The Burden of this Cross

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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

ἀπαρνέομαι

aparneomai

to forget one’s self

lose sight of one’s self and one’s own interests

disown, abstain

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.

αἴρω

airō

  bear (up)

place on oneself

to carry

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.

σταυρός

stauros

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.

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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.

ἀκολουθέω

akoloutheō

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. 

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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)

Cross:  http://www.themescompany.com/2012/04/17/cross/

Turning Back

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

שׁוּב

shuwb

to turn back, return to God

restore, repair,  refresh

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

μετανοέω

metanoeō

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

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

conduct worthy of a heart changed and abhorring sin

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

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

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

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

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

By love…I desire the One Who forgives me.

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

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

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

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

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

Peculiar Treasure

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In my younger and middle aged days, I ALWAYS wanted to fit in, not stand out.  I wanted to be wanted.  Have you ever felt this way?  I did things that I should not have done so that I would fit in.  I laughed at dumb jokes so I would not stand out as the odd girl out.  I said things to make myself, seemingly, a part of the crowd.  In reality, I would go home and detest myself for acting those ways because it was NOT who I really was.  I had this shadow following me around for years saying, “But you said….But you did this….But you did that….” and I would be living with these lies for years.

As I have grown older and have grown closer to Christ, I have come to realize that I am unique, different than anyone else on this earth.  I am me!  God created me and I am like no one else.  He wanted one me and now I am thankful to Him for His mercy and grace in forgiving my lies that I have told about myself and believed about myself.  I AM THE ONLY, THE ONE AND ONLY ME!!  : )  I do not have to fit into the world.  Jesus said, “They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”  John 17:16 

Paul said, “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

I am beginning to feel like the woman who wrote, “When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple.”  Maybe I shall not wear purple, but I shall dress from the inside-out, allowing God to remind me of just who I am.  I am now in my late sixties and have finally come to accept this beautiful fact and truth that is ME!

Thank You, my Sweet Father.  I am this odd girl out.  I am a peculiar treasure to You.  I am Yours.  I am the only me and I accept this me for she is who I am.  And, LORD, when I forget this truth, please remind me that I am unique because this is how You made me.  I am loved as I am.  I have been given gifts from You that are unique to me.  Forgive me when I forget; forgive me when I try to fit in to this world.  I thank You for loving me, Father.   

Meanings of the word peculiar today:

  • strange, odd, unusual, bizarre, weird, queer, unexpected, unfamiliar, abnormal, atypical, out of the ordinary;
  • exceptional, extraordinary, remarkable; puzzling, mystifying, mysterious, perplexing, baffling;
  • suspicious, eerie, uncanny, unnatural

There are three sets of meanings here.

In God’s Word, there are also three different meanings, ever-so-slightly different yet the same.

Hebrew

סְגֻלָּה

cĕgullah

feminine passive participle of an unused root meaning to shut up; wealth (as closely shut up):—jewel, peculiar (treasure), proper good, special, private property; often used as the people of Israel

Now therefore, if ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people: for all the earth is Mine: And ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.  Exodus 19:5-6

For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto Himself, and Israel for His peculiar treasure.  Psalm 135:4

And they shall be Mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.  Malachi 3:17

 

Greek

Two slightly different words:

περιούσιος

periousios

that which is one’s own, belonging to one’s possessions: a people selected by God from the other nations for His own possession

being beyond usual, i.e. special (one’s own):—peculiar

Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works Titus 2:14

περιποίησις

peripoiēsis

acquisition (the act or the thing); by extension, preservation:—obtain(-ing), peculiar, purchased, possession, saving

Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory.  Ephesians 1:14

Whereunto He called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ2 Thessalonians 2:14

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light:….  1 Peter 2:9

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May I look inside of me, Father, and see the beautiful heart You have given me.  May I know deep down that Your creation is a treasure to You.  Oh, that I am a jewel to the God of all creation.  Oh, Father, how amazed I am at this gem of wisdom.  I am Your jewel, Your precious treasure.  I am peculiar because I am beyond the usual.  BEYOND THE USUAL!!!  OH, how wonderful that sounds to this child of Yours who has tried to fit in for so much of her life.  I love You, LORD.  You are so beautiful to me.  Thank You for guiding me to this realization.  I feel like sunshine.  I am smiling for this truth is so very special for and to me, LORD.  I feel like a light in this world because I am Yours.  May I sparkle as a real jewel that has been buried in the earth and suddenly brought to daylight.  I know…I KNOW I am Your peculiar treasure.  In gratitude, I pray in the Name of Jesus.  Hallelujah and Amen.  

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Rose:  CC0 Public Domain – JaStra @  https://pixabay.com/en/rose-shrub-rose-pink-rose-flower-1450604/

Flower with butterfly: CC0 Public Domain – Hans @  https://pixabay.com/static/uploads/photo/2013/09/25/13/22/apollo-186207_960_720.jpg

Simeon Waiting

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Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.        Luke 2:25

παράκλησις

paraklēsis

consolation

  • a calling near, summons, (esp. for help)

  • importation, supplication, entreaty

  • exhortation, admonition, encouragement

  • consolation, comfort, solace; that which affords comfort or refreshment [thus of the Messianic salvation (so the Rabbis call the Messiah the consoler, the comforter)]

  • persuasive discourse, stirring address [instructive, admonitory, conciliatory, powerful hortatory discourse]

Simeon was waiting for the Consoler, the Messiah.  The Holy Spirit was upon him.

Oh, Father, I praise You for giving this man the testament of Your Holy Spirit.  He knew Your will for his life and waited.  Waited!  He knew the gift that You were giving to this world in Your Son.  He let the Holy Spirit lead him into the temple at that very moment.  He knew.  He waited.  Hallelujah!


And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not
see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.  And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the Law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said, “Lord, now You are letting Your servant Greek bondservant
depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation that You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to Your people Israel.” 
Luke 2:26-32

Simeon prayed.  Simeon was so attuned to God that he believed that God was delivering His Messiah as promised to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.  He knew.  He believed.  He had read the Word and knew God’s promises.

Simeon called Jesus “Your salvation.”  He is.

The Lord has bared His holy arm

before the eyes of all the nations,

and all the ends of the earth shall see

the salvation of our God.  Isaiah 52:10

Simeon called Jesus “a light for revelation.”  He is.

He says, “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant
To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel;
I will also make You a light of the nations
So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”  Isaiah 49:6

Simeon said Jesus was “for glory to Your people Israel.”  He is (although not very many have seen Him…yet).

“In the LORD all the offspring of Israel
shall be justified and shall glory.”  Isaiah 45:25

 The sun shall be no more
your light by day,
nor for brightness shall the moon
give you light;
but the LORD will be your everlasting light,
and your God will be your glory.  Isaiah 60:19

Father, I praise You.  You have shown us Simeon in Your Word.  He loved You and spent his days in prayer, seeking Your face.  He came face-to-face with You, by Your Son, Christ Jesus, the Messiah, the Consoler.  He knew that this Child was You.  He knew because He walked with You and fed upon Your Word, upon You.  Oh, LORD, I am so filled with gratitude that You showed me this about Simeon this week.  May I seek Your face each and every day.  May my walk be as You design it, and not in my way.  May light shine upon me from the Sun of Righteousness, revealing Your Truth in and through me.  I thank You, Abba Father, for the most beautiful Gift possible, Your Consolation to me.  You have reminded me that I am to continue to be ‘expectant’ for You to show up in my life at any time, at all times.  In His Name, I pray.  Amen.

 “‘…and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”  Luke 3:6

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Painting–Simeon’s Song of Praise by Aert de Gelder, 1700-1710/Public Domain:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nunc_dimittis#/media/File:Aert_de_Gelder_-_Het_loflied_van_Simeon.jpg

Unsearchable

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Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
  Romans 11:33

ἀνεξεραύνητος

anexeraunētos

not searched out, i.e. (by implication) inscrutable:—unsearchable

ἀνεξιχνίαστος

anexichniastos

not tracked out, i.e. (by implication) untraceable:—past finding out; unsearchable.

that cannot be comprehended

past finding out

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These two Greek words almost look alike, mean almost the same thing with just slight changes.

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Versions of the Bible use different words to lay this meaning out before us:

Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!  NLT

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!  NKJV

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!  NIV

Oh, the depth of the riches

both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God!

How unsearchable His judgments

and untraceable His ways!  HCSB

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!  NASB

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how fathomless his ways!  NET

Impossible, untraceable, beyond our ability to trace or to find out, unfathomable…the greatness of God, His Omnipotence, His Omniscience, His Omnipresence…He is far more than we can possibly understand at this time.

Your righteousness is like the mountains of God;
Your judgments are like the great deep;
man and beast You save, O LORD.  Psalm 36:6

Your way was through the sea,
Your path through the great waters;
yet Your footprints were unseen.  Psalm 77:19

God, You are more than my mind can wrap around yet my heart feels Your love and Your care for me.  I know You are with me and hear my prayer.  You are unsearchable but I am learning more and more about You.  I am in love with You and praise You for Who You are.  I thank You with my whole heart for saving me through Your Son’s sacrifice and His love for me, for many such as I.  He was resurrected from the grave and told His disciples that He will return for them, for me.  One day, we will be together and You will still be more than I could have imagined here on this earth.  Will I be able to fathom You even then, Abba Father?  Your mercy, Your grace, Your greatness, Your faithfulness, Your power and Your might?  Jesus said that we may not understand but one day we will.  I look forward to that day, Abba Father.  I lift this prayer in the Name of Jesus.  Amen.

Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.”  John 13:7

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Photo:  Heartlight.org @ http://www.heartlight.org/gallery/526.html

Sovereign God Reigns

And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’  Acts 17:26-28

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You, Father, have created us all and we are all and each of You.  I am grateful for Your love for us all.  May Your peace reign.  One day, Jesus will for He is the Prince of Peace.

And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’  Acts 17:26-28

ὁρίζω

horizō

to define

…to mark out or bound (“horizon”), i.e. (figuratively) to appoint, decree, specify:—declare, determine, limit, ordain.

προτάσσω

protassō

to pre-arrange, i.e. prescribe:—before appoint.

ὁροθεσία

horothesia

 a limit-placing, i.e. (concretely) boundary-line:—bound.

determined2

Father God, Your ways are perfect and You are sovereign.  You know our times and places.  They are in Your hands.  I am ever so grateful, LORD.

And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’  Acts 17:26-28

ζάω

zaō

to live (literally or figuratively):—life(-time), (a-)live(-ly), quick

κινέω

kineō

to stir (transitively), literally or figuratively:—(re-)move(-r), way.

ἐσμέν

esmen

we are:—are, be, have our being, × have hope, + (the gospel) was (preached unto) us.

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Father, You know all and are all.  You have everything in Your hands.  As life changes and this body ages, You know the challenges that we face.  You know what we can handle and what we cannot.  I pray that we quiet our selves, allowing the Holy Spirit to tell us, in Your still, small voice, just what we need so that we are walking in Your will.  We want to know.  May our ways in this world calm and quiet so that Your ways will be all we need and want.  Thank You, Father, for loving us and being with us as we traveled and spent time with each other, with friends, explored new places, and were with You. 

You are the Sovereign God, reigning in my heart and soul.  I lift our concerns and families to You.  In the Name of Jesus, I rest and pray.  Amen. 

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“Fell to the Ground”

Leaves_fallingFall may be in the air for some.  I am a bit too low in the hemisphere to have it yet, but soon…soon.  Falling is what I am writing about today.  Not the kind where I fell because I tripped or lost my balance, but a falling that occurred several times in the Bible when the Power of God was stronger than they were.

So Jesus, knowing all the things that were coming upon Him, went forth and *said to them, “Whom do you seek?”  They answered Him, “Jesus the Nazarene.” He *said to them, “I am He.” And Judas also, who was betraying Him, was standing with them. So when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground.  John 18:4-6

After reading this chapter in John the other night, my husband and I were pondering this phrase at the end of verse 6: “and fell to the ground.”  Did they fall down and worship?  Did they fall down due to a moment of realization?  Why did they fall down?

Being the research librarian that I am, I looked up this phrase in the Blue Letter Bible in a number of versions and then checked the Greek and Hebrew.  Since the verse is in John, I will stay with the Greek for today…

πίπτω

piptō

  • descend from a higher place to a lower

    1. to fall (either from or upon)

      1. to be thrust down

    2. metaph. to fall under judgment, came under condemnation

  • to descend from an erect to a prostrate position

    1. to fall down

      1. to be prostrated, fall prostrate

      2. of those overcome by terror or astonishment or grief or under the attack of an evil spirit or of falling dead suddenly

      3. the dismemberment of a corpse by decay

      4. to prostrate one’s self

      5. used of suppliants and persons rendering homage or worship to one

      6. to fall out, fall from i.e. shall perish or be lost

      7. to fall down, fall into ruin: of buildings, walls etc.

    2. to be cast down from a state of prosperity

      1. to fall from a state of uprightness

      2. to perish, i.e come to an end, disappear, cease

        1. of virtues

      3. to lose authority, no longer have force

        1. of sayings, precepts, etc.

      4. to be removed from power by death

      5. to fail of participating in, miss a share in

Saul, who later became Paul, experiences this same fall…

As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”  Acts 9:4  (Acts 22:7)

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At first, I was thinking that the men in John 18 fell down in worship even though they were coming to arrest Jesus, but I know that that is not so now.  They drew back and fell to the ground. (John 18:6b)  was a fall from terror or astonishment.

Other versions of the Bible replace “drew back” in John 18:6 with:

went backward

stepped back

retreated

went away backward

Matthew Henry, in his Commentary about John 18, states:  “See how he terrified them, and obliged them to retire (v. 6): They went backward, and, like men thunder-struck, fell to the ground. It should seem, they did not fall forward, as humbling themselves before him, and yielding to him, but backward, as standing it out to the utmost.”

There is fear in the meaning here…fear when Jesus proclaims Himself as “I am He,” Jesus the Nazarene…fear when a light flashed around Saul/Paul and then the voice of the Lord speaks to him.  In the verse below, there is fear when God speaks from the cloud and announces that “This is MY beloved Son….” 

Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”  While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!”  When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground and were terrified.  And Jesus came to them and touched them and said, “Get up, and do not be afraid.”  And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone.  Matthew 17:4-8

In Matthew 17, Jesus tells His disciples to “not be afraid.”  I love this because He touches them and gently prods them to get up and to let the fear go.  Does that not sound like our Lord?  Oh, YES!  He knows us and wants us to follow Him and not be afraid of Him.  It is in the knowing of Him that will ease our fears.  Spending time with Him, in His Word, in prayer, in communion, will draw us nearer.

Dear Jesus, I know that You are the One and Only LORD, the Son, the Savior.  I thank You for Your power in my life.  I am so very sorry that You went through such awful things for me, for others such as I.  But, I am so grateful that You fulfilled Scripture all the way through to this with more to come yet.  I pray I do right by You in what I say and do in this world.  If I fall down, may it be for worship and not because of fear.  I pray in Your Name.  Amen.

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