Recognizing God in others…

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.

Joshua 2:1-14

 

 And Joshua the son of Nun sent two men secretly from Shittim as spies, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” And they went and came into the house of a prostitute whose name was Rahab and lodged there.

 And it was told to the king of Jericho, “Behold, men of Israel have come here tonight to search out the land.”

 Then the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, “Bring out the men who have come to you, who entered your house, for they have come to search out all the land.”

 But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. And she said, “True, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from.

 And when the gate was about to be closed at dark, the men went out. I do not know where the men went. Pursue them quickly, for you will overtake them.”

 But she had brought them up to the roof and hid them with the stalks of flax that she had laid in order on the roof.

 So the men pursued after them on the way to the Jordan as far as the fords. And the gate was shut as soon as the pursuers had gone out.

 Before the men lay down, she came up to them on the roof

 and said to the men, “I know that the LORD has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you.

 For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you devoted to destruction.

 And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the LORD your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath.

 Now then, please swear to me by the LORD that, as I have dealt kindly with you, you also will deal kindly with my father’s house, and give me a sure sign

 that you will save alive my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death.”

 And the men said to her, “Our life for yours even to death! If you do not tell this business of ours, then when the LORD gives us the land we will deal kindly and faithfully with you.”

 

These men were sent as representatives of Israel – sent to spy and they took the authority to give grace to the request. There was no waiting to go back and check with Joshua. We all have the Presence of God in us as believers. We walk in His Spirit, led by the Spirit and the Word. The two men responded to her request right then. Rahab recognized the power of God in Israel. She noted that others had also. For some the recognition brought fear and depression. For Rahab it brought hope.

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Ultimate authority…

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.

Ezra 5:14-17

And the gold and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple that was in Jerusalem and brought into the temple of Babylon, these Cyrus the king took out of the temple of Babylon, and they were delivered to one whose name was Sheshbazzar, whom he had made governor;  and he said to him, “Take these vessels, go and put them in the temple that is in Jerusalem, and let the house of God be rebuilt on its site.”   Then this Sheshbazzar came and laid the foundations of the house of God that is in Jerusalem, and from that time until now it has been in building, and it is not yet finished.’  Therefore, if it seems good to the king, let search be made in the royal archives there in Babylon, to see whether a decree was issued by Cyrus the king for the rebuilding of this house of God in Jerusalem. And let the king send us his pleasure in this matter.”

This further discussion of decrees by kings as holding the law of life and death, living and dying, over mankind emulates God’s authority.  Interestingly, it also shows the stock held in things that are recorded.  Today we see an erosion of this attitude toward authority and a disregard for what has been recorded.  Only the present counts, only the voice of the loudest, strongest, or greatest in number counts.

No matter what the attitudes, conditions or setting God can and does override.  This will be seen in portions to come in Ezra’s writings; it will also be seen in our day and time!  Remember, God is not mocked … there will be consequences!  It is for the believers to see to it that as the Israelites in this recording did, we also stand firm on the written, recorded Word of God and what we personally know of Him.  Be found faithful to the authority that is over all other authority!

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

All things are from 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.

I Corinthians 11:1-16

 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you. But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven. For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head.  For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God.  Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him,  but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God.

All this to remind us of the hierarchy of relationships and authority from God down to man and woman.

“… Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ….” 

Are we at a place in our relationship with God that we can say the same with confidence?   Have we truly given up control?  Do we listen for the voice of the Spirit to guide and lead us daily?  Or are we still wrapped up in ourselves, going our own ways?  Time for reflection…there is an authority and that authority is God and what he has established.  Time to consider our actions and how we truly believe.  It can be seen in our relationships.

…with authority …

Luke 4:31-37

And he went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee. And he was teaching them on the Sabbath, and they were astonished at his teaching, for his word possessed authority. And in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, “Ha! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him down in their midst, he came out of him, having done him no harm. And they were all amazed and said to one another, “What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!” And reports about him went out into every place in the surrounding region.

 …his word possessed authority….. with authority and power he commands…are two phrases used in this passage and with them the reaction of the people, astonished at the teaching and amazement.  Knowledge of who one is in the Lord gives confidence and with that confidence comes the ability to speak with authority.  Who did Jesus answer to here on earth?  No one, only His Father whose will He followed and obeyed.  Who do we ultimately answer to?  The Lord to whom we belong.  Jesus knew who he was and the authority he had.  He did not pull back, He moved forward and that was noticed.

 We are His, and with that comes confidence.  We too can move forward no matter the attack, no matter what comes at us, we look to Him: His example, His lead. Look at what this attitude does to stress!  It diminishes and no longer has a hold on us. We receive authority from Him, confidence from Him.   We move in the strength we gain from Christ and in that obedience we find joy.  That is the draw that brings others to Christ.

Authority to do what?…

 Matthew 9:1-8

Back in the boat, Jesus and the disciples recrossed the sea to Jesus’ hometown. 2 They were hardly out of the boat when some men carried a paraplegic on a stretcher and set him down in front of them. Jesus, impressed by their bold belief, said to the paraplegic, “Cheer up, son. I forgive your sins.” 3 Some religion scholars whispered, “Why, that’s blasphemy!” 4 Jesus knew what they were thinking, and said, “Why this gossipy whispering? 5 Which do you think is simpler: to say, ‘I forgive your sins,’ or, ‘Get up and walk’? 6 Well, just so it’s clear that I’m the Son of Man and authorized to do either, or both. . . .” At this he turned to the paraplegic and said, “Get up. Take your bed and go home.” 7 And the man did it. 8 The crowd was awestruck, amazed and pleased that God had authorized Jesus to work among them this way.

 

Some religion scholars whispered, “Why, that’s blasphemy!”  Looking up the word blasphemy it states that this is equal to speaking evil of God, or abusing the power of God, claiming it as your own.

 

Which do you think is simpler: to say, ‘I forgive your sins,’ or, ‘Get up and walk’? Jesus is cognizant of their thoughts and responds with a question.  He’s leading to  a revelation of who he is and what he does…

 

Well, just so it’s clear that I’m the Son of Man and authorized to do either, or both. . . .” At this he turned to the paraplegic and said, “Get up. Take your bed and go home.” 7 And the man did it.  A picture of His Messiahship and His modeling of faith in action.

 

When Jesus said I forgive…He was accused of claiming God’s power as His own.  God gave him that authority and he in turn gave it to us.  The one holding the power is able to give it to others.  It cannot just be appropriated, when there is an attempt to appropriate someone else’s power, that is stealing what is not your own. 

 

Jesus was revealing his position as Messiah, He was modeling what he taught. The exercise of faith has power.  Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  Faith sees it done, Faith is real, the hope become real.

 

What do we do with this knowledge?  How does this part of the Word become active and alive in us?  John 17 lets us know Jesus gives us the same assignment that was given Him.  That begs the question,then, is the Word active and alive in me?  Is our faith evident?  Our approach to life and the stuff it hands us should show that we live as if our hope is real.  How do we handle pain, illness, disappointment, difficulties?

 Join me with the breath prayer for today: my trust is in the Lord, my faith is in the Lord.