Agape

This is our last day of study and agape is the perfect word for today. Tomorrow we start posts about Sweet Hearts, and the heart of Jesus as February. Agape is the highest form of love, it is God’s love and it is unconditional. Even people who are turned into hell, it is the last resort, for rejecting His Son. God is love, but He made covenants and keeps them.

The Strong’s Concordance says that the Greek word, agapeo, or agape is actually to prefer. It is what God prefers, love. And God does prefer people who love Him and show Him preference and respect, reverence. Though He is not a respecter of persons and will save any who ask. It is not wrong to prefer someone’s company, it is a necessary part of love, agape to have someone who understands it. Christian people should prefer each other, sometimes dealing with difficult people or sinners, long term can draw from you, you have to have someone to pour into you for you to give out. Mainly, Jesus is the one pouring out His Spirit. But we need Christian fellowship, and especially one or two close confidants, and I mean people who are sincere, doers, and not just those who say they know Him.

Charity is a poor translation more in line with giving alms which is worthless without love in 1 Corinthians 13. God is love and 1 John 4:18 says perfect, complete love, casts out fear. Agape casts out phobon. Phobon is the root of phobia and we know there are lots of those.  We all have our phobon and I want agape to put out any phobon that comes my way.

And 1 Peter 4:8, says above all to keep fervent in love. It is also defined as agape, love, goodwill. And what was the angel saying when Jesus was born? Peace, good will to men. Actually, there are three types of love in the Bible and we will go ahead and mention them all and their differences.

Philos, love that is sort of friend to friend, more of a general term or natural affection. People say they love apples, but that’s not love. You just enjoy eating apples. You can love your house, job or a place, a picture. Love is used to widely in many instances. Even if you look at synonyms, do you really adore your house? Puppies are adorable but not to worship.

Eros is a Greek god, but this too is love, more the fleshly, physical, and even leaning to a more sinful nature, the kind of passion that made Samson go after Delilah, it is not true love or pure love that God intended. It is much more the temptation, the kind of focus on lust, it can lead to seduction and destruction.

And of course our word, agape, which is divine love. God’s love to Jesus, Jesus to us, the intimacy of the Holy Spirit in us. We prefer believers and we prefer others above ourselves, it is giving, even if not always reciprocated, it is holy and pure, a sacred act to the Lord, even a form of worship. It is not a feeling, you can agape from the heart, when you don’t feel like it.

As I said I wanted to end our word study on a note of love, agape is the perfect word to end one study and begin another. I do love sharing the agape love of Jesus with you. Rebecca Jones / photo Lily Elsie, British Edwardian actress

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Propitiation

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Last year I started digging deeper into God’s word, as if I wasn’t already into it. I studied similes and metaphors and even definitions. I was struck by how little I was getting out of a verse when I glossed over it with only a working knowledge of the meaning of a word. And I even have studied Greek and Hebrew meanings.

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:10

Easy enough, right? He took our place at the cross so we could be saved. Now, what propitiation really is…abatement, acceding, accommodation, adjustment, alleviation, amends, assuagement, blunting, compromise, concession, easing, grant, lessening, lulling and mitigation.

That’s a lot of synonyms. And while they all have reference to changing places with us, they all show the He was taking what we deserved not only spiritually, but literally. Isaiah 53 is a prime example. He wore a crown of thorns so that we could have the mind of Christ. And receive His peace. Peace of mind is priceless. His stripes or wounds for healing.

He took lashes for our sufferings. All these words have a meaning that includes an exchange Him for us. He wanted to abate our pain, assuage means to calm, and quiet. He compromised His body, He became sin for us to be blameless. He want to ease our lives in a fallen world, a king can give you something like land, a grant. Are we taking Him for granted? I was when I did not know the severity of His sacrifice. I had to tell myself that because He was God as well it must not have hurt Him as badly. But He was a man, and that flesh well, He was a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. He felt it. Every lash, gash, nail and cruelty.

I had respect for His sacrifice, I had understanding of it, and yet I could not comprehend it. There are mitigating factors that release prisoners, I’m not counting on ignorance being one of them. He lulls us into His love, He was the propitiation for us in all areas of life, the only human sacrifice God ever accepted, His beloved Son, so I could go free, in so many more ways than I knew. He absorbed the wrath of God so I would not face it for eternity. In the Greek, it is hilasmos, offering to appease the anger. God’s anger was taken by Jesus to set us free, he truly was the Lamb of God.

He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. 1 John 2:2, Romans 3:25 says God presented Him as a propitiation by His blood to be received by faith. And He was made to be like us in every respect in order to be a sympathetic High Priest. Hebrews 2:17.

So you see, propitiation is a word we may not have understood so well, I still can barely imagine it, only knowing love and peace in heaven and being made sacrifice here on earth, the only human one accepted by God, the only one worthy, His only Son.

Now, that is love. Rebecca Jones

 

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Consequences

A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences. Proverbs 22:3

Actions produce reactions. We really need to work on how we react to every situation. I used to spend a lot of time in the, ” What if I’m wrong? ” ” What if nothing happens or someone doesn’t get well? ” and the ” I just don’t know what to do. ” Let me assure you, reassure you He does and He makes it plain if you can ever learn to pray from a place of rest.

Fear and doubt have consequences. ” That old devil, consequences. ” As Lena Horne’s character sings. ” Who scared of consequences? ”  is a line from the song. Well, I guess I was, and maybe you are. So let’s rethink this. Jesus died to take our place so we could have eternal life, Isaiah 53 says His punishment is our peace. We need not fear consequences.

If Jesus did so much for us, and He did. We don’t need to fear retribution, condemnation, nor consequences. Sure, if you are speeding you will get a ticket. If you jump off a building you will die. These are consequences. Laws, natural and physical apply to us all. Proverbs 19:19 says having a temper causes consequences, Ezekiel warned of consequences, and Romans 6:23 assures us the wages of sin is death, even as a believer, keep it up and there are consequences.

Only God changes things through prayers. He can move cancer from a body, provide a miracle of healing. Send you spiritual and mental breakthroughs. And Jesus died to make us whole and free us from the law of sin and death.

We are not to live in fear of God, for because of Jesus. He will not condemn us, if we are believers. He’s not out to get us. He is love and He is forgiving. Many people blame not having children on their premarital escapades, if you are forgiven, it’s just no so. A false belief could withhold a blessing, God is not.

And if you have children, out of wedlock, you are forgiven as a believer, but raising the children is a consequence. Sometime’s their behavior is a consequence. Sometimes, just being under bad teaching is a consequence. The feel good gospel that some are against, is supposed to cause a broken heart and contrite spirit in order to receive salvation. But the Holy Spirit convicts of sin, and it up to us to repent.

Then as a believer, we are supposed to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus and become more like Him. And He is not condemning. You don’t serve time for dropping a dish, but get into an argument and start hurling them at your husband/wife and you just might, that would be a consequence. A consequence of anger.

There are consequences to everything. Some are better than others. Replace your time out chair with the calm down couch. The Hebrew for consequences, most of us couldn’t pronounce but it means punishment. It is defined as the effect, result or outcome of something earlier.

Jesus said we would go through things, and there was sufficient evil in every day, but He promised to be with us. He will chastise and correct those He loves, firm and gentle, He is both.

Jesus is all about calm. And whatever consequences we face, He alone is worthy and just, I would trust Him with my life and not be lured by seducing people or spirits, it is so easy to get mixed up with the wrong people, trust Jesus, and you won’t have to face the old devil consequences. Rebecca Jones

The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences. Proverbs 18:21 New Living Translation

* Cabin In the Sky, is a wonderful movie and you will see how the devil goes after Little Joe and Lena Horne and Ethyl Waters have amazing voices, the cast is excellent. It is on youtube and TCM.

Slander

Who could accuse this lady? A demure, Gibson girl from about 1910. Todays word and definition is slander. Defamation, malicious, false oral utterence. It is meant to injure or harm a person, whether personally or publicly. The devil is a slanderer and a murderer from the start.

Proverbs says lying lips hide hatred and to slander makes you a fool. Proverbs 10:18. Ephesians 4:31 says to get rid of bitterness, anger, brawling and slander and all malice. Colossians 3:8, says pretty much the same thing. Titus 3:2 says to slander no one, but to be gentle and meek, peaceable.

Who wants to live in a brawling atmosphere and quarreling? I have and I do not like it. I do not say this to injure or accuse but when the Bible is right it is right. Bitterness, anger, wrath and clamor all lead to the harsh words that stir up anger and cause grief. Believe me, these words are meant to harm.

Arguing and quarreling as well as a well placed rumor can upset and destroy a family. The devil know how to divide and conquer, we should his own strategy against him and tear him to pieces. If we allow these things to flow through our lives unchecked we will be inviting him to have a stronghold in our life and home.

If we allow these words to take hold of us and our hearts we have a battlefield and not a home, remember, Jesus came to give abundant life and the thief destroys. Jesus also came to destroy the works of the devil and wants us to, so let’s not do these things and allow in every evil work. I was reluctant to post this on a Sunday, but I realized a lot of slander occurs on Sunday as well, let’s not forget to honor the day and loose the slander for good. Rebecca Jones

Surrender

Madge Lessing

We all think of what we believe surrender to mean, to give up, like losing a battle, to throw in the towel or wave the white flag. But surrender in the Bible, though it does have that meaning is also spiritual.

Joseph, for instance was given up to Potiphar. Yet , Potiphar surrenders his household with trust for him to rule. Surrender is yielding one’s self to a passion or influence, even something like grief or despair. And even to sleep. Having been sleep deprived and given to late hours of typing, I surrender to restful, peaceful sleep, even naps.

In the Greek, ekdotos, to give up or or out, delivered to. The Hebrew is sagar, shut, enclose, even imprison. Jeremiah was given a vision of what would happen if there was no surrender.

Commit your works to the LORD, and your plans will be established. Proverbs 16:3, though the word  is commit, surrender is also a good choice. All through the Bible the faithful have surrendered their lives to God.

Then the end will come. Christ will hand over the kingdom to God the Father as He destroys every ruler, authority, and power. 1 Corinthians 15:24, Hand over, deliver, in other translations is also a good verse to describe surrender. And finally, Job’s advice is excellent and we have a better covenant. 11-19…

Surrender your heart to God,
    turn to him in prayer,
14 and give up your sins—
    even those you do in secret.
15 Then you won’t be ashamed;
you will be confident
    and fearless.
16 Your troubles will go away
    like water beneath a bridge,
17 and your darkest night
    will be brighter than noon.
18 You will rest safe and secure,
filled with hope
    and emptied of worry.
19 You will sleep without fear
    and be greatly respected.

Rebecca Jones / photo..British actress Madge Bellamy

Patience

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Letting patience have her perfect work? The Greek word is hypomone, to bear up and remain under trials. Patience is a fruit of the Spirit, it is also a gift. We go through many trials in our lives and some are just the small, everyday, run of the mill nuisances that have us yelling or in tears. You know what I mean.

Others will require even more patience, dealing with crisis, illness, loss or separation. So let’s look at patience from our dictionary. We want to really know what words mean and how better to apply them to our lives.

Patience is the quality of being patient as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.
It is an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay: to have patience with a slow learner, for example.
To be quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence: to work with patience.
Notice the word quiet. Jesus was a man who knew who to talk to and how, He obeyed His Father, the Holy Spirit will help us obey, learn when to speak and when to be quiet, I am working on this too, because people, like the Pharisees and even the devil, will try your patience.
Let it have her perfect work. Wisdom is also referred in the feminine, God must be trying to tell us something. Rebecca Jones
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Jubilee

Jubilee is not a common word, it’s a bit old fashion in fact. It is a celebration. every fifty years was a jubilee year in the Old Testament, was a jubilee when the slaves were freed, the possessions and land returned. It is derived from the Hebrew word jobel,or yobel, yovel or even coronet, to shout joyfully or a trumpet. It is the seventh, seventh year and that is forty nine, a Sabbatical cycle. Then the land is supposed to be laying fallow or unplanted for two years.

Many people, myself included thought turning fifty was some milestone of spiritual break through, which is not necessarily true, i think I was even attacked more. Yet, I have been reading that we have fallow or unplanted land laying as believers and we should sow there? What or where? The Holy Spirit will show you.

But also we are told that He gives seed to the sower, bread to the eater, that we will reap where we did not sow. I know that for myself these are spiritual gifts, thing I might have wanted to do but didn’t get to or that I studied very little, but absorbed the knowledge. Other things I studied or tried to and did not get it. When it does come, it is a gift not something I worked for, so it is  jubilee of sorts. The jubilee is also like the Sabbath and that it is holy. It is to be kept holy. As are your gifts and callings of God.

Jubilee is celebrate on the tenth day of the seventh month, our calendars are different, and Jews were called by silver trumpets, silver is the color of redemption. It is more than interesting that 2018 is a Jubilee year and it will be 70 years after Israel became a state in 1948. Celebrations are already being made and many predictions are being made about the rapture of the church. It is not the time to fear but to know you are a believer. Let’s be in faith if He returns this year. There are many signs, the eclipses, weather and the behavior. It is not inconceivable to me that that is a possibility. This day is March 26, the 10th of Nisan.

A verse in Acts 3, is indicative of Him remaining in heaven until He restores things. No one knows the day or hour, but He gave us clues. So the main thing is to be a witness of His love and lead others in before it is too late. No doubt Jubilee is a joyful time. I’m sure many of us are unaware of how much the enemy has stolen through fear and worry.

It is also defined as a time of liberty, restitution and simple living. And as an anniversary, it is used in conjunction with silver and golden, 25th and 50th anniversary. But in the Bible as laid out in Leviticus, it is a holy day on God’s calendar,especially the shmita or Sabbitical Day of Jubilee. when the trumpet is sounded, will it be the shout and trump of God of 1st Thessalonians 4:17? We will have to wait and see. Rebecca Jones

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Foundation

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Foundation was a word that I came across recently. we all know we need a good foundation to build on, whether a house or a building that needs to be earthquake proof. we also need a good foundation for our faith.

We know the story of the man who built his house upon the rock. That rock is Jesus and He is the rock the psalmist says lead met to, for He is higher than I. And the man who built his house on the sand, and we know what happens there.

Ephesians 1:4 says He chose us before the foundation of the world, and God asked Job where he was when He laid the foundations of the earth. Ephesians 2:19, 20 says the household of God was laid on the foundations laid by the apostles and prophets and by Jesus, the chief cornerstone. Zerubabbel laid the temple foundation.

Paul says, according to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 1 Corinthians 3:10. 

A foundation is the lowest load bearing part of a building or structure or the basis or principle on which something is based. Interesting, Jesus bore the cross, wants to bear our load and is whom we base our lives and faith upon.

The Hebrew is yachad, or yasad meaning to found or appoint, establish, to firmly place. The Greek is katabole as in foundation of the world and themelios, a the corner of a building. The word shath in Hebrew is used in Psalms but other translations changed foundations to bulwarks, more of a battle term.

We need to be like the wise man who builds upon the rock and according to His grace build on the  foundation that is Jesus, so when the floods came we won’t collapse under pressure, storms will not sway us, and time will not erode our faith. Rebecca Jones

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Condemnation

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The word condemnation has multiple meanings, I covered this word earlier as I began a deeper study of word definitions. Sometimes, we gloss over words and phrases and have a general idea of their meaning and often there’s much more to it.

Romans 8:1 says Jesus does not condemn us. That’s why we have to get past our own hearts condemning ourselves as believers. We know houses are condemned in disrepair, and torn down. Likewise, we ourselves, the spiritual house or temple, the dwelling of the Holy Spirit can be torn down or condemned.

The enemies lies will continue to fill our minds if we allow them to. Not only can the hurts and wounds of others and their words destroy us, so can our own. We can also with the help of the Holy Spirit build ourselves up by the praying in the Spirit. We should also build each other up.

Remember, the thief would come only to steal, anything he can, kill, if he could, our bodies and destroy, hopes and dreams. He can not separate us from God’s love. But he will come and accuse and lie, deceive. Jesus is not condemning you as a believer, He corrects

So as I said there are many definitions, but the one I was struck with was to declare something awful or evil. If you have accepted Jesus, He is not calling you awful or evil, and you should not be either, just thank Him for His sacrifice, and that He has set us free. It is a good idea to read and write down who we are in Christ. Rebecca Jones/ Daughter of the King /See What I Mean?

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Repentance

How sweet and innocent the face of repentance. It must be the way we look to God when we sincerely devote our lives to Christ. The old photograph of  a beautiful unknown woman is the perfect visualization. I love the photographs, I would love to know the story of her life, God knows all of them.

Repentance is the word metanoia, it simply means to change your mind, turn around and go the other way. It means that you have realized your mistakes or sins and recognize the need of salvation, you accept it by speaking it and believing it in your heart, that God gave His Son, Jesus, to die and redeem us to spend eternity with Him, that He was raised from the dead.

Angels rejoice over one who repents. Jesus came to bring us to repentance, and John 3:16,17 says He came not to condemn the world but through Him it might be saved, Yet, it is still our choice to accept and believe because He has given His life freely but also we were given a free will, the ability to use our measure of faith if we desire to.

There is a saying I read occasionally, across the internet, that repentance is not when you cry, it is when you change. Tears came flowing freely down the cheeks of this girl who accepted Him at eleven, and many, many times since, and those tears are precious to Him enough to keep them in a bottle. Psalm 56:8

If the story of Jesus sacrifice does not reduce you to tears I am sorry for you, it is a pity to choose the wrong path when one is waiting to love and forgive. It is a choice to change your mind and let the Holy Spirit help you change your ways, the saying is right in the sense that not everyone who sheds a tear is repentant, and not everyone who sheds a tear is sincere. It is true that there is a change, tears or no tears, cried in public or private.

There is rejoicing over repentance, so change your mind as you will no doubt still make mistakes after accepting salvation, but be certain His sacrifice was complete and once and for all. He does not expect you to repent of the sins that are forgiven, but to recognize what you do wrong and with His help, change your mind, turn around, and go the other way, the essence of repentance. Rebecca Jones