Holy Week

 

As we move through a very fearful time in history with COVID -19 threatening on every front and in every country every continent,  let’s not forget to celebrate our Saviour in this precious Holy  A holy week, this year, surrounded by some kind of evil force raging on all fronts, against us, around us, beside, behind and before. Yeah, today is Palm Sunday, the celebration of our King, the week before the cross, and we celebrate at home, maybe through virtual connection and Social media! Yet, today, we celebrate our Saviour, who didn’t come to be an earthly king, but a heavenly King and One of greater glory. One of Heavenly glory that would finally defeat the ultimate enemy of death! So as we move through the day our emphasis and focus are on the triumphal entry of our Lord riding into Jerusalem on the lowliness of a borrowed donkey! This event fulfilled an ancient prophecy prophesied back in Zechariah 9:9:

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is He, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

He was their King, but not a military King, arrayed in royal robes of silk and satin, purple or gold, rather He wore the common clothes of humility. His birthplace ~ a stable and His bed ~ a feeding trough. His triumphal entry wasn’t mounted on a prancing steed of pride or a spectacular show horse but rather He approached His ‘palm branch waving,” crowd of fans, on a borrowed donkey, as a lowly servant of God, coming only to seek, to save and to serve. This journey would end in death but the ultimate irony ~ Victory over it! That’s always God’s way ~ Good out of bad!

Christ didn’t come to make war with gunfire and bloodshed or to take by force as earthly kings do, but to win hearts by unconditional love, awesome mercy, amazing grace and His own shed blood and ‘self’ sacrifice for a world lost in wretched sin. He didn’t come to take people captive but to set them free; those bound tightly in their sin and on death row. He doesn’t rule a kingdom of mighty armies but His Kingdom is of Heavenly angels and weakened blood-washed saints who have been refined in the fires of adversity and come forth as gold. Powerful, prayer warriors, who’ve been washed in the Blood of the Lamb, cleansed, forgiven and set free from the chains that bound them; they are those who’ve been purged in the fires of struggle, and trial and who have tasted the results of bad choices in the fast lane and on the downside, yet strengthened, quickened and renewed by them all at the same time. His saints and warriors know how to fight the good fight of faith by putting on the full armour of God in order to stand against the wiles and deceits of the enemy. In all faith, they know how to pray mighty prayers that move the hand of God upon our sin-sick earth to see results for the glory of God’s Kingdom! He came not to take nations down but to heal their land through forgiveness and changed lives. He takes minds and renews. He takes lives and cleanses, setting them on the path of healing to a new life in Christ. His message is not one of anger but of peace with God! A peace that’s not of this world:

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14: 27:

Only a week after His triumphal entry, Christ carried His own cross to that Gethsemane Hill where He willingly laid down His life for the good of the world. He offered peace, but the majority didn’t get it, and the cross ruled as they nailed Him there ~ as we nailed Him there in those lonely moments, when God turned His back allowing the sin of the world to be laid on Him. It was there on that horrendous yet beautiful cross that Christ took the sin of mankind upon Himself. Let your mind wander to that Hill, to the mercy cross! Let your heart follow to that place where justice and mercy meet; to that scandalous place of bloodshed, horrendous horror, torture, humility and sacrificial servanthood to the ultimate degree! Yet against all odds, three days later, He rose again, defeating death, according to and fulfilling His Father’s will.

Meet Him there at the cross, for forgiveness and then look to His victory over death and the empty grave for hope and everlasting life beyond death!

One day He will rule the world in peace but until then, He still desires to make His triumphal entry into the individual hearts and souls of those that will receive Him; to set up His Kingdom of peace in the lives of humankind one by one and in so doing, heal the nations of the world one heart at a time, through cleansing and forgiveness, saving it and it’s people from its own sinful, self–destruction. He still offers peace but the majority just doesn’t get it!

His motive is salvation! His driving force forgiveness and healing! His message ~ unconditional love and His rule is peace! It’s simple yet many don’t get it! Have you got it?
#Palmsunday #Holyweek #Soulnotetoself

The Sky Is Falling

“The sky is falling, The sky is falling!” You’ve heard it haven’t you? A short phrase from an old, childhood fable! I’m sure you’re familiar with the age-old ‘kid’ story of Henny Penny when the acorn fell on her head? Oh my goodness, gracious, she was sure the sky was falling and quickly started off to let the King know of such a disaster about to happen! Along the way, she met up with friends and Ducky Lucky, Goosy Poosy, and Turkey Lurky all wished to join in on the journey to tell the King. It all went very well until, along the way, they met up with a friend who was not really a friend at all. Foxy Loxy, was a sly guy, out for himself, who told them were going the wrong direction, then deceivingly led them off down a garden path, right into his den where they never were seen again. Some variations say that Henny Penny heard the rooster crow and escaped and quickly ran off since it was time to lay her morning egg. It’s a simple fable, for children’s ears, that quickly became a bedtime favourite for me and had long been forgotten in the recesses of my mind. The other day as I sat contemplating the present situation of disaster sitting on our doorsteps, Henny Penny’s words, “The Sky is Falling,” came to mind. With the COVID-19 pandemic hitting us hard between the eyes, it’s left the globe reeling in chaos! Thing is, it’s not a silly fable of an acorn hitting anyone on the head, but rather, it’s a dreadful reality in our very real day to day world, where a world we once knew as friendly, has become like a ferocious lion, turning on us, seeking whom it may devour, as it feels like the sky falls and crumbles in dreadful disorder at our feet, taking life with it.

Yeah, we might truly feel, at such a time as this, the sky is falling with imminent disaster but what on the face of this virus-infested earth are we to do about it? Turns out there’s nothing we can do, except be heroes in our homes to keep others well. I get it that, we may have our own trauma, inside our COVID-19, social distancing, walls with many things churning in our minds. Close quarters, sometimes too close for comfort! Fear of death, safety for our kids and our families coupled with financial pressure, health issues, family struggles, and emotional upheaval, where just coping and keeping our heads above water is hard. There may be many voices to hear and many thoughts to control. Some voices will convey fear, others panic! Other confused voices might lead us off track making us feel completely helpless and hopeless in it all and lure us into a den of temptation, despair and eventually defeat.

Thing is, beautiful ones, we have a King too; a sovereign King who isn’t surprised by any of this. Turns out, He really knows the end from the beginning of this story and in His Sovereignty, He still remains in charge, no matter how it appears! No matter how much each day is more of the same bad news, we’ve got to know He’s got this thing that man has no control over. So let’s just trust Him for all of our cares and keep building our ark! Make it strong by standing on a firm and solid faith in the One who speaks peace into the eye of the storm. Gather in your sweet promises from a God who honours His Word and has our best interest at heart. Tuck them into your back pocket, secure them safely in your heart and inhale them deeply into the soul of you. Build it high and build it wide and seal it with a hedge of protective prayer, for your families! Don’t let down your guard not even for a minute to follow deceptive voices and sly foxy loxies into a den of despair and defeat. Paul urges the persecuted church, and us today to be filled with joy anyway, because our happiness isn’t dependant on our circumstances, but solely on our relationship with the Lord and is resilient even in the midst of suffering and death. Our joy comes from simply knowing that whatever happens, God will use it for the ultimate good. In chapter 4: 6 -9

Philippians 4: 6, 9

Don’t worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

Fixing Our Eyes On Jesus

 

It’s a new day dawning and I get that it’s uncertain. Perhaps our most important message of the hours that come and go would be that given by the writer of Hebrews, in Hebrews 12: 2, “To fix our eyes on Jesus” in these days of uncertainty. The book of Hebrews was written, possibly as a sermon, as an energetic pastoral response to meet the needs of the struggling people of Rome yet, today ‘we’ are those people, struggling, meeting challenges head-on, that we don’t know how to deal with.

The world has a mess of stuff on its doorstep! Who knew? Yet just out of the blue, it sideswiped us! Took us off guard and caught us unprepared. Now it’s a full-blown season of questions without many answers, but yet, you gotta know, even the hard times hold beautiful moments for your beautiful soul. This is not a time to press panic buttons and hide away out of fear but It ‘is’ a time of quiet reflection on life as we see it with a “hands-on, how simple life can be” reference. These days of closures and lockdowns and self-isolation provide a much-needed opportunity for a time-out to bask in the presence of the Omnipotent, Omnipresent sovereign God who is in control and who encompasses you on every side and has you in the palm of His nail imprinted hand! He wouldn’t think of letting you go, not even for a second! He’s got your heart all wrapped up sweet and tight and safe in His, nestled in with His vast and unconditional love and held snug with a grace so amazing it’s beyond comprehension! So even on the days when you feel alone ~ you’re not at all. He’s there for you and your beautiful soul in your moments of need ~ held fast with His mercy! So today, beautiful one, it’s simple. Don’t focus on the latest news, but rather fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, and just respond with a thankful heart for His divine watch-care over your family. Let Him work His plan in you and through you. Be alert to His words of guidance and walk in sweet and simple trust. A childlike faith in an all-powerful God is what you need for today ‘cuz a simple faith walk with Him is a victory walk and a win/win situation. Go for it! He’s got you in these uncertain times.

Hebrews 12:2
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author, and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

#Lovedonthebrokenroad

Trading Fear for Peace

1 John 4:18.
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

The scriptures are filled with the words ‘fear not.’ Over and over again the Word of God drives home the fact that fear has no place in the believer’s life, yet we often find ourselves fretting and worrying about things that are out of our control. Worry is the complete opposite of trust and faith and as the little chorus goes, it asks a very pointed question, “Why worry, when you can pray?” Why do we fall under the torment of fear and distrust when we know that we have a sovereign, all-knowing, all present all perfect, God of love, who sits on His throne at all times, directing the finest, most intricate detail our lives with His all-powerful hand?

In 2 Timothy 1:7, Paul reminds us “That God hath not given the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” Trust in a perfect God brings peace to an agitated, fearful mind. We can’t trust and worry at the same time. When we know the Lord and enjoy a personal relationship with Him, we have the Spirit of the living God dwelling within us and the spirit of fear has to leave. It cannot take up residence in the heart of a trusting soul and within the heart of one that truly knows who God is.

To trust doesn’t mean that struggles won’t come our way and that troubles won’t knock on our door, but through them, the Holy Spirit gives us an unexplainable peace beyond our understanding. “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4: 7. The Lord carries us through, enabling us to fight off the power and destruction of the enemy’s fear! What peace is ours when we become like little children and with child-like faith, trust God to bring us through. “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.”.

As Christ Ones, and those who have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, our sins are forgiven and cast into the sea, to be remembered no more. They’re done, they’re over and they’re gone. We have accepted God’s plan of salvation and perfect love and we have no need to fear judgment from our most perfect God of perfect love because we’ve settled our account with the One who paid the debt for our freedom from the punishment we deserve. Yes, He’s an all righteous God and the all righteous judge and He will come again to judge, but He comes to judge those outside of His love; those who have chosen not to trust in Christ, the spotless lamb who died on the cross shedding His blood for their reconciliation to God.  If you are outside of His plan of salvation today, and you’ve never asked Christ to forgive you, then you will fear and have reason to fear, because His perfect love does not dwell within you, nor you in Him, and God Himself says, there will be a payback day, when God will take action against the evil and the sin that has never been repented of. Our hope is in the Lord as 2 Corinthians 6:2 tells us, “At the right time I heard you, and on a day of salvation I helped you. Listen, now is really the “right time”! Now is the “day of salvation!”.

Our relationship with God has to be more than a head knowledge of God because a head knowledge won’t save us. It has to be a heart knowledge out of true repentance. When we know, that we know, that we know His Spirit indwells us we have His perfect love empowering us and motivating us to go and be and do all that He has for us to do in His kingdom work, without fear, because, remember…“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.’.
#Brokenandloved