Happy Mother’s and Son Day!


Grandma and her grandchildren

Grandma and her grandchildren

I had to share this story once again. It makes me laugh every time I think of it and I know the Lord has certainly used this to reveal things to me.

A few years back, when my son was about 8 years old, we went somewhere for Mother’s Day. I had asked him to do me a favor and his response was a simple, “No.” I was shocked as I pointed out, “Hey, it’s Mother’s Day!” Thinking I would get some kind of a guilt response, but it didn’t happen that way. My son, without missing a beat, said, “It’s also Son day!”

Wow, was this quick on the draw or what? I wondered at how long he had spent thinking about this. So witty, yet his ability to rob all attention away for himself, was uncanny. I had to laugh and I also remembered something from scripture.

Today, I shared this with others at church. It seems so appropriate, as my son was sitting a few rows back and he hates having the spotlight on him in a group situation. I know, it’s odd, given the fact that he appears to be rather narcissistic.

But, I spoke about the fact that this little nugget was something that had always touched me in scripture. In the last moments of our Lords life on this earth. There He was, hanging on a cross. As His mother looked at His poor battered and bruised body. I can’t bear the thought, as I think of my own son and just the little bumps and bruises, he’s suffered in his life. I always hurt to see my own children hurting. Whether it is an emotional or physical hurt. Most mother’s cannot help but feel the pain.

In John 19:26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son.” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, the disciple took her into his home.”

I pointed out that, John,” the one whom Jesus loved,” really means favored. As it is believed that John was only about 14, when he began to follow Jesus. A young boy of great faith, and this is something which our Lord always marveled at. People with faith. This was the difference between him and the other disciples. At times they questioned, and their faith wavered. But John was totally devoted.

Now, when I look out at my son and see him sitting there, I’m thinking of this young man and how Jesus must have felt. A special place in His heart for this love and trust, which John had placed in Him. Why wouldn’t the Lord trust him to take His mother in and care for her, all the rest of her days?

Then, I think about the words and how odd they seem to be at point in time. It is almost strange until you observe closely. It seems to be interjected in His dying process, as if He was saying something mundane, like, “Oh hey, don’t forget the potluck dinner next week. Wish I could come, but hey, John would you mind taking my mom?”

We know from reading God’s Word, that nothing is unintentional and it all has great significance to us. As I sat thinking about this, I realized that our Lord wanted us to see how we are related to one another. The true family of God. It is not birthed by human flesh. It is the spiritual birth which our Lord spoke about when Nicodemus had come to Him. Being born again, of His Spirit, is when we are transferred from the family of flesh, to the spiritual family.

He revealed that this can only happen, when we are standing at the foot of the cross in total surrender and accepting the sacrifice of His blood. Having done this, makes all of us family. We care for one another all the days of our lives. We pray for each other and love and support one another in all things. This we do, because we belong to Him.

So in the end, my son was right. Not only is it, Mother’s Day….it is also Son Day! Thank you Lord for making us family!

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Behold-The Remnant!


The Remnant

I was with a girl the other day and the Lord arranged a divine appointment as He always seems to do this. She was sharing some things in her life as I was and we had many hurts in common. I had told her that my faith sustained me and we continued to talk. As she shared her experience of religion, I realized, as I’m sure she did, it was an emotional,ritualistic experience. Nothing like the intimate relationship I had spoken of with the Lord.

I expressed to her that He had made a way for all people to come to Him in an intimate way, without ritual or any mediators. We are to look at Him as our Father now and He even tells us that we are children by adoption, allowing us to call Him, “Abba,” which is very intimate. It is as if we are climbing into His lap and crying “Daddy!” This is what Christ had accomplished for us on the cross, when the curtain had been torn. I reminded her that before that time, only a High Priest of Royal Order, was allowed into the Most Holy of Holies, to make sacrifice for the people of Israel. After Christ made sacrifice for us, He became our High Priest.
As we prayed, she cried and told me she never understood this before.
Well, I told her that religion, in many ways, keeps us focused on the wrong things and we miss, what Christ had really done for us. We go back to trying to work things out on our own.
 
I didn’t see her for a day and on the way back, she was telling me how excited she was after having prayed and wanting to start in a Bible Study. I told her when you have the Holy Spirit as your guide, you can read the bible with understanding, since He is the author. It is important for you to be in a study, rather than just involved in a church experience, which is nothing but ritual. God wants us to draw close to Him and to know Him, and this is how we do it.
Then she looked at a necklace which I was wearing and she said she liked it. It is a Star of David, with a cross in the middle of it. She said, “But the Jesus, will never go back to Israel again.” I dropped my jaw in disbelief. For someone who seemed to know very little about scripture, this remark was so Antisemitic, and out of left field. I said, “Did you know that Jesus was a Jew?” “Yes, but they killed him. And that’s the reason He said, Father forgive them, they don’t know what they’re doing.”
“Ok, listen,” I told her.”This is why it is very important for you to be in a study of the scriptures. You keep telling me this is “what you heard,’ but it is in total contradiction to God’s word.
God has a covenant with Israel and we are all inheritors of that same covenant as believers. Jesus Christ asked the Father to forgive all of us,that day. Every sinner, put Him on that cross. His prayer was as a High Priest, praying the prayer of forgiveness for all of mankind! I had to remind her that there were Roman’s and Jews alike that all took part in the sacrifice. A picture of Jew and Gentile. As I pointed out in scriptures before, “Roman soldiers cast lots for His clothing.” Everyone was implicated on that day. And God sent Him as a sacrifice. He was to make atonement for us. He said, “I lay my life down willingly, only to take it up again.”
But she said, “The Jews don’t believe and He will never go back to Israel again.“And do you know, that all the nations shall rise against Israel, and Christ Himself shall return and set His foot on the Mount of Olives, to put an end to the oppression? The Mount of Olives is in Israel. And God has said, that “I will bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse her.”
“Oh, I didn’t hear that,” she said. “No, this is why you need to know what God says. He loves Israel, even though they have been stubborn and rebellious. Just like all of us. But in scripture you can see that the very first believers were Jews. There was always a remnant. And I told her I have many friends who are Jewish believers.
We do not cut off Israel. She is the Apple of God’s Eye. His love for her is great and His plan is to restore her even though she was unfaithful.
I remember looking at my bible once and being fascinated with the remnant.
In Romans 11, Paul speaks of the remnant. In verse two Elijah appealed to God against Israel. You see that? The prophet to the nation of Israel, appealing to God, against His own people! He was so angry, He told the Lord, “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me.
This is what God said, “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal. (v4)
So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.
(v7)What then? What Israel sought so earnestly it did not obtain, but the elect did.
And this is the important part to remember, God allowed them to stumble and be blind. It says He gave them a “spirit of stupor.” (v8-10)
Why would He do something like this? How could a loving God darken the eyes of the very people He came for? Remember Jesus said, “I came first to the nation of Israel.”
This is why; Israels rejection of Christ resulted in salvation for the whole world. He became a “light to the gentiles.” And this is why it is so important that we understand what a great gift this has been and how much He loves Israel and plans for their return.
In verse 11, Paul repeats his question  to seal the understanding to his listeners. Just as I feel I must when speaking to those who want to make this a message of division or veiled antisemitism. That is demonically inspired and we know that anything surrounding Israel, Satan has hated from the beginning and will until the end.
“Again I ask; Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of the their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious.
Paul tells us “not to be arrogant. If the natural olive branch had been cut off, to allow the wild to be ingrafted, how much more shall the natural be grafted in to their own olive tree?” (v18-24)
People run around with all kinds of wild beliefs and ideas, but if you really want to know God’s heart, then you must know Him in His word.
He also speaks of the Suffering Servant, and many over the years want to argue this point. Those who don’t believe in Jesus as messiah, want to believe it is Israel. I contend, that when any one of us is grafted into this vine, we are His and are called by His name.
All of the true servants of the Lord, are also suffering servants and are part of this remnant. We have His name and all of the promises of Israel apply.
When He speaks to me, He reminds me of this. “Israel, my splendor.” It is not a land, but a people chosen by grace to do the work of His hands and reveal His light to this dark world.

The Heart of Our Father


To Be Forgiven

This love is the love that reached down from heaven and gave his only son for us. What kind of love is this?

I’ve had strife in my own family and everyone seems to think that they have an exclusive entitlement to this pain when it comes to hurt and suffering. When it comes to the loss of relationship or divorce, separation, rejection, etc. But no one ever seems to remember what the Lord has done for us. That we turned our backs on Him. That we rejected Him. Oh, yea. Some would say, that’s not even real and they will go about the whole Easter thing, giving their kids baskets with chocolate eggs and rubber tasting chickens and celebrating whatever it is they’re celebrating. To them it’s just another holiday. Not a holy day at all. A day to make crafts or something. The whole meaning is lost. The fact that our God gave His life? Thats just a myth to them.  So it’s  really just another pagan holiday to them and they’re passing down to their kids. Then they wonder when they make those beautifully colored eggs, Then it’s no wonder that they don’t really have a relationship with their kids, or if they do, why the family is such a mess. And even if they have kids, the future fallout will be quite telling. The Lord commands us to “teach our children of His ways.” When we decide to do things our own way and things fall apart, we turn around and blame God, or worse, act as if He doesn’t even exist.
Well let’s take a look at God’s Word, the author of all relationships and see what He says.
In Malachi 4, He speaks about the Day of the Lord, which is coming soon. The family is important enough that He speaks of sending his prophet of a sign of restoration. verse 5; “See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children,and the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse”
Now the reason it is referred to as the “great and dreadful day” is because for those who are  obedient to the Lord, it will be great, but for those, who are not, it will be dreadful.
As He says, He will strike the land with a curse.
When you see this is written before the Lord had come to this earth, we understand that the heart of the Father is to bring reconciliation.
Remember that it was “His only begotten son, that He gave to us.”  For those of us who are parents, it is an unimaginable horror.
But yet, we must now come to this conclusion. The Lord wanted one thing when He sent His son to this earth to be a “ransom for us.” To reconcile us to Himself.
So when He speaks in Malachi of the prophet “turning the hearts of the children to the father, it is not only to reconcile the earthly but to our heavenly Father. This is what Christ’s mission was all about and the reason He became sin.
When I heard of my loved one’s tears for his being ‘cut off’ from his children, I felt a sadness for him and it made me cry in my prayers to the Lord. He reminded me of the same rejection that He felt when He hung on the cross and He felt abandoned by His own Father because all of my sins, and the sins of others were cast upon Him, the spotless Lamb. His Father, being Holy, could not look upon sin.”About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”-which mean, “My God, my God,why have you forsaken me? When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah”
If you understand Passover, you will find this interesting to note that simultaneously, the lambs had been offered in the temple at the same time and was bound on the altar. This was to be a perfect, unblemished lamb, one per family. The High Priest performed the sacrifice in the Most Holy of Holies and this Lambs death would come at the same time as the death of the Lord, at which time the High Priest would speak the blessing over the lamb, “It is finished.” Just as Christ proclaimed of His own sacrifice.
At the Passover table there is always a seat for Elijah the prophet and the door is opened every year to see if he has arrived.
Now the prophet Malachi had spoken of the Spirit of Elijah before the return of the day of the Lord. This is the spirit of reconciliation.
The Father’s love for us is this great and He desires relationship with us, just as much as we cry for relationship with our own children. In fact this is why He has given us the experience of pain and brokenness, so that we can understand what this means to be restored.How He feels longing for us.  and why He sent His son to die. It was this important to Him. He made a way for us to return to Him.The curtain was torn that day in the temple, symbolizing the free entrance for us as children, by the shed blood through His Son. We became heirs to the throne because of Jesus Christ. No longer separated by sin. “but you received a spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry Abba, (daddy) Father. “
He stands  waiting with open arms of love. But He is the only one that can offer this.
When our relationship is restored to Him, then our other relationships will be restored.It is His promise to us.
“The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18