His April Music

His April Music, the music of spring, do you hear it? It is in the morning and late in the evening, a chorus of birds with the waking up or settling in at night with a song, perhaps a lullaby over their eggs or chicks. It is in the air, in the fragrance of a rose, the sweetness that is Christ. Our three babies have already flown from the nest.

It is that aroma that is in the fragrance of His sacrifice for us. It is in the heartbeat of the rhythm of the sunlight dancing upon the water, and the beat of butterfly wings, the grasshoppers hopping and the crickets chirping and a choir of other creepers who chatter praises to the Lord.

It is in the moon and the dusk, the stars unfurl like a blanket over the night and settle in before the moon, as if to listen to its heavenly recital and the peaceful declarations upon the slow moving clouds that drift through blue gray and black skies, they carry angels and chariots and the music of the Spirit, and the stars clap their hands and stand in ovation, we see the twinkling in their eyes.

Worthy is the lamb, holy, holy, holy. Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised. 1 Chronicles 16:25. Give thanks to the Lord for h is good, His mercy endures forever. Psalm 118:1 Taste and see that He is good. Psalm 34:8 Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever. Psalm 107:1. What do you the music is? What would the stars and singers say in praise? There are so many praise phrases.

Praise Him in the heights sun and moon and all you shining stars. Let’s look at the psalm, they are all about music. Psalm 148: 1-6, the link contains the other eight verses. https://biblehub.com/esv/psalms/148.htm

Praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD from the heavens;
praise Him in the heights!
Praise Him, all his angels;
praise Him, all his hosts!

Praise Him, sun and moon,
praise Him, all you shining stars!
Praise Him, you highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens!

Let them praise the name of the LORD!
For He commanded and they were created.
And He established them forever and ever;
He gave a decree, and it shall not pass away.

You can be sure of His April Music, the flowers and trees blossom and bloom, angel gather their harps and halos, and head into a nightly concert praising the Lord. If there were no people to praise Him even the rocks would cry out. Whatever the season the Lord has His music, in the changing colors of autumn, the winter winds, the summer’s splashes of joy.

And yet spring is a season unlike any other with remembrance of His resurrection, we want to praise, and we want to bow in humble worship, we should be on our knees before our Maker and in awe of His April Music. Rebecca Jones

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His April Fragrance

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I love the smell of roses. Sweet and fragrant. The Lord’s sacrifice was like that to God. I hate that it took something so horrific, to bring about the beauty in our lives. For Jesus is the true source of beauty. Outward appearances are deceiving.

I’ve worn make-up since I was seventeen. Preachers used to and still do joke about old barns in need of a coat of paint, when they weren’t being legalistic about Jezebel. She was a queen and went out in a blaze of glory, she knew her fate. Although she was wicked and prideful, in fact, evil describes her well, she was determined to die with dignity, even if it was false.

We wear all sorts of trappings, and for many reasons. While my make up hides my dark circles and makes me look wide awake, and I just like purple eyeshadows., there are those who hide behind it and in other ways as well.

God looks on the heart. And  I’m glad He does. He sees the beauty of Christ in us, and smells the fragrance of Him, even on our “Can’t get up,”  days, our even our” Did I brush my teeth? ” days, the raggy bathrobe days.

He’s there on the  crying days and the laughing days, the heartbreaking days and the joyful ones. He turns the sorrow to joy. And He desires us to remain in His love and His rest, to have the peace He left us.

So many verse are about offering and detail I don’t care to mention, but Jesus was crucified as all of them, He was all offerings, from drink to oil, event burnt. Isaiah 53 gives us a detailed account of being crushed and pierced. All for our peace.

So remember, He stops and smells His roses, and we should as well, no matter how we feel, He can make it better, and sometimes we can even take a lesson from and evil queen, wash our face, brush our teeth, and use a little makeup and perfume, and perfume ourselves with the fragrance that is Christ, for we are believers, not going to be tossed out a window, but for heaven to open the windows of blessings on us.

He wants you to rest, refresh and renew yourself in spring, a resurrection of spirit, soul and body, mind will and emotions. Bathe yourself in the beauty of His love. He is what love looks like, no matter how you look. Be His April Fragrance everyday.

All your robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia; from palaces adorned with ivory the music of the strings makes you glad. 45:8 NIV

The fragrance of your perfume is pleasing; your name is like perfume poured out. No wonder the maidens adore you. Song of Solomon 1:3 Berean

His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dropping sweet-smelling myrrh. Song of Songs 5:13

Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered Himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.  Ephesians 5:2 NLT

Paul about gifts…..the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. Phillipians 4:18

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. 2 Corinthians 2:14 NASB

Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. 2 Corinthians 2:15 NLT

 

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His April Storms?

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Yes, they are His storms. He stands up and speaks to them. ” Peace, be still. ” And the wind and waves obey Him and the disciples are amazed. Truthfully, Jesus was sleep in bow. I think He was hoping the disciples had learned authority by now.

He surely wants us to be alert and to use the spiritual authority He died to restore, and He encouraged them to stay awake even in Gethsemane. When we find ourselves adrift in the storms, we need to say the same thing, ” Peace, be still. ”

We should be speaking peace to all areas of our lives because it includes so many benefits of salvation. It is spring now and here in Georgia, it has already been hot a few days, a little too hot for April, it fires up the afternoon storms.

They drizzle, they pour, the pound with hail. Thankfully, the sunroom is no longer leaking. There have been storm warnings, tornado warnings, and some that have already done damage in the south.

Whatever storm we go through God is not asleep, nor Jesus, as the High Priest. I was up at 3 and 4 a.m. to see the weatherman say they were losing power, and guess what? I have even been able to sleep through some, and I intend to more, for there will be more, and I want to pray the peace prayer over my life. It really does no good to worry.

This is about literal storms, but spiritual ones are just the same. They come and go and keep us up. They  drizzle, pour and pound, our boats are rocking and we wonder where He is? Please don’t ask Him if he cares. Really, He died for us, He cares. I know they asked before the crucifixion but they were right there as he performed miracles, it was offensive, but Jesus was not offended. He rebuke the waves.

We can calm ourselves and our storms with His peace, and we can sleep through them, but if we need Him, He’s in the boat, and He will stand up and say, peace be still. Our storm are His because He bore our sorrows, He can rid us of storms and gives us peace, April or anytime.

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His April Days

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Now that the stone has rolled away and He is risen, we can walk freely and worthy of Him. He gave us so much with His resurrection. A risen Lord watches from heaven as the weary come to rest.

But we should embrace the fact that just as the stone rolled away that morning He can and will do the same for us . Whatever the problem is, wherever the pain is or whomever may be causing it, He is there for us.

And that Spirit that raised Jesus is there for us, ready to roll away the stones in our lives, ready to move the mountains and out us back in green pastures as we are filled with living water.

I have to admit just studying His great sacrifice was overwhelming at times and I know the story, we all do. But have we even realized the depths of that love? As we finish out the month of April, I want us to embrace His grace even more fully.

And I want us to rest in Him, it is finished. So let’s rest from the problems we have struggled with, the lies we have believed, the accusations that are false. We are His children and He has spared not even His only Son.

I have come to rely on Him more and more and I hope you can the same. Please take some time this week to rest and reflect, to be still and know God, who wants to lavish us with grace and blessings.

Let’s listen for the wind of the Spirit to call us by name, as we walk in while before Him, risen with Him, and be expectant with hope that we are the joy that was set before Him and He is ours.

May His grace and peace guide our steps this week, and may we remain safe in hollow of His scarred hand, as we rest in Him and pursue the peace of God, which is truly pursuing us.

The rose of Sharon is risen, and the garden gate is open, so let’s walk with Him these April days.

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His April Resurrection

The Jewish year and months are different but Easter or the Resurrection Day falls in our months of March or April. This beautiful Carl Bloch painting is perfect to symbolize the resurrection of Christ. While there are many and they are beautiful and dramatic, this one has a purity.

The angels kneeling in adoration as He steps from a darkened tomb arms raised in glory to God and the victory over death, even the white garments are aglow with the spirit that is Christ. His pure love and the purity of a spotless lamb, the only one worthy as a man to take our place on the cross of shame, Jesus, the very Son of God.

With spring upon and warmth again in our midst, the budding and blooming of flowers and the sun shining on us to put us in remembrance or the prayer in Numbers 26, that God’s face is shining on us, let us grasp the power and presence of His great sacrifice, and the purity that is Christ.

His only motivation was to save souls, and what He endured for that joy to be before Him is unspeakable and cruel, and we do not want to be the same in the sense that we are not speaking His name enough in prayer and worship and witness, or cruel that we reject that His sacrifice overshadows all the evils that are out to overtake us

Indeed, greater is He that is in us. I John 4:4. Our only motivation should be love like Him as well, we cannot drive or force someone to accept His salvation, many have already made their decisions this resurrection seasons and many have sown the wind and are in such turmoil they have nowhere to turn.

Let us lift them in prayer, that they come to know His love. Let us be slow to speak, and quick to forgive. Let us honor the King of Kings, our risen Lord, with the purity of heart that is His alone and should reside in us. To do that we must step aside for His will to be done, not hinder the Holy Spirit.

May His holy angels carry His message, His gospel of love and peace around the world and may be be blessed by His presence daily as we walk with Him and talk to Him, Jesus our Lord. may He multiply His Kingdom before His return, so many still need Him, if you are that person, do not reject that love another day, He is risen, love personified and heaven can be your home.

May we all share in His love and grace this Easter or Resurrection Day, this is our love and His love, alive and living, in heaven interceding for us, and here by His Spirit. His April resurrection, not only Himself but the many things He raises this spring, hearts, hopes, and lives. Rebecca Jones

 

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His April Gates

 

I chose this old picture because of the gate, , the artist’s name was illegible. But it fits with spring and out topic and has the old look that is what I have used this month in the vintage art not as opulent as theGated Beautiful, nor the Pearl Ones, not asterrifying as the gates of hell.

His sacrifice complete. Jesus was actually at the gates of hell and inside, He knew the Father would not leave Him there. Surely the enemy thought he had won. But he was wrong. For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption. Acts 2:27, fulfilling Psalm 16:10. Hades is another term for hell. It was created fro the devil and fallen angels not people. God doesn’t send you there, we have a choice, the wrong ones will get you there.

You may also hear Gehenna, it’s the same. It was in reference to fire pit going outside the city. It was the trash heap, everything went there, all the filth, and even the bodies of prisoners. Enter, Joseph of Aramathea, and a new tomb that was donated. Jesus could have afforded one but He had lived at Capernaum, Nazareth and Bethlehem and He was in the city of Jerusalem at Passover with crowds, but God would not allow this travesty.

Just so you will know, Friday until Sunday morning is not three days and nights to us, but it is counted differently then, in twelve hours. Including the night before and the trial, which should not have been at night, they never were, we have Friday Saturday, Sunday, and Thursday, Friday, Saturday nights, although if He were crucified Thursday it would appear to be the special Passover, and not just the Sabbath on Friday. But even Friday morning and He had to be off the cross before sundown, makes it fit to me because He may not have been in the tomb but certainly in agony, near enough to death.

It doesn’t matter to me, I just know some scoffers would use that, but time was kept differently and that is the best explanation I can offer. The main thing is His legs were not broken, another prophetic word, and He was not left on a burning trash heap or in a pit. he stormed the gates of hell and then let’s look at the the Beautiful Gate.

We want to remember the story of Peter and John going to the temple to pray. The gate was called Beautiful, now what better place to receive a miracle than a place called Beautiful? While the man was used to being outside the gate and his lot as a beggar, he must have had hope that something would change and it did when Peter and John walked up. The story is in Acts 3.

They walked across court of the Gentiles. Afternoon prayers were probably at 3 o’clock, about time Jesus gave up His Spirit on the cross, and before that even walked on water, at night. The number three, represents Father, Son and Holy Spirit. His death and resurrection, and His name created a miracle that afternoon. The same Spirit that raised Jesus healed this man,

Coming to Solomon’s temple, there was the main entrance, the Beautiful Gate, the man expected to receive, we must take note of that, but he got more than he expected. Perhaps, he had hopes of walking and disliked begging, I don’t know, but he was told to look at them, that they had no silver and gold but lifted him up and immediately he was healed.

It also drew a crowd and a Spirit filled Peter told them about crucifying Jesus, and that it was His name tha healed the man. Many did believe though they were taken away and held overnight, and admonished the next day not to speak of Jesus, and they said they could not be silent, but they were powerless to hold them fearing the people who had witnessed a miracle.

The Bible speaks a lot about doors, windows and even gates, an angel rescues Peter later on, and the gate opens by itself, that happened when the glory departed the temple in the Old Testament as well.

We can ask God to open doors no man can close and close doors we don’t need open, open windows of heaven for blessings and even expect to receive, not as beggars but bold women of grace. Instead of Peter and John, we will look on Jesus, the author and finisher of faith, Hebrews 12:2.

We must be willing to close off areas of our walk with Him that are too distracting, disruptive or even destructive, if you have opened yourself up to the enemy, the Spirit will show you how to close him off. We want to enter the gates of Pearl, each gate is just one Pearl, what He suffered to get us there, to make the miraculous happen. What pure and perfect love, s our devotion to Him should be.

And in the beauty of spring, though this story was probably closer to our summer, we too can expect to receive and not only sit and stand, but walk and praise God at His Beautiful April Gate. Just because Jesus went through what He did for us. Today is Saturday on the timeline and He is risen on the first day of the week. Rebecca Jones

 

His April Good Friday

There was nothing good about the crucifixion. Not in any sense of the word. And yet, past the bloody crown of thorns, hearing the weeping nad mocking, having heard a hammer strike nails or spikes into His hands and feet, His back already torn from both beating and scourging, Jesus was doing this of His own free will for our salvation, and that was good. What  was hideous and horrid, horrible and any other adjective you could think of, was wonderful, loving and even beautiful for those who would believe.

He died for us to live and to know love, His love. His agape, and we were crucified with Him. We suffer with Him, by loving His love and doing His will and we are often hurt by others, rejected, mocked, just like He was. He was punished for my peace with that crown of thorns.

I can suggest you read Isaiah 53, or John or any number or verses, but more than that I believe He would just like us to spend quiet and contemplative time with Him. He did this for the joy set before Him, He is our joy and we are His, we should enjoy Jesus and allow Him to enjoy us, let Him be a part of our lives in all ways, our lives really should revolve around Him, for He so was taken with us, He went through all of this.

The only good thing about Friday for Jesus was giving His Spirit up, it was finished and now He could retrieve the keys to death, hell and the grave, restore the authority of Adam to believers. By his sin death reigned, by Jesus’ death, grace reigns. He tasted death for us, for the sake of God’s children, and I believe we are living in a time that we may see the Rapture and His soon return or the Second Coming.

So many Christians are struggling and being oppressed, this is the time to rest in His finished work. Give up the cross and hold onto the risen Lord. It is finished. I pray His peace for you, and His benefits, what He willed and wanted for you. Good Friday was good for us because of His love.

And Sunday is coming…..but what happened that Friday, from Jesus point of view, a powerful video.

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His April Cross To Bear

 

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I love reading about Jesus love. I am ever so grateful for salvation. I read the account of the crucifixion in John. I am always amazed at the Lord’s ability to control Himself, keep His temper, He could have been so angered, yet, all the while He was so tormented, he opened not His mouth.

He even calls Judas friend, as He is betrayed with of all things, a kiss. Not a handshake or a pat on the back, but a kiss. A kiss, is intimacy among friends. A kiss on the cheek and then have to turn it. Heartbroken at His betrayal, and then Peter would deny Him not once but three times. Judas knew where Getsemane was, he had been there. And Peter knew better but would lie saying he didn’t know Jesus, even after vowing to die for Him.

The devil threw everything that hell had to offer at Him, pain, grief, sorrow, sin and shame. And He was innocent, we weren’t but he chose to take our place so we could be with Him for eternity, I am glad it is what we have to look forward to, and for a slice of heaven on earth, but it has always been hard for me to bear the thought of the cross He took for me.

I know people quote the take up your cross verse, and I understand that. But I believe we were crucified with Him, it was all on Him and we just have to believe. He bore everything that came His way, He died for us to live. He willed us salvation, His peace.

He raised us up to sit in heavenly places, didn’t He? And He is not carrying the cross still, neither is He on it. We must see Him as the risen Lord, even though we respect and are awed by His sacrifice. The Holy Spirit once told me I carried a wounded Christ.

And I did, I was moved by that sacrifice, but I could not carry the cross. Healing began when I let it go and looked His as the risen Lord, the High Priest that passed into the heavenlies, who is easily touched by infirmities and genuine tears.

Though the very thought of His sacrifice would move me to tears time after time, He would not have us mourn Him for He is alive forevermore and we will see Him in all His glory, He will suffer no more, never again. Nor will we, and while we may endure, I don’t think He gets glory from our suffering.

Though He continues to intercede, and desire the best for us, He will not always let His Spirit strive with us or contend, this Good Friday, Easter, Resurrection Sunday, let’s remember His love and honor Him by accepting that He bore so much for us when we were unworthy, and that He makes us worthy to receive His Communion and grace and all the benefits of salvation.

Let’s just be grateful and know that He lifted our burdens, carried our crosses, it was all on Him and His wounds heal. He bore all the crosses of believers, that is my opinion, I could not bear it, and because Jesus bore a cross, I don’t have to. And I am thankful.

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His April / Passover Betrayal

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The poet Christina Rosetti said of the infant Jesus that His mother worshiped Him with a kiss. The Judas kiss is a stark contrast and betrayal of that. Jesus was and is about a holy kiss, a kiss of peace. So how did Judas, who walked right beside Him come to that place of cruelty, even though it had to be for the plan of redemption ot succeed?

Judas heart was evil with ambition, he must have perverted the scene of Mary’s anointing Jesus into His betraying his own plans, his heart was black and cruel, and the devil turned him into a madman. Having watched the silent version of King of Kings, Judas palms his communion, I wonder if the real Judas did the same? How could one so close do such a cruel thing. Joseph Schildkraut’s  performance impressed me, he resists, but grows madder and and madder as the movie progresses. Not everyone is a silent film fan, and while Hollywood is not always accurate it is interesting.

Jesus chose Judas, just like the other disciples. He had to know what would happen because He was able to see the enemy’s plans and thwart them. But He chose to give His life.

Judas never stands out like Peter, James and John does he? Is he in charge of finances? That would be Matthew’s sort of training, he was a tax collector.  Though most were disreputable. Jesus changes that, so what about Judas? You can read John 18, how Jesus will still call him friend, even as the kiss comes. See His power knock over those sent to get Him. Save Peter from death by restoring an ear. Luke 22 details the Passover.

Jesus says someone will betray Him, and though Peter worries about everyone else, and swears he will die for him, he will deny Him not once but three times. Judas is already thinking over the offer he has been made, and decides he will do it.

It is then satan enters him, that is creepy, most of us experience oppression but nothing like that. Jesus knows and tells him do do it quickly. So he will go and get get his blood money and later come to betray Jesus.

His madness continues and he will afterward toss away the money and hang himself. Perhaps, he could have repented, he was a man. The devil cannot repent, he was judged already. Many people claim the Bible is in error as to his death, hanging and spilling out his insides, but if you hanged yourself and the limb broke, well, you get the picture.

And the sad thing is, people still betray Him and He is still calling them friend.

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His April Throne

You know the saying about God being in His heaven and everything is alright, well, actually it is or should be for believers because Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father, making intercession for us. And when don’t know what to pray the Holy Spirit prays for us.

Jesus even warned Peter that the enemy wanted to sift him, and said He prayed for his faith not to fail, that is not a bad prayer for us either. Look what Peter went through before He learned, we should take a lesson from that. Jesus is the same, yesterday, and forevermore. Hebrews 13:8 Today, on the timeline I found, it says He predicts Peter’s denial, Mark 14:31 and Judas betrayal.

There is Passover and Gethsemane. I am not going to go into deep Jewish roots but this was a special Passover. And the days are counted in twelve hours, that is why He is in the tomb three days and nights, but Friday afternoon to Sunday morning isn’t that to us.

Though we respect and remember His sacrifice in this season, we should realize that is risen and coming again. He is in heaven seated on His throne. He makes things right, He is our peace, Ephesians 2:14, says He, Himself, and that same He, Himself took all He did for us and then loved us enough to seat us in heavenly places with Him, shouldn’t be able to take a fast from worry, fear, even the nagging little doubts? Wouldn’t that be a great passover Seder for our Lamb?

So often those can lead to unbelief and that can give us an evil heart, and don’t want that. Hebrews 3:12. We should always turn to the one who loves us and not away from Him. Even the rough and tough fisherman Peter, floundered, pun intended. And we do it too. Are we denying Him before the rooster crows? Is there denial or betrayal at our door, we need the blood over the doorpost.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:4-10

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who was tempted in every way that we are, yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:15,16.

Even as we remember Holy Week, His predictions of the disciples, the Passover dinner. That is something that really gets me, keep the lamb you would sacrifice, Jesus knew He was the Lamb. As believers and not familiar with Hebraic customs we can lose sight of that. He was every offering once and for all.

He is back on the throne this April and we can come boldly and ask for help in time of need because of His great sacrifice. even if everything is not right with the world, it can be when we are in Christ Jesus.

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