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Consider The Lilies

In Matthew 6:28 Jesus tells his disciples to consider the lilies of the field.

The most probable flower that Jesus was referring to is considered by plant specialists to be an Anemone coronaria, a common field flower which can be red, purple or pink with black centers.

The Anemone coronaria incidentally is Israel’s national flower. They are usually found in meadows and grassy hillsides. In Jerusalem the red ones are more frequently found while in the basalt slopes north of the sea of Galilee blue and white are found growing on the hillsides.

The Hebrew name for this flower is Kalanit from the word kala which means beautiful like a bride.

Consider the lilies of the field. The Kalanit arrayed like a bride which Jesus says are more beautiful than all of Solomon’s glory.

Jesus likened these field lilies to be more beautifully arrayed than Solomon’s kingdom. 

Considering that Solomon’s glory was a magnificent kingdom full of pomp and splendor this is a fantastic statement.

Why would the Lord say that field flowers were more beautiful than Solomon’s glory?

The fact that their name means bride may give us a clue.

Was Jesus looking to his future bride? His bride so beautiful that she is more beautiful than all of Solomon’s glory?

These field lilies are not only beautiful but Jesus told us that they do not toil or spin. That is they do not do any work!

To toil in Hebrew is kopiaō which means to work hard or labor until one is fatigued.

To spin is nēthō which means to spin yarn.

Spinning yarn was a laborious work in Jesus’ time. Spinning was twisting fibers together by hand in order to make material for clothing.

In Solomon’s kingdom all the pomp and splendor was achieved by hard work. Also the temple Solomon build was constructed by slaves. These slaves did hard labor. Probably from sunup to sun down.

The lilies of the field do not labor or spin. They just naturally grow and become beautiful without any labor at all. With rain and sunshine provided by their Creator the lilies of the field become beautifully arrayed in their glory.

It seems that Jesus is pointing out that under the law like Solomon’s Kingdom, the slave must work to build a temple or building for God to take up residence.

Those under the law are servants of sin who must labor under a ruler or the law, sacrificing animals to atone for their sin in a temple made by men.

Jesus is using a metaphor to tell us that the splendor of the dispensation of the law is not as glorious as the dispensation of grace where the beauty of the Lord resides in his bride.

The bride has no need to labor for the Savior has purchased her with his own blood. The bride has no need to spin or be clothed with the temporary intermedatories of animals because she is clothed in the righteous of Jesus Christ.

The bride is altogether beautiful. Altogether lovely in her pure white garment! Altogether more splendid than the glory of the former dispensation!

Consider the liles of the field for they neither toil nor spin. They take no thought to toil laboriously to achieve right standing with God.

All the work has been done by Jesus Christ the Messiah ! (Yeshua Mashiach) It is finished!

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Good From Nazareth?

Luke Chapter 4, tells us that Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by the devil. ” If you are really the Son of God then prove it,” (my paraphrase)

Jesus does not comply. He had nothing to prove. Jesus knows who he is!

Considering the source, Jesus rejects the temptation. He tells the devil to take a hike.

Then after that temptation trial Jesus returns in the power of the Spirit into Galilee.

There Jesus becomes well known throughout all of that region. Jesus teaches in the synagogues, heals the sick, casts out devils. All the people are blessed!

After that Jesus comes to the city of Nazareth where he grew up and where every one knows him as Jesus the carpenter.

It was in a synagogue in Nazareth (where he probably went every Sabbath as a kid) that Jesus reads from the book of Isaiah, announcing that he is the fulfillment of that Messianic prophecy.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. Isaiah 61:1,2

After closing the Torah Jesus sits down. Everyone’s eyes are on him.

Then Jesus gives notice to all the people that he had grown up with that he is the promised Messiah.

This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. Luke 4:21

Only Messiah could fulfill that scripture. He knew that. They knew that.

The people of Nazareth were blown away by that announcement. Is this not Joseph’s son?

Whaaattt? Is he saying what we think he’s saying?

Then Jesus tells these people who he knows on a personal basis.  And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country. Luke 4:23

Seems quite fantastic that Jesus knowing full well he would be rejected in Nazareth would make the announcement of his being the promised Messiah there. To all his friends and family.

Is there a bigger picture happening here?

Nazareth was a small town. Populated mostly with farmers, shepherds and labourers. It basically was a place with low social status.

That is why Nathanael said to Jesus “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” John 1:46

Jesus goes to his own home town, small and insignificant, tells them he is their promised Messiah and they out right reject him!

Who saw that coming?

After Jesus tells them that a prophet is never honored in his own home town the people in the synagogue get so riled up that they literally grab Jesus and haul him to a cliff in order to toss him off. They were intent on harming Jesus. Maybe even kill him.

The guy had the audacity to call himself a prophet! That’s it! He’s out of here!

But passing through their midst…what? How could that happen? They had him by the scruff of the neck and he passed through them?

Well Jesus transported or something because he got away.

Then Jesus goes to the next town and preaches in their synagogue. The people in that place were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power.

That place loved him! At least they loved the miracles.

I think Jesus was making a point or a prophetic act if you will when he announced who he was in Nazareth.

Nazareth was a foretaste of what was going to happen to Jesus in the future. The whole nation of Israel would reject him but this time instead of throwing him off a cliff they would crucify him.

Interesting but it goes even further than that today. Now it seems the world is rejecting Jesus’ Christ’s claim to be Messiah or Savior of the world with the same old unbelief.

Can anything good come out of Nazareth? Where is the promise of his coming? Who made that guy a ruler over us?

Jesus gives the same answer today as he always does to the doubters. 

One day you will say to me …if you really are the Son of God ….prove yourself…make these stones turn to bread….fix all these problems we ourselves have created. You are only an historical figure. We don’t want you! Give us Barabbas. You know that rebel! We want him not you!

History really does repeat itself doesnt it?

There is a good ending to this story however. Remember what the angels said after Jesus rose from the dead and was taken up in the clouds in front of over 100 of his disciples?

Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!” Acts 1:11

And don’t forget this time, “Every eye will see him!” Revelation 1:7

Can anything good come out of Nazareth?

Maranatha! 

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Joint Heirs

According to Romans 8:16,17
As children of God we are now heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ.

A joint heir is a legal term. It means a person who inherits jointly with another heir of an estate.

Another way of saying it is co-heir which is one of several persons among whom an inheritance is divided.

In other words as children of God we inherit a portion of the Father’s estate.

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. Romans 8:15

According to Hebrews 1:2 Jesus is the heir of all things. Jesus being the exact representation of God is above all things. His authority is our authority because we are in him who is above all things.

Through the name of Jesus those born of God have access into the holy of holies. All we need to fulfill our call in this life is available to us when we present our requests before the throne of God.

Scriptures tell us that we are more than conquers. That means as children of God we can do more than conquer a problem, we can completely subdue it and annihilate it in the name of Jesus Christ.

Galatians 2:29 tells us that if we belong to Jesus Christ then we are Abraham’s seed according to the promise.

Since Christians are considered to be Abraham’s seed through faith in Jesus Christ then the promises of Abraham apply also to the Christian.

These promises include justification, fruitfulness, multiplication, provision and favor.
Genesis 12: 2,3

Though Jesus Christ we have become the children of God who inherit the promises of God.

That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world. Ephesians 2:12

Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen (The non Jews) through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. Galatians 3:7-9

For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:26-29

Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities. Acts 3:25

Being a joint heir with Jesus Christ means all the blessings the Lord gave to Abraham is our inheritance as well.

Some of these promises include:

Hebrews 1:4
Ministering of the angelic realm
Titus 3: 7
Heirs of eternal life

James 2:5
Heirs of the kingdom of God

1 Peter 3:7
Heirs of lifetime grace

In many wills or inheritances there are conditions for inheriting the promises or benefits. The gifts are subject to a condition. It is the same in God’s inheritance.

One condition made clear in scripture is, “IF we suffer with him so that we will be glorified together.”

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. Romans 8: 17

The word suffer in this verse is sumpaschō in the Greek. It means persecution or experiencing the same kind of pain.

In other words if we partake in similar sufferings as Jesus did then we will inherit the same promises as he did.

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 2 Timothy 3:12

If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. John 15:18

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10

Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Luke 6:22

Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. 1 John 3:13

Persecutions come with being a Christian. They are allowed to demonstrate we belong to Jesus Christ. If we live godly in Jesus Christ we are blessed but nevertheless we will be persecuted for belonging to him.

Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2 Peter 1:4

Living godly in Jesus Christ brings persecution but living godly also brings blessings because we are made joint heirs with Jesus Christ.

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The Door

There are natural doors that open to allow entrance and close to prevent entrance. In the Kingdom of God a door represents entrance or access from the natural realm to the Spiritual realm.

In Hebrew door is pethach. An opening, gate, entrance way. It is more than just an ordinary natural door. The root word for pethach is pâthach which means to open or loose.

God lives in the spiritual realm. The only way to enter into the realm of the Spirit of God is through the DOOR. Jesus is that door.

In Jesus’ time the sheepfold was a rock wall built of stones. This wall provided protection from predators. The enclosure also had a door which was an opening for the sheep to come in and go out.  The Shepherd would lie at the door in order to protect the sheep.

 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. John 10:1-5

In Genesis 18:1 Abraham had a visitation of the Lord at the door of his tent. You will find many references in scripture where the Lord dialogues with his people at the door. The Door represent Jesus Christ the Messiah in which we must enter to have fellowship with God.

Blood was sprinkled on the door. The Lord passed over the door so that the destroyer would not destroy. Ex. 29:32

The door of the tabernacle is where the Lord met with Moses to speak to him. Ex. 33:9

The offerings were put at the door of the tabernacle. Ex 40:29 Leviticus. 1:5, 4:18 Numbers 6:10

Prophets or Nazerites were dedicated to the Lord at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. Numbers 6:13

The Israelites repented at the door of their tents.  Numbers 11:10

The Lord came down in a pillar of the cloud and stood at the door of the tabernacle to speak. Numbers 12:5

The Israelites put incense at the door of the tabernacle. Numbers 6:18

God’s glory appeared at the door of the congregation. Numbers 16:19

The law was to be written upon the door posts of the Israelites houses and gates. Deuteronomy 11:20

A bondservant’s ear was to be pierced on the door. Deuteronomy 15:17

The Lord appeared at the door of the tabernacle in a pillar of cloud over the door of the tabernacle. Ezekiel 10:19

The cherubim stood at the temple door and the glory of the Lord was above them. Deuteronomy 31:15

Prophecy of giving Israel a door of hope. Jesus is that door. Hoses 2:15

The 5 virgins who were prepared went in with Jesus and the 5 not prepared had the door shut on them. Matthew 25: 10

In Revelations 3:20 Jesus says I stand at the door and knock.

Jesus knocks on the door or entrance to our heart, he calls us by his Holy Spirit. If we hear his voice and come through the door he will have fellowship us.

When we come to Jesus by responding to his voice we can go in through the door to the realm of the Spirit and then out through the door to the natural realm with our needs met.

Commune or fellowship with the Lord gives us access into the holy realm of God’s Kingdom.

In Revelation 4:1

A door was opened in the heavenly realm for John and the word of the Lord came to him.

Once we come through the Door we have access into the Holy of holies. We can now come before God’s throne with our praise, worship, prayers and intercession. We can even come to receive instruction in righteous, get revelation of the word of God and simply just hang out in God’s presence.

In Matthew 7 Jesus tells us to ask, seek and knock. These 3 words hold different meanings.

To ask is to petition, to seek is to diligently look for or inquire and to knock is to request entrance.

In Revelations 3:20 Jesus is talking to his church.

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

When we knock on the door, we are requesting access to the realm of the Spirit where God resides.

“Whoever knocks the door will be opened.”

We are gaining access to this realm of the Spirit when we come through the door. Jesus is that door into the presence of God.

There we can commune with the Lord. It’s a spiritual experience with God that takes us from this natural realm to the realm of the Spirit. It is our spirit fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit. Communing together in one accord. 

Not every Christian knocks on the door or comes through the door as made evident in the Lord’s plea in Revelations 3:20

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Either they don’t know they have this access to the place where God resides or they don’t believe it. Scriptures tell us that we have a better covenant based on better promises.

But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. Hebrews 8:6

Our access to the realm of the Spirit is based on our having gone through the Door. The veil to the Holy of Holies is now removed. We can like the high priest did once a year, enter into God’s presence. We can come every day!

The heavenly realm of communion in the Holy Spirit is available to those who knock on the door. That is through Jesus Christ we can come into the throne room of grace. It is much more than petition. It is much more than intercession. 

It is having intimacy with the King of Kings in the realm of the Spirit of God. Dwelling in his very presence !

Knock and the door will be opened unto you for he who comes to me will never be refused. John 6:37

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A VICTOR NOT A VICTIM

Unless we are able to admit that we have a problem we can never get healed. This goes for the problem of victimization as well. Many with victim mentality have actually experienced victimization in one form or another. However God does not want us to stay victimized.

As long as we hold on to our “right ” to be a victim because of what some body has done to us we will live defeated lives. This goes for historical victimization as well.

Victim mentality is actually unforgiveness. When we hold the sins commited against us or against our ancestors in our heart we are in disobedience to the word of God. Jesus said plainly that if we do not forgive others their sins then neither will he forgive us ours.

Signs of having a victim mentality are: blaming others, self pity, always focused on the injustice, living in the past, condemning others and ourselves and not taking personal responsibility.

Even though we may have experienced victimization that does not mean that we have to continue to be a victim. God has given us tools in his word to be an overcomer.

Victim mentality starts with the thought life. We have got to see our self as scriptures tell us we are. The Bible says in Proverbs that as a person views themselves in the heart so they are. In other words we become what we tell ourself that we are. If we see ourself as a failure we will fail. If we see ourself in Christ as a victor then we will win.

In order to become a victor we must forgive past hurts and past sins. Let go of holding grudges and blaming some one or something else for our problems. We are not responsible for them but we are responsible before God for us.

When the devil starts to remind you of your past hurts tell him to take a hike in Jesus name. Tell him who you are in Jesus. The more you pray scriptures in Jesus name for yourself, the more God by his Holy Spirit, will work that into your heart. Before you know it you will be in your heart who God says you are. You will believe what the Lord says and you will live like it !

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.Romans 8:37

Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 1John 4:4

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7

To be an overcomer we must over come! Overcome the victim mentality the devil throws at us and rise up and be healed!

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Be Careful What You Hear

A narrative is a spoken or written account of connected events. A story that may be fact or fiction.

There are four types of narratives.

A linear narrative presents a story in the chronological order in which events happened.

A non linear narrative presents the story out of order. Using flash backs or a shift in chronological order using forms of literary devices.

A quest narrative is a story in which the protagonist works hard at pursuing a goal. The character faces a hardship or obstacle.

The view point narrative expresses personal subjective opinions using sensory perceptions interjected by the speaker.

When a narrative is put forth its goal is to convince the hearer of a truth or merit within a story.

Very infrequently is a story presented in which the speaker tells you upfront the motive is to deceive or lie.

In effect a narrative actually tries to convince of something. Convince of an opinion, an argument or a persuasive objective.

A common method used to persuade others to a view point is using a narrative charged with emotional rhetoric.

Words that appeal to the audience are used often in the creation of narratives. Facts can be manipulated when emotion dominates the narrative. Characters can be sympathized with, actions related to and opinions empathized.

While Jesus did use story and metaphors to relay his message he never appealed to the emotions overriding the facts.

Determining truth requires determining the facts. Emotions need to be put aside in order to discern the objective of the narrative. What is the narrative trying to do? What are you trying to be convinced of?

Look carefully at the emotionally charged language being used in a narrative. Is the order of the story chronologically put forth with evidence or does the narrative shift events in order to confuse? Does the story omit facts or add to the facts?

Are suppositions being interjected which try to sway towards opinion rather than the evidence?

While everyone is entitled to opinion they are not entitled to alter facts in order to persuade.

This is why the Lord says in his word. “Be careful what you hear.”

The ear listening to emotionally charged rhetoric will eventually be persuaded to believe that narrative.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 2 Timothy 4:3

The Lord tells us in scriptures to incline our ears to hear his word. Proverbs 4:20

When our ears are open to heaven we are then able to receive knowledge, wisdom and understanding.

God’s word is a lamp to our feet! A light to our path! Giving direction for our lives. Psalms 119: 105

The mind of the prudent acquires knowledge, And the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. Proverbs 18:15

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. Revelation 3:22

Whose narrative are you listening to?

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HOPE IN THE LORD!

Scriptures tell us that if we put our hope in the Lord we will not be disappointed. Isaiah 49:23

To hope is to desire. To want something to be true or to want something to happen. To expect with confidence. To put trust in.

But as for me, I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more. Palms 71:14

When our hope is in the Lord our hope will not fail to produce what we are hoping for. This is because God is the source of our hope. He has the answer we are seeking for and he will bring the desired outcome.

Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:5

The Lord is my portion or inheritance therefore will I hope in him. Lam. 3:26

The Lord will be the hope of his people. Joel 3:16

The hope of the righteous shall be gladness. Proverbs 10:28

God is the God of hope. Roman’s 15:13

Thou art my hiding place and my shield:
I hope in thy word.
Psalm 119: 114

Hope (Greek elpis) expects with confidence. Hope seeks. Hope expects an answer. Hope waits patiently. Hope that sees is not hope. Hope waits with expectation. Hope trusts. Hope brings experience and experience with God results in faith being produced.

We are saved by hope but hope which is seen is not hope but if we hope for what we do not see then with patience we wait for it.
Romans 8:24,25

Hope is different than faith. Faith (Greek pistis) is to be completely convinced without doubting. To believe and trust with absolute conviction that something is true or to have absolute confidence in without wavering.

Without faith it is impossible to please God because he that comes to him MUST BELIEVE that he is and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6

Without saving faith salvation can not occur. It takes the God kind of faith to experience salvation. Seeking God with hope happens when the heart is drawn by the Holy Spirit.

Faith comes when the seeking heart reaches out to God with a sincere contrite heart and finds him.

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Matthew 7:7

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17

The born again experience is a miraculous regeneration process of the Holy Spirit. Saving faith is not intellectual assent. Scriptures tell us that the devils believe and tremble. James 2:19

Saving faith, is absolutely positively without a doubt, without wavering ever, trusts in and clings to God regardless of circumstances and regardless of trials, tribulations or persecutions.

Faith is the ASSURANCE of things hoped for. To have assurance is to have confidence without doubt or uncertainty.

Hope comes with experience. Romans 5: 5

In other words by directly observing facts that is gained by knowledge hope will come. Then when hope that does not disappoint comes faith is the result.

Blind faith is not Biblical faith. When we put our hope in the Lord he does not disappoint. After having a need met once or twice experience reveals the outcome is sure. Then we have confidence.

This hope from experience brings confidence which results in faith being produced. You know that you know that you know. Why? Because you have never been disappointed! God always comes through! He never fails!

Hope in the Lord! He never disappoints those who seek him!

Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart,
all ye that hope in the Lord.
Psalms 31:24

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Romans 15:13

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Valuable Sparrows!

In Matthew chapter 10 Jesus is instructing his disciples on how they would minister in his name after he was not with them anymore in physical form .

Jesus told them that they would have power over devils and be able to heal the sick but they would face great persecution for it.

Jesus tells his disciples not to be afraid because God will provide for them.

You are more valuable than sparrows.” Jesus tells them.

This is a significant metaphor because not only are sparrows very tiny but they are the most common bird in the world. Their value on a monetary scale is less than a penny. You can buy two for one.

This metaphor reminds us that even though we may not consider ourselves to be very important in the grand scheme of things, Jesus puts great value on us. He says that if God cares about even a sparrow that falls to the ground, and makes sure that their needs are supplied then why wouldn’t he care for us? Our value to him is so much more!

Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. Matthew 10:29-31

Not only are sparrows common birds but they live in any small area they can find. Sparrows particularly like to live near human populations.

The sparrow metaphor is used by the Lord because the sparrow signifies humanity. There are masses of people on the earth just like the common sparrow.

One has only to look at the parallel of the sparrow to realize that humanity is in a decline situation. The environment for sparrows is being effected by sin in the same way as it is for humans.

As humanity turns away from the living God they decline in every way in the natural realm. This in turn affects the sparrow who lives along side of humans.

The decline in sparrow populations today is significant. It is reflective of the human population turning away from God. This is a prophetic sign that we are indeed in the end times.

Sparrows feed predominantly on seeds. They do eat insects when they can find them but their mainstay is seed. Without seed sparrows perish. This is another reason for the metaphor.

Jesus said that the word of God is like seed that a sower sows. The receptivity of the heart determines the outcome of the seed. Whether the seed goes on to produce a good crop or whether it does not. All is dependent on the soil of one’s heart.

God’s word is like seed. Planted in good soil the seed will grow into the abundant life promised by Jesus Christ. Planted in not so good soil the seed will die. Matthew 13

Just like sparrows need seed to survive so does humanity need the seed of God’s word to survive. Without God’s word humanity will die both physically and spiritually.

Article on decline of sparrow populations.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/10/05/sparrows-dying/2923241/

God cares about the sparrow and he cares about humanity. Jesus cares about you!

It is only by turning back to Jesus Christ and his word that we can be taken care of in the natural as well as in the spiritual. Both now and for eternity. 

 

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THE BREASTPLATE

The Bible tells us to be strong IN THE LORD and stand in his mighty power . We are then told to put on the full armour of God in order to stand against the trickery of the devil.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Ephesians 6:10

That your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. 1 Corinthians 2:5

Paul uses the analogy of the Roman armour because in his day the Romans had an advanced system of warfare.

The Romans perfected a light, full torso armour which provided protection for vital areas. With this armour they could advance towards the enemy being protected from any retaliatory weapons.

In the same way soldiers in the Lord’s army need to be dressed in spiritual military armour in order to battle the powers of darkness.

The breast plate of righteousness is one part of the armour of God.

The Roman soldier’s breastplate was called a cuirass. It was molded to fit over the chest with another part for the back.

The breast plate was protection for the vital organs. One being the heart.

The breastplate of righteousness is to be worn to protect the heart.

In Hebrew the Old Testament word for heart heartlêbâb, lêb, lêbâb,
is the intellect, emotions, and understanding.

In Greek the New Testament word for the heart is kardia which also refers to the mind. (thoughts, feelings)

The breastplate or protection for the mind is a breastplate of righteousness. In other words the Christian mind must be protected by the Lord’s righteousness.

What is righteousness?

In the Old Testament righteousness tsedâqâ is moral virtue and justice.

The New Testament defines righteous dikaiosunē as equity or justification.

To be justified dikaioō is to render innocent, to free.

The heart or mind must be covered in righteous, (rendered innocent )to be protected from enemy onslaughts.

This is done by putting on the breast plate of righteousness. Being conscious of our justification provided by Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 4:23 tells us to keep or guard nâtsar our heart. lêb

That is to put a watch over our mind like a prison guard or gate keeper. To watch over.

With the breast plate of righteousness our minds are guarded from enemy attacks.

When the devil came to Jesus to tempt him with lies Jesus referred to the word of God as his defense. “It is written.

Out of the heart or mind are the issues or source of our life. Proverbs 4:23

As we put on the breastplate of righteousness we can see ourselves clothed in Jesus Christ’s righteous. Our minds filled with God’s word will keep us from the trickery of the devil.

Negative thinking contrary to the Bible are arrows of the evil one. The purpose of the evil one is to kill, steal, an destroy.

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. john 10:10

Scientific Studies confirm the Bible. A mind not guarded can result in negative effects.

Studies on negative thinking.

https://alz-journals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/alz.12116

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/06/200607195008.htm

Keep your heart with all diligence! Put on the breastplate of righteousness! Be a watchman over your thoughts! Then you will be sure to walk in victory!

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Phillipians 4:7

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 5:8

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RESTING IN CHRIST

Resting in the finished work of Christ is the key to walking in victory. Regardless of how much we apply Biblical principles to our life, unless we have this main key to the kingdom of God, we will find failure at the end sooner or later.

What is resting in Christ’s complete work? It is a spiritual principle that is set right out in scriptures but missed by many of us.

One sure way to know that we are not resting in Christ is striving. That is to make great effort to achieve something.

When we find ourselves in this state we know right away that we are not resting. Then we must get immediately back to the cross.

Does resting in Christ equate to passivity? No indeed it does not! What resting in Christ does is to set our eyes on the victor for the victory and not on ourselves.

To rest in Christ is to set the Lord always before us. That is to acknowledge Jesus as our Captain. Our leader and victor over all difficulties that may come our way.

Paul knew this resting in Christ. He said that the life he now lived he lived by the faith of Jesus Christ. Paul knew that he was accepted in the beloved. How could Christ who loved us enough to give his very life for us not also supply us with all the things we need to live victorious in this life?

To rest in Christ is to rest in his finished work. He beat the devil! He conquered sin! Jesus rose victorious!

What is our part? To rest in this fact! When we do we can be assured that Christ who lives in us will complete all the work that is needed in our lives.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

Resting in Christ is to abide in Christ. To accept what Christ says as true. To remain fixed in. To continue to dwell in. To remain in.

“If you abide in me,” Jesus said and his words or his teachings abide in you then you shall ask what you will and it shall be done unto you. (John 15:7)

In other words all the things that we need will be given to us as we rest in Christ. To rest is to have complete faith in the Lord’s ability to perform his word. It is to nestle in his bosom with absolute confidence. Does the Lord not know what is best for each of us? Is his plan not the best plan?

Have faith in God!

Faith is the substance of things hoped for. Faith in the finished work of Christ gives us hope. We never have to be worried that Jesus will not come through. He has promised! If he loved us enough to give his life for us how much more would he not freely meet our needs? We have only to patiently wait. (Romans 8:32)

Resting in Christ is to set our eyes on Jesus who is the author and the finisher of our faith. He will prefect that which concerns us as we trust in him!

It is Christ who lives! Christ who has conquered! Christ who is Lord of all! We rest in these facts and abide in his love.

Jesus is all our righteousness! He is working all things out for our good as scriptures tell us. (Romans 8:28)

We are complete in him!

And you are complete in him, who is the head of all principality and power:” Colossians 2:10

To be complete is to have all things without lacking. It is to be full and entirely in Christ! Can you see this by faith? IN CHRIST!

Jesus is the head of all principality and power. That means that because we are seated with him in heavenly places we are also positioned with him high above the rulers of this dark world. We are more than conquerors because we are in him! Let us rest in this knowledge!

Jesus is the name above every name. His victory is our victory. His completed work is our completed work because we are in him! Can you see this by faith? Then you are resting! Resting in assurity that Jesus Christ is the head. The chief and principle power of all in this life. If you are in him then you are secure. Rest in this reality.

It is finished Jesus said. Whether we are wrestling in prayer, serving, teaching or ministering we are always resting in Christ. Always confident that we are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us and gave himself for us.

Are you resting in Christ today? If not won’t you get back to the cross? The place of your victory is there! The work has already been done! (Romans 8: 37)

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