Monthly Archives: October 2014

THE STRONG TOWER

“The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.”  Proverbs 18:10

I remember the first time I read this verse:  I was in college.  It was so encouraging and comforting to me!  I lived in fear at that point in my life; something that has gone away as God has healed my soul.
I enjoyed this Scripture for a long time, until I started worrying about whether I’m righteous enough to run into the Strong Tower.  The answer, of course, is yes.  Jesus has made me righteous because I belong to Him.

Here is a bit of word study:
The Name…Shem or Suwm.
Carries the idea of definite and conspicuous position
set, ordain, establish, found, appoint, reputation, fame, glory
I have often heard that the “name” of God refers to His character and identity; far deeper and broader than how we usually think of this word.

of the Lord is a strong tower
Migdal `oz
An elevated structure that is mighty, solid and well, strong.
When the people in Solomon’s time heard this word, they knew that it refered to a place in a city where the people could take refuge during an attack.

The righteous Tsaddiyq
righteous (as justified and vindicated by God;) righteous (in conduct and character)
right, correct, lawful

run into it  Ruwts
dart, move quickly, hurry

If there is one thing I have learned in my faith walk, it is to run to God sooner rather than later – really good plan; saves me from all sorts of trouble!

and are safe  Sagab
To be too high for capture; to be in a place that’s so high, it’s secure.

When I read this, I think of the verses that say we are seated in the heavenly places with God.  Yeah, that seems high enough to be out of the reach of enemies, not accessible for capture and secure!

So, if I rephrase this proverb, it would be something like:
The very nature of God is an elevated, strong, mighty place; those made righteous by Jesus dart hurriedly into it and are too high for capture, since they are out of reach.

How wonderful is that!

YOUR HEART

Give Jesus your heart – your whole heart:  All you believe, look to for filling and comfort, adore, value, serve and trust.  Do this every time you are tempted to look to someone or something else.
What will happen is:
*Every idol will fall to the ground
* circumstances will bow to Him.
*You will experience God’s presence and power like never before

My challenge is to people of all ages, nationalities and walks of life; those who have not yet invited Jesus into their hearts; long-time believers; everybody in between.
Faith is a journey; belonging to Jesus is a relationship.  While there is one moment of giving a life to Him, there are many points of further healing and commitment, just as there are many times when couples heal and recommit themselves to each other in marriage.

“What is this thing about idols?”
I’m glad you asked!
Most of us think of them as ugly stone relics or shrines to the god or goddess of “whatever.”
In reality, an idol is anything, person, place, principle, thing, activity or power that we serve, trust in, worship or look to, other than God.  That could be money, romance, work, worries, fears, self helps…  You get the point, yeah?
The problem is, none of these things work; they’re dead.  They take us away from the only One who gives and sustains life, hindering our relationships with Him.

When we turn to God, however, trusting in Him, resting in His presence and giving Him our full attention, all of the blessings that He has for us are poured into our lives, until we overflow with His goodness.

Give Jesus your heart, all of it:  Watch lies, fear, doubt, depression, worry, fatigue and every other dark thing fall away;  receive love, joy, peace, wholeness, prosperity, truth, light and all of the fullness of God’s Kingdom.  Find solutions to circumstances that you didn’t even know about or think of; come to know the Lord more intimately and discover who you really are in Him.

KISSES

Jesus my love;
The One who loves me,
You shower me with kisses
Till I sing endlessly.

You fill my soul
With sweet, joyful song;
I delight in Your presence,
Where I live all day long.

Oh Lord of life,
My friend and brother,
I kiss You with my worship;
I will serve no other.

To You alone
Do I give my heart;
For Your affection draws me;
We’ll never be apart.

Jesus my Love,
The One who loves me,
Draw me closer each moment,
Till I know Your glory.

ONLY JESUS

When God looks at you and me,
It’s through loving eyes
That perceive all and know us fully;
From whom nobody hides.

In His gaze is such delight,
His expression sings
Of deep affection and love so bright,
We soar on eagle’s wings.

When God shows us how to be,
It’s with greatest care
That wants our best without injury;
Blessing beyond compare.

When we put our trust in Him,
Jesus makes us whole.
Spiritual eyes are no longer dim;
We give Him all control.

Jesus is the only Way;
He’s the only One
Who redeems and saves us so we may
Share His Heavenly home.

DECLARE

In the past couple of years, I have learned about the importance of declarations.

Unlike affirmations, which are usually meant to convince us of something that is not yet true, declarations are all about proclaiming the truth of God’s Kingdom.

Here are some verses to encourage you in this:

 

Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.  1 Chronicles 16:24

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.  Psalm 19:1

I will declare your name to my brothers; in the congregation I will praise you. psalm 22:22

O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. Psalm 51:15

Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Psalm 71:17

I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you established your faithfulness in heaven itself. Psalm 82:9

Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. Psalm 96:3

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.  1 Peter 2:9

 

All praise and glory to God!

JESUS, MY SOURCE AND GOAL

Arms of love are opened wide,
Inviting me to come in;
To know the way of truth and light,
Since I have been born again.

“Come, dear one, and be refreshed
Partake of My Heavenly food,
That heals your soul and warms your breast;
That teaches you I am good.”

In God’s Presence I am filled
His abundance strengthens me.
My doubts dissolve, all fears are stilled;
I have been healed and set free.

As I live and work each day,
I have everything I need
To reflect His glorious way;
In attitude, word and deed.

Not in my own strength, but His,
Do I love and serve Him so.
The Alpha and Omega is
Jesus, my Source and my Goal.

HOPE

“If we aren’t overflowing with hope we are believing a lie.”
“What you believe about a problem is more important than the problem.”  (Steve Backlund, Global Legacy)

“Hope is the expectation that something good is going to happen. That there is a future that makes the present trials and troubles worth going through.
There are many things that the world offers that give false hope, like a marriage that excites only to bring greater disappointment.  God is the only sure hope. He is faithful. He has a good future for us. He knows what we need and what we want. It is warfare to let go of those things that we have hoped in apart from God.1 Timothy 4:8 (NIV)For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life
to come.  I think that physical training would include most things that we classify as working up ourselves.”  (Kent Hug, Pastor of New Hope)

If there is one thing I have learned about hope in the past few years, it’s this:
Hope is built on the knowledge that God is good and we can trust Him to pour His best into our lives, even when circumstances say otherwise.  It’s always all about God, not us, our abilities, circumstances or any other entity.  To hope in any person, place, thing or power other than god is idolatry.  He is the Only Source and Goal; the Alpha and Omega.

THE BEST WINE John 2:1-11, Part IV

9 and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine.
He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, “Everyone
brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”

Jesus is the best wine.  He is the Way, the Truth and the Life; the Hope of all nations; Lord of lords, King of kings; Healer, Savior, Redeemer.

Later in His short time here, right before He is betrayed, tortured and killed, He says that wine represents the blood of the new covenant.
“In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”   (Luke 22:20 NIV)

Again, the best wine was saved for last.  God’s new covenant saved us by grace through faith.  We have all of the blessing and inheritance that Papa God has for us.  Instead of depending on works, which we are not able to do, we get to rely on God through the Holy Spirit, sent to be our Comforter, counselor, Teacher and Helper.  We are reborn into His family, made members of His household and given full rights as sons and daughters.  How absolutely miraculous and wonderful is that!

RESPONSE; ACTION; REVELATION John 2:1-11, part III

4 “Dear woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.”
There is a principle in prayer and prophesy that I have learned:
We can “foretell” things, which is when god reveals something that is going to happen; we can “forth tell,” which is when we bring the future into the present.

Jesus always did what He saw His Father doing and said what He heard His Father saying.
When Mary said there was no wine, He checked with Papa, who was not yet giving him the signal to act.  When Mary told the servants to obey Him, she called the future into the situation at hand.  This account actually reminds me of another Gospel story, in which Jesus seemed to say, “No,” but the woman’s response brought a different result:

“Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret.  In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an evil
spirit came and fell at his feet.  The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.
“First let the children eat all they want,” he told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.”
“Yes, Lord,” she replied,” but even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”
Then he told her, “For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.”
She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.”
Mark 7:20-30

I wonder a couple of things:
*Did God withhold His permission to strengthen Mary’s faith, much like what Jesus did with the woman whose child had a demon?  Are there times when He seems to hold back a bit to get our attention and strengthen our trust in Him?

Verse 11 says this was the first of His miracles, performed in a small town that was considered to be the middle of nowhere and completely insignificant.  It does seem that God works in ways that defy our expectations and ideas of how things should be done.
His glory (true presence and nature) was revealed; His disciples put their trust in Him.  Wow!

BACK TO THE PARTY John2:1-11, part II

Mary didn’t stick around to see whether Jesus would answer her concern; she went back to the party.
I bet she had a really good time!

We can do the same:  Once we bring a need to Jesus, we can rejoice in His goodness and go about our lives.  We don’t have to wonder if He will answer.
I can hear some people now:  “Sometimes He says, ‘No” or “wait.'”  I’m not sure that matters.  Whatever answer He gives is the best one by far.
Not only that, but if we are listening to the Holy Spirit and praying in agreement with God, we know the answer is “yes;” in fact, 2 Corinthians 1 tells us that all of God’s promises are “yes” and we join in saying “amen” to the glory of God.
“Amen” carries the understanding that whatever God says is reality.  He said, “Let there be…”  There was…
God is always good; He is always in a good mood.  He loves to bless us.
May this truth dispel all fear and doubt when it comes to trusting Papa.