Rock and sand…

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.

marli-miller-jointing-in-granite-bedrock-acadia-national-park-maine-usa[1]    e1[1]

singing-sand[1]     hands-sand-cropped1[1]

Matthew 7:24-27

 

So, everyone who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on bedrock. The rain fell, the rivers flooded, the winds blew and beat against that house, but it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a stupid man who built his house on sand. The rains fell, the rivers flooded, the wind blew and beat against that house, and it collapsed–and its collapse was horrendous. – Jesus

 

Are we building our ‘houses’ on rock or sand? Are we investing our time, money and the future of our children on rock or sand? Jesus says anyone who hears his words and acts on them is building on rock. Storms of life, lifestyles, manners of behaviour will not prevail. As a nation, are we building futures on rock, or sand which is soft and erodes out from under bringing a collapse. Sand comes from rock, but the rock has been broken…think on that…we cannot build anything of value or stability on that which is broken…it will collapse. Small children learn this young with their experimental building… Yet we as adults are no better, often, and have forgotten the wisdom of time before– we embrace the ‘new improved revelation’ which is often deception wrapped in a pretty package.

 

So we turn from the eternal, the strong which has weathered storms to a new concept and now we see an imminent collapse. From a natural, inborn desire for life to people who only care for self and even go beyond to a disregard for any life, embracing death.

 

The spirits of despair, fear, and destruction run rampant among God’s creation. It is time to resist, to embrace God and His Word, to tear down that which will collapse and rebuild on the Rock, the Rock of our Salvation.

house-on-sand[1]

 

San Antonio:  Mission Concepcion, dedicated in 1755. Built on bedrock and never lost its roof or integrity. Colonial Spanish design. These Franciscans were active, not contemplative.

Mission built on bedrock

 

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Praying for the Mid-east conflicts

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.

Psalm 1 How  blessed are those who reject the advice of the wicked, don’t stand in the way of those who practice evil, don’t sit where scoffers sit!  Instead, their delight is in Adonai’s commands.  They meditate day and night on His word, not the word of humanity.  They are like trees that are planted by streams— they bear their fruit in season, their leaves never wither, and everything they do succeeds. This is our promise and we ask it for the believers in the Mid- east at this time. Not so the wicked, who are like chaff that is driven by the wind.  For this reason the wicked won’t stand up to the judgment, nor will those who practice evil stand at the gathering of the righteous.  For Adonai watches over the way of the righteous,  whose righteousness is in Christ Jesus, but the way of the one who practices evil is doomed. And do by your Word, Lord, we stand against the actions of the practicers of evil in the Mid-east today.  We call on your Spirit to do Your Will in that place; releasing the captives, protecting the innocent and avenging the oppressed.

the pain of the innocent

the pain of the innocent

Matthew 4:4,7,10,17 and 20 “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of Adonai.”  “Do not put Adonai your God to the test.” “Worship Adonai your God, and serve only him.”  “Turn from your sins to God, for the Kingdom of God is near!” “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 5:3,4 “How blessed are the poor in spirit! for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.  How blessed are those who mourn! for they will be comforted.   Words to meditate upon.  Words to keep when rising up, going down, at home, in the way, on the hand, on the forehead, on the doorway…immersed completely in his word.  These words can be applied to the events all around us that are contrary to God’s word in prayer and His power will be released as we continue to pray.  As Aaron and Hur held up the hands of Moses and the battle was to the people of God so let us raise the plight of believers and the innocent before the throne. The battle is not only physical, but also spiritual.  Let us not be weary to pray and the victory will be the Lord’s.   If you’ve been to the cross… See you at the throne…

 throne-of-god[1]

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“Even if he doesn’t…”

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.

Daniel 3:1-18

 

 King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits and its breadth six cubits. He set it up on the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.

 Then King Nebuchadnezzar sent to gather the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces to come to the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

 Then the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces gathered for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. And they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

 And the herald proclaimed aloud, “You are commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages,

 that when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up.

And whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace.”

Therefore, as soon as all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, all the peoples, nations, and languages fell down and worshiped the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

Therefore at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and maliciously accused the Jews.

They declared to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live forever!

 You, O king, have made a decree, that every man who hears the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, shall fall down and worship the golden image.

 And whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into a burning fiery furnace.

There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These men, O king, pay no attention to you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

Then Nebuchadnezzar in furious rage commanded that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego be brought. So they brought these men before the king.

Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up?

Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?”

 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.

 If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king.

 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

 Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with fury, and the expression of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace heated seven times more than it was usually heated.

 And he ordered some of the mighty men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace.

 Then these men were bound in their cloaks, their tunics, their hats, and their other garments, and they were thrown into the burning fiery furnace.

 Because the king’s order was urgent and the furnace overheated, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell bound into the burning fiery furnace.

 Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up in haste. He declared to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.”

 He answered and said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.”

 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the burning fiery furnace; he declared, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here!” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out from the fire.

 And the satraps, the prefects, the governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together and saw that the fire had not had any power over the bodies of those men. The hair of their heads was not singed, their cloaks were not harmed, and no smell of fire had come upon them.

Nebuchadnezzar answered and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in him, and set aside the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God.

 Therefore I make a decree: Any people, nation, or language that speaks anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be torn limb from limb, and their houses laid in ruins, for there is no other god who is able to rescue in this way.”

Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon.  copied from Esword

 

“Even if he doesn’t…” There is so much packed into those words. One, who are we to dictate to God what he will or will not do? He reigns. That said, we rest in his love and his will as living flesh or living spirit. Can we stand with these against the persecution today? Can we be strong even to death? Have the people of God been equipped to withstand the evil that creeps in our land? There is a responsibility to achieve that equipping; it rests upon the leadership; there is also a responsibility to achieve that equipping; it rests with the individual. We have the Word of God readily available and are not dependent upon man to read it to us or explain it to us. We have the Holy Spirit who guides into all truth, sent to provide comfort and understanding. We have no excuse to not be strong, not be equipped. It is time to stop looking to the one hour a week to provide us with the knowledge, spiritual health and equipping for battle and the ability to stand firm. It is time to seek communion with those who desire the full Word of God and to set aside the time to listen to the Holy Spirit as we read and worship the Most High God. Nothing can do more than our alone time with God. Jesus and the prophets knew that. The men and women we read of in the scriptures knew that. Are we any different? Hear the call to worship in spirit and in truth, hear the call to study the Word of God, hear the call to seek his face in this time and place. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

 

“Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in him, and set aside the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God.

 

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A promise of rest…

 

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 11:12-23

And all the cities of those kings, and all their kings, Joshua captured, and struck them with the edge of the sword, devoting them to destruction, just as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded.

But none of the cities that stood on mounds did Israel burn, except Hazor alone; that Joshua burned.

And all the spoil of these cities and the livestock, the people of Israel took for their plunder. But every person they struck with the edge of the sword until they had destroyed them, and they did not leave any who breathed.

Just as the LORD had commanded Moses his servant, so Moses commanded Joshua, and so Joshua did. He left nothing undone of all that the LORD had commanded Moses.

So Joshua took all that land, the hill country and all the Negeb and all the land of Goshen and the lowland and the Arabah and the hill country of Israel and its lowland

from Mount Halak, which rises toward Seir, as far as Baal-gad in the Valley of Lebanon below Mount Hermon. And he captured all their kings and struck them and put them to death.

Joshua made war a long time with all those kings.

There was not a city that made peace with the people of Israel except the Hivites, the inhabitants of Gibeon. They took them all in battle.

For it was the LORD’s doing to harden their hearts that they should come against Israel in battle, in order that they should be devoted to destruction and should receive no mercy but be destroyed, just as the LORD commanded Moses.

And Joshua came at that time and cut off the Anakim from the hill country, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the hill country of Judah, and from all the hill country of Israel. Joshua devoted them to destruction with their cities.

There was none of the Anakim left in the land of the people of Israel. Only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod did some remain.

So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the LORD had spoken to Moses. And Joshua gave it for an inheritance to Israel according to their tribal allotments. And the land had rest from war.

 

Some key phrases stand out while reading this passage. The first is “defeated with the sword” in one translation, “struck them with the edge of the sword” in another. The believer’s sword is the Bible. As Jesus came against Satan in the wilderness with scripture, so we can fight off that which is not of God with scripture. The enemy is cunning; remember the use of scripture by Satan. Jesus did not back down but continued to use scripture even in that attack. Remember to be aware and alert which requires knowledge of scripture and that requires being found in the Word studying, meditating, and remembering. We have the Holy Spirit to assist us in these battles. So continue to hold everything to the high standard of scripture and don’t be surprised if the attack comes from other believers. Pray that the Holy Spirit give us the sure knowledge to know when scripture is being used amiss; manipulated to serve the purpose of mankind.  Satan knows our vulnerability and is not opposed to using us against each other. We who walk by faith in the knowledge of His Word can be victorious as Israel was through the use of the sword, for us the Bible.

 

Another two phrases are “struck and put to death” and ” utterly destroyed.” When the Holy Spirit reveals to us that which must be removed from our own lives we are to strike it and put it to death, removing it completely from our lives. Note the revelation comes from the Holy Spirit; Spirit to spirit. This is not to imply that we are to go about cleaning each other up. Jesus tells us

“…[Mat 7:3 ESV] 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?…”

 

As Israel cleansed the land of its inhabitants, we can with the Holy Spirit’s assistance cleanse our ‘land,’ our lives, of that which hinders the work of the Lord in our lives. We can live victorious lives in the promised land given to us by the Lord.

 

Everything was “in keeping with orders Adonai had given Moses”; also stated “in keeping with all that Adonai said to Moses.” God’s word is our key. God’s commands are to be followed. God’s Word tells us how then we shall live. And once that is accomplished the phrase ” the land rested from war” reminds us of the promise of God’s rest. How sweet it is to rest in the promised land of a victorious life; knowing we are where He wants us, living in tune with His will and not our own.

 

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

Judgment and Promise

 

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.

Isaiah 66:15-24

 

 “For behold, the LORD will come in fire, and his chariots like the whirlwind, to render his anger in fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.

 For by fire will the LORD enter into judgment, and by his sword, with all flesh; and those slain by the LORD shall be many.

 “Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one in the midst, eating pig’s flesh and the abomination and mice, shall come to an end together, declares the LORD.

 “For I know their works and their thoughts, and the time is coming to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and shall see my glory,

and I will set a sign among them. And from them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands far away, that have not heard my fame or seen my glory. And they shall declare my glory among the nations.

 And they shall bring all your brothers from all the nations as an offering to the LORD, on horses and in chariots and in litters and on mules and on dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the LORD, just as the Israelites bring their grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the LORD.

 And some of them also I will take for priests and for Levites, says the LORD.

 “For as the new heavens and the new earth that I make shall remain before me, says the LORD, so shall your offspring and your name remain.

 From new moon to new moon, and from Sabbath to Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me, declares the LORD.

 “And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”

 

This is one place that verifies the existence of what we call ‘hell.’

“… “And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”…”

It is not a desirable place to be.

This is one place where we read of the promise of a new heaven and a new earth; also of always being in His presence.

“… “For as the new heavens and the new earth that I make shall remain before me, says the LORD, so shall your offspring and your name remain...”

Let us be sure to be among the clean vessels,

“…bring their grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the LORD.…”

washed in the blood of Jesus, coming always to worship in His presence.

This also concludes Isaiah; fitting ending would you say?

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No covenant with death…

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.

Isaiah 28:14-23

  Therefore hear the word of the LORD, you scoffers, who rule this people in Jerusalem!

Because you have said, “We have made a covenant with death, and with Sheol we have an agreement, when the overwhelming whip passes through it will not come to us, for we have made lies our refuge, and in falsehood we have taken shelter”;

therefore thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion, a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation: ‘Whoever believes will not be in haste.’

And I will make justice the line, and righteousness the plumb line; and hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and waters will overwhelm the shelter.”

Then your covenant with death will be annulled, and your agreement with Sheol will not stand; when the overwhelming scourge passes through, you will be beaten down by it.

As often as it passes through it will take you; for morning by morning it will pass through, by day and by night; and it will be sheer terror to understand the message.

For the bed is too short to stretch oneself on, and the covering too narrow to wrap oneself in.

For the LORD will rise up as on Mount Perazim; as in the Valley of Gibeon he will be roused; to do his deed—strange is his deed! and to work his work—alien is his work!

Now therefore do not scoff, lest your bonds be made strong; for I have heard a decree of destruction from the Lord GOD of hosts against the whole land.

There is a common saying; ” only two things in life are certain; death and taxes.” For all outside the world of Christ; outside the shelter of the Most High – death is certain, and final.  For those who believe – it is a door through which we pass into life with the Most High God.  With Christ we have the promise of life eternal with God and it begins with salvation.  So we do not hold to the covenant made with death and Sheol; we have the promise of life through Christ which has annulled any agreement held with death.  We also have the promise of existence with God rather than separation from God.  Righteousness is found in Christ, “the cornerstone” who is our guide, our plumb line.  Whatever comes our way, we stand straight and true in Him.

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

Would we return to death?

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.

II Corinthians 13

This is the third time I am coming to you. Every charge must be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.   I warned those who sinned before and all the others, and I warn them now while absent, as I did when present on my second visit, that if I come again I will not spare them— since you seek proof that Christ is speaking in me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you.   For he was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but in dealing with you we will live with him by the power of God.  Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!  I hope you will find out that we have not failed the test.   But we pray to God that you may not do wrong—not that we may appear to have met the test, but that you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed.   For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth.   For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. Your restoration is what we pray for.  For this reason I write these things while I am away from you, that when I come I may not have to be severe in my use of the authority that the Lord has given me for building up and not for tearing down.   Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.   Greet one another with a holy kiss.   All the saints greet you.  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

There is a kernel of truth and knowledge hidden here among the warnings to look to ourselves and see if we truly exemplify what Christ is and what He is doing in us.

“…For he [Christ]was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. …”

Weakness implies lack of resistance.  Christ did not fight back…for that He died but it wasn’t the end.  Brought back to life; given life by power, the opposite of weakness, He continues…  God spoke death for the disobedience of men and women; He spoke it upon humanity.  When the price was paid by death; He spoke life and Christ was restored.  And so are we.  Would we then return to death?

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