1st Sunday of Lent

Lenten Sunday’s are a time apart to get recharged and worship our Savior.  These last weeks I have been studying King David’s life and was brought to my knees by Psalm 51.  David wrote this psalm after his great sin with Bathsheba and the ordering of the death of Uriah, her husband.  David’s confession is real, heartfelt and gives us hope that God can indeed forgive all our sins and restore us.   Be restored and seek God’s forgiveness as you meditate.  Psalm 51: 1-4, 10-12, 17

Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
    blot out my transgressions.
wash awayWash away all my iniquity
    and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
    and justified when you judge.

psalm 51 10David acknowledges his sin and knows God can forgive and wash him clean.

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

David knows God can restore, renew and bring joy where there was sorrow over sin.

My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart
    you, God, will not despise.

David’s humbly offers God is his broken and sorrowful heart.

Prayer:  May it be so with me too.  Forgive my sins and create in me a new restored, resolved and committed heart to serve you.   Amen.

praise Lord peanutsLinda

Suggestion:  attend a worship service really focusing on the praise and worship of God,  so that you can soak in His restoring power.

Praise and Thanksgiving on our lips today! Good-bye 2018!

On this last day of 2018, we conclude with the final chorus of the Messiah.  The scene is the throne room of heaven in John’s vision and Jesus is being praised and worshiped.  Revelation 5:9-13

And they sang a new song, saying,

“Worthy are you to take the scroll
    and to open its seals,
for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
    from every tribe and language and people and nation,
10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
    and they shall reign on the earth.”

11 Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of worthy-is-the-lambthousands, 12 saying with a loud voice,

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing!”

13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”

They begin by singing a new song. In the Old Testament, a new song was sung to celebrate and act of divine deliverance or blessing.  Here the creatures and angels are praising Jesus, the Lamb, who delivered all mankind through his blood.  Jesus is worthy to receive all power, wealth, wisdom, honor and blessing because of the ransom He paid with His blood on the cross.  All heaven and earth will praise Him!  What a glorious scene this will be.  Jesus, the sacrificial lamb, is Worthy of all Praise!

1 Thess 5 18And so… what a fitting way to end our year.  Let us praise our Savior and Redeemer.  Let your lips utter praise today for all this last year has brought both good and bad.  1 Thessalonians 5:18 “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”   Ponder the difficulties you’ve had in your life this year  in G-R-I-Tlight of James 1:2-4Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

Let us take the adversity we experienced and the blessings we received and offer them up to Jesus today as and offering of praise and thanksgiving.

Linda

The Conclusion of the Messiah

Who is your King of Glory?

Psalm 24:7-10 comes alive through the hands of Handel in the Messiah.  As I read the words I can hear melody as he accentuates them.    They are words that have been sung many times over the ages from David to today- if you have time,  listen to Chris Tomlin’s version of these ancient words too.                                                                                              Lift up your heads, you gates;
    be lifted up, you ancient doors,King of glory
    that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
    The Lord strong and mighty,
    the Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, you gates;
    lift them up, you ancient doors,
    that the King of glory may come in.
10 Who is he, this King of glory?                                                                                   The Lord Almighty—
    he is the King of glory.

 David first penned these words to celebrate the return of the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem.  David realized the ark represented the dwelling place of God among them and wanted God to be in their midst.  This song shows the emotional return of the Lord to Zion.  It points to the Lord’s triumphant return.  This occurred in David’s time with the return of the ark, in Jesus’ time with His arrival in Jerusalem on the back of a donkey and points to Jesus’ return at the end of time.  Matthew 21:9 records the crowd’s praise as Jesus entered Jerusalem. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!”  “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna  in the highest heaven!”  In John’s vision we see Christ returning to the city,  Revelation 19:11-13 “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns.He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.” 

The psalmist questions, Who is this King of glory? The Lord Almighty—
he is the King of gloryHis conclusion points to the sovereignty, power, and magnificence of God.  How would you answer this question?  Is God your Lord God's gloryAlmighty? Do you see and recognize Him as the King of all heaven and earth and see a world filled with glory? The Glory of God is by definition the sum total of all God’s attributes. Throughout history God has revealed His power, mercy, grace, judgement, holiness, love, kindness and every other attribute.  In the Old Testament God was symbolically present with the people in the glory cloud known as the Shekinah glory.  God indwelt the tabernacle and later the temple. Today God dwells with us through His Holy Spirit that indwells every believer.  The Lord Jesus Christ reveals God’s glory completely!

Ponder anew today the glory of God revealed in Jesus His Son.  Celebrate His coming this Advent Season with joy and praises!  The Lord Almighty—
he is the King of glory.   Open the doors of your heart and let Him in for He is strong, mighty and filled with glory!

Linda

Here is another more modern rendition of the ancient words by Chris Tomlin- enjoy!

For Love’s Sake He Came!

Part 2 of Handel’s Messiah returns to Isaiah for some prophecies of Jesus and what His time on earth will bring to pass.  Isaiah 53:3  “He was despised and rejected by despised and rejectedmankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.”  Isaiah 50:6  “I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.”   Both of these prophecies were given hundreds of years before Messiah was born.  They tell of the pain and suffering He was to endure both mental and physical.  He was going to be despised, rejected, suffer beatings, insults, mocking and would be spit upon.  During His ministry He was rejected and despised, Mark 8:31 “He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again.”   He would be beaten, insulted, mocked and spit upon.  Matthew 27:26-32 “Then he (Pilate) released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified. Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. 28 They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. 30 They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. 31 After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.”

What do these prophecies say to us today during the Season of Advent?  Jesus came willingly that Christmas into a world that would reject and hate Him.  He came because He loves us. John 3:16 says it best, For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  Because of 1 Corinthians 15 57His LOVE, He came.  Praise Him today for coming and celebrate His victory over sin on our behalf.  “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  1 Corinthians 15:57

Linda

Joy of the Redeemed

The words of the Messiah now begin to focus on Jesus’ time here on earth and what he accomplished.   Isaiah 35:5-6a gives us a glimpse of the future of the babe that came that Christmas night.

joy of the redeemed“Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
    and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
Then will the lame leap like a deer,
    and the mute tongue shout for joy.”

This prophecy appears in a chapter subtitled Joy of the Redeemed.  These actions prophesied hundreds of years before Jesus came to earth speak of the people who encountered Jesus.  They would see, hear, jump and shout for joy after their meeting with Jesus.  This was fulfilled and recorded in the gospels.  Matthew 15:31 “The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.”   The direct fulfillment was in Matthew 12:22 “Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see.”

This prophecy of visible change either mentally or physically or both can also apply to us.  When we have an encounter with Jesus our eyes are opened to His truth and we can hear and believe the gospel message.  Romans 10:17 “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”  When we hear and believe, we are transformed and our reaction is like those who saw Jesus.  We shout His praises, leap for joy and see the reality of His truth.  Ephesians 1:13-14 describes our transformation.  And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”   His indwelling Holy Spirit brings joy, peace, knowledge, wisdom, hope, and so much more into our lives when we accept Jesus as our Savior.  I have a needle point on my wall psalm-107-2-verse-28reminding me of the truth of what I have in Christ.   Psalm 107:1-2 “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!   Let the redeemed of the Lord say sowhom he has redeemed from trouble.”

blessed by GodMay your day reflect His joy and may you shout out His praises.  Let others know of your joy in the Savior that redeemed you.

Linda

 

Sorry no audio of these verses in the Messiah  was available on the Internet.

1st Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 40-5 The Glory Of The Lord Shall Be Revelaed redOn this first Sunday of Advent, our scripture is Isaiah 40:5.

“And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
    and all people will see it together.
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

What is the glory of the Lord?  God’s glory is the sum total of His attributes.  We see His glory displayed in the beauty of the earth and His creatures.  We have seen God reveal His power , mercy, grace, judgment, holiness, love and every other attribute in the Bible.  However, the complete revelation of God’s glory is in His Son Jesus Christ.  When Jesus came to earth, He revealed God’s great glory for all of mankind to see, touch, reason with, and behold in the flesh.  God’s plan of redemption for man was to show His glory to us in His Son Jesus.  John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”  Hebrews 1:3 “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”   Jesus, the complete revelation of God’s glory, came to redeem us.

Let us praise and thank God for His glorious plan that sent Jesus to redeem and save us.

Blessings as you worship Him today.

Linda

God is Worthy of All our Praises!

give thanksGive thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness.
    Let the whole world know what he has done.” 1 Chronicles 16:8

This is a great way to view the opportunities we have a Thanksgiving time to share with our family and friends the many things God has done for us during the year.  Going around the table and naming our thanks, putting words to what our hearts know gives glory to God as we praise Him.

Here is another verse to stimulate your thankfulness- Hebrews 12:28  “Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by unshakableworshiping him with holy fear and awe.”   Spend time thinking about the unshakable kingdom we have access to through Jesus.  His kingdom is without end, holy and pure, a place of hope and security, a place of worship and love, unchanging and permanently held in place by God, ordered and governed by righteousness and presided over by Jesus.   Having head and heart knowledge of God’s glorious kingdom leads us to praise and worship that is filled with reverence and amazement.  I am always brought to my knees when I consider the power and greatness of my Savior.  His sacrifice was great so that I may know and experience His kingdom during my life now and into the future.  

640x1136 mobile phone wallpapers download - www.wallpaper-mobile.comAs we approach this wonderful holiday time, take time to put words and thoughts to your thanks both to your family and to God.  Thank Him for all He has done, is doing and will do for you.  He is an awesome God worthy of all our praises!

Blessings,

Linda

I AM the Most High God

el elyonThe name Most High God is used frequently in  both the Old and New Testaments.  The Hebrew word is El Elyon.  Beginning in Genesis the mysterious priest Melchizedek recognizes that Abraham is blessed by the God Most High. and blessed be God Most High,  who has delivered your enemies into your hand!” Genesis 14:20   David frequently spoke of God as the Most High God in his Psalms.  He proclaims where God lives, His ability to hear him, that God was his redeemer and that there is no god greater than God.  Psalm 46:4 “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,  the holy habitation of the Most High.  Psalm 57:2 “I cry out to God Most High,  to God who fulfills his purpose for me.”  Psalm 78:35 ” They remembered that God was their rock,  the Most High God their redeemer.”  Psalm 97:9 “For you, O Lord, are most high over all the earth;  you are exalted far above all gods.”    Daniel tells us that King Nebuchadnezzar was brought low and then restored when he acknowledged the power of the Most High God.  Daniel 5:21 “He was driven from among the children of mankind, and his mind was made like that of a beast, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. He was fed grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, until he knew that the Most High God rules the kingdom of mankind and sets over it whom he will.”  

Son of most highIn the New Testament, the angel that appeared to Mary proclaimed the arrival of the Son of the Most High God, Luke 1:32 “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David.”   The demons recognized Jesus’ deity and power calling him the Son of the Most High God in Luke 8:28 “When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him and said with a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me.”  In Acts the demon possessed girl that followed Paul and Silas recognized that the Most High God indwelt and spoke through them about salvation.  Acts 16:17 “She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.”

What about me?  Do I proclaim that God is above all gods?  Do I believe He is indeed the God Most High?  Do you consider yourself a child of the Most High God?      Meditate on Psalm 84: 10-12Thank Him for being the God Most High in your life and for saving you to dwell with Him forever.                                                           

For a day in your courts is better
    than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
    than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
    the Lord bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold
    from those who walk uprightly.
12 Lord of hosts,
    blessed is the one who trusts in you!

Most High GodHave a blessed day as you walk with the Most High God!

Linda

What fills your Heart today?

psalm 9 1Psalms is filled with images of the heart.  Today think about some of these and see if you can identify and claim them for your own heart towards God.

A heart filled with Praise and Thanksgiving, Psalm 9:1  “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
    I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.”

A heart filled with Confidence, especially in times of adversity, Psalm 27:3  “Though an army encamp against me,  my heart shall not fear;  though war arise against me,
yet I will be confident.”

A heart filled with JOY because of God’s Word, Psalm 119:111 “Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart.”

A heart that is willing to wait upon the Lord, Psalm 27:14 “Wait for the Lord;  be strong, and let your heart take courage;  wait for the Lord!”

A heart that is unafraid to call upon the Lord for help, Psalm 119:145 “With my whole heart I cry; answer me, O Lord!  I will keep your statutes.”

A heart that yearns for God’s presencePsalm 84:2  “My soul longs, yes, faints
for the courts of the Lord;  my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.”

psalm 138 1A heart filled with Praise and GratitudePsalm 138:1  “I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;  before the gods I sing your praise”

Our heart attitude needs to begin and end with praise and thanksgiving each day.  God’s Word is so descriptive and really points to the true needs of our hearts in relationship to and towards God.  Do you see confidence in Him? Joy in His Word? A willingness to wait upon Him?  Fearlessness in talking to God about your problems? A yearning for God in your heart?  Let His Word be your guide today as you examine your heart before Him.

Desiring a heart that is looking to God,

Linda

I am SAVED!

john 14 6Because I believe Jesus died on the cross and was raised from the dead, I am SAVED!  The most important statement this Lenten season is that I am saved.  Jesus said that He was the way to salvation and all we need to do is believe in Him to be saved from eternal death into life, John 14:6 ” “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  He also called himself the gateway, John 10:9 “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.  They will come in and go out, and find pasture.”   Acts 4:12 says that Jesus and only Jesus can provide salvation, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is only jesusno other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”  Belief in Jesus saves us from God’s wrath over our sin, Romans 5:9-10 “Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!”  

What about you?  As I look at the cross and Christ’s suffering, I realize that He john 3 16suffered and died for me, to take away my sin, so I can live with Him eternally.  He loved me so much!  John 3:16 says it all, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  Belief in Jesus cost me nothing but it cost Him everything.  How grateful am I?  Praise Jesus and thank God for sending Jesus as you prepare to celebrate Resurrection Sunday.  The Love of God has brought us full circle from the beginning of Lent to it’s end- Jesus and His love for us reigns supreme. Jesus conquered it all to save me and you!

Loving Jesus more and more,

Linda