Turn to Christ & See Clearly

Turn to Christ & See Clearly

14 But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. 16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.  (2 Cor 3:14, 16)

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil . . . (Heb 6:19)

The Bible verses shown above discuss a veil, which is a type of covering.  And the Scripture says that the veil is taken away in Christ.  The veil refers to an inability to recognize Jesus as the Savior of the world, until a person has a personal experience in accepting Jesus as their own, personal Savior and Lord.  Once we have accepted Him—turned to Him, the veil (our blindness) is removed.

This is a hope we have until we personally experience salvation, and then it becomes a reality.  Jesus, our Redeemer, gives us direct access to our Father God.  We may approach the throne of God with thanksgiving and humility, thanks to the work that Jesus did on earth.

Therefore, realize that we are still a people who turn to our God daily and constantly.  We turn to Him to praise and worship Him, to fellowship with Him, and to intercede for our family, friends, and neighbors. 

And because the veil has been lifted, we see clearly that God’s Word is true.  His promises are not empty, but rather they are a foundation for our faith.  God stands behind His Word. 

Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.  (Josh 21:45)

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.  (Mat 24:35)

For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.  (1 Cor 1:20)

Trust God to help you, heal you, and to deliver you as you recognize His great love for you and trust in His Truth.  Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  (Joh 14:6 NIV – emphasis added)  Jesus is the Truth in whom we believe.  He sets us free!  

Abide in God’s Word & Be Made Free

Abide in God’s Word & Be Made Free

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  (John 8:31-32)

The word KNOW in verse 32, above, means to perceive; understand; recognize; or realize.  This is a knowledge that has inception, a progress and an attainment, according to Strong’s concordance (#1097).  It is the recognition of truth by personal experience.

This personal experience suggests a close, personal relationship.  And verse 32 states that we need to abide in [accept, stand in, obey] God’s Word and thereby confirm ourselves to be Christ’s disciples.

In that context, as we personally come to experience the truth of and dependability of God’s Word, it is that same truth that shall set us free from various challenging and destructive experiences in our lives.  It also sets us free from the hurts that other people have inflicted upon us.

God’s steadfast and unfailing love for you can give you such strength and stability in your emotions that you can be made emotionally whole and healthy. 

The best kindness that you can do for yourself is to abide in the Scriptures, and become more and more stable and secure in their truth—because you know that God does not lie.  (Num 23:19) 

Rest in Jesus, who has given you the grace, freedom, and strength to live your life to His glory daily!

God’s Glory Within Us

God’s Glory Within Us

“For I,” says the Lord, “will be a wall of fire all around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.”  (Zech 2:5)

For thus says the Lord of hosts: “He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.”  (Zech 2:8)

God the Father sent Jesus, our Savior, to earth to become the Savior of the world.  In accomplishing that assignment, Jesus brought glory to His Father and to Himself.  That’s why Zechariah 2:8 says, He sent Me after glory

Further on in the same verse, it states:  for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.  I used to think only believers were the apple of His eye, but now I believe that this expression applies to all of mankind.  Since God created man for Himself, all of mankind is the apple of His eye.

God says that HE is the glory within us in Zechariah 2:5.  What an awesome and beautiful idea!  We have glory within us . . .

To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.  (Col 1:27 – emphasis added)

When He comes to be glorified in His saints and to be marveled at in all those who have believed.  (2 Th 1:10 – emphasis added)

Christ in us—His life in us and His love operating through us—that is our true hope of glory.  What does glory mean?   The definition of glory is: 

  • High renown or honor won by notable achievements
  • Magnificence; great beauty

Any notable achievements or beauty that other people find in us believers is due to God’s presence within each one of us, and His grace upon us. 

Here is another definition of glory:

“. . . glory is spoken of as attaching to God’s kingly rule ( Psalm 145:11-12 ) and his presence ( Psalm 96:6 ), and as being his clothing ( Job 40:10 ; Psalm 93:1 ; 104:1 ) and above the heavens ( Psalm 8:1 ; 113:4 ; 148:13 ).”   Source: Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/glory.

We have the privilege of carrying the presence of God with us and in us.  Because we do, we carry God’s glory.  Furthermore, our entire purpose in life is to serve God and to bring Him glory.  Let’s remember to freely share God’s love and promises with everyone.  In so doing, we bring Him glory and allow others to glimpse glory within us.

Shine for Jesus today!

Don’t Throw Away Your Confidence

Don’t Throw Away Your Confidence

Therefore, do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.  For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.  (Heb 10:35-36 KJV)

Endurance means constancy; perseverance; steadfastness; or patient stamina.  We have need of such endurance as we trust in God and in His Word to meet our every need, and the needs of others.

Why do we need endurance?  So that we may experience victory in Jesus which can only come through the faith that He has given to each believer as a free gift!

The enemy of our souls uses various tactics to shake us and to try to discourage our faith in God.  He wants us to give up and to stop believing the truth of God’s Word, because that’s the only way that he can prevent us from receiving God’s promises.

Here’s a specific example.  I relied upon Bible verses on the topic of healing when I was young, and engaged to be married.  I was told that I had a cyst on my left ovary.  The critical fact was that it was the only one I had!  Due to an emergency removal of the other ovary some years prior, I didn’t even know if I would be able to have children.

So, now—not wanting to be made barren—I prayed daily for healing, and I meditated on verses of Scripture concerning healing.  My fiancé joined with me in trusting God for a miracle.  After about a month, during a communion service, I felt an overpowering knowledge that I had been healed.  I had an appointment with my doctor the following day, and was told that the cyst was gone!  The Lord had performed a miracle for me!  Hallelujah!  We had to obstinately hold onto God’s Word to receive what He had promised us.

The Lord gave us four beautiful children to raise, and they’re adults now.  Over the course of raising our kids and 41 years of marriage, my husband and I have experienced many, many answered prayers and miraculous occurrences in our family.  Our kids have experienced miracles.  I’m not saying that we’re perfect.  No.  We’re human and we struggle with faith as everyone does.  We’re familiar with the fear that attacks a person when they are given a negative diagnosis or when facing any crisis (whether financial, mental, or physical).

We have learned that when we trust God, meditate upon His unfailing love, and simply persevere in faith, He always meets our needs.  There have been countless variations in the methods that God uses, but the result is always, always that God fulfills His Word.

Just be patient . . . and know that God loves you and He WANTS to meet your need.  Find some Scriptures that promise you the thing or things that you need or desire, and ask God to fulfill them in your life.

Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You.  (Ps 143:8 NIV) 

Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.  (Ps 37:4 NKJV – emphasis added)

Think of endurance as having a stubbornness or obstinacy in your faith.  Don’t let go of your confidence in God’s Word! 

The Work of God

The Work of God

Jesus answered, “The work of God is this:  to believe on the One He has sent.”  (John 6:29)  This is the “work” to which each believer is called.

I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.  (John 17:4)  Here, Jesus refers to His own work on earth:  that of redeeming mankind back to His Father.  Jesus had work to DO

We, believers, on the other hand, have something to believe—that is our work.  There is nothing for us to DO except to obey John 6:29.  What we need to DO is to rest upon the finished work of Jesus Christ, our Savior, as we live our lives daily. 

As we rest in His finished work, we will have a desire to perform good works and to obey the Holy Bible.  We will want to represent Christ accurately upon this earth.  (see 2 Cor 5:20)  He is loving, merciful, and welcoming.  He is a wonder-working, miracle-working God.

As we abide in Christ, we will perform signs and wondersAnd as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’  Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.  (Mat 10:7-8)

Let’s perform our work cheerfully each day, friend!

We Are Protected

We Are Protected

I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.  (Ps 4:8)

The Lord gives us, His saints and His beloved children, protection.  He grants us safety and peace.  He MAKES us to dwell in safety.  How wonderful!  Here are just a handful of verses to support this concept.  There are many, many more similar verses.  Challenge yourself to find some of them!

He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.  (Ps 121:3)

The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them.  (Ps 34:7)

 For it is written:  ‘He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you . . .’ (Lk 4:10)

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.  (Deu 31:6 – emphasis added)

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  (Ps 46:1)

Trust God and simply rest in the truth of His Word.  You’re protected.  You are safe. The angels of God are camped around you for your protection. 

God strengthens you and provides you a safe haven in Him.  You’re not alone—God goes with you everywhere!  Rejoice!

Blessed Are All Who Wait for Him, Part 3

Blessed Are All Who Wait for Him, Part 3

Today, we continue our focus on the idea of waiting on God for the purpose of hearing His voice and His wisdom.  In order to hear the Lord, we need to seek Him with a humble heart. 

Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.  (Jer 29:12-13) 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.  (Prov 3:5-6)

We don’t need to be fearful of our desire to hear from the Lord, because the Bible says that we will know His voice. 

… and the sheep follow Him, for they know His voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.  (John 10:4b)

The Word of God tells us that we can train our ears to recognize the voice of God above all of the noise of daily life.  But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Heb 5:14) 

Here are some clues to hearing the voice of the Lord:

  • Whatever we hear should conform to the spirit of the Bible. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.  (II Tim 3:16-17)
  • The Holy Spirit will speak to our hearts. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and I will write them on their hearts and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen, and everyone his brother, saying, ‘know the Lord,’ for all will know Me, from the least to the greatest of them. (Hebrews 8:10-11). 
  • God may use a prophetic gift to speak to us. Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good. (I Thess 5:19-21)
  • We will hear from God through godly counselors. Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.  (Prov 11:14)
  • God will confirm the things that He speaks to us. By the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed.  (Matt 18:16)
  • Peace will reign in our hearts when God has spoken to us. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.  (Col 3:15)

Seeking the Lord and yearning to hear from Him is a blessed and worthwhile pursuit.  Believers who engage in this practice privately and corporately are spreading the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.  (2 Cor 2:14)  God bless you!