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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.

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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.

 


Sermon Mount Jesus Mormon

For I say unto you that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

You have heard that it was said by them of old time, thou shalt not kill and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment. But I say unto you that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment and whosoever shall say to his brother Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say Thou fool shall be in danger of hell fire.

Therefore, if thou bring thy gift to the altar and you remember that your brother has something against you, Leave your gift there, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

Yesterday we discussed the fact that Jesus was the only person who had never broken any of the commandments. He was the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. In this verse, we learn who he was not referring to when he was speaking of the “least of the kingdom” He says that if your righteousness does not exceed that of the Scribes and Pharisees, you would not enter the kingdom of heaven.If you expect to be even the least in the kingdom of Heaven, you are held to a higher standard than the Scribes or the Pharisees.

He went on to say that he holds his followers to a higher standard when it came to sin. Not murdering was no longer the moral goal. Now the goal was to not be angry without cause.“Raca” is an Aramaic transliteration for “reka,” a term expressing contempt, scorn, or disdain. The Greek word “rhaka” means worthless, vain or empty one, signifying a lack of intellect (i.e. Imbecile or blockhead). It is only found in Matt. 5:22. The word was derived from a root word meaning “to spit”, and the Jews used it as a word of contempt.

Now that we have a definition of this word “raca”, I picture someone who is so angry at someone that they literally spit on the ground at the mention of that person’s name. It gives the impression concerning the idea behind shunning someone. If you say that someone else is “stupid” or an “idiot” you’re held accountable to it. You are held to a higher standard.

When we take the time to talk with God, when we take the time to bring our tithes and offerings to further the God’s kingdom, even though it is a good thing, and an important thing to do, your bigger responsibility is to go and ask your brother for being angry with him. Why? You are held to a higher standard.


You are the Salt of the Earth; but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is therefore good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Matthew 5:13

There are negative and positive attributes of salt.The positivity towards salt in this phrase conflicts with the negative uses of the word salt. For instance, in the Middle Ages, people spread salt on land to poison it, as a punishment to landowners who had transgressed against society in some way. But it is obvious that Jesus was referring to the positive aspects of salt here.

  • Salt is a necessary mineral in our bodies. Without salt, our bodies would not function properly. Our bodies would not be able balance the fluids in our bodies because we lack this electrolyte. As followers of God, we should be creating balance in the world around us.
  • In the Old Testament it was played an important role in the performance of sacrifices and offerings.
  • Salt was used to salt food and give it flavor. As Jesus stated, salt’s flavor was important to its use. He was metaphorically saying that God’s people spice up, and improve life for those around them.
  • Salt was used as a preservative. It prevents foods from spoiling. God’s people acting as salt preserves others from the power of sin and eternal death.
  • Salt is beneficial as a cleansing agent. A sore throat is soothed when we gargle with salt water. We improve the world around us when we are instrumental in demonstrating the good news of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.
  • In Biblical times, salt was traditionally used along with other spices when a body was prepared for burial.
  • Salt was considered valuable and was used as a commodity for trading. God considers his followers very valuable.
  • Salt melts ice. A follower of God melts a stone-cold icy heart. When God’s followers share his love with others, hearts are melted, making them open to relationship with God and God’s people.

When we consider someone “the salt of the earth”, we generally mean that these people are genuine, simple, devoted, loyal,giving, and honest. They add value to others around them. I have to ask myself today whether I am genuinely that type of person.

If we lose our saltiness, this verse tells us that we will be trampled under the feet of men.Are we allowing ourselves be used by God in his service? Are we helping create balance in the world around us? Do we spice up the lives of those around us? Do we act as a preservative and a cleansing agent? Are we someone God considers valuable because we display his love to those around us and met the coldest of hearts with his love radiating from us?  Today,  I too have to ask myself if I am behaving like salt. I have to question in what ways that I become more salty as a Christ follower. How will you show your savor today?


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.


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)

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