Friday, November 28, 2014

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: We Are Only Sojuourners.

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: We Are Only Sojuourners.: 1 Peter 1, New American Standard Bible (NASB) 1  Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, t o those who reside as aliens, scattered througho...

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: If you are of God's family, show it.

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: If you are of God's family, show it.: Romans 12:1-21 New King James Version (NKJV) Living Sacrifices to God 12  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God...

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: Jesus Lays His Life Down That We May Live.

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: Jesus Lays His Life Down That We May Live.: Isaiah 59 , New King James Version   (NKJV) Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by ...

Jesus Lays His Life Down That We May Live.

Isaiah 59, New King James Version (NKJV)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear for your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies,
Your tongue has muttered perversity.
No one calls for justice, nor does any plead for truth. They trust in empty words and speak lies;
They conceive evil and bring forth iniquity.
They hatch vipers’ eggs and weave the spider’s web; he who eats of their eggs dies, and from that which is crushed a viper breaks out. Their webs will not become garments, nor will they cover themselves with their works;
Their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands.
Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths. The way of peace they have not known,
and there is no justice in their ways; they have made themselves crooked paths; whoever takes that way shall not know peace. Therefore justice is far from us, nor does righteousness overtake us;
we look for light, but there is darkness! For brightness, but we walk in blackness!
10 We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes; we stumble at noonday as at twilight; we are as dead men in desolate places. 11 We all growl like bears, and moan sadly like doves; we look for justice, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far from us. 12 For our transgressions are multiplied before You, and our sins testify against us; for our transgressions are with us, and as for our iniquities, we know them: 13 In transgressing and lying against the Lord, and departing from our God, speaking oppression and revolt,
conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood. 14 Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands afar off; for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. 15 So truth fails, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. Then the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no justice. 16 He saw that there was no man,
and wondered that there was no intercessor; therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; and His own righteousness, it sustained Him. 17 For He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head; He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak. 18 According to their deeds, accordingly He will repay, fury to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies; the coastlands He will fully repay. 19 So shall they fear
The name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun; when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him. 20 “The Redeemer will come to Zion, and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,” says the Lord. 21 “As for Me,” says the Lord, “this is My covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants’ descendants,” says the Lord, “from this time and forevermore.”

Ephesians 2:8-16, (NKJV)

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.11 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— 12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.

Isaiah 60, (NKJV)

Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. “Lift up your eyes all around, and see: they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from afar, and your daughters shall be nursed at your side. Then you shall see and become radiant, and your heart shall swell with joy; because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, the wealth of the Gentiles shall come to you. The multitude of camels shall cover your land, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah;
All those from
Sheba shall come; they shall bring gold and incense,
and they shall proclaim the praises of the Lord.
All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together to you, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister to you; they shall ascend with acceptance on My altar, and I will glorify the house of My glory. “Who are these who fly like a cloud, and like doves to their roosts? Surely the coastlands shall wait for Me; and the ships of Tarshish will come first, to bring your sons from afar, their silver and their gold with them, to the name of the Lord your God,
and to the Holy One of Israel, because He has glorified you.
10 “The sons of foreigners shall build up your walls, and their kings shall minister to you; for in My wrath I struck you, but in My favor I have had mercy on you. 11 Therefore your gates shall be open continually;
they shall not be shut day or night, that men may bring to you the wealth of the Gentiles, and their kings in procession.
12 For the nation and kingdom which will not serve you shall perish, and those nations shall be utterly ruined. 13 “The glory of Lebanon shall come to you,
The cypress, the pine, and the box tree together, to beautify the place of My sanctuary; and I will make the place of My feet glorious.
14 Also the sons of those who afflicted you shall come bowing to you, and all those who despised you shall fall prostrate at the soles of your feet; and they shall call you The City of the Lord, Zion of the Holy One of Israel. 15 “Whereas you have been forsaken and hated, so that no one went through you, I will make you an eternal excellence, a joy of many generations. 16 You shall drink the milk of the Gentiles, and milk the breast of kings; you shall know that I, the Lord, am your Savior
and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.
17 “Instead of bronze I will bring gold, instead of iron I will bring silver, instead of wood, bronze, and instead of stones, iron. I will also make your officers peace, and your magistrates righteousness. 18 Violence shall no longer be heard in your land, neither wasting nor destruction within your borders; but you shall call your walls Salvation,
And your gates Praise. 19 “The sun shall no longer be your light by day,
nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you; but the Lord will be to you an everlasting light, and your God your glory.
20 Your sun shall no longer go down, nor shall your moon withdraw itself; for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be ended. 21 Also your people shall all be righteous; they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I may be glorified. 22 A little one shall become a thousand,
And a small one a strong nation. I, the Lord, will hasten it in its time.”

John 10:14-18, (NKJV)

14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. 15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd. 17 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again.18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”

John 11:25-26, (NKJV)

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

Matthew 16:24-27, (NKJV)

24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.

Matthew 18:3, (NKJV)

and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 18:3, (NKJV)

and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

Mark 1:14-15, (NKJV)

14 Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom[a] of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

John 3:3-7, (NKJV)

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

John 3:15-21, (NKJV)

15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but[a] have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
My Comments: I am sure some will find this study to be long yet I would even have made it longer as I felt it was very important to salvation for all to understand why we need a Savior. We are walking, talking, thinking and acting sin machines or as you may have heard we have sin natures and as such we are separated from God the Father. In order to be His children we need a Savior and God the Father knew we would continue doing what we wanted and never be united to Him unless He sent the Messiah. Yet who would be “good enough” to remove all our sin?
The Ten Commandments could not be kept completely and time and time again people showed that. Even the greatest of the great, who loved God and whom He loved, sinned. David sinned though he repented when confronted with his sin, yet he continued to sin. Only God Almighty Himself was “good enough” to be the sacrifice for the whole world for all time. So God as man, fully God and fully man, who loved us so much, chose to come to earth. He chose to be born in a lowly birth. He suffered and died in our place on the Cross and rose again as prophesied, on the third day and rose to Heaven so we could be with Him forever. How amazing is that? We go from dooming ourselves because of our sin nature to Salvation by following Jesus.
In the Old Testament we read many of the prophecies about the Messiah and I chose these two sections (Isaiah 59 and 60) with the other verses to show our need for a Savior because of how we in sin separate ourselves from God, to Salvation through being Born Again through Jesus. This is redemption which comes through Jesus the Christ. It is ours when we choose life in Jesus. This is what He showed us in the Gospel must happen if we are to be Born Again. We serve an awesome God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We are not saved by works that we may “do,” or by being the best people anyone knows or by being good, because only God our Father, is good. There are things He wants us to do when we are saved but not to be saved.
When we are saved we desire to do good works and to show the face of Jesus to glorify God in all we do. The more we walk, talk and read His words and study with the Holy Spirit the stronger our walk becomes and the more we reflect Jesus and bring God the Father glory. The more we are with Him the more we want to be like Him and be with Him even more. We are with Him when we pray, sing praise and worship songs or just listen to them, read His Word in the Bible, talk to Him, about Him and rest in Him. When we become Children of God by believing the Gospel of Jesus and being Born Again then we are filled with the Holy Spirit who works in us to bring us to Sanctification. The Work of God in us goes on until He calls us home to be with Him. Come Lord Jesus Come.
Abba Father, to be all the glory forever and ever. May we hear Your Spirit in us and follow Your Son as we grow in your love and are filled with Your presence. We are but babes, help us to grow in Your Wisdom. Feed us with Your Word. Fill us with Your Light. May Your living Waters flow through us to a dieing world so more will come out of the world and shine with Your light. Thank Your Abba Father for all You give us daily and forgive us as we stumble and fall and grow in You.
Jesus Savior, Redeemer, Messiah, thank You for all the things You undertook and endured so we might be with You and You with us eternally. Fill us with Your love for the world and all peoples and lead us where You would have us to go. Make us what You knew us to be from the beginning of the World.
Holy Spirit, thank You for coming to guide, teach and show us how to be more like Jesus. Fill us with wisdom. Give us knowledge and understanding to use the Wisdom You fill us with. Help us to strengthen in the Will of the Lord and You bring us through the lessons to grow us in our Sanctification and Relationship with the Father through the Son in union with You.
In Jesus name in union with the Holy Spirit we pray to You Father. Amen


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: Give Thanks to the Lord for He is Praise Worthy.

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: Give Thanks to the Lord for He is Praise Worthy.: Psalm 107:15 , New King James Version   (NKJV) The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by   Thomas Nelson, Inc. 15  Oh,...

Give Thanks to the Lord for He is Praise Worthy.

Psalm 107:15, New King James Version (NKJV)
The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
15 Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
Psalm 113:1-9, (NKJV)
Praise the Lord!
Praise, O servants of the Lord,
Praise the name of the Lord!
Blessed be the name of the Lord
From this time forth and forevermore!
From the rising of the sun to its going down
The Lord’s name is to be praised.
The Lord is high above all nations,
His glory above the heavens.
Who is like the Lord our God,
Who dwells on high,
Who humbles Himself to behold
The things that are in the heavens and in the earth?
He raises the poor out of the dust,
And lifts the needy out of the ash heap,
That He may seat him with princes—
With the princes of His people.
He grants the barren woman a home,
Like a joyful mother of children.
Praise the Lord!
Psalm 107:21-38English Standard Version (ESV)
21 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
    for his wondrous works to the children of man!
22 And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving,
    and tell of his deeds in songs of joy!
23 Some went down to the sea in ships,
    doing business on the great waters;
24 they saw the deeds of the Lord,
    his wondrous works in the deep.
25 For he commanded and raised the stormy wind,
    which lifted up the waves of the sea.
26 They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths;
    their courage melted away in their evil plight;
27 they reeled and staggered like drunken men
    and were at their wits' end.
28 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he delivered them from their distress.
29 He made the storm be still,
    and the waves of the sea were hushed.
30 Then they were glad that the waters were quiet,
    and he brought them to their desired haven.
31 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
    for his wondrous works to the children of man!
32 Let them extol him in the congregation of the people,
    and praise him in the assembly of the elders.
33 He turns rivers into a desert,
    springs of water into thirsty ground,
34 a fruitful land into a salty waste,
    because of the evil of its inhabitants.
35 He turns a desert into pools of water,
    a parched land into springs of water.
36 And there he lets the hungry dwell,
    and they establish a city to live in;
37 they sow fields and plant vineyards
    and get a fruitful yield.
38 By his blessing they multiply greatly,
    and he does not let their livestock diminish.
Ephesians 1:3-14, (NKJV)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. 11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. 13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
 My Comments: When I consider all the Lord has done for me I marvel at His unfailing love and compassion. Even before I was His child (and only those who accept Jesus as their Savior are His children, before that we belong to the price of this world and that is not God) I can look back and see His hand on me and in my life working it all out for good.
When I was three I had polio and God worked it so it did not leave a lasting harsh mark on my life or my body. It was during the time of iron lungs and the most I had for a very short term was foot braces. Well, that lasted until the dance teacher told my Dad that I did better barefoot so he quickly took the high healed shoe off and the braces off and threw them in the garbage.
I have already told you of the times my Sister and I were molested by babysitters and relatives and yet God brought us through those times and I am stronger now because of the shame, pain and anger I had to work through to be the survivor and thriver I now am thanks to God. Through those experiences I was able to work with children and adults who had things like that happen in their lives and working with them even was of more help to me. In order to help them I had to be willing to be open, honest and vulnerable so they would be willing to share and work through issues. Before I got to this stage though, I was married to an abusive man who was a chaser of young skirts.
Even an abusive marriage can grow a person and give many precious gifts. Mine were six wonderful children though my first Son only lived a few months he was beautiful and precious then I still had five sweet Daughters to love and protect. Then as soon as the last child was born prematurely he left with a teenager and I raised the five girls for five years alone or well I know now only physically alone. I had the Lord Jesus taking care of me and working even that out for my good and for the good of the children though at the time I was hard pressed to see how any good could come out of our lives. During my most vulnerable time of my life I joined a cult which claimed to be Catholic and to receive automatic writings from Heaven.
It really was occult because of that and though it was a cult that is where I met my second Husband the love of my life though at first it was not a marriage made in Heaven. Then we had six more children and after a long time we left the cult and joined a Denominational Church where we grew yet we were not on solid ground yet there were wonderful friendships made for us and for our children. We both came to love and know the Lord Jesus and eventually our marriage grew to be what a marriage is designed to be yet it took many years and time were trying often. The best part was the blessing of being a Child of God and knowing my Husband was as well. So are a couple of my Daughters and that brings great joy.
I praise and glorify God often for bringing me through a life that could have been warped and full of anger and hatred yet is filled with love, thanksgiving and forgiveness for all who have and are and will be in my life. Jesus gave His all of me and He asked me to follow Him. I said yes and my life has wonderfully changed and I have chosen to be the love of Christ wherever I am and to give thanks to the Lord for He is praise worthy for all He has done for me.
Abba Father thank You for saving me from so many traumas and hardships in my life, far to many to write about and yet nothing compared to what Your Son Jesus Christ endured for me and for the world. In fact it is nothing compared to what You suffered allowing Your Son to suffer for us on the Cross. As a parent I cannot imagine how hard and how much pain that caused You my Abba. I thank You for allowing it and for sending Him and for being there always for me. Mostly I thank You for my Salvation and for making me a part of Your family, the body of Christ Jesus.
Lord Jesus Savior and Redeemer of my soul I praise and glorify You for bringing me through the dark night of my soul and for changing my life. I thank You for Redeeming my soul and my life for Your greater glory and that You have called me to follow You. Keep me as the apple of Your eye and let me never wander from Your side. Bring my family to Your saving grace.
Holy Spirit, fill my soul with the joy of the Lord and thank You for coming into me and for surrounding me with the love and presence of God. Thank You for Your instruction and guidance so I may be pleasing to Father God.
May all who read Your words be filled with Your love and find peace in You Lord Jesus and may they all be Yours. In Jesus name I pray in union with the Holy Spirit, Amen.