Hospitable sharing

Giving the gift of hospitality

Whatever is your gift, use it to God’s glory! If it’s showing hospitality, you are highly favored. God is watching your heart’s desire, to bring glory to Him.

Following an extreme celebration of giving thanks, I am in awe of how worthwhile it is to stop and ponder. When I remember God’s gift to mankind, I cannot begin to compare the “suffering” of chores and celebration preparation to the joy that awaits the fruit of these efforts. #thankfulhearts

But more importantly, loving one another earnestly is the remedy needed to allow forgiveness (even for a multitude of sins). Can we be earnest without first investing time, money and/or attention? #God’slove

Am I touching another as God would want that person to be ministered to? Am I recognizing the grateful heart outpoured to me when thanks is given?

Endurance through suffering is also part of that. It may be needed when my gift is not appreciated, taken for granted or when my grateful thanks is spurned or worse, misunderstood. Suffering may be endured for years. However, by patiently enduring, (James 1- read below) I will see the fruit of a heart being complete (at rest) in Christ, the author and finisher of my faith- Hebrews 12:2.

For the sake of our prayers, we should remain under the Holy Spirit’s influence (self-control). We have no idea who will benefit from our prayers as God puts their name/face in our thoughts.-Teresa #gratefulforyou

James 1:2-4 (NET)

2My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4And let endurance have its perfect effect, so that you will be perfect and complete, not deficient in anything.

1 Peter 4:7-5:14English Standard Version

7 The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. 8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Suffering as a Christian

12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory[a] and of God rests upon you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And

“If the righteous is scarcely saved,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”[b]

19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.

What stops the joy?

Beautiful ones in Uganda who bring me so much joy*

Is there anything that stands in the way of God’s love for me, stealing my joy?

Could it be anger that has been allowed to brew deep down? It can stop the flow of love for myself and others.

After all, in James 1, the apostle states that “man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires”. #rightrelationshipwithGod

In order to realize God’s love, we must give up what we feel is ours to hold. Jesus has taken the accusation and the punishment that was rightfully ours. #surrender

That means it is no longer mine to hold. There is no need to justify myself. There is no need to seek recompense.

Who is it that justifies? It is God alone!

As I rest in God’s love for me, I remember the One who is able to deliver me from a joyless existence, providing a righteous life.

Who brings me freedom from angst and showers me with intense joy? His love can begin to overflow in me. Love for myself and love for others is what Jesus will never stop providing. He knows me and helps me realize with confidence that I am loved. #letgoandlove

This passage amazes me over and over.- Teresa #loved

Romans 8:31-39 (NET)

31
What then shall we say about these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 Indeed, he who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, freely give us all things? 33Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is the one who will condemn? Christ is the one who died (and more than that, he was raised), who is at the right hand of God, and who also is interceding for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will trouble, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, “For your sake we encounter death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us! 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor heavenly rulers, nor things that are present, nor things to come, nor powers,39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

James 1:19-26 (ESV)

19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

*photo credit, Gabby Trint Buule

Wisdom of the youth

Fire and Ice rose- very fragrant!!

My husband and I were reminded last night of the beauty that overflows when a life given to follow God is based on his word, the Bible.

We heard the story of identical twin boys, now young men who have chosen to follow hard after God. They were not ashamed to say, “how could we not know there is a God? We have been given so much NOT through coincidence but through the Holy Spirit provision.”

How long has it been since a young person’s wisdom literally blew me away. It was because they not only talked it, but were walking it!!

Their respect for “older people” was matched with their enthusiasm to share themselves, unashamedly. They ministered to my husband and me. I alluded to it being like we were clothed with the sword of the Spirit: by locking shields together (the faith of fellow believers) we were able to cut through enemy ground with the sword of the Spirit (the word of God) and advance for the kingdom of God.

They ended our time together with expressing their love for God not only because he had provided for them physically (raised by a single mom), but he had brought emotional healing by helping them forgive their father (who has chosen to remain out of their lives).

They were a picture of the Psalm below. Overflowing with joy to speak of their trust in God, genuinely interested in those they spoke with, they gave out of the abundance of the wisdom in their souls. #GodasFather

What is it that causes dread vs. anticipation and how can we turn it around?. Am I seeing it as a way to grow in my understanding of God’s provision for me, am I approaching it as a question of what does God need to change in me or am I just determined to be a positive influence around others? (all wonderful answers given by others).

For me, I am sure that God wants to help me change certain things in the way I think. Instead of being concerned about “others opinions of me”, to be focused on Him. Studying and delighting in God’s work in others brings wisdom.

My grief (or my dread) makes me realize that I’ve had loss but it also helps me anticipate the comfort I can share with others. My daughter sent a picture of these teardrops- such a wonderful visual of God’s love for us. (Remember the Father’s teardrop at the conclusion of the Passion*)? Be moved and blessed by God- Teresa #wisdomoftheyouth

“I’ve cried a lot of tears, but each time I find one of these tears it has to do with a blessing he wants to give”- Berit Anderson

*the Passion of the Christ, 2004 film written by Mel Gibson

Psalm 111:1-10 (ESV)

111 [a] Praise the Lord!
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,
in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
2 Great are the works of the Lord,
studied by all who delight in them.
3 Full of splendor and majesty is his work,
and his righteousness endures forever.
4 He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered;
the Lord is gracious and merciful.
5 He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever.
6 He has shown his people the power of his works,
in giving them the inheritance of the nations.
7 The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy;
8 they are established forever and ever,
to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
9 He sent redemption to his people;
he has commanded his covenant forever.
Holy and awesome is his name!
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever!

Perfect forever

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I’ve been working as a student extern for the past three weeks, applying for my pharmacy tech license tomorrow. As a retired RN, I am enjoying this field. There are regulatory laws that oversee pharmacy practice. Each law was introduced to make the products or distribution of the drugs safer, guaranteeing effectiveness.

In this passage, the law was given to establish on earth, a heavenly perspective. When it came to developing perfect righteousness for mankind, however, the law failed and the priestly oath was established. For those instances when mankind was unable to keep the law, blood was shed (animal sacrifice) and through the authority of the priest it was offered as atonement for the person’s sin against God (sin is…missing His mark of perfection).

The sacrificial system was transformed when Jesus Christ the LORD came. He offered himself up once and for all as the perfect (sinless) sacrifice, shedding his own blood to atone for all our sin (past, present and future). He was also made (through the Father’s oath), a perfect priest, guaranteeing the new covenant agreement between God and man. (See Jeremiah 31 below).

His authority over my life is final. As much as “man-made” systems would like to thwart or skew God’s word, in the end He decides what is just and right. After all, He is our creator and the sustainer of life.

“He is able to save to the uttermost” (v.25). How? He always lives to intercede on our behalf. Wow!! Can you think of anything better than knowing the eternally perfect Son of God has taken you under His wing?

Our part is found in that same verse (25)…”draw near to God through him“. Without Jesus Christ the Lord, we have no safe passage to God the Father. He proclaims this requirement in the gospel of John (see below).

When I learn a new profession, I am not perfect. There is a learning curve. As humans, can we ever be perfect, spiritually? I heard a great song this week by Rachel Lampa (with Toby Mac) called “Perfectly Loved” . Perfectly Loved

Hope you enjoy! – Teresa

Hebrews 7:18-28English Standard Version

18 For on the one hand, a former commandment set aside because of its weakness and uselessness19 (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.

20 And it was not without an oath. For those who formerly became priests were made such without an oath, 21 but this one was made a priest with an oath by the one who said to him:

“The Lord has sworn
and will not change his mind,
‘You are a priest forever.’”

22 This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant.

23 The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, 24 but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever.25 Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost[a] those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.

26 For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. 27 He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself. 28 For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever.

Jeremiah 31:33-34 (NET)

“But I will make a new covenant with the whole nation of Israel after I plant them back in the land,” says the Lord. “I will put my law within them and write it on their hearts and minds. I will be their God and they will be my people.34
“People will no longer need to teach their neighbors and relatives to know me. For all of them, from the least important to the most important, will know me,” says the Lord. “For I will forgive their sin and will no longer call to mind the wrong they have done.”

John 6:44-46 (NET)

44No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who hears and learns from the Father comes to me. 46 (Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God – he has seen the Father.)

Steadfast love means it never ends!

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Although this chapter in Lamentations is not about a traditional marriage, the punch line is about what every bride and groom longs for…that their love will never end.

God’s love is faithful because He is faithful. When circumstances are tedious, heavy or even hurtful, His mercy is renewed every morning towards mankind. The closer each person gets to God, the closer both bride and groom are moved toward each other- better together.

My husband and I just finished watching the docuseries, “Aftershock”. It covered the 2015 earthquake in Nepal from three different angles. Some were trapped on the mountain (Everest). Others escaped from a village (Langtang Valley) that was entirely wiped out. Yet, most of the devastation took place in the capital city of Kathmandu, where close to 9 thousand people died.

What an authentic representation of how people respond in times of disaster. It was also a reminder of how precious life is-as we know it. Clearly, life can change in a moment.

On the great “Day” of the Lord, when God shakes the earth one last time, it will result in final judgment against sin’s curse and the end of life on this earth (before the new heavens and earth are established). This could be today or it could be 5,000 years from now (as the Bible informs us that no one knows the day or the hour.)

The main truth to remember is that we continue to live in such a way as to bring glory to God. Although our mortal life will someday end, God draws us by His steadfast love into a relationship that is truly “eternal”. His gift to us is called eternal life and is defined in John 17- to know God and His Son, Jesus Christ. This relationship empowers us to live meaningfully.-Teresa #hopeinhim #rejoice #newmercy #newday

Lamentations 3: 22-27 (ESV)

22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;[b]
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”

I Thessalonians 5:1-12 (NET)

1Now on the topic of times and seasons, brothers and sisters, you have no need for anything to be written to you. 2 For you know quite well that the day of the Lord will come in the same way as a thief in the night. 3 Now when they are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction comes on them, like labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will surely not escape. 4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in the darkness for the day to overtake you like a thief would.5 For you all are sons of the light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of the darkness. 6 So then we must not sleep as the rest, but must stay alert and sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 But since we are of the day, we must stay sober by putting on the breastplate of faith and love and as a helmet our hope for salvation. 9 For God did not destine us for wrath but for gaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.10 He died for us so that whether we are alert or asleep we will come to life together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, just as you are in fact doing.

Revelation 16:18-20 (NET)

18 Then there were flashes of lightning, roaring, and crashes of thunder, and there was a tremendous earthquake – an earthquake unequaled since humanity has been on the earth, so tremendous was that earthquake. 19 The great city was split into three parts and the cities of the nations collapsed. So Babylon the great was remembered before God, and was given the cup filled with the wine made of God’s furious wrath. 20 Every island fled away and no mountains could be found.

John 17:1-5 (NET)

1When Jesus had finished saying these things, he looked upward to heaven and said, “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, so that your Son may glorify you – 2 just as you have given him authority over all humanity, so that he may give eternal life to everyone you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life – that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent. 4 I glorified you on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me at your side with the glory I had with you before the world was created. 6

The LORD on high is mighty

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Mightier than the waves of the sea, the LORD’s strength is majestic. From everlasting to everlasting, God’s “word” is as deafening as a mighty roar (when we believe, or have faith). Decreed as trustworthy, He is holy and I am in awe (love is an action word, demonstrated by God’s provision for mankind).

Who is the “word” of God written by the apostle in John 1? Is it not Jesus Christ, God’s Son? He desires us to receive Him as Savior and Lord and thus become the children of God.

Who is this anointed King, bringing salvation to mankind? It is the One who was also present at creation. An astounding voice, He spoke the water into existence and He became the Word of God to speak newness into my life.

I once was lost and confused about what I should think about myself. In fact, other people’s words often influenced me more than God’s truth.

After being challenged by my pastor to read the Bible daily (when I was 9 years old), I have been helped beyond all measure by the truth of His powerful word and message. It is the same throughout the Old and New Testament, a message of His deliverance from sin and self. It’s a message of receiving His way, the gift of eternal life through faith.

When the floods roar (as in the day of Noah to destroy creation and mankind), remember that God is mightier still. He has provided an ark of rescue for those who look to God for grace and mercy. – Teresa #receiveHim #today

John 1:1-12 (NET)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was fully God. 2 The Word was with God in the beginning. 3 All things were created by him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. 5 And the light shines on in the darkness, but the darkness has not mastered it. 6
A man came, sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify about the light, so that everyone might believe through him. 8 He himself was not the light, but he came to testify about the light. 9The true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was created by him, but the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to what was his own, but his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who have received him – those who believe in his name – he has given the right to become God’s children 13 – children not born by human parents or by human desire or a husband’s decision, but by God.

Psalm 93:1-5 (ESV)

93 The Lord reigns; he is robed in majesty;
the Lord is robed; he has put on strength as his belt.
Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.
2 Your throne is established from of old;
you are from everlasting.

3 The floods have lifted up, O Lord,
the floods have lifted up their voice;
the floods lift up their roaring.
4 Mightier than the thunders of many waters,
mightier than the waves of the sea,
the Lord on high is mighty!

5 Your decrees are very trustworthy;
holiness befits your house,
O Lord, forevermore.

John 3:16-18 (NET)

For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through him. 18The one who believes in him is not condemned. The one who does not believe has been condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God.

https://youtu.be/APx3t8HNK0E

Listen to the above link … Second Chapter of Acts rendition of Psalm 93 (start at 2:00 minutes for the best part)!!

Doorkeeper vs. tent dweller

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Psalm 64: 10-12 (ESV)

10 For a day in your courts is better
than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold
from those who walk uprightly.
12 O Lord of hosts,
blessed is the one who trusts in you!

Who has experienced God’s goodness? Knowing that… would you say it’s true that one day as the most insignificant servant in God’s household is better than a whole lifetime of dwelling amongst wickedness?

Trusting God means experiencing favor and honor. That alone is enough goodness to help us walk uprightly. Sure there are times we would like to have our cake and eat it too. Choosing what God says is best for us may seem like we are getting the short end of “riches” or fewer friends but when we go to sleep at night we have His peace that surpasses understanding (Phil 4:6,7).

Philippians 4:6,7 (NET)

Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

When the people flying first class are crude and rude (I heard one passenger this past week laughing hysterically and repeating three times while talking on her phone “ did you just call me a f..ng b.?” And those flying economy are the students with no carryons but polite. I’ll tell you right now that I prefer to stay in economy class, sitting at the back of the plane.

It’s not always about wealth but it sure seems that the tents of wickedness can’t get enough of swindling. Just one day, Lord, in your courts. You satisfy me and I am grateful.- Teresa #withYou #Iamsatisfied #lifetimelearner

Is being heavenly-minded no earthly good?

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At 10 years old, I wanted to be an astronaut when I grew up. Watching the Apollo astronauts on TV (during school) was certainly part of the reason for my excitement. Also, I developed a love for traveling (like my mom) that was fueled by discovering new places.

While I consider this passage, I find great comfort in knowing that my “fleshly nature” has died and my “spiritual life” has been awakened. Even more secure, it is hidden with Christ in God.

That is because God chose me, called me holy and beloved. This knowledge alone can cause my compassionate heart to overflow. Do I feel chosen? For those who have a question on whether or not they are chosen, I challenge you to ask God for His confirmation in your life. The Holy Spirit comforts us in this. But I must warn you that an honest, humble petition will result in something you never thought possible. Be prepared to be amazed!

What am I struggling with today? Maybe it’s part of my “earthly life”. Remembering that Christ, (who “is all and in all“ ) will help me solve many issues involving those who think “differently” than me.

Forgiveness means letting God’s plan of peace pervade my thoughts. I can focus on the truth of God’s word or I can focus on the “white noise” of the world’s system (which is opposed to God).

He is our peace and He is love. (We love because He first loved us – I John 3:16). In that, there is much earthly good to be reaped. – Teresa #beheavenlyminded #sowtheseedonearth

Colossians 3:1-17. English Standard Version

Put On the New Self

3 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your[a] life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you:[b]sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming.[c] 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them.8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self[d] with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave,[e] free; but Christ is all, and in all.

12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.Read full chapter

Footnotes

  1. Colossians 3:4 Some manuscripts our
  2. Colossians 3:5 Greek therefore your members that are on the earth
  3. Colossians 3:6 Some manuscripts add upon the sons of disobedience
  4. Colossians 3:9 Greek man; also as supplied in verse 10
  5. Colossians 3:11 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface; likewise for Bondservants in verse 22

A contrite heart revived

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There were moments when the wickedness of the world had become too much for those with contrite hearts. At that point, God chose to provide them with an escape (translating them into glory). I understand my father’s death this way. He had endured so much wickedness with those around him that God chose to give him peace.

But there are also times when the believer must live and be a witness of Jesus’ humility and strength. They are enabled with the power of God to endure for a time.

Those who are lowly, He will revive their spirit. Those who are of a contrite heart, He dwells with them.

When God dwells with man, the curse of sin has ended. (Sin leads to eternal separation from God, aka spiritual death- Romans 6:23).

John the Baptist sounded the warning that prepared the way for Messiah (Anointed One and Savior). He told the people “repent for the kingdom of heaven is near”. Repentance requires a lowly and contrite heart. It means a change in our heart’s allegiance from being self- centered to seeing it God’s way (180 degree turn about). This usually happens after a tremendous revelation of His love.

The people in Jerusalem that day may not have recognized in the moment the outpouring of love Jesus offered for us. He endured the punishment of the cross, not because He was a criminal but because it was God’s plan to satisfy the requirement for salvation (to buy us back from sin to God =redemption). He understood the cost and took on the task. Why? He was the only one able to bear the sin of the whole world (and was without sin). He conquered sin’s curse (aka death and ended eternal separation from God) when he rose again from the grave. In that moment He offered mankind a tremendous gift. The gift of forgiveness and eternal life.

Receive His gift today (with a lowly and contrite heart). – Teresa (listen to the song “Who am I”) #tobelovedbyYOU #NEEDTOBREATHE

Isaiah 57:15 ((ESV)

15 For thus says the One who is high and lifted up,
who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
“I dwell in the high and holy place,
and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly,
and to revive the heart of the contrite.

Isaiah 57:1,2 (NET)


1 The godly perish,
but no one cares.
Honest people disappear,
when no one minds
that the godly disappear because of evil. 2 Those who live uprightly enter a place of peace;
they rest on their bed

Romans 6: 19-23 (NET)

19 (I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh.) For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. 20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free with regard to righteousness. 21
So what benefit did you then reap from those things that you are now ashamed of? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now, freed from sin and enslaved to God, you have your benefit leading to sanctification, and the end is eternal life. 23 For the payoff of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Matthew 3:1-11 (NET)

1 In those days John the Baptist came into the wilderness of Judea proclaiming, 2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” 3 For he is the one about whom Isaiah the prophet had spoken:
The voice of one shouting in the wilderness,
Prepare the way for the Lord, make his paths straight.’” 4
Now John wore clothing made from camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his diet consisted of locusts and wild honey. 5 Then people from Jerusalem, as well as all Judea and all the region around the Jordan, were going out to him, 6 and he was baptizing them in the Jordan River as they confessed their sins. 7
But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You offspring of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Therefore produce fruit that proves your repentance, 9 and don’t think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that God can raise up children for Abraham from these stones! 10 Even now the ax is laid at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. 11
“I baptize you with water, for repentance, but the one coming after me is more powerful than I am – I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Revelation 22:1-3 (NET)

1
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life – water as clear as crystal – pouring out from the throne of God and of the Lamb, 2 flowing down the middle of the city’s main street. On each side of the river is the tree of life producing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month of the year. Its leaves are for the healing of the nations. 3 And there will no longer be any curse, and the throne of God and the Lamb will be in the city. His servants will worship him, 4 and they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5Night will be no more, and they will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, because the Lord God will shine on them, and they will reign forever and ever.

The mystery of his will

Mariposa cabin grove

In Yosemite this past month, we encountered some smoke but only at the higher elevations. It was so refreshing when the following day (after this image was captured), we experienced a deluge of rain, cleansing the atmosphere.

Whether the air is subpar with smoke or freshly humidified with rain, I love Yosemite views!

This passage in Ephesians is not meant to discourage us with words like predestinated or adoption. The smoke of human allusions to these words could be negative or may cloud our understanding of the spiritual perspective.

How much better to see it as a mystery, high elevation beauty that exudes God’s goodness. How can God be inclusive with a word like predestined? Or is it the phrase “adoption to himself” that clarifies the intent of God’s heart?

Even those of us who are not Israel have been shown mercy and grace, being included as adopted sons and daughters.

The Holy Spirit guarantees the inheritance for us. Jesus Christ the Lord bought the inheritance for our redemption from sin. God the Father foreknew (planned) what would happen because it was in His heart to rescue all of mankind.

Today, take a look at the view and be awed by the mystery. When He works all things together for good (Romans 8:28) (to those who love God and are called according to his purpose), He really means that His purpose will stand. #mystery

In spite of my brokenness, He is making things more beautiful than I can ask or imagine.- Teresa #loveGodfirst

Ephesians 1:3-14 (ESV)

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us[b] for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known[c] to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee[d] of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it,[e] to the praise of his glory.