of night-owl-nonsense would have taught me the folly of my ways, but – not so much, until after 3 or 4am!
Then one day someone asked if she could help me with something; and before I could decline the sweet offer, she said, “Before you say ‘NO’, don’t rob me of my blessing!”
Wow, I had never thought of it that way before. What a concept! From that day on, I have tried to be on the lookout for God working on the blessings of others. If I detect such a situation, I try to shut my mouth and get outta God’s way quick! Yes, I love to see my brothers and sisters lining up their rewards in heaven for being perfectly faithfulin doing good works.
Pardon my ramblings tonight as I do my usual stinkin’ thinkin’ before I settle down to my prayers. Can anyone out there tell me why my motor mind doesn’t skip to the prayer first at night? Thank you for listening as I face my fears over loved ones who hurt, pray as I should, and waste a perfectly beautiful night created for our perfect rest …
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Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You and praise Your name, for in perfect faithfulness You have done wonderful things, things planned long ago. ~Isaiah 25:1
What are the attributes of faith, and just what are the wonderful things planned AND DONE so long ago?
1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. 2By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. ~ Hebrews 11:1-2
Therefore, when He came into the world, He said, “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come – In the volume of the book it is written of Me – To do Your will, O God.’ “ ~Hebrews 10:5-7
Yes, from the very beginning God’s Word teaches that it was planned that God’s only Son, Jesus, would come to earth in a fleshly body to die in perfect faithfulness to God’s will. It has always been about God’s love for man and it always will be so.
The Book of Hebrews clears up a lot on the subject of faith. It was written at a time when the early Christian Jews were considering abandoning their faith in Jesus, in favor of returning to their traditional Jewish religion. This sort of rebellion is not new to the descendants of Abraham. Even though God’s faithfulness is perfect in His covenant with the patriarchs of Judaism, there are many recorded instances of the Israelites backsliding into things like idolatry, flat refusal to enter into the Promised Land, and other instances of disobedience to God’s Word.
Therefore, as only God has performed perfect faithfulness, we as His children, may only aspire to reach it in this lifetime. But instead of giving up when we fail, we can repent and pray for forgiveness. Instead of drifting away from being faithful, we must certainly strive to become overcomers through the urgings of Jesus in the Book of Revelation:
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it. ~Revelation 2:17
BEING AN OVERCOMER MEANS TO BE FAITHFUL! Listen to the pleadings of the Holy Spirit that we keep faithful to God in our hearts:
7Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you will hear His voice, 8Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness, 9Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, And saw My works forty years. 10Therefore I was angry with that generation, And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, And they have not known My ways.’ 11So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’ “ ~Hebrews 3:7-11
SO WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL ABOUT FAITH?
On the one hand, because we want to preserve our salvation by walking out our faith according to God’s grace.
4For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5and have tasted the good Word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame. ~Hebrews 6:4-6
Remember the warning against backsliding in Ephesians 4:30?
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
31“Therefore I say unto you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. 32Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.” ~Matthew 12:31-32
On the other hand, faith without works is dead, James 2:14-26. That sort of Christianity puts us right back under the Law and out of grace. Here we see that perfect faithfulness requires not only a plan, but action as well.
26For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27but a certain fearful expectation of judgement, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. 28Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose will he be thought worth who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the LORD. And again, “The LORD will judge His people.” 31It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
35Therefore, do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. 36For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise:
37“For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry. 38Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.” ~Hebrews 10:26-31, & 35-38
Remember, that by faith we overcome. God has given many examples in the Bible of the hardships that believers have endured while practicing their faith. This particular passage is both heartrending and encouraging those who are under trials:
30By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days. 31By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace. 32And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: 33who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. 36Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. 37They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented – 38of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. 39And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.
1Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. ~Hebrews 11:30-39 & Hebrews 12: 1-2
I hope that this message on perfect faithfulness strengthens your spiritual armor today. May God bless your comings and goings this week. May He guide and protect you from any harm; and above all, encourage you in your spiritual walk of faith.
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In peace I will both lay myself down and sleep, for You, the LORD alone, make me live in safety. ~ Psalm 4:8
This skinny moose calf found its way into our yard during a blizzard last week. After shooing it out a couple times we got more and more snowfall, so I let it stay. It appears to be starving and just needs a few meals of yard shrubs and trees to make it through a couple more weeks of winter. A couple of days ago it quit bedding down here for the night, but according to the footprints left in the morning snow, is making nightly visits for snacks on Mountain Ash berries and munches of Catone-Astor berries.
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
~ Ecclesiastes 3:8
Over the decades I have fenced out the moose from the yard, but occasionally they manage to break in. You win this round, Baby Moose. May you grow stronger and survive to make more mooselings next year …
God bless you all! May Springtime arrive on time, and
“I love you LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
This month we claim God’s love over us; our nation, those in authority over us, those who protect and serve us, and our enemies. The meaning of love is often debated but seldom practiced between humans.
LORD, we aspire to love You like David. Make us strong in your wisdom. May we thirst after Your Word and cling to Jesus – the Horn of our Salvation. Create in us a new heart for You now and forever. We remember the kindness of our Savior, who submitted to the most insulting filth that man could heap upon Him. Forgive our arrogance, Father, in the most Holy and Righteous Name of our King and Refuge, Jesus. All glory and thankfulness to You for Your love toward us. Amen.
May Jehovah bless, protect, and heal each and every one of you this month. May love abound in your hearts toward God and each other;