Archive

Tag Archives: Jesus Christ


Abraham's promise

Last Sunday we had six people at Faith in God Church. It may not seem like much until you realized the ages of the people who attended. We had a man in his seventies. He was a former pastor of the church there. He was the one who started the church a number of years back. Then there was a woman in her fifties, another which I think was in her forties, and another woman in her twenties. There was a teenage boy and a boy who was two. I forgot all about taking up an offering. I have spent so many services by myself so far that I simply forgot. I’ll have to remember next week I guess.
All those months alone during church services has reminded me about God’s promise to Abraham. God gave Abraham the word that he and Sarah were going to have a son. It didn’t happen right away, and it didn’t happen because of anything that Abraham did. Matter of fact, Abraham tried to make things happen and look at the mess he made! The son promised to Abraham is still wrestling with the son of Hagar!

God gave Isaac to Abraham in a way that Abraham had not thought possible.

 

Putting Aside My Own Preconceived Ideas

God brought me to this church in a way that I never thought possible too. I grew up thinking that women should not be preachers. I thought that perhaps I would one day marry one. My husband Jeff and I started a ministry in Doniphan, Missouri several years ago and it was a total failure. I came here because Jan and Johnny Thomlison advertised that they needed someone who felt called to pastor a church. I thought that at least there would be someone here right? That was not the case. I had visitors for the first few months but they weren’t usually during regular church services. Most services I was on my own, by myself.
It really didn’t bother me too much though. Okay, so it bothered me a lot, but whenever I would think about it and pray about it, it was as if the Lord was telling me, “Well, when people do show up, you’ll know it wasn’t you who brought them. Under no circumstances will you be sharing my limelight. Never forget this time alone in this church. When people do come, it won’t be because of one of your brilliant programs. It will be because my spirit drew them.”
That’s not as harsh as it may sound. It’s a lesson in humility really. Having humility is not about being humiliated like some people might define humility. Humility isn’t about being walked on at all, it is about submission. Humility is when we give authority over to someone else. The situation becomes their responsibility rather than our own. It means whatever happens the one in authority gets not only the glory, but gets the blame as well.

Jesus and the little child

Christ’s Perfect Submission

When I think about perfect submission, I think about Jesus in the events immediately leading up to his crucifixion. He was not tricked into going to the cross. HE CHOSE to go to the cross. He went to the cross because he knew that was what his father wanted him to do. He did it because he loved us and knew that was the only way that we would not face separation forever from the one who created us, the source of all love (including self-love).
If you’ve ever seen the movie The Passion of the Christ, the movie shows you how he submitted to physical pain, but what it was unable to demonstrate was the emotional and spiritual torture that Jesus faced at the same time. This emotional and spiritual torture that he submitted to belonged to us. Each of us owned a piece of that torture that he submitted to because he loved us.
Humility and submission is never about being less than anything. It is about allowing the Lord’s authority over us. At this church, I am happy to say that right now, God is in charge and he’s telling me that he wants this to be a youth church. He’s also telling me that it is to be a missional church. I will take more about that later. How am I going to make this happen? The truth is, It can’t make it happen. God will make it happen as I submit to him.

What God Is Asking of Me and You

Right now, it is all about keeping my personal agenda out of it. I am leaving the execution to God. Oh, I’ll do whatever God tells me to do and only what he’s telling me to do and here’s what he’s telling me to do.
1) Pray for God to reveal his direction in our lives today.
2) Meditate on his written word
3) Listen to his voice. What is he telling us?
4) Take action where he says to take action.
5) Praise him every day for leading me as he directs.

IMG_8330 final copy

Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church  1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm.   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, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga

Her most recent publication were two booklets Help From Kelp and Using Diatomaceous Earth Around the House and Yard. Available in paperback.

.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


Old Testament Sacrifices Replaced With A Better Plan

high priest
In the Old Testament, the high priest used to go into the Holy of Holies once a year in order to cover the sins of the people for the next year. Before he could do that though, he went through an elaborate ritual where he had to first be cleansed. For us under the new covenant of Jesus Christ, it is different.

A Priesthood Not of Aaron

In Hebrews Chapter 7 we learn about Melchisedec who Abraham paid tithes to. His descendants because they were still “seed” in Abraham paid tithes as well, including the priestly line of Levi. Like Melchisedec, Jesus Christ was a high priest who did not come through the lineage of Aaron.
The writer then goes onto say that under the New covenant, or New Testament, we have a new high priest, Jesus Christ who became a high priest, not in the Levitical Law of the Old Testament In the Old Testament, sacrifices had to be made by the high priest continually for sins, but that Jesus because he was not a high priest in that sense because he was not of the tribe of Levi. The priesthood changed. As the high priest, Jesus didn’t have to continually give sacrifices he provided the ultimate sacrifice which lasts forever.

A Forever Sacrifice

The old Levitical Law was weak and didn’t go far enough. It made nothing perfect, but it did point to a better way which Christ in himself fulfilled. Jesus fulfilled this by becoming a priest after the order of Melchisedec who did not have the lineage of a priest. His sacrifice replaced the Old Covenant Sacrifice and was the better sacrifice in that it was did not atone from year to year, but was a permanent solution.

Water Baptism

In the temple there was a piece of furniture called the laver. The laver, or basin, was a large bowl filled with water located halfway between the brazen altar and the Holy Place and was made totally of bronze. The priests used it to was their hands and feet before entering into the Holy Place. It stood as a reminder to the people for the need of cleansing before approaching God. The priests aloned for their sins through sacrifice at the brazen altar, but htye cleansed themselves at the laver before serving in the Holy Place, so they would be pure and not die when approaching God.
Baptism in water is not a new concept that originated with John the Baptist. Baptism has been a part of Jewish tradition since God first gave the law to the Israelites. People are cleansed in full immersion in a number of religious ceremonies where there is a major change. When a woman is married, she is cleansed from her past. When a proselyte comes into the Jewish faith, they are cleansed. They stand before the congregation, denounce their old ways and their old gods, vowing to follow the one true and living God.
John the Baptist was born to be a priest, but he was a priest who was different from any other priest. John in his priesthood became Jesus first evangelist and was an evangelist to the Jewish people. He pointed the way to Christ Rather than living like the rest of the priests, God chose for him to go out to the people and become “the voice crying in the wilderness”. He took the laver out to the people. He went out to where the people were to prepare them for “the coming of the Lord” by physical and symbolic cleansing through the act of immersion baptism. He prepared the people so that their hearts and minds would be open to God’s word through Jesus Christ.
When Jesus came to John, John recognized that Jesus did not need to come to him for cleansing because he was already pure and holy. Jesus, however, knew that because he was the second Adam he had to go through everything that his future followers would have to go through, so he insisted that John baptize him in the river of living (moving) water.

In Ephesians 5:25-27 it says “…Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”

In Hebrews 10:22 the writer says, “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled [with blood] to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”

IMG_8330 final copy

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, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga.For more information about Cygnet Brown and her book, check out her website at http://www.cygnetbrow.com .


Where God Speaks

Hands_of_God_and_Adam

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.

IMG_8330 final copy

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.

 


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?


https://i1.wp.com/www.jesuspictures.co/jesusbaptism77.jpg

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.


John the Baptist

If we read our Bible in order, Matthew 3 is the first place that we meet John the Baptist, and here we see him preaching a warning at the Pharisees and Sadducees. In Luke1:5-25, however we learn about the unique circumstances of John the Baptist’s conception.

A priest named Zacharias and his wife Elizabeth (who was also of the priestly line because she was an descendant of Aaron’s line) were old and had no children. One day while Zacharias was fulfilling his duties as a priest by burning incense when he went into the temple, an angel of the Lord (Gabriel) appeared to him.

The angel told Zacharias that he and his wife Elizabeth would have a son and name him John. John would not drink alcohol and would be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he was born. Because of John, many of the children of Israel would turn to the Lord their God. Because Zacharias did not believe what Gabriel had told him, he could not speak.  Elizabeth conceived.

Mary (with child with the son of God) went to visit Elizabeth when Mary was newly pregnant and Elizabeth was five months pregnant and when Mary announced her arrival, both Elizabeth and the unborn John were both filled with the Holy Spirit. Mary, then, prophesied concerning John (Luke 1:39-56) . John is born and the family wants to name him after his father, but Elizabeth said that his name was John.

When the family asked Zacharias, (because he had the final say), because he was still mute wrote on a tablet that his name was John. Immediately, Zacharias could again speak and the first words out of his mouth was to prophecy. (Luke1:57-79. John grew up strong physically and spiritually and lived in the desert until he began his ministry.

John’s ministry was as a priest and a prophet. He was the one to make way for the coming of the Lord.  John’s ministry was all about repentance. His represented the best of what man could offer before the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The best that man could bring himself to under the law was to learn that he full of sin and that sin was detestable. John’s ministry pointed at the only one who could save us.  That’s where Jesus steps in. He takes us beyond ourselves and into something truly amazing, but first we have to be willing to accept John’s baptism of repentance. We must recognize that we are not able to save ourselves. There is something far more complete–the immersion into the name (authority) of Jesus Christ.


Religious Inspiration Figurine Mary Joseph And Baby Jesus Flight To Egypt Statue

Have you ever considered how impossible the events around Jesus’ birth are? Yesterday we looked at his lineage and how it was orchestrated so that he could prove that he was man, he was a kind, and he was the Son of God. The probability of this happening by human design over thousands of years or it happening by chance can be viewed as virtually impossible. The likelihood of these events occurring at all can only seem possible when viewed in the light of supernatural, divine intervention, yet, here it is in the genealogy of Jesus Christ.

The amazing confrontation that Elijah had with the prophets of Baal (I Kings 18:22-40) seem like child’s play compared to the prophecies fulfilled in Jesus Christ’s birth and reviewed in Matthew.  First, the prophet Isaiah said that the Christ (the name means-anointed in Greek, in Hebrew Messiah has the same meaning)  would be born of a virgin. (Isaiah 7:14).

The prophet Micah said that the ruler of Israel would be born in Bethlehem. He would have existed from times of old and his reign would last forever. (Micah 5:2) Jesus was born in Bethlehem. (Matthew 2:6). He had always been (John 1:1-2). His kingdom will last forever (Revelation 22:1-6).

Hosea 11:1 said that God would ‘call his son out of Egypt.” This could have been an allegory  based on the idea that Egypt is a type of sin. However, as we see in Matthew 2:13-15. Joseph and his family fled to Egypt in order to avoid Herod’s wrath. When they returned, God’s son would come out of Egypt and literally fulfill this prophecy.

While Joseph, Mary, and Jesus were in Egypt, King Herod inadvertently fulfilled (Matthew 2:18) Jeremiah’s  prophecy of Jeremiah 31:15-16 that there would be weeping in Rama over the murder of the city’s children. Rama was a city 5 miles north of Jerusalem which indicated that Herod’s slaughter extended from Bethlehem, included Jerusalem, and extended at least as far as Rama.

After a dream where an angel told Joseph to return to Israel from Egypt, Joseph returned to his hometown of Nazareth. By returning to Nazareth, not only did he fulfill the prophecy concerning Egypt (Hosea 11:1), but he also fulfilled verbal prophecy (not written, so there is no scriptural reference) which was known the to people of that era which stated that the Messiah would be called a Nazarene.

When we look at these prophecies, it would be easy to dismiss these prophecies as fables written long ago. In our human intelligence, we cannot perceive the possibility that these events really happened. It is true. For man to have made this to happen or for all this to simply be a coincidence,this is impossible. It would be very easy to intellectually believe all this was simply a lie, made up to appease unintelligent human beings.

There is another possibility, however, that must not be overlooked. Perhaps these prophecies are true, and these events did happen as stated here in Matthew. Perhaps there really is a God who orchestrated all these prophecies into being fulfilled. Perhaps there is a God that really exists in whom nothing is impossible. (Matthew 19:26, Mark 10:27, and Luke 18:27)

%d bloggers like this: