God’s great mercy………

chesed love

So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him;
male and female He created them.  ~  Genesis 1:27

That has become one of my favorite verses lately.  It’s our blueprint… our original design.  No matter what mankind may look like on the outside, no matter what sins we may commit, this is truly who we were created to be and how God sees us – because He always sees us according to our potential in Him.   The very first man walked in that design, and all mankind afterward were supposed to walk in the same pattern.  But although Adam was created in that design and walked in it for at least a few days, he sinned and introduced sin and consequently death into the world.

All men born after him were born in Adam’s likeness and image instead of God’s.  Genesis 5:3 “When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth”.  All mankind was born into sin. Made in Adam’s likeness and image – one of sin and death. Romans 5:19 “For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners….”  Man isn’t a sinner because he sins, he is a sinner through birth.   Sin in the Greek is hamartia and means to miss the mark.  To sin is to behave out of tune with God’s original harmony.  It is to believe a lie about ourselves.  It is to miss out on sonship.  Sonship is our blueprint… our true, original, chosen design.  Ephesians 1:5 “He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will…”

Even when the Law was introduced, mankind was still a sinner.  No matter how good he was morally, he could never fulfill the requirements of the law and be made righteous.  The Law simply revealed sin and made mankind aware of his lost state.  Man was unable to save himself — the Law revealed that he needed a Savior! God’s timing was absolutely perfect.

He always had a plan to redeem us.  He had found us in Christ before He lost us in Adam!  Ephesians 1:4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.”  He always loved us too much to leave us in such a wretched state…. He never abandoned His creation!  Romans 5:8 “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  God’s great mercy is far reaching and ALL encompassing.  Just as it took Adam’s one act of sin to condemn all of mankind, it only took Jesus’ one act of righteousness to completely declare all mankind innocent.  Romans 5:18  “So here is the result: as one man’s sin brought about condemnation and punishment for all people, so one man’s act of faithfulness makes all of us right with God and brings us to new life.”  Freely acquitted in the sight of God.  Through Adam we were ALL declared sinners and death reigned in us BUT through Jesus we are ALL declared righteous and life reigns in us.

Jesus’ death and resurrection reconciled us back to God and to our original design of sonship.  Now we are no longer made in Adam’s image and likeness – one of sin and death.  The sin nature has been completely removed and we received a new nature.. a new spirit… His Spirit.  Ezekiel 36:26-27A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances.”   

Jesus defeated sin and death ONCE and for ALL.  God did not love us more once we were reconciled.  Reconciliation simply made us free to realize how much He has always loved us and free to enjoy our redeemed original identity — made in His image and in His likeness.  To see ourselves as He sees us — IN CHRIST.  Free to enjoy sonship and all of it’s joys and privileges.  And not just to see ourselves, but our old ways of seeing others is over as well (2 Cor 5:16).  We are now to see everyone through the eyes of our Redeemer.

He has made us ambassadors or ministers of His reconciliation with the world.  Our lives are now to exhibit the urgency of God to persuade everyone to be reconciled to God because Jesus took their life to the Cross in exchange for His resurrected life in them.  He did a finished, completed work on the Cross for ALL mankind.

The language of the Old Covenant… of the old written code was “Do in order to become”.  The language of the New Covenant is “Be, because of what has been done.”  It’s simply a matter of saying yes to God through faith in the shed blood and resurrection of Jesus.  It’s simply a matter of them awakening to their righteousness… of seeing themselves as God already sees them…. IN CHRIST.  So that then they will be able to say “I once was blind, but now I see.”

God’s great mercy for mankind is seen in the riches of His goodness toward us and His absolute passionate refusal to let us go.  His Covenant love for us is because continues to hear the echo of His image and His likeness in us.

I love the Mirror Translation of Romans 3:23-26:

Humanity is in the same boat; their distorted behavior is proof of a lost blueprint. (24) Jesus Christ is proof of God’s grace gift;  He redeemed the glory of God in human life; mankind condemned is now mankind justified!  (25) Jesus exhibits God’s mercy.  In His blood conciliation God’s faith persuades mankind of His righteousness and the fact that He has brought closure to the historic record of their sins (not by demanding a sacrifice, but providing the sacrifice of Himself).  Jesus is the unveiling of the Father’s heart toward us.  (26) All along God refused to let go of mankind.  At this very moment God’s act of righteousness is pointing them to the evidence of their innocence, with Jesus as the source of their faith.

It is the revelation of God’s goodness that leads men to repentance, not our repentance that leads to God’s goodness.

~ Robin

Inked for Jesus….

butterfly

This weekend I attended a prophetic conference for seer training.  I love these classes because they stretch me out of my comfort zones and teaches me new ways to hear from God and to minister to people.  These classes also remind me how easy the prophetic is when we trust God to speak to us and then through us to others.

At the end of the conference I glanced over and noticed a woman’s tattoo, it was a flower and 2 letters in the middle of the flower on her wrist, and I saw a Hebrew word on it.  When I looked a second time I noticed it wasn’t a Hebrew word at all but I knew what God had shown me was the Hebrew word “bo” in the middle of the flower.  I’ve had that happen before where I see words that aren’t there… it was God was showing me what was going on behind the scenes of a situation.  Giving me insight.

I walked over to the woman and asked her what the tattoo was.  She got a bit embarrassed and said it was a tattoo she got before she was saved.  I asked her what the letters in the middle were and she said it was the Hindu word “ohm”.  She went on to tell me how much she dislikes the tattoo and you could tell from her expression and the fact that she pulled her arm from me to hide it, that it caused her great shame.  While it may at one time have represented who she thought she was, it now no longer defined her.

I apologized for making her feel uncomfortable and then proceeded to tell her about the word I saw in the flower.  Honestly, I am probably the least likely candidate to prophesy over a tattoo.  I don’t even like tattoos!!  LOL!  I love that about God though…. if we stay compassionate towards people, and if we seek after His heartbeat and desire to release His love and who He is, then we make ourselves available to Him in EVERYTHING.  I love co-laboring with Him.

God is not for or against tattoos.  But He is for people… ALL people…. saved and unsaved.  And He is against bondage.  He’s against the devil and how he tries to enslave people in condemnation and guilt over things we did before (and sometimes after) we were saved.  Jesus came to earth 2000 years ago and purchased our freedom.  We have been set free from the condemnation and guilt of sins, choices, mistakes, etc. of our past.  He forgave us completely… of all past, present and future sins.   This tattoo was causing guilt and shame to this woman… this daughter of God that Jesus has completely set free.  

The word “ohm” has a meaning in Hindu.  It means an eternal sound, the seed of creation, the sound of creation, truth, the name of Divinity, the origin of the universe….from where everything has come, in what everything dwells, and into what everything will dissolve into.  Wow!  What a lie from the pit!!  What a bondage from the devil!

No wonder God zeroed in on this particular tattoo.  There were several tattoos in the room and no one was going around prophesying over tattoos… it wasn’t part of the class info.  God was just focused on this one.  Contrary to religious thinking, He wasn’t angry about the tattoo… He didn’t see it as wicked, evil, or wrong… He didn’t even tell her to get rid of her tattoo…God simply renamed her tattoo.  What a beautiful expression of His redemptive power!  He is a good Father and He cares about what we care about…. His love envelops every area of our lives.

Words are powerful and carry the power of life and death.  I believe He simply didn’t want the “power” of this Hindi word speaking to her mind and thoughts any longer.  So he chose a simple Hebrew word “bo” to redeem this marking.   Bo in the Hebrew is a command meaning to come.  The verb “come” means, to move from a far position to a position nearby.  We who were once far from Him came to Jesus when the Father drew us.  And then He came and made His dwelling place our hearts.  Now we are one with Him.  He told us to come to Him and He would give us rest…. unlike the devil’s bondage, His yoke is easy and never burdensome or heavy.  This word that He chose for her tattoo speaks of her position in Him now and about the freedom He purchased for her.

She was so thrilled that God would do that and she lovingly put her hand on the tattoo, the one that she had just a few minutes before tried to hide, and she said “this is my bo tattoo”.  Oh Abba Father You continue to astound me!!  You are truly the God of restoration…. of ALL things.  You can even turn tattoos that exalt a false god into ink for Jesus.

~ Robin

Distorted view of the Father

luke 15

What a beautiful description Luke 15:24 is of the Father’s love for us… truly His heartbeat is restoration and His response to our being restored to Him is to celebrate over us!!  Zephaniah 3:17 in God’s Word Translation says “The LORD your God is with you. He is a hero who saves you. He happily rejoices over you, renews you with his love, and celebrates over you with shouts of joy.”  I love that.  Psalm 91:15 He says He will rescue us and then throw us a party.  The more I meditate on His goodness, the more I see Him in this light…. rejoicing over me, renewing me with His love, celebrating over me and throwing me a party!!  I begin to see Him as Love… extravagant, lavish, outpouring, overflowing Love towards me!  This is the picture of the Father that Jesus is showing us in this parable… a picture of a Good, Good, Daddy.. full of chesed (Covenant Love) toward us (for more on chesed see my post Goodness and Grace).. a love that just won’t let us go!!

Both sons had a distorted view of their father…..

Both sons had a distorted view of their father and therefore a distorted view of themselves…. this identity problem made them unable to walk in the fullness of their positions as “sons” and enjoy the benefits of their inheritance.  They couldn’t see themselves the way their father saw them… accepted, loved and favored.

The Greek word for son is ‘huios’ and means son… a son having the nature of the father; a son representing the father — this is a word of position….a word of maturity.  As opposed to the Greek word ‘teknos’ which means child… one not fully grown or mature, still needing to be under tutors and governors (Galatians 4:2).  God has called us as sons…. Ephesians 1:5  Having predestinated  (in Greek:  proorizo…determined our destiny) us unto the adoption (in Greek:  huiosthasia… declaration of sonship) of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will”.  How awesome and powerful is that truth!!  Before the foundations of the world, He determined and established our destiny as sons of God… being conformed to the image of the Firstborn Son.  

And he said, “There was a man who had two sons.  ~Luke 15:9

He had 2 sons… both were huios.  We are first introduced to the elder son as a huios (Luke 15:25)…  meaning having the nature of the father; one representing the father — this is a word of position and a word of maturity.  But his distorted identity was based on works… on what he did for the father instead of who he was.  Verse 29 gives us a glimpse of how this son saw himself.  “But he answered his father, ‘Look, all these years I have served you and never disobeyed a commandment of yours. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.”  The word served is douleuo which means “to serve as a slave” — slave was “doulos”.  This was a distorted the view the son had of himself.  He was a son not a slave but he saw himself serving as a slave…. not as a representative of the father.  And the rest of the verse gives his distorted view of the father… not as an extravagant, generous father but someone withholding from him — even something as small as a goat to celebrate.  

The younger son is introduced in verse 12 as a huios…. again meaning having the nature of the father; one representing the father — this is a word of position and a word of maturity.  His distorted view of his identity was based on his inheritance.. what he would possess at his father’s death —  his priority was on his inheritance instead of relationship.  Although even after he leaves with the inheritance, he is still called a “son” (huios).  His position hadn’t changed even though he walked away from it.  Later in the story he comes to his senses and realizes he has sinned against heaven and against his father and decides to tell his father he is no longer worthy to be called “a son” but instead a hired hand (with no inheritance).  But the father’s response is one of love and although the son no longer sees himself as a son but a servant, the father sees him the way he always has… as a son… his son. 

He always makes grace available for us…..

Redemptive grace was offered to both sons to see themselves as they truly were and to see the father as he truly was.  While we know the younger brother repented and began to see clearly who he was, sadly we never know if the elder brother repented and if his heart was healed and he embraced his sonship.  But we do get a glimpse of the condition of his heart in looking further into how the father referred to him.  In verse 31 the father calls him son but the Greek word used is teknos instead of huios;  Teknos means child — a member born into the family but immature; not yet transformed into mature sons, able to inherit and to administer the father’s house and his belongings.

We are sons of God.  And our Father is a good Daddy to us.  Ask Abba Father today to reveal this truth to you…. begin to see yourself in Christ… as joint heirs with Him, carriers of His glory, made in His image and as a representative on earth of all that He is and all that He is… and then begin releasing that to those who have lost their way!

~Robin  

Following in the wrong footsteps….

inheritance

 

In our last post (Tammuz 5776 (2016) we learned that Reuben took his eyes off the prize (Phil 3:14).  Wrong vision can cost you your inheritance. The sad thing is his descendants followed in his footsteps… the tribe of Reuben also lost their inheritance.

As they were about to enter into the Promised land… the tribe of Reuben chose not to cross over.  They stayed on the east side of the Jordan.  They made a choice not to move towards their inheritance.  After 40 years in the wilderness Israel was getting close to the Promise Land.  They had to cross through Amorite territory in order to get to the Promise Land.

They were attacked by two Amorite warlords named Sihon and Og (Numbers 21:21-35).  

The Amorites were most likely the largest of the 7 enemy nations in Canaan.  They were large and powerful and controlled much of the Promise Land.  Their center of power was Cheshbon which means “reasoning”.  The Amorites were a warlike tribe and their name means to “say or speak” from a root word meaning to speak against or boast of self…. it includes all evil speaking, boasting, slander, boasting, murmuring, complaining, grumbling, blaming God, etc.  This translates as “a talker and a slayer.”  This enemy uses his words to reason with you and cause you to doubt what God has promised you or to settle for something less based on natural reasoning…. which is exactly what the tribes of Reuben, Gad and 1/2 the tribe of Manasseh did.  

King Sihon refused to allow the Israelites to pass through their land.  Sihon means tempestuous and also means warrior.  He gathered all his people together and he came to Jahaz and fought against Israel.  Jahaz is from a root meaning to stomp.  It was here Sihon and his men fully intended to stomp out the Israelites but instead the Israelites defeated them with the edge of a sword and took possession of his land from the Arnon to the Jabbok.  Arnon comes from a root word meaning a ringing cry, or joy.  Jabbok comes from a root meaning luxuriant or abundant… to pour forth.  

Like Sihon, we have a violent, raging enemy that opposes us, desiring to stomp us out.  He attempts to target our thoughts and reason with us…..”Has God really said?”  

Just like the Israelites defeated their enemy with the edge of the sword, so can we.  The word edge in Hebrew is mouth.  Ephesians 6:17 tells us that the Word of God is the sword of the Spirit.  By using our mouths to wield the sword against this enemy we will defeat him and take possession of territory that he has illegally stolen from us.  Not listening to his evil words but declaring the promises of God as yes and amen in Christ.  We will regain our joy and abundance.

Then Og, king of Bashan, went out against them, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei (meaning might or strength).  Deuteronomy 3:11 describes King Og of Bashan (meaning fruitful) as ‘the last of the remnant of the Rephaim’ and notes that his iron bed measured 13.5 ft by 6 ft.   Most likely, Og is not a personal name but a title given to the Canaanite king meaning man of valor.  God told Moses not to fear Og because He has delivered him into their hands.  Israel fought Og and conquered their land.  No matter how big or strong the enemy appears to be he is a defeated foe… stripped of all his power (Col 2:15).  Declare your victory over him and take back your fruitfulness and strength.

Amorite territory was never part of the promised land. Israel had told the Amorites that they did not want to posses their land and asked permission to cross over.

But Reuben looked around and said “We’ll take this for our land”  They chose the territory of Sihon and Og (Num 32:33) over the Promise Land God had chosen for them.

Because of this they had continual trouble:

  • They were attacked by their pagan neighbors
  • They were drawn into the idolatry of their neighbors
  • One of the first tribes to be taken into captivity

Why did the tribe of Reuben settle for a land that was not the Promised Land?

“The Reubenites and Gadites, who had very large herds and flocks, saw that the lands of Jazer and Gilead were suitable for livestock”  Numbers 32:1

They reasoned based on their natural vision, forsaking the vision God had for them.   The land of Gilead is lush and fertile; they saw that and thought, Why should we go any further? They saw something, it looked good, and they were willing to stop short of what God had promised to them.  What they saw was beautiful and bountiful…..however, what they saw was not the Blessing God had for them.

In this decision, the people of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manas’seh divided the nation. They separated themselves from the blessing of the land of Canaan. And they were farther from the tabernacle and much closer to the influence of the pagan nations that surrounded them.

God has promises for us that He desires we step into.   But to make this shift will require that we be willing to lay aside all natural reasoning… stop looking at things in the natural and step into faith….. like the children of Israel to go to a new place where we’ve never gone before.  

What has God promised you?…. health, healing, prosperity, etc?  Don’t settle for anything less!  In a time of transitioning not everyone will be willing to move forward with you. Be willing to leave behind the familiar to cling to the unknown.

~ Robin

 

Cancer GONE!

healing.jpg

Two days ago my next door neighbor L asked me to come over and pray for a friend of hers that was just diagnosed with cancerous mass on her ovary.  L had also been diagnosed with uterine cancer a few weeks ago and had asked me and my family to pray for her.   I spent a few minutes with her prior to praying just teaching her about what the Bible says about healing and that it is always God’s will to heal.  We prayed for her and in addition to receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of tongues (Acts 2:2), she received a miraculous healing… the next morning the cramping and bleeding had stopped.  The doctor gave her his pathology findings a couple of weeks later that said this was indeed a miracle because the cancer was now GONE and there would be no need for chemo therapy. L is such a beautiful woman of God and was willing to go through whatever God wanted her to… including cancer and going home to heaven.  All she needed for her faith to grab ahold of her healing was to know that cancer and ALL sickness and disease is never God’s will.  She just needed to be taught what the Word says about God being a Healer.

When her friend D (who had just been diagnosed with cancer) heard about her healing she asked if I would be willing to pray for her.  I went over to Lanette’s 2 days ago and got to pray with D.  Before I prayed for her though I listened to what her thoughts were…. first, because a member of her family had been diagnosed with cancer, her doctors were proactive in testing her and her sisters often to make sure she doesn’t get cancer.  Second, while she believed that the enemy attacks us with sickness, she believed that God allows it.  And finally she was only asking God to shrink the tumor (not completely remove it).

I began to teach her what the Word says about healing… dealing with these 3 issues.  I explained to her that 2 Corinthians 5:17 says that once we are born again, we are in Christ and become a new creation.. the old has passed away and all things have become new.  I told her that one translation of John 1:13 says “out from the natural and corrupt DNA  and into the incorruptible DNA of the Father”…. we received the genetic code of the Father and that superior genetic code recodes the human spirit.  She isn’t bound to her family genetics because the DNA of Jesus is in her.  I explained to her that sickness cannot live in her body because Jesus lives inside of her!

Then I told her that God doesn’t allow satan to attack us…. Job was written pre Christ.  Jesus came and destroyed the works of the devil (Col 2:15; 1 John 3:8) and He gave us all power over all the power of the enemy (Luke 10:19). We have the legal right as co-heirs with Jesus to be gatekeepers of our body and soul and are able to say NO to the enemy when he brings something against us that is contrary to God’s Word… contrary to what Jesus purchased for us at Calvary and through His resurrection.  

Finally I told her that God is the Healer and He heals completely… not partially!  He doesn’t want to just shrink a tumor and leave it there as a benign tumor.  God’s desire is to heal her completely…. removing ALL cancer and tumors and anything else misaligned in her body.

Then the most beautiful thing happened… as I was teaching her I watched shackles of unbelief and wrong teaching fall off of her.  As she grabbed ahold of the TRUTH that God is the Healer and of who she now is IN CHRIST, her declaration of faith with her hands lifted high was “I am no longer limited to just believing for shrinking (of the tumor) and am HEALED. I say no to the devil (to his attacks of sickness and disease) because now I am equipped!”  Her faith grabbed ahold of the Healer and made her whole!  We then laid hands on her and commanded cancer to leave her body and released the healing power of God into her.  She then also got baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues (Acts 2:2).  Yesterday she messaged me that she went in for her ultrasound and told the technician “I’m looking for my miracle today… Jesus is in me.”  The ultrasound showed no tumor (not a shrinking but a total absence of it!)…. Cancer GONE!

I love being a co-laborer with God (1 Cor 3:9).  I love laying hands on the sick and watching them recover just as God said they would.  I REALLY LOVE teaching the Word of God though.  I love watching minds get renewed….shackles coming off…. seeing someone’s eyes light up because they just received the revelation on the inside that they are FREE!  Free from all sickness, disease, poverty, sin and death… free from the curse of the law because Jesus took all of those curses for us (Gal 3:13).  

When it seems God doesn’t answer prayers…….

I was rejoicing on Facebook about these two miracles and a dear, sweet friend of mine commented that she wished prayer had worked for her (I know that some of her family members had been diagnosed in the past with cancer and died).  That broke my heart.  I didn’t know what to say to her to comfort her.   I know that sometimes people die even after we pray for them.  I don’t know why… I don’t have an answer for that.  What I do know is that when something doesn’t happen the way I thought it should… when it SEEMS like God didn’t hear my prayers…. when if FEELS like God doesn’t care about my situation…. I know to fall back on what I do know…to fall back on TRUTH…instead of what my circumstances are screaming at me.

Fall back on what you do know….

I know that God is the Healer and that it is His will… His desire… for us to be healed.  Jesus took sickness and disease on His body so that we don’t have to….. so that we could walk sickness free… disease free.  I know that when I pray His will He ALWAYS hears me (1 John 5:14).  I know He ALWAYS cares about me – He promised to NEVER leave me nor forsake me (Heb 13:5).  I know that He said to pray unceasingly….. to pray even when circumstances look like prayer isn’t working.  I know that as hard as death is to understand… and much as we may miss someone…. I know that the pain and grief of death will not conquer.. will not overpower us (Ps 91:10).  All I know to say to my friend is to KEEP PRAYING… KEEP BELIEVING GOD…. KEEP HOPING…KEEP WALKING IN THE TRUTH OF HIS WORD…. AND KEEP DRAWING CLOSER TO GOD.  

And allow Him to transform you…..

I haven’t always had my prayers answered either.  But I’ve found that as I continue to press into the Word… to know Him more intimately… to share in the fellowship of His sufferings by learning what His death laid hold of for me… to know Him in the power of His resurrection…. as I pursue Him… behold Him… that I am being transformed into His image and learning how to pray with His boldness, His authority and with His faith and my prayers are being answered more often.

I no longer pray “hit and miss” prayers… I’m learning to say what my Father says and do what my does… to pray what I hear Him saying and see Him doing.  I’m learning to pray what the word says… to pray from my position of IN CHRIST… to release through my prayers what He purchased for me.  No longer asking God to do what He has already done through Jesus but declaring with all boldness what belongs to me IN CHRIST.  I don’t pray “my fears” but I pray “in faith” the answer to whatever the problem is…. not asking mountains to move… not hoping they move… but COMMANDING them to move.

~ Robin

 

Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!

blessing 3

“Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he has redeemed from the hand of the enemy”  

Psalm 107:2

I kept hearing this scripture all day in my spirit!  Such a timely scripture since we just entered into the Hebrew month of Nisan a week ago and one of the key things about Nisan is it’s a month of redemption.   Psalm 107:2 “Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he has redeemed from the hand of the enemy;”  One translation says “let the redeemed tell their story” and the NLT says “Has the Lord redeemed you?  Then speak out!!”  I did just that as I went for my afternoon walk.  I began speaking forth what His redemption purchased for me.  What does it mean to be redeemed?

We were slaves set free – Mark 10:45 (He gave His life a ransom); Romans 6:17-18 (we were once slaves); John 8:34 (everyone who sins is a slave to sin); Gal 4:6-7 no longer slaves but sons).  Slavery was a common institution in the ancient world… a man might be born into slavery,  he might be captured by an invading army and placed into slavery, or he might have fallen into debt with no way to pay and therefore sold into slavery.  Once a slave, he could gain his freedom again… but it was very costly.  

There are 3 Greek words for redemption… agorazo which means a purchase made in the market place;  peripoieo which means to acquire or purchase for oneself; and lutroo which means liberated – the ransom price paid for loosing captives from their bonds and setting them at liberty.  When Jesus redeemed us, we were not just purchased from the market place of sin and death (agorazo).. or even purchased for Himself (peripoieo)…. we were purchased and our bonds were loosed, we were set free and given liberty in Him (lutroo)!!  We were redeemed by His blood (1 Cor 6:19-20; Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Revelations 5:9).  He paid the ransom and declared “it is finished (John 19:30).”

It is finished… or “teletesta” in Greek can also be translated “paid in full”.  It does not mean just to complete a task but to carry it out fully, to perfection.  His work of redemption is fully complete and nothing needs to be or can be added to it.   Sin was atoned for (Heb 9:12; Heb 10:12);  Satan was defeated and stripped of all power ( Heb 2:14-15; 1Jn 3:8);  Every requirement of the Law has been satisfied  (Matt 5:17; Rom 10:14);  God’s holy wrath against sin has been satisfied (or propitiated)… the punishment or penalty of sin has been met (Romans 3:25; Heb 2:17; 1Jn 2:2, 4:10);

Tetelesta was a legal term.  When a Roman prisoner had finished serving his sentence, the judge would inscribe the word “tetelesta” on the release paper which guaranteed his deliverance and liberty.  The charges for those crimes could never be brought against him again.   When Jesus cried “TETELESTAI” on the cross, He was saying that anyone who places his trust in His sacrificial death, receives in essence a “certificate of debt” with the inscription of “tetelestai”, indicating that all their “crimes” (past, present and future) against God have been PAID FOR IN FULL!  Christ has utterly wiped out or completely obliterated the condemning evidence of broken laws and commandments which always hung over our heads, and has completely annulled it by nailing it over His own head on the Cross. And then He disarmed the powers against us, He publicly exposed them, shattered, shamed, emptied and defeated,completely stripped them of all power – Col 2:14-15

Redeem is first mentioned in Gen 48:16 next to the names  of Jacob’s grandson’s Manasseh and Ephraim as Jacob is blessing them after he has adopted them.  The adoption of them made them sons with full inheritance rights equal to Joseph…. we have become sons with full inheritance rights equal to that of Jesus.  

We have been redeemed from the curse of the law (Gal 3:13).  The scripture does not say Christ has redeemed us from the law, as if to say the law is a curse. No, the law of God is not a curse, the law is holy, and just, and good (Romans 7:12). What Christ has redeemed us from is the curse of the law.. the penalty or punishment of disobedience!  ALL the curses!!  Deuteronomy 28:15-68 is a list of the curses.  He has redeemed us from sickness, pain, sorrow, depression, poverty and even death that came as a result for disobeying God.  We were redeemed from the curse so that the blessing of Abraham (Gen 12:2-3) might come upon us.. the Gentiles, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. (Gal 3:14)

He didn’t just redeem us and leave us to fend for ourselves in our new found freedom.  He redeemed us from the dominion of darkness and redeemed us (transferred us) into the Kingdom of His dear Son.  2 Peter 1:3 tells us that His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness.  Below are some of the things His redemption purchased for us – this is not an exhaustive list.. definitely do your own study 

  • Col 1:19-22 – we were reconciled to God in Him and presented holy, blameless and without reproach; made righteous.
  • Col 2:13-15 – we were made alive with Him, forgiven our trespasses, cancelled the record of debt with it’s legal demands, and completely stripped the enemy’s power over us.
  • 1 Thes 5:9-10 – we obtained salvationsozo: forgiveness of sins, healing, deliverance, and prosperity… made whole, complete, lacking nothing.
  • 1 Pe 2:24 – we are dead to sin, alive to righteousness, healed
  • Rom 6:6 – we are no longer slaves to sin
  • Galatians 4:5 – we received adoptions as sons
  • Isaiah 44:22 – our transgressions are blotted out
  • Romans 6:4 – we walk in newness of life
  • Ephesians 1:1-23 – we have been blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places
  • Rev 1:6 – we are made kings and priests
  • Titus 2:14 – we have become pure
  • Galatians 3:14 – we received the promise of the Spirit

When you know you are fully, completely redeemed, your walk with God will change.  You’ll see yourself in a brand new light. You will know God has placed such great value on you because He purchased you through the precious blood of His dear Son.  And you will tell others your story of redemption…. declaring that the Redeemer lives in you and that it is for freedom He set you free, never again to be subject to the yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1)!

~ Robin

He has given us a new heart

love

“……God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”  Romans 5:5

Recently I heard a church leader quote the scripture Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”  I didn’t think much of it at the time… it’s not a scripture I quote over myself so I let it go in one ear and out the other so to speak.  Then I heard a couple of people in the same church begin parroting that same scripture.  When I heard it during a prayer meeting, for the 3rd time that week, I thought to myself “my heart is not deceitful and desperately wicked” and  Holy Spirit spoke Romans 5:5 to my heart… “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

Jeremiah 17:9 in a few translations says our hearts are wicked beyond cure or incurable!  Sometimes we quote things out of context from the Old Testament… without the revelation of the blood of Jesus and what His death, burial and resurrection purchased for us.  We forget to put on our Jesus glasses while we read the OT.   This keeps us sin conscious instead of God conscious.  And heaps condemnation upon us.  So let’s look at Jeremiah 17:9 in context.

Jeremiah 17 is talking about a people who had turned away from God and had fallen into idolatry.  Verse 4 says that God will make them a slave to their enemies. And verse 5 says cursed is he who trusts in man and makes mere flesh his strength, and turns his thoughts from the Lord.”  In Deuteronomy 28 being a slave to our enemies is listed under the curse of the Law.  Galatians 3:13 tells us that Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law… being made a curse for us.  So, Jeremiah 17:9 can’t possibly apply to us as born again believers.  Also, Hebrews 10:22 says that our hearts have been made clean from an evil conscience.  Yes, at one time my heart was deceitful and desperately wicked… but once I became born again, the blood of Jesus cleansed my heart and made me holy, righteous and blameless in His sight.

Instead of confessing Jeremiah 17:9 over ourselves, let’s look at a few of the things the New Covenant says about our hearts once we made Jesus our Lord.  And let’s start confessing these things instead…..

  • our hearts are pure as a result of being born again (Matt 5:8; 2 Tim 2:22; and 1 Peter 1:22 – in this scripture Peter connects the reality of having a pure heart with the new birth in the very next verse: “…since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God… )
  • our hearts are full of  good treasure (Luke 6:45)
  • our hearts have rivers of living water flowing from them (John 7:38-39)
  • our hearts have been cleansed (Acts 15:9)
  • our hearts are filled with the love of God (Romans 5:5)
  • our hearts listen… hearing hearts (Rom 6:17)
  • God’s light shines in our hearts (2 Corinthians 4:6)
  • the Spirit of God’s Son dwells in our hearts (Galatians 4:6; Ephesians 3:17)
  • our hearts are guarded by the peace of God (Philippians 4:7)
  • our hearts have God’s laws written on them (Hebrews 8:10)
  • our hearts have been sprinkled clean from an evil conscience (Hebrews 10:22)
  • our hearts are continually strengthened by grace (Hebrews 13:9)

Ezekiel 36:26–27 is a prophetic promise of God giving us a NEW heart… and Jesus fulfilled that prophecy for us through His death, burial and resurrection.  By confessing that we still have hearts that are wicked and incurable is to say that the blood was not enough.  God makes it clear in this passage that we don’t have both an old and a new heart, but only a new heart. The old heart of stone has been removed, and all that remains is the new heart.

Jesus told us to “take heed how we hear” and “he who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying.”  Let’s make sure that when we hear scripture quoted that we don’t just parrot it but that we hear it with the revelation of what Jesus purchased.  ~ Robin

No Hebrew word for obey

keys bible

I was reading an article by Rabbi Daniel Lapin, and he said that there is no Hebrew word for “obey.”I always just assumed the actual word ‘obey’ was in the Hebrew Bible….it’s translated in our English Bibles, and it’s definitely in most sermons that preached.   I did some further research, and sure enough, there is no word in Hebrew for our English word ‘obey.’ The word translated obey in our Bibles is the Hebrew word shema.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against obedience, and I’m definitely not advocating for disobedience.  I am one of those people that obedience just comes naturally to.  I was an extremely obedient kid… to the point of losing a cat once… but that’s another story for another blog!  I also like rules…truthfully I LOVE following rules and setting them.  In fact, my kids and husband call me the rule maker! I’m sure they mean it as a term of endearment… right??

Just as there is no Hebrew word meaning “obey,” there also is no English word for shema.  While this Hebrew verb translates as “hear” it means much more than just hearing or listening. The King James Bible chose the verb ‘to hearken’ rather than hear for them. But now, nobody hearkens anymore so the English translators of the Bible didn’t know what to do with this verb. So they translated it as ‘obey’.  But “obey” poses a problem…before we obey we usually go through a 3 part process…1.  We hear what God says….. 2. we evaluate the command based on our understanding…. 3.  we make a choice to obey based on our evaluation.  That’s a Greek mindset to understand first then obey.  But God doesn’t give us instructions in order that we might understand Him!  He gives His instructions to us that we might live life well… Proverbs 10:17 “Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life.”

There are 613 commandments in the Old Testament and 1050 commandments in the New Testament.  With so many “commandments” you would naturally assume that obedience is what God is requiring.  But He’s not looking for obedience from us the way we understand obedience.  Webster’s Dictionary defines obey as to do what someone tells you to do or what a rule, law, etc., says you must do.  Some synonyms are to submit, to keep, to comply, to be governed by, bow to, do one’s bidding, do what is expected, do as told, to take orders.  Lots of English synonyms for a word that’s not even in the Hebrew language.

So, what does God require from us?  He’s looking for shema levot….for hearing hearts.  A hearing heart is a heart that is intent on… or committed to doing whatever God commands… whatever He asks from us.  And most importantly a hearing heart is rooted in love (Deut 11:1; John 14:15; 1 John 5:3).

The first time “shema” appears in Scripture is in Genesis 3:8. “And they heard (shema) the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.”

Adam and Eve had just sinned and eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  This scripture shows us God’s response to them in spite of their sin… in spite of them not following their hearing hearts and doing what God required of them. God came walking through His garden in the cool of the day. The word walk is halak; it has the idea of moving or going as opposed to just sitting there.  The term “cool of the day” wasn’t just added as a poetic phrase, the word cool is the word reach which is the word for spirit.  

Immediately following their disobedience they “heard”(shema) the Spirit of the Lord in the Garden ready to walk with them… eager to enjoy the move of His Spirit with them. They heard His Spirit come into the garden desiring to be with them like always.  To hear (shema) is hearing with understanding, attention, and with a response.  Response to what?  To come to Him and walk with His Spirit as usual.  Allowing the wind of His Spirit to blow over them and make things right.

Our translations then tell us that God said “where are you?”  Actually, in the Hebrew it is a Semitic idiomatic expression meaning “he is nowhere.”  God wasn’t asking a question; He wasn’t asking where Adam was.  He was crying out “Adam is nowhere in My Heart.”

This is not a picture of an angry God who is looking for Adam so that he can punish his “disobedience”… this first look at sin for us is a picture of a caring Father so sad that His son left His heart.

Today let’s have hearing hearts, let’s respond to Him, walk with His Spirit, committed to doing whatever He asks.  Today let’s be hearers and doers.

~Robin

 

Joy

joy

Joy is to abound the entire Hebrew month of Adar…. and this year because it’s a leap year we get 2 months of Adar… double the joy!   Joy is not happiness… they are vastly different words!

Words are powerful.  I’m one of those mom’s who is constantly correcting her kids on their grammar as well as the words they use.  I ask them “is that really what you mean to say?” Proverbs 18:21 in the New Living Translations says “The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.”  Since I am definitely one who LOVES to talk, I want to make sure that I’m reaping good consequences.  That’s why I love studying words in English, Latin, Greek and Hebrew… really digging out the meanings.  So that I know exactly what I’m saying.  Choosing joy this month is much easier if I know the difference between joy and happiness.

Happiness is from the Middle English word meaning “hap” or “chance”… based on outward happenstances. Joy comes from the Middle English from the French Anglo word “joie” meaning rejoice! I love that! The Apostle Paul thought it was so important to rejoice that he felt the need to repeat it twice… “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”.  Infact, Paul talks about joy at least 16 times in the 4 chapters of Phillipians.  King David also exhorts us to serve the Lord with joy… Psalm 100:2 “Serve the LORD with joy. Come before him with a joyful shout!”  This exhortation wasn’t borne out of “happy” circumstances… he was at the time hiding in a cave, exiled from his throne, having barely escaped from the murderous intentions of his power-hungry son Absalom. What a rough set of circumstances!  And yet David chose this moment to compose a psalm of rejoicing.  

Joy is a deep down confidence that all is well, no matter what the circumstance, no matter what the difficulty, no matter what the problem.  Jewish sages have a saying, “simcha poritz geder” — joy breaks all barriers.  Joy is a gift from God… Psalm 4:7 says Thou hast put joy in my heart”  The Greek word for “joy” is chara (χαρὰ), a word related to “grace” (χάρις).  There is grace for joy available for us.. we need only spend time in His presence to be full of joy (Ps 16:11).

Today rejoice…. choose joy whether your circumstances are joyful or not….get into His presence and let Him fill you with His joy (Ps 16:11))… let it strengthen you (Neh 8:10), causing you to superabound with hope (Rom 15:13) and that joy will breakdown any barriers in your life.  I recently read a wonderful definition for joy:  joy is the flag that flies on the castle of the heart when the King is in residence there.  

Naaman the Syrian

naaman the syrian

And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”  When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath   ~ Luke 4:27-28

I started this blog post 2 weeks ago but a death in my immediate family forced me to put my study on hold.  Now that life has resumed back to normal, I’m excited to start blogging once again.  We had been talking about Jesus’ teaching of Isaiah 61:1-2 in the past two blogs (see Jesus is our Jubilee and The widow of Sidon) and the people of Nazareth’s response to His teaching.  He was revealing to them that He had come to be a light and a blessing… to show forth His salvation… to the Gentiles (unbelievers) as well as the Jews.  He was reminding them of their covenant responsibility to co-labor with Him in being a blessing to ALL the families of the earth (Genesis 12:3)…. He had blessed them to be a blessing… to release that blessing to ALL we come in contact with.  

This example must’ve struck a nerve with them and just pushed them over the edge…. this example that He gave was unthinkable to their natural reasonings!  The widow represented Gentile sinners but Naaman represents much more than that… he was the captain of the Syrian army… the Syrians oppressed Israel.  They were enemies of Israel.  Much in the same way that the Romans were the oppressors of the group sitting and listening to Jesus.  Surely being a light and a blessing didn’t mean extending it to their oppressive enemies did it?  

Remember, God’s heartbeat is for the nations.  He was so intent on showing the Israelites His love and compassion for ALL people, and that ALL people can have faith in God, that He chose one of the most hated men in Israel at that time to prove it.  God in His mercy pursued Naaman…. there were MANY lepers in Israel but none of them were healed except Namaan the Syrian (Luke 4:27)  

The Syrians were always terrorizing and attacking Israel and then taking prisoners back to Syria… on one of these raids, Namaan carried off a little girl from Israel and made her his wife’s servant (2 Kings 5:2).  Chapter 5 opens with the Lord allowing Syria to win a battle, although we don’t know who the other side is.  The Bible also tells us that Naaman was mighty, honorable to his King (King Aram) and strong in battle.  But his military strength and glory were marred by an incurable disease of leprosy.    

This little girl that he kidnapped tells Namaan’s wife about the prophet Elisha and that Namaan could be healed if only he were with him.  I love the little girl in this story… she is definitely a co-laborer with God…a minister of reconciliation.  She is being a blessing to even the one who took her captive.  She has complete faith that if Namaan were to see Elisha he would be healed!  She had faith in her God that He is not only able to heal but is willing to heal…. even an enemy of Israel!

While this story in Luke 4 is a rebuke to the people that they are neglecting their covenant role of being blessed to be blessing to ALL the people of the earth… thankfully however God doesn’t just rebuke us and leave in our neglectful condition.  It is also an invitation to be His ambassadors of unconditional love… God’s love that He poured out into our hearts (Romans 5:5) … to even our enemies… those who oppose us… oppress us… or even enslave us (as Namaan did to this girl).  

Namaan goes to see Elisha.  An enemy of God, one who has attacked, killed, plundered Israel, one who has leprosy… an outcast of outcasts is standing at the door of the man of God hoping to be healed.  He comes carrying as gifts 750 pounds of silver, 150 pounds of gold, and ten sets of clothing and with his horse and chariot and wealth.  What a sight Namaan was… power, prestige, a commanding presence.    He had yet to acknowledge with the psalmist that “Some nations boast of their chariots and horses, but we boast in the name of the Lord our God.” (Psalm 20:7).  

But rather than respond to such pomp and circumstance as Namaan was undoubtably used to people doing…. rather than come personally, Elisha sends a messenger to him telling him to go and wash 7 times in the Jordan river and he will be made clean. God alone would get the glory for healing Namaan… not Elisha… because Namaan was expecting Elisha, the prophet of God, to heal him… he didn’t even know the God of Israel yet.  His trust was in a man whom he assumed had “magical” powers.  Naaman comes from a pagan country, where his “prophets” made quite a spectacle when they healed the sick. According to the Bible Commentaries, they raised their hands in the air, and shouted for the sick to be healed.  But God was after Namaan’s heart not just in healing his physical body… He was pursuing Namaan.    

However, Naaman almost misses his miracle healing because of pride and self importance.  The first words out of his mouth were “Behold, I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage.  In fact he went away more than just mad… the word used means wrath, rage, full of poison and venom.  

He thought!  He had a preconceived idea of how he thought his healing would come about.  How many times have we missed or almost missed our miracle because we thought God would do something the way we preconceived it?  We had it all figured out in our minds!  Thank God He is not bound to the limitations of our preconceived ideas or the boundaries of our thinking!!  Let’s let go of our limited expectations and have faith in the God of Israel and His limitless way of manifesting miracles in our life.

Naaman thought the resources he trusted in were better than what God was providing.  He said the rivers in Damascus are better than Israel…. they are tov.  Tov is good… to be in proper working order, the way it was meant to… the way God created it to work.  Naaman’s pagan ways were far from tov!  He lived in a culture that didn’t function the way God created us to live.  We were created to love Him… not to serve false gods. 

He was asked to do nothing less than to betray the faith of his fathers. He was being asked to be willing to acknowledge that there was a possibility that Israel’s God could do something the Syrian god was unable to do. Naaman would have to let go of everything he trusted in and trust God for his healing.  The Jordan means to descend… Namaan would have to humble himself… to descend… to lower himself in order to be made clean.  And this was exactly what Jesus was saying to the people in the synagogue listening to Him that day… if they wanted salvation, they were going to have to let go of everything they trusted in… their adherence to the law…their good works…. and admit they were the poor, the blind, the oppressed, unclean.. that they were no different from Namaan.. or for that matter their Roman oppressors…in need of a Savior.    Instead of responding to the rebuke and the invitation to release His goodness and His presence… His salvation…. to the Gentiles (the unbelievers), they responded with offense.  

So, after being encouraged by his servant to do what was asked of him, he steps out in faith and humbles himself by dipping in the dirty Jordan 7 times.  Naaman experienced the overwhelming power, presence, and mercy of Israel’s God and his whole attitude changed.  Naaman had a whole-hearted transformation: “Then Naaman and his entire party went back to find the man of God. They stood before him, and Naaman said, ‘Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. So please accept a gift from your servant.’”  When Naaman goes back to Elisha’s house – he’s a changed man! There is no mention of horses and chariots this time as he returns to Elisha.  And he doesn’t just declare the goodness of God but that God is the only God in the entire world.  This is a radical statement for a man of his time, living in a polytheistic society.

Naaman’s God is now the God of Israel and he declares he will only make sacrifices and offerings to God. Before he didn’t want to wash in the Jordan River, because the waters of Damascus, were better than any of the waters of Israel, and now he wants to take dirt from Israel (v 17). The Bible Commentaries say: he wants to take dirt because God’s presence was in Israel.  His solution to worshiping in Syria was to take Israeli dirt with him.  He asks God to forgive him, when he has to bow to other “gods” because of his obligation to the king. This gentile, knows it’s a sin to bow down to any other “god” that isn’t the God of Israel.  Elisha blesses him and tells him to go in peace.  Luke 4:27 Jesus says there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.”  God’s heart is for the Nations…. Naaman was a changed man… a spiritually cleansed man all because of one little Jewish girl who had compassion on him… her oppressor.