Faith or Fear?

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

Faith over Fear

Pandemic Reflections

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

8:45 AM

Today began with time spent listening to Candace Owens put all that has been happening together into one concise piece.  It resonated with me in that much of what she said I too have listened, watched and drawn conclusions about.  God blessed us with discernment, wisdom and intelligence.  We can use the gifts or cave to fear.  I for one do not want my life led by fear.  I also ask for wisdom. I have often been blessed with discernment.  God’s word is full of wisdom, wisdom that is for our use and benefit. I thank Him for those gifts and give Him the glory for the answers to prayer that permits me to continue to have faith in His work on this planet. That said, I then shared a time of devotions with my husband and this is what we were presented with.

 

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

[Ecc 3:1-8 RSV] 1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;

3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

7 a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

There is a season and a time for every matter under heaven.  The devotional continued with a focus on the autumnal season; a time of great beauty but also decrease into apparent death.  The point was made that the apparent death held life in the form of seeds being planted to come forth at a later season with new; new life, new possibilities, new creation… Keeping that in mind, then read what Parker Palmer had to say in “Let Your Life Speak; Listening For the Voice of Vocation. Pp. 98-99.

“Autumn is a season of great beauty, but it is also a season of decline: the days grow shorter, the light is suffused, and summer’s abundance decays toward winter’s death…

In my own experience of autumn, I am rarely aware that seeds are being planted…

But as I explore autumn’s paradox of dying and seeding, I feel the power of metaphor.  In the autumnal events of my own experience, I am easily fixated on surface appearances–on the decline of meaning, the decay of relationships, the death of a work.  And yet if I look more deeply, I may see the myriad possibilities being planted to bear fruit in some season yet to come.

In retrospect, I can see in my own life what I could not see at the time–how the job I lost helped me find work I needed to do, how the “road closed” sign turned me toward terrain I needed to travel, how losses that felt irredeemable forced me to discern meanings I needed to know.  On the surface it seemed that life was lessening, but silently and lavishly the seeds of new life were always being sown.”

 

That last line especially can be applied to events we are experiencing today.  “it seemed that life was lessening…” does it feel that way for you? “but silently and lavishly the seeds of new life were always being sown.”  are you searching for alternatives, new ways of doing, new information and understandings?  I see the emergence of new personalities who have potential for leading in healthy directions, I see the exposure of those in leadership who do not seem to have the best interest of humanity at heart, rather there is a strong element of self-interest at heart.

We will have the opportunity, Lord willing, to use what is being made clear to us to inform our choices in the days ahead. Will we function under the strong arm of fear or will we allow our faith in God to direct us in new paths according to His word?  Can we remember the words of Paul,

[Phl 1:21 RSV] 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Believers, there should be no fear of death.  Our future is sealed.  Our actions should give hope to those who do not yet know life that is found in Christ, given to us by God, lived by the Holy Spirit.  We can act with wisdom, but also without fear.

The devotional left us with a question:  “What ‘road closed’ sign is before you today that may be God’s way of redirecting you to something new?”

Take on the day and live in peace, not the peace the world offers but the peace that God gives in the midst of turmoil.  Confusion is not of God, he is a God of order.  Seek His face in today’s events.

The link to Candace Owens’ video: https://www.facebook.com/realCandaceOwens/videos/168943087616092/?t=0

Disclaimer:  if ads are appearing anywhere on this page it is because they are placed there by WordPress not by me.  I have read the information on ads and in order to be ad free now, Word Press charges a fee.  I apologize for any inconvenience these ads may cause you and if they are inappropriate please message me.  Thank you, gracie

Psalm 56; timely for today

Psalm 56

Have mercy on me, O God,

For my enemies are hounding me;

All day long they assault and oppress me.

 

Our government leaders, our religious leaders, our neighbors…all stand on both sides of this fence.  Some call for the harassment; some are at the effects of the harassment. Some call for violence; some are at the effect of the resulting violence.  Stand back and listen, read the comments, listen with open ears and read with open eyes.  What does the Lord God Almighty have to say about this?  Do some soul searching…are we truly enlightened?  Then where do we stand in this picture? Do we join in with language that is demeaning or do we answer softly, kindly, gently or not at all?

 

They hound me all the day long;

Truly there are many who fight against me, O Most High.

Whenever I am afraid,

I will put my trust in you.

In God whose word I praise,

In God, I trust and will not be afraid,

For what can flesh do to me?

 

All day long they damage my cause;

Their only thought is to do me evil.

 

They band together; they lie in wait;

They spy upon my footsteps;

Because they seek my life.

 

Shall they escape despite their wickedness?

O God, in your anger, cast down the peoples.

 

You have noted my lamentation;

Put my tears into your bottle;

Are they not recorded in your book?

 

Whenever I call upon you, my enemies will be put to flight;

This I know, for God is on my side.

 

In God the Lord, whose word I praise,

In God I trust and will not be afraid,

For what can mortals do to me?

 

I am bound by the vow I made to you, O God;

I will present to you thank offerings.

 

For you have rescued my soul from death, and my feet from stumbling,

That I may walk before God in the light of the living. Amen

 

What is your position? Where are your eyes and ears looking and listening?  Where is your understanding?  Are you in the light or functioning in the dark?  What is your fruit?  Is it encouraging and building or tearing down and hurtful?  It is time to turn the tide of evil in the land; one at a time.  Relying on the Lord God for truth, strength and wisdom.  By your love they will know you.  That is the love of God and neighbor.  Not love as our society sees it today.  It is time to do some soul searching and praying in the Father’s will and wisdom.

Go…make disciples…

Matthew  28:19,20. Therefore go and make people from all nations into disciples, immersing them into the reality of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost,  and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.

A well-known scripture for most Christians? One that is used to mobilize believers and leaders to ‘win souls for Christ ‘.  But it appears some parts of the verses are ignored. Addressing that situation is a prophetic speaker in a recent blog…

I Went to Hell and was Stunned by What I Saw; JeremiahJohnson

In what he shared is the following:

“Because those that worked miracles, prophesied and cast out demons never preached the full gospel of Jesus Christ which is the message of repentance.  They were so in love with the gifts that I had given them that people became trophies and souvenirs to them. When my power would manifest in their ministries, they would tell people that I loved them, but never that they needed to repent for their sins. I tell you that a great deception will sweep over the signs and wonders movement in the earth. ”

What is the full gospel of Jesus Christ? What is the Good News? The disciples shared the message Jesus gave them.  It includes “how then shall we live…” Repentance and holiness go hand-in-hand with forgiveness, love and salvation. What is forgiven if not what is repented of and that by definition means change; no longer doing what has been forgiven…!

Should we take the warning given? The scripture referenced for the warning is also found in Matthew…the words of Jesus; “depart from me, I never knew you. ” Is part of the knowing obedience to His words, all of them?

 

Scripture from CJB version. Complete post by Jeremiah Johnson found on his Facebook page.

The Kiss of Judas

This is an excellent post encouraging the believer to be strong in the Lord and stand against the attacks that come. Take the time to read…

Crooked Places Straight

judas-betrayer-kiss-999242-tablet

Why do we think it so strange when the people we are closest to turn their backs on us? We are living in a time where things are NOT gray, they are black and white, light and dark, the lines are not blurred. We are in a time when people call good evil and evil good. Why do we find this strange when the Bible tells us this is going to happen?

I am writing this post because my heart is heavy and feeling broken. I wont go into details, but suffice it to say, because of the truth of Gods word, I am losing people that were once so close to me. I am no way claiming to be perfect or super spiritual, but I do know Gods word and there are some thing that are non-negotiable. Does this mean I love them less? No! But, listen to me…

View original post 821 more words

Understanding…

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 John 3:

9Nakdimon (Nicodemus) replied, “How can this happen?” 10Yeshua (Jesus) answered him, “You hold the office of teacher in Isra’el, and you don’t know this? 11Yes, indeed! I tell you that what we speak about, we know; and what we give evidence of, we have seen; but you people don’t accept our evidence! 12If you people don’t believe me when I tell you about the things of the world, how will you believe me when I tell you about the things of heaven? 13No one has gone up into heaven; there is only the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man. 14Just as Moshe (Moses) lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15so that everyone who trusts in him may have eternal life.

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/jhn.3>

*Words in parentheses are the English word for the Hebrew placed by the author.

Many still do not understand things of the earth.  And miracles thrill but they are not truly understood.  Until one enters into the Spirit by believing what Jesus says, one cannot understand. Things of the Spirit confound those outside Christ.

Miracles and signs are pursued and the Christ on the cross and its message are lost.  Jesus was lifted up and gave himself for all mankind.  All mankind continues to be split between those who believe and those who do not.  Anyone who trusts in Christ may have eternal life.

Wisdom says come to God daily to worship Him and ask the Holy Spirit for understanding as one searches scripture.  Jesus is there; throughout the Word he is presented and can be seen.  Who he is and what he does informs the seeker of truth and a way of living that lasts from now till and through eternity.

Pray – Teach me, Adonai, the way of your laws; keeping them will be its own reward for me.

Repent – I repent for often seeking the ways of mankind for understanding.

Ask – Give me understanding; then I will keep your Word; I will observe it with all my heart.  Guide me on the paths of your ways for I take pleasure in it.

Yes – See how I long for your precepts; in your righteousness, give me life!

Source: John 3 and Psalms 119:34-37

Spiritual sight…

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 John 3:

1There was a man among the P’rushim (Pharisee), named Nakdimon (Nicodemus), who was a ruler of the Judeans. 2This man came to Yeshua (Jesus) by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know it is from God that you have come as a teacher; for no one can do these miracles you perform unless God is with him.” 3“Yes, indeed,” Yeshua (Jesus) answered him, “I tell you that unless a person is born again from above, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

4Nakdimon  (Nicodemus) said to him, “How can a grown man be ‘born’? Can he go back into his mother’s womb and be born a second time?” 5Yeshua (Jesus) answered, “Yes, indeed, I tell you that unless a person is born from water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God. 6What is born from the flesh is flesh, and what is born from the Spirit is spirit. 7Stop being amazed at my telling you that you must be born again from above! 8The wind blows where it wants to, and you hear its sound, but you don’t know where it comes from or where it’s going. That’s how it is with everyone who has been born from the Spirit.”

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/jhn.3>

*Words in parentheses are English for the Hebrew placed by author

There is sight and then there is sight!   We see and navigate about our space.  We don’t necessarily pay close attention if the territory is familiar.  When it provides a challenge our vision is more acute.  And if there is the potential for danger, it is sharp.

“unless a person is born again from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  The vision is limited, in fact, it is non-existent in one moving through life without knowledge of God.  If this one is born of the Spirit, however, not only do they see the kingdom, they can now enter the Kingdom.  ” unless a person is born from water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God.  ”

Spiritual vision is likened to the wind.  We cannot see the wind; we do see its effects.  Spiritual birth is not seen with physical eyes but the physical individual can see its effects.  When an individual is truly born of the Spirit that will be evident to all who see them.

Ah, Lord we need to SEE!!

Pray – Born of the Spirit, I have vision greater than what I was physically born with.  Help me use it!!

Repent – I repent for times I move through my comfortable space without really looking.  I miss so much the Spirit would show me.

Ask – Wholeheartedly I am calling on you; answer me Adonai; I will keep your laws.  I am calling on you; save me; and I will observe your instructions.  I rise before dawn and cry for help; I put my hope in your word.  My eyes are open before night watches, so that I can meditate on your promises. Psalms 119:145-148

Yes – Give thanks to Adonai, for he is good for his grace continues forever.  Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his grace continues forever. Give thanks to the God of gods, for his grace continues forever. Psalms 136:1-3

Source:  John 3 and Psalms

House of Prayer

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 John 2

13It was almost time for the festival of Pesach (Passover)  in Y’hudah,(Judah) so Yeshua (Jesus)went up to Yerushalayim.(Jerusalem) 14In the Temple grounds he found those who were selling cattle, sheep and pigeons, and others who were sitting at tables exchanging money. 15He made a whip from cords and drove them all out of the Temple grounds, the sheep and cattle as well. He knocked over the money-changers’ tables, scattering their coins; 16and to the pigeon-sellers he said, “Get these things out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market?” 17(His talmidim (disciples) later recalled that the Tanakh (Holy Scripture) says, “Zeal for your house will devour me.” ) 18So the Judeans confronted him by asking him, “What miraculous sign can you show us to prove you have the right to do all this?” 19Yeshua answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up again.” 20The Judeans said, “It took 46 years to build this Temple, and you’re going to raise it in three days?” 21But the “temple” he had spoken of was his body. 22Therefore, when he was raised from the dead, his talmidim (disciples) remembered that he had said this, and they trusted in the Tanakh (Holy Scripture) and in what Yeshua (Jesus) had said.

23Now while Yeshua (Jesus)was in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem at the Pesach (Passover)  festival, there were many people who “believed in his name” when they saw the miracles he performed. 24But he did not commit himself to them, for he knew what people are like — 25that is, he didn’t need anyone to inform him about a person, because he knew what was in the person’s heart.

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/jhn.2>

*Words in parenthesis are English for the Hebrew added by me.

Someone’s always looking for a sign, miracles, supernatural experiences as if they are necessary to validate who God is.  He knows the heart whether it seeks Him or the event that is big enough for news!! He did not commit himself to them…knew their hearts.  This is told to the believer as a gentle warning.  God loves us but he is looking for heart commitment, not followers of the sensational .  The miracles stop and the people leave. With heart commitment, people don’t need miracles to stay.  They enjoy them with everyone else, but the Master is who they take real, lasting joy in.

Pray – May I never be guilty of turning my temple into anything other than God’s house, a house of prayer.

Repent – I repent for taking my temple and using it for my pleasure or gain rather than giving it to you wholeheartedly.

Ask – Take up residence in this temple, make it clean and useful for Your kingdom.

Yes – Give praise to the name of Adonai!  Servants of Adonai, give praise!  You who stand in the house of Adonai, in the courtyards of the house of our God, praise Yahweh, for Adonai is good; sing to His name, because it is pleasant.

Source:  John 2 and Psalms 135:1-3

 

increased confidence…

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 John 2:

1On Tuesday there was a wedding at Kanah(Cana) in the Galil (Galilee) ; and the mother of Yeshua (Jesus) was there. 2Yeshua (Jesus) too was invited to the wedding, along with his talmidim.(disciples) 3The wine ran out, and Yeshua’s (Jesus) mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” 4Yeshua (Jesus) replied, “Mother, why should that concern me? — or you? My time hasn’t come yet.” 5His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6Now six stone water-jars were standing there for the Jewish ceremonial washings, each with a capacity of twenty or thirty gallons. 7Yeshua (Jesus) told them, “Fill the jars with water,” and they filled them to the brim. 8He said, “Now draw some out, and take it to the man in charge of the banquet”; and they took it. 9The man in charge tasted the water; it had now turned into wine! He did not know where it had come from, but the servants who had drawn the water knew. So he called the bridegroom 10and said to him, “Everyone else serves the good wine first and the poorer wine after people have drunk freely. But you have kept the good wine until now!” 11This, the first of Yeshua’s (Jesus) miraculous signs, he did at Kanah (Cana) in the Galil;(Galilee) he manifested his glory, and his talmidim (disciples)came to trust in him. 12Afterwards, he, his mother and brothers, and his talmidim (disciples)went down to K’far-Nachum (Capernaum) and stayed there a few days.

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/jhn.2>

*Words in parenthesis are added by me to translate.

“Saved the best for last.”  This saying is applied freely today along with “the latter will be better than the first.”  Surely as the believer grows in the spirit the last is better than the first.  The old creation is dead, the new is come.

The sign of the wine increased confidence in the community that is forming around Christ.  Trust in Him is building.  As each community that is  formed to meet and encourage one another places their trust completely in Christ, they too begin  to grow in confidence.  As they get to know Him and what He does, their faith grows and they find they too can do the works He has done.

Pray – I believe You, God.  You are who You say You are, You do what You say You will do, I am who You say I am and I can do all things through You.  Your Word is alive and active in me.  I believe You God.

Repent – I repent for those times I lack confidence in Your ability to work through me.

Ask – Give me the strength to grasp the love of the Messiah so that I, with all God’s people, may be empowered to do what you give me to do.

Yes – The righteous call out and You, O Lord, hear and save them from all their troubles.  Taste and see that God is good, how blessed are those who take refuge in him!

Source: John 2 and Psalms