He Calls

Beloved Readers, thank you for staying with me as we journey in the heart of the Lord Jesus Christ together. Some of you have read here for years, and others are just joining us, thank you. I have had this blog since 2005, and have written and written over the years. During this past year, I have written little. But, that is changing – simply because He is Calling for me to begin again and write His Heart through me. So we begin again.

As most of you know, I have taught Bible for many, many years and I am not a young thing at all. Instead, my 81 years have been spent in Him and with Him. In past days, I have not been as aware of His presence as much as now. So the writing may seem to have changed – I truly pray so. My awareness of His presence with me day in and day out has proven to be a “changer” in all ways. As I explore Him through the Spirit that dwells within me (according to His Word), I am discovering how much He really wants to share. So we will share.

I am certain that at times, some of my own thoughts will leak out within His, as they do now and again, but that is what He loves – Him and me interchanging thoughts and reality through His lenses and my own. I have discovered that He considers me His treasure and therefore He delights in my thoughts. I find that even though His thoughts are so much more profound and prophetic, He allows and delights in mine as well as His own.

So as we develop that more completely through the next few months, join me here and let’s see what we have to say, for He lives within, if we have been born from above. So since those who are His are one in Him and with Him (“But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.”1 Corinthians 6:17 KJV) we will find marvelous things, not only as we study His Word, but also as we study how He moves in us to speak and to do. May it be His breathe that flows through our thoughts as we travel further upward.

Holy Spirit, Lead. Thank you!

THE REST OF GOD

And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. ~Luke 4:4

A great many things have been said and done in the name of Jesus. However, only those works and words that the Father initiates will produce fruit that remains. All other works, regardless of how “good” they might seem, are fraudulent! I know, those are strong words. In other words, works produced in the name of Jesus, yet not initiated by Jesus or led by the Holy Spirit are counterfeit; it’s not truly a work or word of God unless He has initiated it. Jesus said that those who performed works in His name without seeking to know the will of God were workers of iniquity! (Matt. 7:21-23)

There is, therefore, a rest that remains for the people of God. He that is entered in His (God’s) rest hath ceased from his own labors. Therefore labor to enter into the rest of God…” (Hebrews 4:9-11)

The REST spoken of in the above scripture is not speaking of Heaven! Rather, this is a description of a realm or a position where believers choose to dwell in utter dependence upon God resulting from a cessation of self-direction and self-dependency. This was displayed in the life of Jesus and is the mark of Christian maturity; the choice to lay down our own thoughts, words, and actions in exchange for Gods!

THIS IS THE REST OF GOD.

Since there is a rest that some must enter, we are exhorted to, “labor to enter the rest of God.” LABOR & REST. These two words seem to be an oxymoron. This is, however, not a contradiction but rather an underscore, emphasizing that I must make a conscientious effort (labor) to move away from self-directed ways and deeds, turning rather to God’s explicit direction and will (rest).

Paul said it another way; “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me…” And herein lies the problem; Many times we just plain forget that God’s Spirit is living in us.

And… ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. ~2 Cor. 6:16. This is the glory of the New Covenant relationship that I have through Jesus Christ! If we let him, He will walk in us and with us. The promise of the Spirit is given to us so that we might commune with God, resulting in a co-shared life; walking, working and talking in oneness with the heart and mind of God!

When we enter into God’s rest we find ourselves living in the fullness of the New Covenant! “…For ye are the temple of the living God”. Many of God’s people have received the blessing of the New Covenant but are not living out of the fullness and reality of the Covenant that God made and keeps for us! What joy and peace have those who are confident in the Great I AM and His finished work!

As we become more and more sensitive to the moving of the Holy Spirit and The Voice of God, we can become His instrument, His voice, His hands and His feet, but we must choose His will (desires). Jesus said, “Learn of me.”

Jesus said, I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me,” ~John 8:28

Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do. ~John 5:19

When Jesus was tempted by satan to turn stones into bread his response was this; “…man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.” To begin with, satan’s strategy was to undermine Jesus relationship with the Father, or to try to get Jesus to doubt His sonship or that he was an heir. “If thou be the son of God turn these stones into bread” Jesus certainly had the power and the authority to turn stones into bread. But He refused to do so because he had not received a “Word” or direction from God to do so. Jesus was teaching us the way of a sonship. Through His submission and utter dependence upon God, Jesus was not only modelling for us the walk of sons but a life lived in the rest of God.

Many of us are presumptuous when it comes to serving and working for God. We believe we can go out to battle without first meeting with the King for His instructions and leading. When we speak ~ when God has not spoken, our words become like stones; they can condemn, bring division, and a host of other death-like symptoms. Even the letter of the word brings death when it is not ignited by the Holy Spirit! Only God can cause our words to be turned from stones to bread or the life-giving quality that only His Spirit-directed words possess! If we long to see greater miracles and the greater works that Jesus said we would do, let us exchange our works for His and enter into the rest of God!

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” -Romans 8:14

GO TO THE SECRET PLACE. SUP WITH JESUS. ABIDE IN HIM. REVEAL JESUS.

Praise God for this great glory that has been shared with us; that we have been called into a co-operative relationship with the Covenant keeping King…who lives, walks, rules, and reigns in us through Jesus Christ! Amen.

God Speaks To Love

(A few days ago my friend, Michael McBane posted this on Messenger. I was delighted with it and received permission to place it here. Read and enjoy! Thank you Michael).

By Michael McBane

I said to the Lord in my conversational prayer,

“Jesus I don’t believe we are supposed to be less than heaven. So brood over me, brood in me and around me so that it is you that remains.” I paused and absorbed the wave of His love that gently graced me. I continued, “ Lord, I want the DNA of your life to fit me, I want the sound of who you are to be my life.”

Then I felt Him say, I agree, but you do not know what causes another to see or hear me. So don’t contain that cry within your perspective of all things being perfect in heaven. Many see and hear by who you are in the storms of life, the everyday of life.

I absolutely believe that God, in asking us to pray that His Kingdom come on this earth as it is in heaven, is foundationally perfect. But the transference of such abundance is first found and contained in the fullness of the life of Christ in us, which is authored by His present word that comes to us and out of us. His perfection is allowing His life to author how His life flows into us and out of us. Our sorrows are warranted in the actuality of the completion of the reality of Marantha but these sorrows are at times absent of the joy God has deposited in us by the misappropriated understanding of allowing Him to author the present word of heaven in us as it is in heaven. Because we become detached to His eternal purpose by the pain of this life, the constant attacks of the enemy of God upon us in so many ways.

I am taken by this often, Jesus chose a crucified life. He made a way for our eternal adoption that is a recreative process of merging us into the expanding flow of His love to us and for us allowing it to be that to this world. It is by our present obedience. We obey in the present moment and in the eternal expansion of the present word we are subjecting our life to by His life, by His strength, His grace and His mercies. The reality that we might say is He is my life I cannot but God. It truly is the essence of, the fabric of, the fragrance of who we are. It is His brooding in a constant way. The ever present life Of God is the percolating of our faith. And our faith is given to us by God.

Jesus prayed that we would be sanctified by His truth or set apart. Our will to be set apart allows us the ability to merge into the oneness that He created our life to be with He, the Father and the Holy Spirit.

Jesus makes no compromise as the word is filled with the heart of God for family, to restore us in health, to heal our wounds that we cannot even explain. HE created us and He will not let His life in us to remain visibly unfinished. But even when we are told that the plans He has for us are for life and not destruction we must see this as the great invitation to live out of Him and to let His life be the interpretation of who we are.

This is quite a quest. It is not an invitation to be presumptuous but to adapt to His ways by allowing His life to challenge our fruitless understandings and to see His life lifted up. We must constantly return to allow His definition to define our wisdom and understanding. What then is love. For many would say it is this or that but God will not be mocked.

Absorbed In Him

Today, a word about Bible Study. When we truly long for the sweet presence of our Lord Jesus as we open the Book of all books, and we are willing to listen and to be absorbed in the Holy Spirit’s heart and mind, then and only then will we be able to catch the Spirit’s breath as He writes upon our hearts. 

This Book is a book to be tasted, smelled, touched, heard, and felt. This is the beginning. For these are natural senses. The Holy Spirit will reveal new ones for us in Himself. When we only approach the text with an attitude of mental learning and proof texting our own conclusions or those of others, we will miss most of what is written. I write this, shaking in my boots (so to speak), as I am a Bible student for most of my life. I was raised with a love and admiration for the book and its truth and power in a life. However, all that is learned with only the mind, is not what the book is about. One must learn much more than facts. One must learn Him! 

You see, He is the point. The Book contains much about the lives of people and their relationship in Him. But they are not really the point. He is. Whenever we boil our reading and searchings down to trying to get help with this or that (application), we probably have missed the deeper riches of the passage. The Book is about our Father, His Son, the Holy Spirit – and then us as we are learning to relate in God as one-with as prayed in John 17 and as accomplished through the cross/resurrection/Holy Spirit poured into those who are His.

Yes, our minds must be engaged, but the mind is on a “renewal track” (Romans 12:2) and must always be subject to the Spirit. The Spirit-Word is always the key to that renewal. However, as the mind renews, we find it becomes submissive to the Holy Spirit and is used as a power tool in His hands. Without this submission, then the Holy Spirit is hampered in getting the full understanding of the mysteries of Christ available to us. 

A scholarly approach always misses the mark. It can give us further information, but it can’t get us to where we need to be in reference to that information. Only a submitted heart with the Lord can begin to embrace Him in every moment so the true knowledge of His hidden mysteries will be understood and lived within. 

The Holy Spirit is our teacher. So as we willingly submit ourselves into His able hands to teach us His own word, we move into a realm of “seeing” with the eyes of faith. This sight begins to unfold for us what is needed in the moment. The role of faith can not be overstated nor taught. It is the power and confidence that unlocks and unveils the truths written in the Book. 

There is no “how-to” for this. It is individually accessed and worked with and through. So you will find yourself in uncharted waters – but they are so sweet. Give it all a try. Allow the Holy Spirit to revamp your time with Him in the Word. I promise you, He will not disappoint. It make take some time because He is not in a hurry. So relax and rest and allow. 

New Beginnings ….Continued…..

My miniature iris’ have bloomed! It is truly Spring in NY State.

Well, dear Readers, it was six months ago when I felt led to begin another study here on Mannaword. Well, my plans for my time did not work as I had thought they would, so that beginning blog was the only one I have written in that study. I am feeling prompted to make some adjustments in that beginning study and to then continue as I can. It is my hope to have a study here at least one time each week, (more if time allows) and follow through with my original plans using the book of Titus.

Each study will be from Titus, and I normally work verse-by-verse in a book – even when I teach it in person, so that is the pathway I will follow unless (and until) the Holy Spirit leads otherwise. I will be free with Him in the study, so it make take us elsewhere, but then I plan to return. So do follow along and study with me.

I am reprinting that first study below to start us again. I will adjust it if needful as the Holy Spirit is constantly teaching me – each time I open the book, (you know – The Book), so be certain and read it as it may not quite be the same and besides that, if your like me, then I don’t remember what was there then. Anyway – Holy Spirit, thank you for teaching us and leading us forward into your heart with your Word. Thank you for the fellowship of oneness in You as we trust you to teach what needs to be seen and known in this hour. Thank you!

We all need new beginnings occasionally, so beginning again here is not unheard of. During the course of the years I have at times blogged almost daily and at other times – hardly at all. But I believe it is time to once again begin to put writings and teachings here for those who wish to accompany me on this journey of life for the time period. 

New beginnings are always welcome as long as there’s life, so I choose in my heart to give life to this old blog – thus pronouncing it now my new blog! Don’t you just love the name “Mannaword?” I believe the Lord gave that to me when (2005) I first tried to find a name I could use to have a blog. We are returning to its original purpose – “Biblical understandings in snippet form.” So when I write here we will be working with the written Word of God – The Holy Scriptures – and we will let the Holy Spirit breath them and release their light and truth for us.  

Now for post #1 in a new study. We will be allowing the Holy Spirit to breath life into us through the words of Titus. This book is not high on Christian agendas to read, occasionally I will find a leader acquainted with it, but other than that, its treasures remain hidden to most. A few years ago I was teaching it in our Bible Institute and I had some young leaders in the class. They had not read it at all. As I have watched the Body of Christ become less literate in the Word than at any time in my life, I believe it is time to study it together here. If you enjoy the study, do send the link to your friends and those who might enjoy studying with us. Each post will be brief, so it won’t take very long to read and begin to digest what is written. 

As you may know, the Apostle Paul wrote this letter to one of his leaders and sons in the faith, a man named Titus. I would urge all my students not to get into arguments regarding the authorship, nor about Titus. It seems the “scholars” are replete with theories and may be a delight to some minds, however, to the average Bible student such things just get in the way of faith. So let’s just receive what the book says about Titus and all the Holy Spirit wrote to him. This is usually referred to, along with 1 & 2 Timothy, as the Pastoral Epistles. That is OK as long as we understand that it would have been expected to be read and studied by those who were its recipients in pastoral care. 

“Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;” Titus 1:1 KJV

(I will use the KJV for two main reasons, it is free to print without difficulty of copyright, and I have found it needs less correction as other translations as I study the Greek text to see what is here in that language. There are several manuscripts of the Greek that I have access to, so I will check most of them as we begin our work. Anyone can research the Word this way whether they have formally studied the Greek or not. Here are my online resources that will give you access to more knowledge than you can possibly hold. http://textusreceptusbibles.com/ – here you want the Analysis for each passage. This is the main text the scholars had available for the KJV. https://thebible.org/gt/index – this is a bit more complicated but you can develop your own parallel Bible and have the Greek as one translation with the analysis of the passage at the bottom. https://biblehub.com/ – this site is a complete Bible program online. You will want to click the interlinear, or any other data you might want. Anyway, I pray this helps all who wish to dig deeply). I checked all these links and the first one is not presently active as its server is down. I will check on it again in a few days.

So you can now check out my study and conclusions. It is expected that you will do so as we journey. Please leave questions, comments, or other data in the comments and we can dialogue about the passage. 

Now back to verse 1. The word “servant” or slave as some newer translations give it is the word for “bond-servant.” If you wish to read the Old Testament description of such a servant, please read Deuteronomy 15:7-18 to discover this practice. Basically, Paul is saying that he is a servant by choice. He is not saying he is a slave that has no choice, but he is a “love-servant” by his own choice. This is what we become in our Lord Jesus when we understand true submission to Him and choose to be led by the Holy Spirit in doing as the Lord Jesus says. Anything, less will end in massive frustration. So if we find ourselves frustrated as we serve others, we must check our submission level to our King. We also must check to see in whose strength and power are we serving. I’m not saying we never tire, but there is a “good tired” that is the result of following the empowering of the Lord, and a “worn-out tired” that is the result of flesh effort. (This is a subject all on its own, but we won’t follow it now – maybe later).

He is a servant to Him and he has been appointed as one sent by Him. The word “apostle” simply means “one sent” and is used to designate those in the body who do the work of an apostle as “one sent.” Yes, we do have those in the Body today, but I fear that many who say they are such, and have such a title on their website or cards etc… simply want placement over others and pronounce it over themselves. When others with authority to give the title or anyone else, say that a person is an apostle – then there may be some validity to it. To use it as a title that others have not given is a risky busy in the Holy Spirit. I have known several who would qualify to be known as such, but none of them gave themselves that title and some even actively refused it. So when we receive these words in Titus, we are receiving the Words of great authority that the Lord has sent to Titus and then to us. 

I think this is quite enough to think through for this first post. I had thought we would finish the verse, but the remaining part of the verse will have enough for another post, on another day. 

Lord, thank you for new beginnings, and even in these few words we have looked at in this post, we have seen the need to keep our hearts in tune with yours, our individual persons in right relationship with the Holy Spirit in our own thoughts, and we willing receive your authority in the words spoken.

What a wonder the printed Word if God is when we receive it and allow it to have life and breath! I’d love to hear from you. May the Lord’s blessings be on you today.

From Need To Sufficiency #2

This is a continuation of the thoughts presented in the previous post. Please take a moment or two to read that post before reading this one. It will help. Thank you.

When we begin our journey in transformational prayer, there is one thing that comes to my mind. The Scriptures! They are full of the understanding that in our Heavenly Father, there is sufficiency always. I will highlight a couple of very familiar ones here.

The first one is Psalm 23:1, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” KJV Our modern translations will put it very plainly, “I will not lack.” David understood a very important thing in belonging to his God – that our God is a God of sufficiency. He takes care of every need, not before it occurs, but as one trusts Him for it. Oh yes, there is that “faith” or trust element again. I’m not talking about what some call “positive thinking” and “positive speech,” but the last time I read Philippians 4:4-9 that is the only thing we are to think or do. Just a bit of extra understanding that we need to believe deep within our core. Our concentration of thought must begin to believe what He has said, and what the Holy Spirit has breathed out into those Holy men of God who wrote the Scriptures down for us.

The other very obvious Scripture is only obvious when one has access to the Greek. So if you will just read with me again, let’s go to Philippians 4:10-13.

But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, to be content (GK – self-sufficient). I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me,…

Paul is explaining to the good people in Philippi that he really doesn’t need the support that they sent to Him, because the Lord has trained Him to have an attitude of self sufficiency in his relationship with Him. In other words, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” He has learned and been instructed not to be alarmed at all by what looks like a huge need that there are no funds for. He has also learned to live in a mindset of abundant provision in the middle of what looks like “need” and “lack.” Thats what the passage, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” means. Whatever, is ok. Not because we are oblivious to the situation, but because our God, our Father, is aware and has it all in His hands.

Faith is not what kind of religion we believe, it is instead a deeply implanted trust that the Lord has given each of us (Romans 12:3) to access supply. It is not for us to generate – He has already given us all we will ever need and it is His faith, which is always powerful and able to move whatever mountains need moving. We begin to relate to Him, not in reference to all we see that is needed, but in reference to His nature.

So, as we take in all these things, moving from transactional prayer into transformational prayer is an automatic move of faith. In our prayer time, as we with full trust in an Almighty God, believe what He is – our supply, we begin to be spending more time in getting to know Him personally and interacting with Him in trust. Since, each and every encounter in Him changes us, we automatically begin to be transformed by His nature into His likeness. (Romans 8:29) May it be so in me – and in you, my precious reader friend.

Worship – From Need to Sufficiency

Worship is the adoration of our Precious Lord Jesus and our Father, through the Holy Spirit as we choose to engage Him. We can enter worship (personal or congregational) with an attitude of need, but if our worship, adoration, love, and trust (faith) are in tack, that need will be left behind in our thoughts as we adore Him. We, who are His, are never denied His presence. So, as we behold Him (in our hearts, thoughts, and reality in the Spirit) that presence overshadows us and we become released into a state of sufficiency because of who He is! 

It is impossible to draw near to Him and and not receive, for the very thought of His presence with us opens us to who and what He is. However, if that is, and continues to be, our point in worship, we will not move into the depth of the knowledge of His sufficiency. 

The author of a book I recently read (Felix Halpern, A Rabbi’s Journey to Heaven: A Miraculous Story of One Man’s Journey to Heaven and Your 30-Day Glory Transformation) wrote about the difference between transactional prayer and transformational prayer. I began to think about those two words and as I did the Lord showed me how our worship is a combination of both of them. 

Worship is to be primarily “Him” centered. When we make worship “me” centered, we are using a spiritual climate intended to be transformational and are keeping it transactional. We need to review these matters in our hearts before the Lord, and see what changes we need to make in order to enter the “transformational atmosphere.” 

The same Spirit discipline is needed in our prayer life as well. He uses this transformational atmosphere to infuse us with His life and sufficiency. So, we receive, but in another dimension and that dimension is called “glory.” 

Worship – Drastically Different

Well, my “New Beginnings” did not go for very long, as you can clearly see. So shall we begin again? I do have in mind a study here – like the one I had started last July, and we will see if that is what my Lord appoints.  He desires me to share in this post some of what He has done in and with Psalm 19 Ministries in the past year. 

As with all ministries, Covid has had its effect. Many of us have lost dear ones and it has been extremely hard on all.  I took the months of January and February of 2021 to seek the Lord about what Psalm 19 was to do. I had heard several prophets speak to the period of beginning again by saying, “Do not try to go back to normal. The Lord has allowed the shaking of the church, and we need to be doing what He instructs – not just trying to return to the old “normal.” Well, I had just gone back to normal. I took the two months off so I could hear Him. I felt helpless in it as I didn’t have any idea what to do differently. So I prayed and listened!

He is so wonderfully faithful. He began to speak and I began to understand. He and I had an awesome time as He reviewed for me His instructions regarding worship, teaching, ministry in general, and fellowship. I will not try to explain here all of it, for it is continuing to unfold as we move forward. However, because our time of “worship” is so different, I want to explain why we do what we are doing. I am aware that “worship” is to be our entire life expression in His love. However, I am talking about the time we sing and praise together as a body in our meetings. 

The Lord reviewed for me what I was seeing in the church (and I speak broadly – as what I am about to say is very broad and includes all expressions – but especially the born-again, Spirit-filled communities). The time of “worship” is assigned to a “worship band” or at least as many instrumentalist and singers we can get out of our congregation. They lead the songs and we sing what they have (hopefully) prayed with and selected. The musicians do a good job, musically, and at times really do follow the Holy Spirit. However, except for a few (front row, upfront, first few rows of people) the “audience” is minimally involved. 

He highlighted to me the truth of 2 Corinthians 3:17 (which the KJV translates it almost correctly. However, I have not found another translation that even comes close). The verse in the Greek reads: “Now the Lord is the Spirit: and where the Spirit is Lord, there is liberty.” I will only introduce this, but will in another post teach the passage. 

So in our meetings at this point in time, we sing only what the Holy Spirit leads, not what is generated by a leader, or leaders, or instrument, or group, but by the congregation that has gathered, either large or small. Honestly, this is tough- on all of us. It takes effort. We have learned to sit passively and receive, but not to engage. Worship is not about receiving (although it is impossible to truly worship and not receive. Another post will follow).We do have one instrumentalist backing what is done in the congregation, and we are expecting that number to increase, but the primary worship is done from out of the congregation. There are no words fed to us on our beautiful 65” TV. We shout, sing in tongues, sing a chorus, read scripture, give a prophetic word and do as the Lord leads, according to 1Corinthians 14:26.

His instructions about worship are to bow, clap, dance, make a joyful noise, make melody in our hearts to Him, shout, sing +. So we are choosing to actively be involved together and flow together in it all. 

This is effectively training all of us to not only be actively involved with the Holy Spirit in worship, but also to hear and to listen Him and one another. The congregation is also not sitting in rows with all looking toward to raised platform. Instead, the chairs are arranged in a tear-drop design on each side of the platform, facing one another. Our instrumentalist is on the platform simply because we need the room. The teaching and all other activity occurs in the middle of the tear-drop on the floor. 

Our teachings are shorter and more fully releasing what the Spirit is saying in His Word. It is always from “the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,” as written in Ephesians 1:13.

Immediately following the 30 minute (give or take a minute or two) teaching, we have ministry to the Body that has gathered. The Lord has brought a powerful Holy Spirit-moving ministry team together to work in His flow in all the miracles that are and will follow. It is not uncommon for some to fall in the power of the Holy Spirit even before they get to us to minister to them. It has been awesome! 

Then (oh yes, still going), we have some announcements and fellowship together with some light refreshments. It is such a joy to get to know folk we have not known before, and or, the catch up with those who we already know. 

There are other “new” expressions that are beginning to occur, and I will share those as I can. 

If you live in the Syracuse, NY area, please feel free to come and experience Him in this dimension. 

The Gathering, 3 PM every 2nd and 4th Sundays – 6138 S. Salina St., Syracuse, NY 13205 – psalm19.org.

New Beginnings

We all need new beginnings occasionally, so beginning again here is not unheard of. During the course of the years I have at times blogged religiously and at other times – hardly at all. But I believe it is time to once again begin to put writings and teachings here for those who wish to accompany me on this journey of life for the time period.

New beginnings are always welcome as long as there’s life, so I choose in my heart to give life to this old blog – thus pronouncing it now my new blog! Don’t you just love the name “Mannaword?” I believe the Lord gave that to me when (2005) I first tried to find a name I could use to have a blog. We are returning to its original purpose – “Biblical understandings in snippet form.” So when I write here we will be working with the written Word of God – The Holy Scriptures – and we will let them find the breath of the Holy Spirit.

Now for post #1 in a new study. We will be allowing the Holy Spirit to breath life into us through the words of Titus. This book is not high on Christian agendas to read, occasionally I will find a leader acquainted with it, but other than that, its treasures remain hidden to most. A few years ago I was teaching it in our Bible Institute and I had some young leaders in the class. They had not read it at all. So as I watch the Body of Christ become less literate in the Word than at any time in my life, I believe it is time to study it together. If you enjoy the study, do send the link to your friends and those who might enjoy studying with us. Each post will be brief, so it won’t take very long to read and begin to digest what is written.

May the Holy Spirit lead us as we move in anticipation to this study.

As you may know, the Apostle Paul wrote this letter to one of his leaders and sons in the faith, a man named Titus. I would urge all my students not to get into arguments regarding the authorship, nor about Titus. It seems the “scholars” are replete with theories and may be a delight to some minds, however, to the average Bible student such things just get in the way of faith. So let’s just receive what the book says about Titus and all the Holy Spirit wrote to him. This is usually referred to, along with 1 & 2 Timothy, as the Pastoral Epistles. That is OK as long as we understand that it would have been expected to be read and studied by those who were the recipients of such pastoral care.

Lord, we open our hearts, minds, and Spirits for your imprint as we place our eyes and mind on these marvelous truths.

“Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;” Titus 1:1 KJV

(I will use the KJV for two main reasons, it is free to print without difficulty of copyright, and it also needs less correction as other translations as I study the Greek text to see what is here in that language. There are several manuscripts of the Greek that I have access to, so I will check most of them as we begin our work. Anyone can research the Word this way whether they have formally studied the Greek or not. Here are my online resources that will give you access to more knowledge than you can possibly hold. http://textusreceptusbibles.com/ – here you want the Analysis for each passage. This is the main text the scholars had available for the KJV. https://thebible.org/gt/index – this is a bit more complicated but you can develop your own parallel Bible and have the Greek as one translation with the analysis of the passage at the bottom. https://biblehub.com/ – this site is a complete Bible program online. You will want to click the interlinear, or any other data you might want. Anyway, I pray this helps all who wish to dig deeply).

So you can now check out my study and conclusions. It is expected that you will do so as we journey. Please leave questions, comments, or other data in the comments and we can dialogue about the passage.

Now back to verse 1. The word “servant” or slave as some newer translations give it is the word for “bond-servant.” If you wish to read the Old Testament description of such a servant, please read Deuteronomy 15:7-18 to discover this practice. Basically, Paul is saying that he is a servant by choice. He is not saying he is a slave that has no choice, but he is a “love-servant” by his own choice. This is what we become in our Lord Jesus when we understand true submission to Him and choose to be led by the Holy Spirit and do as the Lord Jesus says. Anything, less will end in massive frustration. So if we find ourselves frustrated as we serve others, we must check our submission level to our King.

He is a servant to Him and he has been appointed as one sent by Him. The word “apostle” simply means “one sent” and is used to designate those in the body who do the work of an apostle as “one sent.” Yes, we do have those in the Body today, but I fear that many who say they are such, simply want placement over others and pronounce it over themselves. When others with authority to give the title or anyone else, say that a person is an apostle – then there may be some validity to it. To use it as a title that others have not given is a risky busy in the Holy Spirit. I have known several who would qualify to be known as such, but none of them gave themselves that title and some even actively refused it. So when we receive these words in Titus, we are receiving the Words of great authority that the Lord has sent to Titus and then to us.

I think this is quite enough to think through for this first post. I had thought we would finish the verse, but the remaining part of the verse will have enough for another post, on another day.

Lord, thank you for new beginnings, and even in these few words we have looked at in this post, we have seen the need to keep our hearts in tune with yours, our individual persons in right relationship with the Holy Spirit in our own thoughts, and we willing receive your authority in the words spoken.

What a wonder the printed Word if God is when we receive it and allow it to have life and breath!

Keep Me . . .

“Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings… Psalm 17:8 KJV

To be kept as the apple of the eye of Almighty God and to be hidden under the shadow of His wings are indicators from the heart of David that he had an intimacy in His relationship that is seldom grasped. Of course, this happened in the Old Covenant and that lets us know that the intimacy we are called to can be much deeper, wider, fuller, and intense than any in that age could understand. However, David gives us heart-words for a beginning. 

So many of us are stunted in our relationship with our Lord Jesus. We want all He can do for us, but seldom do we spend time with Him to begin to know Him deeply. Even those of us who spend time daily in His word and in Biblical mediation are finding ourselves empty at times and wondering how we can move from the staleness in this relationship (our prayer life) into a vibrancy we might never have known before.

Our world has been and is becoming more and more dangerous for those who walk in the light of Jesus. So we will do well to begin to develop a relationship in His heart so that we confidently know that we are kept as dear and as close to Him as David – even closer. It is not so much a matter of learning something new but instead it is a matter of leaning and allowing. It does take time and we must love in Spirit ways. Only in Spirit can we possibly love with His love. It is a love that flows outward – His to and in us, and then we lean and allow Him to continue the flow of that Spirit-love to others. Really, everything in Him works that way. We lean, receive, and allow, then He moves and does. In the process, we become in Him what He has designed us to be. 

All our works, designs, programs, etc. are of no or little value in this precious sharing of “life-with.” David was often found before His God in front of the Ark of the Covenant, which he had moved into an open-to-all tent in Jerusalem. (This, of course, is prophetically speaking of our present Kingdom age). It is thought that there he would find a place where the wings of the cherubim provided shade and in that cool shade, he would kneel/bow and spend time with His God. It may well have been a place where he would have been hidden from the eyes of others. It was a place where he knew the acceptance and the love of His God. His self-revelations in Psalms would lead us to that conclusion about His heart.

So, Beloved of God, may we also find that place in the Spirit where we kneel, lean, trust, and receive. We then will find strength for our day and the praise will rise within us in gratitude in His heart. 

Lord Jesus, we bless you and thank you that we are the “apple of your eye” and you have hidden us in the shadow of the wings of your very presence. Today we stop, lean, and receive much more deeply the truth of your love and the essence of your presence. We love you, trust your enfolding, and draw near.