Monthly Archives: January 2018

Tu B’ Shvat – One Christian’s Perspective

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Tu B’ Shvat is the Jewish New Year for trees, for the purpose of calculating the age of the tree for tithing. It is usually in January or February. One custom associated with this celebration is to consume those fruits which grow in the land of Israel. Before any food is eaten a blessing is said.

When we look at a tree in the winter it looks like nothing is happening inside it, but that is far from the truth. Trees (as well as us) have suffered through cold, dark days and nights. The sap is beginning to rise deep in the heart of trees. New life is starting to emerge. Many things are going on where the eyes cannot see. What looks dead and frozen over will blossom out with buds before long. All looks bleak, cold and lifeless, but there is a promise of rejuvenation.

Tu B’ Shvat is the point at which the trees stop being nourished by the waters of the previous year, and begin to be nourished by the new years waters.

In our lives many things are going on that we can’t see with our natural eyes. At times there are situations in our lives that look dead or hopeless. However, when all looks bleak, cold and lifeless we must remember that there is a promise of rejuvenation. We serve a God of restoration. There is nothing that He cannot restore.

Like the trees on Tu B’ Shvat, last years water supply is not enough. We too need fresh rain (fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit / fresh moves of the Holy Spirit).

Tu B’ Shvat has more to do with the tree’s fruit rather than the tree itself. Just like a fruit tree our lives should produce.

Galatians 5:22,23 NIV
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control”

As we look back over the past year, how was our fruit bearing? Did we bear fruit? There will be (or have been) times in our lives when everything looks bleak and there seems to be no sign of life (growth). During these times we must remember that many things are going on where the eyes can not see.

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Are You Ready?

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While getting a few things ready for tonight’s possible winter weather a thought came to mind.

If we believe that the “authority on weather” also known as the national weather service, is correct concerning the forecast for tonight and tomorrow we will prepare to the best of our ability for what lies ahead. No, they are not always right (they are human after all), but is it not better to prepare and not need those preparations than to need them and not have them? There will be those that hear the forecast and they will prepare, there will be those that hear the forecast and do nothing, and there will be those that hear nothing therefore they will do nothing. Many treat their spiritual life in the same manner. God’s Word, the authoritative Word of God, tells us that Jesus will return for those that have made themselves ready for Him. We can prepare for His return by accepting Jesus as our Savior and making Him the Lord of our lives. God’s Word is ALWAYS right.

There will be those that hear the Word and they will prepare, there will be those that hear the Word and do nothing, and there will be those that hear nothing therefore they will do nothing. Some may ask, “What if you live your life as a believer and you die only to find out that this life is all there is?” To them I would ask, “What if you live your life like there is no life after this one and you die and step into eternity only to find out that heaven and hell are very real?” Just like preparing for the weather, the time to prepare for eternity is ahead of time. You can’t wait until it happens to prepare – it’s too late then.

Yes, sometimes the “weather authorities” are wrong, but God and His Word are NEVER wrong. His Word tells us that Jesus is preparing a home for His bride (true believers) – should we not prepare for Him too?

What preparations have you made for your eternity? For your family’s eternity (have you done or said all that you can)? Remember, the time to prepare for eternity is before you face it. Everyone of us will die, for some it will be expected and for some it will come suddenly. Since none of us know for a fact the day and time that we will breath our last breath, should we not be prepared at all times?

God Desires To Send And Has Promised Revival

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God Desires To Send And Has Promised Revival

God desires for there to be a revival of worship to Him, and there will be a great revival of worship to Him before Jesus returns. His glory (the manifest presence of God) will be experienced in a greater measure by the body of Christ (the church) than ever before. The true body of Christ will have a season of refreshing (renewed, restored, made pleasing) before the return of the Lord.

Acts 3:19-21 NKJV
“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.”

2 Chronicles 7:13-16 NKJV
“When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.”

Tabernacle Of David – A Revival Of Worship
Before the return of the Lord all the prophesies spoken by the prophets of long ago will be fulfilled.

Amos 9:11-15 NKJV
“ ‘On that day I will raise up
The tabernacle of David, which has fallen down,
And repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins,
And rebuild it as in the days of old; That they may possess the remnant of Edom,
And all the gentiles who are called by My name,’
Says the Lord who does this thing.
‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord,
‘When the plowman shall overtake the reaper,
And the treader of grapes him who sows seed;
The mountains shall drip with sweet wine,
And all the hills shall flow with it,
I will bring back the captives of My people Israel; They shall build the waste cities and inhabit them;
They shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them’
They shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them.
I will plant them in their land,
And no longer shall they be pulled up
From the land I have given them,’
Says the Lord your God.”

 

Acts 15:16-17 NKJV
“ ‘After this I will return
And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen
down; I will rebuild its ruins,
And I will set it up; So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord,
Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name,
Says the Lord who does all these things.’ ”
It is the desire of God that His glory fill the earth. In the last days when the glory of God is manifest upon His people (the body of Christ) there will be an abundance of provision (material, physical and spiritual) and harvest (souls). However, we have a part to play in seeing that God’s desire is fulfilled. Sin cannot enter into the presence of God. No matter how much someone may say that they want to experience (and stay in) the glory of the Lord, they will not with sin in their life. Man cannot come into God’s presence without going by Jesus. There is a difference between stumbling upon the glory of God and the glory of God staying upon you, just as there is a difference between a visitation of the glory of God and a habitation of the glory of God.

 

Acts 15:16-17 NKJV
“ ‘After this I will return
And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins,
And I will set it up; So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord,
Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name,
Says the Lord who does all these things.’ ”

The tabernacle of David was a tent that housed the Ark of the Covenant. The manifest presence of God was seen there. We are to be the earthly tent that houses the manifest presence of God. The people joyfully worshiped God in the tabernacle of David. We too, are to joyfully worship God. Sacrifices of praise are to be continually offered up from us.

Psalm 95:1-3 NKJV
“Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the Lord is the great God,
And the great King above all gods.”

 

Psalm 100 NKJV
“Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.”

The name David is a Hebrew word meaning beloved. The tabernacle of David is a type of the worship of the bride of Christ, the church. As the bride of Christ we are the beloved of God and we are the earthly house (tent) that should show forth the glory of God. The church is to joyfully offer up sacrifices of worship, praise, thanksgiving.

Hebrews 13:15 NKJV
“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise
to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.”

 

1 Peter 2:9 NKJV
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous Light.”

The church , the body of Christ, is to be the restored tabernacle of David, a place where God is worshiped in spirit and in truth.

John 4:23-24 NKJV
“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who
worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

When the church removes the sin from within they will be able to worship God in spirit and in truth. Then they will see the glory of the Lord (the manifest presence of God) in their midst. Then the world around them will see the glory of the Lord in them and they too will seek the Lord.

Psalm 24 NKJV
“The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness,
The world and those who dwell therein.
For He has founded it upon the seas,
And established it upon the waters.
Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
Or who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol,
Nor sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive blessings from the Lord,
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him,
Who seek Your face.
Lift up your heads, O you gates!
And be lifted up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is the King of glory?
The Lord strong and mighty,
The Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O you gates!
Lift up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts,
He is the King of glory.”

The tabernacle of David was a place of continual worship. It was also a place of voluntary worship. God did not order the tabernacle of David to be built – it came from David’s heart. The Bible tells us that David was a man after God’s heart. Like David, God desires for us to voluntary worship Him out of our love for Him.

Acts 13:22 NKJV
“And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.”

Recognizing The Holiness Of God And Repentance Go Hand In Hand

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Recognizing The Holiness Of God And Repentance Go Hand In Hand

How we view God’s holiness effects how we see our sins. God is a holy God and sin cannot enter into His presence. Sin cannot and will not stand in the presence of God.

Recognizing God’s holiness guides and governs our lives. If a person does not truly recognize that God is holy they will never truly repent. Some people are more concerned about being caught in their sin then they are about being sorry that they sinned against a holy God.

1. We need to see ourselves as we are…we must be honest.

2. We need to acknowledge God for Who He is … a holy and righteous God.

3. We must see sin for what it is confess it, repent of it, and forsake it.

Exodus 3:1-6 NKJV

“Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.” So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father–the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.”

What would have happened to Moses if he had not recognized God’s holy presence when he encountered God’s manifest presence? God expected Moses to recognize His holiness and obey Him in order for Moses to draw closer to Him. How we regard God’s holiness matters to Him. God told Moses to remove his sandals as an acknowledgement of His holiness and authority. When we encounter the presence of God we too must acknowledge His holiness and His authority and submit to Him.

Joshua 5:13-15 NKJV

And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries?” So He said, “No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, “What does my Lord say to His servant?” Then the Commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, “Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.” And Joshua did so.”

Throughout the ages God has manifested Himself over and over. When God shows Himself, He expects something out of us. He expects us to recognize His holiness and sovereignty.

Isaiah 6:1-5 NKJV

“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!” And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. So I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts.”

When Isaiah encountered the presence of God he realized that he was a sinful man standing in the presence of a holy God. When Isaiah confessed his sinful state God was quick to forgive him and from that point on Isaiah was used by God as a mighty prophet.