Predestined to be like Jesus
What is the purpose of our lives? Is it to be happy? Is it to be healthy? Is it only to be saved from hell? No, there’s more. We are “predestined to become conformed to the image of” Jesus. To be holy as He is holy and to be used in this generation to complete His desires for this generation
If we will surrender every situation to Him, God will use it all, no matter how unpleasant, to form us more into His image. We will love as He loves, forgive like He forgives, listen and speak like He listened and spoke, see as He sees.
If we have had a Godly heritage, He will use it. If no one in our family ever knew the Lord or walked in the fullness of His Spirit, He will use that. If we have had a safe upbringing with parents who loved us and protected us, He will use that. If we have had a turbulent upbringing, have been abused and maligned and never encouraged by a mother or a father, He will use that.
He loves us. He knows us. He brings us closer to Him. Let us know the past is behind and walk forward to become all that He has intended for our us. In this day in age, it is a fight to raise the bar!
I bless and pray for your voyage on this awesome journey of becoming more like our awesome Redeemer! He is worthy of it all. Worthy of it all.
Hag Sameach to all of you! Happy Holidays!
We have entered the Fall Feasts. Last Sunday was Yom Teruakh – Day of Blowing – Feast of Trumpets. Wednesday of next week is Yom Kippur. It is the Day of Atonement, one of the holiest days of God’s calendar year. It is the day the high priest would go into the Holy of Holies to bring the annual sacrifice for himself and for the nation. But fulfilled in Jesus Who took His own blood into the heavenly Holy of Holies to atone for the sins of all us who are Adam’s descendants. Five days later, Wednesday of the following week, begins the Feast of Tabernacles, foreshadowing the time when God and mankind will again tabernacle together in the new heaven and new earth.
“These are the appointed feasts of the LORD that you shall proclaim as holy convocations; they are my appointed feasts (Leviticus 23:2),” God told Moses.
And since Jesus touched all the Spring feasts at His first advent (Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits and Pentecost), we can well assume that He will touch and fulfill these later feasts at His second advent.
Now let me tell you about the calendar on which we operate from day to day. We operate on the Gregorian calendar instituted by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582. He was replacing the Julian calendar instituted by Julius Caesar in 46 BC. The Julian calendar lost a day ever 128 years, so in order to bring the calendar up to date, Gregory’s calendar was advanced from October 4 to October 15, 1582. But there’s more. Since Gregory only had influence in the Roman Catholic world, the non-catholics did not immediately accept Gregory’s adjustments to the calendar. Great Britain and its colonies (which would have included our present “United States”) did not accept the change until 1732.
SO – now you’ll understand: God has a calendar and we have a calendar. He never did get on Julian’s or Gregory’s calendar. He has his own so let’s become aware of His.
May the Lord open all of our eyes to His work during this season of the fall festivals. And may He indeed open the hearts and eyes of Jewish people around the world. The Messiah has come. He reigns and will reign as King of kings and Lord of lords. He, Yeshua/Jesus, is the fulfillment of all the ancient prophecies concerning Him. He is even called God in that prophecy in Isaiah:
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this (Isaiah 9:6-7).
Amazing when you consider it! Jesus has asked us to be shamelessly persistent, shamelessly audacious in prayer.
You see, there was this man and his family who were already in bed for the night when a friend of his had unexpected guests arrive and he had nothing to offer them. So this man went to his already-in-bed friend’s house, saw that the family was already in bed – the lights were obviously already out – and kept knocking insistently until his friend yelled from the bedroom. “Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you” (Luke 11: 5-13 NLT).
Then Jesus tells us, “But I tell you this – though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence (The NIV translates this “shameless audacity”).
“And so I tell you (this is Jesus talking), keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened. For everyone who asks receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”
I’m stoked about this. Do you have anything you’ve been asking for that you have not yet received, but you are still sure that this is within the will of God? Have you been seeking, but have not yet found that for which you are seeking? Have you been knocking but have had no response?
Keep going for it! Keep asking! Keep seeking. Keep knocking. That what’s Jesus says to do. “Shameless persistence.”
Ruler of the kings of the earth
I like that verse! Jesus is the Ruler of the kings of the earth! No one gets into power in any country without His knowledge and even His permission. He will work everything to His glory!
“The Most High is Sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone He wishes,” Nebuchadnezzar found out (Daniel 4:18).
Yes, we are afforded an opportunity to vote for Godly people in governmental possessions (something unheard of in earlier times), but we also can know that God will use whoever is in power in the nations. He will do this in our own nation, to move the world toward the final harvest of souls from around the world and judgment upon wickedness.
Trust! Pray! He is in control!
I was sitting in the prayer room alone, scanning through Scripture to pray into existence what God has ordained.
I paused already in Exodus 33 where Moses is having this conversation with the LORD (something I hope all of us have regularly).
“Teach me your ways,” Moses was asking (still a very valid prayer for you and me).
“My Presence will go with you…” God assured.
Moses’ response? “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here… What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”
His Presence! His distinguishing Presence! That’s it. I spent the rest of the morning praying that I will walk more confidently and consciously in His Presence – in every conversation – in aloneness time – in the midst of much activity.
“I am with you always, even to the end of the age,” Jesus promised us (Matthew 28:20). If He is with us, and His Presence is the primary distinguishing characteristic of who we are, may we walk intentionally, constantly and joyfully forward in and with Him.
There’s another pretty amazing tag line in God’s answer to Moses: “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Presence is the path to rest.