Georgetownrose

from glory to glory…

Archive for the tag “from the heart”

An “Indivisible” American Heart…

Just thinking out loud…something I do not quite understand about the current media and political upheaval over talking to foreign diplomats/businessmen/guests during an election campaign season…

Observation #1: Former President Obama and the Democratic Party are generally in favor of global trade, free access between countries to trade and traffic… “the global economy” idea…

Observation #2: In this country, we value freedom of speech; there are countless champions for that right given in our Constitution…

Observation #3: In this country, a political candidate has the right to raise funds and support from willing parties… in recent years, those who are resident aliens, enjoying the blessings of the Democratic welcome of living and working here, in the interest of free trade, etc., exercise their freedom of speech to dine with and be invited guests of a political candidate whose ideas and business philosophy interest them… especially since he might become the next “leader of the free world…”

Observation #4: But Democratic advocates for free speech and global trade and traffic and unified global economy and good relations suddenly object to another political candidate even speaking with peers/businessmen/government emissaries of the foreign country — whose relationship has not been defined as outwardly hostile at any particular level (or maybe it is a personal dislike of the former “leader of the free world.”) Democratic advocates for free speech dismiss these resident aliens and deport them for talking to and liking the platform of the other candidate…

As I read what is being presented in the media, the only thing that is apparent is that Mr. Flynn lied to the FBI about exercising his right to entertain and talk with people from another country…potential supporters of the potential new leader of the free world… the lie was wrong.

But here is another thing which puzzles me: It is now the outraged champions of free speech–the Democratic party–which have instigated an FBI investigation into this other country’s “meddling” in the 2016 election. What constitutes meddling? Having been dissatisfied with previous avenues of accusation and investigation into “meddling,” the FBI is now directed by the Democratic champions of free speech to turn its inquisitive eye upon the team members of the current President’s office, announcing the “criminality” of his conversations with people from the country the previous President evicted in response to his own unproven suspicions of “meddling.”

Believe me when I say this: witch hunting is an abominable thing for a people to be doing–regardless of who is in the “people’s house,” (aka The White House).

I have nothing else to say on this matter, except to go to the Sovereign Lord in fervent prayer…

LORD! There is so much going on which so many of us do not see. If it is Your Will, by Your grace, protect us from ourselves!

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The Day of Atonement: The Offering and The High Priest…

Messiah Jesus:

So Great an Atonement!

The Feast of Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) is one of the most solemn of the Biblical Holy Days. It is also complex in that those who are tuned in to the significance of this holy day realize there is both affliction of the soul and a thanksgiving for a way of reconciliation with God. I have written several instructive pieces for observance of Yom Kippur, all of them with what the Scriptures say of Messiah Yeshua at the center of them.

Yom Kippur comes from the Hebrew word kapporeth which means covering or mercy seat. The lid on the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies was the mercy seat or kapporeth. On Yom Kippur the Jewish people beg God for mercy and forgiveness for their sins.

When we examine ourselves in the Light of a Holy God, we should realize that God owes us no means of atonement at all. The Day of Atonement is the blessed celebration of the grace of a Holy God in providing A Way for forgiveness of our rebellion and treason against Him.

My remembrance focuses on the power of the blood of God’s Holy One for the remission of sins, the rescue from condemnation, and the ransom from the power of sin–all given to those who trust in God’s Holy One, Messiah Jesus…

While I was studying the traditions of the Jewish observances of the Day of Atonement, I found the following among their traditional prayers:

Our righteous Messiah has departed from us. We are horror-stricken, and have none to justify us. Our iniquities and the yoke of our transgressions He carries who is wounded because of our trransgressions. He bears on His shoulder the burden of our sins, to find pardon for all our iniquities. By His stripes we shall be healed–O Eternal One, it is time that you should create Him anew!”

…straight from the text of Isaiah 53.4-6

The Offering…

Because there is no fellowship with a Holy God without satisfying His requirements under the Law for full atonement for unrighteousness, God Himself established the tradition forever that the Day of Atonement may not be celebrated without the offerings He appointed for that holy day. The following passages clearly outline the offerings and the duties of the high priest on this most solemn of days: Leviticus 16 and Leviticus 23.27-32

  • The blood of bulls and goats could only provide forgiveness until a man thought or did something sinful again; then more bulls and goats would have to die–over and over, again and again.

  • The Temple in Jerusalem is gone, and not even the sin offerings can be made anymore. God took away the Temple and the old sacrifices to give us a perfect Sacrifice through the Blood of Yeshua the Messiah.

  • If Yeshua’s atonement only pays for the sins of a believer, he would only be restored to the innocence of Adam. As soon as the believer sinned again, Yeshua would have to die again. But Yeshua’s atonement is so great that God does more than take away the believer’s sins. The blood of Yeshua’s atonement also rescues the believer from the enemies that rebel against God’s goodness–our sin nature and Satan’s influence on it. The blood of Yeshua’s atonement enables the believer to serve God without distrust in holiness and righteousness before Him all his days. The blood of Yeshua’s atonement cleanses the believer’s conscience from acts that lead to death, so that he may serve the living God! Messiah Yeshua! So Great an Atonement!

This bears repeating:

The blood of bulls and goats and lambs cannot do the job of cleansing the deep well of sin in the heart of a person. One minute after the sun went down on the Day of Atonement, a person could be in trouble again with God. The more a person was aware of sin in his/her life, the more often he/she was at the altar of sacrifice with a sin offering–until…

The Lamb of God…

The Scriptures tell of the provisions for the offering in God’s “First Covenant” for reconciliation and His “Last Covenant” for reconciliation in  Hebrews 10.1-4

For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.”

The description of God’s provision for the offering is spoken by the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 53. The description of this great offering comes into clear focus in Hebrews 10.5-10. The Holy One Himself said…

…’Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.’ He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

Yom Kippur in the Newness of the Holy Spirit…

Remembering the holiness of God and the Great Atonement He accomplished through the blood of Messiah Yeshua are the most important traditions in celebrating the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). Some Jewish traditions can help a child of God to do that; some Jewish traditions can distract from that calling–especially if the focus is upon observing the traditions while neglecting intimacy with God…If one has a personal “tradition” of neglecting intimacy with God all other times, he/she may not hear the call of God’s trumpet, and will not be ready and willing to observe the stillness God calls His own to practice during this holy season of rest…

If you believe that Yeshua is the Great Atonement, you can begin a new season of confessing your sins to God, trusting in Yeshua’s blood for forgiveness. Remember that the atonement of Yeshua is so great that it has the power to cleanse and renew your heart to obey God more and more…

Daily Cleansing…

Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

–Psalm 139.23-24

But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”

–1 John 1.7-10

  • ŸWhat would it be like for us if we could not see when our appearance is less than acceptable to others: dirty faces, soiled clothing, unkempt hair, etc?  We would not have the advantage of knowing and correcting the problems…

  • ŸWhat would happen to us if we failed to bathe and brush our teeth. We would smell bad; others would avoid us. In our culture we would not dream of going to school or to worship services or to work in such an unacceptable condition…

  • ŸThe availability in our culture of soap and clean running water to make us socially acceptable. It would be easy for us to take it for granted…

  • ŸBelievers in Messiah Yeshua are called by the covenant feast of Yom Kippur to daily walk in the light of God’s Word; and to daily “bathe” and be cleansed by the blood of Yeshua, The Holy One.

how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him?”

–Hebrews 2.3

The Priest” (Go to Page 2)

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The Days of Awe and the Eve of Yom Kippur

Listen to the sound of the shofar!

Today we are on the threshold of one of the most solemn Biblical Holy Days, The Day of Atonement. As the shofar is sounded today, we remember two major implications of what we have been remembering on all the other Days of Awe and Remembrance…

The first is this: God’s promise to gather the remnant of Israel to the Messiah has not been revoked.

The prophet Daniel speaks of a time when the people of Israel will endure a trouble unlike any they have ever known in history, but God will deliver them so that they would not be destroyed. Daniel 12:1

Many of Israel have already believed in Jesus and gone to be with Him; but the prophet Isaiah speaks of God’s promise to  gather all the people of Israel who remain after the time of Jacob’s trouble. Isaiah 11.11-13

The apostle Paul exhorts those who believe in the Lord Jesus to remember that, although there is a blindness in part afflicting Israel until the Gentiles come to the fullness of either their part in salvation or their iniquities, God’s irrevocable desire is to deliver Israel from ungodliness. Romans 11.25-29


So before we go on to the second implication, consider how this truth is applicable to your life in times like these…

What is the attitude of your heart toward the Jewish people?

Since none of us knows who is blinded–either Jew or non-Jew–and who is not, are you a co-laborer with Messiah Jesus in gathering the Jewish people to safety in Him?

Will you pray for those who are yet unbelieving?

Will you engage in redemptive dialog with those whom God brings into your sphere of influence?

Ask God to give you the heart and the training to be a gatherer of Israel during your generation…

Continued on Page 2…

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Mea Culpa…

…or how to avoid misusing the blog…

Some of my followers know that I publish annual, seasonal content during the autumn holydays and other celebrations of faith in Messiah Jesus. This year, I found a way to re-set my publishing dates on the content of the Feast of Trumpets and the Days of Awe. I needed to edit the content and re-format it to some degree in each day’s post. Then, I found the little setting in the “Status” box to re-schedule the post for the appropriate date coinciding with the content presented…

Most of my  re-scheduled posts appeared in the Reader, but at least two did not. When I made inquiry to the “Help” staff of WordPress, I was ultimately directed to a paragraph in the “Misuse” category which characterized such re-schedulings of posts  as attempting to force my posts to the top of the reading heap…  

Little did I know that I had misused the blog by simply re-scheduling the post to coincide with this year’s dates of observance. I did not intend to try to “push” my post to the top of the tag results to compete for “top of the heap” viewing.  I simply wished to move it from its previous year’s publish date to a current publish date to coincide with this year’s observances.  I did not see this as a “misuse” of the blog; to me, it is very appropriate to be able to move seasonal/annual content from year to year in the publishing/reader queue for the benefit of both old and new followers…

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IF, however, WordPress is sensitive to this kind of operation, then I will find an alternative–if not as accommodating–way to direct the readership to the annual content in such a way that does not violate WPs sensitivities…

My apologies to all my fellow bloggers for this unintended discourtesy… 

Feast of Trumpets and the Days of Awe 8

Listen to the sound of the shofar!

Remember the Great Day of Judgment and Messiah’s deliverance for those who trust in His atoning blood…

For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt…The great day of the LORD is near; it is near and hastens quickly. The noise of the day of the LORD is bitter; there the mighty men shall cry out. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of devastation and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of trumpet and alarm against the fortified cities and against the high towers…For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ…” 

–Exodus 12.12-13; Zephaniah 1.14-16; 1 Thessalonians 5.9*

Our world cries for justice, yet hates judgment. Do you see the nonsense in that kind of thinking? Many are offended at the idea of judgment and even ignore it when they are sharing the gospel with people.

Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand all… ‘But you are those who forsake the Lord, who forget My holy mountain, who prepare a table for Gad, and who furnish a drink offering for Meni. Therefore I will number you for the sword, and you shall all bow down to the slaughter; because, when I called, you did not answer; when I spoke, you did not hear, but did evil before My eyes, and chose that in which I do not delight’.”

–Proverbs 28.5; Isaiah 65.11-12

They speak only of salvation and redemption.  But if there is no judgment, why bother with salvation and redemption? And if there is no judgment, then, beloved, there is no justice. Think about that the next time you hire a lawyer to settle your complaint in court…

The truth is that much of what we know about judgment comes from the lips of Jesus Himself. If you look closely at the way He refers to Himself in the Scriptures, you will see He calls Himself the “Son of man” which means The Judge in the Bible…

I watched till thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire; a fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was  seated, and the books were opened. I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking; I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame. As for the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed… For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.’

–Daniel 7.10-14; John 5.22-27

Start to pray for those you know who are in danger of condemnation because of their rejection of Messiah’s atoning sacrifice.   Ask God to give you the words and the courage to share them with someone who needs to be reminded that judgment is coming…

‘But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be…Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doingBut if that evil servantbegins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth’.

–Matthew 24.37-39,44-46,48-51

Will you be guilty of disobedience in your behavior with others when you face Messiah?

*NOTE: In the right hand column of my site, there is a link to Bible Gateway, which provides excellent, free, online access to multiple translations of the Bible. There is easy access with search windows to find passages either by a word or phrase or by the Bible reference itself. Enjoy discovering the Word of God online.

The Feast of Trumpets and the Days of Awe 7

Listen to the sound of the shofar!

Today it sounds to remind you of Messiah’s return to receive His own to Himself.

I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”

— Isaiah 61.10*

Those who believe that Yeshua is Lord know that He  is the Bridegroom to whom the Scriptures refer. He is preparing a place for His Bride, the Body of Messiah. He has promised to return for His Bride.

In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

–John 14.2-3

Are you living your life for Him only? Are you keeping your life pure for Him? Will He be offended by some resentment you are harboring toward someone you have not forgiven?

Listen, O daughter, consider and incline your ear; forget your own people also, and your father’s house; so the King will greatly desire your beauty; because He is your Lord, worship Him. And the daughter of Tyre will come with a gift; the rich among the people will seek your favor. The royal daughter is all glorious within the palace; her clothing is woven with gold. She shall be brought to the King in robes of many colors; the virgins, her companions who follow her, shall be brought to You. With gladness and rejoicing they shall be brought; they shall enter the King’s palace. Instead of Your fathers shall be Your sons, whom You shall make princes in all the earth. I will make Your name to be remembered in all generations; therefore the people shall praise You forever and ever.”

–Psalm 45.10-17

*NOTE: In the right hand column of my site, there is a link to Bible Gateway, which provides excellent, free, online access to multiple translations of the Bible. There is easy access with search windows to find passages either by a word or phrase or by the Bible reference itself. Enjoy discovering the Word of God online.

The Feast of Trumpets and the Feast of Christ the King…

Both feasts—the one celebrated in Jewish circles, and the other celebrated in Gentile circles–call our attention to the return of the King

trumpets stained glass 3Two months apart on this year’s calendar, the Feast of Trumpets comes at evening September 20, while the Feast of Christ the King for many in the Gentile churches comes on November 26. Both feasts—the one celebrated in Jewish circles, and the other celebrated in Gentile circles–call our attention to the return of the King. In Roman Catholic circles the Feast of Christ the King remembers the “parousia” which is that third great moment in His-story when all that has always and ever belonged to Messiah Jesus is at last seen clearly to be put under His subjection–the fulfillment of all that is promised in the Messiah’s return…

…In the seventh month, on the first day…you shall have a…memorial of blowing of trumpets…” 

 –Leviticus 23.24

To be sure, the Feast of Trumpets is the beginning of another season of worship in Jewish circles, whether those believing in Messiah Yeshua, or still boxed in by tradition alone. It is the beginning of 10 days of awe and remembrance, the Yomim Noraim. In many orthodox Jewish circles, spiritual preparation for the Feast of Trumpets begins four weeks earlier during the sixth Hebrew calendar month of Elul. The 10 days observed with the trumpet blast, the sound of the shofar, lead up to the Feast of the Atonement. For Hebrew Christians, these are 10 intensely awesome days of reflection on the majesty and faithfulness of a holy God and the desperate need among rebellious, sin-sick mankind for the coming of the Holy One of Israel, the King of kings, of whom the prophets and Moses and the psalms speak…

Open my mouth, O Lord, and my lips will proclaim Your praise. Praised are You, Lord our God and God of our ancestors, God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, great, mighty, awesome, exalted God who bestows loving kindness, Creator of all. You remember the pious deeds of our ancestors and will send a redeemer to their children’s children because of Your loving nature. You are the King who helps and saves and shields. Praised are You Lord, Shield of Abraham. Your might, O Lord, is boundless. You give life to the dead; great is Your saving power…”

Prayer for a Festival Eve, Jewish Prayerbook

In Gentile Christian church circles, the Feast of Christ the King is the climax of the 23 weeks of the summer season of Pentecost/Trinity, during which the daily and weekly Scriptural passages declare the authenticating work and reputation of the One to whom the Spirit of God testifies, the  Lord Jesus. While the Feast of Trumpets begins 10 days of awe and remembrance leading to the Feast of the Atonement, the Feast of Christ the King begins the season of Advent in some circles of the Gentile Christian churches—four weeks, 28 days, of reflection on the majesty of a holy God and the desperate need among rebellious, sin-sick mankind for the coming of the Holy One of Israel, the King of kings of whom the prophets and Moses and the psalms speak…

Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in Your well-beloved Son the King of kings and Lord of lords: mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under His most gracious rule; who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen”

–Of the Reign of Christ, Book of Common Prayer

ChristTheKing3

The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because…[Yeshua] is nearer now than when we first believed.”

–Romans 13.11

He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood…For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth…All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the…church…that in all things He may have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.”

–Colossians 1.13-20

Being a Messianic-Jewish-hearted Anglican Christian, I enjoy the double blessing of celebrating and remembering my King Jesus twice. How awesome is that?

And so I celebrate this season, knowing that Messiah Jesus, the King of Glory, will return… and that He is nearer now than when I first believed…

The Feast of Trumpets – Days of Awe 2…

Listen to the sound of the shofar!

Come, and let us return to the Lord; for He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight.”

–Hosea 6:1-2*

Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”

–John 13:8

Yom Teruah/Rosh Hashanah is not just a day. It begins a season reminding us of our need to confess our sins.  Believe it or not, repentance is a privilege in the covenant between a holy God and His people. We are not holy. We continually fail to obey His laws of holiness also given in the covenant. The one law that must never be broken, however, is repentance when we know we have sinned. If we reject this part of His covenant with us, we have no part with Him.

Psalm 139  and Psalm 51 might be good to examine right now and include in your prayer life from now on. If you have a broken relationship with another person, now is the time to ask God’s wisdom and help in resolving any bitterness that separates you.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

–1 John 1:9

*NOTE: In the right hand column of my site, there is a link to Bible Gateway, which provides excellent, free, online access to multiple translations of the Bible. There is easy access with search windows to find passages either by a word or phrase or by the Bible reference itself. Enjoy discovering the Word of God online.

Loving the Sound of the Shofar – The Feast of Trumpets Still Echoes…

Yom Teruah/Feast of Trumpets

SCRIPTURE

trumpets stained glass 3Leviticus 23.23-44 states that in the beginning of the seventh month–the Hebrew month Tishrei–the season of summer labors is to cease.  A new season in the life of a Jew begins.  It is characterized by a sabbath, a rest.  The Divine Mandate summons the mind of a Jew burdened with earthly labors to relinquish that yoke for the pleasant yoke of renewed intimacy with God and spiritual revival.  It is a time of remembering the holiness and mercy of Israel’s God, the Lord and Sustainer of all creation.  It is a time of heart response to that remembrance of His awesome being and character.

Leviticus 23.24 says this season of “R&R” begins on the first day of Tishrei with a loud trumpet call. This day is called Yom Teruah which is the Hebrew for “Day of Blowing.”  The Scriptural name for it is the Feast of Trumpets.

The shofar, or ram’s horn, is an essential part of the Feast of Yom Teruah.  Its sound is quite distinctive and is blown to call Israel to return with all their heart to the Lord, away from their labors and all disobedience…

Traditions…  see next page

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Fallen Co-Regents…

Early in this morning, 5:30, I awaken to a power outage in our neighborhood…In a ground floor garden condo, facing north, it gets dark without the help of interior lighting after sundown. But this was really DARK:  without the benefit of the glow of exterior security lights on the neighboring buildings… 

I felt my way to the room where I keep  my stash of tea light candles and kitchen matches to get some light for my nocturnal shuffling. Then I rummaged for flashlights and batteries. When I finally returned to bed, I was too stimulated to go back to sleep; so I prayed and reflected on Scriptures featured in  recent posts on my blog… all on the theme of the parables of the Kingdom of God–specifically, that Jesus is the King of the Kingdom of God, and His parables are word pictures of what the Kingdom of God is like… And Jesus is explaining the Kingdom of God to His listeners because  we were created to be co-regents and ministers with God over all His creation… and we messed up “royally…”

As I prayed, I remembered an encounter with one of my Sunday School children this past week–an encounter which, in that moment, forced me out of my comfort zone. I confess that over the months of working with the children in my class, I had begun to grow, and especially to grow more comfortable with them. We all grew, the children and I; but without fully realizing it, I had become settled into my little “organized kingdom…”

 With the advent of the new school year, the demographic changed, and God gave me a new little man to nurture in the Word and Kingdom of God. The little man was not having any of it; he is quite comfortable in his own little world where he is king…   

In the early morning moments of this day, remembering this encounter drew me into prayer for the child… And then for me… The answers from the Lord came flooding into my soul… 

Big question: How can a fallen co-regent even hope to approach answering Christ’s holy commission while in this tainted condition? More specifically, how can a fallen but sanctified Sunday School teacher–so much in need of grace–co-reign with Christ in the business of declaring the Kingdom of God to 15 wee fallen ones, each one in need of extra grace?

This is where I was awakened (in the early hours of a morning power outage) to the weight of the glory of God…

I could not access my computer, and I could not see to write the flood of things I was learning in my moments alone with the Lord. I never did get back to sleep, and I had a new Bible Study group to attend after breakfast.  As I lean heavily into the Holy Spirit to bring to memory what we exchanged in prayer in those glorious moments, here, I am pouring it all out as best I can…

‘Not by might, nor by power; but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts.

–Zechariah 4.6 NKJV

I am called during this season of my life to nurture another generation in the knowledge of the Word of God and the Lord Jesus Christ… I am a member of the human race, a descendant of the ones created in the image and likeness of God for the purpose of  being co-regents and ministers with God in His Kingdom–all of creation… And I am a fallen regent…

But the commission has not changed; and in Christ, the commission is to declare the Kingdom of God revealed in the Bible and the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ: the “now” and the “not yet.” And I am still “becoming…”  I am “not yet” lifted to a  place where my responses in fallen encounters are either immediately or completely characteristic of a “made perfect” co-regent and minister with Christ…

…He came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit, He became incarnate from the Virgin Mary and was made man…For our sake… 

–The Nicene Creed

Wrapping my mind around the truth of the Nicene Creed: Jesus became incarnate; not like any other man in His Perfect Being, He dwelled in the vessel of a man born like any other man, for our sake

Yes, Jesus laid down His life for our sake; but His sacrifice for our sake began long before He was “led as a lamb to the slaughter…” before “He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities.”  (Isaiah 53.5-7, NKJV)

The angels attended His incarnation, announcing the glory of the Lord. No less gloriously, He laid aside His resplendent majesty and became incarnate; and He lived as a man on our fallen planet, among His fallen co-regents…  for our sake and He told us what we had forgotten about the Kingdom of God… (Matthew 13.1-52, NKJV)  

By His incarnate life we can see how the God-Man, the Unfallen Regent, the One who is  “all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2.9, NKJV) walked in this dusty existence as the Christus Rex, among and over all fallen creation–in full submission and communion with the Father and the Holy Spirit… at every turn… without fail… perfectly reigning with the Father and the Holy Spirit… for our sake even to death on a cross… to reconcile His fallen co-regents to submission and communion with the Father and the Holy Spirit as He is…

…where I am meant to be… where I am in my sanctification “now,” but in this dusty existence “not yet.” My reflexes are not yet always, completely, and perfectly tuned to seek God’s regency in my life, let alone to seek or comprehend His counsels at the lightning speed of life in times like these…

…when my Sunday School children need to see the presence of the Kingdom of God while I declare the Kingdom of God to them from the Word of God… even while yet a fallen co-regent with Christ… for such a time as this…

I am undone… God, help me… 

My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.

–2 Corinthians 12.9 NKJV

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