Becoming the Bride of Christ

 

I hope you have enjoyed following along in February to talk about guarding our hearts, the love of Jesus, His wonderful sacrifice and His love that is like no other. Before we head into March, with no specific theme, we need to step back and take a look at our lives through the eyes of the beloved bridegroom.

If you need to refresh your memore go back over some of the love verses. Personally,  I love the book of John. But we also look at the Love Chapter of 1st Corinthians 13. I have to confess that as I write this, I’m not feeling very patient or kind, I am tired and not exactly bearing all things in a good mood.

But, you know what? That’s okay. It’s just a feeling. And we are His beloved, accepted there by the sacrifice of a most holy bridegroom. We are the church and the spiritual bride of Christ. We fall short but He never does, and while we should do our best to walk in love, He is there to lift us up if we falter. It is His love that is perfect. And that’s the only way we can.

Our bridegroom, Jesus, ushered in grace and truth. He has invited many to wedding feast. Even now, He is looking for guests to sit at that table, some of them may seem unlikely, but He is offering salvation to anyone who will turn their heart toward Him in the last days.

His sacrifice extends to the depths of one’s soul and there is grace to cover every need. He forgives even more than the seventy times seven. I’m always amazed at His love and mercy and even mose astonished that people are not on their knees or prostrate before Him in gratitude, but continue to walk in old ways.

Grace is not cheap, it cost Him dearly and He deserves the love of a pure bride, and that is what He is coming for, are we ready for that as Christians? As brides? Let’s begin to walk and talk worthily, boasting only of the beloved. Church, we are on our way to becoming the beautiful bride of Christ. Rebecca Jones / photo, Unsplash. Ishan seefromtheshy, thank you.

 

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The Proverbs 31 Heart

 

The Proverbs 31 woman, after a few episodes of fending off attacks of fear and panic, I was this woman. Then came a very big change in my life and it was turned upside down again. Inside, I was still this woman and I know God knew, called me that. He was still working on me and through me, but started to I experience rejection. Indeed, I was so busy helping others that I was neglecting myself. I had to learn to rest.

I was lonely, I didn’t understand why some prayers were not answered. I prayed the right prayers, I had faith. Yet, doubt and unbelief would creep back in at times and though I had my armor of Ephesians 4:24 on, it was heavy. Now, I trust the Holy Spirit to be my armor. And His Word is my sword. He called me to His rest and He called me the beloved and I had to literally fall into His arms, exhausted from the pressures of life and faith.

Some blogs that I read suggest there is no way to be perfect, to give it up. In a way I agree, I have had to let some things slide. I no longer panic at the thought of laundry piling up. But I still love a clean house. The devil will try to oppress you in any way possible and through anyone possible, including family, friends or even Christians, in another post we will talk about wise friends.

People are at all levels of faith, and some will not understand deep studies. Jesus met people at their level. Sometimes, the deeper you are the deeper oppression is thrown at you, when you are battle weary, remember to rest, the battle is His.

I was a Proverbs 31 woman alright, but the house I was building on the Lord felt as if it was caving in around me sometimes. So, that is when we run with our clothing of strength and dignity in the wind on over to the Song of Solomon and find the one our soul loves, Jesus, the beloved bridegroom.

We have to make our way through the vineyard, drink the Communion wine, and find rest in Him alone. There is wisdom here, I know.  Sometimes, I think I could sleep a month, but I know that’s not possible, I have begun to think that God made day and night for this reason, that they were 24 hr. days, but in 12 and 12. Twelve to work or cook, pray, tend your flock. And twelve to sleep.

I stumbled on this theory after an illness, as I prayed and started to recover, and prayed in the Spirit regularly, I found so much more love in His sacrifice. We often just do not receive be cause we do not ask, or ask thinking we are unworthy. But the truth is, we aren’t, but receiving Christ’s love make us so be He made us righteous.

He keeps His promises and covenant. He is our healer and our peace. He is not bound by time or space and not wrapped up in the things we are. He wants us to receive. So rest and receive and don’t let your heart trouble you so much, it was destroying me. The devil has to move when the Prince of Peace shows up. So call Jesus.

So to have a Proverbs 31 heart, we need to find our place of rest, Jesus. He clothes us in strength and dignity. We can laugh at the future. We can live with out fear. And no weapon  will prosper, no snare entrap us, not as long as we know we are daughters of the King and accepted into the beloved and that we know who the beloved is, His name is Wonderful. The Proverbs 31 heart is not something unattainable, but is something we have to rest for and in. Rebecca Jones photo Alvin Mahmudov Unsplash, thanks.

 

 

Hardened Hearts Healed

 

 

 

If you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts…be diligent to enter that rest. Hebrews 4:7

This is a very important study to do close to the end of our month.. For years I pray for people to have that heart of stone removed and get the heart of flesh. I really think that might have been amiss.

I saw very little change in some people, if fact, some may have gotten worse. No matter how much you want to pray or intercede for, even take Communion for, stand in the gap for someone, you cannot receive for them or think for them or believe for them and you cannot control the tongues of others. And never say you’d take someone’s demons or something so foolish, thinking you can ger rid of them.

To be honest, I tried to what was right, maybe I didn’t do it with as much love for some as for others. I’m still human, as much as I want to emulate the Lord, I am just closer and more able to talke to some people than others. But faith works with hope and love and that’s the greatest one of all.

Now I simply pray for them to know how much the Lord loves them, to have revelation of His great sacrifice, for Him to bless them, even if the have or continue to hurt me. It’s the right thing to do. And then it still up to them to have the heart of stone softened like a rose petal or sadly, they can grow harder still. Why?

Hebrews 4:7 says it all. They have not entered the rest that God planned for them, they have not pursued His peace with a passion, and instead wander aimlessly inthe wilderness year after year when the promised land is there.

Are there giants? Perhaps, but we are not grasshoppers,  ifd 80yr. olds are strong, we should be. There is milk and honey, vineyards and grapes. What the wicked one has stolen only God can return. He knows the tally and we’ve missed so much. Why?

We heard His voice, soft and gentle, and thought it too good to be true. Ignored it. Loved it but let cares of life and the tares and tears choke down our garden of dreams. The thorns were razor sharp thoughts that againand again we cast down, because we couldnot even dream of the good things God planned. And day after day the voice is dimmer, farther, a faded memor of a prayer or promise. It doesn’t have to be that way.

When He calls you at night or early in the morning, He calls you beloved and you are His and He calls you by name, engraved in His palms, the still, small, voice that Samuel heard.Answer, Hineni…here I am, Lord.

He will quiet you with love and rejoice in song. He longs to hear your prayers and praise and His desire is for you to speak life and truth in love. Speak His words, don’t agree with the false accuser who would make God’s covenant’s null and void if he could, he cannot. God’s Word will not return void but prosper what it is sent to do, do it with faith, hope and love.

If there is the faintest cry of love in your heart, no matter how broken, desperate or barren. Listen, hear His voice and do not continue to harden your heart, as an unbeliever, receive Him as Lord, as a believer receive healing and deliverance and most of all accept the love of the one who is love and loved the most, Jesus. Lord, I pray for hardened hearts to be healed. Rebecca Jones /Alex Martinez, Unsplash , thanks.

 

Create A New Heart

BORDERS * CANTONEIRAS * CLUSTER:

We may be familiar wth the psalmist prayer that asks the Lord to create a clean heart in him and renew a right spirit.  What does that mean for us today and how can we apply that to our own situations? So many times we’re bogged down in the mundane, the day to day cares of the world that we can let things build up on or in our hearts and spirits.

Just like we bathe away perspiration and dirt, we can bathe in the water of the soothing Word and the prescence of the Holy Spirit. Its like getting in a tub and relaxing our mind and body and releasing toxins, the same principle applies in the spiritual.

As for renewing the right spirit, that is more of an attitude. How we approache things can be a major way we allow theenemy in. Are we doing it to be seen, because we think someone expects us to? Are we guilted into things? Or do we do it out of love. If you love someone, make their lives easier, even if its folding laundry or having a sandwich for dinner, giving a woman a bit of down time is key to a healthy and happy marriage.

It works for work and church as well. I once taught Bible Study, but then I was doing everyhing. It ddin’t last. I can fix lunches and desserts, come up with a lesson plan. I even make a mean pot of chili. But I should have been doing one or the other.

I did it because I wanted to, but because others wanted me too. If people are coming for a good lunch, it shoud be just lunch. If they are hungry for the Word and the healing power of God, then snacks will do. I know that book, and I know that Jesus, if I don’t have an answer I’ll find it.

Let’s be more considerate of others. Don’t do someone’s job, but help out now and then. Don’t add chores to someone or call on them just because they are willing. You can have a servants heart and it will run down, pray about gifts and calling, work together. Strive for that peace and harmony.

It actually, should be something that hard if we have the right attitude and renew our hearts and minds, day by day or even moment by moment if necesary. I pray He gives us clean hearts in these last days and renews a right spirit, if you don’t want to do it, don’t, but f He tells you to, like Mary says, do whatever He tells you to. Rebecca Jones stock photo…

The Miraculous Power of Love

*✿*:           *✿*:

Love never fails. Everything else does and will. If God is love and He is then He never fails. It is only that we fail to recieve or to believe. Too often we are disqualifing ourselves, because we cannot fathom the depths of that love.  What He does for one, He will for another. Sometimes, we are often leaving our hearts out of walking in love when we begin to wonder about others, why there prayers are answered and not our own, why they have certain gifts or miracles and here we are waiting. We should really be glad for them.

I was always that way, I wanted things for everybody not just me. I think I thought better of them than me. While I was waiting I was disqualifying me. To others and even in just outward appearance, I might not look like much but He was looking at my heart. He saw what I did. I’m sure others never even knew how much I prayed for them. And that’s not a boast for me it was that loving nature I had received as a believer.

What is the miraculous power of love. It is changing a heart. And by heart I mean spirit and soul. It was easy for me as a while to receive Him as Lord.  I’ve never known anything else. But what about the hard hearted sinner who has not been taught or the one who has concern for Christ. The evil, wicked and decieived.

Yes, turning around that kind of heart is a miraculous. Probably, the most difficult of all miracles. Though nothing is too hard for God, He can heal a sniffle or a rare tropical disease with the same ease, turning a soul to Jesus is another matter, because of free will. I have hear it said that the Holy Spirit is a gentleman. He will not force His attention on you. Yet, day after day, He crosses our paths with opportunities to see Him in His glory, to meet Him face to face.

The mere fact you are breathing and can wake up and see a sunrise is a gift. It is a day he made, a gift to rejoice in. The sky, the sea, the whole beauty of the earth and glorious wonders of the heavens, the stars in the night sky testify of His greatness and the limitless of His power. Yes, He is mighty to save and it is His power alone that can turn you around.

That’s all repent means, to change your mind, to go another way, the way of the cross, and past it into resurrection. Into the hhidden life He has planned for you. If you have a baby and make it a book, you wite down plans and dreams for your child, that is God’s dream as well.

Forgive me, if I offend you. But it is foolish to think that God does not care or want the best for you. He gave you jesus, His most precious one as a sacrifice on the alter of a cross. He suffered, cried and faced hell to retrieve Adam authority. This kind of love does not fail. Natural human love fails.

He knows how to give good gifts to His children. We dont want to toss them aside like children will and settle for the box. Or take them apart and not know where the pieces fit. Or worse, not to follow the instructions, and the wisdom and be misguided and give up, toss it back in, throw it the closet. People return gifts, but God does not take His back, they are forever precious. He will give you what you ask for, far above what you can think.

So let’s start to believe in that miraculous power, that sits in heaven to the north, on His throne. He knows and sees all and holding a memory book. He has plans for good and He is willing to guide you home to heaven if you will allow Him in. He desire no sparrow to fall, but in a fallen world they do.

He desires no one be a lost soul but in the fallen world they are. And yet, day after day, angels are all around, drawing the lost ot Him, I pray they heed the voice that is love before it is to late, His return is upon us. He’s waiting to touch you with His miraculous love. Rebecca Jones stock photo

Crystal Storms

Heartbroken For Jesus

BORDERS * CANTONEIRAS * CLUSTER:

Most people long for love, they often settle for less. No wonder so many are in such poor relationships and so many families are broken. Nevertheless, there are those who long for the love of Christ, to know His cleansing power, to make you new in life.

We long to know His mercy and His grace. We are the recipients of His great love and mercy, grace, peace, healing and deliverance and whatever benefit we could desire, all because of so great a salvation.

The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sinful nature and we are born again believers and begin to walk in His ways. And still so many Christians are struggling, so many are without hope even though they have Him as their anchor. Why?

We are still in our carnal nature sometimes because we are still human. We are usually wanting Jesus to do something for us. And truly, we can do nothing for the one whom the Father has given everything into His hands. He doesn’t need our money, even though it’s right to give, He doesn’t even need that we show up for church and volunteer and that too, is right. He deserves and is worthy of our praise, but does He need it. I doubt it. Jesus is confident in Himself, He knew who He was, and is and is to come, the Lord Almighty.

He doesn’t even need you to say. ” Poor Jesus, what you went through. ” But He demands respect for that sacrifice, and if you ever find yourself broken hearted for Jesus, you will know His pure love. He really took our place. He really was punished for our peace. He really was beaten and marred for our healing. I doubt any of us can fully identify with Him, though I tried. I merely found myself in a lot of pain, physically and mentally, and emotionally, because that was not His will.

He wants to be your friend. He wants you to talk to Him, confide in Him. It is love like a marriage and yet, so many marriages are in trouble because of a lack of communication. Women talk a lot, men won’t. They are very different but so much the same in need of a loving God to restore them to the place of peace and safety for their souls.

February is a month for romance and desire. There is a day set aside for Valentine’s but St. Valentine stood for so much more and it is far above a pagan ritual of choosing a mate by picking a piece of paper from a bowl. No, if you’re not married, let God pick. Wait, it’s worth it.

Before any girl or young woman thinks of marriage, she should first know the love of a real man, one who will not disappoint or lie. That’s where raising children  comes in and parents should be aware of how they are treating each other. Sadly, this won’t always be the case and many women are already hurt ( and men ).

That is why I encourage you to be brokenhearted for Jesus, if you can ever understand His sacrifice and His love, you will be able to love and be loved completely. Rebecca Jones / Pete Bellis / Unsplash thank you.

  • If you care to scroll back, February has been about love on the blog.

Jesus In My Heart

 

 

Happiness is the Lord. It’s a line from a very old children’s song.  It also states that the secret is Jesus in my heart. That shouldn’t be a secret. No matter what goes on in your life, no matter what happens, if you know Jesus, if He is truly in your heart, you can get back to joy and happiness in Him, no matter the pain sorrow or tears.

The Bible declare in Nehemiah 8:10, that we should no grieve ahead of the joy of the Lord being our strength that we are so familiar with. We should never allow ourselves to entertain grief. It is normal to feel it, experience it, but it should not be allow to dominate our lives. Jesus should always be at the center of it.

It is possible to grieve over losses, even if it is a missed opportunity or something prayed for that has not come to pass. God’s timing is perfect, He doesn’t waste time or miss any opportunities. He is in control and never worries or fears, that’s only our hang up.

There is also an old song that it is no secret what God can do. It is true that what He has done for other, He will do for you. Do you want a child?  Ask like Hannah. Do you need a miracle? Jesus is the miracle worker. He started a good work in you will complete it. Phillipians 1:6 He’s not finished with you. You’re on you way to bing His masterpiece. Ephesians 2:10

We’ve all heard the expression, a little bird told me. Well, it’s true. The little dove that descends on us if we ask, the Holy Spirit, whispers the secret. That true joy, happiness is in the Lord and is the Lord. He endured so much to see the souls won that have been and shall be. It was for the joy of this that He was able to suffer so much.

I have found the secret, have you? Real joy is mine even through tears, He will wipe away. The song I sang as a child often resounds in my mind. We are to grow up in Him and yet keep child like faith. Living the life that’s worth the living. Taking a trip that leads to heaven, happiness is the Lord. And it’s Jesus in my heart. Rebecca Jones Caroline Hernandez photographer/thank you

 

 

A Grateful Heart

*✿*:  *✿*:

What is a grateful heart? Having a grateful heart is simply giving thanks, in good times or bad. You can be grateful for things you have or have prayed for and have yet to receive. Faith is the key to believing what you have not seen, being grateful thanks Him in advance.

You can always being grateful for home and family, a good job or marriage. That is easy. What’s harder is giving thanks when there’s not enough money, when you need a job or a way to get to one. God calls things back to life, it is grace and being grateful, not a lie, to believe and say out loud, thank you Jesus, that I have more than enough, because you supply my needs.

Thank Him that you are well, healed, even if you are taking medicine or have symptoms. Believe in His healing power. You doctor can confirm healing. Thank Him for protecting your family. Pray Psalm 23 and 91, the Lord’s Prayer. Thank Him for His will being done on earth as in Heaven.

Thank Him for reversing unjust situations. Pray about people who oppress you like Hannah. She took her problems about Penninah to the Lord, and became pregnant with Samuel.  We should also  take our problems to Him, because taking on our bullies or Goliaths, on our own is not a good idea with knowing He has us covered.

It’s a good idea to pray in the morning. Be grateful for the new day. Rejoice just because He made it. It is ticking on to March, it has been warm here in Georgia. As I look forward to spring, I can be thankful for the sun and the roses and the butterflies that chase me around the driveway.

You can, of course, always look to the other people you know and see their problems. That is also a good way to be grateful. We can all find a way to count our blessings if we try. There will always be something to thank Him for no matter how bad it is. Maybe you were hurt in an accident, but you weren’t killed. Maybe, you lost some money, but not all of it. Remmeber, the devil means you harm, God can turn it for good. It’s much more than positive thinking. It’s not even the glass half empty or full theory. It’s much more, Paul knew how to abound and be abased. He found grace in good times and bad, and if he was rejoicing in prison, and singing, we can look to God with sufficient grace and have a grateful heart. Give thanks to the Holy one who gave His Son. Rebecca Jones /Christian Newman thank you.

Where is that joyful and grateful spirit you felt then? Galatians 4:15

Desires of the Heart

So true. It won't be desires of the flesh though. It'll be our desire for the fruit of the spirit:

What are desires of the heart? If you asked most people, would they even know? Or would they go with the basics, home, career or family. It certainly not just any whim or idea that pops in your head. I read about a girl went to China, a missionary, not a whim. She was certain God was calling her. Yet, she fell in love and is married and has children. One desire changed to another, the latter one she put on hold, not God. He wants us to love and be loved. Did she wait for the right person? No doubt.  But she was lonely in the mean time while God could have still made the right match.

Don’t think that you have to be a missionary or even a minister. There are many parts to the body of Christ and He needs each member whole and in place.

Sometimes, it’s a job or career. Writing burned in my soul. Did I act on it? Yes, and no. Rejection slips disappointed me, even in the Christian market. I was rejected. Was I a good writer? Sure, God even puts His anointing on it, but we have an enemy. Who knew he lurked in publisher’s offices? I knew he was strangling Hollywood.

Still, it was and is my desire and I love it. Until I can do otherwise. I will continue to teach Bible study and pray for the sick. Something else I love. It is a desire of my heart too. I long to see women move past illness, depression, so I want to bring hope and encouraging words. I want them to know Jesus. How very much He loves them.

Most people never took me seriously as a writer, That’s okay. God did. It was His desire and it became mine. It was such a powerful thing that it overtook me, that’s one way you know it is a desire. Love and Jesus are obsessions of sorts.

Poker and lottery tickets are not in that category, nor a sports car, or get rich quick scheme. God promotes those who are humble and not trying to promote themselves but doing what they love for His glory. He can use that soul. I am that soul.

I hope you are, too. Maybe, you are a musician or have some other talent or gift. You may have to have a job until He can bring you to fruition but nothing is impossible for Him. You step out of the way and watch Him work. There’s nothing He can’t and will not do for you. Let your desire be His and and it will be perfect, may He keep you in His perfect peace until it comes to pass. Rebecca Jones/ Adina Voicu, photographer, thank you.

Gardening Your Heart

 

Your mind is the garden, your thoughts are the seeds, the harvest can be either flowers or weeds. William Wordsworth

Who’s gardening your heart? I hope you are. And Jesus! I know I’m watching mine. And while I can’t take credit for the pun, I came across a similar idea on another blog. The pun is based on guarding your heart from Proverbs, but it is the peace of God that passes all understanding, that has to truly guard it.

It is Jesus that keeps our hearts, our minds in perfect peace. We can’t. But He has to be our focus, if we ever look away, suddenly, we’re not good ground anymore. We dry up, wilt. The Holy Spirit has backed off and we are thirsty for His presence, the former and latter rain. It’s an ongoing process like salvation.

The seeds that were sown are stolen by the enemy, blown by ill winds of circumstance, cares of the world. Or maybe we, hear and are glad at first, gradually losing ground, our hearts are rocky, when trouble erodes our faith, or have they fallen into brambles that encircle our hearts with thorns, like the Sacred heart of Christ? Have we become bitter, angry, or are we grieving? He wore the crown of thorns for us, dare we wrap one around His heart?

Is our life a tangled web, whether of our own weaving or by others, a wound from the words of others, you see, we let it get broken. Even if we tried to guard it, was it just to much for a mere mortal? Even a Spirit filled one? It takes His peace to guard it. But it takes us to look to Him.

We must fill our hearts with good things, with good music, laughter and love. People die everyday without love. Every kind word is a seed, every word fit spoken, an apple of gold. Every sincere compliment, crushes a thorn. Every prayer waters a rose. Everything done in love grows a garden, a vineyard or an orchard.

So if words can be either flowers are weeds, what are we sowing? What are we reaping? A bountiful harvest for heaven, we bear much fruit or is it withered and dying grass that is easily burned in the fire. Do we make others glean for a little or leave them handfuls on purpose? Do they toil or spin? They could be like the lilies, and Solomon in his finery was not arrayed like this.

Is colorful language killing our plants or are we planting seeds that will burst into spring colors. Will our gardens be sackcloth and ash or a coat of many colors. Is the divine in us? Or are we weeds, wasting away? I pray this little hint of spring will brighten your day and make you stop and think as we prepare for warmer days and sunshine, to let the Son of God shine on you and warm the heart that you and He both guard and garden. Rebecca Jones / zou yu, photographer. thank you