David built houses for himself in the city of David. And he prepared a place for the ark of God and pitched a tent for it. 1 Chronicles 15:1
a tent (as clearly conspicuous from a distance):—covering, (dwelling) (place), home, tabernacle, tent
I will consecrate the tent of meeting and the altar. Aaron also and his sons I will consecrate to serve Me as priests. Exodus 29:44
As the Israelites sojourned from place to place, they would pitch their tents where God called them to do so, and folded the tents when God called them to move on.
And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst. Exodus 25:8
While the Israelites were traveling, God had, as His dwelling place, a tabernacle in a physical tent that could be picked up and moved with the Children of God. We, too, live in spiritual tents as we journey in this place.
For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 Corinthians 5:1
And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. Deuteronomy 30:6
As I travel the highway of holiness, growing closer to God, I know that my days are numbered. I know not how many, yet I know that one day I shall be with my Maker. I see many signs of aging such as my gray and white hair, walking more slowly and limping at times. I have limitations now that I did not have when I was 20, 30, even 40. For the time remaining in my life, I walk with my LORD, staking my tent where He says, packing it up as He directs, to carry along as I go. I am a stranger on this earth, a sojourner here until God’s time for me comes.
We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace.. 1 Chronicles 29:15
My heart is a tabernacle for the LORD. My life is His. I live for Him as He lives in me.
Father God, You call me to You as we walk this way together. I pray that I am most willing to follow You, taking up my cross daily, picking up and stretching out this tent each day. May my heart truly be the tabernacle of Your Spirit, physically as well as spiritually, Father. The precious thought that Your Spirit lives right in my heart delivers such love and joy to me! No matter what the circumstances of my life look like from moment to moment of each day, I know that I am Yours and that I am not a stranger to You. I have been known by You since before I was born, since before this earth came into existence. Oh, that You created me and have made me Yours. How joyous I feel all over! The order of my days is in Your hands. I pray that I am obedient to You. You called me to be a citizen in Heaven with You. So, as I walk the remainder of my days on this earth, I have Your Kingdom to look forward to, my Sweet LORD. I pray in the Name of Jesus. Amen and Amen.
Bleeding Heart Photo (graphics by me): https://pixabay.com/en/bleeding-hearts-flowers-cluster-red-55120/
Painted Heart (graphics by me): by Michal Boubin @ http://images.fineartamerica.com/images-medium-large/1-painted-heart–symbol-of-love-michal-boubin.jpg
Psalm 27:8 photo: by Lana G @ https://verseography.com/2011/08/25/psalm-278-come-and-talk-with-me/
Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil. Ecclesiastes 5:1
to hear intelligently (often with implication of attention, obedience, etc.; causatively, to tell, etc.):— attentively, call (gather) together, carefully, certainly, consent, consider, be content, declare, diligently, discern, give ear, (cause to, let, make to) hear(-ken, tell), indeed, listen, make (a) noise, (be) obedient, obey, perceive, (make a) proclaim(-ation), publish, regard, report, shew (forth), (make a) sound, surely, tell, understand, whosoever, witness.
How then will they call on Him in Whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in Him of Whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:14-17
hearing (the act, the sense or the thing heard):—audience, ear, fame, which ye heard, hearing, preached, report, rumor
to perceive by hearing
In both the Old and the New Testament, we find the words listen, hear, hearing again and again. Our parents often told us to listen, to pay attention, or they asked us, “Did you hear me?” They knew we did not always hear them because we were not listening. Does that ring any bells?!! It does for me, even though I was a pretty obedient kid. I still was a kid.
Then I grew up and went my own ways. God spoke to me often but I did not always listen to Him either. When I disobeyed the Father, I often fell and then could not always get out of the rabbit holes I found myself in.
Prophets, throughout the Bible, spoke God’s Word, calling on His people to listen, to hear, to obey:
You shall say, ‘Hear the word of the LORD, O kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. Thus says the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing such disaster upon this place that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. Jeremiah 19:3
God gives us His Word to direct our paths:
Your Word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning,
more than watchmen for the morning. Psalm 130:5-6
And He humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. Deuteronomy 8:3
Jesus calls us to listen, to hear, to obey:
“Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.” Matthew 13:7-9
The Son of Man will send His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear. Matthew 13:41-43
I have ears. I am to hear. I am to pay attention. I am to be faithful in my obedience to the One Who calls me to Him. His Word is where the Truth is…and only there. The Word is Christ.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1
I read this and wonder how and why I can possibly NOT listen, NOT hear, NOT obey. He is the Word and the Word is All.
Look at these precious gifts afforded to us:
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
“If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” And He said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” Mark 4:23-25
In Him you also, when you heard the Word of Truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, Who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:13-14
And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 1 Thessalonians 1:6-7
Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for
“All flesh is like grass
and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you. 1 Peter 1:22-25
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are truly My disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32
Oh, I praise You, LORD, for the love that You have for us, Your creations who do not deserve such love, yet are given it because of Who You are. In Your bounty, we receive the gift of Your Holy Word filled with Your Truth. Your Holy Son, in His death, gives us the opportunity to come to the foot of the Cross to receive forgiveness and salvation. The Holy Spirit comes to live in us to teach us and pray as our mediator when we know not how to pray. You, my Father, are the Giver of all gifts to Your children. I am so grateful to be one of those blessed to be under Your wing. I want to have ears to hear and know the Truth. May I be obediently listening and willing to follow Your ways. May I walk closely to You, my Abba Father. Forgive me when my ears are closed or I am “too busy” with worldly things that I miss the message that is right before me. Forgive me when I am disobedient to You even when I hear Your words. Father, teach me Your ways that I may walk in faithfulness. I pray in the Name of Jesus. Amen.
This is what the Sovereign LORD,
the Holy One of Israel, says:
“Only in returning to Me
and resting in Me will you be saved.
In quietness and confidence is your strength.
But you would have none of it. Isaiah 30:15
used only of God
where God is submissively and reverently addressed
Other interpretations in various Bible translations:
the master, the LORD
LORD GOD, the Holy One of Israel
As I read the news, even just the headlines, all seems chaotic, disorderly, out-of-control in our world. YET…God is in control. It is His world. It always has been. ‘My small world,’ the one in which I curl up within, seems much calmer, quieter, more peace-filled, but I also live in this big world, this world of so many unknowns. I know the world has been through many awful periods – wars, famines, droughts, annihilation, etc…from the beginning of time. Yet, I do not want this chaos now. I just want peace. I do not have control, though. What I continue to unravel is that my peace only lies in the One Who does have the reins in His hands. He has absolute control of His creation…each and every bit of His creation. He is sovereign.
Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.
In Psalm 147, we see that He has all in His power:
He counts the stars
and calls them all by name. verse 4
He sends the snow like white wool;
He scatters frost upon the ground like ashes. verse 16
He hurls the hail like stones. verse 17a
He sends His winds, and the ice thaws. verse 18b
and in Amos 4:
“I kept the rain from falling
when your crops needed it the most.
I sent rain on one town
but withheld it from another.
Rain fell on one field,
while another field withered away.” verse 7
“I struck your farms and vineyards with blight and mildew.
Locusts devoured all your fig and olive trees.” verse 9a
“I sent plagues on you
like the plagues I sent on Egypt long ago.
I killed your young men in war
and led all your horses away.
The stench of death filled the air!” verse 10a
God can do all – everything and anything. At the end of many verses in the Bible, the words that sting me are: “But still you would not return to Me,” says the LORD.
Oh, that we would turn from our wicked ways and return to our Creator, the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel. God’s heart is towards us and He wants us each and all to repent, coming back to Him. Let us each begin with ourselves. Do not expect everyone else to go first. One at a time, we face ourselves and then face our God with humility and repentance, handing our hearts back to the One Who molded those hearts.
Look at the gifts that await us when we turn to God:
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
He utters His voice, the earth melts.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
Come, behold the works of the Lord,
how He has brought desolations on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
He burns the chariots with fire.
“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah Psalm 46
Most Sovereign God, I pray for Your world and all that is in it. You created everyone and everything. May Your mercies flow upon this earth. May we each and all repent of our ways, returning to You just as there was a turning of Your people (during the reign of King Hezekiah):
Do not now be stiff-necked as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to the LORD and come to His sanctuary, which He has consecrated forever, and serve the LORD your God, that His fierce anger may turn away from you. 2 Chronicles 30:8
“For the LORD your God is gracious and merciful and will not turn away His face from you, if you return to Him.” 2 Chronicles 30:9b
At the same time, God’s hand was on the people in the land of Judah, giving them all one heart to obey the orders of the king and his officials, who were following the word of the LORD. 2 Chronicles 30:12
Oh, LORD, that we would follow You and Your Word, trusting in Your sovereignty. You are the One Who loved us first and Who loves us still. Thank You for cherishing us, my Father. In Your Powerful Name, I pray. Amen.
“Turn to Me and be saved,
all the ends of the earth!
For I am God, and there is no other.” Isaiah 45:22
There is no other. Amen and Amen.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Genesis 1:1
- heaven, heavens, sky
- visible heavens, sky
- as abode of the stars
- as the visible universe, the sky, atmosphere, etc
- Heaven: the abode of God, the dwelling place of God
- visible heavens, sky
On my last post, My Citizenship is in Heaven, I wrote of the assurance of having my home in Heaven and not here on the earth. During these times, that promise is such a calming assurance. Heaven is a beautiful word in Hebrew, shamayim. A Hebrew word ending in im is plural…sense the vastness of the heavens. Go outside on a clear night; lie down on the grass. Look up and see the wide heavens filled with stars and planets aglow far away yet right before your very eyes. The vast heavens draw us nearer to the God of Creation.
Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD’S thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is. Deuteronomy 10:14
“There is none like the God of Jeshurun (Israel),
Who rides the heavens to your help,
And through the skies in His majesty.” Deuteronomy 33:26
“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You; how much less this house that I have built!” 1 Kings 8:27
Not only did God create such beauty with such depth, width, height, and length, but, ultimately, God sacrificed His One and Only Son. He loved us so much that He gave His All.
“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
I am blessed beyond measure.
And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Hebrews 10:10
ONCE AND FOR ALL! Hallelujah!
God is mighty. He is great. He is above all.
The Mighty One, God the LORD,
speaks and summons the earth
from the rising of the sun to its setting. Psalm 50:1
Praise the LORD!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise Him in His mighty heavens! Psalm 150:1
He is holy.
“Consecrate yourselves, therefore, and be holy, for I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 20:7
Our Redeemer—the LORD of hosts is His name—
is the Holy One of Israel. Isaiah 47:4
As a child of God, a child who loves her Father and Creator, I desire to be holy as He is holy. I am continuously learning to be humble, to bow, to kneel before Him. I am always learning what this call means…to be holy. Oh, but the delight that comes to me in this learning to be holy is that I “shall obtain fresh joy” … FRESH JOY! Oh, is this not a beautiful gift?
The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the LORD,
and the poor among mankind shall exult in the Holy One of Israel. Isaiah 29:19
Only through God’s holiness, His strength, His peace, His love can I live in this world with my eyes focused heavenward…on Eternity. Ability to hold my tongue from speaking that which is ungodly is a gift of my God for He is holy. I can speak words of encouragement, and take my thoughts captive, for He is holy. Forgive me, Father, when I fail.
I am only able to be holy, as He is Holy, when I spend time in His Presence and in His Word. As I am obedient to Him, He conforms me, molds me into His image.
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as He Who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14-16
Looking up, I begin to count the stars, knowing every single one is His. I go barefoot in the sand, feeling zillions of grains between my toes, under my feet, knowing that they are each His as well. I stand at the ocean’s edge, feeling the waves pulsing or crashing at the shore. I am overwhelmed at the immensity of all that is God’s.
You are Holy, LORD, and are due my full respect and adoration. I am so filled with gratitude for Your sacrifice of Your Son for me, for saving me from myself, my sins. You poured out Your Love for me, for others such as me from time immemorial. You painted the heavens and the earth so that I would have homes in which to be sheltered now and for Eternity. Your grace and Your mercy cover me, Abba Father, so that I may know Your Fatherly Love. In the vastness of You, my Father, I pray. In the Saving Name of Jesus. Amen.
“Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.” Isaiah 12:6
Stars over Sand Beach by Kent Miller (National Park Service/Acadia National Park-Night Sky Festival each year in September) – https://www.nps.gov/acad/learn/news/acadia-night-sky-festival-offers-shuttle-to-the-stars.htm
Sun Rays Through the Clouds Over the Ocean at Beach by Captain Kimo – https://captainkimo.com/hdr-photography-gallery/
Then she gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, for he said, “I have been a sojourner in a foreign land.” Exodus 2:22
alien, sojourner, foreigner
living in a strange land among strange people; anyone who is not native to a given land or among a given people
As a side note:
a stranger there, foreigner, expulsion
Look at the two Hebrew letters of this second word on the right. Those two letters are identical to the first word (made of only those two letters). These two words are interconnected. The Israelites were bondservants in Egypt at this time. This land was not the one God had given them. Moses named his son by the experience he and Zipporah were having at that time.
As strangers in a strange land, as the King James version reads, I am feeling that today in my home country. I do not know what the future is nor will be in the United States of America nor in this world.
Yet, one thing I do know is that I am God’s and He is my Father. He is with me and asks me to trust Him. I will. I do. I am trusting Him. There are a few, maybe many, of my steps when I forget and fall into the traps of this world. I do not want that for myself nor anyone else. He will pick me up and set me aright as I stay near to Him.
May I trust in You, God of all creation, every minute of every day, and not lean on my own understanding nor that of men and women of this world. You are the One to Whom I place my trust.
Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify on the day of visitation. Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by Him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. 1 Peter 2:11-17
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3
For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body, by the power that enables Him even to subject all things to Himself. Philippians 3:18-21
This World is not My Home: https://www.pinterest.com/jimmcavoy/i-am-a-citizen-of-heaven/
Black and White photo: https://terryburridge.wordpress.com/
Do Not Be Shaped… : http://www.crossmap.com/devotionals/are-you-citizen-of-earth-or-heaven-16983
Set Your Mind… : https://www.pinterest.com/pin/238127899019893582/
Sun shining through… I added words): http://www.rarewallpapers.com/sun-shining-through-the-clouds.html
Passport Clipart: http://canada.um.dk/en/
When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Acts 2:1-4 ESV
Oh, LORD, Your Holy Spirit rained on me in Your mighty rushing wind the day I told You I was a sinner…I asked for forgiveness…I wanted Jesus to be my LORD and Savior. The language I am learning is Your language, LORD, Your Words. I know that I hear Your still, small voice. I have ears to hear the beauty of Your words. I have eyes to see the words in Your Word and I am able to understand them, little by little. Your Spirit teaches me. My heart pounds with thrill at this moment. You fill me. I am that house, Your body temple. You came to live in me. Thank You.
I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh. Acts 2:17
Oh, Holy Spirit, You are the living rain pouring out upon me. You drench me in Your wisdom and knowledge. You give me what I need at the moment of that need, IF I am ready, willing, and asking for it. May I seek Your forgiveness, Your comfort, Your love…in all times.
Amen. Everyone. I pray they call upon You as I have.
(For David says concerning him,…) “You have made known to me the paths of life; You will make me full of gladness with Your Presence.” Acts 2:28
Years before Jesus, David was a man after God’s own heart. He wanted to be in step with his Father God. He loved His Father. He sought forgiveness when he sinned. He knew he had done wrong in the sight of His God. He listened. He delighted in the LORD. Pentecost is about rejoicing and dancing under the beauty of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Pentecost opens us to newness and community. Pentecost is change and repentance.
May my heart be open and ready every day.
“Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus Whom you crucified.”
Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Acts 2:36-37
LORD, my heart is repelled from these thoughts. I am one of them. I feel their agony and know their wrong. I refused to accept Jesus as my LORD for many years. I asked, “What shall I do?”
… “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the Name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to Himself.” …“Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” Acts 2:38-40
Yes, Yes…to repent and be baptized in Your Name, O Christ, for I seek forgiveness of my sins. I seek You. I live in a crooked generation. I am thankful that You saved me, LORD. I praise You. The Holy Spirit has led me away and is teaching me and showing me the way.
Then he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the LORD of hosts. Zechariah 4:6
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. Acts:2:42-43 ...with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. Acts 2:46-47
LORD, the words that are being ingrained into my heart from these verses are “devoted” in community. It is the fellowship of believers that You call us to. Guide me. Instruct me. “Awe” – reverence in looking at Who You are and what You have done. May no act of mine be none other than the Yours, the Glory of my LORD. A “glad” heart, a “generous” heart “praising” God that His Spirit reigns within us–what a beautiful and full array of outcomes of Pentecost. We serve a Mighty God.
To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 1 Corinthians 12:7
May my every day be to seek You and know You. May my every day be a day of Pentecost…the mighty rushing wind fills me to overflowing with the peace of Your Kingdom. May I know the words to speak in each circumstance as You set before me one who needs You, one who needs forgiveness, one who needs love, a refuge, peace. Father, guide me and equip me. In Your Name, I pray. Amen.
Words…words can be beautiful or not so beautiful. They come in forms which are read or heard, even touched (as Braille). Words in the public arena these days seem so harsh, hurtful, grievous to those with eyes to see them and ears to hear them. Yet…the words I am focusing upon are lovely. I am choosing to live this day in the midst of a beautiful word-garden. I want my heart and mind and soul to walk through the garden of kind and gentle words, of peaceful words, words of beauty, generosity, and gratitude, words of God. I do not want to read or hear those words that hurt my heart or stab at my soul or conflict my mind. I have chosen only a few as there are so very many. I place one or two of the definitions alongside them.
Words I like this day:
gossamer: a film of cobwebs floating in air in calm clear weather; something light, delicate, or insubstantial
mellifluous: having a smooth rich flow; filled with something that sweetens
efflorescence: the period or state of flowering
felicity: the quality or state of being happy; a pleasing manner or quality especially in art or language
lilt: a spirited and usually cheerful, bouyant song or tune
quintessence: the essence of a thing in its purest and most concentrated form
iridescent: a lustrous rainbow-like play of color caused by differential refraction of light waves
halcyon: calm, peaceful; happy, golden
vellichor: the strange wistfulness of used bookstores, which are somehow infused with the passage of time (an invented word used on social media and gaining usage)
petrichor: the distinctive and pleasant smell that can accompany rain falling on ground baked dry (from Greek words, used in some science fields)
zephyr: a breeze from the west, a gentle breeze
cascading: a steep, usually small, fall of water; especially: one of a series of waterfalls
Cascading waters, the sound so pleasant to my ear even though I am not near any right now. They remind me of The Living Water, of Christ Jesus. He brings sweet grace: a charming or attractive trait or characteristic; a sense of propriety or right; the quality or state of being considerate or thoughtful; and, of course, unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification; a virtue coming from God; a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine assistance into our lives, dwelling in our hearts.
The Word of God is the life of my very being.
In the beginning was the Word, 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 was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. John 1:1-4
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
For from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. John 1:16
The lovely words at the top are special, yet it is the Word of God, the Truth, The Word, Christ Jesus Who rains down the truly beautiful words. He is Truth. His words bring meaning to the life I walk and live each day.
LORD, I pray I hold fast to the hem of Your garment, that I will completely trust in You, having the faith of the woman who touched Your hem. When I do let go and go my own way, that is truly not the way I want to be going. I pray, that as much as I love words themselves, that I will always love The Word far above all else.
Your words were found, and I ate them,
and Your words became to me a joy
and the delight of my heart,
for I am called by Your Name,
O LORD, God of hosts. Jeremiah 15:16
Oh, that I will always find Your Words so satisfying and refreshing to my soul. I desire to be hungry and thirsty for them. May this be so. In the Name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.
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In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1
Matthew Henry said: “He is the Word speaking from God to us, and to God for us. John the Baptist was the voice, but Christ the Word: being the Word, He is the Truth, the Amen, the faithful Witness of the mind of God.”
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life—the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us—that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. 1 John 1:1-4 ESV
Father, I pray I will meditate upon Your Word as if devoured by Its beauty, Its vibrancy, Its call from the depths. May I hear Your voice in my ears, my heart, my soul. May I seek You diligently without procrastination or unwillingness. Oh, Father, I want to please You so. You, my LORD will command Your lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night Your song shall be with me, and my prayer shall call unto You, my God, the God of my life. (Psalm 42:8) I pray in the Name of Your Son, Jesus the Christ. Amen.
But the people of God will sing a song of joy,
like the songs at the holy festivals.
You will be filled with joy,
as when a flutist leads a group of pilgrims
to Jerusalem, the mountain of the LORD—
to the Rock of Israel. Isaiah 30:29
Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed. Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me? When I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb jumped for joy. You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what He said.”
“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord.
How my spirit rejoices in God my Savior!
For He took notice of His lowly servant girl,
and from now on all generations will call me blessed.
For the Mighty One is holy,
and He has done great things for me.
He shows mercy from generation to generation
to all who fear Him.
His mighty arm has done tremendous things!
He has scattered the proud and haughty ones.
He has brought down princes from their thrones
and exalted the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away with empty hands.
He has helped His servant Israel
and remembered to be merciful.
For He made this promise to our ancestors,
to Abraham and His children forever.” Luke 1:42-55
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. Luke 2:15-20
Father God, such joyful news You have given me in the beauty of Your Son, Your One and Only. You have brought glad tidings to us all. May my ears be open to hear the words of the shepherds. May my eyes be open to see this wonderful “thing” that You have done. May my heart be open to hear Mary’s heart-words. I thank You for blessing me with the saving grace of Christ Jesus. I bow humbly, Father, in adoration and respect and honor. I love You so. In the Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.
‘Tis hard to look at this world and see joy at times. There is so much going on, near us and far away. It just looks so terrible. Yet, God sent Jesus to us and for us. He sent Joy to live in our hearts. He wants us to be joyful. As empty vessels, He can fill us with the Presence of His Holy Spirit. Hope, Joy, Peace, and Love want to fill us up to overflowing so that we can be the joy in this world…the peace in this world…the hope and the love in this world. He wants us to spread the good tidings of great joy everywhere we go and are. May this be our prayer.
Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.” Luke 2:10
- to bring good news, to announce glad tidings (used in the OT of any kind of good news)
- of the joyful tidings of God’s kindness, in particular, of the Messianic blessings (in the NT used especially of the glad tidings of the coming kingdom of God, and of the salvation to be obtained in it through Christ, and of what relates to this salvation)
- glad tidings are brought to one, one has glad tidings proclaimed to him
- to proclaim glad tidings
- instruct (men) concerning the things that pertain to Christian salvation
This world so needs the joy of the LORD…
The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the LORD,
and the poor among mankind shall exult in the Holy One of Israel. Isaiah 29:18
They lift up their voices, they sing for joy;
over the majesty of the LORD they shout from the west. Isaiah 24:14
…yet I will rejoice in the LORD;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation. Habakkuk 3:18
“…And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10b
He has come…
And she gave birth to her firstborn Son and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths and laid Him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, Who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” Luke 2:7-15
from Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Luke 2: “He furnishes them with abundant matter for joy: “Behold, I evangelize to you great joy; I solemnly declare it, and you have reason to bid it welcome, for it shall bring joy to all people, and not to the people of the Jews only; that unto you is born this day, at this time, a Saviour, the Saviour that has been so long expected, which is Christ the Lord, in the city of David,’ …. Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed; He is the Lord, Lord of all; He is a sovereign prince; nay, He is God, for the Lord, in the Old Testament, answers to Jehovah. He is a Saviour, and He will be a Saviour to those only that accept Him for their Lord. “The Saviour is born, He is born this day; and, since it is matter of great joy to all people, it is not to be kept secret, you may proclaim it, may tell it to whom you please. …. This is matter of joy indeed to all people, great joy. Long-looked for is come at last. Let heaven and earth rejoice before this Lord, for He cometh.
“The angels’ doxology to God, and congratulations of men, upon this solemn occasion. The message was no sooner delivered by one angel than suddenly there was with that angel a multitude of the heavenly hosts; sufficient, we may be sure, to make a chorus, that were heard by the shepherds, praising God; and certainly their song was not like that which no man could learn, for it was designed that we should all learn it. Let God have the honour of this work: Glory to God in the highest. God’s good-will to men, manifested in sending the Messiah, redounds very much to His praise; and angels in the highest heavens…. Other works of God are for His glory, but the redemption of the world is for His glory in the highest.
“Let men have the joy of it: On earth peace, good-will toward men. God’s good-will in sending the Messiah introduced peace in this lower world, slew the enmity that sin had raised between God and man, and resettled a peaceable correspondence. If God be at peace with us, all peace results from it: peace of conscience, peace with angels, peace between Jew and Gentile. Peace is here put for all good, all that good which flows to us from the incarnation of Christ. All the good we have, or hope, is owing to God’s good-will; and, if we have the comfort of it, He must have the glory of it. Nor must any peace, and good, be expected in a way inconsistent with the glory of God; therefore not in any way of sin, nor in any way but by a Mediator. Here was the peace proclaimed with great solemnity; whoever will, let them come and take the benefit of it.” *
Father, I come to You this day and sense Your very Presence in my life. You love me. You have sent Your One and Only Son, Jesus, to save me from my sins, to draw me near and grow me to be more and more as Jesus, into the image of Your Son. I can only imagine the blessing that I can be through the obedience to You in my daily walk. I desire to bless You, Father. I desire to love You from the very depth of this heart that You created as it fills up with Your Love.
Thank You for bringing Your Joy to this Earth for our sake. You give me smiles and hope and peace and love. You have given me JOY deep in my heart.
I’ve got a joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart
Down in my heart, down in my heart…
I’ve got the love of JESUS down in my heart
Down in my heart, Down in my heart
I’ve got the love of JESUS down in my heart..
Down in my heart to stay…. **
Precious Heavenly Father, the joy I feel, as I sing these songs, takes the stress and strain away that this world carries. You know all and have complete control. Thank You for sending Your Son to bring us Hope, Peace, Joy, Love and much more. As I spend time in Your Word, at the foot of the manger, I know that this Joy is real. He cometh. Praise You…Praise You. Glory be to You, the Father, the Most High. In the Name of Jesus, I pray with Joy…Amen.
* Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Luke 2
** I’ve Got the Joy (also called: Down in My Heart), George W. Cooke, 1926