Stop and rest

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lamb

Psalm 23:1-3 tells us that our Shepherd, the LORD leads us by still waters and shows us when to stop and rest and in the process HE restores us… I want to talk about HIM doing that for me.

After a hard work out you expect to be worn out.  And there are times after being busy for several hours, I am ready to crash on the bed for a while.  That is also true in the emotional realm.  Many believers in Jesus are facing challenges and struggles one after another. There seems like before one crisis ebbs, another hits.  Many, me included, sometimes feel completely worn out.   Ready to just shut the door and crash on the couch.

Daniel tells us in Daniel 7:21 that the evil one is warring against GOD’s people and seemingly winning.  In verse 25 it tells how the enemy defies the Most High GOD and wears down the saints.  But you know what?  Our GOD is bigger, our GOD is stronger.

There are some ongoing struggles in my life, plus many other crisis that hit like strikes of lightning in a fierce electrical storm.  Sometimes I can roll with the punches in the strength the LORD gives (Colossians 1:20), but once in a while I feel beat up and worn out and no amount of prayer helps.  That happened this week.  All my strength was gone and I cried out to GOD and searched the Word but felt dry and so in need of a refreshing drink.

I closed my Bible and went to soak in the tub and I was thinking about GOD, what HE was like and how HIS ways and thoughts are not my ways and thoughts; that they are as high as the heavens are above my ways and thoughts but that they work..  Isaiah 55:8-11.  As water gushes out when the faucet is turned on, so some science facts came flooding into my mind (Proverbs 21:1).

If I draw a circle, one large and one small with their centers just nine inches apart.  If each inch represented 10 million miles my picture would show the distance between our earth and the sun.  Now if I wanted another circle to show how far away the nearest star would be that circle would have to be forty miles from the sun I drew on my paper.  I cannot even grasp what that is.  I remember reading that if I started running the moment I was born at the rate of 4 miles every minute that I would be 700 years old when I reached our sun and 182 million years old before I reached the nearest star.  And that is the nearest star!

The numbers get astronomical when we consider the farthest object science knows about…  That and more is how much higher GOD’s thoughts and ways are above mine.  And I think I know how GOD should do things?

In a setting telling of GOD’s Sovereign majesty, wisdom and power, Isaiah mockingly asks (Isaiah 40:13-14) Who has directed the SPIRIT of the LORD, or as HIS counselor has taught HIM?  With whom did HE take counsel, that instruction might be given HIM?  Who taught HIM the path of justice and taught HIM knowledge and showed HIM the way of understanding?

Wow!  Isn’t that just like us, thinking we need to tell GOD how to handle things?

Just thinking about this simple truth about GOD, renewed my spirit.  No wonder we are told to look (focus on) JESUS Hebrews 12:2-3 (Who is the radiance of GOD’s glory and the exact representation of HIS nature Hebrews 1:2,3) so we won’t grow weary and faint in our minds.

I had been beat up and burned out, and needed to stop and rest in order to hear GOD speak.  But when HE spoke, I was refreshed.  No, I still didn’t have answers to the problems, but my focus was back on GOD.  Just knowing HE is in control, and knows what HE is doing takes the load off, and puts the song back in my heart.

Looking unto JESUS the Author and Perfecter of my faith.

hugs
Sharon L Manning

Went on a trip

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watering the gras

While I was still in grade school, my neighbors commissioned me to work for them. They were going on vacation and didn’t want their grass to die so asked me to water it.   I agreed. But one day I forgot to turn off the water. I didn’t think it mattered that much until, my neighbors got home and found that their basement was flooded. Then I was ashamed, and learned the hard way I needed to be faithful to do all I was supposed to do.

JESUS told a parable about HIS coming Kingdom (Matthew 25:14-30). In the parable, the King was going to take a trip to a far country. HE gathered HIS servants and gave each of them some of HIS goods, each was given what they could handle, according to their own specific abilities, Then the King left on HIS journey. When HE returned, he gathered HIS servants again, this time for an accounting of what they had done with HIS goods while HE was away.

From the text we learned that

GOD never asks of us more than we can do (verse 15).

GOD expects us to use what we have been given to advance HIS Kingdom (verse 26-27).

JESUS praises and rewards faithful service when HE is gone, with ruling positions in HIS Kingdom once HE returns (verse 23).

GOD promises that to the one who has, more shall be given.

 

But, let’s focus on that one servant who hid what he had been given, rather than use it (verses 24-29).

I personally believe that was entrusted with the truth of the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST. For it is written that JESUS gave light to everyone that came into the world (John 1:9). Apparently the servant did not accept it, for he had no clue what the Master was like.   He believed the lies of the enemy accusing GOD as being a hard and demanding Master. The servant’s attitude indicated that he actually despised and hated his Master. That is seen elsewhere in scripture describing those who suppress the truth because they don’t want the light of the truth to direct them. They want none of its demands made of them (John 3:17-20, Romans 1:18-21, 25, 28).

All the Master asked was for the servant to use what he had been given. Once you believe, you are given the HOLY SPIRIT and HE teaches you what JESUS is like (2 Corinthians 3:18).  If you see JESUS you will know what GOD the FATHER is like (John 14:9). That is why I feel that servant did not believe the truth shown him, or walk in the light he had been given.

The prophet Daniel said, “The people who know their GOD, do exploits”(Daniel 11:32).

Why? Once you believe that GOD loves you and sent HIS SON to save you, you are given the HOLY SPIRIT to teach you. Therefore, you have the inside tract to what GOD wants you to do and the power to do it (Philippians 2:13) If you abide in JESUS, you will bear much fruit and your fruit will remain (John 15:5).

We all have been given bounty according to our own particular abilities/ design. A dear friend has been given an assignment, his watchword for it is 2 Corinthians 13:5 “Examine yourselves to see if you are in the faith.” I think that is a good word for each of us.

Are you, am I using that which GOD has given us?   Will the LORD be able to say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant?”

Looking unto JESUS the Author and Perfecter of my faith.

Hugs

Sharon

 

 

I had no idea

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I had no idea that these two on the stairs with their glasses of milk 001 (2)

would become the two on the outside (top row) 49 years later.

mac and girls 2

We never know what the next day holds, and each day holds enough challenges anyway. But GOD knows all things, past, present and future and acts accordingly!

This morning as I was talking with the LORD, HE reminded me (as I spoke to HIM of a problem one shared with me) of a passage that substantiated the advice I had given her concerning that problem.  I emailed that verse to her, to confirm it was a word from GOD and not just from me.

Then as I was prayerfully reading Acts 2 in my mom’s Bible, 2 verses caught my attention.  I had never seen them in the light that they appeared to me this morning. They made me think of another friend, and conversations that we have had.  Perhaps they too are confirmation.  So, shared them with her and want to share them with you.

Acts 2:14 (Note this follows the casting of the lots for Matthias in Acts 1 to bring their number back up to 12, as they wait for the HOLY SPIRIT. They didn’t have HIM as their teacher yet, for HE was not yet given).  Then, on the day of Pentecost, Peter stood among the 11 (note: they are no longer called the 12 even though lots had been cast to add to their number.

Since we are told all scripture is by the inspiration of the HOLY SPIRIT as men were moved by the HOLY SPIRIT (2 Timothy3:16)  Could not Luke have been recording the apostles actions in rushing ahead of GOD in Acts 1, while in Acts 2 Luke moved by the inspiration of the HOLY SPIRIT, spoke of the reality that there was still only 11 disciples in Acts 2:14?

***

Then, as I read Acts 2:31 I got excited.  Mom’s Bible reads, he (David) foreseeing this, spoke by foreknowledge of the resurrection.  

WOW! if that doesn’t define foreknowledge, nothing does!

But lets see what the other translations say.

NASB- he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection

NIV Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection

ESV he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection

KJ Seeing this before, spoke of the resurrection

Greek ‘proorao’ he foresaw = to see before it happens

JESUS said, “I tell you these things before they happen, so when it comes to pass you might believe (John 14:29).

Why is that so exciting? My friend has had difficulty with that word foreknowledge because of the verse, 1 Peter 1:2. GOD elected or chose us because of HIS foreknowledge of us. In accordance of what HE knew of us beforehand, whether we would believe or not.   Knowing those who would believe in JESUS and choose HIM, HE chose us, who would believe, to be HIS servants and prepared work in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). GOD speaks of this clearly when talking to Jeremiah, I knew you before I formed you in the womb, and I appointed you… (Jeremiah 1:5).

GOD knows all things, past, present, and future.  HE told HIS prophets to announce things that would happen in the future.  You must know what will happen, before it happens, in order to prophesy. Most arguments against certain books of the Bible is due to their accurate prophesy of what was going to happen. Most Bible believing Christians would not even think to fight against Bible Prophesy, which is telling something before it happens.  Fulfilled prophesy confirms GOD’s Word. So why the struggle with foreknowledge?   Foreknowledge is necessary before prophesy can happen?

What do you think?

Looking unto JESUS, the Author and Perfecter of my faith.

Hugs

Sharon

Occupy til I come

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memorial day

This picture is a light moment, during World War II, when Dad was on leave.

Back in World War II when General Douglas MacArthur had to leave the Philippines in mid-March 1942 he said to the remaining troops, “I will return! Occupy until I come.”

In a month we will celebrate the resurrection of our LORD JESUS CHRIST. On the cross, HE carried all our sin, and if we believe in HIM, HIS resurrection guarantees our resurrection unto LIFE eternal. Just as MacArthur declared he would return, our LORD JESUS said, “If I go to prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with ME that you also may be where I am” (John 14:3).

“Be dressed in readiness and keep your lamps lit. Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes…”(Luke 12:35-37 NASB) 

“watch, be ready for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect” (Matthew 24:42, 44, Luke 12:40).

Blessed is that servant whom the MASTER finds him watching and ready (Matthew 24:46).

WARNING: but if the servant thinks his master won’t be back for a while, turns from doing good and gets to doing what he ought not, well the master will return unannounced, and unexpected, and the consequences will not be pretty (context of Luke 12:45,46 and Matthew 24:48-51).

For several reasons I’ve been asking the LORD if I should keep teaching. My main concern is connected to my hearing difficulties.  As I was in the WORD, our LORD spoke loudly from 2 Corinthians 3:6 saying, “Sharon, I have qualified you, and made you able to give out MY word.  Go with the nudges the HOLY SPIRIT gives you (don’t fear your inability, I am enough) stay true to MY word.

Then doing a question for a class I attend, GOD spoke again in Matthew 24:42-47,  It that parable about how GOD views a faithful servant who has been put in charge of giving out food and supplies to others.  Since man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of GOD, I knew GOD was telling me to keep teaching.  I definitely don’t want to be like those that turned from what they knew they should do!
JESUS gives a parable that uses the same words as Douglas MacArthur.

Luke 19:13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them 10 pounds (3 months wages for a laborer) and said unto them, “Occupy until I come!”

LORD willing that is what I intend to do. How about you?

Looking unto JESUS, the Author and Perfecter of my faith.

Hugs

Sharon

 

 

As an eagle

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A question in this week’s Bible lesson asked if GOD had ever hidden me. I read the text and it all came back.

HE (GOD) found him in a desert land and in the wasteland, a howling wilderness, HE encircled him and instructed him, HE kept (protected) him as the apple of HIS eye (like an eyelid protects the eye by closing).  As an eagle stirs up its nest (and forces its young to leave and learn to fly), it hovers over its young, spreading its wings (to catch them if they falter), taking them up, carrying them on its wings. Deuteronomy 32:10-11

When I learned my Daddy died, I went to the desert of Lake Havasu City where he’d lived.  Then they told me. Dad had grown weary and had given up.  He got to the point where he felt he could no longer persevere through the agony of constant suffering of the intense pain that he’d already endured for years since his central nervous system broke down. One day, after placing signs warning his beloved wife, Bethy, to stop and call the authorities, Dad hung himself.

When I was  told, I couldn’t just sit there and discuss it as the others were doing. I had to get away from the talk and people. I had to go talk to GOD.  I left the house, and began walking and talking to GOD through my tears.  And from within, a song (had recently learned) sprung up and I began singing it.  As I sang the song, as the prayer it was, GOD seemed to lift me up, pull me close, and hold me tightly.

The song: Oh Son of GOD enfold me, with the SPIRIT of YOUR love, come and fill my heart and satisfy my soul. Take all that holds me and YOUR SPIRIT like a dove, descend upon my heart and make me whole.   JESUS, OH JESUS come and hold YOUR lamb, JESUS, OH JESUS come and hold YOUR lamb.

As in Deuteronomy 32:10-11  GOD found me in the desert, HE encircled me with HIS love, flooded me with HIS peace, and protected me by drawing me into HIS arms, and carrying me on HIS wings.

Cry out to HIM, when you are in need, and HE will do the same for you.

Looking unto JESUS, the Author and Perfecter of my faith.

Hugs

Sharon

Oh no!

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one-rock

Oh no!  Zachary is going to throw those rocks.  What if he hits someone?  We must stop him before he hurts someone. 

I hate to see kids throw rocks, probably more that most because, I was hit by a rock thrown by a young boy and it severed an artery between my eyes.  I am glad they were able to keep me from bleeding out as they got me off the roof of the school building and rushed me to a hospital miles away.  But, to automatically assume Zack was going to throw that rock without asking what he was doing is WRONG! 

You can surmise and speculate all you want, but unless you know more of the details, you don’t know Zack’s intent.  It might look from this angle that he is going to throw the rock, but in fact, he was building a rock tower.  To know the why and the what, you need to look at the whole picture, and maybe ask a question or two.

Individual verses in the Bible, can be like this snap shot of my grandson.  By that I mean, that standing alone, they may seem to mean one thing.  But, you must look at their setting to know what they are talking about.

Last week in a group discussion of Matthew 22 we came upon this problem.  In Matthew 22:1-14 a man made a wedding feast for his son and told the invited guests that the food was ready.  But the guests didn’t come.  The man sent out his servants to ask any they could find to come to the wedding feast.  The invitation was indiscriminate, including all.

(Now I’ve heard it commonly reported that in that day and culture, the host of a wedding feast provided a special garment to each guest to be worn at the feast.)

As it happened, the father, mingling among the guests who came, saw one of them didn’t have the wedding garment on.  So he commanded his servants to kicked the man out of the wedding feast.

The next line says: “many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14).

All of the group understood this was a parable depicting being saved and going to the wedding feast of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9).  But one gal looked at vs 14, and said it meant that GOD chose who would be saved.

But let’s look at the entire picture.  Many were called.  Those originally invited, and those later invited.  But being chosen to be at the wedding feast was conditional.  People were allowed, or chosen to be in his house as his guest, IF they put on the wedding garment he offered them.  Without the wedding garment, they could not be there.

Now you all know, I am teaching Revelation and in that book we find that people wash their garments and made them white in the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 7:9,13-14).  To me that says the wedding garment offered the guests is accepting JESUS’s saving work on the cross on their behalf.  Without being clothed with the righteousness of JESUS (Romans 3:20-22), they have no right to come to the wedding feast of the Lamb, therefore, must be kicked out.

Each person chooses whom he will serve, either JESUS, or themselves and the gods of this world.

Have you put on the wedding garment by reaching out to JESUS to save you? Just going to church is not enough.

Do you have the right to go to the wedding feast of the Lamb?  The choice is yours.

Looking unto JESUS, the Author and Perfecter of my faith.

Hugs,

Sharon

 

 

Purpose

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hold-out

Tuesday, I asked my Truth Project class, “What is YOUR purpose in life?” This morning part of my answer to the question was illustrated.

I woke up with a song in my head and I began singing it. The song is also a prayer and I prayed it as I sang. Then I laughed when I opened up the Bible and began reading.

“Holding out and offering (to all men) the Word of Life, so that in the day of CHRIST I may have something of which exultantly to rejoice and glory in, that I did not run my race in vain or spend my labor to no purpose” (Philippians 2:16 Amp).

The song I sang was:

Hearts are bleeding deep inside, YOUR love can dry those weeping eyes, so touch through me HOLY SPIRT, touch through me. My hands will be YOUR hands reaching out to others, and my lips will not be slothful LORD to speak, hearts are bleeding deep inside, YOUR love can dry their weeping eyes, so touch through me HOLY SPIRIT, love through me HOLY SPIRIT, touch through me HOLY SPIRIT, touch through me.

My purpose in life is to know and glorify my ALMIGHTY triune GOD, holding out HIS WORD and love to all I come in contact with.  

What’s yours?

Looking unto JESUS, the Author and Perfecter of my faith.

Hugs

Sharon