Tuesday, January 20, 2015

IT'S TIME TO TRANSITION


Jesus refers to His followers as sheep. What does this have to do with your intimacy with the Lord you ask? Let us look at the characteristics of sheep.

Sheep are…
  • submissive
  • completely dependent on the Shepherd
  • responsive to love and care


but sheep also …
  • are easily panicked
  • are gullible
  • are vulnerable to fear and therefore stampede easily
  • are vulnerable to mob psychology, so they are easily influenced by a leader – whoever that leader might be
  • have only one defense when they are attacked – to run
  • are easy prey to enemies
  • are easily flipped over and cannot right themselves without the Shepherd
  • need a lot of care
  • are not concerned about the Shepherd's needs – only their own.
  • are not concerned about pleasing the Shepherd, but rather are focused on pleasing themselves.
As a young believer you and I come to the Lord as His sheep. However, there is a need for a transition in our thinking after a while. Consider these facts….


In Moses’ Tabernacle sheep could go no further than the Brazen Altar where they were sacrificed. Therefore they could not go past the curtain to experience fellowship with God that is represented in the Holy Place; nor could they have the deep intimacy that comes from entering the Holy of Holies.

Sheep were unable to enjoy that kind of intimacy with the Shepherd since they are a different species from Him.

Do you see the spiritual implications for you and me? If we continue to think of ourselves only as sheep we will never experience true intimacy with the Lord. The Father is not preparing a Marriage Feast for His Son and His sheep. He is preparing one for His Son and His Bride!

Jesus told Peter to feed His sheep and feed His lambs. These are the vulnerable, new ones.
Luke 22:31-32 – And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
Peter had to go through a conversion before he could be of any use to the brethren. He was a sheep at first. As a sheep he denied Jesus because he was looking after his own interests. But Jesus saw that Peter would be converted.

Peter had not yet developed the agape love for Jesus. Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him with agape - the perfect, intimate God-kind of love, but Peter’s response each time was that he loved Jesus with a brotherly affection.

Now let us look at the characteristics of the bride.

A bride…
  • Is intimate with her Husband and seeks to please Him
  • As a result of this intimacy she knows not just His acts but understands His ways
  • Partners with Him
  • Is in covenant with Him
  • Represents Him in His absence. (People will judge Him by how she looks, speaks and acts.)
  • Carries His Name
  • Bears and raises His 'children' – His fruit
  • Submits to His leadership
  • He is her covering, therefore she knows that He takes care of her needs. This frees her to focus on their relationship, and on their 'business' ventures.
In ancient Jewish weddings the bride immersed herself in a “mikvah” prior to the marriage. This was a body of water, and her immersion symbolized the profound transition that was about to take place in her life.

In Moses’ Tabernacle the priests had to wash at the Brazen Laver in preparation for transitioning from the Outer Court to the Holy Place – a place of greater intimacy with the Lord.

Today you and I must first ensure that we change our mindset from being simply a dependent sheep. We must embrace our life as the Bride of Christ preparing for her Beloved Bridegroom!



Wednesday, January 14, 2015

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF A NAME

Written by Jane Hansen Hoyt, 
President of Aglow International

(Please see information about Aglow at the end of the article.)
 
There is much significance in a name.  It is a point of identification and is a distinctive designation. The ability to refer to and identity a subject is integral to our way of communicating with one another.  You greet people, by giving your name.  Names also have power.  Your signature on any legal document carries an authority and, in essence, states that you are knowledgeable of, and responsible for that which you are signing your name to.


A NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES

There is a name that is far greater than any name in history.  It is the name that is above all names.  There are not enough nouns and adjectives in any language of the world to describe the majestic, all powerful name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
God has highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name; That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  Phil. 2:9
It is the name that rules all heaven, earth and under the earth.  His name rules in this world and in the world to come.  His name identifies Him.  His name has power and there is authority in His name.  

HIS NAME*
  • In Genesis, He is the Seed of the woman. 
  • In Exodus, He is the Passover Lamb.
  • In Leviticus, He is the Eternal High Priest. 
  • In Numbers, He is the Cloud by day and Pillar of Fire by Night. 
  • In Deuteronomy, He is the Prophet Like Unto Moses. 
  • In Joshua, He is the Captain of our Salvation. 
  • In Judges, He is the Lawgiver. 
  • In Ruth, He is the Kinsman Redeemer. 
  • In I and II Samuel, He is the Incomparable Prophet.
  • In I and II Kings, He is the Mighty King.
  • In I and II Chronicles, He is the Great Monarch.
  • In Ezra, He is the Faithful Scribe.
  • In Hezekiah, He is the Great Edifier.
  • In Esther, He is our Escape from Death.
  • In Job, He is our Hope and Resurrection.
  • In Psalms, He is our Great Shepherd.
  • In Proverbs, He is the Eternal Wisdom.
  • In Ecclesiastes, He is the Eternal Life.
  • In Song of Solomon, He is the Lover of our Souls.
  • In Isaiah, He is the Prince of Peace.
  • In Jeremiah, He is the Righteous Branch.
  • In Lamentations, He is the Prophet Who Weeps for Us.
  • In Ezekiel, He is the God of Four Faces.
  • In Daniel, He is the Fourth Man in the Fiery Furnace.
  • In Hosea, He is the Faithful Husband.
  • In Joel, He is the Baptizer in the Holy Ghost.
  • In Amos, He is the Burden bearer.
  • In Obadiah, He is the Mighty to Save.
  • In Jonah, He is the Great Missionary.
  • In Micah, He is the Messenger with Beautiful Feet.
  • In Nahum, He is the Avenger of God’s Elect.
  • In Habakkuk, He is the Stirring Evangelist.
  • In Zephaniah, He is the Burning bush.
  • In Haggai, He is the Restorer of God’s inheritance.
  • In Malachi, He is the Son of Righteousness.
  • In Matthew, He is the Messiah.
  • In Mark, He is the Miracle Worker.
  • In Luke, He is the Son of Man.
  • In John, He is the Son of God.
  • In Romans, He is the Justifier.
  • In I and II Corinthians, He is the Gifts and Fruit of the Spirit.
  • In Galatians, He is the Redeemer from the Curse of the Law.
  • In Ephesians, He is the Christ of Eternal Riches.
  • In Philippians, He is the Supplier of Every Need.
  • In Colossians, He is the Fullness of the Godhead.
  • In I and II Thessalonians, He is the Soon Coming Kind.
  • In I and II Timothy, He is the Mediator Between God and Man.
  • In Titus, He is the Faithful Pastor.
  • In Philemon, He is the Friend Closer than a Brother.
  • In Hebrews, He is the Blood of Covenant.
  • In James, He is the Mighty Physician.
  • In I and II Peter, He is the Great Shepherd.
  • In I and II and III John, He is the Everlasting Love.
  • In Jude, He is the Lord Coming Back with 10,000 of His Saints.
  • In Revelation, He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
God raised Him from death and set Him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from his rule.  And not just for the time being, but forever.  He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything.  Ephesians 1:20-21  The Message

* Taken from a message by Dr. Bernhard Johnson, an Assemblies of God missionary to Brazil;  preached at Yoido Full Gospel Church in 1983.

About Aglow
Aglow began in 1967 with four women who expressed a desire to meet together as Christians without denominational boundaries. Today Aglow spans the globe with almost 4000 groups in 170 nations meeting regularly. The vision and mission is to carry the truth of the Kingdom, and to see God's will done on earth as it is in heaven. Please visit the website below for more information, and to locate an Aglow Lighthouse near you.
www.aglow.org 
Copyright © 2015 AudreyCharles. All rights reserved.