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The Seed of Eve

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God’s Thoughts to Me

Had Jesus Christ been born as you and I were born, by natural conception through the line of Adam, He too would have been in Adam (The Mystery of Godliness, Maj. Ian W Thomas).

Introduction

imageI am delighted today to introduce my dear brother and friend, Joseph Pote. Joe is an avid Bible student since childhood and teaches Sunday School.

He lives with his wife and 12 year old son on a farm outside Hope, Arkansas, U.S.A. Joe is a structural engineer and has agreed to honor me today by being a guest writer at my blog. To visit Joe, just click on his picture. Thank you, friend, and over to you..

Born of a Virgin

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Impossible, yet, it happened…the virgin birth of Christ, an essential part of God’s plan of salvation.

We will look at three specific reasons for the virgin birth:

  1. to identify Jesus as the Messiah (Christ)
  2. to qualify Jesus as our Kinsman-Redeemer
  3. to illustrate how Jesus delivers us

Identifying Jesus as Messiah

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold a virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and she will call His name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)

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Christ’s virgin birth fulfilled the prophesy that Jesus is the Messiah. It could only be made possible by God and was chosen as a sign to prove that Jesus is Christ…Immanuel…God with us.

Qualifying Jesus to be our Kinsman-Redeemer

And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel. (Genesis 3:15)

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This first Messianic prophecy was spoken by God, to the serpent, after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. God promised a coming Redeemer even before He banished them from the garden.

…her seed…

In scripture, the seed is pictured as coming from the man, while the woman’s womb is pictured as a fertile environment for the seed to develop into a child. Yet here God speaks of the woman’s seed.

Before creation God had already planned for Messiah to be conceived without an earthly father…to be born of a virgin. Jesus is the seed of the woman.

And I will put enmitybetween your seed and her seed…

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The seed of the woman is Jesus Christ. Who is the seed of the serpent?

Jesus said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do.

You are doing the deeds of your father. … You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him.

Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies…” (John 8:39-45 – emphasis mine)

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The seed of the serpent are those who do the deeds of Satan…those who are at enmity with God…those who walk in sin. The seed of the serpent are all the descendants of Adam who reject Jesus as Christ (1 John 5:1&19).

Adam was created in covenant with God (Genesis 1:27 & 2:7, Hosea 6:7). When Adam sinned, he entered into covenant with the kingdom of darkness.

This is the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil…being in covenant with both good and evil.

Remember those fictional stories about people making deals with the devil then despairing because Satan gained legal right to their souls?

This was the issue facing mankind after Adam’s fall…the devil had legal claim over Adam’s soul.

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In the Old Testament, covenant is a father-to-son inheritance. The sons inherited not only the father’s property, but also his covenant relationships, including his debts.

So, not only was Adam in covenant with evil…so were all his descendants. What a seemingly hopeless situation! How can we escape an evil legacy inherited from birth? Every human child is born into Adam’s covenant with evil.

Every child…except Jesus!

Jesus was born of a virgin! Jesus is the seed of the woman, conceived with no earthly father from whom to inherit Adam’s covenant.

Conceived of the Holy Spirit, Jesus was born in covenant with God but not in covenant with evil.

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As the only descendant of Adam born with no covenant ties to the kingdom of darkness, only Jesus was qualified to act as our Kinsman-Redeemer. Only Jesus could redeem us from the kingdom of darkness.

For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:13-14)

“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone,
A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed.

He who believes in it will not be disturbed.
I will make justice the measuring line
And righteousness the level;

Then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies
And the waters will overflow the secret place.

Your covenant with death will be canceled,
And your pact with Sheol will not stand… (Isaiah 28:16-18)

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Only Jesus was qualified to be our Kinsman-Redeemer, and His virgin birth was an essential part of God’s plan of redemption.

Illustrating how Jesus would Deliver Us

Every first-born male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord. (Luke 2:23)

Luke quoted from the book of Exodus to explain the infant consecration of Jesus.  This edict was given to Israel after the plague of the death of the first-born of Egypt.

In memory of God’s deliverance, they were to consecrate all first-born males to the Lord.

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Like many aspects of the Old Testament, this law also carried a foreshadowing of the coming Messiah and was only completely fulfilled in Jesus.

Every first-born male that opens the womb…

Of the many first-born males in Israel, only one opened the womb as Jesus did. A betrothed Israeli virgin expected the physical barrier to her womb to be opened on her wedding night.

That was the night where the bride and groom became one flesh … the passion and intimacy of love by which the marital blood covenant was consummated.

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This rending of the barrier is essential for conception of a child. Jesus, however, was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin. The barrier to Mary’s womb was intact until the time of Jesus’ birth.

John, speaking of the uniqueness of Christ’s birth, said,

This is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood.

And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that bear witness, the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. (1 John 5:6-8)

Only Jesus is truly a “…first-born male that opens the womb…called holy to the Lord.”

So…what does this have to do with Jesus delivering us?

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In scripture, the womb is often used as a metaphor for Sheol, the place of the dead.  Sheol is pictured as a place of constriction where the Old Testament saints were confined, awaiting deliverance, much as a baby is confined in the womb.

The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up;
His sin is stored up.

The pains of childbirth come upon him;
He is not a wise son,

For it is not the time that he should delay at the opening of the womb.
Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol?
Shall I redeem them from death?

O Death, where are your thorns?
O Sheol, where is your sting? (Hosea 13:12-14)

The latter part of this passage was quoted by Paul as having been victoriously fulfilled in Jesus Christ.  Paul also said of Jesus:

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He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything (Colossians 1:18 – emphasis mine).

Jesus, who opened the womb, also opened the tomb. He is the first-born who opened the womb for His younger siblings to follow…and He is the first-resurrected who opened the gates of Death for His people to follow.

A midwife delivers a baby by working from the outside to assist the baby out of the womb into the mother’s arms.

Jesus delivers by joining us in our place of bondage and leading us out into liberating relationship with the Father.

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In His birth, Jesus opened the womb. In His death, Jesus opened the Holy of Holies, rending the temple veil both on earth and in Heaven. In His resurrection, Jesus opened the gates of Sheol.

Through Jesus Christ, our Deliverer, we are truly born again!

Hallelujah, what a Savior!

From what bondage has Jesus redeemed and delivered you?

Joe

Thanks again so much , dear Joe. I am linking this post at some of the places on my Tea Time and Link-Up Page.

Tribute to Madiba

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God’s Thoughts to Me

The kings of the earth prepare for battle; the rulers plot together against the Lord and against His anointed One.

“Let us break their chains,” they cry, “and free ourselves from slavery to God.”
(Psalm 2:1-3, NLT)

Two Humble Men

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My country is in mourning. Thursday evening at 21:50, Tata Madiba has gone to be with His Lord! Tata, we are going to miss you! Now you know true freedom!

I wrote this post at the time when the South African Reserve Bank introduced our new set of banknotes nearly a year ago to honor this great man of boundless integrity.

I offer this post as a tribute to Madiba who lived humility, love, forgiveness and servanthood for he was a leader who always descended to the level of the person he served. He was a leader who washed the feet of his country:

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This week our beautiful rainbow nation, South Africa, was blessed by the South African Reserve Bank with a new set of banknotes.

On the one side it bears the renowned image of President Nelson Mandela and the other side, South Africa’s famous Big Five: the lion, elephant, rhinoceros, leopard and the buffalo.

My husband had the privilege of visiting Madiba twice at his modest home in the small Transkei village, Qunu, on provincial government meetings.

Tata Madiba's Qunu Residence

Tata Madiba’s Qunu Residence

He was overwhelmed by this gentle man who was truly larger than life. Mr Mandela was a humble man who taught South Africa the blessedness of forgiveness and he lived the truth of considering others as more important than himself.

Being the chief of his Xhosa clan, the villagers visited him often to ask him to settle disputes amongst them as was their custom.

To show their gratitude and respect, these humble, poor folk would bless him with a chicken or a goat. He received their gifts with heartfelt thankfulness.

Traditional Xhosa Women Dancing

Traditional Xhosa Women Dancing

On a state visit to England, Madiba was the guest of Queen Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip, at Buckingham Palace where he surprised the palace household staff by making his own bed in the mornings.

When told that there was enough palace staff to do these menial tasks, he replied that it was an old Robben Island habit he had not been able to unlearn yet.

Madiba was one of only two people that did not address the Queen as “Her Majesty”, but called her by her first name and got away with it! The other one, her husband, of course!

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I was always impressed by how this famous and great statesman always preferred to write with and sign documents with the cheapest pen we have in South Africa, a Bic pen.

A Jewish boy once personally delivered an invitation to Mr Mandela at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, to attend his Bar-Mitzvah.

Although Madiba did not know this young man from a bar of soap, he graciously accepted and attended the celebrations.

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During his term as the President of our country, he once queried a higher amount of money on his pay slip.When told it was his annual salary increase, he told his staff that he did not need more money for he lacked nothing.

That increase birthed the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. I am delighted that this fund is currently building the Nelson Mandela Children’s hospital.

One of his prison wardens during his imprisonment on Robben Island once told the story of how they all went together to church on Sundays for there was only this one small chapel on the island. They kneeled together and prayed together.

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After his release, they stayed friends. Years later, when the warden passed away, Madiba personally went to Cape Town to attend the funeral and console the widow.

Men of his stature and integrity are few and far between and very hard to find amongst politicians and Heads-of-State. His love for his country and all South Africans went way beyond any racial issues.

It saddens me to see the once beautiful dream South Africans had for a new South Africa now lying scattered amongst the reality of political unrest, violent crime and strikes, vandalism, murder, rape, domestic violence and drug abuse.

Robben Island

Robben Island

I hope that the Mandela family hid this sad state of affairs from Madiba as far as possible while he was an old and frail man. Yet, his lion heart could never be contained through old age.

G.K. Chesterton, an English writer, once remarked,”Once abolish the God and the government becomes god.” Wise words, for man was never created with the ability to govern himself or function independently from our Pappa.

Man was created as a finite spiritual being who derives his spiritual nature either from our Lord Jesus or the prince of the world; that greedy power-hungry destroyer of humanity.

He is the father of all systems and structures where power is abused, whether it be political, economical, social or religious.

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He deceives the power-hungry humanity into accepting a couterfeit security, for most people do not truly know that their Pappa loves them passionately.

Yet, Madiba was a man who was locked-up in prison for nearly a third of his life on earth. He came out and showed forgiveness in stark contrast with most of the power-hungry leaders of our continent.

What saddens me even more is the hurt and sorrow humans cause their Heavenly Father by paying allegiance to the father of all lies.

Madiba and Francois Pienaar in 1997 when South Africa won the Rugby World Cup

Madiba and Francois Pienaar in 1997 when South Africa won the Rugby World Cup

Not only do they destroy themselves, but also the beautiful creation He prepared as a gift for the crown of His creation, man! We are mostly ignorant of our folly.

Yet, He still became human just like us, He humbled Himself and paid the price for our freedom from our slavery to that cruel slave master.

In following in his Master’s footsteps, Nelson Mandela, reflected this true Picture  of humility.

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Madiba as Prisoner on Robben Island

I wish we could, like the Mandela family, hide man’s foul revolt from our Pappa to save Him all that anguish, heartache and sorrow!

Much love and sweet blessings xx

Mia

This is an edited repost.

Knocking on Heaven’s Door

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God’s Thoughts to Me

The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me (Galatians 2:20, NIV).

Immediately the father of the child cried out and said,”I believe; help my unbelief (Mark 9:24, ESV)”.

Enoch’s Secret

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There was a nagging thought that had the habit of pestering me every Sunday after church, “What makes you any different from all the people who walk the aisles of the grocery store when the first thing you do after church is walking with them along the same aisles in the same store?”

My heart was compelled by a persistent still small voice urging me to find the reason for this thief stealing my pseudo peace.

I had no idea that it was our Pappa convicting me through the avenues of my conscience about my hypocrisy.

This peace had the abilty to make me feel smugly superior to these poor lost souls. I know now that it was only a fabrication of the latest great gospel songs we sang at church. Music does have the ability to lull the soul. And today’s gospel music has a great beat and melody.

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I envied Enoch who knew the secret of just walking with God and I did the only thing I knew how to do well. I went knocking on heaven’s door, imploring Pappa to teach me Enoch’s secret.

And my Pappa answered!! I admitted to Him and Him alone, alongside many voices through the ages, that I had no idea what true faith really was!

I lamented alongside Mike Yaconelli, “I had totally misunderstood the Christian faith. I came to see that it was in my brokeness, in my powerlessness, in my weakness that Jesus was made strong. It was in my acceptance of my lack of faith that God could give me faith (Abba’s Child)”.

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Together with the father of the boy with the evil spirit, I cried out to our heavenly Father,”I believe; help my unbelief (Mark 9:24)”.

Our Pappa tenderly showed me how I desperately tried to manufacture faith through striving very hard, on my own, in the flesh. What a futile endeavor!

He knew of my fear of being included in the crowd who were chided by Jesus, “You faithless people! How long must I be with you?” (Mark 9:19).

He knew of my uncertainties and insecurities that made me believe our Lord was speaking to me in particular. He was well aware that in my vocabulary and my mind, “faithless” meant, “unlovable, useless, nuisance, shameful” and so forth!

When I came to that place where I had to admit defeat, our Pappa showed me the beauty of relationship. He didn’t give me faith as an entity per se; He gave me Himself.

The deep longing to desire Him and love Him, and then to love Him and desire Him even more, was the answer to my persistent prayers of years ago! Truth be told, I didn’t think I was worthy or important enough for Him to listen to my prayers, let alone, respond to my requests.

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First, He patiently had to remove the veil of law still covering my mind. The glorious truth and understanding of grace were veiled in my heart.

Like a bridegroom removes his bride’s veil, He removed the veil that prevented my heart from KNOWING His love … His grace … His mercy and compassion.

He gave me the wedding gift of receptiveness to receive Him into my longing heart and taught me the secrets of any relationship of love.

He convinced me that to get to know one another, I had to share with Him not only my life, but also my heart with all its secrets and my depreciating thoughts of myself.

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I willingly had to open the door of my heart to the room where a little girl was still hiding in fear, rejection and pain. I had to allow Him to gather her in His arms and heal her with His Kisses of Delight.

I had to dare to believe that He truly loved me unconditionally before I was able to show Him my spiritual nakedness and allow Him to clothe me with His righteous robe of His blood and redemption.

He whisked me off my feet to our private garden where He showed me the beauty of true love … where He overwhelmed me with His grace and forgiveness.

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He taught me Enoch’s secret of how to walk with Him, living in His Loving Embrace.

Much love and sweet blessings XX

Mia

Linking-up with

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At My Beloved’s Table

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God’s Thoughts to Me

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! (Galatians 5::22, NLT).

Living in My Beloved

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My Beloved Lord Jesus, living in you and you in me, transformed my heart, allowing me to feast on the spiritual delights of your love.

Where selfishness were the reigning monarch of my soul,  you have created colorful blossoms of joy.

Where the storms of life threatened to destroy my life on the rocks of turmoil, the gentle breeze of your patience has steered my heart to still, calm waters.

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Where the stormy dark clouds of my petulance, blocked the sunshine of your heart, your brilliant, patient smile melted the crust of ice enveloping my soul.

Where rudeness was my fortress of protection against the hurt and sorrow of this world, your kindness demolished those walls of lies and brought me to the safe tower of  your gentleness and kindness.

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When you could only catch a glimmer of faith in my heart, as I was fearing and fleeing from your pursuing love, your faithfulness brought me back to the vineyard of your affection.

Where I was the captain of my soul, you were the captor who took control and gently uprooted my independence and grafted me into the vine … into your life … into your Loving Embrace.

Much love xx

Mia

I am again linking-up with

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The Narrow Path to Life

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God’s Thoughts to Me

There is a way which seems right to man, but its end is the way of death (Proverbs 14:12, NIV).

For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ (Philippians 3:18, NLT).

You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad and the gate is wide for the many who chose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it (Matthew 7:13-14, NLT).

Enemies of The Cross

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A few years ago I was struck by this verse in Philippians like a fist between the eyes. I was filled with fear and dread, but didn’t realize this time it was the good kind … the kind of fear that is the beginning of wisdom (Proberbs 9:10), a gift of grace!

I knew I seriously had to make it my serious business to find out what Paul meant by being an enemy of the cross. I remember pleading with my husband, just like Paul did, for I realized we were not on the narrow path that leads to life.

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That fear brought me to another Man; the Man who is God. Yes, this Man is our Lord Jesus … the one who repeatedly told us that He is telling us the truth. Actually, this incredible God-man is Truth Himself.

He was teaching us about two gates and two roads: the narrow gate vs the wide gate and, the narrow road vs the highway to hell! And I knew the Truth was telling me truth I couldn’t ignore.

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Today I admire our Pappa’s sense of humor for allowing this illness in my life to physically bring me to that place where I was so weak and totally unable to do what I was so very skilled at: trying to earn everybody’s love … including Pappa’s.

For I was the personification of a religious busy bee, serving in as many ministries as I was able to. I craved love and would do anything to be accepted by God’s people!

Until the day arrived when I realized that there was only one man who ever was and ever will be able to live the righteous life our Pappa required, our magnificent Lord Jesus.

Just before He gave His spirit into His Pappa’s safekeeping, He uttered His famous words, “It is finished (John 19:30)”. Everything is done and dusted and there is nothing we can add to His sacrifice, the one He has made once, for everyone through all the ages of time.

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We can only come to Him and abide in Him, moment by moment, with receptive hearts, which, by the way, is also a gift from His generous hand.

This is not an easy concept for a performance driven society. Oh, and what sounds more noble than working and serving, all for the cause of His Kingdom.

He did everything that was necessary to reconcile our Pappa to His creation and was inviting all with ears to listen and to hear to enter into His resurrected life, fully pardoned and reconciled to Him.

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This illness brought me to a place where I was finally able to make a drastic u-turn on that dreaded highway to destruction, the beautifully paved path of religion and return to my Pappa’s house.

I was truly crying by the Rivers of Babylon where I was sitting down at the time. I was unable to sing the Lord’s song in that strange land, lost in the streets of the great harlot, Mystery Babylon. (Psalm 137:1).

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But I could hear my Pappa’s still, small voice calling me,”Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins (Revelation 18:4)”.

Our Lord was telling us through the illustration of the two paths, the complete dichotomy between the narrow path of grace vs the broad way of religion.. He explicitly told us that He and He ALONE is the only Way … the only Truth … the only Life!

Actually, truth be told, Christianity is Christ! “Christ IN me, my hope of glory” (Colssians 1:27).

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And it filled me with wonder to know that our Lord who was crucified and raised to life again, was now living in me! What an amazing, incredible privilege!

I have come to realize that the most inviting of these two gates is definitely the gate of religion. It appeals to the sensuous pride of man. Oh, we are so fond of trying to earn everything in life! We need the humbleness of our Lord to overcome that great monster called Pride.

It makes us feel so important and in control. But this is just a false security, a shaky foundation on which to build. It takes only one storm to demolish the house of religion. And then you have to start building all over again … and again … and again!

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I knew I had to make a choice! I had to choose between the narrow gate and the wide gate … the narrow road and the wide path, God or Satan, Christianity or religion.

Only as I live in my Lord Jesus and He in me, will I ever be able to partake of His blood that was spilled for us and His body that was broken on the cross.

Trying to earn this wine and bread was the different way Paul spoke of when he warned the Galatians. I have come to realize this different way, the one that is socially much more acceptable, is a deception straight from the evil one.

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This is the way that makes us enemies of the cross, for everytime we try to earn His favor, everytime we succumb to the temptation to place ourselves under any law again, we are cut off from Jesus … cut off from grace.

We are then isolated from the Fountain of Life, still trapped in the lie that we are able to determine independently what good and evil are!

We are unknowingly and unintentionally nullifying the power of the cross. We are fooled by those who twist the truth of Christ. We are listening to a different gospel that is not the Gospel at all!

It is a lie that robs us of the joy of living daily nestled in His Loving Embrace!

Much love xx

Mia

I am linking-up with

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The Shadow of The King

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God’s Thoughts to Me

Those who live in the shelter of the most High, will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: “He is my refuge, my place of safety. He is my God and I trust Him” (Psalm 91:1-2, NLT).

For these rules are only shadows of the reality to come. and Christ Himself is that reality. (Colossians 2:17, NLT).

They serve in a system of worship that is only a copy, a shadow of the real one in heaven (Hebrews 8:5, NLT).

A Sabbath Rest

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The apostle Paul had a hard time with the first believers in the epistile to the Hebrews. He needed the patience and endurance of a Job when he wrote the letter to the forever nursing baby believers.

They seemed to be unable and slow to understand the better things in our Lord Jesus and wanted to revert back to their old religious system under the law of Moses. Their minds were still veiled, unable to comprehend that it was all only the shadow of the King!

I have been searching in vain for a long time for the wings of our Pappa. I craved the shelter of His love … the rest of the Shadow of His Presence. I couldn’t understand why I never seemed to be able to find that safe place of refuge, for I was trying my utmost best … yet … not a single step of progress was made. Until … I suffered a severe case of total  burn-out.

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Did I learn my lesson the first time? No ways! The futile, useless cycle started again when I recovered enough to try again! I was like King Nebuchadnezzar who roamed the fields for 7 years. And just like him, after my time had passed, I looked up to heaven, when my sanity returned (Daniel 4:33).

According to Wikki Answers a shadow is formed when an opaque object blocks the travel of light. Light travels in straight lines and any barrier along its path averts the rays striking the barrier. This forms a region of darkness, shaped like the surface of the object obstructing the light.

The verses from the epistle to the Hebrews became alive to me and I knew that I was still dwelling in the shadow of the Law of religious traditions, ways and efforts. And to me … oh well … it looked like the real deal!

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What an incredible burden I carried, breaking me down one step at a time. Mix that with my well-meant heroic efforts to impress my Pappa, I was cooking a poisonous brew, just like Snow White’s stepmother. It guarantees to kill with just one bite! And just like that disastrous apple, it all looked so beautiful and delicious … so … just right!

Crying out to Pappa, light dawned from heaven, expelling the darkness clouding my mind and understanding. I have sold my heart to a shadow of our Lord Jesus that was only a shadow, a faint preview of the good things to come.

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All these traditions, self-effort and THINGS were a barrier blocking the Rays of the Sonshine Pappa lavished upon me. But all I could see was the shadows, resembling the good things we were made to experience when we live our life abiding in the reality from heaven, our Lord Jesus.

Our Pappa promised us that the old system of law observance will cripple us, as it did the Hebrews in Moses’ time. Not Moses nor Joshua were able to lead them into the spiritual place of rest.

But our Pappa prepared another oasis of rest … a place under His wings … a place in the Shadow of His Presence to shelter us against the scorching desert heat of this world (Hebrews 4).

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Dear Ones, let us cease from all our useless labours … let us not harden our hearts when we hear the gentle voice of Pappa urging us along into that special place of rest … into His Loving Embrace.

Come, let us leave the shadows of futulity behind and enter into the Life of our Lord Jesus … the true Sabbath Rest.

Much love xx

Mia.

Linking-up with.

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The Slave King

Freedom

God’s Thoughts to Me

But when the right time came, God sent His Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent Him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that He could adopt us as His very own children. (Galatians 4:4-5, NLT)

So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up in slavery to the law. (Galatians 5:1, NLT)

Born Free

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The 1966 British film, Born Free, tells the story of a real-life couple, George and Joy Adams, who raised the lion cub, Elsa, and then released her into the wilderness of Kenya. When our Pappa God gives us His life through the new spiritual birth into His Kingdom of Light, we become like Elsa … we are born free from the slavery to this world and its ways, especially its extremely deceptive religous ways. Hallelujah!!

An enigma to me has always been the fact that our Savior King was born as a slave. As far as my faulty, limited and worldly human mind could perceive, I could not see that He was a slave to anyone. Yet, Pappa is not a man that He should lie. (Numbers 23:19)

As I was pondering that question in my mind this week, Pappa revealed to my heart the beauty of this divine birth. I don’t think we would ever be able to understand what our Pappa God gave up to become one of us … a slave to the law … a slave to sin … a curse on our behalf.

Yet, He was the only human who ever was able to keep the whole law … lock, stock and barrel. But best of all is His complete fulfillment of the royal Law of Love!

Law

I was under the impression that our Lord had a good advantage over us mere mortals with Him being God and all. Not so, for not once did He walk according to His own ways or in His own power (John 5:17). Not one miracle was performed in His capacity as God. Yes, His whole life was lived in complete trust in our Pappa to be all in and through Him … the way we are supposed to live.

In order to enable us with His indwelling Life of Victory, He walked and lived every single moment of His earthly sojourn completely dependent upon and trusting the power of our Pappa as His only source of spiritual life. He lived from every word that proceeded from His Pappa’s mouth.

Empty Grave

At Lazarus’ grave our Lord Jesus showed us this when He prayed that beautiful, confident prayer, “Father, thank you for hearing me. You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent Me” (John 11:41, NLT).

As we allow our Lord Jesus to live His resurrected life in and through us, we come to realize that He became a slave to fulfill the law … to break its power over us, for we all are slaves to sin and death through our physical birth. It is not an option … it just is the way it is!!

Jesus'n Kruis Being the second Adam, the only man after Adam who failed miserably, who had the ability to choose independance, He victoriously overcame the power of sin and self, completely dependant on His Father. Through His dependant victory, He enabled us and made it possible for us to live in Him, in His life, in His Kingdom of heaven, of love, joy and peace.

He reconciled Himself to the whole world, hoping and desiring that not one of us would be lost, but that we all would come to Him to receive His gift of life and be reconciled to Him.

It came as a shock to me that our heavenly Father does not require or ask our obedience, for He knows that even if we want to obey Him, we truly are incapable of doing so (Romans 7:14). The greatest gift we can ever give our Pappa … actually, the only gift, is our heart, our life and our love … fully convinced that He loves us with an everlasting love, allowing Him to change us from the inside out.

Escape

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. It is our responsibility to stay free and not get tied up again under the yoke of slavery to the law (Galatians 5:1).

Dear Ones, I want to wish you all a blessed God-filled Christmas when we celebrate not only our Savior’s birth, but also the gift He came to bring … a life fully surrendered and reconciled to our Pappa. Let us allow Him to live His victorious, resurrected eternal life in and through us.

Much love XX

Mia

I am linking up again with dear Jane at Monday Morning Meditation (girlmeetspaper.com). Thank you Jane! Please, join us at http://girlmeetspaper.com/

I also have the honor of linking-up with a wonderful group of ladies at Fresh  Brewed Sundays.
Thank you dear Barbie.

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An Ornament from Russia, with Love

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God’s Thoughts to Me

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has annointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom to the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn. ( Isaiah 61:1-2, NIV)

A Broken Matryoshka Heart

Before my beloved pappa was promoted to heaven about 8 years ago to meet His Saviour face-to-face, my wanderlust parents explored the beauty of Mother Russia.
They blessed me with a beautiful Russian lady-doll dressed in the traditional shapeless peasant jumper dress, a Matryoshka, or better known by her common name; a Babushka.

These ornaments date back to 1890 when they were the artistic brain child of a Russian folk crafts painter, Sergev Malyutin, and crafted by Vasily Zvyozdochkin.

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As I was contemplating the theme for this week, “the ornament”, this silent lady uttered a silent cry of despair.. Peeking through her big, blue lifeless eyes, the windows of her soul, I discovered an enigma…a metaphor within a metaphor. Her pearly pink rosebud mouth uttered a silent cry, a sigh of abuse…pain….neglect….rejection….and, tremendous suffering.

Her untold life story begged to be released as the hidden metaphor of her confinement within herself longed for freedom. Freedom for all the silent ones hiding within her…each telling their own stories, the age-old story of the craving for love. The craving to become a subject of affection and grace; to be released from the stigma of dead, nameless objectivity.

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A craving to become the recipient of words softly and tenderly spoken in love, instead of a heart being bruised and battered by harsh ruthless shouting. The craving of a body longing to be fondeled and held in a caressing embrace instead of the absence of loving arms. A craving to be wanted, desired instead of feeling endured with cruel indeference. A craving to be reminded of happiness and joy, instead of crying tears without words….silent tears of pain and abandonment.

Until the Master Craftsman opened her up, whispering sweet love filled caresses to the hearts of all the girls hiding inside. With determination He released all the broken ones within her soul from the prison of lies that have chained them in the dark prison cells of unworthiness, unlovable-ness, self-loathing, despondency and utter loneliness.

freeThey were cowering in the darkest corners of her heart when His Light ushered them out into a Kingdom not of this world…a Kindom of Light and Love and tenderly nursed them all back to life, eternal life….a life lived in Him….a life lived daily in His Loving Embrace.

That doll is me.

Much love to you

Mia

I am linking up today at The Run-a-Muck. Thank you Amber for allowing us to unchain our hearts. Come and join us at http://therunamuck.com/.

FCB Member

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Jesus, the Iconoclast

God’s Thoughts to Me

Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out all the people buying and selling animals for sacrifice. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves.
(Matthew 21:12, NLT).

Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts. (1 John 5:21, NLT).

For, as I have often told before and say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. (Philippians 3:18, NIV).

And the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who did mighty miracles, on behalf of the beast – miracles that deceived all who had accepted the mark of the beast and who worshipped his statue. (Revelation 19:20, NLT).

Deceiving Idols

My husband is clever…a living, walking, talking Encyclopedia of Trivia, he modestly claims. Oh, he does not suffer foolishness gladly!! Whenever Fibrofog pitches its tent around my mind, he suffers BIG time!

Then, one day I discovered a word…a BIG word! With glee, the somewhat malicious kind, I rejoiced with a wordless scream,”Bingo!”. Of course I did not know the meaning of the word, but neither did he.

According to WordWeb the meaning of “iconoclast” is:

1. Someone who attacks cherished ideas of traditions or institutions.
2. A destroyer of images used in religious worship.

I want to tread softly, delicately in my exposition, taking off my shoes, for this is “holy” ground. I can almost see the stones flying and feel the tar and feathers! And, I don’t suffer suffering gladly!

Then, I remember my Beloved, our Lord Jesus, the greatest iconoclast of all times. He was ruthless and showed no mercy when He condemned and criticized the Scribes, the Pharisees and the religious elite. Matthew 23 paints a vivid picture of our Lord’s attitude towards the religion of the Jews, and by implication, all religion through the ages.

And!!!! He was despised by His people and far too many people through the ages as well. He was ostracized, a man of sorrows, familiar with suffering and crushed for our sins. (Isaiah 53:3-5).

Religion produces enemies of the cross; for instead of denying our efforts to save ourselves and allowing our Lord Jesus to do His job, religion teaches us to cling to our rules, traditions, programs, laws, do’s and don’ts, for the whole focus of religion is on our feeble performance which at best is usually just less than pathetic and of no use.

I definitely am not a Communist, but Carl Marx did have his bright moments when he observed with unusual wisdom that religion is the opiate of the people.

Our Lord Jesus identified Satan as the father of religion, and those who misused the common people for gain through their religious practices and rules, the “children of the devil”. (John 8:44)

He labelled their religiosity as evil and as hatred of the truth He came to bring; binding the poor, the over-burdened common folk, the laity like us who are easily duped by the charisma and rhetoric
of anyone who claims to speak on our Pappa’s behalf! Spiritual discernment has become extinct!

Please allow me to be a teeny bit iconoclastic. An idolatry I have found amongst our God’s children
is bibliolatry…. esteeming the letter of the Word above the Living Word, our Lord Jesus. A dear friend of mine has accused me of calling our Pappa a liar, when I told her that the Bible is not a book of rules, but a story of redemption…pointing to Jesus, our Redeemer, not the letter of the law. I lost a dear friend in the process and it hurt…very,very much.

Currently there are about 41 000 different Christian denominations worldwide, all claiming their fame from the Bible. Common sense, which is not so common nowadays, should tell us that everything is not so kosher as far as to who has the hold on the truth!

Looking at origin of the word “Bible” we see that it is derived from the Greek ” biblion”, meaning “book”, or more accurately, “papyrus scroll”. In some aspects the Bible is just like any other book with pages and printed letters. What makes it completely different and unique is that its Author is our Heavenly Father…His letter of love! What makes it completely unique and different from any other book ever written is that it is the only book where you need to know the Author personally to understand His words and heart towards you, always wooing you back into His Loving Embrace!

The Christians after Pentecost were mostly illiterate and socially unimportant. An estimated 80% could neither read nor write and came from a slave background. They had no Bibles, but they had the Divine Teacher living within them through His Holy Spirit. They lived in Him and that was all they needed.

The human race is not irreligious; just the opposite! They are extremely religious as we see through the ages. Looking at the religious Crusades, I can only say AMEN to the words of Blaise Pascal, “Men never do evil so cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction.” We are all created with the need to worship. Whom or what we worship is the daily choice we have to make.

This, in my mind at least, is a humungous, monstrous problem, for many of our Pappa’s children have been deceived by the Great Deceiver…that beast who forages through the world, trying to lure us away from our Beloved Lord Jesus! And his bait….the sometimes undetectable lie of religion.

The mark of the beast has been associated with many things, but I ask you to consider the possibility that accepting religion might just be the mark etched on our foreheads, on our minds, into our thoughts! The mark on the hand might also just be our efforts trying to replace our Pappa’s saving grace with the work of our hands.

I consider this a very serious matter and carry a heavy burden in my heart today, robbing me of all my peace. Thank you for indulging me and, Pappa, for returning my peace.

Much love and blessings to you

Mia

Linking-up with Mindy at New Equus.

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The Emperor’s Image

God’s Thoughts to Me

But Jesus knew their evil motives, “You hypocrites!” he said. “Why are you trying to trap me? Here, show me the coin used for the tax.” When they handed Him a Roman coin, He asked,” Whose picture and title are stamped on it?” “Ceasar’s,” they replied. “Well, then give to Ceasar what belongs to Ceasar, and give to God to what belongs to God.”(Matthew 22:18-21, NLT).

So God created human beings in His own image, in the image of God He created them, male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:27, NLT).

The Hurdles of Discipline

When my oldest son, Simon, was a secondary school learner, he was a provincial 400 meter hurdles athlete. At all the competitions his doting mother caused him endless embarrassment by, to put it mildly, proudly, yet noisily, jumping up and down, cheering him along and helping him to finish the race. Eventually he had to surrender, for he, for some strange reason, seemed unable to get his mother to behave more appropriately.

Then it happened! He stumbled and heartily greeted mother earth during a race he was about to win. My courageous, brave 18-year old baby got up and finished second…and then…collapsed! This mother hen quickly gathered her precious, bleeding chick under her wing, and that in front of an enormous crowd of spectators. So completely not cool at all!!

That was one of my favorite, precious God moments. Our Pappa taught me a most valuable lesson through this incident on His love and care towards us. Like the best parent ever, He lovingly disciplines us by allowing the hurdles of trials and tribulations during our race of life to teach us godliness and complete dependance upon Him. Every hurdle presents another opportunity to stretch those faith muscles to jump clear. When we fall, He lovingly picks us up and gathers us in His arms and wipes away all our tears while encouraging us not to lose heart, for He will always be there, right beside us, jumping up and down with joy as He cheers us on, rejoicing over us with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17).

As I was reading the above Scripture, the Lord opened my eyes to a big, bad insurmountable hurdle of misconception and wrong perception l had allowed to develop in my life, hindering my relationship with my Pappa to grow, to bloom and to blossom. My frame of reference told me that all our Lord Jesus’ anger towards the Pharisees and Scribes was also directed towards me. Our Pappa was, as far as I was concerned, a very angry, abusive God, expecting me to pull myself up by my own bootstraps and polish up my poor excuse of a life.

Our God patiently taught me through one of my favorite Bible teachers, James Fowler, my perception of His character was totally wrong. My frame of reference needed to include some “zits im leben” (setting in life). It needed to be based on the truth of  whom our Lord really was referring to, as well as the culture and traditions of that specific time. When I read the text in that context, scales fell from my eyes and I looked at this Scripture with new understanding.

Allow me to give a little background information. At the time our Lord Jesus walked the earth, the Roman authorities issued a silver coin, the denarius, stamped with the image of the Emperor. It was used as the standard payment for taxes. The Romans were well aware of the Jews’ scruples about “graven images” and out of respect for their religious traditions, they issued a bronze coin without any image for the use of those devout Palestinian Jews, without having to defile themselves when paying their taxes.

I have wondered why politicians and religious leaders often seem to be bosom buddies until I saw the truth of Solomon’s words, there truly is nothing new under the sun! (Ecclesiastes 1:9). The Pharisees and Scribes were hand in glove with the Herodians, inviting them along when they tried to soft-soap our Lord Jesus by commending His integrity. As if they were qualified to be judges of integrity! They tried to force Him into a Catch 22 situation by asking Him the famous question about taxes. These highly religious and righteous Jews, as they considered themselves to be, had no reason to defile themselves by touching a denarius, but when Jesus requested one, they provided the denarius from their own pockets!! I wonder if all the bronze ones went to the poor!

Our Lord saw right through their evil intent into their greed for religous power, position, prestige and money. They were unwilling to give it all up and to give themselves wholeheartedly to our Pappa. We are all familiar with the outcome of this story.

A question started to form in my mind, “As humans, whose image do we bear?” Our Pappa revelaled to my heart the precious truth that we are all created in His image!! He created us as spiritual beings to lavishly love us and enabled us to love Him in return. That privilege was forfeited in Eden and bought back on the cross at Golgotha. If only I could rid myself of that brood of “Pharisees” joyfully lodging in my heart, suffocating the loving relationship between my Pappa and me. Our Lord’s words became crystal clear to me, “You search the Scriptures because you think they give eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this eternal life” (John 5:39-40, NLT).

I rejoiced when we together chased the slave woman and her son from my heart as Paul instructed us to do. (Galatians 4:30). Good riddance indeed! But little did know of  all the son’s siblings, cousins and cousins-twice-removed still stealing and feasting on the delicious fruit our Lord was producing in my heart, keeping me imprisoned and chained to the system of religious performance. I had cordially invited them in when I had gobbled up many false teachings in the past. The stone tablets of my heart had many laws, over and above the Ten Commandments. As the years passed by, I kept adding more and more, as well as erasing a few outdated, old ones.

The slave woman and her son

I never was certain what the current religous modus operandi would be and was horrified of being rejected one more time, so I kept my list up to date, I never knew our Pappa could be so finicky for He seemed to change His mind from day to day, from denomination to denomination and even from congregation to congregation! Just to name a few of the silver denari, stamped with the image of religion, I was carrying in my pocket:

1. Only the Psalms and organ music are suitable for our Lord’s ears.
2. Communion must be served around a big table where everyone drinks from a humongous silver communion cup.
3. Tithe your gross income if you want to ensure God’s gross blessings.
4. As proof of having been baptized in the Holy Spirit, speak in tongues.
5. Serve, serve, serve and then serve some more; give, give, give and then give some more.
6. You have to be under the church’s covering, submitting to their authority. Failing to do that is proof of habouring a Jezebel spirit.
7. Wives submit to your husbands even if it kills you or be warned of the danger that you might turn into Jezebel herself.
8. Never mention someone’s name while praying for them in church for that borders on idolatry.
9. Do not disagree with your pastor, or if you do; zip the lip!
10. Do not always be the one suffering from an illness, for that shows your lack of faith and without faith you are not pleasing God. So rather suffer in silence and pretend to be well.
11. Spread the Gospel. Failure to do so will hinder the growth of your fruit supply and if you are empty handed when you meet the Fruit Inspector one day, you might be in BIG trouble!

And so the list went on and on and on!! Keeping them caused me endless spiritual pride and I could teach the Pharisees and Scribes a lesson or two about hypocrisy. Today I realize that it was all due to my extremely poor and shame-based self-esteem for I always used to measure love, anyone’s love, especially God’s, as something earned through my performance, yet mine always seemed to miss the mark!

Although some of these practices are not wrong in and of themselves, they do become law the moment they become rules and therefore replace grace, bearing the emperor’s image. I realize now that the Great Deceiver, the Father of Religion, played dirty tricks on my mind.  Our Lord Jesus did not mince His words when He told the Pharisees, “For you are the children of your father, the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth.” (John 8:44a, NLT).

Dear Ones, even though Fm/CFS takes us through deep, deep valleys of suffering, I can now see and appreciate our Pappa’s hand of love and wisdom in my life, providing the hurdles of suffering to draw me away from the law-based road to destruction and steering me gently into His kingdom of light of love, of freedom and peace. He will personally carry you over all the many hurdles this illness and life in general bring into your life, looking forward to the beautiful butterfly that will eventually emerge from your cocoon of suffering.

May our Lord bless you and keep you secure this coming week, snuggled warmly in the safety of His Loving Embrace!

Hugs and blessings

Mia