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!!!!!
The love of God is hard for many to understand, The reason for that is our flesh. The flesh condemns us to the grave. Our sin and flesh keep us from God. The enemy Satin uses our weakness, the flesh to lie to us and keep us from the truth that is spirit. The spirit of truth! Faith is spirit! Christ promises are spirit. The word of God is spirit! It is the spirit that covers us, It is the spirit that sets us free. If we walk by the flesh and the lies of the flesh it only brings lies and death, but Christ made intersession for us that is through His spirit. So we must walk by the spirit of truth and put away the lies of the flesh that only bring death.
If you are a perfectionist the flesh and lies are your worst enemy! You see you are a sinner, we all are and unless you realize that it is Gods spirit and death on the cross that has cleansed us and has set us free, can you receive the gift of the spirit and walk in it. Walking with God just as you are, imperfect. Following God and walking with Him through all your mistakes and imperfections. Trusting Gods perfect work on the cross will finish its work. This is walking by the spirit.
Expanded Bible (EXB)
Be Ruled by the Spirit
8 So now, those who are in Christ Jesus are not ·judged guilty[a][condemned; punished for their sins]. 2 [L For] ·Through [or In] Christ Jesus the ·law [principle; or power] of the Spirit that brings life set you[b] free from the ·law [principle; or power] that brings sin and death. 3 The law [C of Moses] was without power, because the law was made weak by our ·sinful selves [sinful nature; T flesh]. But God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son to earth ·with the same human life that others use for sin [or in a body like ours, prone to sin; L in the likeness of sinful flesh]. By sending his Son ·to be an offering for sin [L concerning sin], God ·used a human life to destroy sin [L condemned sin in the flesh]. 4 He did this so that ·we could be the kind of people that the law demands that we be [L the law’s righteous/just requirements would be fulfilled in us]. Now we do not ·live [walk; C life’s journey] following our ·sinful selves [sinful nature; T flesh], but following the Spirit.
God’s Love in Christ Jesus
31 So what should we say ·about this [in response to these things]? If God is for us, ·no one can defeat us [L who is against us?]. 32 He did not spare his own Son but ·gave him [or delivered him over; C to death] for us all. So with Jesus, ·God will surely [how could he not…?] give us all things. 33 Who can ·accuse [bring an accusation/charge against] the people God has chosen? No one, because God is the One who ·makes them right [declares them righteous; justifies them]. 34 Who can ·say God’s people are guilty [condemn; pronounce punishment]? No one, because Christ Jesus died, but he was also raised from the dead, and now he is on God’s right ·side [hand; Ps. 110:1], ·appealing to God [interceding; pleading] for us. 35 ·Can anything [or Who can] separate us from the love Christ has for us? Can ·troubles [trials; tribulations] or ·problems [distress; hardship] or ·sufferings [persecution] or ·hunger [famine] or ·nakedness [destitution] or danger or ·violent death [L sword]? 36 As it is written in the Scriptures:
“For ·you [your sake] we are ·in danger of death [L being put to death] all the time. ·People think we are worth no more than [L We were considered like] sheep ·to be killed [about to be slaughtered; Ps. 44:22].”
This is the love of the Father the love that has surely set us free by His spirit! So live by the spirit!
Expanded Bible (EXB)
Praise God Who Saved the Nation
For the director of music. A psalm of David. A song.
68 Let God rise up and scatter his enemies; let those who hate him ·run away [flee] from him. 2 Blow them away as smoke is ·driven [blown] away by the wind [Hos. 13:3]. As wax melts before a fire, let the wicked ·be destroyed [perish] before God [Mic. 1:4]. 3 But ·those who do right [the righteous] should be glad and should rejoice before God; they should be happy and glad.
4 Sing to God; ·sing praises [make a psalm] to his name. Prepare the way for him who rides ·through the desert [on the clouds; C as on a chariot; 18:10–19; 104:3; Is. 19:1; Dan. 7:13–14; Luke 21:27; Rev. 1:7], whose name is the Lord. Rejoice before him. 5 God is in his holy ·Temple [L abode]. He is a father to orphans [10:14; 146:9], and he defends the widows [146:9]. 6 God gives the lonely a home. He leads prisoners out ·with joy [with singing; or to prosperity], but ·those who turn against God [L the rebellious] will live in a dry land.
The biggest giant we face in our lives are the flesh giants. When we give into our flesh we are giving into sin. These giants of our flesh came at the fall of man, Adam and Eve. God is against sin and so he is against our flesh. Eating from the tree of good and evil introduced us to these giants we now face together. Even before the great flood the people had allowed these giants to reach their all time high and their sin became so evil God destroyed them only leaving Noah, his family and the animals. The word of God says the people became so evil that the women had sex with men of God “angels”. The word of God says the evil of their flesh gave birth to giants. (Giant flesh!!!) The evil was so great all it did was grow!!!! The evil seed from the flesh produced giants!
The Human Race Grows More Evil
6 The number of people on earth began to ·grow [multiply], and daughters were born to them. 2 When the ·sons of God [C may refer to godly men among Seth’s descendants (ch. 5), or noble men, or angels] saw that ·these girls [L the daughters of men/human beings; C either evil women among Cain’s descendants (4:17–24), poor women, or simply mortal women] were beautiful, they married any of them they chose [C though their identity is unclear, their marriage clearly violated a boundary]. 3 The Lord said, “My Spirit will not ·remain in [or contend with] human beings forever, because they are ·flesh [mortal]. ·They will live [L Their days will be] only 120 years.”
Gods word says he will not contend with them forever, because they are flesh. Before the fall there was only Gods presence in the garden which is spirit. The only thing that can overcome the giants of our flesh is the spirit of God through repentance. Noah showed this kind of walk with God. He walked by truth and truth is spirit. So walking by the spirit he overcame the flesh and was saved! Not only was he saved but his descendants.
Expanded Bible (EXB)
The Spies Explore Canaan
30 Then Caleb told the people near Moses to be quiet, and he said, “We should certainly go up and take the land for ourselves. We can certainly do it.”
31 But the men who had gone with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32 And those men gave the ·Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel] a bad report about the land they ·explored [spied on], saying, “The land that we ·explored [spied on] ·is too large to conquer [L devours its inhabitants]. All the people we saw are very tall. 33 We saw the Nephilim people there [C perhaps named for the pre-flood people mentioned in Gen. 6:4]. (The Anakites come from the Nephilim people.) We felt like grasshoppers, and we looked like grasshoppers to them.”
As the people of God went to explore the land God sent them to posses, they saw that there were giants. The giants of their flesh welled up within them in fear and they gave a bad report. The flesh will cause you to fear and sin before God. It will cause your flesh and sin to grow into giants. Fear and lack of faith will grow as sin and flesh grows. God sent the people by word through Moses to the wilderness to die because of their disobedience.
The Lord Punishes the People
26 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 27 “How long will these evil ·people [community; congregation; assembly] ·complain [grumble] about me? I have heard the ·complaining [grumbling] of these ·Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel]. 28 So tell them, ‘This is ·what the Lord says [L the utterance/decree of the Lord]. I heard what you said, and as surely as I live, I will do those very things to you: 29 ·You will die [L Your dead bodies will fall] in this ·desert [wilderness]. Every one of you who is twenty years old or older [C of military age] and who was counted with the people [1:1–54]—all of you who ·complained [grumbled] against me—will die. 30 Not one of you will enter the land where I ·promised [L lifted my hand; C as when swearing an oath] you would live; only Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun will go in. 31 You said that your children would be ·taken away [war plunder], but I will bring them into the land to enjoy what you refused. 32 As for you, ·you will die [L your bodies will fall] in this ·desert [wilderness]. 33 Your children will be shepherds here for forty years. Because you were ·not loyal [unfaithful; C the term suggests sexual unfaithfulness as a metaphor of spiritual unfaithfulness], they will suffer until ·you lie dead [the last of your bodies lie] in the ·desert [wilderness]. 34 For forty years you will suffer for your sins—a year for each of the forty days you ·explored [spied on] the land. You will know me as your enemy.’ 35 I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will certainly do these things to all ·these evil people [this evil community/congregation/assembly] who have come together against me. So they will all die here in this ·desert [wilderness].”
As like Noah, Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nunwere were the only ones to go and posses the land along with their descendants. The word of God says they had a different spirit. The spirit is the key to overcome the flesh giants in our lives. The scripture goes on to say some of the people said God will forgive us and will be with us let us go and possess the land after God had sent them to the wilderness. So they went without Gods presence, without the ark of the covenant and the word of God says the Giants took them by sword.
The War Within Us
14 [L For] We know that the law is spiritual, but I am ·not spiritual [fleshly; carnal] ·since sin rules me as if I were its slave [L sold to sin; C as a slave]. 15 [L For] I do not understand the things I do. [L For] I do not do what I want to do, and I do the things I hate. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, that means I agree that the law is good [C Paul’s acknowledgement that his behavior is wrong confirms the law’s righteous standards]. 17 But [L now] I am not really the one who is doing these hated things; it is sin living in me that does them. 18 ·Yes [L For…], I know that nothing good lives in me—I mean nothing good lives in ·the part of me that is earthly and sinful [my sinful self; my sinful nature; T my flesh]. [L For] I want to do the things that are good, but I ·do not [or cannot] do them. 19 [L For] I do not do the good things I want to do, but I do the ·bad [evil] things I do not want to do. 20 So if I do things I do not want to do, then I am not the one doing them. It is sin living in me that does those things.
21 So I ·have learned this rule [or find this principle/law at work]: When I want to do good, evil is ·there with me [present within me; close at hand]. 22 [L For] In ·my mind [my inmost self; L the person within], I ·am happy with [delight in] God’s law. 23 But I see ·another law [a different standard; or another power] working in my ·body [or outward actions; L members; parts], which makes war against the ·law [standards] that my mind accepts. That other ·law [standard; or power] working in my ·body [or outward actions; L members; parts] is the law of sin, and it makes me its prisoner. 24 What a ·miserable [wretched] man I am! Who will ·save [free; rescue; deliver] me from this ·body that brings me death [body doomed to die; or burden of death]? 25 ·I thank God for saving me [L Thanks be to God!] through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So [L then] in my mind I am a slave to God’s law, but in my ·sinful self [sinful nature; T flesh] I am a slave to the ·law [principle; or power] of sin.
Paul says it all about the war we have with the flesh giant (The sin that lives within us) He says the law is spiritual meaning truth by God. The law is Gods spirit and that is why it is spiritual. If we are not living in the spirit we cannot overcome the flesh.
Romans 2 (Expanded Bible)
29 A person is a Jew only if he is a Jew ·inside [inwardly]; true circumcision is done in the heart by the Spirit, not by the written law. Such a person gets praise from God rather than from people.
True circumcision is done in the heart by the spirit. If we are seeking Gods spirit through His word, through worship, true circumcision will come not by the written law but by Gods spirit through the heart. You cannot take on giants especially the flesh giant without Gods spirit. It begins from your heart. Open your heart to God and His word, meditate on His word, breathe in His spirit and truth and have victory over the biggest giant which is the flesh. By His grace we are saved!!!!!
May your day be filled with His grace and strength to hold onto faith overcoming the flesh and being filled with His spirit God bless you!!!
6 I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” 2 I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.
He will return and the truth will be known for all that it is. When the true light comes there shall be no darkness, His light shall cover the earth and all darkness will be consumed by His light. He will bring with Him promise and judgment. The humble shall know mercy. The prideful shall know fear and trembling. My heart feels overwhelmed trying to grasp how one could reject such love, such purity, such beauty, such character?
New International Version (NIV)
21 before I go to the place of no return,
to the land of gloom and utter darkness,
The land of gloom and utter darkness, who would choose this? Many are choosing it and they don’t even realize it! I talk to many people who say they are Christians, but are they saved? Many people believe in Christ, but just because you believe doesn’t guarantee you are saved. Do you know Him and His word? Do you love Him, I mean really love Him? Do you go to the cross with Him? Do you seek Him, and live your life in regards to Him? Does He know you? Will He say, I never knew you? Is your life all about you? Does your heart desire His word? Does His word direct your path? Does it draw you closer to Him? Can you see Him in your life? Have you invited Him in and given Him Lordship over your life? Everything! I’m telling you as Solomon said, everything else is grasping for the wind and leading to the land of gloom and utter darkness.
New International Version (NIV)
11 Those the Lord has rescued will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away
Zion the city on a Hill, was where big things came from small places. On the hill of Zion was where the ark of the covenant was brought into the house of God so the people could come from all over the place to worship God. At night you could see in a distance a trail going for miles and miles, the people holding their lanterns traveling just to worship and be in the presence of God. It was the only place where the people could be in the presence of God. Today the ark of the covenant is in our hearts, so we can go into His presence at anytime, anywhere. The King is returning to Zion and we should be holding our lanterns as we travel to Zion, seeking the Big things to come from the small places of our hearts, in Zion. We should be constantly looking for Him. We should be watching!!!! We should be shinning our lights towards Him reflecting His light on to others!!!! It is time to respond to His calling! Light your lamps!!! Jesus will return!!! He will return, and they will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away!!!
New International Version (NIV)
35 “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning!!!
God bless you and may your lamp burn and your hearts be watchful of His coming!!!
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.