“The Wedding Feast”

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Have you ever been to an elaborate feast that of any kind?

   In the Old Testament, the feasts were an event designed to celebrate the relationship between God and man. There were many different types of feasts, but they all were created for great pleasure and enjoyment for the individual and families. They were to partake heartily of the gifts that were offered; freedom, debt’s removed, extraordinary favor was bestowed on the poor and needy from those had plenty, and most of all to honor the well-being of all the guests. Wow! I’m in, what about you? Well, I would like to venture together on to the scene of a sovereign ruler who had prepared a beautiful wedding feast in honor of his cherished son, only one problem remained, everyone that was invited did not come. (Mathew 22:1-13) They chose to go about their busy lives and had no interest in feasting at the ruler’s table any longer.  He became very angry and sent his servants to destroy their cities. So the father sent his servants out again to the cities to invite all they could find to come to the banquet table, because it was ready to feast upon and receive.  They gathered everyone they came across and brought them to the King’s table. The wedding hall was now filled to capacity. As the monarch entered the banquet hall and noticed all of his guests, he realized there was someone without a wedding garment. He could not believe his eyes for no one dare enter his presence without the adorned beauty of the wedding garment. He called for his servants to take him away out into the darkness.

   In this parable, the King represents God Almighty and the son embodies Jesus Christ. The affluent wedding guests initially invited stands for those who know Jesus but simply “do not have the time” in their busy lives to come and partake of this beautiful friendship. And lastly, the one who entered without his wedding garment symbolizes those of us who simply will never be able to feast on high, in rest, with Jesus because we deem ourselves unworthy to the call. The father was a sovereign ruler who went to exorbitant lengths to plan an elaborate wedding feast for his beloved son. He treasured him with all of his heart and wanted everyone in the land to draw close and fellowship with his son on this most joyous occasion. He longed for the people to celebrate his son and wanted to lavish his guests with the best of everything but they simply did not understand the art of receiving from the king. Our Father has moved heaven and earth to bring forth his beloved Son at the perfect time so all of humanity could continually enjoy celebrating the life of Jesus in us.

   Jesus’ desire is that everyone come to his table and receive all these great and glorious gifts that he has waiting for us on high through his completed work. But God knows the heart of man and like the guests who were swept away by the fulfillment of things (like the rich young ruler) and excessive busyness so it is with his children. We believe our time is precious and tasks must be accomplished, we certainly do not have a moment to dwell with the our Lord, it is way to costly.  So life quickly begins to progress and we have completely forgotten our number one priority, which will always be getting to experience the Son of Man.  What about the one who came in his old ragged clothes? Do you know in the depths of your being that the only place to truly fellowship with Christ Jesus and receive from his Finished Work, is in the beauty of his holiness? 17942465464487916090This man believed he would never be worthy enough to stand in the presence of the King and therefore did not know how to remove his old filthy rags. In the early centuries, while intricate celebrations occurred, to enter the banquet hall, the monarch’s guest were required to wear a wedding garment, a robe or article of clothing adorned with great beauty, given by the ruler of the land. That is the key, we will never be worthy enough, no matter how hard we try to do, but thanks be to God who gives us that adorned beauty through the offering of Christ Jesus, so that we will forevermore “be” worthy in the sight of our Sovereign ruler and reign on high. Hallelujah! So the wedding attire symbolizes the robe of righteousness that we have been graced with in Jesus name. The father desperately wanted the guests to feel equally important as his son on this grand occasion, certainly not undeserving. So it is with God, we can enter the kingdom and accept Jesus into our hearts but never, ever reach the high places without fully experiencing the beauty of our righteousness, our new life from the inside out. This is why Isaiah 61:10 states, “I will rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garment of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”

Do you remember your wedding day, or have you forgotten that great celebration or maybe it is about to occur?   Duane’s face was aglow the minute he laid eyes on me not just because of my engaging Wedding gown (even with the flies stuck inside the layers of the netting within my dress and veil, which was quite humorous) but the inner radiant beauty he knew had captured his heart a year earlier. After all, this was the Almighty’s desire that we begin anew knitting our hearts together as one in Christ Jesus. Amen!

   Our righteousness (worthiness) is referred to as a the embellished couple on their wedding day. This is the inner radiant glow of grace and beauty that the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus roots in us. Psalm 34:5 tells us, “Those who look to him are radiant, their faces will never be ashamed.” We now have a morally right character, a changed heart but we are to walk in that embodiment and allow it to exude from our countenance as we increasingly fellowship with Jesus. We are alive and made new and we celebrate daily with shouts of joy and dancing from the rooftops so that the world may come and feast at the Almighty’s table with us. When we truly walk in this manner of righteousness in Christ it is for others to behold a sincere change of heart, ultimately so God will receive the glory of our lives. In Mathew 5:20, Jesus is telling his disciples, to feast with Christ, their righteousness must exceed that of the Pharisees. They took pride in what they accomplished, so that others would take notice. The kingdom of God takes place from the inside out because it produces a changed heart and new motivations in life, which springs forth the recognition of celebrating our worthiness in Christ Jesus.

   If we lived in our unworthiness and unrighteousness mode it would be like a potter leaving something unfinished upon the wheel, never really taking the time or desiring to complete the task, just passing it by. Eventually it would get in the way of everything she did in the studio and her life because it would constantly be occupying her thoughts with why she had not completed it, and it would never have the privilege of becoming a beautiful masterpiece for others to see. When we do not fully clothe ourselves in the garment of righteousness our inner man will live in the destruction of utter darkness and prevent us from living in the beauty of his holiness. Praise the Lord he has fashioned us through his work to wear a new glorious adornment in life, our worthiness, all that is needed to come and receive on high. That is why Christ experienced the tremendous weight of this journey to the cross and on the cross, so we could live freely and fully alive on the other side of the cross. Which one of the guests are you, the one who was too busy to fellowship with the son or the one who deemed himself unworthy to fellowship?

   Haggai was a prophet called by God to help restore his living sanctuary, his very presence, back into the hearts and lives of the Israelites during the reign of King Darius around 520 A.D.jerusalemwalls  Haggai’s name means “Festal restorer”, in other words God had placed Haggai at the perfect time with his people to joyously revive and stir a lost  vigor into their spirit man and return their heart’s desire back toward their   Master and King, God Almighty. Building the temple was to take precedence over restoring their own homes. One of the groups had just come back from exile and was elated about being home again and starting their lives over. Had they already forgotten their true purpose for returning? What about you? Do you know deep within you heart your true purpose for being here?  Well, God had instructed the Israelites to take heed to his presence first, the true calling of their heart, which was the reassembling of his Holy Temple. They had begun the task of rebuilding the temple for about a year after their return from exile but quickly lost their passion and became diverted with their own agenda. Has that ever happened to you? Proverbs 4:23 tells us, “Guard (keep watch by day and night) your heart with all vigilance (alertness) for out of it flows the springs of life.” Take care to let your relationship with Jesus permeate above all else your inner condition, so that his Spirit can freely flow out from our lives; through his beauty, power, goodness, favor, honor, righteousness, love, and kindness, etc. So because of their self-effort, harden emotions and complacency toward the Father’s heart, Haggai sent a message telling the people that God would send a drought to the land, so that their produce would not grow, and their vats would be empty. Do you think that was enough to capture their attention? What about you? When a dry spell hits your life, like a ton of bricks which way do you go?

   Well, in my house we have a fun song that we sing, “When your in a situation, turn right, turn right!” That means head deeper into the mighty presence of Jesus, do not go toward the outward man like we seem to have a tendency to do and that’s exactly what the Israelites did.  James 1:24-25 states, “He who looks at himself in the mirror and goes away and at once forgets, what he was like. But he who looks into the perfect law (which is Jesus), the law of liberty and perseveres (in for the duration) being no hearer but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in all his doing.” Christ is the only mirror image we are to reflect, the perfect law of freedom, righteousness and worthiness receiving from on high, who transforms and not conforms to man and his diversions. Many believers have spent a lifetime deviating from their true path in Jesus Christ; Trying to fix up our homes perfectly, producing kids that are in perfect working order and have the best of everything, making the most money can buy only to pour it back into something other than building God’s kingdom. (That is way too exhausting and zaps the life out of you)

   Somewhere along the way, we have been taught that we cannot, we must not detour off the course “we have planned” for our lives. All the while our very spirit, our heart’s desire to find rest of some kind is slowly moving toward decay. “If I could just do one more thing, then I can settle down into Jesus, getting back into reestablishing his kingdom within my heart.” Sound familiar? That was me for many years, but how long does it take to get to the end of a lollipop? Well, for me about the time I was truly willing to come to the end of myself, only to allow Jesus to have my whole heart with no strings attached and no more finagling a way out, so ultimately he could take me to the heights of heaven. Fellow heirs, it is a new day dawning, and now is the time to receive! As the end of Mathew 22:14 states, “Many are called, but few are chosen.” Jesus simply means many will come willingly in to the kingdom, but few will heed to the call of laying all aside to hunger and thirst to know his name forevermore. Thanks be to the living God who is more than able to take our heart of stone and complacency and turn it in to a “heart of flesh” for his Kingdom. (softening toward our Lord) That is exactly what he did for the Israelites. Haggai brought a festive celebration back in to their hearts again as God restored their land and made his presence known throughout the ends of the earth.  With great fervor, the Israelites completed the Temple five years later.

About twelve years ago when we went into full time ministry, I had to reevaluate my relationship with Jesus; was it based solely on my outward appearance, or did I possess a true inward change? I desired to play the role and dress the part perfectly, with the way that I looked, organized my home and customized my children and spouse, that was priority to me. “Get to work”, I told myself. The busier I became the further I ran away from feasting at the King’s table. There was just not enough time in the day to recline with my Jesus. “Help, murder, police, someone has stolen away my true identity, and how do I find it again amongst all this rubble?” My wayward soul desperately needed to be festively restored. Just as Haggai came for the Israelites, Jesus came to my rescue and I began anew, this time for good, he stirred and prodded my inner man until my primary concern everyday was celebrating my relationship with him and partaking mightily from his goodness on high.

 

“All things are ready come to the feast,

   Come for the table now is spread,

      Ye famishing, ye weary come,

         And thou shalt be richly fed.”  –  (Hymn by Fannie Crosby)

Feast with me on an upcoming series on how Jesus fashioned us to live on the other side of the cross!

Any Volunteers?

lg_Springtree Many years ago we had a beautiful flourishing Crabapple Tree in our front yard…

with an array of colorful flowers encircling it. When we moved away, the tree eventually died and the flowers ran their seasonal course. I believe nature longs with eager expectation for the manifestation of God’s children to rise up and allow Jesus Christ to transform us with every given circumstance. (Romans 8:19) In other words, are there any volunteers ready to receive our true inheritance in Christ?  Will they please stand up? How many times do you have to be prodded and poked before you will genuinely see that God claimed you as his own and he needs willing volunteers to venture full fledge into his beloved, blessed kingdom in order for our true identity to unfold. The renters did not take heed to anything pertaining to the growth of vegetation in our yard, therefore everything began to wither away. It was diseased and had to be uprooted, and that spot in the center of our front lawn lay dormant for many years… just lingering for something beautiful to venture in. The soil was waiting for new growth and life to take hold of this process of transformation. Eventually we moved back and began the stages of building a solid base for thriving foliage. Someone gave us a tiny Japanese Maple tree as a gift,Jap Map that was about the size of a small flower. We began to plant everything we could think of around the tree that might give a rich source of nutrients one to another. Nothing quite seemed to work, so the next year we realized in order for the tree to take off it needed to have an abundance of its own soil and light. Needless to say, we gave the tree our undivided attention, and do you know that over the next two years by letting it use its own innate ability- without much fluff- it became an adherent to God’s creation. It took marvelously to the soil and sunlight and that tiny mustard seed of a tree is simply lovely and pleasing to the eye today in all seasons and still growing strong and sturdy on nature’s ability to transform. As the tree became ready to stand on it’s own, a single volunteer (Vinca) began to rise up freely from the deep dark corners of the earth’s soil, and as time went on one by one these volunteers marched in like an army of light and began to feed off of one another. And now without ever planting a single Vinca,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA the vastness of flowers continue to encase the flourishing maple tree. I am amazed daily at God’s ability to act and produce for our behalf at any given moment if we will simply rise to the occasion and ascend to the holy hill of the Lord Jesus where he is awaiting eagerly to receive us. This is our one and only right position to receive the light and life of the inherent Son.

So let’s look at the definition of the word volunteer. It simply means one who is freely willing to embark on a given task. In other words; dive freely in to the journey of knowing Jesus, being transformed no matter the cost, whatever you come across or endure, into God’s kingly representative. Is there anyone out there willing, besides myself? That means agendas must be thrown out, comfortability is not an option, and certainly no micro managing your life or anyone else. What will it take and how long before you fully volunteer? As Duane and I minister and mentor to the lives of many people, I cannot even count on my fingers those who are truly willing to go all the way in experiencing the depths of Christ’s salvation, it just seems to be to much of a challenge. That would mean being willing to let go of sinking into brokenness, being willing to give up your old manner of lifestyle; profanity, drinking, certain t.v. shows, internet obsession and books that might be a detriment to our thoughts, etc. Don’t get drawn into the mold of the world.110817_tv_inside

You cannot separate our natural man from the supernatural being of God that dwells deep within our heart, it simply does not work like that. It is just like the Bible, we do not separate the Old from the New, it is a whole piece that fits together as one layer on top of another- all leading to Jesus Christ. God Almighty intended for them to be one in Christ Jesus. The supernatural (Holy Spirit) being the greater to rule and reign over our natural man and as Christ mighty power is at work within us, cheering us on, that is exactly what keeps us rising on high in him. The walls of our lives are no longer broken, they have been mended and securely fastened one time for all with a dynamic defense system; the divine resurrected power of Christ Work. When Christ said, “It is finished” he meant it hook line and sinker.  Jesus hung on a hook (cross) for you and I and through his work he made a military line of defense (nothing can break through) that was powerful enough to spread across all barriers in our lives that can keep us from rising to rest. This mighty act of grace sunk the enemy to the depths of Sheol so that he became a footstool under the feet of Christ, (Ephesians 1:19-22) so we could freely volunteer for whatever task that lie ahead in our lives and believe that the adversary would no longer have any dominion or power over God’s children. Amen and Amen!

As a believer every situation, thought, response, attitude that arises in us, is and will always be part of the transforming process to keep us rising to the high places and remain there with his endowed mighty power to be all in all in him.

I remember being in school and the teacher asking for any volunteers to answer a question or come forward and I began to literally sink in the pit of my stomach, not to mention my chair. I did not raise my hand for fear of the task that lay ahead. st_stanislaus_elementary_school_winona_MNIsn’t that exactly the same in the kingdom of God? We are not sure about this process of change in our lives and how are future might unfold, so we sink into the bedlam of life where it is safe and comfortable, instead of recognizing “Christ amazing divine power which has freely given us all things that pertain to life, and who has called us into his very own glory and brilliance so that we might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the wrongdoing that is in the world.” (1Peter1:3-4) This corruption no longer has to be a part of us when we learn to rise up and volunteer to become a beautiful child of King Jesus. This does not mean you have to volunteer to become a missionary in a foreign land, or even go into the ministry. On the contrary, if he has called you there great, but most of his kids are just learning to live the day to day process of life and the volunteering is liberally choosing to set yourself apart in Christ. What are you going to do now that you have heard this for the first time or maybe the hundredth time? When I was five and we had missionary week at my dad’s church, my sister Belle always said she wanted to be the missionary in the family ( she is a nurse and is one for sure to her patients) but my words were “I want to be a millionaire, have lot of babies and smoke.” Well, the Lord Jesus sure had a different calling on my life, and I would not trade a single moment as challenging as it has been to ascend to the seated place in Christ, because I have learned that everything in my entire life has created me to flourish and minister to others for His Kingdom today.

In the land of Judah where the Philistines encamped there was a great champion fighter named Goliath. He was about 9 feet 9 inches tall (That is about Duane plus my little niece) and wore gear weighing close to150 pounds, during his battles. He was mammoth in size and ready to fight a whole army. Now earlier on the Lord had sent Samuel to the house of Jesse from the tribe of Judah, to anoint a new King. As Jesse began to bring out his sons one by one, Samuel was amazed at the outward stature and beauty of these young men. “Surely their must be one here Lord?” The Lord responded, “For the Lord sees not as man sees: for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord God looks on the heart.” (1Samuel 16:7) And Jesse brought forth his youngest son who was tending to his sheep in the fields.  The Lord said, “Arise up, anoint him, for this is he. And Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward.” (1Samuel 16:12-13)

Now let’s pause here for a brief moment. David was probably only between fifteen and seventeen years of age, very ruddy (probably from tending sheep) but handsome in appearance.  And this is the key, David’s heart was taken captive by the Lord even before the Spirit rushed upon him because his heart was wide open to his Lord. He loved the Lord God with all of his heart and lived life freely trusting him.

He was a psalmist and knew how to praise the Lord in all circumstances. David had experienced great strength and leadership abilities from being a Shepard.  He let nothing get in the way of taking on the task of protecting his fold, and keeping them in his care no matter the cost.  Isn’t this just like our Shepherd, Jesus, that as we root and engage ourselves in the care and protection of his being, we can freely volunteer for anything that comes our way. All of this together, the Lord knew David would be the sole choice to inherit the Messianic Kingdom and become King over Israel. So Goliath was daring Saul to send out any man to wage war against himself. And Saul was greatly afraid.

David was going to and fro from playing his harp to refresh Saul’s spirit to feeding and caring for his sheep. And Goliath stood on the front lines morning and evening for forty days waiting for anyone brave enough to fight the battle. All the men of Israel fled when looking on the outward capabilities of mighty Goliath. 20101001_DavidVGoliathBut David spoke up and said, “Who is this uncircumcised (he is not one of us, he lives by his own strength) man that he should defile the armies of the living God, and let no man’s heart fail because of him, I will go and fight the Philistine.” David, a young youth with great heart, full assurance in his Lord and King and not what he saw in the outward man, rose to the heights of the heavens and freely volunteered for the task of wiping out clean this man named Goliath. Wow! He began to inform Saul of all he had struck down to protect his flock, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and paw of the bear, will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” (1Samuel 17:37) David could not wear all the weighted armor that swallowed him whole, he chose to go with what the Lord desired, his full believing heart. So he took his Shepherd’s staff (which was used for protection, a guide, and to reel in the lost sheep) and five (favor) smooth stones from the brook. This is all he needed because David knew in his heart, that the battle belonged to the Lord. God would save David and defeat the enemy with his mighty hand and outstretched arm, using only the greatest weapon of man a full believing heart in Christ Jesus. And the victory became David’s and our’s through our Lord and Savior, Jesus. Christ waged all out war singlehandedly with the enemy on his journey to the cross and on the cross, so his children would never again fear any giants in the land of supernatural rest. When we choose to raise our hand and volunteer to know Jesus above all else, a new and living way begins to arise and move forward in us to live fully, so that all of humanity can freely enjoy Jesus in us. Blessed be the name of Jesus for now and forevermore!

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SACRIFICE of PRAISE Part 3 (Unleashing the power of Christ)

So here we are at the third part of “Sacrifice of Praise”…

Let’s go back into the storehouse of God’s divine history, between Noah and the call of Abraham and imagine for a moment, what life must have been like for a man named Job. He was from the country of Uz (not OZ) near Seir, which would have been located in the vicinity of Esau’s and Lot’s family. But from the onset, what God really wanted us to know was that Job was a righteous man in his sight. That meant his life was completely centered on God Almighty. Everything he did was for the glory and praise of his Father. OfferingsJob was faithful in offering up a sacrifice of praise for himself and most of all his family, because he knew this pleased the Lord greatly. So as we have established earlier in Parts 1 and 2, offering up to the Lord Jesus our whole heart is what delights him the most. Job offered up himself daily by faith, which kept him in a constant right standing with God. So as our whole heart is released to King Jesus, it begins to pour out praise through our lips, which in turn unleashes the full power of Christ throughout our lives.  The emanate power of Christ that beautifully dwells within us, began through the declaration of God’s divine blessing on our inherited life in Christ. How lovely are his children who delight in speaking the power of his name?  So in this third and final part of the sacrifice of praise, we will go deep into the heart of God and experience the two keys of praise that will let loose the power of Jesus Christ in every circumstance in our lives; prayer and song.

So to begin, do we truly understand what a key is designed for? A key is a tool used to open a specific door. In this case, prayer and song are the keys God graciously imparted within us to draw us closer to his Son so that the power of his Spirit might set us free forevermore and turn our destiny into his beautiful morning glory. Imagine the King of the universe loving us so much to hand over the keys to his heart; how to live in every respect in Jesus. Most of us only fall to our knees to pray when there is a great need, and usually stop praying before we see the results, and sing a song of praise from our lips, only when something marvelous has happened. This is all great and Jesus knows our humanity, but what would it be like if we added to it and prayed on our knees at the start of everyday, just to thank him for his life in us, and what the unknown future holds, imagine having that kind of earnest heart and open communication all the time with your Savior? Psalm 5:3 states, “O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.” morning-sunrise-wallpaper  Listen to the confident assurance David has when entering his presence. He is telling us that, “When I begin my day I will direct my prayers, my focus and my every thought toward my King and keep it there!” How awesome! And what about singing a song of praise just because you are so utterly excited about life, you can hardly take it in, all because you know and adore a man named Jesus. And even when life is heavy and low, and you’re sick and tired, Jesus wants us more than ever to keep on singing deep within our soul, so that his power can have its way in us! So how do we pray, leaving everything at his feet, with the unknown outcome in our lives? And how do we sing when everything around us seems to be falling apart? Well, let’s open the door wide and see closely that when prayer and song are uttered forth twenty-four seven from our tongue, the Kingdom of God is overflowing in our lives. Jesus is waiting for our prayer and praise to spring forth his power from on high. This always brings us back to that domain of rest. When we are resting in our relationship in Christ, his power stirs our inner man to intercede and sing continually, until we see his powerful results coming into fruition, from the smallest request to the greatest. The more we practice this naturally the more it becomes a viable living fountain welling up within us, pouring out into every direction of our lives and eventually to all and everyone we come in contact. “But let all those who find rest in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy. And spread your protection over them that those who love your name may exult in you.” Psalm 5:11-12

Let’s begin with the first key, which is prayer. Prayer is derived from the Hebrew word “pilla” meaning intercession, a humble request, to petition without ceasing (pouring one’s heart out). James 5: 16 states, “The prayers of those who know their right standing in Jesus have great power and bring wonderful results.” The right standing is that God’s love toward you never changes nor diminishes no matter what you bring into his presence, because grace (Jesus) has already covered your petition.  In essence, Job was interceding on behalf of his family for their, “hearts may have turned.” He stood before his Lord with an abandoned heart, knowing God would hear and answer his plea. And so because Christ has offered himself up for us all, we can take every provoking thought and unknown circumstance and humbly make our requests known to him, then stand and watch his power move mountains on our behalf and have free reign in our lives.praying That is the ultimate praise, when your petitions and intercession turn into a song of delight, because you know that your king heard you and is pleased to work on your behalf. Hannah is a beautiful example of intercession. She pleaded continually with great cries of the heart year after year at the Lord’s house in Shiloh for the sign that her request of bearing a son would be so. She never stopped praying and then one day her requests came to pass, and in 1 Samuel 2; 1-10, Hannah ends the exhilaration of bearing a son with a beautiful prayer, from the fruit of her lips, acknowledging the power of her Lord. She was bursting forth with merriment because she simply opened her heart, praised the Lord and he provided, when the timing was ripe.

As am writing this blog, my sisters, all of our kids and our mom and dad are basking on a Florida vacation. One morning my niece Juliana and I were sunning by the pool and I threw out the question to her, “Why do you think believers today are not seeing more of the power of Christ working in their lives through prayer,” because I wanted to know the perspective from a younger generation. And she said, “Most people I know do not understand his great power and how it is for the here and now, and think it is just too hard to walk away from the old ways, and just settle in their minds that this is the way it is until we all get to heaven.” I proceeded to tell her that God’s infinite power came thru Christ for the “here and now” and dwells deeply in us and the more we tap into Jesus, the more we see results. Prayer does not have to be some long, drawn out process that makes you tired and want to cease. We are always to leave God’s presence burden-free, joyfully-expecting and living in a deeper rest. Hallelujah!

The second key, a song of praise derives from the word Hallelujah, in Hebrew “halal”, meaning to sing hymns, psalms, and spiritual songs. The first hymn was written around 600 A.D. which the priest used in entering the temple. So the songs in the New Testament were simply a Psalm memorized usually from Chapter 115 to 119. So that means when David wrote Psalm, he was singing praises to the Lord because his heart was in a constant state of intercession. The power of Christ that was set loose when Paul and Silas were in prison was from their constant prayer and song of praise toward God. They wanted him and everyone around them to know that Christ reigned in them no matter what condition they were in.

Imagine that, unwavering prayer ending in a song of exultation to our King, no matter what we are faced with, will open wide the prison doors in our lives and loosen every chain that binds us. As I have said before when the praise goes up the results come down. I hear a lot of people say to me, “I know my prayers will be heard if the Lord wills, Caroline.” Well let me tell you something my parents poured into my spirit as a youngster, when Jesus is your constant companion, your soul’s delight is in him, God simply loves to shower his favor upon your petitions and so he wills as you desire him more and more. If you are not sure, just pick up the Living Word of God and see the great treasures he has already willed to us through his Spirit as believers. Remember as we come to know him, we are walking in his will.  Mary’s heart was utterly amazed that God would choose her to carry the Savior of the world.  In Luke 1: 45-55 her soul burst forth with a magnificent song of praise exalting and magnifying his name from her lips because great and mighty things her Lord hath done for her but mostly for the generations to come.

Intercession and a heart of praise are a necessity for God’s keys-to-the-kingdom1children in furthering his Kingdom. Matthew 16: 19 states, “I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” We have been given the authority to stand on the living word of God in prayer for whatsoever, because of the grace of Christ. We hold the keys in our mouth to bind and loose all things on earth, in other words we simply must no longer allow the enemy to play havoc upon our lives.   The process is easy and simple.

For example: when you have a great need for his power to move on your behalf you confidently walk right into the King’s palace (his very presence) and begin to make known your petitions to the utmost and then stand. (This is something we recently did) “Lord I am so grateful for your life in me; I am in great need of knowing my King more and more. Will you reveal your power to our family today and everyday? We have three trips back to back and this requires extra finances to do so, and you’re the only one who has the power to move mountains in this situation, so we thank and praise you for your great provision. We will rest in your work and not try to figure out how or when it will manifest, but will stand on the power of your word. How majestic is your name in all the earth! We love you so Jesus! Thank you for leading our steps and opening doors. I did not try to think first about what to do; I did not allow my thoughts to waver that way, so that the enemy would have no crevices to slither into. We continued to go about our Father’s business and rest for his provision. Just a couple of days later, I went to see a dear friend that I often visit. We were enjoying fellowship and she handed me a card, and asked me to open it up. There was a check for five hundred dollars and a week later she handed me another check for the same amount. (She told me she believed in our ministry and wanted us to be well paid) I was elated with excitement to my King and for her obedience in listening to the Lord. Praise the name of Jesus!

We rest in his power, so HIS hands can do the work. Release your heart and tongue unto the name of Jesus and experience the power of his grace unleash over every area in your life. “Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises! For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with a Psalm!  (Psalm 47: 6-7)

SACRIFICE of PRAISE Part 2 (Receiving the Evidence)

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In part two, as we start to recognize God’s sovereign goodness working in every area of our lives through his Son Jesus, the doors of our heart begin to open wide and we set in motion receiving the evidence of praising and proclaiming the name of Jesus:

1)  First, the relationship we have established with God in Christ Jesus begins to unfold into a beautiful, flourishing friendship. James 2:23 tells us that we are a true friend of God and He wants to bless our lives abundantly with his beauty on this journey in life. As Abraham surrendered the reigns of his life, he began to receive true spiritual worship within and his friendship with God Almighty was the pure evidence of a heart bent toward praising the Lord. He was called a true friend of God, simply because, by faith, he finally offered up his whole heart, unconditionally. hands What does a friendship mean to you? Well for me, it is someone you can completely confide in, someone who is genuine in every respect, one who holds you accountable, someone who encourages you not to give up no matter what, someone who is for you and not against you, one who prays with you and stands with you in the hardest of times, someone who cheers you on, cries with you, laughs with you, simply delights to be with you and bless you and most of all someone who loves you unconditionally. Well, get ready fellow believers, because this is exactly what Christ truly yearns to have with each one of us because God has richly offered to us the gift of himself wrapped up in Jesus.  Is your friendship with Jesus growing in this direction?  When I sense this type of closeness I reflect on my husband Duane. We are like two peas in a pod, our hearts knit together as one in Christ. Early on I never really felt like I meshed with any one true friend, but God had given me remarkable sisters, whom I could share anything with, but it was not until I met Duane that I knew God had given me my best friend. How is it that I could love someone so much after twenty-two years of marriage and everything we have encountered? All because through this most endearing, intimate friendship God has lavished upon us through his beloved Son Jesus, he was able to stretch beyond all barriers his tender, loving arms around me to extend toward my dearest Duane. Thank you Jesus! This is for all of mankind, because a true friendship is established from an eternal reservoir in Christ Jesus work of salvation.   So let’s begin to proclaim, “Lord, you are in total control of my life and thank you for continuing to reveal to me how to let the fruit of my lips forever praise your holy name from the eternal depths of my blessed Savior.

2)       Secondly, this friendship we have in Christ Jesus, based solely on faith, is ignited; a personal trust in Christ Jesus is deeply rooted within our spirit man, which allows us to truly let go of our own life. There is a quiet trust within, that all is well no matter what. Isaiah 30:15 tells us, “In quietness and trust is your ultimate strength.” Isaiah was speaking of God Almighty, that the Israelites must trust him with all of their heart for what they were about to encounter, and praise him for the outcome. Psalm 34:10 states, “Those who trust in the Lord will lack for no good thing.” finished-work_t_nv1That means we are so confident in our friendship with Jesus because his Finished Work has provided richly for our identity, our finances, our health, our security, our marriage, our children, etc, etc and we can without restraint let go and start enjoying life to the fullest. In Hebrews 2:12-13 the author proclaims Isaiah’s words, “I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise. And again I will put my trust in him.” He was referring to Christ putting his full trust in his Father’s hands for his life on earth.  Jesus ministry of the new covenant would proclaim the goodness of God and exalt his praises to all. And finally, amongst all of David’s encounters with the defeat of his enemies, the pursuit of King Saul, the bloodshed, Absolam’s murder of his brother Ammon for the rape of his sister Tamar and his conspiracy to murder his father David, the death of his son, the loss of his dear friend Jonathan, his adultery, his murder of Uriah, and his wife’s belief that he was a madman for praising the Lord with all of his heart, but through his glorious friendship with the Lord, his reliance upon him never ceased because he was always expanding the door to his heart, so that his lips could forevermore exalt his Savior. And you and I have marvelously received the evidence through the praises of Psalm. At the end of his life, he spoke forth a song of deliverance proclaiming that the Lord had rescued him from every enemy and foe and set his feet on high through the power of his salvation. (Psalm 22) “For all of this I will praise your name!” Jesus desires our total trust (our whole heart) and the more we recognize this, the deeper we go in receiving the evidence of the fruit of his life in ours.

3)      And thirdly, through Christ intimate friendship, and our personal trust in him, our tongue naturally produces the fruit of his salvation. Hebrews 13:15, and 12:28-29, tells us, “Through Christ Jesus let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. relationship_with_GodTherefore let us be grateful for receiving this kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God pleasing worship, with reverence and wonder for God is a consuming fire.” How amazing, he just desires a ready heart to come and receive all that his unshakeable kingdom offers, through Jesus, so that the praises of our lips may continue to produce an abundant harvest, for his great glory. The harvest God has placed within our lips can be vast if it has been cultivated well through Christ Jesus. Proverbs 18:20 again, tells us, “From the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach is satisfied, he is satisfied by the yield of his lips.” When our lives are solely in Christ our appetite is always content and well-nourished and no longer has a need to look for anything outside of God’s kingdom for satisfaction and our lips are always pleased to praise the name of Jesus. For example, when you go on a carb free plan, your body can only take it for so long and then it starts to crave every kind of bread product incessantly or it can decide to shut down completely. We cannot live fully without the bread of life, Jesus Christ, because he is our sustenance and our whole being was hand-crafted to be satisfied only in him. And that fullness we receive within begins to spill out of our mouth and onto the world around us. Abraham finally recognized this after a long road of surrender to his Lord. He used the fruit of his lips to share of God’s goodness to Isaac and all his kindred far and wide about his blessed friendship with his Lord and King, and that his faithful promises would endure forever for all generations to come, so that all nations might have the privilege to praise the name of Jesus.

Have you fully received this freedom? It’s yours for the taking! Today and forevermore, the fruit of our lips were exclusively fashioned to bless the Lord Almighty and tell of his marvelous works. So be it! “I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. Oh magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt his name together!” (Psalm 34:1&3)
 

The “NEWNESS of LIFE”

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“Long ago in the former days, many times God spoke to our forefathers by prophets, but today he has spoken to us by his Son, Jesus, through whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.” (Hebrews 1:1-3) In other words, in the days of old, God spoke through specific people he had appointed but today for you and I, he has spoken everything into existence for us, through Christ’s Finished, Completed, and Accomplished Work, so that we could walk fully in the newness of life. And by God’s life-giving power manifesting in flesh through Jesus, it will always be enough to preserve and keep our inner man steadfast, flourishing and made new.

My dear friends we are to live, eat, drink and breathe by Christ Jesus so that his very power may rest upon us. Lately I have seen so many of God’s children searching, reaching and striving for a new answer on this journey in life, instead of today, going directly to the heir of all things, who dwells in us and believing that this unknown path is part of his plan, so that as we stand in Christ, the living word, he is sifting out this old manner of life in us and replacing it with his new and radiant one.   How glorious is that?

Fresh StartThis word “new” or “newness” in New Testament is from Kainos or neos, meaning new covenant, something different, unused, and superior to a previous state. Are you one that keeps looking into your former days to find an answer? For example, the old way might say, “I don’t like the way I look, but the new states we are beautiful in his sight, forevermore.” The old might be, “We never seem to have enough money, and the new would be, “Lord Jesus thank you that you have blessed us with more than enough.” Catch my drift, we can learn to use this new way in all areas of life. I know for me I cannot, and will not step foot back into that door of perfection, complaining and self-absorbed in Caroline, it has closed one time for all when I made the choice to fully believe in Christ’s Finished Work and walk in the newness of his life living in me. Galatians 5:1 tells us, “for freedom Christ has set us free, so that we will not give into the yoke (old ways, hard heart, and living with a noose around your neck) of bondage.” (Bound from ages past) I know now, that from every circumstance which comes my way, an unresolved situation with no answer in sight, stinging words that cut deep into your belly, not enough money, or an opportunity to write and teach, an open door to bless someone are all used mightily by the power of Christ, so that the exact imprint of his nature might lodge deep within our being and form us into his new creation.

So I would like to go to Isaiah 51: 1-8 and taste and see this new life God had for the Israelites when he brought them back into the Promised Land after captivity and the privilege we have entered into through Jesus to experience his newness of life every-day we breathe. “Listen to me all you who pursue righteousness, you who seek the Lord: look to the rock from which you were hewn and the quarry from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who bore you; for he was but one when I called him, that I might bless him and multiply him. For the Lord comforts Zion; and he comforts all her waste places, and makes her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song.”  (1-3)

1)  We have become a new Eden= JESUS, everything that Eden was in the beginning, today it is even greater through Christ, because now it is his spirit dwelling inwardly and doesn’t depend on our outward circumstances. Hallelujah! In the former days, Eden was a place of luxury and paradise, abundance at their fingertips. Water flowed from four rivers in all directions to make the land rich for growth and nourishment. God did all of this for them so they would lack for no good thing and their hearts would be filled with gladness,  so he could have their full, undivided attention, twenty-four hours a day. And today, Eden is the powerful indwelling of the Holy Spirit continually pouring into us the life of Christ.all_because_of_jesus_by_chibinuyasha-d4hjjoy He refreshes us daily with his living water and rich source of food packed with plentiful nutrients that are fortified with vitamins running continuously through our whole being, all through his glorious word. We are now living in a paradise of the soul and flourishing, all because of Jesus. And God was so rich in mercy to bring forth all of this through his Son, so that we would seek him first in all manner of life. Amen!

“Give attention to me, my people, and give ear to me my nation; for a law will go out from me, and I will set my justice for a light to the peoples. My righteousness draws near, my salvation has gone out, and my arms will judge the peoples; the coastlands hope for me and my arm they wait. Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look at the earth beneath; for the heavens vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment, and they who dwell in it will die in like manner; but my salvation will be forever, and my righteousness will never be dismayed.” (4-6)  

2) We have been graced by God with a new saving power through Christ’s redemptive Work that has set us free from our old life and a new resurrected power that keeps us on high, walking in the newness of life everyday. God wanted his people to know that this new power would bring them into a new way to depend on him. They were so accustomed to accomplishing things on their own, as in the former days. Paul tells in Romans 6:4, “Our sin and old ways were buried with him by baptism unto death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead, by the glory of the father, we too might walk in the newness of life.” So this newness of life is simply living and walking in Christ resurrected power. Most of us are still looking for Christ to save us from something. God is calling us to stand firm with the full assurance of faith, in this glorious new life in which he has called you into, by keeping your gaze fixed toward Jesus at all times. All sources of strength and might and the ability to act on something in our lives have been fully accomplished for us by Christ Jesus saving power but we receive it by learning to walk in his resurrected power. “We are dead to sin and made fully alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 6:11) WE have now been brought from death to life, unrest to rest, law to grace, unbelief to belief and old to new, through Jesus, so that our ears and hearts might be utterly abandoned to God alone.  So as we remain in Christ, his divine power keeps us living as a beautiful new Eden everyday.

“Listen to me, you who know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear not the reproach of man, nor be dismayed at there reviling. For the moth will eat them up like a garment, and the worm will eat them like wool; but my righteousness will be forever, and my salvation to all generations.” (7-8)

Do you truly know the King of Righteousness who lives in peace? Does his law of grace supersede and transcend all things in your life, or do you fear what mere man can do to you? If the law of man dwells within our heart, we will slowly be eaten away from our Everlasting Peace, Jesus Christ.

3) WE have become a new being filled with everlasting peace, through Christ Jesus, because his righteousness is now written in bold letters across the tablet of our hearts. In John 16:33, Jesus tells us, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world” Wow! Jesus made sure that we would know and experience the peacemaker in all things, firstly, because we are forevermore, eternally vindicated in God’s eyes for our past, present and future. And secondly, that nothing, absolutely nothing in this world that we encounter, (no emotion, no person, no sickness, no loss, and no struggle) could ever overshadow Christ’s victorious, triumph for our lives! So let’s review the word peace. It is taken from the Hebrew word shalom, meaning to have well-being, security, prosperity, and health. And this is the great victory we have been graced with by the Holy Spirit, for all those who believe that God Almighty surpasses all. 1 John 5:5 states, “Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” Our full assurance of faith in Christ Jesus Work is the victory that has overcome the world and brought an everlasting peace to rest within our souls. Amen and Amen!

Back in January, Farrelle was riding horses with her friends at the barn. They had stopped for a short break and began talking. horsebackRidingThe horse in front of her did not like anyone near her and kick  at Farrelle’s horse. Instead of kicking her horse, she kicked Farrelle right above the ankle leaving a huge imprint on her boot. Farrelle got off her horse in excruciating pain and began to weep for hours. Thankful to say, there were no broken bones or torn ligaments but the doctors could do nothing. We just had to wait for the body to naturally heal it’s self. As we soon discovered, the horse’s hoof had literally made a hole in Farrelle’s leg the size of a golf ball and about two inches deep. We tried every cream and ointment known to man, but the Lord showed us very clearly, that no matter what we did, God was the sole source of power to heal Farrelle’s wound  and we were to trust him and watch his hand close that gap by the little everyday. You see his saving power kept her from greater harm and his resurrected power brought her leg back to life. Farrelle got to see first hand who God truly was, is and will always be. It changed her life. God used this length of time to show her whether she was to stay at that same barn or search for another. God opened doors in ways we never dreamed, without lifting a finger. Today she’s riding at place called still water farm, imagine that! Jesus became her everlasting peace through that journey and my dear sweet daughter is becoming a new Eden. After four long months, her leg is completely healed and she is walking in this newness of life.

Glory! Will you make choose that high calling for your life today?

“And The Word Of The Lord Came To Pass” Part 2 (Have You Had Enough… of JESUS?)

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What have you had enough of…

maybe a lack of finances, sickness, no job in sight, fears and failures, people, school, spouse, children, you name it, they are all on the list, right? Well, not to long ago I was asked by my sister to speak at a festive brunch with a group of dear precious women. We had a blast! There is something spectacular that happens when a group of women get together, don’t you think? When I presented that same question, everything but the kitchen sink was thrown out (Maybe even that secretly). Women are simply malnourished deep within their soul. We feed everything and everyone around us, except for ourselves, over and over again until we have had enough! (Sound familiar?) We have simply forgotten from whence we came and who is our true nourishment. Back in November, even I had enough of sickness. Manning had bronchitis (bronchitis… ain’t nobody got time for that!) and then I had a strong case of the flu. Next, Farrelle got the flu and Duane had a cold.

I know that may sound very common to most but you have to understand the Franks rarely ever get sick we have always taken the covering of the blood of Jesus over our bodies very seriously. And “all hail the power of Jesus name” broke loose during that time. But what I had the most trouble understanding was my sickness. “Why Jesus, I have not been sick in six years” (other than some allergies).  He began to respond to me in a still small whisper as I lay in bed with a very high fever, totally helpless. Flu_iStock_000005329238Large“Will you praise me even when you have had enough? Will you rest with me Caroline, even when you are malnourished in body? I want to strengthen you right where you are, in the midst.” You see Jesus is enough, when you have had enough, and when you need enough to continue on this blessed journey in life, at the   greatest point of your humanity, he becomes exceedingly, abundantly more than enough, because he has experienced it all. (Eph.3:20)

So let us go to back to the book of 1 Kings and see how this mighty prophet Elijah did the unexpected and ran for his life. Now so far we have only seen Elijah perform miracle after miracle, depend solely on God’s word to make his moves, and I am wondering all the while, if he is truly human, does he even make mistakes? Well, the good news is God is fully in the business of working with all kinds of human hearts. Doesn’t that give you such a peace of mind? And Elijah was no exception. In 1Kings 19:2 the piercing words of Queen Jezebel, the most evil women in the bible, stabbed him right in the center of his heart. “So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them, by this time tomorrow?” (Now remember he has just destroyed all the prophets of Baal thus far and Jezebel is ready to take his life) So these penetrating words sent this mighty prophet running for his life for six days until he finally gave out of sustenance and collapsed under a broom tree (He was longing to be taken away but by whom?) in an area of Judah. So he asked the Lord if he would take his life. Elijah had completely been defeated from within because so far he had only been listening to the words of Jezebel and not his Lord.

Have you experienced that before? After Jesus has blessed you, delivered you, opened doors that you thought were not possible, time and time again and then the words of one person or hearing something from another begin to  take over your entire being and boom, you are ready to throw in the towel all because you have had enough of this nonsense! Why in the world do we humans do such a ridiculous thing, all because we are being fed from the wrong source? Psalms 91:14-16 tells us, when we hold fast and cling to this abounding love in Christ Jesus, he will set us free right then and there in the midst of what we are experiencing, when we call his name. He became our full escape and protection through his Finished Work, which will always be enough through every trial and trouble that arises deep within our soul. The question is, do you believe it enough to simply act upon it? That is what the very first verse means in this Psalms, we will always find divine rest in the shadow of the Almighty which is the very place he will continue to show us more and more of the well-springs of his salvation in Jesus! Hallelujah!

Ok, back to Elijah. The Lord loved him so much that he would not allow him to wallow in the depths of despair. (Just as he feels about you) So, an angel of the Lord came to him under the broom tree touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.” Wow, two simple words were getting ready to change his life. The word arise in Hebrew is “qum” meaning to rise up, to supply, to establish, stand and restore. The verb eat here in the Greek is “geuomai” to partake of or enjoyment of the experience. The first thing Lord was doing was simply supplying Elijah with physical nourishment to restore his body for the journey. And so the Lord appeared to him again repeating the same words, “Arise and eat, for this journey is too great for you” and Elijah rose up, ate cakes of bread, drank water and was nourished again. But this time God wanted to make clear to him that only he was the supplier of more than enough and that he alone would establish and root something in him for the journey ahead that would always be greater than the words of another. In other words, The Lord of the heavens wanted Elijah to keep partaking of his words and his life, not the noise of others, so that he could enjoy the journey God had ordained for him no matter what arose.

And so Elijah continued on his second part of the journey and came to a cave in Horeb. The Lord inquired as to why he was there. Elijah began to tell him, “That all of your prophets are dead and I am the only one left.” Now can you imagine his wandering mind, it was going south fast because Jezebel had only killed a few of God’s prophets but there were still many remaining. He seems to have forgotten his past miracles and the great provisions God has just poured lavishly upon him. This mighty prophet still does not quite see what God is trying to do in him. So the Lord told him, “Go out of the cave and stand on the mountain before me.” (This was the same mountain where Moses first met God at the burning bush and then on to receive the Ten Commandments) Will Elijah truly see God this time? So the Lord passed by and a strong wind crumbled the rocks but he was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but that was not the Lord either. And then a fire but he was not in the fire. And then the most beautiful sound of a low whisper came toward Elijah.

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And that my dear friends was and still is the glorious sound of the Most High, a still small voice. Did you catch that? The Lord restored him and established his being that day and for the remainder of his journey in rest from on high. That is exactly where Jesus is longing to restore and establish you but you must arise, eat and partake of this rich inheritance from the rivers of eternal salvation, not the mumbo jumbo of the world’s words. Isaiah 30:15 tells us, “In returning and rest you shall be saved, in quietness and trust is your strength.” Colossians 3:1&2 states, “Since we have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ Jesus is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on the things that are on earth. Our lives are truly hidden with Christ in God.”

Stop looking for something you want find, come and rise up to the mountain top away from the noise and chaos and let your King Jesus this new year be more than enough for you just as he became for a very human man named Elijah.

“FULL REWARD” Part 1

What is the first thing that pops into your head when you hear the phrase “Full Reward?”  Winning the sweepstakes, going on a shopping spree, or maybe having all your debt paid off?  Or, what if you were able to quit your job and still receive a substantial monthly income for the rest of your life?  Maybe you’re waiting for the New Jerusalem, the Kingdom of Heaven.

Full reward in the Hebrew language is “Sakar” meaning to be compensated fully or immensely for everything you are lacking in. Wow and WOW!  What do you need right now in your life, to be full and overflowing? Are you childless, joyless, penniless, homeless, jobless and/or hopeless?  God wants His children to know our full reward is the inheritance of Jesus Christ.  In other words, everything that pertains to the qualities and characteristics of Jesus Christ is ours today. We became fellow heirs thru His finished work. We are freed, forgiven, healed, whole, joyful, loving, powerful, satisfied, nourished, rich, healthy, faithful, pure, and lovely. That’s incredible! And how is that possible you ask? All because you are choosing to put your full reward in a living and Risen King, and wait for him to provide His highest and best, no matter how long it may be, Right?  Jesus Christ made compensation or amends for us, thru the cross, so we could live in full union with God Almighty. He came that we might live abundantly, never lack for anything. “He neutralized all opposing forces against us, by setting it aside and nailing it to the cross. Jesus destroyed and nullified the enemy and his tactics, opening him to shame and placing him under his feet.” He is now a footstool, so we might live in full triumph here on earth! Start your morning off every day by saying, “Jesus, I receive the full life in you today!” What are you going to do for your great name?       

Well, that’s exactly what Abram did after the defeat of the battle of Siddim. He chose to reject the offered gifts from the king of Sodom, and rest in the power of the one true Most High God .In Gods timing and his way only, would Abram become a great nation, and acquire a great name. God was so pleased, by Abram’s desire to wait on him, and not the use of human wealth to receive his reward. He wanted Abram, to prosper in all he did and lack for no good thing.  So Abram said, “Lord, what will you give me? For I am still childless, what will you do to make your name great?” God said, “Your very own son will be your heir.” He then brought him outside his tent, showed him the number of stars in the heavens and declared how big, how deep, how wide, his full reward would be. What was Abram’s response? He simply believed the Lord, and was declared as righteous before his sight. “For all who believe in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.” Can you believe it? Amazing!

Now, Duane and I spent our 15th anniversary for 10 days on the island of Maui. We would love to live there one day. I am imagining the Lord appearing to us and telling us, I have the perfect place for you, this is my gift to you! How would we respond? I would certainly cling to every word he spoke, because of the goodness he has poured into our lives over and over again. But would I have questions? Yes, and would I want some sort of proof, probably? And so did Abram.  But he didn’t have to do one single thing to be counted by God as right in his sight, but simply believe. Yes, Abram was lacking an heir, but God would do all the necessary work to bring his inheritance to pass. Abram just needed to rest from day to day; in knowing what God said was absolute. Since that same full reward is Christ Jesus in us today, why then are we making decisions in fear, living in such despondency, defeat, despair and lack of joy?

Paul tells us in Colossians, “that Christ in us is the hope of God’s Glory” being manifested in lives everywhere. Is your reward in your work, your pension, savings, doctors, your intelligent child, getting a scholarship, your gifting, etc? If we give up, and give into the wiles of the devil and believe, that we are to live our lives here on earth, in doom and gloom, suffering, sickness, and lack, and our reward is only when we get to heaven, that would mean our precious Savior’s Finished Work was not fully accomplished, and the enemy was not defeated, and that is simply not the truth! Christ completed his work so that you and I might have a rich, full inheritance in him, and yes, first and foremost a glorious place in heaven one day, but it does not stop there.  Believers, it is time to rise up and receive all that you need from Jesus today! You have been ordained and destined for a time such as this, to live fully in the Kingdom of God, here on earth. Enjoy fully, everyday your journey in Jesus!

Now the three (3)  means union, just like Trinity brings unity in us, God wanted to remind Abram a third time of how much this covenant was to bring great union, invoke favor and bless his chosen people with his full reward.  Now Abram was an ordinary human being just like you and me, whom God wanted to become extra ordinary, to make his name great. Abram needed a seal or some sort of proof to know he would possess his heir. So he spoke to God and said, “Lord, how will this be so?” God gave him the sign he needed through an offering to confirm that all he said would surely come to pass. Today our seal, for being sons and daughters of an heir is the “Promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance”.  God went on to tell Abram this great nation he established would return to this land one day, and thru the tribe of Judah, a great King would rise up and wipe out the iniquity for his people and make them full and complete. Beautiful people, we have the great privilege of living in that generation today! We are all created to be living proof of God’s bountiful covenant he made thru his son Jesus. God now sees Jesus in you! Do you? I would like to close by sharing the foundation of how I began to rest in Jesus.

It all began when Jesus beckoned me ever so tenderly to lay all of my regular agendas and plans down and just begin to practice being still and enjoying his presence. That meant no pen, paper, or devotion. (Even my Bible at first) He would remind me often, to let him be my primary concern, and everything else will naturally follow, and that he would lead me into his written word. Learning to be still and allowing the Holy Spirit to lead my every thought and move, was one of the hardest but most beautiful things he has ever taught me.  Our minds naturally want to churn all the time. I would think about all I had to do that day and wanted to get up and get started! That is exactly what keeps us from resting his presence in the first place. But Praise God, we have a King who is filled with grace and mercy, who meets us where we are, and waits patiently for us, to bask in his presence. I started out just a couple of minutes a day, (It doesn’t seem like much, but that was huge for me) until I gradually learned, I could not think of any other place I’d rather be, then fellow-shipping with Jesus. I remember like it was yesterday, going into my sun room in Texas, closing the French doors behind me, and sitting in my big white café chair. I had just gotten my 3 and 8 year old settled in playing. The phone was off, it was all looking promising. I had just begun to close my eyes, when I heard a tap on the French door. I thought if I ignored the knock, maybe they will go away. Again, I heard a louder knock. I looked up, and it was my 3 year old daughter, Farrelle. My first thought was, “Lord, you have called me to begin this new journey, how do you expect me to accomplish that if my child keeps interrupting?” I was a work in progress for my Savior. My sweet little girl kept on tapping, so I began to ask the Lord what to do, and He reminded me of how I use to come in and sit on my mom’s lap as a little girl while she was teaching bible studies and praying for others. Wow! Jesus wanted me to know he could use any situation for His glory. So I brought Farrelle in with me and began to get still with her on my lap. (Talk about multi- tasking, ha, ha!) Do you know that within a few days she didn’t need to come in and be with Mommy? How awesome is Jesus! It worked out so naturally.

Jesus taught me that I could rest in any situation, and wherever I went because I was fully in Christ. For your children to know that mama’s first encounter when she wakes up in the morning, (along with coffee) is spent in the presence of Jesus is the greatest legacy we could pass on.  Why, you ask? As my kids grew they began to naturally learn the same practice, of spending time with Jesus, without me forcing it. That is awesome! God needs his sons and daughters to come and receive their full reward in Jesus.  And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son, into our hearts crying “Abba Father”. You are no longer a slave, but a son and daughter, an heir of the Most High God”.