This is a time of tumult, anger, and accusation. Many voices are speaking, and you cannot listen to them all. Christmas and the new year are not far away; weather is unpredictable and life just seems a bit more challenging. Throughout this life we can either run and live in fear–or we can embrace the reality of God’s Holy Spirit living in us to comfort, guide and do effective work through us.
This Thanksgiving is special, as is every Thanksgiving. The most quiet family holiday each year, Thanksgiving still remains a time to gather our loved ones around us and Thank GOD for the harvest. For some the harvest is vegetables–for others the harvest is souls. I pray for a Blessed Thanksgiving for us all and that provision would be our Father’s desire for us. Charlene
1 Praise the LORD.[a]
Praise the LORD, my soul.
2 I will praise the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
3 Do not put your trust in princes,
in human beings, who cannot save.
4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
on that very day their plans come to nothing.
5 Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD their God.
6 He is the Maker of heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them—
he remains faithful forever.
7 He upholds the cause of the oppressed
and gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets prisoners free,
8 the LORD gives sight to the blind,
the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down,
the LORD loves the righteous.
9 The LORD watches over the foreigner
and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.
10 The LORD reigns forever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the LORD.
- Psalm 146:1 Hebrew Hallelu Yah; also in verse 10
John 8:31-36 (NIV)
Dispute Over Whose Children Jesus’ Opponents Are
31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”
34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
The Power of Family
The Pharisees were teachers of the law. They saw Jesus’ claim to be The Son of GOD as heresy against GOD and the Jewish nation. They were so sure of their identity as sons of Abraham that they had no hesitation in questioning Jesus, who was in reality the Son of GOD come to save them from their sins.
As Jesus taught them, many believed His witness. Yet they also clung to the teachings they had heard all of their lives. It is hard to convince someone of a truth who thinks that they already know what the truth is all about. They had been waiting for The Messiah with preconceived ideas of His identity and purpose. They were not willing to receive what they were told because it did not fit their expectations.
“Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness, You who seek the LORD: Look to the Rock from which you were hewn, and the hole of the pit from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who bore you; for I called him alone, and blessed him and increased him.” Isaiah 51: 1&2 NIV
This scripture passage gives us an indicator of where the Jews conviction regarding Abraham as father arose. Abraham was in reality the father of the Jews, but what was not a reality to them was Abraham’s commitment to his Father, the GOD of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They were so blinded by their own concept of who GOD was that they did not recognize Him when he appeared before them. The Jews were looking for a warrior King, someone to fight their battles against the Roman tyranny. There were previous times in Hebrew history where they sought a Redeemer after repeated warnings from GOD that they needed to turn from their sins and repent. In our present age, this applies to the entire population of the earth, because Christ came to save us all.
Isaiah 53 (NIV)
Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was punished.
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.
Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
After he has suffered,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.
Family Works Together
In the natural order of things, family pulls together to ensure existence, to produce offspring, and to pass on values. If we are made in the image of Christ, we are a part of His family, therefore we seek His existence, we are His offspring, and we possess His values.We also possess His power.
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Read Matthew 27: 1-66
We are observing Easter of 2018. What does Easter mean to us this year, or any year?
Is Easter now a not so major holiday? Are we focusing on the true meaning of Easter? Mostly I see people hurrying around filling Easter baskets and creating Easter displays. Each year it seems as if the merchant’s displays are being put up earlier and earlier. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we would think to start studying the import of Christ’s sacrifice at this time?
I remember as a child participating in Easter egg hunts and looking forward to the Easter basket filled with chocolate bunnies and yellow chicks–not to mention jellybeans. I still love chocolate and jellybeans–but they take a certain back seat to the true meaning behind Easter and The Cross of Christ.
Our Savior sacrificed his entire being for us on Calvary’s cross. There has never been or ever will be another sacrifice to match it. That is because as Jesus said, “It is finished”.
He performed a completed work so that you and I could be alive this day to live in Him and to partake in Communion with Him. He performed a completed work so that we could have a right to reign with Him for eternity and the glorious indwelling of The Holy Spirit to guide us in this life. He performed a completed work so that the entire world could be ministered to and the Great Commission performed in His Name.
As it states in Matthew 27: 35-37 NKJV : “Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet:
‘They divided my garments among them, And for my clothing they cast lots.”
‘Sitting down, they kept watch over Him there. And they put up over His head the accusation written against Him: THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.‘
They did this to make fun of our Savior, but they inadvertently furthered the plans of the Kingdom of GOD. It is because of Jesus’ sacrifice that we can stand firm and declare that the Kingdom of GOD is here. It is our duty and our desire to see those who need the King of Kings gather at the Easter Banquet table.
We are to proclaim Christ and carry out the Great Commission. The title,”Unknown God”, was an indicator that these people were searching , as we all do, for their Maker and Redeemer.
17 When Paul and his companions had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2 As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah,” he said. 4 Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and quite a few prominent women.
5 But other Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city. They rushed to Jason’s house in search of Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd.[a] 6 But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other believers before the city officials, shouting: “These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here, 7 and Jason has welcomed them into his house. They are all defying Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus.” 8 When they heard this, the crowd and the city officials were thrown into turmoil. 9 Then they made Jason and the others post bond and let them go.
10 As soon as it was night, the believers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. 12 As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.
13 But when the Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God at Berea, some of them went there too, agitating the crowds and stirring them up. 14 The believers immediately sent Paul to the coast, but Silas and Timothy stayed at Berea. 15 Those who escorted Paul brought him to Athens and then left with instructions for Silas and Timothy to join him as soon as possible.
16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. 17 So he reasoned in the synagogue with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. 18 A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to debate with him. Some of them asked, “What is this babbler trying to say?” Others remarked, “He seems to be advocating foreign gods.” They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection. 19 Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20 You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we would like to know what they mean.” 21 (All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)
22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.
24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’[b] As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’[c]
29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”
32 When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.” 33 At that, Paul left the Council. 34 Some of the people became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.
Acts 17:5 Or the assembly of the people
Acts 17:28 From the Cretan philosopher Epimenides
Acts 17:28 From the Cilician Stoic philosopher Aratus
Job 28: 1-28
What is of more value than wisdom? We all strive throughout our lives to attain true wisdom, and just when we think that we have found it, we realize that there is more to seek, and more to learn. Ultimate wisdom is found in GOD, the Father of Lights, who illuminates the path to total understanding.
Wisdom is a priceless commodity. As the scripture states, “Wisdom is not found among men; No one knows its true value”. Job 28: 13
In Praise of Wisdom
28 There are mines where silver is dug;
There are places where gold is refined.
2 We dig iron out of the ground
And melt copper out of the stones.
3 Miners explore the deepest darkness.
They search the depths of the earth
And dig for rocks in the darkness.
4 Far from where anyone lives
Or human feet ever travel,
They dig the shafts of mines.
There they work in loneliness,
Clinging to ropes in the pits.
5 Food grows out of the earth,
But underneath the same earth
All is torn up and crushed.
6 The stones of the earth contain sapphires,
And its dust contains gold.
7 No hawk sees the roads to the mines,
And no vulture ever flies over them.
8 No lion or other fierce beast ever travels those lonely roads.
9 Miners dig the hardest rocks,
Dig mountains away at their base.
10 As they tunnel through the rocks,
They discover precious stones.
11 They dig to the sources of[rivers
And bring to light what is hidden.
12 But where can wisdom be found?
Where can we learn to understand?
13 Wisdom is not to be found among mortals;
No one knows its true value.
14 The depths of the oceans and seas
Say that wisdom is not found there.
15 It cannot be bought with silver or gold.
16 The finest gold and jewels
Cannot equal its value.
17 It is worth more than gold,
Than a gold vase or finest glass.
18 The value of wisdom is more
Than coral or crystal or rubies.
19 The finest topaz and the purest gold
Cannot compare with the value of wisdom.
Where, then, is the source of wisdom?
Where can we learn to understand?
21 No living creature can see it,
Not even a bird in flight.
22 Even death and destruction
Admit they have heard only rumors.
23 God alone knows the way,
Knows the place where wisdom is found,
24 Because he sees the ends of the earth,
Sees everything under the sky.
25 When God gave the wind its power
And determined the size of the sea;
26 When God decided where the rain would fall,
And the path that the thunderclouds travel;
27 It was then he saw wisdom and tested its worth—
He gave it his approval.
God said to us humans,
“To be wise, you must have reverence for the Lord.
To understand, you must turn from evil.”
I was thinking about the term fellowship. It’s purest reference is to men gathered together to pursue similar goals. In today’s climate fellowship has no specific gender reference. It is a group of individuals gathered together to pursue similar goals.
However, if you truly wanted a term to describe a group of women in Godly relationship with one another, possessing common goals and aspirations in Christ, I believe the purest representative term would be community. In community there is support and caring. There is awareness of each others needs and wants and a desire to meet those needs through Christ Jesus. Encouragement and a sense of humor is needed to keep everyone buoyant and feeling alive.
Here are some scriptures to encourage your heart today and forever:
“Only the Lord Jesus can give them this hunger for spiritual things and more of Him.” Matthew 5:6
“And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear” Isaiah 65:24
“Nothing is impossible with GOD” Luke 18:27
“Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved” Psalm 55:22
“He staggered not at the promise of GOD through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to GOD; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able to perform” Romans 4:20-21
Peace passing all understanding, for He cares for you
King James Version Public Domain
These messages speak loud and clear. In a world that insists on controlling your every move, you must learn to exert your individual right to choice.
Credit: Inside FBCG
Charlene’s Source: youtube
Even though John Paul Jackson has departed this realm, his inspirational teachings will go on.
credit: Dreams & Mysteries with John Paul Jackson
Charlene’s Source: youtube
Check out this study on Roku, Youtube, and www.preceptministries.org. Wonderful teaching!
Charlene’s Source: youtube
If everyone understood every aspect of GOD’s will there would be no need for redemption. It is because we all struggle for understanding and enlightenment that this sermon resonates to receptive hearts. We are GOD’s chosen people. He uses us in our imperfectness to do a perfect work…
credit: Mr. Kkyham
Charlene’s Source: youtube
2 Timothy 3
New International Version (NIV)
3 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9 But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.
A Final Charge to Timothy
10 You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11 persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a]may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:17 Or that you, a man of God,
Divine Intervention equals The Father’s Blessing 🙂
credit: Dreams & Mysteries with John Paul Jackson
Charlene’s Source: youtube
New International Version (NIV)
1 So the king and Haman went to Queen Esther’s banquet, 2and as they were drinking wine on the second day, the king again asked, “Queen Esther, what is your petition? It will be given you. What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be granted.” 3 Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor with you, Your Majesty, and if it pleases you, grant me my life—this is my petition. And spare my people—this is my request. 4 For I and my people have been sold to be destroyed, killed and annihilated. If we had merely been sold as male and female slaves, I would have kept quiet, because no such distress would justify disturbing the king.[a]”
5King Xerxes asked Queen Esther, “Who is he? Where is he—the man who has dared to do such a thing?”
6Esther said, “An adversary and enemy! This vile Haman!”
Then Haman was terrified before the king and queen. 7The king got up in a rage, left his wine and went out into the palace garden. But Haman, realizing that the king had already decided his fate, stayed behind to beg Queen Esther for his life.
8Just as the king returned from the palace garden to the banquet hall, Haman was falling on the couch where Esther was reclining.
The king exclaimed, “Will he even molest the queen while she is with me in the house?”
As soon as the word left the king’s mouth, they covered Haman’s face. 9 Then Harbona, one of the eunuchs attending the king, said, “A pole reaching to a height of fifty cubits[b]stands by Haman’s house. He had it set up for Mordecai, who spoke up to help the king.”
The king said, “Impale him on it!” 10So they impaled Haman on the pole he had set up for Mordecai. Then the king’s fury subsided.
Rosa Louise Parks was tired. The petite African American woman sat quietly, grateful to find a seat on the bus after spending most of the day on her feet. When a white passenger demanded she give up her seat, Rosa looked up. Segregation was the law in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955. Blacks were expected to yield their seats on public transportation to whites. To refuse meant arrest. Rosa stayed seated, and her actions helped change the landscape of the United States. Years later, Rosa wrote that it wasn’t physical weariness that gave her such inner strength. She said, “Our mistreatment was just not right, and I was tired of it.”
Centuries earlier, another woman was faced with a decision. Like Rosa, Esther had two strikes against her in the Persian Empire: She was female and a member of an oppressed people, the Jews. Although King Xerxes had chosen Esther to be queen, she was forbidden to approach the powerful king without an invitation, and an evil prime minister named Haman was plotting to annihilate the Jews. Esther’s cousin Mordecai’s plea to intervene meant risking her own life. It took courage for Queen Esther to take a stand, just as it took courage for Rosa Parks to remain seated. Both women’s actions opened the door to freedom for their people.
Many of us may think we’re safe from the type of persecution Rosa Parks and Esther faced. But Christians are being persecuted throughout the world in places like China, theSudan and North Korea. Everyday people die for the privilege of worshiping Jesus. It is estimated that more Christians died for their faith in the twentieth century than all the previous 19 centuries combined, and the numbers appear to be rising in the twenty-first century. Even in places where there is no outright persecution, many people think Christians are naive and out of touch with so-called reality. Some people do not really know or understand the person and mission of Jesus and will take every opportunity to slander his followers.
Wherever God has placed you, he can use you to speak his truth-words of love, justice and faith to a lost world-even if it means being misunderstood or ridiculed. Yes, it may be difficult and you may be weary; but, sister, “never tire of doing what is good” (2 Thessalonians 3:13).
- How did reading about Rosa Parks and Queen Esther inspire you?
- Have you ever felt God nudging you to speak up about a situation? What happened?
- What do you need to take a stand on in your home, neighborhood or in the political arena?
Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor with you, Your Majesty, and if it pleases you, grant me my life-this is my petition. And spare my people-this is my request. For I and my people have been sold to be destroyed, killed and annihilated. If we had merely been sold as male and female slaves, I would have kept quiet, because no such distress would justify disturbing the king.”
credit: The Girlfriends
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All scripture quotes are from the Holy Bible, NIV version www.biblegateway.com