Georgetownrose

…from glory to glory

Archive for the category “Treasures Both New and Old…”

Loved by God…

…a sanctified sinnerJuly 17 2018

In my recent on-line studies with Ligonier Ministries I have been learning more on God’s attribute of love.  The most recent session of the course entitled, “Loved by God,” has visited the spectacular grace revealed in the Scriptures on the subject of “God’s Electing Love.” 

Discussion questions always accompany the study sessions, and I typically dig deep into them. The online study participants are always encouraged to share their answers on the Ligonier Connect community portal where other fellow participants can comment and interact with us.

Each session has a theme verse for the topic. The topical verse for the session entitled, “God’s Electing Love” follows:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.”

—Ephesians 1:3–6

The particular discussion question which provoked my little grey cells to address dealt with the relationship between being a sinner chosen by God’s grace to be set apart for holiness and that of actually living as one sanctified by God’s grace while yet a sinner:

In what ways can sinners be holy as He is holy? Do you ever struggle with your own sanctification? In what ways have you progressed in this area of personal holiness?”

Before I could even form a thought on this question, I was driven back to the Scriptures to meditate again on the truths which my little grey cells tend to blur in the daily dust kicked up in the “helter-skelter” of the “ME” kind of life this side of Heaven. Laying hold of the Scriptures and feeding richly on the spectacular grace of the God who is the Ever living King of the cosmos cut through the accumulated “cataracts” on the eyes of this  mind He gave me and exposed the reality of being set apart by His own grace.  In realizing again that I am loved by God through His own electing grace, He “killed me softly” with His Word. What follows are the reflections on the subject of “God’s Electing Love” and the treasures which I found in His Word, both new and old…

There are two ongoing struggles in my life in this dusty existence, while yet being called out in the dust to live as one who knows the redemption from it by God’s grace. The first struggle is to remember that I am LOVED BY GOD and all that is wrapped up in that spectacular love package. The verses I have explored in this exercise are a few which ignite the fire of reality in my little grey cells and my bones and a longing to love God back. These are a few of the passages from the Word of God for my mind’s struggle to REMEMBER in this world of deceptions:

“You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you; therefore I command you this thing today.” Deuteronomy 15.15

“But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine’.” Isaiah 43.1

“The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: ‘Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you’.” Jeremiah 31.3

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.” John 10.27-29

“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.” John 15.16

“These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14.25-27

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” 1 Peter 2.9-10

“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 2 Peter 1.2-4

“…as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1.14-16

  • Created in His image and likeness to belong to Him;
  • redeemed from my corruption and the corruption of this world to know Him and to LIVE as one alive and not perishing.
  • To know His Kingdom and to declare it—to LIVE as one who belongs to His Courts, His Service, His Royal children, lieges and loved ones.

Because I am loved by God, these are the things that the Holy Spirit reminds me about this spectacular sanctification of which I am privileged to live in Christ Jesus; and it is for Him and for His glory that I live and enjoy this calling.

The second struggle is a “good fight” (1 Timothy 6.11-13) as a sinner sanctified by the holiness of God and by His love. That “good fight” is YIELDING to the counsel, conviction, and correction of the Holy Spirit, and it is truly spiritual aerobics and a full and ongoing “cardio” workout.  Because I am loved by God, feeding on the Word of God and prayer without ceasing stays my mind on what is really real and true in a world of deceptions bombarding from every side. Because I am loved by God, by His grace, I am learning increasing tenderness to the conviction of sin and an increasing hatred for any “darling” sins which I admit to resisting and hesitating to surrender to Christ’s authority to cleanse; and I am learning the terrible effects of quenching the Spirit of God’s convicting work (1 Thessalonians 5.19) and the  grief such obstinacy brings to the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4.30). I am learning an ever increasing desire for the transforming and renewing of my mind that I would not “let sin reign in my mortal body,” and that I would “not present my members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin,” but present myself “to God as being alive from the dead,” and my “members as instruments of righteousness to God.” (Romans 6.12-13) Because I am loved by God, there is that longing to more glorify God by living a “Romans 12” and a “Micah 6.8” and a “1 Thessalonians 5.16-18”  life as Christ who lives in me—the “good fight”Soli Deo Gloria!

Greetings at the Feast of Trumpets…

trumpets stained glass 3

Feast of Trumpets – Year of Our Lord 2018

The Second Coming of Christ – Ron DiCianni

Taking this special opportunity to share the joy of anticipating the return of Messiah Jesus. For all who realize the holiness of God, this season brings with it expectation and an exquisite mixture of joy and trembling, as we remember what the Lord Jesus’ work will be upon His second coming…

May all who know Him, abandon the shadows and give Him the preeminence in all things this side of glory… not only for this day, but for every day in your life as you wait His return…

May all who know the Lord Jesus declare the Truth with boldness and grace in a world which is on an irrevocable course to meet His holy appearing…

https://georgetownrose.wordpress.com/fall-feasts-of-israel/

To LIFE in Jesus!

Pray for Awakening!

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem…” –Psalm 122.6

 

Ezekiel’s Vision: The Restoration of Israel…

Bible Address: Ezekiel 36.22-32

How thorough is this restoration!

  • God promises to lead Israel back into the land He promised her, to gather her from the nations to which He scattered her in her state of rebellion against Him…
  • God promises to sprinkle clean water on her to cleanse her from all her rebellion and idolatry
  • God promises to give her a new heart and put a new spirit—His Spirit—within her and cause her to love Him and adhere to His ways
  • After this work of spiritual restoration, God promises that they will dwell in the land promised to them and be God’s people; and then the land will multiply its yield and increase and the trees will be fruitful, with no threat of famine…

This is a work of environmental restoration which comes from the hand of God when Israel comes into the knowledge of her redemption by the Lord Jesus Christ; when Israel looks upon Him whom we have pierced and grieves for Him as for an only son…when Israel recognizes that Jesus is the Holy One of Israel…How great a Yeshua! How great a Salvation!

And then all creation will rejoice, as the apostle Paul says in Romans 8.19:

“For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God…”

Many observe how Israel now blesses the world through their perseverance, inventiveness, scientific contributions, humanitarian ministries, etc. And these, for the measure of their restoration to the land, are blessings and wonders. But this is not the fullness to which Ezekiel speaks. This current state is welcome, to be sure, but it is merely a shadow, a wee foretaste, of what God promises when Israel finally comes into the fullness of faith in Christ.

In that day all creation will finally shake off the corruption and death which came upon it by the sin of man…creation finally rejoices when the prodigal sons of Israel at last return by the sovereign grace of God and behold the Lord Jesus…

Let us who now enjoy the grace of God through faith in the Lord Jesus harbor no delusions of entitlement; God declares that He will not do this for the sake of Israel, but for His holy Name’s sake, which the nations have scorned because of the rebellion of the people God chose to exalt Him (Ezekiel 36.22)… Hear this, Church…

There are no photographs or images to adequately picture this. And the apostle Paul says that “eye has not seen…nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2.9-10)…

Think about it! Wake up those little grey cells in your God-given brain! The promise of God to the prodigals of Israel in Ezekiel 36.28-30 is a promise which is full and final—no interruptions; no need for military defenses or barriers for protection or fickle political alliances. It is a promise for full restoration of the land–no pestilence; no parasites; the abolition of genetic modification and pesticides to enhance the production of the fields and the trees; the perfect balance of creation—it all comes after the ultimate return of the prodigal remnant of Israel to behold and embrace Yeshua (Ezekiel 36.25-27,31)!

Awakening to the implication of Ezekiel’s vision I am more earnestly praying for the salvation of the Jewish people, because:

“… if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness!”

–Romans 11.12

Pray for the salvation of the Jewish people

and for the Peace of Jerusalem…Psalm 122…

“Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek your good.”

–Psalm 122.9

Shavuot/The Feast of Weeks: A Gentile Woman with a Heart for Israel’s God

I am the Lord…and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. I will take you as My people, and I will be your God.”

–Exodus 6.6-7

In the Hebrew/Biblical calendar the Feast of Shavuot this year is on Sunday, June 12. And one of the traditions of the Feast of Shavuot is the reading of the Book of Ruth in the Bible. As it “happens” this year, I am teaching Sunday School in my congregation, and the curriculum we are using—completely unconscious of the Biblical Feasts—features the story of Ruth for this week…

I have been having fun making my flannel background for the felt story figures, and planning an activity or two for the particular perspective suggested by the writers of the curriculum.

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Sewing my lesson backgrounds

But most of all, I have been knocked over at the marvelous, glorious grace and power of God in the life of a Gentile woman who meets up with an Israelite family down on their luck in her home town in Moab…

 

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Previewing a scene layout

The epic tale of Ruth takes place against the backdrop of the drama of the period of Judges. The time is marked by the ebbs and flows of Israel’s devotion to the God Who took them to be His people and who keeps all His promises…

The story of Ruth begins when Naomi and Elimelech, two of the children of Israel from the tribe of Judah, in the region of Bethlehem, marry and bear two sons… During a time of great economic trouble brought about by the oppression from neighboring alien tribes, they take their two sons, leave Bethlehem, and go to live in the land of one of their enemies—Moab. During their ten-year residence in Moab, their two sons marry Moabite women, and before the ten years is past, Elimelech, and the two sons die, leaving Naomi and the two Moabite wives widowed and childless…

Naomi is devastated by the loss of her husband and two sons; she is a widow with no one of her own blood to care for her; she is an Israelite widow in a land which is inhabited by people who are hostile toward the Israelites and their occupation of Canaan… She has two Moabite daughters-in-law, and in her bereavement, she releases them from any commitment to her, and sends them back to their culture. Naomi’s yearning is to return to the land of her God and her people. In short, she would rather be a poor, childless widow in the land of her God and her people than enjoy all the cultural offerings and pleasure comforts of Moab. Surprise of all surprises! While one of the daughters-in-law returns to her Moabite culture, the other Moabite daughter-in-law declares her heart to Naomi: “Your people will be my people and your God will be my God…May the LORD strike me dead if I depart from you for any reason but death.”  Her name is Ruth…  Only a personal attachment to Naomi? No. It is more than that. The Spirit of the God of Israel has given Ruth a heart to know Him; it His name she invokes in her intention, not the name of the Moabite god Baal…

Meanwhile, back in Bethlehem, there is a close relative of Elimelech who has not found the right girl to marry. His name is Boaz. By the grace of God, he has survived at least one of the periods of chastening when God brought Israel’s enemies upon her for her blatant rebellion against Him. That chastening came in the form of severe militant oppression by an enemy tribe who would steal, pillage and destroy farm lands, livestock, homes, and carry away the women and children… Here in the time of the rocky relationship between Israel and God is a moment of grace and glory. God uses this moment in the period of upheaval to give attention to an important, world-changing promise…

Boaz has managed to make a home and a lucrative living from his land. He is enjoying an abundant harvest of barley in the spring of the year…The yield on his land is attracting the poor who have gathered to glean what they can from the leavings…

So Naomi and Ruth make their journey from Moab to Bethlehem, and upon arriving, Naomi directs Ruth to find a field where she can glean… And Ruth finds the field of Boaz…  Dumb luck? I think not…

Ruth puts feet on her faithfulness by her kindness and care for Naomi and her conduct in the gleaning patch. Boaz recognizes a woman of virtue when he sees one.  Was there no faith like Ruth’s among any of the women in Israel? As he marveled at this blessing from God, Boaz makes the decision to embrace the role of kinsman redeemer. At such a time as that, Boaz resolved to pay the price for the rights and responsibilities to own and steward Elimelech’s property; to marry Ruth and to give his cousin an heir…

So an Israelite man of the tribe of Judah marries a transformed Moabite woman of faith and they have a son who will be the grandfather of David…

…And another thing that knocks me over is that Elimelech and Naomi took their two sons to Moab to find relief from a life-threatening famine in their own land, only to end up childless and dead in Moab…Trying to avoid destitution by leaving their inheritance behind in troubled times, they ended up dead and destitute in a land pedaling a prosperity cult…

But behind the scenes in Glory, The Godhead takes counsel: Father, Son and Holy Spirit all agree for the work. The Father draws Ruth, and the Holy Spirit puts His love in a heart which beat inside a body born of the enemy Moabites. And Ruth loses everything for His sake, and God makes her the great grandmother of David… Ruth declares from the heart the Spirit of the Living God quickened to new life:

Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.”

-Ruth 1.16

God uses her to be part of His plan to keep His promise to provide The Redeemer to deliver us from our soul’s SELF-imposed sickness and poverty and starvation… even in such a time as this…

A Gentile woman chosen by God from among her people to be included in the line of Faith… A Gentile woman chosen by God from among her people to be used of the God of Israel to work out another part of His plan and promises…

So am I, for such a time as this…

25th anniv

Baruch HaShem Adonai

Another Page in My LIFE…

themasterteacher

image: Broderbund PrintShop 10, by permission

This picture speaks to me… Nothing is better to me than the sheer delight of quietly sitting at the feet of the Lord Jesus and learning what it means to be His disciple–to follow hard after Him–seeing life through His eyes, glimpsing what He wants to do with me, knowing I am His forever…

I belong to a knitting and crocheting ministry in my church, and we meet one Friday each month to pray and fellowship while we knit and crochet for others. Our recent topic for conversation included the tedium and exhausting work of unloading years of accumulated possessions in our advanced years… I am no stranger to this constant management of things, things and more things… Our conversation provoked me to think about the things that really matter to me, things I have accumulated and are in danger of being cast away like so much detritus after I die… things of which I have not been a wise steward…

Years ago, I knew I could not keep silent about what I had been discovering in the Scriptures on the subject of what it means to become one who is awakened to know the God revealed in nature, and magnified in the Scriptures. Discipling the Messianic Believer is a journal of sorts… I published a written edition of it in 1994 and issued a new edition in 2003 in print form. It has been distributed to interested ministry leaders in various countries, translated into other languages… But I don’t want the few printed copies I have sitting in my file cabinet to sit there till after I die, only to be thrown into the recycle bin as one more of those inconvenient collections of an old lady… So, I’m following the suggestion of my former mentor under whose direction I compiled the material in this manual: I am making it available on the internet…

Don’t be intimidated by the title; if you are a believer in the Lord Jesus, you will enjoy the studies in this volume. I wrote it with an Hebraic perspective in order to help non-Jewish believers in Jesus understand some of the roots of the Gospel in the Older Covenant Scriptures. This will assist them in their dialogs with Jewish friends. I also wrote it with this Hebraic perspective in order to encourage new Jewish believers that they are not less Jewish; in fact, they are  “completed Jews.” I have provided a glossary with the meanings of all the Hebraic/Yiddish terms I have used in the study guides. It addresses what I know is essential to living and walking with Messiah in this wilderness… the process… and it is more than a primer…while it is friendly to those who are beginning, it is provocative to those who are continuing…

By God’s grace I have enjoyed the nourishment and encouragement from these things for 20 years and counting… accumulating more LIFE through what I find on the pages of Scripture in these studies…  I continue to be challenged and provoked as I re-visit these studies, proving that they are never old and always relevant to every season of my life…

In its original form, I published a full unit on the Biblical Feasts which made this volume a whopping 600+ pages. As time passed, God led me to re-publish this work without that unit. The result is 18 lessons for LIFE. I thought it was significant that the Hebrew number 18 – “chai” represents life… Just a thought…

Anyway, I have added a new page to my WordPress site, devoted solely to Discipling the Messianic Believer: An Invitation for LIFE. When you visit this page, you will find links to each portion of the study manual. You may print them out and use them for your personal study.  I am not greedy for myself… I might be greedy for readers who can be nourished and transformed by what God did to me when I started studying and writing this volume…  I am definitely greedy that God would receive more glory and honor out of what He is generously pouring into my life through Messiah Jesus…

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