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Where God Speaks

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I have been trying to listen to God (Holy Spirit) through my spirit. A couple of months ago I learned that my spirit is found in my gut, rather than in my mind or in my emotions. Some of the places in a word in the original language says heart, should actually read “belly” or “gut”.

Years ago I learned that whenever I sensed something in what I called my intuition, I was always right. This understanding of gut knowledge has me now to hear from that place what it is that God has for me to do. My problem was that I did not understand that that place was where my spirit is.

God Spoke, I Listened

Because of the nature of my job, for the first time in eight months that I worked there, I have not had a single Sunday off until three weeks ago. I had been going to a Tuesday nigh and a Wednesday night  Bible study,  but could not get to church on Sundays.Because I had missed church, I determined that I would go to three services in three different churches. The first church was a denominational church, but the second two were nondenominational churches. In  the second, they had a food distribution going on in which I helped. In the final church, even though I had never been there before, I felt as though i was home.

At the end of the service, I felt the prompting in my spirit to go up to the pastor of the congregation and ask him if I could give a message at his church on June 7th.  As I said, I did not know the pastor, but I did feel as though I needed to ask.

It was not as hard to ask as I thought it would be. I even told the pastor that I understood if he said no. He did not however, said no. He said maybe. I didn’t hear back from him, but on June 7th, I showed up with a message.

Mind you, I had never preached a message in front of a church group before and I even told the congregation that. I was obviously nervous, but everything went well. I knew that I needed more experience and I really want to be able to do that more.

The Message

thunderstormThe message that I gave was out of Luke 11, John 11 and John 12. It was about Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus who sat at Jesus feet, listening to what he had to say. She faced ridicule from her sister. She questioned Jesus when he allowed her brother to die. She then received revelation that Jesus was going to the cross and she wanted to serve him by anointing his feet with Spikenard, an oil that offered physical, emotional, and spiritual healing because she knew the pain that he was going to face on the cross.

Today, like Martha, we are often too busy to take the time to listen to Jesus as Mary did. If we are to get revelation from God, then we need to take the time to spend at his feet listening.

We need to be willing to question Jesus. It says in the word that we receive not because we ask not. Perhaps our problem as Christians is that we think we are supposed to have it all together. The truth is, in our earthly physical bodies, we never will. It is only in Jesus that we can know anything of lasting value.

Nothing is really mystical about what Jesus offers us. Our duty as Christians is primarily to love as Jesus loved and to listen to what he would have us do next.

I hope that I never get too busy to listen to what Jesus Christ has to tell me.

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Donna Brown is an ordained minister. As Author Cygnet Brown, she  has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener

She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues. Her upcoming book A Coward’s Solace will be available soon. Click here for more information about Cygnet Brown and her books.

 


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Blessed are the Meek for they shall Inherit the Earth

What does it mean to be blessed? Here in Matthew 5:5 and the rest of this passage commonly known as the beatitudes the Greek word for blessed here is makarismos. means supremely blessed. Some translatorss translate the word to mean happy, however it means much more than that.

To be blessed means to be so completely satisfied that you want nothing more. If the word here had been written in the Hebrew, it probably would have been the word Shalom. Which means wholeness and peace. It’s a completeness that signifies total satisfaction, without remorse. no defect can be detected. Complete perfection. Its the feeling of satisfaction that you get when you have given your all to something and you look at what you have created and you are amazed that you were the one who created that masterpiece.

I have had that feeling when I read over passages that I have written. It is as though God himself had bent down and written the words through my hand. That’s the meaning of blessed here. Its in knowing that God is working in my life. That God is using me to influence others. That’s what true blessing is.

        Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth

How can we be blessed through meekness? We now know what it means to be blessed, now let’s take a look at what it means to be meek. Contrary to what some think, the word meek doesn’t mean being a doormat.  The Greek word here is prothumos which means to be forward in the spirit, or willing to do the will of God. It comes from two other Greek words pro which means in front of  or superior to and the word thumos meaning fierceness or indignation or passion. In other words, it means that a person who is meek is a person who is willing to something that is greater than his or her own passions. In Jesus was said to be meek and lowly in spirit (Matthew 11:29), and the word meek there meant that Jesus was willing to put aside his own personal fleshly ambitions to focus on doing the will of his father.

Wow, that gives a totally different spin on the word meek! This idea of being meek was not what I thought!

So what does it meant to inherit the earth? the word translated inherit here is the word  kleronomin meaning to share in being the heir of ghay the Greek word translated the earth,  Ghay meaning the solid (physical) part of the terrestrial  globe including ALL the occupants.

So does this simply mean that the meek will inherit the earth when the new Heavens and the New Earth are created at Christ second coming? The only key word here we have not get defined is the word shall.

The word shall is not actually a word in the Greek, rather it is attached to the word inherit. the word kleronomin is  in the present tense, not a future tense. Therefore this passage “the meek shall inherit the earth” means, the blessing (complete in fulfillment) of the inheritance of the earth comes when a person willingly sets down his or her own will to do the father’s will.

The primary reason I am writing this blog is so that I personally will sit down each day and study the word. By sitting and writing, I have been compelled to dig deeper into understanding this not just to share with others, but so that I can glean more from the word for my own benefit. I am certainly blessed by this study. I pray that you too have been blessed. I ask you to pray that I will grow in my obedience to the Father’s will and I will pray for you to do the same.


Fisherman in the Sea of Galilee

In Matthew 4:17 Jesus has started his ministry on earth telling everyone that “the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.

He then walked along the Sea of Galilee. In other places in the Bible and in history Sea of Galilee are the Sea of Tiberias, Gennesaret, and Chinnereth. this sea was source of the Jordan River. The Jordan River flowed from the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea. We can take a lesson from this when we recognize that the Sea of Galilee is the source. It was alive and teaming with fish and supported the communities that surrounded it. The Dead Sea however only receives water and has no outlet. It is a dead lake where nothing grows. If you take and take and take, you will be as barren as the Dead Sea.

Jesus wasn’t walking along the Dead Sea. He was walking along the Sea of Galilee and as he was walking, he comes across Simon Peter and his brother Andrew and he invites them and then the sons of Zebedee James and John to be his disciples to become “fishers of men”. He took these men and gave them a higher calling. There is no record of them wondering if they should go, whether Zebedee tried to talk James and John out of going, if Peter’s wife was worried about where the money would come from. None of these are recorded. It just says Jesus invited them and they went.

painting of Jesus Christ healing the sick

Throughout Galilee, Jesus started his preaching ministry. He went from synagogue to synagogue preaching the good news of the Kingdom of Heaven. But he did something more, he made a difference in the lives of the people around him. He healed people. He healed all kinds of diseases, but he also healed all types of torments. The word torments here is the Greek word basanos which is thought to come from the root word basia which means to walk, a pace, foot. In other words, this word basanos has to do with anything that makes us feel as though we were going to the bottom or down to the foot.

What Jesus offered and gave to the people were The promise of the Kingdom and the gifts of salvation and healing.

“Well,” you say,” that was Jesus and that was then surely that’s not for us today. God works differently today than he did back then. He uses medicine and doctors today, right?”

I’m not going to answer the question for you of whether trusting in the medical system is God’s work. That’s between you and God. What I will challenge you concerning you  though is what Jesus told his disciples:

At the end of Jesus’ ministry, John records in John 14:12 Jesus spoke to his disciples and said, “Verily verily, I say unto you. He that believes on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works shall he do because I go unto my Father.”

What I am challenging myself (and you, if you’re up to the challenge) is this: If we believe the Bible as we say we do, why don’t we do the same works and even greater works than Jesus did? Why do we let the tormenter rule over our lives. Why are we ineffective in delivering others of their diseases and oppressions? Is it God who has changed or is it perhaps that we REALLY do not believe what he says? More importantly, what can we do about it?


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John the Baptist preached and baptized people unto repentance. As Christians, we are called to repent and then be baptized for the remission of our sins. John showed us how to repent. The word translated “repent” when used in Matthew 3 meant to be totally repulsed by your sinful nature that you want nothing to do with it.

In Matthew 3:13-17  there are some very important things to note as Jesus comes onto the scene. Jesus coming to John the Baptist to be baptized. John said that he did not want to baptize him, because John said that he (John) needed to be baptized by him (Jesus). Jesus said that it was necessary for him to be baptized by John because it was “necessary to fulfill all righteousness”.

Why did Jesus do this? He wasn’t coming for the remission of sins because he knew no sin.He submitted to baptism for two reasons. First, as mentioned here, he did it to fulfill ALL righteousness. In John 1:31, he did it to be manifest to Israel.

When Jesus came up out of the water from being baptized, the heavens opened, and the Spirit of God descended like a dove and landed on Jesus. Then John heard a voice from heaven saying “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Like John, Jesus was on a special mission. Both were sent by God and both had to fulfill what they were sent to do. Both did what God told them to do. Both suffered because of what God called them to do.

In verses 11-12 John had said that he baptized with water, but that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Ghost and with fire. Whose fan was in his hand, and he would thoroughly purge his floor and gather his wheat unto the garner, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

This is an analogy of judgement that Jesus would divide the sinful from the believers in the end. John saw Jesus not as he was then, but as he would be in the future. In this passage both John the speaker, and Matthew the writer, are letting us know that Jesus is the Messiah that the Jews were looking for.

Here is one of several places in the Bible where the trinity of God is present all at the same time. Jesus the Son, The Holy Spirit and God the father are all here. Jesus being baptized, The Holy Spirit lighting on him like a dove, and God the father speaking that he was pleased with his son’s obedience. One of the most important facts that we can meditate on during our study of the Gospels is the concept of “doing the will of The Father”. If , like Jesus, we could focus our every waking hour to this concept, we could, like Jesus, revolutionize the world around us.


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As we continue our study of Matthew, and our study of John the Baptist in particular, we learned yesterday that Christian baptism did not originate with John the Baptist, but had immersing in water had been part of several types of Jewish religious cleansing rituals.

The word Baptism however, is not a Hebrew word, but came from a Greek word bapto meaning “to dip”. in the New Testament there are seven different ways that the word baptism has been used and by understanding the context of each of these meanings, helps us to understand what baptism is and what it  isn’t.

1. 2. I Corinthians 10:2-11  Speaks of the Baptism of the cloud and in the sea where the children of Israel was more than just a type of our relationship with Christ.

2.  As studied yesterday, there is the baptism of John. His baptism is mentioned in many passages in the New Testament. Besides Matthew 3 there is also Mark 1, Luke 3:, 7:29-30, John 1:31-33; 3:23-26: 10:40, Acts 1:5; 11:16; 19:3.

3.    There was baptism of suffering as noted in Luke 12:50 where Jesus spoke of being dipped or experiencing for a short time the experience of death. In this passage Jesus also expressed that he was not looking forward to the occasion, but that he would be glad when the bapto was accomplished.

4.  In John 3:22 and 4:1-2 it speaks about Christ’s baptism in water. It is significant that Jesus was not the one who actually carried out the baptisms, but it was his disciples who did the actual baptizing. It is our duty as disciples of Jesus to immerse new converts in the good news of our Lord and Savior.

5. Christian baptism in water and the Baptism into Christ and His Body  (Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38-41,:8:12-16; 9:18; 10:47-48; 16:15,33; 18:8; 19:5; 22:16; Romans 6:3-7; 1 Corinthians 1:13-17; 12: 13; Galatians 3:27; Colossians 2:12;  Peter 3:21) is one of the cornerstones of Christian faith. This baptism brings the new believer into his body at repentance and the new birth. It is called “one baptism (Ephesians 4:5), because it is the only baptism that saves the soul and brings into the body of Christ. The immersion in water is not what saves a person, but the confession of the faith that precedes the immersion in water. The immersion in water is a symbol of the death of the old life and the Resurrection into becoming a new creation in Christ.

6. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is a controversial subject in Christendom. (Matthew 3:11, 14:20-23; Mark 1:8; 10:38-39, Luke 3:16, John 1:33, 7:37-39; Acts 1:5; 11:16, 19:2-3.) Some say that the baptism of the Holy Spirit occurs at the new birth, others say that it is a separate experience. For now, we will leave  the decision of when this occurs between you and your Creator.

I hope this study of the Gospels is helpful to you. This study, of course, I am not the final authority of the truth that Christ has for us as believers. I would not be so bold as to suggest that I were. What I would hope though, is that this study would help to open your eyes to how great our God is and how much he loves you. Please comment! Maybe you have a question I can help you with. Perhaps you have insights I don’t and we can learn together!


jesus mary joseph lighted with a candle Stock Photo - 11408014        Have you ever examined your own genealogy? If you notice, you have two distinct lines. One comes from your father and the other from your mother. Jesus also had a mother and a father. We discovered in our study of Christ’s genealogy in Matthew chapter 1 that even though Jesus was biologically the son of God, Joseph had adopted him as his son and therefore Jesus had a legal claim to the throne of David through his son Solomon. Click this link to read part one: Christ’s Legal Lineage.

Today we will look at Jesus Christ’s lineage through Mary. We find this lineage in Luke 3:23-38. In viewing this lineage, we need to first recognize that Luke’s perspective was different from Matthew’s. While Matthew’s viewpoint was to prove that Jesus Christ was the Messiah of the Jews, Luke’s viewpoint was to prove that Jesus Christ was “the son of man.” or was a descendant of Adam.

Even though Mary’s name is not mentioned in this passage, this must be her genealogy. Since Jesus was not the biological son of Joseph, he had to have some sort of biological connection to humans so that he could be qualified to become the Savior of mankind. This had to come through Mary. Therefore, this genealogy gives proof that Jesus was indeed a human being because he was descended from Adam.

As you’ll notice as you read this genealogy, you will notice that King Solomon was not in this genealogy. The genealogy instead of coming through him, goes through another son of David–Nathan. The reason for this occurred when God cursed Solomon’s royal descendent–Jechoniah– in that his  line would not give birth to the Messiah.

Another significance of this genealogy, besides the fact that it comes through Mary, is that the genealogy does not stop at Abraham as Joseph’s genealogy in Matthew did, but it goes all the way back to Adam. Adam was the only other man who God created directly. All others were born of men. Though it is true that God spoke of forming Jeremiah, it should be understood that in the case of Jesus, he used both the physical reproduction through Mary along with the direct creation through God. Both attributes were required if Jesus were to become the salvation of humankind.

As you compare the genealogies in Matthew and Luke closely, you will however discover another amazing discovery. In Luke 3:27 we discover that Solomon and Nathan unite in Zurubbabel by the marriage of  Salathial to the Neri’s daughter in Nathan’s line. Neri no doubt died without a male heir and the two branches of David were united under Zerubbabel. Jesus Christ therefore became heir to the blood rights and privileges of the whole house of David.

These often overlooked genealogies indeed contained some very valuable information about our Lord.


Famous LAST SUPPER painting

Before I go much further into the study of the Matthew, I want to discuss a question that comes up all the time and causes a lot of people to question the validity of the Word of God. That question is: If the gospels are supposed to be the word of God, why are there four different accounts of the same events? For instance, why is what Matthew says about the birth of Christ different from what Mark, Luke, or John. Doesn’t that prove that the gospels are inaccurate or even contrived?

Quite the contrary. What we have when we look at the gospels is not contrary information. What we have is the same information but from a different perspective. It’s similar to what happens when there is a car accident. The police make it a point to talk to everyone at the scene to find out each witnesses perspective. With each witness, the police will get a different story. Based on what each person says, the police will be able to piece together what happened and how it happened.

Each of the stories will be similar, but slightly different, not because some are telling the truth, and some are lying, but because each person has a different perspective. If for some reason the witnesses gave exactly the same information however, describing the incident in exactly the same way, even using the same phrases, then the police would know that each of the so-called witnesses had gotten together to coordinate their stories. The police would then have to delve deeper into why the witnesses coordinated their stories. The fact that the information was exactly the same indicated that the stories were contrived.

Because the gospels were written from different perspectives and offers different information, like the police at the scene of the accident we can better perceive the actual events. For this same reason, we can also conclude that the gospels were based on eye-witnesses rather than contrived at a later date.

Matthew is said to be written from the perspective that “Jesus was the Messiah, the King of the Jews .” Mark was written from the perspective that “Jesus was God’s servant”. Luke was written from the perspective that “Jesus was the perfect man”. Finally John was written from the perspective that “Jesus was God the Son.

This year I will be focusing this blog on the four gospels. Today we have looked at how the gospels offer different perspectives of the life of Christ.. Please let me know if you’ve enjoyed this post and comment below. Also I would love if you would check out my other projects. Under my pseudonym Author Cygnet Brown I have written two Christian Historical Novels in The Locket Saga–When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry. I am currently working on the third book in the series: A Coward’s Solace.


When I think of God’s Greatest gift to us, the first Bible passage I ever had to learned comes to mind John 3:16-17.

For God so Loved the World that he GAVE his only begotten son that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.

Dixie-Stampede-Nativity

The first thing we need to get from these verses is that we cannot save ourselves. Despite common belief that there are many ways to God,as it says in Acts 4:12, there is no other way to salvation but through the name (authority) of Jesus Christ.

God knew that we could not save ourselves so he gave us his son because he loved us. He didn’t send his son to condemn us because we were condemned already. (John 3:18, Romans 3:23, 6:23). God sent his son because he was our only hope. God sent his son because he knew we couldn’t save ourselves. Without the redemption offered by our Lord Jesus Christ, it is as though we were in a fast moving car that has no brakes. If we can enjoy the ride while we’re moving, but in the end, the destination is disaster.

We can believe otherwise, but in the end, if we don’t accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, in the result  is still disaster.

You might say, well, this all sound great,you’re preaching at the choir, I’m already a Christian, but I have family and friends who have not accepted this. How do I convince them of this truth?

The key is in doing what Jesus did when he was here on the earth. He loved as his father did. He freely submitted to the will of his father. We need to do the same.

We’re not going to bring our homosexual friends to Christ by telling them that they are going to hell for their lifestyle. We are not going to convince doctors in abortion clinics to stop committing abortions by displaying graphic photos in front of their businesses. We are not even saving babies doing this either. We are not going to lead our children to the truth by condemning them of their clothes, tattoos or piercings. Pointing out sin does not draw anyone to Christ. Pointing out sin will only drive them away.

So what do you do? The first thing we all must do is to ask God to teach us to love others as he first loved us. During this next year, rather than reading the entire Bible, focus instead on reading the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John over and over again for the entire year. As you read, meditate on how Jesus reacted with everyone. Write down in a journal your impressions of those interactions. Then in light of what you have read, begin to pray for your family and friends. Ask God to show you how to show his love for them through you. Then when you are around your family and friends, take a deep breath and again ask God to show you what to do. Love is the key to drawing others to Christ!

Thank you for reading this blog! Be sure to comments and tell me what you think!  Now that you’ve enjoyed this blog, check out my website and discover my other blogs and read a free chapter in my latest novel: Soldiers Don’t Cry, The Locket Saga Continues.

 


So far we have basically covered just two verses in I Corinthians. We have learned about Paul who wrote the book. We learned about the church, and we learned about Corinth. Today we are going to discuss the Bible’s central person–Jesus Christ.

I Corinthians 1:4-9

4) I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you  by Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ gave us God’s Grace when he died on the cross.

5) That in every thing you are enriched by him, in all utterance and in all knowledge;

Paul told the Corinthians that he wanted them to be enriched by Jesus Christ. In other words, Jesus Christ is the source. The term “all utterance” in the Greek is logos–the spoken word of God.. (Another Greek term for utterance apophtheggomal is used in Acts 2:4 on the day of Pentecost when the Spirit of God came down with tongues of fire, and the worshipers in the upper room spoke in other tongues. This term here therefore is not referring to that kind of utterance.) What this word “utterance” refers to is the idea that God will speak to you in very real terms and as the next phrase states, he will give you all the knowledge you need to make decisions that he approves.Our knowledge comes from Jesus Christ. I remember the first time I  the Bible through.  I didn’t really understand what I was reading, but on each subsequent time I have read it, the Lord speaks his secrets to me. I encourage people to read the Bible all the way through as often as possible. Like me, you may not get much out of your first reading of the Bible, but you will gain insights into how the word relates to you with each subsequent reading. A lot of people get bogged down in Bible reading because they begin in Genesis and read from there. I suggest that you begin in the Gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the first four books of the New Testament in which they write about Jesus’ life here on earth from four different perspectives. There are parts of it you won’t understand and that is okay. (I don’t understand all of it either.) Don’t just read it through once and call it quits, instead, read it numerous times. Each time you will discover something new and relevant to your current situation. Focus on how Jesus thinks. This will help you know whether you are hearing him in your every day activities.

6) Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you

As you read through the Gospels you will discover an amazing thing happening. The things you read about concerning Jesus will have direct bearing on what is going on in your own life. Questions you had yesterday, he answers today out of his written word. The word testimony is maturion (Strong’s 3140) which means evidence, in other words, you will witness the truth in your own situation. His testimony will be backed up by events in your own life.

7) So that you come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:

This verse tells us that Paul wanted the Corinthian church to have the testimony of Christ so that they wouldn’t miss out on the gifts that Christ’s testimony had to offer. He also says that part of those gifts will come at the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. The same is true for us. Jesus is returning and he has presents for us! It will be better than Christmas! (The celebration of the gift of himself his first time on earth.)

8) Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The word “confirm” here is the Greek word bebaloo  (Strong’s 950) which means stands firm. Jesus will stand firm that we are held blameless because we have accepted his provision for salvation.  As it says in  Romans 8:30-32 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? And in Colossians 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross. Isn’t this cool, Jesus is willing to blot out anything that is held against us. Jesus is on our side!

9) God is faithful, by whom you were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Just like the Corinthians, you are called into fellowship (friendship) with Jesus Christ, the son of God. You are called, he wants you to have fellowship with him. He wants to be your friend. He isn’t looking for ways to trap you into hell (no fine print!)  Are you ready to accept his call?

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