Turning Back

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“Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, declares the Lord GOD.  Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin.”  Ezekiel 18:30

שׁוּב

shuwb

to turn back, return to God

restore, repair,  refresh

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Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets long ago.  Acts 3:19-21

μετανοέω

metanoeō

to change one’s mind with intent on obtaining God’s pardon

to change one’s mind for better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one’s past sins

conduct worthy of a heart changed and abhorring sin

Repent a word that I have misunderstood from the beginning of my spiritual walk with my LORD. Apologizing over and over again has only brought me back to the same sinfulness over and over again. I am truly sorry for my ways. I am sorry I mess up, but beating myself over the head again and again surely does not make me a better Christian. It becomes a mental as well as a spiritual handicap. I feel stuck and browbeaten. The worst part is that I feel like I am the one doing it to myself. Yet satan is the beater, the tempest, the devil dressed up, the evil one torturing me and accusing me. And I believe him far too often. I fall for his lies.  

Repent I know I have done many wrongs. I admit them. It is in the turning away from those ways and returning to God that brings me to the pathway He has for me. I want to walk it with Him. My life changes. I live differently than I did before I made the turn. The spiritual upward spiral toward God, a beautiful relationship with Him, abiding in the LORD, is repentance. I turn as a ballerina turns, keeping eyes focused on a point, twirling from point to point. Jesus is my point. I turn to Him, staying focused upon Him for balance, for holding center.

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It is by faith, not anything I do today or any other day, that I am forgiven. Leaning on myself is not the answer. Leaning on the LORD is truly the only answer.

Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.  Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with Me.  Revelation 3:19-20

By grace…I trust
By hope…I see, I hear.
By faith…I believe.

By love…I desire the One Who forgives me.

Repent by prayer
Repent on my knees
Repent moment by moment
Repent from my heart
Repent …. with eyes fixed upon Jesus
Repent live by the Spirit
Repent

 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith,…    Hebrew 12:2a

LORD, may the Spirit change my heart every moment of every day to be Yours, to follow Your Ways. May I release the reigns from my own grip and trust, with open-handed faith, that You are my Caregiver, my Provider, my Husband, the Lover of my soul. LORD, I pray that as I grow in You, that I understand that I must die to this self and live for You. You are forever gracious. I am forever grateful. I pray in the Name of Jesus, my Focal Point. Amen. 

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graphic: http://www.pinsuggest.com | http://www.pinstopin.com

Ballerina:Stunning technique and form – Elizabeth Rodbell of the Rochester City Ballet (New York state). @ http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_me8rpa1iTX1qix34io1_500.gif

My Heart — Your Dwelling Place

bleeding heart blog

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

אֹהֶל

‘ohel

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

heart blog

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

lord I am coming

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. 

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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/

Ears to Hear

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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

שָׁמַע

shama`

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

ἀκοή

akoē

hearing (the act, the sense or the thing heard):—audience, ear, fame, which ye heard, hearing, preached, report, rumor

to perceive by hearing

he-who-has-ears

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 truthJohn 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

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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. 

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photo of child:  https://michaelanthonygagliardi.wordpress.com/2012/07/04/faith-comes-by-hearing-the-word-of-god/

graphic: https://marthabailey.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/omaha-omaha-kill-kill/

Bible: unknown

God is Sovereign

god-is-sovereign

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

אֲדֹנָי

‘Adonay

The LORD

used only of God

where God is submissively and reverently addressed

Other interpretations in various Bible translations:

Sovereign LORD

LORD

Lord GOD

Lord Jehovah

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. 
Ecclesiastes 3:11

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.

heart

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.

beblacksig

Graphic: https://livingselah.com/