Stop Wrestling

​Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return. Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt. So don’t bother correcting mockers; they will only hate you. But correct the wise, and they will love you. Instruct the wise, and they will be even wiser. Teach the righteous, and they will learn even more. Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment. Wisdom will multiply your days and add years to your life. If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit. If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer. – Proverbs 9:7‭-‬12 NLT


I can now see that in some past situations, I have held on to and wrestled far too long and it has been to both my and to their disadvantage. Jesus didn’t pamper the proud and the mocking. He laid the truth for them that revealed their hardened hearts, and when it produced hatred instead of repentance, He didn’t keep at it, He moved on when the message was not received. He made it clear that not all would hear And receive Truth. 

“If you love me, obey my commandments.  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you.  He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. – John 14:15‭-‬17 NLT

 And He taught His disciples to move on.

“Wherever you go,” he said, “stay in the same house until you leave town.  But if any place refuses to welcome you or listen to you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate.” – Mark 6:10‭-‬11 NLT

And they taught the same. 

Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths. But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you. – 2 Timothy 4:2‭-‬5 NLT


If someone refuses your help, if they are proud (whether lawless or self righteous) and can’t receive correction or guidance, don’t be surprised because it had been that way since the beginning with those in darkness sand in rebellion. You are best served by leaving them alone and focusing on your purpose and calling so they won’t be an unnecessary distraction.

I say this again:

Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths. But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you. – 2 Timothy 4:2‭-‬5 NLT


Pray for them, even if they hate you, but don’t let them deter you from the destination you have set your eyes upon. And even of they were close to you, family or friend,  remember that David was betrayed by someone close to him in Psalm 55, that Joseph was betrayed by his own brothers in Genesis 37, Abel was killed by his brother Cain in Genesis 4, and Jesus was betrayed by Judas in the gospel. 

“Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves.  But beware! For you will be handed over to the courts and will be flogged with whips in the synagogues.  You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell the rulers and other unbelievers about me.  When you are arrested, don’t worry about how to respond or what to say. God will give you the right words at the right time.  For it is not you who will be speaking—it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. “A brother will betray his brother to death, a father will betray his own child, and children will rebel against their parents and cause them to be killed.  And all nations will hate you because you are my followers. But everyone who endures to the end will be saved.  When you are persecuted in one town, flee to the next. I tell you the truth, the Son of Man will return before you have reached all the towns of Israel. “Students are not greater than their teacher, and slaves are not greater than their master.  Students are to be like their teacher, and slaves are to be like their master. And since I, the master of the household, have been called the prince of demons, the members of my household will be called by even worse names! “But don’t be afraid of those who threaten you. For the time is coming when everything that is covered will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all.  What I tell you now in the darkness, shout abroad when daybreak comes. What I whisper in your ear, shout from the housetops for all to hear! “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell.  What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin ? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it.  And the very hairs on your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. “Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.  But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven. “Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword. ‘I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. Your enemies will be right in your own household!’ “If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine.  If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine.  If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it. “Anyone who receives you receives me, and anyone who receives me receives the Father who sent me.  If you receive a prophet as one who speaks for God, you will be given the same reward as a prophet. And if you receive righteous people because of their righteousness, you will be given a reward like theirs.  And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.” – Matthew 10:16‭-‬42 NLT


We do not leave them to their fate — whether that be repentance or damnation — because we hope for damnation,  but because we see that they are not able to receive Truth from us and there is only opposition and wrestling. It is up to God to save, heal, and restore – we can only preach this gospel, this Word of God, and encourage those who do not oppose. 


So where there is opposition, we don’t have to continue wrestling it. Just set the Word of God loose and it will accomplish what it is sent for. Trust that God knows what He is doing better than you do. Let go of the distractions, move on, and be effective and purposeful in your calling. And remember yourself to not be the fool who resists correction.


[Mia, Daddy & Friends] “Never Leave”

 

 

The Prophecy of Anna

36 Anna, a prophet, was also there in the Temple. She was the daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher, and she was very old. Her husband died when they had been married only seven years. 37 Then she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four.[c]She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer. 38 She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem.

39 When Jesus’ parents had fulfilled all the requirements of the law of the Lord, they returned home to Nazareth in Galilee.40 There the child grew up healthy and strong. He was filled with wisdom, and God’s favor was on him.

Father, Reveal…

Father,

Reveal who you are. 

You are setting the world right. 

Keep us alive with sustaining meals for both body and spirit. 

Keep us forgiven in you and forgiving others freely. 

Keep us safe from ourselves and from the enemy.

Amen.

Philippians 2:13 “God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey Him, and the power to do what pleases Him.”


Romans 8:1 “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.”


“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him. “This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is.” – John 3:16‭-‬21 MSG


But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things. I, the Lord , have spoken! – Jeremiah 9:24 NLT

Daniel Prayed

Christian, remember today that Daniel didn’t go grumbling into the lion’s den about how unfair it was that he was being punished for breaking the law by praying. But that he trusted in the Lord through whatever trial he must go, so that the Lord would be glorified. The same was true with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. 

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.” – Daniel 3:16‭-‬18 NLT


In other words, if we are going to stand bold for God, we must be ready to see it through to the end, without grumblings or doubt, without expecting there should be no trials or troubles – but instead, rejoicing that we might suffer with Christ in this world, just as we are heirs with Christ in eternity.

Daniel soon proved himself more capable than all the other administrators and high officers. Because of Daniel’s great ability, the king made plans to place him over the entire empire. Then the other administrators and high officers began searching for some fault in the way Daniel was handling government affairs, but they couldn’t find anything to criticize or condemn. He was faithful, always responsible, and completely trustworthy. So they concluded, “Our only chance of finding grounds for accusing Daniel will be in connection with the rules of his religion.” So the administrators and high officers went to the king and said, “Long live King Darius! We are all in agreement—we administrators, officials, high officers, advisers, and governors—that the king should make a law that will be strictly enforced. Give orders that for the next thirty days any person who prays to anyone, divine or human—except to you, Your Majesty—will be thrown into the den of lions. And now, Your Majesty, issue and sign this law so it cannot be changed, an official law of the Medes and Persians that cannot be revoked.” So King Darius signed the law. But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God. Then the officials went together to Daniel’s house and found him praying and asking for God’s help. So they went straight to the king and reminded him about his law. “Did you not sign a law that for the next thirty days any person who prays to anyone, divine or human—except to you, Your Majesty—will be thrown into the den of lions?” “Yes,” the king replied, “that decision stands; it is an official law of the Medes and Persians that cannot be revoked.” Then they told the king, “That man Daniel, one of the captives from Judah, is ignoring you and your law. He still prays to his God three times a day.” Hearing this, the king was deeply troubled, and he tried to think of a way to save Daniel. He spent the rest of the day looking for a way to get Daniel out of this predicament. In the evening the men went together to the king and said, “Your Majesty, you know that according to the law of the Medes and the Persians, no law that the king signs can be changed.” So at last the king gave orders for Daniel to be arrested and thrown into the den of lions. The king said to him, “May your God, whom you serve so faithfully, rescue you.” A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den. The king sealed the stone with his own royal seal and the seals of his nobles, so that no one could rescue Daniel. Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night fasting. He refused his usual entertainment and couldn’t sleep at all that night. Very early the next morning, the king got up and hurried out to the lions’ den. When he got there, he called out in anguish, “Daniel, servant of the living God! Was your God, whom you serve so faithfully, able to rescue you from the lions?” Daniel answered, “Long live the king! My God sent his angel to shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, for I have been found innocent in his sight. And I have not wronged you, Your Majesty.” The king was overjoyed and ordered that Daniel be lifted from the den. Not a scratch was found on him, for he had trusted in his God. Then the king gave orders to arrest the men who had maliciously accused Daniel. He had them thrown into the lions’ den, along with their wives and children. The lions leaped on them and tore them apart before they even hit the floor of the den. Then King Darius sent this message to the people of every race and nation and language throughout the world: “Peace and prosperity to you! “I decree that everyone throughout my kingdom should tremble with fear before the God of Daniel. For he is the living God, and he will endure forever. His kingdom will never be destroyed, and his rule will never end. He rescues and saves his people; he performs miraculous signs and wonders in the heavens and on earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.” So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

Daniel 6:3‭-‬28 NLT

You see, God ordained and set in place these trials with a plan and a purpose. To make a clear distinction between those who trust Him and know Him and believe Him, versus those who are not and are grumblers who do not believe that He is sovereign and in control and has a purpose in all things. To shine a light brightly in rose who are His that points them right back to Him and His glory. 

So trust Him, fully trust Him in this very hour, call upon His name, the only name by which salvation has come to the world, the name of Jesus Christ. And when you profess with your mouth and confess with your heart that He is Lord — not some particular words, not some particular religious ceremony, those are just meant to be an outward witness to what has happened inwardly, so don’t trust in those things as the source of your salvation! No, trust in God who came in the flesh to die for your sins as the ONLY worthy sacrifice, and as the ONLY Savior powerful enough to overcome death and the grave to rise, just as we will rise, to life – not just rise one day to heaven,  but rise and awaken to new life TODAY, walking in a new way, powered by the very spirit of God that comes to live in His people as He pours out His spirit onHis people, as He lives with us, in us, and through us, so that His will is done on earth as it is in heaven, so that His Kingdom,  a spiritual Kingdom not built by the works of men, but by His grace and mercy in those who will believe and live. Amen.

HE > i

I’ve hurt people that loved me. I’ve disappointed, and I’ve broken hearts, and I’ve torn down dreams. I’ve taken advantage of, and I’ve used, and I’ve manipulated. 
If I took the rest of my life trying to make amends, there wouldn’t be enough time for all of it. If I tried to sit down and write all the names, there are so many that I would have even forgotten about. 
So who am I to stand and tell you about God, sin, death, heaven, hell, righteousness, etc? I’m a trustworthy witness who knows the temporary pleasure of all types of sin, along with their inevitable consequences — and a humble admirer and servant of the one who overcomes and empowers His people to walk in a new way of faith, truth, and love. 
You see, I’m not standing in front of you saying that I’m a good man. I could hand you a list of names who could rightfully testify against me and who wouldn’t have to speak a single lie to make me sound detestable, unforgivable, wretched, and pitiable. 

No, I don’t stand before you with excuses for my past, but I have Hope, and Faith, and Love in my present, and in my future, and for my eternity – because of Jesus Christ. That old man, he needed to die. The poison and sin and hurt and death he was sowing into this world had to be overcome by something greater, and it was, and it is, and it always will be – because of Jesus Christ. 
You see, I wasn’t a good man, and outside of Jesus Christ,  I am nothing but dust waiting to return to dust. But I’m NOT outside of Christ – He lives in me, and I in Him, and He in the Father. So I can be joyful about all of that in my past they was intended for evil, because He has turned it to good. I can look at the testimony of my new life and see the gift of this blessed assurance — not because I’ve worked harder for it, but because He has given me new desires and taught me to resist those things that once held me captive. I’m not saying that I’ll never stumble again, or that I will never hurt again, but I’m telling you that it is now contrary to the Spirit placed in me that I’m learning to trust and follow.
And I’m talking about it, because it really is such a better life. He truly is such a sweet, sweet Lord.
I pray that you know Him, friend. His grace is the best prize you’ll ever not have to try to win, because He offers Himself freely to all who will come and believe. Come see the change that fresh, cleansing waters and hot, refining fire will have for your life. 
Come and live.

[Mia, Daddy & Friends] “What are we waiting for?”

 

The Prophecy of Simeon

25 At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him 26 and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, 28 Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying,

29 “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace,
    as you have promised.
30 I have seen your salvation,
31     which you have prepared for all people.
32 He is a light to reveal God to the nations,
    and he is the glory of your people Israel!”

33 Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was being said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, and many others to rise. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. 35 As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.”

Do not be afraid

Do not be afraid. Good News from the Lord!
If you are struggling, this message is for you. 


Hear it through, because if it cuts, it is only so that healing may take place. This Word, this sword coming out of the mouth of the messenger, is not raised to shed innocent blood, or to kill you, but it will do good and bring healing.

If you are struggling, honesty is a great place to start. And faith that bringing it into the light will help, not hurt, will bring healing to your situation. 
Sometimes we haven’t been completely honest with ourselves. Sometimes we haven’t been completely honest with others. Sometimes we haven’t been completely honest with and fully trusting in God to forgive us and empower us to walk in a new way. 
Bringing something hidden into the light can seem scary, if we are afraid of judgement and punishment. But if we have already decided in our own hearts to not just confess, but to make it right, to make amends on our own, the process becomes an act of love and reconciliation and an opportunity for mercy and forgiveness. So what was once meant for evil can be turned to good.
Don’t wait for it to be uncovered once “you’re caught”. Do not be deceived, God knows your heart,  your every  thought, word, and deed, and it will not remain hidden forever. Repent. Bring it into the light. Confess your sins to each other and to God. Make amends. 
And know the freedom that is found in Christ Jesus, in casting off the chains of sin and death, to walk alive in the Spirit and not dead in the flesh, the old having been put away because the new has come, seeing God’s will done on earth as it is in heaven. 

And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.”  So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.” Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham;  for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Luke 19:5‭-‬10 NKJV


Then the Lord sent Nathan to David. And he came to him, and said to him: “There were two men in one city, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had exceedingly many flocks and herds. But the poor man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb which he had bought and nourished; and it grew up together with him and with his children. It ate of his own food and drank from his own cup and lay in his bosom; and it was like a daughter to him. And a traveler came to the rich man, who refused to take from his own flock and from his own herd to prepare one for the wayfaring man who had come to him; but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.” So David’s anger was greatly aroused against the man, and he said to Nathan, “ As the Lord lives, the man who has done this shall surely die! And he shall restore fourfold for the lamb, because he did this thing and because he had no pity.” 

Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that  had  been too little, I also would have given you much more! Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord , to do evil in His sight? You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you have taken his wife to  be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the people of Ammon. Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ Thus says the Lord : ‘Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun.’ ” 

So David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord .” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord  to blaspheme, the child also who  is born to you shall surely die.” 

Then Nathan departed to his house. And the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and it became ill. David therefore pleaded with God for the child, and David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground. So the elders of his house arose and  went to him, to raise him up from the ground. But he would not, nor did he eat food with them. Then on the seventh day it came to pass that the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead. For they said, “Indeed, while the child was alive, we spoke to him, and he would not heed our voice. How can we tell him that the child is dead? He may do some harm!” 

When David saw that his servants were whispering, David perceived that the child was dead. Therefore David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” And they said, “He is dead.” So David arose from the ground, washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house; and when he requested, they set food before him, and he ate. Then his servants said to him, “What is this that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while  he  was alive, but when the child died, you arose and ate food.” And he said, “While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who can tell whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” 

Then David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in to her and lay with her. So she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon. Now the Lord loved him, and He sent word by the hand of Nathan the prophet: So he called his name Jedidiah, because of the Lord .

II Samuel 12:1‭-‬25 NKJV

And my confession this morning is that I have at times not been fully trusting in God or in others to restore me when I fall. I have expected perfection out of myself by telling myself that He is worth my living a pure and holy and God fearing life — and while this is true, it is only half the story. It can be a type of “baptism of works” instead of a “baptism of the Holy Spirit” if out trust is in our own strength to accomplish this instead of trusting fully in Him to bring it to completion. 
You see, He is worthy of all praise and honor. And yes, He is worthy of us living lives restored to the path of righteousness by the power of the Blood of the Lamb, and by the power of the Holy Spirit that He sends to live in us. But we cannot accomplish this great calling and purpose under our own power, nor can we boast in our power to do so (because it is a gift from God), nor can we stand on high condemning others for not doing enough (because true worship rises up out of our joy in the Lord, yet another gift from God).
So my confession is that in my zeal for a Holy, righteous, and almighty God, sometimes I can bear the sword too heavy and clumsily in my own hands instead of trusting Him to use it as a scalpel, like a great surgeon, to cut out what is death, and to replace it with life. In learning to operate with Him in this manner, by shining light on the sin of the world,  and calling others to come into the light instead of shrinking back from it, sometimes I forget to start out with the reminder that is needed when a message is coming from perfect, Holy, almighty God, to a fearful, lost and dying world “Do not be afraid” that is followed by “Thus says the Lord”.

Imagine…

Imagine you’re given the world’s best Olympic trainer, training grounds, and even genetic surgery to make you better, faster, and stronger. Imagine that the odds were so stacked in your favor that there was nothing that could stand between you and victory that couldn’t be overcome. 
Now if you actually believed that was true, would you just sit on the couch, not interested at all in seeing what could be accomplished? Would you say, “Well, I have such a great trainer and advantage, that I can just take it easy and I’ll still do pretty well.”
What about the investment made by that great trainer? 
Or the resources set aside for your training and development?
Or the work put in to build you into a whole new person, with the capability of being so much better, faster, and stronger?
Would you feel fine still saying,  “Its my life to do with as I please?”

Where am I?

Pride, 

thinking that we have it figured out, 

focusing on what has already been conquered,

Instead of what needs to be surrendered today, 

It will lead to disgrace.
Disgrace,

When it is found before men, 

We have an opportunity to learn, 

To be disciplined by the experience,

And given an opportunity to choose

Between remaining powerless in repeating our prideful failures,

Or if we will seek God, 

And be lead to humility. 
Humility, 

When it is found before God, 

Provides an opportunity to find Hope,

in Jesus Christ who is faithful and true, 

To be empowered by the Holy Spirit,  

who is our teacher or guide and our comforter,

To know the Love of our Heavenly Father, 

Who is the unseen made visible in Christ Jesus,

And in finding God we will understand the fear of God,

Which leads to wisdom. 
Wisdom, 

She is more precious than Gold, 

She is eternal and nourishes our soul for eternity, 

Because wisdom is not worldly knowledge, 

But it is the understanding that God is in authority over all things, 

That He is ruler and we are servant, 

But that He is also Father and we are sons and daughters, 

That He knows what is best for us,

That He has a purpose for us, 

That He loves us, 

Which leads us to Love. 
Love, 

It is that most excellent fruit, 

That grows ripe on the branches of those planted in the Lord’s garden.

It is the fragrance of the incense of the prayers of His saints, 

It is a pleasing aroma to the Lord our God, 

Because it is the evidence of His very essence breathing within those that are His.

It is the life that we find when we lay down our burdens of sin and death and pick up our cross to follow Him. 

It is eternal and it is how He knows us and calls us by name. 

Love is the law of Christ, 

And it fulfills completely the requirements of God that the law of Moses could not, 

Because being reconciled to love is being reconciled to God himself, 

For God is love. 
To love Him is to serve Him, 

To serve Him is to love others,

To love others is to serve them, 

To serve others is to carry their burdens, 

To serve others is to share with them the very hope that we have found in Christ, 

To serve others is to recognize that we have a purpose in life to reach others with the gospel, 

To tell them of this ministry of reconciliation to Christ, 

To show them this love that flows from the very Spirit of Christ who lives in us. 
Where are you today,  friend? 
Moving up from pride to disgrace, 

Moving up from disgrace to humility, 

Moving up from humility to wisdom, 

Moving up from wisdom to love,

Or falling down in pride? 
Even if you find yourself falling, 

It is never too late to let your disgrace lead you to humility, friend. 

Cry out to the Lord, 

Seek Him with your whole heart, 

Repent of your evil and rebellious ways, 

Knock until He answers, 

But remember to be quiet and listen for His answer, 

Because He will answer in that still,  quiet voice, 

And you will recognize Him as the Good Shepherd who loves you. 

Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. – Proverbs 11:2 NLT

[Mia, Daddy & Friends] “The Presentation”

 

Jesus Is Presented in the Temple

Eight days later, when the baby was circumcised, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel even before he was conceived.

Then it was time for their purification offering, as required by the law of Moses after the birth of a child; so his parents took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. The law of the Lord says, “If a woman’s first child is a boy, he must be dedicated to the Lord.” So they offered the sacrifice required in the law of the Lord—“either a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”