from glory to glory…

Archive for the tag “from the heart”

Another Day to Glorify the Lord Jesus…

Just thinking out loud…

Paul Witnesses to Roman LeadersI have been studying the Book of Acts with my friends at Community Bible Study, and this week’s lesson material is covering Acts 25-26. While examining the record of Paul’s defense before Agrippa in Acts 26 I read Paul’s opening statement:

“I consider myself fortunate that it is before you, King Agrippa, I am going to make my defense today against all the accusations of the Jews…” (vs 2).

One of the study questions asked: “Why do you think Paul considered himself ‘fortunate’ to be addressing Agrippa in his defense against the accusations of the Jews?”

This is not the first time in my studies of Paul’s life and witness that I have seen his total surrender to the love of the Lord Jesus Christ in all things. Paul’s life and ministry was both a physical and spiritual battleground every day of his breathing existence this side of Heaven. And still, he wakes up each morning with the expectation that he has another day to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ–because he loves Him more than all…

…(wait while I weep over my ambivalent, insipid commitment to Jesus)…

spiritual battleAnyway, not so very long ago, in another moment of awakening, I told the Lord that I want that same expectancy in my own life when I wake up every morning–another day to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ–in my own breathing existence this side of Heaven. And not very long after that, Satan went “nuclear” on me, mustering every weapon in his hateful arsenal to quench that desire… To be sure, it has been a battle of “operation desert storm” proportions in my life, because Satan is not having any of it…

But I wonder if Paul ever had periods of waking up dreading what he might face in his day–whether it be the physical taxing on his body to travel while in pain, or whether it be the undercurrent of dread at facing another mob bent on drawing blood… so much so, that his flame of gladness of glorifying Jesus gutters and flickers in the battles of each day; and that instead of jubilation, his heart is like a ship anchored and held fast to its mooring in Christ while yet battered from within and from without…

god-strength2That’s something of how I feel in my dusty existence this side of Heaven…But I know that Messiah Jesus fights for me, because I am alive today “fortunate” to have another day to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ in my own breathing existence this side of Heaven…

Thanking God that He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world, as it is written by another faithful one who loved the Lord Jesus:

Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”

-1 John 4.4

Why is it thought incredible by any of you that God raises the dead?…To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass: that the Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, He would proclaim light both to our people [the Jews] and to the Gentiles.”

–Acts 26.8,22-23

Glory to Thee, Lord Jesus!


Paul’s Letters: Courage for the Times…

Paul&TimothyReview of Paul’s Third Missionary Journey:  Acts 18.23-21.17

  • Overview of Paul’s route and cities of ministry: Acts 18.23; 20.1-16; 21.1-17
  • The difficulties Paul faced in Ephesus:
    • Acts 19.9: The rejection by Jewish leaders in the synagogue
    • Acts 19.23-30: The revolt by Demetrius the cult of Diana
  • The message Paul brought: Acts 17.2-3; 18.5,28; 20.21,25
  • Where Paul began his teaching in Ephesus: Acts 19.1-8
  • Where God moved Paul to teach in Ephesus: Acts 19.9-10
  • The work the Holy Spirit did in Ephesus: Acts 19.11-12,17-20
  • The treasure Paul carried in his ordinary body was the message of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Word of God—fulfilling what is written in the Law, the Psalms and the Prophets: Acts 20.20-21. He carried this treasure in a body that was often weak and tired and hungry and sick: 1 Corinthians 2.3; he may have had a troubling problem with his eyesight: Galatians 4.15.
  • Paul lived in a world like ours where he was surrounded by Jews and Gentiles who were disobedient to God and who worshipped false gods. He faced dangers and difficulties everyday: 2 Corinthians 11.23-27. But none of these things kept him from preaching the message of the Lord Jesus Christ: Acts 20.24
  • The Holy Spirit worked through his earthen vessel to work the greatest miracle of them all: changing the hearts of rebellious people to bow before the only true and living God. The act of the Holy Spirit was to awaken these darkened hearts to the message Paul was bringing…”and fear fell on them all, and the Name of the Lord Jesus was magnified…so the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed” (Acts 19.17,20).

Stepping Stones to Rome – Acts 21.17-26.32

Paul in CustodyCourage In Jerusalem (10 days):

  • the attack on Paul by the Jewish leaders, and his confinement in jail; his escape from murder; escorted to Caesarea by armed Roman guards (Acts 21.17-23.33);
  • Paul’s witness of how God revealed the Lord Jesus to Him (Acts 22.3-21);
  • God’s encouragement to Paul (Acts 23.11)

Paul’s Witness In Caesarea:

Paul speaks to the Roman governor Felix, to the Paul Witnesses to Roman LeadersJewish leaders who follow him to Caesarea, held for two years in Herod’s Praetorium; speaks to Felix, Festus and to King Herod Agrippa and appeals to be heard by Caesar in Rome (Acts 23.34-26.32)

  1. To Felix:  “…This I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets. I have hope in God which they themselves also accept, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust. This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men…But when Felix heard these things, having more accurate knowledge of the Way, he…commanded the centurion to keep Paul and to let him have liberty, and told him not to forbid any of his friends to provide for or visit him. And after some days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self-control and judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, “Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you.” (Acts 24.1-25)
  2. To Herod Agrippa and to Festus: Acts 26.2-23: “I stand here on trial because of my hope in the promise made by God to our fathers, to which our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they earnestly worship night and day. And for this hope I am accused by Jews, O king! Why is it thought incredible by any of you that God raises the dead? I myself was convinced that I ought to do many things in opposing the name of Jesus of Nazareth. …And…I persecuted them even to foreign cities. In this connection I journeyed to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. At midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, that shone around me and those who journeyed with me. And…I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ …And I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen Me and to those in which I will appear to you, delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’ Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance…To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass: that the Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.” (Acts 26.6-9,11b-23)


Paul on a Stormy Sea

On a Stormy Sea – Acts 27


Paul's Mercies at Malta

Mercies on MaltaActs 28.1-10


In Roman Confinement – Acts 28.16-31

“And when we came into Rome, Paul was allowed to stay by himself, with thePaul in Roman Confinement soldier who guarded him. After three days he called together the local leaders of the Jews, and when they had gathered, he said to them, ‘Brothers…I have asked to see you and speak with you, since it is because of the hope of Israel that I am wearing this chain.’ And they said to him, ‘We…desire to hear from you what your views are…’ When they had appointed a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in greater numbers. From morning till evening he expounded to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. And some were convinced by what he said, but others disbelieved…He lived there two whole years at his own expense, and welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance.” (Acts 28.16-17,20,21,22,23-24,30-31)

Reflection and Prayer

1 Thess 5vv16-18As I meditate on the Apostle Paul’s exciting journey to Rome, I pray courage for the Body of Christ in the shipwreck of this land, and for those who experience the grace of God in their unbelief only because they are in this shipwreck with us who know the matchless grace of God through our Lord Jesus Christ…

Father, Your servant Paul and our brother endured many dangers, difficulties and sorrows to bring Your Word to all the lands where You drew him to witness the Lord Jesus Christ. His faithfulness has multiplied Your Name and Your Kingdom to reach the peoples who came to this land. I praise You and thank You, Lord, for Your great grace in blessing my life to see the Truth You shared with Your servant Paul.

Father, I ask now, in this place where I reflect on Your goodness, grace and purpose, that Your Spirit would strengthen the Body of Christ in this land, as we face the shipwreck that looms in our journey toward Jesus’ return. As Paul spoke courageously to the captain and crew of the vessel he occupied to Rome, let us speak courageously to those who occupy this American Ship in the same way: if they all will trust in the God in whom Paul trusts and teaches to this day in Your Word, not one will perish–only the ship will be broken.

Lord, protect the Body of Christ in this land from fear and anxiety and discouragement in this storm we face; give us the voice and bold kindness You gave our brother Paul who spoke the Truth to those who enjoyed Your grace because he was in the ship with them, although they had not yet embraced Your Truth. As Paul did, so help us redeem the time on this journey, that Your Name and Your Kingdom would be magnified and exalted.

My Dancing Day…

An old English Festival Carol, traditionally sung at Christmas; and rarely do we hear all of the verses. But it is the story of the love of God for His people, from the sacrificial incarnation of His Son Jesus to Jesus’ glorious ascension to the Right Hand of the Father…
All of it He has done for His true love…
And since I am celebrating my 37th birthday in Messiah’s Love, I am rejoicing in His calling me as one of His true love to His dance…
Here is the melody to this Festival Carol:
Here are all the verses to this ancient English Hymn…


Tomorrow shall be my dancing day

I would my true love did so chance

To see the legend of my play

To call my true love to my dance.



Sing, oh! my love, oh! my love

My love, my love

This have I done for my true love.


Then was I born of a virgin pure

Of her I took fleshly substance

Thus was I knit to man’s nature

To call my true love to my dance.  REFRAIN


In a manger laid, and wrapped I was

So very poor, this was my chance

Betwixt an ox and a silly poor ass

To call my true love to my dance.  REFRAIN


Then afterwards baptized I was

The Holy Ghost on me did glance

My Father’s voice heard from above

To call my true love to my dance. REFRAIN


Into the desert I was led

Where I fasted without substance

The Devil bade me make stones my bread

To have me break my true love’s dance.  REFRAIN


The Jews on me they made great suit

And with me made great variance

Because they loved darkness rather than light

To call my true love to my dance.  REFRAIN


For thirty pence Judas me sold

His covetousness for to advance

Mark whom I kiss, the same do hold

The same is he, who shall lead the dance. REFRAIN


Before Pilate the Jews me brought

Where Barabbas had deliverance

They scourged me and set me at naught

Judged me to die to lead the dance.  REFRAIN


Then on the cross hanged I was

Where a spear my heart did glance

There issued forth both water and blood

To call my true love to my dance.  REFRAIN


Then down to hell I took my way

For my true love’s deliverance

And rose again on the third day

Up to my true love and the dance.

Sing, oh! my love, oh! my love

My love, my love

This have I done for my true love.


Then up to heaven I did ascend

Where now I dwell in sure substance

On the right hand of God, that man

May come unto the general dance.

Sing, oh! my love, oh! my love

My love, my love

This have I done for my true love.

Christ is Risen!

Christ Will Come Again!

I’m always ready…

…for Christmas…

Everyone around me is bustling to “get ready for Christmas.” Being ready for Christmas in this culture is a matter of stocking up on the right decorations, the richest festive foods, and the perfect gifts for our friends and relatives. “Being ready for Christmas” is retail oriented…

“Are you ready for Christmas?” is a question I often hear at the check-out line in the grocery store. If that cashier only knew the passion for Messiah Jesus roaring behind the floodgates of my soul, she would think twice before asking me that question. Nevertheless, having the invitation to share my readiness for Christmas, I go gently but boldly… I am always ready for Christmas…

My question is, “How can anyone not be ready for Christmas?” We allow the culture to eclipse our consciousness of the sacrifice of the King of glory who set aside His joys in the Heavenlies to dwell in an earthen vessel for our sake… “Christmas” worship focuses exclusively upon that event in history—when the Son of God, who is eternal, everlasting, and outside of time and space, subjected His life to the confines of our mortality—our temporary-ness… And we must never forget this magnificent event; but the manger scene of Bethlehem’s Tower of the Flock was only the beginning of the Incarnation of the King of kings …

I love this season as much as every other warm-blooded disciple of Messiah Jesus. I am particularly “undone” this year, overwhelmed with the awesome weight of His glory—and I am finding it difficult to confine the passion of worship into the typical Christmas routine of the putting up of the tree and setting up the Nativity scene. It’s not that I feel jaded or cynical at all… Far from it… To be sure, we could not have the whole Incarnation of Christ without the great moment in Bethlehem; but I am changed in the way I view this season and the ways it is viewed by my contemporaries this side of Heaven… Aside from the fact that I will soon be 70 years old—I am told that aging changes one’s perspective—I believe that something else has finally had its way in my heart—something that only the King of glory could do…

For the greater part of the year prior to this season, my heart, soul, mind and strength have been immersed in the Word of God in a systematic study of the years of Jesus’ Incarnation which followed His infant birth in Bethlehem…

The written record of His Incarnate life and ministry for our sake…

To declare the glory of the Incarnate Christ to our children in our church family…

Beloved, I cannot articulate everything I have seen and understood with new understanding of the weight of glory revealed in the whole written record of His Incarnation…

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

–John 1.14

…for our sake…

I am undone by His revealed glory in all His incarnate life and ministry…

Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written… but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God…

–John 21.25; 20.31

It’s easy to adore the little baby in the manger of Bethlehem, because an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes poses no apparent threat, no immediate challenge to our secret thoughts and our autonomous posture toward a Holy God—unless we step back and view the panoramic evidence which awakens us from our Christmas lullabies to the true identity of this sweet little Baby Boy…

Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the Law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said, “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your Salvation that You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a Light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to Your people Israel.” And His father and His mother marveled at what was said about Him. And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”

–Luke 2.25-35

In the phrase of a popular Christmas carol: “Do you see what I see?”


Do you see what Simeon saw? He saw it before the Holy, Incarnate Bundle in his arms walked out every stroke of the Father’s revealing work in the dust of Galilee, Judea and Samaria… Simeon saw it long before the record of the Incarnate glory of Jesus was written down for us in the Word of God… And if you glimpse even a fraction of it, would you still adore Him Who challenges all your secret thoughts and your autonomous posture before a Holy God?

“In Him was Life; and the Life was the light of men.”

–John 1.4

Would you always be ready for Christmas?

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!

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)

Pages: 1 2

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…


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.

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