I have seen and testified …

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:

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! “This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’  “I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water.”  And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him.  “I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’  “And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.”

Eyewitness accounts passed along for the benefit of all who come after.   The Word in flesh, meant for sacrifice. The sacrifice that would atone for sin. There is a greater death than the death of this life.  The wages of sin is death; a death of separation from God for eternity.  Because Jesus came, God’s message to His creation has been carried world-wide, no longer confined to Israel.

Pray – I am so blessed for I am able to know you even from a distance in time and trust you as David did from a distance.  With David I can say “I am dying to know your salvation, my hope is in your word.

Repent – I repent for the moments of doubt that come with thoughts I have not taken captive and made obedient to You, Lord.

Ask – Teach me good judgment and knowledge, because I trust your Word.

Yes – You are good, and you do good; teach me your laws.  It is for my good that I have been humbled; it was so I could learn your laws.

Source: John and Psalms

Armed, protected and ready…

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:

10Finally, grow powerful in union with the Lord, in union with his mighty strength! 11Use all the armor and weaponry that God provides, so that you will be able to stand against the deceptive tactics of the Adversary. 12For we are not struggling against human beings, but against the rulers, authorities and cosmic powers governing this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm. 13So take up every piece of war equipment God provides; so that when the evil day comes, you will be able to resist; and when the battle is won, you will still be standing. 14Therefore, stand! Have the belt of truth buckled around your waist, put on righteousness for a breastplate, 15and wear on your feet the readiness that comes from the Good News of shalom. 16Always carry the shield of trust, with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the Evil One. 17And take the helmet of deliverance; along with the sword given by the Spirit, that is, the Word of God; 18as you pray at all times, with all kinds of prayers and requests, in the Spirit, vigilantly and persistently, for all God’s people.

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/eph.6>

What to do?  How does one do the Word?  Grow powerful in union with the Lord.  Direct thoughts and questions toward Christ first.  Then put on and take up God’s armor.  It’s another set of gifts!  This armor is specifically designed to combat those in the spiritual realm that are always ready to attack the believer.

First, fasten the belt of truth around your core.  Here is the support needed to stand upright.  Truth is that spoken in the Word and truth is Christ, ” I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me..”  Next, put on righteousness as a breastplate, protecting the inner core of the believer.  This is God’s righteousness, able to do more than protect and supported by the belt.  On the feet fasten the shoes of peace, a unique peace hard to explain but there none-the-less.  Shoes designed to grip and dig in on slippery slopes of spiritually designed accusations and lies meant to make the believer trip and fall.   Now take up the helmet, shield and sword.

The helmet protects the mind and gives access to all God has spoken and done. With the uniform  on, the rest of the weapons available can be picked up for use in battle.  The shield of faith or trust will deflect the arrows of accusation coming often in the form of thoughts or words spoken by another.  God’s Word trumps all others and faith in that Word can be used a shield.  Which will the believer listen to and trust; God or other?  The sword is the Word given as truth and able to put to flight or final rest the attacks that come.

Finally, activate it all in prayer, with prayer.  There’s a scripture for every thought or word coming from the liar; it can be found and prayed against the lie.  And the lie will die its death, defeated by truth.  Search the scriptures daily for those healing words, those defensive words, words of recovery and words to take on the offensive which will attack and defeat the lie.  They are all there to be used.

When prayer rises, God activates his power on our behalf wherever we ask it to be directed.  His power activated is able ” to accomplish more than we can ask or imagine. ” His words spoken in prayer will “accomplish what they are set to do; they will not return empty, void.”

Pray – Help me, Father, to begin each day putting on the uniform You’ve given; that which identifies me as Yours.  Upon rising, may I speak Your truth putting on the belt, may I recognize the breastplate you’ve given of righteousness and be encouraged to get up and move forward, protected.  May I remember the shoes of Your peace that will help me stand firm.  I want that helmet to protect my mind; help me fill my mind with Your Word to be used as needed. I will take up the shield of faith for my trust is in You alone and I will follow Christ’s example and use Your Word, the sword of truth to fight the enemy.

Repent – I repent for waiting so long to fill up on Your Word when it is so vital to my success as Your child and servant.

Ask – May my ways be steady in observing Your laws.  Then I will not be put to shame, since I fixed my sight on all Your ways.

Yes – Praise Adonai, all you nations!  Worship him, all you peoples!  For his grace has overcome us, and Adonai’s truth continues forever.

Source: Ephesians and Psalms 119

He came…He is…

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:

16“For God so loved the world that he gave his only and unique Son, so that everyone who trusts in him may have eternal life, instead of being utterly destroyed. 17For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but rather so that through him, the world might be saved. 18Those who trust in him are not judged; those who do not trust have been judged already, in that they have not trusted in the one who is God’s only and unique Son.

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

It may be this is quoted so often it is not fully understood.  It may be, as is often the case, it is so isolated in the quoting the context is lost and the full implication is missed for some.

Where there is already a judgment levied against an offender there is no requirement for more judgment.  The general creation has already been judged and found guilty.  Jesus did not come, therefore, to place more judgment; rather he came to pay the penalty so those already judged could be free of their judgment, death.

Someone engaging in sin is not being judged if the sin is exposed; they are already judged.  Exposing the sin provides opportunity for forgiveness of its consequences.  Exposure provides opportunity for change.

Those accepting the payment made for them by Christ are set free from the penalty already imposed.  They receive life for death.  They receive freedom from bondage.  They receive peace due to a restored relationship with God.

Pray – Lord, long before You came, David, prophets of old, all who know you knew you were coming.  They knew.  They knew salvation was part of Your plan from the beginning; salvation from the penalty of sin.  May your grace come to me, Adonai, Your salvation, as You promised; then I will have an answer for those who taunt me.  The enemy with his accusations will flee.  The thoughts that rise will be taken captive and brought into obedience to You; for I trust in Your Word.

Repent – God, You know how foolish I am; my guilt is not hid from You.  Let my prayer to You come at an acceptable time; in Your great grace, God, answer me with the truth of Your salvation.

Ask – May Your grace come to me, Adonai, Your salvation as you promised.  Don’t take away completely my power to speak the truth; for I put my hope in Your rulings; and I will keep Your commands always, forever and ever.

Yes – Bless the Lord, my soul!  Everything in me bless his holy name!  Bless the Lord, my soul and forget none of His benefits!

Source:  John and Psalms

Fighting 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

From Ephesians:

We will then no longer be infants tossed about the waves and blown along by every wind of teaching, at the mercy of people clever in devising ways to deceive.  Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will  in every respect grow up into him who is the head, the Messiah.  Under his control, the whole body is being fitted and held together by the support of every joint, with each part working to fulfill its function; this is how the body grows and builds itself up in love.

Each believer has a given task and when they act in obedience they assist in building a strong fellowship.  This can be visualized as soldiers who position themselves arms locked together in a line and standing firm supported on all sides by comrades with a similar purpose under the leadership of Christ.  A line that cannot be broken.

Any teaching, any  new ‘wave’ that breaks up the line is not of God.  Instruction comes today as it did for Paul and the apostles through the scripture and personal experience that lines up with scripture.  These men all received instruction in scripture from an early age.  Jesus did as well.

It is a sign of maturity that one who is grounded in scripture will not be tossed about by every wave, every wind promising something new because they have been firmly planted in God’s teaching, God’s words.

Pray – Help me, God, to stand firm with the belt of truth buckled around my waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place and with my feet fitted with peace.  Also,  help me to take up the shield of faith, with which I can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Help me to put on the helmet of salvation and take up  the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.  Help me to pray, in the Spirit, on all occasions, with all kinds of prayers and requests.  With this in mind, help me to be alert and always keep on praying for all the those you have placed in my path.

Repent – I repent for wasting time and energy being concerned about what may be the onslaught of deception instead of spreading the truth of your Word, sharing what is right. I repent for having my focus on the error rather than on righteousness.

Ask – Mighty God, Your Word clearly states that Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.  Help me to be able to discern by your Spirit because his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Guard the hearts and minds of your children against deception with the sure knowledge that even the evil one knows and uses your words.

Yes – Glorious God, I thank you for qualifying me to share in the inheritance of those in the kingdom of light.  For you have rescued me from the dominion of darkness and brought me into the kingdom of the Son You love, in whom I have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Thank you for the continued growth and maturity available to all who search your word.

Resources: Colossians 1, 2 Corinthians 11, Ephesians 6

Thanks to Beth Moore: Praying God’s Word. 

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.

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

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.