Archive for June, 2013


 

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Jesus never called attention to Himself–even in His miracles He relied on the Holy Spirit to manifest the Father’s works through Him.  He never used His powers as the Son of God, but acted in total dependence upon the Father as the Son of Man.   Satan constantly tempted Him to resort to using His Divine Powers as the Son of God when Jesus was fasting in the wilderness for 40 days-   “Jump off of the pinnacle of the temple–and SHOW the people Who you are for it is written that the angels will catch you lest you hit your foot against a stone”, satan told Jesus (in so many words).    Jesus was aware of the snare Satan was placing before Him, so He responded, “It is also written that you must not tempt the Lord your God”

Jesus knew that mankind must receive Him as the Son of Man in order to come to the Father through Him- so He intentionally relied on the Holy Spirit and His Father for all things- including spiritual gifts.   

On one occasion, Jesus was invited to a wedding feast.  The party quickly ran out of of wine, so Mary, Jesus’s mother, came to Him and told Him their problem.  Jesus told her in certain words:  “woman, my hour has not yet come;  what is your part?”   –   So Mary told the servants, ‘Do whatever He tells you to do”  and the servants listened to Jesus and filled up the 6 thirty gallon jars with water.   They then drew some out and took it to the steward of the feast, as directed by Jesus.  The steward was so impressed that he called the bridegroom over and exclaimed to him how he had saved the best wine for last.    Only Mary, the servants, and some of the disciples knew what had just happened.   Jesus’s humility is very evident in this event-  He could have called attention to Himself- that it was due to Him that the water was turned into great tasting wine- but He remaned silent and in the background , content in seeing the Father’s perfect will accomplished -even in this.

Another powerful example was when Jesus was placed on trial, and then nailed to the cross as our sacrifice.  Jesus suffered in silence and you do not once hear our Lord declare to all who would listen that He was dying for them as their sacrifice.  He endured the agonizing pain quietly– and only spoke when led by the Holy Spirit- for the Father’s honor.  His last  words before surrendering His spirit to the Father were, “It is finished!  Father into your hands, I commend My spirit”   and then in love and deep reverence for the Father in Heaven, He bowed His head and gave up His soul.     Jesus could have used His Divine powers as Son of God to come off of that cross-  especially during the period when the pharisees and all who hated Him were jeering at Him sarcastically while He hung there naked .   “If you are the Son of God, then come down from that cross!” many of the ruling elite yelled at Him as He hung there.   He remained quiet as it was perfect Love that held Him on that cross, and kept Him from coming down.    

Before Jesus’ ministry –in the wilderness,  satan tried to make Jesus use His Divine powers as son of God to prove His Kingship– His Divinity,   When Jesus refused to succumb to this tempation, the scriptures read how satan left Jesus– “for a season”.    Throughout His ministry and especially at the last of hours of His Sacrifice, satan returned again and again to tempt Him-    yet Jesus continued to resist temptation.  relying on the Holy Spirit, Jesus suffered on that cross as man-   God He is,  Yet He continously relied on the Father for all His needs and would not spare Himself the sufferings of soul, body and spirit.    He suffered as the Man He also is– the Son of Man and yet the Son of God

Oh My Lord–, There is Noone as Beautiful as You Are!

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From the earliest times of man, God has used the hills of Earth to
represent sacred places one ascends- at cost of self- to reach Him.
the Ark rested on the Mountains of Ararat;  Moses came down from
Mt. Sinai after communing with God and receiving the Commandments.;
Isaac and Abraham ascended a mountain God revealed to Abraham, for
Isaac’s sacrifice; Jesus ascended a mountain after teaching the
multitudes where He gave one of His most precious Teachings to
those who were willing to climb the mountain with Him;  Some of the
disciples got to see Jesus transfigured as the Son of God on what
is now called “The Mount of Transfiguration”.
Throughout the Old and New Testaments, we read how God uses
elevations for His purpose. 

The Psalmist sings, in Psalm 121:1, “I lift up my eyes unto the
Hills.  From whence does my help come from?  My help comes from the
Lord, the Maker of Heaven and Earth.”    Trees grow on mountains. 
Like Isaac centuries before, Jesus, our Tree of Life,  carried the
wood of His Sacrifice all of the way up Golgotha– a rocky
mountain.   Our Lord was nailed on this tree and when before He
surrendered His spirit, He lifted His eyes unto the Hills of His
Father, and cried with a loud voice, “Father unto Your hands I
commend My spirit.”  
Below the tortured Tree of Life hanging on a butchered tree, stood
a Roman centurian who watched in shock.   He, too, looked up- and
beholding the Maker of Heaven and Earth throughout His agony on the
cross,   remarked with shock and awe, “surely this Man was just!”

 

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n the book of Genesis We read how our Lord directed Noah to build an ark to keep them in safety from the coming flood.  The ark was to be constructed with gopher wood and when Noah and his family would enter the ark, God would establish His covenant with them.   They would be safe in this Ark from the deep drowning waters that God would use to purge and clean the Earth.    The Ark represents Jesus Christ-   He is our Covenant, and when we enter into Him, we are in perfect peace– perfect security on all levels from the storms, and floods surrounding us— especially in these present End Times, where chaos is increasing on a greater scale.   These things will no longer move us emotionally when we enter into Jesus through the Holy Spirit.    

An example of this perfect condition of God’s inner rest and peace is Jesus , Himself.   When the disciples were in danger of being capsized from a sudden unexpected storm that brew over the Sea of Galilee, Jesus was peacefully sleeping in the boat with the.  They were completely agitated and fearful-  even a bit resentful of Jesus for His seeming indifference while they were in danger.  The woke Jesus up and rebuked Him, “Master, do you care not that we perish?!”      Looking at them, Jesus asked them, “Where is your faith?”  and then He rebuked the Sea and waves, which then immediately calmed down.   The disciples looked at Jesus with thier mouths open-   wondering what manner of Man this was, that even the sea and waves obey Him.      That little boat was like Noah’s ark in a sense- because Jesus was in that boat with them.     They were safe, with Jesus, Who had that inner peace and rest because the Father is at the very center of Jesus’s Being.   Those who fully surrender to Jesus have Him, the Holy Spirit and the Father in the center of their Beings just as Jesus, our Tree of Life, who dwelled in the midst (center) of the Garden of Eden.

 

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It is no cooincidence that Jesus , our Tree of Life,  was carpenter before His ministry officially began.  Young Jesus assisted Joseph until Joseph died, then to support His mother , brothers and sisters, He took over His father’s business as Nazareth’s carpenter.   Jesus- Who Is the Tree of Life for our hearts, worked with wood at a very young age.  This was not Jesus’s own personal agenda, but the work His Father in Heaven chose for Him, as He did/does nothing independently of the Father’s Sovereign Will.     In an earlier blog post, I was inspired to mention how before Jesus was born, Isaiah prophesied that a branch would grow out of the roots from the stump of Jesse,and how Jesus was prophesied as being a “root out of dry ground”.    roots and branches involve trees.    Carpentry work involves wood, which involves trees too.   Jesus daily chopped, cut, formed, sanded and refined the wood needed to build useful items for the villagers of Nazareth.   Things like yokes,  doors, tables, etc.     It was hard laborous work,  which our Lord constructed useful items out of wood.      He desires to do the same with each of us who love Him as well-   we need to be cut, hewn, sanded, and fitted into something useful for His Kingdom purpose.  The sanding, cutting and refining/polishing process of wood is like the death to our self lives that He longs to accomplish within us.  It isnt pleasant but the end is worth it all.    In a sense, Jesus’s disciples all went through this carpentry process by Jesus-  and one of Jesus’s names is “The Carpenter”.  

Going back a few centuries, we read how God, the Father asked Abraham   to sacrifice Isaac, His only son.   When Abraham and Isaac were walking up the mountain chosen for this sacrifice, Isaac asked his father where the lamb was for the sacrifice as he was carrying the wood up the hill.    Abraham , with love, replied, “My son, God will provide a lamb”.      Centuries later,  our Heavenly Father also made the most expensive sacrifice of Himself, by giving up His Son, Jesus Christ, to be our sacrifice.     After Jesus’s ministry had come to a completion, He knew that it was time for Him to be offered up for the good of all mankind.    He willingly allowed Himself to be offered up to His enemies and endured endless hostile questioning in a mock trial.   Time will not permit me to mention all the excessive abuse He endured- more than other convicts placed before Pilate so I will stay with the point of this topic.     After He was scourged and humiliated , and so physically abused that He had no physical strength left, He was made to carry a heavy rough cut cross construction– made from a Tree, no less.   The hands that healed so many people and so lovingly constructed things of wood experienced horrible large splinters.   His hands , no doubt, bled as He carried that cross just as Isaac carried that wood up Mount Horeb centuries before.       What is also heartbreaking, is the fact that as Nazareth’s carpenter, Jesus probably didnt use iron nails to fasten the wood together.   He cut and refined the wood in such a way that it could be fitted together without a hammer and nail.    This is the same technique they used on the stones made to fit into Solomon’s Temple.     What is ironic is that while Jesus never used nails,  large iron nails were used on HIM, and driven into His hands and feet.        singer and songwriter, Michael Card, wrote a beautiful song with the lyrics, “Why did they nail His hands and feet?  His Love would have held Him there.”

Jesus, our Tree of Life, was crucified on a Tree so that we could receive Him at the center of our hearts, and so that our hearts would once again become as the Garden of Eden- free of thorns and crabgrass, with the Tree of Life in it’s midst.

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In the book of Genesis, we read how God planted a garden and placed Adam- the first human man, in that garden.  He also planted many trees there; in the center of that garden, He placed the Tree of Life.    The Tree of Life was actually prophetic of Jesus Christ, and that very garden of Eden was prophetic of the heart of man totally united to and in our Creator.   The physical garden of Eden –which DID physically exist- represented our hearts.   Before Eve succumbed to satan’s temptations in that garden,   plants had no thorns, and crabgrass didnt choke the flowers away.    After Eve listened to satan,  not only the entire natural environment, but especially the heart of mankind succumbed to thorns and crabgrass.  Our hearts became full of prickly negative attitudes and idols that would choke our spirits just as in Nature.      Adam and Eve needed to learn why God placed the Tree of Life in the middle of that garden–  He placed it intentionally in the center to represent how the humankind can never be Whole and at perfect peace until we receive Christ in the center of our hearts- until we receive Him as our Lord and King- not just as our Savior.   This means making room for Him in our hearts- by uprooting the crabgrass (idols) and allowing the Holy Spirit to take away our thorns (our self-life).

Psalm 46, verse 4-5 reads the following:  “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.  God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved…”         The river the psalmist speaks of represents God’s grace through His Holy Spirit.   The City of God is none other than the actual Kingdom of God.  She shall not be disturbed but at peace, because God is in the MIDST of her.      This descriptive psalm inspired by the Holy Spirit to the psalmist, beautifully illustrates  the inner condition of one who has accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and King.    The Lord is no longer exiled from their heart, but is in the midst of them- and so while the mountains may crumble and the earth move, they experience perfect peace because Christ was permitted entrance to the center of their very being.     They are now possessed by God and unlike those possessed by evil spirits, the one who is possessed by God knows true freedom and experiences true rest and peace.   

An example of this inner condition is Jesus’s calm demeanor while sleeping in His disciples fishing boat in the middle of a violent storm.   Jesus lay calmly asleep and at peace while His disciples were extreemly agitated and fearful due to storm and waves.    When they awoke Him, they were rather offended in Him and asked Him, “don’t you care that we perish?!” Still calm, Jesus rebuked the wind and waves and then looking at His disciples, He gently rebuked them for their little faith.    They stared in shock, wondering what manner of Man this was that even the Sea and the wind obeys Him.  

 

 

 

 

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