100 Shout to the Lord, all the earth. 2 Serve the Lord with joy;
come before him with singing. 3 Know that the Lord is God.
He made us [Gen. 1–2], and ·we belong to him [or not ourselves];
we are his people, the sheep ·he tends [L of his pasture; 74:1; 79:13; John 10:11–14].
4 Come into his ·city [L gates] with songs of thanksgiving
and into his courtyards with songs of praise.
·Thank [Praise] him and ·praise [bless] his name. 5 The Lord is good. His ·love [loyalty] is forever,
and his ·loyalty [faithfulness] ·goes on and on [L for all generations].
How do we know that God loves us?
Expanded Bible (EXB)
16 “[L For] God loved the world so much that he gave his ·one and only [only; unique; T only begotten; 1:14, 18] Son so that whoever believes in him may not ·be lost [T perish], but have eternal life.
Why then do we not hear Gods voice? Feel His presence? Know with confidence we are His? Why have we not entered into the amazing relationship He came to offer? How come for some it is only a good thought, a great hope, believing will make it OK to live however we choose and in the end because we hold this belief all will be OK.
Expanded Bible (EXB)
God Chooses Cyrus to Free Israel
22 “All ·people everywhere [the ends of the earth], ·follow [turn] and be saved. I am God. There is no other God. 23 I ·will make a promise by my own power [L have sworn by myself], and ·my promise is true [L a righteous/right/true word goes out of my mouth]; what I say will not ·be changed [be revoked; L return]. ·I promise that everyone will bow before me [L For to me every knee will bow] and ·will promise to follow me [L every tongue will swear; C allegiance; Rom. 14:11; Phil. 2:10].
The word says follow Him and His teaching. Seek Him and you will find Him. Knock and the door will be open to you. Faith is knowing what Christ did for us and how he made a way for the sinner to come into relationship with Him. When I really found God, it was when I realized I the sinner, could come before Him and seek His face. I could step out in faith and walk with Him just as I am with repentance in my heart. I learned that when condemnation came in, it tried to call me away from Him and tell me I was not good enough. I learned there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. I found a God who excepts me for who I am. I found a teacher who is patient in teaching me His ways. I found a father who allows me to walk through this difficult life only to reveal more of who He is.
I found the lover of my soul!!!! I found true faith and acceptance!!! I found a God who is over everything!!! I found a friend who has made me more of a man than I could ever imagine. I have many faults and struggles with sin and a heart of flesh. I have also been freed from many of them. I have been changed from the inside and continue to change as I walk with Him and learn.
Do not just believe, follow Him, seek Him and know Him and you also will be able to say, Jesus I know that you love me!!!!!
I’ve planted trees of the worst of winters.
Trees as empty and bare as they come. The lies I’ve told, the words I’ve spoken.
The bitterness I’ve held inside. The judgements my heart held tight.
I remember each leaf that fell, as my heart turned cold,
as in the depths of hell where barren trees belong. The days I pushed my Lord away,
I walk alone as if it were the coldest winter day.
The days were dark the winds seemed to never stop blowing.
I was caught in the current of the river that flows by the dead tree orchard.
The dark clouds a constant reminder of the season I’m in,
yet in my insanity I continue to plant empty trees.
Trees that belong in a graveyard of the wicked.
Seasons change and so can I as I remember the trees I’ve planted in my past.
Trees of strength and glory, trees so big one could climb to the top and see the world.
Trees as green as the rain forest.
Trees that flourished because they were watered by the hand of God.
Trees of true heart, true light, and true beauty, trees of conviction!
Trees that were planted by the choice to serve, to love, to forgive , to give.
Trees that opened my heart so bare that all I knew was to care.
The warmth of the sun shining down on me spoke of Gods pleasure.
Today I’m planting my first good tree of this season,
hoping to never see an empty tree in my orchard again.
Inspired by God, written by Ken Hernandez
Isaiah 41 (Expanded Bible)
Only the Lord Can Save Us
8 ·The Lord says, “People of Israel, you are my servants [L “You Israel, my servant]. ·People of Jacob, I chose you [L Jacob, whom I have chosen; 44:1]. You are ·from the family [descendants; offspring; seed] of my friend Abraham [Gen. 12:1–3]. 9 I took you from ·places far away on [L the ends of] the earth and called you from ·a faraway country [its farthest parts]. I said, ‘You are my ·servants [L servant].’ I have chosen you and have not ·turned against [rejected; thrown away] you. 10 So don’t ·worry [fear], because I am with you. Don’t be ·afraid [dismayed], because I am your God. I will ·make you strong [strengthen you] and will help you; I will ·support [uphold] you with my ·right hand that saves you [or righteous right hand; C a symbol of power to save and protect; Ex. 15:6; Ps. 63:8].
11 “[L Look; T Behold] All those people who ·are angry with [seethe/rage against] you will be ashamed and disgraced. Those who ·are [strive] against you will ·disappear [become nothing] and ·be lost [perish]. 12 You will look for your enemies, but you will not find them. Those who ·fought [wage war] against you will ·vanish completely [be as nothing]. 13 [L For; Because] I am the Lord your God, who holds your right hand, and I tell you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I will help you.’ 14 Do not be afraid ·even though you are weak as a worm [L you worm, Jacob], you ·few people of Israel who are left [or people of Israel; or maggot, Israel]. I myself will help you,” says the Lord. “·The one who saves you [Your redeemer/protector] is the Holy One of Israel [1:4]. 15 Look, I ·have made [or will make] you like a new threshing ·board [sledge] with many sharp teeth. So you will ·walk on [thresh the] mountains and crush them; you will make the hills like ·chaff [straw]. 16 You will ·throw them into the air [winnow them], and the wind will carry them away; a ·windstorm [gale; tempest] will scatter them. Then you will ·be happy [rejoice] in the Lord; you will ·be proud of [boast in] the Holy One of Israel [1:4].
17 “The poor and needy people look for water, but ·they can’t find any [there is none]. Their tongues are ·dry [parched] with thirst. But I, the Lord, will answer ·their prayers [L them]; I, the God of Israel, will not ·leave them to die [L abandon/forsake them]. 18 I will ·make rivers flow [L open rivers] on the ·dry hills [barren heights] and springs flow through the valleys. I will change the ·desert [wilderness] into ·a lake [pools] of water and the ·dry [arid; parched] land into ·fountains [springs] of water. 19 I will ·make trees grow [plant; put] in the ·desert [wilderness]— cedars, acacia, myrtle, and olive trees. I will put pine, fir, and cypress trees growing together in the desert. 20 [L …so that] People will see these things and ·understand [know]; they will ·think carefully about these things [consider] and ·learn [comprehend] that the Lord’s ·power [L hand] did this, that the Holy One of Israel [1:4] ·made these things [created it].”
Our journey with God, who can know and understand the ways of God? How is it that we can see to the spirit of His word and apply it to our daily lives. Understanding God is understanding He is using everything in our lives for His glory! This scripture describes Gods children as His planted trees. Trees that are planted where the river flows. Planted by the river of His presence. You see no one in the bible got it all right. Every prophet and servant of God struggled with flesh and heart. Trees take time to grow especially the trees of God. He did not make dead lifeless trees. He made trees of faith and glory! Will we see it today or tomorrow? Is that faith at all? Trees go through many seasons and changes. Trees grow mightier in time.
Faith my fellow trees, will be the answer in its time! Will you choose to find the strength of a tree no matter what the weather is or the season? Will you extend your branches when the leaves fall or a branch breaks? Will you see it through the storms of winter to see the blossoms of spring? Faith and drawing from the river that flows next to you will show itself true. God will not leave you or forsake you, but I must tell you, your faith will be tested and rewarded by the heart that grows roots deep towards the source of water.
Today you can choose to believe the truth and defeat the enemy by simply believing truth and pushing out the lies. You are not alone in your struggles. He is with you and all of us other trees are praying and pressing in with you. Hopefully strong trees are being planted today, I’m believing you are!
18 I will ·make rivers flow [L open rivers] on the ·dry hills [barren heights] and springs flow through the valleys. I will change the ·desert [wilderness] into ·a lake [pools] of water and the ·dry [arid; parched] land into ·fountains [springs] of water. 19 I will ·make trees grow [plant; put] in the ·desert [wilderness]— cedars, acacia, myrtle, and olive trees. I will put pine, fir, and cypress trees growing together in the desert. 20 [L …so that] People will see these things and ·understand [know]; they will ·think carefully about these things [consider] and ·learn [comprehend] that the Lord’s ·power [L hand] did this, that the Holy One of Israel [1:4] ·made these things [created it].”
May our Lord Jesus Christ poor His presence over you and this message, I love the trees of God, they are the weakest yet the strongest. They are more glorious than any other tree, for they are courage’s and full of heart. God bless your day www.fullofrosesinspirationals.com
please check out this video and also check out my other post rainbow symbolism of promise 🙂
I awoke this morning to the birds singing
I went outside, there was a sense of well being
The air was so fresh, a calm breeze blew across my face
It was so quiet, as if everyone was sleeping
I found peace and joy in my heart
As if the world had stopped just for a moment
The longing in my heart to draw near to You
I closed my eyes and pictured You in my head
The flowers in the garden began to bloom
The trees filled with the shiniest fruit
The grass grew seven shades greener
The grape vines that never produce were full
A rainbow had criss-crossed another rainbow across the sky
It was most beautiful
A stream came rushing through my feet
Fish with wings jumping over me
The sky a shade of blue I had never seen before
A Man in white came walking towards me with a gleam in his eye
I have never seen Your face, but I knew it was You
Lord please don’t make me leave this place
He spoke to my heart with a smile on His face
I realized there was still more to be saved
With a tear in my eye, I smiled
He knew my love for Him
Keeping all in my heart of that day
I will seek all that You lead me to
A New Time Is Coming
17 “·Look [T Behold], I will ·make [create] new heavens and a new earth, and people will not remember the ·past [former things] or ·think about those things [bring them to heart/mind]. 18 My people will be happy and joyful forever because of the things I will ·make [create]. I will make a Jerusalem that is full of joy, and I will make her people a delight. 19 Then I will rejoice over Jerusalem and be delighted with my people. There will never again be heard in that city the sounds of ·crying [weeping] and ·sadness [crying]. 20 There will never be a ·baby [infant] from that city who lives only a few days. And there will never be an older person who doesn’t ·have a long life [L live out his days]. A person who ·lives a hundred years will be called young [or dies at a hundred years will still be considered a child], and a person who dies before he is a hundred will be thought of as a ·sinner [or accursed]. 21 In that city those who build houses will live there. Those who plant vineyards will get to eat their grapes [C as opposed to times of conquest, when homes are confiscated and crops are stolen]. 22 No more will one person ·build a house and someone else live there [L build and another inhabit]. One person will not ·plant a garden and someone else eat its fruit [L plant and another eat]. ·My people will live a long time, as trees live long [L For like the days of a tree shall be the days of my people]. My chosen people will live there and enjoy the ·things they make [L work of their hands]. 23 They will ·never again work for nothing [not labor in vain]. They will never again give birth to children ·who die young [L doomed for misfortune/disaster]. All my people will be blessed by the Lord; they and their ·children [descendants; seed] will be blessed. 24 I will ·provide for their needs [L answer] before they ·ask [call], and I will ·help them [L hear] while they are still ·asking for help [L speaking]. 25 The wolf and the lamb will ·eat together in peace [feed/graze together]. The lion will eat hay like an ox, and ·a snake on the ground will not hurt anyone [the serpent’s food will be dust; Gen. 3:14]. They will not hurt or destroy each other on all my holy mountain,” says the Lord.
When I wrote this poem I was at my dinning table early In the morning drinking my coffee when I was moved to go out into the backyard. The minute I got outside I felt the Lords presence and closed my eyes when I had the vision of the beautiful poem. I believe we can find a piece of heaven here on earth. Heaven is reachable through our hearts. Our hearts are the door way to Heaven. When we open our hearts in worship to Jesus we enter into His presence, the kingdom of God! Heaven is the finish line of the race we are in. Heaven will be the frosting on the Jesus! Heaven in all its glory will not compare to Him. We Have access to Him now!
Everything in this life has a current that pulls out into the deep sin of this world. Drawing us away from His kingdom and His presence! Opening our hearts to Him is like swimming against the current of the ocean, helping you escape the current of this world and finding the safety in His truth. The more we go against the current, the more we find ourselves on the narrow path walking in His kingdoms glory. The more we are in touch with God and the more we gain a taste of what is to come.
I want to encourage you to go against the current of this life and have a moment in heaven today. The moments in heaven give us all we need to reach our full purpose in this life, leading us into all of His glory and bringing with us as many as possible to heaven eternal!!
Thank you for following this blog I am encouraged by your passion for Him. As I read many of your blogs I am so touched by the diversity of Him in all of you. God bless you in all of your moments with Him until we are with Him completely for all et
(You walked with me) was written at a time of reflection. looking back at my walk with God and seeing where He was every step of the way. I know at times it may seem like God is far away or that He is too busy dealing with bigger problems than yours. I can tell you that the bible says that God is Omnipresent! He is everywhere, all the time and He is with each and everyone of us in the deepest most intimate way. Our God is a Big God, He is capable of doing many things that are beyond our understanding.
God pays so much attention to us, He has counted the number of hairs on our head. So faith must take us to a deeper place in our hearts to see God. Our hearts are the door way to Gods kingdom. The only way to see Him is to go deep into your heart and there He will be sitting beside you ready to speak wisdom, love, forgiveness and promise. This life and it’s testimony is all about will you believe God and the scriptures? The reason we have scriptures are for the testimony of other believers and the word of the living God. When we look at the people of the bible and the incredible stories of faith that play out, we can identify with them in so many areas. We can see their struggles with sin, their doubt, their disobedience, their trials, times of great defeat and great victories, times of great loss and times of incredible blessings, most of all their lack of faith or their tremendous courage and faith. We get to see the transformation that takes place like with Apostle Paul for example. A man persecuting the church to become one of the most powerful men of God!!! (You walked with me) Each of them in their own right will and have said those words ( You walked with me)!!!!
24 Enoch walked with God [C he had a close relationship with God; Heb. 11:5–6]; one day Enoch could not be found, because God took him [C like Elijah (2 Kin. 2:11), he did not die].
Stories like Enoch the bible clearly says he walked with God. Imagine if you respond to Gods call, trusting Him, walking it out with Him in faith. Regardless of how perfect you are. Just as you stand, to choose to walk with God and respond to His calling. Joseph walked with God, his own brothers ripped off his coat, poured goats blood on it, threw him into a pit, sold him into slavery and left him as dead. Joseph was thrown into prison on several occasions until God brought him to his purpose. You see reflection on our walks are very needed to see where we have come from and where we are going. This life takes courage and prayer but it is the greatest journey one could ever go on.
My apologies I haven’t posted in some time. I have been very busy lots going on. I will try to post more often. I hope you are blessed by my blog. May your walk with Him be deep and fruitful. If you are still waiting to respond to His call, I encourage you to know the only true living God Christ Jesus!
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
The greatest example of courage is what Jesus Christ modeled for us. To lay down ones life for another. Sacrifice, the denial of self.
: an act of offering to a deity something precious; especially: the killing of a victim on an altar
: something offered in sacrifice
a: destruction or surrender of something for the sake of something else
b: something given up or lost <the sacrifices made by parents>
New International Version (NIV)
18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
As Jesus talks about His life purpose I realize this is the calling, everything centers here. All of the mysteries of life find its purpose here in one laying down their life for another.
New International Version (NIV)
24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
Think about this, when you plant a seed, it actually dies before it produces life. This is the ministry and call of Jesus and from Him to us.
New International Version (NIV)
39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.
This apply s to everything, think about when you get discouraged or feel like a failure and you have internal battles in your heart about what is right and what is wrong, and what you should do to change the results of your choices.Those feeling are connected to the flesh by the spirit producing conviction. The spirit knows it ‘s goal and will work on your heart until you submit to the spirit. The flesh desires pride and ownership of our hearts. the flesh wants to be first, the flesh is selfish, self righteous, greedy. The lust of self-will. The path of holiness is found by offering your life to Christ. allowing the spiritual seed of your body to die so that it will find it’s life in Christ. One day our physical bodies will die and if we die in Christ He says the dead seed of our bodies will produce life eternal. The seed of a sinful mans body glorified by God in death.
New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Teaches Nicodemus
5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[b] gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You[c] must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”[d]
Flesh and spirit do not go together, one must replace the other. The flesh must die for the spirit to live. This is what Jesus modeled. This is why we love and respect Him above anything else. An all powerful King of the universe humbled himself, died to Himself, came to earth as a defenseless baby, so that we would know how wide, how deep His love is for us! Courage, His name is Courage, and I pray this very morning that we together will find courage to walk in love, dieing to ourselves that we might find life!
New International Version (NIV)
21 Whoever pursues righteousness and love
finds life, prosperity[a] and honor.
May the Lord fill your spirit with truth and your heart with divine love. May He stamp your heart with courage.
When I became a Christian I had no Idea about how to face the giants in my life, at least not from a Godly perspective. I think I looked at it pretty much as challenges come and you just have to tough it out, or party through it. Now as I am a Christian, facing giants has a whole new meaning. The kind of giants I am talking about are things like finding out you have a terminal illness, someone very close to you has just passed away, you lost your job and are now loosing your house, you were abused as a child and you are dealing with the anxiety of facing the internal issue and seeking healing. There are so many more. When I first got saved I truly hated myself and facing that giant was very difficult. Getting to the heart of the giant takes courage, faith and God. I had so much fear in my heart and I didn’t believe in myself. I grew up bullied by other kids, when I was younger I was very small and skinny. It wasn’t until I turned sixteen yrs old that I sprouted and those problems ended. Even though they ended I still deal with some of those emotional issues from back then. What I can tell you is even though I still have some emotional issues and fears, I will take on the giants that come. I have learned as David did with the lion and bear. God is faithful and full of joy when we put on faith believing in Him and His word. Lets look at Davids heart in facing Goliath.
1 Samuel 17
New International Version (NIV)
David and Goliath
33 Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”
34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”
Notice Saul, doesn’t he sound like the whispers of satin? “You are not able” Isn’t that just like our enemy filling our heads with fear and doubt! If I could count how many times I have heard those thoughts “you are not able”. This is where truth comes in. Listen to David “when a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God”.
This is how David did it,with His truth in God
New International Version (NIV)
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
If you have conquered a giant before, you can do it again! As David defeated a lion and a bear, he knew if God helped him then, He will do it again! If you haven’t faced your giant yet, then you need to trust God and walk through it trusting Him. Once you have defeated a lion with God you will be ready to take on Goliath! Whatever giants you face you can trust God, you can take hold of His truth, you can put on the faith to be victorious in whatever you face in this life. David didn’t wait for the giant to come to him, he went to the giant, with God at his side.
God bless you and may your faith move mountains by overcoming the giants in your life. God bless you and keep you victorious.
60 “Jerusalem, ·get up [arise] and shine, because your light has come, and the glory of the Lord shines on you. 2 [L Look; T Behold] Darkness ·now covers [or will cover] the earth; deep darkness covers ·her people [the nations]. But the Lord shines on you, and people see his glory [C his manifest presence] ·around [upon] you. 3 Nations will come to your light; kings will come to ·the brightness of your sunrise [or your radiance].
Isaiah had a powerful message to give to the people of God which I believe stands even more today! There are messages all through the bible telling us to shine and I think we read it and at the moment think how powerful but never light the fire. If we do light the fire most of the time we have the shade over the light. I believe this happens for many reasons. First I think most Christians do not really know what it means to SHINE! How do we SHINE?
v.shone or shined, shin·ing, shines
To emit light.
To reflect light; glint or glisten.
To distinguish oneself in an activity or a field; excel.
To be immediately apparent: Delight shone in her eyes.
To aim or cast the beam or glow of (a light).
past tense and past participleshined To make glossy or bright by polishing.
Brightness from a source of light; radiance.
Brightness from reflected light; luster.
Excellence in quality or appearance; splendor.
To reflect light! We are to reflect the light of Christ. Again how do we do it? First we have to understand what we are using to reflect the light. We use our hearts to reflect the light of Christ. We must position our hearts in such a way that His light reflects from our heart. So first our hearts have to be positioned towards Him. Getting our hearts into focus, think about it, have you ever tried to reflect the sun with a magnify glass to burn a piece of paper? You have to get it into perfect focus and then it begins to smoke and then burn. His word is the magnify glass, our hearts are the paper. We need to get our hearts smoking in Gods word. Do you remember the two men that were walking on the road when Jesus resurrected? After Jesus left them, one of them said, didn’t His words burn in our hearts? His word needs to smoke in our hearts to begin to burn.
1. To aim or cast the beam or glow of (a light). Once you have your heart smoking and burning in His love and truth, you have to refocus the light. Intentionally aim the light. How do we aim the light? Wherever the light is shinning on your heart you aim it. So for example the word of God brings conviction in a certain area in your life, you intentionally refocus the light on that area bringing even more light to it, which can be done by confessing your sin and acknowledging it. Repenting causing the sin to burn away by Gods truth. Then casting the beam or glow from your spirit that is now free from the heavy burden. Now shown on your face from your smile and the sparkling of your eyes because His spirit will emanate from your eyes the more you reflect His light (His Truth).
Removing the shade from your light is very important. Many people struggle doing this. Removing the shade means you have to share your light (His Light). Sharing can be difficult for many of us. Sharing is the greatest act of love and love is light. I have found that giving simple testimony to people causes my light to reflect Him. I aim His light towards others especially if I have walked through something very difficult with God and through that time God did so many things inside my heart that I now have something to give. What I now have to give is a talent and the word of God says not to bury our talents. If you overcome a stronghold you now have a talent in that area that reflects Gods light and Glory. Give your light away by reflecting His love to others.
This can also be done in your marriage, for example lets say your marriage is struggling and Gods light ( Gods Word) Causes the pride in your heart to burn. You refocus His light to your spouse with Humility and you aim His light ( His Love) at your spouse and once again your marriage begins to SHINE! Isaiah was and is telling us to emit light. Excellence in quality or appearance; splendor.
God bless you and may your heart smoke and burn the light and love of Christ. May God bless you and SHINE upon you!
Press on! I’m sure you can imagine what I was going through when I wrote this poem. I could actually write a sequel to It this very moment. I want to encourage you and if you haven’t read my post Rainbow Symbolism Of Promise I encourage you to do so. I am going to expand on that post in this post because I believe it was a powerful revelation to our walks with God.
Expanded Bible (EXB)
Right with God
5 [L Therefore,] Since we have been ·made right with God [declared righteous; justified] by our faith, we have[a] peace with God. This happened through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 ·who through our faith[b] has brought us into that blessing of [L through whom we have access by faith to] God’s grace ·that we now enjoy [L in which we stand/live]. And we ·are happy [rejoice; boast] because of the hope we have ·of sharing [or of experiencing; L of] God’s glory. 3 [L Not only this, but] We also ·have joy [rejoice; boast] ·with our troubles [through suffering/trials/persecution], because we know that ·these troubles [suffering; trials; persecution] produce ·patience [endurance]. 4 And ·patience [endurance] produces [tested and proven] character, and [tested and proven] character produces hope. 5 And this hope will never ·disappoint us [let us down; or put us to shame; dishonor us; C honor and shame were among the most important values in first century culture], because God has ·poured out his love to fill our hearts [or flooded our hearts with his love]. He gave us his love through the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to us.
6 [L For] When we were ·unable to help ourselves [L still helpless/weak], at the ·right [or appointed] time, Christ died for ·us sinners [L the ungodly/wicked]. 7 ·Very few people will [or Rarely/Scarcely will anyone] die for a ·righteous [just; pious] person. Although perhaps for a ·good [truly good; noble] person someone might possibly die [C the “righteous” person may be someone who is outwardly religious, while the “good” person is genuinely generous and loving]. 8 But God ·shows [demonstrates; proves] his ·great [L own] love for us in this way: Christ died for us while we were still sinners.
9 And since we have now been ·made right with God [declared righteous; justified] by ·the blood of Christ’s death [L his blood], ·we will surely also [L how much more shall we…!] be saved through Christ from ·God’s anger [final punishment; L the wrath]. 10 [L For if] While we were God’s enemies, ·he made us his friends [L we were reconciled to God] through the death of his Son. ·Surely [L How much more…?], ·now that we are his friends [L having been reconciled], he will save us through his Son’s life. 11 And not only that, but now we ·are also very happy [also rejoice/boast] in God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we ·are now God’s friends again [have now received reconciliation].
As we go through many trials in our walks especially the testing of our faith which is the trials I am addressing. We must understand we have been set apart for Gods purpose. As I described In my last post Gods presence is upon us like a cloud. In our hearts He is like a consuming fire, glowing metal, a rainbow in the clouds. His spirit is constantly working to burn out our sinful nature making room for His spirit which is the rainbow in the clouds. We are ashes presented to God daily, which He receives and replaces with His beauty. Beauty for ashes! We should have a heart of conviction and if you do, that is His inner work that takes place from reading His word and encountering His truth. His truth becomes the consuming fire within us, casting out self-righteousness and living in conviction. We no longer judge others or try to remove the speck out of the eyes of others instead we remove the plank from our own eyes. If we are not having this experience we should be seeking God deeply for His spirit of truth. When we live in self-righteousness we will think more highly of ourselves and hold strict judgement towards others which places judgement from God on our sin and pushes out the grace God has poured out on us.
So the trails are producing change through pressure that is strengthening us for what is ahead. The longer we resist the change God is calling us to, the longer we will struggle in the current trial if the trial is for the testing of our faith. Sometimes we run from the trial which is only to find us face to face with a similar trial aimed to produce the heart surgery God scheduled. We are called to press on in our trials because they have a purpose producing perseverance. Tested proven character which produces hope and this hope will never disappoint us. Through Christ we are now friends with God. So don’t seem it strange that you are going through theses trials, your brothers and sisters are experiencing the same kind of trials.
The question has come up do I believe God is causing these trials? Trials come by many reasons, some we bring on ourselves. Some are attacks from the enemy satin, some by God for the testing of our faith and some by tragedy, regardless where they come from we have the promise that God will take our weakness and turn it to strength so don’t lose hope or live in hopelessness Christ is with us. God knows your deepest need and He is with you. I am addressing mostly in this post the testing of our faith.
brothers and sisters I am so blessed we can join hands in our trials. Inspire and encourage one another. As Iron sharpens Iron, and one man sharpens another. Bless you In the name of Christ, I pray you are strengthened and moved to press on in hope. May Christ bless your heart!
The rainbow has such a significant symbolic meaning of promise! In my very first blog I shared with you my very first poem called Born Into A Cloud which I wrote three different blogs titled My First Poem giving you my testimony. In My First Poem, One of the lines in the poem I believe the Holy Spirit wrote Is, the rainbow God created you to be, when there seemed to be no hope the clouds are lifted by the winds of salvation. This poem moved me to do a study on the rainbows meaning in the bible which I will share with you now.
Here is the poem
Born into a cloud smothered into darkness
bringing rainfall in abundance
the deep fog keeps you from knowing who you are
Lightning strikes your person a lashing out in pain
the world is blinded by the dark cloud that covers
life hails in destruction leaving no hope or sanity
until a light shines from heaven revealing your true colors
the rainbow God created you to be
when there seemed to be no hope
the clouds are lifted by the winds of salvation
and you are born again by the love and mercy
of the lord Jesus Christ
whom brings forth truth in everlasting life.
Genesis 9 (New International Version)
8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him:9 “I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you10 and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth.11 I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”
12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come:13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds,15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”
He set a rainbow in the clouds as a promise to us, He will never flood the earth again. Which means when the storms come we will not be overtaken. The Rainbow is a hand painted piece of art by God displaying His heart and person in the beauty of salvation to those He loves. It Is one of His ways to say, I am Here and I love you!
Ezekiel 1 (Expanded Bible)
25 A voice came from above the ·dome [vault; expanse; or platform] over the heads of the living creatures. When the living creatures stopped, they lowered their wings. 26 Now above the ·dome [vault; expanse; or platform] there was something that looked like a throne. It looked like ·a sapphire gem [or la pis lazuli]. And on the throne high above was a ·shape [form; figure] like a ·human [man]. 27 Then I noticed that from the waist up the shape looked like glowing ·metal [or amber] with fire inside. From the waist down it looked like fire, and a bright light was all around. 28 The surrounding ·glow [radiance; brightness] looked like the rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day. ·It seemed to look like [L This was the appearance of the likeness of] the glory of the Lord[C his manifest presence]. So when I saw it, I ·bowed [fell] face-down on the ground and heard a voice speaking.
In Ezekiel s vision He sees the presence of God and He described it as glowing metal with fire inside from the waist down it looked like fire, and a bright light was all around. 28 The surrounding ·glow [radiance; brightness] looked like the rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day
. looked like the rainbow in the clouds!!!! Even Gods presence is like a rainbow in the clouds. Could it be when we see a rainbow we are actually seeing an image of God. An Image of His promise. Lets look at Moses!
Exodus 24 (Expanded Bible)
Moses Meets with God
15 When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud [C representing God’s presence] covered it. 16 The glory of the Lord[C representing his manifest presence] ·came down [L settled] on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days. On the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from inside the cloud. 17 To the ·Israelite s [L sons/T children of Israel] the glory of the Lord looked like a fire burning on top of the mountain. 18 Then Moses went into the cloud and went higher up the mountain. He was on the mountain for forty days and forty nights.
I love this part because when Moses was called up the mountain what was seen was a cloud covering it. At the top of the mountain what the people could see was like a fire, a glowing fire inside the cloud on top of the mountain. Half of the way up the mountain was covered with the cloud, which means half the way up this very high mountain, Moses was without sight. Isn’t that like our walks with God? when we climb the mountain of God, we can’t see where we are going. When we get to the top we see the glory of God. I believe when Moses got to the top of the mountain the Glory of God was just like Ezekiel s vision. He saw what looked like a rainbow in the clouds. A consuming fire that looked like glowing metal.
Expanded Bible (EXB)
John Sees Heaven
4 After the vision of these things I looked, and [L look; T behold] there before me was an open door in heaven. And the ·same [L first] voice that spoke to me before, that sounded like a trumpet [1:8], said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after this.” 2 Immediately I was in the ·Spirit [or spirit; C a state of deep spiritual communion with God; 1:10], and [L look; T behold] before me was a throne in heaven, and someone was sitting on it. 3 The One who sat on the throne looked like precious stones, like jasper and carnelian [C a symbol of great beauty, purity and value]. All around the throne was a ·rainbow [or halo] ·the color of [or that looked like] an emerald.
Around the thrown encircling it was a rainbow. You see when you die and are face to face with God what you will see is amazing color of jewels and sapphires and rubies. There will be incredible light and the image you will see of His glory will look like that of a rainbow. I would like to look at another symbol that represents the rainbow and Gods promise of son-ship, Royalty!
Genesis 37 (Expanded Bible)
3 Since Joseph was born when his father Israel [C Jacob’s other name] was old, Israel loved him more than his other sons. He made Joseph a special robe with long sleeves [C traditionally a multicolored robe]. 4 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father loved him more than he loved them, they hated their brother and could not speak to him ·politely [C civilly; L peacefully].
The robe of many colors. This robe is the same robe in the Prodigal Son that the Master has His servants get to put on him. It represents royalty son-ship. I also believe this is Gods covering, a rainbow covering, meaning promise!
Exodus 28 (Expanded Bible)
28 “·Tell your brother Aaron to come [L Bring near your brother Aaron] to you, along with his sons Nada b, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. ·Separate them from the other Israelites to [L …to] serve me as priests. 2 Make holy ·clothes [garments; vestments] for your brother Aaron to give him ·honor [glory] and ·beauty [splendor]. 3 Tell all the ·skilled craftsmen to whom I have given wisdom [L the wise of heart whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom; C wisdom here is a practical knowledge, a skill] to make ·special clothes [garments; vestments] for Aaron—clothes to show that he ·belongs to me [is consecrated/set apart/ holy] so that he may serve me as a priest. 4 These are the clothes they must make: a ·chest covering [breastpiece], a ·holy vest [ephod], an outer robe, a ·woven inner [or checkered] robe, a turban, and a ·cloth belt [sash]. They must make these ·holy [sacred] clothes for your brother Aaron and his sons. Then they may serve me as priests. 5 They must use gold and blue, purple and ·red [scarlet] thread, and fine linen.
The Holy Vest
6 “Use gold and blue, purple and ·red [scarlet] thread, and fine linen to make the ·holy vest [ephod]; ·skilled craftsmen are to make it [skillfully worked]. 7 At each top corner of it there will be a pair of shoulder straps tied together over each shoulder.
8 “·The craftsmen will very carefully weave a belt [L The embroidered waistband] on the ·holy vest that is [L ephod will be] made with the same materials—gold and blue, purple and ·red [scarlet] thread, and fine linen.
9 “Take two onyx stones and write the names of the twelve sons of Israel on them, 10 six on one stone and six on the other. Write the names in order, ·from the oldest son to the youngest [according to the order of their birth]. 11 ·Carve [Engrave] the names of the sons of Israel on these stones in the same way a person ·carves words and designs on a seal [engraves a seal/signet]. Put gold [L filigree] around the stones to hold them on the ·holy vest [ephod]. 12 Then put the two stones on the two straps of the ·holy vest [ephod] as reminders of the twelve sons of Israel. Aaron is to ·wear [bear] their names on his shoulders in the presence of the Lord as reminders of the sons of Israel. 13 Make ·two gold pieces to hold the stones [settings of gold filigree]14 and two chains of pure gold, twisted together like a rope. Attach the chains to the ·two gold pieces that hold the stones [L settings].
This is the clothing for priest of the Kingdom Of God, it continues on if you want to go back and read more. Notice again it is a robe of many colors and full of jewels. Now this is old Testament, today we Christians are all considered to be a Kingdom Of priest and a holy nation. I believe this is our spiritual robe to be worn as a child of royalty and purpose. The anointed of God. This spiritual robe is Gods presence which if you remember it is that of a rainbow in the clouds. His presence is on us like a cloud, a consuming fire of glowing metal, a rainbow in the clouds of this world. We are His rainbows of promise to the lost.
Expanded Bible (EXB)
6 He made us to be a ·kingdom of priests [or kingdom and priests; or kingdom, that is, priests; Ex. 19:6] who serve ·God his Father [L his God and Father]. To ·Jesus Christ [L him] be glory and ·power [dominion] forever and ever! Amen.
May God clothe you in rainbows of blessing and purpose, and full of promise as the children of the living God.
Everyday is a new day, some clearer than others. There are days of a clear focus, full of Gods spirit. Days when you feel you have one foot in heaven. There are days heaven feels a thousand miles away. Days where tears are stored in a bottle and lonely hearts go faint. When hope is differed and questions seem to go unanswered. Trials seem to never end, may it be the wilderness before your public appearance, or the valley of death training the Jedi Knight. We all know what it means to grow in the Lord. Your beginning in Christ found at the end of addiction or addiction found its way in after years of serving. Thinking it is impossible to fall from the strength you have in Christ, only finding yourself beginning again. The hope we have calls us to rise up in every situation leading us all to one place. The foot of the cross worshiping Him. Hill Song is where the river flows. Where we follow the river of God. Where we worship and find ourselves at the foot of Jesus. The place our true lives are found. Where healing and freedom takes place. The place of promise we climb to. The river of truth, living water.
Isaiah 41 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
The Helper of Israel
17 “The poor and needy search for water,
but there is none;
their tongues are parched with thirst.
But I the Lord will answer them;
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. 18 I will make rivers flow on barren heights,
and springs within the valleys.
I will turn the desert into pools of water,
and the parched ground into springs. 19 I will put in the desert
the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive.
I will set junipers in the wasteland,
the fir and the cypress together, 20 so that people may see and know,
may consider and understand,
that the hand of the Lord has done this,
that the Holy One of Israel has created it.
Things are never what they seem. God is in control and always working to lead us into His everlasting peace and joy. Stay strong, follow the river of His presence. Remain in prayer and encourage one another. Be the shoulder to cry on, the smile that strengthens the one in need. Be His hands and feet along the river’s edge. You never know when it will be you in need. Join hands as we follow the river of God.
May your day be full of encouragement. May your heart overflow of His goodness as you walk towards the river of life. God bless you.