Tuesday, December 30, 2014

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: When we have pain or lose someone

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: When we have pain or lose someone: Philippians 3:7-4:1,  New King James Version  (NKJV)  Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson....

Saturday, December 27, 2014

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: A Bondservant of God

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: A Bondservant of God: James 1 , New King James Version   (NKJV) Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by pe...

A Bondservant of God

James 1, New King James Version (NKJV)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: greetings. My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. Let the lowly brother glory in his exaltation, 10 but the rich in his humiliation, because as a flower of the field he will pass away. 11 For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beautiful appearance perishes. So the rich man also will fade away in his pursuits. 12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. 18 Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of His creatures. 19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; 20 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. 26 If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. 27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
My Comments: This coming year I will try something different. I will take full Chapters and work through them and see how you all like working through the Bible that way. I am starting in James for this period of time.
Trials or tribulations and temptations seem to stumble many and mistakenly many believers and non-believers have a misunderstanding of them. Some believe God is tempting them when it is Satan. Some believe if they are Saved or Born Again then God the Father will protect them from and keep them from trials. And some believe that once they are Saved or Born Again then they can do anything they want and it is okay with Abba Father. Then there are the ones like the Pharisees of Jesus’ time who make up their own rules, regulations or “religion” and want others to follow them. All of these beliefs are not of Abba Father and are not what Jesus taught or exemplified.
The following are a few of the verses I go to when I contemplate or have trials or tribulations and temptations:

Hebrews 4:15, (NKJV)

15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Mark 1:13, (NKJV) (This is about Jesus after He was Baptized by John the Baptist and went to the wilderness for forty days. If Jesus was tempted why do we mistakenly believe we will not be? Yet being tempted is not the sin. Giving into the temptation is. Knowing the Word as Jesus did and rebuking Satan by the Word of God will help us in times of temptation.)

13 And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him.

Galatians 6:1, (NKJV); (If we know of a Brethren or fellow Believer, who has fallen to temptation this is what we should do; it does not refer to people who are not Believers in The Way or are not Born Again.)

1Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.

Romans 5:3-8, (NKJV) (This is why a true believer will find joy in trials and tribulations and how one knows if they have truly given themselves completely into the hands of our Lord Jesus to mold and grow us, and use us for His glory. Those who are totally His know that these things are allowed to happen to grow us closer to Him to give Him glory and to point others by our actions to the One True God the Father because Jesus is our Savior and He has shown us what we must do.)

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

John 16:33, (NKJV)

33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Acts 14:22, (NKJV) (We who are Believers cannot expect life to be placid and if it is we need to look inside ourselves to see how we have accommodated the worlds concepts verses the Lords teachings and examples.)

22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”

2 Thessalonians 1:4, (NKJV) (Christ Jesus told us to pick up our Cross and follow Him. Can we do that without going through things as He did? Absolutely not! I am amazed at those who say, “Everything is going so good in my life. That must be God’s blessing on the way I live.” Abba Father may for a short time give us a breather but we delude ourselves if it goes on for long. How can be grow if we are not given more? A child is not just born and then not challenged to crawl, walk, use ones hands, feet and mind to work through challenges. So it is with us in our Spiritual lives that show in our physical lives.)

so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure,

Colossians 3:2-14, (NKJV) (If we are His then we are doers of the Word which is Jesus the Christ. We live our lives as He lived His to do the will of the Father even if that means the world should hate us, revile us or our families turn on us. We set our minds on Him, His kingdom, His glory and turn our backs on a worldly life which now is becoming more and more like Sodom and Gomorrah.)

Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all. 12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.

Isaiah 1:17, (NKJV) (We live lives pleasing to and glorifying God by how we treat others. Have we learned from the teachings of Jesus? Our lives show what we believe about our Lord.)

17 Learn to do good; seek justice, rebuke the oppressor; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.

Matthew 7:13/14, 21-27, (NKJV) (We are Children of God because of the Sacrifice of Jesus and when we accepted His sacrifice we were Born Again. And as such we follow Him and no long practice lawlessness or do the things the world  teaches that contradicts the teachings of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and we continue to stand strong in trials, tribulations and temptations. Because of the strength of God in us and our dependency on Him when the rain descends, floods come and winds blow in our lives we remain trusting Him. Our house meaning our faith and trust in God stands firm and does not fall because we are founded on the rock which is Jesus. Then when we depart this world or He comes for us He will say, Well done good and faithful servant.”)

13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ 24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. 26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

Luke 6:40, (NKJV)

40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.

Luke 6:46, (NKJV)

46 “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?

John 1:9-14, (NKJV)

That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
My Comments: When we are the Lord Jesus’ disciples we learn from His life, death and resurrection. We read the Scripture and we are in fellowship with other Believers who like us are at different stages of their walk with the Lord. Some are babies only able to crawl and as they read the Word and the Holy Spirit enlightens them as they put into practice the teachings and let the essence of God guide them then they will walk, then run and if they and we preserve we will run the race well.
We are to help each other on this walk. Sometimes that is with quiet words. Sometimes it is in discussing the Scripture. Sometimes one needs redirecting gently and rarely some need to be put out of the body until they realize the error of their ways and repent, then they are brought back into the body. If they were truly the Lord’s they will see the sin and repent in time. Like children growing up we all stumble and fall or give into temptation and the worst temptation is to think we are god.
This is why Satan fell, this is why Adam and Eve fell and this is why we fall into sin, because we want to be in charge. This is the sin of pride. To be Christ Jesus’ we give Him ourselves, trusting in Him to work out our training as it should be so we can grow in the Word and be more like Christ Jesus who gave all glory to the Father and turned to the Father for everything and even in His Crucifixion Jesus trusted His Father. “Not my will be done but thine,” He said. It is what we all who say we are Born Again must learn to say and live. As James we become the bondservant of Jesus the Christ and we live our lives doing for others and glorifying our Abba Father.
Abba Father, thank You for showing us the way through the life, death and resurrection of Your Son Jesus our Messiah. Thank You for always being there to guide us, strengthen us and walk with us through all trials, tribulations and temptations. Thank You for Your Word that saves. Strengthen us in Your Word. Help us to take up our Cross and follow Jesus. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit. Instruct us in Your ways, desires and may all we do, think and feel bring You our Abba Father, Glory and praise.
Jesus our Messiah, You have told us what is true in the Word. You are the Word. You have given us freedom through Your life, death and resurrection. Thank You for coming to earth to show us the You are the Way the Truth and the Life. May we live our lives in Your truth and light growing in Your way so one day we will hear, “Well done good and faithful servant.”
Holy Spirit, Holy Wind, enlighten and bring us to the full knowledge and understanding of our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ. Thank You for Your patience and for giving us knowledge and wisdom to understand the Word of God. Give us discernment so we will stay away from stumbling blocks and temptations. Give us the words as Jesus had the Words of God to keep Him from the evil ones snares. We thank You for filling us with Your presence and our lives.
In Jesus Holy and precious name in union with the Holy Spirit we pray. Amen

Friday, December 19, 2014

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: Reborn in Christ Jesus

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: Reborn in Christ Jesus: Reborn in Jesus Christ New King James Version  (NKJV) Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © ...

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: Love and Respect

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: Love and Respect: Hold fast.  Hebrews 10:23-25   Hebrews 10:23-25 "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who prom...

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: Have faith

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: Have faith: Galatians 3:5 Does He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith- ju...

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: The Eyes of the Lord

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: The Eyes of the Lord: Psalm 33:18 , New King James Version   (NKJV) Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used b...

The Eyes of the Lord

Psalm 33:18, New King James Version (NKJV)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him,
On those who hope in His mercy,

1 Peter 3:12-18, (NKJV)

12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”  13 And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.” 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. 17 For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us[d] to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,

Psalm 11:4, (NKJV)

The Lord is in His holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven;
His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men.

Matthew 13:16, (NKJV)

16 But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear;
My Comments: This short study came about because of a painting I recently finished. As some of you know, around 2008 the Lord had me start painting and wanted Scripture placed on the art. Well, the painting I recently finished was of the ocean at sunset with the sun down on the horizon. I felt a nudge from the Lord that the sun was like an eye and the large wave had the eye in it as well so off to study Scripture to do with the eye. I only placed a few of the ones I studied and encourage you to look for more. If you do not have access to a Bible there are several sites where you may read for free. The main one I use is https://www.biblegateway.com
Our Lord came to earth to save us from our sin. He did this by taking on humanity and even being born in a lowly manger. He was raised by a carpenter and his Mother with brothers and sisters. When He was 33 years old His Ministry started and He called men to follow Him as He still calls each of us. In His Ministry He said, “He who does not take is cross and follow after Me is not worth of Me.” (Matthew 10:38). He did not say our way after being Born Again would be an easy one in fact if we are following Him our way will not be easy. Yet there is joy in it because we know where our true home is when we leave this world. You say, “What does this have to do with eyes and painting?
When I paint I use my eyes to see what I am doing and to make sure of the colors, balance and form. We all use our eyes to tell us what is around us or for reading or even to see what we are eating (that is if we have the gift of sight and then there are other ways of seeing but that is for another time). Now the Lord has eyes that see everything and He beholds everything and as the Scripture says His eyelids test the sons of men. Our eyelids do not test anything yet His test us. When we become His followers we learn to test things around us and even that which is in us. We walk closer to the Lord and as we do so, we become more discerning about what we say and do and who we are with in relationship. The closer our relationship to the Lord God Almighty the more we want to please Him by living righteously (not religiously or self-righteously) as He lived.
Our walk here though not perfect becomes Holier and we become more loving even to people who revile, curse or even harm us or our loved ones. We see this happening in Iran to those who are being raped, beaten, and even murdered because they refuse to renounce Jesus as their Savior. This has happened since Christ Jesus was Crucified on the Cross and it will get worse as the end times come closer yet we are called by Christ to hold tight to Him and love our enemies. His eye does not miss what happens to us nor can anything happen to us He does not allow ( I did not say He causes because that is not what always happens) yet He uses it all for our benefit and growth as well as for others (as He did for Joseph, Daniel and many others in the Bible and through out time). Because we are His we know this, accept this and when they happen we pray for our eyes to be open so we learn the lessons within any situation as well for us to be a source of praise for our Lord the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last, our Creator God who is the I Am.
All of this did not go through my minds eye as I was nudged into noticing the eye of the sun and the eye of the wave yet  it did go through my minds eye as I searched the Scripture for what God wanted to use to reach His own and the lost. I pray you open your eyes to what God is showing you in your life and that as your eyes open so will your ears and your heart.
Abba Father, thank You for keeping Your eyes on the righteous. Thank You for Your inspirations. Open our eyes to see what You want us to see in the world around us, within us and what You want for us to do. Open the eyes of our hearts Lord so we will Love as You love and perceive where You are working and what You would have for us to do.
Lord Jesus, thank You for giving of Yourself completely and showing us how to be Holy as You are Holy. Thank You for calling us out and giving us Your heart for others even when they are harming us, reliving us or even worse. Keep our eyes on You Lord that we may not falter when the times get more than we can bear as we know You will and have bore them for us.
Holy Spirit, thank You for coming to fill us with Your knowledge, wisdom and understanding and discernment so that our eyes will always remain on the Lord Jesus and the purpose of God in our lives. Let us never lose sight of doing things for His glory and praise.
In Jesus precious name I pray in union with the Holy Spirit.  Amen.


Tuesday, December 2, 2014