Our God of Covenants

New Institute of Biblical Studies Course! I have studied the covenants of Scripture for years and have found that the entirety of the Word of God is built around an Eternal Covenant – composed of all the others from Creation to the Second Coming and beyond. This is a new study and we are primarily observing from the Word the revelation of the nature of our Father, Son, and Holy Spirit through each unfolding covenant. Many do not understand what a “covenant” is. This will be explored Biblically. The entire a class will be an experience in great discoveries from the Word of God.

Plan now to join us. You may sign up on line at: psalm19ministries.org. If you are not in our area and desire to study with us, we will work via email and video after each class. We do not have the availability to do a protected live-stream at this point. However, it will seem like you are with us even though you will be able to study when it is convenient for you. Pray about it and sign up. It will be worth the time and investment as your fellowship in our Lord Jesus will deepen and expand.

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The Mind-Set of Victory

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This Friday evening we will gather for our regular Friday Fellowship Meeting. It is a time of dwelling in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ as we worship through music, Word, prayer and fellowship. We have just finished the study of Ephesians and the Supernatural Armor given to us. (Available on our web site ). Now we will turn to Philippians and learn how we live in all areas of life in that armor.

Join us for the time. It is on Live-Stream beginning at 7:30 (we are not equip to properly record our music worship time). Do join us (either in person or Live-Stream) and drink deeply from the well of the Holy Spirit.

Making It Real

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As I watched a group of precious Christians almost fall apart as they experienced difficulty together, my heart heard these words, “Without the reality of an in-depth relationship with me, personally, they will crumble. A corporate experience that thrills and encourages will help, but cannot do the heart work that I can do, one-on-one.”

Making our walk in Jesus personal and intimate is not something that can be faked – at least not long term. We can look good for a while as we skate around doing much in our “time with Him.” However, sooner or later, the facade will crumble and be seen as just what it is – a good-looking facade. We know in His love, He continues to love and hold us anyway all they while waiting for us to wake up.

Time alone with Jesus is the only thing that makes us “real.” It is not just our actions when we are with Him, reading, praying, studying, etc, all of which may be done with almost no interaction in Him. Our brain may be in gear, but our emotions and attention can be involved in an intellectual pursuit. All of those things are intended to engage us with Him, but so often they do not become a dialogue and instead remain a monologue. That is certainly better than nothing, but becoming real in Jesus so that He is able to make changes in us and share His heart with us, takes a determined effort to be quiet in Him and listen to understand. We can do this when reading, praying, studying etc, but must make an effort to engage Him as we do so.

Music is often a help, but if leaned on and used too often, we do not engage Him in silence or other activity. In other words, our time in Him becomes dependent upon music or some other circumstance.

He calls us to come to Him, lay down any burden and then rest in Him. He so longs to talk with us and share. When we really get to know Him, as He shares, our knowledge of the Word becomes enriched and explodes with life and meaning. Without His sharing, we work with words, holy words, in a way that informs our brains but ends up having almost no power in our lives. He makes the difference. My interchange in His heart makes the difference. His thoughts on matters – matter. Yes, the Bible gives us His thoughts and must always be read and studied. However, He wants to give us the personal commentary on those words. What a difference it makes when I hear them from His heart in His heart.

I feel like I am going round and around one simply point – let’s get with Him! It is that simple. Let’s do it and *allow Him to know us and us know Him so sweetly that nothing can move us from Him.

*”But now, after you have known God, or rather are known by God, ….” Galatians 4:9

“He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father. And I will love him and will reveal Myself to him.” John 14:21 MEV

Beyond Obedience #1

Jesus-Laughing“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age….” Titus 2: 11-12 NIV

There has been a theme moving in my heart and mind for several days, and it’s time I allow it to flow from “theme” and “concept” into the reality of words.

Most of you reading this blog know that a few years ago the Lord Jesus began uncovering our New Creation Covenant through His Word to me in a way I had never seen. This has revolutionized my way of viewing His work and has revolutionized my whole concept of being in “relationship” with Him. So that is where all this begins and where it will end is in Him, through Him and because of Him. There is no end only more and more and more of Him.

My thoughts will take several blogs to relate, so I urge you to keep reading with me. We often talk about our “relationship” with Jesus. This is OK for beginning steps, but the word “relationship” as we use it, is not what our New Testament uses; our Lord uses the word “fellowship” or “koinonia” in the Greek. This word means “fellowship, joint participation, communion, partnership, sharing in, spiritual fellowship, fellowship in the Spirit.” I think you can readily see and sense the difference.

We have many types of relationship in our lives; some are close and others far away. It does not imply intimacy. Where “fellowship” in the New Testament defines intimacy in the Holy Spirit. When we became Christians, our Lord Jesus came to live inside us. This is very personal. No longer do we try to appease a God, who is angry, hard to please and very distant. He comes to live inside us and in our spirits. We became one Spirit with Him. (1 Corinthians 6:17 “But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” NKJV) His love is how His nature is defined, and that is the response we give. It is mutual loving, intimate fellowship. We all know this, but somehow most of us then revert to trying to please a distant God.

Indeed, every definition of distance was removed when Jesus came to live in us. He shares our lives intimately and deeply. As we become very aware of this a number of things change.

Let me list a few. Instead of prayer to Him, we have a conversation between intimate friends. Instead of trying to get closer to God by prayer, fasting, reading the word, etc… our lives become a delighting in sharing in all He is on a daily moment by moment basis. Instead of trying to receive, we begin to release Him through His power in our lives and our world. Instead of always expecting to fail, we become delighted in watching Him work wonders through us as we honor His work in our total redemption. Instead of trying to be obedient, it becomes a participation in life with Him.

The focus is changed from law and trying, into grace’s empowerment to be. What an awesome Lord we have! He loves us and rejoices over us continually. Let us join Him in the joy and the laughter during our day. I don’t think we can imagine how much that will bless Him.

 

 

Thinking Beyond The Norm

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(The following is a devotional written by one of my dear friends and partners in Psalm 19 Ministries, Diane Hernandez. She writes as the Lord urges her and sends via email to those who request them. This one I thought exceptionally good so asked for her permission to use it here. Her pen name is Lady Di. Enjoy.)

At a conference I recently attended, Mike Cavanaugh, a very well-known speaker, and author smoked up a storm with his message on ‘church fights’. He even suggested we google it and see what pops up. I took a liking to his message, which he titled,

The Petty Caustic Church.”

As believers, we all know so well how satan hates the brotherhood of the Church. He so despises the Cross, that he feels threatened by us when we accomplish things through the Holy Spirit. He uses every wile and weapon he can dig up from our past to make us bitter and offensive towards each other.

Sin can easily come in like a lion crouching at our doorstep ready to use any one of his powerful tools (pride, envy, and anger) to take us down. When he comes knocking he has no intention of bowing down to the Cross; he begins to weaken our flesh and bend our knees to him.

When brother rises against brother, there is a heavy cost to pay. There is no winner; everyone loses out. The impact is so great that it fulfills satan’s infectious, destroying nature as we take part with him and his plan. I have come to learn that when I bow my spirit with humility, generosity, and longsuffering the door closes to elevating myself. No longer is there a need to have everything centered around me, a wanting of a certain level of respect when others come my way. Pride rises when we have been easily offended, feel entitlement belongs to us, and we are owed something. This weapon of satan is highly infectious and can be compared to leprosy which is filled with pride and highly contagious.

“The Uzziah was angry (through his position granted him privilege), and he had a censer in his hand to burn incense; and while he was angry with the priests, the leprosy broke out on his forehead.” 2 Chronicles 26:19

The moment we think we are owed respect, that is pride, and pride opens us up to infection.

When our worth is measured by what we have achieved it contributes to envy, it becomes pride. It demotes us. We must learn to fight God’s way by being generous, not just with material items but with ourselves in love and kindness. We can kill this vampire, this sin of envy, by stabbing it and driving a stake of unconditional love and kindness through its heart, breaking through with generosity.

When we become angry and fit with rage, we have no awareness of the consequences. This opens the door and brings on demonic attacks, tears walls down and leaves no protection against the storms of life. Being totally out of control, slamming doors, slamming books on tables, harsh words, and pointing the blame open the door to the devil while our patience and longsuffering become diminished.

The fruit of the Spirit is revealed through patience and longsuffering! It takes a gentle heart, with kindness and forgiveness to hold ourselves back while the Lord works things out. We just need to get out of His way. We are comforted by the Word in spirit of any hurts or pain we may feel, His plan is still in tack.

Lord, our eyes are on You. We are being restored, through grace, to a better state of life in the days ahead. So we release our souls to Your will and our ways to Your ways as your faithfulness brings us to Your love and peace. We are united in Christ into one brotherhood. Petty disagreements and disputes must be set aside for the greater good. One body united in Christ Jesus! Our desire is to think beyond the norm that the world presents, helping others become restored to a better way of life in You.

Lady Di

Reverse Directions!

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As many of you know, I read the Bible through every year. It has been my practice for a long time, and I am often asked why I do so. My answer normally is that I am still learning much from the ancient text and love that the Lord continually reveals understanding to me through the Scriptures. While that is a very truthful answer and has been for many years, I am discovering something absolutely wonderful that I have not seen so clearly before.

The primary use of the Word is not to help me behave myself and understand more data; it is instead to commune with my God! It is a place to immerse myself in His thoughts and His story. It is a time to get to know Him whom my heart loves and follows. My direction of thinking about the Word must be reversed. My heart receives, but now my heart must give and receive as I study. The amount of time I spend in the Word is not to be determined by my need, nor my assignment nor to find an answer. It is instead to love Him and to spend time with His thoughts.

So often we are content to rest our faith in someone’s system of “how-to” than to rest ourselves in Him and allow Him to be revealed as we focus His direction. This passage was in my daily reading this morning:

“For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in much fear and trembling; and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” 1 Corinthians 2:2-5 RSV

This precious Spirit dwelling within has promised to bring us into all truth (John 16:13). As we trust and choose in love to spend time in Him, amazing things occur. Let’s reverse our traditional thinking in approaching the Scriptures and begin to commune in Him as we read and study. What an amazing discovery and opportunity.

 

Fruit – Singular!

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“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control. Against such there is not law.” Galatians 5:22-23 MEV

Please notice the wording of the above passage. It is not “But the fruits of the Spirit….” It is: “But the fruit of the Spirit….!” The word “fruit” is singular. I have read and seen books and articles trying to tell us about the “fruits”, and I always cringe knowing that the author of the book/article had not correctly read the passage.

Paul is listing the characteristics of a single fruit. Pick one – any one fruit – and you will quickly be able to list nine characteristics of that same fruit. This passage is describing the characteristics of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. What does a person who is living in the Spirit and fellowshipping in the Spirit reflect? Well, this describes them. What does the fellowship in the Holy Spirit produce? These characteristics describe them.

When we think about it, these words also describe our Lord Jesus Christ. His person becomes the internal reality in those who deeply fellowship in His Spirit. Notice I am not saying the people who pray in tongues, nor am I saying that people who prophesy, heal, work miracles, etc. develop these characteristics. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are given to us who believe, and we are free to interact and use any and all of them. However, that does not create the fellowship in the Holy Spirit. It is simply working in faith through the gifts. I love the gifts and work freely within them, but that is not the same as “fellowship in the Holy Spirit.”

Fellowship is simply the interaction of His Spirit in us; our awareness of Him and flowing in Him as we live. It becomes very real in His presence in worship, study and focused interaction. Such times enrich and change our interiors. These characteristics are automatic in a life that has such focused interaction in our Lord Jesus through His Spirit. I think this needs to be expanded, so will leave this as it is and come back to it later.

Lord, thank You for fellowshipping in us and with us; for overshadowing our lives in your delightful presence and sweetness that we become as You are in our interior beings. Thank You!