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God's Story

GOD’S STORY: part 17 God is Present

GOD’S STORY Part 17 God is Present

Here at Preparing the Bride, I’m telling GOD’S STORY. Presumptuous?! Not when simply looking at scripture, because scripture is the unfolding of God’s story to those who read it.

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? We learn GOD’s Story. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked.

Looking at GOD’s Character in Genesis 1 we read, “And the Spirit of GOD was hovering over the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:2b)

A spiritual GOD is hovering…. present, aware, available, engaged.

Who is the Spirit of GOD?

Hovering suggests to me anticipation (what will happen next?), present (and immediate to the space), aware (conscious), poised (filled with potential energy), watchful (ready to act!)…. to do something!

I’ve heard it said that the Spirit of GOD — known as Holy Spirit — is the power and the presence of GOD. Jesus called Him the Helper. Theologians explain He’s the third person of the Trinity. 

From this scripture, I think He is revealed as eager! Eager to create. Eager to engage. Eager to do: alive and alert to His surroundings and ready to engage. But what would happen? Since the earth was lacking form, what would Holy Spirit do about that? 

He could change what was void into something more. And He did!

Then GOD spoke, and what did the Spirit do?

“God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.” (Genesis 1:3)

How did that happen?

Holy Spirit is the action behind the spoken word.

Perhaps we shall see Holy Spirit as Action Man — the action aspect of GOD and the action within man…. since man has been created in GOD’s image. (Genesis 1:27)

Who is Holy Spirit… in us?

First and foremost, Holy Spirit is GOD. He is one of three personalities in one GOD. 

Holy Spirit is not only power; He is GOD’s power, and GOD’s power put into us when we accept Jesus. He is, always has been and always will be. We first met him in scripture in Genesis 1. He is the power of GOD hovering, ready when called upon, ready when needed. 

Perhaps the single most important take away from this post is, GOD is present with us, active in us, ever with us. 

From experience, I add: the more we surrender to Him -> the more we acquaint ourselves with Him -> the more active the Spirit is within us -> the more empowered we are -> the more we effect society, pointing others to Truth in Messiah Jesus -> and society is transformed to joy, peace, rest.

Holy Spirit transforms us and empowers us to transform the world. As Jesus did when in earthly ministry, so He commissions us to

“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)

When we are active, doing as He asks us to do, He is pleased, we are pleased and the world is a better place. That’s an integral part of GOD’s Story because what He has always wanted is fellowship. As it is written in Matthew 22,

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. …”

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God's Story Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

GOD’S STORY: part 15 Discovery!

GOD’S STORY Part 15 Discovery

Here at Preparing the Bride, I’m telling GOD’S STORY. Recently I was offered prayer. I said, “Sure, thank you!” I didn’t realise it would lead to such a Discovery!

One word that recurred in tongues three times as I was prayed for was “Torah” 

Discovery

So, I came home and looked at Genesis 1:1 (which you read about last entry)

And I realised, I’m meant to share GOD’s Story simply, through the Torah!! Double exclamation mark because how could I miss what is SO OBVIOUS to me now?!

“How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? We learn GOD’s Story. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked.” 

I wrote the above several weeks ago as I began to seek to honour GOD through creating the GOD’S STORY blog chain. Only NOW I’ve realised, this rediscovery of the Pentateuch, the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, is the format I’m meant to use…

GOD’S STORY: Part 15 Discovery

Reading Genesis, I’m discovering so much. This is simply what the Father is saying to me as I read,

“Tell My story without preconditions or assumptions…”

So here goes:

Genesis 1:3a “Then GOD said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.”

But why did GOD ask for light? He is light. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12) so why ask for light as darkness was on the face of the deep? Why did He place Himself into the darkness?

What I recognise is that He spoke His reality into being, in to the Creation, joining with His Creation, saying through this action: ‘Let there be light there too’ or ‘I put Myself into Creation’ or ‘All of Creation has My stamp, My ID, my creativity, My life in it’.

He simply invaded the space, invades every space, doesn’t He? If so, that means He’s here now and always. Yes, that would jive with the supernatural and omnipresent concept of GOD.

Genesis 1:1-3

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.”

Before the heavens and the earth there was GOD. He was in relationship: Creator, Word and Spirit: three personalities in one GOD. 

We don’t know if there were other planets before He created the earth. Perhaps they are part of “the heavens” in this text. Physics, in my limited understanding would suggest (and remember GOD created Laws of physics too) that the planets which are in perfect balance including the earth, were created at the same time as the earth, so that all were created in perfect balance with one another. All we know from this scripture is that GOD preceded the heavens and the earth. So, GOD created them: the heavens and the earth, and then gave form to the earth. His Spirit was over the waters which existed. Then GOD spoke….

And in those first few lines of scripture we have the Father – Creator, the Spirit – Holy Spirit, and the Word – the Son. All of the GODHEAD was before the heavens and the earth and for some reason, He began to create. Perhaps in creating all the planets He decided ‘I’m going to create something with life!’ There was the creative spark, there was the present Spirit, and there was the voice of GOD who spoke and brought forth light. Do you wonder if He had a full plan or if He just began… and allowed one idea to follow another?

Does an artist know the landscape he will paint before he begins? Does the playwright know the entire story before she begins? Do composers hear the complete compositions before they begin their masterpieces?

Here’s a thought

Imagine if we could speak and have our creative spirit simply create with our voices!? We can already copy that as writers, by voice recording our thoughts and implementing a computer programme which transcribes our manuscript.

And spiritually speaking, perhaps we can…. Perhaps we can do all that Jesus has done, before He was Jesus, when He was the voice of GOD speaking His Word. Perhaps the Father would like us to ask Him for this gift. Or perhaps we have it, we just don’t recognise it. Perhaps.

From GOD’s point of view: He thought, He was present, He spoke and brought forth light. How wonderful! What a wonderful, awesome, inspiring GOD.

And if we have the faith of a grain of mustard seed, perhaps we too have gifting in creativity we don’t even know we have, that He wants us to use, to put at His disposal, to increase His presence in this world…. We need to ask Jehovah GOD, and wait with Him for His reply…

Let’s just ponder that reality for this week.

Blessings….

Sarah

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Character Development Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

Opinion is not required

Dear LORD, 

“Teach me to pray so that others will know your will.”

“Teach M***** to be more like you because right now s/he isn’t behaving righteously.”

“Teach my father/mother/brother/sister that I am right and they are wrong about ******.”

BUT GOD

In our prayers, in our walk, GOD doesn’t need our opinions. Our opinion is not required!

We are an opinionated lot, we human beings. And nowadays, with social media, we freely have the “right” to our opinions and the expression of them. Even the mainstream media outlets are full of editorial opinions which are expressed more than fact-based journalism … or at least that is my opinion (irony intentioned).

What does the LORD say in His Word about opinions?:

Romans 12:5 ends with “…. do not be wise in your own opinion.” I suspect that is not a frequently taught principle, neither inside nor outside the church.

“DO NOT BE WISE IN YOUR OWN OPINION”

This I believe is a word for today. For us. For you and for me.

I learned a while back that my opinion can get me into trouble: it leads me to judge, it leads me to close-mindedness, it leads me to relational breakdown. And what does it yield? Only a release of exasperation. That’s just my flesh! And I suspect it is the same for others of us… but that’s just my opinion. This conclusion is born from personal experience, but still it is only an opinion.

Walking away from the Word of GOD, society in the West has lost its compass. This habit of freely (and can I say sometimes: thoughtlessly and disrespectfully) expressing our opinion is a part of it.

I encourage us not to be wise in our own opinions but to “study the Word” and allow it to sharpen us (Hebrews 4:12)… and allow us to dwell peaceably with all men.

Dear LORD, 

“Teach me to be more like you, to know your word and to live it out, by the power of Holy Spirit in me.”

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Examining Biblical Scripture Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

The Power of the Cross: ticket for LIFE

The Power of the Cross holds the ticket to Life

The power of the cross is that through the death and resurrection of Jesus, we have the opportunity for eternal life. How does this work?

Isaiah 49:6 says “‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant

To raise up the tribes of Jacob,

And to restore the preserved ones of Israel;

I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles,

That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’”

In coming to earth, Jesus — GOD in the flesh — offers restoration between GOD and mankind. But how could His presence on earth make such a difference as to conquer death to mankind? What does “salvation” actually mean?

The LORD gave Jesus the commission to rescue the Jewish people, GOD’s elder son. But the commission of the Son, his suffering and his mission, was deemed to be too powerful and too huge a sacrifice to limit salvation only to the Hebrew people. 

GOD sent the son for ALL and faith in Jesus saves anyone who follows Him.

What Jesus did

Jesus was born without an earthly father, who is the source of our sinful nature. It is the sinful nature that separates us from GOD. So, with Holy Spirit as the father, Jesus was born without sin, unlike every other human being.

“I didn’t come to replace the Law but to fulfil it.” (Matthew 5:17)

GOD provides the Law in order to help mankind recognise their rebellious and sinful nature and to repent. Through sacrifice, mankind is able to repent and return to relationship with the Father. But while mankind demonstrates his inability to avoid sin, he is not able either to keep the Law. Therefore he needs something beyond the Law to save him.

Jesus offers reunion between the Law and the Father, between mankind and the Father, between Life and the source of Life. Faith in Him sets us free from our own sin through His sinlessness and His sacrifice. Jesus provides the “ticket” to eternal life.

Salvation enables freedom for the sinner, to reach the Father by His grace

Forgiveness, offered by the Father through faith in the Son, is the ticket to heaven after life on earth and freedom from oppression whilst on earth.

The first Adam sinned and gave up his immortality; the second Adam replaced sin and death with the opportunity for salvation and eternal life.

So, who is Jesus?

Jesus is the saviour for mankind: born of a virgin, He lived, taught, died, and in rising again brought victory over death. Jesus triumphed over sin and death. 

Faith in Him allows us to reap the benefit of resurrection. Faith in Jesus is the ticket to eternal life. The power of the cross is the resurrection power of a sinless substitute for our sin. 

Life is eternal for those who believe and follow Jesus. The power of the cross is the ticket to life!

“No one comes to the Father except through me”

Jesus said this not because He’s racist or egotistical but because no one else before or after, was sinless AND no one else before or after, defeated death. Those are the credentials Jesus has, and no one else. So like it or not, He’s the only Way to reunion with the Creator of the Universe, GOD the Father.

Shalom and God bless… may this explanation be useful to you and yours.

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God's Story Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

GOD’S STORY: Part 12 Decision-making GOD’s Way

Here at Preparing the Bride, I’m telling GOD’S STORY. Presumptuous?! Not when simply looking at scripture, because scripture is the unfolding of God’s story to us who read it.

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? We learn GOD’s Story. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. 

GOD’S STORY Part 12 Decision-making

“Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men…” (Matthew 4:19)

As followers of Jesus, how is it possible for us to execute our own decision-making? 

Following is not easy, is it? But we must discipline ourselves, or make the choice, or  surrender…  even when making our own decisions. However we might choose to manage it, following Jesus is great but it is not always easy.

Often we can implement the LORD’s will. We hear from Him; then we use our talents, our time, our resources, to implement what the LORD has positioned us to do. But what about when He stretches us, asks us to go beyond our comfort zone to do something which will make a difference in this world but which pushes our envelope beyond our experience? The LORD led me in this way recently, and here’s where I went wrong…

From Follow to Muddle

Over the past week or two the LORD has been leading me in a new direction. And when it came to taking His lead, I got in quite a muddle. 

I want to share GOD’s Story — GOD’s perspective as near as I have worked it out so far, on decision-making. He prompted me to take some risks, to go out of my comfort zone, and I was willing. That was my choice. I did research and considered the information. I prayed and sought His direction. All of a sudden: BOOM!

I was eager to follow… but then…

Here’s the pattern I followed with the very best of intention

Step 1: I followed …. I received a prompt and whole-heartedly aimed to follow

Step 2: I anticipated next steps

Step 3: I reasoned —

Step 4: I recognised I was in a muddle. 

How did that happen? I anticipated rather than taking GOD’s lead to reason, to plan, to strategise and to implement.

What to do to prevent a repeat?

In the stillness, I must wait, rest, trust, wait some more… until I hear clearly the direction — advice — to take.

“He who waits upon the LORD shall renew his strength…” (Isaiah 40:31)

Following the LORD’s lead does not mean we don’t think, use our intellect and common sense. Rather, it means we allow GOD to influence our thinking, intellect and common sense. We allow the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to lead as we wait for Him to direct our steps.

Regret …. but lessons learned

I wish I’d not got ahead of GOD. But in recognising it I realise I’ve learned to be on the alert for my own anticipation. Enthusiasm is a wonderful characteristic, but we do need to curb our flesh, and surrender ourselves to Holy Spirit’s prompting if we are going to follow, from beginning to end, the fullness of GOD’s plan.

Decision-making begins at the very beginning of any move we make. When we give our hopes and aspirations, our goals and intents of our hearts to the LORD, when we trust He’s heard and rest in Him, He will direct our steps toward the destination. We hope, we trust, we hear, we share and then we follow…. allowing Him to unfold the direction of our steps to achieve our heart’s desire and that which He has for us. 

Every blessing for the week ahead…

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God's Story Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

GOD’s STORY: Part 10 Unpacking our free will with GOD

GOD’S STORY Part 10 Unpacking our Free Will 

I believe wholeheartedly that we who have given our lives to Jesus have free will. But I’d like to suggest we need to undertake the unpacking of our free will. We start by looking at what those who follow Jesus have inherited: We have a renewed mind, with the ability to see truth from deceit, light from darkness, life from death. Without this ability to see clearly, people have not got the full range of choices and so haven’t really got free will. Without Jesus, we are accountable to the devil, who keeps us ignorant and provides no freedom at all.

Here at Preparing the Bride, I’m telling GOD’S STORY. Presumptuous?! Not when simply looking at scripture, because scripture is the unfolding of God’s story to us who read it.

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? We learn GOD’s Story. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. 

Choice comes through clarity of mind

The LORD gives us the ability to know right from wrong from birth (Romans 1). But we choose to follow or to turn from Him. When we follow, we have the ability to see Truth and therefore to make an informed choice that is not available to those who are not born again.

That’s how I see it. But how does the LORD see things? Let’s try unpacking our free will: how GOD has designed humanity, how He leads us, and how He holds off destruction for a time.

GOD gives us freedom

Does GOD insist we obey constrictive rules OR does He give us room so that we can unpack our free will “at will”? Yes, I think He does the latter.

First, allow me to begin with the fact that the LORD knows the way we will choose, and He accounts for that in His bigger picture. (Job 23:10) He knows the choices we will make, and yet we do have the freedom to make our choices and experience the consequences.

Next, I ask you to imagine the LORD as a music producer: He knows the ultimate sound that will come forth, but He enables the composer, conductor and the instrumentalists to engage with one another and with Him to create a symphony of sound. In other words, He knows the ultimate outcome. He knows what will transpire in the meantime, and He waits for us to interact amidst His cues in a way that inspires, moves, motivates us. He knows — we discover. That’s our personal and societal journey. He knows not because He manipulates, but because He knows us, our character. How many of us as parents are more often predicting how our young child will behave. Sometimes we are surprised; but more often, if we know our child, there is a high level of prediction as to how s/he will behave in a particular situation. How much better does our father in heaven know, predict our behaviour and attitude. In fact, when we give our lives to Him, we commission Him to change us into His likeness. So first, He knows us, next He knows the end from the beginning, and ultimately He’ll enable us to fulfil our desire to be “like Him”.

Finally, the LORD has His absolute red lines: He has limits that will not be crossed. When Satan was allowed to mess with Job, the LORD said, “but do not take his life…” (Job 2:6). Similarly, there will come a day when the bowls of wrath will be full (Revelation 16:1) and then Jesus will return to judge the earth (Revelation 16:16-17). Jesus didn’t know when that time would be, but GOD the Father knows. (Matthew 24:36)

This is GOD’s Story, not mine

Ultimately, it matters not a bit what I think or have worked out. In the sovereignty of GOD, He holds the earth and everyone in it in His hands.

What does His omnipotence mean within this conundrum of our free will and His omnipotence?

Omnipotence is having unlimited authority and power. GOD has the power and authority to make choices and He has chosen to give us the freedom to make our own discoveries and our own choices. Whatever we choose will hold consequences. In His Story, GOD chooses to teach us and to shape us through our own choices ,experiences and consequences. That’s how it works under His sovereignty.

Character over Circumstance

In my experience and from observation as well, I see GOD always seems to choose our character development over our situation or circumstance. It seems so long as we survive, GOD would prefer us to grow spiritually, rather than to have an easy ride. He does grant us the desires of our hearts, though we sometimes confuse our will with our heart. Even when someone significant in our lives actually passes away, that experience grows us too. We can rest assured the loved one is in His presence and in His will now. And that passing will catapult our growth: both ours and others’ around us. 

Always, GOD takes our commitment at our word and gives us opportunity to shine! We are allowed to make our own choices: whether to prosper in our growth or to hide from our challenge, we always have a choice. 

When we follow His ways, our character will grow, and in that I believe He takes particular delight.

At the End of the Age… or at least at the end of the Day

Natural and scientific laws operate without GOD’s ongoing attention, because He designed them that way. Within those laws human beings exist and we are responsible for the rest of the earth: the other living creatures, the seas and landscapes. He brought us into this universe in order that we would relate to Him and to one another. Genesis 1 makes that crystal clear.

Since the Fall of man, His plan to bring us back to Him has been unfolding. He is patient, kind, wise, full of goodness and He awaits the appointed time for the grand unfolding of His new heaven and earth.

It is His timing and not ours. It is centuries long, even millennia. We might interpret this as a lack of interest or a lack of power on GOD’s part. But His fragrant love, His service to us as revealed particularly through Jesus, His never-ending devotion and guidance reveals to us that our actions do not dictate the times, seasons, conclusion to this Age — though they do impact our own lives. 

The sovereign will of GOD is like the globe: all encompassing, grander and greater than our individual circumstances, but nevertheless everlasting and ever engaging.

GOD uses reason but encompasses it with His sovereignty and so we live, move, have our being in Him, if we so choose, for we are His offspring (Acts 17:28)

Every blessing and Amen.

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God's Story Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

GOD’s STORY part 9 God has given us free will… Really?

Here at Preparing the Bride, I’m telling GOD’S STORY. Presumptuous?! Not when simply looking at scripture, because scripture is the unfolding of God’s story to us who read it.

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? We learn GOD’s Story. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. 

GOD’S STORY Part 9 Has GOD given us Free Will really?

Free Will

Each person makes his/her own choices. But does anyone have free will without the LORD? 

This is what I totally and whole heartedly believe Father Yehovhah GOD, Adonai Elohim wants me to write about this week…. It is a part of His Story which He wants us to understand…

Those who are in rebellion are under the control of the Evil One and make their choices in the dark. 

Those who are in the light of the love of GOD are free to choose which direction to take, fully in the light, fully able to see which is conditional on if we take the time and attention to look. Those who walk with Him make choices, have freedom to engage with Him, freedom to take or reject His guidance… free to take the blessings or consequences of our choices.

Recently, I had an invitation to speak but I had a conflict with the timing of that invitation, and so I had a choice to make. 

I waited on the LORD. I knew I could do either: speak or focus on my original arrangement, but I thought perhaps that He preferred I speak. But how could I reject the other pre-planned situation? Should I help 1 or the many? Then I thought of the 1 sheep and the 99 from Matthew 18. I chose to take care of the 1 even though the 99 might have benefitted.

Following the Word of GOD

I followed GOD’s Word, not because I had no choice, but because I made my choice. I had the peace of GOD then, though I believe that if I’d made a different choice it would not have been wrong. I’d have had different scripture to stand on. GOD gives us choices. 

“He knows the way that I take, and when I come forth I shall shine like gold.” (Job 23:10)

GOD is bigger than our choices

If we have free will, how can GOD be sovereign? This is a deep theological question. It believe it is part of GOD’s Story…. I’d like to continue this journey at a deeper level next time.

Summary

But the kernels to hold on today are: GOD gives free will, Satan blocks it for those who walk without the knowledge of Jesus Christ. And we are responsible for our choices but those who walk in Christ can see and have the opportunity to choose!

Shalom and Amen.

Categories
God's Story Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

GOD’s Story Pt 8: Sovereignty of GOD

Here at Preparing the Bride, I’m telling GOD’S STORY. Presumptuous?! Not when simply looking at scripture, because scripture is the unfolding of God’s story to us who read it.

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? We learn GOD’s Story. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. 

GOD’S STORY Part 8 Sovereignty of GOD

GOD is Sovereign. Personally, I have no doubt about the Sovereignty of GOD… But how is it, when GOD is sovereign, that sometimes His will does not seem to come to pass? Is it correct to think His will does not always reign? 

Recently in the UK a new prime minister gained the title but after 6 weeks, she was forced to resign. The day she came into office the stained glass window in Westminster Hall, which is tidal, was completely alight. It was extraordinary and a rare — perhaps even a never before — event. To my mind and my prayer partners’ at the time, this was a marker for the LORD’s endorsement to her office. So why then did she not remain in office?

GOD does not interfere

I think the LORD observes and is grieved by some of the choices mankind makes. But He doesn’t interfere. He gave a gift of a particular leader as our Prime Minister in this example, who was then rejected by some powerful forces in media and banking, and she was forced out. 

I believe the LORD will continue to observe us — all of us all over the world — until He cannot allow the corruption of humanity to grow any deeper. Then the Restrainer, the presence of GOD through Holy Spirit, will be removed… and Jesus will return.

GOD’s course of Action is long-term

2 Thessalonians 2:7-12 says, 

“For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” 

This is a reflection of Romans 1 as well, which explains that we are born knowing right from wrong and the truth of the Creator.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.”

GOD takes the long view and in doing so, He gives mankind opportunity to discover the Creator and to reconnect with Him. He gives us the opportunity to receive salvation, individually and nationally. He restrains evil. This is His ultimate will. But He gives us the choice to receive or to reject.

The Restrainer — Holy Spirit and His children, Believers who carry Him within —  He holds the enemy and total depravity at bay, giving each persona and each nation the opportunity to embrace the Truth.

Depravity and its reach

We see the evidence of the depraved mind more and more these days in the West, as we ignore common sense and the laws of science, embracing the fancy of individualisation. Evil is not yet fully developed in all its fullness. Even though the world is becoming darker and darker, in GOD’s sovereignty, He holds Satan at bay. 

But when the Restrainer is removed from this earth, what then? I believe this is to be marked by our rapture to Heaven, followed by the earth becoming consumed by depravity…. I shudder! 

Let’s not linger on the thought of a dark world without any goodness, kindness, righteousness whatsoever. 

The LORD’s grief

All the earth’s depravity grieves the LORD! He knows what will come to pass inevitably, but He holds off for as long as possible, for as many as possible to have every opportunity to see the light of Christ, and to receive Him, before His removal of His protection and the ultimate return and judgment of Jesus upon those who have rejected salvation.

What must is be like for the Father who observes?

In my mind’s eye, I can imagine our LORD, Abba Father, who observes our mistakes and waits for us to “knock” (Revelation 3:20) so that He can enter into our lives. 

I can envisage a Father who looks upon His children, wanting to enter into their activities and waiting to be invited. A huge embrace is available to those who call upon Him. 

For those who do not call upon this Father, He prompts them through bringing others into their lives; He gently steers and offers provision, but He does not force anyone to drink the water He offers. 

Eventually, time and opportunity will run out….

The End as we know the Earth

The earth may cease but GOD’s love will never cease. The heavens may fall, but GOD’s power will never decline. The enemy may rise, but GOD will never be defeated. The time may seem short, but His arm extends into infinity.

GOD’s sovereignty may not reveal itself as we would expect, or ask, but it never fails. By faith and through a glance at History, we can trace His eye, His hand, His will. His word reminds us of His promises and on these we can depend, because He is all-powerful.

In Jesus’ name, may we recall and reclaim that which He has already declared in His word.

“No weapon formed against us will prosper and every tongue that rises against us in judgment will fail.” (text) Ultimately, the end from beginning has been ordained and His will will succeed. Amen.

He is sovereign. Let us have no doubt of that.

Categories
God's Story Preparing the Bride of Jesus Christ

GOD’S STORY: part 3 Love for Israel

Here at Preparing the Bride, I’m telling GOD’S STORY. Presumptuous?! Not when simply looking at scripture, because scripture is the unfolding of God’s story to us who read it.

This is GOD’s Story: Part 3. GOD’s love for Israel.

Let’s look at GOD’s story through His Psalm 105 to see GOD’s love for Israel.

GOD is Love.

The Hebrews en masse didn’t catch the depth and breadth of GOD’s love for them. Surely if they had, their nature and their nation would have experienced more joy, peace and confidence as they trusted and obeyed their Creator and advocate.

Looking at Psalm 105 the other day, I noticed how it starts with a celebration towards the LORD and responds with a sharing of His love for His chosen people: the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The reader is called initially to thank and celebrate the LORD, and to share His good deeds among His people — While today it could refer to those who believe in Him, Jew and Gentile alike (as we are grafted into the vine), historically, most certainly “His people” refers specifically to the Hebrews, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. That has never and will never change. 

The psalm is divided into 45 verses. It is a poem of praise to the Creator,

“Oh, give thanks to the LORD!… Sing to Him…. Talk of all His wondrous works!” (v1,2)

Then, His chosen people are identified: “O seed of Abraham His servant, You children of Jacob, His chosen ones!” (v6) and the LORD’s covenant is referenced (v9) and His devotion is quoted, “Do not touch My anointed ones…” (v15) 

A description of the history of Joseph and Moses in Egypt and all His goodness and protection in the wilderness toward them is referenced before the psalm ends with His holy promise of blessing and His practical demonstration of commitment to this chosen nation as “He gave the lands of the Gentiles, And they (the Hebrews) inherited the labour of the nations, That they might observe His statutes and keep His laws.” (v 44-45)

Why is it that repeatedly the miracles of the plagues against Egypt, the provision to the Hebrews of manna and quail, the guidance and protection from the pillars of cloud and fire… why are these things spoken of quite frequently in scripture? I think this is so because this history reveals HisStory of His grace, His supernatural power, His steadfast love and commitment to these His chosen people. They reveal His consistency as well, toward those who have turned away; He loves the sinner both Jew and Gentile and does not forget His promises to any of us.

The tragedy is that His people, in majority, have not kept His laws and so throughout time they have suffered loss including jealousy, accusation from others and a distance from GOD. Praise the LORD that things have been changing… There are and always have been a group of committed Jews, some Orthodox and some Reformed; but most excitingly, there are now an increasing number of Jewish people who are recognising Yeshua (Jesus) as Messiah as well. These Messianic Jews suffer rejection from their own Jewish neighbours and yet they stand fast for the Lord Jesus. I finished reading Psalm 105 thinking not of the Hebrews nor of myself, but predominantly of the sadness of the LORD. But as they turn back He receives them and so it is for all of us as well.

Do we consider His loss, His mourning, His sadness as a Father, who’s children rebel?

He loves us all. He loves His chosen. So many have turned away. What is His feeling in all of this? What is His story? 

We know the LORD created us in His image. We know we suffer when we experience rejection, sadness and loss. So, is it reasonable to think that the LORD GOD Creator of the Universe likewise suffers when we reject Him?

Consider the father and the prodigal son. What does the father experience when his youngest son asks for his inheritance and leaves the family homestead for a life of debauchery and excess? We are not told. We only know that upon the son’s return, he is welcomed by his father with open arms. (Luke 15:11-31)

We are the prodigals. The father is Our Father. And we who are saved have already been welcomed with open arms. A part of His story is that He continues to wait for others, including and especially for the Jews, the descendants from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob aka Israel. This cannot be ignored. Jacob, the grandson of Abraham, wrestled for his blessing (Genesis 32) and was then renamed Israel, which is where the nation got its name, and has kept its name throughout millennia. The Father, LORD of the universe, has not broken His covenant with the people, and continues to love them just as His love is shown in Psalm 105.

We do not know when He will send His son to judge the earth. No one knows, only He (Matthew 24:36). But I certainly believe that left to me, I would have run out of patience, both with the Jew and the Gentile, long, long ago.

GOD’s love for us is clear. He teaches us to worship and obey Him because it releases us to a life of joy and peace. Let us pray for those who have yet to respond to Him, and particularly for the descendants of His people the Hebrews, that they would come to know the perfect peace and grace of a father’s unconditional love. This is what we can pray for. This is what we can minister into: That the world, and His chosen ones, will be saved.

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Examining Biblical Scripture

PREPARING THE BRIDE

ATTENTION: BLOG NAME CHANGE…..

I am a Watchman and I have been seeking the LORD on all matters, asking for discernment regarding current events and how they connect to the Word of GOD and the timing of Jesus’ return. Then I’ve shared them on this blog.

Now, I believe, it is time we prepare as Jesus’ Bride. He is coming soon! We do not know what “soon” means to GOD, but we are to prepare and I am called to encourage us — myself included — to weigh up all matters in our lives and shed that which is not of GOD and focus on our purpose in Christ Messiah…. and prepare for the Wedding Day!

And so, whilst I am still a Watchman, I am changing the name of this blog from Watchman on Alert to Preparing the Bride…

Jesus/Yeshua is the Groom. All we who follow him make up The Bride. It is a profound image given to us. It is perhaps harder for men to relate to it than for women. For women, it is easy to consider Esther as she spent a year pampered, preparing herself — body, but also mind and spirit — to meet the king, when she would be considered amongst many to be his new bride. How can men prepare as “the bride”? Perhaps it is more for them a way of preparing for battle: putting on armour, developing military strategy, preparing the mind and body and spirit for the battle ahead. For it is so true that we are all brides and soldiers for him who died to save us. Perhaps then, men can more relate to Jesus’ return as a general arriving to lead the troops in battle. What all of us can relate to is that we will have a celebration when he returns, as we all hail Jesus and give glory to Jehovah GOD who reigns in the universe, who is full of grace, mercy, justice and truth.

And so I ask you the reader, to filter everything you read from me as through the spectacles of Jesus’ return. You are his and he is yours. Let us “work out [our] own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12) as we draw closer to GOD through His Word, by His Spirit. We are his bride. Come Lord Jesus.

Hallelujah and Amen.