The Name Above All Names

Jesus, Name above all names

Philippians 2:5-11 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Because of what Jesus did in leaving Heaven and coming to earth in the form of a man, becoming a servant and dying a criminal’s death to purchase the redemption of mankind, God has given Him the NAME above every name, that everything in heaven and earth and under the earth should recognize His deity and authority and bow their knee to Him, confessing that He is Lord so that God the Father will be glorified in and through His life.

In looking at what a NAME means we can look into the actual Greek and Hebrew definitions and see clearly what each verse is talking about when written in the context of the passage. Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words gives these definitions of the word “name”:

Name – Noun, Greek word onoma is used

  • in general of the “name” by which a person or thing is called
  • for all that a “name” implies, of authority, character, rank, majesty, power, excellence, etc, of everything that the “name” covers.

    a. of the “Name” of God as expressing His attributes

    b. of the “Name” of Christ

    • 1. representing the authority of Christ e.g., Matt. 18:5 “on the ground of My authority”.
    • 2. in the power of
    • 3. in acknowledgment or confession of
    • 4. in recognition of the authority of
    • 5. owing to the fact that one is called by Christ’s “Name” or is identified with Him
  • as standing, by metonymy, for “persons”

So, in looking at the scriptures as to what they say about the name we can identify which meaning is correct that applies to that verse of scripture. Strong’s concordance gives the number of the word which corresponds with the proper rendering of the defintion. In verse 9 above, the number that Strong’s has assigned to that word “name” is 3686 which, when looked up in a Strong’s Concordance we find that number to correspond with the Greek word for that word “name”, which is onoma. Then in looking in the Vine’s Complete Expository of Old and New Testament Words we search for “name” and find the Greek word onoma to see that the definition falls in one of the above 3 categories. This particular use of “name” in verse 9 would fall under the definition of “all that a name implies, of authority, character, rank, majesty, power, excellence, etc., of everything that the “name” covers.”

God has given Jesus the “name” that carries all authority, character, rank, majesty, power, excellence, and everything that His name would cover that is above all other names! He is the Name above all names and everything in heaven, in earth and under the earth must bow it’s knee to the authority that Jesus carries! In His name salvation is given; in His name demons tremble and flee; in His name sickness and disease must go; in His name all powers must bow; in His name problems must be solved; in HIS NAME!

There is salvation in the name of Jesus; there is healing in the name of Jesus; there is deliverance in the name of Jesus; there is hope in the name of Jesus; there is power in the name of Jesus! Everything that man has need of is found in the authority, character, rank, majesty, power, and excellence of the NAME of JESUS!

God has exalted or lifted Him up above ALL to the highest position! Jesus’s obedience to death for the payment of man’s sin, is followed by a super-exalted position of honor and glory that every tongue should confess that He is Lord!

Confess – Strong’s #1843 – exomologeo – means to acknowledge or agree fully; to confess, profess, or acknowledge openly.

There is coming a day when every person, spiritual or natural born, will openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father! Either you do it now by accepting Him as your own personal Savior and Lord or you will do it later before being cast out of His presence to spend eternity in outer darkness!

Acts 3:10-12 “Let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. “This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Other – Strong’s #2087 – heteros – means different, generic distinction, another kind, not of the same nature, form, or class. Here heteros denotes a distinction and an exclusivity, with no second choices, opinions, or options. “Jesus, You are the One. You are the only One. There is no other, NO OTHER!

There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved! There is salvation in the NAME of JESUS!

When we come to the place that we realize that we need a Savior to pay the price for our sin, we can turn to Jesus knowing that if we confess Him as our Savior and Lord we will be saved. Since we learned yesterday that salvation is more than just forgiveness of sin, but also includes healing, deliverance, reconciliation between family members, financial prosperity, simply anything that you have need of, we can be assured that when we confess Jesus as the answer to our need, we can know that He is the One to provide for that need in our lives. There is forgiveness of sins in the Name of Jesus; there is Healing in the Name of Jesus; there is prosperity or wholeness in the Name of Jesus, there is reconciliation in the Name of Jesus. His authority covers every need that man has!

Have you confessed Him as Lord over your problems, over your health, over you sin, over your family, over your job, over your need? He is waiting to save you from all destruction!

Father, I thank You that there is everything that we have need of in the Name of Jesus! He rules over all and I confess Him as my Lord as well as my Savior! To Him be all glory and honor and praise for His Name is exalted above every other name whether in heaven, on the earth or under the earth. Father, I declare that sin must bow to the name of Jesus, sickness and disease must bow to the name of Jesus, financial difficulties must bow to the name of Jesus, family dysfunctions must bow to the name of Jesus, generational curses must bow to the name of Jesus, demonic oppression must bow to the name of Jesus! In Jesus’ Name I declare freedom to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, healing to the brokenhearted, release to the oppressed, and the year of jubilee to those who are caught in financial distress! I speak life to the sick in the Name of Jesus and command sickness and disease to go out of their bodies! Father, I thank You for all that the Name of Jesus comprises! Thank You for giving Jesus to be our Savior and Lord! All praise be unto You! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

The name above all names

The Greatest Gift Ever Given!

Angels singing Glory to God

Luke 2:8-20 NLT That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terribly frightened, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news of great joy for everyone! The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the city of David! And this is how you will recognize him: You will find a baby lying in a manger, wrapped snugly in strips of cloth!” Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to all whom God favors.” When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Come on, let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this wonderful thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” They ran to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. Then the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary quietly treasured these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their fields and flocks, glorifying and praising God for what the angels had told them, and because they had seen the child, just as the angel had said.

Can you imagine how quiet it must have been in that dark night after the sheep had been bedded down and the shepherds were relaxing from a day of caring for their flocks? When SUDDENLY…..an angel of the Lord appeared among them and the night sky lit up with the radiance of God’s glory! In just a twinkling of an eye their whole world changed from dark to light! That’s what happens in a person’s life when God’s glory shows up! Jesus is the glory of God in human form. His message of hope was shared with a group of shepherds. This was the greatest birth announcement ever made and it wasn’t given to kings or priests; it was given to lowly shepherds; those who, as an occupation, cared for sheep.

The first thing the angel said to the shepherds was “don’t be afraid”! In every visitation that we’ve seen from an angel that came to give a message to someone from God regarding the birth of Jesus we’ve heard “don’t be afraid”, or “do not fear”. God’s love casts out all fear. Fear is not from God, it comes as a message from the evil one who is the instigator of all negative forms of fear. The reverential fear of God is what comes from God; it is a respect, a reverence for who God is to us that causes us to love what He loves and hate what He hates. But fear that causes terror within the heart of a person comes from our enemy, the devil. The angel was instructed to tell the shepherds to not fear because God is the God of love.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

1 John 4:16-18 NLT We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in him. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we are like Christ here in this world. Such love has no fear because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of judgment, and this shows that his love has not been perfected in us. We love each other as a result of his loving us first.

It has been said that there are 365 “fear nots” in the Word of God; one for each day of the year. God does not want His children to be afraid and especially not when they are encountering Him, or communing with His Spirit or having a visit from an angelic messenger. If fear is present when you are having a spiritual encounter with the Lord, it may be another spirit other than God’s Spirit. We are instructed in 1 John 4:1 to test the spirits to make sure they are of God.

1 John 4:1 NKJV Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NwaiAMPtHs

Immediately after the angel gave the shepherds the message from God the night sky became aglow with the heavenly host singing praises to our God! “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” Christmas is not about giving and receiving presents, although we celebrate His birth through giving gifts to others. But Christmas is about Jesus! He is the Center of Christmas! He is the reason that we celebrate! Glory to God for sending Jesus to save mankind from their sin! Jesus came to bring peace on earth; peace between God and man and relationally to men with each other. When the Prince of Peace comes to live in the hearts of men we will see the ultimate peace on earth that Jesus came to give us. When we receive Him as Savior and Lord we experience peace with God that dispels all fear and gives us the hope for a bright future filled with His goodness!

Know Jesus, know peace

Know Jesus—know peace! No Jesus—no peace!

The next thing that we see happening in the life of the shepherds on that night when an angel of the Lord came to tell them of the birth of the King was that they acted on His word. We can hear the word of God spoken to us through His messenger but it’s not really ours or appropriated into our lives until we act on it. They could have heard what the angel said and rejoiced in what they heard but it was made more real to them when they acted on it by going to see the baby of which the angel had spoken. When we act on His word we are stepping out in faith saying, “I believe it and I receive it as God’s word for me in my life right now”! James calls that action as being a person who is not just hearing the word of God but doing it!

James 1:22-24 NLT And remember, it is a message to obey, not just to listen to. If you don’t obey, you are only fooling yourself. For if you just listen and don’t obey, it is like looking at your face in a mirror but doing nothing to improve your appearance. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.

The Word of God is exponentially multiplied in your life when you hear AND do it. When you read or hear it you receive one level of power from it, but when you add to it the doing then the reality of it is multiplied to you and change comes into your life. We are changed by what God says to us. His word changes our hearts and lives. We are changed from the ways of the world to know the way God thinks through the renewing of our minds to His word. (Romans 12:2) The shepherds lives were changed that night by what the angel of the Lord said to them and through their obedience to go see the baby for themselves.

When the shepherds heard the word from the angel and went to see the baby Jesus they couldn’t contain their excitement and had to go tell what they had heard and seen! When we have an encounter with the living God we are compelled to tell others about Him. We want to share what He has placed in our hearts; we want to give away the salvation that He has given us so others can know Him as well. The shepherds told everyone what had happened to them and what the angel had said to them about his child.

Luke 2:18, 19 NLT And all who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary quietly treasured these things in her heart and thought about them often.

They had to tell others about Jesus! When you’ve had a great experience in your life you want to share it with others. It is natural to let what is on the inside of you flow out to those around you. The greatest story ever told is the story of Jesus!

And the last thing that we see taking place in the lives of these shepherds is that they went back to their flocks praising God for what the angel had told them and having seen the child, just as the angel had said. The outflow of an encounter with the Lord Jesus is praise! When we draw close to Him through a living and vital relationship with Him the natural thing to do is praise Him! Our spirit connects with the Holy Spirit within us and the automatic outflow is that of praise! God fills your life with praise for Him!

Have you had an encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ, or do you simply know Jesus as the baby in the manger? Have you seen Him as Savior and Lord or just a little baby, helpless and defenseless? If you want to see Him as Your own personal Savior and Lord, just ask Him into your heart today and He will come in and save you and give you a new life, filled with His presence.

Father, I pray for those today who may want to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord. I pray that they will open their hearts to You and ask You into their lives to change them and give them a reason to continue living. For those who are depressed I pray that they will allow the Prince of Peace to come into their lives and bring peace in the midst of their sorrow. I pray that they will ask You to save them and give them new life. I pray that the eyes of the blind will be opened today to see Jesus in all His glory! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

~If you want to know more about receiving Jesus as your own personal Savior and Lord, please go to my page titled “The Road To Salvation”.  There you will find instructions on how to pray to receive Jesus as your Savior.

Give Thanks

 

Psalm 95:1-7 Oh come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the LORD is the great God; And the great King above all gods. In His hand are the deep places of the earth; The heights of the hills are His also. The sea is His, for He made it; And His hands formed the dry land. Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture. And the sheep of His hand. Today, if you will heart His voice;

I am so thankful this morning that I belong to the Lord Jesus! I am His and He is mine. God has so blessed me with such a great salvation. I have a covenant with God that is secured by the blood of Jesus. Usually with a covenant both parties must keep their part of the covenant or it is null and void. But in this case our covenant with God is between Him and His Son so I don’t have to worry about keeping a part of it. I have a right to the covenant benefits because I am in Christ Jesus. When I invited Him into my heart to be my personal Lord and Savior I became a beneficiary of His covenant benefits. That means I have forgiveness of sin, protection from my enemies, healing for my body, provision for my needs, peace when I am in the midst of a storm and whatever else that I need to live a prosperous and successful life. Jesus paid for it all!

Ephesians 1:4 says that He “has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly paces in Christ.”

Deuteronomy 28:1-13 says that when I live my life in obedience to the Lord that all these blessings will come upon me and overtake me:

You will be blessed in your towns and in the country.

You will be blessed with many children and productive fields.

You will be blessed with fertile herds and flocks.

You will be blessed with baskets overflowing with fruit, and with kneading bowls filled with bread.

You will be blessed wherever you go, both in coming and in going.

“The LORD will conquer your enemies when they attack you. They will attack you from one direction, but they will scatter from you in seven!

“The LORD will bless everything you do and will fill your storehouses with grain. The LORD your God will bless you in the land He is giving you.

“If you obey the commands of the LORD your God and walk in His ways, the LORD will establish you as His holy people as He solemnly promised to do. Then all the nations of the world will see that you are a people claimed by the LORD, and they will stand in awe of you.

“The LORD will give you an abundance of good things in the land He swore to give your ancestors—many children, numerous livestock, and abundant crops. The LORD will send rain at the proper time from His rich treasury in the heavens to bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them. If you listen to these commands of the LORD your God and carefully obey them, the LORD will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always have the upper hand.”

The reason that I am so blessed is so that I can be a blessing to those around me!

Genesis 12:2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing.

God spoke that promise to Abram speaking of him being the Father of faith and, by so, making His people children of faith. I am a Son of Abraham by faith in Christ Jesus and so I fall under the blessing of Abraham and the children of God.

Galatians 3:7-9 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.

With all that said, I can say this morning that I am thankful that I am so blessed!

Father, I thank You for making me Your child. I thank You for giving Jesus Christ that I might be redeemed and reconciled to You. You are my God and I am the sheep of Your pasture. Thank You for providing for my every need. And thank You for blessing me with all the blessings of life. You have been so good to me! And I praise You this morning and thank You from the bottom of my heart. I am blessed to be a blessing. May all who come in contact with me know that You are the reason that I am blessed. May Your blessing flow through me to touch others for Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God. May I bless others with the blessings that You have bestowed on me. May my hands be open to release the goodness that You have given me so that others may receive blessings from my God through me. With a grateful heart I offer up thanksgiving unto You this morning for You have been so good to me! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Jesus Is The Bridge Over Troubled Waters

 

Proverbs 18:24 A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

It’s not often that I wake up with a secular song running through my mind, but this morning I kept hearing the song, “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” speaking to my spirit. As I listened to this song I realized that Jesus is the bridge over troubled waters for us. He is the one who gives us safe crossing over the troubles that arise in our lives. God provided a safe haven for us that protects us from the storms of life when we enter into a relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ.

John 15:14, 15 “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.”

We are no longer servants of God, but through Jesus we have become His friends. He comforts and shelters us from the troubling times that rage around us. He is our bridge over troubled waters. It’s through communion with His Spirit who lives within us that we find comfort in times of trouble, a friend who’s always there, leadership and guidance when we have lost our way and one who sticks close to us through all kinds of life’s challenges.

The song speaks of someone being there to lay down his life to be that bridge over troubled waters for his friend. Jesus laid down His life that He might be that bridge to God for His friends.

John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

John 10:17, 18 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. “No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have receive from My Father.”

Jesus willingly went to the cross for us that He might bridge the gap that was between us and the Heavenly Father because of our sin. He is the way that leads to reconciliation with God that no man could make. It took the sinless blood of Jesus to make the bridge that would lead us over the gulf of sin into the presence of God. He has reconciled sinful man with a holy God!

Ephesians 2:14-18 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them, bot to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

Have you traveled the cross that bridges the gap between you and the Father? Jesus is the only way to get there.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

There is no other way to get to the Father except the way of the cross. You must come through the blood of Jesus, accepting what He did for you, personally, through Him laying down His life for your sins. Sin kept us from being able to come into the presence of a holy God, but the blood of the sinless Son of God restored us to right relationship with Him.

2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Jesus took our sin upon Himself and nailed it to the cross, making us dead to sin and alive to Him when we we receive His payment for our sin. Salvation comes to us as we realize that we are born as sinners and we can’t do anything for ourselves to save us from our sins. Then we come to an understanding that Christ died for us that we might not have to spend eternity separated from God because of our sin. He laid down His life and became that bridge over troubled waters for us. We receive salvation through faith in Him as a personal relationship, not a legalistic, ritualistic approach to God, but as one who knows Jesus and accepts His personal payment for our sin.

Romans 10:6-10; 13 NLT But the way of getting right with God through faith says, “You don’t need to go to heaven” (to find Christ and bring him down to help you). And it says, “You don’t need to go to the place of the dead” ( to bring Christ back to life again). Salvation that comes from trusting Christ—which is the message we preach—is already within easy reach. In fact, the Scriptures say, “The message is close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart.” For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. For “Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Have you believed in your heart that Jesus died for you and God raised Him to new life again? Have you confessed Him as your Lord and Savior? That’s how you cross over the bridge into God’s presence. Those who haven’t crossed the bridge will spend eternity separated from the Father. But those who by faith receive what Jesus did for them on the cross and confess Him as their personal Savior and Lord have free access to the bridge that leads them across the troubled waters of life. They are free to cross over into God’s presence.

If you have never received that salvation that we have talked about this morning. It’s really very simple; people often feel that they have to perform to a certain standard to receive salvation. But as the above scripture says all you have to do is believe and receive! If you have never done that and you want to, please pray with me and mean it sincerely in your heart.

Father, I come before you now confessing that I am a sinner, both by birth and by choice. I have chosen to walk through life in my own way, that is apart from You. But I now realize that Jesus paid the price for my sin; that He died on that cross for me and that You raised Him from the dead; and that if I confess Him as my Lord I can receive access to that bridge that brings me into Your presence. I believe in my heart that Jesus is the only way to be reconciled to You, Father God. I believe that He died for me, that You raised Him back to new life and I confess Him now as my Savior and Lord. I thank You, Lord Jesus, for laying down Your life for me and for saving me. Thank You, Father, for making me Your child. From this day forward I will live for you! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer and received Jesus into your heart you now have access to the Father, through the Son. He is your Savior and Lord and your name is recorded in heaven as being in the family of God. Congratulations! That is the most important decision a person can make and has to be made this side of death. We only have the freedom to choose while we are still alive. It is important that everyone understands that there is no choosing once you die. The choice has to be made now!

Father, I thank You for those who have chosen Jesus this morning. I pray for those who may be wavering in their decision to follow You. I pray that they will choose now, before it is too late, to be born into the family of God. Father, I also lift up those who are experiencing troubled waters in their lives. I pray that You will make Yourself real to them and show them that You are the bridge over the difficulties that we experience in life. We can walk above the raging storms of life, safe in You. Thank You for giving us free access to Your salvation! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

Ocean Waves

 

When the ocean waves are crashing around us let’s remember that  our God is bigger than the waves of the sea!

Psalm 107:28, 29  Then they cry out to the LORD in their trouble, And He brings them out of their distresses.  He calms the storm, So that its waves are still.

Let’s proclaim that the waves of the sea are being stilled because He is LORD!

May God’s peace rest upon you!

 
Father, I pray for all those affected by the hurricane, Sandy.  I ask You, Lord, to still the waves, to calm the storm.  I speak peace to the storm in the name of Jesus.  Father, I ask You to restore what has been stolen from Your people.  I pray for those who have lost loved ones, that You will comfort them and reveal Yourself to them in a way that they have never known.  Give them peace in their hearts.  Father, for those who are afraid I ask that You will let Your presence be felt by them so that they can know that You are with them and You will take care of them.  For those who have lost property I ask that You would restore all that the devil has stolen from them through this monster storm.  Father, You are LORD over all!  May You be glorified even in the works of the enemy.  Thank You for saving, healing, delivering and restoring people who are sick, hurting, oppressed and in despair.  You reign supreme!  You are able to deliver and restore!  Thank You for being a stronghold in the time of trouble and a refuge from the storm.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

Let It Be To Me According To Your Word

Luke 1:38 Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the LORD! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

Did you know that when God speaks a word into your life that you will never be the same again?

Mary had a visitation from the angel of the Lord that totally changed her life. She received what He told her by faith and humbly submitted herself to God’s plan for her life without questioning every detail of how it would happen or what others would think of her. By understanding her position as a servant of the Most High God, Mary was willing to pay the price to be the vessel that God would flow through to impact the world for His Kingdom. She simply responded with her desire that His will be done in her life.

“Let it be to me according to your word.”

Can you imagine what could have been going through her mind at that moment? Here she was a young teenager engaged to Joseph, ready to being her married life, and an angel appears to her and tells her that she is going to be overshadowed by the Holy Spirit and impregnated with the seed of Almighty God and will give birth to the Son of God! Her only question was, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” Mary knew what it took to get pregnant. She was a virtuous young lady, and yet she willingly submitted to God’s will for her life. She knew the risks of becoming pregnant before marriage and how she could possibly lose her future husband and be stoned to death for unfaithfulness. She knew the possibility of her family rejecting her and all of society looking at her as an outcast. All of these things must have been going through her mind and yet…..”Let it be to me according to your word.”

The calling that God had on Mary’s life was a very real calling; He wanted to do great and mighty things through her life. He has a calling on each one of our lives. Will you be willing to surrender to His calling regardless of the possible consequences on your life?

Mary’s cousin, Elizabeth, later made this statement about her: “Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.” Elizabeth called Mary “blessed” because she believed the message from the Lord that the angel had delivered to her. Mary was blessed to be a vessel that God could use to usher His salvation into the world. Each one of us is blessed to be a blessing to those around us, no matter how small or how great. We tend to view the ones that are more visible as being of greater use to the Lord, but He sees each one of us as His own special messenger, sent to do the work that He has called us to do. None is greater than another in God’s eyes. But each calling is just as vitally important as the next one. The only requirement that God has of us is as we yield to His will for His life that we have faith to believe that, as Mary, it will be as He has said; that we will believe Him to fulfill His work through us.

Father, I thank You for choosing me to do whatever You desire to do through my life. I yield my will to Yours and receive the calling that You have on my life to effect change in my world. Father, I ask You to make it clear to me what You would have me to do and say as You direct me to share Your word and Your love with those around me. I ask You, Lord, to give me the courage that I need to stand up and be counted for Your righteous cause in this day and hour; that I might not give in to the ways of the world, but will continue to stand in faith believing that You will do in me and through me what You have planned for my life. I pray for my friends this morning that they might also seek Your will for their lives and then stand in faith believing that You will bring it to pass in Your time. Give them the vision that You want them to have of the calling that You have on each of their lives. Empower them by Your Spirit to do the work and give them courage to stand strong in the face of adversity. Thank You, Father, for making us world changers in these last days. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

MY LOVE

My life is in You, Lord

My heart is in Your hand.

Each day Your Spirit guides me

And causes me to stand.

I listen for Your voice,

I love to hear You speak.

You brighten up my valleys,

Without You I am weak.

Thank You for Your love, Lord.

You are my life, my light.

You are my King, my Master,

My song in the night.

I pledge my love to You, Lord.

I give You all I am.

I’ll walk this day with You,

My shepherd, like a lamb.

~Avanell ~ 1999

My Life Is Yours, Lord!

Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my hands and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.

Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee;
Take my voice and let me sing
Always, only for my King.

Take my lips and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee;
Take my silver and my gold,
Not a mite would I withhold

Take my love, my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure store;
Take myself and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ma-RUB28iYE

Galatians 2:20, 21 “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. “I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”

Father, I pray that You will purify my heart and make me a vessel of honor unto You. I present my heart to You, Lord, that You might take it and make it what You want it to be, clean and unblemished before You; pure, that I might see You.

“I see your heart, Child. I know it inside and out for I created your heart. You are My masterpiece created unto good works. You are fashioned after Me. You were created to be filled by Me and Me alone. You are Mine. I placed the seal of My Spirit within you. You were bought with a price; the precious blood of My Son. You are more valuable than any of My creation. Would I not, then, do as you have asked? Would I not develop My investment in You? I am working; I am changing you; I am doing what you have asked. I never sleep or slumber because I am always working. Do you not sense the work that I am doing in you? Do you not perceive the new thing that is rising up within you? I am doing all that. It is Me within you that is changing your desires. Be patient, Child, and rest in Me and allow Me to mold you into the image of My Son.”

Everyone Needs To Take Time To Rest!

Mark 6:30-32 Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves.

Once the word about the miracles that Jesus was doing and how He had empowered His apostles to do those same things, the people flocked to them. The multitudes came from all over to hear and receive the life that they offered. Healings abounded and many received the miracle working power of God through them. They found themselves constantly ministering to the needs of the people until they had no time for themselves to rest. Many times they didn’t even have time to sit down and eat a meal because the needs of the people were so great. In this particular instance after the apostles had been out ministering Jesus sensed their need for rest so He took them away to a deserted place where He thought they could get by themselves to have some time to rest and refresh themselves for the days ahead.

Rest – Greek word anapauo – Strong’s #373 means “to make to cease.” The word describes a cessation from toil, a refreshment, an intermission.

Everyone needs time away from the demands of life to catch their breath, to relax and to enjoy a little “down” time. A lot of ministers will take Monday off after having such a demanding ministry day on Sunday. God, the Father, said that man should work six days and then take a day for rest.

Exodus 31:15-17 ‘Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. ‘Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. ‘It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.’”

Rested – Hebrew word shabat – Strong’s #7673 means to stop, to rest, to cease, to end. This verb is of great importance in the Old Testament, mainly because of the noun that is formed from it: shabbat, or as we say, “Sabbath.” The shabbat is the day when all work ceases, and Israel rests and meditates on the glories of God’s creation (heaven and Earth), just as God rested on that first Sabbath (Gen. 2:1-3)

God worked in making His creation for six days and then He took a day for resting and refreshing Himself. He knew that His man would need that same “down” time to give his spirit, soul and body the refreshment they need to be able to handle the demands of life. We now live in a society that goes constantly; people rarely take time to just do nothing but be with the Lord. They are pulled in all different directions by the high demands of life. Some work even on Sundays which is the Lord’s day and supposed to be a day of rest. And even when they take time off to rest their vacations are so filled with activities or work that they do at home that they never get to the place where they feel rested from being away from work. They simply exchange one form of work for another.

It is when people continue in the high demands placed on themselves that their bodies become stressed and eventually break down under the pressure. Their emotions are pulled in different directions and Christians can experience instability in their spiritual walk with the Lord because the demands on their bodies have become so great.

In 1 Kings 19 we read the story of Elijah running into the wilderness fleeing from Jezebel who wanted to kill him for the ministry he had done in exposing her and the false prophets that were leading the people astray. We find that because of his extreme fatigue his whole emotional outlook towards ministering for the Lord became skewed. He was tired and emotionally drained and listen to what he said to the Lord because of it:

1 Kings 19:1-4 And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, also how he had executed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah saying, “So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time.” and when he saw that, he arose and ran for his life, and went to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, LORD, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!”

Elijah was tired, stressed and emotionally drained. He had confronted all the prophets of Jezebel and ministered mightily in exposing them and revealing God to the people as the One true God. He hand of the Lord was upon him to end the drought they had been experiencing for three years. He had run ahead of Ahab to beat the abundance of rain that was coming as he spoke according to God’s word to end the drought and bring rain upon the land once again. His ministry was flourishing and he was exhausted as he met the attacks of the enemy. He spoke to the Lord of wanting to die because he simply was worn out from working in the ministry.

God didn’t condemn him or reject him for feeling the way he felt. But instead He caused him to lie down and rest. After the rest he sent an angel to minister refreshment to him.

1 Kings 19:5-7 Then as he lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly an angel touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat.” Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank and lay down again. And the angel of the LORD came back the second time, and touched him, and said, “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.”

God ministered to him in his time of fatigue. He sent an angel to provide foot for him after he slept. The Father knew that he needed time to rest and be refreshed before he could continue on doing what He had called him to do. People need time to rest and be refreshed or they will burn out under the demands of life. It was only after Elijah had taken time to rest and have proper nourishment that he would be able to go back into the high demands of ministry that God had given him.

Are you tired this morning? Do you feel that life is overwhelming you? Maybe you just need some time away from it’s demands to rest and refresh yourself; to get the proper perspective about what is taking place.

Friends, I have written a daily devotional blog pretty much every day for the last six months and I am tired. I realize that I need to take some time off periodically so I have some time away from the demands of ministry. Not only have I written this blog, but I have also continued to pursue my college degree through this time as well as teaching as requested by my Pastor on Wednesday nights. I am going to take some time off to rest. I may continue to have a daily blog for you as I feel lead to share, but if I am not here every day please don’t think that I have deserted you; I am simply taking the day off. I will seek the Lord for what to share and if I have a shortened blog for that day I will still present it to you. I know that many of you count on me for your devotional life and I feel the pressure of being responsible to feed the sheep in this manner. Please know that my heart is to share God’s word with you and to encourage you in your daily walk with the Lord. Thank you for your continued support and encouragement to me through your comments, prayers and personal words of encouragement. I appreciate each one of you!

Father, I thank you for the opportunity to minister Your word to the people. I thank You for the avenue You have given me to share what I feel You have placed on my heart with others. And I thank You for their faithfulness in reading and commenting on my blogs. They have been faithful supporters of the work that I feel that You have called me to do in this place. I ask You now, to meet their every need. Fill them with the spiritual manna that they need to build up their spirit man to meet the demands of life. Give them the strength that they need to fight the battles that the enemy brings into their lives. Love them through me, Lord, and give me the word from Your word that will lighten their load and encourage them. Thank You, Father, for times of rest and refreshment. I pray that as I rest You will fill me to overflowing with what You want me to share with them. I love ministering Your healing balm to those that You have placed within my sphere of influence and I thank You for the opportunity to speak into their lives what You would have me share with them. I pray Your blessing on each reader this morning that comes to this blog to find spiritual nourishment. Grant them the blessing of knowing You, Lord. Fill them to overflowing with Your very presence and give them rest from their labors. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

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