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A Perfect Love

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It is good that I am not God. Now, after the shouts of, “Hallelujah!” and “Amen!” cease from being heard around the world, I will continue. And why do I say that it’s not good for me to be God? Bypassing the obvious, take a look at the following scripture.

“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgement: because  as he is, so are we in this world.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” 1John 4:16-18.

My love is not perfect. My love would say and do what I could to end someone’s suffering for the moment, because I would not want to see that one hurting. This mindset comes from being able to see only this moment in time.

I’m writing this as I watch my Mom suffer the effects of dementia. Her mind rages in a storm of confusion and anxiety most days. She cries out to go home; for the Lord to take her home. Yet, she remains. In thinking on these things, the Lord’s Holy Spirit whispered into my heart, “because my love for her is perfect, and…

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28.

I can’t often see the good the Lord is working in her but because I know my God is faithful and true, I know He is working for her good. Above and beyond that He is working for my good. This goodness will turn to glory for Him and for us. There is a purpose.

God’s love is perfect. His love allowed, ordained, and sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer the pains of humiliation, crucifixion, and separation for the good He would do in His Son. It brought forth the Son’s resurrection and glory, as well as, insuring our own resurrection and glory.

God’s love did not keep His Son from suffering when He called out to His Father,

“Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me:

 nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” Luke 22:42.

The Son took His cup of suffering and finished it.

“It is finished.” John 19:30.

As the Son’s suffering came to its end, so, the Father will bring our suffering to its end…but only when suffering’s work is completed in us.

At this moment in time the suffering continues, the hurt we feel for the suffering continues, and the sure hope of deliverance continues, because as the Son was delivered so shall we be.

Because God’s love is perfect, He allows and has ordained our suffering to work a completed work in us and through us; a work that brings good for more than just the sufferer. There is glory being worked in us now, and a future glory that follows.

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” 2Cor. 4:17.

I saw a bit of that glory this morning in my Mom as she spoke of her assurance of eternal glory and her desire to go home. One day she will know the complete glory of the Lord as she sees His face for the first time. Until then…

“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him.

He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence. I shall not be moved.

In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.

Trust in Him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before Him. God is a refuge for us. Selah.” Psalm 62:5-8.

And let us continue…

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;

who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame,

and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Heb. 12:2.

One day, all who believe will see Him there, face to face. How small our trials will seem then. Thank you, Jesus for your perfect love.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 

To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:

That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:” 1Peter. 3-7.

 

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Loving God?

“And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, HEAR, O ISRAEL; THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD:blogheart-2028062__340

AND THOU SHALT LOVE THE LORD THY GOD

WITH ALL THY HEART,

AND WITH ALL THY SOUL,

AND WITH ALL THY MIND,

AND WITH ALL THY STRENGTH:

this is the first commandment.”  Mark 12:29-30

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God:

“…choose you this day whom ye will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD…And the people said unto Joshua, The LORD our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey.” Josh. 24:15,24.

“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other: or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Matt. 6:24.

“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him…

If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” John 14:21,23.

Love-Agapao-a direction of the will (it’s a choice) and finding joy in it; it directs our morality.

with all thy heart,

“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil; for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” Luke 6:45.

“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness: and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Rom. 10:10.

Heart-Kardia-It came to stand for man’s entire mental and moral activity, both rational and emotional elements.

and with all thy soul,

“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” Rev. 4:11.

“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth:

and That every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Phil. 2:9-11.

Soul-Psuche-that immaterial part of man held in common with animals…the life element. (My interpretation-with our whole created being).

and with all thy mind,

“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened: that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints…” Eph. 1:17,18.

“FOR THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAITH THE LORD;

I WILL PUT MY LAWS INTO THEIR MINDS: AND WRITE THEM IN THEIR HEARTS:

AND I WILL BE TO THEM A GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE TO ME A PEOPLE..” Heb. 8:10,11.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct they paths.” Prov. 3:5,6.

Mind-Dianola-understanding (Start with the understanding you have and God will add to it as you grow in His grace and knowledge.)

with all thy strength,

“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” Josh. 1:9.

“Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them.” Ps. 84:5.

”I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.” Rev. 3:8.

Strength-Ischus-physical power-possibly health-ability-might

What does a life lived with this kind of love for the Father look like? Is it possible to measure our love for God? Hopefully, wherever our love for Him is at this time, tomorrow it will be greater


Definitions are taken from the Hebrew Greek Key Study Bible and Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Bible Words, plus a few ideas of my own.

Prayer

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This is written for you, who stop to read and/or follow my blog. It is Paul’s prayer for you and me and mine for you.

“For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…

That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory,-

 ‘But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by                      Christ Jesus.’ Phil. 4:19

‘For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory; no good thing will he withhold  from them that walk uprightly.’ Psalm 84:11.

to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man-

‘Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness.’ Col. 1:11.

That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; –

‘Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my  words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.’ John 14:23.

‘For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:’ Eph. 2:8

that ye being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to conrehend with all the saints what is the breadth-

‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ John 3:16.

and length-

‘When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.’ John 19:30.

and depth and height-

‘And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.’ John 3:13

‘He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.’ Eph. 10.

And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” Eph. 3:14, 16-19

‘Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.’ 1John 3:1-3.

This is my prayer and thanksgiving for you. I miss keeping up with your blogs. So many of your posts have blessed and encouraged me. Life circumstances and the summer ministries approaching are keeping me from blogging or reading on any consistent basis. But I do hope what is written may encourage and what I have written you may also find a source of encouragement.



Please check this out. A friend of mine gave me a subscription to a devotional for caregivers called, “Strength and Grace”. It’s published by Guidepost and is a daily dose of encouragement for those who are ministering to others, which really should be each of us, for…

“Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” 1John 3:11.

Thank you, for your constant source of encouragement.

 

 

More Visions of God

DSCF0336What is the strangest thing you have ever seen? A friend of mine told of seeing a full circle rainbow when she flew. What about you?

Ezekiel would have trouble picking one thing. We looked at a few of those in the previous post, “Visions of God”. Today we will finish with the visions he experienced in the opening chapter. It would be easy to wonder about the veracity of his account if it came from anywhere but God’s word. We will continue today’s post with-

Vision 3: The wheel within a wheel-God’s Spirit-ever present with us.

“The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel.

When they went, they went upon their four sides: and they turned not when they went. As for their rings, they were so high that they were dreadful: and their rings were full of eyes round about them four.  

And when the living creatures went the wheels went by them: and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up. Whithersoever the spirit was to go they went, thither was their spirit to go: and the wheels were lifted up over against them; for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.” Ezek. 1:16-21..

“Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?” Ps. 139:7.

“When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon the.” Isa. 43:2.

“But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you…

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God…The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” Romans 8:11,14,16.

Vision 4: The firmament, God’s dwelling place

“And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creature was as the colour of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above.” Ezek. 1:22.

My first thought reading this took me to God’s dwelling place and the visions of Paul and John.

“I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth.) such an one caught up to the third heaven…he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful  for a man to utter.” 2Cor. 12:2,4.

To John, the voice said,

“Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit: and behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.” Rev. 4:1,2

And John’s vision introduces

Vision 5: The throne, God’s sovereignty.

“And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone…” Ezek. 1:26.

“The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.” Psalm 103:19.

“For God is the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding. God reigneth over the heathen:

God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness.” Ps. 47:7,8.

Vision 6:  A man, the Lord’s Christ

“…and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.” Ezek. 1:26.

 “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, THE KINGDOMS OF THIS WORLD ARE BECOME THE KINGDOMS OF OUR LORD, AND OF HIS CHRIST; AND HE SHALL REIGN FOR EVER AND EVER.” Rev. 11:15.

Vision 7: A bow in the cloud, God’s glory, His faithfulness to His covenant.

“As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD…”Ezek. 1:28.

“And he that sat was to look upon like jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.” Rev. 4:3.

“I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.” Gen. 9:13.

When Ezekiel saw the visions of God the word says he fell upon his face, as did John, and the twenty-four elders of Revelation. What’s your reaction to the Presence of the Lord? What a wonder that He shares His glory with us and revealed Himself in so many ways. He may not be visible to us but still He has shown us who He is and that He desires to have an intimate relationship with us.

May we all continue to grow in His grace and knowledge-Know Him to make Him known.

Visions of God

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Have you ever had a true vision of God? Paul says in first Corinthians 13:12,

“For now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face, now I know in part: but then shall I know even as also I am known.”

The apostle John echoes Paul’s thoughts in 1John 3:2.

“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”

I’m using a devotional book, “God’s Word for God’s Workers,” by Sam Doherty. Its contents surprised me. The author reveals some fresh insight into some familiar and not so familiar scriptures concerning the character, work, and person of God. One of those surprises came in week 5 as he delved into God’s call on Ezekiel’s life.

“Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the river of Chebar, that the heavens were opened, and I saw visions of God.” Ezek. 1:1.

Ezekiel received visions “of God”. These visions revealed the God who called and would be all Ezekiel needed as he obeyed God’s call to a prophetic ministry to the Hebrew captives of Babylon.

Vision 1: A great cloud and fire infolding itself (1:2)

My thoughts went straight to Moses as God went before him in a cloud by day and a fire by night. God’s presence faithfully guided their steps as Moses lead the children of Israel for forty years.

“And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light: to go by day and night.” Ex. 13:21.

As with Moses, so God would be with Ezekiel and He is with us, leading us the way by night and day.

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:

and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matt. 28:19,20.

Vision 2: “likeness of four living creatures.”

“…And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man. And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings. “

I’m told the number 4 relates to things of the earth.

Could these be a picture of the Son of man, God the Son? His ministry here was to glorify the Father and bring salvation to men, reconciling him to God. The description of the feet being as a calf’s made me think of the Lord’s atoning sacrifice. And the burnished brass is mentioned in His description in Revelation 1:5, depicting holy judgment.

Then the creatures’ faces are described. The one problem I have with my own theory lies in the word creature. That speaks of a created being. Yet, Ezekiel did say likeness of four living creatures. Jesus did come in the likeness of man. Now, back to the faces.

“As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle.” .

The face of a man:

Jesus Christ, the truth of God’s glory and grace revealed in flesh; the High Priest who identifies with our weakness and gives access to the throne.

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Heb. 4:14-16.

The face of a lion:

Jesus Christ , the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the King of kings; who has all power and authority.

“And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof….

And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh  a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” Rev. 5:5; 19;16.

“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and thing in earth, and things under the earth;

And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Phil.2: 9-11.

The face of an ox:

Jesus Christ, the burden bearer of our sin; who gives us rest from our work.

“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows:

yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities:

the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed.” Isa. 53:4,5.

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me: for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matt. 11:28-30.

The face of an eagle:

Jesus Christ, the One who is above all ; who is our power, our all in all.

 “And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places.

Far above all principality, and power and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fullness of that filleth all in all.” Eph. 1:19-23.

Or maybe it’s as simple as the revelation of God as the creator of all? What are your thoughts on these visions? One other thought-could these represent God’s ministering spirits? Feel free to leave your thoughts.

There are more visions to come in my next post. Join me tomorrow.

Do You Need Revival?

Meeting Jesus

Revival brings new life to a spirit that has become complacent. It brings hearing to the spirit grown deaf and sight to the eyes blinded by this world. Revival breathes new life into the heart grown lukewarm.

With Spring in the air and the Easter season fast approaching what better time to experience a revival of the love of God in our hearts and be filled with His everlasting hope.  I hope this reblog encourages your spirit in Christ.


“Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?” Psalm 85:6.

Ezra pointed the people to revival through the law of Moses.

“And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation…And he read therein…

and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law…

And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people…

And Ezra blessed the LORD…

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How About a Laugh? Chuckle Maybe?

DSCF0314First a little riddle: What season is it when you’re on a trampoline? (I chose this riddle for my grandson who competes in trampoline. The answer is at the end of my post.)

It’s unusual for me to wake up with a heavy heart, but this morning I did. I don’t know when the Lord put together the verses I needed to hear today, but there they were as I began my day with Him.

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matt. 11:28.

Have you ever wondered if Jesus laughed? Scripture tells us He was a man of sorrows. Of all men, Jesus knew the work and weight of sin, not His personal sin. He had none. He is holy. But the weight of our sin. Even with the weight of our sin on His shoulders I believe He had times of laughter.

I see Jesus with the children blessing the little wiggly, giggly toddlers and such. Then one preschooler sits on His knee, cocks his head and asks, “I try to love my little brother, but when he hits me, I hit back. Will I still go to heaven?”

Ok, so maybe, Jesus didn’t laugh at the questions but I’m certain there had to be a smile, and later when he met alone with the disciples, I can hear the laughter as they recounted some of the incredulous questions children ask.

Even King Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes of a time to laugh. Psalm 126 is a song speaks of our time to laugh.

“When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.

Then was our mouth filled with laufhter, and our tongue with singing:

then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them. The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.

Turn again our captivity, O lORD, as the streams in the south.

They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.

He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed,

shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”

As I finished reading these verses a little chorus I sang with the Sunday School and camp children came to mind. It goes like this:

IMG_0556“The joy of the Loooord, is my strength. The joy of the Loooord, is my strength. The joy of the Loooord, is my strength. Oh, the joy of the Lord is my strength.

He fills my mouth with laughter, Ha, ha ha, ha ha. He fills my mouth with laughter, Ha, ha ha, ha ha. He fills my mouth with laughter, Ha, ha ha, ha ha. Oh, the joy of the Lord is my strength.

The final verse is simply Ha, ha all the way through ending with, Oh, the joy of the Lord is my strength. The children loved it and so did I for it always brought a smile and even a few chuckles to everyone, including those who looked like they may have sucked on a sour lemon.

Today are you feeling heavy-hearted? The Lord invites you to come, give your heaviness to Him, and He will give you rest-and it may be through laughter, at least a chuckle, or a smile.


And by the way, after filling my heart with laughter, when I went to see about my Mom, I found myself plunging and mopping up where her stool had overflowed. I had to smile and sing my chorus.

Now for the  riddle’s answer: Spring time!

Share the funniest thing your child has said or asked you, and we can all share in some laughter.