Tag Archives: KING of kings

Working Toward Something Good and Beautiful

Image Credit: Health Care Diary
Image Credit:
Health Care Diary

It’s been more than three weeks since I’ve written or posted anything. During that time, my pain medication has been elevated, due to a continued increase in the pain I suffer. The increased pain medication has made it nearly impossible for me to write, as I have been unable to stay awake long enough to read, write or think with any clarity. Then, when the pain meds wear off, the intense pain also renders me unable to write, as I struggle unsuccessfully, to get my mind off the pain and focus on something else.

Then, in the midst of this, my FaceBook account was hacked by someone pretending to be me. This imposter created a clone of my account, and began contacting some of my friends, trying to obtain personal financial information from them. Needless to say, I reported this to FaceBook, and I’ve closed my account for the time being…

Image Credit: Landon Gilfillan
Image Credit:
Landon Gilfillan

Meanwhile, for the last nine days, my husband and I have been visiting our daughter and son-in-law, and three of our nine grandchildren. This precious time with my family has given me great joy, despite the pain I’m in, and last night, before bed, my granddaughters asked me to share a bible story with them. This completely blessed me, for there is nothing I’d rather do than share God’s word with people, and especially with my beloved grandchildren…

Therefore, I shared Daniel 1 with them last night, and I will continue sharing the story of Daniel and his friends each night for the rest of our visit… So, after beginning to tell Daniel’s story to my grandchildren and preparing to share the next chapter with them tonight, I felt a stirring within me to write. This urge to write has been missing for the last few weeks, but now, I found myself wanting to share Daniel’s story with you…

Image Credit: Point of Power
Image Credit:
Point of Power

As you may already know, when King Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylonian army invaded Judea, the Lord allowed Nebuchadnezzar to make Judea’s King Jehoiakim his prisoner and take him back to Babylon. The Lord also allowed his army to rob His holy Temple, carrying some of its sacred vessels back to fill the treasury of Babylon’s false gods. Among those captured in the invasion, were members of Judah’s royal family, and several members of nobility. It was from these members of royalty and nobility, that Nebuchadnezzar chose the brightest young men who were also the most handsome, to be trained to serve in his royal court.

Among those chosen to be trained to serve in Nebuchadnezzar’s court were four young men named, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Then, possibly in an attempt to make them forget their roots, one of the first things Nebuchadnezzar did, was to change the names of his captives. Thus, Daniel became Belteshazzar, Hananiah’s name was changed to Shadrach, Mishael’s name became Meshach and Azariah became Abed-nego.

Image Credit: Minister to the Heart
Image Credit:
Minister to the Heart

To further enhance the change in the lives of Nebuchadnezzar’s captives, they were sent to live in his palace, where they would be trained in the Babylonian ways for three years. Daniel and his friends meekly went along with all of these changes, until they were presented with food from the king’s table. While these rations were very generous and were gratefully received by other prisoners, to be forced to partake of this food, would defile Daniel and his friends before the Lord, and they would rather die than be seen as unclean by their God. 

Therefore, carefully choosing his words, Daniel spoke for himself and his friends to the king’s chief eunuch, asking that he and his friends be served nothing but vegetables, grains and water. Ashpenaz, the chief eunuch, refused, but Daniel was persistent, and quietly spoke to the guard that the chief eunuch assigned to him and his compatriots…

12 “Please, do us a favor. Put us, your servants, to the test for the next 10 days. Give us a vegetarian diet and water. 13 When the time is up, you can see for yourself our condition and compare it to the condition of the other young men who are eating from the king’s table. Then, after you have seen what has happened, do whatever you think is best with us, your servants.”

14 So the guard agreed to do as Daniel requested. He tested them on a diet of only vegetables, grains, and water for 10 days. 15 When the 10 days were up, he looked them over and noticed that Daniel and his friends were better off than all the young men eating from the king’s best foods. They looked healthy and well nourished, 16 so the guard continued to hold back their royal rations and replaced them with a strictly vegetarian diet. 17 Through all of this, God conferred upon these 4 young men superior abilities in literature, language, and wisdom. God had given Daniel an additional gift, too: the ability to interpret visions and dreams. 18 When the 3-year period of training and conditioning, as set by the king, was over, the king sent for the candidates; the chief of the royal eunuchs himself escorted them to Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king interviewed all of them and found that none of the candidates were any better than Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; so they were each assigned an important place in the king’s court.  ~ Daniel 1:12-19  VOICE ~

As I think about this story, and I ponder my own situation, which seems so hopeless and untenable, I’m struck by the presence of God in Daniel’s life. Think about it. Daniel was a God-fearing Jewish boy, whose desire was to serve God faithfully in Judea, in the midst of God’s chosen people. Yet, instead of having his dream fulfilled, Daniel and his friends were cruelly snatched from the arms of their loved ones and deposited into the midst of heathens. Also, rather than serving the country they loved, in Jerusalem, home of God’s holy Temple, they were now forced to serve a pagan king, who served pagan gods. Nothing had gone the way it should have, and Daniel’s dreams of ministering had been snatched away from him… Or had they?

As I think about my own situation, it all seems so hopeless. I’m in so much constant pain, that I’m unable to stand and minister like I once did. My dreams of ministering for the Lord seem to be beyond my grasp right now. I’m no longer able to preach and minister in the prisons like I once did, and my dance ministry has also fallen to the wayside, for how can you dance, when merely standing, sitting, walking or laying cause excruciating pain?

Still, as I read about Daniel, I’m struck by the knowledge that God not only knew about Daniel’s situation, it seems that He orchestrated it, for His glory…

The Lord gave Nebuchadnezzar the victory and allowed him to take King Jehoiakim of Judah as his prisoner. At the same time, He permitted the Babylonian king to rob God’s temple of some of its sacred vessels and carry them away to Babylonia (called Shinar), which was the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, to fill the treasury of his own gods, Marduk and Nebo.

After the king returned home, he commanded Ashpenaz, chief of the royal eunuchs, to bring some of the Israelites who had been taken captive to the palace. These included members of Judah’s royal family and the nobility.  ~ Daniel 1:2-3 VOICE ~

Now, if God orchestrated the events in Daniel’s life, and in the lives of His chosen people, doesn’t it seem plausible that He would also orchestrate the events in my life and yours? To be kidnapped and taken to a country far away, seems like a horrific experience, and yet, when you realize that God was behind it, this dreadful event is miraculously changed into a reason for hope and even joy. 

Likewise, a life of constant chronic pain was not a part of the life I dreamed of having. I dreamed of preaching throughout the country, in prisons and churches and wherever else God sent me, but I now see that what I had once thought was God’s will for my life, was really only my own hopes and dreams for my life. They were my plans, not His. Furthermore, knowing that this chronic pain is not some tragic misfortune caused by the devil, unbeknownst to God, but rather, it is all a part of His plan for my life, makes my current circumstances worth rejoicing over…

28 We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan.  ~ Romans 8:28 VOICE ~

Now, as I look at Daniel, who was snatched from his home, never to return again, I can see that God orchestrated everything in his life, changing it into something beautiful and good. So, if God orchestrated Daniel’s painful events into something good and beautiful, don’t you think it’s possible (even likely) that since I love Him, He has been orchestrating everything in my life to work toward something good and beautiful?

What about you, beloved reader? Have your circumstances been difficult? Be of good cheer. For as long as you love Him and are called according to His purpose, God will orchestrate everything in your life to work toward something good and beautiful.

© 2014
Cheryl A. Showers

Far Greater Than the Angels ~ Hebrews 1:4

Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, He has spoken to us through His Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son He created the universe. 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. This shows that the Son is far greater than the angels, just as the name God gave Him is greater than their names. ~ Hebrews 1:1-4 —  NLT ~

Image Credit: The Gaslamp Post
Image Credit:
The Gaslamp Post

Many people in this world call upon the angels to help them. Many call upon gods created in the minds of men. Many others call upon idols created by the hands of man. And yet, there is one God and Creator of the heavens and the earth, and all that is in them. There is only one God and Creator of mankind and only one way to reach Him…

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me.” ~ John 14:6 — NLT ~

Why would someone call on anyone else for help? In my darkest hour, in those times when I am desperate for help, I want to be sure that I cry out to the One who can help me…

You see, the angels have to answer to God, so why would I go to them first, when He is the One who must give them permission to help me? For you see, it is Christ who created the angels, and not only did He create them, but they were created for His purpose…

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 seesuch as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through Him and for Him. ~ Colossians 1:15-16 — NLT ~

20 Praise the Lord, you angels, you mighty ones who carry out His plans, listening for each of His commands. 21 Yes, praise the Lord, you armies of angels who serve Him and do His will~ Psalm 103:20-21 — NLT ~

You see, beloved readers, the scriptures make it very clear that the angels were created to serve God and to carry out His plans. Therefore, if I choose to worship the angels, and seek their help, rather than His, my cries for help will be fruitless. For His holy angels cannot act on my behalf, apart from His will, and the fallen angels, who serve Satan, desire to steal, kill and destroy all of mankind. Therefore, to call on any other name, other than Jesus, whose name is far greater than the angels would be foolish.

This shows that the Son is far greater than the angels, just as the name God gave Him is greater than their names. ~ Hebrews 1:4 — NLT ~

There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.  ~ Acts 4:12 — NLT ~

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 under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ~ Philippians 2:9-11 — NLT ~

You see my friends, when we need help and when we need salvation, to call on the angels would be foolhardy, because the only way to get any help at all is to cry out to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. For there is salvation in no one else. Indeed, the only way to God the Father is through Christ, and at His name, every knee will one day bow. That means that every angel, and even every demon will one day bow to Him. Even Satan, His enemy will bow down to Him one day…

So, in those times when we are weak, call upon Jesus, who is high above all else. In those times of dismay, cry out to Him for salvation. In those times of great joy and triumph, bow down to the Almighty God, and give Him praise and glory in Jesus’ name, for He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords, and He is far greater than the angels, and His name is far above their names!

© 2014
Cheryl A. Showers

The Exact Representation of God’s Nature ~ Hebrews 1:3

Image Credit: wallpaper4god.com
Image Credit:
wallpaper4god.com

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 ~

Praise God! Today, we’re going to continue our examination of Hebrews 1:3. In our previous post we learned about how Jesus, the Son of God, radiates God’s own glory, how He is the Light of the world, and how His Light gives us life. Let’s look at the next part of this scripture…

The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God… ~ Hebrews 1:3a — NLT ~

And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature ~ Hebrews 1:3a — NASB ~

In order to understand the meaning of this very important passage, let’s look at the Greek words used for representation and nature…

Representation = charaktēr

I.     the instrument used for engraving or carving
II.    the mark stamped upon that instrument or wrought
out on it.

        1. a mark or figure burned in (Lev. 13:28) or stamped on, an impression
        2. the exact expression (the image) of any person or thing, marked likeness, precise reproduction in every respect, i.e. – facsimile

Nature = hypostasis

I.     a setting or placing under

        1. thing put under, substructure, foundation

II.    that which has foundation, is firm

        1. that which has actual existence the substantial quality, nature, of a person or thing
          1. a substance, real being
        2. the steadfastness of mind, firmness, courage, resolution
          1. confidence, firm trust, assurance

This is such a beautiful revelation. Not only does Jesus radiate God’s own glory, He also expresses God’s character. Have you ever longed to know God? I mean to really know Him, not just about Him…

expression of the glory of godTo know God, we must first know His Son, because Jesus is the exact image of God. He is the precise reproduction of His Father in every respect

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 14:9-11 — NLT ~

“The Father and I are one.” ~ John 10:30 — NLT ~

37 “Don’t believe Me unless I carry out My Father’s work. 38 But if I do His work, believe in the evidence of the miraculous works I have done, even if you don’t believe Me. Then you will know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I am in the Father.” ~ John 10:37-38 — NLT ~

Christ is the visible image of the invisible GodHe existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation… ~ Colossians 1:15 — NLT ~

Image Credit; delivertheword.com
Image Credit;
delivertheword.com

In Exodus 33:20, the Lord tells Moses that no one can see His face and live. However, Jesus made it clear that anyone who has seen Him, has seen the Father. I’ve always found it interesting that not everyone who saw Jesus saw God…

You see, many who saw Jesus had hearts that were too hard to recognize Him as the visible image of the invisible God…

10 He came into the very world He created, but the world didn’t recognize Him. 11 He came to His own people, and even they rejected Him. ~ John 1:10-11 — NLT ~

If Jesus were to come to you, or if you were to meet Him somewhere, would you recognize Him? I pray with all my heart that I would know Him, but the truth is, that He does sometimes visit His people without revealing who He is at the time… 

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.” ~ Matthew 25:34-46 — NLT ~

Animated-Beautiful-Flowers-Pictures-21That’s why it’s so important for us to pray that we have the same mindset that He did… Indeed, in Jesus, we see the steadfastness of mind that is in God the Father.

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. ~ Philippians 2:5-7 — NKJV ~

I can do nothing on My own. I judge as God tells Me. Therefore, My judgment is just, because I carry out the will of the One who sent Me, not My own will. ~ John 5:30 — NLT ~

We see in Christ, the mind of God, and as His followers, we are to have the same mindset that Jesus has. You see, a Christian is a follower of Christ, His disciple, a child of the Most High God. Therefore, if we truly belong to Him, our thoughts will be His thoughts…

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 ~

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.~ Philippians 4:8 — NLT ~

1 Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all His glory. ~ Colossians 3:1-4 — NLT ~

Do you see, beloved readers? Sometimes, we get so caught up in the struggles and worries that we must endure here on earth, that we lose hope. Have you ever heard the saying, “They’re so heavenly minded that they’re no earthly good”?  The truth is, that this saying is just another example of how the enemy distorts God’s word. The truth of the matter, and the real cause for concern is that there are too many who are so earthly minded that they’re no heavenly good. This bible study is so good not only for you, beloved readers, but for me. We must all (certainly I must) keep our minds set on heaven, so that we don’t become disheartened by our earthly circumstances…

We see in Christ the firmness, the courage and the resolution that is in God, as well as the confidence, firm trust and assurance…

54 Jesus answered, “If I want glory for Myself, it doesn’t count. But it is My Father who will glorify Me. You say, ‘He is our God,’ 55 but you don’t even know Him. I know Him. If I said otherwise, I would be as great a liar as you! But I do know Him and obey Him. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced as he looked forward to My coming. He saw it and was glad.”

57 The people said, “You aren’t even fifty years old. How can you say you have seen Abraham?”

58 Jesus answered, I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I Am!” ~ John 8:54-58 — NLT ~

27 My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from Me, 29 for My Father has given them to Me, and He is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. 30 The Father and I are one.” ~ John 10:27-30 — NLT ~

As Jesus said “I Am He,” they all drew back and fell to the ground! ~ John 18:6 — NLT ~

Do you see the courage Jesus exhibited as He spoke these words? Can you see the power He possessed? So much power enveloped Him, that when the soldiers, who had come to arrest Him, heard Him say that He was the “I AM” they were looking for, the power of His authority knocked them off their feet.

Indeed, Jesus possessed such courage and resolution, such firm assurance that He was doing the will of the Father, and that was all that mattered, that He set His face like flint and rode into Jerusalem for the Passover, knowing that by the time it was over, He would be arrested, tortured, convicted and crucified. A question for each one  of us to ponder, as we close this lesson, is this… As a child of Almighty God, and a joint heir with Christ, am I really willing to do what Paul said in Romans 8:17? And if I’m not, am I willing to begin praying for God to give me this same mindset that Jesus, and all of His disciples (except for Judas Iscariot) had?

And since we are His children, we are His heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share His glory, we must also share His suffering. ~ Romans 8:17 — NLT ~

© 2014
Cheryl A. Showers

Christ, the Radiance of God’s Glory ~ Hebrews 1:3

RadianceThe 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 this verse, God reveals a great wealth of information about Himself and His Son. It is in this verse that we learn that the Son radiates God’s own glory… Therefore, let us delve into this scripture line by line, and precept upon precept, so we can see and learn what the Lord wants us to know about Him and His Son Jesus through the book of Hebrews…

The Son radiates God’s own glory… ~ Hebrews 1:3a — NLT ~

TheStarSo, what exactly does it mean when we read that the Son radiates God’s own glory? Let’s first see what the Greek word for Christ’s radiance is, so we can understand exactly what the author of Hebrews was trying to convey. ..

Radiance = apaugasma

    1. reflected brightness
      1. of Christ in that He perfectly reflects the majesty of God
    2. effulgence
      1. shining forth, of a light coming from a luminous body (Vine)
      2. out-raying (Vincent)

What this means is that Jesus is a brilliant radiance/a shining forth coming from His luminous body…

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 1:4-5 — NLT ~

the-light-shinesPraise God, Jesus’ light shines in the darkness… Think about all of those dark  places in your life… the secret, sinful places that you try to hide from the world… those dark places that try to overwhelm and overtake you… those dark things that try to control you and fill you with fear and anger and bitterness… But as you think of all the darkness that tries to ruin your lives, know this… The light of Christ shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it or overcome it!

Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the Light of the world. If you follow Me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the Light that leads to life.” ~ John 8:12 — NLT ~

How comforting it is to know that all of the darkness in our lives can be dispelled. If we will just look to the Light of the world, who extinguishes the darkness in our lives, we will enjoy the freedom that the Son of God gives… and whom the Son sets free, is free indeed!

This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is Light, and there is no darkness in Him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the Light, as God is in the Light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanses us from all sin. ~ 1 John 1:5-7 — NLT ~

cross-lightBeloved readers, are you living in the Light? Or has the darkness overcome you? Do you long to break free from the chains of sin and darkness that bring only death? Do you long to walk in the Light of freedom? 

There is no reason for any of us to walk in the darkness of sin and fear and death, because Jesus overcame it all on the cross. Before God’s Son came to live with us in the flesh, the prophet Isaiah prophesied about the Light that He would bring to those who live in darkness…

1 Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory.

The people who walk in darkness will see a great LightFor those who live in a land of deep darkness, a Light will shine. ~ Isaiah 9:1-2 — NLT ~

Beloved readers, fear not, for the darkness and dispair will not go on forever, for those who truly long to be free. If you follow Christ, you do not have to walk in darkness, for where there is light, the darkness cannot remain. Are you a child of Christ? If your answer is yes, then you should not be walking in sin and darkness. Don’t allow yourselves to be fooled by those who try to excuse sin. Instead, walk in obedience to God… 

Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey Him. Don’t participate in the things these people do. For once you were full of darkness, but now you have Light from the Lord. So live as people of Light! For this Light within you produces only what is good and right and true.

10 Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. 11 Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. 12 It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. 13 But their evil intentions will be exposed when the Light shines on them, 14 for the Light makes everything visible. This is why it is said,“Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you Light.” ~ Ephesians 5:6-14 — NLT ~

Beloved readers, what have we learned from this lesson about Christ, who is the radiance of God’s glory? We’ve learned that as children of God, His light also shines forth in us…

14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” ~ Matthew 5:14-16 — NLT ~

We also learned that the darkness must go from where the Light is… For the darkness can never overcome or extinguish the Light. Think about this… No matter how dark and how bleak your situation may seem, it can never overcome Christ, who is the Light of the world. However deep the darkness of your pain and depression is, Jesus, the Light, has the power to extinguish it. Rejoice! For where the Light of Christ shines, the darkness must flee…

This is not only good news for all believers, it is the best news! For whether you have been trapped in the darkness of fear, depression, anxiety, pain, oppression and even insanity, if you will allow the Light of Christ to come into your dark places, the darkness will be extinguished. As you pray about what we have studied and learned today, plan to come back as we continue our study of Hebrews 1:3! God bless you!

© 2014
Cheryl A. Showers

Who Were the Wise Men?

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem…
~ Matthew 2:1 — KJV ~

Image Credit: giftsinopenhands.wordpress.com
Image Credit:
giftsinopenhands.wordpress.com

Imagine how they must have felt… These were not ordinary men. They weren’t peasants, nor were they kings, though that is what some have claimed over the years. However, according to scripture, these were wise men… They were magos from the Orient. They were magicians, teachers, astrologers… These men had studied the stars for many years, so just imagine their consternation, when suddenly, one night, seemingly out of nowhere, a new star appeared to them. What would you do?

Image Credit: "The Three Wise Men" by: James Edwin McConnell
Image Credit:
“The Three Wise Men”
by: James Edwin McConnell

These men seemed to know exactly what to do. Was this something that they had foreknowledge of or was it something the Lord revealed to them as each of the wise men determined to leave his homeland behind, in order to follow this star? Did the men know each other prior to meeting on the road to Bethlehem, as they were led by the star? Or did they meet along the road and develop a friendship, as each one sought the King of kings?

Image Credit: "And Wise Men Came Bearing Gifts" by: Tom duBois
Image Credit:
“And Wise Men Came Bearing Gifts”
by: Tom duBois

How many wise men were there? Many believe there were three wise men, because three gifts were mentioned, but the scriptures don’t say whether there were 2 or 20 wise men.  We only know that they were wise and they were male. What made them wise? Was it the fact that they were all very learned men? I don’t think so. You see, scripture makes it plain that knowledge and wisdom are not the same. One can have much knowledge, and still be a fool, and these men were clearly not fools. So what set them apart from others? Where did their wisdom come from? 

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction…
~ Proverbs 1:7 — KJV ~

Image Credit: rforh.com
Image Credit:
rforh.com

What made these wise men different from other learned men during that time, was the fact that they feared the Lord. What made them different from all the others who also saw the same star but paid no attention, is that when they saw the star, a fire was ignited within them. They were hungry for righteousness. They sought the way, the truth and the life. They followed the star, not seeking its scientific origin, but seeking the King whose birth the star signified…

You see, just as another Chaldean, named Abraham, went up a lonely mountain top, to offer up his one and only son, as an act of worship, so these Chaldeans came, to worship the King of glory… the One and only Son of God… the One whom He had sent to be offered up as a sacrifice for their sins, and for ours as well…

“Who were these wise men?” you might ask… They were worshipers… And watch and learn from them, my beloved readers… You see, they understood this important fact, before Jesus, who was but a toddler when they first saw Him, was even able to speak the words to them…

23 “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. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
~ John 4:23-24 — NKJV ~

And so, my beloved readers, I have a very serious question to pose, not only to you, but to me as well… As we celebrated the holidays, how wise were you… Father, how wise was I? Did you seek the King of glory? Did you seek to worship Him, though perhaps it wasn’t easy or convenient? If not, are you willing to seek Him now, forsaking all that you know, in an effort to draw close to Him???

Lord, hear our cries, and give us hearts that hunger and thirst for You, first and foremost. Let us be as wise as the magos in the east, leaving all that we know and hold dear, in order to come and worship You, in Jesus’ name… Amen.

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Related articles

Who do you say He is?

He existed before anything else, and He holds all creation together.

~ Colossians 1:17 — NLT ~

Colossians 1-17A long time ago, Jesus asked the disciples a question. I don’t think they really understood how important that question was, until, suddenly, like the flash of a bolt of lightning from the sky, one of them was given a revelation. To know the answer to that question still requires revelation to this day. Yes, anyone can repeat the answer, but when you are asked this question, don’t just answer with your head, say aloud what you believe in your heart

13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”

14 “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”

15 Then He asked them, But who do you say I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

17 Jesus replied, You are blessed, Simon son of John, because My Father in heaven has revealed this to you.You did not learn this from any human being.”

~ Matthew 16:13-17 — NLT ~

Image Credit: http://www.gaudenscor.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/jesus_carpenter_shop.jpg
Image Credit:
http://www.gaudenscor.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/jesus_carpenter_shop.jpg

This is a question of such import that every man, woman and child through the ages has had to answer  for themselves, and as Jesus said, it can’t be learned from any human being. It must be revealed to each and every one of us by Almighty God. Who do you say that Jesus is?

Some say He was just a carpenter…

Some say He was a good man…

Some say He was a good teacher…

Some say He was a great prophet…

Who do you say He is?

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.

~ Genesis 1:1-2 — NLT ~

In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He existed in the beginning with God. 3 God created everything through Him, and nothing was created except through Him. 4 The Word gave life to everything that was created, and His life brought light to everyone. 5 The light shines in the darkness and the darkness can never extinguish it.

~ John 1:1-5 — NLT ~

Who do you say He is?

Some say He was a troublemaker…

Some say He was a liar…

Some say He was the devil’s brother…

Some say He deserved to die…

Who do you say He is?

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, 8 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 ~

Who do you say He is? It’s the single most important question you will ever have to answer, whether in this lifetime of the next, because your answer will determine where you spend eternity…

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.

~ John 11:25 — NKJV ~

Who do you say He is? There is no such thing as reincarnation. There is no Allah. Buddha can’t save you. Confucius is dead. The Jesus the Latter Day Saints worship has never existed except in the minds of those who have been deceived. The Jehovah served by Jehovah’s Witnesses is a lie, as are freemasons and all other religions, and those lies were birthed in the bowels of hell, to destroy mankind. While these words are not politically correct or popular, they are truth. There is only one way to the Father and eternal life…

6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me.”

~ John 14:6 — NLT ~

My beloved readers, some of you may be hurt or angry as you read these words, but please know that I share them with you out of love, because it is not the Father’s will for anyone to perish. On the other hand, the devil is a liar, and has been since the beginning, and he will tell you anything you want to hear, for the sole purpose of destroying you…

“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”

~ John 10:10 — NLT ~

Beloved, who do you say Jesus is? I can’t answer that question for you, because as I said earlier, this is a question we must all answer for ourselves, and that answer only comes by the revelation of God. However, I can share who I say Jesus is…

Jesus is the Son of the Living God…

Jesus is the Christ and the Messiah…

Jesus is Lord of my life…

Jesus is my Savior…

Jesus is my Deliverer…

Jesus is my Protector…

Jesus is my Hope…

Jesus is my Peace…

Jesus is my Joy…

Jesus is the Love of my life…

Jesus is the Rock of Ages…

Jesus is my Strong Tower…

Jesus is my Shelter…

Jesus is my Master…

Jesus is Holy…

Jesus is my Shepherd…

Jesus is the Ancient of Days…

Jesus is my Provider…

Jesus is my Healer…

Jesus is the Light of the world…

Jesus is my Life…

Jesus is the Lamb of God…

Jesus is the Lion of the tribe of Judah…

Jesus is Alpha and Omega…

Jesus is the Resurrected King…

Jesus is Emmanuel {God with Us}…

Jesus is First and Last…

Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life…

Jesus is KING of kings and LORD of lords…

Jesus is all of this and so much more! So now, in closing, I’ll ask you again…

Who do you say Jesus is?

Only God can reveal the answer to that question to you, and my  prayer is that everyone who reads this post will receive the revelation of who Christ is, because knowing the answer to this question will change your whole life. Remember, the answer to this question does not come from your brain. God writes the answer to this question on our hearts, and once you receive that revelation, you will never be the same…

Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts.

~ 2 Corinthians 3:3 — NLT ~

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers