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.
19 Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord. 20 This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it. 21 I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation. 22 The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.[a] 23 This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. 24 This is the day that the Lordhas made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
This Messianic prophecy of the Psalmist speaks to the Son of Man being the cornerstone of our faith. Although the religious leaders rejected Him, He was obedient unto death even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:8).
John 11: 27-36a (ESV)
The Son of Man Must Be Lifted Up
27 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine. 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die. 34 So the crowd answered him, “We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” 35 So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”
Who is this Son of Man? Open your eyes to the light illuminating the path before you. If you can see it clearly, then thank God for His gate of righteousness, which has guided you home. -Teresa
When David, who was much younger than his brothers as they fought in King Saul’s army, decided to take on Goliath…he rationalized it with the following thoughts.
The “paw” of the lion was not too difficult for me, the “paw” of the bear did not conquer me, so how hard could the “hand” of a giant be?
Although a giant’s hand may hold a sword, a spear or a javelin, David believed that the name of the God of Israel was more than enough protection.
Jonathon, the King’s son, responded to David’s victory like this. 1Samuel 18:1-4 (ESV)
18 As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. 2 And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father’s house. 3 Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. 4 And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt.
Jonathon was a warrior like his father King Saul. They both fought bravely for their people. What amazed Jonathon about David was that he took the battlefield to a whole new level. David saw it as a matter of trusting God to act according to His character, works and reputation.
What if we also would trust God’s name? Would we be willing to stand in the gap for those cowering in fear? Would we willingly obey all that God has developed in us without worrying about the world’s opinions?
The battle is not always a physical show down but it is can be waging war in our minds. Whose opinion matters to you most? Sometimes we must defer our own view of the matter to God’s great wisdom. Trust Him for a victory even when it seems unlikely!- Teresa #shepherdHisflock
I Samuel 17: 31-58 (ESV)
31 When the words that David spoke were heard, they repeated them before Saul, and he sent for him. 32 And David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” 33 And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth.” 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, 35 I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. 36 Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!”
38 Then Saul clothed David with his armor. He put a helmet of bronze on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail, 39 and David strapped his sword over his armor. And he tried in vain to go, for he had not tested them. Then David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” So David put them off. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd’s pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine.
41 And the Philistine moved forward and came near to David, with his shield-bearer in front of him. 42 And when the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was but a youth, ruddy and handsome in appearance. 43 And the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 The Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field.” 45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 47 and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand.”
48 When the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. 49 And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground.
50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. There was no sword in the hand of David. 51 Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. 52 And the men of Israel and Judah rose with a shout and pursued the Philistines as far as Gath[f] and the gates of Ekron, so that the wounded Philistines fell on the way from Shaaraim as far as Gath and Ekron. 53 And the people of Israel came back from chasing the Philistines, and they plundered their camp. 54 And David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put his armor in his tent.
55 As soon as Saul saw David go out against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is this youth?” And Abner said, “As your soul lives, O king, I do not know.” 56 And the king said, “Inquire whose son the boy is.” 57 And as soon as David returned from the striking down of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand. 58 And Saul said to him, “Whose son are you, young man?” And David answered, “I am the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.”
There is a song by Randy Travis, Angels, that speaks to the beauty of being a mom. My husband told me once that he thought of me after he heard that song (at a time when our children were in their teenage years). It made me cry! Angels
As parents, we may feel lonely (feeling they don’t understand what we went through) or blessed (by how our children amazingly turned out)- as each generation stands on the shoulders of the one prior. In this passage, God spoke to the importance of keeping God first, above our desire to enrich our children’s lives, remembering that some lessons in real life are better learned with hard work or tough love.
Even if we don’t see the end of the story, we can be certain of one thing: God is raising up those who are faithful to Him. He was referring in this passage to Samuel (whose mother, Hannah, cried out to God and she was heard)!!
27 And there came a man of God to Eli and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Did I indeed reveal myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt subject to the house of Pharaoh? 28 Did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me? I gave to the house of your father all my offerings by fire from the people of Israel. 29 Why then do you scorn[a] my sacrifices and my offerings that I commanded for my dwelling, and honor your sons above me by fattening yourselves on the choicest parts of every offering of my people Israel?’ 30 Therefore the Lord, the God of Israel, declares: ‘I promised that your house and the house of your father should go in and out before me forever,’ but now the Lord declares: ‘Far be it from me, for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed. 31 Behold, the days are coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your father’s house, so that there will not be an old man in your house. 32 Then in distress you will look with envious eye on all the prosperity that shall be bestowed on Israel, and there shall not be an old man in your house forever. 33 The only one of you whom I shall not cut off from my altar shall be spared to weep his[b] eyes out to grieve his heart, and all the descendants[c] of your house shall die by the sword of men.[d] 34 And this that shall come upon your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, shall be the sign to you: both of them shall die on the same day. 35 And I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind. And I will build him a sure house, and he shall go in and out before my anointed forever.
1 Samuel 1:9-20 (NIV)
Hannah’s Prayer 9 After eating and drinking, Hannah quietly got up and went to pray to the Lord. Eli the priest was sitting on a chair near the door of the Lord’s Holy Building. 10 Hannah was so sad that she cried the whole time she was praying to the Lord. 11 She made a special promise to God and said, ” Lord All-Powerful, you can see how sad I am. Remember me. Don’t forget me. If you will give me a son, I will give him to you. He will be yours his whole life, and as a Nazirite, he will not drink wine or strong drink, and no one will ever cut his hair.” 12 Hannah prayed to the Lord a long time. Eli was watching her mouth while she was praying. 13 Hannah was praying in her heart. Her lips were moving, but since she did not say the words out loud, Eli thought she was drunk. 14 He said to her, “You have had too much to drink. It is time to put away the wine.” 15 Hannah answered, “Sir, I have not drunk any wine or beer. I am deeply troubled, and I was telling the Lord about all my problems. 16 Don’t think I am a bad woman. I have been praying so long because I have so many troubles and am very sad.” 17 Eli answered, “Go in peace. May the God of Israel give you what you asked for.” 18 Hannah said, “May you be happy with me.” Then she left and ate something. She was not sad anymore. 19 Early the next morning Elkanah’s family got up. They worshiped the Lord and then went back home to Ramah.
Samuel’s Birth Elkanah had sexual relations with his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered Hannah. 20 By that time the following year, Hannah had become pregnant and had a son. She named him Samuel. She said, “His name is Samuel because I asked the Lord for him.”
If you ever wondered whether you’ve received anything from God the Father, remember that you have received the One who is above all!
In fact, once we receive the testimony from Jesus, we are sealed with a gift, saying God is true. (The Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God -Romans 8:16).
Jesus has received all things from the Father’s hand, including you and me.
How astounding! The unbelievable becomes part of our “trust” story through faith in the completed work of Jesus Christ the Lord.- Teresa
John 3:25-36 (ESV)
25 Now a discussion arose between some of John’s disciples and a Jew over purification. 26 And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you bore witness—look, he is baptizing, and all are going to him.” 27 John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. 28 You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.’ 29 The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease.”[a]
31 He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony. 33 Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true. 34 For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. 35 The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
Who will serve the sentence handed down justly? Is it the one who broke the law or is it the one who transgressed?
When Jesus was “numbered with the transgressors”, he sweat great drops of blood as though he were the one facing a horrible sentence.
Isaiah 52-53 is a beautiful poem in ancient Hebrew of God’s plan to allow the suffering servant (Jesus Christ our LORD) to be substituted for the people. By taking our penalty for sin, He allowed us to be free indeed.
Whosoever will, shall come (Revelation 22:17). – Teresa #lovedabundantly #newbeginnings
Luke 22:35-38 (ESV)
35 And he said to them, “When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “Nothing.” 36 He said to them, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. 37 For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment.” 38 And they said, “Look, Lord, here are two swords.” And he said to them, “It is enough.”
Isaiah 53:11,12 (VIV)
11 After he has suffered, he will see the light of lifeand be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justifymany, and he will bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoilswith the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Luke 22:39-45 (ESV)
39 And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. 40 And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 41 And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, 42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” 43 And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. 44 And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.[a] 45 And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, 46 and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
There is a point where the atmospheric pressure is too great to exert full throttle pressure. The consequence would be destruction of the shuttle.
There are also times when we are shouldering such a load that we must ease back on the throttle to perserve our health.
We can persistently bring our burdens to God, He will come to our aid in the right time (speedily, without delay). At the right moment, He will free us up to experience full power mode – throttle up!!
The world system, the lusts of the flesh and the adversary of our soul (aka screwtape’s boss) are working to keep us under maximum pressure. At some point we must recognize it and remember who can successfully carry this load for us.
The Son of Man came to bring relief to mankind, forgiveness of sin. Do I trust God’s provision for me? Am I following Him without deceit? – Teresa #takemebacktofirstlove #watchthechosen #season2e2
Luke 18: 1-18 (ESV)
The Parable of the Persistent Widow
18 And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. 2 He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. 3 And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ 4 For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” 6 And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. 7 And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 8 I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
Turning a year older, I find my mind reminiscing over the ways that God has faithfully provided.
It takes so much strength and courage because our faith walk does not see the end of the story.
The children of Israel heard from Rahab, (a prostitute), what the Canaanite people really thought of them. The stories involved God parting the Red Sea in a mighty show of power to escape from Egypt. They were terrified of God’s power.
Trusting God’s word, the Bible, as my guide brings me full assurance of His presence. He has parted the Red Sea to deliver me from a sinful nature. He will continue to guide my steps with His glorious presence. Spiritually- speaking this is terrifyingly awesome.
This past year, I was involved in a small group ministry called Head2Heart, by Dr. David Eckman. Our group of women was a source of insight and encouragement into what God revealed for my own life.
In the past, my false picture included this thought: I could only be worthy of affection if I carried the brunt of the work. Responsibility was my mantra and if I’m going to do a job- do it right or not at all.
Studying the word of God and understanding His affection for me made me consider a new thought: it’s ok to admit that this load may be too much. I need some help. Not being the hardest worker or the most responsible is ok because He has loved me with an everlasting love. His affection was affirmed and poured out to me through the precious gift of His Son and my Savior- Jesus Christ the Lord.
To experience all that God has for us is not for the faint of heart. Have I trusted Him?- Teresa
6 Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success[a] wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
My husband and I like to spend time in nature. This particular excursion allowed us to walk through what is considered by John Muir to be the “greatest forest in the world”.
After watching a documentary called “Intelligent Trees”, I was listening for whether the trees were communicating with each other.
Sure enough, I felt a vibration through the soles of my hiking boots. There had been a light snowfall earlier that morning and we were early. Early enough to experience the hushed silence, alive with miraculous expectations.
I was intent and expectant, certain that the trees were nourishing each other through their life giving communication. What surprised me was that the forest seemed to speak to me as well. Could they sense I was low on sustaining nutrients?
On Easter Sunday, we rejoice in the miracle of resurrection. We rejoice in our Father’s care for every need in our life.
He sent the Word of God to communicate a great truth to us. This truth was expressed in the hushed early dawn hours of an empty tomb. This truth is more important than our anxious preparations. This truth is more needful than serving those whom we love and are important to us. This truth speaks louder than death and despair. This truth steps up when we think someone or ourselves are beyond saving.
This truth is Jesus Christ the Lord, the lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). There is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12). God has raised this Jesus to life and we are all witnesses to it (Acts 2:32).
The greatest forest in the world can also teach us this truth. God, our heavenly Father, cares about each and every person. Enough to share His most precious gift, the gift of a seed that was buried, died and yet broke forth into life. A life that is shared with you and me, nourishing our soul.
38 Now as they went on their way, Jesus[a] entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary.[b] Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”