Jesus Christ is Lord of All

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Shelter, Refuge, Streams, and Shadow Man Who Unifies

1 See, a king will reign in righteousness 
   and rulers will rule with justice. 
2 Each man will be like a shelter from the wind 
   and a refuge from the storm, 
like streams of water in the desert 
   and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land.Is 32

Theme Song: Behold our God 

Dear Father,
     I praise You that there is a message regarding our relationship with fellow believers in these verses. You in us and we in You...we are able to portray Christ in us to each other and so be strengthened and encouraged to find you in our Spiritual family. Help me to abide in Your Words and not stray from Them.
In Jesus Christ,

     There is a marvelous blessing that the Father has bestowed to His children: He has given us one another. This blessing is tasted as we find in each other, Jesus Christ: the Hope of Glory. 

Surely the King of Righteousness reigns among the hearts of His beloved and He is to them a Shelter, Refuge. Stream, and Shadow.

He is our Shelter

      He is a Shelter from the heat of the day: the "fiery darts of the evil one", the "breath of the ruthless which is as a storm driving against the wall", from the "wind and the waves", and from the "pestilence that stalks in the darkness". Surely the Name of the Lord is a strong Tower to which the righteous may run and be saved.

5 Then the LORD will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over all the glory will be a canopy. 6 It will be a shelter and shade from the heat of the day, and a refuge and hiding place from the storm and rain.Is 4:6

He is our Refuge

     His place of Refuge is found in the Eternal Arms which are our strength each morning. Surely when the toils and sorrows of the morning darkness fall upon us, His arm of salvation is extended in love that we may cling to It and ever be renewed and strengthened as He feeds us with His daily Bread. We are as the fugitive scape goat traveling far outside the city of this world and rather suffering with Christ outside the camp, bearing the disgrace that He bore. He is our refuge, yes, even then, He is our place of peace and safety. No enemy can come near the beloved for they are ever hidden in Him

The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. He will drive out your enemy before you, saying, ‘Destroy him!’Deut 33:27

He is our "Streams of Water"

     He is to us Streams of Living Water from which we may drink and never thirst again. He brings streams out of the dessert ground and gives life to our soul even as our mortal bodies falter and fail. There is no true Fountain apart from Him and in Him may all our fountains be. "There is a river whose streams make glad the City of God, the Holy Place where the Most High dwells". His streams come to us in the dessert as we are parched and know no other flowing source but Him. These streams are as glorious comfort flowing from the throne, as a rushing river which dissolves whatever hardness remains in us, and as filling of the Spirit which results in the bearing of His good fruit.

37 On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as[c] the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. John 7

He is our Shadow

     He hides us from the fowler's snare and from the heat of the evil outcry rising from the earth. He hides us under the "shadow of His wings" and in the "cleft of the  Rock". He puts His Words in our mouths and brings us to the place of abundance. When in the midst of fires, His Hand lies over us that He may be our Shadow. Even as we walk in His light, the shadow that we reflect is Christ and brings glory to the risen One rather than to any earthly being. We reflect Christ as we abide in His shadow and are not burned through the refining fires that He places in our path. 

16 I have put my words in your mouth 
   and covered you with the shadow of my hand— 
I who set the heavens in place, 
   who laid the foundations of the earth, 
   and who say to Zion, ‘You are my people.’”Is 51

      There are so many times, dear family, when we have grieved the Spirit by whom we are sealed for the Day of Redemption. We have grieved Him by refusing to be led by His gentle whisper, but rather "fled on horses" each in our own direction. The conscious abiding in Christ is a way of life, humble and narrow, that we rarely find ourselves in. It is not even an isolated life-changing event, but rather a life-changing event that changes our perspective towards every task laid before us, large or menial. His filling changes our perspectives towards each soul whom we encounter. We no longer only regard their mortal body and mind, but we regard their souls, lost or found, and His filling should give us a love and compassion. The humility that His Spirit brings to us will shield us from the offenses of the world, great or minor. No longer do we succumb to irritation, anger, jealousy, hopelessness, despair or even fleshly pleasure, useless speaking, and earthly entertainment. His filling of the Spirit is a circumcision of the heart, done not in the flesh by the hands of men, but done in the Spirit resulting in a new heart and a new mind. 

     As the Spirit goes about His circumcising sanctifying work, God has given us a great blessing that we ought never to neglect but that I (and many of us) have overseen. This blessing is the knowledge of Christ and all of His blessings through one another. 

25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.Heb 10

     Jesus has given us His Word concerning His relationship towards all of His flock. As we are brought to dwell in Him more and more through the Spirit, the same path of the soul is occurring in other believers. Surely we are all on this path of being in Him more and more. As we are brought to Him, His glory is bestowed upon us. It is the very glory of God imparted to His beloved by which we are made one with each another. It is not the glory of any man or any leader that unifies the people of God, but rather the glory of God Himself. This glory brings His people to complete unity. THIS UNITY IS WHAT PORTRAYS TO THE WORLD THAT THE FATHER SENT THE SON TO BE THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD. And herein lies the importance of our understanding of His Words. As we are brought to Him, His glory is imparted to us. This glory WILL unify us, and the world will see our unity as a sign. This sign will be clearer to them than the miracles of the sick being healed, the physical resurrection of human beings, and the long awaited voices from heaven. The unity of God's people is a symbol to the world of the love of God for them. God has loved the world in the way that He has loved His own sinless Son, Jesus Christ. Why does God impart His glory to us? He imparts His glory to us because He has loved us as His children.

 20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23 I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
   24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.John 17

     As we are brought to Him, He will be to us a Shelter, Refuge, Stream, and Shadow. As we hide in Christ, He will impart to us glory and power to do the work of the Father just as His food was to do the Work of the Father. 

3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is your[a] life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.Col 3

     Thus we are no longer our fleshly selves, though the flesh wages war against us. Our flesh has been destroyed. Our lives are hidden so that Christ may be glorified in us and among us. As Christ is glorified in us, our lives will portray the attributes  of God. Our lives will display the Shelter, the Refuge, the Stream, and the Shadow of Jesus Christ. Our bodies become the temples of the holy Spirit where His glory dwells. As we portray Christ in this way, we will be drawn to one another in the same way that we are drawn to Christ. But the condition is that we must portray Christ in this way as we die to self and abide in the Words of God. The only way in which we will be unified is if the glory of God manifested in the Shelter, Refuge, Stream, and Shadow of Christ are revealed from our lives. Every glory of man broken down from us and every glory of the Father imparted to us will make our lives as beacons and fortresses for our Christian family. YOU FIGHT NOT ONLY FOR YOURSELVES BUT FOR THE JOY OF THE BRETHREN. 

24 Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, because it is by faith you stand firm.2 Cor 1:24

     There is a miraculous work that the Spirit has done in the regenerate, to cause them to hear the Shepherds voice and to listen to His Words. As you speak the Words of God, the true sheep will hear. They will hear with trembling humility. Surely there are short periods of time when the sheep are led astray and fail to heed His voice, but it may be that Your words from the Father will bring back the straying sheep to His only Good Shepherd. You have the Holy Spirit's residence in the regenerate soul on your side. 

3 The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”John 10

     Why do we teach the commands and the laws of God as though we were able to simply hear and obey? We teach them because the true sheep will hear and obey by the power of the Spirit of Christ. "His commands are no longer burdensome for he who is born of God has overcome the world". 

11 Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. 12 It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 13 Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 14 No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.Deut 30

    For all of the people of God have been given the Words of the God, Jesus Himself, to dwell in their mouths and hearts, through the Spirit, that they may obey Them. 

33 “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel
   after that time,” declares the LORD.
“I will put my law in their minds
   and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
   and they will be my people.
34 No longer will a man teach his neighbor,
   or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’
because they will all know me,
   from the least of them to the greatest,”
            declares the LORD.
“For I will forgive their wickedness
   and will remember their sins no more.”Jer 31

      The conclusion of this writing is that we will all know Him and He has blessed us to know Him through each other. He brings us to Himself. He bestows His glory on us because He loves us. This glory of God in us is shown through the blessings of Christ (His Shelter, Refuge, Stream and Shadow) and unites us. This unity is a symbol to the world of God's love for them. As we speak God's Words to one another, the righteous ones will hear and obey. 

This link is for a blessed painting of "The Broad and Narrow Way": 
Scriptures are in German but you can figure them out. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Love Travels Only the Forgiveness-paved Road

He who covers over an offense promotes love, 
   but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends. Prov 17:9

Theme Song: Psalm 130 Out of the Depths

Dear Father,

     You told me that the message for us is that the only way that we can love (AGAPE) people is to forgive them in Your strength. It is a mystery, again, and if I describe this incorrectly, I would be distorting Your Doctrine and Wisdom with my words. So let my Words be from You. Please help me, Father!
In Jesus Christ's Name, Amen

 I am writing this in a sort of unorganized way, but in the order that thoughts occur in my mind and I am praying that you will follow this and understand; you will understand.

     The only way that we can love the sons of men with the Agape of the Father is to forgive them. At first thought we think of the verse above which states that to cover over an offense promotes love. Another verse, Prov 19:11 states that it is to a man's glory to overlook an offense. I (and perhaps you) are tempted to think that these verses mean that we must be so childlike and pure that we do not see the evil in others which in some cases is directed towards us. Others of us think, "Everyone is good to me. There is no one in my life that I need to forgive. I am blessed!".

     Take a man, a stranger, that you meet somewhere and the Holy Spirit prompts you to go and preach the Gospel to him. Consider His voice also telling you as you approach him, "You cannot love him unless you forgive him". And you reply, "Father, I do not know this man. He has not wronged me. He is innocent in my eyes until proven guilty". And God still tells you, "You must forgive him. You know that he is a sinner. You must forgive him in My strength before you can show him My love."


“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.Luke 6:37

     Consider another scenario. You meet a stranger in church. This stranger is homeless and pitiful and explains his difficulty to you. You do not know him but you are filled with compassion and love for him. You tell him, "You can certainly stay in our home. We have an extra room and I am sure that my family will welcome you. Please come and stay with us, dear one, for you need to know the love of Christ. We will show it to you. Come and stay with us!" He moves in with you and you show him lots of love on the first couple days. After that, you start to notice that he is kind of loud. Then you realize that he keeps the house kind of messy. Then you see him yelling at your children. He starts to take your love for granted. HOW DO YOU RESPOND? You cannot love him as before. You wish that he would find somewhere else to stay and start to ask others if they have extra rooms in their homes. You realize that you really do not feel any love at all for this man, but only irritation. You ask yourself, "Did I ever love this man with AGAPE?". NO, you had loved him with storge and/or phileo, but when the time of testing came, you could not forgive, and you were left with only resentment. If you are led by the Spirit, you will cry out to God to remind you of His love and forgiveness. He will grant you the power to forgive and love this man in spite of his faults. Only now, after you have forgiven him, you have loved him with AGAPE.

 On the contrary:
   “If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
   if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”Rom 12:20

      Going back to the example of the man that you are called to share the Gospel with: this man is never going to stay at your home and you will never have a chance to be irritated with his shortcomings. But nevertheless, within the 15 minutes conversation in which you share the Gospel, the Holy Spirit calls you to initially forgive him before you can share the Gospel in love.

      We question God asking, "If I have to forgive everyone before I can love them, then I am going to have to know what to forgive: the sin in people. If I am thinking about people's sin all the time, then I am going to have bad perspectives of everyone. Am I not called to think highly of others and not ponder on their shortcomings?"

And God replies with Is. 5:20:

"Woe to those who call evil good 
   and good evil, 
who put darkness for light 
   and light for darkness, 
who put bitter for sweet 
   and sweet for bitter.

and He replies with John 3:

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”

     "But God, how can I love people when I know their sin. To love people, I need to have a very high view of them. I need to think of them as noble and virtuous and Godly. I need to think of them as innocent and without guile. How could acknowledging their sin pave the way for Your love to flow through me? It feels as  though I could never love them with AGAPE if I can see all of their sin right at the forefront."

    And here is the crux of this mystery, dear family: when we truly understand salvation and the essence of what God has done for humanity, two things will most certainly occur and become increasingly clear to us as we are conformed to His image:


     We will see the holiness of God and be like the prophet Isaiah (ch. 6). We will realize that our lips are unclean and that we live among a people of unclean lips. We will cry out "Woe to me for I am ruined!"  Our view of God will become greater and our view of mankind will become lesser. But the view of God's greatness will surpass the temptation of hopelessness and despair at sin in and around us (I have only realized this very recently). As we come to Christ, He takes the coal and touches our lips so that we may be clean. God puts the righteous robe of Christ around us. 

1 Blessed is he
   whose transgressions are forgiven,
   whose sins are covered.
2 Blessed is the man
   whose sin the LORD does not count against him
   and in whose spirit is no deceit.Ps 32

     The forgiveness of God in the face of His holiness will become a refuge and a strong tower. Seeing the Light of His Face will make us very aware of the darkness in the world and in our flesh. As we receive Him and as He reveals His glory and forgiveness to us, a deeper and more gruesome view of sin is given to us. As He bestows His forgiveness in Christ, we will have an even greater LOVE FOR GOD. Certainly God is righteous and there is nothing wrong in Him that anyone should need to forgive Him. And as He forgives our sin which has become ever-increasingly distasteful to us, our love for Him will continue to increase. BUT AGAIN, THE JOY, GRATEFULNESS, AND LOVE TOWARDS HIM THAT HE PUTS IN US IS GREATER IN INTENSITY THAN THE INTENSITY OF THE SORROW OVER SIN. 

13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature,[b] God made you[c] alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.Col 2


Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. Rom 13:8

     We will certainly see the sin in others as we see God's holiness. As Isaiah declared "I live among a people of unclean lips" and David declared "When I speak I am for peace, but they are for war" and "there is none righteous, not even one" and Solomon declared "I found one upright man among a thousand, but not one upright woman among them all" (? :) )  and Daniel prayed "O LORD, we and our kings, our princes and our fathers are covered with shame because we have sinned against you"


     Godly people are very aware of the sin of all men. But they are also filled with an even greater view of God in the face of their own sin. I must also state that this high view of God given to us, He removes from us the comparisons between men that are made with regard to morality so that "no flesh may boast in His sight". Not only does the sight of God's holiness remove from us any inclination to exalt one man over another, but we will be able to forgive any wrong done to us. When we see the weight of our own sin removed, no sin committed again us is too big for us to forgive as we abide in Christ. IF WE CANNOT FORGIVE, WE HAVE NOT KNOWN HIS FORGIVENESS. 

 32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
   35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”Matt 18

     When we think about forgiving others, we usually think about greater offenses (and certainly each of our views of what comprises a "great offense" differ). But God speaks of a "continuing debt of loving one another". It would not be just for us to forgive great offenses, but refuse to forgive the lesser offenses. Rather Christ says that:

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’Matt 25:21

     Personally it has been easier to forgive those who have committed greater offenses than to forgive for example subtle hidden slanted words or minor irritations. The debt of love that is given to us as we receive Christ's forgiveness allows us to continually forgive others. Our forgiveness is not only continual, but it is continuous as we abide in Christ continuously. It does not ignore sin or fail to acknowledge sin, for certainly all of the gifts of the Father (including forgiveness) come from the Father of Lights with whom there is no darkness. This forgiveness is not contrived, but flows out from the love of God within us. It does not waver, but humbly and willingly perseveres and submits. It keeps on forgiving, MOMENT BY MOMENT. As He gives us this strength to continually forgive, we are able to love with AGAPE.

     Where there is no conviction of sin, there is no perceived need of forgiveness. Where there is no forgiveness, there is no AGAPE.

Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”Luke 7:47

      Do you see the chains we have gotten onto ourselves to try to ignore our sin and the sin of others?

     We must see all of the sin, and yet see the Savior so much greater. What results is an infinite storehouse of AGAPE and forgiveness for others in spite of a clear view of their sin. This is true love. This is true love. When we see the worst of each other and still forgive and love: this is AGAPE. I am saying these things because they are true, not because I understand how or why they are true or because I have experienced these things more than in a very small way. 

     But this much I know: the people that I love the most with AGAPE are those whom I have seen the worst of and forgiven by His grace. 

     Dear family, it is okay to acknowledge sin in each other, for certainly no one may boast before Him. Yes, our sin is very great, but His forgiveness, love, and glory are exalted and supreme. And we are able to see the new perfect righteous LOVABLE creations of our family in Christ. Our vision of their perfection is by faith through the Spirit. 

9 However, as it is written:
   “No eye has seen,
   no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
   what God has prepared for those who love him”—
 10 but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.I Cor 2

     Going back to the opening verse that states that to cover an offense promotes love, we acknowledge here how sin is covered or atoned for: through love and faithfulness...the love and faithfulness of God the Father in Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. 

Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for;
   through the fear of the LORD a man avoids evil.Prov 16:6

    Ignoring or not identifying sin does not cover it. It hides sin. In this manner, we are also ignoring the atoning sacrifice, love, and faithfulness of Jesus Christ. The way we cover over sin is to say, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do" and to "stand in the gap on their behalf before the Father" and to plead that Christ would intercede for them before the Father. The same blood that made atonement for our own sin makes atonement for the sins in others as well.

True Encouragement

     True encouragement involves perceiving the sin of the body of Christ (you do not have to try, but as you see the holiness of God you will simply know what is dark) and exhorting them to turn away from sin, but to always portray the glories and blessings of the Father even more so that they know why they are turning away from sin and to Whom they are turning. And encouragement means exalting those very words, actions, attitudes, etc. that come from the Spirit of Christ in one another. This kind of encouragement does not flatter and it does not increase the ego. But rather we will become increasingly aware of His goodness to us in the form of the good works which He has both prepared for us and enabled us to do as we made our abode in Him. 

With regard to the remaining sin in each other, God has been teaching me to "Wait for Him more than watchmen wait for the morning". Hence the theme song. 

Prayer Request:

     I am defending my Master's thesis tomorrow (Tues, Dec 20th) and would be grateful for prayer for me to bring glory to God, that the committee would see Christ in me. And if you pray that I pass, that would be good too. 

     Another prayer request is for my lab people to trust in Jesus. This has been my insatiable anguish for the last couple weeks (and sort of months) though my heart existed only to plead their case before God. I will be leaving them by the end of this month. I am praying about writing Christmas cards to some of them completely pouring out my heart to them about Christ (I have done this several times in person). I do not care if I sound like an emotional mother or something like that. May God bless them and keep them, make His face shine upon them and be gracious to them. May He turn His Face towards them and give them peace. 

We are going to see Anand and Prasanna for Christmas! I am most likely continuing under another adviser after that for the phd unless God shows me something else. And I am still praying/waiting for God to inspire His man to come find me!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Regeneration of Those Who are Being Made Holy

3 For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3
Theme Song: "What a Savior" by Sovereign Grace

     Paliggenesia, the Greek word for "regeneration" refers to a "complete change of mind and heart" or a "restoration to the original state". 

Dear Lord,    You are the Regenerating One. You are able to bring dead bones to Life. You are able to breathe Your very Life into our beings. You know that I cannot comprehend regeneration and how much this work of Yours means for me. Please help us that we may see Your glory and be changed. In Jesus Christ's Name, Amen


     Our birth into sin made our souls like dead bones buried in the deep recesses of the world. We could not hear His Words of salvation. We could not see His righteousness and glory. We could not taste to see that the Lord is good. We could not smell the Fragrance of His Presence. We could not feel love, joy, or peace. Our hearts were hardened as stone. There was no way we could respond to His Gospel, to His Word which gives Life to the One who hears with faith. 

      Even though we did not have faith, we could not even hear, comprehend, consider, or understand this Gospel. We were altogether dead in our trespasses and sins. There was a thick dark shroud that enfolded our eyes. Deep darkness was over the surface of our deep dead souls. Even if the Word of Life was spoken to us, how could we hear It that we may be revived? How could we see Him that we may be drawn to Him as to the Light shining in the dark place or run from Him and cry out for the rocks to cover us because we had seen the Holy One while living in our sin.? How could we understand or comprehend the essence of His death and resurrection, His forgiveness, mercy, grace. Surely His Gospel was a foolish mystery to us. How could a dead mind repent and leave behind the world to follow Christ? How could a dead heart want Him? How could a darkened will choose Him? How could a dead soul make a decision to obey Him? 

     We were hopeless. We could not know Him. We could not hear His Gospel. WE COULD NOT CHOOSE OR LOVE HIM BECAUSE WE WERE DEAD. 


Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Gen 1

     Our souls were formless and empty. Darkness covered the surface of our deep wickedness. Yet the Spirit was hovering over the chosen ones. Indeed the Spirit hovers over the souls of all those who have been chosen and predestined for His glorious grace. God said to our dark souls, "Let there be Light". And indeed in Him we find the Light of Life. 

4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Eph 2

     We truly were as the very dry bones that were piled in heaps in the valley that God showed to Ezekiel (ch. 37). God asks you and me today about the dead parts of our lives and the dead souls of those around us, "Can these bones live?"


“Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! 5 This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.’”
 7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
 9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’” 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army. Ez 37

      This Great and Sovereign Lord has brought His people Life. Yes, He is bringing Life to many now. There are many before us, fields white for harvest, the valley, filled with dry bones that God is bringing to Life in Christ. These dead souls cannot choose Him on their own. God must first bring them to life that they may see and understand. The faith that saves them is a gift of the Father. He has given them everything they need to live in Him. He first brings them to life that they may respond to His Gospel. Then He gives them faith that they may be saved by the Gospel.

I will set pines in the wasteland, 
   the fir and the cypress together, 
20 so that people may see and know, 
   may consider and understand, 
that the hand of the LORD has done this, 
   that the Holy One of Israel has created it.Is 41


     After He brings us to life by enabling us to choose Him in faith, He grants us His Spirit to live inside of us. The Spirit's Work is the regeneration and renewal of the man of God. In the verses below, we find one of the clearest descriptions of regeneration: 

 37 I will surely gather them from all the lands where I banish them in my furious anger and great wrath; I will bring them back to this place and let them live in safety. 38 They will be my people, and I will be their God. 39 I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me for their own good and the good of their children after them. 40 I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me. 41 I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul. Jer 32

     Everything good and righteous that we desire to dwell in us comes completely from Him, from the One who gave life to our souls. He does not bring us to life and leave us on our own to live righteously. One of the works of the Spirit is to convict the world with regard to righteousness because Christ went to be at the right Hand of the Father in heaven. We could never have the righteousness of the Father without the Holy Spirit's bestowing of power and wisdom to our souls. We cannot contrive any goodness in our souls even after having been brought to life. The Spirit Himself brings singleness of HEART and ACTION to us. 

     This means that our Savior is going to do everything to save us. He who died and rose to life to save us from hell, will also perfect these souls of ours. He does not stop. He is always doing the work of His Father. The work of the Father is to purify for Himself a people who His very own and who are eager to do the will of God. God will remove our sin. He Himself will remove it. He causes His seed to remain in us. Do you writhe in the agony of the sin that you cannot remove? He surely will remove it from you if you are His child.

     Are you afraid that you cannot stop sinning? He surely will remove every sinful inclination of our hearts until the day see Jesus face to face. He is the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls. The Shepherd will carry His Lambs forever. He is able to inspire us to fear Him. We cannot make ourselves fear Him. He must inspire us to revere His Name and to hold Him as holy in our hearts. He will never stop doing good to us. For us who have many areas of our hearts, minds, and souls yet to be perfected, the way He does good to us is to treat us as legitimate children and to discipline us. 

13 Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, 14 because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.Hebrew 10

     He is making us holy. Do not faint and lose heart at the fiery trials and at the perceived hardness of your heart. He surely is working zealously on behalf of His own Name to sanctify and purify you. If you are His child, you need not fear sin, not even your own sin, for He surely is going to remove your strongholds. He will wash the evil from you as with a "launderer's soap" and it will be completely be His work and none of yours. And yet, know this: there will be trials and testings of our faith which He will use to accomplish His purifying work. But nevertheless He has overcome your sin. 

     All of the sin in your life is going to be removed in the days to come. It will involve deep cleansing. It will involve painful circumcision of the heart. It will involve Godly sorrow. It will involve circumstances of fires and earthquakes which will wrench your soul. It will involve time of comfort and peace from the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings. It will involve trouble. But He surely will remove your sin, my dear family. This is His way of never stopping to do us good. 

     Do we turn away from Him time and again? He promises to inspire us so that we will never turn away from Him. God is not powerlessly waiting for us to be wholeheartedly devoted to Him (the perspective I had in some manner). He is powerful. THE ZEAL OF THE LORD ALMIGHTY WILL ACCOMPLISH THE COMPLETE SALVATION OF HIS CHOSEN ONES. He is going to inspire us. He is going to inspire us!

     Does the knowledge of the complete authority of God over our heart, mind, and soul cause us to be lax and negligent in the trust that He has given us? It cannot. For surely "a curse is on the one who is lax in doing the Lord's work" and "those who are lukewarm will be spewed out of His mouth". When the true sheep hears of this regenerating work of the Shepherd, he runs into his Shepherd's arms with overwhelming gratefulness and thankfulness. For the goal of his faith was the salvation of his soul and for the glory of God. 

     He changes us that we may glory in Him and desire for His glory. Previously we had gloried in our fallen self, but He has changed us to the state that He had intended for the sons of men: to find their deep satisfaction in the glory of God


     He changes us so that instead of being resistant to His laws in our flesh, on our new hearts are written the Laws of the Creator.

 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says:
 16 “This is the covenant I will make with them
   after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
   and I will write them on their minds.”
 17 Then he adds:
   “Their sins and lawless acts
   I will remember no more.”
 18 And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.Heb 10

     We will no longer struggle and falter to keep His laws. We will no longer stagger under the cup of God's wrath due to transgressors. Instead He will write His Law of Love, Truth, and Justice on our hearts. We will act according to the righteousness of our new hearts...Christ's imputed righteousness. He is going to change the hearts and minds of His people that they may act, think, feel, and speak in the Righteous Way of the Spirit of God. They will no longer live in darkness but will live the Life worthy of the calling that they have received. 


      The work of our salvation and regeneration is completely His. He has done everything. He did not do 99% and we did 1%. He has done 100% of the work necessary for our complete salvation and perfection until the day of Redemption .

21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. Col 1

     Christ presents us holy in His sight and at the same time, He calls us to action. Regeneration is His complete work and yet He calls us to choose to serve Him this day. When we read of His regenerating work in His Word, are we not inspired to choose Him this day? Does not the knowledge of His Sovereign love and enabling of our souls to live and be righteous cause us to want to obey Him?

     His calls of action to the Sheep for whom He has done ALL the work to save:
1. deny self, take up the cross and follow
2.  repent and believe the Gospel
3. give up everything you have to be His disciple
4. pursue righteousness and peace
5. make every effort to be at peace with God and men
6. preach the Gospel to all people
7. watch and pray that we will not fall into temptation
8. love and obey Him
9. seek Him with all of our hearts that we may find Him and live
10. eagerly desire the greater Spiritual gifts
11. fan into flame the gift of God
12. put on the whole armor of God
13. stand firm and not be burdened with the yoke of slavery
14. run with perseverance the race set out before us
15. humble ourselves before Him that He may lift us 
16. be among God's people and a servant and a feeder of the Word of God
17. do not complain or argue
18. forgive and you will be forgiven
19. love your neighbor as yourself
20. be ready for the day of His return!
21. flee the evil desires of the heart
22. submit to God and resist the devil
23. put off what belongs to the sinful nature
24. put on the new self made to be like God in true righteousness and holiness
25. offer hospitality and generosity
26. do not store up for yourselves earthly treasures

All these calls to action, He makes knowing that He Himself alone can and will inspire us to do these things. God is Sovereign and We are Accountable. 

Personal Testimony

      One thing that God has taught me in the last few years is not to let the family of God [that I talk to] be secretive or personal. I have no intention of "minding anyone's business" or of "not being too personal". I have been asked how I end up having deep conversations with people that I talk to. By God's grace, we can be bold to ask one another "personal" questions because we truly love one another's soul. And then God calls us to "let His Word dwell in us richly" that we may "teach and admonish one another". Shallow talk is not necessary among us. With those who do not believe, I am led to listen and to converse about earthly things as a way of "storge". With Christians there is a place for a little of this, but we must not hesitate to speak of more noble Truths. We should praise and thank Him with every breathe.Who of us will accuse or criticize one of us others if we speak of our Savior more? No one. We are His Sheep and we listen to His voice. Pour out your hearts for He surely is inspiring us to fear Him (Above). We will be drawn to each other and to Him more is we speak the Words of Life to each other and not small talk. 

     God is teaching me to cast all of my burdens on to Him. I cannot handle the stress response (cortisol-mediated) and thus resort to tears or temporary illness during hard times if it were not for the Father's comforting wings that I may hide under. I have been burdened by [particular] unsaved souls around me (but am finding hope in His ability to bring life to very dry bones) and the many things that must work correctly in order for me to finish my masters this year and for me to finish writing the grant for the phd. Last year God taught me to pour out my soul to Him each day and He is reteaching me to do that. The slightest removal by the Spirit of my fear of judgment removes every single earthly fear. I do not understand how or why this works!

     Dad has been studying Hebrews in BSF and is growing a lot in Christ through his study. He will repeat phrases and sentences from his study as if he had memorized them. The Holy Spirit "brings to mind" the Words of Christ. 

     In the attachment is a presentation on the role of women in the church that I found in a search online. It very clearly replicates my current view. 

     On Sunday night dad had us visit Fourth Baptist Church in Plymouth. They were celebrating their 130th anniversary. Several old baptist men and women spoke about the history of their church and shared some personal testimonies. We were really blessed. Several people talked to us including a man who me that he had worked for some company for 30 years and been laid off for two years. He had 4 children and a blessed wife. He had joined the seminary there and was describing how "God has a plan". Such men who have lost something of dear value and find their soul's comfort and satisfaction in God are the most blessed among men. I was amazed at the solid doctrine of the main pastors and some of the speakers. Our church used to be Baptist and I can see many remnants of that heritage. I remember Paul Washer saying that he had the privilege of fellowshiping with "old staunch Baptist men" who described "the Presence of God as those who had themselves experienced It". 

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