Prayer for Perseverance

Misty garden

I will not crumble beneath this. Strength, Everlasting One.  Strength.  Resolve.  Peace of mind.  You say you’re growing in me “long suffering”.  Perhaps you’ve been growing that seed in me even longer than I thought. Since I was a child.  Preparing me.  Equipping me.  Reinforcing me like a solemn temple.  A stronghold.  A place of refuge.  A mighty tower.  A guarded wall with garnished gate.

And now you are bringing me forward.  Not into the rich and fruitful land I’d hoped for, but deeper into desert, further into exile.  But I will remember.  I will not forget.  Your word, your promises, the works of your mighty outstretched arm are imprinted on my heart.  Bound between my eyes and on my arms, etched into my doorframe where your blood once left its stain.  I will remember.  I will not forget.

You will be who you will be, oh Everlasting One.  I will cling to you as the dew clings to the leaf of the vine on a misty garden morning.  I exist within the LIVING the presence of the One who made me.  The One who called me out.  Who beckons me home.

I will not slip from your grasp, oh Eternal Vine.  You give me life.  You are the inextinguishable Light on this dusty path I tread.  You are mine and I am yours.  I will remember.  I will cleave to you; never let go.  I will not forget.

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Sticky as Peanut Butter….! I’m One Of God’s Chosen?

The Lord (Adonai) Of Your Healing

“Are the Jews Still God’s Chosen People?”  A few days ago, I stumbled upon a blog attempting to approach this sticky subject, where one blogger questioned: “How can the Jews be God’s chosen people if they don’t believe in Jesus?”

Firstly, they absolutely are and will always be his chosen.  But the amazing thing is, we ALL are! Jew or not! 🙂

It’s important to clarify that God’s chosen people are not only the “Jews.”  This is a common misconception within the Christian Church (and is completely non-scriptural).  Those who we typically refer to as Jews today are descendants of the tribes of Benjamin and Judah (JEW-dah…hence the term Jew).  However, these two groups comprise only two of the twelve tribes which make up God’s “chosen people.”  Most of the Jews living in Jerusalem (and throughout the world who recognize themselves as Jewish) are descended from these two tribes. However, the Holy Bible makes it clear that God’s chosen people are:

1. All people descended from all twelve tribes of Israel (most of those who are descended from the lost 10 tribes have forgotten or are oblivious to their heritage).  The Holy Bible tells us that these tribes were scattered, thousands of years ago, throughout the earth and became a “multitude of nations” (Hosea 1:9-11, Hosea 2:23).  Over the centuries these people adapted themselves to the cultures which they became a part of and forgot their ancestory.

2.  All people who may have no Israelite blood but have chosen to accept their adoption into God’s family and have hence become Israelites according to the Holy Bible.  In other words, those of us as believers in Christ and acceptants of sanctification and redemption through his blood are now under God’s promise and are inheritants of God’s eternal covenant with those who love him.  There are a wealth of scriptures that speak on our citizenship as Israel, including Ephesians 2:11-21, Exodus 12:48, Numbers 15:14-16.

These two distinct groups mentioned above make up God’s “chosen people.” For further clarification, a great resource can be found at http://jewsandjoes.com/the-10-lost-tribes-of-israe… – along with fantastic scripture references.

Ephesians 2:11-13 & 19-20 states: “Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth…remember that…you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.  But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ…Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief Cornerstone.”

Now, on to the question Mr. Blogger posed.  Or, more appropriately, if the scattered people of God throughout the world are God’s chosen people, why do some still not believe in Jesus?

The LORD God has made it abundantly clear througout the scriptures (specifically the Tanakh – old testament books) that he is strategically allowing the hearts of many (both Israelites and Gentiles) to remain hardened toward him.  He has allowed eyes to remain veiled, and ears to remain deaf to his message, for the current time.  In this same way Yahweh caused and allowed Pharaoh’s heart to remain hardened in Egypt even while plague after plagued ravaged the once fertile country (Exodus 11:9). But our gracious and just Father in Heaven does nothing by accident.  It is important to remember that God’s understanding is greater than ours and his ways are not our ways (Isaiah 40:13-14 & Isaiah 55:8-11).  But now we have received the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2)!  God has been gracious enough to reveal a glimpse of his truths to us, his children, when we seek Truth.  Through scripture, we can come to better understand God’s nature, his perfect timing and his just motives.  Father God has allowed some his chosen people to remain far from him for two reasons:

A.  To reveal his majesty, works and wonders in the earth.  To make himself known.  Unfortunately, these works Father are oftentimes revealed through disasterous events (Matthew 18:7).  As human beings this is a hard pill to swallow, as our human minds don’t have the capability to fully grasp and understand God’s ways.  But God’s purposes always prevail (the hard part is waiting on him – on his timing which can be painfully slow from an earthly perspective).  In the long term however, through these monumental and often tragic events God causes the hearts of those who hated him, who were utterly against him, to begin to see – and SEEK him.  Through great power and might, the LORD causes such peoples’ eyes to be opened to the fact that there is only ONE God in the heavens and the earth.  A God who loves each of his children with a love that cannot be measured. A God who is protective of his own, who always delivers on his promises, and who will go to any length to gather us back to him.  He is our great, mighty, powerful, longsuffering and ever-loving celestial Father.

B. Our almighty and longsuffering Father God (Adonai Elohim) has graciously allowed the eyes of his “chosen ones” to remain closed to his Truths for a moment in history (Paul speaks about this in great detail in the book of Romans), so as to allow more time – that more hearts and minds may be awakened to his goodness and love for them, that more eyes may be opened to his Promise, and that more of his children might be gathered to him.  This heart of the Father shows just how truly forgiving, longsuffering and ever-loving our Adonai is.  That he would allow our hearts time to turn back to him.  That he would continue to offer second and third chances.  That he would continue to delay the day of his final coming, patiently waiting to gather in all those who will choose to love and serve him.  Because he would want that not ONE would be lost! Hallelujah!! Smile  (Matthew 18:12-14, John 6:39-40, John 10:28)

2 Peter 3:9 states: “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.  He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

We are indeed overwhelmingly blessed to be part of the green Olive Tree of Israel.  To be grafted into the everlasting royal commonwealth; into the kingdom of the Almighty God (Ha Shem)! It humbles me to consider it! Smile The LORD over all the multiverse loves you.  And me.  With an unwavering love and with unquenching fire.  And he has spent eternity in search of us, that we might come back to him.  Back into the arms of the Father who loves us with a love that would move mountains for us; and offers us a peace that the world cannot give.  All glory, honor and praise to Adonai Elohim!

Why Does God Not Intervene?

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I was listening to a Tim Keller talk this morning, and one of his listeners asked a pressing question. It’s a question I think has probably crossed the mind of every person, non-believer, seeker and believer alike, in his or her examination of why God (if he is loving and does indeed exist) allows evil and suffering to persist. “Why didn’t he just come down and stop the Holocaust?” the listener asked. If God does exist, and is both intensely loving and overwhelmingly potent, then, in the daily disastrous events that take place all over the globe, “why doesn’t he intervene?”Image

When I picked up my bible today and began to read the book of Daniel, a compelling thought emerged from the shadows and took its place in the forefront of my mind. Who’s to say that he DOESN’T? Who’s to say that he HASN’T?

Can it even be stated with certainty that, in our current age of chaos and disarray, the Almighty does not intervene – has not kept potentially catastrotphic events from small to large scale from actually occurring? And in stating that he hasn’t, isn’t that a prime example of quite an exclusive claim – that you have access to some sort fuller knowledge of the way the universe works than other people do?

We human beings simply do not have the bird’s-eye view necessary to look at and examine history, time and events and assess them with knowledge of such a level. What we DO have, however, are recounts in the bible of historical events and occurrences – potentially disastrous events in which God DID intervene. Two examples of this divine intervention are retold in the book of Daniel.

This should be our proof – as believers – that not only is our Master capable and sovereign enough to intervene, but he DOES intervene. He DOES have a hand in the events of our lives, even if we may not have visible proof, and only faith-based proof in retrospect.

We will only ever know and understand the particulars of these divine interventions, however, billions of years from now in a place of eternal existence with him, when we will have full and unlimited access to the knowledge and understanding of the I AM.

The Almighty and Sovreign LORD is also our Maker and King, Lover of Souls; Mender of Broken Hearts. He cares deeply for those he has created – those whom he has beckoned back to himself – whom he calls “Beloved.”

Love in Christ.

Sarah