Tag Archives: nature

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

What’s Your Problem?

Image Credit: James Seward
Image Credit:
James Seward

23 Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with His disciples. 24 Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke Him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

26 Jesus responded, Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then He got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm.

~ Matthew 8:23-26 — NLT ~

Image Credit: Jesus Calms The Storm El Shaddai's Jewel
Image Credit:
Jesus Calms The Storm
El Shaddai’s Jewel

Imagine this, Jesus gets into the boat with His twelve disciples, to set sail across the Sea of Galilee to the region of the Gadarenes. Sailing across the sea of Galilee, which was quite large, approximately 13 miles long by 8 miles wide, would have probably taken around 2 hours on a good day with a good wind. It seems like all is well as they take off to cross the lake, and Jesus, who is likely exhausted from ministering, goes to the back of the boat by Himself to lie down, after which, He quickly falls into a deep sleep. The disciples were probably laughing and joking, possibly discussing all that they’ve witnessed while walking with Jesus.

Suddenly, who knows how long they had already been sailing?, a wild storm arose. Now, because the Sea of Galilee is 600 feet below sea level, and surrounded by hills and mountains that rise to 2000 feet above sea level, the air coming from the mountains is cool and dry, while the air down around the Sea of Galilee is very warm and moist, almost tropical, so, when the two air masses collide, it often sparks violent storms. Also, because the Sea of Galilee is only approximately 200 feet deep, when such storms arise, the water is churned up much quicker and more fiercely than deep water would be.

Image Credit: William Hole
Image Credit:
William Hole

Therefore, the storm that arose, rapidly became wild and brutal. I can picture the disciples rushing around the boat, doing all of the necessary things one would do when in a sailing vessel in the midst of a storm. They probably hastily lowered the sails, and threw the anchors over, in order to protect themselves and the vessel they were in, but it was all to no avail, as the storm raged on, and they began to panic.

Put yourself in their place, and try to imagine the terror they all must have felt. Before dedicating their lives to Christ, eight of the twelve men worked on the land, so their immediate terror is understandable, but let’s not forget that Peter, Andrew, John and James were professional fishermen before following Christ. They made their living on the sea, and I’m certain they had probably faced many storms on the sea, so I don’t imagine they panicked right away, as they went about their business, barking orders to the others, and trying to control the ship caught up in the tempest, but still, the storm raged, increasing its assault on the men and their sailing vessel, which seemed to get smaller and smaller, as the waves grew larger and more powerful, now washing over the sides of the boat. It seemed as if all hell broke loose, and maybe it had, and soon, even the stalwart fishermen were reduced to fear and trembling, as their lives flashed before them.

Image Credit: GoodSalt.com
Image Credit:
GoodSalt.com

Still the terrified disciples frantically tried scooping the water out of the boat, which was in danger of sinking or being torn asunder, when suddenly, one or more of them realized that Jesus was missing. I can almost hear them shouting to one another above the storm, “Where’s Jesus? Have you seen Him?”

“No — the last time I saw Him, He was asleep!” Can you even begin to understand their fear? They were now clinging on to the boat and to one another to keep from being washed over the side and drowning, and the last time anyone had seen Jesus, He was asleep, in the back of the boat. What if He had washed over? What if He drowned? What if they drowned? They all rushed, as quickly as they were able to move across the water-logged deck, through the hurricane force winds, and the pounding rain, to the back of the boat to see if their Lord was still there.

Can you imagine their relief at seeing Jesus, still very much alive, and sleeping peacefully though the terrible storm fumed furiously all about Him? Can you understand how their relief might have quickly turned to ire, as they all stood their soaking and trembling, fearing they were all about to die, while Jesus slept on, as though He didn’t have a care in the world?

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Image Credit:
http://farm4.staticflickr.com

Have you ever felt that way when you’re in the midst of a storm? When it seems as though all hell has broken loose around you, and you’re in danger of losing your sanity, do you ever wonder where Jesus is? When it seems as though your whole world is crashing down around you, and you’ve tried to do all of the right things, but your storm just seems to get worse and worse, do you ever wonder if Jesus even cares about you?

Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with His head on a cushion. The disciples woke Him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t You care that we’re going to drown?”

~ Mark 4:38 — NLT ~

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Image Credit:
http://www.vocations.ca

I wonder how Jesus felt, as His disciples awakened Him so abruptly? I can be pretty grouchy when someone wakes me up from a deep sleep so abruptly, and yet, given their circumstances, and given the fact that Jesus was filled with the Spirit, I imagine He felt love and patience for His battered and frightened disciples. His anger was directed, not at His disciples, but at the prince of the air, and so, after looking at His terrified, wet and wind-blown disciples, who looked as though they were on the losing side of a battle for their lives, Jesus arose…

Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.

~ Mark 4:39 — NKJV ~

… Then He got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm.

~ Matthew 8:26b — NLT ~

… When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and the raging waves. Suddenly the storm stopped and all was calm.

~ Luke 8:24b — NLT ~

Now, who does it say that Jesus rebuked, and what does it mean to rebuke or to be rebuked?

re·buke[ri-byook]  Show IPA verb, re·buked, re·buk·ing, noun

verb (used with object)
  1. to express sharp, stern disapproval of; reprove; reprimand.
noun
    2.  sharp, stern disapproval; reproof; reprimand.
 Jesus rebuked the wind and the waves. Think about this… Jesus expressed sharp, stern disapproval of the wind and the waves. I’ve heard many people say that Jesus rebuked the disciples, when He spoke to them, but the bible doesn’t say that. The bible says that Jesus rebuked the wind and the waves, and He spoke to the disciples…
Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then He got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm.
Then He asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
Then He asked them,“Where is your faith?”
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Image Credit:
http://cccooperagency.wordpress.com

Jesus didn’t rebuke the disciples for their fear. I can almost see Him looking each one of the disciples in the eye, not in anger, but with love and compassion, as He questioned them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 

His simple questions, as He spoke to the disciples makes me think of my children (me to – even as a young adult, before I developed a relationship with the Lord), who used to be frightened by loud and violent storms, no matter how often I comforted them, and told them that they were safe in God’s hands. No amount of coaxing and teaching could rid them of their fear, and had I scolded them, their fear of storms may have grown, as they associated anger and punishment with storms. It was only as they (and I) developed their own relationship with the Lord, and began to grow stronger in their faith, that they were able to overcome their fears.
Surely, the disciples were no different. Yes, they had been walking with Jesus for a time, and they had seen Him do many miracles, but no one could have the authority to control the weather, could they? You see, though they had witnessed and even participated in many of these things, the disciples still had much growing to do, and Jesus understood this and had compassion on them, just as any good father has tenderheartedness on his children, and so I believe His questions to the disciples were spoken in love, as He gently showed them that the raging storm wasn’t their problem. Their real problem was their lack of faith…
And so, beloved readers, what’s your problem? Is your real problem the storm that is raging all about you? Is your real problem the people who have hurt you, rejected you, stolen from you, lied to you or abandoned you? Is your real problem your illness or the sickness of a loved one? Or could it be that the real problem is that your faith in the One who calms the wind and the waves is weak? If so, my beloved reader, be of good cheer, and ask the Lord, who will not withhold any good thing from His beloved friends…
The apostles said to the Lord, “Show us how to increase our faith.”
© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Let There Be Light

1In 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.

3 Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. Then He separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.”

And evening passed and morning came, marking the first day.

Genesis 1:1-5 — NLT ~

As I read the passage about the first day, when God created the heavens and the earth, and then He created light, I started to think about the significance of light. Think about it. God created the heavens and the earth in the dark. Not only did He create the heavens and the earth in the dark, but the earth was formless and empty. Continue reading Let There Be Light

On Eagle’s Wings

June 14, 2013 by 

#FWF FREE WRITE FRIDAY: IMAGE PROMPT
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photo by Matt Black, 2011 (Matt Black Photography)
photo by Matt Black, 2011 (Matt Black Photography)

Oh, that I had wings like a dove;
then I would fly away and rest!

~ Psalm 55:6 — NLT ~

With worried wrinkles in her brow
Tousled tresses tucked smoothly now
Flo’s flowered frock hangs loose and limp
Penniless pauper, forced to scrimp

Longing, lusting, she yearns for more
Searching the sky, she longs to soar
But burdens bog, too big to fly
Helpless, hopeless, too tired to try

Pausing to pray, she hears a voice
Speak to her soul, give her a choice
“Wait, watch with wit; soon you will rise
“Don’t dash or rush; you must be wise.”

Passionate praise springs from her lips
Singing, shame’s shadows now eclipsed
Radiance risen above dirt
Purify, purge away life’s hurts

Pious, prostrate revering Him
Rejoice, revere, with songs and hymns
Against all odds, hope is now born
Washed white now, she no longer mourns

Pulse pounding, eyes sparkle and shine
In God’s grace, His presence divine
Lavished in love, Her spirit springs
Swiftly she soars on eagle’s wings

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Daily Prompt: Turn, Turn, Turn

Daily Prompt: Turn, Turn, Turn

by michelle w. on April 8, 2013

For many of us, winter is blooming into spring, or fall hardening into winter. Which season do you most look forward to?
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Image Credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2a/Spring-daisy-fleabane_-_Virginia_-_ForestWander.jpg

Spring is my favorite time of year
Petals burst forth in a glorious example of
Resurrection from a seed once dead

Imitating God’s glorious gift of
New life for all who will believe in His
Grace and His Gospel of Life

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

From a Humble Perspective

This post is in response to the Weekly Lite Prompts by Tilda Swift at her blog, Swift Expression. If any of my readers derives inspiration from this post and would like to do something similar on their own blog, please provide full credit to Weekly Lite Prompts by Tilda Swift (as stated above) to abide by copyright laws.

Praise the Lord! Sis Caddo Veil wrote several nonets, which were so moving, that I just had to try also. For those who don’t know, a nonet is 9 syllables on the first line, going down to 8 the next, 7 next, and so on, all the way down to 1 syllable on the last line. I tried doing one of these earlier today, and it was such fun, that I decided to have a go at it again, with this second writing prompt… 

Tilda, I know you said to choose one of the following prompts, but I couldn’t make up my mind because I liked them all, so I decided to use them all! Many blessings!
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I Am A Moth

English: moth on a surface
English: moth on a surface (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am a lowly moth seemingly
Fragile and frail with gossamer
Wings, but look again, and see
My frailty’s but a ruse
A disguise to hide
Destruction I
Bring to
You

 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where they can be eaten by moths and get rusty, and where thieves break in and steal.” ~ Matthew 6:19 NLT ~

English: A crown of thorns in the stores of Be...
English: A crown of thorns in the stores of Bedford Museum. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I Am A Thorn

I am a thorn, sharp, pointed, painful
Be careful or I will pierce you
My wounds can be quite deadly
I pierced the Savior’s brow
Blood ran down His face
Beware – I have
No mercy
I’ll trap
You

“But I will fence her in with thornbushes. I will block the road to make her lose her way.” ~ Hosea 2:6 NLT ~

Image Credit: http://www.angelfire.com/jazz/karen_trust /PrayerLog/Nov2007.html

I Am A Small Gray Feather

I am a small gray feather, soft, light
Though gentle and warm, there is strength
Come, My beloved and hide
In My shadow and wings
I will cradle you
Defend, protect
Rest safely
In Me
Come

He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. ~ Psalm 91:4 NKJV ~

Dandelion

I Am A Little Weed

I am a little weed, a nuisance
Try to get rid of me, kill me
But I will return, stronger
Meaner, more determined
I will destroy you
Suffocate you
Temptations
Better
Run!

Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. But that night as everyone slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat. When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew. The farmer’s servants came and told him, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds!’

“‘An enemy has done it!’ the farmer exclaimed.”

‘Shall we pull out the weeds?’ they asked.

“He replied, ‘No, you’ll hurt the wheat if you do. Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds and burn them and to put the wheat in the barn.'” ~ Matthew 13:24-30 NLT ~

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

When Life Just Doesn’t Seem Fair! ~ Part 1

Image Credit: http://youngunsofindia.blogspot.com/2011/10/life-is-unfair.html

Sometimes it’s so hard living in a world that is so unfair. There are some days when it seems nearly impossible to make it through, because of those who lie about you… reject you… use you… abuse you… blame you and shame you… There are so many days when it seems like the wicked prosper, while those of us who try to live godly lives are trampled on and squashed like bugs, as we struggle, not to get rich for ourselves, but to survive and to help others.

Have you ever asked yourself why life is so unfair? Have you ever questioned God about why life is so unfair? Have you ever just wanted to throw in the towel and give up, because of the unfairness of it all? Have you ever envied the wicked one who seems to have it all, while you, the man or woman who tries to live uprightly before the Lord, have nothing?

My beloved friend, you’re not alone in your struggle. Many times, I’ve cried out to God and told Him, “Lord, that just isn’t right!” And He knows that. Let’s look to the Word of God, and see what the Lord says about these things through David in Psalm 37:1-4, and bear with me while I break it down, bit by bit, because this Psalm is so rich, that I don’t want to miss a thing…

1 A psalm of David. Don’t worry about the wicked. Don’t envy those who do wrong. 2 For like grass, they soon fade away. Like springtime flowers, they soon wither. 3 Trust in the LORD and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. 4 Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you your heart’s desires. ~ Psalm 37:1-4

Image Credit: http://www.lifeinitaly.com/garden/lawns-italian-gardens.asp

Think about this, my friend. Don’t worry about the wicked and don’t envy those who do wrong, because they won’t always get away with it.

Have you ever looked at someone’s beautifully manicured lawn? I love looking at rich people’s lawns. They’re so lush and green and perfect, and then, I look at my patchy lawn that is full of dandelions and weeds, and while it looks good when it’s mowed, it certainly isn’t beautiful like the lawns I’m talking about, with their diamond patterns mowed into them. Still, at the end of the summer, or certainly after the first frost, the same thing happens to those richly manicured lawns that happens to mine. The grass dies.

Image Credit: http://freecodesource.com/myspace-graphics/spring/

And don’t you just love daffodils and tulips and hyacinths, and all of those lovely springtime flowers? They are so beautiful and fresh smelling, aren’t they? But do you know that a daffodil usually only stays in bloom for 8-10 days? Tulips only last for 1-4 weeks, and hyacinths mostly only stay in bloom for 3-7 days, and then they begin to wither. King David compared the wicked to grass and springtime flowers. Don’t envy them, my friend, and try not to fret about them, because they won’t last long.

Instead, beloved, trust in the Lord and do good, so that you will live safely in the land and prosper. Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Now, I’ve heard many preachers preach that if you do good and delight yourself in the Lord, you’ll get that mansion and those cars you’ve dreamed about. I’ve heard them say you’ll become a great entrepreneur and that you’ll become independently wealthy… (all for the sake of the Kingdom of course)… 
heart on fire_v2But I want to share the truth with you. My dear reader, I used to have all those desires, just like anyone else, but something funny happened when I began to delight myself in the Lord. You see, as I began to take joy in being in His presence, I wanted to get to know Him better, and so I began to read and study His word. Then, as I studied His word and learned more about Him, my prayers started changing. You see, the more I prayed to Him, the less time I spent asking Him for things that I needed, because I found that my desires were changing. Now, I desired to know Him more… to see His face… to hear His voice… I couldn’t stop thinking about Him, because I was falling in love with Him, and the more I loved Him, the more I wanted to please Him. Now, I didn’t worry so much about me. Instead, I began to love the things He loves and hate the things He hates. Instead of looking at the weaknesses and vices of others with condemnation, I began to have compassion on the people.
Image Credit: https://marc5solas.wordpress.com/2012/10/04/its-not-supposed-to-be-like-this/

Now, instead of hating those who hurt me, I felt mercy for them, as the Lord began to reveal their pain to me. I began to feel empathy for others who were trapped in sin, and my desire was to set them free from its death grip on them. Beloved, as I delighted myself in the Lord, He truly did give me the desires of my heart, by changing my desires. Now, I pray for those people who God loves and longs to set free from the bondage of sin… death… fear… rejection… abandonment… hopelessness… envy… strife… bitterness…

 
Beloved, when life just doesn’t seem fair, believe me when I say that there is One who is fair and just, and He sees it all and remembers it all. When you’re discouraged because of the unfairness of life, read Psalm 37, where you’ll find hope. Meditate on what I’ve shared with you today, and return tomorrow, when I’ll share some more of Psalm 37 with you. Meanwhile, this is my prayer for you today:
Heavenly Father, watch over my beloved brothers and sisters today, and comfort them. Comfort them with the knowledge that You see their pain, and You see when they are misused and abused, and that their perpetrators will soon fade away like grass and wither like the flowers in spring. Lord, I pray that You will help them to trust in You with all their hearts, leaning not on their own understanding, as they acknowledge You in all their ways, and You direct their paths. I pray Father that they would take great delight in You, finding joy in Your presence and in Your word, as You reveal the truth to them and set them free, thus giving them the desires of their hearts, in Jesus’ name, 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

Coming Home

http://www.picturesofwinter.net/snowoncabins.jpg
http://www.picturesofwinter.net/snowoncabins.jpg

He was up early that morning, well before the sunrise. Like a child, he ran to the window, beaming with delight as he saw the snow. Yes, he was an old man of eighty-seven years, but there was still a twinkle in his eye, still a childlike wonder as he gazed outside and saw the freshly fallen smooth, white blanket of snow that covered his lawn.

As quickly as his old body would allow, he scurried to put on his long johns, insulated socks, trousers and a blue flannel shirt, given to him last Christmas by his lovely granddaughter Adelaide. He smiled as his gnarled old fingers snapped the buttons, thinking of Adelaide’s clear blue eyes as she peered into his eyes, explaining that she had gotten the flannel shirt with snaps because she knew how hard it was for him to button his shirts, with his arthritis. He sighed. Adelaide was so much like her namesake, his beautiful wife of fifty-seven years. His heart still ached for his beloved Adelaide. Though she had been gone for ten years, her absence still pained him. Shaking his head, briskly, he finished dressing and walked into the kitchen to make some hot cocoa before he went outside.

Then, cocoa in hand, he opened his bible as he did every morning, and prayed. He read just a few verses, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:1-3 KJV)

Removing his glasses, he wiped the tears that suddenly filled his eyes, and whispered, “How much longer, Lord? I miss my Adelaide so much, and I yearn to finally see Your face.” His body shook as great sobs overwhelmed him, and he gave in to the pain and loneliness that had wracked his spirit for so long.

Finally, after several minutes, he pushed his chair away from the table, and regaining his composure, he blew his nose with the sound of a trumpet blast into his handkerchief, replaced his glasses and placed his empty mug in the sink, to be washed later. He grabbed his winter coat from the hook beside the door, after wrapping a warm woolen scarf around his neck and a toboggan over his head, both knit for him long ago by his beloved Adelaide. Finally, after his coat was zipped all the way up to his neck, and the hood tied onto his head, he placed insulated gloves on his hands, laughing at himself as he caught his reflection in the window of the door.

“I look like an Eskimo,” he chuckled, as he walked outside into the bright, pristine whiteness. “Lord, You make all things beautiful,” he whispered, in awe of the beauty all around him. He loved gazing at the beauty of the snow, before any animals or humans had walked in it. There was just something so pure and holy about it.

http://www.picturesofwinter.net/winterscene-55.jpg
http://www.picturesofwinter.net/winterscene-55.jpg

As he continued to gaze at the beauty around him, his heart suddenly skipped a beat. “What’s this?” he exclaimed, as he spotted footprints in the snow, leading away from his house. Now the sight of footprints walking away from his house might not have been disturbing, but for the fact that it was obvious that whoever had been walking away from his home was barefooted.

Curious and fearful lest someone was injured, the old man began following the footprints, until they stopped, at the little grave under the oak tree, where his beloved Adelaide had been laid to rest. Confused, and somewhat fearfully, the old man looked around, and his heart began to palpitate irregularly when he saw Him, and he fell to his knees in the snow, unmindful of the cold dampness as he stared into His eyes, which looked like flames of fire.

Tears filled his eyes, as he looked at the beauty around him, and at the One who now stood before him, asking, “You did all of this for me?” As his Savior nodded, he whispered in awestruck wonder and joy, “Is it time, Lord?” He nodded and lifted him up.

“It’s time, Beloved,” He replied, smiling gently, “Let’s go home to our Father.”

© 2012
Cheryl A. Showers