Praise commensurate with His glory…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

Ephesians 1

Furthermore, you who heard the message of the truth, the Good News offering you deliverance, and put your trust in the Messiah were sealed by him with the promised Ruach HaKodesh, who guarantees our inheritance until we come into possession of it and thus bring him praise commensurate with his glory.  

Three times God tells us through Paul, we will “bring him praise commensurate with his glory.”  How do I love you, O God?  Let me count the ways and why.  You loved me first.  You planned me long before a world existed.  My heart, my core being fills up with unspoken emotion when I meditate on this.  My spirit continually seeks for more of You; more revealed in Your Word, more revealed in Your creation.  My body gets weak when I contemplate Your greatness and I am left amazed and puzzled that One so much greater than I would consider me let alone know me and love me as You do.  Who is man that You are mindful of him or the son of man that You visit him? I am forever grateful…

For this reason, ever since I heard about your trust in the Lord Yeshua, and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you.  In my prayers I keep asking the God of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, the glorious Father, to give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you will have full knowledge of him.  I pray that he will give light to the eyes of your hearts, so that you will understand the hope to which he has called you, what rich glories there are in the inheritance he has promised his people, and how surpassingly great is his power working in us who trust him.  It works with the same mighty strength he used when he worked in the Messiah to raise him from the dead and seat him at his right hand in heaven, far above every ruler, authority, power, dominion, or any other name that can be named either in the ‘olam hazah or in the ‘olam haba.  Also, he has put all things under his feet and made him head over everything for the Messianic Community, which is his body, the full expression of him who fills all creation.

It is time, past time, to join in prayer.  It is time to pray for all God’s people to receive a spirit of wisdom and revelation; to receive the full knowledge of him; to have their eyes opened, the eyes of the heart, to understand the hope they are called to.  It is time to pray they understand the inheritance, that  his great power works in them to accomplish more than they can imagine or ask; this same power able to raise Jesus from death to life.

Pray – Father, who has given every family in heaven and on earth their name and their character, I pray to you asking that you will empower them by your Holy Spirit so that the Messiah may come to live in them through their trust and faith.

Repent – I repent for the times I feel too weary to pray for them.  I repent for the time I want to move quickly through my prayers so I can do what I want to do.

Ask – I pray that I, with all of God’s people, will be rooted and founded in love; that I and they will be given the strength to grasp the length, depth, height and width of the Messiah’s love to know it even though it is beyond all knowing that we may be filled with the fullness of You, God.

Yes – I will ever thank You for Your goodness to all mankind.  And I thank You for the answers to prayer You bring.  O God, You are my God and I will ever praise You…

Born to Praise…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

Praised be Adonai, Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, who in the Messiah has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heaven.  In the Messiah he chose us in love before the creation of the universe to be holy and without defect in his presence.  He determined in advance that through Yeshua the Messiah we would be his sons—in keeping with his pleasure and purpose—so that we would bring him praise commensurate with the glory of the grace he gave us through the Beloved One. Ephesians

We are holy and without defect in His presence.  He said so; if we are one of Christ’s.  We are his children; sons and daughters; planned for!  He said so.  This is His purpose in our creation.  We bring Him praise. He gets the praise for the grace He has extended to us..

What can we do outside his grace?  Nothing.  What can we do in his grace?  Whatever He desires…

In union with him, through the shedding of his blood, we are set free–our sins are forgiven; this accords with the wealth of the grace he has lavished on us.  In all his wisdom and insight he has made known to us his secret plan, which by his own will he designed beforehand in connection with the Messiah and will put into effect when the time is ripe–his plan to place everything in heaven and on earth under the Messiah’s headship.

Also, in union with him we were given an inheritance, we who were picked in advance according to the purpose of the One who effects everything in keeping with the decision of his will, so that we who earlier had put our hope in the Messiah would bring him praise commensurate with his glory. Ephesians

We are in union with Christ; we are one.  We are set free of the penalty for sin.  We are given wisdom and insight into his plan for us.  We have an inheritance.  We have all this for one purpose–to bring him praise.

How can we allow the enemy to spread lies about us to us? Why would we believe the enemy? and not God?  It is imperative that we realize how blessed we are!  Let it sink in and take root.  Any thoughts that come to say we failed, we are inadequate, we cannot…any thoughts of this nature are lies from the enemy.  It is time to recognize who we are in Christ and call the lie what it is!!

Eve believed the lie and look at its consequences.  Christ’s coming changes all that.  We can because he did and God said so!

Pray- I am and doubly so because of Christ therefore I can praise You and will praise You for the change You bring in the second birth.  I will sing to You, Lord, for You are highly exalted.  The horse and its rider You have hurled into the sea!  You, Lord are my strength and my song; You have become my salvation.  You are my God and I will praise You.  You, Lord, are a warrior!The Lord is your name!

Repent – I repent for not praising You more.  God, You know how foolish I am; my guilt is not hidden from You.  Let those who put their hope in you, Adonai Elohim-Tzva’ot, not be put to shame through me; let those who are seeking You, God of Isra’el, not be disgraced through me.

Ask – As for me, Adonai, let my prayer to You come at an acceptable time; in Your great grace, God, answer me with the truth of Your salvation.

Yes – Praise you, my God!  Let the sound of Your praise be heard; You have preserved my life and kept my feet from slipping.  For You, o God, tested me You refined me like silver.

Be exalted, God, above heaven!  May Your glory be over all the earth!

Sources:  Exodus 15:1-3; Psalm 69, 66:8-10; 57:5; Ephesians 1

Perfect needs Practice…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome
Practicing the doing of the Word.

“Work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”

Practicing the peace(shoes), the righteousness (breastplate), the salvation (helmet), the faith (shield), the truth (belt), the scripture (sword), praying (the activator) is work.  When we speak of salvation it is a gift, not of works, lest anyone should boast; we are not saying there is no work.  A misconception that is commonly heard.  What is said is simply the truth that we cannot work to attain salvation; but salvation, the gift, comes with a set of instructions so that it may be complete.  We do the instructions; following them requires practice.  Even in this, God is the enabler, we are not abandoned to a task impossible…

So what does this practice look like?  When one decides to learn a new skill, one first researches it; studies it; asks for a ‘master’ of the skill to help.  Then one begins to practice that skill.  Simply wanting the skill does not make one skilled at it.  The celebrities of the world did not go out onto a rink, onto a court, onto a stage and begin their ‘game’ untaught and unpracticed.

How does one practice a skill of the Christ-like lifestyle?  Not by following a set of restrictions, but by being freed up from fear to continue the practice.  Freedom from fear of failure, fear of inability, fear of inadequacy allows confidence in who one is, the identity in Christ, and what tools are available to use in the quest for an overcoming life full of the blessing found listed in Ephesians.   Who one is in Christ and what is available to the believer is found clearly defined in Ephesians 1-3.

Begin with study.  We have a study guide full of encouragement and advice directly from  God!  Follow with coaching from one already skilled.  We have teachers of the Word and those walking in faith as well as fellow students at different levels of ability.  Pray, asking for that promised enabling that comes from God, keeping the focus on “the ball”, “the light,”  the Lord, not on the circumstances.

In conflict, follow Psalm 62: My soul, waits in silence for God alone; my salvation (from the conflict) comes from Him.  He alone is my rock and my salvation (not any other source; money, job, etc.) my stronghold; I won’t be greatly moved.  ( emotions are recognized but don’t rule my actions).  I sit, listen, wait.  I’m gathering information about the other person, about the nature of the conflict, and I’m hearing the voice of the spirit in the Word I’ve already placed in my heart and mind.  I speak only when given prodding to speak by the spirit, not by the emotion.  This is practicing peace(shoes).  Dug in and standing firm, unmoved by emotion or fear.  It is practicing truth(belt), it is practicing the Word in action ( sword and shield).  Activate it all by praying the scripture in the heart and mind; ready for use in deflecting accusations.

Pray – My soul waits in silence for God alone; my salvation comes from him.  He alone is my rock and salvation, my stronghold; I won’t be greatly moved.  Putting on the helmet of salvation and the shoes of peace.

Repent – I repent for those times I have placed my efforts before your instructions came; Moving out in my own strength without waiting for your commands, without seeking Your commands.

Ask- My soul, wait in silence for God alone, because my hope comes from Him.  He alone is my rock and salvation, my stronghold; I won’t be moved.  O God, You are my God, I will seek you eagerly.  My heart thirsts for You, my body longs for You…, my lips will  worship You.

Yes – Yes, I will bless you as long as I live.

Sources: Psalm 62,63; Ephesians 1, 4, 6

Who is God?

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

From Isaiah 40:

With whom, then, will you compare God?

By what standard will you evaluate Him?

An image made by a craftsman,

Which a goldsmith overlays with gold,

For which he then casts silver chains?

A man too poor to afford an offering

Chooses a piece of wood that won’t rot

Then seeks out a skilled artisan

To prepare an image that won’t fall over.

Don’t you know?  Don’t you hear?

Haven’t you been told from the start?

Don’t you understand how the earth is set up?

He who sits above the circle of the earth—-

For whom its inhabitants appear like grasshoppers–

Stretches out the heavens like a curtain,

Spreads them out like a tent to live in.

He reduces princes to nothing,

The rulers of the earth to emptiness.

Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown,

Scarcely their stem take root in the ground,

When he blows on them, they dry up,

And the whirlwind carries them off like straw.

“With whom, then will you compare me?

With whom am I equal?  asks the Holy One.

He’s given us a book of scriptures that reveals who He is and what He does and what He’s like.  There is no use in trying to compare Him to something known by us for He is greater than that.  So we begin to see Him and understand when we acknowledge that He is greater far than anything we know.

Pray – My soul waits in silence for God alone; my salvation comes from Him.  He alone is my rock and salvation, my stronghold; I won’t be greatly move.  Putting on the helmet of salvation.

Repent – I repent for those times I have placed my efforts before Your instruction came; Moving out in my own strength without waiting for Your commands, without seeking Your commands.

Ask – My soul, wait in silence for God alone, because my hope comes from Him.  He alone is my rock and salvation, my stronghold; I won’t be moved,  O God, Your are my God, I will seek You eagerly. My heart thirsts for You, my body longs for You, … my lips will worship You.

Yes – Yes, I will bless you as long as I live.

Psalm 62,63 source

Giving Thanks for Life…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

From Ephesians:

You used to be dead because of your sins and acts of disobedience.  You walked in the ways of ‘olam hazah and obeyed the Ruler of the Powers of the air, who is still at work among the disobedient.  Indeed, we all once lived this way—we followed the passions of our old nature and obeyed the wishes of our old nature and our own thoughts.  In our natural condition we were headed for God’s wrath, just like everyone else. 

We talk of our passion for this or that.  Our words betray us.  We develop habits of behavior that obey our old nature.  To break the habits takes concentrated effort and what is amazing is how God enables us to do it when we ask.  “able to accomplish way more than we can imagine or ask.”  Changing the thoughts that enter the heart and drive the actions and words  is not easily done.  With our willingness, God is able to accomplish just that.  We filled our minds with garbage, the garbage must be replaced with the pure knowledge of God through Christ and that is the purpose for immersing oneself in the scripture remembering that Jesus is the Word; He makes the Word alive and active.

Pray – How can we keep our ways pure?  By guarding them according to your word.  I seek you with all my heart; don’t let me stray from your commands. I treasure your word in my heart, so that I won’t sin against you.  Blessed are you, Adonai!

Repent – I am sorry for not asking first what you want me to do  I am sorry for the years spent in neglect of your Word for how then could I know your way except to follow others; not always a good thing…

Ask – Teach me your laws.  I proclaim with my mouth all the rulings you have spoken.

Yes – I rejoice in the way of your instruction more than any kind of wealth.  I will meditate on your precepts and keep my eyes on your ways.  I will find my delight in your regulations.  I will not forget your Word..  Your Word sets me free, your restrictions give release to move forward.  Speaking your Word, which is righteous, over temptations, which are not, places a restriction on the temptations, and releases me to move freely in Your Spirit.  Thank you!

Source:  Ephesians 2 and Psalm 119

Praying Scripture…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

Praying scripture puts the enemy to flight and rights the thinking process which, ripple effect, will go far to right actions, feelings and desires.

The breastplate of righteousness, God’s righteousness imputed to the believer, guards the heart.  Proverbs tells the believer to guard the heart for out of it flow the issues of life. Righteousness, defined right living, guards the heart.  This righteousness is God’s given to the believer through the salvation process.  Dressing in the armor daily involves putting on the belt of truth which helps to support the breastplate of righteousness.  God’s Word provides the information, the truth, that instructs in right living.  Right living decreases the points in the believer’s life that the enemy can target.

Truth and righteousness support and protect the core of the believer’s spiritual being.  Here is the strength to stand upright and move forward, not bowed over and brought down to a standstill.  The enemy’s arrows of accusation, thrusts of deception, blows of failure cannot penetrate the breastplate supported by truth.

God’s Word is truth; God’s Word states His Righteousness is given to those who receive it.  “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God.”  2 Corinthians 5:21.  It is a gift to the believer.  The believer becomes righteous, not on their own doing, it is the gift of God!  The believer can stand tall, supporting the breastplate with truth.  Put it on!

The lie of the enemy is that the believer cannot attain righteousness, they cannot be perfect as God is.  Therefore, why try?  Give up.  When the believer responds with the truth, they cannot but God has,  the lie often becomes a comparison with other believers; better than some, less than some.  Again the believer responds with truth that they are righteous because God is and He gave them His breastplate.  This is when the believer puts off their own concept of righteousness, their own sense of pride or defeat and takes on God’s righteousness, believing what God has said.  “Put off your old self which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and … be renewed in the spirit of your minds, … and put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”  Ephesians 4:22 – 24.  An action taken on by the believer.  Take off and put on are actions.

In prayer, ask for mercy, ask for change and stay connected.  Be aware and note when self rises up to try to resist attacks in the believer’s own strength. Pray to activate God’s power in combat.

Pray – True, I was born guilty; was a sinner from the moment my mother conceived me.  Still, You want truth in the inner person; so make me know wisdom in my inmost heart.

Repent – Lord, I repent for giving into my own feelings and acting on them.  I repent for laying aside Your righteousness continually attempting to be righteous in my own strength.

Ask – Sprinkle me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.  Let me hear the sound of joy and gladness, so that the bones You crushed can rejoice.  Turn away Your face from my sins, and blot out my crimes.  Create in me a clean heart, God; renew in me a resolute spirit.

Yes – I will praise You forever for what You have done, and I will put my hope in Your name; for this is what is good in the presence of Your faithful.

 

Psalm 51 and 52

Learn from History; Avoid Deception…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

History repeats itself as anyone who has studied old documents can say.  It makes little difference if the present society tries to rewrite history; ample documentation is found among individual writings from the participants.

Therefore it is wise to heed the consequences of actions taken in the past to avoid repeating the errors.

From Micah: Here is what Adonai says in regard to the prophets who cause my people to go astray, who cry ‘peace,’ as soon as they are given food to eat but prepare war against anyone who fails to put something in their mouths:

Put in today’s setting, are there those who cause God’s people to go astray, used by the enemy to deceive?  Any ‘word’ given that emphasizes self-worth or ability has the potential to lead away from God’s worth and ability.  Are our prophets fed well?  Do they prophesy for pay?  Do they ‘war’ by finding fault, causing strife with any who fail to ‘pay’ or do they engage in fear mongering?

In Micah it states further how God views these actions.  A good Father disciplines and corrects:

“Therefore you will have night, not vision, darkness and not divination; the sun will go down on the prophets, over them the day will be black.”

Discipline and correction is not pleasant.

“The seers will be put to shame,

The diviners will be disgraced.

They will have to cover their mouths,

Because there will be no answer from God.

On the other hand, I am full of power

By Spirit of Adonai,

Full of justice and full of might,

To declare to __________his crime,

To _____his sin.

Hear this, please, leaders of _________,

Rulers of the house of _____________,

You abhor what is just

And pervert anything that is right,

Who build up _____________with blood

And ______with wickedness.

Her leaders will sell verdicts for bribes,

Her priests teach for a price,

Her prophets divine for money—-

Yet they claim to rely on Adonai!

“Isn’t Adonai here with us?”  they say.

“No evil can come upon us.”

Therefore, because of you,

______ will be plowed under like a forested height…

There is more, much more in Micah to learn from, to take warning from, to heed the direction given and to rejoice in the promise given.

The blanks can be filled in with current names.  See if they fit and speak truthfully.  This was spoken to another people at another time but could have been saved for today.  It is wisdom to use what has been shared to judge whether anything be of God.  Do not be deceived by pretty pictures, great music, etc. For the enemy is clothed in light that is deceptive.

Pray – With all prayer and petition (I) pray at all times, 1. in the Spirit, 2. and with this in view, 3. be on the alert, with 4. all perseverance and 5. petition for all the saints, 6. and pray on my behalf.  I pray for our spiritual leaders.

Repent – I repent for selfish prayer and now ask for mercy.  I repent for not lifting up and encouraging God’s called leaders and now ask Your blessings on them.

Ask – I pray they be alert, they persevere, they pray for all saints, they stay close to God’s Word and not be deceived or used by the enemy to destroy God’s people.

Yes – I thank You for Your Word that quickens, guides, feeds, and blesses Your people.

Ephesians 6:18 source.