Tag Archives: John

Discovering The Worship Within Us

JOHN 4:19-24

19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. 21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

The Worship Within

It’s been my desire for a few weeks to work on a Worship song. God has been pouring His words into my soul and I’ve been amazed at what’s been happening… even in the face of a struggle within myself. So this morning I set my mind to write a worship song.

I was going to get myself in a mind of worship! I came into the living room with guitar in hand and began to pen the words down of the song. The words came swiftly enough, so I felt as if God’s anointing was on me once again and I was ever so grateful.

Now for the tune…

That was a little odd for me. Usually they come hand in hand… the words and music enter my brain in a married state. But this morning only words. So as I began to try to wrap my mind around a melody by going back to the Bible story where the song idea had come from.

John 4:20-24

It’s the story of the woman at the well. The woman married five times and now living with the sixth. That woman… the one who Jesus knew… and she knew He knew, but she didn’t know how. So she perceives that he is assuredly a prophet and attempts to turn the subject away from her indiscretions of life to the matter of religion. Or perhaps song writing.

It is here that my song and my soul found the flavor of the music for the words God had given.  But they weren’t what I had imagined a worship song to be like, just like the woman at the well, who told the Lord, the Jews worship one way, and we (the Samaritans) worship another. And Jesus informs her that she doesn’t know what worship is. But He’s about to show her.

It’s not religion or a location, it’s a spiritual act drawn on the emotions of gratitude for salvation and of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Worship is very personal.

And the melody came… and it came with a Jewish flavor. And my first thought was like the woman of Samaria, “But God I’m not Jewish.” And as the guitar rang out my spirit filled with happiness and I understood, that I’m not Jewish, but I am Jesus’ and He is very Jewish.

I had a new understanding of worship. It’s not about who I am. Shari, the sinner, the failure, the doubter and often rebellious child of God. But I am the child of God. Perfectly forgiven.

Verse 23 says that God is seeking “such to worship Him.” Someone understanding the truth in themselves, and seeking the truth in Him.

So I got a little Jewish this morning in the name of Jesus! That was fun and it was worship!

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Peace for Tomorrow

tomorrowI would likely lose count of the times per day that Satan whispers in my ear with a serpent tongue… “God does not care.” That is why, when I run across a verse like that of Jeremiah 23:23 it’s such a special time.

“Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off?”

There has been much talk about the future lately in the media. And the future is certainly a concern of mine more often than not in the day to day scope of life. I like certainty. Tangible things that I can wrap my hand around and say “This is in my control.” Things like home, health, money, etc. But in truth, none of that will ever be fully in my control. I am at the discretion of God as to whether or not I have any of it.

When Jeremiah the prophet wrote these words, his life was far from “in control.” His country wanted him dead because he did not bear good news. Kind of like Fox News prior to the November election. Although I don’t think I would put them in the category of Jeremiah. Fox is not prophetic, they didn’t guess Donald Trump either. But to put this scripture into play in my own life, and possibly yours, is to give a certainty to us both that God is in control of tomorrow. I have things on my plate now that I would like to hear God say… “Tomorrow is going to be okay.” But what I hear is is the words of Jeremiah that says, near or far, God is with me. He’s had my past, He has my future and He has my tomorrow in control. There’s great peace in that.

John 16:33 says:

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

In the days of Jeremiah was the days of the Law. And Israel was far from keeping it. They had turned their back on God time and time again and Jeremiah was prophesying of their soon to be captivity. But then comes that period between Malachi and the last chapters of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, when grace entered the picture. Christ had paid the price on the cross and grace replaced the un-keep-able law. No longer would man’s works grant entrance to Heaven or peace on earth, but by faith in Jesus Christ alone.

God had the plan in place when He created the Heavens and the earth. He knew we’d fail, and He knew of Satan’s futile attempts to get God’s children in his control. That’s why he still whispers “God doesn’t care” in my ear. Because for a second he can have me believing it. Until I read the Word of God and a scripture like Jeremiah 23:23 jumps off the page as if to say “Shut Up Satan.” God has my world in control, even when I feel like it’s spinning out of control.

That’s so good to know. God’s word is so precious… don’t neglect it.

How to Survive a Marriage

chick marriage

Last evening I sat across the table from a preacher friend at Bearfork Bluegrass. As he waited for his hotdog to cool down we talked about love and life. Eighty three years old and he just lost the love of his life last fall; I’ve met few people in my lifetime who loved their spouse the way he does. Alzheimer’s took her to meet Jesus, but he travels on alone down here, and while he does he’s learning to play banjo! That’s right, 83 and taking beginner banjo lessons, I love this man’s enthusiasm for living and I love his passion for living out the gospel.

I heard it once said that marriage is not so much the Love boat as it is a battleship. That’s a true story. I haven’t had 35 years of wedded bliss, I’ve loved David for 35 years, but he, nor I have always liked the other. I’m just being real. So why did we stay married? Because when I married him I committed my love to him till death do us part; somedays I thought one of us might kill the other and death would happen, but the next day was better and so it’s been our story. Life’s not always easy…

In today’s society marriage is like a car purchase and the commitments about as long. Before they’ve invested any money into the principal payment, they’re cruising the showroom for a new model, and usually one with a higher payment. Mine’s a 1980 model with a lot of miles. The paint job needs touched up and the gasoline in my tank is now a half dozen different vitamins and a few Tylenol each day, that’s what I run on! But I’m blessed.

The preacher reminded me of that last night when he discussed his counseling method for couples desiring his marrying officiation. He told me he required four sessions before he’d agree to conduct the ceremony. One each for the bedroom, living room, dining room and kitchen. That’ll preach! I told him, he said it did. He also began his sessions with the scripture in John 2:1-11

And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.

Three things hold true on why my marriage has survived.

1. Jesus was invited into the Marriage

Although Jesus was a late invitation into mine, He was still invited into my marriage. How much wiser had it have been if He had been an invited guest at the wedding? But having a Christian foundation from my childhood and two parents who lived out the Christian marriage before me, I held onto what I’d been taught until Christ became a guiding factor in my own life. Once Christ was invited in I realized that we are all sinners saved by grace, and grace is what we afford those we love. Praise God it’s been afforded to me many times down through the years.

2. I Celebrate servitude

When Jesus changed the water into wine only the servants knew the truth. Everyone else drank of the result. I love being a wife. I love cooking dinner and doing laundry and sweeping the floor dozens of times a day from muddy work boots and such. (Said no woman ever) But I do love serving my husband, and if that’s the things I need to do to make his life better, then I’ll gladly do it. Thirty five years have taught me to appreciate the things David does. He provides for our family, he works hard and he has a servant’s heart for volunteerism. We both love serving people. It took me a while to learn that an attitude of servitude is what makes a happy home, but it’s truth.

3. I Listen to Jesus

Marriage didn’t come with a manual but it did come with a book, the Bible. As I read and studied the scriptures the very things I needed for the very day I needed it was there. David and I may not have always shared love letters, but Jesus and I did. His word reminds me every day of how much He loves me. Jesus never brought up my past, He only spoke of this day and the future. And that’s how I’ve loved David. I love him today and look forward to the future. I reminisce on the goodness of the past, but I bury the hard bad times like Christ buried my sins. Oh sure, Satan tries to bring them up, but I plant a flower in that ground, say “rest in peace” and move on!

 

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Don’t Turn Down This Blessing

chick I Am 3

Do you want a blessing? I can’t imagine you saying no. In the gospel of John, six time Jesus gives us an “I Am” message so that we may know Who He is. You may say, but I know Who He is, He is God. He is Lord of my life, He is the reason I exist. And that’s all true. But if you’re like me you look over these “I Am” verses and what they mean to you as you walk with Him, Who you know.

John 6:35

And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

The Bread and Water

Sounds like prison food does it not? Well, the truth of the matter is there are days I feel like I’m in a prison of sorts. The world around me is filled with some of the most vile and wicked people and ideas and my mind cannot fathom why they are so. I long for purity, even in my own mind that can get drug into the cesspool of life. Can you identify? Maybe not. But the purity of the Bread and Water that Christ affords is just what I need. No frills. Just the plain and simple truth. God is still in control and will provide my every need – physically – spiritually – and emotionally. Bread and Water will be just fine.

John 8:12

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

The Light

As a child I was afraid of the darkness, as an adult I’m not real brave in it. We know that it’s not the darkness necessarily that we’re afraid of, but what might be in it. By the same token the unknown of life is just as scary when we’re seeking direction, or we’ve got a road ahead of us that we’ve never traveled; and we’re pretty sure it’s going to be rough. How awesome to know that every step on the path before us will have a light. It may not appear until we’ve moved our foot, but it’s there and even in the darkest of times our world is illuminated by the God who created the universe. If He can speak light into a void of nothing, He can certainly cast it forth in our hour of need. Do you need direction today? Move your foot and then look for the light!

The Door

John 10:9

I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

In my testimony of “that door” I tell the story of the day I opened that door and ask Jesus in. It’s an amazing story (at least to me) because it’s mine! That day my house became His house. Bought and paid for! I could go out into the world, or I could just stay in, but either way I enjoyed His company.

The Shepherd

John 10:11

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

The house that was bought and paid for was paid for by the blood of the Lamb. He Who created the lambs, and at one time required their sacrifice for atonement of sin became the Lamb of God Who was the final sacrifice needed. He is the Shepherd because He has been the lamb. He knows everything we go through because He came to earth and experienced it for Himself. And then in the final moments of His life, with His flesh fighting against Him, He won the battle for us to have eternal life with Him. No matter what you’re going through today, He knows all about it and wants to take care of it. Let Him.

The Resurrection

John 11:25

Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

Glory!!! To have that knowledge will get you through the bleakest of times. When my Dad passed away in 2003 I had no idea of the peace that would flood my soul in those dark hours. To know that my Dad was only temporarily gone from my presence made that pain subside and turn to hope. The hope that we all who know Jesus have and that hope is that we’ll be joined together in Heaven with Him. But not only that hope… the hope of life here. Before knowing Christ we are dead inside, but when we accept Him there is a new man that arises within us that walks and talks differently. The new man has a new purpose and that’s to show others the hope he/she has found in Jesus Christ!!!

The Way, Truth, and Life

John 14:6

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

I remember the BC days, before Christ entered my life. I was the walking dead. I had no idea which direction I should go in life, the truth was vague at best and my life was without meaning. Sound dramatic? It was dramatic. My life looked great on the outside, but inwardly I was in turmoil. I needed to know the way, the truth and the life that God had for me. But I didn’t know how to find it. Not even in the church I attended. But God sent someone my way to show me the Way, the Truth and the Life. Perhaps I’m that person for you today, or perhaps someone else was. If you know Jesus, it’s your turn to tell someone else.

The Vine

John 15:1

I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

The Vine. That life giving stem for which the fruit thrives and survives and God Himself is the husbandman. Our Father is our Farmer!!! He gets in there and digs the impurities out of our soil (soul) and then He fertilizes us with the richness of His Word that causes us to grow and produce fruit ourselves. That fruit then is our responsibility to show them how to continue clinging to the True Vine so that they too can produce fruit and just imagine a vineyard that goes for a million miles and that’s what Heaven is going to look like if we help God farm the land.

I love the “I Am’s!” God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. They stir my soul. I hope they stirred yours today too.

Let me know how this works for you

chick prayer

The ACTS prayer method.  I was reminded of it in a Pocket Testament League devotion yesterday, and today it was again on my heart, desiring that sweet Spirit of the Lord in my life.  Have you felt it today, or has it been a while since you got that bubbling up in your soul so vast that you feel at any moment your mouth will fly open and the Holy Spirit will assuredly burst onto the scene? And then He does! His indwelling becomes an out pouring of praise of and gratitude for what He’s done in your life.  It’s amazing!

  • ADORATION
    • Tell Him how much you love Him and watch and feel as you are loved in return.
  • CONFESSION
    • We all know our short comings, for me they are many. What an awesome feeling just to clear the air with the Lord. He knows what we’ve done, but He longs to hear His children confess their sins and turn away from it and back to Him.
  • THANKSGIVING
    • Have you counted your blessings lately? It’s amazing and humbling when you start thanking God for all you have; especially when you look at the world around you and see the countless who have not.
  • SUPPLICATION
    • Our prayer list at church gets longer and longer, my own does too. There are so many people in the world suffering, who need someone to lift them up in prayer. For me it’s overwhelming at times. But like the blessings I have to name them one by one and not dwell on the fact that I can do nothing, but that God can do anything. Who has He laid on your heart today?

ACTS. Such a small acronym with big results. I hope you’ll use it for your model prayer today and then let me know how the Lord blesses it!

The Invisible Jesus

chick invisible

Someone becoming aware that I’m “The Jesus Chick” usually brings three typical reactions:

  1. Joy from fellow believers (I love that!)
  2. Rolled eyes from people who believe I’m a fanatic
  3. Changed conversation from those who don’t want to talk about Jesus

I’m okay with all three because it doesn’t change who I am, and it certainly doesn’t change who Jesus is! It also doesn’t change the truth; which is what everyone says they want, and yet they really don’t. In John 8 we find the story of the woman caught in adultery, and the religious sect that wanted to stone her. But when Jesus challenged them with the truth “…and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her,” (vs. 7) We find the world walking out. They knew the truth… we all sin!  We just don’t like to name it.  I always wondered if what Jesus “wrote with His finger on the ground” was their sins. Jesus knew them too. Conviction is a powerful tool of the Lord. That’s why when people hear the truth their reaction is much the same as the typical reactions to me. They love it, ignore it or change the conversation!

What I found interesting in John 8 this morning were verses, like so many others, that I have previously just skimmed over.

John 8:58-59

Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

Convicted by Jesus’ words the religious sect picked up stones to kill Him. But it wasn’t His time. So Jesus hid Himself. Literally vanished from their sight. But an invisible Jesus didn’t change the truth, whether or not they wanted to hear it they were still held captive.

In verse 32 Jesus said, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” On the counter side of that, if you ignore the truth you’re willingly being held captive by a lie.

The Invisible Jesus. He’ll eventually stop revealing the truth to you, and salvation will be further and further away; just where you thought you wanted it. And Jesus will have “passed by.”  The two saddest words ever.

Failing to acknowledge Jesus may make Him invisible, but it doesn’t mean He doesn’t exist. And what you’ve allowed to pass by is what you know you’re looking for and why I love being a Jesus Chick:

  • Peace (regardless of circumstance)
  • Love (when nobody’s around to love on you)
  • Healing (even of a broken heart)
  • Answers (to every question)
  • Solutions (to every problem)
  • Insight (to the mysteries of God)
  • Oh the list is endless…

Do you see Him?   He’s precious… and so  worthy of following.

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One more day…

chick hope corrected

At 2:30 this morning I awoke to the thought… one more day. I couldn’t sleep and several prayer matters were heavy on my heart. I scrolled through Facebook on my phone to see if there had been any updates, and there were but it wasn’t good. Families facing critical reports, people hurting; the faces just kept pouring through my mind. And the realization that we’re all a phone call away from that kind of news on any given day. It’s just by God’s grace…

Then my mind turned to the weekend events. Easter! Resurrection Sunday. One more day. And that was my prayer for the people on my heart, “God grant them hope for one more day.” Sometimes we can’t think about days and weeks ahead, just one more day.

Matthew 27:59-63

And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre. Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.

I would venture a guess that the day of Jesus’ crucifixion the disciples and Jesus’ followers were living minute to minute. They weren’t thinking about day 3. Jesus had told them, “I’ll rise again!” but they didn’t get it. They were scared for their own lives, they’d lost the best friend they’d ever known, and the world was shaken up! Literally. Earthquakes, the temple veil torn in two from the top to bottom, rocks falling, and the graves were opened up and the bodies of many saints were walking through the city. I’d say the city was shook! And those who crucified Jesus, they were definitely shook. The chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate concerned that someone would “steal” Jesus’ body. Or perhaps after what they’d just witnessed they were more than a little concerned that He’d do what He said.

Pilate said in verse 64 ~ Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.

So the last error shall be worse than the first… Their error was God’s design and what a difference a day made. The disciples were heartbroken but their grief was about to turn into great joy! In the book of John 20:20-22 we read the Victory speech of Christ for all believers.

 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

One day turned hopeless into a happening! And because of that great resurrection morning we have hope today and peace of mind through the Holy Spirit, so that when our world gets turned upside down we can hold onto hope one more day.

A Trip to the 7-Eleven

chick saturday

We don’t have a 7-Eleven in our neck of the woods, nor any other large chain of stores. We’re about as rural as rural gets before it gets to frontier. You can’t always “have it your way” in Calhoun County, West Virginia, sometimes you can’t even get it! It’s a small price to pay though in my opinion to live in a neighborhood where everyone knows everyone and when the emergency services scanner goes off with directions to a home, somebody around those parts knows who to pray for. But another fact of life in our area is there’s little anonymity, possibly none.

As I read about the Corinthians that Paul had written to, anonymity wasn’t the case for their sins either.

Sometime around the middle of the first century, Paul traveled to spread the word of God at which time he traveled to Corinth. The level of wickedness in Corinth was as bad or worse than America, if you can even imagine it. A check list of issues was

  • Pagan altars
  • Idol worship
  • Worship of other gods
  • Prostitution
  • Blatant sin
  • Rejection of God
Hmm… Sound familiar?

The Jewish population of Corinth rejected Paul’s teachings, so the apostle turned his efforts to the Gentiles and thus the church of Corinth was born. One of the many sins of that day today was the lack of morality. Men and women alike did not honor their marriage and even weak members of the church were involved in affairs on a regular basis. But repentance did come for many.  Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 7:11  –  For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

A lesson in life from the 7-Eleven. We all struggle with sins and temptations, some to a greater degree than others, especially if your exposure to sin has been greater, then there’s more tools in Satan’s tool box to work against you. But here in this text we find the “overcomer’s club!” They’d fought the battle and won the victory.

Because of their:

The godly sort – the repentance of the Corinthians was genuine. And with it brought evidence of their desire to live for Christ.

Carefulness – to avoid the sins that had drawn them in and away from God. Oh that we would be more careful to avoid the pitfalls of sin through the company we keep and the exposure to multi forms of media. Sin is everywhere… oh be careful little eyes what you see, for the Father up above is looking down in love, oh be careful little eyes what you see.

Clearing yourself – That carefulness to avoid sin, and striving for a relationship with God brings a clearing of the air! There is nothing between you and the Holy One in Heaven.

Fear – A godly fear. A fear of falling back into the ways of sin that so “easily beset us.” God puts that fear in us because He knows without it we’d be prey daily.

Vehement desire – He also put within us a desire to know and serve the living God. You generally don’t know what it is until you’ve found it. But I believe there is a hole in the heart of every non-believer that draws them to the throne of God. They may reject it, but God said He would be lifted up to all men. John 12:32 says –And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

Zeal – Salvation and repentance brings a zeal, a fervor that can only be satisfied by telling the world about Jesus.

Revenge – The ultimate revenge against Satan is a soul on fire for Christ that robs him of the opportunity to steal other souls from God.

Clear of that matter – we cannot work for salvation. But we work to draw out minds into the goodness and wholesomeness of God and away from the sins of the world that will find us clear of the matter. I envision a long spiraling climb and finally reaching the peak of the mountain to where you can see clear from above… oh Glory… to be in that spot. Above the sin and reproach that Satan loves to lay at our feet.

March on Christian soldiers! Love ya! If   I encourage, please! share my blog with others.
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Winter blues? He’s got us covered!

chick lamb

Have I ever told you how much I detest winter? Probably. But in repeating it I hope God will get the picture and cut it short. That’s how I’d like the winters in life too, please… thank You Jesus. But it’s not how I get them. They’re often longer and harsher than I’d like and by the end I’m just about as low as a snail’s belly. Depression sets in, cabin fever is raging and take a week like this one when even church had to be canceled and I’m struggling. There I said it, but please don’t make me repeat it, because hearing myself say it grinds on my nerves as much as the indoor/outdoor thermometer yelling at me from across the room. That’s why I didn’t fix it when the outdoor side stopped working. Nobody likes a bad news bearer. Still doesn’t take the reality away that baby it’s cold outside!

But have I got some warm news for you this morning!

John 10:22-30

And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch. Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.

How long Lord?

I asked it again and again like a broken record. How long do I have to go through this Lord? But in this context the Jews are asking Jesus, “How long until you prove You are who You say You are?” But that’s not how God works, lest it wouldn’t be faith now would it. But my attitudes no different than the Jews when I’m going through the hard times. “How long Lord until You prove who You are by getting me out of this mess? Please Lord tell me, I’m a needin’ to know!” Now that’s not faith is it?

That Long?

Classic Jesus… the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.

It’s as if Jesus slapped me up the side the head and said “We’re here again, because you still don’t get it. I’m in charge of the universe, but unfortunately you’re in charge of your life Shari.” Number one, I know Jesus wouldn’t slap me up the side of the head, but I need it. There’s a reason for the seasons of life, both in meteorological conditions and in spiritual growth. Our bodies long for both the sun and the Son. We need to feel the warmth of His love.

But while you wait…

Oh my stars! This hit me like a ton of bricks this morning. Wow! This blog is violent… ADD (attention deficit disorder) kicks in again, now back to the story…

 The Jews didn’t understand because they weren’t wearing fleece. Jesus said “My sheep hear my voice.” As a child of God I can make it through the winters of life because I’m a lamb of God. Covered in the fleece of His love that bears witness to me every day that I belong to Him. It may be cold on the outside, I may not be able to change the circumstances of life but He has me covered!

That’s good news today.  It stirred my soul and even without the sun, the S-O-N has me toasty warm in His love. What about you? Do you know Him? I sure hope so and I hope this message encouraged you today. If it did, please share it with your friends, cause “Baby it’s cold outside!”

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Whether or not they believe…

BELIEVE 2

John 10

22 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.

23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.

24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.

Dedicated to Religion

Always a scary thought for me. The Jews were celebrating the miraculous victory and deliverance from the Greco-Syrian control. A time when the Greco-Syrian king took control of the Temple in Jerusalem and forced the Jewish people to abandon their worship of God, their holy customs and reading of the Torah. He made them bow down to the Greek gods and according to the records, this King Antiochus IV defiled the Temple by sacrificing a pig on the altar and spilling its blood on the holy scrolls of Scripture.

As a result of the severe persecution and pagan oppression, a group of four Jewish brothers, led by Judah Maccabee, decided to raise up an army of religious freedom fighters. These men of fierce faith and loyalty to God became known as the Maccabees. The small band of warriors fought for three years with “strength from heaven” until achieving a miraculous victory and deliverance from the Greco-Syrian control. The Feast of Dedication is also known as Hanukah.

The Jewish leaders loved history and tradition, but it was the new non-traditional ideas that they had an issue with; like the fact that God had a new plan and it didn’t involve religion, but rather relationship. The Jews had regained possession of the temple, but lost possession of God’s purpose.

Deviated to Reception

The Jews swerved away from the notion that there would be a new way.

25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.

26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

Jesus had come to give a freedom that would remove the Jewish Priests control over the relationship with God and His children. No longer would there be a need to have multiple intercessors on earth, but through Christ Jesus we would have direct communication to the throne room of Heaven; this doesn’t sit well with religion or anyone else who likes complete control of the circumstances of life.

The victory and restoration of the temple began when four Jewish brothers had had enough. I see a little Greco-Syrian tactics going on in our own government today when at every turn they are removing Christian rights and allowing pagan rights to rule. It seems that Christ is no more welcome on Capitol Hill than He was in the temple that day. The Jewish leaders tolerated Him, but they really would just rather have Him gone so that they could once again have full control over the people. The religious leaders didn’t win their battle any more than those who try to thwart Christianity today will succeed.

Destined to Redemption

28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

30 I and my Father are one.

We may have to fight a few battles of our own before Christ comes to claim the church and take us home. But whether or not Capitol Hill believes on Christ, they cannot control the relationship that God has with His people. Glory Hallelujah for that!