Strangers in the House

“And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him, for they know not the voice of strangers” (John 10:5).

Stranger (Def): (Gr): Allotrios from Allos: Belonging to another, i.e., not one’s own; foreign, not akin

There is a problem with the people of God today having to do with voices. There are many voices speaking and being heard, but much of the speaking is being done by Strangers in the House of God, and not by the voice of the Shepherd.

Jesus speaks in the Gospel of John regarding the relationship between the Shepherd and the sheep. This relationship is one of belonging. The sheep belong to the Shepherd, they know His voice; and He calls each one by name. Jesus identifies with His sheep as their true Shepherd. He said:

“I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd gives His Life for the sheep” (John 10:11).

The Stranger is one who belongs to another with a different interest, a different message, or word and a different heart. The Stranger has no bond with the sheep and only uses the sheep for his own selfish interest and gain. Today there are too many Strangers in the House of God.

There is a true voice, the voice of the true Shepherd. His voice, His message, His Word is the Word of Life. His Word conforms with the Scriptures, the Prophets, the Apostles Doctrine, and is attested to by the Holy Spirit. There is a witness, a confirmation, a testimony to the Truth.

I Belong to Jesus. During my college years we had a group of believers who were very zealous for God in the days of the Jesus Revolution. It seemed everyone belonged to something: Jackets with Letters were worn by athletes, fraternity brothers and sorority sisters. School letters and Greek letters abounded throughout the campus. We, small group that we were, wanted our identity too. So, we purchased bright yellow, fluorescent buttons with the words I Belong to Jesus on them. Yes, we were, indeed, Jesus Freaks in a world full of strangers who had every kind of message, lifestyle, and culture one could embrace.

Today, those Strangers are in the House. They belong to another, not to Jesus. They have come into the House by another way, not by the Door. Jesus said:

“Verily, verily I say unto you, he that enters not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But He that enters in by the door is the Shepherd of the sheep. To Him the porter opens, and the sheep hear His voice, and He calls His own sheep by name, and leads them out. And when He puts forth His own sheep He goes before them, and the sheep follow Him for they know His voice” (John 10:1-4).

Whose voice are you following? The Good Shepherd’s? The hireling (cf. John 10:12)? The thief? The robber? The false prophets?

“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privately shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction” (II Peter 2:1).

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God, because many false prophets are gone into the world” (I John 4:1).

To whom do you belong? To the Lord, or to another? The voice to which you follow will give you away.

Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matthew 7:15). “Many false prophets shall rise and shall deceive many” (Matthew 24:11).

Beware the Strangers in the House.

“The thief comes not but to steal, to kill, and to destroy. I am come that you might have Life, and that you might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

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The Travail of the Son

“He shall see the travail of His soul and shall be satisfied. By His knowledge shall My Righteous Servant justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities” (Isaiah 53:11).

Travail: (Def): (Heb): Amal: To toil, To work severely with irksomeness; Sorrow, Pain

There is a deep satisfaction when justice is served, and the punishment fits the crime. In the economy of God, the only propitiation for sin, the only sacrifice or offering for sin that satisfied justice was death.

Propitiation: (Def) (Gr): Hilasterion from Hilaskomai: To conciliate, i.e. To Atone for sin; An expiatory place or thing, such as a Mercyseat

The only satisfactory offering or sacrifice for the sin of Adam was the righteous blood of the perfect Man to make atonement and reconciliation with God. As the Apostle John sets forth in his Epistle:

“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10).

The travail of the Son: His sorrow, His pain, His toil, His irksome work, His passion, His suffering is the bearing upon Himself the iniquity of the whole world. This bearing upon Himself of iniquity was not a bearing from sin, as though He had to bear His own sin; rather, His bearing upon Himself of iniquity was a bearing for sin, as an offering up of His own sinless life for the whole of mankind. It is as the Prophet, John the Baptist declared:

“Behold, the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

This is the travail of the Son. The intense and weighty burden, this burden of sin which weighed upon Man from the beginning with Adam’s rebellion. This weighty burden was a millstone that dragged man down to the depth of depravity, into the darkness of the deep, into solitary separation from God and the Light. This, this was taken away; but not just thrown away but borne in the Body of Christ upon the Tree, the Cross of Calvary.

There is an intensity in travail. The Apostle expressed this in his Epistle to the Galatians:

My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you” (Galatians 4:19).

The Apostle was in anguish and pain in intercession for the saints in Galatia because of his deep desire that the very life of Christ: His nature, His Spirit, His Being would be formed in them, so they could truly be the Body of Christ, not in title, but in reality.

This is the desire of the whole of Creation also as Paul wrote to the Romans:

“For the earnest expectation of the Creation waits for the manifestation of the sons of God. . .for we know that the whole Creation groans and travails in pain together until now” (Romans 8:19,22).

The travail of the Son permeates the whole of creation in bearing the burden of sin:

“For the Creation was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him who has subjected the same in hope because the Creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Romans 8:20-21).

This is what pleases the Father. This is what satisfies His heart. The travail of the Son is pleasing to the Father because in it there is the birthing process of bringing forth a New Creation. The former creation was ruined, but the travail of the Son will make all things new, as the Prophet said:

“Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him. He has put Him to grief and has made His soul an offering for sin. He shall see His Seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand” (Isaiah 53:10).

Beloved, this is where we are now, as the Apostle has written:

“Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a New Creation; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (II Corinthians 5:17).

The Travail of the Son has brought forth a New Creation of the Re-born. His Seed is in them, and they have become the manifestations of the Sons of God.

“Therefore, will I divide Him a portion with the great and He shall divide the spoil with the strong because He has poured out His soul unto death; and He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bare the sin of many and made intercession for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12).

Praise God for the Travail of the Son for in it is our salvation, our new life, our eternal redemption, and ultimate victory. Glory to the Lamb!

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Steadfast Faith, Firm Foundation

“For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the Spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ” (Colossians 2:5).

Steadfastness (Def): (Gr.): Stereoma from Stereoo: Something established, Confirmation, Solidify, Make strong

There is an urgency in this generation to lay a firm foundation of truth and life in Christ among those newborn saints who are coming into the newness of life and separating themselves from the previous darkness of the world and who are now in the light of the Kingdom of God.

The Apostle in his ministry of the Gospel traveled to many cities throughout the Roman world and was in constant contact with the saints in the churches that were established during the time he was with them, preaching and teaching the things of the Kingdom. To the Colossians Paul expressed his joy as he beheld by the Spirit their “order and the steadfastness of [their]faith in Christ”.

There is a blessedness to seeing young lives changed and witnessing their growth in the grace and knowledge of Christ. This does not just happen by chance, but by laying the firm foundation of faith by doctrine, labors, sacrifice, fellowship and service to the disciples and followers of the Lord.

“The foundation of God stands firm (Gr. Stereos) having this seal, ‘The Lord knows those that are His’ and let everyone that names the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (II Timothy 2:19).

When the Apostle had traveled to Derbe and Lystra, there he met Timothy whose mother was Jewish and his father a Greek. Timothy proved himself to be a faithful follower of Christ and was “well reported of by the Brethren” (Acts 16:2). Paul took young Timothy with him in his travels and went “through the cities and delivered to them the decrees to keep that were ordained by the Apostles and Elders at Jerusalem; and by these were the churches established (Gr. Stereoo) in the faith and increased in number daily” (Acts 16:4-5).

There is a virtue in being steadfast in faith that was encouraged and praised by the Apostle as he wrote to the Corinthians: “Therefore, my beloved Brethren, be steadfast, immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as you know your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (I Corinthians 15:58).

There is a goal in our journey of faith and that goal is Christ, to be “conformed to His image” (Romans 8:29). The writer to the Hebrews declares we achieve our goal and “we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end” (Hebrews 3:14).

The steadfastness of faith is built on the firm foundation of Christ, the solid Rock (cf. Matthew 7:24), and as the Apostle testified: “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid which is Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 3:11).

Being established, being confirmed in the truth, being strong and solid in our faith are qualities of faithfulness, experience, maturity that grew from being built upon the right foundation. It is the way of the Lord in making Disciples. It is the way of the saints. It is the way of the Kingdom. Steadfast faith, firm foundation, an axiom worthy of our pursuit.

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The Lord Is Not Dilatory

“The Lord is not dilatory (slack) concerning His promise as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering to us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (II Peter 3:9).

Slack (Def): (Gr.) Braduno from Bradus: To delay, Tarry; To be slow in taking action; Dilatory

Slack (Def): (Heb.) Achar: To loiter; Procrastinate, Delay, Tarry

There is a deep assurance in the Scriptures that the Day of the Lord will come as spoken by the Apostles and Prophets though He tarry long with the evil doer in hope he will come to repentance and turn from his evil ways to the Lord and receive the salvation freely offered to all. For, indeed, as the Scripture says He does not wish that any should perish, but that all would come to Him and live.

Peter, in his second Epistle gives us an in-depth look into the promise of God in which we “look for new heavens and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness” (II Peter 3:13b). He exhorts us to “account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation” (v. 15a) for all who will come to Him to be saved from the wrath to come.

Even so, we can be assured there is no negligence, or being remis on the part of the Lord in His timing and intervention in the affairs of this world. Peter assures us further that “the Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (II Peter 3:10).

Knowing the awesome and fearful destruction that will occur, Peter gives us wise counsel as we “see that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought we to be in all holy conversation and godliness” (II Peter 3:11). Adding also, this word, “Wherefore, beloved, seeing you look for such things, be diligent that you may be found of Him in peace, without spot and blameless” (II Peter 3:14).

Indeed, the Lord knows all things; He knows the end of all things from the very beginning of all things. He is all-wise, all-knowing, showing a steadfast love, patience, and is full of mercy. Let us wait patiently upon Him in every situation, circumstance, trial, temptation, and in our times of trouble. We can believe to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living (cf. Psalm 27:13).

Scoffers Shall Come. The Apostle Peter tells us in his Epistle “that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts; saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? Since the fathers fell asleep all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation'” (II Peter 3:3-4).

The willful ignorance of men through unbelief of the truth, the rebellion in the hearts of evil doers, the blindness from the working of Satan in the lives of the ungodly, all work together to keep souls in darkness and far from the knowledge of the promises of God. It is the light of the Gospel, the Truth of God revealed in the Scriptures, the working of God by the Holy Spirit that will rescue souls and prepare them for the Day of the Lord.

As the Apostle wrote to the Corinthians: “Who shall also confirm you unto the end that you may be blameless in the Day of the Lord Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 1:8).

Beloved, let us continue in well doing, let us continue in faith and obedience to the will of the Lord. Let us be faithful to our calling and persevere in faith unto the coming of the Lord. Let us look up continually for our Redemption draws near. Maranatha. Even so, come Lord Jesus.

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The Overthrow of Faith

“Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the overthrowing of the faith of the hearers” (II Timothy 2:14).

Overthrow (Gr.): Katastrophe from Katastrepho: Turn upside down, Apostasy, Demolish, Overturn

It is a sad day, indeed, to witness in the life of a believer their turning away from the faith as it is overthrown and subverted by error, false doctrine, apostasy. It has happened to many and is to be guarded against by the true disciples and followers of our Lord.

The Apostle in his Second Epistle to Timothy addressed the matter directly and warned against the strife of arguments and being disputatious on trivial matters that profit no one, but cause much harm to the hearers and overthrow, ruin and destroy the simplicity of their faith.

In his First Epistle to Timothy the Apostle also addressed the matter writing:

“Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith, so do. Now the end of the commandment is love out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of sincere faith, from which some have swerved and have turned aside unto vain jangling (meaningless chatter)” (I Timothy 1:4-6).

The Great Catastrophe: In his Second Epistle to the Thessalonians the Apostle speaks concerning the Man of Sin and the great falling away to come, writing:

“Now we beseech you, Brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him that you be not soon shaken in mind or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us that the Day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you, by any means, for that Day shall not come, except there will come a falling away (Gr. apostasia) first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition” (II Thessalonians 2:1-3).

The Antichrist is coming and the great catastrophe, the apostasia will come, as well; but there is a way forward in the truth to avoid the pitfalls of apostasy and the overthrow of our faith. The Apostle outlines these to Tinothy writing:

“You have fully known my doctrine, my manner of life, my purpose, faith, longsuffering, love and patience. What persecutions, afflictions that came to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yes, all who will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But continue in the things which you have learned and of which you have been assured, knowing of whom you have learned them; and that from a child you have known the Holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (II Timothy 3:10-15).

Challenges to our faith will always come to the believer, but the great catastrophe, the overthrow, the ruin, the demolition of faith can be overcome by the sage advice of the Apostle:

“Study (Gr. Spoudazo: make haste, promptly) show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings for they will increase unto more ungodliness” (II Timothy 2:15-16).

Rather than having our faith be overthrown, let us by our faith be overcomers instead:

“For whoever is born of God overcomes the world, and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith” (I John 5:4).

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Open My Eyes That I May See

Open my eyes that I may see glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;

Place in my hands the wonderful key that shall unclasp and set me free.

Silently now I wait for Thee, Ready, my God, Thy will to see.

Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit Divine!

Clara H. Scott (1895) (1841-1897)

There are hymns and songs one sang upon a time in one’s youth that have been long silenced in the depth of the spirit, until a spark arises in the heart by the Spirit of God, in a moment of quiet contemplation in the Presence of the Lord, and you begin to sing it anew and your spirit revives as though visiting with an old friend.

Such is the hymn written by Clara H Scott in 1895, two years before her passing. The Psalmist first wrote the thought, no doubt planting the seed for the later song to be birthed and sung by a thousand tongues in congregations everywhere:

“Open Thou mine eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy Law” (Psalms 119:18).

It is a cry of the solitary heart to God to see more, to know more, to taste more of His wondrous love and grace. There is in this heart a readiness of spirit and desire to see His will anew, for in that renewal there is freedom, there is liberty and an effervescent joy.

This was, indeed, the deep desire of the Apostle, and not just for himself, but as it was laid upon him by the Lord at his conversion:

“But rise, and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared unto you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness, both of these things in the which I will appear unto you; delivering you from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send you: to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them who are sanctified by faith that is in Me” (Acts26:16-18–Paul before King Agrippa at Caesarea).

As we see from our text, this too is the great desire of the Lord. Indeed, that our eyes are opened to the truth, and spiritual blindness be taken away and we see clearly into His Word and see Him in His glory.

“Then Jesus answering said unto them, ‘Go your way and tell John what things you have seen and heard; how the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and to the poor the Gospel is preached” (Luke 7:22).

When the desire of the saint and the desire of the Lord intersect, hearts are joined in union and the blessings of revelation, and wisdom and knowledge flow; eyes are opened, and the glorious mysteries of Christ are revealed. This was the great desire of the Apostle for the saints as he wrote in his Epistle to the Church at Ephesus:

“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of His calling; and what are the riches of the Glory of His inheritance in the Saints” (Ephesians 1:17-18).

In this season, in this time of new beginnings, “seek the Lord while He may be found. Call upon Him while He is near” (Isaiah 55:6). Wait upon Him in quiet contemplation in the solitude of your heart:

Silently now I wait for Thee, ready, my God, Thy will to see.

Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit, Divine!

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The Joy of the Lord

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).

Joy (Gr): Chara from Chairo: Cheer, Wellbeing, Calm Delight

There are mysteries in the things of God that need to be revealed to us as we grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ Jesus. The joy of the Lord is one of those themes that we can explore with delight as though we were searching for hidden treasure.

The Holy Spirit has many things to reveal to us as our hearts are open to receive. Jesus said to His disciples:

“These things have I spoken unto you that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full (John 15:11).

The cheerful, calmly delightful wellbeing of the nature of Jesus is the joy of the Lord that Jesus said He wants to remain in us. As it does, Jesus says our joy will expand to the maximum fullness of it.

There is a reason Jesus wants us to know His joy and that reason has to do with suffering. Suffering will come to all of us, as it did with Him. But the Scripture says that with the joy set before Him, He was able to endure the cruel cross with all the shame. With the joy set before Him He was able to push through the horrific abuse and persevere to the very end.

The Apostle knew of this joy, so, when the prophets spoke of all the troubles that he would have to endure, Paul declared:

“None of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the Gospel of the Grace of God” (Acts 20:24).

The Joy of the Lord is your strength. In the writing of Nehemiah we read:

“He said to them, ‘Go your way, eat the fat and drink the sweet; send portions to them for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy unto our Lord, neither be sorry, for the joy of the Lord is your strength'” (Nehemiah 8:10).

The cheerful, calmly delightful wellbeing of the nature of Jesus is our strength. Strength to endure, strength to persevere, strength to carry on with our purpose, our assignment, our role in the Body of Christ. Jesus came for a purpose, to be the Savior of the world. Jesus saw beforehand the fruit of His mission, the salvation of souls from every tribe, kindred and tongue. He saw the Redeemed of the earth gathered at the throne of God worshipping the Father. Seeing the fruit of His purpose produced great joy to our Lord and for that joy He endured, He triumphed to reign as He is set down at the right hand of the Father on the Majesty from on High.

Oh, what joy, indeed, for all those who have received and have the joy of the Lord remaining in them; and truly our joy will be full. Let us continually keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, “the author and finisher of our faith” and let us march on to victory.

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I Will Never Leave You

“Let your conversation be without covetousness and be content with such things as you have; for He has said, ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you'” (Hebrews 13:5).

Leave (Gr.): Aniemi: To send away, Desert, Abandon

Forsake (Gr): Egkataleipo: To leave behind in some place

There are two great aspects to the love of God in Christ Jesus and our union with the Lord in the Spirit; and the words leave and forsake capture them perfectly. The Lord has given His word to us, and we can take great comfort in them knowing we have a God who cannot lie (cf. Numbers 23:19).

The Lord has promised, “I will never leave you.” The Lord has committed Himself to the Saints by His Word. The Lord has given us His promise, I will never send you away from Father’s House. I will never kick you out to the streets and leave you to fend for yourself. Secondly, the Lord has promised, “I will never forsake you.” I will never move out and abandon you. I will never not be there for you with loving care and provision.

The human psyche is sometimes insecure. Even Joshua, the great leader of Israel, needed to hear the promises of God again to go forward in his mission:

“There shall not any man be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not fail (Heb: raphah: let alone, forsake, leave) you, nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:5).

It was not just the leadership to whom came the word of the Lord, but Moses spoke to all the people:

“Be strong and of a good courage. Fear not, nor be afraid, for the Lord your God, He it is who goes with you. He will not fail (Heb. raphah) you, nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).

In The Great Commission Jesus said to His disciples:

“Teach [the people] to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

Jesus gave us His promise in the positive voice, “lo I am with you always”, instead of the negative voice, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” In the end they are the same promise. He will never leave us or forsake us. He will always be with us. That is His promise. That is His word. That is His commitment to us forever.

The Apostle wrote to the Corinthians and reiterated the promise of God when he said:

“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken (Gr. egkataleipo); cast down, but not destroyed” (II Corinthians 4:8-9).

Hearing the promise of God encourages the soul. It strengthens the heart. It builds up our faith. It motivates the will to continue in the work and never look back. In our weakness, it gives us hope and in our struggles we need not despair. Oh, when the Helper comes with the word of the Lord to lift us up and help us stand. It brings a sweet smile of contentment, knowing the Lord is near.

“Be content with such things as you have”. We have God’s word. We have God’s promise. We have the Holy Spirit. We have the communion (Gr. Koinonia) of the saints. We have everlasting life. We have the Kingdom.

Are you going through difficulty? Are you troubled? Perplexed? Persecuted? Are you struggling in so many ways? Remember the promise of God: “Lo, I am with you always.” “I will never leave you, nor forsake you”. You always have a place in Father’s House, at His table, in your room prepared for you. Keep faith and trust in the One who cannot fail.

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Small Encounters

“There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. He came to Jesus by night. . .” (John 3:1-2a).

There are moments when the masses gather, and momentous things transpire: The feeding of the five thousand (Matthew 14:21); the triumphal entry to Jerusalem (Matthew 21:9); and there are moments, seemingly insignificant moments, mundane moments of profundity, eternal treasures of the wisdom and knowledge of God. Such was the meeting of Jesus with Nicodemus, a small encounter, under cover of night, in secret so as not to be seen of men; but a meeting, nonetheless, where the foundations of the Gospel are laid.

“Marvel not that I said unto you, you must be born again” (John 3:7).

Before you can see the Kingdom of God (v3); before you can enter the Kingdom of God (v5); “you must be born again”. Yes, “born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God which lives and abides forever” (I Peter 1:23).

Never despise the significance of small encounters, those common times of conversations with friends, brothers/sisters in the Lord, with family, those private conversations with a Pastor, Elder, Counselor, Teacher, Advisor and Confidante. There are times of prayer, breaking of bread, asking advice and searching for truth, as Nicodemus was with Jesus:

“Rabbi, we know you are a teacher come from God for no man can do these miracles that you do except God be with him” (John 3:2).

Jesus knew why Nicodemus came to Him by night. Before Nicodemus asked one question, having only stated that he knew Jesus was of God, Jesus gave him the nugget of truth for which his heart was searching: “you must be born again.” Nicodemus had no clue what that phrase meant, but he had his answer. “How can these things be?” (v9) was all he could say from his natural mind at the time; revelation would have to come later.

One small encounter with profound impact for Nicodemus and for the world; for that small encounter was recorded in the Gospel of John for all to read and to believe.

The Woman at the Well. A nameless woman, an ordinary chore, another day to draw water at the well. But this small encounter was with the Master, the Lord, the Messiah.

“If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that says to you, ‘Give Me to drink, you would have asked of Him, and He would have given you Living Water'” (John 4:10).

Once again Jesus gives us a precious nugget, a treasure for the soul. The woman inquires of Him further concerning the well and the water. It is Jacob’s well and Jesus has nothing in hand for which to draw water. Undeterred Jesus continues the encounter:

“Whosoever drinks of this water shall thirst again; but whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:13-14).

Oh, the marvel of His words. Eternal truth spoken so simply, so easily, so eloquently to the ear, heart, spirit and soul. Refreshing as the water itself. Is it any wonder we reference “the water of the word” (cf. Ephesians 5:26)?

Worship in Spirit and Truth. The woman inquires still further from this Prophet concerning the place of worship for she was a Samaritan and worshipped on Mount Gerizim and the Jews in Jerusalem.

“Woman, believe Me, the hour comes when you shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem worship the Father. . .the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for the Father seeks such to worship Him. God is Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:21,23-24).

Small encounters that bring us the profound wisdom of God, eternal truths that save our souls.

Small encounters, seemingly so insignificant, so ordinary, yet out from them come life changing messages of hope, comfort, peace, direction, and salvation.

Paying Taxes. “And it came to pass in those days that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. . .And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the City of Nazareth into Judea, unto the City of David which is called Bethlehem. . .to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife being great with Child. And so it was that while they were there the days were accomplished that she should be delivered; and she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:1,4-5-7).

Paying taxes, a baby born into the world, in the small town of Bethlehem, Judea. Just another day, a small encounter, but oh the magnitude of it all. An encounter that changed the course of history, an encounter that brought the Advent of the Messiah and salvation to the world.

Oh, little Town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie,

Above thy deep and dreamless sleep, the silent stars go by. . .

Just small encounters.

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When Hearts and Stars Align

“Where is He that is born King of the Jews? We have seen His Star in the East and have come to worship Him” (Matthew 2:2).

“I will shake all nations, and the Desire of all Nations shall come, and I will fill this House with Glory, says the Lord of Hosts” (Haggai 2:7).

When the desire for and the sign of align there is a convergence that shakes to the core. The Desire of All Nations came, and the sign of His appearing was seen, and from thence forward the world has been on a collision course with destiny.

The Sign–The Star. The star of Christ was prophesied to arise and spoken thusly: “He has said which heard the words of God and knew the knowledge of the Most High, who saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance with his eyes open: I shall see Him, but not now. I shall behold Him, but not nigh; there shall come a Star out of Jacob and a Scepter shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth” (words of Balaam, Numbers 24:16-17).

The Apostle Peter spoke concerning the Star in his Epistle: “We have also a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto you do well to take heed, as unto a light that shines in a dark place, until the Day dawn, and the Day Star arise in your hearts” (II Peter 1:19).

The Apostle John in his Revelation has given us the words of Christ when He wrote, “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the Bright and Morning Star” (Revelation 22:16).

When the Day Star arises in the heart from which all desires come, there is an alignment of desire with fulfillment and consummation, and the New Day begins.

The Conoidic Heart. In the science of geometry when among other things, all rulings on a ruled surface intersect a fixed line, the axis, a conoid is observed, as well Archimedes did attest in his writing, On Conoids and Spheroids. On a spiritual plane, when our desire and the object of our desire intersect at the axis of the Heart of the Father, there is a new creation, a conoidic heart that is forever fixed around our axis in concentric circles in the love of the Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

As the Prophet Haggai has intimated in his prophetic word, we may well infer that when the Conoidic Heart is birthed and formed in us our house will be filled with Glory. as promised by the Lord of Glory, the Lord of Hosts, the Almighty.

When Hearts and Stars Align there is a shaking in the earth. It is the sign of a new beginning, a new order, a new king to reign, a new authority, power, splendor and glory. The Herodian spirit will fight it and seek to destroy; but the humble will hear thereof and be glad (cf. Psalms 69:30-35; Matthew 2:3). When hearts and stars align there is great rejoicing and there is worship (cf. Matthew 2:10-11).

Joy to the World,

The Lord is come.

Let earth receive her King!

When hearts and stars align.

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