Oneness…the Power of One

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:

Therefore, I, the prisoner united with the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you’ve been called

Always be humble, gentle and patient, bearing with one another in love, and making every effort to preserve the unity the Spirit gives through the binding power of shalom.  There is one body and one Spirit, just as when you were called you were called to one hope.  And there is one Lord, one trust, one immersion, and one God, the Father of all, who rules over all, works through all and is in all.

One is powerful; one implies unity and strength.  One is constant; one is pure. Look at all the facets oneness possesses.

One has no division; one works together, may be many but having one purpose.  The cord composed of three or more strands is still one; it is combined to give strength.

Christ brought the peace of oneness.  One call, one hope, one Lord, one body, one Spirit, one trust, one immersion, one God all give purpose and strength.  All is the result of one love; the love of the Father for the creation, so lost, and their love in return.  The same love sent Christ and provided his peace for all.

Pray – We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord and Your banner over us is love.

Repent – I repent for those times I am so focused on me I forget I am part of something much greater.

Ask – Keep my focus on our oneness in You

Yes – O how good, how pleasant it is for brothers and sisters to live together in harmony.

Nothing new…

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 4:9-16

Rehum the commander, Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their associates, the judges, the governors, the officials, the Persians, the men of Erech, the Babylonians, the men of Susa, that is, the Elamites, and the rest of the nations whom the great and noble Osnappar deported and settled in the cities of Samaria and in the rest of the province Beyond the River.   (This is a copy of the letter that they sent.) “To Artaxerxes the king: Your servants, the men of the province Beyond the River, send greeting. And now be it known to the king that the Jews who came up from you to us have gone to Jerusalem. They are rebuilding that rebellious and wicked city. They are finishing the walls and repairing the foundations.

Now be it known to the king that if this city is rebuilt and the walls finished, they will not pay tribute, custom, or toll, and the royal revenue will be impaired.

Now because we eat the salt of the palace and it is not fitting for us to witness the king’s dishonor, therefore we send and inform the king,  in order that search may be made in the book of the records of your fathers. You will find in the book of the records and learn that this city is a rebellious city, hurtful to kings and provinces, and that sedition was stirred up in it from of old. That was why this city was laid waste.  We make known to the king that if this city is rebuilt and its walls finished, you will then have no possession in the province Beyond the River.”

Politics has not changed with time.  What has gone before continues.  Lies are published and truth obscured.  Those without wisdom do not seek truth but listen to flattery and suggestions as if they were truth.   Who among us takes the time to seek truth?  If the truth of why the Jews were sent had been known the letter would have been seen in its true light.  But that was not the case as will be seen.  We are warned to be alert and to stand.  We are to seek truth and stand.  We have a higher power that enables us.

transformed…

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.

Colossians 1:11-20

 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy,

 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,   in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.   And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.   And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.   For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,  and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

So, in Christ we see God our Father and Creator.  And light is spoken once again into the darkness; a darkness that crept over the face of earth as mankind turned their backs on  God to go their own way.  So as we  turn back through Christ, light enters our world once more.  And now we speak in spiritual terms.  This light transcends all other light.  It illuminates the soul and we grow as spiritual beings in Christ.  In this we become transformed into overcomers of all that the darkness tries to throw at us.

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, WordPress charges a fee.  I apologize for any inconvenience these ads may cause you and if they are inappropriate please message me.  Thank you, gracie

Not us, but 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.

II Corinthians 10

  I, Paul, myself entreat you, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold toward you when I am away!—I beg of you that when I am present I may not have to show boldness with such confidence as I count on showing against some who suspect us of walking according to the flesh.  For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh.  For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.   We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete. Look at what is before your eyes. If anyone is confident that he is Christ’s, let him remind himself that just as he is Christ’s, so also are we.   For even if I boast a little too much of our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you, I will not be ashamed.  I do not want to appear to be frightening you with my letters.   For they say, “His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account.”   Let such a person understand that what we say by letter when absent, we do when present.   Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.   But we will not boast beyond limits, but will boast only with regard to the area of influence God assigned to us, to reach even to you. For we are not overextending ourselves, as though we did not reach you. For we were the first to come all the way to you with the gospel of Christ.  We do not boast beyond limit in the labors of others. But our hope is that as your faith increases, our area of influence among you may be greatly enlarged,   so that we may preach the gospel in lands beyond you, without boasting of work already done in another’s area of influence.   “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”  For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.

Paul highlights that what we do for the kingdom of God we do for God not ourselves.  Also, as we are faithful, the Lord brings the increase, Christ’s gospel is the draw; if not, what grows out of the work will fail.

“…”Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”  For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends. …”

There is a power available to do great things, but that power is not ours; it is the Lord’s and we do well to guard against taking credit for what is another’s.

“…We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,…”

“… For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.   …”

We overcome the voices that bombard us with clamor and confusion; we do this with the Word of God, therefore it is His power that overcomes as we avail ourselves of it.  We do not need to be in a state of confusion, we do not need to be in a place of arguing over words and thoughts.  We do use the  power of God through Jesus Christ to defeat the thoughts that would try to hinder the work of God in us and in others.  Be alert, be in the word, be grounded in Christ and give Him all the glory ,honor and praise for what He does.

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, WordPress charges a fee.  I apologize for any inconvenience these ads may cause you and if they are inappropriate please message me.  Thank you, gracie

Prayer is power…

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 1:11

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God that is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in the whole of Achaia: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,  who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.  For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.   If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer.  Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.  For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself.  Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.  He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.  You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.

Our prayers are effective.  They include praise, worship and raising the needs of others before the Lord.  Our sufferings have purpose as well.  They remind us each time that our God is able to deliver and enable us to be of comfort to others who suffer, pointing them to the one who comforts us all.  What happens to us is mere circumstance, much like the resistance in weight training that we use to exercise and build our muscular strength.  The Balm of Gilead, a salve that soothes is Christ and he is our comfort.  This can be shared with others who suffer. We receive encouragement when we encourage others. Let us spread the comfort of the sweet cream of Christ over those around us who suffer.  Let us take it for ourselves when we suffer and know its comfort.  Spread prayer over our land so it may be healed of the evil that has invaded like an insidious infection.  Spread prayer before the infection gets into the blood stream and vital organs and kills the living organism of our nation.  Spread prayer to give comfort to the oppressed, neglected and abused.  Spread prayer and know its power.  Spread prayer and see its power.

“…You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many. …”

“…Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,  who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, …”

Rest in the power of 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 2:1-5

 And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom.

For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

Paul is illustrating how what comes from God is evident because it is beyond human capabilities.  He was highly educated but did not use that in his message.  He spoke only of Christ,  Him crucified and salvation for mankind given by God.  We can take from this model a similar approach in reaching those around us who do not know the gospel.  It does not take a highly educated person to preach the gospel, nor to receive it.  In fact, man’s education when not based on biblical principles does more harm than good.  It becomes a hindrance to the things of God.  Rather, when we share the gospel, we rely on the Spirit of God for understanding of Scripture, for the words to speak, for the love to demonstrate.  We will share Christ with those around us, in word and in action.  Let those who are not believers see and experience the love of God through us.  Let His power flow through us to others.  Give it away…

…walking in the fear of the Lord …

Acts 9:19-30

So when he had received food, he was strengthened. Then Saul spent some days with the disciples at Damascus.

Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God. Then all who heard were amazed, and said, “Is this not he who destroyed those who called on this name in Jerusalem, and has come here for that purpose, so that he might bring them bound to the chief priests?” But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who dwelt in Damascus, proving that this Jesus is the Christ. Now after many days were past, the Jews plotted to kill him. But their plot became known to Saul. And they watched the gates day and night, to kill him. Then the disciples took him by night and let him down through the wall in a large basket.

And when Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not believe that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. So he was with them at Jerusalem, coming in and going out. And he spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus and disputed against the Hellenists, but they attempted to kill him. When the brethren found out, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him out to Tarsus.

Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.

The name of Jesus, so powerful and so feared brings life and healing, conflict and havoc.  Saul lost the blindness of his soul and his eyes.  The effect was an immediate response on his part to share the name of Jesus, the very practice he had fought.  Change? Yes, from an encounter with Jesus and the freedom from the bondage of mankind’s tyranny and traditions.  This change was the work of the Holy Spirit and spread throughout the region.  The fellowship of believers grew through the power of the Holy Spirit.   Saul did not make the difference, the name of Jesus spoken by Saul made the difference.  We, alone and of ourselves, do not make the difference, but we can and will make a difference when we move in the power of the Holy Spirit.  …”And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.”…  As we allow the Lord to lead, as we continue living according to His commands and words, we will see the same results.  Walk in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit today and everyday.

Come together…

Acts 4:23-31

And being let go, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: “Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, who by the mouth of Your servant David  have said:

‘Why did the nations rage,

And the people plot vain things?

The kings of the earth took their stand,

And the rulers were gathered together

Against the LORD and against His Christ.’

“For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together  to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done. Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word,  by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.”

And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.

When attacked they came together and prayed.  When we experience spiritual warfare our immediate response should be likewise.  Call fellow believers together and pray.  Their prayers recognized first the sovereignty of God, then remembered what he had done.  They acknowledged the threats then asked for intervention from the Lord as they indicated their intent to continue to spread his Word.  The response from God was to fill them once more with his Spirit and enable them to continue to speak his Word with boldness.  We have the same promise.  The scriptures share with us their  situation along with their response.  We can apply the same today.  We too are not exempt from spiritual warfare and it comes from all directions.  When we find ourselves in that place we too can come together for support, and turn collectively toward the One who can intervene and empower.  “they spoke the word of God with boldness.”  We too can speak with boldness the word of God.

Boldness to share…

Acts 3:11-16

Now as the lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the porch which is called Solomon’s, greatly amazed.  So when Peter saw it, he responded to the people: “Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?  The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus, whom you delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go.  But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you,  and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses. And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.

 To God be the glory, great things He has done.  One who denied any affiliation with Jesus because of fear, now has no fear and in the daylight, before all, gives credit to Jesus for the healing of a man crippled from birth.  We are crippled  from birth in our sin, yet when one who has received from God the message of total healing made possible through the death and resurrection of Jesus shares that knowledge and understanding with us, we too are healed, set free from the bondage of fear that can cripple.  Peter is a changed man, receiving the power and boldness given by the Holy Spirit to defeat the fear that hindered him earlier.  He is now able to deliver the same healing to another.  Faith at work, faith in the name of Jesus given by God the Father.  And so we too share at every opportunity, the healing of self that is possible through Christ.  We share His word as Peter shared through the Word, the name of Jesus Christ, and God is glorified.

http://youtu.be/ymrZO1PZbU4

The link above will enable you to give glory to God the Father.  May it bless you this day as it has me.  Lord bless.

change…what makes the difference?

Acts 2:14-21

But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words.  For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day.  But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,

That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;

Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,

Your young men shall see visions,

Your old men shall dream dreams.

And on My menservants and on My maidservants

I will pour out My Spirit in those days;

And they shall prophesy.

 I will show wonders in heaven above

And signs in the earth beneath:

Blood and fire and vapor of smoke.

The sun shall be turned into darkness,

And the moon into blood,

Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD.

And it shall come to pass

That whoever calls on the name of the LORD

Shall be saved.’

 Peter, standing…raised his voice…said to the crowd…  A changed man, he now finds the boldness and power to use his voice instead of his sword, he now declares to all who can hear that he is allied with Jesus rather than denying the Lord in a courtyard, in the dark.  This contrast brought by change due to the power of the Holy Spirit given to us following Christ’s sacrifice for us is played out over and over again among those God calls to be his own.  Among those who respond to the call and receive the gift of love and life Jesus provided for us a new man/woman rises. 

Peter begins his affirmation with a passage from Scripture.  The power of the Word of God brings knowledge and understanding.  With knowledge and understanding comes life, life new, life changed.  A testimony in itself of the power of the Holy Spirit to make a difference in our lives.  With this pouring out of His Spirit we can expect much.  The list is impressive.  Look around and see the arm of God in our daily life… listen to what you hear around you, look at the signs in nature and men…these are the last days and God is still God.  Whoever calls on the name of the Lord is still being saved from the old ways and their consequences.  Salvation reunites us with the God who created us.  Answer His call, respond, and watch the change that occurs within us.  

 Caterpillar to Butterfly

 Change

Boldness instead of cowering

Flight or crawl

Change

Voice instead of sword

Color or monotone

Change

Persuasion rather than violence

Growth or destruction

Change

No fear…

           -gracie