I was thinking the other day about this scripture in Jeremiah 29:11, that was spoken by God.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
We have this promise from God. Some think they were dealt a bad lot in life. But really they have been given the promise of a good future through Christ, they just don't realize it.
Did you ever think about how Jesus was the only one that had a destiny on this earth of death? He is God come in the flesh to this earth for our benefit. But His journey through this life led to the cross, to die a violent bloody death on a rugged cross. The scripture in Jeremiah was given to us because He was obedient to die on that cross. The disciples didn't understand really, until after he appeared to them when he had been resurrected. I would think that Mary then, also didn't understand. How could God have done this to Jesus? When did He begin to understand? As a young teen, did He have dreams of His destiny from God? Most have hopes and dreams and goals. But His was very different and unique indeed. I believe that as He fasted the 40 day fast, He began to discover His destiny from God. And all the nights that the disciples would sleep, and He would sneak away to be with His Father in prayer and fellowship, the vision was uncovered and became clearer and clearer. "While others are prospering and growing their families, I am headed for prison, to be arrested and tortured. My life is a preparation for a time when all will be shouting ferociously, mocking and accusing me falsely. This is why I came. This is my destiny, the plan of God for my life. I am the sacrifice, sent to willingly die for all men, for sin and for the world." He was called to die for every person who lived past, present and future.
For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. 2 For. 8:9
He gave up everything for us. The greek word 'Poor,' means a beggar. We are not destined to be poor like He was. He became a pauper, and homeless person on the cross for us. We really can never say "I will never amount to nothing." If we do, we have no clue of what He did for us. He gave it all up, so that we could trade places and have the benefits of the Kingdom of heaven, to be included in the family of God. In total ignorance, we might say 'No one cares, no one loves me, I'm all alone.' Think again.
That cross, brought you full provision in every way, Spirit, soul and body. That cross gives you the right to healing on this side of heaven. You now have peace with God. We have a right because He gave us that right to be free from addiction, mental illnesses, poverty and lack. Not just eternal life after we die. We have a right to so much now in this life! But we must learn what is promised in the Word.
He humbled Himself to the lowest point for you out of love. And God exalted Him to the highest point because of His humility and obedience. Now He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. But on earth, His journey and destiny was death and hell, so that He could give us a destiny of Life and Heaven and an inclusion into the most wonderful family with the best Father of all.
The Lord has a passion for us like no one else. He is called our Redeemer for a reason. This is a perfect picture of how the Lord is holding onto us. Jesus is the one who saved us, and reached down to pull us out of eternal damnation. When we think that He is no where to be found, let us think again. He is right there. We look in the wrong places, only in the physical realm, but we will find Him in the spiritual realm. And in this realm, we must use our faith and believe His Word.
He is holding on tight to you and will not let his grip on you slacken.
For He has said, 'I will never (under any circumstances) desert you (nor give you up nor leave you without support, nor will I in any degree leave you helpless), nor will I forsake or let you down or relax my hold on you (assuredly not)! Hebrews 13:5b Amplified Bible
In Song of Solomon Ch. 3:2 the shulamite girl goes to find her beloved, but cannot find him. She realizes her need for him, and finally goes out to search, but searches in all the wrong places. She is seeking him out in the physical realm. He is not where we can see Him. He lives inside of us.
So I decided to go out into the city, into the streets and broad ways (which are so confusing to a country girl), and see him whom my soul loves. I sought him, but I could not find him. Song of Sol. 3:2
We think He has left us because we don't feel Him near. And yet if we were to believe what we read in His Word, He says He will never leave us and never mean never. In the verse in Hebrews 13:5b when He says 'I will never leave you'; the greek word here is 'aniemi' meaning to loosen, to relax hold on or let sink, to send back. So the picture above is a perfect fit for what that word really means! He will never let you go! It doesn't matter if you can see Him or not, if you can feel Him or not. You just have to take Him at His Word. He is right there ready to give you the peace and wisdom that you are seeking and desperately need.
I remember a time when I was living in an apartment on the 3rd floor in Co. Springs. It was a great view of the mountains and I would sit there at sunset time quite often in the summer with the windows wide open and the breeze blowing through. I was still learning this concept of feeling and seeing verses believing and accepting His friendship in the spirit. That evening I was frustrated that I couldn't hear His voice. So I began to talk to Him. "Why can't I hear you? Why won't you talk to me?" Then I would sigh and frown. This went on a bit. Finally this thought came. 'Why don't you believe?' Here I was struggling to feel Him in the natural, when He wasn't there at all. He is Spirit and in the spirit realm. A light bulb came on. 'You mean if I truly believe, then I would act like it's so right? I would act as if you are here right this minute. Okay then. Father God I thank you that you are here. And we are watching this sunset together. I rest in you, and thank you that you aren't trying to keep yourself from me. But you want me to come into your realm.' And then I heard in my heart 'Thank you.' A lesson learned.
This is a walk of faith. You have to receive that peace. Believe Him, and then receive that wisdom. I say 'Ok Lord. I believe you. I take it.' And then I rest. I relax from all the useless worrying. And I go about my business, thanking Him that He is gonna give me the wisdom I need for that situation. That's how faith works. Remember, God wants you to succeed more than you do. Simple, childlike faith....
Seasons come and seasons go. And with them comes thunder storms, wind, snow and hail. Even unexpected wild tornadoes and hurricanes can whip right through a town and demolish it. But then there are those heroic untouched houses and trees. How deep are the roots? How deep do your roots go into the Word of God, the love of God? Some are Sunday Christians, and fare weather Bible carriers. When all is going well, it's so easy to say Thank you Jesus. But when the hurricanes is approaching, are they running back and forth crying for help to all their friends? Do they buckle down and dig their feet in the ground and stand strong on God's real promises? Weather represents life's troubles and hard times. There will always be changes and tribulation as long as we are on this earth. But we can still grow fruit, the big luscious kind that holds lots of seeds. Because we are not dependent on any outside resources or weather. We are led by the Holy Spirit. We follow His ways and His leading. And He leads us to grow healthy, lasting fruit.
I think this is why the tree in Jeremiah has leaves that always green. It does not have the 4 earthly seasons like the other trees on earth. It follows a different kingdom, with different rules. It's leaf never withers, and it's branches are always prospering, always bearing fruit in it's season.
Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8
I believe that the river is the living waters of the Holy Spirit. As we abide and stay closely connected to the Lord, by His Word, listening to His voice, continuing relationship and intimacy, we are constantly learning, growing, receiving nurturing from His life. For we are one. He in us, and we in Him. We will never even be concerned about drought, famine or tribulation. For we feed off the one who not only gave us life, and continues to pour into us the sap of His blood that covers us; but we feed off of the one who is LIFE, Jesus Christ our eternal King who is LORD of all the universe.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Gal. 5:22-23
Here we have the nine fruits of the Spirit. Even the number 9 if you follow Bible Hebrew and Greek Gematria, represents 'Fruitfulness.'
Want fruit? The secret is being led by the Spirit, and then being obedient. As you are led, He will not steer you wrong. He will grow the fruit in you naturally. For example, if the Holy Spirit leads you to bake a cake for someone, don't push the thought down and think about the inconvenience. Give in to it, for He is leading you. And as you obey, you are being a blessing to someone who needs it, and at the same time, your branch is stretching out and sprouting leaves and PLOP! Out grows a piece of fruit. And you just yielded to the thought, considering not your own self.
But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Gal. 5:18 The word 'led' in the greek means to drive, to lead. So you can think of it this way, hop in the passenger side and let the Holy Spirit led. He is the one who knows all about Agape love anyways. You are the trainee, so listen up and let Him lead.
We have been taught that the church is the body of Christ, which Him being the head. And this is correct in I Cor. 12. One person is the hand, another the foot, and still another one is the eye. But they all work together. The body cannot do without any part of their body. Each part complements the other. The same is with the fruit of the Spirit. They all work together. The fruit of the Spirit are all the representation of the Love of God. They represent the character of God. Jesus is gentle, full of goodness, faithful and kind. We receive and partake of these fruits from Him. And in turn He uses us to feed others with these fruits, so they can see and partake of the wonderful love of God. These traits flow out of Jesus, as they will flow out of you. You don't have to make them flow, just yield to the one that is your teacher and your guide, the Holy Spirit. Whatever fruit that is needed, that is the one He will show you. A neighbor may have been yelled at on the phone, and they knock on your door. As you look at them, you feel a heart of compassion and gentleness all of a sudden. And so you speak to them in a gentle tone, and say something kind, just what they needed to hear. In that case, the fruit of gentleness was needed.
The King James Version lists the fruits a little different and is sometimes hard to understand. I have taken from the Amplified and didn't list all of the adjectives that the Amplified Bible gives, but just kept it simple.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such there is no law. Gal 5:22
I used to not like the last one 'self-control.' Why in the world would that be included? More and more I am understanding that it's the one that holds them all in. It takes self-control not to yell at someone when you're angry, and instead we can yield to kindness. It takes self-control to be patient. Think of all the self-control God the Father must have? Especially today in this day and age that we live in. Just remember the more we yield, the more we will grow fruit, and the more seed we will spread. The key is to be like Jesus, yes? God said 'Go, and be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it...
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season;his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doth shall prosper. Ps. 1:1-3
As we cling to God's Word and begin to welcome it into our hearts and minds, thinking on it and speaking it; we begin to change. The Word of God has the power, the capacity and the ability to change our lives. It's the way of the Kingdom of God. And the whole reason is it possible for you and I to change is because of Jesus. If He had not given His life on the cross for us, and gone to hell in our place to defeat sin on our behalf, we would have no life and no fruit. But He did, and it is done. When we believe this and welcome Him into our life as our Lord and Savior, we have new life. ( Rom. 10:9-10) (2 Cor. 5:17) and we thus have access to the Kingdom, and access to the Father. Living in Christ, is to draw from His life. He gives us new life. We are not just dead trees anymore. We have His life flowing through our branches as it were. John 15 speaks of abiding in Him and He in us. It calls Jesus the vine and we are the branches. As we abide, we will naturally grow healthy, and then will spring forth luscious fruit. Gal. 5:22 Love, joy, peace patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control: against such there is no law. This is the fruit of the Spirit.We don't struggle or strive to grow fruit. We just keep abiding in Jesus. It is God's will that we grow strong with roots grown deep into God's love. Fruit is attractive. When I see a piece of fruit on a tree, shiny and inviting, I just want to pluck it off and eat it's juicy, sweet meat. It's supposed to be attractive. The shade from a tree is supposed to be welcoming on a hot day, to protect one from the elements, wind, rain or sun. It's supposed to feed people. A tree has many seeds in each of it's fruit for a reason. To multiply. And that is what we are meant to do. God provides for us, and we made in His image, give to others. We shine and love. Others want to be near us because of our peace, our joy and love. They want the same thing. In the natural, tree seeds are dropped into the ground and multiply. In the spirit, seeds of love are dropped into the ground of people's hearts and God causes the seeds to grow.
I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing. John 15:5
The stipulation is that we must abide. We must have relationship with Jesus to bear fruit. Not just be a member of a local church. Anyone can do that. But thankfully, He welcomes and longs for each of us to do just that. Jesus wants a close relationship with you and I. He wants real friendship.
For the Father Himself tenderly loves you because you have loved Me and have believed that I came out from the Father. Amplified Bible John 16:27
To be tender is to be gentle and kind, compassionate and easily moved with sympathy. God the Father knows that man is like the grass of the earth, fragile and weak on their own strength. He made us out of the dust of the earth, and our creator has mercy on us. His heart is full of lovingkindness toward man. When you believe in His Son, and love Jesus, then you have God's heart as well.
It's sort of like when you have a child that brings a friend home after school. You watch and see them interact and play. Your child is enjoying the company of his friend. The more time they spend together, the more you take notice whether it is a good and healthy relationship. A bond of friendship is being created. But it is also being created with you. Because that young friend is kind to your child, and his parents are caring, you in turn are welcoming to that child. You think if he makes my child happy, then they are welcome in our house. You have no problem inviting them over for dinner to hang out with the family.
The Father loves us, because we love His Son. We are welcome into His family. Just to think that God is a tender Father is not an easy thing that we have grown up to believe. In fact, it takes some getting used to for many of us. It did me. I was not raised to see God as gentle and loving, or as a Father. Our priest at church was staunch and stern. If there was any feeling I had when I saw him, it was fear of his stern response. In those days of growing up, I remember being hit on the hand with a ruler, because I forgot my library book. Even as a 2nd grader, I was made to run home alone, down the street to grab the book and return it quick. Good thing I lived close. Can you imagine? Only 7 yrs old. It wasn't until many years as an adult, even after I became a true believer, that I began to discover the true character of God. And it was only through His Word that that happened. Our views of Him can change, but it takes looking into the pure Word of truth, or seeing the example of His love before us. The key is to open our hearts to Him and ask Him to change our thinking. It's never too late...
Our upbringings at times can train us to believe in certain ways. When I was a child, if I displayed a certain behavior, it would in turn bring a certain reaction from my mom. So this can lead me to believe that God would be the same. In order to understand true unconditional love, is for those who have grown up with it. This is the love from heaven, and it is the love from God that He showed in sending His Son to the earth for our sakes. We need to be retrained in our thinking. This can happen by God's Word. It is called 'Renewing the mind.' It means a renovation. We do this with our houses. We get tired of the old and want to change things around, to bring in the new. We open up the kitchen and tear down a few walls, maybe a bigger bathroom or add some French doors. Our minds need new thinking, when we come to believe in Jesus. We choose to slowly start giving up our old way of thinking, in exchange for God's way of thinking. Instead of spite or anger, we yield over to to goodness and forgiveness, with the help of His Spirit and His Word washing over our old thoughts. But one thing that is always constant is this:
He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.
Song of Solomon 2:4
I'm thinking about great armies and kingdoms with glorious banners and majestic flags flying and waving proudly high. They are always proudly shown. For the army in opposition, it is to bring intimidation and fear, to inform them of who this army proudly serves. For the army that is flying the banners, it is to instill in their soldiers pride over whose they belong to, to inspire them of their very own loyalty and commitment, to cause them to fight to the finish. When we see the old movies of the King Arthur days and the massive stone castles, we have seen colorful flags waving high over the castle with the same reasoning and warnings.
For us as the body of Christ, His church, His bride, it is the same. Only this banner waves on continually and is never brought down. It could have been called a different banner, for our God has many fine and mighty attributes, but He called it the banner of LOVE. Ever present, ever burning, passionate Godly love. It is not contingent on how you act, or when you make mistakes, fumble or even rebel. His LOVE is strong and it forever. You can't change it even if you want to. Because it's His love and His decision. It's who He is. GOD is LOVE. We can choose to love people or not, whenever we want to, because we have a free will. But those who have surrendered themselves completely over to Jesus, they are His bride. For they have given Him even their choices, willingly. They walk a holy life, because they adore Him. They love as He loves. They are one with Him, and believe Him that He caused union to happen. The highest honor we can give Him is to believe what He did for us. Even those who refuse to believe, He never stops loving, for this is His choice. When you as a believer wake up on the wrong side of the bed, and don't feel yourself, He loves you. When you cut in front of that angry driver to spite his behavior on the road, the Lord still loves you. If you cheat on your taxes, of course He is not pleased, and you both know it's wrong, but He still loves you. How humbling to know that someone loves you even at your worst. (Rom. 5:8-10)
It's an eternal golden flame that burns on and on, and needs no oil to be replenished, for He is eternal, and so is His supernatural power and love. All this makes us want to be holy for Him, makes us want to love Him back, and share His goodness with others. Knowing it pleases Him warms our own heart, for He loved us first. His love is calling us to this banqueting table that He has set for us. Come and eat...
Many people have their own strong opinions of what they think real life is. Some would say winning the lottery and becoming a millionaire, quitting their job and making a trip around world for a year. Others might think that it is finding your Prince Charming and living happily ever after. How about becoming a Hollywood movie star and making it big? God also has strong opinions of what real life is. And since it is written in the Bible, and even spoken by Jesus Himself, I would trust that word.
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. John 17:3
The word 'Know' in the greek is speaking of 'to come to know, to become acquainted with.' You see God is all about relationship. This is the reason that He made man and woman. It's not so He could watch us from His throne and be entertained and amused by us. It is so that we could have relationship, and come to know Him. To discover about His goodness and His mercy. That we might know Him as the only true God, and Jesus His Son, whom He sent for us because of His great love.
To really know God, as Father and as friend is truly living. And life is meant to be a true joy, not drudgery and day to day boredom. When you wake up in the morning, it's not supposed to be "Oh no, not another day, I hate my life." But when we finally discover Him, then and only then, will we really know the truth of what life is meant to be. Our heart aches for love, to be loved, to have purpose, to be noticed by one who accepts us just as we are. Look no further. He is watching and loving you right this very minute. And He is not sorry that He made you at all. He is patiently waiting for you to discover Him. He has plans for you. Good plans to bless you and for you to be a blessing to others. But you cannot give to others, until you have received yourself of this love.
I have heard of the stories of the tiny baby orphans in poor countries, who have no one to hold them, to love and comfort them. No human touch or contact. And if they grow up and live, this lack of touch affects their being and quality of life to the point where they don't feel. Their heart becomes hardened. We all respond to love, for we are made that way. God made us that way. He made us to be dependent creatures. But He meant us to be dependent on Him. He wants to pour His love into us. When you are full, you will overflow onto others as a fountain. You cannot give what you do not have.
For with Thee is the fountain of life. In Thy light, shall we see light. Ps. 36:9
You can only get wet when you are near the fountain of water...
Most of the time, when a couple gets together, one or the other is the first to be attracted. "He noticed me first," or "She is the one who began to pursue me." Sometimes it's a mutual thing. But here with God, He is the one who started it.
We love him, because he first loved us. I John 4:19
We think we are searching for Him, when all along He loved us first, saw us first in his mind, then created us out of love. We got lost through the fall of man from Adam's sin, but we were found again as we believed in His Son and the work he did on the cross.
Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us; I John 2:16
He sees us and He most of all gets us. He knows what makes you tick inside. He knows that you are craving to be loved and noticed. And guess what? You can look no further. Turn to see the one who is watching you with eyes of love and forgiveness. He is your father, if you come to believe in Jesus. According to the Bible, there are only 2 fathers. One is of darkness and is Satan the father of lies. (John 8:44) And one is the Father of the lights, who is good. It really is simple, Satan is evil, and God is good. Which one would you rather have? One who hates you? Or one who loves you?
What a feeling of security, to be loved first, to be sought out first. That one would lay his life down for me before I even knew he was alive or existed. Or that would sacrifice Himself for me when I was at my lowest or in deepest of sin. Who would do this kind of thing? No one that I know, except God. You don't have to believe this at all. I happen to believe it, because I read it in His Word. His Word is truth and life. God is Love and that's who He is and has ever been and will always be. This is where I stay, and it is rock solid truth that is my foundation. He loved me first...
Discovering real life