The Intercessory Bride

We know that Jesus is our intercessor with the Father, and the Holy Spirit is also our intercessor. He helps us to pray when words fail. He can give us utterances when there are no words for out situation, this is very deep intercession, I don’t think it’s the most given form of intercession or tongues. It may be as the Word says, groanings, and most people have a prayer language or can speak several languages, and not having learned them.

I have to tell you about the Holy Spirit and His work, there are false teachings. It is not like the trances of mediums or spiritualists, and also not unlike it. It is a state you choose to be in, while we submit to God, the Holy Spirit, others would have you accept the enemies counterfeit, when it is none of them, only Jesus paid the price for salvation. And only His blood covers you and protects you and only His Spirit gives you discernment, glimpses of things to comes as He said in John or how to avert disaster. We have talked about the deep things of God this week, and nothing is deeper that the Holy Spirit’s work. A farmer with little education can speak German to an immigrant in the 1930’s and talk about God, the Holy Spirit, another one, uneducated, can speak Latin backwards, evil.

Fear causes this gift to be avoided my many denominations, I understand. I was phobic about it myself, and skeptical about many things I began to learn, I was careful to avoid New Age, so careful I overlooked a lot of deceptions of the enemy because I didn’t always see his devices.   The closer you are to Jesus and the breakthroughs, the more attacks you could have in the spiritual realm, and we need there Holy Spirit to venture into the deep. He is our discernment and protection,

We discussed going deeper with Jesus and I know that this subject is for more than one post. I did a lot of them back in March, if you care to scroll back. The Holy Spirit will not ever push you into things you are not ready for, He is our teacher and expects us to study and make up our minds for ourselves and He will help us rightly divide the Word of Truth because He is the Spirit of Truth.

Just be aware that the next time you pray for a sick child, or in despair over a problem, those tears are golden and put into a bottle, and the Lord is near to the heartbroken. The heavy sighs, sobs, moans are often the Holy Spirit helping your pray if you are a believer, please remember there are two separate baptisms, John says he baptizes  with water, Jesus with the Holy Ghost and fire. The Bible really does make that clear.

It is time for a weary bride to rest. For a sleeping bride to wake. For a young bride to be made perfect in love, growing up and being mature and in want of nothing. It is time for the bride of Christ a whole to step up it’s role of intercessory prayer. Stop condemning ministries who are there to respond to disasters, go places we may not be able to. Stop the bickering over petty things, don’t worry about money, it will not save you, if you have need of it the Lord has promised to supply.

There is plenty of Jesus to go around. He put out the weepers and wailers, but He loves the heart that is sincere and rests in His love, and He hears the cries of our heart, whether in words or groaning or song, even in whispers in the night. I believe He may even hear the tears rolling down the cheeks of His beloved, who is sometimes too heavy laden and needs her Lord. We can boldly go before the throne and find grace in time of need.

It is time we intercede for others as Jesus does for us, and the Holy Spirit is there to help, we need not fear, we only need to be still knowing He is God. Jesus wept over Jerusalem and over us I am sure. He would gather us  as well, dare we refuse the cover of His feathers? The babies have hatched in the nest outside my door, there was a terrible storm and the mother covered them, fledglings that might weigh only an ounce, they were safe, and so are we. Their mouths are open and ready to be filled, plump little bellyfuls of God’s design. He tells us to open our mouth and He will fill it with good things, Psalm 81:10, including this spiritual gift. The Jews had to see cloven tongues to believe it was alright.

Every now and then, I see a little head bobble up and open its beak to be fed. Five of them. We need to be open too, our spirits and souls and be fed from the hand of the Master, the very bread of heaven, Jesus, Himself. We need to remember what our Communion is for and also who the communion is with. We need to purposely pray for intercession, among ourselves and our nations, he is coming for a pure bride and we want to be ready church. The birds are under their mother’s wing and we are under His.

We want to be a flawless and beautiful bride in Him and that’s, truly the only way we will be. It is nothing we do ourselves, but that He does through us. Whether you believe in or have spiritual gifts or not, you can ask for them though, you can still pray powerful and expectant, heartfelt prayers, because His love is the greatest gift of all. Love makes it easier to be an intercessory bride. Rebecca Jones /pexels

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Deeper Still

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We are talking about the deep things of God. Do we even know them? Can we ever fathom the depths of love that it would take for the Father to offer His beloved Son for people who may not even accept Him? Yet, He knew some would. We read about what will not separate us from it. That is a deep passage.

We know that God made a covenant with Abraham and that was deep. Our covenant was cut with Jesus, we could never fulfill all that we should but Jesus stood in for us. He took our place in so many ways. My amazement in my studies has been the many types of offerings He became for us. He literally was the Lamb.

Jesus was the zevah shelamin, the peace offering. Literally, slaughtered. Those Levitical laws are something else to read and study. So to realize that the Lord gave His Son for us, and that He met all the criteria of that offering, He was the complete sacrifice and atonement for all of us. This is deep and for me, gruesome to some extent, but beautiful, in the fact that He redeemed us from being lost for eternity.

He was the propitiation for us. He satisfied the wrath of a holy God by literally taking it on Himself, and was not the once a year offering, His was once and for all. I do get annoyed that people don’t appear to realize the depth of that sacrifice, that many are self righteous still, thinking they know it all and know very little. I have studied for years, and am always amazed at how little I really know, how unlimited God is and how much horror Jesus took for me.

His grace is amazing and not cheap. When I hear that people think cheap grace is being preached, I think it’s time we rethink that and look back at the offering of Jesus Christ. It was Him, not us. Not our righteousness. He loves to give us His and for us to love Him and claim His promises, to live a life knowing the fullness of redemption and healing all that He purchased with His own blood for us, there was nothing cheap about giving your life, coming from heaven to earth to hell and back.

The people who use grace as a cover for sin or an excuse to willingly sin may not even be believers anyway. Or they have very little knowledge of the Word and the love of Jesus and are on the dangerous footing of the slippery slope, covering themselves in deception and conceit. It is not a good idea to mock God.

Of all the love there is, agape, the divine love of Christ is deeper than we even know. We are learning. We know the psalmist says deep calls to deep, are you deep in the love of Jesus? Is He your hiding place? Has He taken your place? Are your words abiding in Him and His in you? I love this picture, because the bride is beside the deep, her mountains on the right. Jesus moves them as we have faith.

No wonder Michah 5:5, says He is our peace. And Ephesians 2:14 goes further, that He, Himself is our peace. Yes, He is after going through all that. He is the peace that passes understanding, Phillipians 4:7, It is He who guards our hearts and minds against an enemy who would accuse and devour, who is the father of lies. He is our peace and protection.

And we love Him because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19   We should be pursuing peace like Psalm 34:4 say. Shouldn’t we pursue Him, Lord knows he has pursued us, maybe we should slow down, be still and rest in Him and let Him catch us, after all no one else loved us like this. We are the beloved bride and He is our beloved bridegroom, we want to go deeper with Him, into His Spirit and His gifts, and into His perfect love. We want to go deeper with our Heavenly Father, however much we love Him, His is deeper still. Rebecca Jones / Rene Asmussen pexels

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The Deeper Bride

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I have been reading that there have been some ladies having dreams about being led out into the water. One woman said Jesus was taking her out, deeper and deeper still and she could not swim. Well, neither can I. I’m more the walk on the beach type of girl and I’d even want to be on a bigger boat, not water skis or jet skis.

Parasailing looks fun but well, no fear. Just probably won’t be doing it. But whether you can swim or not doesn’t matter if Jesus is with you. He can lead you out into the deep. Deep calls to deep doesn’t it? And He is deep Alpha and Omega deep. The Holy Spirit searches the deep things of God, and places them on hearts right out of our Father’s.

Most people think that we delight ourselves in Him and He gives the desires of our heart, and that is true, but they come from Him,  as He delights in us. So the water in the dream, is the Holy Spirit, He is leading you deeper in His Spirit, you are following Jesus and He is leading you, you are doing what 1 Corinthians says, following love, Jesus, and desiring spiritual gifts.

And why do we want spiritual gifts? So that we may prophesy. The Holy Spirit will speak words to your heart to pray for others, to call something into their lives or out of it. The spiritual gifts are listed in 1 Corinthians 12, and the love chapter is 13. And it’s all about Jesus, and He is love, but even deeper than these gifts are His love. Who among us have ever really given our lives for someone, though we may think we would? We may be believers and maybe we have served Him, but there is a deep wave.

The picture above is a little daunting. She looks small standing beside the ocean, kind of like the song, but God hopes we dance. So can you imagine Jesus sailing up with the disciples, taking you by the hand and beginning to lead you into the deep? Would you trust Him? You can if you keep your focus on Him. Hebrews 12:2 and keep holding His hand, He won’t let you sink.

I have to admit that I have felt a little in over my head at times. Healing and ministry is not necessarily something I would have considered I’d ever be a part of because I prayed for others as I waited to be healed. I knew He would but  I thought I was doing something wrong.

So many of us fall for that lie, concerning whatever it is that we are praying for. He loves us, He took our place. So can’t we trust Him enough to venture on out there, as long as He is there? He calms the storms, He silences the waves, He stills the seas, literally and spiritually. Who is this man that the wind and waves obey Him?

He is Jesus and He is the calm that destroys the chaos of our lives. He is the shaloam peace, nothing missing or broken in our lives, and He is our rest, the Sabbath rest, that we must enter. He is the Prince of Peace who left us His peace in John 14:27, and that peace is also a gift, and it is like no other.

So where are you today? On  the beach? Dipping your toes in? Or taking the plunge with the beloved bridegroom? Wherever you are He is calling you to the deep things of the Spirit. The deep things of His heart. You are safe with Him in the boat or walking on the water, or being led deeper, hold onto Jesus. Whether a spiritual dream or the waking of day, He is calling you to be a deeper bride. Rebecca Jones / pexels Ibrahim Asad, thanks.

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  • Jamie is off this week, so I have two posts at Sitting Among Friends, the Broken Bride at His Feet. And I may have two with Dawn at Grace and  Truth. RJ

Deeper With My Father

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We are talking about the deep things of God, let’s look at some verses.

That which has been is far off, and deep, very deep; who can find it out? ( verse concerning wisdom ) Ecclesiastes 7:24 ESV

He uncovers the deeps out of darkness and brings deep darkness to light. Job 12:22

Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me. Psalm 42:7

How great are your works, O LORD! Your thoughts are very deep! Psalm 92:5

Though good advice lies deep within the heart, a person with understanding will draw it out. Proverbs 20:5 NLT

The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook. Proverbs 18:4,  *note bubbling not babbling 🙂

( That you ) may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.  Ephesians 3:18 NIV

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him. But it was to us that God revealed these things by His Spirit. For His Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 New Living

Our God is an awesome God, isn’t He? And He reigns with wisdom, power, love and He is deep. I wrote about the wounds of Jesus that our Father wants to heal our wounds with the ones of His Son. A fellow blogger commented that she loved the line, ” No matter how deep our wounds, His were deeper still. ” I ask you to consider that today as we continue our month of brides and the Father.

These are verses to meditate on and to study and if you will allow Him, He will draw you closer or deeper into Him, it is healing, a balm to the soul, it restores and refreshes. It is a place of rest. A lot of people may think, you’re really way out there, as faith goes but He is calling us deeper.

If deeper is closer to heaven, we want to be a deeper bride. If it is being like Jesus said, one with the Father, where He gives us our answers to prayer and the best opportunities, if it is as Martin Luther said, taking the first step without seeing the whole staircase, let us abandon our fear in favor of faith. Because His love is deeper still and keeps us from falling or sinking, safe in the arms of Jesus, we can be deeper with our Father. Rebecca Jones / unite / photo Rene Asmussen, gorgeous, thank you.

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Weddings and Father’s Footsteps

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This June, we are focusing on the Father and the Bride. While marriage is up to the girl these days, she can choose who she wants to marry. As a believer, the Lord should be involved, are you both believers? You shouldn’t want to start out life unequally yoked Is it a first marriage? Remarriage? Rebound, I hope not. Are there children involved? How will their lives change? There are lots more questions involved today. It is not the same as when two young people took the plunge and looked forward to spending a lifetime together.

I saw the cutest couple the other day, they had been married for 82 years, he was 102 and she was 98, if I recall. While there are many things to consider beyond the  gown and invitations and what to serve, there are spiritual ones as well. Don’t you love those stories?

God is love and He is forgiving but He created marriage between a man and woman, equal partners under Him, the man, naturally stronger and the head, He is under Christ and would give His life for you. Not that they literally would have to. Yet, it means being there, understanding, putting the wife ahead of himself. That’s not to say you can never have a golf game or bowling night, or that you do all the housework, but she should have your heart and your presence as well. Make decisions together and in prayer.

The wives usually hate the word submit, but it simply means to be on the same mission. Shouldn’t we be as believers? You may not be ministers or missionaries, and maybe you don’t attend every service but are semi regulars. You do want to raise a family with God’s morals, and want them safe in a society where there is evil abounding.

Wives will find submitting to a husband who looks after her as Christ would with her best interest at heart a lot easier. Jesus offers security, so should the husband, financially and faithfully. Using intimacy as weapon is never a good idea. If you are intimate with Christ, you will be intimate with your husband, you can’t help but to love and be loved. And don’t get me wrong I know winning  lost partner is not easy and intimacy is sometimes the last thing you think of, I am talking about reasonable people here, not some who need deeper counseling.

Women should never bear the load of anything, she needs help with the house, is not the chauffeur and gopher. Children are too lazy to reach for the remote, and men, and there is nothing wrong with them fixing a sandwich, taking out the trash, carrying groceries, picking up laundry, and they should not have to be told over and over. I have heard of selective hearing, seen it in action. Sometimes, it is a cop out.  Wives are afraid to set boundaries and some men refuse to follow them, that should not be so when Christ is at the center of your home.

Shoes often represent peace in dream interpretations, I always cautioned anyone to be careful and make sure we are taking about Christian symbolism and not delving into other areas. The type of shoes you wear may be indicative of your walk with Christ. Remember the verse about the beautiful feet of those carrying the gospel of peace, it is also paying attention to words and being ready to share Jesus.

Boots may take you over rocky places, spiritual warfare, ice skates may make you glide over hard circumstances, ballet slippers may mean you dance for the Lord, house shoes may mean you are too comfortable, God might ask you to step out in faith. Putting them on or off is preparation or honoring God as Moses removed his sandals. Being in need of shoes has to do with mourning and He will give you the oil of joy to replace that. New shoes are a change of direction. He could be directing you into new ways of ministering for Him, even if you are not a minister. We all minister in some way everyday as a believer.

Taking off someone’s shoes in  dream is respect, tennis shoes are about running the race or that you are just sports minded. Snow shoes are good because that has you walking over the pure white snow with ease, and finally ladies. high heels can be pain or discomfort, seduction or walking tall as a believer.

Jesus loves His bride, He walked in His Father’s footsteps, because He did as He was told in love and in order to obtain love from those who would believe. Husbands and wives should also follow Jesus, walk in shoes or sandals, together it is easier, alone it can be difficult, for He never intended to leave men alone, or women, they both get into trouble, married or single we are never alone in Him, But He honors marriage, and two are better than one. Will we let our marriage honor Him?

God loves give to brides away, He should always be the Father of the Bride, He danced the day we were born, have we ever danced with Him at our wedding? Believe me, He wants the best for us, and one day we will have the best wedding ever. May we be blessed with weddings and follow our Father’s footsteps. Rebecca Jones / pexels

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I Matter To My Father

Just sitting alone, resting in my quiet time. I was blessed with this post. I matter to my Father. I can’t tell you how many times in days past that I would tell people, ” Oh no, it doesn’t matter about me. “, I was the one who was put upon, left out. Some things I didn’t want to be included in anyway. It was okay if you didn’t pay me back, didn’t arrive on time, offered to help but never showed up. I walked on eggshells not to have arguments, thought over conversations and responses, lines I knew by heart, what people would say or how they would disagree.

The Bible became a source of that as I delved into healing and love. What never mattered to anyone else mattered to God. What I like to read and to write. What I prayed for, who I prayed for. Now, I know it mattered to those on the receiving end.  I once had a lady tell me she knew when she was prayed for. I was so busy I never rested in His love, I didn’t understand that until much later. I never knew there were people praying for me really, outside of the few I was aware of, the Holy Spirit is one I did not realize was praying so much in and through me. I did not know how much I mattered to my Father.

Years of fear and pain and worry, not understanding the rest love His love, I was immersed in a realm of spiritual warfare but I wasn’t losing, I had not lost. But I had to take my God given authority over myself and put me higher on the priority list, and no more, ” Never mind about me. It doesn’t matter. ” Every time I was belittling myself, I was bedeviling myself, I was saying I didn’t matter to others and to myself, and to God. I was enforcing that to my spirit, that I did not matter, even under the guise of helping others, tacking a back seat. And even invoking the tormenting spirits of the cruel  words of others reminding me that I was nothing special, no one paid any attention to me, I was not valuable, but I mattered to my Father.

When I cried, tears of pain, in prayer, the laugh out loud ones that became less frequent. I mattered to my Father. When I broke my arm , my ankle, my heart. I mattered to my Father. When I sang and praised and worshiped, even when I felt awful, it mattered to my Father. When I kept prayer lists, taught Bible study was on my knees, was not able to be on them, I mattered to my Father. And even when  I did none of these, when I was tired, scared and angry. When I loathed the badgering and bullying of others, when I gave in but not up, I mattered to my Father.

A lost key chain, the loss of a pet, the things I wanted to do and could not, never got a chance to, a manuscript  I wanted to finish, lost hope, lost love, I mattered to my Father. Why, because of the Son? The Son He gave for me willingly, I asked nothing wrong, He answers prayers, I mattered to my Father. So, why do we not see what is in front of us, why do we feel overlooked, unacceptable, worthless, when He died to make us His righteousness, for we could never be otherwise? Is it not yielding to Him completely, the Holy Spirit, in us a believers, that we continue to walk the paths of our past, never to turn to the golden streets of heaven here on earth?

We all have stories, we all have pasts, we all had fathers, whether they left or stayed, were kind and loving or mean and bitter. Whether they were abrasive or abusive, and whether they resented us, wished we were never born, never paid child support, turned us against our mothers, the list goes on. You may not have thought God ever cared because you saw yourself in your father’s eyes. Well, now it’s tie to see ourselves in our heavenly Father’s eyes, and we can let go all those  fears and frustration, and feelings of guilt and shame. We can yield to perfect love, that is not afraid, is powerful and loving, that gives us a sound mind. It’s all Him anyway, not about us but Him.

Whether you are married, single, divorced, widowed, childless or have a houseful, sick or well, rich or poor. If you are old or you, whatever your color, whatever your problem, whatever bad choice you made, whatever is attacking you mentally, physically, spiritually, if you’re not a believer, you matter and He wants to love you, and if you are a believer He does love you so, it’s not about how we love Him, it would never be enough for what He’s done and it all about Him. And you matter to your Father. Rebecca Jones / pexels

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Counting On My Father

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I was just about to cook dinner and was cleaning house and I remembered a lady from day care days a long time ago. I was tagging along on my way to school. It  would be so early, and even though they provided breakfast, she would bring her own for her daughter, cold scrambled eggs and bacon, toast.

Naturally, my mother asked about it. She replied, that she had to count on herself. I wish we’d known more about faith, being a light, and even aware of the good gifts God had already placed in our hearts. It was just something, we didn’t have an answer for. Now, I do.

It’s funny what we remember, or what He brings to mind. What had she been through? Did she think she wasn’t being a good mother? Was she divorced, a single mother struggling to make ends meet? Had her own parents deserted her? We know Isaiah says though mother and father forsake us, God will not leave us.

It’s nice to have someone to count on, the go to guy at work who can solve problems, the friend who always listens, doesn’t mind picking up the children or putting on a pot of coffee for you. Many of my fellow bloggers describe a person like that, sometimes it is an older lady from church, with more experience and wisdom, what we would call a Titus 2 woman, who can instruct younger women and encourage them. Maybe, you have an aunt or a favorite cousin.

Though we are talking brides and the Heavenly Father, don’t forget to thank these mentors and acknowledge and appreciate them. They get tired and need encouragement too . It is God, the Heavenly Father, that I know is my constant listener, He never sleeps or slumbers and keeps Israel, and even has time for me, and all of us.

He’s never worried or bothered, or distracted. Though He knows every star, and also every ” star “, and calls them all by name, He’s not watching His favorite show or a rerun for the millionth time, He’s not kicked back in a recliner in slippers or at the computer with a video game. I wouldn’t have to call Him twice or more for dinner. I think He loves me so much He’d even pick up the dirty laundry, and He ‘d tell me to take it easy and let me sleep.

I can go to Him if I need something, want something, if I am sick, He makes me well. He protects me and guards me wherever I go. I can just sit with Him, talk to Him, sing with Him. He will quiet me with His love and rejoice over me with singing. Zechariah 3:17. I should probably buy Him a Father’s Day cake, though He’d like it if I made it and frosted it myself, I have made a few in my day.

But what He wants most is just to be with me and for me to want to be near Him. He wants me to know I can trust Him, I can laugh with Him, cry to Him. I can go boldly before the throne, in Jesus name. I don’t have to beg or plead, I am His daughter and He loves me intensely. Earthly fathers have a tough act to follow, but with His help they can do it, so much emphasis is put on submission, but when we are loved, safe and secure, to me that’s not even an issue.

Women won’t admit needing that security, they like being independent, nothing wrong with that, but don’t ever be like the woman with the cold breakfast, standing there with hot biscuits, grits and eggs, in front of you, and holding on to what you have, when God would give you better.

I used to joke about having a trust fund, I had to trust my Father. Turns out, I wasn’t joking. You can count on your Father. Rebecca Jones / pexels

My Father Heals All Wounds

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Actually, I thought I had Father’s Day covered, but here I am on Friday writing a bonus post the Holy Spirit is speaking to me about. I read all the time about people having these emotional scars or deep spiritual wounds. Yes, they are father wounds, mother wounds, family, friend,  husband, wife, children, grown up ones who won’t speak to their parents. And really some probably wish some of their relatives even wouldn’t speak to them, The enemy has never stopping dividing families. God multiplies, the devil divides. Do the math. None of us have perfect parents or family but we have a perfect Lord.

I have been reading about abuse, physical and verbal. It’s amazing that the enemy is still hard and work and we, as believers, are not nearly sensitive enough to his devices and continue to suffer from old wounds or allow him to inflict new ones through others.

Isaiah 53 teaches us that all the wounds Jesus took were for us, and we know they were deep, nailed to a cross through the wrists, and both feet, His flesh ripped and torn before that, suffocation, a sword piercing His side. And all so we could have a Father, so that we could come boldly and receive grace as sons and daughters. He covered sin, sickness, disease and shame. People are committing suicide because of the wounds, when He would gladly receive them, celebrities, soldiers, addicts and everyday people.

Why can’t we just give them to God and rest in His love? We can. The blood of Jesus is literally the balm of Gilead that covers the wounds, the Holy Spirit it anointing oil, the robe of righteousness, the armor of God, that we put on as believers and stand against the enemy. We don’t have to go around rebuking him all the time, just let the love of Jesus permeate our souls by what we see and say and hear. Stop listening to the lies he tells,  somebody cares somebody can help, you can do it through Christ.

Wounds are all different, scrapes to gaping, the heal over time in the natural, diabetic wounds sometimes do not, and require wound care. I saw an old movie where they beat a female prisoner and poured salt into her wounds. The devil is like that, people are like that, if they know something hurts, they go after it. But we can submit to God, resist and the devil will flee in terror when he can’t get into your thoughts to make you worry or fear, your heart, because Jesus said it should not be troubled, and not into what you say, you are speaking faith, the words of Jesus that are life, you are not grieving and not grieving or quenching the Holy Spirit. Jesus is our joy and delight and our peace, and gave us His Father.

Earthly fathers, and others are also under these attacks, some people are suffering themselves, some don’t know how to communicate or to love and be loved, and some are just downright mean or flat out evil. Wherever you fall into these categories, or if you are wounded, there is hope. Jesus is the hope that we have and an anchor in the storm, and the peace that calms it.

No matter how deep your wounds, His were deeper still, and the father of lies would have you believe any number of them to keep you in pain or even inflicting it on others, I encourage you to break a cycle that is like a death grip, and choose life. Be still before the Lord this Father’s Day weekend and know that He is God, the healer of all that is broken. My Father heals all wounds. Rebecca Jones / pexels

  • Please note: I have two posts today, and one for tomorrow and Sunday on Father’s Day.

 

My Father Provokes Me Not

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As brides of Christ we can rest in the arms of a loving Heavenly Father who adores His Son and us as well. Since we are in the month of June and focusing on brides and God as our Father of the bride, the church, the verse about provoking children came to mind. To often, we read of abuse and without provocation, and even with it, it is wrong. So what did God mean?

And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4 KJV I memorized this at an early age but really didn’t get it. Other translations say, not to make them angry or bitter, I like the NIV that says don’t exasperate them. I don’t know about you but I know some exasperating people.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I believe in discipline. And I don’t like anger, not getting angry or being on the receiving end. Exasperate is defined as to  irritate, provoke, anger, frustrate or annoy. And really, to an excess. It is overbearing obnoxious, even condemning which there is none of in Christ. Romans 8:1

I can see why the KJV uses provoke, to stir up, this is opposite of the gifts that we read of in Timothy. To enrage, anger and even vex. And also call forth, which we know God does in Romans 4:17. So we don’t want to call forth the bad but rather the good and the blessings for our lives, marriages and children. The obsolete even says summon. We certainly don’t want to summon anything but the best of what God has for us. Anger is a devastating, driven emotion, contrary to calm and peace.

I believe it is also a spirit, possibly or probably even a demon that acts out when summoned by intense anger, leading to violence, domestic and otherwise. You know, children should be safe at school. And women and children should not live in fear of their husbands, or fathers, never knowing what they say or do that will set them off. It’s something that doesn’t necessarily crop up overnight, and a little nagging or an argument might not summon up provocation and lead to tragedy. It is only when there is bitterness, no forgiveness and a continual and ongoing lifestyle. Some people just never mature in life or in Christ.

As a beloved bride though we can rest in assurance of a loving and forgiving Father, one who loved us enough to give us His Son. Maybe, your natural father was abusive or absent, maybe he called you names he should not have. Perhaps, he was hard or difficult to talk to or didn’t understand what you were trying to communicate. And he may have been right about a boyfriend or husband or something you were doing wrong, did he throw you out of the house, were you pregnant? I am writing this to older women as well who still carry scars from their past. It is time to forgive. by His grace and open your heart to a healing Father, that you can talk to about anything and at anytime. I am not saying it is easy, but God can talk you through it.

And He will not provoke us. It does no good to be angry at God. He is God and He is always right, whether we agree or not. He knows so much more than we do. They Holy Spirit sees so much that we do not except by revelation from Him, and He will guide you into all truth. He is the Spirit of Truth, our Advocate and Comforter.

I pray this has helped someone today, even to look at your own children in a different light. We can all do better instructing, and nurturing, especially when we know how much we are loved. God will admonish you, and when He does, you will not want to disobey, but He is not provoking us. Receive His heart healing and love today. Rebecca Jones / pexels

The Gleaning Bride

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We are studying the Father of the Bride, our Heavenly Father and the bride of Christ this month and we are already well into our study. When the Holy Spirit spoke to me about Esther, I did that and Mary of Bethany and today, we’re looking at Ruth, and how she became the gleaning bride.

Now, of course we are all familiar with her story, how she followed Naomi home and ended up marrying Boaz. First, she was a Moabite, not a Jewess. She became a widow as did her sister in law, Orpah, and Naomi.  She had named her sons Mahlon and Chilion, meaning sickly and wasting away. We will be studying names later on in the summer. But I have to add that Elimelech  meant God is king and Naomi says call me Mara, meaning bitter.

She chose not to return home and gives the beautiful, where you go, I will go, and your God will be my God recitation. Ruth, which is friend, was indeed loyal, obedient to her mother law and to God. She chose to return to Bethlehem, Orpah returned home and became the mother of Goliath.

Strangely enough that verse is often something associated with weddings, it was said woman to woman, and marriage was designed to be between a man and a woman, the sentiment is there though. And the book of Ruth is a short one to read if you care to study further. You can certainly glean a lot from it’s pages.

When Naomi and Ruth returned, Ruth began to glean in the fields of Boaz, who was type of Christ, a kinsman redeemer. When she caught his eye, he instructed workers to leave her handfuls on purpose. So she would have enough grain to feed herself and Naomi. The poor were allowed to glean from the corners of his field. And Ruth and Naomi were certainly that, Naomi had left during a famine and now having food was again at the heart of the story.

Jesus is much the same way, when we are believers, He instructs ministers, mentors, family and angels to leave us handfuls on purpose. We have caught His eye and will prostrate ourselves before Him and He weds us with the wedding garment, a robe of righteousness, just as Ruth went to sit beside Boaz in the night, and when he awoke and saw her he covered her with his robe as a sign of marriage. She was at his feet, like Esther had been with Artaxerxes and like Mary of Bethany would be with Jesus. Only Mary would show us the way to be the beloved bride of Christ, in the spiritual and yet, intimate sense. His presence is our marriage.

Ruth went from a pagan girl to marriage, widowhood, a poor girl who gleaned enough to eat to the wife of the landowner, to honoring God, and being in the lineage of Christ. it didn’t happen overnight. Ruth endured hardship and heartbreak, and the bitterness of her mother in law, but she was delivered and so are we. And in case you were curious, Boaz means strength, and we know Jesus is salvation.

Jesus did not merely throw a cloak over us, He was crucified and shed His blood to redeem us from sin, hell and so much more. Boaz may have left handfuls on purpose, but Jesus did that and more, like the loaves He touched, He multiplied us, we have baskets left over, we can feed others, even thousands, because of His grace and peace.

He said the fields we ripe with plenty to harvest, so we should be sharing the good news of Christ, and reaping what has been sown into our hearts. We have gleaned around the edges of the field, the Lord is about to thresh out the believers from those who are not. So let’s begin to take Him at His Word, to expect His goodness.

We want to be at the heart of worship for the one who gave all for us and to do that we want to literally comb through His Word, and glean every promise and every perfect word and gift, we are beloved by the Father and by Jesus, the Holy Spirit will help you learn as you become a gleaning bride. Rebecca Jones /pexels

 

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