Victory In Jesus

2 Corinthians 2: Praise, Promise, Prayerbloggratitude-1201944_960_720

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.” 2 Corinthians 2:14(NASB)

I have a bit of a competitive nature when it comes to games—I like to win. But then who doesn’t? Actually, I like to play and have fun, winning just makes it more fun. I don’t think I’ve met a person who wants to lose. Knowing this, I don’t understand why more people don’t choose to follow God—

“Who always lead us in His triumph in Christ …”

Life is no game but a battle and the stakes are high. Apart from Christ we lose. In Christ we win. That is the,

“simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.”

(2 Corinthians 11:3)

God’s Promises to those who are In Christ:

“God … always leads us in His triumph in Christ.”

Even when the battle of life appears to bring defeat, we can stand strong in God’s word, knowing He will bring us to victory.

“Just as it is written,

‘FOR THY SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG’ WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.’

But in all these things

we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life,

nor angels, nor principalities,

nor things present, nor things to come,

nor powers, nor height, nor depth,

nor any other created things,

shall be able to separate us from the love of God,

which is in Christ Jesus our Lord…

 For whatever is born of God

overcomes the world;

and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

And who is the one who overcomes the world,

but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”

(Romans 8:36-39;1 John 5:4-5, NASB)

Our Praise to God:

“O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.

For the LORD most high is terrible;

he is a great King over all the earth.

He shall subdue the people under us

and the nations under our feet …

Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises unto our King, sing praises.

For God the King of all the earth:

sing ye praises with understanding.”

(Psalm 47: 1-3,6-7, KJV)

“And the seventh angel sounded; and there arose loud voices in heaven, saying,

‘The kingdom of the world

has become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ;

and He will reign forever and ever …

We give Thee thanks,

O Lord God, the Almighty, who art and who wast,

because Thou hast taken Thy great power

and hast begun to reign.’”

(Revelation 11:15,17, NASB)

Right now, we look with eyes of faith to the fullness of Christ’s triumph. We have read the end of the book—He wins! And so do we who are His—Hallelujah! Until then—

We offer our sacrifice of thanksgiving, Our Prayer:

To Him who—“manifests through us the sweet aroma

of the knowledge of Him in every place.”

Heavenly Father, for all your wonderous works, we offer you the sacrifice of thanksgiving, living out the sweet aroma—an acceptable sacrifice—of Christ in us through the giving of ourselves to you.

“I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God,

to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice,

acceptable to God,

which is your spiritual service of worship.”

Romans 12:1, NASB

May we, “Through Him then …

continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God,

that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.”

Hebrews 13:15, NASB

That wherever we go we will cause,

“They name to be remembered in all generations;

Therefore the peoples will give Thee thanks forever and ever.”

Psalm 45:17(NASB)

For Thought: Christ has won the war of life and death. Don’t be found fighting a lost cause. Stand in the victory He has already won. Where will you stand when the victory is fully realized?

You Are Adequate

2 Corinthians 2: Are You Adequate?

close photography of red and pink rose
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“But thanks be to God,

who always leads us in His triumph in Christ,

and manifests through us the sweet aroma

of the knowledge of Him in every place.

2 Corinthians 2:14 (NASB)

Last Wednesday’s post, “Comfort” introduced you to a man who refused the sweet aroma of Christ. As far as I know, he perished in death’s stench. To him my words and life proved to be,

a fragrance of Christ to God … an aroma from death to death …” (16)

But there is another who lived in his house.

The phone rang. “Donna?” A breathless pause filled the receiver before the laboring voice continued. “Can you come help me? My oxygen isn’t working.”

“Sure, I’ll be right over.” With a quick prayer I walked next door and entered being sure to breath through my mouth. It was better to taste the smell than breath it in. I only knew to call her Granny. At 67 years of age she lived in the body of one bearing 107 years. A hard life covered her flesh. And she lived with the burden of her son abusing her grandchildren and she was powerless to prevent it. The aroma of death surrounded her. But her story didn’t end there.

“For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;

to the one,

an aroma from death to death,

to the other,

an aroma from life to life.

And who is adequate for these things? “

2 Corinthians 2:14-16(NASB)

After 12 years of the children living in unimaginable circumstances, The Department of Children and Family Services removed them from the home and arrested their father. He dropped dead 2 months later and 30 minutes after being released. His release came because authorities failed to charge him. During that time Granny was hospitalized.

A stirring in my heart urged me to visit her in the hospital. I didn’t want to go. The Holy Spirit would not let go. Peace alluded me as I tried to ignore the prompting. Finally, I went.

The hospital bed swallowed the frail frame of a woman. A nurse stood to one side checking ivs. The figure lay lifeless, eyes shut, breaths labored.

“Can she hear me?”

The nurse nodded and said, “If you touch her hand she seems to respond to touch.”

I laid my hand over hers and prayed silently to know what to say. Then I began to tell her of God’s love and that’s when the Lord spoke to my heart. “It’s not about what you’re saying to her but what I’m saying to her.”

The Lord was with us and in that moment I knew this woman who was perishing, now had received the fragrance of Christ—the aroma from life to life. Through the Spirit’s witness to mine, I knew I could tell her grandchildren their Granny would be in heaven and how they could see her again.

And who is adequate for these things? 

The apostle Paul tells us—

“Not that we are adequate in ourselves

to consider anything as coming from ourselves,

but our adequacy is from God,

who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant,

not of the letter, but of the Spirit;

for the letter kills,

but the Spirit gives life.”

2 Corinthians 3:5-6

It was never about me but the fragrance of Christ, the aroma of life, He uses us to leave in another’s life.

Not everyone Paul went to received the fragrant word of the gospel to life, but they all had the opportunity. God has chosen us to carry the fragrance of Christ through the lives we live, and He makes us adequate for the task. Not everyone will receive the sweet aroma of life—but some will.

For Thought: Do you ever feel you are not enough for speaking the gospel to another? Or for a task the Lord has called you to? How can 2 Corinthians 3:5-6 help you?

Our Prayer:  Heavenly Father, as you have given us life in Christ, may we carry the sweet fragrance of life to all who will hear. May others see Jesus in us. May they know we have been with Him, that our lives bring no discredit to the ministry of the gospel. Help us be bold in love for you have made us adequate for the calling.

The Way, The Truth, The Life

All praise, glory, and honor to Christ Jesus the living Son of God who said –

bloggratitude-1201944_960_720”I am the way,

the truth,

and the life;

no man cometh unto the Father,

but by me.”  

John 14:6

The apostle John wrote in 1 John 1:2 –

“(For the life was manifested,

and we have seen it,

and bear witness,

and shew unto you that eternal life,

which was with the Father,

and was manifested unto us.)”

Our Prayer:

Our Father God, you have shown us who you are through your Son, Jesus Christ. He came and he showed us your glory and goodness. He has given us life – eternal life.

  • “For the Father judgeth no man,
  • but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
  • That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father.
  • He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.” John 5:22,23

Help us who have heard your word and received it into our hearts bear witness to the lost and dying of the Life. May we show them the Way to Life. May we speak the Truth concerning the Life. May we reflect the Life in us.

And to borrow from David Guzik in his commentary on John 14:6 remember when  –

“I don’t know where I’m going, Jesus is the way;

When I am confused and don’t know what to think, Jesus is the truth;

When I am dead inside and don’t know if I can go on, Jesus is the life.”

Jesus gives us this promise:

“Verily, Verily, I say unto you,

He that heareth my word,

and believeth on him that sent me,

hath everlasting life,

and shall not  come into condemnation;

but is passed from death unto life.”

John 5:24

May we today, and always honor Jesus Christ, the way, the truth, and the life, who has loved us and suffered our death, to give us life now and for all eternity. He has made it possible for us to know him, the great “I Am”.

Praising the Great I Am:

“O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together …

Whom have I in heaven but thee?

And there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee …

For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light …

And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof:

for thou was slain, and hast redeemed us to God

by thy blood

out of every kindred and tongue, and people, and nation;

And hast made us unto our God kings and priests:

and we shall reign on the earth …

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain

to receive power, and riches, and wisdom,

and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing …

Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power,

be unto him that sitteth on the throne,

and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

And the four beasts said, Amen.

And the four and twenty elders

fell down and worshipped him

that liveth for ever and ever.”  

Psalm 34:3; 73:25; 36:9; From Revelation 5:9-14

Jesus is the way – follow him.

Jesus is the truth – believe him.

Jesus is the life – receive him.

May we forever praise his name.

Jesus is the way – there is no other.

Jesus is the truth – hear him.

Jesus is the life – his victory over death is mine.

May we praise his name forever.

John’s Story of Life

lamb of God
picture courtesy of Pintrest

“Jesus saith unto him,

I am … the life …”

John’s Story:

My little children, I am old now. I have seen and heard much in my lifetime. But nothing compares to walking with, seeing, touching, and hearing Jesus Christ. It is him my heart yearns for you to know, and be assured he is Jesus Christ, the Son of God who died and is alive to live forevermore. He cannot die ever again and death could not keep him. For he is Life and the giver of life to all who receive his testimony.

But I am getting ahead of myself. Let me begin with –

“That which was from the beginning,

which we have heard,

which we have seen with our eyes,

which we have looked upon,

and our hands have handled,

of the Word of life …”

The beginning. I have to shake my head and smile when I think on this for with God there is no beginning and Jesus is God the Son. Beginning is for our benefit. We are governed by time. So, in the beginning of time the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit brought their life into their created work. And through the Holy Spirit leading me in truth about Jesus the Christ, I wrote –

“In him was life; and the life was the light of men.”

Today, I write to you, my beloved children –

“This is he that came by water and blood,

even Jesus Christ;

not by water only, but by water and blood.

And it is the Spirit that beareth witness,

because the Spirit is truth.”

Think on these things with me and be astonished. Life generated life out of  nothing, breathed his breath of life into us, then after we messed up all that was good, he came as one of us – the Son of man. My friend, colleague, and brother in the Lord, Luke wrote much about Jesus, the Son of man. He, too, wrote by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. I encourage you to read his account of the Son of man.

Jesus, the Son of God, came to earth born of a woman to bring his life back into those who would follow him. His journey came at a high cost. He tried to tell us, especially us 12, the cost, but we couldn’t understand. Maybe we wouldn’t let ourselves understand. Speaking for myself, I loved my Lord and couldn’t entertain the meaning behind his words as we celebrated that last Passover together. It was unlike any other.

“Jesus took the bread, and blessed it, and brake it,

and gave it to the disciples, and said,

Take, eat, this is my body.

And he took the cup, and gave thanks … saying,

Drink ye all of it;

For this is my blood of the new testament,

which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

He passed the cup to me. My heart clings to the love that filled his eyes as I received the cup from his hand – a hand to soon be pierced through with nails meant for me. At that instant I thought on his earlier teaching about drinking his blood and having eternal life. For it is also written –

“without shedding of blood there is no remission.”

Being a fisherman by trade I’m not trained in the law, but I do know enough to know a testament cannot be put into effect unless there is a death. No, I refused the thought. I couldn’t bear the pain in my spirit nor reflected in his face. Paul, my brother in the Lord, later would write –

“Being justified freely by his grace

through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation

through faith in his blood,

to declare his righteousness

for the remission of sins that are past,

through the forbearance of God;”

We all left Jesus that horrible night to face his trial and judgment – wait that is not right. He faced our trial and our judgment. That is why he was found guilty and put to death. I apologize if tears stain my writing, but he did that for me. Oh, how he loved me. And he loves me still.

I like the rest, was slow in believing the women’s report 3 days later. Grief had clouded my mind. But slowly his words began to make sense, and then there he was – alive, standing before us. After spending many days with us preparing us for his departure to the Father, we watched him go. But he left us with a promise –

“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.”

 Many years later, my resurrected Lord visited me when no one else could. His visit wasn’t for me alone, but for you who are reading today. This last word is –

“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,

And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father:

to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Behold, he cometh with clouds;

and every eye shall see him,

and they also which pierced him:

and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.

Even so, Amen.

‘I am Alpha and Omega,

the beginning and the ending,

saith the Lord,

which is, and which was, and which is to come,

the Almighty.’”

You may already know all these things to be true, and you may not. But I am an old man and soon I will walk again with my Lord who loves me and whom I love. I could not leave this life without telling the story one more time.

For this I know –

“He that hath the Son hath life;

and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

These things have I written unto you

that believe on the name of the Son of God,

that ye may know that ye have eternal life,

and that ye may believe

on the name of the Son of God.”

By the way, I hope to see you one day and tell you of all the many other things my Lord did while on the earth.

Love one another,

John the Beloved Disciple


Scripture References: John 14:6; 1John 1:1; John 1:4; Matthew 26:-28; Hebrews 9:22; Romans 3:24,25; John 14:1-3; Revelation 1:5-8; 1John 5:12,13

Life’s Great Trade-Off

Rose blood
Image from Unsplash

This week brings us to the last “I Am” statement of John 14:6 –

“Jesus saith unto him,

I am the way, the truth,

and the life;

no man cometh unto the Father,

but by me.”

Three previous posts deal with the life Jesus gives us opportunity to enter. They are “The Door of Opportunity”, “The Door to Abundant Life,” and the “Three ‘Ps’ of Abundant Life.” These show Jesus as the way to life. John says, Jesus is the life – not just the opportunity to life.

Moses reveals a necessary component of life in Leviticus 17:14 –

  • “For it is the life of all flesh;
  • the blood  of it is for the life thereof:
  • therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh:
  • for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof:
  • whosoever eateth it shall be cut off.”

I’m sure this is not shock to anyone – without blood we have no life. The Blue Letter Bible web site refers to this insight, we take so for granted, one of revelation and one that has been confirmed by anatomists’ experiments. Those are experiments I would not have volunteered for! Today, we know life bleeds out of the body in 2-5 minutes depending on which main artery is severed. Life is in the blood. If the blood is gone, so is the life.

Not too many years ago some people pushed to have the blood removed from the Bible. It was too offensive. Bottom line – remove the blood from the Bible and you remove its life giving message.

Life’s Passage and The Trade-Off:

Jesus gives us a picture of him being the life and the source of life being his blood –

“Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man,

and drink his blood, ye have no life in  you.

Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood,

hath eternal life: 

and I will raise him up at the last day.”

John 6:53,54

 “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many …

  • In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to  the riches of his grace …
  • neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood, he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us …
  • and without the shedding of blood is no remission …
  • So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many …
  • For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Matthew 20:28; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 9:12,22,28; 2 Corinthians 5:21

Under the law, a life taken required another life to be given. Satan robbed us, through his deceit and our disobedience, of the life God gave in the beginning. We died that day. But the Life came and took our death with the giving of his own blood that we could once again live. He has  taken our blood tainted with sinful DNA and given us a life giving transfusion of his blood filled with pure DNA. He has made the unaccepted acceptable.

“Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children

by Jesus Christ to himself,

according to the good pleasure of his  will,

To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein

he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”

Ephesians 1:5,6

It’s time to trade in the old life of death for the new life that never dies. It’s found in the blood of Jesus Christ – who is the life. He is the way to life. He is the life of the Father revealed in truth. And only through the holy blood of Christ can we possess the life he provides for us. What blood flows through your heart?

Death, Taxes, and the Resurrection

blog tombb796a201f64ff34f04fe09f604ff0ae4--easter-crafts-crafts-for-kidsIt’s been said two things are certain in this life –  death and taxes. We’re not going to talk about taxes. Nobody likes taxes. Of course nobody really likes death either. But as the author of the Book of Hebrews writes –

“It is appointed unto men once to die,

but after this the judgment.”

You might evade taxes for a time, but death is a certainty. Only two men escaped death in this life, Enoch and Elijah. Personally, I believe they may have to face it in the tribulation days as the two witnesses. Every other person ever born has died or will die – unless Jesus returns before that day. Even Jairus’ daughter, the widow’s son, and Lazarus faced death a second time after Jesus raised them back to life. Of course, when He raised them from the dead, each were still clothed in a flesh and blood body with its weaknesses.

In our “I Am” passage this week Jesus says,

“I am the resurrection and the life:

he that believeth in me,

though he were dead,

yet shall he live:

And whosoever liveth and believeth in me

shall never die.

Believest thou this?”

John 11:26

Those who witnessed and we who read the accounts of Jesus raising the dead have proof Jesus has power over life and death. Remember from last week’s posts concerning the Good Shepherd Jesus spoke of his own death and life when he said,

“No man taketh it from me,

but I lay it down of myself.

I have power to lay it down and

I have power to take it again…”

John 10:18

Jairus’ daughter had been dead for a very short time when Jesus raised her from the dead. The widow’s son had been dead long enough to have his body prepared for burial and be on the way to his tomb. Lazarus had been dead for four days. Decay surely had to be setting in as Martha remarked of the fact he would stink. Yet, Jesus spoke the word and he came out of the tomb. Jesus would be the only one to come out of the tomb with a new body, a glorified body. His resurrection proved his power over death. No one would ever have to suffer death again.

Our flesh must die in order to inherit the new body fit for our eternal soul. But the soul who believes in Jesus will never die. We step from this life into our eternal life where there will be no more death ever.

Jesus’ Promise:

“Verily, verily, I say unto you,

He that heareth my word,

and believeth on him that sent me,

hath everlasting life,

and shall not come into condemnation:

but is passed from death unto life.” John 3:24

Jesus, who is the I Am the resurrection and the life, has bought our pass from death into life through his own death and resurrection. Because He lives, all who believe on him, live and never die. His word doesn’t say we will have everlasting life but that we have everlasting life.

Jesus is asking, “Do you believe this?”

Three “Ps” for Abundant Life

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above,

and cometh down from the Father of lights,

with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

James 1:17

This week during our Day Camp for children, they heard about a few of the many good and perfect gifts our heavenly Father abundantly gives to those who will receive them. One of which was the abundant life available to all who come through the Door.

“Then Jesus said unto them … I am the door …”

John 10:7a, 9a

Jesus’ Promises to those who enter through the door:
“If any man enter in,

  • he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” John 10:9b
  • “For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” Ephesians 2:18
  • “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way: which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;” Hebrews 10:19,20 “
  • … These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, HE THAT HATH THE KEY OF DAVID, HE THAT OPENETH, AND NO MAN SHUTTETH AND SHUTTETH, AND NO MAN OPENETH:I know thy works behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it … “ Revelation 3:7,8
  • “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” John 10:28

Praise to the Open Door:

For His abundance of –

Life: “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10b

Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, you are worthy of praise for in your death we have been made free from death. In your resurrection we receive the abundance of life now through your Holy Spirit living in us, and in the future when all things are made new.*

Grace:

“But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead,

much more the grace of God,

and the gift by grace,

which is by one man, Jesus Christ,

hath abounded unto many.”

Romans 5:15

All praise belongs to you for your gift of not just sufficiency of grace but to abounding grace which has brought abundant life to all who believe.

Justification:

“And not as it was by one that sinned so is the gift:

for the judgment was by one to condemnation,

but the free gift

is of many offences unto justification.”

Romans 5:16

Your gift of abundant grace works the abundance of justification in us. As you look on us, you see our judgment placed on your holy Son, and we are declared just before you.

Righteousness:

“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.”

Romans 5:17

And your abundant grace extended to us the abundant righteousness of Christ as our clothing that we might stand before you unashamed and unafraid. You alone are worthy of praise.

Supply, including promise:

“But my God shall supply all your need

according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus …

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.”

Philippians 4:19; Psalm 84:11

Love:

“The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying,

Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love:

therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee …

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.”

Jeremiah 31:3; John 3:16

Our Prayer:

“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith,

having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience,

and our bodies washed with pure water …

Heavenly Father, you have poured out your abundance on us through Jesus Christ, the door to abundant life. As we have walked through the door into your presence may we draw near to you. For you have cleansed us from all sin through the blood of Christ. May all who have not entered into a relationship with you come the only way they can – the door of Jesus Christ- and know the abundance of your grace.

“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering;

(for he is faithful that promised:) …

Your strong hand and abundant love hold us. May we be diligent to know you more as you take us from faith to faith until you have completed the work of faith in us.

“And let us consider one another

to provoke unto love and to good works:”

Hebrews 10:22-24

May the life of Christ you have poured into us overflow into all we meet and all we do to your praise and glory.

“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above

all that we ask or think,

according to the power that worketh in us,

Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus

throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”

Ephesians 3:20,21

May all who have entered through the Door, give praise for the salvation given through Jesus Christ. May those who do not know the abundant life found in Christ, be quick to enter.


*For more on the abundant life see my previous post, The Door to an Abundant Life.

 

Praise, Prayer, and Promises of Light

DSCF4224“For with thee is the fountain of life:

in thy light shall we see light.”

Psalm 36:9

In Prayer One Morning:

Dawn awakened the earth. Light creeped into the sky with specks of gold overshadowed by the tallest trees standing above the rising sun. Puffy gray and white clouds clung to each other taking on shapes of their own. I smiled at the fire breathing dragon floating across the blue sky. I closed my eyes and began to pray. “Our Father which is in heaven …”

In a moment, my eyes searched the heavens again as if to catch a glimpse of the face of God. Being easily distracted, the dragon caught my attention. It’s form began to lose the fiery shape as the sun’s glory rose slowly above the trees. I smiled, closed my eyes, and continued praying until the final sentence.

“For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever. Amen.” Beginning those words, I lifted my head towards the heavens a third time. I smiled. The bright and glorious glow of the sun had risen above the trees and obliterated the dragon-cloud. Only the glory of the sun remained.

The Lord’s Promises:

One day the only light to shine will be that of Jesus Christ who is the one who gave us these promises –

“I am the light of the world:

  • he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness,
  • but shall have the light of life …
  • Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance.
  • In thy name shall they rejoice all the day:
  • and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted.
  • In thy name shall they rejoice all the day…” John 8:12; Psalm 89:15-17a;

We who have the Light of life dwelling in us have reason to rejoice and to praise the Lord’s name all the day.

Our Praise:

  • “Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.
  • Thy righteousness is like the great mountains:
  • thy judgments are a great deep:
  • O LORD, thou preservest man and beast.

How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God!

Therefore the children of men

put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.

  • They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house;
  • and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.
  • For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.” Psalm 36:5-10.

It’s easy to sit at my desk, put the world and its troubles aside for a moment, and praise the Lord. But then the time comes to walk in the world against that dragon of old, called satan, who pretends to be an angel of light but is actually, “as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” And most of the time he doesn’t wait until we walk out the door but tries to overshadow the light of our Lord the moment our eyes open. That is why we need to be diligent in prayer to walk in the light of Christ until he returns.

Our Prayer:

Heavenly Father,

  • “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed …

Each day is a gift from you taking us one step closer to the day our salvation by faith becomes sight. Knowing this, may we be on guard and not let our hearts be lulled to sleep by the world’s cares or satan’s lies. For –

  • The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness … rioting, and drunkenness, not in chambering, and wantonness, not in strife, and envying…

Help us remember we are children of light. Fill us with your love and a love for you that keeps us from participating in the world of darkness – wild parties, drunkenness, sexual indiscretions, immoral living, quarreling, and jealousy, nor any other thing that would bring shame to your holy name. Each day –

  • Let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day… (and) put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” (From Romans 13:11-14)

May we remember we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ, and sin has no more reign over us. Help us walk in the righteousness that is ours through Christ. May your Light of life shine through us to a dark world providing hope for those who still wander in darkness.  Amen.

The day is coming when the saved of the Lord will see no darkness, and the sun’s brightness will pale in the light of the glory of the Father and the Son.

“And the city had no need of the sun,

neither of the moon, to shine in it:

for the glory of God did lighten it,

and the Lamb is the light thereof …

I am the root and the offspring of David,

and the bright and morning star.”

Revelation 21:23;22:16b

Today, while it is still day may we receive the admonition of the–

“Kings of the earth, and all people;

princes, and all judges of the earth:

Both young men, and maidens;

old men, and children:

Let them praise the name of the LORD:

for his name alone is excellent;

his glory is above the earth and the heaven.”

Psalm 148:11-13

  • May your days be blessed as you walk in the Light of life. May we praise his name together.

Walking in the Light

pexels-photo-355288.jpeg“Ouch!”

A cry of pain woke me in the middle of the dark wintry night. My husband wasn’t beside me. I heard footsteps descending our basement steps and another noise I couldn’t quite make out. Something was hitting the walls. Then the chopping began. Don’t get too anxious – we had an old coal furnace adapted for burning wood as our heat source. I thought my husband must be chopping some kindling. I thought wrong.

He had walked through our dark house without any light, and had stubbed his big toe on my wooden potato bin. It was his kindling. Fortunately there weren’t any potatoes in it. Had he carried a flashlight or turned on a light my potato bin may have been saved destruction and his toe pain. The light would have revealed the bin’s whereabouts.

Light reveals what’s hidden in the darkness. The two are distinctly different and unable to co-exist. Where there is pure light there is no darkness. Where there is complete darkness there is no light. When God created the heaven and the earth there was no light only a formless, empty, watery darkness. Until God spoke and said,

“Let there be light, and there was light.”

Light and darkness existed but not together. This became the first revelation of God. More  followed with the completion of creation. Then Christ’s coming brought us a greater revelation of God’s glory.

“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness,

hath shined in our hearts,

to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God

in the face of Jesus Christ.”

2 Corinthians 4:6

Jesus is the light revealing God.

Our “I Am” passage this week:

“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying,

I am the light of the world,

he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness,

but shall have the light of life.”

John 8:12

Jesus tells us he is the revelation of God to the world. Jesus demonstrated this when he healed the blind man.

“Jesus answered,

Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents:

but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day:

the night cometh, when no man can work.

As long as I am in the world,

I am the light of the world.”

John 9:3-5;

Even after three years of teaching and working mighty works of God, while many believed on Jesus, many more did not. And we find –

“Jesus cried and said,

He that believeth on me, believeth not on me,

but on him that sent me.

And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.

I am come a light into the world,

that whosoever believeth on me

should not abide in darkness.”

John 12:44-46

God will not be revealed in the dark things of this world but in the light of Jesus Christ. He is the light of life. He came revealing life. Apart from him there is no life. Living doesn’t truly begin until we receive the revelation of God’s glory which gives new birth to our spirit. We only have abundant life when the Holy Spirit breathes life into our spirit. It happens when we believe and receive Jesus –

“the light of the world … “

Then we receive his Promise

he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness –  

The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.” Proverbs 4:19

but shall have the light of life

But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” Proverbs 4:18

As believers we are children of light. The light of Christ has come into our hearts, revealing the Father to us. We no longer stumble in the darkness, as my husband did that night, but walk in the life-giving light of Christ.  

How is the path you following working for you? Where is it taking you – to more light or more darkness?

 

 

 

 

Then Who?

“Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you,

Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles,

but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.

Labour not for the meat which perisheth,

but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life,

which the Son of man shall give unto you:

for him hath God the Father sealed.”

John 6:26,27.

The Story adapted from John 6, Matthew 14, Mark 6, & Luke 9

“Mama.” The little boy tugged on his mother’s skirt. “I’m hungry. When are we going home?”  His mouth curved downward and his head drooped.

Jesus’ disciples searched through the multitude of sick, healed, and hungry people. They hoped to find food enough to feed them. Philip wanted to send them home but Jesus said, “Feed them.” As of yet, they had not found  enough to feed one let alone 5,000 plus. Philip shook his head. It was hopeless.

“Philip, over here,” called Andrew frantically waving Philip in his direction.

Philip frowned. “You’re excited about five loaves of barley bread, and a couple of fish? What is that among so many.”

The young boy looked up at Philip with eyes of disappointment. “I know it’s not much. Mama brought it for me and I’m hungry. But this man, said Jesus was looking for food. I’ll give him what I have.”

Andrew patted the black curly hair of the youngster and smiled. “We’ll take it to Jesus.”

“Can I take it to him?”

“Certainly.”

Not only did Jesus receive the young boy’s offering, he multiplied it by a bunch – enough to feed 5,000 men plus women and children with 12 baskets of leftovers. No one went home hungry, but when they returned a day later they expected more of the same. The bread they sought would provide temporary life. One day it would not be enough, and they would die even as those wandering in the wilderness who –

“did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.”

Jesus told them of a different bread –

“He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

I am that bread of life …

This is the bread which cometh down from heaven,

that a man may eat thereof,

and not die.”

John 6:47,48, 50

The ones Jesus fed the day before and now addressed, wanted him for their king – but not their King. They sought him because he could keep their bellies filled. They wanted to eat for a day. Jesus wanted them to feast on him forever.

We are not unlike them. We want our comforts now without much thought about how quickly they disappear and we want more. We are short-sighted and work first for what fills our bellies without seeking the living bread that gives life forever.

Jesus said –

Labour not for the meat which perisheth,

The Israelites sang praises to the God who took them across the Red Sea, but –

  • “They soon forgat his works:
  • they waited not for his counsel:
  • But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness,
  • and tempted God in the desert.
  • And he gave them their request;
  • but sent leanness into their soul.” Psalm 106:13-15;

In the book of James we are warned –

“Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain:

ye fight and war, yet ye have not , because ye ask not.

Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss,

that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”

James 4:2,3

Miracles are soon forgotten when faced with another need. What’s of this earth cannot fill our greatest need. Jesus doesn’t mean we shouldn’t work. He gives us strength to work. But we are to work first for what is first.

but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life,

“This is the work of God,

that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”

John 6:29

  • “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;
  • and all these things shall be added unto you …
  •  If ye then be risen with Christ,
  • seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
  • Set your affection on things above ,not on things on the earth.” Matthew 6:33; Colossians 3:1,2

Jesus’ Promise:

which the Son of man shall give unto you

“And I give unto them eternal life;

and they shall never perish,

neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand …

 I am the resurrection, and the life:

he that believeth in me, though he were dead,

yet shall he live:

And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.

Believest thou this?”

John 10:28;11:25.

After Jesus’ teaching on being the living bread many of those listening walked away from him. Jesus then asked the 12 disciples –

“Will you also go away?”

“Then Simon Peter answered him,

Lord to whom shall we go?

Thou hast the words of eternal life.

And we believe and are sure that

thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.”

John 6:67-69.


Tell me. Who besides Jesus gives everlasting life?