The Beauty Of His Word

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After resting in December, and carrying it into 2018, I am starting January with a few word studies to give us deeper meaning and show us how we sometimes gloss over a Bible verse thinking we know a meaning of a word or it’d definition. And while we do have a general knowledge, there are synonyms, other translations and even deeper definitions that we knew.

The word condemnation from Romans 8:1, being condemned was like an image of a rundown house falling in on me, But did I know it means to declare something evil? While I chose a few ore difficult ones, there are easier ones as well, The meaning of lost took on a life of it’s own.

I like doing posts in series. For three years I have participated in the 30 Day Writer’s Challenge in October. That might be why I was able to go from posts of three or seven to a month. I like having a thought or a consistent theme. But 2018 is starting with words and ending with words.

The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us and He is still with us in Spirit. I hope the Word walks among us in 2018 and releases a fresh anointing of His Word, His love, joy and peace as we rest in Him. He is grace and truth and favor. I hope you will join me January 1st.

I look forward to blogging as long as I can. I am also praying for many people and that is taking some of my time and energy. I do welcome any requests. You can leave a comment or send a pin to my Pinterest board. I plan on delving deep into His Word . You do have to dig for treasure, don’t you? And who would be worth more than a gold nugget or a diamond  or even a rare artifact? Jesus, He is eternal, timeless, ageless, priceless and altogether lovely.

I will be in prayer about what to study, sometimes words come from the Holy Spirit and sometimes through inspiration and what others are also contributing, sometimes many of us are on the same page, if you will.  There is poetry in the Psalms, wisdom in the Proverbs, Hope in the Gospels.

I have a lot of stud in many areas and topics, and even like to study Greek and Hebrew, especially Hebraic roots and how they apply to Christians, I have said before, the Bible is like peeling an onion. You peel it and cry. The depth of our Lord’s sacrifice comes to life in Isaiah 53.

And nothing is more beautiful that the Gospel of John, because Jesus is all through it, talking about how He loves us and how He prays for us. We may take some of the smaller books to focus on as well. The shorter books, like Ruth and Jonah, and 1,2,3rd John are just as powerful.

I love words and beautiful words whether in song or poetry or in another book. As we begin a New Year, let’s take a moment together everyday, whether you join me on the blog or just read at home, to praise Him, worship and let Jesus live in a heart in a luminous way, let enjoy the beauty of His Word. God bless. Rebecca Jones / stock photo

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Rest In Music

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Some people listen to music to relax and others for praise and worship. But the idea of music to rest and worship may be a new concept to some of us. It isn’t necessarily even Christian music. I can relax to piano instrumentals or harp music. Did you know that music even correlates to Hebrew, the psalms have been recorded to music for the first time since the lyres were hung up  in the Old Testament. It is said to calm the savage breast.

Music is sound that passes through the soul. Saul requested music, and we know how he was tormented. There is a much deeper place in our live for music. The joyful and lively music, I enjoy. The wild and frantic, no not really. So I was taken to churches where music was too old fashioned. even though I love a lot of old hymns, they seemed sorrowful and sad. Then contemporary emerged and I liked some of that.

Everyone has their own taste in music. Much like everyone has a favorite flavor of something. Lyrics are a good way to judge, if they line with the Word. But instrumentals, classical, even show tunes reflect an inner joy and peace. There are many ways to incorporate music into praise and worship, so what about music and rest?

Find you quiet space, your secret place of the Most High, you are safe under His shadow and wings. Like the tent of Shiloh where the Ark was, worship was continuous. You can sow music into your spirit, the Holy Spirit can help you sing and worship in the Spirit also. As I said there is a much deeper and person level of worship.

Music creates an atmosphere of prayer and of rest and worship. Jesus said He and the Father were one, He wants us to be in one and one accord also. Not that we are copies but a continuance of His love, singing a grace note for the world to hear about His sacrifice and salvation. If you sing a psalm or a song, a chorus that repeats His continuous love, your are resting and worshiping.

It is in the intimacy of knowing Jesus as Lord that Zechariah 3:17, becomes evident. And the Lord will rejoice over us with singing and His love is there to quiet our hearts. take a moment today and rest to music. Rebecca Jones / stock photo

Jesus Rests In You

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Can you imagine a dove coming down over you as you are baptized? That’s what happened to Jesus and we all know the the Holy Spirit and peace are represented by the dove. John baptized Jesus in the Jordan river, face first. Only after He was baptized did the custom of backwards come in.

You must read further along into Acts when Peter is baptizing people to see that many who were Christians, had not heard of the Holy Spirit. Many Gentiles were being saved and the Jews weren’t sure about the receiving the Holy Spirit. But that is in Chapter 11. Some of the people who had not heard of the Holy Spirit say they were baptized with John’s baptism.

John said that Jesus would baptize with fire and the Holy Spirit. So clearly these are separate baptisms and the evidence of the second is speaking in an unknown tongue. The Jews saw into the the spirit and the tongues of fire are cloven, this was to show them it was safe for their mouths. These men were observant to food laws and the cloves were a sign to them, for they ate meat only from something with a cloven hoof. More than you needed to know? Perhaps, we know what Jesus said in the book of John about sending a Comforter.

And as far as food laws Peter later writes that all that is blessed is safe to eat. It is fine to eat healthy, but God is still our source of health. So the dove or the Holy Spirit rested on Jesus and He obeyed His Father, they were in constant communication. Jesus had to rest having taken the human form.

The Holy Spirit rested on Him and He in the Spirit. He withdrew from crowds to rest. The Bible calls them lonely places. Why lonely if He was resting? They were secluded and silent, peaceful, the Garden of Gethsemane, or by the shores of Galilee. Jesus had a secret place, even late at night or early morning, but He was also lonely because He wanted to give Himself to others. He was determined to pour out His love on someone, anyone would believe.

He was so determined to love that He was willing to die. He freely gave His life. God freely gave His Son and in turning away from Him, He lavished love upon the world. Now, imagine yourself as a believer, and not just the dove but the very Spirit of God, Himself, resting on you. You have to ask for this baptism, it can be fiery and hot, like lightning and powerful, you will know when He rests on you and will receive the gift of tongues. And many more as He teaches you.

Jesus finished His earthy mission, and rested. If we hope to accomplish anything in His name, we need to be resting in Him and doing what He prepared for us to do. This is grace and truth through Jesus and we have to seek this rest but it is available to be found. We seek Jesus and find Him when we seek Him with all our heart.

And in doing so, we call Him from His lonely places of prayer and intercession to rest with us. He will walk and talk with us. And we want to remain in that resting place. You might say, ” Surely, He isn’t lonely in the throne room of heaven, surrounded by glory, and angels and seated with His Father. ” And I would have to reply, that He came to die for us and loved us that much, So yes, He longs for us to want Him, to need Him and just to love Him.  So rest and let Jesus rest in you. Rebecca Jones / pexels

 

No Santa? Rest In Jesus Love!

 

I started writing about rest before Thanksgiving, about the time the decorations go up and the sales begin. I try to stay ahead so I can blog and help others daily, and I do edit. Children were being reminded about the naughty and nice list. Everyone was about to go crazy shopping and over doing it again and returning and regretting it in January, or already have been.

You already knew Aunt Minnie won’t like the ugly sweater, why buy it? And does Uncle Joe really need another tie? And the nieces and nephews are already electronically educated, do yo even know the gifts some people would like. This year I wanted to focus on spiritual gifts. And the gift we really need, rest.  Who needs a watch anymore? Everyone looks at the phone.

As a child I did the whole cookies and milk thing. I believed, I got presents. I could swear to this day I heard sleigh bells one year. By the age of seven the meanies at school had crushed Santa for me. I hated to admit I believed anymore. After I was saved at eleven, I was explaining my beliefs to Jehovah’s witnesses. Life conquered the child like faith and boldness to speak for my Lord at times, but it could never keep me down, nor my enemy. After accepting Jesus, I had so much of Him pop into my spirit, it took me way too long to absorb Him. I was in love. Here was someone who would not disappoint me, whatever I asked He would do. He knew I would never ask anything bad.

And a cracker and juice represented His death, my redemption. I cost Him everything. Cookies and milk never compared, even if got a Barbie camper. I sat with a typewriter then, as now, a keyboard. No other gift has stood the test of time or given me such joy. it is an eternal love and beautiful friendship that will last forever and a day.

He answered prayers, many packages came a little late, because they were delayed by an enemy, but they were bigger and better. Perfect and priceless, like He is to me. He has given me such joy unspeakable and full of glory as I have rested in Him. That was a gift I had to receive and learn about. And how to walk in it.

I try to remember to always give Him a gift, I even hung Him a stocking once, why not? He hung on a cross for me to celebrate and decorate. A Victorian tree loaded with ornaments, crowns, crosses and angels. Feathers, pearls and keys, each little bauble a symbol of something, a very spiritual significance  was assigned each one. I would sit alone in the dark and watch it go around, it was then I was in His rest, rest I already had but never remained in, until now.

Though there was a real Saint Nicholas, who threw money down chimneys into stockings drying  by the fire, the story goes, and he minister ans saved many from harm and servitude, there is no Santa, no roly poly old elf. Though I suggest parents decide how their faith allows them to participate, I never tell children there is not one. I have told them about St. Nicholas. I once heard a minister tell children that, he was shouted down, he even referred to him as satan clause

Personally, I think God can use anything and turn it from bad to good, ashes to beauty, death to life. Jesus is not in competition with Santa, or the devil or any imaginary character. He alone is Lord, worthy and reigns. Hail the newborn Prince of Peace! Peace was on earth in a manger, on a cross, and now in the Holy Spirit, resting in us, but are we in Him?

I like to encourage faith, hope and love. The belief in miracles, angels, something that is higher and in the power of a twinkling star, a Christmas carol, or a sleigh ride, in the pattern of each snow flake. There is always something alive under the snow and waiting for spring, where angels step there are flowers and there is eternal life under the whiter than snow redemption, the best gift ever, bought and paid for with the blood of Jesus.

He’s not checking a list or even making one. He has the book of life. Are you in there? I am. He sees you when your sleeping, knows when your awake. He know if you’ve been bad or good. He loves you and extends grace anyway. He always answers us with even better that we could ask, not always on December 25th, but all year round.

He doesn’t remember bad, it’s as far to west. He doesn’t need a sleigh or bells, reindeer or elves, He has a throne, a chariot, horses and angels. He’s welcome in my heart, and can come down the chimney to it. I hope His fire is burning there. I don’t need gifts, He has given me so many. I am so blessed.

But whatever the year brings me, I am thankful to Him. I treasure Him. He is my heart. And I don’t think He’d mind if I left Him a cookie and some milk. And I can just rest in Him. Rebecca Jones /stock photo

Jesus Christ, Our Rest and Peace

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We have had a lot of holiday cheer, no doubt. I have been singing as I blog. But I have made it paramount to rest this Christmas season. After all, we hail the birth of the newborn babe who came to be the Prince of Peace.

As we come to Christmas week and begin to wind down our study on rest, let’s be sure to do just that rest. The sales are tempting and the leftovers. Oh, and maybe you missed a favorite movie. Guess what? I haven’t seen any, not that I might not watch one or two.

I have found that that my biggest success has been to steal away in those quiet moments, and even manage to find them in some of the more hectic ones. I have managed to rest. And that is not a small victory but a defeat to the enemy.

I found my resting place with the Prince of Peace. Micah 5:5 and Ephesians 2:8 both declare Him to be my rest, and yours if you take it. I called this post Jesus Christ, Our Rest and Peace. He is the preferable way to have rest and peace. I added Christ in because it is in the anointing of His Spirit, which is the meaning of Christ, the Anointed One. The Holy Spirit was poured on Him to pour onto us.

Through Him we are released from worry to rest, and from chaos and panic into peace, alone and battle weary, we are often no match for the enemy’s wiles, and easily overtaken by slings and arrows, even fiery darts, which can be the words of others. No, we have seek His rest daily, and holidays are no exception.

As I  stated in previous posts it’s a Sabbath rest, a special rest for believer. And we have to enter it and remain there to overcome the giants in our Promised Land. Or else we wander, weak and weary. So let’s allow the oil of joy and rest to go more than skin deep, let’s dive into rest in 2018 as if it were a pool. ( And I don’t swim. )

So whatever Christmas week brings or even into our New Year, let make a daily practice of seeking Jesus Christ, our rest and our peace. If you have to make it a resolution, go ahead. I never make those anymore. I do make plans, but I know God has better ones and I am following what is in my heart and hope to know His as I rest, leaning into the Prince of Peace. Rebecca Jones / photo pixabay

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Rest For Me

 

 

I’m sure we were excited about our gifts, make up, jewelry. gift cards. The little things and the large ones. What did you get? If you bend down on the floor and start to distribute the packages, you see silver and gold and ribbons, some are in bags and some are in boxes. Some costs little or nothing, the cookies and candies.

Some cost more, the new sweaters, purses, perfume. But Jesus is the fragrance of our holidays, are prayer to God are supposed to be sweet smelling. Don’t you wish your answer could be in a box? Your most precious gift is Jesus and He is priceless. We cost Him dearly.

With all we have to be thankful for, isn’t it wonderful, that the one who is called Wonderful at the most wonderful time of the year would give us His rest? There are those who pray for loved ones to be saved. Rest, knowing they will be. He promised, but will you believe, will they? They need to see that you are at rest in in Him and not worried or afraid, you don’t have to argue with them, just rest,  Jesus knows what to do when we do not. It is not in a package, but in Him.

What about the healing you need or a loved one? Are you celebrating amid doctor and hospital visits? Are nurses bringing your cookies and candy?  Rest in Him, healing is in Him, not a colorful bag with tissue. What about your career or new business, are you succeeding? Whatever your prayed in faith be sure He has heard.

And though we may not be able to bend down and pick up a gift from Him with a tag, in the natural, you can in the spiritual, if you can kneel, thank Him in advance,even if you don’t see your gift, dare I say it is in the bag. Don’t let the grinch like devil steal it. Because I can tell you that every knee will bow to the worthy one. By the way, what did you give Him? Isn’t it backwards that at the celebration of His birth, we get gifts?

And He loved us enough to give up heaven for a while and come here to die, and still He bends His knee and ear to listen to the prayers of the humble. With the tears welling in my eyes, please listen, look at all your gifts and step away to look up to Jesus, and take one more give from Him, so you can receive your answers, it comes from a nail scarred hand of love, accept His gift with thank and rest for me. Rebecca Jones / public domain

  • Though December 25th is the official day we celebrate, Christmas was considered a European celebration until after the Civil War. Most likely, He was conceived around this time or Hanukkah, and born toward Rosh Hashanah, the New Year, so He would be 33 at Passover.

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My Christmas Gift To You!

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Last year I wrote a story called the Carpenter’s Son. I even put it a PDF to download. I have another gift for you this year.

I heard my mother singing Away in A Manger as she cleaned the kitchen. Sitting at my desk I called to her, ” You’ve just given me the best idea. ” It is important to me to make God’s love known in a way that is unmistakable. Last year, I also posted side by side images of Mary and Jesus, manger scene and one of her holding Him from the Passion of the Christ. I do not like gore, but what happened to the Lord  was beyond that, so I am determined not to be gruesome but to allow Him to use my imagination and words to create an image of His love for you that is something that no one will ever be able to shake your faith in. No devil will be able to steal and satan will not destroy.

WHEN HE LAID DOWN HIS SWEET HEAD

Away in a manger, most likely hewn out of stone.

The little Lord Jesus came down from the throne.

No crib for a bed, He chose a cross, to save us instead.

No sweet hay for the sweet Lord, it was a hard, wooden cross…

When He laid down His sweet head.

He declared. ” Foxes have holes, birds have nests. ”

But the Son of God, Had no place to rest.

He was born in Bethlehem, the house of bread.

A baby, teacher, healer, five thousand He fed.

He was born to die and knew it all along,

The Word in flesh, in a garden, prayed to be strong.

He was dying for us, though His heart broke in sorrow.

As they nailed His sweet hands,

He thought of tomorrow, a day in the future.

When this story would be read,

He took for us our  sin and shame,

As He died and He bled.

Through torment and fear,

He bore everything we should have born.

A crown of thorns, upon the head,

Of the sweet baby born.

His back already lashed, and flesh already torn,

His teeth gnashed, His mother wept…

Remembering the morning and the manger,

Where her sweet baby slept.

It was finished, the world was blessed

He had found a place for His sweet head to rest.

Mary wrapped Him, cuddled Him, swaddled Him,

Though the inn had no room.

And now He was wrapped, held and swaddled,

Once more, trapped inside a tomb.

The little Lord Jesus lay down His sweet head,,

As the brightest star shone.

The loving Lord Jesus lay down His sweet head.

The greatest love ever known.

But the greatest miracle was yet to be,

Raised from the dead, to save you and me.

He went back to the throne.

This Christmas Lord, bless us your dear children,

In your tender care and take us to heaven to live with you there.

 

God bless you all. that you know the depth of this love this year is my prayer.

Rebecca Jones

Rest in Silence

This girl could easily be like Mary, preparing to marry Joseph although she is already wearing a wedding band. her smile and youth capture the spark of  young girl’s dreams. But an encounter with God changed all of that, as He sent an angel Gabriel to announce the son she would bear and carry in her womb. I always admired how she kept things and pondered them in her heart. Something are just between you and God.

I’m sure she lovingly spoke to Jesus knowing what a blessed child He would be. Surely, she felt a fright until Joseph agreed to the marriage, and on the night an angel woke him to flee from Herod. Though we are not privy to a lot of Jesus early life, I have seen pictures tastefully done of her nursing Him, doing laundry with a bare bottomed babe. Mary was like any mother, and yet unlike any other.  She is a testimony to the sanctity of marriage and motherhood.

I never though much about the journey to Bethlehem, my focus was Jesus birth. But on the way there she was very much about ready to go into labor, perhaps she felt His foot kick as the donkey carried them to the stable. There was dust and sand and crowds, and she would have been tired and thirsty, even craving something before delivering Him.

She probably had worshiped God in her parents house and yard, aloud and silently. She recalled the angels words when others would stare or gossip. She meditated well on His promises. She was silent, I’m sure. How else did she ponder? And we know the Bethlehem sky would have been black, and even if the stars were out, there was one that outshone them all.

With all the taxpaying and activities of the day over, beggars lay on the street, drunken men wandered with aimless intentions home or to look for trouble, women may have been baking bread for morning. Perhaps, Mary could smell it above the night air. The donkey was settled kneeling before the baby, the lambs before the Lamb. She wrapped Him tightly, and la Him in a stone manger, as the cow was moved to the rear of the cave. There was no room in the inn, but there was room in her heart for the beloved babe. As the poet, Christina Rosetti, put it so elegantly, ” Mary in her maiden bliss, worshiped the beloved with a kiss. ”

It was still, it was quiet. It was a silent night, a holy night and all was calm, for a while the star shone brighter and brighter the very glory of God, soaring through eternity announcing peace on earth. The world did lie in solemn stillness, to hear the angels sing. The shepherds had gathered their flocks and sat on the hills. They too, were silent, until the angels came. They twere silent and afraid until the angel said to fear not and began to announce tidings of joy. Why aren’t we silent? Surely, we can spare a moment for Him.

Mary, no doubt was tired, she may have slept with the babe a while before laying Him in the manger, and Joseph cuddled her with strong carpenter hands, and kissed her cheek. All was calm, it was a silent night. Mary was able to ponder again these holy and sacred events in her heart.

And even when the wise men came, these was silence, reverence, pure and holy worship, that sometimes get lost in praise, and in such great attempts to be obedient and live a Christian life, we struggle too often, we need to be silent and just receive the love God gave us that silent night, rest in His presence, let the pure light of  His love and  countenance shine on us and give us peace. He is our peace, and we can never pay the debt we owe Him, not does expect repayment.

He is the Prince of Peace, Wonderful, Emmanuel, God is with is, God the Holy Spirit and we owe Him gratitude, worship and adoration, we enter His rest. We are silent and He gives us rest. How else could He have suffered so, a babe, a healer, a lamb who came to seek and save. We can hold our peace and ponder. We can be silent, and He will give us rest. Rebecca Jones / stock photo

 

Rest In Jesus

 

Counting down to Christmas and New Year’s…

We have learned about rest from Hebrews 4, how to enter, what it is and isn’t. Not just natural rest. We all know people who will not or cannot rest, their troubles just won’t let them. We don’t want that to be us, we want to rest in His promises. We want the very best God has to offer this Christmas in 2018, when Paul explains Jesus in 1 Corinthians 13, He shows us a more excellent way, love.

Jesus loves us. He loves for us to rest in Him. We have to be completely dependent on Him. Not that we are weak but that we know He is strong. We have to humble ourselves and yet find the boldness to speak His life and health. Even if we prophesy, it will pass away and so will tongues, but not His Word, and He is the living Word.

He gave us the most important gift we will ever receive, have you received Jesus as Lord? Are you resting in His perfect love for you? If not go back and read about rest, I have the desire to tell others of His love, because I know it so well. He wants us to rest in Him if we are sick, because He is the Healer.  He wants us to rest in His protection, He is our peace. He wants us to rest in His love, knowing we are secure in that love, safe in His hands.

I invite you to rest with me in the understanding of that love. To know Jesus, is to know love. I don’t know how people rest all without the Prince of Peace. Admittedly, there have been times as a believer, I struggled with things going constantly wrong. But not anymore, we have an enemy, but Jesus defeated him forever. Now, I can rest in that.

I admit there are times I start to worry, think thoughts that bring old fears back to life, but I reject them in His name, because I treasure His peace and goodness toward me, even when I didn’t fully comprehend His great love. I don’t want the ghosts of Christmas past, present or future or even years haunting my heart. I choose better, I choose Him.  Rebecca Jones / public domain photo

Rest To Worship

I never thought of rest as worship. I really had to research rest anyway, because like most people I thought we had to be busy praying, fasting, reading the Bible. I was sure I didn’t go to church enough, pay enough ties, that there was something wrong with me, and it wasn’t true.

I had my armor on or so I thought, shoes for the gospel of peace were sneakers or flats, maybe a pair of boots on the go, serving others, serving God, forgetting me, but He didn’t. He never expected me to fill His shoes, we are like John the Baptist said, not worthy to lace a sandal. And yet we are to be robed in His righteousness, crowned with peace, accepted into the beloved, so we need not keep that mentality. We must appreciate the fact, however that He gave His life to make us worthy,

No amount of works could, and while we as believers know that, we still try. And that is not resting in His finished work. He prepared the things He wanted us to do and we will. How can we though, when we are not at rest?  A heart resting in Him has His peace.

I like to read dream interpretations, as always I urge caution, there are many counterfeits out there, and I ‘m sure some may even sound Christian, so ask the Holy Spirit to direct you before venturing there. In many cases shoes are peace, boots may mean he’s walking through something, I once read about ice skating being interpreted as grace to glide over hard places. What ever our real shoes, peace is a part of the armor of God. The Holy Spirit is the presence of the Prince of Peace, Himself, so if He says rest, do it.

He really is our armor, we cannot bear so many of the heavy things of life alone or we would have had no need of a Savior. We are told to speak peace when we enter a house, literal and houses also represent  people, that’s why shaloam is great greeting. Peace, coming or going, if  they receive fine, if not we should shake the dust from our feet and move on.

The Bible is written layer upon layer, you have to peel back the pages and parables like an onion, and sometimes you cry. Remember Moses told to remove His shoes on holy ground. He was also told to go deliver people and God would give him rest. A cloud and a pillar of fire followed him.

The mist and fire of the Holy Spirit follows us. So though we may walk in the Spirit, we must daily worship, as often as we like. We can just take off our shoes, rest and worship. For we are His beloved, He gives our hearts rest. So I have to confess, even in this study, I have found rest to be an act of worship. It pleases Him that we trust Him, resting on His promises. So let’s give Him some praise, and lean into His precious presence, rest and worship Jesus. It’s okay, take off your shoes, stand on holy ground. Rebecca Jones / pexels