Here Comes the Groom

Weekly Sabbath Survey
 Here Comes the Groom —  3-11-2017
Wedding traditions: every culture and ethnicity has theirs. The clothing, the ceremony, the decor, the food. Some things have roots in superstition. Like it’s ‘bad luck’ for the groom to see the bride on their wedding day until she’s walking down the aisle. Others are cultural with roots way back, like jumping the broom and throwing the bride’s garter for the lucky single guy to catch or the bride’s bouquet for the young ladies.
By God’s own design, much of what we do at weddings mirrors His laws and His plan for us. None is more obvious than the Jewish wedding ceremony. Today it’s modernized and lost some of the rich symbolism which was once a part of the ceremony. A wedding in context of the Bible will give us a great picture. It’s easy because the Yemenite Jews in Israel today still have the old, old wedding traditions.
After two families make an agreement for betrothal, the parties all sign a legal contract of marriage. The wedding ceremony is a formality and celebration, but once the legal, binding contract is signed, the couple is already man and wife. No date is set. The couple each stay with their own parents, while the groom ‘prepares a place’ for them to live. They may see each other (like dating) if they live near. When his father says the place he’s made is ready, word is passed along so the village women can begin to prepare, but only the groom’s father can say exactly when. Does any of this sound familiar?
So when The Father decides the time is right, the groom gets himself bathed and dressed to meet his bride. When the groom and his friends start walking down the street toward the bride’s home, the single girls in the entourage go along carrying oil lamps, because the groom always arrives after sundown. Villagers join them as they go along, laughing and chattering with excitement. The best man runs ahead to the bride’s home, yelling all the way, “The groom is coming! The groom is coming!!!” During this time the preceding week or so, the bride has been in a constant state of readiness every day. She had her wedding clothes and jewelry laid out and ready. She bathed each afternoon in water perfumed with oils. All she had to do was slip out of her night dress, fix her hair, put on the wedding dress, veil and jewelry. Her married friends, her sisters and her mother help get her gussied up, and she is, of course, gorgeous. She is ready for her husband’s arrival. Rev. 19:7 says “The bride has made herself ready.”
As the groom’s party approaches the young men hoist him up seated in a chair so he arrives like a king of old. The people cheer for the groom. He is the centerpiece of the wedding. He shouts his wife’s name. She comes out and is seated in a chair beside him. The Rabbi addresses them with admonitions of love and respect for one another, and prayers that many children be born to them. Then, the dancing and feasting begins and goes on into the night. The men dance together in one circle, the women in another. At some point, the groom gives the bride one end of a scarf and he holds the other. With it stretched between them, they dance. She is still veiled. After they dance, she quietly slips away into the marriage tent which was set up by their friends and furnished with food, wine, sheets and pillows, whatever they might need. The groom waits a short while, giving the bride time to remove her wedding regalia and ‘slip into something more comfortable.’  When he comes to join her, the best man stands outside the tent’s door to make sure nobody bothers or teases them. The singing and dancing and rejoicing continues far into the night.
I have no idea when or how or why our customs changed to make the bride the star of the wedding. But no matter what our customs are, when Jesus returns for His bride, He will be coming as a mighty King for a bride that adores Him and has been making herself ready for a very long time. At that moment, every eye will be fastened on The Groom.
The first time I read that the bride MADE HERSELF READY, I realized I was just sitting around waiting for the Lord to change me (like a baby’s diaper!). Not good enough!! He does change us, but at my stage in development as a Believer, I knew that very day I had to start doing some things myself!! I might make heaven like I was, His blood and all that, but if I wanted more, if I wanted to be a part of The Bride, I needed to start preparing myself. I’m still working on it!
Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to The Groom: for the marriage supper of The Lamb is come and his wife has made herself ready. He says, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, Come Lord Jesus.  Revelation 19:7, 22:17  
Scroll down for photo of modern Jewish Yemenite Bride . . .

 

Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah
Forward any WSS you feel has merit. (without changes, please)  September 2015
Comments are welcome. Subscribe or contact me at: RedHen1944@aol.com 

 

Which Field?

Weekly Sabbath Survey
Which Field?  —  3-4-2017
I have often encouraged others to see themselves as ‘in the ministry.’ All Born Again Believers are (should be) in something they know they are doing for the Lord. Taking care of elderly parent? Rearing children? Making an honest living for your family?  MINISTRY!!!  And there are other forms of ministry more recognized as such. At times, the difference lies in whether we realize what we do is ministry for the Lord. There are two “fields” where we work for Him.
The Wheat Field.  This is ministry done close to home, where enemies are bugs, lack of water, and the occasional cattle breakthrough which invades and damages your field.  Metaphorically these would be demonic interference, low level of Holy Spirit, and attacks of illness or accidents that harm people. But the worst problem is workers arguing with each other.This field is a ‘one another’ ministry. The workers occupy positions with titles defining the row they should hoe. Some teach and preach, others give comfort, and fellowship. Most of the Believers rarely venture away from the Wheat Field area.
The Battle Field.  Most (but not all) of this ministry takes place outside the confines of the fenced field. Much time away from home and family. This is the “out of the synagogue” minister Jesus talked about, beyond the four walls of The Building. Missionaries, street ministries, coffee houses, soup kitchens and other outreach. These deal with all manner of spiritual warfare with humans and devils, including at times workers from the Wheat Field who have wandered off and gotten lost in the Battlefield. This kind of ministry requires alone time with the Lord. Much prayer and study. In time these ministers “see” and “hear” truths from God like John on Patmos. They get their marching orders from God. Sometimes they bring lost lambs back to the Wheat Field. And they bring back words hard to hear, truth sometimes not believed by the Wheat People. There is a difference between “doing work” and “doing battle.” Neither ministry is easy, but warfare is the most brutal.
Some go back and forth between the two fields, working one and then rotating back to the other. But most of us have a calling and if we obey, we will stay put most of the time in that calling. It’s as the Lord leads. We grow, and eventually age naturally, so the Lord may move us into a difference venue. But for some, the Battlefield, its solitude and simplicity, is a way of life forever. Hudson Taylor in China and Amy Carmichael in India were dedicated, called to foreign missions people. They died on the Battlefield. (I urge you to research these miracle working people who overcame by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony.)
There are Battle Field workers who serve right at home. They work in their own native country, but outside the confines of organization and walls. They have contact with other Believers, but maintain their calling away from meetings and such. Some who serve this way do so a few years, even many years, then return to the old home grounds of the Wheat Field for a comfy retirement of sorts. (Servants of God never really retire!) They dispense wisdom and cheer on the younger folks. Some of them are like the old water wagon fire horses of long ago. These horses lived out their golden years in a nice pasture behind the Fire House. Whenever the fire bell started clanging, they ran to the gate with the other horses, but when they were left behind as the younger horses were chosen, when the wagons pulled away into the street the old horses would run around, bucking, pitching, snorting, stomping the ground and whinnying. They were still ready to get to the fire if they could. In their hearts they were fire horses until they died. I have known several older Godly ministers who were just like that! If someone gave them a chance to ‘say a few words’, they were always ready!
The final question here is: Do you, dear reader, know which field you are called into? There is a limited number of spiritual hoes in the Wheat Field. Many people sit around chatting with one another, but doing no actual work. If your title is “Most Faithful Pew-sitter” you need to reconsider the meaning of “ministry.”  If there is no place for you to help inside (no hoe for you), you might ask God if He is calling you outside! (Bridge ministry?  Nursing Home?)
Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. And He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.  Mark 16:15, Luke 9:2 
 
Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah
Forward any WSS you feel has merit. (without changes, please)    September 2015
Comments are welcome. Subscribe or contact me at: RedHen1944@aol.com 

 

The Worst Sin

Weekly Sabbath Survey
 The Worst Sin —  2-25–2017
Have you ever thought about what the worst sin might be? Jesus said it was blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Could it be we blaspheme when we provoke God in times of struggle and stress, instead of trusting Him? We grieve Him by being angry, turning our backs on Him rather than running to Him. It can happen and it did. Psalm 78 is an ancient ‘country song’ about stupid people disobeying and disrespecting YHVH in the WORST way: they limited Him from helping them. People still do this ALL THE TIME. Even some who call themselves Believers. Their behavior betrays them and reveals what is in their hearts.
Taking from Ps. 78: They were stubborn and rebellious. Their hearts were not right with YHVH. They were not steadfast. (Verse 8). The archers of the tribe of Ephraim deserted in the day of battle. They broke covenant with God. They did not walk in His laws and forgot His works and wonders that He had shown them. (Verse 9-11) It goes on from there! Then they remembered God, but they didn’t repent at all! They turned their back, tempted Almighty God again, and limited the Holy One of Israel. (Verse 4) That’s about as bad as it gets. They even worshipped pagan gods. (Verse 58) This is a portrayal of many of today’s Christians.
Manassah and Ephraim were Joseph’s sons born to his Egyptian wife. When it was time to give the family blessing, their grandfather Jacob (Israel) insisted on giving the First Born blessing to the younger boy—not unheard of, but not usual. The Lord had something special for this boy. The rabbis have taught for many years that Ephraim represents the Gentles who feared the Lord God through the ages, and in modern times, we Christians.
I met a Christian woman who lived many years in Israel. She told me she had a conversation at a bus stop with an old Jewish man. She asked him if it bothered him that the Christian tourists swarmed all over Israel like they do. He smiled and with a twinkle in his eye said, “No! I don’t mind them at all. Our God told us they would come.”  He quoted Jeremiah 13:6, “There shall be a day when the watchman upon Mt. Ephraim shall cry, Arise and let us go to Zion unto the Lord our God.”  In Hebrew when one says Watchmen, he is speaking of the Christians. Wow! The Jews can see us in their Book, so why can’t we?
So in these times God speaks to the Jews and Gentile Believers who both pledge their allegiance to YHVH. But we still back off, complain, and limit God. The Christians are armed and have weapons of war, because they have Yeshua the Messiah and the full power of Holy Spirit in them. Jewish people have knowledge we Gentiles NEED. We should work together without criticism. In these End Times we are seeing more of this than ever happened before. Jews and Christians doing good works by cooperating with each other. The Messianic Age is arrived!!! Jewish people are beginning to accept Yeshua who is in fact, THEIR King. And Some Believe are realizing we are missing the boat on things of God that we should be doing. And we should study with them and learn what they know of the requirements and benefits of YHVH. Jews and Us must see we are on the same team and should work together and learn from one another!
You can read in Ps. 78 beginning with verse 60. It ends with God choosing David as King. He saved the day, and bought righteousness back to Israel.  David is a “type” of Jesus. When Jesus/Yeshua comes again, He will make everything right!  But for now, we should stop limiting God in today’s world!
I pray you will read Psalm 78 for yourself.  And as you do, don’t just think it’s about  them (the Jews) because it is very much about Christians, as well.  The Bible (ALL of it ) is one size fits all. 

 

Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah
Forward any WSS you feel has merit. (without changes, please)    July  2015
Comments are welcome. Subscribe or contact me at: RedHen1944@aol.com

 

Happiness for Real

Weekly Sabbath Survey
 Happiness For Real — 2-18-2017
“Bloom Where You’re Planted.”  Back 40 years ago, that was “code” for, “Now that you’ve been fired up in the Lord, stay in your same church and don’t mess up status quo, no matter how bad it is.”  You can guess this was a desperate attempt to keep newly Spirit-led denominational people from jumping ship. Some stayed, others left. Some went back, others went forward. Each had to figure out what was best for them and their family, and what made them happy.
But, this upheaval gave birth to a new denomination: The Non-Denominational (Charismatic) Church. In the beginning our services were REAL church!  The ‘new’ music was so beautiful and powerfully anointed, people got saved, healed and delivered during the worship! At times the anointing of Holy Spirit was thick as a cloud. God just did His thing as the people prayed for each other and needs were met. The preacher moved among the people ministering. There was no need for preaching on one of those days! But, eventually the leaders saw this free-for-all church caused some people to run out the door almost screaming. We learned that big challenges to Status Quo were counter productive to some people’s happiness. We needed to be more NORMAL. So, enter the ‘seeker friendly’ version of Charismatic Church. I know people who attended ‘charismatic’ churches for years and never knew it was full of tongue-talkers, including the pastor! This “church” no longer uses that term, and has become mostly the same old church we had before the Charismatic Renewal Church got plastic surgery!  Even most of the music has little anointing now. But, there are a lot of BIG churches now, and the people are “happy.”  
For some of us, happy means joyful. Life is good. For others it means attaining a certain goal. (Or holding on to Status Quo!) But when goals are reached, the happiness of that fades quickly. The Lord wants Believers to learn happiness is not something obtained from outside circumstances. It comes from the inside. True JOY is found in knowing the Lord, His Holy Spirit inside us, and the joy we get from the accomplishments of other people. This makes true happiness in our hearts. People who enjoy the achievements of others are as happy as if they had achieved it themselves. Counting our blessings is more than a song; it’s an exercise in thanksgiving. Tony made it through a bad cancer event. The grandchildren are healthy and growing up to be great kids. My two sons, daughter-in-law and step-daughter are a blessing! I have some good friends that I can trust. My life has been difficult at times, exciting at times, peaceful at times, but never boring! I am happy.
Joy also comes from small things around us. My patio plants I tend every day, my little dogs that I love. A good meal cooked for my family. A jar of pickled eggs I ‘put up’ myself. The smell of clean laundry as I fold it. Soaking in my hot tub. A mist that rises from my garden at sunup. My rooster crowing. The days I have energy, my mind feels bright, not much pain, and bodily systems seem to be working correctly. All this is contentment money cannot buy.
Do I have bad days? Who doesn’t ??  I lived in excellent health all my adult life until about 55. I began to have little things go wrong—little aches and pains that got bigger. And all the docs could offer was lots of bad drugs. I have kept that to a minimum by my own quest for relief in natural remedies. It has been an adventure but I’m still going. Not going too strong, but going. Outdoor activities in winter, that I like to do, are hard for me. It pains me to relinquish control. I want to do everything myself. Asking for help is a frustrating, humbling process. (God is working to make me ready for my last ‘trip’.) I try to be happy that there are those around me who are willing to help me! And I pray for Spring when my body will feel happier again, too!
We must do our best to be happy right where you are. On my worst days, I don’t like to complain to God or beg Him to help me (or just take me!). I want to tell Him I am glad that if I died right now, I KNOW I will be with Him. (“To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” (2 Cor. 5:8)  Life is a simple matter of choosing to be as happy as we possibly can. It’s our decision to be happy. It’s as plain and easy as “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”  Or, more Biblical, “Rejoice that your name is written in The Book of Life.”
           
The Lord takes care of me so I don’t want for anything. He gives me rest and makes the storms of life easier for me.  He sets a table for me with all of life’s goodness and pleasure to choose from.  He pours His Spirit over me. My happiness is running over the top!  Psalm 23  (paraphrased). 

 

Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah
Forward any WSS you feel has merit. (without changes, please)     August 2015
Comments are welcome. Subscribe or contact me at: RedHen1944@aol.com 
 
 
 
     
 
 

 

The Cross

Weekly Sabbath Survey
The Cross —  2-4-2016
Just exactly what IS The Cross? For some it’s a piece of jewelry or an item of household decor, that speaks to the “Christian” faith. In the beginning, years before the birth of Jesus, it was already the Roman equivalent of our electric chair (Ol’ Sparky). It was an instrument of death, for execution of criminals and/or politically incorrect persons. It was not used as a Christian symbol (in churches) until it was no longer an instrument of torture/death. So, how has it come to us worn on chains around our necks? Tattooed on our arms? The cross is a symbol of Believers in every tribe and tongue, recognized the world over. But what SHOULD it mean to us?  Just what is the real meaning of the cross in the life of a Born Again Spirit-led Believer?
First we must dispel the idea that the cross is the end of something. The end of suffering, the end of searching, the end of sickness, the end of pain, the end of sin, the end of crying, grief and mourning. Sometimes when we are trying to lead a person to the Lord, we make it sound like that. “Your troubles will be over when you come to Jesus.” I hope I won’t shock my readers by saying, NONE of these things END when we get saved. The rain still falls on just and unjust. Another important truth is this: Salvation is free, the gift of God through His son. Free, but not cheap. It is the most valuable gift anybody ever gave you! Guard it with your life!
The cross is The Beginning:  Of a new life, a blessed life, a life with holy peace, a life with hope, a life that will grow and change. Will our loved ones still die; will we grieve when they do? Yes. Will we suffer financially at times? Possibly. Will we have illnesses? Probably. Will we still sin? Definitely—surely In thought, word and/or deed!  (Please, Stay with me here!)
Once we come to the cross and are saved, the next step is to Get On It. Whoa!!!  What??? Jesus preached the most horrible sermon message there ever was: “Come Die with Me.” It means you were a slave and have been bought. A high price was paid for you. It was the blood and the life of Jesus! So you no longer belong to yourself, you belong to Him, The Master. And, you must now follow His example. Go to the cross often and die a little there every time you do. [Gal. 2:20]  As soon as we are Born Again, we have our new life, but the old one is still hanging around. It dies slowly. On the Cross. The cross was His destiny. Now it is ours. We must die daily from now on, and yet go on to be a living sacrifice for Him. This fulfills the destiny The Father has for us. [1 Cor. 15:31] This is what Paul called “being made conformable unto His death.” [Phil 3:10] The more we get rid of our old self, the more room there is for our new self to grow.
Paul also taught that we must be conformed [molded, shaped] into the image of Jesus. [Rom. 8:29]. This would not make us a photo or statue of Him, but an exact duplication!  (The word “Christian” means “Little Christ” or more correctly “Little Messiah/Savior.) Paul also said we should not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds. So there are times at the foot of the cross when we worship or cry for help, but the real Christian Power Life comes from hanging on it while our enemies do their worst. This would be the definition of “Living Sacrifice.” Even those nauseating rides on the Potter’s Wheel, belly of the whale, whatever— all part of God’s transformation. This process of dying to self, living the life of The Cross, is ongoing for the rest of our time on Earth. Each trip we make to hang on the cross we come away stronger than before. And, we go forth filled with the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead!
One last parting thought:  I have learned almost as much from my detractors as I have from my teachers. It was the enemies of Jesus who put Him on the cross, but some of His ‘friends’ were yelling, “Crucify Him!!” These people were unwitting tools of God to accomplish His PLAN. Love your enemies and pray for those that despitefully use you and persecute you.  [Matt. 5:44 ]
The mystery which was hidden for many generations is now made known:  which is, Christ in you, the Hope of Glory.  Colossians 1:26-27
 
Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah                                                     
Copyright  August 2016
WSS’s are posted and archived for viewing

 

 

Parable of the Hen’s Egg

Weekly Sabbath Survey
Parable of the Hen’s Egg —  1-28-2017
Hens Acre Farm has around 30 laying hens and 2 roosters. They’re a blessing. Not just for the eggs but because the Lord teaches me things through them. They have a little society operating in the flock, like a village. The white rooster is the mayor, and the ol’ red roo is mayor emeritus. A dear friend encouraged me to write about the comparison of God’s ministry and the work of the laying hen. While these ladies may ‘go broody’ and want to hatch babies, this is not their primary function. They are here to produce eggs. As Christians, some of us are just automatically drawn to Baby Christians. They may actually be children or they can be newly Born Again adults. Either way, the work is intense and many times, the hours are long. If we had to name this type of chicken, they would be the shepherds, caretakers, Sunday School teachers. They are continually taking care of people.
A minister/preacher with the call to produce fruit, would be like a laying hen. Not the motherly type so much, but a producer of food. They preach the sermons, write the books, do the Bible studies. They are more about God and His Word than dealing with people and their problems (although they do some of that, too.) The problem with the ‘laying hen’ ministry is our society is very results oriented. We put in our dollar, push the right button, and expect a Coke to drop out. When I was preaching I could see who was paying attention and who was snoozing or zoning out. I would find the ones who were making eye contact and look from one to the other. I wanted results and those people with open eyes were it. Now that I’m writing most of what God gives me to say, there isn’t always apparent results. (I counsel and mentor by telephone, e-mail and in person, so get results those ways.)  But this writing thing is kind of a shot in the dark. Many times, I don’t know if I have hit anything! Thinking too much about results can lead to discouragement, even depression. You get the blues. Start thinking, what’s the use??  Is there even anybody out there?
The laying hen begins her day with search for food. The Believer Hen (you guys pretend here) must be well nourished (in God’s Word) to produce the most “eggs” and most nutritious. If I write something that isn’t God-breathed, it will not help anybody. Once the hen has the inspiration for laying her egg, she finds a quiet place (usually a nest box provided by the farmer) and sits for a spell. Once she lays her egg, she soon jumps out of the nest and begins to cackle. This is her happy dance, the moment of joy at producing her egg. Bock, bock, bock, pea-gock!  She wanders into the yard does a couple more bock, bocks, and then starts foraging for food again. The other chickens pay no attention to her, she’s celebrating on her own.
In the ministry, we do the same thing. We hear from God, get in quiet place to pray about what we will say or write. When we ‘deliver’ our message, we have a moment of euphoria, a joy at having produced something for the Lord. The hen has no idea what happens to her egg. In fact she has already forgotten about it before it has cooled off. She did her thing and moved on. The next day she does it all again. This is where we mess up. Getting too mentally involved with what good we did or didn’t do. What has happened to that person in a cafe we prayed with for salvation?  Did anybody read what we wrote?  Did somebody that really needed it actually “get it” for the first time? Did 50% of the congregation sleep through my sermon? And there we are, depressed and feeling useless because we don’t know what the Divine Farmer did with our egg.
The cure is to get back in there and write another egg!! Or, prepare for the next speaking engagement. Get with the Lord for inspiration on what comes next for you. Press quickly on to the next thing God tells you to do. Don’t just sit there and worry yourself sick over whether your ministry is of any value. If God called you, your ministry is valuable.
One more thing: when the hen has laid her clutch, which is all the eggs her body had ready to produce in a cycle, she takes a REST. Setting hens want to hatch the babies at this time. They rest sitting on their eggs. The laying hen (not setter) stops laying, and she will lose feathers (called molting). She makes new feathers while resting from making eggs. If God made even chickens to rest from their ministry, why do we think we can go on and on forever without rest? We get ministry burnout. People in ordained-by-man ministry do this all the time. The amateurs have a better track record, I think. Maybe because we go on without man’s approval and maybe even his disapproval, we have a lesser need for the applause as time goes on. Even Jesus rested from constant ministry, drawing Himself away from the crowds.
Take my yoke [of ministry] upon you, and let me teach you: for I am gentle and humble, and you shall find rest for your souls; for the yoke I give fits comfortably and the burden I give is light. Matthew 11:29-30

 

Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah                                                     
Copyright  August 2016

 

Lifter of My Head

Weekly Sabbath Survey
Lifter of My Head —  1-21-2017
Years ago I heard about a person who was really “down on their luck.’  From a good family, grew up in the Christian faith. Initial launch into adult life went well. But fortunes turned. This person was on the ropes, spiritually and every other way. And singing the “Somebody Done Me Wrong” song. (I know the words by heart!) There is only one counsel to give a Believer in this shape. It is a sort of ‘do or die’ prospect of giving God full control of our life. We must accept the blood of Calvary as a covering for our sins. This was told to this once faithful Christian. The miserable person flew into a tirade, blurting, “I am not an evil person who needs somebody else to die for my sins! I am in control of my own life. I don’t need help from anybody!”
A TV doc might say here, “How’s that working out for you?”  Or, maybe Sponge Bob, even more cruel with, “Well, good luck with that!”  It’s heart breaking to see people so overwhelmed and unable, even unwilling, to accept the honest truth of what the devil and their own willfulness is doing to their life. They press on and claim to be the master of their fate, the captain of their soul. They need no help—divine or otherwise. (Except when they “borrow” money from you.) They don’t need a Savior. They are adrift on a stormy sea in a leaky boat. No life preserver, no provisions for survival. Eventually they must forsake the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. [1 John 2:16] They cannot stay in denial of their extreme circumstances. There’s a line in a Bob Dylan song: “When you gonna wake up and strengthen the things that remain?” Even if we do lose everything, we must strengthen our hope of heaven, our trust in Jesus!
We may learn the Good News as children, but at some point we need to HEAR the Bad News. Sometimes, possessed with only the Good News, we find it of little value and declare ourselves “The Boss of Me.” We put Jesus in chains, throw Him into a hidden place until later when we die and need Him to punch our ticket into Heaven. Meanwhile, we sail the seas of life in storms and weather fair, thinking we are OK because we still have our head above the water. Some of us are in the leaky boat and some are absolutely on the Titanic. Hear the Bad News: All have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. There is none righteous, not even ONE. What can wash away my sin?  Nothing but the blood of Jesus!!!
He promised to take our heavy burdens. In Bible days, men walked along the dusty roads, some carrying large bundles on their backs, bent over under the weight their faces looking at the ground. There was no UPS, no delivery service. Rich people had camels. Poor people carried the load themselves. At the time, another person traveling light might offer to carry some of the load for another. The person would say with joy, “Friend, you are the lifter of my head!” Many times they didn’t even know each other. That line became a Jewish idiom for being a great help to another. Jesus wants to help us with the load we carry. He wants to be the Lifter of Our Head. He promised that His load is always lighter than ours.
It’s sometimes hard to TRUST God, even when we are saved. But when we finally do, it will change our life forever!! Your faith becomes trust, and your trust becomes grace, and your grace becomes PEACE, even in the storms. Faith is difficult. It is work. Trust is a simple surrender, but even then it takes a great push on our part to get there. Then, grace slips us into that wonderful peace. It comes fully as a gift God gives. We should never have to work for it. It is a Peace that passes understanding. A peace that given our circumstances, doesn’t make sense! These are lessons we learn over and over in life. We forget, and the Lord has to remind us of what we learned before. Life is school and will be until the day we “graduate.” All the while we are going back and forth between ‘we know it’ and ‘we forgot it,’ He is our protector, and our righteousness, and the bearer of all our burdens.

Lord, how things that trouble me are increased. Many say of me, “There is no help for him in God.” But Thou, O Lord, are a shield for me; my glory and the lifter of my head.  Psalm 3:1-3 

 

Charlene Reams Manning, Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah                                                     
Copyright  July 2016
WSS’s are posted and archived for viewing