Until now, being afraid of dying has not been a problem. Before this virus came the majority of us did not think that death could come anytime soon, so we did not react. Now, we have videos of people crossing the street just not to come close to others. In fact, at the supermarkets we have security making sure that we keep six feet distance. Because the reality that we could die has become our worst nightmare, and we have become fearful of that. John teaches that fear has its torment (1Jh4:18), but that perfect love casts out that fear. We have all dealt with some sort of fear at some point or another, but now most of us trace our steps to see if we cleaned the door handle, carefully removed the mask, cleansed the soul of our shoe, etc… Fear affects our heart with pain, the bible speaks that when they enemies of God came to his city to attack, fear came upon them and then pain (ps48:4-6). All of us at one point or another have behaved in an uncommon way because of fear. Fear leads to bondage or being enslaved and God did not gives that type of spirit (Ro8:15).
14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.
Now, our verse tell us that Satan had the power of death before Christ came. And, Satan, aka Lucifer was known as the “morning star”. His beauty was so, that pride came into his heart. He was kicked out of heaven along with one third of the angels of God (Is14:11-12). When Adam and Eve came they freely gave Satan the power of death and they were cast from the presences of God. So, Jesus could not come to man in the form of that very thing that deceived them, the fallen angels or any angel. In order for man to come out of bondage (Heb2:15) or slavery someone had to buy them out, and Jesus did just that (Ga3:13-14). He had to take the form of the seed of Abraham which is the seed of faith (Heb2:16). God told Abraham to leave to land without directions, and he took everything he owned and followed God; without any information. He became the father of faith, and so Jesus took that seed and liberated us from the fear of death. That is why Paul said “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? ” (1Cor15:55)
One thing is for sure that God never forgets those who think and act on him and his elects. God’s rewards are on time, they are never late. When someone acts with compassion and mercy towards one of God’s little ones, their reward is not forgotten (Mt10:42). In Fact, when a person does something nice to you because you are a follower of Christ that person attracts God’s attention. Isaiah 49:15 Says that although a women might forget the child she gave labor too, he will not forget those whom think on him.
2 Kings 8:5-6
5 Just as Gehazi was telling the king how Elisha had restored the dead to life, the woman whose son Elisha had brought back to life came to appeal to the king for her house and land. Gehazi said, “This is the woman, my lord the king, and this is her son whom Elisha restored to life.”6 The king asked the woman about it, and she told him. Then he assigned an official to her case and said to him, “Give back everything that belonged to her, including all the income from her land from the day she left the country until now.”
This story of this women the Shunamite is a powerful illustration of God not forgetting his rewards. It begins with this women, because Elisha was a man of God, preparing a meal for him each time he passed by. She then had her husband prepare a room for Elisha, so that each time he would pass by he could lodge there and rest. Such characteristic profiles a women of a virtuous (chayil) heart such as depicted in Proverbs 31:10. Virtuous is defined as strong, wealth, army, force. Now, both her and her husband were old and were without children. And, so while Elisha is trying to figure out what is this women in need of to bless her, his servant reminds him that she is barren. Elisha calls her and prophesied to her that her barren days are over (2k4:15-17).
Because this women displayed her innate ability to be compassion especially to the man of God, the promise for her to be blessed took into effect, and now all the things that were going to happen to her had meaning (Ro8:38-39). The unthinkable happened to her, her son died. But, she did not loose faith; in fact, her run to God for a miracle defied all religiosity and she took her son to Elisha on the sabbath and brought him back to life. This women’s response when her child died was not of fear as the virtuous women in Proverbs 31:21. A famine was about to strike the land, and because God watches for those who trust in him, Elisha tells the woman that she needs to leave and go to a nearby land and reside there for 7 years. Now, what amazes me the most is God precision with time, that as soon as she comes back everything she had was restored. As children of God nothing is really lost.
Good things come to them who wait, some say. And, for special days like this Mother’s Day, the idea of blessing people like moms is in the air. Doing a good thing is good, and most people are content with just good, but a great thing is much better. Sometimes exerting ourselves much more to blessing someone even greater is better then just doing a good thing. God set that example when he sent the very best of heaven to earth save humanity (Jhn3:16). In order for man to be saved back in the old testament a visit to the priest with some offering, and keeping about 600 and some laws would have given a person a chance to make it to heaven; it was a good plan but not a great plan. Many people had a really hard time keeping all the laws of the old testament. God decided to up his way to saving man and began to more frequently announce that a savior was on his way (Deut18:15); it was a great plan a prophet was coming. And, this prophet was not coming out of thin air, he was to be born from a virgin (Is7:14). Something great was about to happen to a young women, that helped her to become a great women and that is she gave birth to a great man.
Luke 1:49 49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name.
Something not just good happened to Mary, but great thing. Mary received the greatest news every women wants when she gets married, and that is that she was pregnant; she was going to be a mommy. The connection and bonding experience between Mary and Jesus was going to be one of the greatest experience both were going to have; like every mother and her child. A child is a great thing to have, it is a treasure and a reward from the Lord(ps127:3). Children are that great thing God does in every women. Jesus held children close to his heart in Mark 19:20 he told his disciples to allow the little children to come to him. The enemy and life has a way to steal the great thing God has done. As soon as children begin to taste life and be tempted with evil, they begin to slip out of our hands. This great thing that Mary was to experience was going to be that very thing that was going to pierce her heart (lk2:35). And, unlike today’s mothers whose great thing either is taken away or abandon, Mary kept hers till the very end. God chastise and heals with the same hand (Job5:16).
Having a bad day or a season is not optional, we at any given time will come to a point of hardship without any sign of relief. And, sometimes or most of the time those difficult moments seem to not want to leave, they only get worse and worse. Which makes us wonder where is God, since I am going to such difficult time and am trying to be a good person; I don’t cheat, steal, lie or do anything dishonest. But, the bible teaches us that the rain comes for both the good and the bad(Mt5:45). One of the things is for sure is that God is in the business of rescuing us no matter how far we drift away (ps68:20-22). When we trust God and his saving plan, there is no place too deep that he cannot save us from (ps56:13). Some believe that if we call on God he will save us and indeed he will (Is58:9), but we do not need to call on him to save us; he saves us no matter what.
6 So they took Jeremiah and put him into the cistern of Malkijah, the king’s son, which was in the courtyard of the guard. They lowered Jeremiah by ropes into the cistern; it had no water in it, only mud, and Jeremiah sank down into the mud.
Jeremiah was a follower of God, a prophet, a man who sought God with his whole heart, and yet he was not susceptible to having very hard times. A very difficult time came to Jeremiah beyond his imagination, he was cast into a pit filled with mud; something unimaginable. Lamentations tells us that Jeremiah cried unto to the Lord and he drew near him (Lam3:55-57), and said unto him “fear not”. The bible tells us 74 times not to fear. Telling others not to fear is what the bible instructs us to do (Is35:4); be that Ebdmelech to others. God had a plan already in place to save Jeremiah for a moment like this and it was titled Ebedmelech. Ebedmelech was a servant of the king and as soon as he found out about Jeremiah, he took upon himself to save him; kind of a type Christ (tit3:5). Ebedmelech took some old rags and worn out clothes; which are a symbol of tender care in the rescue, and the rope is a symbol of human kindness (Hos11:4). So, no matter how deep or how far one might be in trials or tribulation God is able to reach him.
Two of the most needed substances for life are food (bread) and water. We cannot go too long without either of the substances before we die. With one we can go longer without then without the other; that is we can last longer on food then with water. A women by the name of Rita Chretian survived for 47 days on granola bars and water from a stream nearby as she and her husband were misguided by their gps and were stranded. Elijah went for 40 days and 40 nights on one meal to the mountain of God, because of fear for his life (1kg19:7-8). Food and water not only fuels our bodies but our brains as well. It affects our emotions and even our relationships with others as well as with God, because food and water is our source for life. There are many types of foods, but the bible when it mentions food it categorizes it to the basic bread. Our source for survival does not come without a price the bible tells us that if anyone does not work he should not eat (2thes3:10). Because God knows that we cannot live without food and water, He put that same emphasis on his Son of which we cannot live without.
47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. 48 I am that bread of life. 49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world
To the Jews, the manna that was given to their ancestors in the wilderness was just substance with no significance, but its symbolism was typifying much more. This manna that came down was a symbol of the living bread that came from God, Jesus. John records seven “I am” statements from Jesus declaring himself equal to the God, and this “I am the bread of life” gives reference to him being the very substance of life for man. Just as we cannot go on in life without food we cannot go on without Christ. Now, this bread of life that Jesus refers to is eternal life, and in order for anyone to have eternal life they need to eat of Christ. But, before anyone can eat of Christ there is one catch; he needs to over come. One might ask, overcome what? We need to overcome unbelief. Like this father who brought his son to Jesus’ disciples because he was possessed with a demon, but they could not cast it out; because of unbelief of the father (Mk9:23-24). The Jews became enraged with this saying of eating Christ, but Jesus made it clear that whoever ate his flesh has eternal life (Jh6:53-55). His flesh is just one meal time for eternity, but his blood is a continual drink, because his blood cleanses us of all sin.
Parenting is not easy, but like many things in life it takes it’s place in the top scale in comparison with other things. In comparison with others in society women; specifically mothers have the hardest times. Women are at the eye of the storm, when it comes to taking the blame for things; mothers, when it comes to overload of responsibilities they are at the front lines. Fully 70% of the public says it is more difficult to be a mother today than it was A national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Feb. 16-March 14 among 2,020 Americans, finds a widespread belief that today’s parents are not measuring up to the standard that parents set a generation ago. Mothers are seen as having the more difficult job, but they are also judged more harshly than are fathers. More than half of Americans (56%) say that mothers are doing a worse job today than mothers did 20 or 30 years ago.20 or 30 years ago,
A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
God knows all things; he is omniscient, and he inspired his writers to write an entire chapter to the women Proverbs 31. This proverb is a prophetic saying king Lemuel; some say it is Solomon because he is the author of the book, from his mother which she uttered to him depicting a standard of choice as a wife. Now, this chapter outlines 10 virtues for A Virtuous women of which every women can relate too; they are embedded in each and one of them. The essence of this virtuous women is to be modest, and each women today though may seem far from modest, somewhere in their characteristics possess modesty. Women like men are created in God’s image and share the same responsibilities, but because of sin and darkness they have taken the overload and they cannot find their virtue. And, so this virtue has become buried in the rubles of darkness and the virtuous women has lost her identity. Like this young mother who slit her three young daughters throat to get back at her husband, her virtuousness was buried. So, the kings mother set out a prophetic standard for all women to live in or to regain and that is also a function for mothers. They instill prophetic standards on their children towards women, God and everything (Deut4:9).
The battle against the enemy is and has been on the rage for years, and many times we have had casualties and loses. These battles though spiritual become materialized to becoming physical, meaning people against people. The battles originate from the same source for years; that is from Satan our enemy of the soul with the same goal to tempt us. Now, I know that we all have been tempted at one point or another to do something we probably have never done before or to do something we have and we have fell for the trap. Sometimes the enemy tries to make us believe that that which he is trying to direct us to is who and what we are supposed to do and it is a lie. The bible tells that with every temptation God has provided an exit(1Cor10:13). Paul tells us that temptations such as to get rich lead us to more foolish plunges and trouble (1Tim6:9). God does not tempt us, so if you are being tempted to do something it is not of God (Jm1:13).
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a] by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.
Jesus found himself against the very enemy himself tempting him with the temptations we all go through. With the idea in mind that the sole substance of food for mans existence the enemy tempted Jesus with this same need, but Jesus understood otherwise. Jesus said to this disciples after everyone had deserted him that his words are life (Jh6:63) the very fact that he confronted Satan with. Moses made this declaration to the children of Israel that the words he had given them were not just idle words they were life (det32:46-48). Satan also tempt Jesus with his position as the Son of God in Matthew 4:5 when he told him to cast himself from a tall tower, but Jesus counter him with how God looks at him. We are continually harassed by the enemy of who we are and he tempts us to question God, but we need to remind Satan that we are who God has made us to be no questions asked. In Matthew 4:8 Satan tempts Jesus with his worship, but Jesus’ view of worshipping God does not rely of material value and so he casted out Satan. Satan will either tempt you to shy away from worshipping God the way God wants, or to substitute him for recognition or fame. Jesus said that God is looking for people to worship God in Spirit and in truth(jh4:23), but Satan wants to take out the spirit and truth from worship.
Throughout the ages man has been doing as he will whether good or bad he has done what he wills. We have done many good things of which others have benefit from, but at the same time we have done some bad things for which have torn us apart. In fact, many of the good things we have done are easily hid as dust under a rug, but the bad things continue to surface unto our faces and hurt us. But, we have the power to forgive when we exercise of our faith. So, with the increase of faith relationships can be restored. If we could only believe people can be forgiven no matter how bad someone has messed up or sinned against us they can be forgiven. Peter asked Jesus how many times should he forgive a brother who sinned against him and Jesus said seventy times seven (Mt.18:21-22). With an increase amount of faith we can forgive multitudes of infractions (Lk17:5).
3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them.4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on.5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
God takes it to heart when someone offends us or tries to make us stumble, and in fact, his complete wrath is stirred up and he takes the vengeance upon himself (Ro12:19). God will deal with our enemies like the lord of the unmerciful servant dealt in Matthew 18:34 says that he handed this servant to the jailor to be tortured and punished. In Revelations the souls called out to the Lord as when he would avenged the wicked, and soon after it came about that the skies were rolled up, the moon turned blood red and the earth was shaken(Re6:12). So, it should not be a want of us that those who offend us receive vengeance from God on our behalf. We should apply our faith to the forgiveness of our offenders. That is why if our faith has an increase of that of a mustard seed we can tell a huge tree of offences to move and it will obey us (Lk17:6). Jesus told the disciples that when they pray they should forgive, but that they needed to have faith enough to move a mountain (Mk11:22-25). So, do not force yourself to forgive, but seek to increase your faith so that you can forgive.
Mothers have favor with God, that is women that are given to the Lord, because He has given them the ability to see things that men tend to over look. There is a poem at poetrysoup.com that sounds like this;
“The maternal being could be compared
to the superlative physical qualities of the stone
Even the characteristic luster
of this gem so prevalent from its ability
to disperse light and colour
compared to the many strengths
roles and qualities of the mother
seen by the many she deals with daily”
The innate characteristics of a mother is seen throughout God’s creation. From elephants tending to a baby seal stuck on a mud puddle, to squirrels adopting another of their kind as if it were theirs, the motherly instinct is powerful. Eve is considered the mother of all the living (gn 3:20) and from her every mother gets that genuine motherly feeling. Mothers set the law; the rules to be followed, of the homes and the fathers set the commandments; the things that are to be taught (prv6:30). And, the children have to follow these commands and laws else the birds of the sky will eat them up(prv.30:17). Now, when something is happening with the children moms tend to be the first to discover it; it is an innate intuition.
9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking. 10 Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.
Abraham is the father of faith. God called him to leave his home and go to the place he selected for him. Abraham married Sarah his half sister, but could not have children; Sarah was barren. God had promised Sarah that she was going to give birth to a child of which had a promise within to be the father of many nations. The promise took long to come true and so she pushed her husband to bare a child with her slave Hagar. Hagar bare a child Ismael which was a rugged barbaric man. Sarah’s promise finally came true and she had a child Isaac. Ismael became a bully to Isaac and in one instance Sarah caught him and decided to cast him and his mom out of the house. Bullying is one of the worsts things a child can go through, but moms have this ability to provide a solution for their child. Sarah is the symbol of hope and redemption while Hagar is that of sin and mothers have that obligation to cast out sin from their home. Now, Abraham loved Ismael probably because he was rugged and a man of war and Ismael was just like his dad, and at time favoritism can become a blind spot in the family. God has a promise for the entire family(Is54:13) just like he had for Isaac and Ismael who became the fathers of two of the largest families. There are promises that are found in the bible that God has left for us about our children. Our children are blessed (Is.65:23) they will have refuge (Pr.14:26).
Every person has the ability to exercise faith, whether it is to believe that they can hit a home run, pull a 10 ton truck or believe that someone else can receive a healing, it is a choice that they have. Faith is an agent that can be exercised at anytime and it can also be turned off with just a simple choice. Now, there are situations in life that can decide whether faith can play a role in its outcome or not, for example, one person can be terminally ill and is introduced to a treatment that can give him a certain percent of recuperating. In order for things to really happen in God out of three measures of faith great faith needs to happen. Regular faith to regular people comes by decision, but faith in God comes only by one way and that is by listening to God’s word (Ro. 10:17).
10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.
Great faith comes by exercise. Such as this Centurion whom was used to ordering his soldiers under him and expecting them to perform as his command, build his faith to when he needed to apply it to Jesus’ word had not difficulties in believing its expected outcome(Mt8:9-11). Whether you have family members, a job or circumstances of life of which your persistent words or expectation must be. A women like this centurion had a daughter sick to the point of almost dying whom when she met Jesus she understood that he could heal her daughter. This women like a normal parent that tells her kids to do and they do had such a faith that she debated with Jesus for the miracle of which he healed her daughter(Mt. 15:28). Great faith can be found throughout the bible and throughout life. People all through life have demonstrated such a great faith as this women and the centurion baring witness that anyone can attain it.
Little faith is just below of great faith where faith is exercised but at a limited amount. With little faith there is a hesitation on claiming that which we want. This faith is activated when problems come. Unlike great faith when it is manifested at all times without the barrier of time and distance, little faith stops at the manifestation of the problem. The disciples were in a boat with Jesus and a storm manifested. Fear was so strong that over took their faith (Mt. 8:25-26), they thought that they were going to die. Little faith though it leads to you to God, but it does not lead you to work the miracle. Peter found himself with such a faith when he, after Jesus instructed him to get of the boat, walked on water. But, anxiety took a hold of him and manifested his type of faith(Mt. 14:30-31), little faith allows anxiety and other mental illnesses to prevent one to manifest God’s power.
This father brings his demon possessed child to the disciples of Jesus so that they could take him out but they could not, so they came to Jesus. Unbelief is under little faith. Its characteristics deal with knowledge of what could happen if they believe, but do not know how to overcome it (Mk. 9:23-24). The exclamation of the father “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” illustrates a type of faith that is mixed with an saturated with unbelief. In order for unbelief to be overcome someone else with great faith has to work out the miracles. The problem with unbelief is that not every person overcomes it no matter how miracles are performed (Jhn. 12:37).