Guest Post by Lance Price.

Featured image is of the Christian band “Disciple” taken from the web.

I came across posts by Lance when they passed through my reader.  I was intrigued and went back to some of his older posts. While I’ve not yet met Lance, he and I have similar stories in that our respective parents divorced when we were teenagers. But God. God pursued me ( and He does with you as well ) and my brother and we came back to the Lord, mostly because of the church ( and the pastors) that we worshipped in. Lance has a similar testimony, (click on the link and read it, it’s worth the time). In this post Lance writes about what worship means to him. I hope to show you that worship is a daily experience. One that you choose to praise Him. To love Him. To honour Him. To turn your eyes to Him and watch the miracles happen when you put Him first.

 

Lance is a 30-year-old

2017_07_20_18_15_08_567_Beautified
Lance Price

 Christian writer who resides in southern California. He enjoys reading and weight-lifting during his leisure time, but he flourishes the most with the support and brotherhood of his closest friends at his church

 

When he feels God moving him to write, Lance is excited to share with others what God is teaching him about life, and is impassioned to share his faith experiences with the world through his blog Lance Price Blog 2017

A lifestyle of worship.

First, I just want to send a very gracious thank you to Vanessa for having me guest post on her blog. This is truly a privilege and an exciting experience to share with a different crowd and to write about something new. Thank you, Vanessa, for having me here!

RELIGION, RITUALS, AND A DISTANT GOD

Worship had no meaning or place in my life until I was 28 turning 29, when I had a more firm understanding of the importance of surrendering myself to praising the God of my faith. But let’s backtrack to gain context.

In the Catholic church I was raised in, worship meant singing along to sonorous organ music following the lead singer on a podium in the front with a microphone. The song lyrics held no meaning for me; I didn’t understand the significance of the words being sung since no one ever spoke about faith. Growing up, I was deeply exposed to the strictured vernacular of religion, meaning, I was brought up having the emphasis of repentance, shame, and the lifestyle of rituals and performance thrown on me—instead of the radical message of hope, rebirth, and the challenging but prolifically joyful news of the Gospels. Because of this, my understanding of worship (rather than obligatory sing-alongs) was poorly educated, spiritually-speaking. Needless to say, I was not drawn into the atmosphere of worship and it did not bring me closer to a distant God who apparently wanted nothing more from me than my guilt.

By the time I reached middle school, I had no understanding of Jesus beyond the “thees” and “thous” of the Bible being used at my school. More importantly, I had absolutely no interest in learning, since my middle school years directly followed the trauma of my parents’ divorce in the fall of 1999, and my grandparents’ death a month later (a few weeks before Christmas)—both of which transpired at the end of my elementary school experience.

RED & KORN

During the 7-8 year interstice of blunt atheism and agnosticism which immediately ensued, I drove myself as far away from worship, church, the Bible, and Jesus as I could. At 16, I discovered the Nu Metal Rock band called Korn, and around that same time, Red—two rock bands; one very dark and heavy, the other heavy and yet Christian.

Red’s first album, “Innocence and Instinct,” caught my attention instantly, before I even knew they were Christian. I found their songs to be emotionally fitting for my place in life, and a few years later, when I discovered their Christian background, I realized how their music had been a form of worship all along. Years later in 2015, on their most recent album, “Of Beauty and Rage,” their song “Take Me Over” is one of my favorite worship songs. Exposing myself to the heavier and more raw nature of such artists as Korn, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, and Lamb of God (before finding Christ) opened me to connecting with heavier Christian music. For this reason, even current day, I worship less with artists like Chris Tomlin and Jeremy Camps, and more so with artists such as Red, Fireflight, and Love & Death (with Brian Welch from Korn); who are heavier in sound but Christian in message. However, I do love songs such as Elevation Worship’s “Come to the Altar,” Jeremy Camp’s “Jesus Saves,” Hillsong’s “Forever Reign,” and Chris Tomlin’s “Our God.” God speaks to me with strength, joy, hope, courage, and deep love with these songs.

THE ACT OF WORSHIP

What remains inarguable is the way God works uniquely in each of our lives. While God used Korn and Red with me, He might not use them with someone else. He may use classical music or rap, or He may not even use music at all. I don’t believe Christians are restricted to only listen to Christian and Gospel in order to have an open, receptive, praising spirit; however, I would warn against believers listening to rock (or any music) with the intent of worshipping the art of music rather than the art of God. The difference is in separating the worship of God’s love through these artistic conduits of expression rather than worshipping the people who create it.

To use music as a means of bringing praise to Jesus, we remain in a posture of worship. But the moment we feel we must turn on music for the purpose of reminding us of God, it is then that not only have we changed the nature of our actions from worship to ritual, we have also supplanted our faith in Christ with the belief that only music can bring us close to God’s presence. This lie destroys the blessing of worship by indicting our souls with a lack of trust in God. In other words, to “need” music in order to worship changes the message we send to God from that of praise to that of fear. We are afraid if we must use an instrument in order to find God’s presence, when His presence is within us already. If we ritualize music in order to sing God our praises, then we are no longer worshipping God; rather, we are using a powerless tool within the subtext of a spiritual-less routine, lacking the merit for glory.

WORSHIP AS A LIFESTYLE

Worship as a lifestyle is not at all like worship as an event. Attending Sunday service to be “revved up” is basically the equivalent of attending a Christian rave party: Church becomes the meth served through the expectation that mere attendance will inflate our spirits with holiness. While spiritual music is meant to complement the posture of humility and surrender in praising God, it cannot be the sole reason we attend church each week. When this happens, worship becomes a ritual or routine instead of a mentality. The difference is how a ritual doesn’t involve giving praise to God, but rather, placating our repetitious need for continuity. To live in worship of Jesus means committing ourselves to His command to love others (even strangers) by speaking truth and acting in reverence of Him through the love, forgiveness, and compassion of our words, time, and generosity.

I will admit this is hard for me to do, so I empathize with those of you who can admit to finding this a harder reality to encompass. For many of us, going out of our way for a stranger as an extension of our love for Jesus is sometimes like having our parents ask for something in need at the worst possible moment: While we are willing, we are also hesitant to follow through on-command. However, Jesus calls us to be obedient and authentic, and I believe even taking the time to slow down and become in touch with our hesitant spirits is better than saying no and walking away to avoid the inner conflict altogether. I believe Jesus recognizes the stuttering and stammering heart of the individual before it acquiesces and that He gives mercy to the final surrender; whereas I believe He does not give mercy to the individual who blindly denies His call out of stubborn disobedience.

To reiterate, worship as only sing-along songs during a once-per-week service is not worship, but an act of the extracurricular and the religious. In other words, if we leave worship in the church building, we express ourselves to be as secular as an unbeliever who ignores church altogether. If we are not treating worship as both a communal expression of our thankfulness for God’s goodness in our lives and the lives of others—as well as a daily habit of loving others in reflection of our love for Christ—then we are abusing the purpose of worship and undermining the meaning of giving Him praise for our lives.

MOVING FORWARD WITH PURPOSEFUL DISCERNMENT

I hope that by reading this, we are able to understand more clearly the role music plays in the life of a Christ-follower, as well as the intention behind our actions. We are not banned from enjoying other types of music (non-Christian), but the intention of our heart behind the pleasure received from music is what divides the end result between worship and ritualistic action. Our past also does play a part in the way we view and receive how music influences our spirits, but this doesn’t change the intention behind the way we treat music when we are intending to give ourselves to Jesus. In other words, there are no excuses; either music helps bring us closer to God, or it deters us from extolling His sovereignty, provision, and goodness. When we can accept this blunt-edge truth, we can finally see the line drawn between an act of selfish repetition (ritual) and a selfless act derived from the desire to please the One who gives us all that we have. Truly, there is much to be thankful for, and worship is our extension of acknowledgment to God, saying: “Thank you, and praise you God, for you are always good and you always love me! Thank you for all that you are, and all that you’ll always be. I praise you for your glory and your provisions, and I ask for the humility to never forget that all I am comes from you. Thank you, Jesus! Be glorified!” To Jesus be the glory and honor and praise forever and ever!

THANK YOU FOR READING!

Again, I would like to express my gratitude to Vanessa for having me guest post on her blog! I was very humbled when she asked me if I would do this, and I hope by writing this, I have helped others see worship in a new light which before had not yet been realized. May we all be blessed as we praise God for His goodness through His son, Jesus Christ! May we carefully discern our reason and purpose for the music we listen to, as well as the actions we take when we move into the world—where our faith is tested and challenged by those who have yet to receive God’s grace and thank Him for the gift of open eyes and softened heart. This truly is a blessing of its own worth praising Jesus for all eternity. Be lifted up, readers, in Jesus name!

I really hope you were blessed by Lance’s post. I have to admit that I’ve never heard of these Christian heavy metal bands!! Not my style, but they may be quite a few of you that do like this music. Lance sent me a suggestion and I’m going to add that song to this post. It’s called “Radical” by a group named “Disciple”. See you next week,

Vanessa.

 

Jehovah Shalom…..Peace be with us.

I’m re posting an older post again to give me some time to continue working on the gospel of Luke. A new post is on it’s way. 

Peace. It seems non-existent nowadays. There’s another shooting, a car full of teenagers killed by a car going in the wrong direction. Hate and rubbish flying around in the craziest election to date. Actual war in several places. Earthquakes and hurricanes.  Anger in homes. Bitterness that leads to revenge. Divorces and the terrible fallout from that, especially for the children. Social injustice and unrighteousness.  Moral laws bypassed.

So again I ask what is Peace? Is it a thing, a feeling, or something that happens to other people? Are you anxious and twisted up inside with thoughts of everything going wrong? Are you worried over what you can’t control? Are you up at all hours of the night because your heart is heavy?

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Or?

Do you sleep like a baby? Your heart is calm and serene? You have worries , yes, but you turn them over to the One who can do something about them? Are you sure that , even though, you don’t know what’s going to happen, the One you trust does?

I love the above picture for what it signifies. In the midst of a turbulent time, you and I can be still , because of the One who is our Peace. He holds the times in His hands. He knows the future. He knows what troubles we go through, and are going through. He calms our hearts. He can give us peace, if we ask Him for it. Sometimes we need to ask Him again and again. He is Our Peace. He gives us peace that the world cannot understand or comprehend. He guards our hearts with peace. He gives us peace from our enemies. He allows us to live a long and peaceful life, with our children and theirs.

Jehovah Shalom (The Lord Is Peace) 

The “law of first mentions” in the Bible, shows that this name Jehovah Shalom , is mentioned only once in Judges 6:24 ( So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it The Lord Is Peace. To this day it stands in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.)

It’s interesting to note that the Israelites were in the midst of a war with the Midianites. It wasn’t an all out war, with active fighting on both sides. The Midianites were very much in control. They ravaged the cities and crops and took all the livestock (presumably the women as well), so the Israelites made their homes in caves and hid in the mountains and let them get away with it. It’s also a time in history where everyone did as they saw fit. The Israelites had turned away from their One True God. They worshipped the gods of the other nations.

So, at this time, God reveals himself to Gideon. He first asks Gideon to destroy the altar built to baal and astheroth and build a new one to the One Living God, out of new, pure and undefiled stone. He promised Gideon that He would provide the deliverance for the Israelites. It is at this time that Gideon calls Him Jehovah Shalom, The Lord our Peace. 

Jehovah is actually YHWH (see Adonai, Master and Yahweh, LORD.) and means Lord and Master. It is the promised and proper name of God. Shalom means peace, absence of strife, complete, or sound. Used together Jehovah Shalom means The Lord Is Peace. When it seems like the whole world is against you or that you  are completely unable to deal with whatever problem is in front of you, turn to the God of peace to find comfort and strength.

Recently, a friend and mentor Monica, told me that if we have Christ in us, His Peace should go before us. People should see Him in us, wherever we go . When she and her husband visited their grown, married children and grandchildren earlier in the year, they asked them to prolong their visit, because in the words of their daughter, “They brought the Peace of God with them, the homes were so peaceful during their visit”. Another chance acquaintance said that in her line of work as a counsellor, her patients, among them  a millionaire and a 9-year-old child, said that when they come to her, they feel so peaceful in her office that they don’t want to leave.

Can that be said of you or me? That we are so filled with peace in our lives, that others come to us in the midst of their chaos ? That we carry God with us, and show His grace to those around us? That we can be still and rest in His goodness and trust He has plans for us, that all will work out for the good, for His glory?

There are several hundred mentions of peace in the Bible, some of them for a blessing, some for living life, some of them as attributes of God, some of them as pertaining to the Peace that God fills our hearts and minds with. Look through these verses and mediate on the ones that touch you. Shalom to you, dear friend. May He fill your heart, soul, mind and body with Peace. May you live in the shadow of His wings, protected, provided for and at peace with everything. Shalom.

Peace as a blessing/ or a greeting.

  • Genesis 15:15 You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age.
  • Genesis 26:29 that you will do us no harm, just as we did not harm you but always treated you well and sent you away peacefully. And now you are blessed by the Lord.’
  • Leviticus 26:6 ‘“I will grant peace in the land, and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid. I will remove wild beasts from the land, and the sword will not pass through your country.
  • Numbers 25:12 Therefore tell him I am making my covenant of peace with him.
  • Romans 1:7 To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Romans 2:10 but glory, honour and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
  • Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • Romans 15:33 The God of peace be with you all. Amen.
  • Romans 16:20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
  • 1 Corinthians 1:3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • 2 Corinthians 1:2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • 2 Corinthians 13:11 [ Final greetings ] Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.
  • Galatians 1:3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Ephesians 1:2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Ephesians 6:23 Peace to the brothers and sisters, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Philippians 1:2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Philippians 4:9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
  • Colossians 1:2 To God’s holy people in Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ: Grace and peace to you from God our Father.
  • Colossians 1:20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
  • Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
  • 1 Thessalonians 1:1 Paul, Silas and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you.
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • 2 Thessalonians 1:2 Grace and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • 2 Thessalonians 3:16 [ Final greetings ] Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.
  • 1 Timothy 1:2 To Timothy my true son in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • 1 Timothy 2:2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
  • 2 Timothy 1:2 To Timothy, my dear son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • Titus 1:4 To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Saviour.
  • Titus 3:2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle towards everyone.
  • Philemon 1:3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Hebrews 13:20 [ Benediction and final greetings ] Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep,
  • 1 Peter 1:2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
  • 1 Peter 5:14 Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.
  • 2 Peter 1:2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
  • 2 Peter 3:14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.
  • 2 John 1:3 Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love.
  • 3 John 1:14 I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face. Peace to you. The friends here send their greetings. Greet the friends there by name.
  • Jude 1:2 Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.
  • Revelation 1:4 [ Greetings and doxology ] John, To the seven churches in the province of Asia: Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne,

 

Peace for a king ( and his kingdom) who followed God.

  • Judges 3:11 So the land had peace for forty years, until Othniel son of Kenaz died.
  • Judges 3:30 That day Moab was made subject to Israel, and the land had peace for eighty years.
  • Judges 5:31 ‘So may all your enemies perish, O Lord! But may all who love you be like the sun when it rises in its strength.’ Then the land had peace for forty years.
  • Judges 8:28 [ Gideon’s death ] Thus Midian was subdued before the Israelites and did not raise its head again. During Gideon’s lifetime, the land had peace for forty years.
  • 1 Samuel 7:14 The towns from Ekron to Gath that the Philistines had captured from Israel were restored to Israel, and Israel delivered the neighbouring territory from the hands of the Philistines. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.
  • 2 Samuel 10:19 When all the kings who were vassals of Hadadezer saw that they had been routed by Israel, they made peace with the Israelites and became subject to them. So the Arameans were afraid to help the Ammonites any more.
  • 1 Kings 4:24 For he ruled over all the kingdoms west of the River Euphrates, from Tiphsah to Gaza, and had peace on all sides.
  • 1 Kings 5:12 The Lord gave Solomon wisdom, just as he had promised him. There were peaceful relations between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a treaty.
  • 1 Kings 22:44 Jehoshaphat was also at peace with the king of Israel
  • 1 Chronicles 19:19 When the vassals of Hadadezer saw that they had been routed by Israel, they made peace with David and became subject to him. So the Arameans were not willing to help the Ammonites any more
  • 2 Chronicles 14:1 And Abijah rested with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David. Asa his son succeeded him as king, and in his days the country was at peace for ten years.
  • 2 Chronicles 14:5 He removed the high places and incense altars in every town in Judah, and the kingdom was at peace under him.
  • 2 Chronicles 14:6 He built up the fortified cities of Judah, since the land was at peace. No one was at war with him during those years, for the Lord gave him rest.
  • 2 Chronicles 20:30 And the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.

 

Peace as a promise from God. 

  • Judges 6:23 But the Lord said to him, ‘Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.’
  • Judges 6:24 So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it The Lord Is Peace. To this day it stands in Ophrah of the Abiezrites
  • 1 Samuel 1:17 Eli answered, ‘Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.’
  • 2 Samuel 15:9 The king said to him, ‘Go in peace.’ So he went to Hebron.
  • 2 Kings 22:20 Therefore I will gather you to your ancestors, and you will be buried in peace. Your eyes will not see all the disaster I am going to bring on this place.”’ So they took her answer back to the king.
  • 1 Chronicles 22:9 But you will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. His name will be Solomon, and I will grant Israel peace and quiet during his reign.
  • 2 Chronicles 34:28 Now I will gather you to your ancestors, and you will be buried in peace. Your eyes will not see all the disaster I am going to bring on this place and on those who live here.”’ So they took her answer back to the king.
  • Job 3:13 For now I would be lying down in peace; I would be asleep and at rest
  • Job 5:23 For you will have a covenant with the stones of the field, and the wild animals will be at peace with you.
  • Job 21:13 They spend their years in prosperity and go down to the grave in peace.
  • Job 22:21 ‘Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you.
  • Psalm 4:8 In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.
  • Psalm 37:11 But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity.
  • Psalm 37:37 Consider the blameless, observe the upright; a future awaits those who seek peace.
  • Psalm 85:8 I will listen to what God the Lord says; he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants – but let them not turn to folly
  • Psalm 122:6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May those who love you be secure.
  • Psalm 122:7 May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.’
  • Psalm 122:8 For the sake of my family and friends, I will say, ‘Peace be within you.’
  • Psalm 128:6 May you live to see your children’s children – peace be on Israel.
  • Psalm 147:14 He grants peace to your borders and satisfies you with the finest of wheat
  • Proverbs 3:2 for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity.
  • Proverbs 3:17 Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace.
  • Proverbs 12:20 Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil, but those who promote peace have joy.
  • Proverbs 16:7 When the Lord takes pleasure in anyone’s way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them.
  • Proverbs 29:17 Discipline your children, and they will give you peace; they will bring you the delights you desire.
  • Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
  • Isaiah 9:7 Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and for ever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.
  • Isaiah 14:7 All the lands are at rest and at peace; they break into singing
  • Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you
  • Isaiah 26:12 Lord, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us.
  • Isaiah 27:5 Or else let them come to me for refuge; let them make peace with me, yes, let them make peace with me.’
  • Isaiah 32:18 My people will live in peaceful dwelling-places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.
  • Isaiah 33:20 Look on Zion, the city of our festivals; your eyes will see Jerusalem, a peaceful abode, a tent that will not be moved; its stakes will never be pulled up, nor any of its ropes broken.
  • Isaiah 48:18 If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea
  • Isaiah 54:10 Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
  • Isaiah 54:13 All your children will be taught by the Lord, and great will be their peace.
  • Isaiah 55:12 You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
  • Isaiah 57:2 Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.
  • Isaiah 57:19 creating praise on their lips. Peace, peace, to those far and near,’ says the Lord. ‘And I will heal them.’
  • Isaiah 60:17 Instead of bronze I will bring you gold, and silver in place of iron. Instead of wood I will bring you bronze, and iron in place of stones. I will make peace your governor and well-being your ruler.
  • Isaiah 66:12 For this is what the Lord says: ‘I will extend peace to her like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream; you will feed and be carried on her arm and dandled on her knees.
  • Jeremiah 28:9 But the prophet who prophesies peace will be recognised as one truly sent by the Lord only if his prediction comes true.’
  • Jeremiah 29:7 Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.’
  • Jeremiah 30:10 ‘“So do not be afraid, Jacob my servant; do not be dismayed, Israel,” declares the Lord. “I will surely save you out of a distant place, your descendants from the land of their exile. Jacob will again have peace and security, and no one will make him afraid.
  • Jeremiah 33:6 ‘“Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security
  • Jeremiah 33:9 Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honour before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it.”
  • Jeremiah 34:5 you will die peacefully. As people made a funeral fire in honour of your predecessors, the kings who ruled before you, so they will make a fire in your honour and lament, ‘Alas, master!’ I myself make this promise, declares the Lord.”’
  • Jeremiah 46:27 ‘Do not be afraid, Jacob my servant; do not be dismayed, Israel. I will surely save you out of a distant place, your descendants from the land of their exile. Jacob will again have peace and security, and no one will make him afraid.
  • Ezekiel 34:25 ‘“I will make a covenant of peace with them and rid the land of savage beasts so that they may live in the wilderness and sleep in the forests in safety.
  • Ezekiel 37:26 I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them for ever.
  • Nahum 1:15 Look, there on the mountains, the feet of one who brings good news, who proclaims peace! Celebrate your festivals, Judah, and fulfil your vows. No more will the wicked invade you; they will be completely destroyed.
  • Haggai 2:9 “The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,” says the Lord Almighty. “And in this place I will grant peace,” declares the Lord Almighty.’
  • Zechariah 8:19 This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘The fasts of the fourth, fifth, seventh and tenth months will become joyful and glad occasions and happy festivals for Judah. Therefore love truth and peace.’
  • Zechariah 9:10 I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the war-horses from Jerusalem, and the battle-bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.
  • Malachi 2:5 ‘My covenant was with him, a covenant of life and peace, and I gave them to him; this called for reverence and he revered me and stood in awe of my name
  • Galatians 6:16 Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule – to the Israel of God.
  • 1 Timothy 2:2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness

 

Peace as an attribute of God, a characteristic of God, what we as His people need to display.

  • Psalm 29:11 The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.
  • Psalm 34:14 Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
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  • Psalm 119:165 Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.
  • Proverbs 14:30 A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.
  • Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.
  • Isaiah 32:17 The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence for ever.
  • Isaiah 53:5 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
  • Daniel 10:19 ‘Do not be afraid, you who are highly esteemed,’ he said. ‘Peace! Be strong now; be strong.’ When he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, ‘Speak, my lord, since you have given me strength.’
  • Micah 5:5 And he will be our peace when the Assyrians invade our land and march through our fortresses. We will raise against them seven shepherds, even eight commanders,
  • Malachi 2:6 True instruction was in his mouth and nothing false was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and turned many from sin.
  • Acts 9:31 Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.
  • Acts 10:36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.
  • Romans 5:1 [ Peace and hope ] Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
  • Romans 8:6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.
  • Romans 12:18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
  • Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,
  • Romans 14:19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.
  • Romans 15:33 The God of peace be with you all. Amen.
  • Romans 16:20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
  • Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
  • Ephesians 2:14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,
    Ephesians 2:15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace,
  • Ephesians 2:17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.
  • Ephesians 4:3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
  • Ephesians 6:15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
  • Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
  • Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
  • 2 Timothy 2:22 Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
  • Titus 3:2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle towards everyone.
  • Hebrews 12:11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
  • Hebrews 12:14 [ Warning and encouragement ] Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.
  • James 3:17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
  • James 3:18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.
  • 1 Peter 3:11 They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it

 

What Jesus said about peace

  • Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
  • Matthew 10:34 ‘Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. ( I’ll talk about this in a later post
  • Mark 5:34 He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.’
  • Mark 9:50 ‘Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other.’
  • Luke 1:79 to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.’
  • Luke 2:14 ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.’ ( said by the angels at the time of Jesus’ birth)
  • Luke 2:29 ‘Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. ( said by Simeon to the Lord, when Jesus was probably 8 days old)
  • Luke 7:50 Jesus said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’
  • Luke 8:48 Then he said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.’
  • Luke 10:5 ‘When you enter a house, first say, “Peace to this house.”
  • Luke 10:6 If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you.
  • Luke 19:38 ‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ‘Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’ (said by the people at Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem, just a week before His crucifixion)
  • Luke 19:42 and said, ‘If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace – but now it is hidden from your eyes.
  • Luke 24:36 [ Jesus appears to the disciples ] While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ ( after His resurrection.
  • John 14:27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. ( just before His ascension. This verse helped me when Adam was in the NICU for a few days. )
  • John 16:33 ‘I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’
  • John 20:19 [ Jesus appears to his disciples ] On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’
  • John 20:21 Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’
  • John 20:26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’
  • 1 Corinthians 7:15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. ( This was Paul’s message, but one he received from the Lord)
  • 1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace – as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.

Shalom to you, dear friend. May He fill your heart, soul, mind and body with Peace. May you live in the shadow of His wings, protected, provided for and at peace with everything. Shalom.

Luke part 3 : Jesus the Teacher.

The gospel of Luke is heavy in content to know and lessons to learn and details to remember and Jesus 🙂 Luke has 24 chapters and I may take more than 4 parts to finish it all. If you missed Luke part 1 : Jesus is willing. or Luke part 2 : Jesus the healer., click on the links ( underlined). That only constitutes the first 10 chapters of Luke!

Continuing on with Luke…….

In chapter 11 : Jesus’ disciples ask Him to teach them how to pray. He teaches them The Lord’s prayer. Jesus tells them a parable about persevering and not giving up. Jesus tells them to ask, seek and knock and they will receive, find, and the door will be opened to them. Jesus tells them God ( the Father ) will give them the Holy Spirit when they ask. Jesus drives out a demon ( that made the man mute) and he talks. Jesus tells the people He is driving demons out by God, not by beelezebub ( prince of demons). Jesus says 23 “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. Jesus’ mother is blessed by a woman in the crowd. Jesus replies ” Blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it “. Jesus says no sign , except the sign of Jonah will be given to (their and our) wicked generation. {1} Jesus tells us that we need to be filled with Light (His) so that there is no darkness in us. Jesus is invited to a Pharisee’s house for a meal where He surprises him by NOT ritually washing. Jesus pronounces 3 woes (doom) on the Pharisees and then 3 woes on the experts of the Law. This angers all of them and they oppose Him fiercely.

In chapter 12 : Jesus teaches first His disciples and warns them to be on their guard against the “yeast” of the Pharisees which is hypocrisy. Jesus tells them to be afraid of the one who can kill both the body and the soul. He tells them ( and us) not one of them (us) will be forgotten by God. Jesus says He will acknowledge ( before His Father) those who acknowledge Him. Whoever speaks against the Son of Man will be forgiven but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not. The Holy Spirit will give us the words to speak ( to defend ourselves) when we are brought before authorities and rulers. Jesus warns the people to be on their guard against greed as Life does not consist in an abundance of possessions. Jesus tells them a parable about a rich man thinking of building more barns to store his wealth but dying that very night.{2} Jesus tells the people not to worry but to consider the ravens and the lilies ( God provides for them). God knows what we need, we are to seek His kingdom, and these things will be given to (us) as well.  We are to provide treasures for ourselves where it will not rot nor be stolen (in Heaven, by doing good works), for where our treasures are, there will be our hearts also. We must be ready and wait for the Son of Man for He will come back at an hour when we don’t expect Him. The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. Jesus says He has come to bring division not peace, family members will be against each other because of Him. Jesus tells the people to correctly interpret the signs of the times because He is coming soon.

In chapter 13 : Jesus tells the people no one is a worse sinner than the other ( even if he suffers more!) but that everyone should repent or they will perish. Jesus heals a woman who had been crippled for 18 years on the Sabbath and she straightens up. This infuriates the Pharisees. {3}. The Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed or yeast {4}. The entry into Heaven is like entering through a narrow door.{5} Jesus is sorrowful over Jerusalem because they have not accepted / received Him.

In chapter 14 : On a Sabbath when Jesus went to eat at a home of a prominent Pharisee, He healed a man with abnormal swelling on his body. Jesus told the guests that those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted, when He saw how they chose places of honour at the table. Jesus tells His host ( and us) to invite the poor, the crippled, the lame , the blind, when he (we) throw a banquet ( party/ celebration) so that we will get our reward at the resurrection of the righteous. {6} Jesus tells us to first count the cost before following Him. If don’t put Jesus first, above all else, above our marriages, our children, our spouses, our parents, our careers, our hobbies, our wealth, our reputations, we can never follow Him. He is God. He is Jealous for us with a holy desire. He will NOT share His glory with another, even if the other is us.

In chapter 15 : When the Pharisees and teachers of the Law see tax collectors and other “sinners” gather around Jesus, they mutter at Him. Jesus tells them 3 parables about lost things. A man has 100 sheep and loses one and goes in search of it leaving the 99 behind. A woman has 10 silver coins and loses one and searches her home inside and out to find it. A man “loses” one of his sons and when the son comes back, the father rejoices exceedingly. In each parable Jesus shows the increasing value of the things lost. In the last, He is the Father, waiting compassionately for the “lost son” ( us) to return, and when  we do, as un-deserving as we are, He runs to us with open arms, dresses us in fine clothes ( His robes of righteousness), prepares a banquet for us with choicest foods and celebrates over the return of one lost sinner.

 

{1} The sign of Jonah- Jonah was sent to tell a corrupt and wicked city to repent. He spent 3 days and 3 nights in the belly of a fish, then was vomited out. Like Jonah , Jesus is sent to a wicked and corrupt people , pleading with them to repent. Like Jonah, Jesus will spend 3 days and nights inside Hades but He will rise victorious again. Unlike Jonah though, Jesus will go willingly to the people but the people will not be willing to listen to Him and turn from their rebellious ways. }

{2} The man had so much wealth, he decided to build more barns to store it, and then be merry the rest of his life. That very night, his life was demanded from him, and his wealth went to nobody. Jesus says This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God. }

{3} The Pharisees want the people to be healed only on the first 6 days , not on the Sabbath. Jesus is furious and points out the work they do for their animals on the Sabbath and declares that this daughter of Abraham is more important and deserves to be set free. At this, His opponents were humiliated but the people were delighted at the wonderful things He did. }

{4} Yeast or mustard seed-  small to look at or insignificant but it grows into a tree that provides support to many birds or like yeast spreads throughout the dough and makes it rise. So it is with the Kingdom of God}

{5} Many people will call themselves Christians or think they are, but they will not be allowed into Heaven. At the same time, people from all over, all races, tribes, nations, cultures, languages will be there in Heaven. }

{6} Jesus then tells a parable about a rich man who invited guests to a banquet and none of them came making excuses. So he ordered his servants to go into the alleys and by ways of the town to find the poor, the crippled, the lame and the blind and bring them instead. These people are the outcasts of society. Through this, Jesus illustrates that that is what He has come to do. Bring the outcasts of society ( us- the sinners, the corrupt, the rebellious,the needy, the sick, the dying) to His table where there is joy and the richest of foods. }

 

That concludes part 3! There are 9 chapters left, and I hope to finish those in 2 parts. We are the lost sons over whose return, all of Heaven rejoices. I hope you know this Loving Father and if you don’t, that you will. He is worth everything that you have to give up.

Until next time,

Vanessa

 

Guest post by Diana Monte.

Featured image is “Still waters at Dawn…… An original oil painting by Diana Monte. “

I would love to tell you that what I remember fondly about Diana is her long, rich, black hair or her amazing height, but that’s not it. Every time I think of her , I remember a woman being patient and loving and ready to meet me in my broken-ness. She did not know me then, but I was crying and sobbing my heart out at church one evening, and she came and sat with me ( and pretended for a short time that she did not see my tears ) and told me she was waiting eagerly for her daughters to come back from college on vacation. She made small talk and drew me out. Once we were conversing she asked me what was on my heart, and do you know it, it brought the tears back! This time in release. I’m forever grateful to Diana for just hearing me out, and then praying with me and seeking me out after this episode. I think you’d love what constitutes worship to her. I pray you will be blessed by her post as I have been by the person.

Some other posts on worship by other authors are Guest post by Kailee Diaz., Guest post by Carole Sparks.Guest post by Vanessa A Harris. and Guest post by Bruce Cooper.  These godly authors have written on what worship means to them and each of the posts are very different. My hope is to inspire you to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth, and to do so daily, minute by minute, hour by hour. He deserves your worship.

16" x 20" Taos Winter by Diana Monte
Painting by Diana Monte.

 

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Arabian prince by Diana Monte

Diana Monte has been teaching private painting classes for the past twenty years. She is a ‘juried’ artist whose work has been shown at the New Mexico State Fair, local Art Studio Tours, Los Ranchos Lavender Festival, Encantada Art Exhibition and several other venues. She currently is the featured poster winner for  lavenderinthevillage.com  being held on July 15th.

It is Diana’s genuine hope that her paintings bring an atmosphere of peace to a home and reflect the beauty displayed in God’s creation. You can find her art at dianamontefineart.com

Diana and her husband John live in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque with their two beautiful  daughters, Ariana and Lydia. Her husband John is on the Pastoral Staff at Legacy Church and Diana is actively involved Directing the Bliss Women’s Ministry at the East Campus at her church. Her passion is to use her art to glorify Him and to bring women into a deeper knowledge of Him.

Diana monte 1
Diana Monte

 

 

 

I was asked by Vanessa to share a little bit about Worship and how it is a part of my daily life.  I agreed and I am delighted to share a few things with you that hopefully will help you along in life. ☺

I am an artist and I am so very thankful to God for this gift/talent of creativity. Using oil paint on a canvas is an expression and passion of mine to glorify and honor Him. Over the course of many years, I have said “If I don’t use it, I’ll lose it!”   So I regularly and continually utilize and broaden my painting skills so that the God given talent increases.  It is my heart’s desire that my paintings will minister to people in some way. I pray and ask God for wisdom and ability when I paint.   Bottom line: I want to utilize my artistic talents more and more to glorify God.

Worship – the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration.

“the worship of God”

synonyms:

reverence, veneration, adoration, glorification, glory, exaltation;

devotion, praise, thanksgiving, homage, honor;

archaic magnification

Every day is a new day to grow and transform into the person that God has destined you and I to be.  What talent/gift has God given you to utilize??

Every day isn’t a bed of roses, we all face challenges, obstacles and trials in one way or another.  In the midst of these trying times, do we press into God for help and direction?  You see, our transformation usually occurs when we are being hard pressed and challenged in an uncomfortable circumstance or situation.

No matter the circumstances around you remember that God is for you and not against you. He is your strength when you are weak and weary. And He will never leave you nor forsake you. “I lift up my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.”

II Corinthians 12:9 / Psalm 121:1-2

I often will journal the struggles I am facing and write down the following:

  • The date and description of what the circumstances are
  • What I am praying and believing God for
  • And the emotions I am going through at the time.
  • I pray for wisdom and direction and declare that I am trusting God to be with me through it!  I always try to pray until I have a peace knowing that it is God’s hands and not mine.
  • I also find a couple of scripture verses that I can say out loud to continually pray over every situation. It is only then that I can rejoice & praise Him by faith, for the victory.

Some prayers are answered quickly and some may take years to see.

But the Fact remains, our God is Faithful !

I cannot have a victory without having the battle! A Victory reminds me that God has heard my cries for help. Growing through the tough times makes you and me stronger in so many areas.  The most important thing is knowing that God is actively involved in my life.  To me, that makes life worth living and gives me something wonderful to Worship Him for!

A situation could might be staring me in the Face, and I KNOW that it’s going to work itself out. How do I know?? Because God has ALWAYS brought me through every single situation!  I can wholeheartedly say that I can Worship God every day regardless of what I feel like.

10 [For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope] Philippians 3:10 (AMPC)

I pray God’s blessing over you, that your gifts/talents and abilities continue to grow and increase.  May you also express Worship wholeheartedly in your daily life!

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Olive Harvest by Diana Monte

 

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Daises by Diana Monte

 

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Some of Diana’s paintings on view at the Lavender festival. My favourites are the “Jesus the good shepherd” (3rd row, 2nd painting) and the “Still waters at Dawn” (2nd row, 1st painting, also the featured image)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed reading Diana’s post. Bring your talents to Him and watch Him do wonders with it.

In Him,

Vanessa.

 

The OT sacrificial system and why we need to understand it.

I have already posted a series on the Tabernacle wherein one of the posts was dedicated to the different types of sacrificial offerings. As I mentioned previously, I am going through the Old Testament again using the Amplified Bible and I can’t help but sense the importance of God’s revelation to His people about Him […]

via More on the OT Sacrificial System — Reasoned Cases for Christ

As Bruce so succinctly puts it “Sin matters. Being holy matters. Jesus matters. I marvel at the beauty of God’s revelation and the reason why it is only through Jesus that we can stand in the presence of God and not from our own works”

I hope you are able to understand the OT rituals and sacrifices a little bit better by reading this post.

Until next week,

Vanessa

Luke part 2 : Jesus the healer.

I wrote about the first 6 chapters of Luke awhile ago. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of events and catching up. I attended my brother’s reception out of town ( my husband stayed home with our children and did fantastic!), I came back and had volunteered to teach in a VBS so my kids could attend ( we went in the mornings and Adam had his therapy sessions in the afternoons so we were rushing from one place to another), the “check engine oil ” came on in my car (  turns out it was a computer glitch), I fell sick after VBS and Christina caught it from me. I’ve yet to unpack my suitcase, instead I’ve been catching up on laundry ( washing them, but not putting them away so today there were about 10 loads that needed to get sorted , folded and stored!!), feeding the kids in between Adam’s sessions ( we are up to 30 hours per week), helping Christina with worksheets to keep her busy, colouring with her and basically keeping her off electronics while Adam is engaged. I’ve not been on social media in weeks ( it’s not a bad thing :-)) and even less so on my blog ( that’s not what I wanted to do though 😦 ).

What I have done though is worshipping My Saviour, My LORD and My God first thing in the morning. I’ve introduced Christian songs to my kids ( Christina’s favourite is “fruit of the Spirit”, Adam loves “where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom”). I’ve spent sweet time with my husband and enjoyed it. I’ve rested. I’ve not let myself feel (too much ) guilt. I’m in the process of re-writing the words that I speak to myself , words of grace and Truth instead of lies. I’ve cooked. I’ve taken the kids to the pool (they can’t get enough of the water ). I’ve played and coloured and crafted and cleaned and have been present (tried to) more than previous summers.

I still love writing, and especially these summaries on each chapter of the Bible, makes me read and re- read , and I’m intrigued when I find connections and details that I’ve missed before. I will devote as much time as I can to my blog, but when I can’t, I will allow Scripture to fill me up. Happy Summer and I hope you get to enjoy time with your family.

Continuing with the gospel of Luke,

In chapter 7 : Jesus enters Capernaum, a centurion (Roman senior officer)’s servant was ill. Some Jews came to Jesus and pleaded with Him to heal the servant for the man’s sake because he was a good man. Close to the house, some friends of the centurion come to Jesus and tell Him that the centurion doesn’t feel worthy about Jesus entering his house , but to say the Word and the servant will be healed. Jesus is amazed at his faith and does what he asks. Jesus goes to Nain and raises the dead (only) son of a widow and gives him back to her. 16 They were all filled with awe and praised God. ‘A great prophet has appeared among us,’ they said. ‘God has come to help his people.’ 17 This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country. John (the Baptist ) sends 2 disciples to Jesus to find out if He is the Messiah. Jesus replies with His miracles and says “Blessed is the one who doesn’t stumble because of Him”. After they leave, Jesus addresses the crowd and calls John a prophet and His messenger. He says on earth, there is no greater than John, but John will be the least of those who are in the Kingdom of God. Jesus compares that generation ( and ours) to willful children who are never satisfied ( they complained about John’s methods and about Jesus’ too). Simon the Pharisee invites Jesus to a meal where He is anointed by a sinful woman. She wet Jesus’ feet with tears, wiped them with her hair and poured perfume on them. Jesus talks about forgiveness and forgives the woman ( for the love she had shown).

In chapter 8: Jesus travels from town to town with His disciples and is supported by women out of their own means{1}. Jesus tells them the parable of the sower and the seed. {2}. Jesus talks about (us) listening carefully. Whoever has, will be given more, whoever doesn’t have, even what he has will be taken from him. Jesus says His (mother and brothers) family are those who hear God’s Word and put it into practice. Jesus crosses the lake with His disciples. A storm comes up while Jesus is sleeping. He wakes up and rebukes the storm and His disciples are fearful and amazed. Jesus goes to Gerasenes, heals a demon (many demons calling themselves Legion) possessed man. He sends the demons into a herd of a pigs who rush down the bank of the lake and are drowned. The people of the town come and see the (formerly) demon possessed man sitting at Jesus’ feet, clothed and in his right mind and beg Jesus to leave. He does. The man wishes to come with Jesus. Jesus tells him to go back home instead, the man goes back to town and tells all that happened. Jesus heals a women of bleeding ( she had it for 12 years and she touched His cloak and power went out from Him) and raises Jairus’ daughter from death. Her parents’ are astonished but Jesus tells them not to tell anyone.

In chapter 9: Jesus sends out the 12 with authority to drive out demons and to cure diseases and to proclaim the Kingdom of God. {3} Herod is disturbed by Jesus’ doings and wants to see Him. Jesus feeds 5000 men (women and children were not included in the count) with 5 loaves and 2 fish and the disciples pick up 12 basketfuls of broken bread. Peter declares that Jesus is the Messiah when asked. Jesus warns them not to tell others. Jesus predicts His death. He says The Son of Man must be rejected and killed according to prophesy and He will rise again on the 3rd day. 8 days after this, Jesus takes Peter, James and John and goes up on a mountain a pray. He is transfigured before them. {4} They hear a voice from Heaven say, “This is my Son whom I’ve chosen, listen to Him”. Jesus heals a demon possessed child whom the disciples couldn’t heal. And the people were all amazed at the greatness of God. Jesus predicts His death a second time. Jesus tells them the least among them is the greatest. Jesus tells the disciples whoever is not against them is with them and not to hinder them from performing miracles. Jesus heads to Jerusalem and is not offered hospitality in a Samarian town. James and John want to call down fire on the town but are rebuked by Jesus. Jesus tells people that once they decide to follow Him, they must do so completely without turning back.

In chapter 10: Jesus sends out 72 disciples in pairs to the towns He was going to, to preach the good news. Jesus denounces Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum for not accepting Him. Jesus says whoever listens to (us) listens to Him, and whoever rejects (us) rejects Him and whoever rejects Him rejects the one who sent Him.  The 72 return rejoicing because the demons submitted to them. Jesus tells them to rejoice because their names are written in Heaven. Jesus then full of joy through the Holy Spirit praises the Father.  Jesus tells His disciples they are blessed because of what they’ve been privileged to see ( and experience). Jesus tells the people a parable about being a good neighbour ( the good Samaritan {5}). Jesus talks to people in the home of 2 sisters ( Mary and Martha. They had a brother Lazarus). Martha is busy with the preparations while Mary listens to Jesus. Martha resentfully asks The LORD to make Mary help. Jesus replies that Mary has chosen the best thing and it will not be taken away from her.

 

 

{1} I love the fact that women who followed/ served Jesus are given names and hence identities. Here Mary Magdalene out of whom Jesus drove out 7 demons, Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod’s household and Susanna are mentioned}.

{2} There are 4 different kings of “soil” which is the heart of man, the “seed” is the Word of God and there are 4 “results” which is what men do with the Word of God. (a)Either the devil snatches it away and they don’t miss it ( bird taking away the seed). (b) or they receive it with joy and live for the Lord for awhile but since they don’t have any roots, in times of testing they fall away ( seed on rocky soil which withered in the sun). (c) or they grow in the Lord but life’s worries, riches and treasure chokes them and they don’t mature ( seed falling among thorns). (d) and the last, they accept God’s Word with joy , it takes root in them and they  persevere and produce a fruitful harvest ( soil producing 30, 60 and 100 fold what was sown ).}

{3} This time when the disciples are sent out, Jesus tells them not to take anything extra with them. No bag, no money, no bread, no extra shirt. This time the disciples are well received by the people and they return joyous that even the demons tremble. The next time Jesus sends them out, He tells them to take extras with them and be wary since the people will try to kill or hurt them.}

{4} Jesus’ appearance changed before them, His clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning and 2 men, Moses and Elijah appeared with Him. They represent the whole of the prophets and the law, and both of them “met God” on a mountain themselves. They came to speak about His departure ( His Exodus) which Jesus would bring to fulfillment in Jerusalem. The disciples were sleepy and Peter, confused, wanted to build shelters for all three of them .}

{5} The parable of the good Samaritan- A man is beaten, stripped, robbed and left for dead by bandits. A priest comes that way and crosses over without helping. Next a Levite comes along and leaves the man. Last a Samaritan comes that way, bandages and disinfects the man’s wounds, puts him on his own donkey, takes him to an inn and pays the inn-keeper to care for the man. The priest is representation of the class of people who serve God and were supposed to serve the people. The Levites were the broader class of people who were set apart for the upkeep of the Temple and to serve before Him. The Samaritans were hated by the Jews for their corrupted religious beliefs. }

 

This is already 1800 words long! I was going to summarize 6 chapters in each post, but I’m going to end this one :-). See you next time, and I pray your eyes will be opened to the joy found in the scriptures.

Vanessa.

 

The Significance of the names of the sons of Israel.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE NAMES OF THE SONS OF ISRAEL This post is one of “The Tabernacle” series. Select “The Tabernacle” under Categories to view the other posts in this series. We have now come to the consideration of a very significant element in the Divine Revelation. Previously we were impressed with the fact that […]

via The Significance of the Names of the Sons of Israel — Reasoned Cases for Christ

Bruce has written several posts in the Tabernacle series. If you haven’t read them, swing by his blog and check them out.

Thanks for coming along on this journey,

Vanessa.