Tuesday, September 22, 2015

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: Fear of This World is Not of God

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: Fear of This World is Not of God: New King James Version   (NKJV) Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. ...

Fear of This World is Not of God

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; donot fear nor be dismayed.”
In whose eyes a vile person is despised, But he honors those who fear the Lord; He who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
Though an army may encamp against me, My heart shallnot fear; Though war may rise against me, In this I will be confident.
Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?
Because they hated knowledge And did not choose thefear of the Lord,
Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil.
For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’
Your own wickedness will correct you, And your backslidings will rebuke you. Know therefore and see that it is an evil and bitter thing That you have forsaken the Lord your God, And the fear of Me is not in you,” Says the Lord God of hosts.
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
[ Jesus Teaches the Fear of God ] “And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.
For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again tofear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will notfear. What can man do to me?”
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears hasnot been made perfect in love.
Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested.”
But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”
And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”
But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”
My Comments: There is nothing to fear of this world and if we have given our lives over to the Lord Jesus Christ and are His then we have Heaven to look forward to so it does not matter what happens to us here. We only need look at the life of Jesus to understand that. He looked to His Father and ours and endured much hardship and pain yet did it because He loves the Father and He loves us. We only have fear of the Lord because without Him we have nothing.
Have you ever had something you valued more than life itself? Or someone? You would do anything to protect that person or thing, right? Well, being Abba Father’s makes us more precious than anything we could imagine and He will do all He can to keep us which means nothing can take us away from Him. Our only fear should be being separated from Him. We should be doing all in our power and calling on the Lord to help us so we will not be separated from Abba Father.
Noah, Moses, Abraham, Ruth and Ester all learned that man cannot do anything to us that matters. Only God the Father matters and our relationship with Him. He is the Creator of the Universes and all that is in them. He sustains them and us. It is by His strength that we are and continue to be. He sent His Son Jesus to save us not from others but from our own sin natures, from separation from Him. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. The fear of man shows we do not trust Him to do all that is necessary to bring us to Him. Fear not!
Those are two of the most used words in the Scripture and if we are His we must not fear as the spirit of fear is not of God the Father. Rather it comes from His adversary. When we accept the free gift of Salvation that Jesus obtained for each of us by dieing on the Cross and rising on the third day, then we give up fear of the evil one. Put your eyes on Him as fear of this world is not of God so fear not!
Abba Father, forgive us when we are weak and give into fear of things, situations, people or even the times we live in. Help us to keep our eyes and our hearts on you and strengthen our faith and trust that we will not be swayed in times of tribulation. Help us to learn the lessons each time of trial contains and to become stronger with each trial that we may show forth Your glory and bring praise to Your Name. Thank You for Your Son showing us the way to You and for His example of how to suffer and bring glory to You in the suffering. Help us to find the joy in our hard times as well as when times are going easy. Thank You for sending the Holy Spirit to teach, strengthen, console and fill us with Your understanding and knowledge. Fill us with the true understanding of the fear of the Lord and I pray all who read Your word will accept Your gift of Salvation and peace. In Jesus name in union with the Holy Spirit I pray. Amen.


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Sunday, September 6, 2015

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: Walk and live in the fruit of the Spirit

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: Walk and live in the fruit of the Spirit: 1 Corinthians 1:18-25,  New King James Version  (NKJV)  Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson...

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: Trust in the Lord

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: Trust in the Lord: Proverbs 3:5-6   [Full Chapter] Trust   in   the   Lord   with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;   In   all your wa...

Trust in the Lord

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.
Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, And put your trust in the Lord.
[ Prayer and Praise for Deliverance from Enemies ] [ A Meditation of David, which he sang to the Lord concerning the words of Cush, a Benjamite. ] O Lord my God, in You I put my trust; Save me from all those who persecute me; And deliver me,
And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.
[Faith in the Lord’s Righteousness] [To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.] In the Lord I put my trust; How can you say to my soul, “Flee as a bird to your mountain”?
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.
The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him.
[The Lord a Fortress in Adversity] [To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.] In You, O Lord, I put my trust; Let me never be ashamed; Deliver me in Your righteousness.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”
He will not be afraid of evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord; He is their help and their shield.
It is better to trust in the Lord Than to put confidence in man.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;
He who heeds the word wisely will find good, And whoever trusts in the Lord, happy is he.
Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the Lord.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-17New King James Version (NKJV)

The Comfort of Christ’s Coming

13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

The Day of the Lord

But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.
11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.

Various Exhortations

12 And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves.
14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. 15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
My Comments: Many are running hither and yon looking for comfort and safety, guidance and truth. Many are fearful and anxious and do not know who to trust. Many place their trust and faith in things, people and circumstances and even jobs and money or ideologies. Yet there is only one who can save. There is only one who has made a way for them and He will come again for those who are His.
Jesus the Messiah said He would come again. Those who follow Him know Him to be trustworthy and true. His word tells of Him from the first Book of the Bible to the End. Those who place their trust in Him will not find Him wanting. Does that mean life will be perfectly calm and without situations? No! It does mean He will be there in the storms as well as the joys of life as He has gone before us through them all. And no matter what happens He will not forsake us and will be there to welcome us home when our time is over here. Or He will come before that time. Either way it will not matter because we will be with Him. This is the assurance of salvation to those who place their trust in the Lord.
There were so many Scriptures that spoke to trusting in the Lord and knowing His word is true and He will do all He has said He will do. Yet I felt constrained by the Spirit to share these ones with you and pray they will strengthen you in the days to come.
Our Lord will come again and we do not know the day or the night. He will come and we must be ready. He will handle everything in our lives if we trust it to Him and go on in His name doing all He asks of us. We are His because we trusted in Him and accepted His Sacrifice and the Redemption He gave to us.
If you have not accepted Him then I encourage you to do so today. Talk to Him. Confess your sin. Believe in His Gospel (Jesus was born of a virgin, died for our sins on a cross, rose again on the third day as He said He would, and ascended into Heaven all so we might live with Him and be the Children of God.) Give your life to Him and He will come into you and your eternity will be assured. He died that all may live. Yet to live one must be Born Again by accepting His sacrifice as a gift freely given because He first loved us. Trust in the Lord and He will guide you through His Holy Spirit.
Abba Father I pray to You through Your Son Jesus our Messiah, Redeemer and Friend, Brother and Savior, may we all trust the Lord with all our hearts and souls and proclaim His Holy name before the world so many more will come to know You and serve You. Thank You for our Savior. Thank You for Your love that sent Him here to die in our place. Thank You for choosing us as Your children. We place our trust in the Lord. In Jesus name in union with the Holy Spirit we pray. Amen.


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: We were meant to Serve

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: We were meant to Serve: Luke 22:27   [Full Chapter] For who   is   greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves?   Is   it not he who sits at the table? Y...

We were meant to Serve

For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves.
But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves.
For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves.
For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.
[The Good News of Salvation ] “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the broken hearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn,
So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord.
So let it be established, that Your name may be magnified forever, saying, ‘The Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, is Israel’s God.’ And let the house of Your servant David be established before You.
Now You have been pleased to bless the house of Your servant, that it may continue before You forever; for You have blessed it, O Lord, and it shall be blessed forever.”
and said, “My Lord, if I have now found favor in Your sight, do not pass on by Your servant.
And I will bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh your hearts. After that you may pass by, inasmuch as you have come to your servant.” They said, “Do as you have said.”
And he said, “Here now, my lords, please turn in to your servant’s house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.” And they said, “No, but we will spend the night in the open square.”
[God the Sovereign Savior ] [To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David the servant of the Lord, who spoke to the Lord the words of this song on the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. And he said:] I will love You, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord redeems the soul of His servants, And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.
[The Majesty and Condescension of God ] Praise the Lord! Praise, O servants of the Lord, Praise the name of the Lord!
O Lord, truly I am Your servant; I am Your servant, the son of Your maidservant; You have loosed my bonds.
Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, So our eyes look to the Lord our God, Until He has mercy on us.
[Praising the Lord in His House at Night ] [A Song of Ascents.] Behold, bless the Lord, All you servants of the Lord, Who by night stand in the house of the Lord!
[ Polluted Offerings ] “A son honors his father, And a servant his master. If then I am the Father, Where is My honor? And if I am a Master, Where is My reverence? Says the Lord of hosts To you priests who despise My name. Yet you say, ‘In what way have we despised Your name?’
And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient,
They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: “Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true areYour ways, O King of the saints!
[ The Time Is Near ] Then he said to me, “These words are faithful and true.” And the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to show His servants the things which must shortly take place.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
My Comments: What does it mean to serve? To serve God? To be of service? This is something one ponders as they come to know the Lord and all He did for us. He did not count it wrong to come as a servant of all mankind and take upon Himself the sin of all mankind so they would be saved. He showed us how to serve in the ultimate service. Yet mankind wants to serve themselves.
We can see this is our fast society of “gimme what I want now” and  “I deserve it” mentality. To be of service to another is looked down upon, frowned upon and children are taught to do things for themselves.  Some equate serving others as losing themselves. Some think they are “less” if they serve. When all of that is untrue. One who serves is to be cherished.
We see our service men and women, police, firemen, Medical Personnel, Pastors, Missionaries and so forth serving and know those are admirable people yet so are others who serve. Mom’s serve their families all the time by giving of their time, energy and often letting go of their dreams to care for and nurture their children. Dad’s sacrifice by sometimes taking jobs or more than one job to care for and support their families and often both serve aging parents. There are all admirable qualities of self sacrificial love.
Yet the greatest servant hood is given to God through His Son Jesus. When we accept the Kingship of Jesus and become adopted into the family of God we then move into serving Father God in all we say, think and do and with all He has given and entrusted to us.
From the beginning we see mankind serving God. It is a choice to be God’s children. Moses a servant of God led the rebellious nation of Israel to safety and the Promised Land.  David became a King and though he fell he always turned back to God and served Him who created everything. We know of Missionaries who have gone to very dangerous places to reach the unsaved, to take the word of God, to serve as Jesus commanded when He said, “Go into all the World.” How does this look for us?
When we accept the salvation of Jesus, His Gospel of Redemption, acknowledge Him as Lord of our life then we accept that like Him we are servants to all in His name. Our life, goals, focus becomes what a good servants focus is… the life, goals and focus of our Lord! We word to bring others to the knowledge and salvation of Jesus and we give our all to do this. We give everything He has put at our disposal to accomplish this. We give our time, money and of ourselves as He did with a joyful heart and sometimes praying, “If this cup can be taken away from me yet not as I will but as You will Father.” If we keep our eyes on Him who gave all and keep in a strong walk with Abba Father then we will not falter and many will come to know God through our servant hood and His love through us as long as we do not buy into the worlds view of what life should look like and remember who we belong to. We were meant to serve the God of the Universe not to serve man or ourselves as the world would have us believe or as our sin nature would have us believe. The lie of Satan is to get us to believe we should be served. This is not true. We were meant to serve God by being of service to others.
Abba Father, guide us in the steps we should take, help us to be bold as we proclaim the Gospel of Jesus and keep us humbly before You. Give us strength to serve whoever You want us to and wherever You want us to. Thank You for sending Jesus Your Son to show us the way to serve You. Fill us with Your love for all who are perishing. May we find joy in serving You always. In Jesus name in union with the Holy Spirit we pray. Amen