For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. 1 Corinthians 13:12
So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” John 12:13
How can He?
He always will.
struggle…lessens…reverts to hard again…
Because I need Him…yet live in this humanness
He shows me my weak, selfish, independent self
Letting go to Him
led to the Cross
harsh, thorns, flogging, brutality, hatred, sorrow, ashamed
I go with Him
crucified with Him
my sins crucified
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose. Galatians 2:20-21
He is Love
His Love shines.
He died because He loves us
The mirror reflects perfectly.
Reflection for Eternity
We love Him, because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:7
Jesus, Your reflection teaches me. You love despite my imperfections. I thank You, Jesus. You show me joy and sorrow, peace and anguish, love and hatred. You show me that I am burdened by sin, yet You forgive. Your Holy Spirit fills me up, taking the place of sin. You teach me to ask in Your Name. Your love bears me up. Your love endures all of me, because You love me. I wonder why, Lord, but Your love is far greater than my “why.” Your love is true, filled with hope, for You are God. I am Your child. You reflect wholly.. all sides and aspects of me…from the depths of my sin … to the gifts, the love You have bestowed upon this helpless sheep. May I be wholly dependent upon You, 100%. May I die to this self completely…Oh! So completely. One day, when I look into Your face I will know that as I see perfection in You, the reflection from me will be Yours through Eternity. I pray I do reflect Your light while I sojourn here on this earth. I love You, LORD. Amen.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. 1 Corinthians 13:12
Then Jesus told His disciples, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. Matthew 16:24
to forget one’s self
lose sight of one’s self and one’s own interests
Jesus’ words strike a hard cord in me. I am called to follow Jesus because I have chosen His way over mine, yet I still want to do things my way, guide the direction of my own life, take my own chances. Then I hit a wall and it hurts. I run on empty, unable to go anywhere in life except down by the pull of gravity. In order to follow the Lord, I am to deny myself, releasing my desires and hopes for His, His alone. When I am in step with Jesus, all that He desires for me are those things I need. An interesting piece of God’s puzzle for my life is His desires for me are often just what I desire for myself. I’m not losing after all. The relationship with Christ is far more important so that I walk rightly with the Lord.
place on oneself
My burdens can be worries, anxieties, physical pain, other people’s lives and their concerns, hurting people of this world, and so much more. All can weigh heavily upon my heart. The Word tells me not to be anxious, not to worry. He is faithful and is with me. He feeds and clothes the birds; He will do the same for His children. So I lift those weights and take them to Jesus.
a stake or post (as set upright), i.e. (specially), a pole or cross (as an instrument of capital punishment)
figuratively, exposure to death, i.e. self-denial
by implication, the atonement of Christ:—cross.
The cross is what Jesus was placed upon for His crucifixion. It is a horribly cruel punishment and eventual death. Scourging comes first. The one being crucified must carry his own cross. Jesus did this part of the way until Simon was compelled to carry it the remainder of the way. Jesus would hang upon the Cross until death.
And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus. Luke 23:26
The cross is that which will kill this earthly life.
I carry a cross, laden with burdens. I place it there at the feet of Jesus. He died for my sins. Why do I continue weighing myself down? Jesus has taken it all to the Cross. Part of the definition of cross, in Greek, is self -denial. I deny myself, being exposed to death, reproach, suffering, trials, punishment. I am no longer mine, but His.
I am learning as I do that which Jesus asks of me: denying things of the self, lifting up that which weighs me down, carrying the cross to Jesus Who has already taken my burdens upon Himself. It is in the doing, the actions of denying, lifting, and carrying to Jesus that I begin to find a clearer, deeper meaning to all that He is asking of me.
to be or become the disciple of another as to faith and practice
to follow his teaching
Following Jesus is key to my walk in this Christian life. When I am His, I desire to be near and to know the path upon which He leads me. I release all burdens, knowing that He is caring for me.
“Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 ESV)
As Your child, LORD, I depend upon You. When I feel alone, or struggling with concerns, You are right here. You are yoked with me. You know my physical pain, the concerns that touch my heart regarding others, my anxiousness over provision for this earthly life. Your grace is truly sufficient, Sweet Jesus. Sometimes I feel wrung out and worn out. The Word says in Matthew 27, verse 39-40: And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, ‘You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.’ But You hung on that Cross, LORD, and paid the ultimate price for me, releasing me to walk with You always. You have given me eternal life. How much more could I ask? What else is there to ask? Forgive me when I am selfish. Often, when I deny myself, I must turn around and deny myself again, LORD, because I am selfish. I just am, but am also very sorry. I carry my cross to You so that I may follow You. “And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10:38 ESV) I do not want to be called “unworthy,” LORD. Thank You for walking with me on this journey even when I fail You. Your forgiveness, Your love, Your gentle nature give me the hope in this life that my physical eyes cannot see, yet the eyes of my heart know hope for You are the Hope. I love You, Jesus. I pray gently in Your Name. Amen.
Graphic: by American/Dutch web designer Catherine Reijans, founder of KATINK web design; https://thinkingmuseum.com/2013/10/30/thinking-museum-on-think-katink/ (but the actual think-Katink web design site is no longer connected, but I want to give her credit where it is due)
“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
to turn back, return to God
restore, repair, refresh
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
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.
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 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
…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.
Ballerina:“Stunning technique and form – Elizabeth Rodbell of the Rochester City Ballet (New York state).“ @ http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_me8rpa1iTX1qix34io1_500.gif
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.
Spider Web By Elkagye – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4279109
Dragonfly Wings: no credit given
Iridescent Soap Bubble Colorful Bubble Water: MaxPixel http://maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com/Iridescent-Soap-Bubble-Colorful-Bubble-Water-1891640
Cascading Waterfall 02 by Rick Arbuckle @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/13122275@N08/2481815119/