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

 

Advertisements
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

 

 

Gazebo Gallery:

Describe your Battle Won!

25 Reasons to Praise Jesus in the Midst of a Battle

25 Reasons to Praise Jesus in the Midst of a Battle

25 Reasons to Praise Jesus

In the midst of a struggle or difficulty, we discover not only who we are, but who Jesus is. It is in these times; times of not just praying, but praying through, that I have discovered that victories are not a result of myself or what I did. Victories are a result of who Jesus is and what He has done.

It was during one of these times that I put together a list of scriptures that reminded me of the promises of Jesus.  I took these scriptures and took ownership of them. How does one do that, take ownership? By inserting your name, your husband’s name, your child’s name into them and making the scripture your prayer. For example 2 Thessalonians 3: 3 became:  “The Lord is faithful , He will establish (insert name) and guard you (insert name)from the evil one.”

God spoke to my heart that I needed to start praising Jesus in the midst of the battle.

The battle is not against flesh and blood but against principalities. We have no weapons except those given to us by God which are—the blood of Jesus Christ, the Word of God, the Holy Spirit and the angles of the Lord. Not only is the battle the Lord’s but the weapons are the Lord’s also.

As we put on the full armor of God, personalize the word of God .

Praise Jesus Because:

  1. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE—From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise, because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. (Praise is used for warfare—silences our foes)
    Psalm 8
  2. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE —Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in him. Proverbs 30:5
  3. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE–God is our refuge and strength; a very present help in trouble Psalm 46:1
  4. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE – as we Trust in the Lord with all our heart and lean not on your own understanding and in all our ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct our paths. Proverbs 3:5-6a
  5. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE— The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord and He delights in his way. Though he fall he shall not utterly be cast down; for the Lord upholds him with his right hand. Psalm 37:23-24
  6. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE —As for God His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. Psalm 18:30.
  7. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE— The eternal God is OUR refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. He will thrust out the enemy from before you and will say, “Destroy!” Deuteronomy 33:27
  8. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE— those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
  9. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE— As we come boldly to the throne of grace; that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16
  10. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE— sin shall not have dominion over us, for we are not under law but under grace. Romans 6:14
  11. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE–(He) forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies. Psalm 103:1-4
  12. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE— The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him and delivers them. Psalm 34:7
  13. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE— the Lord is faithful , who  will establish and guard you from the evil one. 2 Thessalonians 3:3
  14. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE—(as we) Therefore submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you.  James 4:7
  15. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE–He gives power to the weak and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall. But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.  Isaiah 40:29-31
  16. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE— God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
  17. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE –In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:6
  18. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE  — (we can) Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippines 4:6-7
  19. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE–He will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You  because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3
  20. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE—  He will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist. Luke 21:15
  21. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE—We are confident of this very thing, that He who has begun an good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. Philippines 1:6
  22. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE— He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
  23. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE—He will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Psalm 32:8
  24. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE–sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.  Romans 6:14
  25. PRAISE JESUS BECAUSE— If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  1 John 1:9

So what are some of your favorite reasons to praise Jesus in the midst of a battle? Battle Won!

Be Strong in the Lord

Be Strong in the Lord

 

11924284_10154222851043747_407219350487653199_n
Be Strong in the Lord

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.” Ephesians 6:10

Have you ever played paintball? With teenage boys, it is inevitable. My son had a paintball birthday party. The place advertised, “Mom’s Play Free”, which translates “Mom’s put a target on your chest, You are Going Down!”  Moms watch out, the kids will form ‘unholy alliances’ against the mom. Why? Because  boys know what you might not know. Paintball is as much about the relationships, or alliances, as about the battle.

What kind of alliances do you have?

Relationships and spiritual battles are connected.  Have you ever noticed that the scriptures in Ephesians 6 which talk about the Armor of God and waging battle follow instructions regarding relationships? (Ephesians 6:1-9) . Relationships cause friction but our battle is not with the person.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Ephesians 6:10

“Strong” in Ephesians 6:10 is used three times:

  • Strong-v. “endynamoo” which means to be enabled, to receive strength It means that our strength is not from us, but from the God who made the heavens and the earth. The God who made us, who knows us better than anyone will empower, strengthen, enable us for the battle. He is the Commander in Chief of the battle and not us. Praise God!
  • Strength– n. “kratos” which means ‘mighty deed’, and ‘a work of power’. The word comes from vigor. Not only is God giving us the strength and invigorating us for the battle, but His deeds are powerful to accomplish all that He wants us to.
  • Might-n. “ischys” which means ‘ability’, ‘force’, ‘strength’. We may not have the ability, but God does.

The word ‘in’ can also be translated ‘with’. It is a preposition. Remember your grammar, a preposition links two things together.  We are to be linked or interwoven with God’s power, strength, mighty deeds, ability, force to have the healthy relationships that God intended. When we are in an alliance with God then we can  withstand and overcome the battles.

Gazebo Gallery
Gazebo Gallery

Gazebo Gallery:

Was there a time when God gave you the ability to see the true battle in a relationship? With God’s wisdom, and power, how was the situation turned around?