Have you ever tended a garden? Tilling the soil, pulling weeds, adding fertilizer, planting seeds, and watering?Continue reading “Toiling is Good”
…and having put on the breastplate of righteousness.Ephesians 6:14b.
Righteousness is one of those words that has been misconstrued through generations and cultural preference. Like many words it has lost its true meaning and has been skewed to fit a cultural climate. Some, perhaps many, might say born again believers are self righteous. That followers of Jesus feel they are morally superior. [If you feel this way, I am sorry and hope you can forgive anyone who has caused you to feel this way]. The truth is those who believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior are challenged by moral behavior just as anyone else who walks this planet. The difference is followers of Jesus have the help of Holy Spirit to guide them in and to desire a righteous lifestyle.
Several years ago I heard from a sermon that we never take off our breastplate of righteousness. Through the years I have often thought about this and realize this thought doesn’t resonate with me.
When you make a choice to follow Jesus [asking for the forgiveness of your sins and committing to learning about and living like Jesus] righteousness becomes your identity in Jesus. You have the divine approval of God; you are approved in His sight. Therefore, you cannot loose your righteousness. Sin, however, causes a break in our fellowship with God and He graciously offers the gifts of confession and repentance and Holy Spirit is faithful to help us confess and repent and we enjoy restored communion with God.
The breastplate of righteousness is God’s divine approval of all who believe in Jesus, however, Paul tells us to put on the breastplate of righteousness. This is an action we are instructed to take. The breastplate of the Roman soldier described in the Armor of God passage in Ephesians [Ephesians 6:10-17] was meant to protect a soldier’s heart. Paul encourages us to put on God’s righteousness to protect our hearts. When we actively choose to spend time with Him by reading and studying His word and through prayer and praise we are protecting our heart from a thief who wants to steal Truth from us.
The breastplate of righteousness is a choice. Will you go about your day believing you have everything under control? Or, will you seek Holy Spirit lifting your arms and choosing to have Him fit your customized breastplate over your head, cinching it into place, protecting your heart as you choose to ask Him to continue to guide you in living a life of freedom?
Choose well. Chose wisely.
Sitting at my desk looking out the second story window of my home office to the tree lined street I am struck by the plethora of color. Bright orange, deep maroon and rusty red. I am praising God for Who He Is and the word opulent comes to mind.
Opulent, such a beautiful word. I imagine light hitting a chandelier and producing fragments of multicolored sparkles on all that it touches.
I’m led to explore the definition of opulent; not satisfied I look up opulence. From one online source the definition is abundance, an opulence of fruit. Still not completely satisfied I search for the Biblical definition which is riches.
In this moment I sense the Spirit’s abundance as He richly shares His fruit with me to be shared with others.
As you journey with Him may He lavish you in His opulence as you touch those around you and your sphere of influence.
Like a treasure trove of a long lost sunken ship, it’s shimmering precious jewels-rubies, emeralds, sapphires and diamonds yet to be discovered, is God’s word.
Paul wrote these words in a letter to the Colossians that he entrusted friends to deliver as he sat in prison.
One of his friends and co-laborers that stayed behind with Paul was Mark, the author of the Gospel by that name.
Early in Paul’s missionary journey Mark had deserted Paul. I imagine Paul was most likely hurt and also a bit bitter.
But, here this verse is lavished with forgiveness, grace and love. The same virtues Jesus lavishes us with.
This course correction, this heart realignment, this forgiveness can only come from spending intimate time nurturing your relationship with Jesus.
Try this: Ask Holy Spirit to lead you to a book of the Bible to read. Write out two or three verses and ask Holy Spirit to reveal His heart to you, asking Him what He wants you to know. Journal your thoughts and put into action what He has given you.
Rest in Him.
Diamonds are considered one of the most valuable natural gemstones. They are formed by heat and pressure from deep volcanic eruptions. Once ‘birthed’ they are transformed from their rough state by cutting, shaping and polishing.
As we stay tethered to Jesus a similar process begins to take place in us. We are transformed from a rough interior and exterior by the work of Holy Spirit in us.
We are encouraged to teach and admonish one another.
Admonish. Maybe this word is a negative to you. By Biblical definition admonish is to reason with another by warning through instruction in the truth of God’s word. Applying positive pressure to one’s thinking and encouraging the choice for God’s best. His good and perfect will.
We accomplish this by meeting Jesus daily in His word and asking Him to shower us with His wisdom. We encourage one another with psalms, hymns and songs of the Spirit. We sing to God with gratitude in our hearts.
YOU, are so precious to God that your value cannot be fathomed. You are priceless.
Transformation can be hot and pressure filled. It is an ongoing process and the responsibility of Holy Spirit to renew you to be more and more like Jesus. How He thinks, how He speaks, how He acts.
He’s making a diamond out of the rough. Will you let Him?
#knowgodknowhisword #knowhiswordknowgod #discipleshipstartswithJesus
Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall. Which season is your favorite? I love everything about Fall. The bright, crisp days, the turning of the leaves from green to vibrant yellow, orange and deep red. The sense of accomplishment of the first half of the year and the readiness to hunker down for the shorter days ahead.
As we celebrate the seasons of the earth we realize that life has many seasons. Seasons that come and go. Some that are long and others that are much too short. Many of us are in a season of letting go. Some of us have been through this season before and find ourselves in the last of its kind. For some this is your first experience in this season.
Even as God has been preparing me over the last five years I find this final season one of the hardest. Yet, I know He will never leave me nor forsake me. The season of empty nesting is both sad and exciting at the same time. If you find yourself in this season I encourage you to embrace it as gladly as you do your favorite season of the year!
Precious One, your identity is found in Christ not the season.
He looked down from His holy heights—
the Lord gazed out from heaven to earth—
to hear a prisoner’s groaning,
to set free those condemned to die,
so that they might declare
the name of Yahweh in Zion
and His praise in Jerusalem,
when peoples and kingdoms are assembled
to serve the Lord. Psalm 102:19-22.
Let’s be that future generation that wasn’t yet created when these words of truth were breathed into existence. Let’s be the Church and arise across denominational lines and theological differences to praise the One true God. Let’s raise our voices as one and declare His name, which is Yahweh in Zion. Let’s be a people that includes all with one purpose…to serve the Lord.
#collectivegenerations #generationupongeneration #servetheLord #churcharise
Stand in a circle?! And pray?! That is exactly what Honi the Circle Maker did. He was an ancient Israelite scholar mentioned by Josephus in the book of “Jewish Antiquities.”
Honi drew a circle and stood in it and told God that he would not move until God provided the rain that had not come that winter. Honi prayed and God brought rain.
Rulers, scholars and religious types all thought Honi had a special relationship with God. Actually, what he had was prayer. He was so closely knit to God he knew the goodness of God’s character.
Honi wasn’t satisfied with just rain. Honi’s heart ached for the people of God. He not only desired the seasonal rain, he wanted God’s rain of favor, blessing and graciousness. Honi didn’t give up, he prayed consistent and persistent, big audacious prayers, that could only be answered by God. Then he waited in expectant anticipation for God’s answer.
Audaciously bold prayers our part of our inheritance in Jesus. You will never know unless you ask and when you ask let it come from a heart that has been steeped in the truth of God’s word and promises.
Boldly go where every man, woman and child ought to go…before the throne of God, drawing circles around your prayers.
Are you stuck in Egypt? I have been and not just once but on several occasions. How many times have I sojourned away only to find myself right back in the circumstances I so longed to be done with? And, like the ancient Israelites, I cried out to God, “Don’t you see what I’m going through?” “Don’t you care?” “God, WHERE are You?!” And every time I would leave, I would complain that things weren’t any better on the outside, and although the circumstances in Egypt were anything but ideal, I kept going back because at least I knew what to expect in captivity even if it was spiritually unhealthy. Leaving meant taking a substantial, huge, ginormous, (how many adjectives do I need to use here?!), venture in faith.
One day I was finally tired of yo-yoing back and forth, back and forth, (that and the Holy Spirit had been nudging me for months to explore what was beyond my captivity). With some help from my spiritual father and a whole lot of Jesus, I packed my bags and never looked back!
Have you over stayed your welcome in Egypt? I encourage you with these words of Moses.
“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14.
Join me on
When I was a little girl I grew up in a time where we practiced duck and cover under our school desks to the sound of an air raid siren. This was a post WWII mechanism that was still in effect after the Viet Nam War, the world that was my reality then; free love, hippies and the peace sign, but I digress. I really despised that siren, even though it was designed to give us a chance to be safe, in the event our country were attacked by airplanes dropping bombs.
My childhood home was in the flight path of NAS Moffett Field, where the mighty P3 Orion could be seen and heard on descent into the air field. Sometimes, as I recall, there would be more than one flying in formation and multiple times throughout the day. For some reason, in my five-year old mind, I thought these mighty aircrafts were the reason the air raid sirens would sound. I remember every time I would see or hear the P3’s I would run and hide in our house. I did a lot of hiding back then! You see, I believed something as truth about my reality that was a big fat lie!
This morning as I was traipsing through Galatians 3 and absorbing all the goodness and truth there and I was stopped along the way by some verses that jumped out at me.
Consider Abraham: “He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness. Galatians 3:6
God counted Abraham as righteous simply because he believed God. He believed the truth that God would bless all nations through him, that God had called him to be the physical and spiritual father of the Jews and eventually all believers including Gentiles.
The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham. Galatians 3:8a
Even then, Scripture, which is Jesus Himself, was moving toward his creation with the gift of salvation for EVERYONE!
Precious One, the gospel has been here since before time, as we know it, began. Waiting for you to believe and receive and nurture the truth in your heart through your relationship with Christ.
And as I reflect back, I see that air raid sirens can be very beneficial especially when one goes off in your heart when Satan is tempting you to question the integrity and truth of God’s word. But, instead of running and hiding, you can stand firmly on the truth of Scripture which invades your heart every time you spend time with Him.
By the way, I eventually married a P3 Flight Engineer.