But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.Psalm 3:3 ESV
Can you recall a time when someone you loved, someone you looked up to and adored, took your lowered head and gently raised your chin with his or her hand? Your lip may have been quivering, a tear running down your cheek. That person lifted your head until your eyes met when you saw their loving eyes. You sensed the care and gentleness they had towards you. Your heart was touched by this one’s protection, love, reassurance, and care for you…just you at that very moment.
Slow down and remember such a moment, such a person as this. Ponder the memory. If you cannot find this memory, imagine such a one.
God, our Father, feels this way about us, even more so, I’d say. God is our Creator. He loves each one of us. He is our Shield. He encircles us with His strength, His power, and His might. He defends and protects us in ways we cannot even know.
…: He is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and He in whom I take refuge,….Psalm 144:2 ESV
God is our glory, deserving our praise and exaltation. He is majestic. As we kneel before Him, the love and reverence we feel towards Him is given.
In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God.Psalm 62:7 NKJV
He lifts us up high. As we stand, let nothing in the world pull us down. He sent His Son to die for us and nailed our sins to the cross. Ashamed …no, we are not to be, but we are to stand strong in the LORD.
For I live in eager expectation and hope that I will never do anything that causes me shame, but that I will always be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past, and that my life will always honor Christ, whether I live or I die. Philippians 1:20 NLT
Lifting my head is looking up and seeing the Father’s glory, His reflection, His love. His touch is gentle and kind. He created me and knows my potential. He lifts me up. Confidence is being built in me through Him. Lifting my head helps me to see beyond my circumstances. The grief I am in the midst of needs to be walked through over time, but my head is lifted higher than that grief. My head is also higher than anything that is not of God. None of that controls me when my head is lifted.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.Psalm 40:2 ESV
I can see above this earthly plane. I know that God, my Father, lights the skies for my way as I follow Him. Fears are released and given no power for the LORD is the power. The LORD steadies me, holding me securely as I walk this life’s journey.
“Then He said to them, “What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out?”Matthew 12:11 ESV
LORD, I pray that each one of us seek You, the Lifter of our heads, our salvation. You call us to come before You in thanksgiving and praise. We bow before the cross and ask for forgiveness, knowing that You have already poured Your grace upon us. Abba Father, thank You for giving us vision to see beyond our current point in this life, past the pain and suffering whether of ourselves, those around us, or of those in this world. You know all. You call us to Your side, lifting us from the miry clay. Thank You, Sweet LORD. We love You dearly. Amen.
Humble yourselves in the sight of the LORD, and He will lift you up.James 4:10 NKJV
My name is Linda. As I become part of the Beloved Prodigal team, I feel so very blessed. I will be breaking bread with you one Monday a month here (and every Monday as a reader) from Texas, USA. May we gather around the Bread of Life.
Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He Who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”John 6:32-33
Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Galatians 4:6
I have been a prodigal child, one who wasted money and resources, one who has been reckless with what I had, one who disobeyed, was irresponsible…and I was an adult for the most part! I also admit, readily, that I fall back into that place from time to time. I wish I could say I did not, but I am human too.
I grew up in a Christian home and a military family as well. Mannerly and minding were very much a part of how I behaved, who I was as a child. The churches we attended taught Jesus, but never taught about having a relationship with Him. God and Jesus were “out there somewhere” so I never even knew that I could be close to my Creator, my Savior. At age twelve, I lost my earthly Daddy to Pancreatic cancer. Because I was the oldest of three girls, I was very close to Daddy. I tended to carry a lot of weight on my shoulders, feeling responsible for my whole family, or so I thought. By the time I was fifteen or sixteen, rebellion, in small ways, began to seep into my behavior when I would get away from home, away from adults. My Mom, raising three girls alone, tried to squelch the waves of disobedience as they rose, hoping to keep my sisters from following any example I might portray.
Sooner or later, though, another wave would roll through. I did not like being in trouble for I was, basically, a good girl. But I lacked the precious fatherly attention, love, and authority I was used to and so needed. I would search for it in many wrong places.
After college, I married wrong and stayed in that marriage for ten long years. I tried so hard to make the marriage work, but I could not do it alone! There was not an ounce of spirituality in the relationship either. We built our marriage on, literally, nothing. After the divorce, I spent the next thirteen years single, working hard and living life as best I could, but always looking for who I was, where I belonged and that fatherly love. I was so very LOST. Jeremiah touches my condition of ‘then’:
“But from our youth the shameful thing has devoured all for which our fathers labored, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters.” Jeremiah 3:24
God knew where I was, but I did not. Over twenty-four years ago, I met my husband of today. While we were dating, not only were we getting acquainted with one another, but he would ask me questions which led him inside to a very lost soul. He found out quickly that I was searching. He introduced me to Jesus. Through many tears and hours together, I began to open my heart to both him and Jesus. My future husband had something I desperately wanted and needed. I listened. I asked questions. I prayed. I asked God for His answers.
Jesus gives a parable about being lost:
“Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:8-10
When I finally saw that Jesus was the answer, I asked Him to come live in my heart. I rejoice for I was that lost coin. I have been His for twenty-four years now. This does not mean that I have never taken a wrong turn or gone down a wrong path. I have and, most likely, will in the future, but that is not my heartfelt desire. I want to be obedient and love the One Who loved me from my creation. I can look back and see many times He was right there waiting for me to open my heart to Him, yet I did not. I can hear people’s words to me and prayers for me, see situations that could have brought me to repentance, my turning around, years before, but I had a hardened heart from hurt and discouragement, from disappointment and heartache.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us for adoption to Himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace, with which He has blessed us in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:3-6
I once found it hard to believe that God could love me so, but He sent His Son to pay the highest price for my sins. He then sent the Holy Spirit to teach me, to pray for me, to be right with me. I have the Holy Trinity with me always. I believe now!
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:15
My Daddy, whom I lost at age twelve, was my earthly daddy. The Father I gained, by turning my heart to Jesus, is God. He is my Abba Father.
Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Galatians 4:6
Abba means father. There is an emphasis to Father by adding this Chaldean word, Abba, אַבָּא , to Father. It is a customary title of God in prayer. The Holy Spirit is in us to pray on our behalf because God loves us so.
Martin Luther writes:
“If we could be fully persuaded that we are in the good grace of God, that our sins are forgiven, that we have the Spirit of Christ, that we are the beloved children of God, we would be ever so happy and grateful to God. But because we often feel fear and doubt we cannot come to that happy certainty.
“Train your conscience to believe that God approves of you. Fight it out with doubt. Gain assurance through the Word of God. Say: “I am all right with God. I have the Holy Ghost. Christ, in whom I do believe, makes me worthy….”
“….Let us never doubt the mercy of God in Christ Jesus, but make up our minds that God is pleased with us, that He looks after us, and that we have the Holy Spirit who prays for us.” (Martin Luther Bible Commentary on Galatians)
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when He appears we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who thus hopes in Him purifies himself as He is pure. 1 John 3:1-3
I have a Father and He knows my name. This special song brings me to tears each time I hear it because I finally have God, my Father. I am not lost. I am not squandering my life away searching for anything else. I have everything in Christ…Everything.
I have a Maker
He formed my heart,
Before even time began
My life was in His hands
He knows my name
He knows my every thought,
He sees each tear that falls
And hears me when I call
I have a Father,
He calls me His own
He’ll never leave me,
No matter where I go
He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
And hears me when I call
I do my best to live each day as today, not tomorrow, and not yesterday. My life is in Christ, the Son of God. Today. I am blessed.
LORD, You always knew right where I was. You held me when I did not even know You were there, so close. You whispered my name until I finally heard Your beautiful voice calling to me. You drew me in to Your breast and comforted me from this world. You gave me a safe haven where I could learn how to be loved again unconditionally. I loved my earthly father dearly. I missed (and still miss) him so. You are my Father, my Heavenly Father. You never leave me. You do not forsake me even when I head off in my own direction. You always draw me back. You listen for and to me. You care about me. You comfort me. Oh, merciful God, thank You. Jesus, You are my Savior and my Brother. You hold my hand as we walk together. You do not scold me or hurt me or make me feel unworthy or an outcast. I am Yours. I feel so loved this day. May Your Presence light me up from the inside, that I would then share Your Light and Love with all in my world. In Your loving Name I pray. Amen.
Martin Luther’s Commentary on Galatians (16th Century): Galatians Chapter 4, verse 6
He Knows My Name (Tommy Walker) — (video) sung by Maranatha Singers
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
Father, I am Yours. I draw near to You as You draw near to me. I want to remember the passport to Heaven that is in my hands as I travel this earth for the remainder of my days. I am truly grateful for this privilege for I am a sojourner here. When I asked Jesus to be my LORD and Savior, told Him I believed He had died for me and was resurrected after three days, I became His. The Holy Spirit has come to live inside of me to teach me Your ways, guide me along the paths of righteousness, and to intercede for me, to pray for me, “with groanings too deep for words.” I thank You, Father. I pray that I honor You in all ways even when it may be difficult in these worldly affairs. I want to walk in Your will, LORD. May this be so. LORD, I lift up every country in Your world to You…that citizenry and governmental leadership of each will turn to You, acknowledge You as the One and Only God. I pray for wisdom among the leaders, lovingkindness among us all. I pray for calm and care to prevail around the world, between countries, as well as within borders of each country. In the Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.
When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound likea mighty rushing wind, andit filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tonguesas 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 tonguesas 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 Spiriton 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.
And it shall come to pass thateveryone who calls upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved. Acts 2:21
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 youin the Name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receivethe gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you andfor your children and for allwho are far off, everyonewhom the Lord our God calls to Himself.” …“Save yourselves from thiscrooked 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
“…but by My Spirit.” Yes! May I trust in You always, LORD. You guide and love and plan and know the ways in which I should go. My delight is not in the way I say or I run ahead, nor is it by my strength and power. I want to trust. Your Spirit will take me through the wilderness of life, the troubles and trials, the joys and the beauty of Your creation. May I know Your Spirit deeply.
Andthey devoted themselves to the apostles’teaching and thefellowship, tothe breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, andmany wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.Acts:2:42-43
...with glad and generous hearts, praising God andhaving 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.
And He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and yourneighbor as yourself.”Luke 10:27
Jesus has called us to love…love God with our all…love all with our all.
Yet, we doubt and hem-and-haw in thinking we are just unable to do these. Yes, we are unable, in our own strength. We love God when we feel like it, when we think we are able, or when all is going well. We love our neighbors when we like them, when they are good to us, or when we feel like it.
Yet, these are two commandments that we have been given. How can we love unconditionally? How can we wholly love God and our neighbors?
In this season of Thanksgiving, I, as well as other bloggers, are sharing about gratitude, being thankful for family and friends, gifts and love. We may list the beauty we see, words we hear, or smiles that rain joy upon us. We seek to recognize these gifts in our own strength so much of the time: Let’s see…what am I grateful for right today? What did I see that I am thankful for?
Is giving thanks something done alone through my efforts? Can I be thankful without condition? Do I expect something in return for my gratitude?
Every goodgift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with Whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17
As children of the Father, we are being given gifts of His choosing. He wants us to have His pleasures so that we will take them to another, whether by service, by inspiration, by love. He is not telling us to go out and give on some conditional basis of our choosing, but, with His gifts, go to those to whom He chooses to gift with that which we have been given. This giving is unconditionally loving.
Dependence upon the One Who is Love, obedience to the One Who calls us to love Him and others…this is how we are able to love unconditionally. I am only the variable in the equation. God is the constant. Love is the constant.
God x God(x) = Love
constant x constant(variable/me) = constant
We love because He first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God Whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. 1 John 4:19-21
Loving God unconditionally is showing gratitude. Loving our neighbors unconditionally is showing gratitude.
These past many, many months have been extremely difficult months to bear. We are the children of the Father of lights. Let us now turn on our lights, gifts from our Father, and shine in this world so filled with hatred and darkness. Let us take the lights and shine them into our neighbors’ lives and be thankful. In being a light, I am honoring my Father. I am so grateful to Him. He created me, making me a light in this world.
“No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light.” Luke 11:33
Let us give and serve and be thankful.
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.1 Peter 4:8-11
Let us be not afraid to step into the world. God is with us always.
Father God, Your love glows inside of me. I want it to glow outside of me and rid these corners where I walk of darkness. Strengthen me physically and spiritually so that I may do that which You have called me. Guide me in the way that I should go. May I remain faithful and grateful to You. My desire is to be pleasing unto You. May my mind know Your Truth. May my body find peace in You. May my heart always seek Your face. And may my strength be built upon Yours. May I know the constancy of You, Father, for You are my Constant. I pray in the Name of Jesus, the Christ. Amen.
God sends His rain to the earth…this place we call home now. Earth. He sends rain by His will, by the ways He so pleases. We may experience drought or flooding for these are part of living on this earth.
Our spiritual lives sometimes suffer drought or flooding as well. Too much input, busyness can leave us with little room for God. Too little time spent with God can cause thirst for Him. Sometimes we do not even know what we are thirsty for, yet we know that we are.“Our hearts are dry and barren unless God Himself be as the dew to us and water us; and the plants of His own planting He will water and make them to increase.” Matthew Henry
I recall searching hard and long for something that I was missing, yet I did not know what that was. Years later, through many trials, through many seasons of drought and floods, I found Jesus. Jesus was Who I needed. I needed to know Him personally. He would give me Living Water and I would no longer be thirsty. The fruit of the Spirit could grow in me and then be harvested from me, from my field of new plantings. This field becomes rich in nutrients and water from the One Who is the Living Waters. I grow and pray I will continue to grow.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with Whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17
“…; we must lift up our eyes above the hills, lift them up to the heavens, where the original springs of all blessings are, out of sight, and thither must our praises return, as the first-fruits of the earth were in the heave-offerings lifted up towards heaven by way of acknowledgment that thence they were derived. All God’s blessings, even spiritual ones, are expressed by His raining righteousness upon us.”Matthew Henry
You crown the year with Your bounty;
Your wagon tracks overflow with abundance.
The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
the hills gird themselves with joy,
the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
the valleys deck themselves with grain,
they shout and sing together for joy.
Everything in His world rejoices over the bounty of His harvest…the pastures, the hills, the meadows, the valleys. There is abundance in all He is and does. He rains down upon this earth. He sends His Love to us in His Son. He grants mercy upon these souls and bodies from on high. He whispers grace through His wind, through His Holy Spirit.
He crowns all He is and does, encompassing on every side, as a crown surrounds a head; as when something is completed, it is crowned. The fruitfulness of His world is in His hands, in His power.
How grateful I am, LORD. May You adorn Your world with the riches of harvest, both in fruit of the tree and the fruit of salvation. I shout my praises and honor to You, oh God. I am so very heartbroken in the broken and breaking shape of this world, of this nation. I know this is Your world and You know each and every one of Your creations. I may feel saddened by so much right now, yet I truly can rejoice in the love, the tender care, the peace, the hope I find in You. I look up to where my bounty and blessings come from. Hallelujah!
I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.
Let all these common gifts of the divine bounty, which we yearly and daily partake of, increase our love to God as the best of beings, and engage us to glorify Him with our bodies, which He thus provides so well for. Matthew Henry
Father, I am humbled by the beauty of Your Word, by the bounty of Your fields, by the benevolence of Your mercy, by the balance in all that surrounds. Father, in this season of giving thanks, I am reminded that offering my thanks daily is my desire and hope. I lift up my hands in praise to You, the Giver of my soul. You are my All, LORD. I love You and sing with joy as I ponder the sun rising, beginning each day anew, or watch the sun set, leaving the brilliance of pinks and oranges across the sky. You are Magnificent, Father. I see You all around me. Praising You and praying in the Name of the Bright Morning Star. Amen.
The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. Acts 17:24-25
And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. Acts 2:2
These two verses in the Bible use the same Greek word to mean both breath and wind. In a gentle way, I can easily picture the duplicate meaning here. Yet, in Acts 2:2, the adjectives describing this wind are rushing and mighty, neither of which fit the usual gentle nature of breath or a breeze that I initially picture.
respiration, breath of life
a breeze:—breath, wind
God gives man life and breath and everything. He gives us all that we need to live. He also gives us the rushing mighty wind, filling us to overflowing. The Holy Spirit gives us a life in Christ Jesus that goes so deep, so wide, so high. The Holy Spirit breathes life into us so that we may walk in the Spirit while we live our lives here on earth, sharing the Truth of God.
to move by bearing; move or, to be conveyed or borne, with the suggestion of force or speed
of a gust of wind, to rush
of the mind, to be moved inwardly, prompted
God’s wind can be strong, able to move things. It can be forceful as we are seeing with Hurricane Matthew in the Atlantic this very day. It can be a breeze that barely ruffles the hairs on our head. But the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples of Jesus that day of Pentecost with force, made to move the minds and hearts of those who followed Him. The wind in God’s hands is formidable, awesome, and able to accomplish all that God intends.
He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; Who makes lightnings for the rain, Who brings forth the wind from His treasuries. Psalm 135:7
Who has ascended into heaven and descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has wrapped the waters in His garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name or His son’s name? Surely you know! Proverbs 30:4
Matthew Henry spoke of this wind:
We often read in the old Testament of God’s coming down in a cloud; as when He took possession first of the tabernacle, and afterwards of the temple, which intimates the darkness of that dispensation. And Christ went up to heaven in a cloud, to intimate how much we are kept in the dark concerning the upper world. But the Holy Ghost did not descend in a cloud; for He was to dispel and scatter the clouds that overspread men’s minds, and to bring light into the world.
The Spirit of God came upon those gathered together in one accord, without dissension as the apostles had indulged in while Jesus was still with them (i.e., …for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. Mark 9:34). Yet over the three years of the ministry of Jesus, they had been prepared by the LORD to live together, pray as one, eat together, fellowship with others. Through lessons, love, and the example of Christ, they had seen His ways. When Christ returned to them after His crucifixion, He had told them to wait in Jerusalem before heading out to spread the Gospel. They did. They broke bread together and prayed together. They were in one accord, loving one another. The Holy Spirit, the precious dove, came in the calm, over the still waters, where noise and chaos were not.
When the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples, the force of the wind would signify the influence He would and could have over the minds and hearts of men. By that, men, women, and children can be mighty through God.
Let us be all of one accord, and, notwithstanding variety of sentiments and interests, as no doubt there was among those disciples, let us agree to love one another; for, where brethren dwell together in unity, there it is that the Lord commands his blessing.
The Spirit came upon the apostles in a rushing mighty wind. His powerful and secure direction through the hearts of believers is compared to the breathing of the wind.
Then He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they come to life.”’” Ezekiel 37:9
His sweet effect on the souls of saints to the north and south wind…
“Awake, O north wind, And come, wind of the south; Make my garden breathe out fragrance, Let its spices be wafted abroad. May my beloved come into his garden And eat its choice fruits!” Song of Solomon 4:16
“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8
The Spirit works randomly, not abiding by our ways of order, nor is He subject to our command. God directs Him. The Spirit fulfills God’s Word.
…fire and hail, snow and mist, stormy wind fulfilling His word! Psalm 148:8
The Holy Spirit distributes His influences where, and when, on whom, and in what measure and degree He pleases.
All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, Who apportions to each one individually as He wills. 1 Corinthians 12:11
A filling of the Holy Spirit brings the graces of the Spirit into this body temple, sanctifying the one indwelled to be more holy, more spiritual, more weaned from this world. The comforts of the Spirit, the love of Christ, and the hope of heaven are endowed.
Father God, thank You for living me dearly. I pray that as I write these words, that they be Your Truth. As the wind breathes into me, filling me to overflowing, may I know Your Holy Spirit in my very being. If I am tossed upon the waves of this life, may I recall that the Holy Spirit is with me in all ways. May my heart reach for Your best and know the Divine nature from which I have been created. May I trust in You as I walk in the Spirit. I want to know You, LORD. I want to know You in all Your Ways. Breathe on me, O LORD. I love You and seek You. I pray in the Name of Christ, Your Son. Amen.
God speaks to us through His Word. I continue to ponder this highway that I am on. I feel His nearness, His love for me, His joy as I learn from Him. I walk the road with God.
1The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus; 2 it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the LORD, the majesty of our God.
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He may give it to you. John 15:16
Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. …. So there was much joy in that city.Acts 8:5, 8
I desire to abide in You, my LORD, being obedient and submissive to You. I want to be a fruit bearer, honoring You with joy and song.
3 Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. 4 Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.”
“But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”Luke 22:32
Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. 1 Thessalonians 5:14
May I serve You, my LORD, with boldness and strength, acceptably, with reverence and awe.
5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; 6 then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert; 7 the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down, the grass shall become reeds and rushes.
“…to open their eyes so they may turn from darkness to light, and from the power of satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in Me.’ Acts 26:18
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.Psalm 46:4
Oh, LORD, You are my All in all. You are the One Who turns me from darkness to light, from blind to seeing, from deaf to hearing. You set me apart for Yourself. I am so very grateful. May the springs flow through me as I walk in this world…that I would be Your witness, Your light, Your salt.
8 And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray. 9 No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it; they shall not be found there, but the redeemed shall walk there.
Thus says the LORD: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. ….” Jeremiah 6:16a
This highway stands before me. I ask for the ancient paths and walk upon them for this is the good way. I know I shall find rest there. Thank You, LORD.
10 And the ransomed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their Shepherd, and He will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”Revelation 7:17
I praise You, LORD. I sing and rejoice for I know You. You are my Guide. You are the Way of Holiness. Hallelujah! and Amen!
And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray. Isaiah 35:8
A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.Isaiah 40:3
Father God, I want to walk in Your ways, the highway of holiness. You are Holiness that I seek and desire. You are Love and Righteousness. You are Holiness. You make me whole. When I walk on this highway, I walk toward You. I so want to be wholly Yours, and walk the remainder of this life on earth in holiness.
But my people have forgotten Me; they make offerings to false gods; they made them stumble in their ways, in the ancient roads, and to walk into side roads, not the highway, making their land a horror, a thing to be hissed at forever. Everyone who passes by it is horrified and shakes his head.Jeremiah 18:15-16
I do not want to wander from this highway yet I am human. I have; I do; I will. I have made and will make mistakes and I do error. Yet, LORD, I do not want to. You have forgiven me of my many past wrong steps. I seek Your face, asking forgiveness for these paths I walk down when they are not Yours. Thank You for loving me back into Your arms, my Precious Father.
“Set up road markers for yourself; make yourself guideposts; consider well the highway, the road by which you went. Return, O virgin Israel, return to these your cities.” Jeremiah 31:21
I read Your Word, Father, as It is truly filled with the road markers that You have set before me. I may wander off the highway, yet I want to be able to find You and Your way no matter what happens, no matter which way I turn. I seek You and am learning to be quiet so that I may hear Your still and small voice, for I want to know You in the beauty of Who You are. You are my God. In the dark of night when the highway is black and there is no moonlight, I want to know that I am on Your path for me, for my life.
But according to His promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by Him without spot or blemish, and at peace.2 Peter 3:13-14
With anticipation, with joy, and with expectancy, I continue taking step after step. Today, I desire to stay in this very moment with You, my LORD. Tomorrow, I want to walk beside You on Your road for me.
But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. Romans 6:17-18
God, You have transformed my heart, beginning with my conversion to be Your daughter in Christ Jesus. I walk as closely to You as I can. I hope to stay near You from this moment on. When I stray, LORD, please draw me near. I sense Your strength as I am drawn under the shadow of Your wing, into the cleft of the rock. I want to grow in love and righteousness, live according to Your Word, and be pleasing to You now and for always. In the Powerful Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.
But this command I gave them: ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you.’ Jeremiah 7:23
Horace Williams, Jr. commented on a post here @ Being Woven (April 29, 2016/Memory’s Music) which so touched my heart. It was in regards to the topic and the love he has for his father. I have invited him to be my guest today.
My father is a wonderful man! I am blessed to be his first born son and his namesake. I have not written specifically about him on my site even though it was intended in the parent references I’ve made on several occasions. My father and I have a very unique relationship but as I have grown older and wiser, my desire is to live like he lives in representing Jesus Christ.
Today, I want to share with you some highlights so you can know him a little better and then I will convey how music has impacted my father’s life and continues to do so. Growing up as a child, I can remember my father and his love for classical music. I did not really understand it at that time and I can remember thinking where are the words? How can you listen to music with no words, I would ask myself? Two of his favorite composers are Beethoven and Tchaikovsky.
I admit as I got older I began to understand his affinity for classical music. In fact, I am listening to one of my favorites (Tchaikovsky) right now as I type this. He composed so many great pieces of music such as The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and my favorite, his Piano Concerto No. 1. As a former piano player myself, I can only dream to have played like this, but I digress! Now back to my father. Here are some highlights to give you a “peek” into just who he is.
Fantastic facts about my Father:
Faithful Husband. Dad and Mom celebrated their 50th wedding Anniversary this year!
Fantastic Father of five children.
Fortunate Grandpa to 11 amazing grandchildren. I say fortunate because my parents had to be wondering if I would ever give them a grandchild. I think my mom stopped asking me fifteen years ago!
Fluent in 4 languages. (at one time he was) English, Spanish, French, and German
First class Army Veteran. Dad was a distinguished Army Captain of the MP’s during the time of the Vietnam War.
Former Pastor, Church planter, and Home Missionary. It was during my dad’s time in the Army that He came to know Christ as his Lord and Savior and felt led to attend Bible College. He then became a Home Missionary as God directed him to start a church.
Free Taxi Driver. I can still remember either dropping me off or picking me up in the wee hours of the night from work regardless of how many hours he had worked that day.
Frequently Awkward Adviser. I think because my father saw us as so different, he had a hard time figuring me out at times. Although he always advised me in love growing up, our differences made it hard on him at times. For example, I loved playing sports; he played in the band. He loved Sci-fi movies and I prefer a great mystery or love story. Oh, how I wish I had listened to those “awkward” conversations growing up. Looking back now, they were filled with such Godly wisdom.
Fighting a difficult battle with the debilitating Alzheimer’s disease. Yes, you read correctly. My father now suffers from Alzheimer’s. A few years ago my father was t-boned while driving my car as I was recovering from the stroke. My car was totaled; he was okay, just a little shaken. It was at that moment we wondered if there might be something wrong with the safest driver I have ever known. I remember the day he told me his diagnosis was confirmed. He kept repeating it to anyone who would listen… I have Alzheimer’s. It broke my heart!
As I watch Alzheimer’s progressively attack my father’s brain, I go to God in prayer asking for peace in my father’s mind. I do not understand the disease and I’m not sure anyone does. I’ve read research articles and reports on the subject. It was stated in one article that sometimes Alzheimer sufferers remember things buried in their heart.
I feel my father’s love when he greets me with a kiss and calls me by my name. His love for music is still evident. For our parent’s 50th anniversary, all of my siblings pitched in and we got them tickets to the symphony. It was a performance of both Beethoven and Mozart. My mom said he absolutely loved it! He sat still for the entire two-hour performance and did not move a muscle! (I would include a picture but they are all pretty dark.)
Mom also plays the local classical music station when they are driving as too much talking seems to perturb him at times. My father has always been a fan of the “old school” hymns. He never really has been a fan of the contemporary Christian music. He loves hymns like The Old Rugged Cross and How Great Thou Art. One hymn that has special meaning and seems to have stayed with him through everything is My Hope is Built on Nothing Less. It is a beautiful and inspiring hymn from the 1800’s, a song overflowing with hope in Jesus and our foundation in Him.
Just a few days ago we all went to visit our parents. He sat down in the chair next to me and asked me how I was doing. I told him I was feeling okay, but was having a little pain. He looked me in the eye and recited the first verse of this song to me. It was all I could do to keep from crying. I got up and kissed him on the forehead as I whispered, I love you, Dad. I’m not sure I will ever understand why this is happening to such a kind, loving, and brilliant man with a heart for God. I trust my Father in Heaven and I ask Him that He bless my earthly father with peace of mind…even if it’s the few minutes of listening to or hearing his favorite songs.
I’ve included a beautiful video of the song my dad recites to me every time he sees me. I pray you are encouraged and inspired. Please pray for my father and grace for my mother.
Blessings to you and yours,
Horace Williams Jr.
I am a single, Christian man who loves the Lord Jesus with all his heart. I am also the oldest of five siblings. In the Summer of 2010, I suffered a devastating stroke that could have taken my life. My entire left side was paralyzed due to a ruptured blood vessel in my brain! However, God has given me a second chance and I want to glorify Him every day. As my love for Christ grows deeper, it’s my desire to share my faith with others. I pray you find help, inspiration, and encouragement as I share with you about the transforming power and love of God.