Crystal Coast Gem- Treasures in the Sand

Crystal Coast Gem- Treasures in the Sand

cape lookout pic
My husband took this great picture of Cape Lookout lighthouse as we came up to the Island.

Cape Lookout“Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen” (Psalm 77:19, NIV)

 

I love the beach. I love looking for shells. The Outer Banks has great shells. Whelks and whole sand dollars, sea treasures abound. As a family we planned to visit Cape Lookout and enjoy the day which included a road trip to the ‘point’. The ‘point’ is where the ocean and sound meet. It is a mixture of waves going all directions as the currents flowing in and out of the banks find their lane so to speak. My plan was to find sea treasures the and enjoy the kids all together at one time. Shells can be elusive and the waves can claim the treasures. The road trip started out great, looking at the maritime forest, the village where people lived out on the island only few years ago with no grocery store or Walmart or restaurants! They had a one room school house for the island kids.

stuck in sand
Our Driver was great, good attitude!

 

Then we hit the soft sand and suddenly stopped. We were stuck. Every one climbed out and we moved the vehicle and went a few more feet and we were stuck again. We decided to leave the trailer and take only a few to the ‘point’ at a time. Frustrated that we would not reach our goal of the elusive ‘point’, I prayed, “Ok , God for once I will enjoy the ‘now’, the journey. I will not focus on the destination but on the process. It is beautiful day and the waves and tide pools are great and the kids are having fun.” So, I hopped out and started looking down and around. There were shells everywhere, whelks galore! I was so excited.

THE POINT

Cape_Lookout_Point_-_2013-06_-_09
When ocean and sound meet, water goes crazy!

 

We were the last ones to leave the area to go to the ‘point’. When we arrived, I was expecting more sea treasures, but there were none. I asked others and they did not find any when they arrived. We wondered around to the sound side. Looking into the water, a sand dollar glistened. My son and I started wading out and more sand dollars appeared. We were so excited! Sometimes the treasures are just beneath the surface. Some times it requires moving off the safety of dry land and heading into the unknown waters to find the treasures.

CRYSTAL COAST GEM

Sometimes the struggles of the journey reap the greatest treasures. In our eyes getting stuck or delayed on our way to the destination is an inconvenience, a nuisance, a frustration, disappointment. We only had a little time on the island and my thought was we are going to spend the whole time “STUCK”. God had other plans. Sometimes, getting ‘stuck’ is part of the plan. It may be a key part of the journey that you cannot understand. God knows where the treasures are. The delay is necessary to find the treasures you want and need in your life. Keeping calm and looking for the blessings among the struggle reaped a blessed day with the kids and sea treasures as well.

cropped-10982295_672614866197934_3871620920936017058_n.jpg
OK, These are not the shells we found, but they look just like them. I forgot to take a picture of all of them together. We also found 10 complete sand dollars and a horseshoe crab shell. Our bag was full! Just like the nets of disciples when Jesus told them to go fishing. They didn’t see the fish, but the fish were there!
Resurrection Egg #9: The Feet of Jesus

Resurrection Egg #9: The Feet of Jesus

Baby feet
“Now, What are we to do with these? “

When I think of feet, I immediately think of cute baby feet. I remember when my kids were born the first think I looked at were the hands and feet. You know ten fingers and ten toes. They were so cute! I still remember my daughter at two and three years old moving her feet back and forth so the nail polish would dry. So cute with her hair in a pony tail and denim dress on. Oh the memories! Then they grow up and the feet aren’t so cute. Then we are not concerned about how cute they are but where are those feet taking our children in life. Where are they going physically, emotionally, spiritually. In the Bible, it seems that feet bring peace but also have the ability to tread over the enemy.

Feet Shod with Peace

He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay; And he set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. (Psalm 40:2)

Luke 1:79 states that Jesus will guide our feet in the way of peace. The word guide used means to not only make our way straight but also to remove any hindrances in our path leading to God. The shedding of blood from His feet removed the hindrance of sin that separates us from God.  Ephesians 6:15 tells us that our feet are to be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. It was said that the lame, blind, etc were laid at Jesus feet and He healed them (Matthew 15:30).

Redeemed our Authority

Nails feet 2It is hard to imagine that Jesus had cute baby feet also. He was a baby first. I wonder if Mary was remembering kissing those baby feet as she watched them nailed to the cross. The shedding of blood from Jesus’ feet removed the authority of sin from keeping peace out of our life. 1 Corinthian 15 talks of Jesus putting all authority and our enemies under His feet. Luke 10:19, Jesus says that He gives authority to overcome all the power of the enemy, “nothing will harm you”. The concept of ‘under feet’ is that we are now under the authority and covering of Jesus Christ. It is not our authority that fights our battles, but Jesus’ authority. Praise God!

Prayer

I pray :

That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto (Insert name) a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him; having the eyes of (Insert name) heart enlightened, that (Insert name) may know what is the hope of (Insert name) calling, what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to that working of the strength of His might which He wrought in Christ, when He raised him from the dead, and made Him to sit at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule, and authority, and power, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church,which is his body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all. (Ephesians 1:17-23)

Resurrection Egg #9

 

Resurrection Egg #8: The Hands of Jesus

Resurrection Egg #8: The Hands of Jesus

Resurrection Egg #8In olden times when someone had a debt and then paid that debt off, the person who the owed was owed to would nail the promissory note on the door of the debtor with a note that said “Paid in Full”. After the fall in the Garden of Eden we had a debt of sin. It was debt that we could not repay. As a result, Jesus paid it for us.  Nails were driven through His hands to the cross.

Through His blood a note was nailed to the door of our heart that said “Paid in Full”.

Jesus redeemed our power to succeed, to prosper, and to receive spiritual inheritance. While before the works of our hands were cursed , now they can be blessed. Jesus redeemed the ability to receive. Before our hands were covered in sin, now our hands are holy before God. Our list of transgressions are now Paid in Full.

 Isaiah 49:16, God says He would engrave us on the palm of His hands. We are still there:

“The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” (John 20:25) When Jesus appeared, He told Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands” (John 20:27). He still bears the scars of paying for our sins.

The only way for our salvation is through the blood of Jesus on the cross. On the cross Jesus paid our debt so that we would have the power to enter into His kingdom. He opened the door for us.

I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

Paid in FullThen said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.  The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:7

 

 

 

Resurrection Egg #7: Crown of Thorns

Resurrection Egg #7: Crown of Thorns

 The Great Exchange: Victory in our Mind

I love this picture. It simply shows what God does. It is the Great Exchange (Resurrection Egg #3) He replaces something that is dead and ugly and painful with something new and beautiful. Jesus was given crown of thorns by man. Crowns typically signify royalty and authority. The thorns, however, did not signify either. Christ bled from the head so that we could have healing and peace of mind. He replaced the crown of thorns with a crown that gives us authority over the sinful fruit our mind; worry, anxiety, pride, depression, lust, greed. Jesus promises to replace the crown of thorns with a crown of life, a crown of glory that will not fade and an everlasting crown. Jesus’ crowns give us authority to have full access to His kingdom.

 

crown

Crown of Thorns: aka “PLANTZILLA”

The thorns were supposed to have been two inches long and when placed onto Jesus’ head they cut into His head as they encircled it. As a nurse, I have seen just how the smallest head wound can bleed, much less multiple lacerations that went deep into Jesus’ scalp. The blood would have poured down.

Thorns are considered fruit of branches. (UGLY!) They represent the curse of the earth. The Greek word for thorns that refers to the crown of thorns is the same word that descibed the thorns that choked out the word of God in the parable. If  you have ever had to kill  or remove a vine with thorns. First of all, those vines are insidious. Even with the harshest of weed killers, they seem to thrive and spread. They flourish as they wind themselves around bushes, trees, buildings, anything in their path. They eventually kill the plants they are covering. You can cut them back and they come back with a vengeance. At the beach in North Carolina we have such a vine. I have talked to several people regarding how to remove it and kill it. The only way is cut it back and spray weed killer every year until eventually you can find where the root is. Then you did up the root bulb ( which by the way can be the size of a soccer ball). This process can take 5-10 years to completely remove it. Then you are constantly spraying every year to keep it from returning. It is a very labor intensive process that takes patience and diligence. It is battle between you and PLANTZILLA! Just when you think you have it under control, it shows up on your back deck!

Battling PLANTZILLA

Well, through this battle with PLANTZILLA, God has taught me some things regarding battles of the mind.

  1. PLANTZILLA wants to cover you and strangle you so that you can’t see the sunlight. When our mind is bombarded with thoughts of “you are not worthy”, “what is the use”, “everything you touch is bad”, “you don’t deserve anything but this”, etc. Our mind is so shrouded we cannot see the light of the Word of God. The Word of God says that “We are fearfully and wonderfully made”, “God desires above all things that we prosper and be in good health even as our soul prospers”. People who are depressed talk about being in a ‘dark place’. Jesus wants to move us from that dark place into the light.
  2. PLANTZILLA likes to come back every year. We have sinful patterns in our life that like to repeat themselves. These patterns begin with our thought patterns. These thought patterns govern our actions which determine our results. Ever heard the definition on insanity (another ‘mind’ word). Well, it is repeating the same thing over and over and expecting different results. To get different results we need to replace the thought pattern. This comes from daily reading the word of God.
  3. PLANTZILLA has a root cause from which it springs. Ok, without God, we may be able to trim back PLANTZILLA and hold him at bay. We may be able to start listening to positive thoughts and positive people in our life and change what is going on around us. Which is good. But not great. The only way we will have complete victory is to remove the root bulb. That is going to take Jesus and the Holy Spirit. It will take prayer and fasting and getting into the Word of God. It will take sacrificing some time for ourself. It will take changing what goes into your mind. What are we reading? What are we watching everyday? It is choosing to listen to God’s voice and we will have victory.

 PLANTZILLA is now plantzilla!

Jesus gave us the power and authority to control our thoughts. We are no longer slaves to them. We are no longer a victim of sinful patterns in our life. Now we can capture every thought and replace them with the Word of God.  We now have the freedom to make right decisions. We have the ability to produce good fruit and not thorns in our life. We have peace of mind. 

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.                 ( 2 Corinthians 10: 3-6, KJV)

Resurrection Egg #7

 

Resurrection Egg #6: By His Stripes

Resurrection Egg #6: By His Stripes

Resurrection Egg #6

MrssizzleWhen my boys were little they had prized stuff animals that they liked to play with. Unfortunately we had a puppy who viewed these animals  not as toys for the boys but prey to be devoured. Many a loved animal fell prey and lost an eye or had an ear chewed. Sometimes they could be repaired, though never fully regaining they former glory. Other times, they were destined to exist with the missing, ear or eye. Anyone who has had a puppy can relate. But we are not stuff animals and when we are hurt we need more than a needle and thread.

Jehovah Rapha: The God who Heals

Like many of you I have often asked “Why aren’t some people healed?” As a nurse, I probably ask this more than most. As a mom who has had a miscarriage, I definitely cried out, “Why!, If you are truly God you could have prevented this!” The Bible states that Jesus was moved with compassion and healed the sick (Matthew 14:14). So I know that Jesus has a heart and feels our pain. One of the names for God is Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals. It is used 67 times in Old Testament. Healing is part of God’s nature, not just something He does. The prophet Isaiah states that the Messiah, Jesus,  “will open the eyes of the blind and the unstop the ears of the deaf. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert.” (Isaiah 35:5-6)

By His Stripes We are Healed

He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”(1 Peter 2:24, NIV)

Both Isaiah and 1 Peter use word for healing that mean to make whole, to mend. The word in the Isaiah passage denotes a cobbler stitching to make something whole. Thank God, Jesus sews better than I do. Unlike, my boys’ stuff animals, when He heals He heals completely. He is concerned about healing of heart, mind, and body. Healing and sin are closely tied together. When sin entered the world so did sickness and death. Not all illness is a result of sin. However, we do know that sin can lead to illness. For example, sexual sins have consequences of transmitted diseases. Anger and bitterness are related to stomach ulcers, arthritis, irritable bowels. Stress is related to migraines. Cancers have been associated with alcohol and other unhealthy lifestyles. The list goes on and on. Doctors and nurses both have completed studies that show how the healing the physical body, and the mental and emotional health are closely related. Many times outcomes depend not so much on the right medicine as much as the right attitude of the heart.

On the flip side, many sickness are not related to sin at all. In the Old Testament, there are only 12 reports of individual illness and healing, 8 of them are not the result of sin. Both of the boys raised from the dead by Elijah and Elisha did not die as a result of sin. When Jesus healed the blind man, His disciples asked, “Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”. Jesus responded with, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” (John 9:2-3). This disconnect from sin and sickness may explain why diseases attack children and infants that we know have not sinned or led a lifestyle that results with illness. This is one of my biggest struggles, infants and children who are ill. Sometimes, I just have to remind myself of the sovereignty of God.

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5, NIV)

Transgressions are willful sin. This is sin that is committed with full knowledge that it is wrong. It has the connotation violating a law. Iniquities are sin, guilt, depravity that we were born with. It is man’s bent toward perversion and sin or deviation from the right path. It is our sinful character rather than the action of sin itself.

Jesus healed stripesThe blood Jesus shed seems to have opened the spiritual door to not only forgiveness of sins, but also healing. Jesus reminds us that sickness is a result of the fallen state of man. Jesus himself mentions that He will be flogged as part of the crucifixion and forgiveness of sins. (Matthew 20:19, Mark 10:3, Luke 18:33, John 19:1).

The word, ‘Rapha’, is used 67 times in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, the Greek word for physical healing is “therapeuo”. It is translated ‘heal’ 44 times.  That number does not include references for words such as ‘healing’, ‘healed’, ‘make whole’, etc. Obviously, healing is important to God. Matthew 4:23″Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.” In conjunction with teaching and preaching, Jesus healed as part of His ministry. Healing flowed out of Him because it is part of His nature.

 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. “ (Luke 4:18-19)

 

“Beloved, I pray that in every way you may succeed and prosper and be in good health [physically], just as [I know] your soul prospers [spiritually].” ( 3 John 1: 2, Amplified)

 

 

 

 

Resurrection Eggs for Adults # 5: Jesus Bled for our Shame

Resurrection Eggs for Adults # 5: Jesus Bled for our Shame

Guilt says : “I did something bad.” the feeling of “doing something wrong

shame pictures of girl
Shame says: I am bad

Shame says: “I am bad.” the feeling of “I am wrong.” Our whole sense of self has eroded. 

Do  you feel flawed or defective? Unworthy of love or belonging or relationships? Feel like an embarrassment? Feel like you are in a dark hole that you cannot escape from? Do you struggle with addictive behaviors such as alcohol, drugs, sex, food? What about feelings of anger or anxiety?

It seems to me that we struggle with guilt and shame more than anything. I admit that I did not have a full understanding of ‘shame’ before researching this Resurrection Egg.

We sin and then we feel guilty. We may ask for God’s forgiveness, but the shame of the sin still lingers. We feel like we can’t reach out to help others, teach others about the gospel of Christ, or “be used by God” because of the ‘shame’ and humiliation that we feel.  “We are unworthy of such honors,” we tell ourselves.

Especially in women we feel shame for feeling shame and the cycle continues. Men get angry for feeling shame and the angry shame cycle continues.

Shame is generational. It is passed from one generation to the next.

Shame is not productive It does not bring repentance or change in belief or behavior. Why?

Because shame is how we View ourselves

Remember the novel, the Scarlet Letter? We may feel that wherever we go we have a Letter A on us just like the girl in the novel, Scarlet Letter.  Shame seems to me to follow sexual sins and indiscretions the most. Hence why Nathaniel Hawthorne’s book the Scarlet Letter, reaches people on many different levels. Hester Prynne, is caught pregnant out of marriage, she is forced to move out of the village and live on her own. She also wears a scarlet letter ‘A’ on all her clothing. ( OK, I read this in high school, so it has been awhile).

shame-652499_960_720

Today, sexual sins and addictions are  rampant. We like to think that there is no consequences in our souls or how we see ourselves. Sex and addictions may be a temporary fix for the loneliness we feel.  A way to establish relationships and fill the dark hole of shame in our life. But then how do we feel about ourselves? The shame is temporary gone, but only to return once the high has gone. Then comes the feeling of defective and wanting to escape. This leads to facing what happened last night which leads to loss of control. When we are caught in sexual sins specifically, we feel like everyone knows or everyone is seeing us as ‘that girl’. Our life is not what we had planned. We wanted something different than our friends or family.  Eventually that letter ‘A’ is not just on outside clothing but has moved to our very core of our being. We are wearing it on our heart and soul. The ‘A’ becomes our identity and pervades our decisions.

Praise God Jesus bled for our Shame!

“I (Jesus) offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting. Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame. (Isaiah 50: 6-7, KJV) (Matthew 27:30)

Jesus bled from beard

Isaiah was prophesying regarding what Jesus would experience. In Matthew 27:30, Jesus was beaten in the face, mocked, spit upon. Jesus bled so that we are not controlled by the shame. He did not hide his face in shame so we don’t have to! We now longer feel unworthy or lack a sense of belonging. Jesus did not see us as unworthy. He loved us so much that He went through the beating. He bore the shame we may feel.  Jesus did not shun us. He accepts us and forgives us unconditionally. Jesus will be with us and help us and we will not be disgraced. We are not alone. We can trust Jesus and we will not be put to shame. Jesus is our identity!

Resurrection Egg #5

 

 

Resurrection Eggs for Adults #4: The Garden of Gethsemane

Resurrection Eggs for Adults #4: The Garden of Gethsemane

 I had a hard time finding a picture for this post. Most portray Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. He is calm, almost serene. Hands clasped, face lifted toward heaven. The glory of God is shining down upon Him. Well, I don’t know about you other moms out there but when I am desperately praying for myself or my family. I am just that –desperate. It is not pretty. It is down on my face before God with the tears flowing.

In Matthew 26:38 Jesus tells His disciples,

Jesus in garden with glory
Calm and Serene Jesus

“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.”

Matthew goes on to say that Jesus “fell on His face, and prayed” (Matthew 26:38).

Luke reports  “And being in agony, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground” (Luke 22:44)

Luke, the physician, would notice sweat like blood. You can ‘sweat blood’ when you are under extreme pressure. You actually break capillaries in your forehead due to the mental anguish and pain. In fact, the Greek word for agony used in this scripture is only used once in the Bible and this is it. This Greek word for agony, ‘agonia’, is a noun. It does not describe something. It is something. A thing  can be removed, a description can’t. It means a mental and emotional struggle. A wrestling. It was a wrestling that was so intense that God sent an angel to minister to Jesus. (Luke 22:43)

A Struggle for Victory

 Ok, this picture is getting there. I have been here. When you are mentally exhausted and fully given up. Complete obedience.  When we completely surrender. God can minister to us and heal our mind and heart.  Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane what Adam could not do in the Garden of Eden. He said ‘no’ to His flesh and said ‘yes’ to God.  We can now say ‘no’ to sin, bondage, and self seeking actions. Jesus pressed into His destiny rather than backing off. The Garden settled His mind for the road ahead.

Just like God met Jesus in the Garden, He meets us in our prayers and agony as well. God in His mercy will hear our cries and strengthen us for the road ahead. Praise God that Jesus shed his blood in the Garden that we may have Victory over our flesh, specifically our mental and emotional struggles.

 

jesus-in-the-garden
Less Serene, not on His face but there is agony. “Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matthew 26:39)

 Resurrection Egg #4

Resurrection Eggs for Adults #3 — The Great Exchange

Resurrection Eggs for Adults #3 — The Great Exchange

Resurrection Egg #3Remember that when there is a covenant items are exchanged, blood is shed and names are changed. With the New Covenant there was an exchange of items.

Clothing: Robe 

In John 19: 15 the Romans put the robe on Jesus and a crown on His head. He was brought before Pilate.

Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!– John 19:5 (KJV)

Pilate did not say Behold the King of the Jews or Behold the Son of God, but Behold the Man. Jesus was in his humanity clothed in the only clothing we could offer Him, robe and crown of thorns from the ground.

And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”–Philippians 2:8 (KJV)

In Exchange, Christ clothes us in His righteousness (Galatians 3:26-29). In Luke 24:49, Jesus tells us that He will clothe us with power from on high (Holy Spirit) and Ephesians 4:20-24 talks of putting off your old self and put on the new self, fashioned after God in true righteousness and holiness.

Clothing: the Crown

crown

Jesus also replaced the crown of thorns. 1 Corinthians 9:25 talks of those who complete the race will receive a crown that will last forever. 2 Timothy 4:8 talks of us receiving the crown of life that the Lord promises to those who love Him. 1 Peter 5:4 talks of the crown of glory that will never fade away.

Names are Changed

We now have the spirit of son ship. We can cry, “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15, NIV). But when the set time had fully come, God sent His son, born of a woman, under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to son ship. (Galatians 4:4-5, NIV). As a son God has made us an heir (Galatians 4:7-9)

 

SIGN ME UP!

Resurrection Eggs for Adults #2- Covenant

Resurrection Eggs for Adults #2- Covenant

Resurrection Egg # 2

We live in a world of contracts. Contracts are easily broken, amended, or rewritten to suit our fancy. God, however, is a God of covenants, not contracts. Covenants are binding. Covenants typically involve three things: The shedding of blood, an exchange of items between the parties, sometimes a change of name which signified a change in the relationship.The first thing God did after Adam and Eve sinned and by eating the fruit was to make a covenant or promise that He would bring a savior:

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15, KJV)

The word ‘bruise’ denotes a crushing or completely overwhelming. Jesus would completely crush Satan, Praise God. Bruising of Jesus’ heel is a foreshadowing of Jesus bleeding from His feet when nailed to the cross. There was blood shed and items exchanged. God killed the animals and clothed Adam and Eve. Also names were changed, Adam named the woman God had given him, Eve after Fall (Genesis 3:20). There are other covenants between God and man in the Old Testament, the covenant with Noah, Abraham and Moses. Overall, the Bible describes two main covenants, the Old Covenant, which was based on Moses’ laws and the New Covenant, which is based on Jesus Christ.

The Old Covenant

tabernacle Legos
Ok, this pic is for all you moms of boys! Don’t you just love it! Holy of Holies replica from Legos! Too cool.

Under the old covenant the priest went once a year into the Holy of Holies portion of the tabernacle and sprinkled blood on the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant. The priest did this once a year for atonement of sin. The blood came from a lamb that was spotless, and it was sprinkled seven times. It was a foreshadowing of the sacrifice of Jesus, who was spotless and bled in seven places for our redemption during the Passover week. The blood cover our sins but it did not pierce our hearts.

The New Covenant    

sacrificial_lamb-300x199

 

God wanted to establish a covenant that would be written on our hearts. It would be everlasting, forgive sins and would establish Him as our God and us as His people (Jeremiah 31:30-33) It would be a cleansing  from the inside out, not the outside in. It would cause change at the very core of our being. This would be a covenant that God would establish. It would be instigated by Him. We could not establish the covenant because of the sin. We could not approach God to establish a covenant. It would be a covenant for both Jews and Gentiles. Jesus would once and for all enter the Holy of Holies as the high priest did in the Old Covenant. However, it would not be with blood of goats or lambs, but His own blood. Christ became the negotiator and mediator of the this entirely new covenant agreement.

He went once for all into the Holy of Holies, not by virtue of the blood of goats and claves (by which to make reconciliation between God and Mn), but His own blood having found and secure a complete redemption ( an everlasting release for us).” ( Hebrews 9:12, Amplified)
How to Access this Covenant

There is only one way. We cannot save ourselves, we are not without blemish. We cannot ‘do good works’ in order to put ourselves in right standing with God. We cannot earn God’s approval and love by doing good, being good, and working hard. The only way to bridge the gap and access a covenant relationship with God is through Jesus Christ. Many times we look for the perfect husband, perfect boyfriend, perfect family, perfect parents, perfect kids, perfect job to define who we are and bring our salvation and peace. The only PERFECT savior is Jesus Christ.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9, NIV)

Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God“- Ephesians 5:2 (NIV)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[fn] The old has gone, the new is here!All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:17-19,NIV)

In due season…..Easter

In due season…..Easter

Easter images

Resurrection Eggs for Adults

I love Easter. To me it is the first hint of spring. Of new life, of a new promise. To me, Easter is not a celebration of bunnies and chocolate, but the celebration of the  resurrection of Jesus Christ. Knowing the end of the story it is easy to celebrate. Jesus is risen and the tomb is empty, our sins have been forgiven. Amen!  It is easy to forget the sacrifice that Jesus made, the shedding of His own blood for our sins. My husband reminded me that sacrifices in the Bible were pretty gruesome stuff. The Romans perfected crucifixion to be excruciatingly painful. In fact the word “excruciating” was a word originally used to describe the pain of crucifixion. I have been a Christian for long time, but studying the cross and Jesus’ sacrifice for us, opened my eyes again to the mercy and love God has for us. So I thought I would share some of what God has shown me about the cross. I am not a theologian, just a mother of three with a love for Jesus and His word. I am calling these thoughts:

resurrection eggs numbered

Resurrection Eggs for Adults.

(Resurrection eggs are plastic eggs filled with a symbol of the Passion Week. Each day your child can open them and read a scripture and learn about events leading up to the Resurrection of Christ).

My prayer is that you enjoy these posts, but mostly you will grow in deeper understanding of Jesus for the blood of Jesus is one of spiritual weapons along with the name of Jesus, and the Word of God. It is our firm foundation that everything else rests.

Resurrection Egg #1 (1)

When we think of the cross, what do we think about? Blood, cross, Jesus, sins, love??? Probably all of the above and more. The cross is pivotal in many ways. Historically it divided time, BC and AD. Spiritually it unites us with God. Ultimately it is a picture of unconditional love. To understand the cross, you need to understand Covenant and the importance of the blood.

“For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that make an atonement for the soul” Leviticus 17:11.

Life is in blood. In our bodies the blood supplies nutrients, removes impurities. It cleanses. The sin that came with Adam is passed down with the blood. God had given Adam a choice and he chose to give it to Satan Genesis 3:15 but God said that He would send someone to bruise his heel or to bruise his authority. Jesus is that sacrifice. He took the authority so we could have victory not just in heaven but here on earth. He overcame the devil (Revelations 12:11).

 “We have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”– Ephesians 1:17

 “We are redeemed with the precious blood of Christ.”–1 Peter 1:19