Love Came Down 24/7 Amour descendit Bas 24/7

dawnCheck out a day in the life of Jesus’ ministry:

After preaching the toughest, most beautiful message, the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus came down the mountainside and was met by a leper who lay down and worshiped Him, crying, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”

Jesus reached out, broke religious code, touched an Intouchable and responded, “I am willing!  Be clean!” Immediately the man was cured of his leprosy.

Next, came a Roman centurion, a large and in charge soldier requesting healing of his beloved servant who was “lying in bed paralyzed in dreadful torment”.  The Roman was so certain of Jesus’ authority that he refused to allow Jesus to journey to his residence, saying:

Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”(Matthew 8:8-9)

The man absolutely expected Jesus to heal his servant on the spot! After remarking that not one person in all of Israel showed faith like this man, Jesus responded, “”Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you!” And his servant was healed at that very hour.(8:13)

Jesus headed then to Peter’s house, where Peter’s mother in law was feverish sick in bed.  With one touch by Jesus, she recovered and catered a massive party, as every villager crowded into the house, bringing their sick, their demon-possessed. Amazingly, Jesus healed every single person (see Matthew 8:14-17)

When word of this massive recovery of illness through Jesus hit the streets, crowds beyond measure streamed to Peter’s place.

2014-09-11-17-44-32Jesus prepared to leave.  Two men, caught up in the marvel and power of all these miracles, tried to join his group.  A scribe came to enlist, yet quickly left when he realized homelessness was part of the ministry package.  Another man begged to join but hit the road when Jesus challenged him to leave his family, his inheritance and choose life with Christ.

When the disciples finally pushed the boats out onto the Sea of Galilee,  Jesus fell asleep immediately. The disciples sailed across the lake, comfortable on the lake at night, since four of them, Peter, Andrew, James and John, were seasoned fishermen.  Suddenly, a tempest arose, an unexpected violent storm of frightening power. Waves began to flood the boat and the men battled the elements to stay alive. Despairing for their life, the disciples woke up their exhausted Messiah, demanding:

“Lord, save us! We are perishing!” But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” (Matthew 8: 25-28)

By early morning, they arrived at the country of the Gergesenes and were met by two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs, full of violence and wrath, loudly protesting, “What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time? (8:29)

It was an ugly scene. No red carpet.  Just brutal men blocking the team from reaching town and Jesus quickly took care of business:

The demons begged Jesus, “If You cast us out, permit us to go away into the herd of swine”, which were nearby, to which Jesus replied “Go.”Immediately they entered the swine and the entire herd stampeded violently down a steep cliff and drowned in the sea. The herdsman in charge ran straight to the city to report what had happened. “And behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus. And when they saw Him, they begged Him to depart from their region.At their request, Jesus stepped back into his boat and returned to his home town.(8: 29-34, 9:1)

Matthew 8 chronicles many responses to Jesus and His power, from belief and worship by those in desperate need, to apathy by those who didn’t comprehend their desperate state, to fear by the very friends who had watched Jesus heal every disease and cast out every demoniac, to wholehearted rejection by a city who did not want Jesus, His truth or His freedom. I wonder what would have been my response in those days.  What is yours today?

 

 

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Let’s Pray: Lord Jesus, when we look at just one day of your life, we are amazed at Who You are, heroic, all powerful, unstoppable, compassionate, never quitting.  You lived a life poured out for us all.  As we submit to You, Lord Jesus, by the power of Your Spirit, lead us to live full out, 24/7, for You.  Father, lead us, Your children who believe in Your Son, to change the world even as Your Son has changed ours.  Amen.

This Week’s Bible Reading:  Matthew 5-15

Next Week’s Reading:  Matthew 15 – 28

Study Questions:

  1. Which scene do you relate to in Matthew 8? What is your response to Christ today?
  2. Have you considered life in ministry?  What does that mean to you? What did it mean for the disciples?
  3. What have you struggled to let go to follow Jesus?  What has Jesus given to you?
  4. Do you believe in the Christ who heals?  What was your response to His healing in your life?
  5. Are you willing to go where He leads, on His timetable?  Why or why not? Where does the Holy Spirit come into your story of faith?

Français Ici:

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Découvrez une journée dans la vie du ministère de Jésus:

Après avoir prêché le plus dur, le plus beau message, le Sermon sur la montagne, Jésus est descendu de la montagne et a été rencontré par un lépreux qui se coucha et se prosterna devant lui, en criant: «Seigneur, si tu veux, tu peux me rendre pur.”

Jésus étendit, rompit code religieux, a touché un Intouchable et a répondu: «Je suis prêt! Soyez propre! “Aussitôt l’homme a été guéri de sa lèpre.

Ensuite, vint un centurion romain, une guérison demande importante et en charge soldat de son bien-aimé serviteur qui a été «couché dans son lit paralysé dans le pire châtiment”. Le Romain était si certain de l’autorité de Jésus qu’il a refusé de permettre à Jésus de voyage à sa résidence, en disant:

Seigneur, je ne mérite pas que tu entres sous mon toit. Mais juste dire le mot, et mon serviteur sera healed.For Je suis moi-même un homme sous l’autorité, avec des soldats sous moi. Je dis à l’un: Va, et il va; et celui-là, «Viens, et il vient. . Je dis à mon serviteur: Fais cela! Et il le fait »(Matthieu 8: 8-9)

L’homme absolument attend Jésus de guérir son serviteur sur place! Après avoir remarqué que pas une seule personne dans tout Israël a montré la foi comme cet homme, Jésus a répondu, “” Allez votre chemin, et comme vous l’avez cru, alors laissez-être fait pour vous! ” Et le serviteur fut guéri à cette heure. (08:13)

Jésus se dirigea alors vers la maison de Pierre, où la mère de Peter en droit était malade fébrile dans le lit. Avec une seule touche par Jésus, elle a récupéré et approvisionné une grande fête, comme tous les villageois entassés dans la maison, ce qui porte leur malade, possédé du démon leur. Étonnamment, Jésus a guéri chaque personne (voir Matthieu 8: 14-17)

Quand le mot de cette reprise massive de la maladie à travers Jésus a frappé les rues, les foules au-delà de la mesure en streaming sur la place de Peter.

2014-09-11-17-44-32Jesus prêt à partir. Deux hommes, pris dans la merveille et la puissance de tous ces miracles, ont tenté de se joindre à son groupe. Un scribe est venu d’enrôler, mais a rapidement quitté quand il a réalisé le sans-abrisme faisait partie de l’ensemble du ministère. Un autre homme demanda de se joindre, mais a frappé la route quand Jésus l’a défié à quitter sa famille, son héritage et choisir la vie avec le Christ.

Lorsque les disciples finalement poussé les bateaux dehors sur la mer de Galilée, Jésus est endormi immédiatement. Les disciples ont navigué sur le lac, à l’aise sur le lac la nuit, puisque quatre d’entre eux, Pierre, André, Jacques et Jean, étaient des pêcheurs chevronnés. Soudain, une tempête se leva, une tempête inattendue violente du pouvoir effrayant. Les vagues ont commencé à inonder le bateau et les hommes ont combattu les éléments pour rester en vie. Désespérant de leur vie, les disciples se sont réveillés de leur épuisé Messie, exigeant:

«Seigneur, sauve-nous! Nous périssons!” Mais il leur dit: «Pourquoi avez-vous peur, gens de peu de foi?” Puis il se leva, menaça les vents et la mer, et il y eut un grand calme. Ainsi, les hommes étonnés, disant: «Qui cela peut-être, que même les vents et la mer lui obéissent?” (Matthieu 8: 25-28)

En début de matinée, ils sont arrivés au pays des Gadaréniens et ont été accueillis par deux hommes démoniaques provenant des tombes, pleins de violence et de colère, protestant bruyamment, «Qu’avons-nous à faire avec toi, Jésus, Fils de Dieu ? Avez-vous venu ici pour nous tourmenter avant le temps? (8,29)

Ce fut une scène horrible. Pas de tapis rouge. hommes Juste brutaux bloquant l’équipe d’atteindre la ville et Jésus ont rapidement pris soin des affaires:

Les démons supplièrent Jésus: «Si vous nous chasses, nous permettent d’aller dans le troupeau de porcs”, qui étaient à proximité, à laquelle Jésus répondit: «Va.» Aussitôt, ils entrèrent dans les pourceaux, et le troupeau entier rués violemment vers le bas une pente raide falaise et noyé dans la mer. Le pâtre en charge courut droit à la ville pour signaler ce qui était arrivé. “Et voici, toute la ville sortit à la rencontre de Jésus. Et quand ils le virent, ils le prièrent de quitter leur region.At leur demande, Jésus entra de nouveau dans son bateau et est retourné à sa ville natale. (8: 29-34, 9: 1)

Matthew 8 chroniques de nombreuses réponses à Jésus et Sa puissance, de croyance et de culte par ceux dans le besoin désespéré, à l’apathie de ceux qui ne comprenaient pas leur état désespéré, à la peur par les mêmes amis qui avaient regardé Jésus guérir toute maladie et chassez chaque énergumène, à un rejet sans réserve par une ville qui ne voulait pas Jésus, sa vérité ou sa liberté. Je me demande ce qui aurait été ma réponse en ces jours. Quelle est la vôtre aujourd’hui?

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Prions: Seigneur Jésus, quand on regarde un seul jour de votre vie, nous sommes étonnés de qui vous êtes, héroïque, tout-puissant, imparable, compatissant, jamais cesser de fumer. Vous avez vécu une vie versé pour nous tous. Comme nous nous soumettons à Toi, Seigneur Jésus, par la puissance de ton Esprit, conduis-nous à vivre à plein régime, 24/7, pour vous. Père, nous conduire, Vos enfants qui croient en ton Fils, pour changer le monde, comme ton Fils nous a changé. Amen.

Cette Semaine Lecture de la Bible: Matthieu 5-15

Reading Semaine suivante: Matthew 15-28

Questions d’étude:

  1. Quelle scène rapportez-vous dans Matthieu 8? Quelle est votre réponse à Christ aujourd’hui?
  2. Avez-vous envisagé la vie dans le ministère? Qu’est-ce que cela signifie pour vous? Qu’est-ce que cela signifie pour les disciples?
  3. Qu’avez-vous eu du mal à se laisser aller à suivre Jésus? Qu’est-ce que Jésus a donné à vous?
  4. Croyez-vous dans le Christ qui guérit? Quelle a été votre réponse à sa guérison dans votre vie?
  5. Êtes-vous prêt à aller où il mène, sur son calendrier? Pourquoi ou pourquoi pas? D’où vient le Saint-Esprit vient dans votre histoire de foi?

 

Love Came Down in Obedience/L’amour est descendu dans l’obéissance

 

2014-09-11-17-44-32Matthew 4: 1-1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry.

Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”

But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ”

Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If you are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ”

Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ”

Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give you if you will fall down and worship me.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”

Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him. (NKJV)

For a few weeks now, I have been mulling over a problem.  The devil “took” Jesus?  The destroyer, dread-enemy of God Almighty, “took” the Son of God to the holy city, to a very high mountain? How can this be?

For clearer perspective, note Matthew’s use of paralambo (took) in his gospel. Paralambo suggests an action of compliance and obedience, of coming alongside a person, with assent for a specific purpose.   For example, Joseph was told by Gabriel to take your wife, first in marriage and then urgently, to Egypt (Matthew 1:20, 24, 2:13, 2:20).  Jesus took his disciples first up the mountain, then to Jerusalem and then to the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 17:1, 20:17, 26:37).  Jesus described a time when the enemy will take more unclean spirits to invade a generation in future days which refuses Christ’s salvation (Matthew 12:45) At the end of the ages, Christ describes the angels taking one person and leaving the other ( Matthew  24:40,41).  Finally, the soldiers took Jesus and surrounded him with the company of soldiers to beat and mock him as King of the Jews (Matthew 27:27).

In prayer, I had cried out my confusion to God, “How could you be taken by the enemy anywhere?  Aren’t you more powerful, even as the Man who came to Earth for each of us?”

Tenderly, Jesus responded, “I went, so you wouldn’t have to.”

O my Jesus.

friends-2As Jesus neared the river Jordan for baptism, Jesus had explained to John the Baptist, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.”(Matthew 3:15)

Jesus fulfilled every jot, every mark of the Law on our behalf (Matthew 5:18).

Jesus permitted Satan to take him in that terrible temptation, that we may stand against the powers of darkness and say, “No. Christ has done it all. Since I am in Christ, You may not take me anywhere.  Get lost.”

God the Father made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthian 5:21)

Satan has no authority to force us anywhere without our compliance, nor command our worship, nor shape our rule as we remain in Christ. Jesus stood strong and through Him, we stand.

Through Christ, our worship is for God alone.

Our provision is the Father’s daily bread for His children.

All the proof we could ever need of God’s love for us is found in a cross, where our King died so that we wouldn’t have to.

Who can fathom this love like this?  Jesus, Son of God, passionate, holy, and determined, lived every moment of His life in obedience to the Father to win us life with God of all eternity.  He suffered forty days of hunger, unknown days of testing in the wilderness, not because of His guilt, but for His love. I can barely grasp the grace of this love.

…in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him. (Hebrews 5: 7-9)

sunsetLord Jesus, when we read of Your temptation, we see You clearly as our Hero, not a victim of circumstance.  You allowed every aspect of righteousness to be fulfilled, intentionally suffering, that we would be spared. By Your sacrifice we are atoned, redeemed and adopted by God the Father of all grace, all through Your perfect obedience.  Holy Spirit, help us to obey Your leading and Your Word. Through Christ, we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name (Romans 1:5). Thank you Lord God Almighty.  Amen.

This Week Bible Reading:  Matthew 4-15

Next Week Bible Reading:  Matthew 16-25

Study Questions

  1. Have you ever been tempted?  How did that work out?  What was your strength or weakness in this situation?  What did Jesus Christ do to fight temptation?
  2. Do you believe that Christ died for you?  Why or why not?
  3. How do you feel about the enemy taking Jesus to the top of the mountain?  How do you fight the enemy’s interference in your life?
  4. What do you need from Christ?  Have you asked?
  5. Jesus’s primary goal was to gain us access to the Father through His sacrificial death on the cross.  What are you doing with this Special Access Pass? How does being a child of God affect your life?

Français ici!

Matthieu 4: 1-1 Alors Jésus fut emmené par l’Esprit dans le désert pour être tenté par le diable. Et quand il avait quarante jours et quarante nuits, après cela, il avait faim.

Maintenant, quand le tentateur est venu à lui, il dit: “Si tu es le Fils de Dieu, ordonne que ces pierres deviennent des pains.”

Mais il répondit et dit: “Il est écrit: L’homme ne vivra pas de pain seulement, mais de toute parole qui sort de la bouche de Dieu. ”

Alors le diable le dans la ville sainte, le plaça sur le haut du temple, et lui dit:“Si tu es le Fils de Dieu, jette-toi en bas car il est écrit:. Il donnera des ordres à ses anges sur vous, ‘et,’ Dans leurs mains, ils te porteront, de peur que ton pied ne heurte contre une pierre. ”

Jésus lui dit: Il est encore écrit: Tu ne tenteras pas le Seigneur ton Dieu.” ”

Encore une fois, le diable lui a pris sur une très haute montagne, et lui montra tous les royaumes du monde et leur gloire. Et il lui dit: «Toutes ces choses je vous donnerai si vous allez tomber et adorer moi.”

Alors Jésus lui dit: “Retire-toi, Satan!

Car il est écrit: Tu adoreras le Seigneur ton Dieu, et Lui seul tu serviras. ”

Alors le diable le laissa, et voici, des anges est venu et son ministère à lui.

sunsetDepuis quelques semaines, je suis ressassant un problème. Le diable “a” Jésus? Le destroyer, l’ennemi de Dieu Tout-Puissant, “a pris” le Fils de Dieu dans la ville sainte, à une très haute montagne? Comment se peut-il?

Pour la perspective plus claire, notez l’utilisation de Matthieu paralambo (se) dans son évangile. Paralambo suggère une action de la conformité et de l’obéissance, de venir à côté d’une personne, avec la sanction dans un but précis. Joseph a été dit par Gabriel de prendre votre femme, d’abord dans le mariage, puis de toute urgence, en Egypte (Matthieu 01:20, 24, 02:13, 02:20). Jésus a pris ses disciples d’abord la montagne, puis à Jérusalem, puis au jardin de Gethsémani (Matthieu 17: 1, 20:17, 26:37). Jésus a décrit un moment où l’ennemi aura esprits plus impurs pour envahir une génération dans les prochains jours qui refuse le salut du Christ (Matthieu 12:45) A la fin des siècles, le Christ décrit les anges qui prennent une personne et en laissant l’autre (Matthieu 24 : 40,41). Enfin, les soldats ont pris Jésus et l’entouraient avec la compagnie de soldats à battre et se moquer de lui comme roi des Juifs (Matthieu 27:27).

Dans la prière, je l’avais crié ma confusion à Dieu, “Comment pourriez-vous être pris par l’ennemi partout? N’êtes-vous pas plus puissant, comme l’homme qui est venu sur Terre pour chacun de nous? ”

Tendrement, Jésus a répondu: “Je suis allé, de sorte que vous ne seriez pas le faire.”

O mon Jésus.

friends-2Comme Jésus approchait de la rivière du Jourdain pour le baptême, Jésus avait expliqué Jean-Baptiste, “Laisse faire maintenant, car il est convenable que nous accomplissions toute justice.” (Matthieu 3:15)

Jésus a accompli tous les jot, toutes les marques de la loi en notre nom (Matthieu 05:18).

Jésus a permis à Satan de le prendre dans cette terrible tentation, que nous pouvons tenir ferme contre les puissances des ténèbres et de dire: Non. Christ a tout fait. Depuis que je suis en Christ, vous ne pouvez pas me prendre partout. Se perdre.”

Dieu le Père lui a fait qui n’a pas connu le péché pour être péché pour nous, afin que nous devenions justice de Dieu en Lui. (2 Corinthiens 5:21)

Satan n’a pas le pouvoir de nous forcer nulle part sans notre respect, ni commander notre culte, ni façonner notre règle que nous restons dans le Christ. Jésus se tenait fort et à travers Lui, nous nous tenons.

Par le Christ, notre culte est pour Dieu seul.

Notre disposition est le pain quotidien du Père pour ses enfants.

Toute la preuve que nous pourrions avoir besoin de l’amour de Dieu pour nous se trouve dans une croix, où notre roi est mort pour que nous ne serions pas obligés.

Qui peut comprendre cet amour comme ça? Jésus, Fils de Dieu, passionné, saint, et déterminé, a vécu chaque instant de sa vie dans l’obéissance au Père pour nous gagner la vie avec Dieu de toute éternité. Il a souffert quarante jours de la faim, les jours inconnus de tests dans le désert, non pas à cause de sa culpabilité, mais pour son amour. Je peux à peine saisir la grâce de cet amour.

… Dans les jours de sa chair, quand il avait offert des prières et des supplications, avec des cris et des larmes véhémentes à celui qui pouvait le sauver de la mort, et a été exaucé à cause de sa piété, bien qu’il fût Fils, Il appris l’obéissance par les choses qu’il a souffertes. Et après avoir été perfectionné, il est devenu l’auteur du salut éternel pour tous ceux qui lui obéissent. (Hébreux 5: 7-9)

2014-09-11-17-44-32Seigneur Jésus, quand nous lisons de votre tentation, nous vous voyons clairement que notre héros, pas une victime des circonstances. Vous avez permis à tous les aspects de la justice à remplir, la souffrance intentionnellement, que nous serions épargnés. Par votre sacrifice nous expié, rachetés et adoptés par Dieu le Père de toute grâce, tout au long de votre obéissance parfaite. Saint-Esprit, nous aider à obéir à vos principaux et Ta Parole. Par le Christ, nous avons reçu la grâce et l’apostolat de l’obéissance à la foi parmi toutes les nations pour son nom (Romains 1: 5). Merci Seigneur Dieu Tout-Puissant. Amen.

Cette Semaine Lecture de la Bible: Matthieu 4-15

Semaine suivante Lecture de la Bible: Matthieu 16-25

Questions d’étude

  1. Avez-vous déjà été tenté? Comment cela fonctionne sur? Quelle était votre force ou de faiblesse dans cette situation? Ce que Jésus-Christ a fait pour lutter contre la tentation?
  2. Croyez-vous que le Christ est mort pour vous? Pourquoi ou pourquoi pas?
  3. Comment vous sentez-vous à propos de l’ennemi en prenant Jésus au sommet de la montagne?Comment combattre l’ingérence de l’ennemi dans votre vie?
  4. Qu’est-ce que vous avez besoin du Christ? Avez-vous demandé?
  5. L’objectif principal de Jésus était de nous avoir accès au Père par Sa mort sacrificielle sur la croix. Que faites-vous avec ce col d’accès spécial? Comment le fait d’être un enfant de Dieu sur votre vie?

 

 

Love Came Down with a Mighty Herald: John the Baptist, Hero in the Wilderness/L’amour arrivait avec un puissant heralde: Jean-Baptiste, Hero dans le désert

2014-10-10 07.44.26(Français à suivre)

Matthew 3:1: In those day came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea.

Thirty years after the supernatural birth of Christ, John the Baptist arose like a fiery sword in the desert, preaching the message he was made for. What was hidden, now became known and John, long held in his parents’ arms of faith and righteousness, stood solitary in the desert of Judea, a  camel-clothed herald crying to his nation: the Kingdom of God was near. Love is at the door. Israel needed to clear out the sin in their lives if they were to hear heaven once more.

A zealot formed by heaven’s hands, John the Baptist roared conviction like a town crier, certain of his call to inform, impassioned that all would hear the news. With his voice echoing across the desert, bouncing off hearts and rocks alike, John pleaded to Israel, “Stop sinning now! God is coming to town! The sovereign King of God is coming! Change your ways, Israel, before He thrashes you with justice in His holy righteousness.”

Israel’s reaction was massive, immediate and public.

“Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.” (Matthew 3:5)

After hundred of years of silence, revival raucously broke out, as thousands streamed to John at the river Jordan, as they aligned their hearts with God’s plan, hungry to hear His words.

In today’s world, few would journey to hear a man like John the Baptist and repent of their sin in order to access God. I expect John would either be relegated to the ‘mentally ill and homeless’ category or be largely ignored. He would have stunk.  His breath would wreak. He had nothing but God. Many people find that offensive these days.

Perhaps longing for God increases when you are desperate. Israel was pretty stressed, crushed by Rome at this time.  Taxes were heavy and religion was hell’s hammer as Pharisees and Sadducees added new rules for life as a Jew daily.  Together these two systems crushed the poor, blaming the broken and bruising community with constant relentless demands.

2014-09-29 14.53.27A weary oppressed people streamed to John the Baptist, crowded in, and publicly aligned with him through baptism. Hope boomed loud into their silenced hearts as the revolution for life in God began.

The gospel of Mark describes the call and anointing of the man, sent by God in God’s exact timing and power:

Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.” The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord;Make His paths straight.’” (Mark 1:2-3)

John the Baptist, God’s appointed messenger, ordained and prophesied by Isaiah 400 years earlier, to prepare the way for the Lord, wore strange clothing and ate only what the wilderness offered yet he heard God.  Not since the days of Malachi had a prophet dared to stand tall in heaven’s authority.

The word got out. Israel poured out of their comfortable homes, traveled hot dusty roads down to a stream in the desert, desperate to hear the words of a man who could hear God.

Luke referenced the deep longing of the people for the Messiah to come:

Now as the people were in expectation, and all reasoned in their hearts about John, whether he was the Christ or not. (Luke 3:15)

John, living off honey and locusts, content to forsake all to obey His God, shook people from a place of complacency to a place of expectation. Seeing John, their hearts remembered the dreams of their nation.  Like patients suddenly becoming conscious after days of coma, Israel awoke from their ordinary lives to remember God’s promises, the entrance of their eternal King, the Messiah, the One foretold through all across the Holy Scriptures, was coming soon.

Hope in God’s intercept from the nation’s current disaster as subjects to cruel Rome, through the mighty Messiah, brooded deep in the hearts of the people. As Israel witnessed sold-out John, living to serve God, calling his nation back to God’s ways, their longing to believe God, to trust Him at His Word spread like fire through the land.  John’s gospel explains:

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. (John 1:6-8)

cuba orangeJohn the Baptist lived before his God, close enough to hear and announce the good news, heralding with a shout, “Get ready!” as he prepared his nation for their King.

All of Israel heard him. Only God and a man or woman willing to do whatever it takes can cause the hearts of a nation to turn to His message.

John’s voice booms across my landscape, convicting me afresh, to stop, turn back, to get God’s perspective and remember the greater Kingdom than the one of my own making.

John’s choice to embrace God’s call at any cost brought him face to face with the Christ, as Jesus humbly asked for baptism alongside his countryman, despite John’s objections.

John the Baptist encountered the fullness of God like no other man in history.  This brave prophet in the wilderness reaped incredible revelation as he experienced the Trinity of Eternity. At Jesus’ baptism, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit were all present.  Before this man’s eyes, heaven opened and the Dove of God, the Holy Spirit, descended upon Jesus the Christ and God the Father declared, “This is my Boy!  My beloved Son!  This is the One whom you are all longing for!”

I can only imagine.

A life lived fully for God has incredible reward though comfort is rarely part of the package.  If you read on, you will see John’s assignment dissipated when Christ came on the scene.  John sent Andrew and John, his own disciples to Jesus, hopeful that they would encounter the Christ for themselves.

In Herod’s prison, as pain and loss clouded his view, John sent desperate word to Jesus, asking once more, “Are you the Christ?”

Jesus, in mercy, sent word back, “The lame walk, the blind see… the captive are free…all that was prophesied about Me is being evidenced this day..”

John was beheaded by Herod, a grim commentary on the godless state of Israel’s royalty.

Yet thousands of years later, John the Baptist’s life stands tall, a triumphant display of the sold out life for God, an example of a world changer that convicts and inspires many, including me.

Niagara Falls in Fall

I wonder, what can one person, sold out for God, do to affect a nation today?

Let’s Pray: Father, John came at your command to cry your message of hope to the weary. Holy Spirit, we cry out for grace to live sold out to God like John the Baptist. Make us courageous, Lord, willing to pay any price to stir our nation for God once again. O Jesus, thank You! You threshed our hearts with Love instead of thrashing our lives with judgement, paying with your life in a brutal death for our life in God. You are Love come down to us all.

This Week’s Reading:  Malachi and Matthew 1-3

Next Week’s Reading:  Matthew 4-15

Study Questions:

1.How do you hear this message to turn?

2.What part of your life needs to be refreshed by this fiery message to shift back into God’s priorities?

3.Does John’s message that Love has come down bring you hope, conviction or fear?

4.What are you doing with this prophet’s cry?

5. What message is God speaking through your life?

Francais Ici!

2014-10-13 15.08.54Matthieu 3: 1: Dans ces jours-là parut Jean Baptiste, prêchant dans le désert de Judée.

Trente ans après la naissance surnaturelle du Christ, Jean-Baptiste a surgi comme une épée de feu dans le désert, prêchant le message qu’il a été fait pour. Ce qui a été caché, maintenant devenu connu et John, depuis longtemps dans les bras de la foi et de la justice de ses parents, était solitaire dans le désert de Judée, un héraut de chameau vêtu de pleurer à sa nation: le Royaume de Dieu est proche. L’amour est à la porte. Israël avait besoin pour effacer le péché dans leur vie si elles devaient entendre le ciel une fois de plus.

Un zélote formé par les mains du ciel, Jean-Baptiste rugit conviction comme un crieur, certain de son appel pour informer, passionné que tout irait entendre les nouvelles. Avec sa voix résonnant à travers le désert, qui rebondit sur les cœurs et les roches semblables, Jean a plaidé en Israël, “Arretez péchant maintenant! Dieu vient à la ville! Le Roi souverain de Dieu vient! Changez vos façons, Israël, avant qu’Il vous fouette avec la justice dans sa sainte justice. ”

La réaction d’Israël a été massive, immédiate et public.

“Alors Jérusalem, toute la Judée et toute la région du Jourdain sortit pour lui et faisaient baptiser par lui dans le Jourdain, confessant leurs péchés.” (Matthieu 3: 5)

Après des centaines d’années de silence, renaissance forte a éclaté, alors que des milliers coulaient à Jean au fleuve Jourdain, comme ils ont aligné leurs coeurs avec le plan de Dieu, avides d’entendre ses paroles.

Dans le monde d’aujourd’hui, quelques-uns partaient pour entendre un homme comme Jean-Baptiste et se repentent de leurs péchés afin d’accéder à Dieu. Je pense Jean serait soit relégué à la catégorie «malades mentaux et des sans-abri» ou être largement ignorée. Il aurait puait. Son souffle infligerait. Il n’a rien, mais Dieu. Beaucoup de gens trouvent cette offensive ces jours-ci.

Peut-être la nostalgie de Dieu augmente quand vous êtes désespérés. Israël a été assez souligné, écrasé par Rome à cette époque. Les impôts étaient lourds et la religion était le marteau de l’enfer comme Pharisiens et Sadducéens ajouté de nouvelles règles pour la vie en tant que Juif quotidienne. Ensemble, ces deux systèmes écrasés pauvres, accusant la communauté cassée et des contusions aux demandes incessantes constantes.

2014-09-29 14.53.27A fatigués peuple opprimé coulaient à Jean-Baptiste, entassés dans, et alignés publiquement avec lui par le baptême. Espoir grondé fort dans leurs cœurs silencieux comme la révolution pour la vie en Dieu a commencé.

L’évangile de Marc décrit l’appel et l’onction de l’homme, envoyé par Dieu dans le temps et la puissance exacte de Dieu:

Voici, je vous envoie mon messager devant ta face, qui préparera ton chemin devant toi “La voix de celui qui crie dans le désert: Préparez le chemin du Seigneur, aplanissez ses sentiers.». (Marc 1: 2-3 )

Jean-Baptiste, le messager fixé par Dieu, ordonné et prophétisé par Esaïe 400 ans plus tôt, pour préparer le chemin du Seigneur, portait des vêtements étranges et ne mangeait que ce que le désert encore offert, il entendit Dieu. Depuis l’époque de Malachie avait un prophète osé se tenir debout dans l’autorité du ciel.

Le mot est sorti. Israël verse hors de leurs maisons confortables voyage routes poussiéreuses chaudes vers le bas à un cours d’eau dans le désert, désespérés d’entendre les paroles d’un homme qui pouvait entendre Dieu.

Luc fait référence à l’aspiration profonde du peuple pour le Messie à venir:

Maintenant que le peuple était dans l’attente, et tous raisonnaient dans leurs coeurs à propos de John, qu’il était le Christ ou non. (Luc 3:15)

Jean, vivant hors du miel et des sauterelles, contenu à tout abandonner pour obéir à son Dieu, a secoué les gens d’un lieu de complaisance à un lieu d’attente. Voyant Jean-Baptiste, leurs cœurs se souvenaient des rêves de leur nation. Comme les patients devenant soudainement conscience après des jours de coma, Israël se réveilla de leur vie ordinaire de se rappeler les promesses de Dieu, l’entrée de leur éternel Roi, le Messie, celui prédit par tous à travers les Saintes Ecritures, a été à venir.

Espoir dans l’interception de Dieu de la catastrophe actuelle de la nation en tant que sujets à des traitements cruels Rome, par le puissant Messie, couvé profondément dans les cœurs des gens. Comme Israël a vu Jean, vivant pour servir Dieu, appelant sa nation à des voies de Dieu, leur désir de croire en Dieu, à Lui faire confiance à Sa Parole propage comme le feu à travers la terre. L’évangile de Jean explique:

Il y avait un homme envoyé de Dieu, dont le nom était Jean. Cet homme est venu pour un témoin, pour rendre témoignage à la lumière, afin que tous crussent par lui. Il ne fut pas la lumière, mais il parut pour rendre témoignage à la lumière. (Jean 1: 6-8)

cuba orangeJean-Baptiste vivait avant son Dieu, assez près pour entendre et annoncer les bonnes nouvelles, annonçant avec un cri, “Préparez-vous!” comme il a préparé sa nation pour leur roi.

Tout d’Israël lui entendirent. Seul Dieu et un homme ou une femme prête à faire tout ce qu’il faut peut causer le cœur d’une nation à se tourner vers son message.

Les booms de la voix de Jean-Baptiste à travers mon paysage, me condamnant à nouveau, d’arrêter, revenir en arrière, pour obtenir la perspective de Dieu et rappelez-vous le plus grand royaume que celui de ma propre fabrication.

Le choix de Jean-Baptiste à embrasser l’appel de Dieu à tout prix mis face à face avec le Christ, comme Jésus demanda humblement pour le baptême aux côtés de son compatriote, malgré les objections de John.

Jean-Baptiste a rencontré la plénitude de Dieu comme aucun autre homme dans l’histoire. Ce prophète courageux dans le désert récolté révélation incroyable comme il a connu la Trinité de l’éternité. Au baptême de Jésus, le Père, le Fils et le Saint-Esprit étaient tous présents. Avant les yeux de cet homme, le ciel ouvert et la colombe de Dieu, le Saint-Esprit, est descendu sur Jésus le Christ et Dieu le Père a déclaré: «Ceci est mon garçon! Mon Fils bien-aimé! Ceci est celui que vous êtes tous nostalgie!”

Je ne peux qu’imaginer.

Une vie vécue pleinement Dieu a une récompense incroyable si le confort est rarement une partie de l’emballage. Si vous lisez, vous verrez l’affectation de John dissipée quand le Christ est venu sur la scène. Jean-Baptiste envoya André et Jean, ses propres disciples à Jésus, plein d’espoir qu’ils rencontreraient le Christ pour eux-mêmes.

Dans la prison d’Hérode, comme la douleur et la perte assombries son point de vue, John envoya un mot désespéré à Jésus, demandez une fois de plus, «Es-tu le Christ?”

Jésus, en miséricorde, envoya un mot en arrière, «Le boiteux marchent, les aveugles voir … le captif sont libres … tout ce qui a été prophétisé sur moi est d’être mis en évidence ce jour ..”

Jean-Baptiste a été décapité par Hérode, un commentaire sombre sur l’état athée de la royauté d’Israël.

Pourtant, des milliers d’années plus tard, la vie de Jean-Baptiste se tient debout, un affichage triomphant de la vie vendue pour Dieu, un exemple d’un changeur de monde que les condamnés et inspire beaucoup, y compris moi.

61fb8-largewaterfalllocatedinzimbabwe

Je me demande, ce qui peut une personne, vendu pour Dieu, faire pour affecter une nation aujourd’hui?

Prions: Père, Jean-Baptiste est venu à votre commande pour pleurer votre message d’espoir à ceux qui sont fatigués. Saint-Esprit, nous crions pour la grâce de vivre vendus à Dieu comme Jean-Baptiste. Faites-nous courageux, Seigneur, prêt à payer tout prix pour remuer notre nation pour Dieu une fois de plus. O Jésus, je vous remercie! Vous BATTU nos cœurs avec l’amour au lieu de rosser notre vie avec le jugement, en payant avec votre vie dans une mort brutale pour notre vie en Dieu. Vous êtes l’amour est descendu pour nous tous.

La lecture de cette semaine: Malachie et Matthieu 1-3

Reading Semaine suivante: Matthieu 4-15

Questions d’étude:

1.How entendez-vous ce message à tourner?

2.Quel partie de votre vie doit être rafraîchi par ce message de feu pour déplacer de nouveau dans les priorités de Dieu?

3.Est Jean-Baptiste message d’amour est descendu vous apporter l’espérance, la conviction ou la peur?

4.Qu que tu fais avec le cri de ce prophète?

5. Quel message est Dieu qui parle à travers votre vie?

Love Came Down with the Father’s Dreams

a92c0-calebgodmadetheworldIn the days of Zechariah, Israel swayed weakly at a crucial crossroads.  Having returned to Jerusalem, the exiles began a slow painful rebuild of their lives.  Though the temple altar was built by the fall of that year, opposition was fierce against the Jews and in their distress, they abandoned the work to avoid further conflict and focused on building their lives instead.  Haggai chastised the nation to reconsider their priorities and called them to hear God’s promise of protection and build the temple (Hag. 1:11, 2:17).

Zechariah, grandson of the returning priest Iddo, a Levite, worshiper and prophet, rephrased Haggai’s pleas months later with a call to Israel to put God first and build the temple.  By 515 BC, the temple was completed, rededicated with great rejoicing.[1]

The restoration of the temple is a back-story for the greater drama Zechariah shared as he described God’s plans for the Messiah to come, culminating in His children living as Zion, the Lord’s sweet expectancy since He first breathed life into Adam.

God’s excitement for His Zion can barely be contained:

I am zealous for Zion with great zeal; With great fervor I am zealous for her. “Thus says the Lord: ‘I will return to Zion, And dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth, The Mountain of the Lord of hosts, The Holy Mountain.’ [3]

Zeal, fervor and passion  echoed through the text as God cries out His intentions for His people, which through Christ, includes each of us who believe. Like an action-packed thriller, God promises to bring His people back where He will dwell in their midst and they will be His, in truth and righteousness:

Behold, I will save My people from the land of the east  And from the land of the west; I will bring them back, And they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. They shall be My people And I will be their God, In truth and righteousness.’ [4]

nature-sunny-field-summerTo a people weary with rebuilding, God shouts His joy, His plans to bless His people with an impact that would change even the earth’s outcomes:

For the seed shall be prosperous, The vine shall give its fruit, The ground shall give her increase, And the heavens shall give their dew— I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these. And it shall come to pass that just as you were a curse among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, So I will save you, and you shall be a blessing. Do not fear, Let your hands be strong.’ [5]

‘Times have changed, folks’, Zechariah told his friends in Israel, “for Our God is passionate about seeing His plan of restoration and salvation unfold.  Get ready, because the God you serve is intending to bless your socks off,  ‘cause God says, “I am determined to do good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. Do not fear.”[6]

With this promise of great blessing and prosperity, God asks His people to shift their life choices:

These are the things you shall do:  Speak each man the truth to his neighbor; Give judgment in your gates for truth, justice, and peace; Let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbor; And do not love a false oath.” [7]

God’s kids need to walk different than the rest of the world. When they do, it packs a punch.  Check out Fiji’s transformation.  When civil war overtook the nation, the church laid down their grievances with each other and started praying.  From there, godly government rose up with the authority and resources to make substantive changes.  As the torch of reconciliation came village to village through the scattered islands of Fiji, thousands found God.  The land started producing massive quantities of fruit.  The corral in the sea healed.  Fish flooded inland to feed the hungry.(See Let the Sea Resound on Youtube for a powerful documentary of transformation:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7a1UPWgwF5M)

God cries out to each of us, “ Be My Zion!” , He pleads, “Love truth and peace” God says, “because this marks you as Mine”. When His people love what He loves, a nation is transformed:

Peoples shall yet come, inhabitants of many cities; The inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, “Let us continue to go and pray before the Lord, And seek the Lord of hosts. I myself will go also.”Yes, many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, And to pray before the Lord.’ “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.” [8]

God is dreaming about children who would live so surrendered to His heart of love that nations would be transformed.  God is determined to do good, zealous for His children to be His Zion, who cling steadfast to peace and truth, loving by the power of the Holy Spirit, until people will beg, “Can we come with you, for we know that God is with you!”

FullSizeRender (5)Revival comes when our hearts burn for God’s dreams of love’s global impact.  May we surrender to the Holy Spirit.  May we love truth and peace that our cities and our nations may be forever changed as Love Comes Down through us all.

Let’s Pray: O Father God, we feel Your joy as you shout Your dreams for a world that finds You through Your kids’ active love here on earth.  O Lord, help us love truth and peace, to seek You taking this world with love.  May we hear Your cry to live intentionally, full of expectation of Your good, expecting Your blessing that we may bless.  You are marvelous Great Almighty God!  Day after day, Your mercies are new, and Your hopes for this world continues burning bright.  May we love others with Your passion as we live by the grace of Jesus Christ through the power of Your Holy Spirit.  Holy Spirit, burn God’s zealous dreams of His Zion into all our hearts this day. Amen.

This Week’s Reading:  Zechariah

Next Week’s Reading: Malachi and Matthew 1-3

Study Questions:

  1. What are you dreaming about?  Is this a dream you need God to accomplish?
  2. How do you feel about God needing us to accomplish His dreams on earth?
  3. Zechariah had many visions, but the Lord was gracious to interpret the dreams.  Do you know the Holy Spirit is gracious to bring clarity to our dreams?
  4. The Holy Spirit is the power to walk in love.  Do you know Him?  Are you willing to ask for His help to make God’s dream of Zion reality in your city?
  5. What does it mean, on a Tuesday evening, for you to love peace and cling to truth?  How are you growing in this discovery?
[1]Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1997). The Nelson study Bible : New King James Version. Includes index. (Zec 1:2). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.
[2]Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1997). The Nelson study Bible : New King James Version. Includes index. (Zec 1:2). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.
[3]The New King James Version. 1982 (Zec 8:2-3). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
[4]The New King James Version. 1982 (Zec 8:7-8). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
[5]The New King James Version. 1982 (Zec 8:12-13). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
[6]The New King James Version. 1982 (Zec 8:15). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
[7]The New King James Version. 1982 (Zec 8:16-17). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
[8]The New King James Version. 1982 (Zec 8:20-23). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Love Came Down with God-sight

globeThese days, global upheaval is normative.  With school shootings in America, ISIS in the Middle East and fears of global destruction, the seas are stormy across this beautiful earth.

Just peek at history and you’ll see peace is elusive for many nations for centuries.

With Habakkuk , national turmoil dominated his landscape as national corruption increased and the Babylonians advanced across the earth conquering every country in their destructive path.

In December 2012, the “end of the world” was a hot topic, as countless people prepared for the Mayan prediction of the world ceasing on December 21, 2012.  Savvy companies, grabbing hold of a marketing potential, started offering “end of the world” deals, as chatter increased across social media as many considered the possibility of imminent doom.

Jesus the Christ, Son of God, stated that no person knows the time of His return (Mark 13:32), thus it is improbable God would have informed the Mayans of His plans.  Without knowledge of Jesus’ words, without revelation, the people perish (Proverbs 26:18) and the fear that swept North and South America in December 2012 over this issue was intense.

One day later, on Dec 22, 2012, the apocalyptic Mayan hype seemed ridiculous.  I remember feeling stunned when I overheard people express disappointment that this mythical exit door had closed and life had to be embraced once more.  Christmas gifts still had to be purchased.  The mortgage still had to be paid.  Conversations resumed about holiday celebrations and all talk of impending global doom became a passé subject until the next crisis hit the news.

2014-10-14 16.15.01Unfortunately for Habakkuk, he couldn’t pass by the pain and call it a day.  As his peer Nahum had prophesied, the Babylonians defeated the Assyrians and demolished Nineveh by 612 BC.  As Habakkuk wrestled through the pain of global upheaval at the hands of the Babylonians, he cried out to God: “O Lord, how long shall I cry, and You will not hear? Even cry out to You, “Violence!” and You will not save. Why do You show me iniquity, And cause me to see trouble?” [2] Later he asked, “Why do You look on those who deal treacherously, and hold Your tongue when the wicked devours a person more righteous than he? Why do You make men like fish of the sea, like creeping things that have no ruler over them? [3]

I love this man’s honesty.  In his search for understanding and justice, Habakkuk doesn’t dodge the tough questions. Going right to the source, he talks to God, stating, “I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me, and what I will answer when I am corrected.”[4]

Habakkuk knew his understanding was limited. He expected God’s correction of his perspective! In mercy, God told Habakkuk to speak the vision and trust God with the timing:

Then the Lord answered me and said: Write the vision; make it plain on tablets,so that a runner may read it. For there is still a vision for the appointed time; it speaks of the end, and does not lie. If it seems to tarry, wait for it;it will surely come, it will not delay. Look at the proud!Their spirit is not right in them,but the righteous live by their faith. [5]

Faith in Almighty God was Habakkuk’s only viewpoint to navigate the uproar of his present circumstance.  God promised his beloved prophet that as he trusted and believed in the greatness of His God, what was prophesied would surely come to pass, though God’s timing may not correspond with Habakkuk’s expectations.  Habakkuk’s surrendered response of worship reflects the intimacy he enjoyed with God, a beautiful reflection of a man named “embraced by God.”[6] :

Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines;Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food;Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls—Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills [7]

2014-08-22-18-11-041.jpgWith both Nahum and Habakkuk, we find men who are willing to believe in God’s greatness  despite heartache, national upheaval and pain.  As Habakkuk shouts his surrender and worship to God despite his circumstance, he lays rightly positioned before the Lord.

Perspective is phenomenal in shifting the heart.  As Habakkuk encountered the greatness of his God, he found hope though his present conditions did not change.

God shifted Habakkuk’s perspective by challenging him to consider what he believed.

“The righteous live by faith” is a challenge and a comfort to God’s people.  As we live by faith, we stay close to the truth of who we are and who our God is for us, through us and with us.  When we believe God and seek His embrace, His strength in difficult days, we walk out trust with our God who startles nations, measures the earth and marches through the land.

Though children are slain in the streets of Nice, the Middle East implodes in chaos and violence, though justice seems distant while the wicked prosper, our hearts bow in worship before our great King, expecting, seeking and believing until His salvation is made plain, for God’s good will forever outweigh the present evil of the day.  God has promised, “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.”[8] and He is not changing His mind.

blue barrenWe just moved to Montreal as a family and things have been fairly tough to navigate.  The language barriers are greater than we realized, thus Paul and I begin intensive French studies in the fall.  The job offers promised in the spring fell through.  As we wait on God, knocking on every door we can, we stand in anticipation of our Father’s provision, knowing His goodness throughout our life in God. Like Habakkuk, we know the Lord is our strength; He has shown Himself faithful throughout our journey.  Like Jael, God gives us deer’s feet to navigate the tough places and just keep climbing.  All we have to do is just keep looking up and keep our eyes on our King…

Let’s pray: O Lord God, we bring our questions to You and await Your correction of our perspective.  With all time in Your hands, Lord Jesus, we confess You are the Alpha and Omega and joyfully place our hope and trust in You.  Like Nahum, we believe that You are good, a stronghold in times of trouble.  Lord, thank You that You see and know and love us forever.  Father, comfort Your people across this globe who suffer at the hands of the wicked this day.  Holy Spirit, lift up our eyes to behold the greatness of our God.  Keep our gaze firmly upon our Lord, and shine Your Light and hold it steady, until we see with God-sight, we see what You want us to see. Thank You, Lord God, that You are ALWAYS our strength. How we love You!jon

Reading This Week:  Habakkuk, Zephaniah and Haggai

Reading Next Week: Zechariah

Study Questions:

  1. What do you do when what you expect doesn’t happen?  How do you handle disappointment, in silence or in community?  With who?
  2. Do you see the Body of Christ as a support in this journey of ascent?  What does that look like on a Monday or a weekend?
  3. Global pain sure affects me.  I pray.  What do you do?
  4. Have you ever expected God and seen intense disappointment?  How do you share your sorrows with God, with others?
  5. Name a time when God gave you God-sight, a better perspective?  How did that affect you?  Others?
[1]The New King James Version. 1982 (Na 1:7). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
[2]The New King James Version. 1982 (Hab 1:2-3). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
[3]The New King James Version. 1982 (Hab 1:13-14). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
[4]The New King James Version. 1982 (Hab 2:1). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
[5]The Holy Bible : New Revised Standard Version. 1989 (Hab 2:2-4). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
[6]Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1997). The Nelson study Bible : New King James Version. Includes index. (Hab 1:2). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.
[7]The New King James Version. 1982 (Hab 3:17-19). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
[8]The New King James Version. 1982 (Hab 2:14). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Love Came Down with Peace

vista of Mont TremblantA good friend of mine once pronounced, “I will know I am healed when peace fills my heart”.

Like my friend, Micah the prophet lived a fierce pursuit of peace during turbulent days of King Jothan, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, as he suffered Israel’s choice to turn from Almighty God to pagan gods en masse.

By the end of Micah’s ministry, Assyrian demolished Samaria and peace was an elusive currency, especially for a man who agonized in prayer for his nation.

Sometime during this violent season churning with distress and judgment, God whispered to his servant Micah, “ Son, I know it’s tough right now. But wait till you see what I have in store…”.

First, Micah encountered the truth that no nation’s apostasy could ever diminish God Almighty:

Let the Lord God be a witness against you, the Lord from His holy temple. For behold, the Lord is coming out of His place; He will come down and tread on the high places of the earth. The mountains will melt under Him, and the valleys will split like wax before the fire, like waters poured down a steep place.(Micah 1:2-4).

No one is higher, bigger, stronger, mightier or more lovelier than God.

Next, Micah encountered the Big Picture:mont tremblant

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.”(Micah 5:2)

Before the foundations of the earth were ever laid, God prepared a Kingdom plan that would overrule and outlast any other.Peace was coming through a person, not by an army of Micah’s longing.

I can almost see Micah’s eyes widen and draw deep a quick breath when God revealed to him His plan to establish His King , who would rule forever with mercy, compassion and provision:

He shall stand firm and shepherd his flock by the strength of the LORD, in the majestic name of the LORD, his God; and they shall remain, for now his greatness shall reach to the ends of the earth; He shall be peace.(Micah 5:4-5)

With renewed passion, Micah challenged his nation to cease their apostasy and return to their merciful God.  With disconnected appeasement, the Israelites instead offered numerous sacrifices to get God’s attention, when He had never broken His gaze. Micah lamented their choice:

With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the High God? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings,with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, ten thousand rivers of oil?  Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?(Micah 6:6-7)

img_2324Pitifully, Micah protested no amount of sacrifices would be accepted for the sin of Israel. Instead, Micah exhorted Israel to change their ways:

He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy,and to walk humbly with your God?(Micah 6:8)

In Hebrew, these words wield sledge-hammer precision to demolish Israel’s religiosity,  “He has explicitly published, decreed and informed you, nation, what is excellent, moral, pleasant and of most benefit!  What does the Great I Am, Lord Jehovah, seek with follow-through from you?  Render sound judgment, cling to mercy as your lifelong love and carry humility as you walk before your One true God.”

Goodness. Quite a mission statement. Life with God in three succinct phrases: Be just. Be merciful.  Be humble. Three clear directives to demonstrate a people who loved God.

2014-10-10 07.44.26Sadly, Israel would not turn. Micah devastated by the loss surrounding him, concluded his lament with worship of His merciful God:

Lord, who is a God like you? You forgive sin. You forgive your people when they do what is wrong. You don’t stay angry forever. Instead, you take delight in showing your faithful love to them. (Micah 7:18-19 NRIV)

God delights in showing love to us. Micah knew His God.

2015-03-21 13.50.19Hundreds of years later, as promised, the Good Shepherd was born to Israel.  When Jesus announced His identity as Shepherd and Ruler, He confirmed Micah’s promise:

I am the good shepherd and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father and I lay down My life for the sheep.”(John 10:14)

Jesus our Shepherd, established His Father’s Kingdom by giving His life for His sheep. To Micah’s desperate cry,  “What can appease God in the face of our sin?”, Jesus answered,“I will pay.  My sinless life is the only offering my Father accepts.  My Father loves Me because I lay down My Life that I may take it again.  I love you because I lay down my life for My Sheep.”

Our Shepherd is the Prince of Peace.  As we believe we are His sheep, that He already paid, once and for all, the sacrifice for our sin, peace comes like a flood. When we grasp, in ever increasing degrees, this unmerited unlimited love that God extends to us through Christ’s humility, justice and mercy, peace moves in to stay.

cuba orangeLet’s pray:  O Lord Jesus, help us to hear Your voice today.  Holy Spirit, teach us justice, mercy and humility that we may be true sons. Father God, we cry out to you, may the God of peace, who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make us complete in every good work to do His will, working in us what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever”.(Heb 13: 20-21) Amen.

This Week’s Reading:  Micah and Nahum

Next Week’s Reading: Habakkuk, Zephaniah and Haggai

Study Questions:

  1.  What steals your peace and what do you need to do to find it?
  2.  Do you know Christ as your Prince of Peace?
  3. Do you know the God of peace who works in us what is well pleasing in His sight?
  4. How did God give Micah a different perspective in his current circumstance?
  5. How does God shift your perspective?

 

On Vacation…

Hope your summer is full of family time or visits with friends or vacation. The Love Comes Down Bible Journey will be back August 19…Tell your friends and let’s make this last leg of the journey one we all share together.

 From Blind River, Ontario, at the Stop 17 Restaurant, so happy to be with my parents and children at Lake Matinenda for the week….

Love Comes Down with Warning

Warning:  Spoiler Alert!  Reader may encounter strong warnings in the book of Joel.  Be advised spiritual and emotional shifting may occur. Reactions can include anger, fear, or bitterness. Responses may be mitigated through honest reflection and repentance. Holy Spirit is standing by to bring both power and authority if requested. Outcomes may vary according to recognition of current reality.

nature-sunny-field-summer Can you imagine if the Bible had warnings posted, before you cracked open the book and faced your life?  Or are you thankful that the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart? (Heb 4:12 NIV)

Reality checks can be life saving, relationship protecting and brings financial freedom, let alone emotional and spiritual truth.  Yet many of us, preferring the heavy of cloak of denial, shield our eyes from truth and then are blindsided when consequences coming crashing through the door.

That’s what happened to Judah.  As a chosen prophet, Joel told the truth about the nation’s state of emergency through starvation and destruction, describing fields depleted by seas of locusts, dilapidated barns, a nation of rock hard, with land long slaked by thirst.  Even the animals were suffering, moaning from lack of pasture.  Priests wailed before the altar, with nothing in hand to worship God.  Without wine, oil, or grain, the nation’s joy evaporated.  Only cries of hunger remained.

Joel sought God, though aware his nation’s sins had created this brutal reality.  The God of constant mercy said to prodigal Judah, “Come on home to Me”:

The LORD said: It isn’t too late. You can still return to me with all your heart. Start crying and mourning! Go without eating.  Don’t rip your clothes to show your sorrow. Instead, turn back to me with broken hearts. I am merciful, kind, and caring. I don’t easily lose my temper, and I don’t like to punish. I am the LORD your God. Perhaps I will change my mind and treat you with mercy. Then you will be blessed with enough grain and wine for offering sacrifices to me.( Joel 2:12-14, CEV)

20130718_201430With joy, Joel hastily hit the sirens, (maybe he blew the shofar long and hard) to call the entire nation to fast, pray and seek the Lord’s face.  The Lord had requested from babe to elderly to be part of the solution and quickly, open communication with God flowed in prayer by a desperate nation.

The Lord gave his servants, the priests, authority to shift the nation. Joel commissioned the broken priests to intercede with as much passion as God deserved:

Tell my servants, the priests, to cry inside the temple and to offer this prayer near the altar: “Save your people, LORD God! Don’t let foreign nations make jokes about us. Don’t let them laugh and ask, ‘Where is your God?’ ” ( Joel 2: 17, CEV)

The result? Grace upon grace:

The LORD was deeply concerned about his land and had pity on his people. In answer to their prayers he said, “I will give you enough grain, wine, and olive oil to satisfy your needs. No longer will I let you be insulted by the nations.  An army attacked from the north, but I will chase it into a scorching desert. There it will rot and stink from the Dead Sea to the Mediterranean.” The LORD works wonders  and does great things. So tell the soil to celebrate and wild animals to stop being afraid. Grasslands are green again; fruit trees and fig trees are loaded with fruit. Grapevines are covered with grapes. People of Zion, celebrate in honor of the LORD your God! He is generous and has sent the autumn and spring rains in the proper seasons. Grain will cover your threshing places; jars will overflow with wine and olive oil. I, the LORD your God, will make up for the losses caused by those swarms and swarms of locusts I sent to attack you. My people, you will eat until you are satisfied. Then you will praise me for the wonderful things I have done. Never again will you be put to shame. ( Joel 2: 18-26, CEV)

God healed the land and restored His people with mercy.  Celebrations were restored.  Shame was dealt with.  The land was cleansed from the defilement of the people.  From that place of desperate despair, Israel now rejoiced in the great goodness of their God.

2014-10-15 09.38.20Not content with just blessing the current generation, like a generous Father who has secret gifts hidden all over the house for His kids, God shifted the landscape with His Even More, Project Holy Spirit for the future of His chosen people:

Israel, you will know that I stand at your side. I am the LORD your God– there are no other gods. Never again will you be put to shame. Later, I will give my Spirit to everyone. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will have dreams, and your young men will see visions.  In those days I will even give my Spirit to my servants, both men and women. (Joel 2: 27-29, NKJV)

God’s future dream of His people was that they didn’t just seek the Lord, but would actually abide with their God.  The Holy Spirit was coming, an incredible gift to everyone in society who would believe in Christ.

God’s plan hasn’t changed.  Not age-bound, gender determined, or hierarchy based, the gift of the Holy Spirit is for all who would seek Him.  With the Holy Spirit, all evasion of reality can be addressed.  In love, the Holy Spirit convicts, abides, empowers, leads, equips, and shapes us into children of Almighty God.  After that one national fast by Judah, this glorious plan of God abiding with His people was announced. Once Christ valiantly removed our shame through His blood sacrifice on the cross of Calvary, Peter, inspired by the Holy Spirit boldy announced to all who would hear that the long-awaited day had come:  Holy Spirit would abide with all who called on the Name of Jesus Christ as their salvation ( see Acts 2).

2014-08-22 18.12.09Let’s pray:  Holy Spirit, come fill us to overflow.  In mercy, give us dreams, visions, prophecy and lead us forward into the truth of our adoption as children of God.  Father, thank you for this incredible gift of Your Spirit.  Lord Jesus, thank You that you prepared the way through your brave and selfless sacrifice for us all.  How we love you, O God!  Search us O God and know our hearts.  See if there be any anxious way in us and bring us into all truth by Your Spirit. Amen

This Week’s Reading:  Joel and Amos

Next Week’s Reading:  Obadiah – Micah 7

Study Questions:

  1.  Have you ever seen locusts devour a field?  Have you ever experienced sudden loss or tragedy like this?  How did you get through?
  2. Do you know the Holy Spirit?  Have you accepted He is reality for all Christians?  Do you dream God’s dreams or visions or speak forth prophecy?  Why or why not?
  3. How do you restore relationship with God when disaster strikes?  Do you play the Blame Game?  How do you step into reality in order to hear truth?
  4. Does the Word of God bring truth and reality to your life?  How does the Holy Spirit assist that experience?
  5. Amos was a tough book to wade through.  Do you see the gift of reality in its chapters?

 

 

 

 

 

Love Came Down with Fierce Redemption

Fall FieldI love the story of Hosea.  Incredulously, this Middle Eastern man is told by God, “Go. Marry a prostitute.  Your life is now an object lesson for Israel.  They are whoring on every hillside trying to get from Baal what only I can give.  I still am here, waiting for them.  Now you, Hosea, go pursue a wife who is sexually defiled.  She needs a husband, whether she knows it or not.  So too, Israel needs my covenant, whether they remember or not.”

Talk about a tall order.  In Jewish culture, righteous living was how you showed off your excellence to the Lord, your devotion and quite frankly, your status.  Hosea, named “Deliverer” at birth, embraced the pain of social rejection for his choice to marry a prostitute.  He married Gomer, named “Completion” by her family, whose life was far from perfect, given the brutality of the sex trade in any context.

Their heavenly arranged marriage bore fruit.  Hosea and Gomer had a son. Instead of the parents naming their child, the Lord said, “He shall be called Jezreel,  “God will sow”, for I am sowing justice.  The kingdom of Israel, your nation, is about to cease.”

The couple had another child, a girl, named Loruhama, “No Mercy”, followed by a son, named Loammi, “Not My People”, again, named by the Lord, as a sign to Israel of their current reality. Israel’s pursuit of everything but God was reaping a irrevocable gap as God judged the nation for their intense idolatry of Baal, Astoreth and Molech, while they forsook monogamous faith in the One True Living God.

canyonFor decades, Israel had forsaken God, choosing a “name only “marriage, as they sought every other idol option; temple prostitution and child sacrifice was normative to the culture. Despite their adultery, reality was coming to Israel as God warned the nation:

“Rename your brothers ‘God’s Somebody.’ Rename your sisters ‘All Mercy. Haul your mother into court. Accuse her! She’s no longer my wife. I’m no longer her husband. Tell her to quit dressing like a whore, displaying her breasts for sale. She said, ‘I’m off to see my lovers! They’ll wine and dine me, Dress and caress me, perfume and adorn me!’ But I’ll fix her…She’ll go on the hunt for her lovers but not bring down a single one. She’ll look high and low but won’t find a one. Then she’ll say, ‘I’m going back to my husband, the one I started out with. That was a better life by far than this one.’ She didn’t know that it was I all along who wined and dined and adorned her, That I was the one who dressed her up in the big-city fashions and jewelry that she wasted on wild Baal-orgies…. Party time is over. I’m calling a halt to the whole business, her wild weekends and unholy holidays…I’ll make her pay for her indulgence in promiscuous religion– all that sensuous Baal worship And all the promiscuous sex that went with it, stalking her lovers, dressed to kill, And not a thought for me.”(Hos 2:1 -8,10 MSG)

Brutal.  As a married woman, I sure wouldn’t be pursuing my husband if he was choosing adultery as his normal. I would be separating.  But here is God, who had chosen Israel, a nation of slaves in Egypt and established holy covenant with her, reaching over and over to the nation who thinks Baal (aka Satan) as their best option.  God protected,prospered, sheltered and loved Israel despite their lack of loyalty. Though Israel had forsaken God, the Lord was far from finished with His covenant. He planned to redeem Israel, by force if necessary:

And now, here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to start all over again. I’m taking her back out into the wilderness where we had our first date, and I’ll court her. I’ll give her bouquets of roses. I’ll turn Heartbreak Valley into Acres of Hope. She’ll respond like she did as a young girl, those days when she was fresh out of Egypt. “At that time”–this is GOD’s Message still– “you’ll address me, ‘Dear husband!’ Never again will you address me, ‘My slave-master!’ I’ll wash your mouth out with soap, get rid of all the dirty false-god names, not so much as a whisper of those names again. (2: 14-17 MSG)

How many of us would run to our husband or wife, after they slept with hundreds of others, and say, I am going to court you and woo you and bring you back into relationship?  Yet that was exactly what God was planning. Unconditional fierce agape love is God’s normal.

Just as the children were impacted by their parents’ choices, so the land of Israel was also polluted by Israel’s sin, defiled by bloodshed, sexual sin and child sacrifice. God grieved the impact of wicked Israel on its land.  Only God could bring the redemption required.  Yet Israel had no volition to turn back to Him:

At the same time I’ll make a peace treaty between you and wild animals and birds and reptiles, And get rid of all weapons of war. Think of it! Safe from beasts and bullies! And then I’ll marry you for good–forever! I’ll marry you true and proper, in love and tenderness. Yes, I’ll marry you and neither leave you nor let you go. You’ll know me, GOD, for who I really am.  “On the very same day, I’ll answer”–this is GOD’s Message– “I’ll answer the sky, sky will answer earth, Earth will answer grain and wine and olive oil, and they’ll all answer Jezreel. I’ll plant her in the good earth. I’ll have mercy on No-Mercy. I’ll say to Nobody, ‘You’re my dear Somebody,’ and he’ll say ‘You’re my God!'” (Hos 2: 18-23 MSG)

IMG_0798Redemption affects every aspect of life. God sows life and the land receives and the people shift into excellence as beloved of God.  Redemption came from a blood soaked cross by a Sinless Son, foreshadowed by Hosea’s example of holy embracing defiled with fierce unwavering intent, love come down.

Hosea served for fifty years as a prophet to his nation.  He lived in grief as he witnessed the slow decline of his nation’s shift far away from God.  Decades later,  the Assyrian army invaded Israel and scattered the people, dispersing Jews to countless nations, a people no more, without mercy, though Judah was spared.

Where was God’s promised redemption?  Paul the apostle, preeminent Pharisee convert, ached and grieved for Israel to turn to Christ years later.  He references Hosea as he celebrates the God’s big picture for humanity in Romans:

As He also says in Hosea, “I will call those not My people, My people; and those not beloved, Beloved.” And it shall be, in the place where it was said to them. “You are not My people; there they shall be called sons of the living God.” (Roman 9: 25-26, NKJV).

God redeemed us to be His very own children through His One and Only Son.  The culmination of Hosea’s story, the movement from judgement and reality to mercy and relationship, came through the cross of Christ, as He atoned for all sin, the perfect Deliverer, with fierce love for us, His Bride.  The story continues with each choice, as by faith in Christ Jesus, we are sons of God. Galatians 3:26.

Let’s pray:   Father, shine Your light and hold it steady until we see what You want us to see, that we may live true before You, as Your beloved children.  Lord Jesus, what love, that You chose to die, that You became sin for us, that we would be righteous before our God! Holy Spirit, search us and know us and lead us into all truth.  May we live in holy awe of what You have done, O God, Love come down, that You offered mercy and adoption as Your children, when we lived in abject sin.  What holy love! Thank you!  Thank you! Thank you!sunset

This Week’s Reading:  Hosea 1-14

Next Week’s Bible Reading: Joel 1 – Amos 9

Study Questions:

  1.  What part do you see yourself in the story of Hosea?
  2.  How do you feel when God hauls Israel into court?  Do you resist?  Do you cringe?
  3. Can you talk to God about how you feel about Him as righteous Judge?
  4. Do you know God as Your fiercely loving Father?  If not, ask for revelation of this truth by the Holy Spirit.
  5. How does the Big Picture of Redemption affect you?  Do you play an active or passive role in your relationship with God, with others?  How do you partner with God with redemption?

Love Came Down with Calibration

JD 2120 with 48 LoaderWhen my husband and I operated an organic farm, Paul was always dealing with calibration.  The constant strain of moving heavy loads and plowing tough soil can strip the threads on key parts of heavy machinery, which throws the machine out of sync. Any tractor which isn’t calibrated is useless.  Our John Deere 2120 sat stagnant for over a year, until Paul had the time and money to take apart the hydrolic pump which operated the lift arm.  This tractor was used for vegetables, to cultivate between the rows.  When it broke,the staff had to hand weed and hand cultivate acres of land, a costly process which ate into the vegetable profits.  I still remember Paul’s relief, when he purchased the parts and re-calibrated that tractor ,so it could operate at full strength for the following season.

In Babylon in 536 BC, after serving four different monarchs spanning nearly seven decades, Daniel, royal counselor, chief intercessor, God-lover and prophet, found himself strained beyond measure and desperately needing calibration. After three weeks of fasting, celebrating Passover again in this pagan nation, Daniel experienced a mighty visitation by the Lord:

Now on the twenty-fourth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, that is, the Tigris, I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, a certain man clothed in linen, whose waist was girded with gold of Uphaz! His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like torches of fire, his arms and feet like burnished bronze in color, and the sound of his words like the voice of a multitude.( Daniel 10:4-5)

Daniel was alone when he saw the vision.  The men who were with him at the river fled in terror when God stepped onto their turf. With fiery eyes like torches, a face brighter than lightning, with a voice like a multitude, little wonder Daniel was terrified.  Daniel hit the ground, prostrate before the glory of God.  Mercifully, the Lord touched Daniel:

Suddenly, a hand touched me, which made me tremble on my knees and on the palms of my hands. And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” While he was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling. Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. Daniel 10: 10-12)

Despite the assurance of being beloved, Daniel still strained, could not speak:

And suddenly, one having the likeness of the sons of men touched my lips; then I opened my mouth and spoke, saying to him who stood before me, “My lord, because of the vision my sorrows have overwhelmed me, and I have retained no strength. For how can this servant of my lord talk with you, my lord? As for me, no strength remains in me now, nor is any breath left in me.(Dan 10: 16-17)

For the third time, the Lord touched Daniel:

Then again, the one having the likeness of a man touched me and strengthened me. And he said, “O man greatly beloved, fear not! Peace be to you; be strong, yes, be strong!” So when he spoke to me I was strengthened, and said, “Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.( Dan 10:18-19)

vista of Mont TremblantIn this amazing encounter, God calibrated Daniel, the one whom God used as an example, together with Noah and Job, as the most righteous of men (Ezekiel 14:14). The heavy load of interceding for his nation Israel, of processing end time visions beyond his understanding, the agony of seventy years of slavery in a pagan nation and  the strain of jealousy and hatred which Daniel endured in the royal courts had sapped Daniel’s strength and warped his capacity to receive.

Patiently, the Lord physically touched Daniel three times, once to have him stand, another to have him speak and again, to strengthen his heart.  As the Lord ministered to his servant, He spoke identity over Daniel, twice calling him “His beloved”.  Then the Lord spoke words of peace, understanding and strength which finally, Daniel could receive.

Calibration of the heart always requires God’s touch.  No matter how we may long to fix ourselves, it is only in the intimacy of encounter with our God which brings healing, deliverance, freedom.  Like the farmer, the Lord knows exactly where our alignment has been skewed, which lies have brought grit and sediment into the heart, which idols have lured us out of allegiance to our King, clogging the flow, dampening the revelation, seizing our engine. In love, God draws near, that we may draw nearer to Him.

jon

Let’s Pray: Lord, calibrate us this day, that we would flow as You have designed us. Thank You, Father, that the Holy Spirit will adjust us every day we are willing to be led. Lord Jesus, as You were kind enough to visit Daniel, surely You will come to your hungry servants, who wait with longing before You.  We need Your touch, Lord Jesus.  Come to your noble servants and calibrate our lives, that we may work according to Your holy purposes by the power of Your grace and leading of Your Spirit once again.  Amen.

This Week’s Reading: Daniel 1-12

Next Week’s Reading: Hosea 1-14

Study Questions:

  1.  How did Daniel stay undefiled in the occult laden turf of Babylon?
  2.  How do you stay connected to God?
  3. How did Daniel stay focused on the kingdom? What did the Lord give to Daniel to stay focused?  How did your giftings move you forward in life in God?
  4. How did God recalibrate Daniel?  Has God ever met you like this? Do you know you are beloved? Do you need an encounter to know this?
  5. What did God trust Daniel with?  What secrets has the Lord trusted you with? What are you doing with this sacred confidence? How do you convert this gift in prayer life?mont tremblant