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)

 

 

 

 

Advertisements
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

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!

Radio man

Radio man

“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6:13

With a house full of testosterone, I have learned to appreciate a good war movie every now and then. They remind me that you can have courage under fire and strength when you need it.  (FYI…..Although my husband tries to convince me that Braveheart is a love story, I am still not convinced). Recently, I was watching this movie where the combat team is highly specialized and they are on a secret covert mission during WWII. The introduction goes through each man and gives their name, rank, expertise i.e. John, Lt, sniper; Frank, Col, leader; Bill,Lt, knife expert; Joe, night vision; Sam,demolitions, etc. All have been on multiple missions and all have been highly decorated for success and bravery under fire.

Then we get to the last one, Bill, RADIO MAN.

Experience— none.

Military— only 6 mos.

Reason for being chosen— other guy got sick.

Location when picked— in chair at the radio on the plane.

Reason chosen— no time to pick someone else.

Do you ever feel like ‘RADIO MAN’ or woman ?

I ask God some times, “Why am I here, Now. Not exactly what I had planned, God.” I think that maybe Radio Man thought, ” yeah, in the military talking on the phone, should be easy.” He asked the lead commander what the mission was and was told “need to know” (standard military response for –just obey orders peon).Ok, now Radio Man is on a mission he wasn’t trained for or briefed on and he is getting shot at. Radio man just about gets sick right there. But the good news is, he is THE RADIO man. Which means maximum protection!

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you. Deut. 21:6

063In God’s army, we are like THE RADIO man. We have maximum protection. We may be in a battle and not know why or how, but God always has His plan and reason. The battle will bring out fruit in our lives that can only come out under fire. This is the time where our relationship with God flourishes. It is the time where Jesus shines forth in all His glory. The battle is not ours, but His. The victory is in His hands.

We don’t need to know the mission, it will be revealed to us when the time is right. In the mean time, press into the relationship with Jesus, learn to hear His voice and His voice alone. Allow Jesus to do His perfect work in our hearts.This is a time for prayer coupled with action. Let your heart stay soft and sensitive to the voice of God. Look for the miracles amongst the battle.

Praise Jesus and ‘thanks to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’  1 Cor 15:57.

In case you are wondering, What happened to Radio Man? Well, the original mission failed and had to be changed in mid battle. As it turned out, they had to sabotage a submarine minefield that was controlled by radio signals. Guess what, only Radio Man knew that equipment. The original man chosen would not have been able to do it. As a result, the American fleet made it through. When the battle is over we will be able to look back and see that it is no mistake that we were where we were. Jesus sees the big picture when we don’t.

(FYI– the movie is Ambush Bay by United Artists, 1966)

Gazebo Gallery
Gazebo Gallery

Gazebo Gallery:

When did you feel like ‘Radio man’ or ‘Radio woman’ and how did you receive ‘maximum protection from God’?