Tag Archives: creation

All You Can Eat…

When Jesus was tempted by the devil, the prince of the air challenged the Prince of Peace (Shalom) to turn stones into bread, and this was Jesus’ response to him:

But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say,

‘People do not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”  (Matthew 4:4 NLT)

Let’s think about His response.  Jesus, the very Word of God, who created the universe and all that is in it, said that we need more than bread to sustain us.  In fact, the Word said that our sustenance comes from every word spoken by God…

In the beginning the Word already existed.
    The Word was with God,
    and the Word was God.
He existed in the beginning with God.
God created everything through Him,
    and nothing was created except through Him.
The Word gave life to everything that was created,
    and His life brought light to everyone.
The light shines in the darkness,
    and the darkness can never extinguish it.  (John 1:1-5  NLT)

It was through His Word, that God created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them.  It is in this Word that we live and move and have our being…

14 So the Word became human and made His home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen His glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.  (John 1:14  NLT)

16 From His abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is Himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.  (John 1:16-18 NLT)

It is by this Word that we live…  This is the Word that we must feed on…  It’s like going to an all you can eat banquet or buffet, only this food is good for you, and there are no calories!

Taste and see that the Lord is good.
    Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in Him!  (Psalm 34:8  NLT)

Are there some who still say, “But I want some bread?”  Then join me in this all you can eat banquet… For Jesus, the Word of God, is also the Bread of Life!

32 Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, Moses didn’t give you bread from heaven. My Father did. And now He offers you the true Bread from heaven. 33 The true Bread of God is the One who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

34 “Sir,” they said, “give us that bread every day.”

35 Jesus replied, “I am the Bread of Life. Whoever comes to Me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in Me will never be thirsty.  (John 6:32-35  NLT)

Just in case you don’t understand that your very life comes from Christ, He goes into even more detail…

47 “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes has eternal life. 48 Yes, I am the Bread of Life! 49 Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness, but they all died. 50 Anyone who eats the Bread from Heaven, however, will never die. 51 I am the living Bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this Bread will live forever; and this Bread, which I will offer so the world may live, is My flesh.”

52 Then the people began arguing with each other about what He meant. “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?” they asked.

53 So Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you cannot have eternal life within you. 54 But anyone who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise that person at the last day. 55 For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. 56 Anyone who eats My flesh and drinks my blood remains in Me, and I in him. 57 I live because of the living Father who sent Me; in the same way, anyone who feeds on Me will live because of Me. 58 I am the true Bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this Bread will not die as your ancestors did (even though they ate the manna) but will live forever.”  (John 6:47-58  NLT)

To make it clear, we are to feast on the Word of God, for this is where we will find life.  And unlike the bread we feed to our flesh, you can’t overindulge on this Bread.  This Bread of Life will fill us, and breathe new life into us.  The Bread of Life won’t leave us feeling sick and bloated, no matter how much we eat of it.  Instead, our strength will be renewed and restored…

Beloved, have you tasted this Bread of Life?  Do you feast on the Word of God?  Have you tasted and seen how good He is?  If not, come to the banquet, and eat your fill, then have some more.  For this is an all you can eat banquet, and as Jesus said, “man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

© 2019
Cheryl A. Showers

My Redeemer Lives! ~ Hebrews 1:3

aboveThe Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and He sustains everything by the mighty power of His command. When He had cleansed us from our sins, He sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven. ~ Hebrews 1:3 — NLT ~

In our last study on Hebrews 1:3, we discussed how Jesus sustains everything by the mighty power of His command.  I truly love how this study is  going. There is so much for us to glean and absorb from God’s word to us and to the Hebrews, and I’m truly excited about the timing of everything.

Doesn’t it seem appropriate that we are going to spend time studying the following part of Hebrews 1:3, at this time, when Christians everywhere are celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God?

… When He had cleansed us from our sins, He sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven.

Think about it… All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God… There is no one righteous, no, not one… The wages of sin is death… 

god-so-loved-the-worldThe situation was grim. Mankind was lost and dying. Though it wasn’t created for man, the fact is that all of mankind was destined for hell. Though sin had separated all of mankind from God, in His mercy and His grace, God had a solution for mankind’s eternal problem…

… For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life… Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends… You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you…

woundedThere is no greater love than this. God loved us so much, that He willingly sacrificed His Son for our sins, and it is at this time of year, that we celebrate His great act of love on our behalf. And Jesus could have refused to die for us, but He didn’t. Instead, He chose to suffer on your behalf and mine…

1 Who has believed our message? To whom has the Lord revealed His powerful arm? 2 My Servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in a dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about His appearance, nothing to attract us to Him. 3 He was despised and rejected — a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on Him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. 

4 Yet it was our weaknesses He carried; it was our sorrows that weighed Him down. And we thought His troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for His own sins! 5 But He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. 6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on Him the sins of us all.

7 He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet He never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, He did not open His mouth. 8 Unjustly condemned, He was led away. No one cared that He died without descendants, that His life was cut short in midstream. But He was struck down for the rebellion of my people. 9 He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone. But He was buried like a criminal; He was put in a rich man’s grave. 

10 But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush Him and cause Him grief. Yet when His life is made an offering for sin, He will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the Lord’s good plan will prosper in His hands. 11 When He sees all that is accomplished by His anguish, He will be satisfied. And because of His experience, My Righteous Servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for He will bear all their sins. 12 I will give Him the honors of a victorious soldier, because He exposed Himself to death. He was counted among the rebels. He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels. ~ Isaiah 53 — NLT ~

… When He had cleansed us from our sins, He sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven~ Hebrews 1:3 — NLT ~

After Jesus suffered and died to pay for your sins and mine, He descended into hell…

18 Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but He died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but He was raised to life in the Spirit.

19 So He went and preached to the spirits in prison — 20 those who disobeyed God long ago when God waited patiently while Noah was building his boat. Only eight people were saved from drowning in that terrible flood~ 1 Peter 3:18-20 — NLT ~

deathThe scriptures also tell us that everyone must die, and after that, face judgment, just as Jesus did, but here is the good news. Though Jesus died for your sins and mine, He arose from the dead!

27 And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, 28 so also Christ died once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for Him. ~ Hebrews 9:27-28 — NLT ~

Beloved readers, we are so blessed. For when Jesus rose up from the dead, He didn’t stop working on our behalf. Indeed, this  is why believers throughout the world celebrate Christ’s resurrection every year at this time…

1 “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in Me. 2 There is more than enough room in My Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with Me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.” ~ John 14:1-4 — NLT ~

Therefore He is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through Him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf. ~ Hebrews 7:25 — NLT ~

Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and He is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us. ~ Romans 8:34 — NLT ~

Isn’t it comforting to know that Jesus is sitting beside God right now, on His right side, in the place of honor, interceding for you and me?  There is no better or more able to defend us than Christ, the holy Son of God!

As we prepare to celebrate the life, death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, this weekend, let’s reflect on this…

The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and He sustains everything by the mighty power of His command. When He had cleansed us from our sins, He sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven. ~ Hebrews 1:3 — NLT ~

Beloved readers, as we celebrate the resurrection of our Savior, let us not forget to give thanks to Him for sacrificing His one and only Son so that you and I could live…

Heavenly Father, thank You so much for the gift of Your Son Jesus. Thank You Lord, for sacrificing Him for my sake, and thank You for raising Him up from the dead, so that He could prepare a place for me to live, 

And Lord Jesus, thank You for stepping in when I sin and fail God, and for pleading and interceding with Him on my behalf, because if You are for me, who could be against me. 

Thank You, Lord for the great love that You lavish on me, and forgive me for sinning against You.  In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

© 2014
Cheryl A. Showers

All Things Upheld By the Word of His Power ~ Hebrews 1:3

Image Credit: ubdavid.org
Image Credit:
ubdavid.org

The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and He sustains everything by the mighty power of His command. When He had cleansed us from our sins, He sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven. ~ Hebrews 1:3 — NLT ~

Greetings beloved readers! I don’t know about you, but God is ministering to me through this study of His word. In our last study, we discovered that Jesus is the very image of God, possessing His character as well. We discovered that Jesus has the same exact mindset as God, our heavenly Father does, and that we are to have the same mindset as Christ. In closing, I cited Romans 8:17, and asked, As a child of Almighty God, and a joint heir with Christ, are we really willing to do what Paul said in Romans 8:17? And if we’re not, are we willing, to begin praying for God to give us this same mindset that Jesus, and all of His disciples (except for Judas Iscariot) had?”

Image Credit: Voice of the Martyrs
Image Credit:
Voice of the Martyrs

Did you ask yourself if you are willing to share in Jesus’ suffering? For indeed, we must be willing to share in His suffering if we are to share in His glory. Sadly, much of the church (here in America at any rate), wants to share in the glory and skip the suffering, as if that is an option, when in reality, it isn’t. Jesus even warned us, before His arrest and crucifixion, that we would suffer, so if anyone tries to tell you that as a child of God, you won’t go through trials like everyone else, remember these words of Jesus…

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in Me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. ~ John 16:33 — NLT ~

Image Credit: Columna Bites of Wisdom
Image Credit:
Columna Bites of Wisdom

Now, we’re ready to move on to the next part of our study in Hebrews… and YES, we’re still studying Hebrews 1:3. There is so much for us to feast on in this one verse, as we study God’s word line by line and precept upon precept…

The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and He sustains everything by the mighty power of His command. When He had cleansed us from our sins, He sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven. ~ Hebrews 1:3 — NLT ~

Image Credit: Real Jesus Ministries, Inc.
Image Credit:
Real Jesus Ministries, Inc.

Today, in this post, we’re going to study how Jesus sustains everything by the mighty power of His command. When I said we are going to study Hebrews line by line and precept upon precept, I meant exactly that. Therefore, in order for us to accomplish this, let’s look at this verse in the New American Standard Bible (NASB).

When looking for the original Greek words (for the New Testament) or Hebrew words (for the Old Testament) that were translated into the many different versions of the Bible that we are blessed with today, you usually do so by referring to either the King James Version (KJV) or the NASB. I personally prefer the NASB over the KJV, simply because people no longer speak King James English, whereas, we (Americans especially) do speak the language of the NASB. Therefore, let’s look at this verse in the NASB…

And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high… ~ Hebrews 1:3 — NASB ~

Let’s begin by looking at the Greek word and definition for upholds:

Upholds = pherō

I.         to carry

A.     to carry some burden

i.     to bear with one’s self

B.     to move by bearing; move or, to be conveyed or borne,                         with the suggestion of force or speed

i.     of persons borne in a ship over the sea
ii.    of a gust of wind, to rush
iii.   of the mind, to be moved inwardly, prompted

C.     to bear up i.e. uphold (keep from falling)

i.     of Christ, the preserver of the universe

II.       to bear, i.e. endure, to endure the rigor of a thing, to bear                              patiently one’s conduct, or spare one (abstain from punishing                    or destroying)

III.   to bring, bring to, bring forward

A.     to move to, apply
B.     to bring in by announcing, to announce
C.     to bear i.e. bring forth, produce; to bring forward in a                             speech
D.     to lead, conduct

And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high… ~ Hebrews 1:3 — NASB ~

Next, we will look at the Greek word and definition for all things:

All Things = pas

I.     individually

A.     each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things,                              everything

And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high… ~ Hebrews 1:3 — NASB ~

As we continue to search the original meaning of this passage, by looking for the Greek words and definitions, from which this scripture was translated, we will look at the Greek word and definition for by the word:

By the Word = rhēma

I.     that which is or has been uttered by the living voice, thing spoken,           word

A.     any sound produced by the voice and having definite                            meaning
B.     speech, discourse

i.     what one has said

C.     a series of words joined together into a sentence (a                                declaration of one’s mind made in words)

i.     an utterance
ii.    a saying of any sort as a message, a narrative

a.     concerning some occurrence

II.    subject matter of speech, thing spoken of

A.     so far forth as it is a matter of narration
B.     so far as it is a matter of command
C.     a matter of dispute, case at law

And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high… ~ Hebrews 1:3 — NASB ~

The final word that we are going to research for today’s study is power:

Power = dynamis

I.     strength power, ability

A.     inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its                      nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth
B.     power for performing miracles
C.     moral power and excellence of soul
D.     the power and influence which belong to riches and wealth
E.     power and resources arising from numbers
F.     power consisting in or resting upon armies, forces, hosts

And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high… ~ Hebrews 1:3 — NASB ~

Now that we know the Greek words and their definitions, let’s put it together so that we can have a thorough knowledge of what this portion of Hebrews 1:3 means to us…

Image Credit: Darrell Creswell
Image Credit:
Darrell Creswell

This portion of Hebrews 1:3 tells us that Jesus upholds (to carry, to carry some burden,  to bear with one’s self, to bear up i.e. uphold [keep from falling], of Christ, the preserver of the universe) all things (each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything) by the word (that which is or has been uttered by the living voice, thing spoken, word, any sound produced by the voice and having definite meaning, an utterance, a saying of any sort as a message, a narrative, so far as it is a matter of command) of His power (strength power, ability, inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth, power for performing miracles, moral power and excellence of soul).

Image Credit: Obtaining God's Blessings
Image Credit:
Obtaining God’s Blessings

Beloved readers, what this means is that Jesus holds everything together.  Think about this scientifically. As far as anyone has been able to determine, our world is the only planet on which there is intelligent life (or life of any kind for that matter!). Not only that, if you were to fly to the moon or some other planet, special space suits must be worn, in order to prevent you from drifting away into space, and also in order to maintain life. However, here on earth, there is something (we call it gravity) that sustains or lives… Here, and here alone out of all the planets that we are aware of, is there the correct amount of oxygen that enables us to live. It is also only here on earth, that there is that gravitational pull, which keeps us from imploding, exploding, dissolving or floating away, and also holds everything together…

One of the things that I love about the Bible (Actually, there are many things I love about it!) is the fact that it was written by people  thousands of years ago (Under the inspiration of Holy Spirit), who did not have access to the scientific knowledge that the people of this generation have, and yet, there are many profound scientific facts contained therein…  For example, at a time in history, when everyone else believed that the earth was flat, the God-breathed scriptures described the earth as round — thousands of years before man discovered this to be true…

He has inscribed a circle on the surface of the waters at the boundary of light and darkness. ~ Job 26:10 — NASB ~

21 Haven’t you heard? Don’t you understand? Are you deaf to the words of God— the words He gave before the world began? Are you so ignorant? 22 God sits above the circle of the earth. The people below seem like grasshoppers to Him! He spreads out the heavens like a curtain and makes His tent from them. ~ Isaiah 40:21-22 — NLT ~

This scripture makes it clear that it is Jesus who holds the world together. How powerful is that?  Think about it the next time you are outside, as you look at the sky, the sun, the moon and the stars. Think about it as you look at the trees and the grass, the flowers and the weeds.

Think about the fact that Jesus holds all of creation together, the next time you look in the mirror. Think about it the next time you look at your beloved. Think about the fact that He holds us together the next time you look at your children…

15 Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, 16 for through Him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see — such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through Him and for Him. 17 He existed before anything else, and He holds all creation together. ~ Colossians 1:15-17 — NLT ~

God says, “At the time I have planned, I will bring justice against the wicked. When the earth quakes and its people live in turmoil, I am the one who keeps its foundations firm. ~ Psalm 75:2-3 — NLT ~

As we look at the world around us and the people within it, remember that it was Christ Jesus who was in the beginning with God, creating the heavens and the earth and all that is therein. You see, He is the One who has given us life. He is the One who sustains our lives, and it is He who gives life to those whom we love.

24 “He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since He is Lord of heaven and earth, He doesn’t live in man-made temples, 25 and human hands can’t serve His needs—for He has no needs. He Himself gives life and breath to everything, and He satisfies every need. 26 From one man He created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and He determined their boundaries.

27 “His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward Him and find Him—though He is not far from any one of us. 28 For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are His offspring.’ 29 And since this is true, we shouldn’t think of God as an idol designed by craftsmen from gold or silver or stone.

30 “God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now He commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to Him. 31 For He has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man He has appointed, and He proved to everyone who this is by raising Him from the dead.” ~ Acts 17:24-31 — NLT ~

Going forth from today’s study, look at the world around you and the people around you. Take notice of the beauty of God’s creation. Even in the midst of a fallen creation, there are still glimpses of the original beauty, if we look at the world and the people therein through the eyes of Christ. Therefore, let this be your prayer until our next study…

Father, thank You for Christ who holds all of creation together. We thank You Lord that in You, we live and move and have our being. Father, please give us the heart to look at and see creation, and every man, woman and child therein through Your eyes. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

© 2014
Cheryl A. Showers

Daily Prompt: A to Z

Daily Prompt: A to Z

Create a short story, piece of memoir, or epic poem that is 26 sentences long, in which the first sentence begins with “A” and each sentence thereafter begins with the next letter of the alphabet.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

holytrinitypm0

As all should know, long before time or anything else, God was.
Brilliant in splendor and wisdom, God had a plan;
Christ crucified before earth’s foundations were laid.
Destined to die for the redemption of man,
Eternal life with Father God was the gift that He gave.
Freedom was given to all who confess and believe;
God’s grace would save them by His gift of faith.
Holy God commanded, “You shall be holy, for I am holy,”
In the image of God, He had created mankind, though man turned to sin.
Justice would not allow sin to prevail, and as
Knowledge increased, man’s love waxed cold, as he
Loved evil and hated good, calling good evil and evil good.
Many have been the afflictions of the righteous, but God delivered him from them all.
Never leaving or forsaking men, Jesus made the way to God 
Open to all who would follow Him. He is now
Preparing a place for God’s children to live in 
Quintessential love, joy and peace in God’s presence.
Redeemed by the blood of Christ, and
Saved from sin and death, believers are
Transformed by renewing their minds, no longer conformed to this world.
Until Jesus shall one day return in the clouds in
Victory and splendor; He will set the
World straight, making it much more lovely than
Xanadu, for He is altogether lovely!
Yes, Jesus Christ is returning soon, for He is
Zealous for His bride.

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Through Him and For Him

15 Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, 16 for through Him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on  earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see — such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through Him and for Him.

~ Colossians 1:15-16 — NLT ~

Do you ever wonder why? Why was I created? Why am I here? Why does the sun rise in the east and set in the west? Why are the stars in the sky? Why does it seem like our lives are intricately woven together, even though we don’t even know one another?

The answer to all of those questions is found in the last sentence of Colossians 1:16

… Everything was created through Him and for Him.

Do you want to know why you were created? You were created by God, through Jesus Christ, for Jesus Christ…

“Bring all who claim Me as their God, for I have made them for My glory. It was I who created them.”

~ Isaiah 43:7 — NLT ~

We were created for God’s glory. Have you ever felt like a total failure? Have you ever looked into the mirror and hated the person looking back at you? Have you ever felt as though God made a mistake by creating you? I’ve felt all of those emotions, but as I read God’s word, wisdom speaks to me…

Though others, including myself, may look on me with disdain, I was created for God’s glory. Even though I’m overweight and my skin is blemished, I was created for God’s glory. Even though I’m loud and annoying to some, God created me this way, for His glory. Even though others may look at me and see someone who is worthless, God sees me as someone of great worth, for He created me for His glory… And do you want to know something else? God created YOU for His glory too!

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created… ~

(Revelation 4:11 KJV)

This is huge. Do you doubt your worth? Do you despise yourself? Do you curse the day you were born? My beloved reader, look closely at this scripture and rejoice! For you were created for the Lord’s pleasure. You were created to bring pleasure to Almighty God. He values you, just as I value and love my children who were created by God, through Christ, and also through my husband and me. My husband and I united together and produced two children, who we prayed would bring us great joy (pleasure), and they have brought us great pleasure throughout the years…

I remember the joy of hearing my children say, “Mama and Dada.”

I remember how my son would throw his arms around my neck and give me a big kiss, as he proclaimed his love for me, each day before boarding the bus for kindergarten…

I remember finding little flowers and other treasures on my pillow, along with little love letters from my daughter when she was little…

I remember the joy I felt as I led both of my children to Christ…

You see? We were created for God’s pleasure, just as our children are created for our pleasure. And understand this, my friend, there have been many times throughout the years, when my children, who were created for my pleasure, have hurt me deeply. Has anyone else experienced this? There have been times, when both of my children  rebelled against me and against God, and yet, I can honestly tell you that no matter how deeply they wounded me, my love for them never diminished, just as God’s love for us has never diminished, no matter how far we have gone astray, because His love never fails.

Even though I was created for His glory and for His pleasure, I have rebelled against the Lord many times, and instead of bringing Him pleasure, I’ve wounded Him.

You see, it was my sins that nailed Him to the cross…

It was my sins that tore into His flesh with each lash of the whip…

I was the one who rejected Him…

I was the one who cursed Him…

It was my weaknesses He carried…

It was my sorrows that weighed Him down…

He was pierced for my rebellion…

He was beaten so I could be whole…

He was crushed so I could be healed…

Do you see all of the pain and sorrow I’ve caused? And yet, it pleased the Lord to lay on Christ the sins of us all! Do you understand this? Because you and I were created for God’s glory and for His pleasure… because of His unfailing love for us, He was pleased to offer His only begotten Son as a sacrifice to pay for your sins and for mine, so that we could be reconciled to Him.

For everything comes from Him and exists by His power and is intended for His glory. All glory to Him forever! Amen.

~ Romans 11:36 — NLT ~

How amazing! Just think how much freedom, how much joy and how much power believers could walk  in if we could grasp the understanding of this. I know we can understand this in our heads, but, what if we truly understood the power of this in our hearts? What if we understood that we were created for God’s glory, even though…

We were born with physical or mental disabilities?

We have failed at everything we’ve ever done before?

We’ve been rejected by those that we love?

We are despised and hated?

We feel unworthy?

We’re ashamed of our past?

Do you understand that you were created for God’s glory? Beloved reader, do you not know that God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, so that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life? Do you believe? His word says that if you will confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord (He to whom a person or thing belongs, about which He has the power of deciding, Master, Lord, One who has control of the person), and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Is He your Lord and Savior? If so, my beloved, then join with me and rejoice!

3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. 4 Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. 5 God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure. 6 So we praise God for the glorious grace He has poured out on us who belong to His dear Son. 7 He is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave our sins. 8 He has showered His kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.

God has now revealed to us His mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill His own good pleasure. 10 And this is the plan: At the right time He will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. 11 Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for He chose us in advance, and He makes everything work out according to His plan.

12 God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God. 13 And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, He identified you as His own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom He promised long ago. 14 The Spirit is God’s guarantee that He will give us the inheritance He promised and that He has purchased us to be His own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify Him.

~ Ephesians  1:3-14 — NLT ~

Hallelujah! Do you see, beloved reader? God purchased us to be His own people so that we would praise and glorify Him. We were all created for His glory. Therefore, if we truly believe that this God whom we serve is the same yesterday, today and forever, we will cling to His promises, and live as He has called us to live, walking in His Spirit, and sharing the word of God, so that miracles, signs and wonders will take place among us. And, since we were created for His glory, how can we fail?

The Visible Image of the Invisible God

Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation…

~ Colossians 1:15 — NLT ~

fc935-cross-and-crown-of-thorns

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me. 7 If you had really known Me, you would know who My Father is. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him!”

8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.”

9 Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father! So why are you asking Me to show Him to you? 10  Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words I speak are not My own, but My Father who lives in Me does His work through Me. 11 Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen Me do.”

~ John 14:6-11 — NLT

Unknowingly, for the last three years, while the disciples lived with Jesus, and walked with Him, they were seeing God. Even though Peter boldly declared, “…You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God,” (Matthew 16:16b) they still didn’t comprehend that they were looking into the face of the Living God.
Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation…

Colossians 1:15 — NLT ~

What does it mean that Christ is the visible image of the invisible God? We see in John 14:6-11 that Jesus explained that He and the Father are one, and that He is in the Father, and the Father is in Him… Jesus looks like His Daddy. Strong’s Greek Lexicon defines the word image in the scripture above this way…

Image — Eikon
an image, figure, likeness
an image of the things (the heavenly things)
used of the moral likeness of renewed men to God
the image of the Son of God, into which true Christians are transformed, is likeness not only to the heavenly body, but also to the most holy and blessed state of mind, which Christ possesses
the image of one
one in whom the likeness of any one is seen
applied to man on account of his power of command
to Christ on account of His divine nature and absolute moral excellence

My beautiful daughter...
My beautiful daughter…

My daughter is the image of me. She looks a lot like me. She has many of my mannerisms, often to the point that we will be talking and find ourselves standing or sitting in the same position. She also thinks a lot like me, and praise God, she has a strong, unwavering faith much like mine. It amazes me how much she resembles me, not only in looks.

Perhaps because my daughter is the image of me, I am able to understand what Jesus meant when He said, “… Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father!…” (John 14:9b) My daughter could say the same thing to someone who doesn’t know me, and they would have a good idea of what I look like, because not only does her physical appearance parallel mine, but her personality, her gifts and her faith, though they are uniquely hers, are still much like mine. It’s so funny, because not only does my daughter greatly mirror me, her oldest daughter (my granddaughter) is the spitting image of her mama, in appearance and in her ways. The main difference in the three of us is only the color of our hair.

Me
Me

Not only do my daughter and I resemble one another, we also resemble Jesus. You see, the more time we spend in His presence, the more we look like Him, as we begin to be transformed into His likeness, by His word.

Whenever I minister somewhere, I don’t much care whether people can remember my name or not. It doesn’t bother me (not anymore) if someone forgets to put my name on a bulletin or to give me credit for something I’ve done in the Lord’s name, because ministering to others is not about me. What is important to me is that people remember that I ministered to them about Jesus, because my heart’s desire is that I would be able to change many lives in Jesus’ name, and that many would be snatched from the fires of hell, as God transforms their lives. I want God to get all the glory, honor and praise that He is due.

16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

~ 2 Corinthians 3:16-18 — NKJV~

If we are truly living for the Lord, we must walk with Him, and as we spend more and more time with Him, meditating on His word, we will be changed…

1 And so, dear brothers and sisters I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him.Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

~ Romans 12:1-2 — NLT ~

As a Christian, (a follower of Christ), we need to have the same attitude that Christ has. When  people see me, I want them to see Christ within me. In order for that to happen, I must be willing to live as He lived…

6 Though He was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.

7 Instead, He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form, 

He humbled Himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
9 Therefore, God elevated Him to the place of highest honor and gave Him the name above all other names,

10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

~ Philippians 2:6-11 — NLT ~.

Hallelujah! Christ is the visible image of the invisible God… One of my personal prayers has been that God will one day allow me to see Him face to face. And then, just now, He brought the following scripture passage to my mind…

31 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit upon His glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered in His presence, and He will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will place the sheep at His right hand and the goats at His left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed Me. I was thirsty, and you gave Me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited Me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave Me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for Me. I was in prison, and you visited Me.’

37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see You hungry and feed You? Or thirsty and give You something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show You hospitality? Or naked and give You clothing? 39 When did we ever see You sick or in prison and visit You?’

40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these My brothers and sisters, you were doing it to Me!’

41 “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. 42 For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed Me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give Me a drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite Me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give Me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit Me.’

44 “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help You?’

45 “And He will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these My brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help Me.’

46 “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”

Do you see what I see? The answer to my prayer is right there in Jesus’ words, as He spoke to His disciples. Whenever I look on the poor and the needy and help them, I am looking into the face of God, and blessing Him. However, every time I look at those who need help with contempt and disdain, I am looking into the face of God with contempt.

Do you want to see the face of God? Look for Christ. Do you want to see Christ? Look into the eyes of the poor and broken-hearted. Look into the eyes of those who are hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or are naked, sick or in prison, for it is there that you might see Christ, who is the visible image of the invisible God.

Father, I bless you for every time You’ve shown Your face to me, even though I failed to recognize You. I bless You for loving me, enough to give me the opportunity to see You and to serve You. Lord, I also ask for your forgiveness for those times I failed to serve You, even though I looked into Your eyes and saw Your need. 

I bless Your holy name, Lord, and I ask You to bless my readers, and draw them close to You, and let them see You in Jesus, and in one another! Amen.

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Bone of My Bones

Inhaling deeply, her heart began to beat and feeling flooded her very being, from her head to her feet. She felt good — no, she felt marvelous. Her eyes flew open of their own accord, and she found herself gazing into the fathomless eyes of her Father. As she felt His love surrounding her, she smiled, for the first time. After what could have been a lifetime, or what may have only been a few minutes of staring into His eyes, her smile broadened into a grin, and a giggle of delight escaped her, quickly turning into loud, joyous laughter, that grew as her Father laughed with her.

Soon, her eyes began to drink in her surroundings, noting the lush carpet of green grass beneath her, and the many multicolored flowers that sprang up all over. She took note of the royal blue water that ran through the garden, and the exotic birds and animals that roamed freely. Her eyes turned back to those of her Father as she whispered softly, so as not to disturb the exquisiteness of her surroundings, “It’s beautiful, Abba.”

He smiled softly at her, His love for her shining in His eyes, as He held His hand out for her and gently pulled her to her feet when she placed her palm in His, and they walked through the garden a short distance to where the man laid. Briefly, He left her standing behind Him as He held out His hand to the man, just as He had done for her a few minutes earlier, and when the man had risen, Abba turned back to her and brought her forward.

The Introductionby: Nathan Greene
The Introduction
by: Nathan Greene

The man’s eyes grew large when he saw her, drinking in her long coal black hair, which ran halfway down her back in thick, luxurious waves. He looked at her almond-shaped eyes, a brilliant sapphire blue, with lovely black pupils in the center. The brilliance of her blue eyes made their whites seem even whiter, and her long eyelashes perfectly framed them. His eyes wandered down her pert little nose, perched delicately between her eyes and rested on her full ruby-red lips. With tears in his eyes, he spoke for the first time since seeing her, “This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh ; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.”

They smiled openly at one another, each one absorbing the beauty of the other, as the Lord placed the woman’s hand into the larger, stronger hand of the man and stated in that first marriage ceremony, “For this reason, a man shall leave his father and his mother, and the two shall be united as one. Now, you are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

The First Sabbath in Edenby: Nathan Greene
The First Sabbath in Eden
by: Nathan Greene

The man and the woman gazed at one another solemnly, then both turned their eyes on their Father, replying, earnestly, “Yes Father, according to Your will.” The Father smiled down at His children, pleased with His creation, pleased with both of them, and He said, “This is very good.” Then, throwing His head back, He laughed joyfully, the sound of His glorious laughter echoing through the garden, and rippling through the waters.

At the sound of His laughter, the birds hushed their singing as they listened with glee, and the animals bowed low in wonder as His laughter shook the foundations of the earth. And then, His laughter turned into singing, the likes of which none had ever before heard. The Lord God Almighty, Elohim, Creator of the Universe rejoiced over this man and this woman whom He had just united in holy matrimony, with singing and with dancing.

What joy they all shared on the sixth day of creation. And though the man and the woman had never seen one another before that day — indeed, neither had ever even existed before that sixth day, the day of their creation, they weren’t strangers to one another. For each knew without a shadow of doubt, that they had been created for each other.

And though neither were clothed with earthly garments, they weren’t embarrassed or ashamed, for the glory of the Lord covered them, and neither saw anything but beauty as they regarded one another. The man, Adam, was the first to speak, “You are far more beautiful than any other creature that I’ve seen,” he said, fully enamored with her. “Your eyes are like beautiful blue sapphires.”

EdenThe woman smiled in delight, replying, “And you are so very handsome. Your eyes are like burning embers. Oh, Abba!” She impulsively turned to their Father, and taking His hand in hers, she said, “Thank You so much for creating me. Thank You so much for giving me this man to be my husband. Thank You Lord!”

Smiling benevolently upon these two children, created in His image, the Father replied, “The pleasure was all Mine, My love. Now go, and be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” With that, the Father departed, and the two were left alone.

“Would you like to explore the garden?” Adam asked the woman, and at her assertion, the two began to explore. Adam took great delight in introducing his bride to each of the many creatures living in the garden. The woman’s face was very expressive as she giggled delightedly at the sight of chipmunks adding more nuts to their already full cheeks, enticing Adam to join her in laughter.

She was awed at the sight of the peacocks with their beautiful plumage spread for her enjoyment. The sight of tiny little kittens brought her to her knees, and as she held them and cuddled them, Adam caught a glimpse of the lovely mother she would one day become. When Adam introduced her to the great woolly mammoth, her eyes grew almost as large as the mammoth itself.

Garden of Eden 2Throughout the rest of the day, as they explored, they talked and shared their hopes and dreams, and though neither had existed before this day, they knew that they were made for each other, and that the Lord had given each of them the desires of their heart. Before long, twilight descended on them, and both sat by the water’s edge to enjoy the setting of the sun, the most glorious sight they had ever witnessed. It seemed that each blessed and glorious sight simply begat another more glorious sight for them to enjoy, and the Father had pulled out all stops, to make this, the day of their birth, as well as their wedding day so spectacular that neither would ever forget it.

And now, as the moonlight reflected on the water beneath them, the woman sighed contentedly in the arms of her beloved. Though she didn’t know what the future held for  them, of one thing she was certain, she would always be loved by her Father, and by this man, as their  lives were sure to be filled with unspeakable joy.

She had no way of knowing that her eternal bliss was about to be disrupted, and that pain, something neither she nor Adam had ever even heard of, let alone thought about, was about to fill her life. She had no way of knowing that an enemy lurked in the garden, ready to rip all that she loved and held dear from her hands. They had no idea as they rested in one another’s arms that night, that their dreams would suddenly turn into nightmares, and that their unblemished love would soon turn into bitterness, anger and accusations against one another, and that it would take a very long time to mend their broken relationship. Who could have known on that wonderful, starlit night, that their actions would soon separate them from their beloved Creator and Father?

God knew, but in His infinite mercy and compassion, He didn’t share this knowledge with them. He chose instead, to let them enjoy their honeymoon.

© 2012
Cheryl A. Showers