Archive for the 'Jesus, our Promised Land' Category
What are some things God wants us to always be doing?
To answer, here’s one of many thanksgiving quotes from the Bible:
First Thessalonians 5:18 - “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
First Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing.” As you allow the Holy Spirit to fill you, His fruit shows by an attitude and practice of prayer, enabling you to give thanks in everything! This great task of perpetual thanksgiving would never be possible if we’re not men and women of prayer. To be one of answered prayer, you must be a follower of Jesus Christ, the only Way, Truth, and Life! (John 14:6)
So, thankfulness leads us to pray, which, when answered, leads us to thankfulness, both commanded of us by God.
Thankfulness and prayer can also lead to an exciting life! It will help you look on the bright side of life, and we all know that being optimistic makes you more fun to be around.
One of the most optimistic people I’ve heard of was Zig Ziglar (November 6, 1926 – November 28, 2012). A well-loved quote of his is, “Confidence is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you.” Now that’s a happy attitude! Zig helped many people with his positive attitude, which he shared in his conferences and books. He was fun to be around! His life was based on walking by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He showed and taught how to live successfully as a result. That kind of attitude was possible, because he knew how to be a thankful person. I recommend his book, Better Than Good: Creating a Life You Can’t Wait to Live!
If you want to experience a complete life of Promised Land living in Christ as a man or woman following Jesus, get to know Jesus, our Promised Land! In OT Exodus, most of the Israelites, as they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years, were not thankful people. In fact, their constant grumbling and complaining disobedience, despite numerous warnings from God, is what kept them from finally entering the Promised Land of Canaan. Their children, not they, were the ones to enter into Canaan! The complaining bunch of Israelites who had previously been delivered from slavery in Egypt, and who crossed the Red Sea on dry ground, all thanks to the LORD’s doing, eventually forgot to pray and give thanks to the LORD. As a result, they grew to despise their leader, Moses, and grumbled against God.
Knowing God starts when you accept Jesus into your life to be your Lord and Savior, trusting His sacrifice on the cross as payment for your sins. If you don’t know how, just sincerely pray a prayer something like this:
“Dear God, I confess or admit that I am a sinner. I know that You can’t allow any sin in your presence. Without you, I would suffer in hell-fire for all eternity. I trust your death on the cross, Jesus, as full payment for my sins, and I receive you into my life to be my God, Lord (Master), and Savior. Thank you for dying for my sins and for rising again from the dead! Please come into my heart and life by your Holy Spirit to save me. I give myself over to You, Lord Jesus. You are the Boss in my life now. Thank You for saving me, Lord Jesus! Now be my life and enable me to walk in obedience to you. I thank You and praise You! I pray in Your name, Jesus. Amen”
If you see your need to be saved, and you just prayed that prayer from your heart, WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD! Hallelujah!
All of you who just trusted in Jesus as your Lord and Savior really have the greatest thing to be thankful for now! I’m sure I don’t have to tell you
that, if you have just given your life over to Jesus! This is your spiritual birthday, for you’ve been born again! Jesus said in John 3:7, “…You must be born again.“ This means that everyone who has trusted and believed in the Lord Jesus has passed from death to life. Their spirits have been regenerated to be alive unto God again! “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life (John 5:24).”
The Apostle Paul said in Titus 3:4-7: 4“But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace, we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
For a new Christian, as well as for those older in the Christian walk, a life of thanksgiving and prayer is the key to personal joy and victory in Jesus. Prayer and thankfulness keeps you on track with Jesus, helping you to live a life of obedience to the Master! I pray that you choose that kind of life starting today, Dearly Beloved! That’s the way to blessing for you and the way to let your light shine in Jesus. You cannot be a picture of Christ to the world, if your life is not filled with prayer and thanksgiving as a Christ follower.
Please let me know if you’ve just trusted in the Lord God Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord! I’d be so glad to hear from you. I’ll read comments as time allows, due to the vast amount of them I’ve received. Your next steps are to tell someone what you’ve done, be baptized as a testimony of your new life in Christ, and get into a Bible-preaching church.
When you can’t sleep, the best way to relax and fall asleep is to let Jesus be your Comforter! You may have a blanket/comforter, but Jesus is Who you really need to hold you in His arms to bring you real comfort.
The Holy Spirit is called the Comforter in John 14:15-17: “If you love me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees Him not, neither knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you, and shall be in you.” Jesus also said in John 14:18, “I will not leave you comfortless. I will come to you.” So the first step to curing insomnia is faith in Jesus!
Make sure you’re covered with the right amount of blankets and nightgown/pajamas, but your inner comfort is of even more importance. Cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. The Weymouth New Testament says it this way: “Throw the whole of your anxiety upon Him, because He Himself cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).”
Are you up in the middle of the night tonight, unable to sleep? Surrender all your will and obedience to Jesus, along with all your cares, for John 14:15 says that if we love Jesus, we will keep His commandments. We will sense the Holy Spirit, Jesus, and the Father the closest to us when we have a completely surrendered life, obeying His guidance. What do you need to surrender to God?
Please let me share my own very personal story about my sleep habits. My husband wakes up for work at 4:00 am. I set my wake-up time for 5:15 am, so that I can be the alarm clock for our youngest child before her school day. It’s often difficult going back to sleep after my husband gets up at 4:05. You might think I’m crazy after reading this, but the best thing I can do is grab our giant “Mr. Stuffed Doggy,” a cast off from our 16 year-old daughter, to keep me warm (my hubby substitute) and feel Jesus wrap His arms around me through my own arms. Jesus lives in me, so I let Him use my arms to keep me warm and comforted. You can do the same if you have to sleep alone!
If you have your spouse in bed with you, hug him or her close! Also, be everything that he or she needs for you to be. The sleep benefits are colossal, too!
Matthew 11:28-30 says, 28 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Here is a Bible verse I posted in our daughter’s room with a picture of her as a little girl “sleeping” with a smile on her face. “I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety (Psalm 4:8).” I trust that seeing this verse on her wall helps her fall asleep, resting in Jesus!
Another favorite verse of mine is: “It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors; for He gives to His beloved even in his sleep (Psalm 127:2).” This verse is proof that God approves of us taking a break, and that it’s a great idea to get at least eight hours of sleep per night! God will supply healing as we sleep. It’s a scientific fact that children physically grow when they are sleeping. This is another gift from our Creator God as we sleep!
Another way that God gives to me as I sleep, is the writing ideas He gives me as I am waking up from my sleep. My subconscious mind is still active and God uses this time to speak to me (when I’m at rest and can listen). This must be an example of the Sword of the Spirit (the spoken word of God), part of the Full Armor of God (found in Ephesians 6:10-18). If you are a writer, make sure you get up momentarily to write down those ideas, or you will forget them. Then you can peacefully and joyfully go back to sleep, knowing you have something to write about when you get up for the day!
Other parts of the Full Armor of God that you can put on if you wake up in the middle of the night are the Breastplate of Righteousness to guard your heart and emotions and the Helmet of Salvation to guard your thoughts from the attack of Satan. Put on all of God’s armor; put on the Belt of Truth, so you can hold your “garments” in place and run from the devil. Wear the Shoes of the Gospel of Peace. I know you’re in bed and you don’t want shoes on and you’re not taking the Gospel to anyone at the moment, but trust me, you’ll want these shoes on, so you can run into Jesus’ open arms! Also strap on the Shield of Faith (that really enables you to put all the Armor on with prayer)! With Jesus in you, there is no cause for fear from the enemy (Satan). So tonight, be sure to rest in Jesus, our “Promised Land.” Pray before falling asleep, and as Michael Card started singing years ago, “Sleep sound in Jesus.”
I must not be remiss by not including one most important factor. First, you must know Jesus as your personal Lord (Master) and Savior for all of this to be possible. If you don’t know how to do that, please leave a comment and I will help you receive Jesus into your own life!
— Love and blessings from Jo ♥
It must have been unbelief, disobedience, unrepentance, and grumbling that made the Israelites unable to go up Mt. Sinai. (Whew!) God did let the people hear Him when Moses was on the mountain with God.
“And the LORD said to Moses, ‘Behold, I shall come to you in a thick cloud, in order that the people may hear when I speak with you, and may also believe in you forever.’…” – Exodus 19:9
In Exodus 19:10-20:18, they couldn’t go up on the mountain or touch it, but they saw God descend on Mt. Sinai in fire and a thick cloud. They saw lightning flashes and heard thunder and a loud trumpet blast, and the whole mountain quaked violently! The people trembled in Exodus 19:16 when all of this happened! Moses spoke, while down at the foot of the mountain with the people, and God answered with thunder! God called Moses up to the top of the mountain.
After God told Moses the 10 Commandments and Moses came down, the people were so terrified that they said to Moses in Exodus 20:19, “…Speak to us yourself and we will listen; but let not God speak to us, lest we die.” Out of fear of death, they refused to hear from God anymore, leaving intimacy with God up to Moses.
Do you and I shy away from intimacy with the Lord, leaving it up to the pastor? Do we fear dying to self? God really wants to be intimate with each Christian. Find time; don’t turn Him down! Like Moses ended up, don’t walk with God for a long time, enjoying sweet intimacy, and then let other people’s grumbling turn you into a complainer too.
Continue abiding in Christ, your Promised Land, entering Him as fully as He will allow!! Let His Shekinah glory continue to illuminate you, something like Moses experienced when he came down from the mountain and had to cover his glowing face with a veil.
“And it came about when Moses was coming down from Mount Sinai…that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because of his speaking with Him. So when Aaron and all the sons of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him…When Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face. But whenever Moses went in before the LORD to speak with Him (the LORD), he would take off the veil until he came out…” – Exodus 34:29, 30, 33, 34.
We can behold God’s glory with unveiled faces. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.”
You can be filled with Christ, wear Him as your Armor, enter into Christ, your Promised Land, behold His glory, and be transformed in your being and actions. People will notice something different about you, and you will be a great blessing!
Answer to questions in Part 2: Giving genuine thanks is the best remedy for complaining! ”In everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – (1 Thessalonians 5:18) This will make you and God happy and will give Him the glory!
Moses didn’t get to enter Canaan, because he had not believed God (in the water from the rock incident). Moses didn’t represent God as loving and full of grace by speaking gently to the rock to bring forth water. Instead, Moses said in Numbers 20:10,11 – “… ‘Listen now, you rebels; shall we bring forth water for you out of this rock?’ Then Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation and their beasts drank.”
What was going on here, Moses?
Was Moses trying to get credit? He had endured those grumbling Israelites for 40 years, relying on and praying to the Lord for strength, meeting with God for extended periods of time on Mt. Sinai. He had been a fine example to the Israelites of faith and trust in the LORD.
Moses suddenly seems to have a lack of faith, exploding in an attitude like the grumbling Israelites’. Moses was only human. Well, God could not let this kind of behavior continue. God needed a strong, God-trusting representative and could not let Moses continue as the servant to the Israelites or to enter Canaan. (If you’re like me, you feel a little conviction here as a parent!) God knows that we’re human. That’s all the more reason why we need to lean on God! Moses shows us what happens when we stop doing this.
Numbers 20:12 says, “And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, ‘Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.’”
I believe that Moses got a rich taste of Christ, the True Manna, the Bread of Life, while he was on Mt. Sinai. Moses experienced God’s Shekinah glory, the visible manifestation of God’s presence, seen in the smoke and fire in Exodus 19:18.
Moses had spent 40 days and 40 nights on Mt. Sinai alone with the LORD! Christ must have been his “food and drink” that sustained him! Moses heard God speak to him. The other Israelites were down at the foot of the mountain but could not touch the mountain. They were to stay away from the mountain (while Moses was up there getting the 10 Commandments). If they touched the mountain at this time, they would be put to death.
What a blessing that we may now “come boldly unto the throne of grace, … obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrews 4:16 Do you have a gnawing need in your life? There is a compassionate God who is waiting to hear from you!
...to be continued in “Jesus, Our Promised Land (Conclusion)”.
The Israelites were to take over Canaan. It would be possible only if they trusted in the LORD, for He would deliver the Canaanites into their hands.
The Canaanites, whom God would obliterate using the hands and swords of the Israelites, are a picture of Satan, our enemy.
Those Israelites didn’t follow God’s instructions to not intermarry with Canaanites. We, as Christians, must make sure that we don’t dabble with worldly things of Satan. Each of us can think of what those things might be personally.
Satan is our enemy, and we must never forget that. Jesus is our Friend, the Friend of sinners. What a Friend we have in Jesus! Let’s follow His footsteps and say “no” to all stumbling blocks.
James 4:4 says, “…friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” Of course, we can love people in the world, for God also loves all of us (John 3:16), but we must not love the lifestyle of sin that the world without Christ follows after.
1 John 2:15-17 states, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.”
Always remember to fight against Satan and his influence. Put on the Full Armor of God each day, and you will be able to stand firm! (Ephesians 6:13.) You ( I) will be able to enter into Christ, our Promised Land more fully.
Moses was not allowed into Canaan, because he struck the rock twice in anger to get water out of it, instead of speaking to it gently as God had instructed him. Along with this, he had complained to the Israelites and wasn’t setting a good example. He wouldn’t enter the physical Canaan, but he had closely fellowshipped with God and experienced God’s presence on Mt. Sinai. God called him home, and Moses entered into the LORD’S full presence in heaven after dying in the land of Moab. – Deuteronomy 34:1-7
Each Christian will also enjoy heaven, but God has an abundant life for us in Christ, our Promised Land, here on Earth. Let’s not allow any grumbling or habitual sin to prevent us from being used of God to bless others.
How about you? What could be a good remedy and alternative to grumbling/complaining? Please see my next post for one answer in ”Jesus, Our Promised Land (Part 3)” and a short conclusion in Part 4.