salvation

A to Z: Y is for Yahweh

Y is for:

Yahweh

I would like to share an article written by Betsy Childs. As we celebrate the Sabbath and Worship the God that Is, Was, and will Be savor and glory in who He is and what he has done for you. Hallelujah, to God be the Glory!!!

Hallelujah!

By Betsy Childs

This name was precious to the people of Israel, and God proved the truth of his name over and over. He saved his people by delivering them from the Egyptians and bringing them through the Red Sea. He sustained them through forty years in the wilderness, saving them by giving them manna, quail, and water from the rock. He delivered the Promised Land into their hands, destroying their enemies. Even in times of Israel’s rebellion, God mercifully sent his prophets to call them back and remind them of his name. The prophets also called the Israelites to look ahead, for someday God would bring them salvation in the form of the promised Messiah.

The Incarnation of Jesus Christ brings even more meaning to the name Yahweh. God not only showed himself present by being on Israel’s side and remembering her cause, He actually became physically present. Jesus was present not merely to empathize with us; he came to accomplish our salvation. It is quite possible that several times Jesus intentionally identifies himself with Yahweh, such as when Jesus told his questioners, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was born, I am!” (John 8:58). The significance of Jesus using the phrase “I am” would not have been lost on his Jewish listeners. Jesus was the fulfillment and ultimate confirmation of God’s name. As Elmer Martens summarizes, “The name [Yahweh] is anything but empty. The name carries overtones of presence, salvation defined as deliverance and blessing, covenantal bondedness, and integrity.”

When we sing the word “Hallelujah,” it is a reminder that we serve the God who revealed himself to Moses and led his people by a pillar of fire. We praise the God who revealed his plan through the prophets. We exalt a God who did not hide Himself from us, but revealed to us his name. This God even walked among us, and through a painful, humiliating death, He accomplished our salvation.

But the word “Hallelujah” should not only cause us to look back on what God has done; it also urges us to look forward. The apostle John reveals to us that this word will be used in heaven. He writes, “After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out, ‘Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God….’ And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who was seated on the throne, saying, ‘Amen. Hallelujah!’”(Rev. 19:1,4, ESV).

Every time we sing “Hallelujah,” we are preparing ourselves for an eternity of praising Yahweh. We can be reminded that God will finish the salvation he has started. All heaven and earth will witness the salvation of the Lord and the vindication of his name. God has demonstrated his saving presence in the past, and He will demonstrate it again when Jesus returns in glory.

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A to Z: V is for Victory!

Victory

1. Defeat of an enemy or opponent.
2. Success in a struggle against difficulties or an obstacle.
3. The state of having triumphed.

I Cor 15:42-45, 50-58

42So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:

43It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:

44It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

45And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit……

50Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

51Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

52In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

53For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

54So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

55O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

56The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

57But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

“Death is swallowed up…..Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory”

Are there any other words as sweet and liberating as these? Over the last few weeks, I have blogged about the atonement of Christ that gave me freedom from the condemnation of sin. I spoke about the liberating power of faith, truth, grace and God’s love. What a great way to wind down this challenge, by speaking about the ultimate fruit and reward of our battle to Overcome and to walk worth of the amazing gift we have been given.

The truth is alive within my heart. Grace has been poured out upon my life. God’s love has transformed me from a condemned sinner to an adopted daughter and joint heir of Christ. I am His and He is mine. My death was swallowed up when Jesus rose from the dead. He bore the sting of death on the tree fulfilling the law of the Righteous and True, the Only Wise God.

Because He is, I have Overcome!

Thank you Father the the Victory that is mine through you!

A to Z: Overcoming Through Forever


Forever

1. For everlasting time; eternally
2. At all times; incessantly
Long before this challenge began, I knew what “F” would be. I am reading a book that is amazing, challenging, life changing….. It’s title is, yes you guessed it, Forever. Were I to attempt to summarize my thoughts on this book so far, my blogging challenge would come to an abrupt end due to the fact I wouldn’t be able to get past this word. Paul Tripp summarizes ‘the importance and power found in his book,  Forever: Why you can’t live without it, far better than I could so below I will just include his intro and links to his site where he has an introductory video on the power and importance of forever. My prayer is that you will experience the purpose and power “Forever” grants us to Overcome.
You May Be Suffering from Eternity Amnesia … The Bible assures us that God has placed eternity in our hearts. It tells us we are created for pleasure, wired for joy—all with God at the center. But in a world that is broken and suffering, it’s easy to forget this, living instead with a pack-it-all-in mentality, loading up the here and now with expectations that will only be fulfilled in eternity. Fortunately we don’t have to live frustrating, disappointing lives. Instead, we can take heart, realizing that life doesn’t feel right because it isn’t right. It’s not meant to be—not yet anyway. Paul Tripp points out that having an eternity perspective will enable us to live for something bigger than ourselves and larger than this moment. No longer trapped in the shrunken kingdom of “right here, right now,” we will be able to lead lives of greater significance and peace.Through stories, examples, and biblical teaching, Tripp rehabilitates the notion of an afterlife, not as some vague, ethereal place in which we will someday reside, but as a living, robust reality that Scripture promises.

 

“I have said these things to you,
that in me you may have peace.
In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart;
I have overcome the world.” John 16:33(ESV)

A to Z: Overcoming Through Death

Death

a : a permanent cessation of all vital functions : the end of life b : the cause or occasion of loss of life

c : a cause of ruin
d: the state of being dead
: the passing or destruction of something inanimate

To say one can overcome through death appears to be the ultimate of oxymorons.  Death implies an end of power,  intellect, ability, and opportunity. When life leaves our soul, the opportunity to overcome exits with it, or does it?

Because I have been cleansed through the atoning work of Jesus Christ, I believe death is but the beginning of truly living and the ultimate act of overcoming. The day I confessed that Jesus Christ was Lord, yielding my life to Him, I died and yet the same instant I was reborn.

When I was buried with Christ, the chains of sin were broken, and the grip of death and damnation defeated. I am a new creation no longer bound by the law that both mandated my ruin but also guaranteed it. “Let not sin reign in your mortal bodies” wasn’t just an unrealistic command, it was a gift and ability won for me at great expense.

Because of His death and my death, I can go to bed every evening, and reflect upon my day, my actions, my failures, and my successes and be filled with hope instead of depression. Each day is an opportunity to overcome. I may stumble along the way, and fail in an area I am striving to master, but with my eyes to heaven I know I am being transformed every day into his likeness.

I look forward to the day heaven and earth pass away, bringing with it the final death-blow to imperfect and corrupted flesh. On that day the need to overcome will come to an end, for I shall see Him face to face and be righteous even as He is Righteous.

   What shall we say then?

Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?

By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?

 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus

were baptized into his death?

We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death,

in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead

by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

Romans 6:1-4 (ESV)

Christianity is the Cause of Immorality and Destruction He Declares….

Christianity is the Cause of Immorality and Destruction He Declares….

Should Christians weigh in? 

I was preparing to make the next post in our series on overcoming pain when I got into a discussion with some people concerning a news report. What started as a “How did a couple get convicted for murder by a mere suggested hypothetical cause of death (The body was never found and they are now free and seeking restitution of their name) turned into a “Man deserves this because we took land that belonged to the animals” debate.

I love animals, but I get particularly irritated by this logic and argument so I added my two cents. Below is the conversation that ensued. As Believers, our world view stands in stark contrast to the world. Often times I hesitate to say anything because I fear I will be made a fool or fail in my attempt to share the truth.

They Have A Faulty World View but We Hesitate To Share!

It bothers me to see so many false accusations against Christ go unchallenged. Those deluded and blinded by sin clamor loudly, professing lies to a dying world and so often they go unchallenged. What keeps you from sharing? How do you know when to stand and share and when to refrain from “Casting your pearls before swine?”

We are told not to rebuke a scorner but we are told to correct the simple and they will learn. So what do you do when a scorner is speaking and the simple are listening? We do not have enough time and energy to refute every lie, but I don’t believe we can simply let the wicked speak without ever challenging them.

How would you share with a person who holds the views quoted below? Especially the one who equates “Christians” & God with the wars and oppression that grow each passing day?

I guess as I chatted with Bigevermo, I wasn’t so much trying to reach him, I was thinking about others who would read his claims and accept them as truth.

We are told to be ready to share about the Hope that empowers us. When do you share, and when do you knock the dust from your shoes and leave?

I am c******k, the others are the two I am chatting with:

@c*******k, I would say that we are not doing well with the ‘what sets us apart’ part. Humans have caused more death and destruction and permanent damage to this amazing planet than any plant or animal, native or not. We are the ones that need to be controlled – my opinion of course.

@ C*******k… Hence war, murder, abuse, neglect, oppression….. those have all been done by religious people with a “higher authority” moral code… it is a logical fallacy to say that man would have no moral code if it were not for a higher authority. MANY religious wars, Inquisitions, and other atrocities have been done in the name of God!!

just sayin… and to the OP… i cant believe these people were convicted with such circumstantial evidence…i hope they get their names cleared… at least as far as the court goes… i wonder if they will ever lose the reputation as killers of the own child…good luck people!

B********o @C*******k

Hey C*******k..it YOUR religion of which i speak!!   you wrote:so He sent His Son,
so that means you are a Christian… never heard of the Holy Wars/, the Inquizition and other wars based on religious views? …….. so you see it is Religion and basic resources that is the cause of most if not all wars sir… the higher moral authoruty allows some people to think that they have a moral code that is “higher” than people without religion…point being… there are people without religion that have just as good or better moral codes than religious people… I know that this concept will be hard to wrap your brain around… but it is truth to me. 🙂

So, when do you share? When do you keep silent? What if you are not an expert, can you do more harm by standing up for the truth than if you just stay silent? I ended my discussion with B*******o by simply presenting the gospel and then I excused myself from the conversation.

Originally I posted my replies to the responses, but that made for long reading with little value to my point. What would you say to these people? Would you say anything? Why? Why not?

But how do you know?

 

It was a simple post, typed in response to a verse she had stumbled upon. It was just 5 words long yet it seemed to utter a yearning and torment that troubled my heart immensely.

The verse was Psalm 9:10

And those who know your name

put their trust in you,

for you, O Lord,

have not forsaken those who seek you.

Her simple plea was this: “How do I know him?” If you met her on the street, what would you tell her ?

Her question wasn’t unusual or off the wall. My Wednesday evening class of 4th-6thgraders asked the same thing the evening I challenged them to “Know Him.” When our life is in a flux it is natural for the desperate and yearning heart to raise its broken body and weary head to the heavens in response to the voice that says “Know me” to cry out “but how?”

The week following my challenge to “know Him”, I purchased a dessert that looked something like this. I carried it into class and placed it in the center of a table surrounded by drooling 4th, 5th, & 6thgraders. None of them had ever seen anything like it, and it took a few threats and promises to stop a free-for-all from breaking out in the middle of the table. I asked the class to take turns answering a simple question, “What does this taste like?”

Not one of them replied “I don’t know, I have never eaten one.” Instead, I was bombarded by a barrage of very descriptive and comical suggestions. After everyone had been given a chance to voice their opinion I asked them what they thought of the dessert if I told them the red thing in the middle was a dog’s ball dipped in lacquer? “What if, the black fingers were shoe strings dipped in tar, the yello leaf was a painted bug wing, the red stuff congealed blood, and the inside actually mud mixed with an entire box of laxatives?” There was a momentary lull of silence and then chaos erupted. Some exclaimed they would still gobble the dessert down but most made grotesque faces and sounds demonstrating just how disgusted they were by my suggestion.

Sadly the faith, knowledge, and experience many “Christians” confess mirror the faith, knowledge and experience my class possessed of the dessert I had placed before them. Opinions and hopes, some right and others wrong, but no substantial experience to back up their desire laden opinions. I told my class they would never “know” how the dessert tasted or what it’s various parts were made of until they actually tasted it. It might taste just as they had described or quite possibly even better than they could have imagined. Then again it could have been all tar, mud, and yuckiness.

 Psalm 34:8

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!

Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.

Christianity is not a spectator sport.

The die hard fan on the sideline, with body painted the colors of their favorite team, who brave six degree temps wearing nothing but a barrel and gaudy mask, will never receive a championship ring. Only the athletes who have made the sacrafices, and devoted their life and passion to the game have a chance to win the prize.

 To truly “Know” Christ, you have to savor him, taste Him, and experience first hand that He is who he has proclaimed himself to be. If I could find that women who asked “How do I know him?” the first thing I would tell her is you know him” by experiencing Him and witnessing firsthand the liberating Truth of His word in your life. And here is how……….

To be continued Friday..

**Please stop by the “Overcoming Lies” page and enter my current giveaway. The guidelines for the drawing and the goodies being offered are at the end of the post.***


The Priceless Gift

The Priceless Gift
Psalm 50:7-15
“Hear, O my people, and I will speak, O Israel, and I will testify against you:
I am God, even thy God.
I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, to have been continually before me.
I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds,
for every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know know all the fowls of the mountains, and the wild beast of the field are mine.
If I were hungry I would not tell thee, for the world is mine, and the fullness there of.
Will I eat the flesh of bulls or drink the blood of goats?
Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:
and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

A few days ago David and I were reading a Psalm written by King David, and my husband made a comment about him I had never considered before. In a time where the religion of the Jew’s revolved around customs and traditions, law and “doing/works”, David was ahead of his time when he wrote Psalms like chapter 51. Somehow this scraggly backward shepherd boy become king, realized that one could slaughter an entire heard of cows and have a heart still separated from God because of sin. He fully grasped the key to a right and proper relationship with Christ, something the Pharisees and “Doctors of the Law” still hadn’t figured out hundreds of years later earning them the open rebuke and scorn of Jesus Christ himself.

As a parent with three kids, my hearts desire and prayer is they they come to know and love Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord, serving him faithfully all their lives. I feel woefully inadequate as one of their spiritual God given teachers, and fear I will fail them, so David’s story interest me greatly. As I mulled over this thought, I asked my husband, how he thought a lowly, last born, adolescent boy, who spent solitary hours and days in a field with nothing but sheep and a musical instrument as his companion, discover this secret? How did he figure out in the midst of sheep and grass, what men who studied the law all their life in the “house of God” missed? What did David discover in the fields alone with the sheep that the pharisees and scribes missed, that being what the Lord truly wants from us and the precious truth of what keeps us in a right relationship with Christ. What did Jesse his father, teach him? What kind of worship with Christ did he experience in the solitary fields that illuminated his spirit with the truth- It is not at all about the “sacrifice”, but “rather about the heart of the sacrificer.” Perhaps in the fields, with nothing to distract, and nothing to offer but his heartfelt love, adoration, and worship David experienced what men spend years trying to discover, a true and living relationship with Christ.

The next day I read Psalm 50, and when I got to the verses 7-15, the Lord spoke to my heart and humbled me with a truth I had never thought of. This chapter begins with the musician author speaking about the might and glory of God, and then the Psalm shifts to the Lord making a very profound statement about his relationship to us and all of creation. His statement is basically this, your sacrifices mean nothing to me because everything you take and offer up to me is mine all ready. I created the animals you offer to me, I control their movements, they obey me, they belong to me. He proclaims in Psalm 50 If I were hungry or wanted one of them, I would not come to you nor would I ask you to go get me one-THEY ARE MINE!!! The value or power of a sacrifice is not found in the quality, quantity or price of the sacrifice, the value of the sacrifice comes from something else and David realized this and he knew he could offer one-thousand of the choicest bulls from a heard and it could mean nothing to God, yet a poor peasant could offer a turtledove and obtain the grace, mercy, and forgiveness of the Lord.

This then is what brought me to my knees……The Lord God created this universe with the power and breath of his voice. All creation bows in obeisance to him, and he wields the power and the authority and the ability to control it all….. all that is BUT one thing. The Lord created the earth, the land, seas, animals, and heavens, and then he created within man something he prized and valued above all else, his heart. It is here the Lord then chose to limit himself. He could have demanded our love, required we worship him. He could have created us like the animals of the field forcing our obedience and service but he did not do this. Instead he created a gift, priceless and desperately sought after in his eyes and he relinquished his right to it. Limiting himself, he gave us the ability to give him something precious and treasured that he could not get for himself. This is what made our heart and our fellowship so precious to him. Then to establish how greatly he yearned for the right to possess that treasure, he offered in exchange the greatest gift he could, and the only sacrifice that could redeem that which had been tainted and made unworthy of him through sin. Thus he offered the unspeakable gift of his only son Jesus Christ. He offered up glory and majesty for the corrupted and sinful heart of man. The God of Creation, the One and true Gift became the seeker and the the corrupted and destitute became both the gift and the giver.

How humbling it is to recall every day that there is nothing I can acquire here on earth that is of true value and worthy to Christ. I can not achieve a salary, worldly goods, or any thing else of value here on earth that measure in any degree to his goodness, righteousness and holiness. I can not attain any measure of success that is of any value or worth to Christ, it is paltry and worthless compared to him.

All I can give him is my heart, but to him my heart is all he wants. For those who have accepted him as Lord and Savior, accepting the blood of his son Jesus Christ as payment for our sins, allowing him to wash our hearts clean that we can give it back to him holy complete is just the first part. Once this is done, the giving is not over, and this is what David understood. A bullock burnt on an alter by a man who does it to be seen of man is of no value to the Lord, but a bull given by a man with a heart broken and remorseful of his sin is priceless. Tithing 50% of my salary, proudly dropped in the offering is of no value to the Lord, but pennies from a teens allowance given with joy and out of love for God’s provision is worth more than mountains of gold. Staying up late so I can deliver a message in Sunday school motivated by pride and the desire to receive praise of man is worthless, but seeing a sister or brother in need and laying aside what I am doing to extend encouragement or support is priceless and sweet smelling to the Lord. The Pharisees of the OT strove to “practice” the law but they never understood the reason for the law nor did they discover the secret of true love that could empower them to truly live the law thus becoming a sweet smelling sacrifice to God.

I have been challenged by the Lord to make sure that my heart is in a right relationship with him and to make that relationship and love for him the driving force of all I do, say, and aspire to accomplish. What an amazing thought it is to think I posses something God truly wants, seeks, and esteems. “What is man that Thou art mindful of him?” This weekend we celebrate the death and resurrection of our Savior and Lord. The ultimate sacrifice made by the King and Creator of the Universe. Does it boggle your mind as much as it does mine, that is was a wretched and sinful heart he sought to redeem? What amazing love would compel Christ to send his blameless son here to earth, alloim to be tempted in every manner we are, to suffer as we suffer, tire as we tire, to sorrow, bleed, and die that he might obtain the one thing of value that we posses, our heart, our devotion, our love.

Fernando Ortega’s Song “Sing To Jesus” is a wonderful story of this sacrifice and the mystery of the love of Christ.

“Sing To Jesus”

Come and see, look on this mystery
The Lord of the universe, nailed to a tree
Christ our God, spilling His Holy blood
Bowing in anguish, His sacred head

Sing to Jesus, Lord of our shame
Lord of our sinful hearts, He is our great redeemer
Sing to Jesus, honor his name
Sing of his faithfulness, pouring his life out unto death

Come you weary and he will give you rest
Come you who mourn, lay on His breast
Christ who dies, risen in Paradise
Giver of mercy, Giver of life

Sing to Jesus this is the throne
Now and forever He is the King of Heaven
Sing to Jesus, we are his own
Now and forever, sing for the love our God has shown

Sing to Jesus, Lord of our shame
Lord of our sinful hearts
He is our great redeemer
Sing to Jesus, honor His name

Sing to Jesus this is the throne
Now and forever He is the King of Heaven
Sing to Jesus, we are his own
Now and forever, sing for the love our God has shown