Friday, April 2, 2021

THE SUFFERING ON THE CROSS....FROM PSALM 22

Psalm 22 is a stark prophetic message written about 1000 years before the actual Crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ, on what we now call Good Friday.

It describes in detail what the Messiah suffered in the Body, on the Cross, and what His thoughts were at that pivotal time in all History! 

As we read this, let us therefore keep in mind, not just the fact that it was prophesied 1000 years before it happened, but that Almighty God, the Great Father of Heaven, had this great plan for the Redemption of All Mankind,  way before the first man walked the face of planet Earth. Jesus, the One Son of God, fulfilled that plan and created the narrow path for our own Salvation, on that great and glorious day, called Good Friday. Amen

PSALM 22 (NKJV)
1   My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?
Why are You so far from helping Me,
And from the words of My groaning?
2   O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear;
And in the night season, and am not silent.

3   But You are holy,
Enthroned in the praises of Israel.
4   Our fathers trusted in You;
They trusted, and You delivered them.
5   They cried to You, and were delivered;
They trusted in You, and were not ashamed.

6   But I am a worm, and no man;
A reproach of men, and despised by the people.
7   All those who see Me ridicule Me;
They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
8  “ He trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him;
Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!”

9    But You are He who took Me out of the womb;
You made Me trust while on My mother’s breasts.
10  I was cast upon You from birth.
From My mother’s womb
You have been My God.
11   Be not far from Me,
For trouble is near;
For there is none to help.

12   Many bulls have surrounded Me;
Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me.
13   They gape at Me with their mouths,
Like a raging and roaring lion.

14   I am poured out like water,
And all My bones are out of joint;
My heart is like wax;
It has melted within Me.
15   My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
And My tongue clings to My jaws;
You have brought Me to the dust of death.

16   For dogs have surrounded Me;
The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me.
They pierced My hands and My feet;
17   I can count all My bones.
They look and stare at Me.
18   They divide My garments among them,
And for My clothing they cast lots.

19   But You, O Lord, do not be far from Me;
O My Strength, hasten to help Me!
20   Deliver Me from the sword,
My precious life from the power of the dog.
21   Save Me from the lion’s mouth
And from the horns of the wild oxen!

You have answered Me.

22   I will declare Your name to My brethren;
In the midst of the assembly I will praise You.
23   You who fear the Lord, praise Him!
All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him,
And fear Him, all you offspring of Israel!
24   For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted;
Nor has He hidden His face from Him;
But when He cried to Him, He heard.

25   My praise shall be of You in the great assembly;
I will pay My vows before those who fear Him.
26   The poor shall eat and be satisfied;
Those who seek Him will praise the Lord.
Let your heart live forever!

27   All the ends of the world
Shall remember and turn to the Lord,
And all the families of the nations
Shall worship before You.
28   For the kingdom is the Lord’s,
And He rules over the nations.

29   All the prosperous of the earth
Shall eat and worship;
All those who go down to the dust
Shall bow before Him,
Even he who cannot keep himself alive.

30   A posterity shall serve Him.
It will be recounted of the Lord to the next generation,
31   They will come and declare His righteousness to a people who will be born,
That He has done this.

New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

HOLY WEEK: FROM HOLY MONDAY TO "SPY" WEDNESDAY

This entire Holy (or Passion) Week was filled with stunning events which have stood the test of time for almost 2000 years. For it is on this week, that Jesus first over turned the corrupt religious High Priest Annas' money tables in the Jerusalem Temple on Monday, to the teach of the Parables and more on Tuesday (see below).

On the day before the Passover of Holy Week, which the Lord Jesus celebrated with His disciples, the Gospel of Matthew records the betrayal of Jesus by Judas for 30 pieces of silver. This day of rest for Jesus in Bethany, also saw the woman anoint His feet with the expensive jar of Alabaster oil.

On Holy Monday: 

Cleansing of the Temple  (Matthew 21:12-13)

Then Jesus went into the temple [d]of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ 

On Holy Tuesday: 

The Parable of the Two Sons (Matt. 21:28-32)

Then on Holy Tuesday, some of these same priests tried to lay a trap for Him. 

Jesus dispatched them with ease and proceeded to teach on The Parable of the Two Sons, The Parable of the Two Tenants, and The Parable of the Wedding Feast:

 “But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’ He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went.  Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but he did not go.  Which of the two did the will of his father?”  They said to Him, “The first.”

Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you.  For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him.

The Parable of the Tenants (Matt. 21:33-41)

“Hear another parable. There was a master of a house who planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a winepress in it and built a tower and leased it to tenants, and went into another country. When the season for fruit drew near, he sent his servants[c] to the tenants to get his fruit. And the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other servants, more than the first. And they did the same to them. 

Finally He sent His Son to them, saying, ‘They will respect My Son.’  But when the tenants saw the Son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill Him and have His inheritance.’ And they took Him and threw Him out of the vineyard and killed Him. When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will He do to those tenants?” They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give Him the fruits in their seasons.”

The Parable of the Wedding Feast (Matt. 22:1-14)

And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying,  “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for His Son, and sent His servants  to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. Again He sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared My dinner, My oxen and My fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.”’  But they paid no attention and went off, one to His farm, another to his business, while the rest seized His servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them.  

The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. Then He said to His servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy.  Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’  And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests.

“But when the king came in to look at the guests, He saw there a man who had no wedding garment.  And He said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’  For many are called, but few are chosen.”

ON "SPY WEDNESDAY"

JUDAS BETRAYS JESUS (MATTHEW 26:1-16)

When Jesus had finished all these sayings, He said to His disciples,  “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.

Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas,  and plotted together in order to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill Him.  But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people.”

Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to Him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head as he reclined at table. And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste?  For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor.”  

But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to Me.  For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have Me.  In pouring this ointment on my body, she has done it to prepare Me for burial.  Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”

Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests  and said, “What will you give me if I deliver Him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray Him.

READ MORE ABOUT HOLY TUESDAY HERE FROM THE BOOK OF MATTHEW 

(CLICK) ON BIBLE GATEWAY

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.


Monday, March 29, 2021

A PRAYER AT THE START OF HOLY WEEK 2021


Most Gracious God in Heaven, at the start of Holy Week, we reflect with great gratitude and sadness at what our rebellion, sin and iniquity led to on that Friday, almost two thousand years ago. On a hill far way, as the old rugged Cross exacted brutality and pain from the Suffering Savior, You brought one Final Atonement for all the sin of all the world, past, present and future.

Lord, Your Great Son, Creator of Heaven and earth, bore our sin and shame and carried our pains.  He was afflicted for the terminal illness of the consequences of our sins.  He was persecuted, flogged and then pierced through for our rebellion. He was crushed for all our outrageous iniquities. But by His Wounds, we were healed. By His Stripes He brought us the roadmap to redemption. By His Sacrifice, we were exonerated from paying a massive debt, for which we had absolutely no hope of even paying the interest.

Father, as the Lord Jesus set His Mighty Eyes towards Jerusalem and never wavered, may WE never waver from our commitment to serve, honor and obey You, as the Bride of Christ we have been set apart to be. 

May we, as joint heirs with Christ in the Eternal Kingdom, resolve to set our hearts in motion to love You with all our mind, body and soul.

May our feet be planted on the solid ground of the Gospel of Jesus and the Word of God, which stands forever in the Heavens. 

May our hands reach out and serve the least of these and never grow weary from doing good, from our homes to the hopeless. 

May our ears listen to the clarion call from the Word of Truth to be ye Holy, as YOU are Holy, so we will not stray from the narrow paths of righteousness. 

May our eyes see You in all creation as we worship You in Spirit and in Truth, as one day, even the rocks will cry out.

May our mouths proclaim the Salvation of the Lord, wherever we see the lost, hurting and those who need a hand up or a hope whispered. 

May the Sacrifice, which comes at the end of the week which changed the entire course of human history, not be trivialized but studied to show ourselves approved.  

May it be honored so that we do not grieve the Heart of the Lord and the Holy Spirit. 

May this same Sacrifice by the Good Shepherd Who rescued His wayward sheep, be passed down not just to generations not yet born, but the living who grew up in homes where the Name of the Lord is not well known or revered.  

Father, so, as we remember the Savior's suffering and persecution, may we as Christians, even venture to call our current sufferings - our jewels!

May we regard suffering for Christ a significant honor.

May the griefs we endure be the fuel for a life symbolized by perseverance.

May our sorrows and troubles be seen in light of Who He is and What He did for us, for on that great and glorious Day, when we see Him - face to Face - all things which are now murky as in a mirror, we shall see Him as He is - the King of Heaven and the Lord of all.  

For it is in His Mighty, Strong, Delivering, Powerful, Liberating and Excellent Name we pray - Amen and amen.

CONSIDER THIS: PLUMBLINE

 "I will test you with the measuring line of justice and the plumb line of righteousness….Isaiah 28:17a

CONSIDER THIS: We should not miss what the Lord is saying both through Isaiah here…then Jeremiah….then Ezekiel…. and Amos! These Old Testament prophets were not just prophesying against wayward Israel or Judah! They are warning us today – 2600 years later! The Word of God is the Standard…or the Plumb Line, which is used in construction (in the natural world) to keep walls and buildings straight! Plumb line is Standard. God’s Plumb Line is Righteousness which only comes through Christ as Lord and Savior. If Jesus is not your Lord, the world will join you in equal justice on Judgment Day. The Measuring Line – used to keep things like bricks and mortar aligned properly – will be the yardstick of His Justice. Every Christian would be very wise to heed these words, from the Lord and adjust our thinking and lives, accordingly.

ACTION: Today, measure your own righteousness against the Holiness of God. that you may not lose rewards on that day. He has promised to hold His people to the Plumb Line of Truth. Remember this – “judgment begins in the House of the Lord”. We do this by reading the Word, in some form, daily and praying as much as possible, at all times during each day, of each week, of each month, of this and every year. While we may not see visible signs of immediate transformation, the daily washing of the Word, will happen over time, and bless those who obey it.

Oh Most Merciful Father, Maker of Heaven and earth and the One True Judge of all, help us to see ourselves in the Light of the purifying Word of God, that when we stand before You, on that great and glorious Day of the Lord, we will reflect the Righteousness of Christ, our Lord and Savior and found in Him. Lord, You are the Author of Truth and You will hold all mankind to the Plumb Line of that Truth. In our daily lives, from this day forward, may our every thought and action be in full alignment of this Word so that no fault will be found in us, on that Day. Be with us, guide us, direct us, teach us, let Your Spirit protect us and help us to take every thought captive that we can remain irrevocably surrendered to Your Will for our lives, each and every day, in Jesus’ Holy Name. Search every corner of our hearts, minds bodies and souls and if anything be found which is not of You, we repent of it and remove it from us as far as the East is from the West. We ask all of these things, now and forever, in Jesus’ Holy Name, amen and amen

Sunday, March 28, 2021

CONSIDER THIS: FOUNDATION

 "And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock….Matthew 7:25

CONSIDER THIS: The psalm says “unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain…(Psalm 127:1)” Nothing built by this will stand on the Day of the Lord (the Day of Wrath). There is coming a day, when Judgment will rain down on this earth. The majority of people alive now and then do not believe it because they are under the same deception as those in the day of Noah, who perished in the Flood. The only house that will stand is the House of Faith…the House that starts in a redeemed, rejuvenated heart…a heart that has been changed forever by the cleansing Power of Jesus Christ.

ACTION: Today, write down a list of your beliefs, then search the Scriptures daily to see if ALL of them line up with the Word of God. If even the smallest one is off, surrender it to Him immediately, repent and ask forgiveness. Then watch our Heavenly Father lay the Cornerstone of True Faith, to then begin to grow us in wisdom and the joy of the Lord.

Oh Most Gracious God in Heaven, Thy Word is Truth, and it is the foundation of all I am, all I believe, all I want to be and all I live to be. Father, today, build on these strong pillars which You have embedded in my life that I will continue to grow in wisdom, discernment and the ability to anticipate not just what You would expect, but the pitfalls which lie hidden ahead, so that none of them will come nigh. Thank You, Lord for Your blessings on me. Thank You for delivering me, from the bondage of deception into the Glorious Light of Truth, in Jesus’ Strong Name amen.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

CONSIDER THIS: STEADFAST

 "My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises!…Psalm 57:7

CONSIDER THIS: The word “steadfast” means firm, established, accomplished or as the King James so beautifully says – “fixed”! To be and remain steadfast, there must be a solid 100% commitment to, for example, any relationship. Your relationship with God through Christ alone, is the only that with eternal significance. In most of our daily routines, we have margins for error. We are only human as Alexander Pope noted. But on this one – there is no compromise, gray area or middle ground. There is no mountain where God sits and the top and ALL roads lead to Him. That is a lie from the pit of hell. Jesus is the ONLY Way, Truth and the Life (John 14:6). Be steadfast. Stand firm in the Faith….at all times.

ACTION: Therefore, time for a reality check – are both your mind’s eye and your spiritual heart fixed on Jesus – the “Author and Perfecter” of our Faith? Is everything you do, daily, moment to moment, worthy of being His? Are you therefore, solidly steadfast in His Light, His Word, His Ways? Make this gut check a priority today and you will never regret a single moment of this self-evaluation. It will want to make you do as the Psalmist says – “Sing Praises”.

Oh Mighty Creator of the Universe, who is man that You are mindful of Him, and the Son of Man, that You delivered Him to be the Savior and sin-bearer, even though He was sinless from the beginning. We pledge, right now, in the Mighty Name of Jesus, to never waver from the Faith that found us in Christ. We will never be ashamed of the Gospel for it is the Power of God unto Salvation. We will never deny Christ, the Son of God and the Only true way to Heaven. We will not be moved from the firm beliefs that Jesus is Lord, the Bible is literal and true from cover to cover and all our sins have been forgiven because we have repented and placed our trust and Faith in Jesus Christ. Thank You, Lord for the ability to stand strong in Jesus and it is in His Name we pray, amen.

Monday, March 22, 2021

CONSIDER THIS: INDWELLING

 "Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and He in us, because He hath given us of his Spirit….1 John 4:13

CONSIDER THIS: The word “dwell” here is also translated “ABIDE” – ‘menomen’ in the original Greek language. When you and I were converted from the kingdom of darkness to the Eternal Kingdom of God, in Christ, we were given a “Seal of Approval”, if you will. This seal is the Holy Spirit of God, the Restrainer, Counselor, Guide and Protector. He was placed IN us and we know it because HE IS ALIVE! He LIVES in OUR spirit and abides, indwells, continues to exist as the Agent of Christ.

ACTION: Our job this morning, even for mature believers, is to ensure we continue to walk in step with Him! If we do not, we will be saved, but barely. You cannot lose what you did not have. However, all reward will be lost. Ponder your walk in the Spirit this day. Are you in alignment with Him with Lord and the way to begin assessing the process is to examine all compartments of life. In the 21st century, as it was forever, people like to shut this off from God and give that one up…and so on. We either give all up or we are not in full compliance. Start the process now.

Our Heavenly Father, we thank You for Your Spirit Who abides in us and is the guarantee that we are Yours forever. He is more than our security and reminder that You are God. He is there to guide, teach, convict, reveal and direct our paths in the way we should go. Lord, we also know that He is a gentleman and will not force His way on us, unless we allow Him. You are THAT gracious a God, that You allow us, at the risk to ourselves of being self- focused, to make the choice of how much of the God the Spirit we allow to rule our lives. Father, we aim to be 100% even though we are kidding ourselves and are more like 50% of less. Help us move towards that state of full commitment and begin today, in Jesus’ Name amen.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

CONSIDER THIS: PURIFY

 "Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow….Psalm 51:7

CONSIDER THIS:  Several times in the Bible, the active verb “PURIFY” is used as both a plea (as in the above verse) or as a command (as in, for example, James 4:8). The latter implores us sinners to ensure that we have clean hearts, hands and minds before we present ourselves before the Lord. But the real purifying and cleansing of all the filth, scum, dross and slag of our lives is done by the Cleansing Power of the Blood of the Lamb. This supernatural red Blood from Heaven washes us as white as snow, to prepare us for the Kingdom. This is the general direction of the word. What about the specifics? How can we now apply this principle of purifying to our daily walk?

ACTION: The Action to take right now should lead us to look into the mirror of our soul, to see if we have areas in our lives which need to be exposed and cleaned out. Christians mess up all the time. We are human Do we need to be purged and purified of any shortcoming or sin today? I am sure we do. Confess it, repent, ask forgiveness from God and make it right. Most importantly, surrender each dark corner and crevice to the Lord, that He shine His cleansing light on our spirit-man and woman, and bring us closer to Him.

Father, in the Name of Jesus, We come to the Altar of Heaven and lay our burdens down right now. The burdens can be felt in our life because we have not given every aspect of our life over to You, even though we say we are Your disciples, followers and fully committed to You. We need the cleansing Power of the Blood of Jesus Christ in our lives. We need the Holy Ghost to come into every day corner of our spiritual rooms, chambers, closets, living areas and to first shine the light on our shortcomings, where we miss the mark and to then to let the purifying Power of God, to wash us as white as snow and then keep us that way, even if we may make the same mistake again. May we continue to have those occasions less and less as we grow in sanctification, by putting in the mechanism to reduce the incidence of sin in our lives, in order to grow closer to the praise and glory of Your Kingdom, in Jesus’ Holy Name, amen.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

CONSIDER THIS: PRESENCE

"You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore….Psalm 16:11

CONSIDER THIS:  You know what blows a person away, the very first thing in the morning? It is waking up with the words “Coram Deo” in your mind and spirit after having a vivid dream about those two words several hours before! Coram Deo basically means to live your Christian life or walk IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD! AND you know what? In His Presence – He says in Psalm 16:11 “THERE IS FULLNESS OF JOY”!  How do we LIVE in the very Presence of God, while on earth? We make sure we’re first saved. But more importantly, we love Him with every fiber of our being and SEEK HIM daily through prayer, conversation with Him, reading about Him, talking about Him.

ACTION: So today, make a conscious effort to see and lead others to experience His Presence by seasoning at least 30% of your day sharing about the Goodness of God. He loves you, or you would never be allowed in His Presence. So – talk about Him, shout His Name – from the rooftop if you have to! No matter how cold it is outside, if you’re driving to the store or anywhere, look around at the snow covered hills and frozen lakes and plains and marvel that you and I get to literally LIVE in His world and be a part of His Kingdom!! In other words, Love the Lord Your God -> 24/7.

Oh most Wonderful Father in Heaven, to You be all praise, glory, honor, wisdom, majesty and more. You are Sovereign and rule over all. You cause the winds to blow, the climate to change, the world to spin on its axis and the stars to shine by night. Where can I go and You are not there. Lord, on this day, a gift You, in Your loving grace and love for humanity, has given, I choose to love You with all my heart, mind, body and soul. Lord, above all, we who draw closer see things, know things and experience a new birth of freedom in Christ which we could have ever imagined possible, when we first started this journey. So Heavenly Father, thank You for allowing sinners such as I to live in Your Kingdom and delight in the Fullness of Your Presence, for the unspeakable joy that it brings us daily, and may it be so forever more, in Jesus’ Name amen.