Month of Prayers for Your Clergy – Day 29

October is Ministry/Clergy Appreciation Month. What better way to show your appreciation and support than to pray for those in charge. Pray back to God His name and word. He takes delight in that.

Pastor’s Soul (Will)

Romans 8:38, 39: For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons (principalities; other heavenly rulers), neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus/Messiah Yeshua our Lord.

2 Chronicles 20:17 implied: God Who Commands Us to Stand and Observe

1 Corinthians 16:13: God Who Commands Us to Stand Firm in the Faith

How to pray: that Pastor’s devotional time, family duties and church work are carried out with stubborn and unwavering firmness. Pray that Pastor’s works bring him no regrets as he stands firm on the promises of God.

Prayer/Blessing for you, the pray-er

You are Fulfiller of My Joy (Psalm 16:11 implied). Let my actions this day be in perfect harmony with Your will that I might enjoy Your fellowship.

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How Did You Feel…? Part 2 of 5

How did you feel, O Garden of Gethsemane…

when your Creator entered, fell on your ground and prayed in deep agony? Your trees and shrubs were to give a quiet resting place to your visitors, but now you are gripped in an atmosphere of great mental death pangs and bathed in His sorrowful sweat. How did you feel when heaven’s answer to Jesus’ first prayer was an angelic visitor? Did you grieve because the answer to His prayer, “If You are willing, remove this cup from me,” was “It is not My will.”?

How did you feel Peter, James and John…

when you succumbed to pleasing your flesh with sleep instead of carrying your cross by heeding Jesus’ words, “Watch with Me…”? Did you feel remorse when you remembered that you offered Him no comfort for the heavy burden of His coming sacrifice of death for you?

Part 1: How did you feel, O Earth, O Stones, O Alabaster Box blogged 3/27/13

Shadow

When I was a young girl growing up in the pre-television days, I enjoyed listening to a radio show called “The Shadow Knows.” To the best of my recollection, the Shadow was a private investigator who solved crimes with his interpretation of mysterious clues.

This was a good program. The bad thing was that it ended past my bedtime. The nice thing about a 2-story house was that I could sneak halfway down the stairs and still hear the finish.

Once when I wanted to take a picture of my fourth dog, I captured her standing in my shadow. Bright sunlight was all around, but Honey Girl was unaffected. She kept her eyes on me.

I wonder if that is what God intended when He gave numerous Scriptures about shadow and shade. Many are recorded in Psalms.

I can picture Shepherd David sitting on a small hill. It’s late afternoon and shadows are lengthening. He is alert to possible predators because shadows not only provide shade for the sheep in its path but also camouflage for drooling animals.

The longer the shadow, the more protection given and needed.

Isaiah 49:2 tells me that I am hid in the shadow of the Lord’s hand. David records it as God being his help, and in the shadow of God’s wings he shouts for joy (Psalm 63). Certainly God, if I allow Him, gives me refuge in His shadow until danger passes (Psalm 57) – from the wicked who would rob me and mortal enemies who encircle me (Psalm 17). I am not destroyed or blinded by their presence or actions, because my eyes are fixed on God.

Just as people placed loved ones who needed healing in the path of Peter so that his shadow might fall on them (Acts 5)…just as Israel was to revive those people who sat in its shade (Hosea 14)…so I, also, am shade to those in my path. As I bask in the sunlight of God’s presence, so my shadow should provide comfort, joy and protection to others – even my enemies!

Read God’s take on your enemies in Forgiveness, God Style  by B. L. Wade. Find it on Amazon as an e-book or paperback book.

 

 

Bless Your Enemies

The joke goes like this: A woman was complaining to her minister about her husband. The minister asked, “Have you tried heaping coals of fire on his head?” (Prov. 25:21,22) “No,” she replied, “but I’ve tried hot water!” Obviously, she missed the point.

A friend was having trouble with her supervisor at work. She was reminded of what Jesus said: Love your enemies, bless them…(Matt. 5:44)

It wasn’t easy to ask the Lord to bless this woman who was so nasty to her, but my friend did. Not too many months later the supervisor was offered a better job for another firm. She accepted. Another outcome was that my friend’s attitude was changed.

The Bible relates a fascinating account of this kind of thinking. The King of Syria had tried time and again to kill the King of Israel, but each attempt was foiled by Elisha. When one of his officers reported, “Elisha, that prophet in Israel, tells the King of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom,” the invading king sent soldiers and chariots to capture Elisha. (Interesting note: How did the officer know about Elisha?)

When the troops were in position, Elisha asked God to “strike this people with a blinding light.” Now, that doesn’t sound like a blessing! Neither does what happened next. Elisha led them to Samaria. When Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open the eyes of these men so that they may see,” God did.

How frightened they must have been when they realized they had been led to the enemy’s capital. Terror was added when they heard the King of Israel ask, “Shall I strike them down?”

They were Elisha’s captives. He had the power to kill them. How confusing his statement to the king must have been, “Set food and drink before them, and let them eat and drink and return to their master.”

Elisha stood in the gap for these enemy soldiers so their lives were spared. Israel’s resources were given to these men that when they returned, they would give a good report to their king. Also, if they were sent away hungry, people along the escape route would have been in jeopardy of being hurt or robbed. So those people, also, received a blessing.

Defeated soldiers needed something to take back to their king. A good report was better for the Israelites because the King of Syria “came no more into the land.”

In blessing the enemy with kindness, hospitality and concern for their physical needs, Elisha and all Israel were blessed with peace. The lesson taught: we can’t bless others without the blessing returning on us.

I wonder if the reverse is also true: we can’t curse others without the curse returning back on us?

Jesus knew that blessing our enemy would be hard, but doing this puts us in the same frame of mind as God. After all, He causes the blessing of rain and sunshine to fall on the just and the unjust (Matt. 5:45). – – -Based on 2 Kings 6

Read about God’s point of view and the various reasons we are to bless our enemies in Forgiveness, God-Style by B. L. Wade.

For a paperback book: https://www.createspace.com/4025600  or for an ebook: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00945XPZY?tag=akoebel-20

 

 

 

Unforgiveness – Harvest

“Betty, forget the TV. You need to weed the corn.”

My stepfather’s words came to mind when, a few months later, we were eating freshly picked corn-on-the-cob. The taste was delicious. Only one thing was wrong. “I can’t understand why the cobs are so small,” he commented.

Those words from a man with a green thumb haunted me. I knew why the cobs were small. It was because, while the corn stalks were tender and growing, I weeded in anger.

I was not happy that I had to stop an activity that I was enjoying just so I could do my step-dad’s bidding. Sure, the rows of corn did need weeding. Sure, I had the ability and availability to do the job. Sure, the weeds, if left unchecked, would have affected the amount of harvest.

My head knew those things, but my emotions screamed out, “Unfair!” So, anger wielded the hoe that early summer day, and young roots were severed from the stalks as well as uprooting surface weeds.

In the parable of the Sower, Jesus said that the seeds planted in the good soil yielded three degrees of harvest – 30,60,100 fold. In Science class I learned the proper technique for conducting experiments – only one variable at a time.

In this parable the seed, soil and weather conditions were constant, but the harvest was not. So, what was the variable? Certainly, weeds can affect a harvest. If left unchecked they rob tender plants of sun, water and nutrients.

In a 30 or 60 spiritual harvest, what kind of weeds are there? Lack of studying God’s Word causes wrong feelings and attitudes to grow unchecked. Unlike Paul who was content in any situation (Phil. 4:11), dissatisfaction brings envy, taking my eyes off of God and His provisions and focusing on my own desires.

Lack of forgiveness, formed in both the past and present, places me in a position of acting as a god. Instead of following my Heavenly Father’s command and example, I set myself up as forgiver or not. Failure to forgive myself or others tells Jesus that His Blood is not all-sufficient. Might this be blasphemy?

Misunderstandings never addressed and resolved can spring up as hatred and defiance. An interesting observation of weeds. They are never planted; they are already in the soil. Under the right conditions and climate, they spring up. My brother-in-law, Al, says, “Emotions buried alive never die.” Just like weeds, they rear their ugly heads when my soul’s condition is favorable.

As a teenager, I did my stepfather’s will with a bad attitude. So, it also can be with my Heavenly Father. If I view the work that He has given me with discontent, if I use the hoe of criticism rather than thanksgiving, if I view the garden – the territory under my control – as a hardship instead of a challenge, I will enjoy a limited harvest of influence. The fruit of my existence will not be abundant.

When I stand before the Judge of my soul and He opens His book of remembrance (Malachi 3:16), I will hear Him say: I the Lord probe the heart and search the mind. I repay you according to your ways with the proper fruit of your deeds (Jeremiah 17:10 paraphrased).

Read more on this subject: Forgiveness God Style. e-book: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00945XPZY?tag=akoebel-20 or for a hard copy: https://www.createspace.com/4025600

Love Your Enemies – A Letter from God

Dear Child,

Love your enemies. I use them to bless you.

Fear gripped the heart of Balak, king of Moab, when the Israelites camped next to his country. They were too numerous for his people to defeat. He believed that pronouncing a curse on the foreigners would enable him to drive them out of the land and insure Moab’s safety.

The well-known heathen soothsayer, Balaam,was called to do such a service. However, in My usual creative way – a talking donkey -, I captured Balaam’s attention. I informed him that he would only speak My words. Even though he told this to the king, Balak insisted that Balaam make his pronouncement.

Three times My people received blessings, not curses. I used enemies to emphasize My protection (Numbers 22-24).

Consider the Jordan River. If flowing in a straight line, it would cover about 65 miles. But I created it with a winding course. That allows the river to water two times more land.

Similarly, I use enemies to throw curve balls in your life so My blessings can cover more territory.

Love,

Controller of Enemies (Proverbs 16:7 implied)                       Excerpt from Forgiveness, God Style

 

 

Published in: on December 29, 2012 at 3:47 am  Leave a Comment  
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Love Your Enemies – A Letter from God

Dear Child,

Love your enemies. I use them to accomplish My purpose.

The Red Sea stood as an enemy for Israel. Pharaoh’s army, another enemy, was in hot pursuit. Crossing the sea was unsafe. Divine intervention was needed. I parted the waters, the Israelites crossed in safety on dry ground (Exodus 14:22), and their enemy who followed them was destroyed when I released the waters again (Exodus 15:5).

In the midst of their uncertainty and frustration, I parted the waters to reveal the path that would move them to the other side.

Not getting the job you wanted, or the home you thought would be ideal or spending the rest of your life with your spouse are enemies. All are part of living. Sometimes I use them as a dam to reveal characteristics that need changing – your impatience, your not seeking My best for you, and taking for granted My blessings.

My actions could seem like punishment. You could respond with jealousy for the one promoted ahead of you, depression for living in a lesser-valued home, or anger for having changes in your life-style.

View your enemies – both people and situations – as My tools. See them as opportunities to seek My answers for your troubles. Then I can turn what seems to be punishment into blessings, and you receive the benefits.

Love,

God Who Holds in His Hand all Your Ways (Daniel 5:23)

Excerpt from Forgiveness, God-Style

Published in: on December 23, 2012 at 3:18 am  Leave a Comment  
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Love Your Enemy – A Letter from God

Dear Child,

Love your enemy. It might even be you!

Sometimes people overlook what I say. For example, when I summed up the Ten Commandments into two. The first command to “Love Me with all your heart, soul, mind and strength” means to love Me completely. Love Me in every possible aspect (Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:39). Love Me in your innermost being, emotions, thoughts, efforts and energy. Love Me with utmost sincerity. In other words, love me in the same way and extent that I love you (1 John 4:19).

The phrase connecting the two commands is most important but often neglected. “The second is like it.” The love to be expressed in the second command must carry the same intensity and honesty as the first command.

The second command is, “Love your neighbor (friend or enemy) as yourself.” The phrase ‘as yourself’ is usually ignored. This explains how you love your neighbor. The degree of love you show for yourself will be the same extent of love you can offer others. If there is a deficiency in loving yourself, that carries over in the love you are able to show others and sometimes even Me.

You are to love yourself in the very same way that I love you. Child, self-love is not ‘conceit.’ It simply means that you desire to be the best individual possible in all areas of life. That is how I love you. When you speak or think negatively about yourself or your situation, you become your own enemy. Don’t do that. Put yourself in My hands. Follow My paths. Look for My point of view. Then you will find a good friend in yourself.

Love,

Your (best) Friend                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  (John 15:15)                                                      Excerpt from Forgiveness, God-Style

Love Your Enemies – A Letter from God

Dear Child,

Love your enemies. They were created in My image.

When you look at a painting and praise it, your accolades are really directed toward the one responsible for the picture – the painter. When you see a beautifully landscaped yard where the height and colors of various plants complement one another, your admiration is directed to the one who made the selections – the gardener.

The same is true about how you view your enemies. It becomes an indictment on the one ultimately responsible for that life – Me!

You are instructed to love for a good reason. To be indifferent is very hard. So, if you do not love, you put yourself in the position to ‘hate’. Those who ‘hate’ are murderers (1 John 3:15). You murder a reputation, a relationship, a future, ambitions and hopes. Hate affects three ways: the one who hates, the receiver of that attitude and those aware of the situation.

Please understand. To love doesn’t mean to like. They are different. Love people; dislike their actions. Hate evil; cling to what is good (Romans 12:9). In other words, look for the good in your enemies. You may be surprised by what you find.

Word of caution. When you believe hatred has been directed toward you, take note. Constructive criticism is judgment meant to bring about positive results. When criticized, pick apart the comments. Bring them to Me. Together we will analyze them to see if there is any truth. If not, toss the words over your shoulder and move on. If there is truth in the criticism, make it a learning experience to improve yourself. Truth should never be treated as a stumbling block. It is a stepping stone to betterment.

Love,

Creator (Genesis 1:1)                                                                                       Excerpt from Forgiveness, God-Style

Published in: on December 15, 2012 at 4:11 am  Leave a Comment  
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Love Your Enemies-A Letter from God

Dear Child,

Love your enemies. You imitate My heart.

People delight when their children resemble them in looks and in actions. Children are a reflection of their parents.

I am your heavenly Father. I want you to be a true reflection of Me, not in looks but in your desires and deeds. The work I do, you do. The attitudes I display, you display. When people look at you, I want them to see Me. What delights Me should delight you. Act with kindness, justice, impartiality and righteousness (Jeremiah 9:24).

I am patient. I want everyone to repent (2 Peter 3:9). I want them to see My love demonstrated through you. Love will draw them to receive My salvation. But if you don’t reflect the love I have shown you, how then can others understand My feelings toward them?

I send my blessings on both – friend and enemy (Matthew 5:45).

Don’t be like the brother of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). He never understood his father’s heart. He never accepted the father’s love shown for the wayward brother. He never respected his father’s feelings of happiness when his love and patience were finally rewarded.

Love your enemies, My child. Someday you may find out they are your siblings when they return to Me.

Love,

Father of All                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  (Malachi 2:10)

Published in: on December 14, 2012 at 2:44 am  Leave a Comment  
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