Bible Study – “LJC: Lord Jesus Christ”

 

LIFE is a JOURNEY…..a JOURNEY involves CHANGE…..embrace CHANGE in your LIFE…..LIFE is a JOURNEY…..a JOURNEY involves CHANGE…..embrace CHANGE in your LIFE…..LIFE is a 

bible-for-study-mfBible Study
LJC – “Lord Jesus Christ”

At the beginning of this series of Bible studies, LJC stood for Life-Journey-Change. Now at the conclusion, LJC stands for Lord Jesus Christ. Each Bible study has been based upon specific scriptural passages that the Lord used to encourage me as my husband and I moved from one home to another. In the beginning, I used the phrase Life-Journey-Change and the initials LJC because it seems descriptive of what I was sharing. Maybe I should not have been surprised when the initials LJC came to my attention as being those of our Lord Jesus Christ, but I was still amazed. God has been the focus of all the studies so it was appropriate that our Lord Jesus Christ would be honored as a central theme. Today, let’s delve a little deeper into the meaning of the name Lord Jesus Christ and look more closely at who He is as revealed through scripture.

Lord Jesus Christ

Three words comprise this complete name. Most of the time, the majority of us use only one of these three words when referring to the Son of God, the second person of the Trinity. However, these is significance to each name that is part of the full name. Let’s look at a couple of scriptures before we focus on each name individually.

Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God has made the same Jesus, whom you have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Acts 2:36 NKJV (bold type is my choice)

God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11(bold type is my choice)

Lord
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11
Lord is the title of the Son of God.
This title first became popular in the book of Acts. It is also the most often used name for Jesus in the book of Acts.
It is a name used most often after Jesus’ resurrection rather than when he lived on earth.
It suggests the idea of relationship. If Jesus is Lord, He is Lord of something or someone.
Lordship signifies surrender and yielding of one’s life to someone else, namely Jesus.
As Christians, we each need to place Jesus Christ on the throne of our lives at some point and time.

Jesus
She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. Matthew 1:21
Jesus is the name of the Son of God.
At the time when Jesus was born, this was one of the most popular names for a boy.
Jesus is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua.
Jesus means “Jehovah the Savior.”
Jesus only referred to himself by this name two times. (see Acts 9:5 and Revelation 22:16)

Christ
Come, see a man, who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ? John 4:29
Christ is the office of the Son of God.
Christ means “anointed one” and is often translated “Messiah” in the Old Testament.
Jesus did not directly use this title for himself but neither did he deny it. (see Mark 14:62)
Christ was Paul’s favorite name for Jesus and he uses it independently 211 times in his epistles.

Lord Jesus Christ
Paul uses the expression “Lord Jesus Christ” at least 49 times in his epistles of the Bible.
It is appropriate for us to consider the Son of God as Lord Jesus Christ in relationship to our Life-Journey-Change if we want our Lives to be a Journey that will ultimately Change us into His likeness.
I want to stress that every physical journey I take during my life that requires me to embrace change is also a spiritual journey of my life that allows me to be changed into the likeness of my Lord Jesus Christ. Everything is part of God’s plan and purpose and He wastes nothing. Paul says in Romans 8:28-29, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” “To be conformed to the likeness of his Son” can mean “to be changed in order to obtain the character of Lord Jesus Christ.”

John 14:6

Master Key Verse: I am the way and the truth and the life – John 14:6
In our Master Key Verse of John 14:6, we hear Jesus personally speak, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” This verse helps us see the connection between our two LJC interpretations. When Jesus says, “I am the way,” it seems to me that He is saying that not only will He be with us on our journey but that He will be the way and lead the way of our journey. When Jesus says, “I am the truth,” I sense that He is telling us that He will lead us upon the true way that will change us into being like Him who is the truth. When Jesus says “I am the life,” I think He is revealing Himself as being the life we are to emulate in our lives.
Now let’s dissect this verse of scripture word by word to better understand the powerful meaning contained within it.

I AM
The name God chooses by which to identify Himself is I AM

God said to Moses, “I AM who I AM” This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” – Exodus 3:14

The covenant name of God in the Old Testament is a form of the verb “to be” and is repeated two times. Jehovah is I AM.
In the English Bible, this name is printed LORD with all 4 letters capitalized.

God used the name I AM to show His unchanging nature.
He is always described as present tense. God is not just God of the past (I Am – not “I was”) or simply God of the future (I AM – not “I shall be”).
This name for God substantiates the fact that God is never late nor is He ever early, He is always on time when He moves in our lives.

Hebrews 13:8 states the name “I AM” by saying Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Jesus used the expression “I am” not only to assert His claims to be like Jehovah but to demonstrate that He was Jehovah.

In the gospel of John, Jesus used the expression “I am” eight times in the context of revealing aspects of his character as Jehovah. One of these times is in John 14:6 which we are currently giving consideration.

God still chooses this name to introduce Himself to each of us while we are on our life’s journey involving change.

The Way
Jesus is the Way – He directs the Way of our journey.
“Way” comes from the Greek word “hados” that literally means “road” or “highway.” Consequently, we can say Jesus is the road of our journey.

Isaiah 30:21 – Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the way, walk in it.”

Psalm 18:30 – As for God, His way is perfect.

Matthew 4:19 – Jesus says “Come, follow me.”- These are the words Jesus used to call His disciples and He still calls us with the same words today. He is calling us to follow Him on all of our life journeys.

The Truth
Jesus is the Truth – We encounter change so that we are able to live in the truth; so that we can be true to the example set before us by Jesus.

Jesus is the standard of truth.

John 1:17 – grace and truth come through Jesus Christ

John 5:20 – And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, that we may know Him who is true, and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ

May we proclaim with David the words of Psalm 25:5, “Lead me in your truth.”

The word for “truth” in Psalm 25 is “emet” which is spelled with the first, middle and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Because of this, the rabbis concluded that truth upholds the first and the last of God’s creation and everything in between.

May we be willing to travel the roads of any journey during our lifetime that will change us to be the people of truth who emulate Jesus’ attribute of truth.

The Life
Jesus is the life and He chooses to share His life with us if we choose to accept Him as the Life. During our life and journey, Jesus’ life is available to us.

I Corinthians 5:45 –So it is written: “The first Adam became a living being”; the last Adam (Jesus), a life-giving spirit.
Jesus is unique among men because He has life in Himself.

Jesus, who was life, gave His life so that we who were dead in sin might live (see Ephesians 2:4,5)

John 11:25 – I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes I me will never die.
In this I AM statement Jesus not only stresses to Mary and Martha that He is the Life but He also emphasizes the importance of His being the life.

John 10:10 – I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.
This abundant life refers not only to the life we live on earth now, but the gift of eternal life as well.

Eternal life is available because of John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Jesus says in Mark 8:35, “Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.”

This is what happens during our life when we go on the journeys planned for us by God that cause us to be changed. We lose our lives in order to be changed so that we can receive the everlasting life Jesus offers us.

Concluding LJC and LJC

LIFE is a JOURNEY … a JOURNEY involves CHANGE … embrace CHANGE in your LIFE
L
ORD JESUS CHRIST

Master Key Verse: I am the way and the truth and the life – John 14:6
Life = the life (Jesus)   Journey = the way (Jesus)   Change = the truth (Jesus)

Let’s now read the complete verse of John 14:6, I am the way and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me.

Putting it all together, we can say that Jesus (the great I AM) is the Way and the Truth and the Life for our lives. With the Lord Jesus Christ in our lives, our journeys will help us to be changed so that our final destination will be eternal life with God our Father. Accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord allows us to be forgiven of our sins and changed into new creations who will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

My Reader, may you hear what Jesus is saying to you through the chosen words of Sarah Young in her book Jesus Calling: “Though I lead you along paths that feel alien to you, trust that I know what I am doing. If you follow Me wholeheartedly, you will discover facets of yourself that were previously hidden. I know you intimately – far better than you know yourself. In union with Me, you are complete. In closeness to Me, you are transformed more and more into the one I designed you to be.” To me, these words confirm what I have stressed about our Lord Jesus Christ (LJC) being the way and the truth and the life of the purpose of each Life-Journey-Change (LJC) experience we encounter.

I encourage you to travel your Life-Journey-Change (LJC) roads acknowledging our Lord Jesus Christ (LJC) as the Way and the Truth and the Life for you.

Joyfully,
Cheryl
gold apple new

Author’s note: Many of the insights I have shared in this study come from Elmer L. Towns’ book The Names of Jesus that I have read numerous times over the years.

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My Full Plate of “Ps”

LIFE is a JOURNEY…..a JOURNEY involves CHANGE…..embrace CHANGE in your LIFE…..LIFE is a JOURNEY…..a JOURNEY involves CHANGE…..embrace CHANGE in your LIFE…..LIFE is a 

 

peas-mfMy Full Plate of “Ps”
LJC – Lord Jesus Christ

The title of the first blog of this series was “Please Pass the ‘Ps” with LJC standing for Life-Journey-Change. Now coming to the conclusion of this series, my title today is “My Full Plate of ‘Ps” with LJC standing for Lord Jesus Christ. My plate is full of the “Ps” known as perceiving, pursuing, preparing, processing, possessing, permitting and proclaiming. All of these “Ps” that I accumulated were related to aspects of change. The Lord placed each of these “Ps” on my plate of life as my husband and I undertook a journey to a new home that required us to embrace change in our lives. As I shared the first week, the overall message that the Lord gave me was “LIFE is a JOURNEY – a JOURNEY involves CHANGE – embrace CHANGE in your LIFE.” I simplified this concept to LJC or Life-Journey-Change. I always saw and felt the Lord’s presence in each step we took but I was amazed the day I realized that LJC also stood for Lord Jesus Christ! Lord Jesus Christ was and is at the center of all I encounter in life at any place at any time!

I had perceived and pursued change because of the promptings of our Lord Jesus Christ. I was able to prepare for and process change with the strength of our Lord Jesus Christ. I understood my need to possess and permit change through the revelations of our Lord Jesus Christ. Now I will only proclaim any change through the leading of our Lord Jesus Christ. I like how our Lord Jesus Christ is described in Romans 11:36, “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen.”

Even though our Lord Jesus Christ was with us each step of our journey, we still encountered some clouds of dust along the path that hindered our ability to clearly see His plan and purpose. I held on to a promise God spoke to the Israelites in Genesis 28:15, “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go…. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”  Numerous times the Lord reminded me that our journey was not only about the destination but it was about how we chose to walk out the details of the journey during its duration. I am grateful that God was actively with us and rerouted our route on a few occasions. There were definitely some divine detours along the road but we finally arrived at the correct address of our new home. In fact, our Lord Jesus Christ (LJC) did not leave us even after we reached the destination of our Life-Journey-Change (LJC). Hebrews 13:5 describes the presence of the Lord by saying, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  My Lord Jesus Christ will never leave me because the end of one Life-Journey-Change is the beginning of another Life-Journey-Change experience! And the LJC is the center of all my LJCs!

I learned that on every journey, whether physical or spiritual, there must be a first step followed by many small steps. There will not be simply one giant leap to a new destination. The change of each journey of life is traveled one step at a time, or one “P” at a time. However, God has been and always will be one step ahead of me, even when it feels like He is one step behind me. Proverbs 20:24 says, “A mans’ steps are directed by the Lord.”

Today I can confidently say that our home on Aspen Look Drive is home. It took a plateful of “Ps” for me to embrace this fact but it has been worth partaking of perceiving, pursuing, preparing, processing, possessing, permitting and proclaiming. I know this is the house the Lord chose to be our home. The Lord h built this house for us and we have not labored in vain. (see Psalm 127:1) The one thing I asked of the Lord was that we might dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of our lives and that we would gaze upon His beauty. (see Psalm 27:4) This house is now home and the Lord has brought us here. (see Zephaniah 3:20 and Psalm 23:6) As I currently live and move and have my being (see Acts 17:28) in this home, I am constantly reminded of what Lord Jesus Christ has done for me during this past Life-Journey-Change. This helps me today as I encounter new LJCs with my LJC! I constantly remember that apart from the Lord I can do nothing. (see John 15:5) I have partaken from my plateful of “Ps” at various times since we experienced the Life-Journey-Change to our current address, and I will continue to ingest and digest these “Ps” in the future.

My Reader, have you accepted my plate of “Ps” as I have passed them on to you? Are you ready to share your plateful with others? I pray these “Ps” are pleasing and promising to you!

Joyfully,
Cheryl
gold apple new

A Life’s Challenge:  Always look for God in your journey!
“And the LORD will continually guide you,” Isaiah 58:11 New American Standard

 

 

Bible Study – Proclaiming Change

LIFE is a JOURNEY…..a JOURNEY involves CHANGE…..embrace CHANGE in your LIFE…..LIFE is a JOURNEY…..a JOURNEY involves CHANGE….. embrace CHANGE in your LIFE…..LIFE is a

bible-for-study-mfBible Study
Proclaiming Change
“The End is the Beginning”

Definition of Proclaiming Change: announcing officially that something is not the same as it previously was – declaring publicly the new thing that is taking place in one’s life whether it be physical or spiritual

Master Key Verse: You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the promises of Him. – I Peter 2:9 NKJV

Upon the completion of the first six steps of change, we come to the final step of Proclaiming Change. God wastes nothing in our lives. The lessons we learn are to be shared with others who are encountering similar experiences, and that is the reason for these blogs and Bible study posts. We have all encountered experiences when it felt like we were stumbling upon stones and other experiences when it felt like we were walking on water. How the journey is walked out is just as important as the destination. Be ready to proclaim how you have walked through the changes of various journeys during your life.

I shared about the meaning of the colors of traffic lights in my blog today. Now let’s look for traffic lights in scripture. I will share what each light has meant to me and offer you the opportunity to consider what each light signifies for you. Throughout the study, I will ask you some questions for personal meditation.

Traffic Lights in the Bible

Red light: Stop
Key Verse: The one who calls you is faithful and He will do it. – I Thessalonians 5:24
Stop trying to proclaim whatever you are trying to proclaim under your own power. God is faithful and He will do it through you.

We had moved into our new home and I was now able to settle into a daily routine that included some quiet time with the Lord each morning. I sat at a favorite spot at my desk in front of the windows in our guest room. I had unpacked three of Bruce Wilkerson’s little books and placed them on the corner of the desk where they were decorative. I decided I would reread The Prayer of Jabez rather than just look at it. I found it speaking to me personally about what might be ahead for me in our new home.

Read I Chronicles 4:9-10
Jabez ask of the Lord for four things:
(1) For the Lord to bless him
(2) For his territory enlarged
(3) For the Lord’s hand be with him
(4) That he be kept from harm and pain

My Reader, which one of these requests speaks more personally to you?

The request that spoke most loudly to me was Jabez asking for the enlargement of his territory. God had answered Jabez’s request for him to be blessed, but more importantly Jabez wanted to share his blessings throughout an enlarged territory. He wanted to extend God’s blessings to others and not just keep them for himself. Now I was living in new territory where I did not know anyone.  I was surrounded by a whole new area of influence and I wanted to introduce myself to new neighbors. Did my new neighbors also need to be introduced to the Lord? God had blessed us with a new home and now I wanted to share God’s blessings with the people in our new territory. However, I did not know how God wanted me to accomplish this. One stage of my life’s journey was coming to an end, but I did not yet know what specifically was to come. Later I would come to see that the end was the beginning, but for now I was ready to obey the red signal light and stop.

My Reader, think about your choice of the part of the prayer of Jabez that spoke most personally to you. Any one of these requests is worthy of a red stop light. Our God is faithful to answer our prayers, but it is not uncommon for us to need to remain on our knees for a period of time. Do not end your communications with God too quickly or you may miss the beginning of the answer. Red lights are not a waste of time.

Note that the end of I Chronicles 4:10 says that God granted Jabez his request. What God did for Jabez, He will do for you when you desire to honor Him. Honor the Lord by stopping at His red lights and spending time with Him. In a little book entitled Jesus Calling, Sarah Young writes about hearing the Lord tell her to give her mind a break from planning and trying to anticipate what will happen. STOP! Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to take charge of the details. We must remember we are on a journey with God.

Yellow light: Wait
Key Verse: the wise heart will know the proper time and procedure. For there is a proper time and procedure for every matter. Ecclesiastes 8:5b-6a
Wait for God’s anointing for the proper time and procedure for what you proclaim.

My Reader, what are you waiting for – God’s blessing, a larger territory of influence, a touch of the Master’s hand, protection from harm, or something else? Whatever the specifics may be, you need to wait for the Lord’s anointing.

Read Luke 4:18,19
Jesus had to wait until he was 30 years old to receive the anointing that Isaiah prophesied approximately 700 years earlier.

There are five things that Jesus would do because of the anointing:
(1) Preach good news to the poor
(2) Proclaim freedom for the prisoners
(3) Recover sight for the blind
(4) Release the oppressed
(5) Proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor

Again, let us listen to God speak to us through Sarah Young in Jesus Calling. “Enjoy the tempo of a God-breathed life by letting Me set the pace. Hold My hand in childlike trust, and the way before you will open up step by step.”

Before God can pour out His anointing upon you, there may be other changes He desires to orchestrate. He may need to work in the hearts of those to whom you will minister. There may even be work He needs to do within your own heart. In I Peter 5:5,6
we are told that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Peter tells us that if we humble ourselves, God will lift us up in due time. While we wait at the yellow lights in our lives we are waiting for the “due time” when God will move. We must not move until He moves.

John the Baptist is a good example of a man anointed by God for a specific purpose who ministered with a humble heart. In John 3:30 John the Baptist says regarding Jesus, “He must become greater. I must become less.” In a sense, John is saying, “the end is the beginning.” It took great humility for him to step back from his ministry and allow Jesus to fulfill the ministry for which he was anointed. (For more details regarding John the Baptist and his attitude towards his ministry read Matthew 3:13-17; John 1:14-15;29-34)

My Reader, is the Lord flashing a yellow light in your life today? Use this time to draw closer to Him. (see James 4:6-10) Wait for an outpouring of grace that will anoint you for God’s plans and purposes.

Was there a yellow light in my life? Yes. After I had read the book about the prayer of Jabez and I had asked God to increase my territory, nothing seemed to happen immediately. As I sat at my desk in front of the window where I had read the book, I now prayed for the people in every car I would see go by, but there was no visible territory increase. At that time I was working two days a week as our church secretary and both my husband and I went about our usual routines. Then suddenly it seemed like it was time for me to leave my position at the church. I was encountering another change and found myself experiencing all the steps of change in my life’s journey once again! One day I was having a conversation (praying) with the Lord and was telling Him that I felt guilty about leaving this job so soon after our move to this area. One of the reasons we moved here was for me to be closer to work. The Lord impressed upon me that I thought we moved here for my job, but rather He had used the job to get us into the house He desired for other reasons yet to be revealed. This insight was both humbling and exciting. The end was the beginning in regards not only to our move to this area but also in regards to how I would use my time. The anointing for me to be in this secretarial position had lifted. Since then, new opportunities have become available that both my husband and I are enjoying, but I also remain open for more new things. I desire to live my life in a state of readiness to receive a new anointing for whatever God has in store. I ask the Lord to work in my life in a way to prepare me for new beginnings. My desire is to proclaim what He has done, is doing, and will do during my journey of life.

Green light: Go
Key Verse: you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” ­ James 4:15
Go and proclaim what the Lord reveals to you as being His will for you to proclaim. At the end of Jesus’ earthly life, there was the beginning of a new commission for the lives of His followers.

Read Matthew 28:18-20 (The Great Commission)
As the disciples “Go,” they are to do three things:
(1) Make disciples of all nations
(2) Baptize the new disciples in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
(3) Teach the new disciples to obey everything Jesus had commanded them

My Reader, do you personally hear God telling you to go and do any of these 3 aspects of discipleship?

Just as the disciples sensed that the green light still had some yellow remaining, I experienced the same thing. There was a point when I was compiling this complete study that I thought I had the outlines for all of the chapters. I went for a walk praising God for all He had shown me. Suddenly I sensed in my spirit that the Lord was telling me to go and proclaim. The Lord was giving me the beginning of the chapter regarding Proclaiming Change. This chapter had not been planned originally. For me, the places referred to in Acts 1:8 as being “from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth” became  “from the spot by my desk to wherever the Lord may lead me.” My mind was no longer focused only on our church, but my eyes looked toward our neighborhood, the town of Henrietta and surrounding areas. The subdivision in which we live is known as Harvest Hills. The scriptures of Jesus talking with His disciples about the harvest fields and the need for workers in these fields came to mind. (Read Matthew 9:35-38; Luke 10:1-3; John 4:34-38) I desire to be a worker in the harvest fields. Currently, my husband and I are “going” by volunteering in various places and I am still enjoying opportunities through blogging to teach and share God’s Word. The Lord is showing me that the end is the beginning. There is a sense of completion at the end of one part of God’s journey, and there is a sense of anticipation at the beginning of new opportunities. According to I Peter 2:9, I know I am part of a chosen generation to proclaim the praises of God!

My Reader,do you have a green light in your life? What is it?

Biblical Beginnings and Endings

In Isaiah 46:10 God says, “I have made known the end from the beginning.” Consequently, God knows the stopping and starting points of all changes we experience on our journey of life.

When you encounter a green light for a new beginning, be patient. Job 8:7 says “Your beginnings will seem humble” and Zechariah 4:10 says, “Who despises the day of small things?” So, do not despise the day of small beginnings, but humbly obey God’s promptings of whether to stop, wait or go.

With “The End is the Beginning” being the theme of this study, let us look at various scriptures that confirm that the Lord is the Beginning and the End of all things.

Revelation 22:13  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

Isaiah 41:4 – Who has done this and carried it through, calling forth the generations from the beginning? I, the Lord – with the first of them and with the last – I am He.

Hebrews 13:8 – Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Revelation 1:17b-18a – Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One, I was dead, band behold I am alive for ever and ever!

Revelation 1:8 – “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Philippians 1:6 – He who began a good work in you will carry it out to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Let us take one last look at our phrase “the End is the Beginning”, but this time let us consider the opposite possibility. In the book The Power of a Whisper by Bill Hybels,  he quotes author Henri Amiel as saying, “the stationary condition is the beginning of the end.” Hybels relates this to spiritual growth but we can also apply it to our progress regarding change while on our life’s journey. If we stay in a stationary condition we will no longer be on a journey. If we do not allow “the end to be the beginning” the result will be that “the beginning will be the end.” We will never move forward. The choice is ours: either “the end is the beginning” or “the beginning is the end”.

Conclusion

Key Verse: Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. – Hebrews 12:2
We must keep our eyes on Jesus to see what color traffic light He is signaling to us. He is not only the author and perfecter of our faith, but of our journeys as well.

Whether you look at the whole road map of your journey or you only look at the destinations you may encounter on any given day, you will encounter traffic lights signaling for you to stop, wait or go. No matter where you may be, God will have chosen you to proclaim something to someone. At the end of one proclamation there will be the opportunity for the beginning of another. You must wait for the anointing of the Holy Spirit to know when to go and when to stop. However, one thing will always be constant and that is that the Lord will always be with you.

“Proclaiming Change” – all of us will do it! Be obedient to what color of God’s traffic light is illuminated for you at any given time.

Remember our Master Key Verse: You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the promises of Him. – I Peter 2:9 NKJV

One final verse to meditate upon is Isaiah 43:10,11 “You are my witnesses (ones who proclaim) declares the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am He. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be after me. I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from Me there is no savior.”

My Reader, you are chosen to proclaim! What are you chosen to proclaim and to whom are to proclaim it?

Joyfully,
Cheryl
gold apple new

Seventh “P” – Proclaiming Change

LIFE is a JOURNEY…..a JOURNEY involves CHANGE…..embrace CHANGE in your LIFE…..LIFE is a JOURNEY…..a JOURNEY involves CHANGE….. embrace CHANGE in your LIFE…..LIFE is a

peas-mf

Proclaiming Change
“The End is the Beginning”

Today I am sharing with you the seventh and last “P” that the Lord placed upon my plate five years ago when we encountered the Life-Journey-Change experience of moving into a new home. It was quite a journey! After the Lord spoke to me about the sixth “P” of Permitting Change, I thought I was finished. However, God had another idea and another “P” for me. This time He spoke to me about Proclaiming Change. When this knowledge He had imparted to me during our time of physical transition. He spoke into my spiritual ears that I was to proclaim to others what I had learned during this time. The Lord confirmed my need to proclaim change by laying upon my heart the scripture of I Peter 2:9 NKJV, “You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the promises of Him.”

I had written notes and made files for myself but what was I to do with them? In 2009, I had to STOP and listen more carefully for further direction from the Lord. Was I to teach a Bible study to a group of women in our home? Was I to put the teachings into a format to be published? I had to WAIT until I felt the Lord urging me to start blogging in February 2013. I finally felt like this was the medium I was to use to share these words from the Lord. However, it was not until this past summer that I heard the Lord say GO! On the fifth anniversary of being in our new home, September 2014, it was finally time for me to release in a public form what the Lord had imparted to me. Five years ago was the end of our Life-Journey-Change experience with a new home but the end allowed for the beginning of this blogging series! My phrase for the “P” of Proclaiming Change became “The End is the Beginning.”

My Reader, did you notice that I capitalized the words STOP, WAIT and GO in the previous paragraph? I did it on purpose because of the significance these words had upon how I was to proceed with Proclaiming Change. I was still on my Life-Journey-Change excursion!  Whenever I take a journey on a road, I most likely encounter some traffic lights that I must obey. I must wait for the color of the traffic light to change to green before I can go, or proceed further. Red is on the top, yellow is in the middle and green is at the bottom. However, which light is truly the beginning and which is the end? Yellow is always in the middle, but do I ever think of yellow coming before green while traveling down a road? Red means stop. Green means go. Yellow is supposed to mean slow down or wait, but too many people think it means hurry up and go. Most people put a higher priority on going rather than stopping. If that is the case, then I begin by going and end by stopping. If the opposite is true, then I begin by stopping and end by going. Which ever way I choose to look at it, it can be said that the end is the beginning. I end one action and begin another. The traffic light also tells me something about how I should live my life with red at the top and green at the bottom. From a spiritual perspective, a red light tells me to stop and meditate upon God’s Word and seek His direction before stepping on the gas pedal to go forward. I may need a yellow light cautioning me to wait until I clearly hear the voice of the Lord. If I stop and wait according to the directions of God’s traffic light, then I will be ready to move ahead at full speed when God gives me the green light. I must also be aware that the light will not always stay green. I keep my eyes on the Lord so when He changes the signal color to yellow I will be willing to slow down and not rush ahead trying to continue under my own power. It is my responsibility to be ready to stop when the light turns red and go when the light turns green. The end of one endeavor is most likely the beginning of another undertaking. I still must remember that “Life is a Journey, a Journey involves Change, so embrace Change in Life.” While forging ahead upon the roads of my life’s journey, I will continue to come upon numerous traffic lights. I shall watch when the lights change color and obey the signals. The end of the illumination of one colored light is the beginning of the brightness of another color. An end is always a beginning and a new beginning will always have an end.

As I further meditated upon the messages of the traffic lights, I became aware of another significant fact. How I walked out the journey was as important as the destination. The message the Lord wanted me to proclaim was not that we now lived in a new home, but He wanted me to proclaim how I had walked through the change and how He had been with me each step of the way. Through this particular Life-Journey-Change, God gave me steps that I will repeat in future walks of change as well. In fact, I can testify today that I have applied these seven steps to changes in my journey of life several times over the last five years. My Reader, I pray these “Ps” are helpful to you as you experience your personal “Life-Journey-Change” milestones.

Join me in the Proclaiming Change Bible Study for an opportunity to look more closely at spiritual traffic lights we are encouraged to obey from the beginning to the end or from the end to the beginning.

Joyfully,
Cheryl

gold apple new

Bible Study – Permitting Change

LIFE is a JOURNEY…..a JOURNEY involves CHANGE…..embrace CHANGE in your LIFE…..LIFE is a JOURNEY…..a JOURNEY involves CHANGE….. embrace CHANGE in your LIFE…..LIFE is a 

bible-for-study-mfBible Study
Permitting Change
“The Lord Tabernacles in Weakness”

Definition of Permitting Change: not allowing things to stay the same – giving consent and recognition to something new and different in life

Master Key Verse: My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. – II Corinthians 12:9 NKJV

Another step for me to take in our current Life-Journey-Change experience. Another “P” to be placed on my plate of life. Permitting Change! I was struggling! I could not fully permit this change by myself but God showed me that I could do it with His help. Even though I did not want to permit the Lord to help me permit the change, He finally got His message to me through the phrase, “The Lord Tabernacles in Weakness.”

This phrase seemed a little strange to me because the word “tabernacle” is not commonly used today. Maybe that is why the phrase stuck in my mind. “Tabernacle” was used as a verb in this phrase but I also realized it could be used as a noun. We will try to gain insight and make some applications of this word through the following Bible study.

Scriptural Study of Tabernacle

Tabernacle as a noun
Definition (n) – (1) a temporary shelter, as a tent (2) a dwelling place (3) the portable sanctuary carried by the Israelites during their wanderings from Egypt to the Promised Land (4) the Jewish temple

Scriptural introduction to a temple is found in Exodus 25:8 when God spoke to Moses saying, “Have them make a sanctuary (tabernacle) for me, and I will dwell among them.”

For a detailed account of instructions for how the tabernacle was to be constructed, the different parts and pieces making up the tabernacle, and ceremonies to be carried out within the tabernacle, read Exodus 25-30.

 

TEMPLE#2

Follow the diagram to help you better understand the layout of the tabernacle (Above diagram copied from: tabernacle.http://epignosisministries.com/tag/moses-tabernacle/)

Three parts of the tabernacle
(1) Outer Court
***Altar where burnt offerings were made that were brought by the people
***Basin where priests cleansed themselves before performing duties
(2) Holy Place
***First of two parts of the Inner Court
***Table of Showbread – where 12 loaves of bread were placed – each loaf represented a tribe of Israel
***Lampstand – had 7 burning oil lamps
***Altar of Incense – located closest to the curtain separating the 2 parts of the Inner Court
(3) Holy of Holies
***Most holy place entered only once a year by a priest
***Ark of the Covenant – a golden rectangular box containing the 10 Commandments, Aaron’s rod that budded and manna
*** Atonement Cover – lid of the ark of the covenant with 4 cherubim representing the mercy seat where God dwelt – God’s presence was resting on the Atonement Cover

All was constructed from the inside to the outside – just the opposite of the previous description of the three parts.

Three parts of how God made us
(1)Body – physical flesh
(2)Soul – mind, will and emotions
(3)Spirit – inner being created for closest communion with God

Comparison and Conclusion
(1)Body and Outer Court
(2)Soul and Holy Place
(3)Spirit and Holy of Holies

Each one of us is a temple (tabernacle) of the Holy Spirit.
I Corinthians 6:19,20 – “Do you not know that you are a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own, you are bought with a price.”
John 16:13 – “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into truth.”

Since we each are a temple of the Holy Spirit and He guides us, we can come back to our master key verse that assures us that His strength will be within us and available to us when we feel weak.

God is tabernacleing (as a verb) in us as His tabernacle (as a noun).

Tabernacle as a verb
Definition: (v) – (1) to live in a temporary shelter (2) to dwell temporarily

The Israelites tabernacle in booths during the Feat of Tabernacles
Leviticus 23:42-43 – “Live in booths for seven days; All native-born Israelites are to live in booths so your descendants will know that I had the Israelites live in booths when I brought them out of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.” – symbolic of their temporary dwelling in the wilderness yet God was with them.

Today we tabernacle on the earth until we spend eternity with God – then we will abide with Him forever
Psalm 23:6I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Today we are temples of the Holy Spirit
I Corinthians 3:16 – “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?”

Because we are temples of the Holy Spirit, we can say that the Holy Spirit tabernacles in us.

God tabernacles in our weaknesses
In Matthew 11:28, Jesus says, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – In our tiredness and weakness we can come to Jesus and find not only rest but we can receive His strength as well.

How can we begin to comprehend and compare God’s strength and our weakness? – Paul says in I Corinthians 1:25, “the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.”
God offers amazing strength to us!

Listen to how God will tabernacle in our weaknesses according to Psalm 27:5. “For in the day of trouble (weakness) He will keep me safe in His dwelling; He will hide me in the shelter of His tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.”

In God Calling by Sarah Young, God’s words say, “I have chosen you less for your strengths than for your weaknesses, which amplify your need of Me.”

Another quote by Sarah Young – “I (the Lord) designed you to be filled with heavenly contents. Your weakness is not a deterrent to being filled with my Spirit; on the contrary, it provides an opportunity for My Power to shine forth more brightly.”

Let us look at a few scriptures that support the concept of God’s strength available to us in our weakness.
***Read II Corinthians 12:9,10 – God’s grace is sufficient – His power is made perfect in our weakness – Paul says, “When I am weak, I am strong.”

***Philippians 4:13“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”

***Read I Corinthians 2: 1-5 – (v.3) I (Paul) came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling (v.5) so your faith might not rest on man’s wisdom, but on God’s power.

***Read II Corinthians 4:6,7We have the treasure of God’s light in our bodies as jars of clay to show that all surpassing power is from God not us – His light shines through our cracks of weakness.

***Isaiah 30:15 – “in quietness and trust is your strength” – We get our strength by trusting in God’s strength.

We can conclude that it is not a detriment to be weak, but rather it is an opportunity for us to personally experience God’s strength. Can you rejoice in your weakness?

Conclusion

There comes a time in our lives along the journey of change that we must choose to permit change. This may be very difficult, or even impossible, for us to do within our own strength. The good news is that we do not need to do it by ourselves because God is with us. He is living and tabernacling within us to give us the strength to do what we cannot do on our own.

We talked about “tabernacle” as a noun being a place of temporary shelter or a tent. However, listen to Acts 17:24, “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples (tabernacles) built by hands.” Our God is too big to be contained within a building.

John 1:14 says, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” This is tabernacling as a verb. Tabernacled as a verb is the same word as dwelt. In the Old Testament the Israelites celebrated God being with them in the wilderness through the observance of the Feast of Tabernacles. In the New Testament, Jesus came to earth for a period of 33 years tabernacling with the people. We talked about our having the privilege of the Holy Spirit tabernacling within us because we are temples of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is always with us, but our weakness gives Him the opportunity to reveal Himself and His power personally to us.

Tabernacleing in a tabernacle is temporary, even if the tabernacle is our bodies. However, we have the promise that the day will come when our life’s journey has encountered all of its changes and we will dwell forever with our God. In the NKJV Revelation 21;3,4 reads, “And I heard a voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There shall be no more death, nor sorrow, or crying. There shall be no more pain, for former things have passed away.‘” That means no more weakness! But in the meantime, remember the Lord tabernacles in weakness.

Read Psalm 27:4-6 printed below for a final declaration.

One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.
For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in His dwelling;
He will hide me in the shadow of His tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.
Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me;
at His tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make music to the Lord.

Joyfully,
Cheryl
gold apple new

Sixth “P” – Permitting Change

LIFE is a JOURNEY…..a JOURNEY involves CHANGE…..embrace CHANGE in your LIFE…..LIFE is a JOURNEY…..a JOURNEY involves CHANGE….. in your LIFE…..LIFE is a JOURNEY…..a JOURNEY 

peas-mfPermitting Change
“The Lord Tabernacles in Weakness”

My plate of “Ps” is getting full as I think about the sixth “P” that the Lord placed on my plate of life five years ago. Today I am focusing upon Permitting Change. Possessing Change and Permitting Change seem to fit together. Last week I described possession as involving ownership and responsibility. Now I define permitting change as consenting  to something new. Since we were already in our new home, it seemed strange that I should still have to permit or allow change, but this was the situation in which I found myself. At this time five years ago, I was still struggling with yielding 100% of my consent to the condition and status of everything in our new home.

I had a dialogue with the Lord that I will share in the following paragraphs.

I said, “I can do it myself!”
The Lord said, “I oppose the proud but show favor to the humble.” (taken from James 4:6)

I still wanted to make everything perfect. I still thought I could do everything by myself. I was expending all my physical strength on projects around the house and forgetting to rely on God’s strength. I had not thought of myself as being prideful but this was the word the Lord used to describe my emotions. I had been too independent. The Lord could not help me if I did not want His help. The Lord’s strength was there for me if I would only admit my inability to accomplish everything on my own. Not only could I not permit change but I also could not permit God to help me make the change.

I said, “I can’t do it myself:”
The Lord said, “Come near to Me and I will come near to you.” (taken from James 4:8)

In order for me to keep moving forward on my personal journey of change, I had to admit that I could not make everything perfect under my own power. I needed God’s help. I had pushed God away and was trying to achieve perfection on my own. I had become exhausted physically and emotionally, not to mention spiritually. I finally was willing to cry out to the Lord for help. All I had to do was ask for His presence and immediately I felt a peace that had escaped me. At first I timidly held out my hand to Him. In turn, the Lord firmly took hold of my hand. With my hand in His hand, the Lord helped me continue to move forward with my Life-Journey-Change experience. It was harder for me to achieve it by myself because I was trying to do it according to how I thought it should be done rather than according to God’s plan. I could not do it by myself, and neither did I need to do it by myself.

I said, “Lord, help me!”
The Lord said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” (II Corinthians 12:9 NKJV)

When I admitted my inability to expediently do all the things that needed to be done, I felt God’s strength helping me to do one task at a time. I felt God’s presence empowering me to be content with things as they were. God’s grace not only helped me to do what had to be done, but His grace also helped me let go of things that did not have to be done immediately. Being weak became an advantage for me because I was able to experience God’s presence and power in a way I had never previously encountered it.  I experienced the truth of the scriptures that say without the Lord I can do nothing (John 5:5) but with Christ’s strength I can do all things (Philippians 4:13) because God’s strength is perfect in my weakness! (II Corinthians 12:9)

About the same time as when I had this conversation with the Lord, our pastor gave a Sunday morning message entitled, “The Lord Tabernacles in Weakness.” He spoke about the 53 miles between Athens and Corinth as being the hard road that Paul traveled. He also spoke about what Paul learned while traveling these miles. We had only traveled approximately 25 miles from Webster to Henrietta but at times the journey had seemed hard. Pastor Phil  shared about how this journey for Paul had been a lesson in humility that helped him in his future years of spreading the gospel.

Later that Sunday afternoon, I thought more about the morning’s message. I truly identified with Paul. Like this man who became a great missionary, there were some lessons for me to learn while on my journey. Humility was one of those lessons. Looking more closely at the scripture in II Corinthians 12:9, I found two points that stood out to me. The first point was from the beginning of the verse that says, “My grace is sufficient for you.” In these words, I came to understand that I could exchange my weakness for Jesus’ grace which was His strength. The second point was found in the last part of the verse saying, “My strength is made perfect is weakness.” If I would admit that I felt weak, I would then have the privilege of being made strong through the outpouring of Jesus’ power and strength. These insights helped me to permit change in my life because God was helping me consent to this change. The Lord gave me my phrase for this “P” change from the title of the sermon I had heard that morning. “The Lord Tabernacles in Weakness.”

I liked the phrase “The Lord Tabernacles in Weakness,” but what did tabernacle mean when it was used as a verb? It is not a term I hear used in today’s conversations. The definition that I found said that it meant to dwell temporarily. So, to put it in context, I was saying that the Lord temporarily dwells in weakness. Why does He just dwell there for a period of time rather than taking up permanent residence? I came to the conclusion that while God resides in my weakness, He is actively changing my weakness into strength. Consequently, weakness does not remain where the Lord is present. (I will develop the word tabernacle more fully in the Bible Study post this week when I consider the word as both a noun and a verb.)

I came to the conclusion that I had to permit change to occur as God desired, not how I anticipated it. The “P” of Permitting Change in this Life-Journey-Change scenario was hard for me because I had tried to do it by myself rather than asking for God’s help. I had to give God permission to do it His way. I was reminded of Isaiah 55:8-9 when the Lord declares, “My thoughts are not your thoughts. Neither are your ways my ways, As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thought than your thoughts.” This was the change God has chosen for us and I had to humbly permit it.

Yes, there are still times that I like to be independent and do not like to be told how I am to do something. However, I needed to learn that if this Life-Journey-Change was to be successfully completed I had to permit the Lord to help me. This was a lesson I needed to learn physically and spiritually. The insight was applicable for five years ago and it is still valid for today.

Humbly I now cry, “Lord, I am sorry for being prideful. I truly am weak!”
Now I hear God whispering back to me, “I tabernacle in weakness.”

Joyfully,
Cheryl
gold apple new

Bible Study – Possessing Change

 is a JOURNEY…..a JOURNEY involves CHANGE…..embrace CHANGE in your LIFE…..LIFE is a JOURNEY…..a JOURNEY involves CHANGE…..embrace CHANGE in your LIFE…..LIFE is a

bible-for-study-mfBible Study
Possessing Change
“The Promised Land is a Land of Promises”

Definition of Possessing Change: taking ownership of a new activity or place or stage of life – realizing responsibility for a transition that has occurred

Master Key Verse: I will give you every place where you set your foot. – Joshua 1:3

While we were on our Life-Journey-Change experience regarding our new home, one of the major things I learned was that possession results in potential, not perfection. I expected things to reflect more perfection when we moved into our new home since this was the home God had revealed to us as being where He wanted us to live. (Remember the posts for September 10 about “Hidden . . . then Revealed and September 17 about “Expectations or Expectancy.”) However, such was not the case. I have now come to realize that the new home had potential that we needed to develop. There were some functional issues that my husband had not planned on needing to do, but there was still potential with this house. I became frustrated with some cleaning projects but there was still potential with this house. Possession did not mean everything was perfect but possession did allow us the opportunity to maximize the potential of the property. It all depended on my perspective of our situation.

The same was true for the Israelites as they entered the Promised Land of Canaan after being set free from Egyptian slavery. I imagine they expected their new homeland to be perfect and void of enemies since God had led them to this location. Such was not the case. According to Joshua 1:3, the Lord has promised to give them every place where they set their feet. God fulfilled that promise but the land was still inhabited by the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, etc. who needed to be driven out of the land. The land had potential but the Israelites had to fight battles even though they had possession.

Possession resulted in potential, not perfection, for the Israelites in their new homeland. Possession resulted in potential, not perfection, for us in our new home. When anyone become part of the family of God, one is promised a new home for eternity. (Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. – John 14:1-3) We possess the promise of an eternal home, but while living our earthly life we have the responsibility to develop our potential to become more like Christ. (And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son – Romans 8:28-29)

Possession gives us responsibility and accountability for the potential of what had been purchased or attained, but it does not mean perfection. Going back to my theme of Life-Journey-Change, I must say that writing the check for the financial cost of the house and attaining the deed to our new home was not the completion of our journey. There were still promises for us to claim for our life’s journey that continued even after we had taken the step of change that took us into the promised land God had for us. I still needed to keep the proper perspective and hold tightly to specific promises in the Bible.  This holy book is definitely a “land of promises.” Let us look at three of these promises in the following study.

Bible Study of Promises

#1 – The Promise of Battles

We may not like the promise that battles will occur but it is something we must face.
There can be no victories without battles!
John 16:33 says, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart, I have over-come the world.”
Trouble may refer to battles, so let’s see how the Israelites fought their first battle.

*The Battle of Jericho
Read Joshua 6 for details of the Battle of Jericho.

God gave the instructions and the people were obedient to follow His instructions.
****Although some of the instructions were unusual, the people did as they were told.
****Isaiah 55:8For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.

Reference to the number 7 is important because 7 is symbolic of God’s completion while 6 is symbolic of man. God is in control of all aspects of this battle.
****7 priests with 7 trumpets led the march around the city once each day for 6 days.
****On the 7th day they marched around the city 7 times. They then shouted and blew the trumpets and the walls collapsed.

An oath was made not to rebuild Jericho. The battle belonged to the Lord and His victory was not to be overturned.

* The Battle of the Mind
Our battles are often fought within our minds, but we can learn strategies for our battles from how the Israelites fought the Battle of Jericho.

Read II Corinthians 10:3-6
When our battle is spiritual, we must capture our thoughts in order to capture our spiritual enemy.
If we do not take thoughts captive, imaginations take over. Imaginations come from images. Imaginations appear to be logical to our mind but in reality they are the illogical images that the enemy wants us to believe.
Notice in verse 5 that we are to be obedient just as obedience was required by the Israelites.

One reason we must take our thoughts captive is because the battle is not our responsibility. It belongs to the Lord according to II Chronicles 20:15Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude for the battle is not yours, but God’s.”

Oswald Changers has stated in My Utmost for His Highest, “We are not sent to battle for God, but to be used by God in His battles.”

The battle in II Chronicles 20 was fought with praise (see verses 16-40) and the Battle of Jericho was won with shouts to the Lord. One of the ways we, too, need to fight the battles of our minds by praising the Lord.

 #2 – The Promise of Proper Protection

Knowing that the battles we fight belong to the Lord, we can have the confidence that He will provide the proper protection or armor for us.

Think of the story of David and Goliath recorded in I Samuel 17. Goliath was a Philistine and the Philistines were some of the people who needed to be overcome by the Israelites. (Read the complete chapter to refresh your memory with details.)

*Protection for David to Fight the Battle with Goliath
Read I Samuel 17:38,39 to find out how Saul wanted to dress David to fight Goliath.
****Saul used “his own tunic” and a heavy coat of armor, a bronze helmet and a sword the size Saul would need.
****David was smart enough to know this would not work for him and he fought with his staff and five stones.

Notice verse 45 for what else David took with him – “You (Goliath) came against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty.”

*Protection for Us to Fight Spiritual Battles
Today we have God’s Armor.  Read Ephesians 6:10-18 for its description.
****Notice in Verse 10 that we are to be strong in the Lord rather than our own strength
****Also notice the reference to “full armor” in verses 11 and 13

Just as David came “in the name of the Lord,” we can apply the name of Jesus to each piece of armor because He is our mighty warrior.
****(v14) Belt of truth – John 14:6 says, “I am the way and the truth and the life” (a belt is placed around the waist near the part of the body where birthing takes place)
****(v14) Breastplate of righteousness – I John 2:1 refers to Jesus Christ as the Righteous One (the breastplate protects the heart and it is the center of our being)
****(v15) Feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace – Isaiah 9:6 prophecies Jesus to be the Prince of Peace and the gospel is the good news of this fact (we stand firm on our feet and we must be ready to share the foundations of our faith with those we encounter in our daily walk)
****(v16) Shield of faith – I Timothy 1:14 refers to faith being in Christ Jesus (we can move the shield to cover whatever part of our lives needs extra protection and faith assures us that it will be done)
****(v17) Helmet of salvation – Luke 2:11 tells us that a savior has been born and he is Christ the Lord. (we need our head protected because we make decisions with our minds and according to I Cor. 2:16 we can have the mind of Christ)
****(v17) Sword of the Spirit which is the word of God – John 1:1 quotes, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God.” This refers to Jesus. (this is our only offensive weapon, but God’s Word pierces deep into the soul)

Protection through prayer
****Ephesians 6:18 tells us after putting on the armor of God to pray in the Spirit.
****Prayer is not a piece of the armor, but it definitely is an action that will keep us on the offensive, especially when we claim God’s Word when we pray.

#3 – The Promise of Promises

Remember, the Word of God is our only offensive weapon so we must claim our promises!

God’s Word is a double-edged sword that can cut out what is not of the Lord as well as pierce the soul with what is of the Lord.
****Isaiah 55:11 NKJV, “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which He sent it.”

God’s Word contains all the promises we need – this is “the land of promises.”
There is power when we speak the words spoken by God in scripture.

I challenge you to find personal promises within Gods Word for your personal battles. You may be in your Promised Land, but through your life the journey continues and there will still be changes and challenges.

I encourage you to write a declaration of faith filled with the personal promises God reveals to you. Speak these promises out loud. God is faithful to fulfill His Word!

Conclusion

To bring everything together that we have studied today, read Joshua 24.

In this chapter, God speaks to the Israelites through the voice of Joshua reminding them how He has led them throughout their entire journey that started when He called Abraham to a journey out of the land of the Chaldeans. This chapter recounts the changes the Israelites experienced and the battles they fought. The people were assembled at Shechem to hear these words. We each have our own personal Shechem, the place where God meets us in a special way as we continue our life’s journey. Our Shechems are places and times God has provided for us and fulfilled His promises. He has blessed us but He also wants us to bless others by sharing our journey experiences of change.

The Israelites needed to meet at Shechem to be reminded of the faithfulness of God and His promises. Joshua 24:14 says, “fear the Lord and serve Him with all faithfulness.” God is faithful and He desires us to be faithful. In verse 15 Joshua gives the people a choice, “choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.”  What is your choice? Do you choose to enter the Promised Land and cling to the land of promises? Joshua concluded this scripture verse by saying,”But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

I again quote Oswald Chambers from My Utmost for His Highest, “to turn head faith into a personal possession is a fight always, not sometimes.” We may have stepped into the Promised Land and held on to our land of promises within scripture, but there are still battles to fight. Many of these battles begin within the mind. Remember the three promises we have studied today and apply them to your personal journey. Take possession of all God promises you and give a victory shout!

Joyfully,
Cheryl
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