Life When the Two Kingdoms Collide

blur bread breakfast cake
Photo by karthik reddy on Pexels.com

“Give us this day our daily bread.”

Earthly Kingdom

The next trip you make to the grocery store notice the bread aisle. There is multi-grain, wheat, honey wheat(my favorite), oat, potato, white, and various others. It comes in sliced loaves, hot dog buns and hamburger buns in various sizes and kinds. Flat breads, whole breads, dinner rolls, all these adorn the shelves. I’ll admit the fear during this time keeps the array less than normal, but still plenty to choose from.

In the world’s kingdom, made up of flesh and blood, we need bread. In scripture bread is bread or can imply food of any kind. Bread possibly derives its origin from the Greek word, ar, meaning the earth. It is of the earth, earthy. We hold a physical bond with bread as we are born of the earth, born earthy.

  • “The first man is of the earth, earthy…As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy…we have born the image of the earthy.” From 1Cor. 15:47-49.

The man of the earthly kingdom seeks 3 things to fill his appetite.

  • “…the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.”

Seeking to fill our lives with the desire for more of what this world offers leaves us empty. Satisfaction, contentment, and peace remain an elusive dream another grasp away.

“He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver:

nor he that loveth abundance with increase:

this is also vanity.

When goods increase, they are increased that eat them;

and what good is there to the owners thereof,

saving the beholding of them with their eyes?”

Ecclesiastes 5:10,11.

God’s Kingdom

Nothing fills a room quite like the aroma of fresh baked bread. Lather it with butter and the sweet taste of honey and it beckons you to enjoy the mixture of flavors delighting the taste buds. It may not do much for the waist line but it certainly warms the body and mind.

In God’s kingdom the invitation calls us to enjoy bread found exclusively in the heavenly kingdom. When Satan invited Jesus to use His power for His personal need, He responded in this way.
“It is written,

  • MAN SHALL NOT LIVE BY BREAD ALONE,
  • BUT BY EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDETH OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.” Matthew 4:4.

First note the kingdom of God is not ruled by Satan’s directives. Jesus obeyed only the “word that proceeded out of the mouth of God.” We find in verse 11, after completing the 3 temptations or testings, Satan left Him for a time and God sent angels to minister to Him. Jesus’ faith endured the trials through knowledge of the word of God.

“O taste and see that the LORD is good:

blessed is the man that trusteth in him…

How sweet are thy words unto my taste!

Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth.”

Psalm 34:8;119:103.

The heavenly Father asks us to endure the trials, not for our failure, but to show us His provision and strengthen the faith He has already given us…to take us from faith to faith as we taste sweet victory over the flesh. He provides all we need, both physical and spiritual. He equips us to live in the earthly kingdom by giving us the promises of the heavenly kingdom.

“Therefore I say unto you,

Take no thought for your life,

what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink;

nor yet for your body what ye shall put on.

Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment…

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;

and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Matthew 6:25,33.

Jesus, the living Word of God, invites you to come eat of the living bread of heaven.

“This is the bread which cometh down from heaven,

that a man may eat thereof, and not die.

I am the living bread which came down from heaven:

if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever;

and the bread that I will give is my flesh,

which I will give for the life of the world.”

John 6:50,51.

He gave the earthy, His body, to the cross that we could take on His heavenly.

“the second man is the Lord from heaven…

and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly…

we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

Now this I say, brethren,

that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God;

neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.”

 1Corinthians 15:47-50.

Two tables sit before you. One serves the Bread of life, the other the bread of death.

  • Of which are you eating?

Life in the Kingdoms, 2

Part 3 of Kings & Kingdoms Continued

“Give us this day our daily bread.”

When we think of daily bread our minds go straight to food. But on a day to day basis our needs far exceed bread. Yes, we need sustenance but we also need strength, peace, confidence, and hope in the trials, in the challenges of life. The scripture used is found in Psalm 20:1, 6-8. For contrast clarification I put scriptures together with their respective kingdoms. Meanings aren’t changed.

Kingdom of God:

“The LORD hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee…

Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand…

but we will remember the name of the Lord our God…but we are risen, and stand upright.

chariot
courtesy of Pixabay

Kingdom of this world:

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses…They are brought down and fallen.”

Trials come in this life in both kingdoms. They are not fun, but they are a necessary part of life, of growing. Some grow and arise others fall.

  • Do you handle the challenges with trust in the Lord that brings peace?
  • Do you try to figure it all out and become frustrated when your plans fall apart?
  • What do you trust in these days?

Life in the Kingdoms

Part 3 of Kings & Kingdoms

ruth“Give us this day our daily bread.”

Today we move from the introduction of the kingdoms to living in the kingdoms. This week will address a question, a scripture, and thoughts contrasting both kingdoms in day to day living.

Kingdom of this world:

“And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness:

  • And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full: for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger…

the LORD heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against him: and what are we? Your murmuring are not against us, but against the LORD…

And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying,

  • At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread:
  • and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God…

And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them,

  • This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat…
  • And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning.
  • Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses: but some of them left of it unto the morning, and it bred worms, and stank:
  • and Moses was wroth with them.” Exodus 16:2-3,8, 11-12, 15, 19-20.

Murmuring, believing God has withheld good from them, disdaining the good God has already done for them, and disobedience to the One who has provided for them, I’ll leave it to your own imaginations how this fits into the world today. All too often, it may even be found among God’s kingdom. And did you notice, God still blessed them?

“according to the word of the LORD”

Kingdom of God:

“And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying,

  • Arise, get thee to Zarepath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there:
  • behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.

So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.

And as she was going to fetch he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand.

  • And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.

And Elijah said unto her,

  • Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.
  • For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth.

And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.

And the barrel of meal wasted not,

neither did the cruse of oil fail,

according to the word of the LORD,

which he spake by Elijah.” 1 Kings 17:9-16.

The Lord speaks to his servants. The servants obey His word. The Lord provides for His servants. He knows our need before we ask and does not withhold any good thing from us. His servants trust Him and need not fear for they know Him to be who He is according to His word.

  • In these days what keeps you trusting the Lord’s provision rather than complaining?
  • What good things has God done for you in the past that instills trust He will do good for you today?

Holy Unto the Lord

DSCF0006“But as he which hath called you is holy;

so be ye holy in all manner of conversation:

Because it is written, Be ye holy;

for I am holy.”

1Peter 1: 15-16

The Lord spoke through Haggai to priests about the laws of holiness. He asked them if one is holy touches someone/thing unclean will that one become holy. The answer, “No.” He then asked if someone unclean touches another will it make that one unclean. The answer, “Yes.”

The coronavirus may not be a perfect example of this law of clean & unclean but it comes close. If, for instance, you are healthy free from the virus, can you touch someone infected with the virus and make her well? Of course, not. By the same token if the one sick with the virus touches you, will you be made sick? Very probably.

The seed of sin dwells in the flesh and easily influences others in that direction through words and the inclination of the flesh to feed on its desires. 1John 2: 16 explains the natural virus dwelling in us from birth.

“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”

The flesh must die for it is unclean. The unclean cannot touch that which is holy. The unclean has passed death to us all. Paul tells us,

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned…For the wages of sin is death.” Rom. 5:12; 6:23a.

If the truth ended here, all would be left hopeless. The unclean can’t cleanse the unclean. There would be no place for us to be obedient to the Lord’s command to be holy. But the truth doesn’t end here. Only One who has never tasted in himself the sickness of sin can overcome the virus of sin that leads to death. Christ is that One. There was no blemish of sin found in Him.

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation  received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” 1Pet. 1:18,19.

“For he hath made min to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2Cor. 5: 21

“For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one: much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ…For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” Rom. 5:17,19”

Paul explains in Romans 6 how the flesh dies to find life. We must be vaccinated with the death of Christ, join Him in death.

“Know ye not,

that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ

were baptized into his death?

Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death:

that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father,

even so we also should walk in newness of life.

For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death,

we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection;

Knowing this,

that our old man is crucified with him,

that the body of sin might be destroyed,

that henceforth we should not serve sin.

For he that is dead is freed from sin…

For the wages of sin is death;

but the gift of God is eternal life

through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Rom 6: 3-7, 23.

Sin’s power over us is death. Jesus Christ, the sinless one, became our sin, took our death, and gave us life. He raised us from the dead even as the Father raised Him. His offering was and is acceptable. He has made us holy before the Father, enabling us to walk in holiness. This is our standing before God as we walk this earth with Christ.

Now it is time to learn to walk in this calling of holiness that is ours.

“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord,

beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation

wherewith ye are called”

Eph. 4: 1

Now by the blood of Christ you are ready to heed Paul’s exhortation in Rom. 12:1, 2.

“I beseech you therefore, brethren,

by the mercies of God,

that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice,

holy, acceptable unto God,

which is your reasonable service.

And be not conformed to this world (in its sin), but be ye transformed (into the holy image of Christ) by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

(The parenthesis added by author.)

The people hearing Haggai’s message to consider their ways, excused themselves by saying it wasn’t the right time to tend to the Lord’s house. It didn’t hold water then and it won’t today. We, His followers, are His temple. May we keep building it in holiness to the glory of the Father.

“Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth

through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren,

see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

Being born again,

not of corruptible seed,

but of incorruptible,

by the word of God,

which liveth and abideth for ever: 

For all flesh is a s grass,

and all the glory of man as the flower of grass.

The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:

But the word of the lord endureth for ever.

And this is the word which

by the gospel is preached unto you.”

1Peter 1: 22-25.

You only have this moment. What will you do with it?

Answering Faith

blogheart-2028062__340“Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have not faith?” Mark 4:40

What faith a person has or has not comes down to a heart problem within the individual, whether a believer or a nonbeliever. This heart problem affects our sight, hearing, and mind.

“Why reason ye, because ye have no bread?

Perceive ye not yet, neither understand?

Have ye your heart yet hardened?

Having eyes, see ye not?

And having ears, hear ye not?

And do ye not remember?

When I brake the five loaves among five thousand,

how many baskets full of fragments took ye up…

And he said unto them,

How is it that ye do not understand?” Mark 8:17-19,21

In scripture the heart when speaking of the inner person represents the emotion, thought, understanding…all the person really is and not necessarily what is seen or heard of the person. Jeremiah describes the heart seeded with sin.

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” 17:9.

David in Psalm 14 adds this:

“The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

Paul echoed David’s Psalm in Romans 3 when he asked:

“What then? Are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin:

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

There is not one that understandeth,

there is none that seeketh after God.”

By birth into this world, all are born with a heart problem. The heart carries the seed of sin. Sin comes naturally to each one of us. The only way to remove this seed is through transplanting the heart carrying sin with one filled with the seed of faith leading to holiness. This faith is a gift of God’s grace.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith;

and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:”

Eph. 2:8

Ezekiel’s word to Israel is also a word for all:

“A new heart also will I give you,

and a new spirit will I put within you:

and I will take away the stoney heart out of your flesh,

and I will give you an heart of flesh.

And I will put my spirit within you,

and cause you to walk in my statutes,

and ye shall be my people,

and I will be your God.” Ezek. 36:26,27

Paul in Romans 10 tells us how this operation occurs.

“But what saith it?

The word is night thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart:

that is the word of faith, which we preach;

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus,

and shalt believe in thine heart

that God hath raised him from the dead,

thou shalt be saved.

For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness,

and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation…

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord

shall be saved.” Rom. 10:8-10,13.

Faith is born, given as a gift of God. Where does the stumbling block come in? Here I will handle my thoughts and at the end I have included a few of my fellow bloggers comments. For my full list of possibilities check out, “Friday’s Thoughts”.

A couple bloggers mentioned one I failed to list but do believe is the seed of sin we are born with…Pride. Pride not humbled hardens the heart and hinders the understanding. Pride says as the fool, “there is no God”. Disbelief breeds more disbelief hardening the heart. The hardened heart is filled with,

“…all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life…” I John 2:16.

The flesh craves its pleasure. The eyes see only what they want. And the pride says I’ll get it my way.

The wisdom of God is foolishness to the natural, unregenerate heart. It cannot understand the things of God.

“For the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1Cor. 2: 14.

Even the heart that has been born again by the righteousness of Christ is given to spells of heart problems. That is why we see Christ upbraiding His disciples. Their lack of faith came from a lack of understanding.

“And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?”

Understanding is ours to be had.

Ask:

“…ye have not, because ye ask not…” James 4:2

“And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe;

help thou mine unbelief.” Mark 9:24.

Grow & Know:

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…” 2Pet. 3:18.

“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith;

that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

may be able to comprehend with all saints

what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height:

and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge,

that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”

Eph. 3:17-19.

“…that ye might be filled with knowledge of his will

in all wisdom, and spiritual understanding

that ye might walk worthy of the Lord

unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, 

and increasing in the knowledge of God.”

Col. 1: 9,10.

Remember:

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Phil. 1:6.

The new heart comes with a seed of faith through God’s grace. By His grace it will one day blossom into sight. Until then keep on keeping on. God always completes His word. For He is His word. When doubt seeks to weaken our heart of faith go to the One whose, “…grace is sufficient.”   He is the strength of our faith.


 From, Friday’s Thoughts:

Here a few responses to “Friday’s Thoughts”.  Thank you to each who took time to share their understanding.

Sue Love, cfservant.wordpress.com

so the three – pride, control, and sinful habits – all work together to keep people from true believing faith in Jesus Christ.

So, Satan devised a plan to conquer that. Yes, Satan! He made a way for people to “believe” in Jesus and to not have to yield control or give up their pride or have to let go of their sinful lifestyles.

thankful~by.lily

thankfulbylily.wordpress.com

My thoughts; lack of understanding the Word of God and pride for the unbeliever in my experience to name a couple. The ones you listed as well. Much blessings

Sonrisa (Crissy)

livingbyfaithtravel.wordpress.com

My personal experience with the unbeliever without a religious background is their unwillingness to face the fact of their sinfulness. The unbeliever with a religious background their feelings and experiences convinces them that they have the truth and for the Christian not knowing who their God truly is .
T.R. Noble

nobledevotionblog.wordpress.com

I think ultimately self is the core for any road block. We want to rely in what WE know be it pain, pride, experience, knowledge, etc. But the situation definitely can be different.

Friday’s Thoughts

pexels-photo-355288.jpegToday’s question is one directly from Jesus immediately after He rebuked the wind and calmed the sea. Before asking it, He removed the disciples’ anxiety. Then Jesus asked them,

“Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have not faith?”

Mark 4:40

What answer comes to your mind as to what stands in the way of someone having faith in God?

  • Disappointment with God?
  • Evil in the world?
  • The philosophies of the world?
  • The number of religions claiming truth?
  • Lack of knowledge?
  • Abundance of knowledge?
  • Lack of understanding?
  • Riches?
  • Poverty?
  • Ignorance?
  • A hard heart?
  • Unbelief?

Which of the above would you rank highest in being a stumbling block to faith in God to the unbelieving and to the Christian? Maybe, you have another that is not listed. Thank you, for sharing your thoughts. For they will help me in some research for a book I’m currently working on.

May your faith be ever increasing.

Her Final Desire

516

“But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly:

 wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God:

for he hath prepared for them a city.” Heb. 11:16

“Why didn’t Mom and Dad come? I thought for sure they would come take me home today.”  Tears brimmed Mom’s eyes as she pleaded with me for an answer that would satisfy her greatest desire.

“They couldn’t today, Mom. But things are being made ready for you. Soon they will come.”

A deep sigh and a weak smile told me she would accept my answer but it wasn’t enough to ease the disappointment. At 89 and journeying through dementia, Mom’s words might not make sense to me or my family, but in this we knew what she wanted. For in those few completely lucid moments she made it plain.

“I just want to go home.”

Like Abraham she,

“Looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”Heb. 11:10.

She looked for a home,

“…prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I heard out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men,

and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes;

 and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Rev. 21:2-4.

“I am ready to go home. Why does He not come?”

Mom’s questions during this time, and there were many, were some of my own questions. This journey Mom and our family traveled together was a hard time but also, it was a time of experiencing the faithful goodness of our God. I’m still trying to process the things He taught us not only by the hearing of His word but the living out of the truth of His word.

In this time, as He spoke to me from Mark 11: 22,

“And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.”

He enriched my faith as He called me to wait upon Him. He gave us all grace for strength when we had no strength. He blessed our lives through experiencing His goodness in the suffering. He worked good in us out of a bad situation. He filled our lives with His peace when the pain was greatest. He fulfilled all His good word to us and to Mom.

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

In my Father’s house are many mansions:

If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself;

that where I am, there ye may be also.” John 14:1-3.

So, why did He wait? Why did He not come?

He didn’t wait, and He did come even as He said.

“For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God ye might receive the promise.

For yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

Now the just shall live by faith…”Heb. 10:36-38a.

Jesus was not late, nor was He early. He came for Mom and carried her home. He did not tarry. In all her life her desire was to bring glory to God through reaching the lost with the gospel of Jesus Christ and encouraging her family and friends to live for Him.

When God created the earth it was a beautiful place for mankind to enjoy full fellowship with Him for eternity. We only had to eat of the tree of life. We chose the tree of knowledge of good and evil thinking we could run the world better than its Creator. We were wrong, lost life, and inherited death. Then Jesus appeared, God in the flesh to redeem the life we lost. We were not made for this world as it is now, but for that city God is preparing for all those who have received Jesus Christ as their Savior. Again,

“He that shall come will come, and will not tarry”

Death of this physical body is certain unless Jesus returns first. Just as certain as death comes, so does life after death. The only question that remains is whether an inheritance of everlasting life waits for you or a life of eternal death.

“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…He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:16,18.

I know I will see Mom again when the Lord comes for me. I hope to see each one of you there too. And, yes, I do believe I will know you. For I don’t believe there are any strangers in the family of God. In the scope of eternity I can say, “Hope to see you soon.”

Questions about your eternal destiny? I’d love to hear from you. Thank you for visiting today. I pray God’s blessing of life is yours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thorns, Crowns, & Laughter

“For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself,

lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.”

Hebrews 12:3bloglove-699480_960_720

“And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head…” Mark 15:17.

Why a crown of thorns? Pain. Have you ever known pain of body, mind, or soul that pierced your heart until you believed it would overcome you? So did Jesus.

“And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy; And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful until death…And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Mark 14:33,34; Luke 22:44.

When Jesus prayed for the cup of suffering to pass from him, the Father answered, “No”, but sent angels to minister strength to him in his hour of need. And, yes, He will minister strength to you, walk with you, and deliver you through your pain.

Why a crown of thorns? Humility.

“And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Phil. 2:8.

Christ sought the Father three times for deliverance. The Father did deliver Him but not from suffering.

The apostle Paul also sought God for deliverance from a thorn in his flesh.  The answer Paul received, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2Cor. 12:9.

When thorns are your crown instead of stars remember Jesus, remember Paul and humble yourself under the mighty hand of God.

The soldiers’ crowned Jesus with thorns but that was not the crowns of His Father.

“There will I make the horn of David to bud: I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed. His enemies will I clothe with shame: but upon himself shall his crown flourish…Ps. 132:17,18; But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man…Heb. 2:9; His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns…” Rev. 19:12.

After the crown of thorns the soldiers,

“…began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews!”

Who has not felt the sting of being mocked, misunderstood, and maligned? Jesus knew it all. But the end of the story is not yet. Another day will bring the last laugh.

“Which in  his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords…And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” (1Tim.6:15; Rev. 19:16).

“He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision…Ps. 2:4; The wicked plotted against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth. The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming…Ps. 37;12,13; “Behold, they belch out with their mouth: swords are in their lips: for who, say they, doth hear? But thou, O Lord shalt laugh at them; thou shalt have all the heathen in derision.” Ps. 59:7,8.

The soldiers had the audacity and ignorance to continue their ridicule when they,

“…bowing their knees worshipped him.”

The only worship acceptable to the Father is that done in spirit and in truth. One day all will bow.

“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. 2:10,11; And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” Rev. 14:6,7.

That judgment hasn’t yet come but as sure as there is a just, holy, and loving God in heaven and just as sure as He sent His only begotten Son into this world to take our judgment of death so we could have life, there is a judgment waiting for those who will not receive the Father’s precious Gift. Now is the time to…

“Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” Ps. 2:12.

Have you put your trust in Jesus Christ or are you adding more thorns to the soldiers’ crown and joining in their mockery? Jesus loves you. Look at the cross and you will know.

A Long Dream

“In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion…

I am as a wonder unto many; but thou art my strong refuge.

Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day. Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth…

O God, be not far from me: O my God, make haste for my help.” (Select verses from Psalm 71).IMG_1951

My mom gave me a glimpse into her world of dementia at eighty-eight years of age. Her world consists of a beautiful young lady laughing and singing on an old fashioned wagon hayride drawn by horses, fun at the softball field with her lanky boyfriend, and families enjoying picnics on the church grounds.

 

Where did they all go in such a short time?

When the past fuses into the present, the teenager in a moment ages to eighty-eight. The home she grew up in looks nothing like the house she now lives in. Memories and the present swirl in a world of now, making no sense. In her words, “It’s like a long dream.”

Won’t you pray for her?

Mom longs to go home – home to her mom and dad; home to her lanky boyfriend that became her husband; home where her best Friend and Redeemer wait for her.IMG_1812

Only a week ago, in a lucid, Spirit-filled moment, we sat on my front porch. She glowed with peace and joy. One hand reached heavenward and a rarely seen radiant smile graced her face as she spoke to my daughter and me.

“I’m ready anytime Jesus wants to take my hand and take me home where I’ll be with Him forever. He could even come today.”

I believe Jesus may have answered her with the following words.

“I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee…

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself: that where I am, there ye may be also.” (Heb. 13:5b; John 14:1-3).IMG_0878

 

One day, Jesus will reach His hand and take hers in His. Until then, He will walk with her through her long dream until she reaches her destination. He will never leave or forsake her. Even now He  walks the way with His hand in hers by faith. One day faith will give way to sight. Thank you, Jesus!

Of Love and Faith

blogdesperate-2676556__340What steals your peace in sleepless nights?

“And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.” Mark 11:22

  • “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1John 4:9,10.
  • “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things.” Rom. 8:32.
  • “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. “ 1John 4:16.”
  • “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Rom. 8:38,39.

“And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 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.

“Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: 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. We love him, because he first loved us.” 1John 4:17-19.

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Heb. 11:6.

Is it fear of…

losing your job? a bad diagnosis from the doctor’s office? world events? someone near to you dying? facing your own death?

However you answer the question, having faith in God is the answer, faith in His love for you. When you understand the magnitude of His love that dwells in your heart, His love gives birth to your love of Him. Your love for Him is made perfect/complete through His love for you. You have nothing to fear. The King of kings, Lord of lords, Creator of all things, Redeemer and Savior loves you.  Sleep well tonight.

“Have faith in God.”


Hoping the next post to update you on the Lord’s working in the ministries of this summer.