Secret

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The secret of the LORD is for those who fear Him,
And He will make them know His covenant.  Psalm 25:14

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“For the Lord GOD does nothing
without revealing his secret
to his servants the prophets.”  Amos 3:7

סוֹד

cowd

a session, i.e. company of persons (in close deliberation);

by implication, intimacy, consultation, a secret:—assembly, consel, inward, secret (counsel)

God’s secrets are His counsel to us as we walk with Him in this life.  Many verses with this same Hebrew word read assembly or counsel.  It was often in the setting of many people.  The LORD meets with His people in the quiet of hearts to reveal His covenant, His guidance, His love.

For who has stood in the counsel of the LORD,
And has perceived and heard His word?
Who has marked His word and heard it?  Jeremiah 23:18

But if they had stood in My counsel,
And had caused My people to hear My words,
Then they would have turned them from their evil way
And from the evil of their doings.  Jeremiah 23:22

ms jo

Another Hebrew word for secret:

סֵתֶר

cether

a cover (in a good or a bad, a literal or a figurative sense):—backbiting, covering, covert, disguise(-th), hiding place, privily, protection, secret(-ly, place)

 ‘Cursed is he who strikes his neighbor in secret.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’  Deuteronomy 27:24

‘Clouds are a hiding place for Him, so that He cannot see;
And He walks on the vault of heaven.’  Job 22:14

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.  Psalm 91:1

This secret often seems to be an actual secret place, a hiding place, although it can also be something done behind another’s back.

psalm 119-11-2

A third Hebrew word meaning secret:

צָפַן

tsaphan

to hide (by covering over); by implication, to hoard or reserve; figuratively to deny; specifically (favorably) to protect, (unfavorably) to lurk:—esteem, hide(-den one, self), lay up, lurk (be set) privily, (keep) secret(-ly, place)

And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months.  And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink.  Exodus 2:2-3

My son, keep my words
And treasure my commandments within you.  Proverbs 7:1

Oh, how great is Your goodness,
Which You have laid up for those who fear You,
Which You have prepared for those who trust in You
In the presence of the sons of men!  Psalm 31:19

I have stored up your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.  Psalm 119:11

 

There are even more meanings to the English word, secret, in the Bible than I have placed here.  The New Testament has several as well.  But these will be enough for now.  Some of these definitions are filled with God’s protection and glow.  Others are filled with worldly ways of men.  Yet others have the godly ways of men.  In reading this six-letter word, we need to be attentive to God’s meaning.

Father God, as we read Your Word, please guide us as to Your meaning so that we may glean just what You mean in Your beautiful Word.  I want to dwell in Your secret place, under Your shadow, in Your Shelter, under Your wing and feel secure by being in Your Presence.  I want to sense this every moment of every day, Father.  I trust You, hope in You, and love You.  Praying in the Name of Your Son, Jesus.  Amen.

BW sig dark blue

Graphic 1:  http://weheartit.com/entry/107668659

Graphic 2:  https://www.pinterest.com/mynameismsjo/

Graphic 3:  http://www.kristahamrick.com/577-2/

Isaiah 54

I am participating in a Bible study of Isaiah 54 written and facilitated by Dawn Boyer from Journeys in Grace.  We are in week four.  There are three sections to the study.  Each one will conclude with a woman who epitomizes the verses we are studying.  Hannah is the woman who brings to life these first verses.

AD23 - BARREN WOMAN

Isaiah 54:1-4 ESV

“Sing, O barren one, who did not bear;

break forth into singing and cry aloud,

you who have not been in labor!

For the children of the desolate one will be more

than the children of her who is married,” says the Lord.

“Enlarge the place of your tent,

and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;

do not hold back; lengthen your cords

and strengthen your stakes.

For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left,

and your offspring will possess the nations

and will people the desolate cities.

“Fear not, for you will not be ashamed;

be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced;

for you will forget the shame of your youth,

and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.

 

God commands me to sing, to enlarge the place of my tent, to spread out, and not to fear.  He calls for trusting Him in areas where I have insecurities, where I am full of fear, where I feel guilt, where I am self-conscious or selfish, where I am weak, where relationships have walls or hardening of the heart strings, where He calls me and I think I know better.

Dawn writes in Week One: “The reality is that we all have places where we are broken, barren, and full of fear.  Isaiah 54 is a song that was written for those moments in our lives when we need to be rescued, redeemed and restored.”

I am barren as far as having children.  I struggle with that at times, especially around Mother’s Day.  I actually do not go to church any more on Mother’s Day because the churches I have attended over the years hand out flowers to mothers, celebrating motherhood.  Church does not take into account those of us who are barren or who have lost a child in a miscarriage, having no other children.  I no longer go.

But my barrenness goes beyond childlessness as Dawn points out.  She has us look further into ourselves for areas where we feel barren, as of land which is too poor to produce much or any vegetation, a tree or plant unable to produce fruit or seed, places in one’s life that show no results, achievements, empty of meaning or value, or of a place or building that is bleak and lifeless (definition from dictionary).  When barrenness dwells in one, the fruit of the soul is nil, nada.  The life I live needs the refreshment from God’s Word, from drinking the Living Water of Jesus to grow and show the beautiful God-filled fruit.

Hannah was barren, childless.  She prayed through her struggles, her pain, her feelings of not good enough in the eyes of others.  She prayed silently and she prayed aloud.  God heard her words and answered.  God hears all my words too, even the ones that are filled with frustration or fear or other emotions.  But it is through my prayers that God takes the barren areas and blesses me.  I have faith that God hears me, just as Hannah did.  Trust and obedience take me to Jesus.  I must hear God and believe.  Trust is faith and faith is believing what I cannot see.  For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.  2 Corinthians 4:18  Reading His Word, spending time with my Creator, praying with the heart knowledge that He hears, listens, and answers.  God says in verse four that by being obedient to His commands, I will not be ashamed nor confounded not disgraced, and I will no longer remember any shame from my youth or reproach of widowhood.  Hallelujah!

As Hannah, I have to come before God fully trusting and obediently willing to His very call upon my life.  “Full faith in barren situations yields faith-filled abundant harvest.” (Dawn Boyer)

Father God, I come to you humbly in prayer.  I feel Your hand upon me.  In my love for You, the God Who hears me, I place my life in Your hands and trust You for the fruit of my life.  Teach me Your ways.  Guide me to dig up those places of barrenness and to not be afraid of them.  Bring an Aaron and a Hur alongside of me to hold my arms up when I grow weary, helping me enlarge the place of my tent, to stretch out my habitation, and not hold back.  May I lengthen my cords and strengthen my stakes, that my place be strong and wide and willing and open and trusting in You, my God and my Redeemer.  In the Strong Name of Jesus, I pray.  Amen.

 

Only In Him

identity_500

(The photo and the words below are from ibibleverses.  I could not say this any better.  The prayer is from my heart.)

The Word of God Says in Jesus Christ…

We are faithful

(Ephesians 1:1)

We are God’s child

(John 1:12)

We have been justified

(Romans 5:1)

We are Christ’s friend

(John 15:15)

We belong to God

(1 Corinthians 6:20)

We are a member of Christ’s Body

(1 Corinthians 12:27)

We are confident that God will perfect the work He has begun in me

(Philippians 1:6)

We are a citizen of heaven

(Philippians 3:20)

We are hidden with Christ in God

(Colossians 3:3)

We have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-discipline

(2 Timothy 1:7)

We are blessed in the

heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing

(Ephesians 1:3)

We are adopted as his child

(Ephesians 1:5)

We are given God’s glorious grace lavishly and without restriction

(Ephesians 1:5,8)

We are in Him

(Ephesians 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:30)

We have redemption

(Ephesians 1:8)

We are forgiven

(Ephesians 1:8; Colossians 1:14)

We have purpose

(Ephesians 1:9 & 3:11)

We have hope

(Ephesians 1:12)

We are sealed with the promised Holy Spirit

(Ephesians 1:13)

We are God’s coworker

(2 Corinthians 6:1)

We are alive with Christ

(Ephesians 2:5)

We are raised up with Christ

(Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 2:12)

We are God’s workmanship

(Ephesians 2:10)

We are dead to sin

(Romans 1:12)

We are not alone

(Hebrews 13:5)

We are His disciple

(John 13:15)


LORD, I truly love learning more and more about You and am finding my identity, my identity in You, my Precious LORD.  You have given me every possible gift, drawing me to You.  Oh, how very grateful I am to You for all that You have done for me.  I was created by the hands of the Master Weaver in my mother’s womb.  I was whole then, perfectly woven, but was born into this fallen world.  Your sacrifice upon the Cross and my faith that You are The Resurrected Holy One have given me light and life.  I am whole once more in You.  Hallelujah!  I stand before You as I live this life and begin to understand this identity that I have in You.  Guide me as I take one step at a time, growing more and more like You.  I praise Your Holy Name.  Amen.

 

 

Originally posted 2013-05-03 12:08:44 from http://ibibleverses.christianpost.com/bible-verses-images/our-identity-is-found-in-christ 

Like A Weaver’s Beam

And the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam; and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and one bearing a shield went before him.  1 Samuel 17:7

And there was again a battle in Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jaareoregim, a Bethlehemite, slew the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the staff of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam.  2 Samuel 21:19

And he slew an Egyptian, a man of great stature, five cubits high; and in the Egyptian’s hand was a spear like a weaver’s beam; and he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand, and slew him with his own spear.  1 Chronicles 11:23

(Who were those who slew these men?  These also are the chief of the mighty men whom David had, who strengthened themselves with him in his kingdom, and with all Israel, to make him king, according to the word of the LORD concerning Israel.  1 Chronicles 11:10 …David’s mighty men.)

As a weaver, myself, these verses struck my curiosity chord.  A weaver’s beam…  In technical weaving terms, it is a strong beam, one usually at the top and another at the bottom, bracing the loom.  As pictured in this Navajo loom below, the beams are where the warp is looped so that a weaver can weave over and under those warps with the weft or woof (either name is correct).   There are many types of looms but they do all have some type of supporting beams.

vertical_loom_colours
Three main loom designs were used in the biblical world. On a horizontal ground loom, the warp threads were stretched between beams pegged to the ground. This type is apparently referred to in the Samson story (Judges 16:13-14), as it would have enabled Delilah to weave his locks while he slept. When Samson jumped up, he pulled away the pin(s) of the loom (Judges 16:14) which secured the beams to the ground.

adding-the-loom-305x172
In some vertical looms, the warp was stretched between two beams fixed in a rectangular frame. Work proceeded from the bottom of the loom, and the woven cloth could be rolled onto the bottom beam (Isaiah 38:12). This permitted the weaver to remain seated and to produce much longer finished products.

220px-Rug-weaving,_Hamadan

Another type of vertical loom had the warp threads attached to an upper beam and held taut in groups by a series of stone or clay weights.  Weaving was done from the top to the bottom, and the weft beaten upwards. Large numbers of excavated loom weights testify to the popularity of warp weighted looms in Old Testament Israel.

weave
In all of these looms, there is a rather large beam.  Each verse above speaks of the warrior’s spear being“like a weaver’s beam.”

In the Philistine army, there was one particularly impressive soldier, named Goliath. He was a large man (“six cubits and a span” can be anywhere from 8’5″ to 9’2″), and he had armor and weapons to match his size.

And there came out from the camp of the Philistines a champion named Goliath of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.  He had a helmet of bronze on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze.  And he had bronze armor on his legs, and a javelin of bronze slung between his shoulders.  The shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron.  And his shield-bearer went before him.  He stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why have you come out to draw up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not servants of Saul?  Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me.  If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants.  But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.”  1 Samuel 17:4-9

We know the outcome of this most familiar story as David tries to tell Saul of his abilities:

Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.”  And David said, “The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you!”  1 Samuel 17:36-37

So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. There was no sword in the hand of David.  1 Samuel 17:50

Power in the things of this world and physical strength of man is not of God.  God uses His servants when they are willing, faithful, and surrendered to Him.  We are His weaver’s beam when we allow Him to use us in all we are, do, and say.  Our strength is in the LORD.  We weave our lives day-to-day.  Regrets, wrong turns, blessings, and right turns all roll into the woven fabric of our lives.  Instead of taking up that beam to beat down the devil as he confronts us or to beat down ourselves for poor choices or when we walked away from God, we must get down on our knees, asking God to protect us with His strength, His power, His might, and His lovingkindness.  We must pick up His sword, the Word of God, using it as Jesus did in the wilderness when tempted by the devil.

Father, God, You have called me to honor You in all I am, in all I say, and in all I do.  I want to honor and respect You as I should.  Father, protect me from the evil one, holding me in the cleft of Your rock.  When the Goliaths of this world come near me, I pray that I trust in You as David did.  Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.  This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give you into our hand.”  1 Samuel 17:45-47   May I know in my heart and mind that the battle is Your’s and that You will give the enemy into my hand.  I do not need a weaver’s beam for battle, only to use it to weave a beautiful cloth for You.  May my heart be filled with wisdom as I do this work for You.  Oh, Father, I love You.  I pray in Your Son’s Name.  Amen.

Them hath he filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of work, of the engraver, and of the cunning workman, and of the embroiderer, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of them that do any work, and of those that devise cunning work.  Exodus 35:35

A Heart Adorned — Part Four of Four

Originally published “At the Well – A Titus 2 Ministry,” this four-part series ran in November, 2010.

May this short study bless you as it has me and others.  May the glory be ALL God’s.  Amen.
 

A Heart Adorned
Part Four

Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.  1 Peter 3:3-4 (NASB)

Welcome back to “A Heart Adorned”, our final day on these two verses in 1 Peter 3.  Our focus today is on what “is precious in the sight of God.”  As we walk with You, LORD, may the precious jewels hidden in our hearts be uncovered so that we would become a brighter beacon to Your world.  

Just as we can easily believe that our outward appearance is of importance in who we are, so too must we consider this outer shell to be precious to God.  He created our bodies.  His Holy Spirit dwells in our body-temple.  Caring for it should be of prime importance.  Caring for God’s temple is important and truly necessary.  Yet our bodies, clothes, makeup, and jewelry are only our outward appearance.  God knows the beautiful bodies He created and considers them all such and we must remember that.  It is important to see ourselves in the mirror through God’s eyes, seeing the beauty He created without judging ourselves by worldly standards.

In my young adult years, I really struggled with self confidence and esteem.  With a little help from a precious friend, I began looking into the mirror and saying, “I love you, Linda”.  I said that a couple of times each day, but I could not look myself in the eyes in the mirror when I said those words.  Yet I kept it up.  One day, well into the third month, I caught my eye in my reflection and turned, focusing on myself, and said, “I love you, Linda”.  I repeated the words several times, each time looking myself straighter in the eyes.  I began to see myself differently.  Over time, with repetitive reflection, I began to see the love of God towards me, knowing that He created me, beginning to discern that He loved me.  And I began to see the inward beauty of my hidden heart.  God knows the inner me, the inner you, and wants His beauty to shine and be reflected to His world.  Look at the reflection of the roses in the picture.  The reflection is near perfect in the glass compared to the actual roses.  Imagine we are those roses with all their beauty reflecting Christ as He is beautiful.  Allow the world to see Christ in us.

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).   Belonging to Christ does not eliminate the pressures of the world.  In Christ, our lives are changed as we become a new creation with ever-renewing minds.  We are the dew on the roses of today, sound minds grounded in Jesus, our LORD, to discern His will.  This word “discern” in Greek is “dokimᾱzo”, meaning that “by putting something to use the worth of it can be found”.  Let’s look at some of what we can put to use for God’s Kingdom by finding that which is precious to Him.

  • Be adorned with modesty, discretionary taste, godliness–Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness. (1 Timothy 2:9-10) 
  • Bearing fruit, we are God’s jewels.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)
  • We grow from His incorruptible seed by abiding.  “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
  • Embrace hope, chasteness, submission, obedience, reverential awe as many women of the Bible displayed.  For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear (1 Peter 3:5-6).  Mary, the mother of Jesus, Ruth, Esther, are just a few of God’s examples of holy women for us to ponder.
  • As we abide in the Word, we become an epistle, a letter to the world.  We speak His Truth without fear.  In purity, we do not malign the Word of God.  So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in 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)
  • Trust, hope, and love for God produces inner peace and a deep-seeded joy reflected in our countenance.  These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.  (John 15:11)
  • Adorned in respect, dignity, integrity, security, consistency, graciousness, we bring light to the world.  A gracious woman retains honor,….  Proverbs 11:16a  Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.  (Titus 2:3-5)
  • Wisdom, discernment, and an inward righteousness are precious to God.  And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God (Philippians 1:9-11).
  • Glorifying God in all we do, in all we are is truly a part of our heavenly adornment.  Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him!  Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness;  (some versions of the Bible read – in the beauty of holiness, or in holy attire) (1 Chronicles 16:29).  “And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us” (Psalm 90:17). 

 
LORD, we ask that You teach us Your ways so that we are clothed with Your beauty.  May we open our hearts and minds to Your revelations.  May we be willing to change, to grow, to cleanse our hidden hearts.  We love You, LORD, and want to please You in all we are and in all we do.  LORD, I love each precious woman joining us for this study.  Guard, guide, and grow Your daughters to be more precious day by day.  Remind them as they seek You that You created them beautifully.  Amen. 

CULMINATING QUESTIONS FOR STUDY:

What image are you reflecting to your world?
In what ways does your image affect the ripple effect?

Are you seeking the true beauty of holiness in your own life?  In what ways would you like your holy attire to change (permitting that we are not perfect!)?

 

Photo 1: “Rose Reflection” by Beverly Taz@stock.xchng  http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1147813 Standard Restrictions/Creative Commons license; permission granted

Photo 2: “prayer 7 alt” by KHRawlings@Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/khrawlings/3925045109/; Standard Restrictions/Creative Commons license;permission granted

Photo 3: “Ripples” by clix@stock.xchng; Standard Restrictions/Creative Commons license; notified

A Heart Adorned — Part Three of Four

Originally published “At the Well – A Titus 2 Ministry,” this four-part series ran in November, 2010.
 May this short study bless you as it has me and others.  May the glory be ALL God’s.  Amen. 

 

A Heart Adorned
Part Three

Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.  1 Peter 3:3-4 (NASB)

Welcome back to “A Heart Adorned”.  Today, we reach toward understanding “the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit.”

Oh, I so wonder how I could shelter anything within me that is “imperishable”, “incorruptible”, “unfading”.  I am human.  I am just me.  Yet, God’s Word tells me that I am to “let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality”,  revealed in other versions of the Bible as “with the unfading beauty”,”with incorruptible beauty”.  The words “incorruptible” and  “imperishable” mean that something does not decay, or become corrupt or worsen with age.  The Revised Standard Version of the Bible says “imperishable jewel.”  Think of the diamonds, the rubies, the amethysts buried beneath the surface of the earth, covered, hidden, and even disguised by layers of rock and dirt.  We don’t know they are there until they come into the light, have the layers of dirt cleared off.  We have that precious jewel within us awaiting the indwelling of Christ.  The value of me increased when Christ came to dwell in me and even more so with each layer of worldliness removed.  I become more Christlike with every particle of dirt that is washed away.  Value grows with our years when we stay near to the LORD.  Our preciousness to God seeps out from the inner heart touching those we are with and near.

“Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides,….” 1 Peter 1:22-23 brings me to my knees as my heart wraps around these truths.  I am reborn, remade, renewed by the “incorruptible seed” of the Word.  I am new and beautiful because of His sacrifice for me, FOR ME!  FOR YOU!

This precious commodity is described as “a gentle and quiet spirit”.  Colossians 3:12 tells us that Since God chose you to be the holy people whom He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.   Humility is often translated as meek, quiet, gentle.  None of these words should be treated as inferior, weak, or worthless.  Being meek is wholly relying upon God in all situations, good or bad.  I have heard it described as “strength under control”.  A horse trained to plow a field is strong yet gentle, able to be guided, under control.  The etymology of the word meek in Old English is “soft, mild, gentle”, and “easily flexible” from the Middle English; from the Old Norse, is means “gentle, courteous, kind”–nothing negative in any of the original meanings.  God calls us to clothe ourselves in these characteristics.  A gentle person does not center upon the self, and is able to trust in God’s goodness and control over any situation.  Of course, this is not about us, our will, or determination.  It is about the Holy Spirit at work in us.  As we wear meekness and gentleness, we carry an easy temperament and a quiet obliging behavior.  We refrain from pride, jealousy, and uncontrolled anger.  Our soul becomes more beautiful to the eyes of the world.

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)  LORD, may we know this fresh joy, this incorruptible seed, know it as it flourishes within us.  One day the dirt and grime will be washed away.  May the sun hit upon this precious jewel.  And may we shine brightly to all those around.   May it be so in me, LORD.  May it be so in me.  May I exult in You, my Holy One.  May I shout in exultation.  Amen.

THINK ABOUT:
What are you clothed with this day that shines upon your world
speaking of your relationship with Jesus?

Has the word “meek” been a word you have disdained?  If so, how can you change that to fit with the Scripture in 1 Peter 3?

 

 

Graphic 1:  Zach Fonville/redferriswheel @ Flickr; http://www.flickr.com/photos/redferriswheel/3060090408/; Some Rights Reserved/Creative Commons license; permission granted

Statue: “Gentle Woman” by Quinn Dombrowski @ Flickr; http://www.flickr.com/photos/quinnanya/3389946008/; Bonaventure Cemetery Set; Some Rights Reserved/Creative Commons license; notified

A Heart Adorned — Part Two of Four

Originally published “At the Well – A Titus 2 Ministry,” this four-part series ran in November, 2010.
May this short study bless you as it has me and others.  May the glory be ALL God’s.  Amen.

A Heart Adorned
Part Two

Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.  1 Peter 3:3-4 (NASB)

Welcome back to “A Heart Adorned”.  In session one, we pondered “Your adornment must not be merely external”.  We are called to shine from the inside-out so that the world will see Jesus in us through that which is our outer shell.  Today, we are peeking into “the hidden person of the heart”.

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)  Oh, how we think so much about how others perceive us.  We dwell on being accepted, appreciated, or ridiculed, rejected.  As God’s daughters, we truly must take this scripture to heart and allow Him, and only Him, to mold us and make us into His image.  He is our judge and sees us for the women we are, from our heart.  He sees the spiritual beauty that is enveloped by the outer self.  He knows the steps we take towards becoming more beautiful each day.  The life we live, the speech we utter, the works we do, the care of our body-temple, the reading of His Word, the utterance of prayers to Him, the thoughts we think, our care of our children, respect for our husband, the integrity of our walk and our talk, and so much more makes up this hidden person of the heart.
A Heart Adorned -- Part Two of Four

The heart is not only for loving, but it is where the Holy Spirit dwells.  You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Him. (Romans 8:9)  The heart is our soul, the very center of our being.    The heart is where we are to live our days, dwelling in the wisdom and love of the Holy Spirit so that we are transparent to the world.  “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” (John 14:26)

Another beautiful reminder is Psalm 51:6:  Behold, You delight in truth in the inward being, and You teach me wisdom in the secret heart.  Oh, that we should be steadfastly listening with the ears and seeing with the eyes of our hearts.

When we asked Christ to come into our hearts, we were crucified with Him.  Our sins have been hung on that Cross with Him.  We have been made new.  Everyday is a new day for us.  Everyday is the beginning to live anew with our LORD.  We do not need to look back with an unforgiving spirit upon ourselves.  We do not need to wish we had not done something.  We start fresh by asking for forgiveness, by seeking His Ways, by being willing to be yoked with Him, that He would help us carry burdens, guide us in our steps, teach us as we go.   I love Luke 24:32:   They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?”   Should not our hearts be burning, be set on fire as He teaches us from His Word?  As He speaks to us on the Way?  Oh, that my heart be ablaze!  For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:3)

There is a lovely song written by Albert W. T. Orsborn (1886-1967).  It is called “The Beauty of Jesus”:

Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me
All His wonderful passion and purity
Oh, Thou Spirit divine, all my nature refine
Till the beauty of Jesus be seen in me.
When somebody has been so unkind to you.
Some words spoken that pierces you through and through.
Think how he was beguiled, spat upon and reviled.
Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me. Amen.

LORD, may You refine me as silver, removing the dross, that I would be made more pure as You want me.  Abba, You love me as I am for You created me, yet I have wandered in and out of Your life during mine, and know that is not Your way for me.  Please take me as I am and make me wholly Yours.  Bring the parts of my heart that are unlike Christ to the surface so that I may be refined and purified.  Show me the hidden parts that are You that I may reflect them and glow before others in Your Holy Name.  Let Your Beauty be seen in me, LORD Jesus.  Amen.  

PONDER AND SHARE WITH US AS YOU WILL:
As you thinks about the words to Mr. Orsborn’s song, what is on your heart?

What is hidden in your heart that you reflect to others … positive and negative?

Have you asked the Holy Spirit into your heart?  If so, what is He teaching you?  Is your heart on fire?

And if the Holy Spirit has not been invited to dwell in you, please feel free to contact me @ BeingWoven@gmail.com  —  He desires to lives within you, sweet sister.
 
 

Photo 1: “Hidden” by Thomas Norsted, Denmark/stock.xchng; http://www.sxc.hu/photo/776852; Standard Restrictions/Creative Commons license; permission granted

Song by Albert W. T. Orsborn:  “The Beauty of Jesus”–date of publication—1947

Image 2: “Branch with Hearts” by Renate Kalloch, Germany/stock.xchng; Standard Restrictions/Creative Commons license; http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1254865; notified