Posts Tagged Kingdom of God

Wholly His

26 March 2013
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The Lord said, “Surely I have seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry…I am aware of their sufferings.  So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite…….”  Ex 3:7-8


The eye of the Lord is always watching over His people.  He is watching over those that know Him and those that don’t, because He knows all men.  He sees our suffering and understands it better than we do.  He is the All-Knowing One.  Where we experience abuse, trauma, set-back, and pain and try to understand, “Why me?,”  our Father God has an answer.  He knows His adversary, the devil, is real and has a plan to destroy all of God’s creation.  We may not even believe in the devil, but that does not mean he is not real.  God knows all these things, and He has an answer – His Name is Jesus.  Jesus paid the price for all mankind to be bought back from the devil who led us into sin, who led us away from our Heavenly Father.  The Blood of Jesus ensures that we can enter into God’s Presence and be restored into His family.

God sees the oppression of people today.  He sees the corruption in the world, brought about by greed, lust, and the desire for power.  Just as in Moses’ day, when God’s people were captive under the hand of Egypt’s Pharaoh, we too are held captive by the corruption in the world. God allows this to happen so that we will recognize that our hearts are no longer solely devoted to Him, but that we have embraced the idols of the land.  I’m not talking about little statues!  No, I’m speaking about anything that takes higher priority in our life than God.  The major strategy the devil uses is to clutter our hearts and minds with all kinds of activities, work, and interests.  There is no inherent evil in any of these things, but when we devote all of our time to them, we are, in effect, worshipping them.  We confuse God’s plan of blessing with a twisted lie of the devil.  We may start out thinking, “I  work because I must provide for my family.”  Over time, however, we may get caught in the devil’s trap of becoming a workaholic, because we don’t understand that God has a plan of blessing for us as we seek to obey His command to provide for our family.  In the beginning, God said it was good for a man to work.  Along with that He  instituted a day of rest for our good, and He said He would bless (prosper) the work of our hands when we work according to His plans.  Following God’s plan, we will not be in lack.   Yet, greed for more, bigger and better often overtakes us.  What started out as providing for our family becomes a plan of acquiring more.  We fall into traps of spending more than we make so we can do more faster.  Focus on our family gets lost because we are running so hard to keep up with the plan of oppression that we’ve fallen into unknowingly.  This is idolatrous thinking, we’ve completely lost touch with the way God thinks about work.

The Israelites cried out to God for many years while they were slaves, but the day came when God said, “Enough!”   Today is that day!  Today, God has said, “I am coming down to deliver them from the power of the Pharaohs.”  When I say “today,” I do not mean this very day, March 26, 2013, I mean in this season of 2013.  This is a season of  God’s deliverance.   He is overthrowing evil agents and opening prison doors for many to walk out into their freedom.   God is doing this all over the earth, He is making a way.  However, you must choose to walk out.  God parted the Red Sea, but the people had to walk through it.  You might look at the condition of the world today and ask, “Where is God overthrowing evil?”  Let me tell you, if you will ask God for help right now, He will overthrow the evil in your life and make a way of escape for you.  He says, “You have not because you ask not.”  Ask Him and see what He will do for you.  He loves you more than you know and He is still doing miracles today.

Another great deliverance story is found in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah.  The Israelites had been taken as captives in Babylon.  They had been removed from the Promised Land because of their idolatry; they had mixed their worship of Almighty God with the gods of the land.  They were divided in their devotion and they reduced God to what they wanted Him to be rather than Who He really was.  God had set a season of time for their discipline, 70 years in captivity.  When that time was over, God said, “I am coming down to deliver my people.”  He caused the hearts of the Persian Kings to be favorable to the Jews and to initiate a return to the Promised Land.  God opened the door for return, but many  people were too comfortable in their place of captivity.  They did not take God up on His deliverance, they stayed in Babylon.

Those who did return to Jerusalem had to examine their hearts and identify the idols, the practices, the desires that would keep them from being wholly His even though they were back in their land.  Just returning to the land would not cause them to love God with all their heart, all their soul and all their strength.  They had to make some changes in the way they thought, in other words, they had to repent.  Repent means to “change the way you think.”

Almighty God is opening doors and calling His people back to the safety of His Kingdom and His family.  All of His plans for you are good.  He truly has prepared for us a land flowing with milk and honey.  He wants to rescue people from the oppression that has come to define our lives.  Can you hear Him calling your name?  If so, get up and walk with Him through the open door.  If you can’t see the door yet, ask Him to open your eyes and make the way clear.  Do not be afraid.  It might seem scary and uncomfortable to walk through a door you do not recognize, but God is our Ever-Present Helper.  Through the person of Holy Spirit, He walks alongside of us, comforts us, encourages us and strengthens us to cross over into a new place of blessing and freedom.  Unclutter your heart and your mind, change your thinking and begin to search out the life that Father God has prepared for you.

This is made possible by Jesus, our Passover Lamb.  He was slain for your freedom.  Receive your redemption today!

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David’s Tent and the Feast of Tabernacles

2 October 2012
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When David became King of Israel, he desired to bring the Lord’s Presence (the Ark) into Jerusalem.  His first attempt to move the Ark on an oxcart failed and brought death because David did not seek the Lord’s direction for how to move the Ark.  After inquiring of the Lord, David understood that the Lord wanted the Ark to be carried on the shoulders of His Priests.  In other words, the Lord’s Presence would be carried by His people, a people that had sanctified themselves and been prepared to carry Him.  Movement of the Ark was accompanied by sacrifices and jubilant praise and worship.  When the Ark arrived at the place David had prepared, it was not the Tabernacle of Moses, it was a simple tent in which the Ark would be accessible to all the people.  Scripture seems to bear out that David moved the Ark into this tent, or tabernacle, during the time of the Feast of Tabernacles.  In latter years, we read that it was during this Feast that both Solomon and Ezra dedicated the Temples to God.

When Jesus came to the earth, He came to tabernacle, or dwell, among His people (John 1:14).  He walked among us and then He died on the Cross.  At His death, the curtain which separated the Holy of Holies from the Holy Place was ripped in two. The Ark of God’s Presence was revealed when the curtain was removed, signifying that all people have access to His Presence.  David’s tabernacle prophesied God’s desire to dwell among His people.  Jesus’ death made it possible.  This is the ultimate expression of the Feast of Tabernacles.  As Believers, our eternal destiny is to be with Him forever.  There are so many aspects of this Feast that deserve study and Jesus fulfills them all, i.e. the Light of the World, the Living Water, Jesus birth occuring during this Feast, etc.  Jesus’ death opened the way for us, but the fullness will be realized when He comes again to receive His Bride.

I believe there is a correlation between the restoration of David’s Tabernacle and the Feast.  Simply put, the restoration of David’s Tabernacle implies the Body of Christ, Jews and Gentiles, coming together in unity with one purpose, to worship the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  It includes day and night worship, sacrifices of praise, offerings of our whole heart placed on the altar, sanctified lifestyles, generosity to the poor and humility.  It means we are fully submitted to God and each other, we know how to flow with His heart, giving honor and preference to each other’s gifts.  When the unified Body communes with God and each other in this way, God releases His blessing, He releases greater revelation and understanding. This unified Bride of Christ will have power and authority to reap the Harvest of the Ages.  People won’t be able to resist Her beauty because She reflects Her Bridegroom.   This is the Bride for which Jesus is coming, the spotless Bride who has made herself ready. The fulfillment of David’s Tabernacle will also signify the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles!

Is it any wonder that the 40-Day David’s Tent Worship event is going on in Washington DC during this Feast?  (see www.DavidsTentDC.org)  This kind of event is the picture of what God desires.  Extended day and night worship is springing up all over the globe as believers from all streams come together for the sole purpose of worshipping Jesus.  When we participate in these events, we are changed.  We get a foretaste of our eternal destiny and it tastes GOOD! We hunger for more, we are compelled beyond our comfort zones and we press deeper into the heart of God.

So let us begin now, rehearsing in His Presence, rejoicing in His goodness, releasing His fragrance to attract the harvest for His Glory!   Celebrate this Feast knowing that the day is drawing near when we will see Him face to face, the day when Jesus receives His inheritance and we receive ours.  We anticipate partaking of the fullness of His glory.  We cry out, “Come, Lord Jesus, Come!”

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Time to Bring Forth What You Have Seen

16 August 2012
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God releases prophetic vision to those He chooses so they can lead others to bring the vision into manifestation.   When God gives the vision, it is for the purpose of allowing the recipient to “see” what God sees.  If then, they obey God, God will provide all that is necessary to make the vision a reality according to His timing.

Abraham was an example for us.  In Genesis, God had told Abraham five times that He was making covenant with him and that He would multiply his seed to possess the land.  Like us, Abraham struggled to believe this at times.   He tried to make things happen.  Then in Genesis 22, God invited Abraham into a new level of revelation.

“…God tested Abraham and said to him…”take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering ….”  Gen 22:1-2

Moriah means ‘chosen by God, seen by God.’  God wanted Abraham to ‘see’ that He would provide all that was needed to secure the covenant He made with him.  In the place where Abraham stumbled and tried to figure out how to “have a son” thereby producing Ishmael, God had to prove Abraham.  Would Abraham really believe what God had said and could he trust God to provide?

This time Abraham obeyed perfectly.  He told Isaac, “God will provide the lamb” for the sacrifice.  “Provide” is the same word as SEE, the Hebrew word Ra’ah.  Even though God’s instruction seemed to contradict His promise, Abraham lifted his hand to slay Isaac.  Abraham was no longer relying on his own understanding.  God stopped him (at the last minute) and then drew his attention to the bush where the ram was caught.  Now Abraham could SEE what God provided and he offered his sacrifice.  Abraham called the place, “The Lord Sees.”

Abraham caught God’s vision.  He SAW what God SAW.  His faith had come to a new level and he trusted God rather than looking for an alternative sacrifice, one that he could create.  Abraham had been proved and now God was able to release provision to him.  The whole experience was not about the offering, it was about obedience.

In these last days, in this season of seeing (Ayin),  God is calling to all who will see with Him.  He is releasing a new wave of prophetic revelation (also called The Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation), regarding His end-time plan.  He is looking for partners that will believe Him even when His instructions seem contradictory to His promise.

In Daniel 11:32, God says, “But the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits.”

When you look at the Hebrew words for “know” and “exploits,” you find the true meaning of this verse is,

Those who have ‘seen’ with their God will bring forth what they have seen!

V 33 – Those who have gained this understanding through prophetic revelation will be considered wise and successful in God’s eyes.  God will allow them to teach and instruct many.

God is releasing supernatural wisdom, revelation, and vision for those who will partner with Him to bring forth His Kingdom. He wants us to SEE what He sees, the future of His Kingdom.  We get to partake of the glory that He has prepared, but we also get to share in the sufferings.  Verses 33-34  go on to say that those who have understanding will also be persecuted, taken into captivity and killed.  But God will be their victory.  He will send the Holy Spirit and angels to help them.  They will be few in number but mighty in strength.  Many deceivers will join with them in an attempt to weaken and divide their forces.  Some of them will stumble (as Abraham did), but it will be for the purpose of purifying them and proving them to be true.  This is promised for the appointed time – the last days – our day!

Oh Lord, open our eyes that we may see what You see, that we may gain prophetic vision and build Your Kingdom!

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Sealed With Fire

24 May 2012
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Ring of Fire 05_20_12

Set me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm…Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord.  SOS 8:6

As I was reading Song of Solomon this morning and came to the verse above, the Lord quickened to me  the picture of the solar eclipse this past weekend…the moon encircled by the sun was called “ring of fire.”   He showed me this is the prophetic picture of the “seal” of marriage to Jesus…the completeness of this season, the Bride (moon) equally yoked to Jesus (Sun)  in voluntary love.  Jesus the Son, perfectly aligned with His Bride.  His fire seals us because we have chosen to submit to Him completely.  

It is symbolic of this Pentecost when Jesus is baptizing His Bride with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Luke 3:16).  “When the day of Pentecost had fully come…and there appeared to them tongues as of fire…and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.”  Acts 2:1-4 

The fullness of time has come for the first wave of the Bride to be unveiled, Jesus is placing His ring of fire on Her finger, and the Holy Spirit is releasing a fresh baptism that will fill our mouths with a new sound.  We will speak what the Father speaks, when we open our mouths He will fill it. 

Jesus declaring the maturity of His Bride to those that have gone through this wilderness season with Him.  It is His declaration that we have completed our season and have gained our identity.  Our cry for the First Commandment to be reality in our hearts has been answered.  We have withstood the temptations, we have thrown away other gods, we have surrendered our rights to Him and given Him our all.  We now carry the fullness of His heart in us and He is releasing new assignments to minister to the rest of the Bride, those that have not yet been awakened as well as the unbelievers, out of the Holy love of God.  It takes God to love God and that fullness is in us.  It takes God in us for us to love the Church and Israel and that fullness is in us.  We have become the nurturers, the spiritual mothers and fathers for the next generation (not by age, but by their maturity in the Kingdom). 

We now possess a confidence and boldness that we have not had before.  We have been tested and tried and found true.  Our hearts have been purified by His grace.  We are truly One with our Beloved and He entrusts us with this ministry knowing that no longer will we pursue our own agendas, but we will listen to the voice of the Bridegroom and minister from the intimacy of our relationship with Him.

Oh, let us celebrate this Pentecost with great expectation and confidence in our Beloved, let us love as we have been loved.  Let the harvest begin!

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God Paid Peter’s Taxes and Mine!

28 January 2012
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In my last post, I told about our $5100 tax bill that is due on January 31.  Given our current financial situation, we had no way to come up with that amount of money.  This was one of those situations where there was no option but to trust God.  God has taught me to truly trust Him over these past few years.  By that I mean putting the issue in His hands, and going about the rest of my business with childlike faith that my Father would take care of the issue.  I was able to experience freedom from worry and anxiety, yet I had no idea what God would do.  

Yesterday, the provision came and our tax bill will be paid in full! This is nothing short of a miracle.  Glory to God, our faithful Father!  He has demonstrated His faithfulness to provide for all our needs, but even greater than that, He is making a statement to whoever will have ears to hear.  I went to bed rejoicing and in awe.  When I woke this morning, I felt the need to look at the story of Jesus instructing Peter to go fishing where he would find the provision for his two-drachma tax.  What He showed me was astounding.  

In this story, Jesus was teaching Peter about his identity.  God used this example in the civil (natural) arena, to make a point in the spirit.  The tax Peter was required to pay was the temple tax.  The temple and its services were products of the Mosaic Law and represented one form of worship and government.  However, the temple really belonged to God and Jesus pointed out that the sons of the king were exempt from paying taxes.  In essence, He is teaching Peter that he is a son of God and since the temple belongs to God, he is not required to pay taxes.  This teaching comes directly after Jesus tells the disciples that he is going to be killed and then raised on the third day.  He is saying the old form of worship is about to pass away and the sons of the God are going to be revealed.  A new form of worship and government was about to be established.  

So as not to hinder the new thing God was about to do, God told Peter “I’ll give you the money to pay those taxes (because I’m your Dad), and then no one will be offended.”  There was no reason to create unnecessary trouble over taxes at this point.  Only the sons needed to know who they were and that they were really seated above the government of that day because they belonged to the King who owns it all. 

God is saying the same thing to me, to you and to all His children today.  God owns it all, He owns the land that our houses sit on and He is restoring His covenant promises with His children and with the land.  He is saying the old system of man’s government and religion is about to end and God’s Kingdom government is going to be established.  His Kingdom is advancing! Jesus is coming soon!   God will provide for the needs of His children because we are the ones He is using to bring His Kingdom to earth, just as He brought the Church into the earth through Peter and the other disciples.  We must begin to see ourselves as those that are truly seated with Him in heavenly places far above all rule and authority and power and dominion.  We are to take dominion in the earth, not be dominated by it.  Yet, as Jesus demonstrated, we submit to God’s rule and authority and therefore, carry out His plans in humility, love, and order.  Today, I will pay my taxes not as a victim of heavy taxation, but as a child of God who has received God’s provision and chooses to humbly pay my taxes so that my Father’s will can be accomplished on earth. 

Shalom!

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Draw Water With Joy

17 October 2011
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The Feast of Tabernacles is a celebration of the harvest.  At the end of the agricultural year, God instructed the Israelites to bring in their harvests, make offerings to Him and to celebrate His goodness and provision.  After the hard work was completed, it was a time for great rejoicing.  Thus, the feast was also called the Feast of Ingathering (Ex 23:16, Lev 23:39).

 While rejoicing over the abundance of this year’s crop, it was also a time to look forward and pray for rain for the coming year’s crops.  The priests performed a ritual during the feast to request rain from God.  In Israel, there were two seasons for rain called the early and latter rains.  The early rains came in the autumn season, right after the Feast, to prepare the ground for spring planting.  The latter rains came in the spring, after the spring harvest of barley and wheat and before the second planting (Deut 11:14, Joel 2:23).  Israel was very dry and hot, so without the rains of heaven, crops would fail and there would be famine. 

 Each day of the feast the Priests would go down to the Pool of Siloam carrying a golden pitcher.  A procession would follow them singing praise psalms (Psalms 113-118).  The priest would draw water from the Pool and carry it back to the Temple.  All the people would wave palm and willow branches before the Lord and carry pieces of citrus fruit, often called the citron, in their hand. The priest would then pour the water into the basin in the inner court which was typically used for drink offerings.  Normally, wine would be poured into the basin, but on this day the water was poured into this basin and wine was poured at the same time into another basin.  As he did so, the priest and the people would rejoice while reciting Isaiah 12:3, “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.”

  This was a most joyous ceremony with much symbolism.  The water represented God’s provision in the wilderness, as well as the refreshing, cleansing of Messiah that was to come.  The wine represented the outpouring of the Spirit that was to come. Waving the branches was symbolic of the progression through the desert as they encountered different types of vegetation, and the citrus fruit was a symbol of the fruit of the Promised Land. 

 Just before Jesus’ death, he was celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles.  In John 7:37-38, we read that during this water-drawing ceremony on the last day of the Feast, Jesus stood up drawing attention to Himself, and cried out in a LOUD voice, “ If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”  The Jews who heard this would have been familiar with the many references in the Torah and from the Prophets that spoke about Living Waters, streams of life, river of God, etc.  Jesus was declaring fulfillment of these scriptures in Himself.  Verse 39 further defines “living water” as being filled with the Spirit of God. 

 While the Jews were crying out for natural rain to be poured on their land to give them a natural harvest of food, Jesus now gave them access to spiritual rain that would produce a life-giving harvest of souls.  Many recognized Jesus as Messiah after this, but many others refused to believe. 

 The beauty and mystery of God’s Word is seen again in this story.  The word “salvation” in Isaiah 12:3 is the Hebrew word ‘yeshua.’ Yes, it is the very name of Jesus!  Yeshua means salvation by God, deliverance, welfare, prosperity, victory, health and help.    Unknowingly, for seven days the priests and the people had been declaring that they would drink from the well of Jesus’ living water and here He was stating that prophecy was available in Him! 

 The application for us today is clear.  God has stated that He will have a great end-times harvest of souls.  In order to accomplish this, He has called His people to cry out for the latter rains of the Holy Spirit to awaken people’s hearts and draw them near to God.  This is the imagery proclaimed in Joel 2:18-32.  After the people rend their hearts and repent (Feast of Trumpets and Day of Atonement), then God will restore the people and release a great harvest!  This is the day we are living in….God is ready for us, the laborers, to work with Him to gather in the Harvest and make ready for Jesus to return. 

 Ask rain from the Lord at the time of the latter rain….And He will give them showers of rain… Zech 10:1

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The Feast of His Presence

16 October 2011
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The Feast of Tabernacles is the most important Feast in God’s calendar.  It is mentioned as one of the three Feasts that all men are required to participate in each year (Ex 23:14-17, 34:23-24; Deut 16:16; 1 Ki 9:25; 2 Chr 8:13).  Additionally, Zechariah singles out the Feast of Tabernacles as the one that all survivors of the tribulation will participate in during Jesus’ Millennial reign (Zech 14:16-19).  If this feast is so important to God, it should probably be important to us, His followers, especially as part of the end-times generation.  

God’s desire has always been to dwell with His people.  In the beginning, He created a garden in which He and His creation would live, work and play.  When Adam and Eve sinned, they had to be sent out of the garden and out of God’s presence.  The plan of redemption is a plan to bring us back into union with God so that once again He can literally dwell with His people.  He never intended to pull us off the earth and take us to heaven.  He wanted to come and dwell amongst His people in the world He created.  Throughout the Bible, we see God continually establishing His Presence and inviting the people to repent, return and remain with Him.  

Once the Israelites left Egypt, they met God at Mt. Sinai where he gave them instructions on how they were to live once they came into the Promised Land.  He gave them all the details for constructing a tabernacle, the place where His presence would dwell.  Then He told them how the tribes were to be situated around the tabernacle. God was in the center of His people. 

 When Jesus came in the flesh, John 1:14 tells us that he came to dwell among us.  He left the glory of heaven so that He could be with His people.  When he returned to heaven, He gave us the gift of His Spirit to dwell inside of us (Eph 2:22).  

Revelation 21:3 says that once Jesus comes again and conquers all that hinders His Love, reigns on earth for a thousand years and puts an end to Satan, then He will establish the New Jerusalem, the place where God the Father and Jesus the Son will dwell among their people.  This is our destiny.  Celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles on earth is a dress rehearsal for the eternity we will spend in God’s presence.  Today, God is pouring out more and more of His Spirit to move us deeper into His Presence during these appointed times.  Enter in and celebrate!  Our redemption draweth nigh!

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Shana Tova!

29 September 2011
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Today we welcome the new Hebrew year 5772, a time to pierce the world structures and recover all!  It is a time for celebration and a time to set the course for the year ahead.  In Jewish homes, many will be dipping apples in honey as a way of declaring the new year will be full of sweetness.  When leaving the House of Prayer, the Jews bless each other saying, “May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.”   

What does it mean to be sealed for a good year?  This celebration was designed by God as a day to blow the trumpet.  There are many scriptures that instruct the people to blow the trumpet for various reasons, but this day there is a special significance to the blowing.  The prophetic meaning of this Biblical Holiday is so relevant to us today.  The sound of the trumpet is a call to AWAKEN.  Awaken from your slumber, from your routines, from business as usual to the call of God.  Awaken to His Presence and to His eternal plan.  The time is short!  Consider your ways before God and hear His voice.  It is the voice of the Bridegroom calling to His Bride.  It is an alarm that gives warning, there is still time to return to the Lord with all your heart. 

 The trumpet sound is a call to action.  The next 10 days are to be days of reflection and repentance.  We are called to consider our ways and consider Him Who made us.  Are there areas of your life that are not aligned with God’s purposes?  Do you know the precious plan He has for your life and are you submitting to His leadership to bring it about?  Are there habits and routines that hinder you from knowing Him more?  If you ask the Lord to reveal these things to you, He will.  That’s what this time is for,  it leads us back to Him. 

 Jesus Christ shed His own blood for us when He died on the Cross.  His blood is the atonement that we need.  It does not fade away each year like the annual sacrifice of a goat did on the Day of Atonement in Old Testament times.  His sacrifice was once and for all, for all men and women that would receive it.  It’s not about you, it’s all about what He did.  You cannot earn it, you can only accept it.  His blood is the salvation that brings us back into right relationship with God, but it doesn’t stop there.  The salvation of the Lord is not only for forgiveness, it’s for being who God created you to be, a son or daughter of the Living God.  God created each one of you with a purpose, a destiny in His Kingdom.  We must be awakened to the enormity of His call.  Most Christians don’t realize just how much God prepared for them in His Kingdom.  He didn’t send Jesus to the Cross just for your forgiveness.  That is only the starting place.  Once you know you’re forgiven, there is much more for you to know and to do.  He wants you to know Him deeply, just as you are deeply known by Him.  He wants to share secrets with you, to impart gifts to you, to give you incredible assignments that will cause others to know Him too.  He wants to show you His Glory….think about it! 

 So I pray today that you are “sealed for a good year,”  sealed by the Blood of Jesus, knowing that you are a child of His Promise, You are called to greatness in Him, You are anointed with the Holy Spirit and full of the Life of God.  You are sealed with the Reality of Jesus Christ on the inside of you.    You were not made to hide out awaiting Jesus’ return to rescue you from the wicked world.  You are made to be a victorious warrior, knowing His will and enforcing it, taking back the captives and setting them free, bringing light into every dark place.  You are called to take dominion in the earth.  This is an exciting and adventurous call.   Religion is boring, but life in the Kingdom is brimming with joy and excitement in Christ. 

 Hear the sound of His voice, the trumpet, as He calls you today.  Turn aside and listen to what He has to say.  Take these next 10 days to get reacquainted with the Word of God and His purposes.  Then set your heart on Him and get ready for the ride….

 Be sealed in Him and have a Sweet Year!

 Shana Tova!

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Do You Want To Know A Secret?

27 July 2011
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We all love to be told a secret; it makes you feel special, like one with privileged information.  The thrill of the secret comes not only from the information that is given, but the person who is willing to tell you the information.  It is because of the special relationship that you have with the person that you are given ‘privileged information.’  What you do with the information  after you are told reveals how much you value the relationship that allowed you to be one of the privileged few.

Jesus, in Mark 4:11, tells His followers, “The secret of the Kingdom of God has been given to you.”  Hmmm, if this is true, how come so many Christians are walking around in the dark, not understanding the times or seasons?  Jesus goes on to say that those on the outside hear everything in parables so that they may see but never perceive, and hear but never understand.  If they did perceive and understand, then they would turn and be forgiven.

Throughout Mark chapter 4, Jesus speaks a parable and then gives an explanation to his disciples.  He wants His disciples to have understanding, He wants them to know how the Kingdom works and how He and His Father think.  The chapter concludes with the statement, “When he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.”  This is the nature of Jesus.  He considers His disciples trustworthy enough to share His secrets with them.  He is not trying to make them guess what His intentions are. He wants them not only to understand, but to partner with Him in establishing the Kingdom.  How can you build the Kingdom without understanding the blueprint?

We must ask ourselves, “Do I understand the secrets of the Kingdom?”  Have I taken time to sit at Jesus’ feet and listen to His explanations?  Have my thinking and my actions been changed because I’ve spent time with Jesus?

As I was pondering these questions, I thought about how we learn.  As a homeschooling mom, I have the privilege of teaching my children.  Math continues to be one of the most challenging subjects to teach.  I explain the concepts and draw diagrams.  I wait to see if understanding has occurred.  If it has not, I try another way of explaining.  This process may take several hours or several days.  But if teacher and student stay engaged, understanding will come.  The proverbial light bulb will come on and the student will then know how to work the problems.

So it is with us and Jesus.  Just because we read the text in the Bible does not mean we have understanding.  Just because we hear someone preach a message does not mean we have understanding.  Sometimes revelations comes quickly, but usually it takes some effort on our part.  It takes time to sit with Jesus, ask Him questions and hear His response.  We cannot hear when we are always talking or while we are doing other things.  Ever try to learn a new math concept while watching TV or playing a video game?

When Jesus said “those on the outside” I don’t believe He was speaking only of unbelievers, He was speaking also of believers that remained on the fringe of hearing, those that did not press in to gain understanding.  He says, if you ask, then you will receive.  If we ask Him to explain His words, then He will.  Our desire for Him compels Him to make His heart known, but He will not entrust His secrets to those that have no real desire to change or to cooperate with Him in bringing about change.  You will only invest your time and energy in that which you value.  If you labor to gain understanding then when it comes, you’ll be ready to shift your life to make room for a new way of doing things.  You’ll be ready to help establish the Kingdom in your life and the lives of those around you.  If you only hear the words and think you understand, lasting change will not come.  It will be as Jesus described in the parable of the sower, the word will be snatched away because it has no root.

Loving God wholeheartedly requires time and patience.  It requires discipline and diligence, hunger and sacrifice.  What are you willing to give up so that you can gain the secrets of the Kingdom?  This is the measure of your love for Jesus and His Kingdom.  Salvation is free, but being a disciple is costly.  How badly to you want to know His secrets?

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July 4th – Celebrating Our Deliverance

4 July 2011
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John Adams might have been a bit off on the date, but his understanding of the Spirit of this day was right on!

It was the date of July 2, 1776 that John Adams thought would be celebrated by future generations of Americans writing to his wife Abigail Adams a second letter on July 3, 1776:

But the Day is past. The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America.

I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.

You will think me transported with Enthusiasm but I am not. — I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration, and support and defend these States. — Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph in that Days Transaction, even altho We should rue it, which I trust in God We shall not.

A Day of Deliverance it was, and today, we are crying out again for our deliverance from those that would try to ruin this great nation that God established.  There are those that are bent on our destruction.  These forces are no longer from those ‘across the sea’ but within our walls, in our government, leading our country.  What great tragedy has befallen our nation.   It is time for the patriots of America to arise, as did our forefathers, the pilgrims, the common man, who gave their all, their blood, sweat and toil, to see the heart of God established in this country.  “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” (Gal 5:1)  The battle is about worship!  Whom shall you worship?  Where does your allegiance lie?

Will we rise to the challenge, recognizing the the hour of our visitation?  In His great mercy, God is once again pouring out His Spirit to empower us to victory over the evil that intends to bring us to ruin, to take away our freedom and make us its slaves.  Or will we remain complacent, reveling the lies generated through our media that economic recovery and the freedom of same-sex marriage will make us great once again?  Will we be content to have every last freedom taken, every last dollar taxed, every God-given right quenched?  I think not!

Enjoy the BBQ, the watermelon and the fireworks, but in the midst of the celebration remain sober and vigilant that we are warriors in a great battle against evil.   We were all born with a purpose, we are born blessed, but that does not translate into comfort and ease for all our days.  When the battle cry is sounded, we must lay aside our comfort, grab our (spiritual) weapons, listen diligently to our Commander of the Heavenly Host and then fight will all we have!  The Rays of ravishing Light and Glory are still before us.  Jesus, the greatest Warrior-King, is leading His army to victory.  It is certain, if only we will listen to him.

America, it is time to REMEMBER!  Remember our beginnings and ensure that our End is better than our beginning, that God be the centerpiece of our nation and that our lives are built on His government, His righteous rule, and His freedom through the Blood of Jesus.  Let us cry out with one voice, “In America, as it is in Heaven!”  I charge you today, “Choose you this day whom you will serve…..but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!”  Joshua 24:15

Credits:  Image by Cathy Wood

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