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

 

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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

Are you playing or battling?

Are you playing or battling?

Are you playing or battling?

david-and-nathan-2

When you have boys you become accustomed to a certain amount of noise. As a mom of boys you develop the ‘mommy spider sense’ of when to intervene with the noise. It is when the conversational tone changes just slightly, or when the pounding on the floor becomes just a hair louder, or the worst yet…. when every thing gets quiet. This mommy spider sense  develops after numerous trips upstairs responding to what sounds like the ceiling falling in only to discover that they are “wrestling”. They would see me and shake it off and burst out laughing. I asked my youngest son the other day how he was getting along with his older brother. His response was, “The normal mom, nothing to worry about, we have a certain degree of struggle being brothers.” OK, so with brothers there may be a certain amount of struggle or wrestling but after years of accidentally elbowing the other of punching just a little too hard, each has learned where to draw the line with the other. It is like they haven’t completely bonded until there is an arm punch or light air karate kick or something.  Unfortunately, this is not the case with most things we wrestle or struggle with.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers (principalities), against the powers, against the world forces (rulers) of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places”. Ephesians 6:12

With my boys, they have learned to read the other and recognize when it is ‘just play’ and when it is serious. Unfortunately, many of us as Christians have not learned how to recognize play with battle. What we see as playing many times is a battle. Unfortunately, we don’t recognize that we are in a battle it until we are seriously wounded. Satan doesn’t draw a line with us. His objectives are to kill, steal, and destroy. He doesn’t play.

The Bible says in Ephesians 6:12 that we wrestle or struggle with four things, principalities, powers, rulers of darkness of this world, and spiritual forces of this world.

Principalities (arche, n.)

Principalities are the leaders. When a  ranking order, they are the chiefs. The Greek word for principality refers that these are what causes an issue to have life.

Powers (exousia,n.)

Powers refers to the power of authority, judicial power, the power of a government to rule over someone.

Rulers (kosmokrator,n)

Rulers of the age refers to devils and demons that exist during this time in history or age. The Greek word here is a noun and it is only used once in the New Testament. These are specific rulers. Darkness refers to those in spiritual darkness, ignorant of divine things. If you are blinded to the spiritual battle then the world forces can rule over you. Other references for spiritual darkness is Luke 1:79, John 3:19, Acts 26:18.

Spiritual Forces of wickedness (poneria,n.)

The word for spiritual is not found in the four gospels or in the Old Testament. It is post pentecost word.  It is connotes an idea of invisibility and power. In Ephesians 6:12 it refers to angelic hosts who are lower than God but higher than man. These are beings in charge of ‘wickedness’ . They are in charge of depravity, malice, evil purposes, evil plots.

After studying all this, I am thinking, ok what chance do I have regarding this battle. These are serious opponents. I think Paul knew we would feel that way because he ‘sandwiched’ this scripture between telling us to Put on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:11) and to Take up the armor of God (Ephesians 6:13). Put on mean to be enveloped, clothed completely like sinking into a soft cushy blanket that completely wraps us. Take up means to pick up with the purpose of using it. We are to be completely covered with the spiritual armor that we need for the battle. This is not play so don’t just rest in the armor, take it up and use it for what it was created for… Battle.

 

 

Football Update: Get Into the Game

Football Update: Get Into the Game

fantasy-football

Family Fantasy Football Update

When I first started this Family Fantasy Football with my boys and family from coast to coast, I had no idea the ups and downs that would follow. It sounds easy. I mean you pick your players each week and then points are collected as they play. Hopefully I will have more points than my boys, I mean I am the mom right. I gave birth to them (moms always pull the birth card when we are behind!). Well, no one told me about injuries and how that affects the Fantasy points. Did you know that one injured toe cost me over 20 Fantasy Points? Who would have thought a toe would be such a big deal? I mean it is just a toe right?

It may have been just a toe but it not only affected the player who had to be benched until he heals, but it affected the team as well. The quarterback had to rely on two other players to cover the one injured. These players were good but did not have the same timing with the quarterback. The timing that came from weeks of practice until you instinctively know that the player is there to catch the ball and complete the play.

“But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.” 1 Corinthians 12:18 (NIV)

God has placed us on a team and has given us a position. He knows our gifts and talents and abilities, because He put them there. As we study God’s word, He works with us to develop those talents and abilities so that when the game is played we are ready.

Our human tendency is to not see the significance of ourselves or our lives. We may become frustrated in the growth process and in the training process. We may think if “I don’t play, it will not matter”. We may become injured physically or emotionally either through neglect or laziness or through no fault of our own. Or we may think, “I am one of many so it will not matter if I don’t serve this one time”. We may think it will not matter if I stand down this one time. We forget that we are part of a team and when one goes missing it affects the whole team. God still has His plan.

“On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable”  1 Corinthians 12:22 (NIV).

Although a toe seems insignificant, in the Bible it represents our feet walking in the path of God’s word. In the Old Testament the priest’s toe was sprinkled with blood as a symbol of consecration to God’s path in life. In the New Testament, Paul, in discussing the armor of God, reminds us to have our feet shod with the “preparation of the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15, KJV). In Romans, we are reminded that the feet of him who preach the gospel of peace and bring glad tidings of good things are beautiful (Romans 10:15, KJV). There numerous Biblical references to the washing of our feet, symbolizing washing off the dust and grime of the world. Without a big toe, our gait is off, running is affected, and ability to stand our ground is hindered. Staying in the word of God will keep our feet protected with the gospel of peace, keeping us in the game.

I gain understanding through your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:104-105, NIV).

 

 

 

 

Dressed for Battle…. Now what?

Dressed for Battle…. Now what?

“…..with all prayer and supplication praying at all seasons in the Spirit, and watching thereunto in all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.” Ephesians 6:18

Ever hear of the term ‘marching orders’. I grew up in a military town. As a child I would hear my friends talk about their dads or brothers, ‘receiving their orders’. In the military, you are trained and equipped for battle. When that battle occurs, you don’t know. But you are to be ready in season and out. Many times those orders occurred in the middle of the night or on the weekend, or a holiday. Battles are not convenient. Battles are messy. Battles are ugly. Battles are dirty. The battle that God equips us for is a battle for the life and heart of people. It means answering the phone call at 2 am from the woman that gets on your nerves, but who is struggling in her marriage.  It means rearranging your schedule to hold the hand of a sick friend in the hospital as she receives the results of tests that could change her life. It means looking at sin in all its ugliness when every part of you wants to look away.

What are our marching orders? What are we called to do?

What?  “pray and supplication…

Prayer and supplications are requests made to God from deep inside our hearts and soul.  From a childlike confidence, we know that regardless of what we see or people tell us, God can accomplish the impossible.

Are you praying for what looks like the impossible in your self? Your family? Your fellow Christians at church?

When?In all seasons…”

I noticed right away that God didn’t say, “later this afternoon if you get a minute or if you think about it, can you pray for so and so.” No! this is a fixed and definite period of time, a season. There is a reason God has called you to be a such a place and time. He sees the whole battlefield. We are to act Now!

Are you praying now for yourself? Your family? Your fellow Christians at church? Or are you putting off until tomorrow?

How?….in the Spirit, and watching thereunto in all perseverance…”

First we are to pray in the Spirit. The Holy Spirit  gives us the words to pray, and reminds of the Word of God that is sharper than a two edged sword. Remember, the Holy Spirit wields the sword to make our aim true.

Are you yielding to the Holy Spirit regarding your self? Your family? Your fellow Christians in your church?

Second, we are to be watching. Watching means to be on the alert. Ever hear soldiers talk of ‘taking the first watch’. The one on watch stays awake when others sleep. They are alert to the slightest movement, sound, smell, anything that is a change. While others sleep, they are vigilant.

Are you being vigilant regarding yourself? Your family? Your fellow Christians in your church?

Third, we are to be on alert with perseverance. The word for perseverance, ” proskarterēsis“, is a noun. This is the only time this word is used in scripture. The dictionary defines perseverance as “steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, or state; especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles or discouragement.” It implies an unyielding holding on in following a course of action.

It has been said that endurance and perseverance combine to win in the end.When a battle is raging on, the soldier who has perseverance is what you want. By his very nature, he remains steady despite what he sees or has to overcome. He is the one who sees the mountain not as an obstacle, but as an opportunity for God to overcome and be glorified. The one with perseverance is still putting one foot in front of the other while knee deep in mud while the storm is raging. Remember battle is messy.

Are you persevering with areas of your self? Your family? Your fellow Christians at your church?

By putting on the Armor of God, we have the equipment needed to win the battle. Now we need to embrace the heart or quality of perseverance to stay the course with our fellow believers. We are called to come alongside with prayer and support, holding fast not to what the world says, but what the Word of God says.

photo from www.freepik.com
photo from http://www.freepik.com

 

 

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Describe your Battle Won!

Sword of the Spirit

Sword of the Spirit

…….and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:17.

Wayne_David battle

OK, having boys I have seen every superhero move there is. You know when boys put on the superhero costume they become the hero, complete with the moves. Boys enter the room with swords stealthily poised or moving in every direction at lightening speed.They don’t hit anything, but they look good doing it. Their intent is right. They are protecting the damsel, the mom, from the enemy at the door or around the corner.

Do you look good but hit nothing? Are you toiling all night and catching nothing or are you speaking the Word of God.   …”nevertheless at thy word, I will let down the net.” Luke 5:5.

The word is the spoken word. It was first mentioned in Matthew 12:36, when Jesus tells Satan that man “does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” It is the same word that Peter mentions here.

Sometimes I am as Peter, toiling away without results. Sometimes I am like my little men, dressed and wielding my sword everywhere and hitting nothing.The battle rages on. Why?  Could it be that I am not relying on Jesus and the Holy Spirit to do the wielding? The Holy Spirit not only knows where and who the enemy is, but also what weapon to use. It is when I allow the Holy Spirit to wield my sword that things happen. Suddenly we remember to pray for someone, Now! Suddenly we are reminded of a scripture that gives us the strength and joy that we need, Now!  Is it us? No, it’s the Holy Spirit doing the wielding.

There are stories of soldiers gripping their swords so long and tight that they could not let go. There have been times I have felt like that soldier. When all I had left was the Word of God. Praise God!  the Holy Spirit was there to tell me where to wield my sword.

photo from www.freepik.com
photo from http://www.freepik.com

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What is your story when you gripped your sword and could not let go? 

Helmet of Salvation

Helmet of Salvation

“And take the helmet of salvation. ..” Ephesians 6:17

As women we wear many hats. For me, I have a wife hat, a mom hat, my pastor wife hat, my nurse hat. Somewhere under all those hats is who I am. We are reminded that we are to first put on the helmet of salvation.  It is so easy to get up and immediately be drawn to another hat. The children are crying to be fed. Your husband is wanting to spend the last few minutes before facing the world in loving arms. Your to do list is scrolling through your head like a ticker tape.

As a Christian, under all our hats, we are first and foremost a child of God.

Female soldier

The word salvation used in Ephesians, “soterios“, describes salvation that can only come from Jesus Christ. We cannot save ourselves. We cannot live in righteousness with out “the grace of God which brings salvation” (Titus 2:11). All our hats must be filtered through our relationship with Jesus Christ. It is through this relationship that our mind is renewed. We are not to reject or steal salvation, but instead take ownership of the salvation that Jesus freely offers us. The battle begins in the mind with thoughts that lead to action.

It is time to stop and renew your mind.

Thank you Lord for your saving grace. Thank you Lord that the very love I have for my children and husband is love that You have placed in my heart. Draw me to that strong helmet of salvation that protects my mind and thoughts. Align my thoughts with the word of God. Filter my to do list through your saving grace.” Amen

What hat are you wearing?                                                                                                             

Shield of Faith

Shield of Faith

In addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”Ephesians 6:16

Did your mom ever tell you, “Where do you think you live? In a barn? Close the door.” Maybe it is a southern thing. With boys, we are always telling them to close the door as they go dashing from entrance and out the next. Ok, I admit I have been known to open the backdoor to let the wonderful  breeze in and the air conditioning may be on! Doors are made to keep things out like bugs, cold air, bad guys. They also keep things in, like children and air conditioning. Some of you may want to keep your children out! What mother hasn’t cherished the few minutes you had of peace and quiet before they were banging on the bathroom door!

Our shield of faith is like a door, it keeps bad things out and protects the good things, like our entire self.

This scripture is the only time this word for shield is used, ‘thyreos’. Paul wanted us to know that the shield of faith was a specific type of shield. It is no wimpy shield. It is square and oblong, door shaped covering our entire self. It is the conviction that Jesus is the Messiah, the son of God. It involves trust. Soldiers trusted that the shield would keep out the fiery missiles thrown at them. As we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ and His word, we can trust that the evil, malicious, and wicked fiery darts will be extinguished. No weapon formed against us will prosper.(Isaiah 54:17)

Gazebo Gallery
Gazebo Gallery

Gazebo Gallery:

Are you opening your door to maliciousness and evil that causes pain and trouble?
The Perfect Shoe

The Perfect Shoe

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” Ephesians 6:15

Every girl loves a good pair of shoes. It is more than the shoe, it is how we feel when we put them on. The glass slipper and you become the princess, the sandal and you feel carefree, the running shoe and you become determined to win. These are concepts men will never understand. This is why we will go to several stores trying on every shoe until we find the right one. How do we know we have found it? Because it feels right. Not just putting it on feels right, but walking and standing feels right, from every angle. When you find the right shoe, you know that this shoe will carry you through whatever the day or night has planned. It will not let you down. It will sustain you whether sitting, standing, dancing, walking or running. Whatever happens, you are ready!

What shoes are you wearing today?

When we put on our own shoes, they may look good for a while, but at the end of a long day of running around with the cares of this world, they are pinching our toes and we can barely walk! We cannot make peace in our heart, situations, or relationships using our own theology. True peace comes from the assurance of your salvation through Jesus Christ. It is the tranquility, contentment, security, of knowing Jesus Christ, the son of God, and the salvation that comes from His shed blood on the cross, that enables us to handle any terrain. When we put His shoes of peace that comes from salvation, Jesus becomes able to guide our feet. We don’t have to worry about tomorrow; where to go, what to do. Whatever happens you are ready. The gospel of peace will protect and carry you through whatever the day or night has planned.

Gazebo Gallery
Gazebo Gallery

Gazebo Gallery:

Are you putting on the shoes of the gospel of peace or are you still shopping around?

(photo by http://www.christianphotos.net and http://www.freepik.com)

Stand therefore…

Stand therefore…

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;” Ephesians 6:14

Ever watch a tennis match? My son plays tennis. We enrolled both our boys in tennis lessons when they were little tikes and could barely hold a racket. Every coach they ever had talks about the importance of the stance. What is the stance? It is how you hold the racket and how you stand when you are waiting for the ball. The player stands with feet apart, both hands on the racquet (so can hit forehand or backhand as needed), and eyes on the opponent. In other words, your head is in the game. Why is this important? Because the milliseconds it takes for you to get into position to hit the ball square with the racquet could mean you slicing the ball, missing the ball completely, or even being hit by the ball. Ouch!!

Just like a tennis match, we are to ‘stand’. The word stand, ‘histemi‘, is a verb meaning to stand ready or prepared, stand with a steadfast mind, stand as one who does not hesitate, stand as one who does not waiver.

What does your stance look like?

Are you girded about with the truth of God’s word? Do you have on the breastplate of righteousness? To a soldier, a breastplate protects your vital organs, the heart and lungs and major arteries. Without the breastplate a blow can be fatal.

Righteousness means to be in right standing with God. It is the state in which we ought to be. It involves integrity, purity of life, virtue, correctness of thinking, feeling and acting. Notice how much of this definition involves the heart.

For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become [endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness]”. 2 Corinthians 5:21

Gazebo Gallery
Gazebo Gallery

Gazebo Gallery:

What does your breastplate look like? Is it the breastplate of righteousness?

(photo selected: by FreePik/Dan Mirica <a href=”http://www.freepik.com”>Selected by freepik</a>)