Who has opened the gate? Who has lifted up the ancient door that was locked for generations?
The Lord of Hosts IS the King of Glory. He has authority over every ancestoral portal that locks out God’s blessing on our lives. Our identity may feel tied up with mischievious family members. When God makes us new, he changes how we see ourselves. We are no longer part of their issues. We have been set free.
Truly, our memory may not serve us well and try to bring us down. God never forgets. He is not only just but full of loyal love. He provided a way for us to pass from death to life, through His Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ the LORD.
He will never leave us or forsake us. He has meant for His blessing to pass through the generations of our families.
The Blessing (sung by Kari Jobe, Cody Carnes and Justin Bieber)
When we are discouraged with generational issues, be encouraged by this Psalm of David. The Lord of hosts is able to do battle in the spiritual realm. He can provide a glorious outcome. – Teresa
Psalm 24 English Standard Version The King of Glory
A Psalm of David.
24 The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof,[a] the world and those who dwell therein, 2 for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. 3 Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. 5 He will receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation. 6 Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob.[b] Selah 7 Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. 8 Who is this King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle! 9 Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. 10 Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory! Selah
I went to an art class at The Painted Cork a few years back. My friend, Chris, and I learned how to paint jellyfish! I completed my first and last painting ever, but I considered it a success as it was deemed worthy enough to display for awhile.
Going deep into any subject requires more than a one afternoon commitment. I’ve even heard that professional musicians practice 6-7 hours every day to stay competetive with their skills. This passage in Romans is refreshing because simply stated, there is help when our determination is low. In the midst of our weakness we are always held secure by God’s love. #notaprofessionalChristian
Our job is to realize our weakness and ask for God’s help. His Spirit intereceds for us with groanings too deep for words. His Son, our Savior, intercedes for us at the right hand of the Father.
Being conformed to the image of Jesus is not a one afternoon project, this is a lifetime commitment. Whether or not your life takes a turn for the worse, God is committed to you. Are we willing to admit our need of Him?- Teresa #whenIdon’tknow #Heknows #alwayslivestointercede #greathighpriest
Romans 8:26-39 English Standard Version 26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because[a] the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[b] for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
God’s Everlasting Love
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be[c] against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.[d] 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
If we consider Abraham our father, then we understand justification by faith.
Trusting the One who is able to make up the difference for us means we follow in the example of Father Abraham. He trusted that what God said was true and did not rely on the works of his flesh (i.e. circumcision) to be made right in God’s sight.
God alone can justify the ungodly. He did this through the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ the Lord. As a result, no one can boast in their righteous acts but all those who believe God and receive His free gift are considered blessed.
To have faith like a child requires humility (we must become like little children to receive the kingdom of heaven- see Matthew 18:3). Children have a natural faith/trust toward what is right.
All mankind has an opportunity to receive Christ Jesus as Savior (whether they have followed certain rules or not). For God so loved the world that He gave… (see John 3:16).
Romans 4:1-12 English Standard Version Abraham Justified by Faith
4 What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” 4 Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. 5 And to the one who does not work but believes in[a] him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, 6 just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:
7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; 8 blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.” 9 Is this blessing then only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? For we say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness. 10 How then was it counted to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. 11 He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well, 12 and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
There is much wisdom in the house of mourning (see Ecclesiastes 7:2-4 KJV 2 It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart. 3 Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. 4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.)
I’ve been refreshed with a trip back to my childhood home (near Lake Superior). Seeing so many wonderful people, I am reminded of the value of community and caring for one another.
I feel honored to have a place like this. Looking out at nature‘s brilliance, God’s mercy and grace move me. Mercy = not getting the repercussions I deserve and grace= receiving freely of more than I could ever earn.
This passage struck me as an example of that. Although Paul had been taken as a prisoner, he continued to show God’s mercy and grace to his fellow passengers about to shipwreck. When we keep giving to others (no matter our circumstance), we will be blessed. – Teresa #griefheals #taketimetomourn
Acts 26:33-38 (ESV)
33 As day was about to dawn, Paul urged them all to take some food, saying, “Today is the fourteenth day that you have continued in suspense and without food, having taken nothing. 34 Therefore I urge you to take some food. For it will give you strength,[c] for not a hair is to perish from the head of any of you.” 35 And when he had said these things, he took bread, and giving thanks to God in the presence of all he broke it and began to eat. 36 Then they all were encouraged and ate some food themselves. 37 (We were in all 276[d] persons in the ship.) 38 And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, throwing out the wheat into the sea.
Psalms chapter one begins by reminding us of God’s provision. The children of Israel (12 tribes of Jacob) relied on physical prosperity to advance their influence, thereby blessing the world with the knowledge of ONE God, YHWH.
During my time in seminary, I learned that the Old Testament used the word blessing over and over to describe God’s covenant with His people. They obeyed His Law and He provided provision and security.
We too, who live under The New Covenant (Jeremiah 31: 31-34) have God’s provision and security in the spiritual realm. The river of His Holy Spirit nourishes our lives to bear fruit and helps us live Christlike (the fruit of the Spirit is listed in Galatians 5:22,23).
I still delight in God’s word, the Bible. At 9 years old, I heard our pastor preach about the importance of having a daily input of God’s influence on our lives. He challenged us to spend time daily in the Word. He said we would never regret the good influence it would have on our lives. I took up the challenge and fell in love with these ancient writings that are still so applicable today.
1 Blessed is the man[a] who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law[b] of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. 4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; 6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
When Hannah prayed silently and promised her son to God, the priest accused her of being drunk.
Women have endured misunderstanding for their true devotion for generations. Is it because their expression of love for God have been misconstrued by how others in the culture (i.e. male dominated leadership) would speak about or to them?
I have even heard women casting slurs on each other (to be popular with those in leadership)? I firmly believe that every church needs a woman’s pastor with equal authority to the men’s pastor, who can help shepherd women and children.
If men would not go to a woman with a “spiritual issue”, then why would a woman go to a man (who does not understand how a woman thinks)?
Of course every pastor/leader (whether for men or women) should be equally equipped. You wouldn’t make your husband have surgery done by your surgeon’s husband- who has never been to med school- just because he’s the “surgeon’s” spouse. Why are women relegated to the “pastor’s” spouse (who have had no official training in seminary) to oversee the women’s ministry? Just saying, if it’s important for men, then it’s equally important for women to have equipped leaders.
I view Paul as being a forward thinker in his generation. Many make overall rules based on his writings, forgetting the cultural implications of the day that no longer apply. For instance, women at that time were not educated in the same way as the men and therefore asked to be silent in church (so they could ask their questions at home, of their husbands).
In this passage, Paul demonstrated his ability to bring the gospel successfully to the Greek culture. Even so, we are challenged today to address issues of society that are different from centuries ago.
Damaris (see below), Lydia and Priscilla are just three examples of women believers/leaders in the early church whom Paul trusted and named.
– Teresa #transformedbyHim #givenaname
*photo from pexels.com
Acts 17: 22-34 (ESV)
Paul Addresses the Areopagus
22 So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man,[c] 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for
“‘In him we live and move and have our being’;[d] as even some of your own poets have said,
“‘For we are indeed his offspring.’[e] 29 Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”
32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. But others said, “We will hear you again about this.” 33 So Paul went out from their midst. 34 But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.
It really doesn’t matter what the “look” is, dads work from home. The lessons in real life that are taught by our fathers have lasting impacts, usually for good but not always.
The children who have a sense of being loved by their father (including discipline- because that takes time and attention) and are accepted for who they are tend to grow up into courageous individuals, able to carry the load and to help other with their load as well.
For the majority of children who have fathers who have been absent, abusive or emotionally injured and may unintentionally pass this injury down, we do our best to live our lives in search of affection or acceptance. We may continue to carry an extra heavy load, not intended for human shoulders. It’s extra heavy because we may add unnecessary weight of the need for human acceptance (rather than being secure in God’s love alone).
Paul speaks to the people in this passage to help them realize that there is a solution to the needs of our broken humanity. Per Matthew Henry, Paul transitions from speaking about David’s royal lineage (don’t get caught up in the father’s line) to the Son of David’s amazing work (Jesus Christ the LORD).
As much as the old “guardian” of the children of Israel (the Law of Moses) could not bring them life, our heavenly Father provided His Son (through David’s line) to bear the sins of the world and to bring eternal life.
This means we no longer rely on “good works” to be loved and accepted but we rely on the completed work of His Son. This is life-giving because amazingly enough, there was no corruption in the death of Jesus. He rose again by the power of God.
Dad and all fathers are rejoicing because God has redeemed their efforts and healed us as his children. – Teresa #childrenofGod #redeemedbythebloodofthelamb #lovedwithaneverlastinglove
Acts 13:22-41 English Standard Version
22 And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’ 23 Of this man’s offspring God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as he promised. 24 Before his coming, John had proclaimed a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. 25 And as John was finishing his course, he said, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he. No, but behold, after me one is coming, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to untie.’
26 “Brothers, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to us has been sent the message of this salvation. 27 For those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers, because they did not recognize him nor understand the utterances of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled them by condemning him. 28 And though they found in him no guilt worthy of death, they asked Pilate to have him executed. 29 And when they had carried out all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. 30 But God raised him from the dead, 31 and for many days he appeared to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people. 32 And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, 33 this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm,
“‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you.’ 34 And as for the fact that he raised him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he has spoken in this way,
“‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.’ 35 Therefore he says also in another psalm,
“‘You will not let your Holy One see corruption.’ 36 For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers and saw corruption, 37 but he whom God raised up did not see corruption. 38 Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, 39 and by him everyone who believes is freed[b] from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses. 40 Beware, therefore, lest what is said in the Prophets should come about:
41 “‘Look, you scoffers, be astounded and perish; for I am doing a work in your days, a work that you will not believe, even if one tells it to you.’”
130 Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord! 2 O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy! 3 If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? 4 But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared. 5 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; 6 my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning. 7 O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption. 8 And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.
The fog horn sounded incessantly, providing a signal for safe harbour. By evening, the sound faded into white noise. Then, in an instant, the sun broke through and the status quo changed.
Similarly, when the believers prayed for boldness the status quo changed. The Holy Spirit was delivered from the Heavenly Father in response to the disciples request to continue to “speak your word with all boldness”.
The disciples had all been recipients of Jesus’ healing touch, some through signs and wonders (i.e. Mary Magdalene). They requested that the Father’s touch would continue to others through the powerful name of His Son, Jesus Christ the Lord.
In a moment, those who were uneducated began to lead the entire Roman world to the Father through the Savior’s transformative presence spoken into their lives.
The comforter (aka Holy Spirit) guides us into all truth. We can experience change but do we desire boldness?- Teresa#HolySpiritcome
Acts 4:23-31 (ESV)
The Believers Pray for Boldness
23 When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, 25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant,[d] said by the Holy Spirit,
“‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain? 26 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed’[e]— 27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. 29 And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, 30 while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.
If so, let me rest today in His finished work. -Teresa #moneyinthebank #areyouready? #forthedayofredemption #theDayoftheLord
Psalm 119: 113-128 (ESV)
113 I hate the double-minded, but I love your law. 114 You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word. 115 Depart from me, you evildoers, that I may keep the commandments of my God. 116 Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live, and let me not be put to shame in my hope! 117 Hold me up, that I may be safe and have regard for your statutes continually! 118 You spurn all who go astray from your statutes, for their cunning is in vain. 119 All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross, therefore I love your testimonies. 120 My flesh trembles for fear of you, and I am afraid of your judgments. Ayin
121 I have done what is just and right; do not leave me to my oppressors. 122 Give your servant a pledge of good; let not the insolent oppress me. 123 My eyes long for your salvation and for the fulfillment of your righteous promise. 124 Deal with your servant according to your steadfast love, and teach me your statutes. 125 I am your servant; give me understanding, that I may know your testimonies! 126 It is time for the Lord to act, for your law has been broken. 127 Therefore I love your commandments above gold, above fine gold. 128 Therefore I consider all your precepts to be right; I hate every false way.