“God’s Only Excuse is Easter!”

Source: “God’s Only Excuse is Easter!”

 

Hi,

Brandon writes to the millenials (I’m one too 😁), to give them the truth found in the Bible. The real truth. The unvarnished truth. The whole truth.

Jesus really is the only way. Swing by his blog and I know you will be blessed.

Vanessa.

The Priesthood.

The Priesthood – http://wp.me/pdW2q-25O

Hi,

If you’ve been fascinated by the descriptions of the priests, the High priest, their garments and duties, mostly mentioned in Exodus, this is the post you need to read.

Swing by Bruce’s Reasoned cases for Christ blog when you get a chance.

Vanessa

What would it take to turn from Crucify Him to Hosanna?

I’m fascinated, perplexed, pole-axed, betrayed in turns when I read the accounts of Jesus coming into Jerusalem , riding on a donkey, a triumph for him, a week before His crucifixion, with people waving palm branches and shouting ‘Hosanna”. Most of these people would turn their backs on Him and shout “Crucify Him”.

I’ll explain those emotions in a moment, but what I’ve laid out is just the barebones account of it all. It’s like saying Person A went to place B riding on animal C with people saying D 🙂

This triumphal entry is mentioned in all 4 gospel accounts in the Bible, but to the skeleton of the story, each account adds different muscles and ligaments.

In Matthew 21: 1-17,  Jesus tells 2 disciples to go ahead into the village at Bethphage, and find an un-ridden young colt, and it only mentions that this is done to fulfill the prophesy, and then a large number of people laid their cloaks on the donkey and the road and cut branches from a tree and cried/sang “Hosanna[b] to the Son of David!’ ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’[c] ‘Hosanna[d] in the highest heaven!’“. While entering Jerusalem there is a stir and the people want to know who He is, to which they receive the reply, “He is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee”. Jesus enters the temple and overturns (again) the money changers’ tables and drives out those who were buying and selling. Jesus heals the blind and the lame, and the children cry out to Him in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David“. The chief priests are indignant and come to Jesus to make this stop, Jesus then quotes  Psalm 8:2 ‘“From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise”[g]“. Jesus then goes to Bethany and spends the night there.

In Mark 11:1-11, Jesus is near Bethphage and Bethany , He sends 2 disciples with instructions to untie the colt and what to say, they go there to the village and do what He says , the people spread branches that they had cut from the fields. The crowd cries  Hosanna![a]‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’[b] 10 ‘Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!’ ‘Hosanna in the highest heaven!’ Then Jesus goes to the temple and looks around, and since it was late , He and the 12 go to Bethany.

In Luke 19:28-46, Jesus sends 2 disciples ahead with instructions (detailed) on where to find the colt and what to say. The disciples do it and bring the donkey to Jesus, they spread their cloaks on the donkey, and other people spread their cloaks on the ground and as Jesus is riding, they joyfully sing out ” 38 ‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!’[a] ‘Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’” The priests ask Jesus to rebuke them, and He replies ” If they’re quiet, the stones will cry out”. Jesus approaches Jerusalem and weeps over the city because of her un-repentance and then He enters the city and drives out the commercially minded people in the Temple.

In John 12:12-19, The crowd that came for the festival (Passover) hear Jesus is on the way to Jerusalem, so they took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, ‘Hosanna![a]‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’[b] ‘Blessed is the king of Israel!’” Jesus finds a donkey and sits on it. It is mentioned the disciples did not understand then, but after Christ is glorified, they remember all that He did to fulfill the scriptures.

All 4 accounts are basically similar. All 4 accounts have different details mentioned though.

“Hosanna” which is now part of many songs is widely believed to be an expression of praise similar to “Hallelujah”. I held to that belief until I was disabused of it just recently. “Hosanna” actually means “Please save me or Deliver me” You can read the rest of “Hosanna ” at GotQuestions. com. The block below has the root words from here Hosanna comes.

Hosanna is often thought of as a declaration of praise, similar to hallelujah, but it is actually a plea for salvation. The Hebrew root words are found in Psalm 118:25, which says, “Save us, we pray, O LORD!” (ESV). The Hebrew words yasha (“deliver, save”) and anna (“beg, beseech”) combine to form the word that, in English, is “hosanna.” Literally, hosanna means “I beg you to save!” or “please deliver us!”

So……… a crowd of people are joyfully and uninhibitedly shouting “Please save me” and then in less than a week, the same people are screaming with rage “Crucify Him”.

What does that take? Would you be filled with rage? Anger? Bitterness? Resentment? Pent up expectations? Unmet needs? What would make you desire another person’s horrible and painful death? Another human being. A good man and a great teacher . One who taught with authority. One who healed people. One who provided bread. One who raised the dead. I believe with everything in me that Jesus was and is and will be God. He was God when He was human, and He is still  God now. He is not merely a good teacher or a great man. Those sentences above , perhaps , described the feelings of some people of Jesus’ time.

I’m not sure though, on the other hand, I have a pretty good idea. What would make you shake your fist at God? To yell and scream and curse and turn away from Him? Divorce? Abuse? Molestation? Death ? Chronic illness? Loss of job? Poverty? Bankruptcy? Disillusionment? Disappointment? Despair ? All of those and probably many more are reasons people use to turn away from or not accept Him in the first place.

While these situations and more that I can’t imagine are all terrible, and pain filled, and hurtful, and have lasting consequences and seem like they have no resolution, may I encourage you to turn from “Crucify Him” back to “Hosanna” . Return to Him. Give Him your love, your devotion, your surrender. He is right there with you in your sorrows. He sees your tears. He knows the end. He sees how the tapestry of your life here and in heaven is woven and HE CARES ABOUT YOU. Nothing you’re going through will make Him turn His back on you. Nothing that you do will be too much for Him to handle. I have no reasons for why life is difficult, (please don’t assume that we’re living an easy life right now, we’re not as a family, for more read this about our journey as son was diagnosed with Autism)., but I do know that HE IS ENOUGH FOR ME.

I grew up in the church and in a Christian family, and I accepted Christ for myself as a teenager. I married a Christian and we “did” the Christian lifestyle for many years. But it has only been recently as we have clung to Him, separately and together as a couple, that we’ve come to a place where we can say with all confidence, that nothing will we hold back from Him. Not our marriage, not our children, not health (theirs and ours), not job security, not our reputations, not our family. With giving control completely to Him, He has restored our marriage, He has shown us how our son has been improving, He has given favour in my husband’s job, He has brought people in our lives to counsel/ help/ encourage/ pray/ mentor us as we are far from our respective families.

He has done it, and we are so overwhelmed by His goodness. I can honestly say that I can turn to Him and praise Him with a “Hallelujah” or plead with Him with a “Hosanna”. He hears my pleas. He is close to me when I am broken. He lifts me when I fall down. He accepts my praise. He deserves my devotion and worship. And He has it.

If you’re not there yet, may I direct your attention to  Psalm 73? My favourite verses are

16 When I tried to understand all this,
    it troubled me deeply
17 till I entered the sanctuary of God;
    then I understood their final destiny.

23 Yet I am always with you;
    you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
    and afterwards you will take me into glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion for ever.

28 But as for me, it is good to be near God.
    I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;
    I will tell of all your deeds.

If you are in the place where your “crucify Him” has turned to “Hosanna” and “Blessed is the Lord” please share that with us, so we can be thankful for what God has done in your lives and glorify Him.

With joy and peace ,

Vanessa.

 

 

 

Whether you feel you are writing for God, or actually are…

There’s a dangerous balance between claiming a story is “God-given” and writing a story with the desire to bring God glory. Biblical writers had inspired words driven to the page by God’s own word (2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:21). We, on the other hand, may feel compelled or even called to write a story […]

via Finding Confidence When Fear is Real: A Writing Journey (Part 3) —

Hey , when you want to either elevate yourself or you are discouraged with where you’re going, this is good to remember. Your talents, your gifts, your writing is His.

Please swing by Kailee’s blog and I know you will be blessed.

Vanessa

Leviticus : Be holy for I AM HOLY.

Picture credit: blogthrudabible.wordpress.com

Leviticus is the first of the books of the Bible that I will NOT write a summary of each chapter as I’ve done with other books. I assumed that since I would write a “short” post for this book, it would be easy!!!! Boy, am I wrong! and rightly so. There’s nothing, nothing, written in the Bible that doesn’t have a purpose, that doesn’t have God’s stamp of approval, that was given by God Himself. That’s even true, especially so, for 27 chapters of different offerings, and what to do in the case of mold, and what kinds of food you can and cannot eat.

In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 Paul writes to Timothy,

All Scripture is Godbreathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

All scripture includes “all scripture” and this is so that we can be thoroughly equipped for all the work we have been asked to do by God.

This is the Word Origin and History for Leviticus (taken from the web). It is the third book of the Pentateuch, c.1400, from Late Latin Leviticus (liber), literally “book of the Levites,” from Greek to Leuitikon biblion, from Leuites, from Hebrew Lewi. Properly the part of the Pentateuch dealing with the function of the priests who were of the tribe of Levi (a portion ofthe tribe acted as assistants to the priests in the temple-worship). The Hebrew title is Torath Kohanim, literally “the law of the priests.” Related:Levite ; Levitical.

Leviticus’ purpose is to let the people know that they are to be different from the surrounding peoples , because the God of the Israelites, The I AM,  The Eternal One, The Unchanging One, The God of gods, The Lord of lords, The Creator God, lives and dwells among them. They are to be holy because He Is Holy. They are to remember to worship Him in everything by keeping themselves clean.

This is seen in the fact that while there are laws for the priests and the Levites as  a whole to keep and uphold, there are also laws for the common people to observe in their daily lives. What to wear (no clothing with two kinds of material), what to eat, how to look for mold in buildings, what to grow (no two kinds of seeds in the same field), how to live sexually and morally pure lives ( and commandments on what to do when those laws are broken). These commandments and laws give the Israelites guidance for their whole lives, not just a compartmentalized portion regarding religion.

That’s the way God wants us to be. Worshiping Him, separating ourselves from the world, honouring Him, being zealous for Him, our whole life, not just on Sunday mornings and maybe Wednesday evenings. He wants us to remember Him while we are cleaning bathrooms, changing diapers, cooking, doing groceries, talking to our neighbours, picking up after the children (or pets). He wants to be holy for He Is Holy in our work lives, in our thoughts, in our interactions with those who make our lives hard. He wants to be separate from the worldly culture, their values, their permissions, their tolerance in what we watch, what we wear, what we do when no one’s looking, what we read, what we write.

He wants all of us. He is a Jealous God. He will not share His Glory with another.

This sometimes is hard for me (actually this is hard for me all the time!). Why on earth would I want to give Him control of everything? Surely my thoughts can be mine right? What about the books that I read?, that’s just leisure time activity , that doesn’t have anything to do with God right? Who thinks of God in the midst of changing diapers? I do frequently have these thoughts, and in that moment (moments) I give Him control. I take them captive for Him. I argue with myself, and then tell God, I meant it, completely, totally, unashamedly , when I accepted Him as my Lord. He is Lord even when I am bored, worried, busy, upset, in pain, bitter, angry, resentful, joyful, glad, rested, having fun, at leisure. There is nothing, nothing, that I am choosing to keep away from Him. Though I still have to remind myself of that 🙂

Anyway coming back to Leviticus, that was what God wanted His people to realize. He did not give them these laws to burden them. He wanted them to set themselves apart for Him. He wanted to live and behave and worship differently from those around them. He wanted to sanctify and consecrate them to Himself.

Some of the things in Leviticus that I want to draw your attention to are

  1. The Levites had no inheritance apart from the Lord, so He provided for them. He allowed the priests, their families, and the Levites in general to eat certain offerings, while they had to burn others completely. In His graciousness, He even asked the people to add salt to the grain offerings before bringing them to the Lord 🙂 ( salt to add taste and flavor and that can be used as a preservative to keep the food from spoiling. In the NT , Jesus tells us His people , that we are salt and light in the world. We make a pathway in the darkness for others to see. We add flavor to the taste of this world. We are a preservative. As long as we are in the world, we hold the forces of darkness at bay, when we are taken, evil will have a free hand to wreak havoc with no restraint .
  2. . The Lord chose the Israelites as a nation out of all the nations to be His people. He then chose the Levites to carry out His work and care for the Tabernacle (later the Temple) and all the utensils associated with it. He chose Aaron’s family and his descendants to serve before Him as priests. He had very specific laws for their consecration and service. While Aaron and his 4 sons had been consecrated to the Lord and were in the Tabernacle and worshipping Him, two sons Nadab and Abihu offered unauthorized fire to the Lord   and immediately fire from the Lord consumed them . They were consecrated to the Lord, but they couldn’t do whatever they wished. He is Holy and must be revered and respected and honored.
  3. . God gave them specific laws about the animals they could eat and the ones they couldn’t. I think He did this , for them to distinguish themselves from the neighbouring nations (they probably ate all these creatures or offered them in sacrifice to their gods ). This particular separation would become more and more entrenched in the people’s lives , and future generations would come to take pride in the clean and unclean animals, almost to the point that they would associate people who ate unclean animals as unclean people by the time that Jesus came to earth. God would later send a vision, three times, to Peter of unclean animals brought down to him to eat from Heaven. Peter vehemently decries this, but God tells him, “not to call anything unclean that He has created”. This vision will give Peter the assurance needed to go to the gentiles ( he goes to Cornelius’ house right after this) and to give his blessing to Paul as he ends up ministering to the gentiles later on.  I am so thankful that God chose me even before I was born to be grafted into The Vine and abide in Him. Aren’t you?

 

I’ve had Leviticus on  the audio Bible running almost all the time for the past several weeks. I did find my mind wandering at times. I did make up different rules in my head at times. But as I cautioned myself then, I’ll like to caution you now as well. If there are sections in the Bible you don’t like/ don’t want to agree with/ wish it was different, please take it to the Lord. He will and can show you what you want to know, if you ask Him. Sometimes He will give you understanding while you are alive. Sometimes He may not. But everything, everything, God says and does has a purpose. Just because I can’t understand or like it doesn’t make it any less true.

He is a Holy God, Jealous of our affections for other things, even other people. Jealous for us. He deserves to be first in our love, and when He is, everything else falls into place, when He isn’t, life gets difficult to say the least.

Will you make Him first in your life? Will you come back to your first love? Will you revere Him and glorify Him? Will you live as if He is in the room with you? Leviticus is definitely a hard book to read, but may I encourage you to do at least once? And please share what you’ve learnt about Him with me.

Blessings to you and yours,

Vanessa

 

The outer court of the Tabernacle.

In Exodus, chapters 25-28, we find recorded a marvelous revelation of GOD’s plan of salvation, made possible through JESUS CHRIST, our Saviour and Lord; as typified and symbolized in the Tabernacle, which occupied a central place, in the midst of every encampment of Israel. In Exodus 27:9-15, we are told that the Tabernacle proper was […]

via The Outer Court of the Tabernacle — Reasoned Cases for Christ

Hi, I’m in the middle of writing on Leviticus. I hope to put that out soon. In the mean time I hope you enjoy this author’s post on the Tabernacle. Please swing by and check out his blog as well.

Vanessa

 

Featured picture taken from VisualHunt.com

When life happens.

These past few weeks, my son has had an ear infection, I went to a women’s conference, dealt with many sleepless nights because of said son, made cookies for my daughter because her friends from school kept asking her to bring in some, took the cars for servicing and oil change ,and I stayed up last night till 12 to make cakes for my son’s birthday .

Life happened.

When I started this blog, I decided I needed to use my gift of writing to glorify Him. I looked up writers who had great advice to market my blog and I knew then, that at this season of life, I cannot devote the time and energy required. I decided to write, and start being regular about it, making time to write everyday/ every week. For the most part it worked. My husband and I worked out a system to give me the time I needed to devote here.

But these last few weeks, I knew I was running out of scheduled posts, but….. things were chaotic as well. I either had time to go back to the basics. Spend time with Him. Learn to live in His presence. Read His Word. Study it. Worship Him.  This apart from my daily obligations and responsibilities with my family.

OR…………..

Work on this blog. Don’t get me wrong. I love writing here. I love putting my words down “on paper” This clears up space in my head and I think up new things. And I have. I have at least 12 drafts, and some of them I know what I want to write and exactly what it’ll consist of. It’s just all in my head though! 🙂  I also take my time writing and so it takes me anywhere from 5-10 hours finishing a post.

Like I said, I knew my scheduled posts were running out and I had to make a decision on what to focus on. So I chose Him. I’m learning to live in grace. I’m teaching myself to turn to Him all the time, my thoughts, my words, my actions, my emotions. I’m trying to make reading His Word, the first intentional thing I do each day. So these last few chaotic weeks, I haven’t worked as much as I need to on my blog and it shows. I hope to bring out more posts and quite soon, but if I can’t right away, I’m giving myself grace and not going to wallow in guilt.

He who knows my heart controls the world. He is in charge. He will prevail. He will bring me through this. He will  be with you.

Dear friend,

Rest in His goodness, learn to live in grace, give up the guilt and condemnation. Some times life happens, and it is all right not to have everything together, but come back to the One Who Does. He sees your heart.

Until next time,

Vanessa