For The Common Good

1 Corinthians 12: Coming Together For the Common GoodIMG_3419[1]

“But to each one is given

the manifestation of the Spirit

for the common good.”

Corinthians 12:7, NASB*

“No, it’s not going to rain. What are you guys talking about?” As the words came out of my mouth a rain drop, or something worse, fell on my shoulder. “The Lord knows what we need. I don’t understand why you don’t get on the roof,” I teased. A few more raindrops fell. A sly smile covered one young man’s face. It wasn’t long the work outside stopped and the rain poured.

In the U. S. we celebrated Labor Day. Our youth camp team had planned a Labor of Love weekend to work on several projects at the camp. Fellowship, another word for visiting with one another, worship, and work filled our time Friday evening through Monday afternoon. We, young, middle age, and not-so-middle-aged, came together for the common good—getting our campgrounds in good shape and doing some repairs. We worked as a picture of 1 Corinthians 12:18-21.

“But now God has placed the members,

each one of them in His body, just as He desired.

And if they were all one member,

where would the body be?

But now there are many members,

but one body.

And the eye cannot say to the hand,

“I have no need of you:

Or again the head to the feet,

“I have no need of you.”

The Lord blessed us with the rain and directed our tasks, giving us the right people for the right jobs.room You wouldn’t have wanted to see the storage rooms if I was the one building them. One team worked on the girl’s shower house giving it a makeover inside. My team worked on clearing the old flower bed out before the rain fell too hard. Then we cleaned and reorganized the pantry and the tool closet. Others trimmed tree branches, before, during, and after the rain. Others weed-eated. We had two half days with no rain. During those times, indoor projects were finished and outdoor projects of painting, power washing buildings, and the wonderful job of cleaning out the trees around our sewage lagoon got well under way. One woman tackled the chapel cleaning, including learning how to replace the guts of one of the toilets. Others cooked, washed dishes, and cleaned up at the end.

rock gardenI was especially thankful for those who turned my idea for the old flower bed into a reality. Their gifts will bring it to completion. One young man is going to make the sign to hang on the wooden frame. Next spring we will plant a couple yucca plants around the base and add a few large, flat, creek-rocks.

We ended the day worn out but blessed beyond measure. There is more to the story than I can tell here, but Paul expresses all the Lord did for us in Ephesians 3:20-21.

“Now to Him who is able to do

exceeding abundantly beyond

all that we ask or think,

according to the power that works within us,

to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus

to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”

No, the new roof didn’t get put on this weekend. Only the Lord knows why. But I wonder if it’s not so others can come and participate in the blessing.


For Thought: When have you been blessed by the body of Christ coming together as one, and you knew it was Him that put it all together?

Today’s Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 12: 27-31. If you had been with us, which task would have fit your gifting? What do you see as your place in the body of Christ?

Our Prayer: Father, how you have blessed us with one another to supply every need we have in the ministries you have called us to. May all we do be for the building up of your kingdom by encouraging one another in love and good works. As you have blessed us, may we use the gifts you give us to bless you by blessing others.


 *all scripture references are from NASB unless otherwise stated

Blessing of Knowing Need

blogreligious-2598299__340“Blessed are the merciful:

for they shall obtain mercy.”

Matthew 5:7

There once were two men. One had need of nothing for he had made his millions. The tailored clothes he wore spoke of his opulence. He had need of nothing. A feast of fine foods graced his table. He had need of nothing. He was set for life. He had need of nothing – except to know he had need.

The second man had nothing. His tattered dirty clothes told his story. He had nothing. The dogs licked at his cankered sores giving him some relief as he sat by the rich man’s gate. He could not afford a doctor. He had nothing. The smell of the rich man’s feast filled his nostrils but did not fill his empty belly. He had nothing – yet he remained richer than the rich man.

Both men had two things in common. Each lived and each died. One died to poverty. The other died to riches. One died to torment – the other to comfort. One died to die forever – the other died to never die again, never to suffer again but to live forever. This is where their similarity ends. For one never had mercy so could not give it. The other knew mercy and obtained it.

Jesus told the account of these two men in Luke 16:19-31. It describes the two kinds of people who inhabit the earth. We are either the rich man dressed in our robes of self-righteousness with no need of God, or we are Lazarus, knowing our righteousness is a filthy garment in need of the cleansing mercy of God.

Jesus told the Pharisees – the epitome of the self-righteous –

“But go ye and learn what that meaneth,

I WILL HAVE MERCY, AND NOT SACRIFICE: 

for I am not come to call the righteous,

but sinners to repentance…

Ye are they which justify yourselves before men;

but God knoweth your hearts:

for that which is highly esteemed among men

is abomination in the sight of God.”

(Matthew 9:13;  Luke 16:15)

To find comfort from our sin we must identify with Lazarus’s filthy rags.
“But we are all as an unclean thing,

and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags;

and we all do fade as a leaf;

and our iniquities,

like the wind,

have taken us away …

As it is written,

THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NO, NOT ONE:”

(Isaiah 64;6 Romans 3:10.)

Our remedy is found in the mercy of God. It’s available now and brings us  comfort from sin.

  • “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found,
  • call ye upon him while he is near:
  • Let the wicked forsake his way,
  • and the unrighteous man his thoughts:
  • and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him:
  • and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon …

But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour

toward man appeared,

Not be works of righteousness which we have done,

but according to his mercy he saved us,

by the washing of regeneration,

and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”

(Isaiah 55:7 Titus 3:4-5)

If you have not received the mercy of the Lord and are tired of wearing the filthy clothes stained with sin, the Lord invites you –

“Come now,

and let us reason together, saith the LORD:

though your sins be as scarlet,

they shall be as white as snow;

though they be red like crimson,

they shall be as wool.”

Isaiah 1:18

Accept his invitation and know the blessing of mercy King David described.

“the blessedness of the man,

unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,

Saying,

BLESSED ARE THEY WHOSE INIQUITIES ARE FORGIVEN,

AND WHOSE SINS ARE COVERED.

BLESSED IS THE MAN

TO WHOM THE LORD WILL NOT IMPUTE SIN.”

Romans 4:6-8

This blessing is for all who –

“believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;

Who was delivered for our offences,

and was raised again for our justification.”

Romans 4:24,25

So, are you among the blessed – those receiving God’s best and highest in life? Those who know the blessing of need? You can be. Receive the invitation.

 

Tears Are A Blessing

baby child close up crying
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.”

Matthew 5:4

Many would not count the year 2020 a blessing. According to Matthew 5:4 blessings filled the year. Families experienced loss as the death toll around the world climbed. Loneliness took its toll on those in nursing homes, the elderly, and others feared what they could not understand. Some suffered loss of finances and the list could continue. Continuing would only cause us to look at our circumstances and miss the blessing that comes with mourning. Not that any look for mourning but it comes to this world.

The blessing comes with knowing the pain cutting through our heart does not go unnoticed by the One who comforts.

“Thou tellest my wanderings:

put thou my tears into thy bottle:

are they not in thy book?

When I cry unto thee,

then shall mine enemies turn back:

this I know:

for God is for me.”

Psalm 56:8,9

God records the path of his children in his book. I’m guessing this is his book of remembrance mentioned elsewhere. He stores our tears in his bottle. They are ever before him. We are blessed for he remembers us and is for us. Our comfort comes in trusting him to give us his best . Trust brings comfort and comfort brings praise.

The things mentioned in the opening paragraph speak to this world and its trials. Those trusting in the Lord know these things are temporary. Followers of Christ experience the mourning and the comfort. Those of the world have no lasting place of comfort when their hope is only in this world.

“If in this life only we have hope in Christ,

we are of all men most miserable.”

1Corinthians 15:19

Our hope in Christ transcends this world. For we believe as Christ rose from the dead,

“even so in Christ shall all be made alive…

Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep,

we should live together with him.

Wherefore comfort yourselves together,

and edify one another, even as also ye do.”

1 Corinthians 15:22; 1 Thessalonians 5:10,11.

We have a comfort this world does not have – a comfort Jesus explained to his disciples on the evening of his arrest.

“But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth;

  • It is expedient for you that I go away:
  • for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you:
  • but if I depart, I will send him unto you…
  •  and ye shall be sorrowful,
  • but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.” John 16:6,7,20.

Followers of Christ have his word.

  • He comes alongside us in our pain in the person of the Holy Spirit
  • to comfort us, give us joy,
  • and work all things out for our good.
  • We are blessed as God works his highest good in us and for us.

If you don’t know the comfort of Christ, you will experience the pain of a fallen world but without the  comfort, strength, joy, and hope. If you’ve not experienced the comfort of Christ, he offers it to you.

It begins the same way for all – recognizing we are poor in spirit then mourning our sinful state with a godly sorrow.

“For all have sinned,

and come short of the glory of God.”

Romans 3:23.

“For godly sorrow

worketh repentance to salvation

not to be repented of:

but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”

2 Corinthians 7:10.

The state we are born in separates us from God, his kingdom, and the comfort he offers. That’s enough to make anyone mourn – but will you seek his comfort? It can be found in Paul’s answer to the Philippian jailer who asked –

“ Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

And they said,

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,

and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

Acts 16:30,31.

Was the jailer comforted? Hear what happened next.

“And when he had brought them into his house,

he set meat before them,

and rejoiced,

believing in God with all his house.”

Acts 16:34.

Believing in Jesus Christ for salvation doesn’t save us from the troubles of this world. We will still have some. It does bring hope and comfort into our trials. It does turn our mourning into joy.

“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion,

  • to give unto them beauty for ashes,
  • the oil of joy for mourning,
  • the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
  • that they might be called trees of righteousness,
  • the planting of the LORD,
  • that he might be glorified.” Isaiah 61:3

Beauty for ashes, joy for mourning, praise for heaviness – sounds like blessings I want for the New Year. Hey, what am I saying? I do possess them all in Jesus Christ. Do you?

Praying each who read are trees of righteousness planted by the Lord. May we each bring him glory and enjoy our blessedness in Christ.

Giving Thanks!

“When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for the good land which he hath given thee. Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God…” Deut. 8:10, 11a.DSCF4446

“Giving thanks unto the Father…” (Col. 1:12) “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good, his mercy is everlasting and his truth endureth to all generations.” (1Thess. 5:18; Ps. 100:4,5).

“Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.” “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.” “O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.” “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God…” (1Chron. 16:8; John 3:16; 1Chron. 8:34; 1John 3:1a).

Give thanks! because He, “hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light…hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son; In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:” (Col. 1:12-14).

“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said. Amen, and praised the Lord.”(1Chron. 8:36).

Thank you, heavenly Father for all your goodness and mercy, your great love you have loved us with, for making us one in you. May we gather this weekend and bless your holy name, giving you praise. Amen.

Are You Free From Debt?

 

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“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.” Psalm 32:1

So we don’t miss David’s point, he repeats the truth  in a different way.

“Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.” Psalm 32:2.

“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven…Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, BLESSED ARE THEY WHOSE INIQUITIES ARE FORGIVEN, AND WHOSE SINS ARE COVERED. BLESSED IS THE MAN TO WHOM THE LORD WILL NOT IMPUTE SIN… There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit…AND THEIR SINS AND INIQUITIES WILL I REMEMBER NO MORE.” (Rom. 4:4-8; 8:1;Heb. 10:17).

The debt of sin is paid. Your account can be drained of sin and filled with the righteousness of Christ. Blessed is the forgiven.

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With the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 1Peter 1:19

 

…whose sin is covered…Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people; thou hast covered all their sin. Selah… For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins… And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission… and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin…And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.” (Ps. 85:2; Matt. 26:28; Heb. 9:22; 1John 1:7b; Rev. 1:5). 

The debt of sin is paid. The contract is signed in the blood of Christ. It can be yours. Blessed is the cleansed by His blood.

“Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity…I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin… If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”(Ps. 32:5; 1John 1:9).

The debt of sin is paid. It can be put to your account through receiving the gift of Jesus Christ. Blessed is the account filled with the righteousness of Christ.

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Raised in  newness of life!

“… and in whose spirit there is no guile…The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: who can know it… A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh… Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God… But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (Jer. 17:9; Ezek. 36:26; John 3:3; John 1:12,13).

The debt of sin is paid. You can have a new heart and new spirit. Blessed is the born again.

Are you blessed? You can be. Your debt of sin is paid, covered by the blood of Christ. A life free from condemnation and the power of sin waits for all who receive Jesus Christ’s payment as their own. If you have received the gift of God’s grace, you are blessed beyond measure. Are you free from a debt you could not pay?

“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.” Psalm 32:1

 

 

 

 

Monday’s Blessing

 

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“Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.” Jeremiah 17:7

“Hear my prayer, O LORD, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness.” Psalm 143:1.

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 “Hear my prayer, O LORD…And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us…Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.” (1John 5:14; Jer. 17:7).

“…in thy faithfulness answer me… And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him… Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.” (1John 5:15; Jer. 17:7).

“…and in thy righteousness…Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee… Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.” (Psalm 33:20-22; Jer. 17:7).

DSCF0089  Trust: Complete confidence in the final outcome knowing,

“…all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose… The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.” (Rom. 8:28; Lamentations 3:25,26).


Praying for all who read:

Heavenly Father, No matter the trials we face this week may we put complete trust in You, your faithfulness to hear our cries, to answer according to your righteousness. May we rest in knowing you are our help and our shield, working good for us as we wait upon you in confident hope of your salvation. May we remember, “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is”, and rejoice as we rest and wait.

Are you one who trusts the Lord to work on your behalf but needs your help or one who trusts and waits as the Lord brings it to pass?

Blessing the Lord

“Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.” Ps. 103:1.“Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.” Ps. 103:1.Featured Image -- 4621

“Bless the LORD…Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” Ps. 100.

“…and all that is within me…Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind… I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvelous works…Giving thanks unto the Father,

  • which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
  • who hath delivered us from the power of darkness,
  • and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
  • In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins…(Matt. 22:37; Ps. 9:1;Col.1:12-14).IMG_0051

“…bless his holy name…And God said unto Moses, IAM THAT I AM… For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace… And Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am… Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever… And behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first, and the last.”( Ex. 3:14; Isa. 9:6; John 8:58: Heb. 13:8; Rev. 22:12,13).

Isn’t it amazing to think the sheep can bless the Shepherd? The creature, the Creator? The servant, the King?  I encourage you to take a minute and scan the verses again finding the many ways we can bless the name of the Lord.

How many did you find? Which will you use to bless the God of your salvation? If you need more ideas visit my post, “Gifting the King” from January 5, 2018.

Praying:

Holy Father, we can only bless you because you have blessed us, making us partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light, delivering us from the power of darkness, translating us into the kingdom of your dear Son who has redeemed us by his blood purchasing our forgiveness.  May we worship you in spirit and in truth being faithful to your name and making known all your wondrous works. All glory, honor, and praise belong to You alone. Amen.

 

 

Monday’s Prayer of Blessing

“But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.” Luke 11:28.

After seeking the Lord’s direction, I believe my summer posts are to be prayers of blessing for you, my readers. My hope is to post bi-weekly, one prayer for your blessing and the other to bless the Lord. DSCF0006

Did you know the word blessed appears 302 times in the KJV? It first appears in Genesis 1:22, then in verse 28. One references birds and sea creatures, the other mankind. After creating man in His own image Genesis records,

“And God blessed them and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth…And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good…”Gen. 1:28,31.

The last occurrence of “blessed” is found in Revelation 22:14:

“Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”

From beginning through eternity our Father in heaven desires to bless us, to bring us into His presence and provide all we stand in need of. He wants to share His goodness with us. To share in the fullness of His goodness, He calls us to drink His cup of blessing.

“O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt…The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break is it not the communion of the body of Christ…Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it… I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live: yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Matt. 26:39: 1Cor. 10:16;Matt. 16:24,25;Gal. 2:20).cross-sunset-sunrise-hill-70847.jpeg

The blessed are those empty of self and filled with the fullness of God.

 

 

 

Praying:

Our heavenly Father,

May those who read this pick up your cup of blessing and know fellowship with you through the blood of Christ. May we not fear the cross of self- denial and seek to save ourselves but rather choose to follow Jesus who is the way to you and life eternal with you. May we remember we are crucified with Christ, our flesh dead to the power of sin as Christ lives in us through your Holy Spirit. May we remember His cup of suffering that bought our salvation, His resurrection that is our sure hope of an eternity in your Presence. As we think on these things may we know how blessed we are to be called your sons and daughters and walk worthy of your calling. Open our eyes to see your goodness each day. All is asked in accordance with your will to share your goodness with your children in the precious name of Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. Amen.

How has God blessed you today?

 

 

The Eternal Chorus

“And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, GREAT AND MARVELLOUS ARE THY WORKS, LORD GOD ALMIGHTY, JUST AND TRUE ARE THY WAYS, THOU KING OF SAINTS. WHO SHALL NOT FEAR THEE, O LORD, AND GLORIFY THY NAME? FOR THOU ONLY ART HOLY: FOR ALL NATIONS SHALL COME AND WORSHIP BEFORE THEE; for thy judgments are made manifest.” Rev. 15:3,4.IMG_4275

Those singing the Lamb’s song sing of the victory His good over Satan’s evil. The Lamb’s blood rendered powerless the power of sin and its orchestrator, Satan.  The final chorus assures us of one more victory and the celebration party to follow.

“…Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty…The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death…So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ…1Cor. 15:26,54-57.

Here lies death:

“And I saw the dead, small and great stand before God…And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (From Rev. 20:11-15).

“He that hath an ear,  let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches: He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.” Rev. 2:11.

Let the celebration begin!

“…all nations shall come and worship before Thee…Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.  And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising… and the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee…Therefore thy gates shall be open continually…that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought. For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted…( Isa. 60:1-3; 10-12.).

Looking at current events this appears an impossibility. But Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God revealed to John something different for Israel’s future.

“And…one of the seven angels …talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife…And the city had no need of the sun, neither the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it; and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.” Rev. 21:9, 23-26.

A favorite song in our little country church provides a shadow of things to come: “What a day that will be, when my Jesus I shall see. When I look upon His face, the one who saved my by His grace.”

Sin is defeated. Death is cast into the lake of fire along with Satan. By the blood of the Lamb we are released from the power of each one and one day from the very presence of each. These truths provide peace, joy and strength for today and a sure hope for the future of every believer.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ… Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear Him, both small and great. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.”( Eph. 1:3; Rev. 19:5,6).

Let’s celebrate the blessings of the Lamb in the final chorus for all eternity, but let’s begin now with the Lamb’s song of victory.

What is your favorite song of praise?  Won’t you offer it to the Lord, today and may your weekend be blessed with the beauty of the Lord.

 

The Treasure Hunt!

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:” Matt. 6:19-20.

“Grandma! Grandma! Does Grandpa have a shovel? We want to dig for treasure!”

“What kind of treasure?”IMG_0074

“Rubies, diamonds, maybe even gold! Remember, you said in our camp talk today there’s gold everywhere! We want to find some.”

Put that way, I found shovels for my three grandsons and great-niece to start digging in our muddy garden spot. Grandpa didn’t particularly like the big hole in the middle of his garden. The littlest one cried when Grandpa filled the hole because he had ruined their chances of becoming rich.

The Bible speaks of the treasures we seek. The one thing I know is you can’t find the treasure if you don’t open the treasure chest. This brings us full circle to our blessing for this week.

“Blesssed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.” Ps. 119: 1,2.

  • “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul;
  • the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
  • The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart:
  • the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
  • The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever:
  • the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
  • More to be desired are they than gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
  • Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.” Ps. 19:7-11.

Open the treasure chest, you will find it’s filled with the perfect word of God.

What other treasures does the word of God hold?

  • Hope of salvation: “My soul fainteth for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word” Ps. 119:81
  • Light &Understanding: “The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” Ps. 119:130.
  • Everlasting truth: “Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.” Ps. 119:160.
  • Righteousness: “My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness.” Ps. 119:172.

Uncovering the treasures of God’s word begins with a desire to know God through his word, a commitment to digging into its depths. In the digging you will find the greatest treasure is the love of the word that grows the love of God in your heart.

“Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness…The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver…O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day…Therefore I love thy commandments above gold: yea, above fine gold.” Ps. 119:40,72,97, 127.

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matt. 6:21.

You have the treasure chest open it and be blessed.